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Friday, March 31, 2017

Do You Dare Take God's Pregnancy Test?

Did you know that you may be carrying within you God’s plan to permanently alter your reality for His kingdom?

Did you know that you may be pregnant?

Here’s how to tell. Has God given you a promise regarding a circumstance in your life where you are desperately needing Him to show off His glory? Did you take Him at His word? Has that promise not yet materialized? Are you still holding onto it?

Then you ARE pregnant!

Anyone with any knowledge of biology knows that in order to produce a zygote, two elements are needed: an egg plus a sperm. The same is true in spirit. In order to produce a spark of new life on the inside of us, two elements are also needed: faith plus a Word from God. These two must come together for conception to happen in our spiritual womb.

If His Word found fertile faith in you, than CONGRATULATIONS!!! You are expecting! Brand new life is on its way to your home! I am smiling as I type those words. I know He is too.

Photo via

(For more introduction to the concept of spiritual pregnancies and how men also carry them, you can read here and here).

Before anything else, I believe that the first thing He wants to do is to commend you. He wants you to see what an incredible thing it is that you have a spiritual womb environment that is and has been eagerly ready to receive the implantation of His divine seed. This verse describes exactly what you did:

“Humbly accept the word planted in you…” (James 1:21b, NIV).

That you even have an inner atmosphere of faith cultivated in your spirit, with the capacity to host what He would deposit in you, is amazing.

In the natural, how many, many, many times does a man’s seed simply die before it ever has a chance to create life? An average male produces 525 billion sperm cells over his lifetime, and only a very few of them, if any, actually become a baby. It is only when the woman’s egg has come through a full maturation process that successful fertilization can even happen. And even then, an estimated 50% of fertilized eggs are lost before they become a successful pregnancy (UCSF Medical Center).

How does this translate into spiritual terms? What happens when the divine sperm of God's Word finds no fertile faith to inseminate? Conception cannot happen. Hebrews 4 tells us that this is exactly what transpired with the Israelites who died in the wilderness and were never able to appropriate and enjoy their Promise (Canaan). “The word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.” (Heb. 4:2b, NKJV, bold emphasis mine). Word did not encounter faith. The divine sperm found no mature, receptive egg. A generation died in the desert instead of receiving what God longed to give them.

God is ALWAYS speaking. But Jesus asked out loud, “When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8, NIV). Way too frequently, the divine sperm finds no home. This is parallel to the biological reality that it takes the production of about a billion sperm per one zygote conceived. Can you see how marvelous it is, if you are one who actually received and retained the deposited seed of His word? Just like He said to Mary, “You have found favor with God!” (Luke 1:30, NIV).

The USCF website explains, “The receptivity of the uterus… [is] important for the implantation process.” Again, you need to hear this. Holy Spirit is rejoicing over you. He wants you to join in the celebration. You are a fertile environment for the reception and gestation of His Word. Yes, you! You who have not given up on His word breathed into your inner being -- this is you! Fertilized Promise has planted itself in your womb, and has begun to grow inside of you.

The proper response is to be amazed. Be in awe of the privilege that is yours. At the same time, let your spirit rise in awareness of the responsibility that you now bear in stewarding this pregnancy.

I remember the euphoric wonder that crashed over me in waves, and poured through my eyes in overwhelmed tears, when I found out that I was carrying my first baby. In one life-changing instant, I knew to the very core of my being that I would do ANYTHING to protect and nourish this child. I would give my last life’s breath if need be. In the same way, when God has implanted Promise on the inside of us, this lioness instinct must rise up within to guard, defend, and nurture the new life commended to our care.

Let’s get you in to see OBGYN Jesus right away. He will lovingly instruct you on how to go about this protecting and nurturing. He will gently remind you that the first trimester is the most vulnerable part of the pregnancy. Baby is taking shape, and is in critical need of the ideal environment for this process. Around eighty percent of miscarriages happen in this window, a fact which speaks to how vulnerable of a time it is for the little one ( During this crucial period, we must be on guard against our enemy, watchful and alert. He will always try to extinguish life at its very inception, before it has a chance to develop and become strong (see Rev. 12:4 and Matt. 13:4,19). We will never allow a spirit of fear to govern us; however, being acutely aware of his nature and strategy is imperative for effective vigilance.

The devil will try to steal from you what God has entrusted to you. The very thought of what will come to pass when you have born this life full term has seized him with terror. He knows what is growing in your womb, and he knows it can only mean one thing: unspeakably devastating destruction to his kingdom. He will fight you with every resource at his disposal.

Here’s some transformational perspective though: he has already lost. Your Maker, Your Husband has given His entire being to the covenant He has with you. He has pledged fierce commitment to shield and defend both you and the life developing inside you. You are in His powerfully capable hands, and He will zealously carry you all the way. Be comforted and assured by these words: “God protects the one he has fathered, and the evil one cannot touch him” (1 John 5:18, The NET Bible®).

With this mighty encouragement in your heart, it is time to get Mama (or Papa) Bear passionate about giving nourishment and attention to the Word He has given you to carry. It is time to partner with Him in pouring the very best of care into the Promise budding within you. Let feasting on Scriptures, staying hydrated with His living waters, and resting in His green pastures, consume your mind and heart. Invest generous amounts of time into what has now become your most vital assignment. No matter what it costs you, you feed and guard this tiny one. Give the entirety of your inner space to nursing God’s baby until He brings you to the moment of birthing! Don’t give up, dear one. You will see Promise born!

My Creator, my Husband, with all my heart, I thank You that I have found favor with You! I am in awe of the privilege You have given me, to bear Your life within. I am also deeply relieved to know that You are carrying me throughout this process. I rejoice that, just as You are the Author of my faith, You are also its Finisher. Just as You planted this Promise in me, You will provide the strength, protection, inspiration, support, and sustenance needed for Your word to come through the full gestation cycle within my spirit. Teach me to partner with You in stewarding and caring for what You have deposited inside of me. I am Your willing vessel! Let it be to me as You have said! 

What are your thoughts on carrying God’s purposes within you to full term? Struggles? Suggestions? I would love to hear from you!

Friday, March 17, 2017

The Roaring Man of War... and His Birth Pains

A war cry! “AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!” Eyes flashing like lightning, He bears down with terrifying strength on His enemies. He is invincible, unstoppable. They stumble over themselves in the sheer panic of their flight.

Wait. Was it the guttural roar of victory that came forth from Him, or was it the all consuming roar of birth pangs? It was both.

“The LORD will march out like a champion,
    like a warrior he will stir up his zeal;
with a shout he will raise the battle cry
    and will triumph over his enemies.
‘For a long time I have kept silent,
    I have been quiet and held myself back.
But now, like a woman in childbirth,
    I cry out, I gasp and pant.’”
(Isaiah 42:13-14, NIV)

God? God – with all His glorious Warrior imagery, looking and sounding like the perfect specimen of idealized masculine strength and conquest – giving birth?


Look at this one too:

“He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word” (James 1:18a, NTV).

Giving birth is part of God’s nature. This was true for all of eternity past, before He deposited this aspect of Himself into Eve’s biological design, making her in His image. The Hebrew word chuwl, meaning to travail or bring forth, is part of the text in Proverbs 8 describing the Creation story (vv. 24–25). God travailing. God birthing. Moses also expresses the same idea, speaking in Psalm 90 of when He gave birth to the mountains and brought forth the whole world (v. 2).

In the beginning, He gave birth to the breathtaking beauty of this planet on which we live. Today, He continues to give birth. Every day, thousands of people across the globe are born to Him. He is giving birth in Spirit. As Jesus explained to Nicodemus, they are being born from above.

“Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit” (John 3:6, NIV), He expounded to His nocturnal visitor. This is also what happened to you when you became His. The day you were born again, His Spirit gave birth to your spirit. This time, you did not come forth from your mother’s womb; you came forth from His – a living being, a new creation, a spiritual infant pristine in the perfection of His righteousness.

Spirit begets life-giving spirit. You were made in His image to bear life in like manner. His makeup is bursting with creativity; so is yours. He has a Spirit; He gave you one too, like His in so many ways. Giving birth is in His nature; and it is part of yours as well. His Spirit births what did not exist before; He has placed this same capacity within you.

Men, don’t check out on me! Giving birth is not an exclusively female thing to do. (No, I am not making any kind of cultural or political statement about genders; I am speaking purely of spiritual matters. In order to understand, you must listen with your spirit.) Reflect with me again on the biblical imagery at the top of this post. God’s mighty, manly war cry is associated with childbirth! Here is another Scriptural case in point. Would you consider the Apostle Paul an exemplar model of godly manhood? With all the strength of his masculine spirit, he made this exclamation: "My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you...!" (Gal. 4:19, NIV).

God’s Spirit gives birth. So does yours. We all have spiritual wombs, and because we have His nature by creation design, we are extremely fertile. We will give birth to something. Tragically, much of humanity is using this capacity we inherited to produce the fruits of the sinful nature. Three verses above what we just saw in James about God giving birth to us, we read this about the fallen nature’s gestation cycle: “…When desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death” (James 1:15, NKJV). Similarly, Eliphaz’s exposition on the rebellious in the book of Job states that “They conceive trouble and give birth to evil; their womb fashions deceit” (15:35, NIV).

You have a spiritual womb that will spend a lifetime producing either joy or sorrow. What if I told you that God wants to move through this part of you to bring into being His plans and purposes for this world? Would you be excited if you knew that Mary was not the only one He chose to carry and birth what He wants to establish on earth? What if you can’t even imagine how astonishing His dream is -- what He wants to bring forth through your willing, fertile spirit? What if you and I answer Him in the same way that she did? “Yes, I am a servant of the Lord; let this happen to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38, NET)!

If you are willing, get ready.

Conception happens in a moment of intimacy. You are alone with God, pouring out your love to Him. Your heart cries out to His heart, "Take me away with You—let us hurry! Let the King bring me into His chambers" (Song 1:4, NIV). As you draw near to Him, He tenderly, exquisitely draws near to you. You have asked for more of Him, and you are receiving it. With all that it within you, you are seeking His face and His heart. In answer, He comes and drenches your yearning with a deluge of His manifest presence.

You are lost in worship, lost in His embrace, lost in His gaze. As you glory in your oneness with Him, imbibing His beauty, it comes. The moment arrives. As Holy Spirit hovered over the primeval waters, so He hovers over you. As He overshadowed Mary, so He moves in to overshadow you. As the Logos of God was made flesh in her womb, His Spirit deposits a Word into your inmost being. His divine seed encounters your spirit pulsating with expectation, ready to receive what is passing into you. Word combines with faith. Promise is conceived. Suddenly, softly, silently, you are carrying new life within.

Will you now ask for the chambers of your Bridegroom? Will you let your spirit cry out for Him as deep cries out unto deep? Will you give Him access to the womb He created inside of you? Will you invite Him to overshadow you?

I long to bring you to my innermost chamber—
this holy sanctuary you have formed within me.
O that I might carry you within me.
I would give you the spiced wine of my love,
this full cup of bliss that we share.
We would drink our fill until…
His left hand cradles my head
while his right hand holds me close.
We are at rest in this love.
(Song of Solomon 8:2-3, the Passion Translation)

What is Holy Spirit showing you, speaking to you, stirring in you as you read these words of Scripture?

Saturday, March 11, 2017

The Divine Sperm (Yes, It's from a Bible Verse!)

Blood. Vernix. A beautiful newborn child cradled in my arms.

Several days ago, I dreamed that I was giving birth. The baby was coming at a breathtaking rate. No sooner had I boarded the motocar (local taxi) to head to the hospital, she was bursting forth. I received her into my own hands as she emerged, covered in the elements of the womb. I marveled as I embraced her that I had experienced no pain or discomfort, or even had to push.

I knew as soon as I remembered this vivid dream that through it, the Lord was initiating vital communication with me. But what did He have in mind when He breathed such an arresting picture into my spirit as I slept? What exactly had He hidden within His own allegory for me to search out and understand?

Have you ever had a dream about birthing and wondered about it too? Could God really be portraying a message from His heart through a picture of human reproduction? I am convinced that He actually delights in this kind of secret language. So, an invitation. I would love to explore together the rich depths of biblical symbolism pertaining to this topic – would you join me?

In reflecting on the imagery of my dreams, I keep a key principle in mind. Everything in God's physical creation points to a reality in the heavenly realm that existed long before He spoke the Earth into being. Everything that came into existence between verses 1 and 31 of the first chapter of the Bible is a shadow of an eternal spiritual reality.

A striking example of this principle is found in God’s Old Testament desert dwelling. Hebrews 9 explains that the Jewish tabernacle was a copy of the real sanctuary that exists in Heaven (see vv. 23-24). God warned Moses to be painstakingly meticulous in following the blueprint He gave him for its design. This is why: His glorious earthly habitation was to be a precise replica of His original, heavenly sanctuary (Heb. 8:5). In this way, His children would begin to have a taste and glimpse of the transcendent, otherworldly reality of His eternal home. To the Father, this was crucially important. His house was to be on Earth as it is in Heaven.

The natural sanctuary represented the spiritual sanctuary. In the same way, everything that we can perceive physically here exists in parallel to something bigger, greater, more powerful, and more exquisite in the celestial realm. (I am referring to everything that God called “good” and “very good” when He brought forth Creation. This does not include the tragic aberrations afterwards caused by the fall and the devil.)

This truth extends into every component of God-breathed life on this planet. In its original creation design, Earth mirrors Heaven. As a result, oftentimes we can learn something about the heavenly places by keen observation of the material world around us. We use our five senses to absorb what it around us, leaning in to listen to the Holy Spirit and to search His Word. We ask Him, “What does this -- that my hands are touching, that my eyes are seeing, that my ears are hearing -- teach me about Your Kingdom?”

Of course, Jesus was aware of this principle of parallel realities during His earthly life. He explained to the multitudes that the Kingdom of Heaven is like a sower who scatters his seed… like a pearl of great price… like yeast working its way through some dough... Each and every one of His parables seized on an aspect of earthly life to open up for His listeners a corresponding facet of heavenly truth.

This Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Today just like two thousand years ago, Earth mirrors Heaven in many, many ways. If you gaze intently and quiet yourself to hear, the simplest things around you have precious and profound gems of wisdom hidden within them. If you seek them out with Him, you will find them. (I get teased for finding a Bible verse or a sermon illustration in everything that happens around me, but it really is true! He is intimately present in His creation, if we have eyes to see and ears to hear.)

Now I return to unpacking my dream. Pregnancy and childbirth are one of the most spectacular arenas where the principle of parallel realities comes into play. Did you know that the Bible talks about the elements of gestation in a spiritual sense? I recently came across this verse in my personal studies:

"No one born (begotten) of God [deliberately, knowingly, and habitually] practices sin, for God’s nature abides in him [His principle of life, the divine sperm, remains permanently within him]; and he cannot practice sinning because he is born (begotten) of God" (1 John 3:9, AMPC, bold emphasis mine).

Other Bible versions use the term "seed" instead of "sperm" in this verse. That probably sounds a little less edgy, more polite. However, the actual Greek word in the Apostle John's original writing is transliterated sperma. This word, sperma, is translated "seed" in other New Testament passages, referring to what a farmer sows in the ground. In still others, sperma is rendered "descendants" or "offspring." However, in this verse, the wording "divine sperm" is clearly an accurate translation of the concept John was bringing to us when he penned the word sperma.

We can see this by the context: being born of God. Sperm and birthing are closely related ideas. Just as I was engendered by my physical father's seed, so I was born a second time, in spirit, by my heavenly Father's seed. Just as my dad's DNA is reflected in every cell of my body, so God's sperma remains in the makeup of my spirit and defines who I am. Here is another Scripture that utilizes the same illustration: "You have been regenerated (born again), not from a mortal origin (seed, sperm), but from one that is immortal by the ever living and lasting Word of God" (1 Pet. 1:23, AMPC, bold emphasis mine).

Spiritual birthing is an intriguing subject. As a result of the dream I told you about, I’ve been ruminating on it. I had a sense that the Holy Spirit was prompting me to write up some thoughts about it for you. It began to stir inside me when I ran across this “divine sperm” phrase in my reading. I prepared to obey. And then something happened that made me smile big.

As I was sitting with my laptop perched on my legs getting ready to type up this post, my daughter Ester came into my room. She lay down next to me and let me in on a musing that had "randomly" popped into her mind. "Mom, how is it possible that something so tiny as an egg and a sperm, can produce a baby?" Haha! I delight in how the Lord so often reinforces His direction for me through comments from my thirteen-year-old girl. She had no idea what I was about to start composing. I had not shared any of my contemplation of the topic with her. I knew immediately that His Spirit had provoked that pondering in her mind to encourage me in my writing.  Instead of responding to her query, I beamed at her and said, "Thank you for the confirmation, honey!"

Her question is exactly what Holy Spirit is inviting us to consider from a heavenly perspective: How can God produce brand new life inside of us from something so “tiny” as a spiritual egg and sperm? I will elaborate in my next post. Good things to come -- stay tuned!

A prayer for today:

Lord, is there something You want to show me today hidden in the world around me? I don’t want to miss it for the hustle and bustle of life. Teach me to be still and know that You are God. Empower me to quiet myself in Your presence and lean into You. Train me in Your holy calm. Lead me beside Your tranquile, living waters. As I am attentive with my five senses, speak to my heart and reveal Your heavenly realities to me. Daddy, I long for more of You!

Do you have an experience to share of learning something about the spiritual realm from observing an aspect of our physical world? I'd love to hear about it in the comments section!