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March 4, 2014, 12:23 PM

Jules From Heaven

Due Time

Back in the early 90’s our family was going through a season of great uncertainty and a complete career shift. God had asked my husband and me to step down from full-time ministry after being youth pastors for six years and senior pastors for almost three years.  The closest reason we could think of why the Lord would ask this of us was the same purpose that Jesus had to be led into the wilderness.  In the beginning stages of this season, we went through immense confusion and unrest.  There were many times we were misunderstood, rejected, betrayed and despised.  This not only came from on-lookers but from many of our closest allies.  Many times I would think, “If there was just some way to open up the invisible realm of our hearts and let them see what’s really in there, they wouldn’t have this judgment about us.”  To say the least, our faith was extremely tested.

 

There was one particular day that I had just gotten home from an event and was so frustrated.  I went to the laundry room to start a load of dirty clothes and remember thinking, “God, I just can’t do this anymore.  Why would you even allow this?”  Tears that I had cried so many times weren’t even possible anymore.  All the pain had just settled into anger and revenge.  It was not more than a millisecond when I heard the voice of the Lord speak back to me and say, “Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God, and in due time He will exalt you.”  Wow…something supernatural flooded into me that day.  It started a resolve in my inner being to cling to Him and to not put my trust in man or his ability to promote me. 

 

Needless to say, after thinking this “wilderness sabbatical” would only last maybe six months, we were kept there for six years under the direction of the Lord’s loving voice.  Over time our situation became easier and easier.  We adjusted to not defending ourselves and learned to completely rely on God for our defense; learning to put our entire trust in Him for every single move and decision we made.  The Holy Spirit took us through a rigorous fine-tuning of motives in great depth, stripping us of anything that we could have taken the credit for or could have shown to be our own accomplishment of strength.  And ultimately we learned the foundational truth that we could not do anything unless we heard our Father tell us so.  Sound familiar?  Didn’t Jesus Himself say, “I only do what I see my Father doing.”?

 

Fast forward to our most recent years, the wisdom of the Lord in His development of our lives and calling has become astounding.  We are able to hear the voice of God in much greater capacity.  We don’t make the same mistakes we used to with our actions or our words.  Our relationships exist in love and understanding and not in manipulation.  We are able to see now who people really are on the inside before they even realize who they are because we were emptied of accusation and judgment.  Where we had very few friends in our past, we now have an abundance of family, friends and partnerships that we allowed the Lord to bring into our lives when He was ready.  The desires of our hearts are finally coming true.

 

I find myself saying over and over, “Isn’t God smart?!”  To most of us that would seem like a “DUH”??  But when we truly wait and surrender to what God wants to do in us, even when it seems like it should go faster, we yield a much greater reward of joy and peace.  We begin to exist in contentment, confidence, and love.  Our need to control everything around us dissipates, and the Lover of our soul finally becomes all we need.

 

Be encouraged by this today.  You may have powerful ideas and dreams inside of you.  Your whole existence seems driven by it.  Day by day it grows and expands.  But without the container of character and the love of God, you will never be able to fully accomplish it.  Our Father wants you to become more than you know.  He made you.  And He’s actually pretty excited about who you are about to become if you can dare to give Him your self-will, self-reliance and man-made power.  His ways of training you for your harvest are higher than earthly ways.

 

 

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.  Galatians 6:9




February 21, 2014, 5:01 AM

Jules From Heaven


Who's Talking Now?

Emotions are a funny thing.  Sometimes they’re reliable, and sometimes they’re not.  It seems as though they ride along in our minds like waves in the ocean, rolling through our brain with the jet stream of life for that given day.  You never know what may be from one day to the next.  They seem to somehow take on a voice of their own, like a separate person in our mind with its own personality. 

So why would we even need to have this volatile source of power inside of us anyway?  Is there any true purpose in what seems, at times, to steer our lives in directions we don’t seem to have any control over?

Through my search to overcome these powerful yet dangerous urges inside of me, I have found that emotions were meant to be used as only a tool for my advancement and of other people. They are there to be a thermometer reading of what is affecting my well-being, for good or for evil.  Like an alarm clock, we are alerted to wake up to be ready for our day.  So it is, when we are startled by an alarming circumstance, we become aware that we need to be on guard to what may be happening around us or, perhaps, prepare us for the future.

What does God say about all this?  Are our emotions another voice inside of our heart or mind to guide us? Did He create us to live with an awareness to understand deeper than we can see?

The bible describes that before our spirits are born anew in Christ, our natural born mind has its own appetites and impulses; in other words, emotions.  These emotional responses are similar to how gasoline supplies power for an engine to run a vehicle.  But what if you had the best octane gasoline and got in a hurry and spilled it all over the ground?  Obviously, the fuel is wasted and potentially harmful if it catches on fire.  The same is true with our unrestrained emotions.  A feeling of anger from a suffered wrong could bring about strong desire for justice, but if that anger isn’t used in the proper manner, it could become a waste and potentially harmful to you and many others.

Emotions can be a tricky voice in our mind trying to persuade us to react without control. The beautiful thing about our human design is that we have a free will to choose our decisions, for good or for evil.   Nevertheless, the agreement that Jesus made to lay His spotless life down for our freedom from spiritual and emotional slavery paved the way for us to have the ability to surrender our emotions to Him to be used however is properly needed.  He gave us the Holy Spirit to become our Teacher and our Comforter after He left the earth, Who would lead us into all truth and guide us to proper perspective.

Look at what the Message bible says in 2 Corinthians 10:5-6…We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ.  Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity.

During my lifetime, it has taken a rigorous process for me to continue to submit my emotions to my Heavenly Father, failing many times over and over.  I have had to search His Word and become convinced that following His principles of love, forgiveness and self-control was the pathway to true freedom, eventually training me in using my emotions for His purposes.  As my relationship with Him has developed, He has taught me to differentiate where the life-source of my emotions were coming from, whether from me, the enemy or the Holy Spirit.  In turn, I have given Him my emotions to use in an outlet of prayer to help me and help others.

Do you know what voice is talking to you now?  John 10:1 says that His sheep hear His voice, and they do not hear the voice of a stranger... When you set your heart towards the Lord Jesus, He will help you hear His voice.  The emotions of our heart and mind can then be used in partnership with Him in acts of love, compassion and prayer to advance His kingdom on the earth.  In exchange, our entire being is filled with peace, joy and true contentment.

Pastor Julie Petersen




March 8, 2013, 4:59 AM

Jules From Heaven


What's in a name?                             

Rarely did my family have nicknames, but growing up I can fondly remember my mom leaving me little notes referring to me as "Jules"...and sometimes in an affectionate moment, calling me that as my name.  I would often hear girls despise their names. Somehow I never shared their disdain and didn't mind my name at all.  It wasn't until years later that I stumbled upon the true meaning of my name:  Julie, which means 'youthful spirit'.  The light bulbs came on as soon as I discovered this.  Memories of me randomly screaming in the shower or doing a 'yipee skippy' jump were brought to my remembrance by my mother.  I'm not saying I never had down days, but for the most part, I carried a light-hearted joy inside of me my entire life.  


Isn't it funny how just the simple discovery of the origin of your name can begin to ring true in the consistencies of your personality?  When I was pregnant with my first child there was a deep desire in me to give him a meaningful name from the bible.  I wanted to think about that meaning every time I called his name.  From the time of his birth and all throughout his growing up years, I continued to remind him of what his name meant and even would sing a song that correlated with that meaning.  Now that he is an adult, his very destiny has steered towards all of that definition as we continued to rehearse his given name from birth.  My husband and I continued to take deliberate time praying and thinking about what we should name each child as the Lord would see them.  Consistently, each of our boys have eventually become what was continually spoken over them by their birth name and the words we fondly spoke over them.

Remember each day to think about what you say to your children and what you choose to call them.  There are times when it may be frustrating to raise another human being with a will of his or her own.  But the rewards of continuous declaration over their lives are immensely great.  Their minds are like computer processors, receiving and chewing up data.  They will become what they are told.

Prov 18:21 - Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.  

 

Pastor Julie Petersen