The Deeper Invitation of Shelter in Place

It’s not very often that a show your family has been watching ends, and everyone looks at each other with surprise and disappointment that it is over! However, this has consistently been our experience as my family and I enjoyed all eight episodes of The Chosen. 

WHAT IS THE CHOSEN?

“The Chosen is the first-ever-multi-season TV show about the life of Jesus. Created outside of the Hollywood system, The Chosen allows us to see Him through the eyes of those who knew him. No matter where you are at in your journey with Jesus Christ, this TV show is for you.” (This is quoted directly from The Chosen website.)

A friend recommended we check it out because of its high quality and inspiration. We wholeheartedly agree and can’t wait for season 2. In the meantime, we will rewatch it and enjoy all the special features that they keep adding. 

WHAT MAKES THE CHOSEN SO SPECIAL?

The Chosen makes biblical characters come to life and very relatable. This is especially true of Jesus who is happy, funny and emotional just like us. He is so likable that you never want your time with Him to end. You enjoy His company on screen and something is awakened in you to want to get to know this Jesus better. 

I have found myself returning to the Bible with a breath of fresh air and a renewed love of Jesus and scripture. Bible stories are coming to life before my eyes and characters like Mary Magdalene, Matthew, Nicodemus and the woman at the well are multidimensional and more than just names on a page. They had real struggles and brokenness and their lives were forever changed when they met Jesus and were transformed from the inside out.


Perhaps, like me, this is your testimony as well. The last 24 years of knowing and walking with Jesus have changed me. He has and continues to bring me deep healing and peace. I am more sure of His love and protection than at any other time. I relax in His presence and marvel at His goodness and mercy even in the midst of the hardest seasons of my life (so far). He has been faithful and will continue to BE FAITHFUL!

REVELATION OF SHELTER IN PLACE

Over this quarantine and shelter in place, I have felt the invitation of the Holy Spirit to go deeper and live more fully surrendered. I had unknowingly become complacent and half hearted in my routines and worship. 

The Holy Spirit lovingly unveiled the true state of my heart in this season. I was convicted of my inability to truly worship Him in the quiet and mundane of this unique time. In the beginning, it was a challenge to truly worship and avoid being a spectator to our online church service. 

In time with prayer, intentionality, and by the grace of God, I was able to get engaged and focused on Jesus alone. The simplest and purest form of worship began to bubble up from the deepest places in me. I didn’t need to be in a large room with a dynamic worship team, I just needed Jesus. It’s easy to say, but harder to live as my reality because I get distracted easier than I want to admit.

Don’t get me wrong, I am eagerly looking forward to the day when we can gather together again in person to worship as the family God. However, I want to emerge from this time more appreciative of His presence and the simplicity of keeping my heart towards Jesus and sensitive to the Holy Spirit. 

I don’t want to take His presence for granted, or the presence of family and friends that I have only been able to connect with through a screen. I give thanks for technology, but may it never replace face to face chats and relationships with deep heart to heart connections. 

Although the “shelter in place” order will eventually be lifted, I want to remain sheltered in Jesus as a way of life, my new normal, so I remain secure no matter what challenges may come my way.

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Copyright © 2020 Alison Lewis, A Secret Spring. 

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The Message God Wants You to Hear

I feel so strongly that the Lord is gathering His children like never before. 

Perhaps you were raised in the faith, but life took some twists and turns and you don’t feel like God is really a part of your life right now. Or maybe you had a bad experience at church and you were deeply hurt by a pastor or by people, you thought you could trust, so you walked away. 

Perhaps you have been faithfully walking through the motions of faith for decades, but you sense there is more to Jesus than you have experienced so far. You see others lost in worship and adoring Jesus and wonder why you don’t know how that feels.

I have good news for you if you fall into one of those categories or any other. 

No matter what your story has been, and where you find yourself today, I believe the Holy Spirit, the power of the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ, is reaching out to YOU this day.

He is speaking the following words to YOU.

I’m standing at your door

My heart is calling yours

Come fall into my arms

You’re weary from it all

Been running for too long

I’m here to bring you home

I’m reaching out

I’ll chase you down

I dare you to believe

How much I love you now

Don’t be afraid

I am your strength

We’ll be walking on the water 

Dancing on the waves

Look up and lift your eyes

The future’s open wide

I have great plans for you

Your past is dead and gone

Your healing has begun

I’m making all things new

I set every star into place

So that you would remember my name

I made it all for you

But you are my masterpiece

You are the reason I sing

This is my song for you

These are the lyrics to the powerful song, “Dancing on the Waves” by We the Kingdom and was recently released on the new Bethel Music Peace Album.

I dare you to believe how much I love you now.

I really believe that the Lord is challenging all of us, to really believe how much He loves us. He demonstrated His love by coming to earth to die for our sins. He suffered great beatings at the hands of Roman soldiers and then suffered the humiliation of death by crucifixion. 

He experienced separation from God the Father for the first time in all eternity, all so we wouldn’t have to know separation from God anymore. He was buried in a tomb to the shock of all who knew and loved him.

BUT GOD!

On the third day He rose again, satisfying the payment of sin and death. He was the perfect Lamb, sinless in every way, yet He willingly suffered the punishment you and I deserved so that we could all be reunited as brothers and sisters in God’s family. 

The Kingdom of God is family.

It’s time to come home. It’s time to receive His free gift of salvation and to realize all He has done for you. It’s time to know how loved you are, right now, just for being you. You don’t have to act a certain way or be a certain way. He wants you to be who He created you to be.

If you have said yes to Jesus and thanked Him for suffering and dying for you, and from this point on decide to live your life in gratitude to Him and to God the Father by following and obeying them; then you can receive the Holy Spirit as a downpayment to live inside of you. You are a new creation. You have been born of the Spirit and you are part of the family of God.

Welcome home brother or sister! 

We have been waiting for you! We are so happy you are home! All of Heaven is rejoicing that you have been born again of the Spirit.

Please tell someone in your life that you have received Jesus and want to get to know Him better. Check out some churches online during this quarantine. Download the Bible App and start reading the Bible and some of the free devotionals that can be found there to help you grow. The Holy Spirit in you will teach and guide you to the right church and fellowship of brothers and sister where you can learn and grow and heal.

The rest of us are being invited to enter into a time of living fully as a child of God. It’s time for us to know our Heavenly Father and how good He really is like never before. It’s time to arise and shine as we allow the Holy Spirit to purify our hearts and lead us into intimacy and righteousness like never before.

Lord, cause us to hunger after You and your righteousness like never before! Help us to believe how loved we really are by You. By the power of Your Holy Spirit, help us to love one another well so that we may walk in unity so the unbelieving world will become convinced that you have sent [Jesus], for they will see that You love each one of them with the same passionate love that You have for [Jesus] (John 17:23-26)

Have a blessed weekend and receive all He has for you!

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Follow A Secret Spring on Facebook or Instagram 

for daily inspiration and encouragement. 

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Copyright © 2020 Alison Lewis, A Secret Spring. 

All rights reserved.

Opportunities for Growth Living in Quarantine

How are you?

Perhaps the shock of our new way of life is starting to wear off as you establish a new normal for this season.

I would encourage you to pay attention to what emotions bubbled up over the past week. It is very likely that many of us were triggered in some way by an emotional memory or traumatic event and that’s okay.

The Lord allows us to be triggered in areas where He knows we are ready for Him to bring healing. He invites us to bring those feelings to Him and dialogue about them.

Yes, I really do mean dialogue.

Expect Him to speak back as you quiet yourself and listen for His gentle impressions, still small voice or highlighted verses as you read the Bible or devotional resources.

The Holy Spirit is a real person and wants to bring you comfort and peace. There is a reason He is called the Counselor. He longs to bring truth and understanding to what is going on inside of you because He knows and cares. He loves YOU!

Since most of the world is in quarantine, we have a unique opportunity to slow down and simplify our lives to what matters most. The quarantine forces us to face ourselves and our internal reality. We have a choice: to fill our time to “just get through” or to seek to grow.

I believe many of us need to grow emotionally, spiritually, relationally or even intellectually.

I have been reviewing my journals over the past year to see what bible verses, songs or quotes have really been speaking to me. What have I heard the Lord say to me over the past year or so? What has He been teaching me?

This is important because I believe He has been uniquely preparing each of us for this time. He has equipped us with biblical truths that He wants to become a reality in our lives in a new way. This is when we go from simply mentally agreeing with biblical truth, to actually experiencing it in a way that it becomes a deep part of our life.

I have been listening to songs that have touched my heart in the last few months and asking the Lord to reveal some of the reasons He has highlighted these song to me. I then put these songs on periodically throughout the day and worship until I once again believe the truths they declare and fortify my peace.

I truly believe we have a unique opportunity for the Lord to firm up our foundations so we can truly abide in Him like never before. He wants us to be so anchored in Him that others take notice and want to know the Jesus we do.

We must choose to believe He is who He says He is and who He has demonstrated Himself to be in the Bible and in our lives up until this point.

“Jesus, the Anointed One, is always the same—yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8 TPT

Our circumstances are changing, but Jesus is not. Let Him keep you anchored in this storm so that you may stand even when things are shaking all around you.

So now, beloved ones, stand firm and secure. Live your lives with an unshakable confidence. We know that we prosper and excel in every season by serving the Lord, because we are assured that our union with the Lord makes our labor productive with fruit that endures.   1Corinthians 15:58 The Passion Translation

I want to leave you with this powerful song by Bryan and Katie Torwalt, “Prophesy Your Promise,” to encourage you to declare the truth of who He is in the times when it may be hard to remember.

“Fear can go to hell, shame can go there too,

I know who’s I am, God I belong to you.”

What verses or songs have been strengthening you recently?

Feel free to share them in the comments as it may encourage someone else.

Blessings to you and your family for good health and peace.

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Follow A Secret Spring on Facebook or Instagram

for daily inspiration and encouragement. 

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Copyright © 2020 Alison Lewis, A Secret Spring.

All rights reserved.

Worship at sunset

Worship Your Way into the Weekend…..

I really sense this is a season the Holy Spirit is encouraging many of us to dig deep into the Word of God and discover His Presence like never before.

There is power in our praise because He “inhabits the praise of His people” (Psalm 22:3). It is the Presence of God that distinguishes us from other people and where we find rest (Exodus 33:13-18).

However, I have had seasons of life where I was too weak to worship and could only let worship music wash over me and strengthen my spirit until I had received enough to actively participate. (You can read more about that season in Receiving When You’re Not Okay.) If that’s you, I invite you to listen to this song, or any other worship song that declares the truth about the power of Jesus and the victory He has won for you.

The first video is a message from Natalie Grant about her new song “My Weapon” and the power of the song to become a battle cry in whatever we (or our loved ones) are facing.

This next video is the official music video for the sacred version that is performed with a live orchestra. Personally, I find the orchestra to add a new dimension to the song, like the instruments are singing their own lyrics that can only be discerned by our spirits. When you have the time, it really can be an empowering experience.

I hope this song can be a weapon in your arsenal to fight against the schemes and lies of the enemy. When we focus on the goodness and power of God, we are encouraged and strengthened to persevere until He brings the victory. Let’s declare the power of Jesus’ name over every circumstance!

Have a blessed weekend and receive all He has for you!

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Follow A Secret Spring on Facebook or Instagram

for daily inspiration and encouragement. 

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Copyright © 2020 Alison Lewis, A Secret Spring.

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Provision: One Day at a Time

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My grandmother

This past weekend we celebrated my grandmother’s 100th birthday! What a milestone! She is the mother of 4, grandmother of 9 and great-grandmother of 4. She has modeled a life of prayer and service and is deeply loved by all who know her.

Already in a reflection mode, I retrieved some scrapbooks from the attic that I had recently rediscovered.  The other night we decided to look through them as a family. It was fun sharing our baby pictures and upbringing with our kids.

In addition to the scrapbooks, I also rediscovered letters I had handwritten to my kids during their first few years of life. They were labeled by name and age and included the date they were written.

abstract black and white blur book

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I read out loud the first letter I had written to each of my children. It detailed my love and joy of my firstborn at 3 months old. It shared what she was able to do, what she was learning and what she was discovering. It also shared my hopes for her relationship with Jesus and the future.

After not seeing them for over 13 years, it was so amazing to go back in time and be reminded of some things we had forgotten. We laughed at the similarities that were evident at such a young age and still very true today.

We did the same for my son, although his letters started at 6 months, and were just as amazed.  Again, we laughed and marveled at the time capsule gift from what feels like ages ago. The reminders stirred up more memories and stories. Of course the kids wanted me to keep reading letters, but we decided we would only read one letter a night.

While I enjoyed the letters for all the same reasons my family did, I was even more struck by the content and how each letter highlighted areas that each child is currently struggling with. The letters repeated key themes for each child that they needed to hear and be reminded of regularly.

woman doing hand heart sign

Photo by Hassan OUAJBIR on Pexels.com

I was amazed at the provision of the Lord to inspire me to write and address areas long before there were actual traumas to heal and challenges to overcome. I praised God for His care for my family! He knew we would NEED those letters on multiple levels. What I thought was just a neat idea (from somewhere) was actually His leading and showing His personal care for me and my family. While He didn’t prevent the heartaches and bad things from happening, He has walked closely with us through them and promises to continuing to do so: one day at a time.

So we are convinced that every detail of our lives is continually woven together to fit into God’s perfect plan of bringing good into our lives, for we are his lovers who have been called to fulfill his designed purpose.  Romans 8:28 TPT

May we all have the gift to see the ways the Lord has been present and made preparations ahead of time for the hard times we have walked through or may be walking through now. He truly IS in control, and has ALWAYS been in control, working ALL things for our good.

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Follow A Secret Spring on Facebook or Instagram for daily inspiration and encouragement. 

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Copyright © 2020 Alison Lewis, A Secret Spring.

All rights reserved.

The Song That Became My Lifeline

On Sunday, February 11, 2018, I wasn’t feeling very well emotionally and it became very clear that something was seriously wrong. My husband and I were scared, so I asked him to put on the Sunday evening service at Bethel Church that was just beginning.

I let the music wash over me in an attempt to calm my fear. The worship leader, Jonathan Helser, announced they had a new song to share that they had just finished writing. I listened to the story and the words and they touched me deeply. I didn’t understand why, but I knew this was MY song and that God was speaking to me.

“When the pressure is real, Your Presence is greater, greater, greater.”

That phrase was planted deep within me and would become a lifeline as I walked through the horror of those initial months. I reminded myself over and over that His Presence was greater than what I was facing no matter how great the pain and suffering.

“When the pressure is real, Your Presence is greater, greater, greater.”

The suffering and pressure I encountered was VERY REAL, yet I had to believe that His Presence was GREATER and would overcome any diagnosis, no matter how severe.

Then as the song was ending, Jonathan said the following:

“This is holy ground. This is holy ground. Just declare it over your life. It’s holy ground. Declare it over your trials. Declare it over your circumstance. It’s holy ground. What the enemy meant for evil the Goodness has overcome.”

AMEN! The blood of Jesus has overcome any evil facing you or your family and you will watch the victory unfold in His way and timing.

The link below should take you to the complete Sunday evening worship set. It will start with an ad and you can place your cursor on the white dot and slide to minute 56 where “Fourth Man” begins. You many also have to turn on the sound by clicking on the “speaker” icon if there is an “X” by it and the sound will turn on. I hope it works, because as far as I know, this song hasn’t been released yet and this is the only place to find it. 🙂

Click to watch “Fourth Man” performed at 56:00-1:07:00

Have a blessed weekend and receive all He has for you!

 

 

The Company You Keep During a Season of Hardship Matters

Even though the Lord may allow you to go through a season of hardship and difficulty, He Himself will be there with you. He will not hide Himself from you, for your eyes will constantly see Him as your Teacher.  Isaiah 30:20 (TPT)

I don’t like hardship and difficulty. I really don’t. However, if I’m honest, it has been through the most difficult and darkest times that I have grown the most. On several occasions, I have been brought to a breaking point where it felt like something inside of me was dying. It was scary, painfully scary. Yet, in the midst of the turmoil of my unraveling, my loving Heavenly Father held me close and affirmed me as His beloved daughter.

Jesus kept bringing me back to the Father’s love when I was disoriented and lost my way in a consuming darkness. The Holy Spirit comforted and taught me how to truly rest in the Father’s love and security when I was unable to care for my family or even myself.

It was through the death (of what needed to die) that resurrection of my true self began to slowly emerge in strength, deeply rooted in the goodness of Father God, who not only carried me through, but blessed me with a new depth of intimacy with Him. I learned He was truly all I needed when He was (virtually) all I had.

Perhaps you are facing a season of hardship that has pummeled you to such an extent that it has knocked the wind out of you and left you feeling helpless and vulnerable in ways you never imagined possible. I know how unsettling it is to feel like you are coming undone and not be able to do anything about it, but hope it doesn’t last forever.

It won’t. The end of the tunnel is closer than you realize.

In my experience, if you keep positioning your heart towards Him and giving Him your weakest “yes”, in the midst of all your fear or anger, I know He will meet you in the pain and bring healing as only He can. He will strengthen your foundations so you will find love and security in Him alone. 

Let’s pray.

Heavenly Father, I confess that sometimes I doubt Your presence and goodness because of the turmoil around me and in me. Please forgive me for blaming You for the bad and partnering with the lie that You don’t care about my suffering. Thank You for Your open arms of grace that console the deepest hurts in my heart and embrace me with a healing love that transforms me from the inside out. Thank You for Your grace and understanding and how You love me just as much on my good days as my bad ones. Thank You for carrying me in Your loving grace. Your grace is real. Please help me be just as much aware of Your grace as I am my suffering, and please take me to the place where I become more aware of Your love and grace THAN my suffering. Although it may be hard to see right now, I choose to believe that Your plans for me and my family are good. I choose to believe that You are good and You never change. Thank you for never leaving me or forsaking me and promising to be close to the brokenhearted and those crushed in spirit. Please teach us who You are right now that you couldn’t be in any other season of our faith journey. We want Jesus to get the full reward of His suffering and death on the cross so we may experience a powerful resurrection, in our lives and circumstance, and walk as the new creation He destined us to be for the honor and glory of Jesus Christ. May it be so.