169. Beholding As In A Mirror

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect (Rom 12:1-2).

We have seen how we can come into Holy Place in the heavenly tabernacle through the cross, through Jesus who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Just as the sacrificial lamb was prepared by the High Priest, so Jesus prepares us daily as a living sacrifice.

Beholding as in a mirror

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit (2 Cor 3:18)

Besides the altar of incense, in the Holy Place there is also a laver (a large bath, made of polished bronze) (Ex 38:8) in which the priests would immerse themselves to wash. This mirror surface is supposed to reflect the image of God. The word of God is our mirror (James 1:23), and when we look into that mirror we should increasingly see the reflection of His image in us.

Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water (Heb 10:19-22).

We may have thought this something we do on earth. Look again: we do it in heaven. We have access through the blood of Jesus, a new and living way, into the heavenly realms.

…Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word… (Eph 5:25-26).

Authority of the word

Are we willing to submit to the authority of the word of God in our lives? The Spirit of God breathes life into the word and applies it; we surrender to it and make it the authority in our life. The logos (written word) becomes the rhema (spoken word).

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and separating as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Heb 4:12).

This familiar verse is not about the Bible, the book, but about the living word which addresses the issues in our life. When we look into the word; when we surrender our lives to it, God can reveal to us aspects of our life and behaviour to which we have been blind (our ‘blind self’). We see and surrender to the truth, and step into the light where the 7 spirits of God are burning, bringing knowledge, wisdom, understanding and so on (represented by the candlestick there in the Holy Place).

When Jesus, our High Priest, prepares our life as a sacrifice, He removes all our coverings, skins, and masks; all our onion layers of self-protection. We stand before Him naked, transparent, uncovered; our flesh completely exposed before God. Fig leaves did not work for Adam and Eve: we need to stop trying to cover up with dead works, self-righteousness, defence or coping mechanisms, trying to meet our needs apart from God. We need to surrender.

Threes

Hebrews 4:12 (which we looked at above) talks about three things: dividing, separating, judging; three layers of God’s dealing with us. The division of soul and the spirit is about our behaviours (transgression); but there is a deeper level, our thoughts and intentions, our motives (sin); and deeper still, the bone and marrow, the root or source of things in our lives (iniquity).

We are a 3-part being: spirit, soul and body.
God is a 3-part being: Father, Son and Spirit.
This is because 3 is the number of government.

  • The body has 3 layers of skin – dermis, epidermis, sub-dermis
  • The heart has 3 layers – endocardium, myocardium, pericardium
  • The brain has 3 layers – dura matter, arachnoid matter, pia matter
  • The soul has 3 components – heart, emotions, will

Everything operates in threes, even transgression, sin and iniquity.

Trauma, nurture, nature

God wants us to deal with the layers in our lives. We acquire these skins, layers, masks, and behaviour patterns in one of three ways:

  • Trauma – experiential programming
  • Nurture – environmental programming
  • Nature – DNA genetic programming

Trauma is the record of our experiences, stored as memories in our lives. We create layers of protection, coping and defence mechanisms because of such things as

  • Abuse – physical, sexual, emotional, physiological, verbal
  • Incidents and accidents – emotional
  • Grief and loss, death, divorce, moving home

Nurture is our environmental programming, the record of our upbringing. We may have been affected by:

  • Parents – less than perfect acceptance, affection, affirmation, approval – security
  • Family, school, friends, church
  • Words – curses, vows, agreements, lies
  • Familial and familiar spirits

Nature is our:

  • blood line – records of family sin, behaviours, spirits – iniquity
  • seed line – our DNA genetic record, which may contain reptilian seed (Cain), Nephilim seed (angelic/human hybrid) or righteous seed (Noah).

We can deal with both trauma and nurture by surrendering; by entering into the realms of heaven to present ourselves as a sacrifice. We allow ourselves to be skinned of all masks, coverings and layers; self-righteousness, religious coverings, denial and projection; self-protection, coping and defence mechanisms. We will see how to deal with our nature (blood line and seed line) later in this series.

Our being

Transformation 2012 6_277

We are made in the image of God, spirit, soul and body. Our spirit is where the Holy Spirit is resident, with the mind of Christ, the glory of God and the heart of the Father. When we surrender our spirit and the throne of the government of our life to God, then our spiritual senses are activated to express God’s glory through us to the world around us.

Transformation 2012 6_279

Our spirit is surrounded by our soul. Our conscious mind is the outer layer of our soul, the connection between it and our body. We can have lies masquerading as truth in our subconscious (at Freedom we call it our ‘knower’ because it is where we know that we know that we know things). But just because we ‘know’ something does not make it true. Our strongholds defend our right to believe lies. We need them demolished so that lies can be replaced with truth, reprogramming the mind and renewing the heart.

Transformation 2012 6_280

I do not know anyone who grew up with the ideal of perfect love, esteem, worth, value and security. We have all had unmet needs which we tried to meet through imperfect people, who inevitably disappointed us (God is the only one who can meet our needs). Emotional damage eventually comes out through our conscious mind and expresses itself in our behaviour every day. We have lived under the rule of things that shaped our lives.

If we present ourselves to Him, God heals and restores us.

Transformation 2012 6_281

In our will, sin and iniquity have caused stubbornness, doubt, fear and so on. As we surrender, as we daily present ourselves as a living sacrifice, God replaces those with patience, confidence, humility, endurance – all the positive attributes you see there.

If we pursue transformation, God deals first with our behaviour. And if we persevere, beyond that there are still motives and roots that He will begin to address.

Wash me, skin me

Father I thank You that You have made a way for me
To access Your heavenly presence
I step in through the veil of Jesus through the way of the cross
I step into the realm of Your government

I look into the mirror of Your word
Reveal my blind self to me
Show me the hidden motives of my heart
Show me how I look compared to Your image
Wash me and cleanse me with Your living word

I step through the veil of truth into the Holy Place
I stand in the light of Your truth
I ask You to search me

I present myself to You, Jesus, my High Priest, as a living sacrifice
Prepare me for the altar of incense
That my life would be an acceptable offering

Skin me
Remove all layers of self-righteousness
Remove all the masks I hide behind
Remove all my defensive behaviour patterns
Remove all my coping mechanisms

Remove all the mindsets and strongholds I have built
To defend my false beliefs and values

Remove all patterns of thinking,
Philosophies, ideals, lies and values not of Your kingdom

Remove all layers of doubt and unbelief
Remove all my emotional layers of rejection, insecurity, fear, dependence,
Remove all layers of guilt and shame
Remove all layers of anger, resentment, bitterness and unforgiveness
Remove all layers of control, independence,
Stubbornness and rebellion, pride and self-sufficiency

Give me revelation of my true identity as a son of God
Renew my mind to the mind of Christ
Meet all my unmet needs in Yourself
Heal all my unhealed hurts
Restore my soul

I receive Your unconditional love, acceptance, affirmation, approval
I stand transparent, naked and unafraid before You
I hear You say ‘I see You and I love You’
I receive Your value, esteem and worth
I receive Your strength, patience, perseverance,
Courage, boldness, humility and confidence

I step back into this realm to walk in the ways of Your kingdom
Manifest Your glory through me on earth as it is in heaven

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168. The Fire of Transformation

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

Refiner’s Fire

There are three things you need for fire: heat, air, and a fuel source. God’s presence is the heat and the wind of the Holy Spirit is the air (the more the wind of the Spirit blows, the hotter the fire). Now, who is willing to be a fuel source? There is no other fuel for this fire. To enter glory we must go through the fire of transformation. We are being prepared so that He can turn up in person.

Fire changes the composition of a substance at a molecular level. Chemically, this is the process, and there will be parallels for us in our lives too:

  • Heating – temperature rises
  • Transition – softening of bonds
  • Degradation – bonds break
  • Decomposition – release of gases
  • Oxidation – combustion
  • Transformation – change of substance (e.g. wood to charcoal)

Fire from heaven

We can see instances in scripture where the fire of God fell:

Then fire came out from before the LORD and consumed the burnt offering and the portions of fat on the altar; and when all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces (Lev 9:24) [see also 2 Chron 7:1, 1 Chron 21:26, Rev 8:5].

But we are not dependent upon fire falling from heaven. We have access to heaven, where the fire is. We can enter into the fire of God’s presence every day.

Pure in heart

Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God (Matt 5:8).

Our lives become an offering when we go through this process of refining and purifying. Purity means there is no mixture. We gave God the go-ahead for this when we prayed “Try me, O God” (from Psalm 139) a little earlier. ‘The Lord tests the heart’ (Prov 17:3), and ‘when He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold’ (Job 23:10).

We can count it all joy when we go through trials (James 1:2), because we know the end will make it all worth while. Like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the fiery furnace, we are not alone in the fire, and when we come through we will not even smell of smoke.

A new heart

Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh (Ezek 36:26).

We need pure hearts, because the heart carries the testimony record of our life and past generations. The heart forms from the sperm and the ovum joining to form the first cell and contains 23 + 23 chromosomes from our mother and father. It contains the DNA record of our seed line and the cell memories of our past generational blood line.

Transformation is the process of rewriting our hearts (2 Cor 3:3). This is what will happen when we start dealing with these generational things in our lives:

You shall tear down their altars and smash their sacred pillars and burn their Asherim with fire, and you shall cut down the engraved images of their gods and obliterate their name from that place (Deut 12:3).

  • What are your idols?
  • What are your family idols?
  • Where are your high places?
  • Where are your family high places?
  • Where have you sacrificed?
  • Where has your family sacrificed?
  • What have you traded with?
  • What has your family traded with?

This is all coming as we ask God to transform us.

Heavenly realms

We are to lay our lives on the altar, and come as a living sacrifice. That altar is not in a physical place on earth, but in the tabernacle in heaven.

Heavenly realms 2

This is a diagrammatic representation of seven realms of heaven. Between each of these realms or dimensions are gateways, and there are protocols for passing through them. The two cherubim and fiery sword are there to block the pathway to the tree of life, but Jesus has unblocked that pathway for us as we come through Him, through the cross.

When He described Himself as the Way, the Truth and the Life, (the names of the veils between the various parts of the temple), His contemporaries understood very well that He was saying, ‘It is (and always has been) only through Me that you can access the realms of God’s Presence and the realms of heaven’.

Way, Truth and Life

The seraphim and fire

And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke. Then I said, Woe is me, for I am ruined! Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal in his hand, which he had taken from the altar with tongs. He touched my mouth with it and said, “Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away and your sin is purged (Isa 6:4-7).

We may well exclaim ‘Woe is me, I am ruined!’, or in more modern language, ‘I’m totally wrecked’ because that is how we feel when all the impurities come to the surface in the heat of the fire. The burning coal purges our sin and takes away our iniquity when we engage the seraphim. If you have not yet experienced that, then that too is coming.

A living sacrifice

We have looked before at what it means to come as a living sacrifice. Please feel free to read those blog posts now if you have not done so before. By faith we enter through the veil, to the brazen altar, to Jesus our High Priest, who prepares the sacrifice. Our part is to come and present ourselves.

Jesus told us that this is the protocol if we want to come after Him: to deny ourself (surrender), take up the cross (the place of exchange) and follow Him (Luke 9:23).

Walk in the light

If we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin… If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:7, 9).

How many of us have only ever applied this scripture to this earthly realm? But it is in the realms of heaven that we are cleansed from sin; it is in the realms of heaven where Jesus is, walking in the light. That cleansing comes as we step into His presence through the cross. We can experience cleansing here in this realm only because we can do so in that realm. And we can do it in an instant by learning to step into that place, to go through the veil of the cross and exchange old for new, sin for righteousness and so on.

covenant-exchange-belonging

Here are some declarations you can use every day:

Father, I thank You that through your mercy
You have made a way for me to access Your heavenly presence.

I choose to deny myself, take up the cross and follow Your way.
I choose to lose my life to gain your life.

I step in through the veil of Jesus, through the way of the cross.
I step into the realm of Your government.
I come to trade on the brazen altar of covenant exchange.

I exchange my sin for Your righteousness.
I exchange my rejection for Your acceptance.
I exchange my guilt for Your forgiveness.
I exchange my sickness for Your health.
I exchange my old life for Your new life.

I exchange my old identity for Your new identity.
I exchange my old name for Your new name.
I exchange my old nature for Your new nature.
I exchange my old bondage for Your new freedom.
I exchange my old records for Your new record.
I exchange my past for Your future.

I exchange my darkness for Your light.
I exchange my weakness for Your strength.
I exchange my thoughts for Your thoughts.
I exchange my character for Your character.
I exchange my ways for Your ways.

I step back into this realm
Forgiven, cleansed, and clothed with righteousness.
I am empowered for transformation
To manifest Your glory
Bringing heaven to earth through my life.

I would encourage you to do this every day. Step in and step out; exchange old for new at the cross. Be transformed. Make this a way of life, daily denying yourself, taking up the cross, and following Him – into the realms of heaven.

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—

166. Tadpoles and Caterpillars

Mike Parsons 
with Jeremy Westcott – 

[We] are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another (2 Cor 3:18).

We are to be transformed into the image of Jesus. As John the Baptist said, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). He adds to me what is like Him, and He takes away from me what is not like Him.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect (Rom 12:2).

Metamorphosis

Transformation (the Greek word is metamorphosis) is a change from one form into another, such as a caterpillar into a butterfly or a tadpole into a frog. It is not something which happens just on the surface. The kind of transformation God requires will affect our spirit, our soul (mind, will and emotions) and our body, right down to DNA level.

Look at the life cycles of the butterfly and the frog:

lifecycles

There are similarities, and one major difference. The tadpole gets to enjoy freedom while he gradually changes, a little at a time. The caterpillar is shut into a cocoon and radically changed, all at once. Some of those cocoons look very pretty, but what goes on inside really isn’t. The caterpillar is dissolved, its DNA is completely deconstructed, turned into mush, and recoded to form a butterfly. The emerging butterfly struggles to escape from the cocoon, but that very struggle produces the strength to overcome and fly.

I know which kind of transformation I would prefer.

Now a tadpole can live only in the water, but a frog is at home both in water and on the land. A caterpillar is earthbound, whilst a butterfly can fly in the air or perch on the ground. As a result of our transformation, we are enabled to operate effectively in the dual realms of heaven and earth.

Visions of a dark cloud

A number of people have seen a dark cloud over us here at Freedom. It is not a warning of something bad about to happen: the dark cloud is like a cocoon, a canopy over us, protecting us and enabling us to operate as a safe haven, a city of refuge, even as we are transformed here ourselves. It is the cloud that surrounds His glory:

…there were thunder and lightning flashes and a thick cloud upon the mountain…  the Lord descended upon it in fire; and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked violently (Ex 19:16,18).

We can see our place of transformation as a cloud, as a cocoon, a wilderness, a crucible, a furnace. In all of these it will be our situations, circumstances and relationships that God uses to bring about the result He desires. We may find ourselves asking searching questions. Where am I? Who am I? What am I? Why am I?

When the cloud overshadows, the Spirit is brooding, hovering, resonating: causing us to come into harmony with Him. The vibrating energy of the Holy Spirit causes shaking, realignment at the very deepest level, and brings us into resonance, into harmony with our identity and destiny as sons. His overshadowing always produces change:

The Spirit of God was moving (hovering, brooding, vibrating) over the face of the waters (Gen 1:2).

The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you…” (Luke 1:35).

Pursuit (the proof of desire)

We can run, we can criticise the fire for being too hot, we can complain that other people are unsympathetic and uncaring. Or we can submit, and allow Him to have His way. Let’s even pursue and embrace the transforming cloud and fire of God’s presence. What is buried deep in us will come to the surface. What is hidden will be revealed. We may feel disoriented; that it is dark, restricted, hot; that we are falling apart (there may be some truth in that). But heat and pressure turn coal into diamonds, and weeds into fertile compost. Our identity as sons is forged in the fires of adversity and challenge.

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing (James 1:2-4).

And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;  and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us (Rom 5:3-5).

We must fight, press in, press on and not give up. We must pursue our inheritance; not being settlers but pioneers. We must also not cave in to pressure to help others out of their cocoon. We can encourage and support, but we must not try to rescue them from their struggle, because it is the struggle that will enable them to fly.

From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force (Matt 11:12).

Ready to move?

God is always moving, and He wants us to chase after Him towards maturity. He makes us uncomfortable where we are: it may be that we find the spiritual techniques and disciplines we have relied on no longer work, that we cannot see or hear as we once did. He is moving us from His presence to His glory.

Are we ready to move when the pillar of fire or cloud moves? He is not where He was; He is not doing things as He was. But His glory and grace depart slowly – in the Old Testament they were unaware that He had left the temple (Ezek 8-11).

God is calling us to transformation because He loves us; calling us ‘deep to deep’ (Ps 42:7) to engage heaven; calling us to a supernatural lifestyle; calling us out of the wilderness into our true inheritance. He wants us living in dual realms so that we can bring His kingdom government from heaven to earth.

Transformation is the only way to maturity, to sonship, and to the true fulfilment of our destiny, which is nothing less than the restoration of the whole universe (Rom 8:19).

I dare you to pray this prayer; I dare you to continue praying it as the heat and pressure build and you engage with the process of change; I dare you not to stop praying it until you are fully transformed into the likeness of Jesus:

Investigate my life, O God,
find out everything about me;
Cross-examine and test me,
get a clear picture of what I’m about;
See for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong
then guide me on the road to eternal life.
(Psa 139:23-24 TM).

Search me thoroughly, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.
(Psa 139:23-24 NASB).

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157. Manifesting His Presence

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

God’s presence is within us. He wants us to open the door so that He can fill our whole being.

Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. (Rev 3:20)

Opportunity for the world

Jesus is inviting us to have a relationship with Him. God is on the inside of us. He wants to flow out through us so that we manifest His presence around us. In that way the world has the opportunity to interact with the kingdom of God.

There are senses in our spirit. They are gates through which God can flow. Depending what your destiny is, some of those gates will be used more than others.

newcolours

Revelation from God

I spent a long time meditating on my gates. In praying, I would picture a gate and meditate on it, asking God to show me what that particular gate meant for me. I did that for all those gates in my spirit, soul and body until I had a revelation from God about all of them. I went through a process of opening my gates and learning to allow the flow of revelation to go through my spirit, soul and body.

I have taught others how to do this and they agree how challenging it is, as God highlights the areas which are blockages to His flow. But they also agree how effective it is in opening up their lives to receive revelation from God. Their experience (and mine) is that this can transform your life.

I spent a long time considering each of the combinations of gates through which the life of God can flow through my spirit and soul and out from my body. It took a while, because I think there are something like 280 of them. But it was worth the effort, because it has opened me up to being able to hear God, see Him and flow in Him so very much more than I ever could before.

Removing the blockages

The process is one of perseverance and practice. But as you start to understand how this works, you find there are things operating in you which are blockages to the things of the spirit.

They may come to you as pictures. Some people see brambles, or chains, all over their gates. Some see their gates all boarded up with wood and nails and are crying out “I can’t open it! I can’t open it!”. The truth is, we will be able to open it, but there may be things God wants us to deal with and get rid of, so that the gate is unblocked. We have to go through the process.

Transform the world

Jesus is knocking, and I just want to encourage us every day to open up the door inside us. Let Him in. Let Him into our spirit. Invite Him to be Lord of our life. Allow Him to start flowing through the gates of our spirit, soul and body and so out into the world around us.

As we do that, we find that we start to change and transform not only our own lives and how we live, but also what goes on around us. We become subject to God’s kingdom flowing from us rather than what is coming at us from the outside, so we learn to overcome things like sickness and be in authority over them. This is something God is teaching us how to do.

When Jesus came He was the model of the kingdom. Everyone who came to Him, He healed from every sickness. Everyone who came to Him, He set free from the demonic influence that was operating in their life. He brought people into fulness of joy, and peace, and hope.

Flowing like Jesus? It does not happen overnight. But with dedication, practice and perseverance we will be able to experience this in our own lives.

The question is, how much do we want it?

Related articles from FreedomARC

Image accreditation: The ‘gateways’ diagram in this post and elesewhere on this blog is based on an original by Ian Clayton (see ‘Gateways of the Threefold Nature of Man’).

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156. Store, or shred?

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

We are continuing to look at building our spirit.

Everything we perceive goes into the brain. Whatever we see, hear, smell, taste, and touch, the information comes in through our senses and is relayed there via various pathways. When we see something, for example, light comes in through our eye and is projected, upside down, onto our retina. That information travels along the optic nerve to the brain, which then interprets it – in this case, turning it the right way up.

So if I am teaching on a Sunday (not that I do that much anymore), looking at a room full of people, I am not really seeing them where they are, out there seated in their chairs. I am actually seeing them in my own brain. But I have learnt to interpret those messages to mean that there are people are out there, and I can tell pretty accurately how far away they are. We all do that, all the time. But we had to learn that spatial awareness as we were growing up.

Sorting by relevance

There is a part of the brain called the hippocampus which is like a shredder machine. All the irrelevant information that goes into your brain, everything that is not important to you, gets shredded. You may see everything, hear everything, feel everything – but you don’t retain it because most of it doesn’t really matter too much. Those things that do matter can be stored. The sorting happens by repetition.

For instance if I walked into a room in a building where I had never been before and the lights went off I would struggle to find my way out. But if I walked into the Freedom Centre and all the lights went off, even if it was pitch black, no problem. That’s because I have been in the Freedom Centre hundreds of times and I know my way around. My imagination would be able to show me, even though I couldn’t see naturally, because that information has been stored in my brain. I could describe the building to someone, and where everything is in it, because I’ve been here many times and I remember. My brain knows that the information has some value because I have repeated it over and over again.

Again, most of our church members could not tell you what the pattern is on the carpet in the main hall of the Freedom Centre, even though they may have seen it many times and walked over it every time they have been here. I can tell you exactly what the pattern is: I know because I have been face down on it so often that I remember it. It is three little dots going at different angles in different colours. That information may not actually be all that important to me, but my brain has assigned it relevance because of repetition.

Meditation

Meditation is going over and over something in your mind, drawing the truth from it. As time goes on, because of the constant repetition, your brain learns that this is something important to you, and stores the information instead of shredding it. When it comes to meditating on what God has revealed to you, whether from scripture or interacting with the Spirit of God, I know that if you don’t repeat these things regularly then your brain will not treat the information you acquire as something that’s important or valuable to you. It that happens, you risk losing it.

With repetition, synapses close and form a neural pathway to the memories, which are stored in our heart, in our subconscious. Trauma can cause the same thing to happen instantly. Sometimes something happens to you which is so severe that you form an instant memory and you can’t get rid of it. This often happens to people involved in wars or serious accidents. You may have experienced it yourself. Sometimes, though, the trauma can be so severe that your brain actually forms pathways around the memory of the event so that you can’t remember it at all. You block it out, or you dissociate from it – that’s what happens with people who have multiple personality disorder. It is a form of protection against the effects of severe trauma.

Just as we may sense everything physical but don’t retain it all, we also sense everything spiritual. But most of us can’t remember spiritual sensations or information because we have no anchor for it. That is because we don’t go back and repeat the experiences, nor do we have them often enough. If we want to grow in the realms of the spirit we need to stimulate the right side of our brain by speaking in tongues and meditating regularly and on purpose. As we do, we will find that we are having (and retaining memory of) visions, dreams, pictures and so on. The more we repeat the process the more the information gets stored rather than shredded.

Through meditation, through repetition, through agreement with the Truth (Jesus), those memories get stored and become something we are able to use. The revelation that comes from personal engagement with Father, Son and Spirit in this way becomes something that we start to live from. As we operate in it, we experience it in increased measure and begin to manifest the Kingdom of God around our lives.

If you don’t know by experience the things you may read in the scriptures, then you are simply acting like a parrot when you talk about it. A parrot can speak words but it does not know what they mean. If we know the Word of God (that is, Jesus) personally, by experience, then we can speak words of authority and power. That, too, comes by learning how to meditate.

Use it or lose it

We can help the process by writing out what God has revealed to us, reviewing it and revisiting it. I make a practice of journaling everything. Experiences, evenly heavenly ones, are easily forgotten. The principle of ‘use it or lose it’ definitely applies in this case.

God used to speak to me all the time through the Bible (because that is how I expected Him to speak to me. Nowadays He uses plenty of other means as well). Whenever He would speak, the words would jump off the page and I would think ‘oh that’s very good’, and I would underline the passage or highlight it and then go on to read something else. One day He said, ‘Why do you use your Bible as a filing cabinet? When are you going to live from the truth of the words that I speak to you?’

That changed my whole understanding. When I read a scripture that speaks to me, or when I have an encounter with Father, Son or Spirit in the realms of heaven or in my own heart, I will draw every bit of truth that I can out of it. And now those have become fundamental truths to my life. I live out of the revelation that God has given me because I took what He said and spoke it to myself, going over and over it, drawing revelation from it.

Now when I read the Bible I don’t always read a whole chapter or a whole section. I might sometimes read one word. God can give me revelation from that one word and it changes my life. I have His revelation as a deposit in my life because I walk around full of it. When I meditate on what God says, it starts forming pictures and visions. It joins up and links up and forms connections because I carry a deposit of the truth within me through meditating over it for a long time.

All of us need to have that. Meditation opens a doorway to vision, encounter and experience. When we engage with visions, encounters and experience, when we go over them again and again, our brain will then categorise them as important to us, and store them.

Store or shred? The choice is ours.

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155. A Plumbline, a Doorway and an Anchor

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

Not in the Bible

This may seem really obvious, but it is a fact that not everything is actually specifically mentioned in the Bible. For example, Jesus said we should do greater works than He did, without being specific about what they might be. We have experiences in daily life which are not mentioned in the Bible – there are no computers or glasses or cars or mobile phones – but it is OK for us to use them.  In just the same way, we may have some experiences of heaven which are not in the Bible.

A plumbline

plumb line

The scriptures can be a plumbline for us though. A plumbline is a string with a lead weight (or plumb-bob) hanging from it, which builders use to check that vertical surfaces are true. So does our experience line up with God’s principles, His character and His nature? That is a safeguard for us, so that we do not go off into flights of fancy which have no basis in God. The enemy will do all he can to cause us to go astray, but we do not have to be frightened of that if we keep true to a clear revelation of who God is. Jesus Himself is that perfect revelation of His Father.

Using our imagination

The scriptures can become our starting point for future experience. When we meditate on a passage, we can picture what it talks about and use our imagination. We ought not to be scared to use our imagination: God has given it to us so that we can see things, picture them, and visualise them. Now some Christians are wary of concepts like ‘visualisation’ because they have been adopted by New Age and occult people. Even meditation is viewed with suspicion in some circles. But these things are not wrong in themselves. It is simply that we have to approach them afresh and learn how to use them in a godly way.

A doorway

If we read Revelation chapters 4 and 5, they tell us about God’s throne, thunder and lightning, the seven spirits of God, four living creatures, angels, 24 elders and so on. Ezekiel chapters 1 and 10 speak of a similar scene. There are pictures in these passages which we can visualise, and this then becomes something we can engage with. It can open a door to encounter and experience.

An anchor

As well as a doorway, the scriptures can be an anchor for further heavenly experiences. I have had many encounters with God in the heavenly realms, following which I went back to the Bible to find a foundation and an anchor for those experiences. That meant I could return to those experiences again, while ensuring that I was standing on a good biblical foundation.

So sometimes our experience comes directly out of meditating on Bible passages. At other times, our experience comes in a different way, but we can still go back to the scripture and make sure that what we have experienced is in line with what it reveals of God. In either case, if it is firmly rooted in scripture we can use that as a prompt when we want to pick up our experience again another time and go further with it.

For example, I had encounters where God took me and opened up scrolls relating to my life, and showed me what was written there. I was not expecting that. I did not know if it was biblical. But then I read in Revelation that there was a scroll written on the front and the back which Jesus would open, and that anchored those experiences solidly for me. As a result I am able to go back there and make sure my life lines up with what is written on my scroll.

Left brain, right brain

To meditate you have to learn to use the right side of the brain, the creative/intuitive area. I used to be a very left-brained person, a scientist, who naturally tended towards the cognitive, logical, and mathematical. But speaking in tongues or meditating, because they come from a flow of the spirit, use the right side of the brain. So we need to learn to activate that part of the brain in order to see, and visualise, and experience spiritual realities, and especially the heavenly realms.

That flow of the spirit is revelation from the inside which comes as spontaneous thoughts and pictures and feelings. If we are not used to tuning in to them, they can slip past and we can miss them. It works like this. The air around us is full of radio and television signals of which we are not normally aware. But if we were to have a radio, turned on and tuned in, we would be able to hear whatever was playing on that particular station. If we had a TV set tuned in we would be able to see what was on that channel. And it is just the same with tuning in to God.

Meditation, imagination

God is sending out signals all the time. They flow through our spirit and are projected into the right side of our brain, so that we can hear His voice, see visions and pictures, and receive revelation from Him. We tune in to that through meditation.

Our imagination is the screen on which God projects things. But it can also receive images from our soul, from our subconscious, and we need to know the difference. Our imagination can play back experiences we have had in life. There may be a song, or a smell or a taste which can transport us instantly back to an experience we had many years previously. We can imagine it, recall it even feel the same feelings we had at the time (whether positive or negative).

We do not want to be led from our soul, and especially not from our past negative experience, but we want to be led by the Spirit of God. We need to learn to let those spirit projections rule over the soulish ones, so that we are tuned in to a flow of revelation which enables us to follow God and do what He has called us to do. We have to learn how to open ourselves up to these things, just as most of us actually learned to shut them out.

Retuning

Every child, up to the age of about three or four, is creative and intuitive. Children of that age can see the angelic much more readily than adults, and have the ability to function in that intuitive way.

By the age of 7, only 10% of children retain that spiritual and creative ability. Our western educational system is very effective at training us to use the left side of our brain. It does not value the right side at all. Because the spiritual is not reinforced and encouraged, but rather dismissed and ignored (or at best, humoured) by our elders and teachers, we learn to focus almost exclusively on the natural realm instead.

But now, empowered by the Spirit of God, we have an opportunity to re-learn how to engage our spirit; how to retune and see things from God’s perspective.

But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil (Heb 5:14, my emphasis).

It only comes by practice.

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144. Stepping Stones To Change

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

While we are building up our spirit by opening that first love gate inside us, praying continually, and waiting on the Lord, we also need to allow God to work on our soul so that it comes into proper submission to our spirit.

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I (Christ in me) now live in the flesh, I (Christ in me) live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me (Gal 2:20).

The whole relationship changes when I recognise that I have been crucified, and when I die to self, because God is then able to join Himself to me in manifesting Himself to the world around me.

Search me, try me

Search me thoroughly, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.
(Ps 139:23-24).

When we pray a prayer like that, God takes us at our word: He takes us up on what we have prayed. If we are willing to pray that prayer, He will search our heart. And He will also enable us to know what is going on in our heart. This is part of the process of change: we have to be prepared to allow God to search our hearts and show us what is there. We have to be willing to look at ourselves and see what is going on on the inside.

For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. (1 Cor 11:31 NKJV)

In judging ourselves, though, we do not compare ourselves to anyone but Jesus. God wants us to be transformed into the image of Jesus, and if we compare ourselves to Him we can see how far we have come, and how much more God still has to do in our hearts.

“Hear then the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road. The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away. And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil… (Matt 13:18-23)

The word of the kingdom gets sown into our heart. There are four kinds of soil mentioned here. Because of the past there may be areas in our hearts which are trampled down, compacted and hard, like a path, and the seed cannot grow there. Or it may be the rocks and stones in our heart, the things that have happened to us, that make it hard for the word to take root. We may get distracted by allowing our flesh to direct our thinking and our behaviour. Our hearts need to be changed, transformed into good soil, so that the word of the kingdom of God can grow in us and flourish, and bear fruit.

Consider it joy

But there is a process we need to go through in order to deal with the things that are in our hearts.

…strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, – this sounds really good so far – and saying, “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:22).

How is that ‘encouraging’? Because when we are in the middle of the troubles, trials, or tribulations, we need to know that it is all part of the process of God bringing transformation. I am not talking about sickness or things like that (God does not bring any sickness on us) but about situations and circumstances in our lives that highlight for us the condition of our heart in a particular area.

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing (James 1:2-4).

How many of us actually consider our trials as joy? But it is the attitude we have to the trials that will determine their outcome. And if we consider that God uses trials to transform us, then we will have a different approach to the situations we face. We can allow those trials to be stepping stones to change, transformation and growth; or we can resist those trials and then nothing in us will change. We have to welcome them with thanksgiving and joy. We can thank God for the trials He brings, because we know that we are being perfected, becoming complete, and will lack in nothing – just like Jesus.

If that is the outcome we are looking for, then we have to be willing to look within our lives so that we can learn, overcome, grow; so that we can see what is on the inside transformed.

Exult in tribulations

And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us (Rom 5:3-5).

Exulting in tribulations is exactly the opposite of what our flesh wants to do. Gifts are given, but fruit grows. We want to grow in the fruit of the Spirit, and be more like Jesus. It is great to receive things as a gift; but we do not get character that way: it is a fruit of dealing with the trials and troubles in our lives. How we deal with them is what shapes our character and causes us to act like Jesus.

And everything operates through love. The love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, and it enables us to deal with every situation, every trial, every trouble that we face. The love of God is in us.

It is not that He is disciplining us because He does not love us. Quite the opposite: He disciplines us because He does love us, He cares for us, and He wants us to be transformed and changed. Then He can reveal us on the earth as the manifest sons of God, shining with His light, displaying His character and the fruit that comes from a life transformed by the situations that we have faced.

He Won’t Relent

The process itself may not sound too pleasant. But it will be less painful if we surrender to the process rather than struggling against it. Jesus said:

And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder (Matt 21:44 NKJV).

Our soul can be broken, and then restored; or it can be crushed. Which would you rather? As I allow brokenness in my soul, the fragrance of God’s presence comes from me. The other way fragrance can be released from something is by grinding it to powder. God wants us to be changed. He won’t relent (as we have been singing again recently) until He has it all, all of us.

God loves us too much to let us go. Time and time again He will give us opportunities to grow and be transformed. We can give Him our heart, and surrender to the process, and be filled with joy, peace and love; or we can fight, struggle, and resist what He is wanting to do. Then all that happens is that we get to go around the mountain one more time, until He gives us another opportunity to deal with the same issue. I am sure there have been times when most of us have been around the same mountain more than once, until we learnt this truth.

He wants us to look at the mountain and say, ‘This is not going to stop me. I am going to deal with this and overcome it. I am going to climb this mountain’.

When we do, that mountain is going to elevate us higher into the purposes of God for our lives.

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