When I was a young girl playing with my dolls and having pretend tea parties, I always had the thought of having children of my own. I knew I would have a boy first and then a girl so that the girl would have an older brother to protect her and play with her; just like my older brother did for me. As I grew into a teenager, my thoughts became dreams and then became plans on having my own children. When the time came for the relationship that produces children, it didn’t work out like I thought. The man whom I thought I would marry turned out to be abusive and he could not produce children. After living in sin with him I felt like I had to stay with him forever because that was what I was taught being raised so strict. After all God’s way is to get married, have children and remain with the same spouse for life, right?
I remember sitting on my porch and crying without end because I would never hear a little child call me mommy or feel their little arms around my neck pulling my hair. It was a time in my life I will never forget because I felt like I was dying to those hopes and dreams. After that relationship continued to be violent, I ran away and moved to Kentucky. A person would think the dream would revive but it didn’t. I fell in love with another man who never wanted children and since I had already resolved myself to the idea, it was okay with me.
I am older now, I look back at my life, not regretting not having kids, but wondering what they would look like and what would they be doing now and how would I be different as a person. My husband, Louie and I are in jail and prison ministry and hang out with some really awesome people. One of them being Sylvia Pearce; she told me once that I was a mom, but I didn’t believe her until recently. It was God who had to show me and make it real in my life and that is exactly what He did.
This past weekend, while at a mini-conference at Brian and Tandy Coatney’s house, with Sylvia and Brett Burrows teaching; God impregnated me with the truth about me being a spiritual mom. On Sunday I received a text from a good friend of mine who I met in jail and God changed her into a new creation. I had to read it out loud to Louie because I couldn’t believe what it said. She said “thank you for being my spiritual mother.” From that moment on, being a spiritual mom has been quickened and made alive in me. The Lord gave me a poem I want to share with you:
Childless, they call me mom
While from this body I have not conceived,
From heaven, many children I have received.
There have been sacrifices I have made,
Not a big deal, because they were for your sake.
A mothers’ spit is powerful enough to clean your face,
So is your sin removed by God’s amazing grace.
As a mom, I encourage you, discipline and hold you,
I also teach you, comfort you and feel the things you do.
I can love you with the same love that Jesus loves me,
So that you can be destined for greatness like you’re meant to be.
Life’s lessons are hard to learn,
That’s how we go through life to discern
I have seen how far you have come.
I have seen your mistakes, but remember none.
I love you now and forever and outside of time,
God gave you to me as a child of mine.
I too now know what the Apostle Paul meant when He wrote the Galatians saying, “my little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you.” Galatians 4:19
Have you ever had an experience and said afterward, “I never want to lose this feeling?” Well, I am here to thank God for the experience I had and I want to tell you it is not a feeling. For the past five years we have attended the God Unlimited Enrichment weekend in Louisville, Ky., with our friends, Brian and Tandy Coatney, at the home of Scott and Sylvia Pearce. The first year we went, my husband and I didn’t think we would be back. It seemed like everyone was saying the same thing in a different way, and although that was true, it would prove an attraction for us in the future. Every year has its own precious jewels that develop into life changing lifestyles.
This year is no different. Some of the same people were there and even the same things were said over and over, but there was one particular difference. It was me. I am different, and I feel like my life has changed forever. It’s one of those pivotal moments you can put your finger on. I must interject, that there was a series of events that lead up to this life-changing experience. One of the elements included suffering, then perseverance, and it was all upheld by faith in Jesus Christ, the Savior of the Universe, which, by the way, lives inside me.
It would be hard to explain to you what it means to be loved with an unconditional, everlasting love if you have never experienced Him. Being loved by Jesus is the touch of love, “I can’t touch you without being touched by you,” said Alan Parker. Love is the greatest gift you can give to another, but please remember that God is love. He gives of Himself to others, He is a poured out life so others can live. It was never about how much we love Him, because we have no power within ourselves to love others unless it’s with His love.
As my husband and I wrapped up in a blanket on the cold Friday afternoon under the tent at the conference, we saw a distinguished man and his older son walking up “Mimi’s Way,” which is a cobblestone walkway which leads to the back of the Pearce’s house in memory of our dear Mimi Anderson. “Who is that, do you think?” I said to Louie. “I think that is Alan Parker,” he replied. I kept an eye on him trying to make sure that was him. I had been looking forward to meeting Alan Parker ever since I read “THE CROSS IN THE HEART OF GOD” booklet. Let me quote the introduction of this booklet and see if it does to you, what it did for me: “This is written for those people who want to receive the truth, for only they are going to posses the Kingdom of God. This is written for seekers. These writings have nothing to say to those who are wise in the wisdom of the world.”
Later on that evening Alan gave a talk that lasted almost 3 hours. I got as close as I could and listened by sitting at the edge of my seat. I wanted to absorb everything he had to say because I know he speaks the truth of God. I admire this man and wanted to know everything he knew. I am not sure what draws me to his teachings, but I hung on to every word. The next day, Alan spoke again, this time not as long. He talked about Hebrews 4:12, He said the Word is alive, conscious, and it knows and it’s energy. The word of faith is God’s faith, not ours. He said, “Do you know why the word of faith has no doubt? That’s because it’s His faith, His word, His life, the life of the Son. He continued to say, “You can never be Christ, but He can be you.”
Alan quoted the passage of James 1:5 which says, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God that giveth to all men liberally, without doubt and it will be given.” Alan asked if anyone wanted Wisdom, to come up front and ask without doubting. I said to Louie, “Come on, let’s go.” I told him I wanted Wisdom, so I ran up there. I was third in line. After Alan prayed with the first person, he knew it would take too long to pray individually, so we all stood in a giant circle and prayed in our own voices and asked for Wisdom. Guess what, the Spirit of Wisdom penetrated my inner being and I knew it. I started getting filled up, tears ran down my face and I began to giggle from way down deep inside, my breathing started to accelerate and I felt dizzy, but Louie was close by and I grabbed him and said, “don’t let me go.” I knew something supernatural happened to me. I felt like running, but I couldn’t leave. I can’t say I understand everything that happened to me, but what I do know is Wisdom has been here all along, I just didn’t hear from her (Proverbs 8:1 tells us she is wisdom). The first part of Proverbs 2 tells us seek her, wisdom, verse 4, “if you seek her as silver and search for her as for hidden treasures.” I desired her and sought after her and found her. God has opened my eyes to understanding and I have become more sensitive to the Spirit of the Lord.
Since this time, I feel humbled by His love and hear Him more than ever before. I am looking forward to my new life in Christ as He lives in me as me. Thank you, Jesus for loving me so much and for giving me opportunities to be a life poured out for you and to invest and have you change lives through me. The branch never takes credit for producing the fruit, we bear the fruit. Others see this fruit and are drawn to it, they take the fruit and it is Jesus. He is a person to experience not something simply to obtain. We have no power by ourselves, but are a vessel that He works in and through. I asked for the Spirit of Wisdom to live in me and that is why she (Wisdom) is a person and not a feeling. Wisdom and understanding now are in me always, never leaving me, but changing me from glory to glory forevermore.
This is taken from our good friend Brian Coatney’s blog. I simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share this on ours.
God calls us to see the completion that He accomplished on the Cross when He put to death the old man and raised a new man in Christ: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Cor. 5:17).
This means that as a Christian, I am an entirely new creation. Though my body looks the same, and though my personality is the same, God has birthed me out of death into a new being, united spirit-to-Spirit with God through Christ. This living union did not exist when I was the old man. The old man could never get transformed into the new man. For me to be united spirit-to-Spirit with God, the old man had to die, and I had to be born a new creation, which means union with Christ.
The finiteness of my humanity, though, never does change; I’m still powerless to produce my own good. But in this union with Christ, whereby we are made one spirit (1 Cor. 6:17), Christ takes on all responsibility to produce all of the qualities He requires. Christ Himself is the Christian life, and I get carried along by faith, enjoying His life as my life.
I don’t even live by law any more because I live by His nature, and the Bible has become to me the beautiful description of His nature, and therefore, His nature expressed as me.
Why then do I have to say, “We still sin every day”? Certainly it is possible to sin every day, and who can deny that such is the experience of hosts of Christians. But who am I to say that there are sins that I cannot be kept from? Who is to say how much victory is possible?
I can hear the screams already. Some, in frantic concern, don’t want any to wave a wand over themselves or others and proclaim a state of sinless perfection. What this usually means is the baptizing of carnal responses as if they are the life of Christ in us.
Plenty of this false notion exists, and I recall well how desperately I wanted to think that certain flesh impulses were the life of the Spirit in me. Of course we want to hang onto our natural impulses and think that they are Christ in us. After all, to eat, to work, to be attracted – these are all part of our humanity, and we have taken needless guilt for them because of the sin consciousness hanging on in us before the renewal of our minds.
Natural impulses from our humanity need not cause guilt, and neither do they need to lead us to call them the life of the Spirit. The point of the Spirit’s life is that it is Spirit life. As the Spirit quickens our mortal bodies, we now no longer to take condemnation for being human; but we also do not live by natural impulses as if they are the Spirit.
Hebrews 4:12 tells us that the Holy Spirit acts like a sword to reveal to us the difference between our souls and our spirits. Our souls consist of our thoughts and feelings – our natural desires, which are always for comfort and never for the Cross. Why would our earthly parts desire denial of gratification? They wouldn’t. Only a mind that is set on the Spirit finds life coming out of death on a soul or body level, so that Spirit life can flow forth. Our natural impulses of themselves are just that; they are not an identity.
Our union with Christ is our identity, in which, as we walk in the flow of His Spirit, we major on Spirit life instead of natural desires that He sends to the Cross. Of course, we often do get to enjoy many of life’s pleasures, moments in which Spirit and soul rejoice together. Often too, the Spirit leads us to extreme discomfort and some level of death in our earthly members. We tend, until renewed of mind, to think that the Christian life is therefore hard. I often say, “It’s not hard to walk in the Spirit; it’s easy: it’s excruciating at times, but not hard.”
Again, this does not mean a proclamation of instant perfection. Yet, if perfection is a person – the person of Christ – we can walk in Christ all that we wish to. All the perfection in the universe, Christ Himself, is available to us every moment. I don’t accept settling for less.
Written by Brian Coatney
The following entry is from our good friend Brian Coatney.
Check out his blog at briancoatney.com
Posted on September 29, 2012
How we fare with the universe depends on the nature of God. If He is fickle or mean, we are in trouble now and forever. If His favor depends on what we do, we experience the frustration of finite effort to fix an infinite problem.
God makes all this easy, however, because He doesn’t base salvation on what we do but upon His own nature. Even repentance isn’t really something we do but receiving what He did in Christ. When God goes about to set something right, He doesn’t ask us into the council of the Godhead to help fashion the plan and execute it so that humans can be made right again.
No, God undertakes the whole thing Himself and does it all, leaving us simply to rest in His finished work. This is what the Sabbath really means. It’s the place of rest, which any desiring person enters into by faith. Without faith, one remains on the outside. Without faith, one remains unreconciled.
The work God did in Christ’s atonement and birthing of us in the Spirit is the infinite work that finite beings can’t accomplish. My first inkling of this came reading William Law, the 18th century English writer, who likened God to a bell. No matter what strikes a bell, the bell can only make the sound of a bell. Likewise, Law says, the sun in the heavens can only do what the sun does, which is to be heat and light. No matter what humans do, there is always a Cross in the heart of God. That’s all God can be, and we just respond yes or no to how we will spend eternity relating to that.
The Cross means that God has made the eternal choice to be self-for-others. For us, this life is about our getting fixed in our choice in what we think of that. Because there was a Cross in the heart of God, it has to be that the eternal Son, the second member of the trinity, is the lamb slain from before the foundation of the world and then manifested in history as the Gospels record about the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.
This is because God had always known that Adam would fall, knew all of our sins that would manifest, and knew His plan to redeem those who wish to be redeemed. Strangely, not all choose to recognize love’s way and that it can only be through the Cross. To rebel against the Cross is to remain in works, and to remain in works is to resist grace, and to resist grace is to work on forever as a slave of sin.
But in the blood of Christ, those who do choose God’s way, receive complete washing from sins. I thank God frequently for that fact, like the old hymn “There is a fountain filled with blood.” I also thank Him for crucifying me with Christ, burying me with Christ, and raising me with Christ as a brand new creation.
This appears In the new birth, in which God transforms a person into a new creation that did not exist before. Human effort cannot bring this about. What happens with human effort is that one spends a lot of years trying to be like a composite picture of the perfect Christian – a composite made up of heroes not understood according to faith.
Hebrews chapters 9 and 10 unfold how God did this saving work – a work that God is never going to do again and a work that does not need anything else in order for humans regarding cleansing and healing. Those chapters stand immovable and without sympathy against all human pleading for God to do something else to meet the human need for peace and self-acceptance. It’s sad to keep thinking that Christ is not enough, when God says that Christ makes us complete.
Communion is an acknowledgement of that, meaning the acknowledgment that Christ’s blood and body wash us and make us supernaturally birthed sons of God. Others may not understand why we can relax about ourselves and why our drive is now for others to know the same.
In contrast, the devil-driven world lives constantly in turmoil trying to perform in order to perfect itself. In response, our intercessions are what make up what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ as Paul puts it in Colossians chapter 1, not meaning that Christ hasn’t done everything to perfect the individual but that Christ now completes the formation of His body, the church, through the intercessions of those already in the body.
Paul puts it this way: “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God” (2 Cor. 5:20 ESV). That is what we have to say to the world.
“Who are you?”
“I’m a serpent— one of the creatures here. Command me as you will; I’m here to serve.”
“We have wondered why there’s this tree we’re not supposed to eat of.”
“You don’t know?”
“No, we don’t.”
“Let me tell you then. You think the Lord has your best interests at heart. You think things are pretty good. But there’s something you don’t know. He holds out on you. If you eat of this tree, you’ll be like God.”
“Isn’t that too obvious?”
“Everything is obvious. Sooner or later, He knows that He can’t hide this from you, so He makes a game of it, counting on your fear.”
“Are you like God?”
“Of course, everyone is eventually.”
“It would be great to be like God. What’s all this about being only a vessel?”
“That’s the holdout. Break through that, and you’re on your way.”
“We have wondered what it would be like to just be ourselves?”
“Yeah, that’s it; just be yourselves. Take control.”
Eve goes for it, and then Adam.
We know the story. Some things, however, cannot change: a vessel is always a vessel, and a vessel is made for one thing, to contain. And God made them to contain Him. Scientists say that nature abhors a vacuum. Therefore, once they turned away, who was going to come into the vessel? It couldn’t sit empty could it?
God did not make it to sit empty, and the vessel possesses no power to live in a self-operating or self-sustaining way. Two things happen: Satan comes in to the vessel, and then Satan hides the fact that he came into it.
The devil fuels only one way of thinking: “You can do what you want to do. You are you, and you are you only. You must get your way regardless. Everything is all about you”—a total ME-consciousness!
That’s the loneliest, most anxious, fear-filled, lust-driven condition possible. After the Fall, Adam and Eve experienced this, so what could they do to cover over their choice and get out of the terrible loneliness, fear, and dissatisfaction that filled them and began to drive them?
They turned to activity, meaning performance—anything that would mask or block out what now went on in their center, a terrible condition. So what was God to do? Did He know the Fall would occur? Well of course. Had He already made a plan for when it happened? Yes, He had. Was He surprised—taken off guard? No, He wasn’t.
Did the Fall change His plan about having fun and living in vessels as us? No, it didn’t. It meant, however, that the cost of bringing it about soared—through the roof—because the plan would need the Cross. But that was okay because that’s who He is anyway. He didn’t have to change and become the Cross. He already was.
But He would now have to manifest the Cross in order to bring about the plan. A problem loomed, though, because fallen humanity now resisted the idea of anything of sin. OH, there was and still is plenty of “Something is wrong with me.” But humanity counters it with “I can do anything if I set my mind to it.”
How would God get across to them some inkling of their true condition? This would take the law. And when the law had done its job, the Cross would provide the rescue that we all once had thought unnecessary.
Written by Brian Coatney http://briancoatney.com/