On BIG Pot

[A Soulful Goulash Of His Life In Light Of Sevens]

10-21-19

Recently, I have been led to review a couple of seasons of life. 14 years to be exact. The Father has led me to chop up time and observe His gathering together of many experience ingredients that have been placed into One Big Pot. As I write this they are simmering and marinating together in the broth of His living water to my soul. 

As He has stirred the contents of this One Big Pot, a meal of His faithful motivations and revelations has been seen. It’s a Soulful Goulash of the meat of His living word revealed by His Spirit. Can you smell it?

He has led me to look at two sets of 7 years, 2005 to present. 

In this review, the scent of His mysterious but perfect timing of events has been exposed. These 14 years reveal a symmetry and consistency of His life in me, repeating patterns of His revelation through the voice of the Holy Spirit being met in repentance. That’s my testimony simmering and bubbling in this One Big Pot. The aroma has filled my spirit and mind with the understanding that His voice has become the treasure of my heart and that I live off of His intercession in repentance.

Seven sets of seven years were nearing their completion in my soul. 49 years. 

I was on the verge of breakthrough, nearly finished with the conversion of a barn, a former pony palace, into a home. Jubilee was in the air, but not so much as a word, more a sense of entering into a rest, a new beginning, a celebration for completing a dream inspired and directed by His voice 7 years prior. His was the initiating word in 2005, 7 years before, at the beginning of this 7th set of 7 years I was now completing. That word included selling the California house, capturing the invisible equity and moving away from the city. I heard the word of His intercession to me and in repentance acted on what He said.

Having completed the transformation of that former pony palace into a home, we moved into the Barn two days after the completion of that 7th set of seven years, at the beginning of a 50th year. 50, a number marked out in scripture representing the Holy Spirit; Pentecost and the year of Jubilee. 

Yes!

In July and August of that 2012 Jubilee year, the Lord began drawing me to two critical understandings, in two separate, but connected words. Two things I had an intuitive understanding of in following His leading 7 years prior, but my mind had not yet to begun to really ponder, consider, or think upon the roots and the depths they reach in me. These two words became the pivotal or foundational revelations that would spark and sustain the next set of seven years, right up to this current moment. The first word being…

“The Holy Spirit is THE most important asset the bride has in this earth.”

A word of TRUTH and power, a word of distinction in a world of mass media and the plethora of competing voices to the voice of the One and only living God.

Later in August, He spoke to me again, while I sat with the church listening to the message being spoken from the stage. I can’t tell you what the pastor said that morning, but I can tell you I was aware of the prompting of the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to me once more. There I sat, completely detached from the crowd, the sounds of the room muffled like voices from the surface heard underwater. Nearly oblivious to what was taking place outside my body, His living water began to wash through me and again I heard the voice of the Lord say… 

“I’m calling my people to repentance”.

So in my 50th year. The year of Jubilee. In two shots, two puffs of God’s breath, the power and authority of His word was unleashed in me starting a roiling boil of a Soulful Goulash. As stated, these two words have continued to echo off the walls of my heart to this very day. The sense of His strong opinion, judgement and view of these connected words have been persistent, unrelenting and clear…

“The Holy Spirit is THE most important asset the bride has in this earth.”

and

“I’m calling my people to repentance”.

As the 7th month of that year of Jubilee moved on under the unction of the Holy Spirit, I was prompted to approach the senior pastor at the end of a different service with this word of repentance echoing in my soul. At the door to his office I asked if I could speak with him and he said yes. “Well?”, I said, “I believe the Lord is calling His people to repentance.” Stunned, he looked at me and said, “You can’t schedule repentance.” Mic drop. …and he stepped inside and closed the door.

Now, having been taught all that “really important stuff” about submission to “leadership”, I took it at face value and walked away, stunned myself. But over time the Spirit of the Lord appealed to me. 

“If I am THE most important asset you have in this earth and I am telling you that I’m calling my people to repentance, who are you going to listen to?  Stop trusting in man who has but a breath in his nostrils, of what account is he? Isiah 2:22  That’s leadership.

Not that I’ve ever really successfully walked someone else’s line, His admonition freed me from being concerned about following this party line or what they can do to you when you don’t.  Maybe right here, if He’s granted you a smidge of insight, you might begin to see some things that are laced between these lines.

Reviewing: I received a word in 2005. At the beginning of my 7th set of seven years of life [at 42] to sell the house, capture the equity and move. The culmination of that word to sell, capture and move was realized at the end of that seventh set of seven years moving into the Barn. So seven sets of seven years was complete and the Lord spoke to me in that ensuing Jubilee 50th year with the message of celebration, emancipation and restoration saying, 

“The Holy Spirit is THE most important asset the bride has in this earth.”

and

“I’m calling my people to repentance”.

There are no coincidences!

Those two words set the stage and became the foundational understanding for the next set of seven years past that Jubilee year. And everything He built on the foundation of those two words is rock solid today. Two simple words incited and animated a fire, a deep consideration and heeding of my soul in that Jubilee year. Like the 2nd chapter of Acts came to dwell in me.

The roots of that Jubilee year pushed deep into the soil of my spirit and opened up a beautiful cataclysm, a fork in the road. One path of unity in His Spirit I had never known and simultaneously a deep separation from this world and the path offered there. The result was like being born again, again!

Looking back, the unity found was His revelation to me that the only voice I’m required to listen for is His. The voice of the Holy Spirit; hence, “The Holy Spirit is THE most important asset the bride has in this earth.” But I’m sharing understanding in hindsight. In following in obedience in the moment,a natural separation was forged in freedom to shut out the cacophony of competing voices. It was an easy yoke that was worth the cost of selling everything to purchase. He struck me out on a path unlike any other I had walked and though it was not fully understood in my mind, the path for the voice of the Living God becoming my treasure was cleared.

In His unction, I was led to convey the word of repentance to the senior pastor and the Holy Spirit being THE most important asset the bride has in this earth to another elder. And sadly, both were met with resistance, one with an administrative scheduling block, the other with a serious concern about my understanding of the importance of the Bible. I continued on in fellowship there with these two encounters flickering in the corner of my eyes like a distraction of the voice of a stranger.

Because I had heard those two words in my spirit, I knew they were universal and not to be ignored, I began to have an expectancy that regardless of men, the Holy Spirit was going to bring the understanding of these words to that fellowship. On the heels of that 7th month with both words stewing and marinating in me, I was lit up like a baby when they first set eyes on their mom coming to take them out of their crib in the morning!

Nearing the end of that Jubilee year there were ruminations of a stirring in the elders. It was stated that the elders of this fellowship were sensing a “disquieting” in their spirits about where God was leading us. Disquieting was a strange term to use because it denotes anxiety, consternation or worry. But that was the word used to describe their motivations and unction.

Nevertheless, knowing the Holy Spirit doesn’t lead in anxiety, consternation or worry, I hoped for something. Change? A deepening of resolve to listen for His voice? 

At the beginning of the next year the elders went on a retreat to try and understand the movement of this “disquieting” in their spirits.  At the same time I was inspired to write the following italicized statement not knowing they were on retreat and I e-mailed it to one of them who was a trusted friend. 

The great men of faith remembered in Hebrews 11 were men who acted on what the Lord said.  He spoke the living word by his Spirit to them and they followed by faith.  Being sure of what they hope for and certain of what they do not see.  None of them had a written account to follow for the great things they are commended for pursuing.  We are not these people.

I believe the Holy Spirit is saying that we trust our understanding of the written word more than we trust His leading.  We trust us more than the one who reveals understanding to us. Our doctrine is commendable but, the Holy Spirit desires to bring so much more than we will allow. I’ve heard the call to repent for months as the Holy Spirit grieves our unwillingness to move beyond our own understanding and control.

It was now January just before my second year in this 8th set of seven years and my friend was greatly encouraged by what the Spirit had placed in me to share. Ironically, he was fired right after that retreat. Hmmm?

But like a babbling 1 year old, over the course of that 2nd year these two Jubilee words, the Holy Spirit being THE most important asset and the call to repentance, poured out of me as I spoke to the small group I was facilitating and anyone else who would listen. Others began to give credence to the importance of the Holy Spirit. It seemed as if the realization of His utmost importance was coming to light in that small group. Believers were actually beginning to listen for His voice and testifying to His leading! Good fruit!

All the while, the elders were still conferring, trying to decipher what “the Spirit” had spoken to them, teasing the congregation along the way with words like, “God is on the move.” Isn’t that a line in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, that Beaver says?- Aslan is on the move.

The Holy Spirit speaks in the moment we’re in for our edification and development of Christ in His body. Nine months after their retreat we were told that they were ready to tell us what they had heard. At the time I remember thinking, is this yesterdays Mana? I also felt led to write this down.

My Spirit laments as I seek to ignite My church yet you desire a controlled burn. You honor firefighters in the face of the All Consuming Fire.

There was a BIG build up for what was going to be shared. A church funded trip to a local theme park, a new mission statement, new vision and values, they gave it a special name and redesigned the website, made a logo change, and changed what we were to call our small groups. Offering as they called it, reprogramming. Reprogramming…? That’s become like a curse word to me now.

In all the documentation of the plan, the methods prescribed, new directions for how we would do life together, nowhere was there an admission or acknowledgement of the desperate need we have to be led by the Holy Spirit. No plea from the heart of the Father that the Holy Spirit is to be listened for or as Jesus admonished; that we should have an ear to hear what the Spirit says as our sole requirement to fulfill anything in Christ. 

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me… John 10:27

When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” John 10:4-5

The word of the Lord was faithful to bring what was needed to that fellowship before we could even think or ask, but it was ignored and rejected. The result was a scattering of the flock and a rearrangement of the living room furniture and not the life that is in the Spirit. Rom. 8 Disquieting? Yes.

Bringing out into the open what I eluded to being hidden between the lines, I recall the appeal of the Spirit of the Lord. 

“If I am THE most important asset you have in this earth and I am telling you that I’m calling my people to repentance, who are you going to listen to?  Stop trusting in man who has but a breath in his nostrils, of what account is he? Isiah 2:22 

In summery, I wrote them all to say they had failed to acknowledge to those they lead that the motivation, power, strength, and authority to do anything for Christ is in the Holy Spirit alone. That He was conspicuously absent in their new plan and they needed to repent. 

As a side note. I hadn’t even begun THE JOURNEY yet, so I extend grace to them for most likely bristling at the admonition to repent. The Holy Spirit radically changed my understanding of repentance 3 years later with these pieces from the Journey THE MOST HATED WORD / WHAT AM I DOING RIGHT NOW? and  WHAT AM I DOING RIGHT NOW II]

So, I wrote to them that they had failed to acknowledge to those they lead that the motivation, power, strength, and authority to do anything for Christ is in the Holy Spirit alone. That He was conspicuously absent in their new plan and they needed to repent. My path to being ostracized for my adherence to the voice of the Holy Spirit over the voices of men began there. 

They never met with me or wanted to hear from me. They didn’t even have a concern for my soul if they thought me wayward.  Soon after, before a room packed with 30+ people I was publicly removed from being a small group [name change] facilitator, with the proclamation that I was no longer allowed to be a leader of adults, yet without cause ever being addressed for the shocked crowd.

Exactly 20 weeks later, after sitting 4 months in a cold sanctuary, hearing veiled jabs of justification in sermons and walking the halls as a pariah, the Holy Spirit told me, “You are done here.” That word, “You are done here”, came 7 years to the day of my arrival in that fellowship. Again, no such thing as coincidence.

Walking out that door 2 years and 7 months into my 8th set of sevens, I continued to be led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness. No, not locusts and honey, but the removal of the comfort and assurances of friends or the lending of trust to any man. Through the working of circumstances His sovereign positioning put His voice in front of me, so that I would always desire His voice to be in front of me.

The number 8 symbolizes new birth and new beginnings and at the 2 1/2 year mark into that 8th set, He was already placing these experience ingredients into the One Big Pot and heating the living water of His Spirit in preparation for THE JOURNEY. The most profound wilderness experience I have ever encountered with the living God and the culmination and capstone of the 8th set of seven years. The 8th set of seven was marked with new birth,  beginning His revelation of the treasure in His voice, embraced.

So the Father has gotten out this One Big Pot and opened my eyes to glimpse the symmetry in His timing and the consistency of His ingredients that are in it. The One Big Pot holds a Soulful Goulash of 14 years, two sets of the seven years of His leading in my spirit. Critical events that circle around those seven year patterns beginning with the 7th set in 2005 with a word to sell the house, capture the equity and move. Setting out with His leading for land and space and a serious load of labor, we occupied the Barn home two days after the completion of that 7th set of seven years. 

Having occupied, the year of Jubilee began. Where the first two experience ingredients the Holy Spirit being THE most important asset we have in this earth. And the call of His people to repentance were placed into this One Big Pot. The Holy Spirit being the living water for broth and repentance being the salt. The third experience ingredient was Isaiah 2:22, Stop trusting in man who has but a breath in his nostrils, of what account is he? We could call this Chicken broth because what He revealed through it is most believers cower, are chicken, when it comes to obeying the living word over their fear of men and what they might do to them. Afraid to speak TRUTH when demanded of God to stand against the crowd. Like Paul in Galatians 5 with the circumcision group. Jesus said, ”Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Matt 10:28

As experience ingredients go, this next set of ingredients were extremely difficult to endure.  Bitter herbs of persecution and abandonment. The savor of those who say they love God, but will ditch you to destruction for self preservation and the opinions of other men. Jesus saw this in all the disciples in the garden and frankly most cave at this spot because they are still holding on to the world and the need to be accepted or approved by men to feel OK. I’m pretty sure a couple extra tablespoons of these herbs were dropped in when I wasn’t watching, but I hope it cured me of my need for the aggrandizement of men or anything else in light of His word to me. 

The meat of this Soulful Goulash is the living word He has continued to lead me by that was backed up and substantiated in the written word. Not the other way around. In these two sets and certainly the second set of seven years THE JOURNEY never would have happened if I had tried to tell the Father what I already knew about the scriptures and been satisfied with my response. Quite frankly, by the Spirit He let me know I didn’t have a clue about His question, WHAT AM I DOING RIGHT NOW? The beauty and elegance in the design of His question was that it invoked repentance. His desire for me to listen for his voice and follow with, after and behind what He says. Thinking upon, pondering, considering and heeding His words to understanding. 

This One Big Pot is ready to serve. It smells delicious and it’s all I hunger for because it is the most satisfying meal I’ve ever ingested. It has been simmering and marinating for 14 years. The pattern of 7’s that surround how He put it all together will probably be addressed in a deeper way later, but He has astounded me with what I was led to write here. I had never seen this till He showed me just for this writing. 

Two sets of seven years has been the perfect length of time to cook. The good news is God’s food never burns or goes bad. In fact, it actually improves with age as it marinates in our souls. But like the mana, all the ingredients must be tasted in the day that they are brought to us or they will rot and He will not allow them to be thrown into this One Big Pot. 

This daily diet has put me on a search for souls who express an anticipatory expectation for His voice and an ear to hear what He says with a childlike hunger. I pan the horizon of this dark age we live in listening for others who echo His living word, His draw into His unity, the voice of His intercession that calls out with the question  WHAT AM I DOING RIGHT NOW?

I have found the more I consume this Soulful Goulash the more I wish others could smell it and have their palate awakened as well. I’ve given out tastes and exclaimed how satisfying it is along the way, but we are what what we eat and as I watch fruit I wonder how many are hungry for what’s been cooking in this One Big Pot.