Are You In God’s Pressure Cooker?

Yesterday I recorded a podcast on Anchor about being in God’s pressure cooker and the very next day I found myself in a situation and a fire so hot that I truly felt I could not bear it!  I bring this up to say that the things I am sharing with you here and on my podcasts,  truly come from my own walk with the Lord and experiences!  It is a humbling posture to be in,  but also one that although often painful and even humiliating at times,  is necessary in a season of transition and movement forward into new lands and promises.  Experiencing the refiners fire is inescapable if we want to keep moving forward with God,  especially so that we can fulfill the new calls on our lives and new assignments with the purity and integrity God wants us to have.

Here are a few excerpts from the podcast where I talk about,  among other things,  how punishing this refining process can sometimes feel to us!

“We hear people often talk about the fires of affliction and also that God is a consuming fire…the idea that God has to sometimes turn up the heat and the pressure in our lives and that this is the way that impurities within us can come to the surface and be removed.  I just want to say here that if you have felt alot of pressure coming for instance from your life circumstances,  relationships,  or maybe in your finances and health,  it is possible that you are experiencing a refining process with the Lord, and it can be easy to feel like you are actually being punished.  I want to encourage you that the Lord’s fires are actually meant to ultimately bless and prepare you for what He has planned for you in the future!  We often want instant results…I began to experience having to go through the fires with the Lord and I was basically not getting out of anything!  I could no longer go around obstacles, or even pray those obstacles away,  but instead the Lord was teaching me to take hold of His hand and go through the trial or fire with Him.  If you are recognizing that…the only way out of something unpleasant or unwanted is to hold onto the Lord with all your strength then you might very well be in that cruscible or pressure cooker with the Lord.”

I hope you will be able to tune into the podcast to hear more about why God has us go through these fires,  as well as why we at times resist Him.  Be Blessed and encouraged today as you keep pressing and moving forward and know that whatever fiery trials you might be facing right now the Lord has not abandoned or forsaken you!  You are not being punished,  but refined to reflect more and more of His heart and image!  God Bless you all!

About Bullying

Good Morning Everyone!  I truly hope and pray that you are being Blessed!  I felt the need to address something this morning.  I am somewhat grieved,  but not surprised as I have talked so much in my podcasts, and written here in my blog as well,  about adversity striking us when we are moving ahead in our walk with God.  In this sense,  there really is no surprise when adversity and opposition strikes,  especially as we are moving out into new areas and partnering with the Lord to take new ground.  I woke this morning to a hostile commenter from my last post.  This person is a complete stranger to me and yet felt compelled to spew hatred in my direction.  This is definitely not what I want this blog to be evoking in others,  and it is most definitely not what I want to be dealing with.  I now feel compelled to say to anyone who might be reading this, that what I am doing here in this blog is following what I feel God has put on my heart to share with others,  purely and solely for the purpose of encouraging and hopefully sometimes even inspiring them.  I have to say though,  that at this early conception stage of my blog,  I did not expect such a threatening backlash already.  I would like to be able to post more about myself here and my experiences on this blog, but I am now feeling a little more hesitant about sharing.

I would also like to continue with this blog,  especially if it is helping and blessing you,  but I need to pause here and ask for prayer support from anyone who might feel a leading to pray for me.  The warfare is real as we step out into new areas,  giftings,  and callings and I really do want to pursue all that the Lord has put on my heart in this new season with Him,  not only to share here on the blog,  but on my podcasts as well,  however this was a wake up call for me,  and one that is prompting me to now put out a call to you for prayer help and support,  especially if my blog posts and podcasts have blessed you in any way!  I more than welcome positive,  kind,  generous,  loving, and constructive feedback!  I realize this goes without saying,  but commenters who post cruel,  abusive,  and bullying comments will not ever get approved or posted here.  I don’t really want to labor this too much,  it is an unpleasant subject and not the kind of thing I really want to be focusing my time,  energy and efforts on in this blog,  however I felt the necessity of addressing it right away.  I have learned over the years in my walk with the Lord that avoidance of a problem or issue is never the answer.  It is always so wonderful when God miraculously delivers us out of difficult situations and we are are instantly and wonderfully spared,  but there are also those character building seasons where we have to go through processes,  and sometimes even difficult experiences to shape us, teach us, and grow us up.  In that sense I welcome this experience,  even though it is unpleasant!

I want to thank everyone who has been sharing my journey with me up to this point,  not only here on the blog,  but in my podcasts as well! I truly appreciate you and will sincerely appreciate any positive and encouraging feedback very much,  and if you feel the Holy Spirit leading you to pray for my cover and protection as I keep pressing forward here with the Lord,  I will be so very grateful!  I really would like to safely be able to share more about myself with all of you,  but the need for prayer cover seems to be very real!  This actually leads up to what I was wanting to talk about in my next Spreaker podcast,  I want to talk about that in-between time when God is tearing down the old borders or walls that were in place for you in your old season,  and how we can sometimes resist because those boundaries have been in a way our friends!  They bring us comfort and security in their familiarity and so it can hurt and even scare us when God begins tearing them down.  It can also be a vulnerable time for us spiritually as I believe I am now experiencing because new borders and new boundaries that pertain to your new season need to be established,  and unfortunately this is a time when the enemy can move in to strike because he sees you are more vulnerable.  The good and awesome news though is that the Lord will raise up a standard on our behalf as we keep trusting in Him and looking to Him in faith!  So here I am being tested already,  and while it is not pleasant I can still rejoice knowing that the Lord has my back!

Bless you guys and please know that I welcome your feedback and am so grateful and thankful for any and all prayer support you might feel led to give me!  God Bless you all,  I will be making another blog post very soon!

How Does The Lord Raise Up A Standard For Us?

Happy Saturday everyone!  I hope you are all having a blessed day today!  I wanted to share a little bit about the idea of the Lord raising up a standard when we are experiencing adversity in our spiritual walk,  and how the Lord might do that.  In my last podcast I talked  about possible ways to hopefully keep the higher ground of victory after you have been brought to a new place of victory with God in any area of your life!  I believe that our ability to trust and have faith in God’s faithfulness to us and His goodness are key to this,  but in the podcast I did not go into too much depth about how God might actually raise up a standard against the opposition and enemy attacks we might be experiencing as we either are moving into places of higher spiritual ground with the Lord,  or if we are currently occupying those places and need to hold the new ground.  So I wanted to post here on the blog some additional thoughts about how God raises up a standard on our behalf when we come under enemy fire.  My first thought is that if you are being led by the Holy Spirit as you are advancing with the Lord,  then there will surely be times in your walk where you sense the Lord leading you into battle,  I am especially basing this on my own journey and experiences as I have been going through my own transition out of the wilderness and into a new Promise Land.  Even though my discernment is not where I would like it to be,  I have definitely sensed many times that the Lord was leading me straight into battle!  I think maybe the most important key here is that when the Lord is raising up a standard on our behalf these strategic maneuvers are offensive rather than defensive,  and this is good news!  This running toward the battle instead of away from it by the power of the Holy Spirit,  and at the Lord’s leading,  can be a powerful and liberating experience for us as we face the giants in our lives that previously held us captive in fear and bondage!  As we have repeated experiences of the Lord being there for us in this way,  I believe our faith and trust in Him cannot help but grow and develop more fully,  until we are finally able to really process and believe from the depths of our being whole-heartedly Romans 8 verse 31 (NIV) which says,  “What,  then,  shall we say in response to these things?  If God is for us,  who can be against us”?

So I pray you will be encouraged as you are moving forward through adversity into your new beginnings with the Lord!  As you progress,  opposition is inevitable,  but the Lord has your back,  and we can take comfort in the truth that He is stronger,  wiser,  and more brilliant than we could ever conceive!  Before I close,  I just want to pray that you will be encouraged and strengthened and that your faith in God’s goodness,  His faithfulness to you,  and His deep and abiding love for you,  will be firmly established within your innermost being!  Be blessed and strengthened in Jesus’ name!

Isaiah 59 verse 19 (NKJV) –  “So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west,  and His glory from the rising of the sun;  when the enemy comes in like a flood,  the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.”

Psalm 60 verse 4 (New Living Translation) – “But you have raised a banner for those who fear you – a rallying point in the face of attack.”

Keeping The Higher Ground of Victory!

Good Morning Everyone!  I hope you are having a blessed morning so far!  I recorded another podcast yesterday on Anchor titled keeping the higher ground of victory,  and I am planning to broadcast this same content on my spreaker podcast as well.  This is a little unusual for me because I haven’t been broadcasting the same message on both channels up to this point,   but for this particular content I felt God wanted it on both podcasts so I am really hoping and praying it will be a blessing and help to you!  Keeping the higher ground of victory is something we all want to achieve in our journeys with God,  and yet we still encounter opposition and adversity at times along the way,  so any help for us in being able to keep the spiritual ground God has brought us through is so very helpful!  Here are just a few excerpts from my podcast where I explore how faith and trust in God are just a couple of  important keys to keeping that higher ground –

“…if you have been either coming out of a transition into a new place with the Lord like I have,  or if you are still in transition ,  adversities are going to strike,  and when they do we often are tested to our core and we might become vulnerable to doubting God.  Part of what I believe transition is about is to deal with those places within us that might hinder us from not only being able to fully enter into our new season and promise,  but could hinder us from being able to stay in a victorious place with Him!  So when these adversities come we need to know how to stay in faith and on our path with the Lord and not be pulled down into discouragement, fear, doubt, or even unbelief…the Lord is working to build in us a strong foundation of trust in Him as He takes us through a process of deliverance from the bondages of those desert places that might still be in our souls…we can take heart that as we stay in faith, and keep our eyes on the Lord He will raise up a standard against those things that would hinder us from walking in a place of freedom and victory in and with Him!”

I hope you can tune into one or both podcasts if you are interested in hearing more!  I can be found on spreaker as podcaster SMills and my show there is called Real Talk Radio and on Anchor my podcast is called Real Talk with your host Sonja!  I will also be adding some additional thoughts here on the blog that I didn’t get to explore on the broadcast about the ways in which God might raise up a standard on our behalf when adversity strikes!  Until then I pray that God will Bless you today and I will leave you with this excerpt from one of the Streams In The Desert daily devotionals that seemed particularly highlighted to me as an encouragement for those struggling with keeping the higher ground of victory,  especially if you are currently experiencing adversity –

“Poverty, hardship and misfortune have pressed many a life to moral heroism and spiritual greatness.  Difficulty challenges energy and perseverance.  It calls into activity the strongest qualities of the soul.  It was the weights on Father’s old clock that kept it going.  Many a head wind has been utilized to make port.  God has appointed opposition as an incentive to faith and holy activity…like combat, like victory.  If for you He has appointed special trials,  be assured that in His heart He has kept for you a special place.  A soul sorely bruised is a soul elect.”