INTIMACY WITH GOD JOURNAL
WRITTEN BY LINDA SCHREURS
Linda in Orlando, Fla.
In this issue:
- Silence is Golden
- Identity Formation - Silence Your Voice, by Guest Columnist, Andrew Boscaljon
SILENCE IS GOLDEN
Silence is golden. That’s a familiar phrase no doubt most of us have heard. It truly does have a lot of meaning. So where in the world are those ‘golden moments’ where we can calm down, be at peace with ourselves and rest? It seems our world has grown way too noisy. It is getting harder and harder to find ‘peace and quiet’ in these tumultuous days of constant schedules, demands, and all kinds of equipment making beeps and sounds at all hours of the day and night. I know most of us want to be heard, we want our voices to mean something, and they do. But there is a VOICE that is being drowned out. And that’s the voice of the Almighty Everlasting, Holy God. That VOICE tells us all through His own Breath, His own Words in Holy Scripture, to listen. Truly it is just as Ecclesiastes 3:7b says that there is “a time to be silent and a time to speak.” Many are talking, few are listening. Our attention span is growing weaker by the day and we must reverse it or we’ll lose it!
Those of you who are walking in daily troubles and trials [who isn’t to some degree?], pay attention to this message, that you may find peace in the midst of your storms. As much as is in you - seek the respite, the quiet, the refreshing joy that comes in spending time alone with God. Colossians 3:11d says that “Christ is our all in all.” In other words, our ‘all’ is everything in our lives whether it’s our home, job, health, recreation, relationships – all that encompasses our lives should totally be wrapped up in the Lord. All of it should bring glory and honor to Him if He truly is our ALL in ALL THINGS as a true commitment to the Lord suggests with complete surrender to Him in all matters that pertain to life, even death.
So how are you doing these days? Is your soul wrestling or is it at peace? If you’re in a wrestling match with yourself, or others, or even with God, perhaps now is the time to learn the power of another scripture that says, “Be still and know God.” [Ps. 46:10] With knowing, comes going, glowing, and flowing in rivers of Living Water, Jesus Christ Himself, Who will carry you through the next hour, the next day, the next month and year - all the days of your life! If there’s no quiet, there’s no rest.
You may be saying, “Linda, I agree, but how in the world do I find quiet in the midst of a busy life with a full schedule?” I can only answer that one way. You simply have to make time to be still before the Lord. Get up earlier in the morning, stay up later in the evening, or take a lunch break to a quiet place in the park or in your car. I too have very full and busy days, and I can tell you that my heart commitment to the Lord takes me to that early morning, or that late evening… but more often than not, it’s in the middle of the night! In those times, most likely there will not be any interruptions and the quietness of those hours assures peaceful reflections, unless of course, you keep all your electronic devices on!
I’m not talking about regular prayer, but listening prayer. This is a realm that needs to be taught more in our Christian circles. We simply can’t do all the talking and not soak in silence waiting up the Lord. I’d liken it to what a frustrated parent might say to their child, “Listen to me!” I believe God the Father is desirous of us to sit before Him, with no words and just soak in His divine, holy, awesome, powerful Presence. Precious believers, there is a realm of glory that is a wordless realm and it simply takes your breath away! Sometimes my husband and I, all we have to do is hold hands. Neither one of us says a word, yet it speaks volumes. We know we’re in love, we know we’re needed by the other. We know there is a contentment and joy. Truly this kind of silence is golden! This is exactly what the Lord seeks from each one of His beloved believers. He just wants us to soak in His Presence so we can go forth into our daily lives with power and assurance from on High that He’s in control of things, not we ourselves. Certainly we can pray as our heart leads us, but this realm of listening prayer is deeper, richer, higher, wider than we could ever imagine! True commitment to God gives room for Him to speak to our hearts in that quiet, still place, and we must find that place.
I know some of you are afraid of being in a still, quiet space and place. I see the look of anxiousness on the faces of the new gals who accompany me on these journeys into silence and solitude on our hermitages. You can always tell the ‘rookies’ who’ve never been on one of these trips, but oh, the look of love, of satisfaction, of peace, of joy on their faces as we travel back home! It’s a treasure to my heart to see that glow all over them as they emerge from that intimate time alone with the lover of their soul! Isaiah 32:17 and 18 are verses that are near and dear to my heart and one of many that I share with those who embark on these hermitages with me. “And the work of righteousness will be peace, and the service of righteousness quietness and confidence forever. Then My people will live in a peaceful habitation, and in secure dwellings and in undisturbed resting places.”
One of the greatest benefits of listening, soaking prayer is that your hearing is enhanced. If you’re in a great struggle right now and not knowing which way to turn, try listening in a quiet, uninterrupted place. Don’t become anxious. Don’t try to fill the space and place with your own words. The Lord knows you inside and out, He knows all you’re going through. You can’t inform Him of anything new! I can’t even begin to tell you of all the directives, insights, revelations, knowledge, understanding, and so much more that I’ve received while sitting still waiting in holy anticipation for the Lord’s divine Presence to speak to my heart. There have been times when it was thunderously awesome! [Job 40:9b; Ps. 29] His VOICE can shake you to the very core of your being, and a holy awe and reverence will overtake you beyond human measure! I know many of you have also experienced this, but let us press on for MORE! God is eternal therefore there is no end to Him. How wonderful that we have all of eternity to just begin to tap into all that He is! There is more, so much more!
His sheep listen to Him and doors are opened before them! [John 10:3; Rev. 3:20] Let’s learn to seek and obey His word to ‘be still and know God.’
Responses to last month’s IWG Journal
Thank you for the article on "Identity Theft". Your title was clever & so right on. The Holy Spirit has been highlighting the same to us. Just last night I said to my husband, "We should have a silent march with married couples and our children & grandchildren, maybe carry a few scripture posters to let the world know we are still here & God is still on the throne in our lives." We are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.
Let Mike know we enjoyed his article awhile back on the presence of the Lord. Really, Linda all of your articles are a blessing.
Linda & Mike thank you for all you do to advance the Kingdom of God on earth.
From a small town in Iowa
IDENTITY FORMATION - Silence Your Voice
By Guest Columnist, Andrew Boscaljon
Andrew Boscaljon lives in Dallas Center with his wife Kari and their children Kyra (10) and Dean (5). They attend the United Methodist church in Grimes, Ia. where they seek to love, encourage, and serve the Dallas Center – Grimes community. Andrew recently graduated with a master’s degree in Organization Change and works at Athene USA in West Des Moines, Ia. as a technology business partner. Now that grad school is complete, Andrew and Kari are working to build their family by seeking adoption from Bulgaria. They are also building into the community by creating a sustainable farm in the country where they hope to provide a place for the community to gather and celebrate the Excellencies of Jesus in all of life.
He whispered and I knew you
The world offers an unceasing voice toward identity formation. Life unfolds as a 'life process' where influences such as entertainment, family, and career shape and form identity. Shaping happens over time, often times effortlessly and on accident. He is a brilliant professor. She is a dedicated civil servant. The boy is a great football player. As life goes on, small fissures and sometimes fractures form where our foundation rests on world assigned identities. The many things we hope for begin to break down and fall apart around us. He is a brilliant professor, but his wife loved someone else. She is a dedicated civil servant, but her depression overtook her. The boy had a great football career, but his temper off the field keeps him from playtime on the field. Aside from our roles and the challenges with it, we are then constantly bombarded by problems of the world.
The news alert appears on my phone, and the anxiety of the world asks for permission to enter my heart. I accept it. A business dealing with a Christ believer moves to wealth leverage through manipulation instead of competing to out-give one another leaving a seed of disappointment in my heart. The chronic disunity of a church family inserts a sliver of hopelessness upon my soul. The voice is so loud, I can hardly hear.
Sons and daughters of God must exchange the seeing and hearing of the world for the declaration of God's identity in us and through us. Jeremiah knew that his identity was not formed by the world’s opinion or cultural resonance in his life. "The word of the Lord came to me, saying, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations… ‘Ah, Sovereign Lord,’ I said, ‘I do not know how to speak; I am only a child.’ But the Lord said to me, Do not say, 'I am only a child.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you.” Jeremiah 1:4-7. We must be aware of our own formation, the perfect and eternal composite of our own individual identity in the image of God, be messengers of the true source of identity in the lives of others, and enter into relationships where the identity of kingdom emerges in every social transaction because we see God rightly in ourselves and in one another. We must trade the voice of the world for the breath of the creator God.
Who am I?
For many years I've shown concern for the voices of the world describing me as a technology professional, intelligent, house framer, college student, controlling, great communicator, persevering and many more labels. I've been challenged by seasoned professionals concerned with whether or not I really know myself. Clearly I was not carrying myself in alignment to the labels they had in mind for me. Only recently have I realized, that I shouldn't' be concerned with navigating which labels are right and which labels are wrong.
I do not find answers to the question, "who am I?" by navigating options offered by the world. By navigating which label is right, I've become distracted from realizing the Creator God identity bestowed upon me even before my formation.
I know that if I will decrease in my soul, God will increase in me. My spirit will grow stronger than my soul. It isn't challenging for God to know me, He knows who I am, even before I was formed! I must choose between decreasing the voices of the world or accepting the breath of God upon my life. I will accept what heaven declares over my life or I will be distracted by choices of the world that dilute and distract my life. It is by His breath that the fissures and fractures in life disappear and I am formed and renewed by life. "By His breath the skies became fair; His hand pierced the gliding serpent." Job 26:13. "The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life." Job 33:4. And Job 32:8, “But it is the spirit in a man, the breath of the Almighty that gives him understanding."
I am a Caleb who sees the Promised Land. I am a strong gate and my strength grows over time. I am a transporter of hearts of men to their Creator. I am an olive branch. I am pillars to heaven. I am a hope reformer. Do you recognize me?
Friends, we must stop negotiating the labels of the world to secure promotion in the world. Instead, we must accept the Creator God identity upon our lives, and be elected as kingdom stewards of life and light into the world.
Who are you?
It’s time to equip the saints by building people in Christ to make a difference. This is only possible if we have a heart to see people rightly in the image of God, not the image of the world. "We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up but love builds up. The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know. But the man who loves God is known by God." 1 Cor. 8:1-3. We must be known by God and have awareness of our spiritual identity before we help others navigate this question. Our unwillingness to heed God’s definition of others results in the formation of deceived relationships and incongruence that stifles the presence of God.
Now, please stop talking and answer the question, "Who are you?" Seriously. Most who answer it have no answer, or too many answers, because they haven't escaped the soulish declarations of the world over their life. Instead, we should pray, "God would you reveal to me, your son, and your daughter, so I can love them rightly? So I can declare the reality of what heaven says about him or her?" The answer lies in the breath of God and the revelation of spiritual identity in one another, not the worldly descriptors of occupation and self described significance.
Recently I was at lunch with a friend and I asked him, "Who are you?" He had substantial awareness of his spiritual identity and was able to share his created self composite with great detail and description but I was lost in the words. I had an intellectual awareness of who he said he was, but no real love for the image of God in his life. As I prayed for God to reveal the truth of his identity, a deep appreciation and heart of love swept over me and toward my friend. I recognized my brother in Christ without words and bonded in meaningful friendship with ease. I could have never willed the encounter or depth of friendship on my own accord. "Above all, you must understand that no prophecy came about by the prophet's own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit." 2 Peter 1:20-21
Who are we?
Many of us in the body of Christ have put on identities that are not our own. We are confused, disorganized, sometimes stressed out, and overwhelmed by ministry, perhaps even burned out. God is bringing a surprising wakefulness and enlightenment to the wise. The awareness of spiritual identity over soulish identity, is bringing forth a superior awareness of kingdom family and eternal matters. There is no fear in honoring the true identity of a spiritual brother or sister. Perfect love casts out fear and we love rightly when we seek out the manifold wisdom of God in His sons and daughters. When we build community with a right view of spiritual identity in others, we love God with all His heart because we've cooperated with the heart of God in the family of God.
Declarers of true identity are rising up in the body of Christ. God is giving us a recognition software that downloads the identity of His sons and daughters. He's widening the glance so we can see rightly in the depth and breadth in the identity of every man. It is time to shed the labels settled for and to accept the created identities assigned by God. I pray for new words, new created thoughts, revelations, and knowledge for one another. We will be amazed by the glimmer and light that God pours into empty shells, his jars of clay. God is bringing a double portion of self clarity, clarity of others, and a community of priests where the presence of God resides. 1 Peter 2:4,5. God is the definer of tribes and the builder of temples.
Silence your voice
Dear friends, we must stop speaking so we can hear again. Elijah discovered that God was not in the wind that could break rocks into pieces. Nor was He in the earthquake or the mighty raging fire (1 Kings 19). He was in the whisper of sound, like a gentle breeze blowing. It is time to hear the pervasive sound of God’s breath in our lives and the lives of others. Perpetuate the belonging of others and mirror light and life, so others can live fully as their spirit man comes to life. Silence your voice so you can bear witness to the birth of God’s family into generations. If words must be spoken, may they aptly describe spiritual identity that heaps patience, gentleness, kindness, goodness, and self control into every observation. Do this until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your heart.
Women of Fire Fellowship – Prayer, Praise and Plates! Join us for a time of chit chat with each other and the Lord, as we pray, praise and have a little brunch on the side. Let’s see and hear all that God is doing in our lives and all He’s about to do in this year of 2014! It’s being held the first Saturday of each month. Start time is 10 AM, at the Ziebell home, 8401 Ridgemont Dr., Urbandale, Iowa, 50322. Contact Mary Lou at: 554-5461 and bring a savory dish to share. See you soon!
Women's Spring Hermitage - May 8-11, 2014 Only a few spots left!
Men's Spring Hermitage - May 23-25, 2014
Linda’s Books: These can be purchased on the website or ordered directly from the address below:
- Armageddon Bride
- Word’s Aptly Spoken
- Holy Communion! Holy Invasion!
- Linda’s CD: Holy Communion! Holy Invasion! (Spiritually intimate prayers set to music)
INTIMACY WITH GOD MINISTRIES
Mike and Linda Schreurs, P.O. Box 1294, Johnston, IA. 50131-1294, Phone: 515-270-0231. E-mail: LindaSchreurs@intimacy-with-God.com. Website: www.intimacy-with-God.com
*All gifts tax deductible. *Member of Morning Star Fellowship of Ministries, Charlotte, NC