The Heart of Palm Sunday

I was reflecting on Palm Sunday and how the Jews were heralding Jesus as King and a few days later roared for Him to be crucified on a cross, while Barabbas, a robber and murder was liberated (Luke 23:13-25).

Jesus did not meet their expectations.

He doesn’t often meet mine. I wonder if that is because my expectations are not big enough and lack the depth of insight to know what is really needed in any situation.

The Jews wanted to be liberated from the Romans who were oppressing them and this is a very valid desire. Jesus is acknowledged as King and then doesn’t dethrone the Roman government.

No, Jesus understands the real problem wasn’t the Romans, but sin and that spiritual liberation was what was truly needed to bring any other kind of liberation.

It is always about dealing with our internal being, we must be changed from the inside out.

This is a challenge for those of us who like to think we are in control. We can’t will ourselves to be made whole. No, we can only create space for the Lord to work and keep drawing near to Him. We must wait and trust Him with the how and when. We can’t make it happen and that can feel scary.

Combine that with emotions of sadness, pain, and grieving and many close their hearts and refuse to engage the process. They return to doing things for God and then become angry that our expectations haven’t been met. This often leads to anger, and if not dealt with, to the dangerous and dry land of bitterness and resentment.

I am learning to trust He knows what He is doing and what I need to work on exactly when I need to work on it.

Sure, I may think it is time to develop a gift or skill and the Lord knows in fact it is more important to work on my heart so I will be able to handle the gift or skill in LOVE, reflecting Jesus himself and not for my own good.

It usually goes back to our hearts, since we live out of it and it determines so much of our direction and quality of life. Yet, we are powerless to heal our hearts. We self protect, close off and insulate our hearts against further pain.

Instead, we are invited to surrender to the One who is an expert in bringing healing and restoration to the brokenhearted. We must surrender our lives and submit to His ways, timing and method, knowing we can trust and rest that His intentions for us are good and He cannot operate a part from His deep love for us, His children.

May you and your loved ones continue to surrender daily to Jesus so He can bring even greater healing and restoration than you could even imagine!

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Copyright © 2020 Alison Lewis, A Secret Spring.

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Finding Strength in Our New Reality

I don’t know about you, but the soberness of this unique time in history started to sink in this week. After the initial adrenaline rush of preparing for quarantine living and social distancing, I think I have begun a new level of processing.

The newness of it all has worn off and living my own version of Groundhog Day is not nearly as comical or fun as I thought it might be. 🙂 

It sort of reminds me how the excitement of a new school year quickly wears off in the daily grind.

So what are we to do? How can we grow and make the most of this unique opportunity?

If I have learned anything through the challenges I have faced over the passed few years, it would be to be honest with myself about my feelings. I try to allow myself a time, often through journaling, where I process my frustrations, anger, disappointment, sadness, grief or any other combination of emotions.

I name what I am feeling and why to the best of my ability. Then I bring it to the Lord so we can share it and He can help bear my burden. I worship to my favorite song or wait and sit in silence, if necessary, or however I feel led in the moment.

I begin to feel a lightening in my heart and sometimes I can even sense the burden coming off of me. I thank the Lord for the gift of His presence and demonstrating how He is my burden bearer.

What a glorious God! He gives us salvation over and over, then daily he carries our burdens!   Pause in his presence

Psalm 68:19

I usually ask Him what else He wants me to know right now and take time to write down whatever I sense. I review my journals regularly for overarching messages or insights.

I really feel like the Lord wants us all to learn what it means that we “can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.” (Philippians 4:13) Many, if not all of us, are being challenged to live in a new way and do things we would not choose to do. But it’s our reality and we might as well give it our best and learn all we can.

I know what it means to lack, and I know what it means to experience overwhelming abundance. For I’m trained in the secret of overcoming all things, whether in fullness or in hunger. And I find that the strength of Christ’s explosive power infuses me to conquer every difficulty.

Philippians 4:12-13 (TPT)

All who are willing can be trained “in the secret of overcoming all things” and the key is “Christ’s EXPLOSIVE power” INFUSING me to conquer every difficulty!”

Catch that?

Every. Single. Difficulty.

There are no exceptions.

So let’s seize this opportunity to focus on Jesus and choose to open our hearts to the Holy Spirit to be more aware of HIs presence. Let’s not get lost in the monotony of our situation, but be infused with the strength of Christ’s resurrection power that is in us as Christ followers. 

Now is the time to receive the secret of overcoming ALL things for the honor and glory of Jesus so the world may see how real He is to us, His beloved children.

May Jesus be more real, now than ever, for you and your family!

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Copyright © 2020 Alison Lewis, A Secret Spring.

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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.