July 15, 2020 - Lisa Tuttle
Have you ever read something incorrectly at first glance? I don't know about you, but when that happens to me, what I think I saw is usually far more interesting than what is really there! It happened to me on Sunday, July 5th, during the 9:00 am at Impact Life Church.
I glanced up at the screen and in big letters it said "Passion and Desire", and at the bottom of the screen in smaller print it said "Judy Sermon Series".
Upon a second look, it actually said "July Sermon Series". Which made a lot more sense, seeing as it's July and "Passion and Desire" is our July Sermon series.
But it happened again. And then again. Even though my mind knew it said July, my eyes kept insisting that it said Judy. At this point I knew it was time to stop saying "Lisa...what is wrong with you?" and start saying "Holy Spirit...what are you saying?"
I grabbed my phone and did a search, and I discovered that the name Judy usually means "woman from Judea".
Holy Spirit...what are you saying?
Judea. Judea is the modern equivalent of Judah. Judah was one of the twelve tribes of Israel, and the name Judah means praise.
Holy Spirit...what are you saying?
At this point it was if his word was coming out of a cloud and beginning to take shape and form. I knew that while this word was of value for everyone, it was especially for the women, the amazing daughters of God. Many women have settled into a life with their passions and desires totally squelched, shut down, and relegated to dim shadows without hope or purpose attached to them. Gifted and anointed daughters of the King have tried to satisfy themselves with supporting other people's passions and desires, or they've bought into lies that their passions are less powerful and less important because they aren't men. They have inadvertently rejected God's design for them without understanding that the reason they have passions and desires is that he wired them to carry that fire and release it on the earth.
More searching led me to Psalm 114: 1-2, and it popped off the screen at me before I could understand why:
When Israel came out of Egypt,
Jacob from a people of foreign tongue,
Judah became God's sanctuary, Israel his dominion. (NIV)
Hmm. All those names. Names have meaning and purpose. They're important.
Israel: wrestles with God
Jacob: deceiver, supplanter (to seize by the heel)
Holy Spirit, what are you saying?
Suddenly, I saw these verses in a whole new way simply by substituting name and place meanings/scriptural significance for their original words.
When those who wrestled with God came out of their place of captivity and bondage,
Those entrenched in lies separated from those whose natural language is foreign to truth,
Praise became the place where God's very being took life and habitation, and those who previously wrestled became his prized and protected possession.
Women of praise, not only are your passions and desires open doors of vibrant connection with God, but they are the very place where he comes alive in power and influence in your life and in the atmosphere you carry! The choice to praise activates gratitude in us and attracts the attention and activity of heaven.
Men of praise, you are not excluded from this exciting kindness and hope from heaven!
We are being called to a fresh level of purification and refinement so that we can hold our heaven-inspired passions and dreams with clean hands and a pure heart (Psalm 24). If we're honest, we all have plenty we can throw onto the fire that fuels the altar of our own sacrifice and purification. We sing that we want God to set a fire down in our soul, but if we want that fire to burn powerfully hot, we have to give it something flammable to consume. And the flammable things in our lives are the impurities that infiltrate our humanity and inaccurately represent who we are and whose we are.
So find something flammable and throw it on the fire! Throw on your unbelief…
…your shame of the past…
…your fear of what others will think…
…your fear of failure and public humiliation…
…your anxious perfectionism…
…your self-judgment and self-condemnation…
…your bitterness and unforgiveness…
…your religious double-mindedness that keeps adding “but” onto the end of the phrase “God is good”…
…your personal ambition that seeks significance from what earth praises you for doing instead of who heaven says you are…
…your addictions and comfort-seeking behaviors that have displaced Holy Spirit as your true Comforter…
…your walls of fear of being truly seen and known…
Be bold and ruthless in fueling that fire, and let praise be your anthem as you burn your way out of all that has held you back. Watch old passions and desires rise up from the ashes, shining with new brilliance. Watch new passions and desires take shape in your heart and before your eyes. Inhale the deep fragrance of fresh hope and purpose!
Have courage! God is for you in this!