Friday, May 27, 2011

abiding

I wanted to share a neat story from last week that happened during the conference. It happened to my friend Sandra that was staying with us. Before Sandra left to go to the first session of the conference, we spent some time praying together in my kitchen. And while I was praying for her, Joseph brought up a gold skeleton key and handed it to Sandra. I got that key about three years earlier during the women's conference for that year and hadn't seen it for a couple of years. I knew that God had given that key to Sandra. We prayed more about that and asked the Lord to show her throughout the conference what the key was for.

As she went along throughout the conference, she knew that God was calling her to abide in Him. We worked on the necklace the next day incorporating that gold key, and as we looked through the charms and beads, one lept out to her: A cluster of grapes. And immediately, I thought of the scripture:

"Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved." Matthew 9:17

We knew then what the key was for - the key to new wine! It was so awesome how God spoke to us. God was doing a new work in Sandra, a work that He wants to do in all of us! He wants to give us new wine. He wants to pour into us new blessings, new joy, new power in the Holy Spirit. But in order to do that, He has to get rid of the old wineskins, and give us a new wineskin. And, I'm sure that that can be uncomfortable for us. Putting on new garments in the Spirit can be awkward, can feel weird, might even be hard to understand or painful at times.

But, oh, the reward!
Walking in freedom. Walking in newness of life!

Sandra had planned to go home Sunday morning, but God had other plans. Her car wouldn't start after the first night of the conference. She decided not to worry about it and just wait till Monday to get it fixed. So, she really paid attention to what was going on on Sunday and Monday since she knew that the Lord had kept her here for a reason. And she received some amazing ministry and revelation from Him over those two days! I woke up on Monday morning and felt like I should take her to this special place not far from my house that has beautiful walking trails, horses, cows, old cabins, etc...

As we were walking down the path, we came upon a gorgeous grapevine. And as she walked up to it, she started to get tears in her eyes! The presence of the Lord was so strong under that arbor of grapevines!

Sandra and her grapevine
(it's hard to see, but she's wearing her key necklace)

The children and I continued on the path and left Sandra alone there to pray. Here's the view of what we saw as we walked away.  I love this photo of the grapevine in the distance on the hill.

I spoke to Sandra later and she was visibly changed. She told me through her tears how the Lord had met her there. That grapevine had become a sanctuary. It was a holy place.

And, I was in awe of how the Lord had worked and guided us. If her car had not broken down, she would not have stayed those two extra days. And if I had not been obedient and listened to that still small Voice that morning, we would not have gone to the nature trails. And she would not have seen that grapevine. God was drawing her there into His sweet presence. And I am so grateful to have been a small part of that!

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That amazing moment inspired me to make this necklace yesterday:


"Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me." John 15:4


I've been pondering the concepts of "new wine" and "abiding in the vine" a lot since the conference. I know that this word for Sandra is also for all of us today.

God is wanting to do a new thing in the hearts of His daughters.

He sees how tired we are, how we are tempted to live our lives in our own strength, how we try to be wives and mothers all on our own, depending on our own wisdom, strategies, and plans.

And I feel like He's saying to us,

"Come to Me. Abide in Me. Let Me give you the new wine you so desperately need. Let Me help you. I am faithful. You can do all things through Me. My strength and my joy have no limits. And my new wine will satisfy you completely."  

Praying for you all to experience His new wine in your life today!

Praying for you to find joy in abiding in Him!

6 comments:

  1. What a lovely experience...

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  2. Your post so spoke to my heart - especially the tired mom part and His wanting to give us new wine :).

    Thank you for sharing that.

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  3. Hi Lora, I don't know if you remember me, Michelle, from She Looketh Well? We corresponded a bit on your jewelry. Anyway, I have some Mother's Day money that i would like to see if you can make me something. Could you email me? shelookethwell@gmail.com

    Thanks

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  4. NatalieY.1:00 AM

    Lora, This post made me cry. It is so good... straight from the Father!!! Thank you for being obedient, listening to Him, and sharing your heart with us. I feel refreshed and changed, just from reading this word tonight!! Love you, friend!

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  5. I love this story. As a person trying to grow more in my faith, I can really appreciate the message that is conveyed. I think it's absolutely wonderful how God uses those around us to help us better know, understand, and see Him. I'm glad I stumbled upon your blog. Proverbs 31 has grown to be one of my favorite chapters this month, and it's funny how God has shown it to me from the first of May to the end of it. Love your blog!

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  6. Lora, Thank you for sharing this experience with us. This is my first visit to your blog, and I really like it. God is doing a good work through you. Thank you for letting Him. We have so much to learn. Joyce, learning in WI

    ReplyDelete

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