Aligned with Heaven

The other night I was praying with some of my girls while laying down, drinking in His peace. It was a sweet time, but I couldn't help but notice that my neck was bothering me quite a bit. The pain had been pretty bad for a couple of days prior, and I knew it was more than physical pain. The Lord had been making me aware of the load I was carrying spiritually and was inviting me to let go. After a series of uncomfortable moments, I noticed that the Lord was trying to speak through the pain a little more deeply.

As I was laying down, I was completely straight. However, when I closed my eyes, it felt as though my head was bent to the side. I almost began to laugh, because it felt so strange. I knew that my head was on straight, there was no way it couldn't be! After opening my eyes a couple of times after closing them, my neck, head, and spine were in complete alignment.

What God showed me was that my physical being was in one line. However, my spiritual being was not.

Of course, at the time, I didn't pay too much attention to it and automatically began to pray for God to align the people I was praying with and ministries I am a part of. While He was highlighting the disconnection in both areas, He was also highlighting the disconnection in my own life and how I still have yet to come into complete alignment with Him in some areas of my life.

It was a humbling moment, as His kindness led me to repentance.

This small moment is what surrender to God looks like in my life, time and time again. Surrender is letting Him speak, and giving Him my willful "yes" even if it's not confident or sure of what lies beyond the grey misty road or the cloudy sky or weird discomforts in my being. He reassures me often that the stars are still there and the road still tangles in and out of the wilderness, even if I cannot see them with my physical eyes. My spirit knows and is surrendered to the journey.

I think it's important to realize Jesus's words when He told us the glory of our lives:

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." - John 16:33

The truth is, God's creation is made for Heaven. Humanity lives in the in-between. So naturally, I know that I am going to feel that desperation to be where I belong; in the garden where everything was perfect, humanity was given complete freedom and responsibility with Him to create a world full of peace, joy, love, faithfulness, kindness, gentleness, and humility.

The garden in its fullness is not the complete reality of this world, and that is okay! There will be moments of it on Earth, and we get to usher Heaven on Earth with Him so often. Practically in the waiting, I think the first step to surrendering to His sovereignty is recognizing that God is in the work of restoring the foundations of the Kingdom. And we can rejoice that what is coming will be even greater than it once was with the formation of the New Heaven and New Earth!

It's healthy and necessary to understand that our world isn't a reflection of God's complete delight. He empathizes with every blemish and pain. It's also healthy to understand that He is equally joyful about the possibilities of how we get to interact with it. By His grace, we too can hold the tension of wanting more while also being faithful to where we are, no matter the season. We can even press on and not grow weary of doing good.

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." - Galatians 6:9

We will reap a harvest.

What can threaten a hope for harvest is disappointment. Disappointment naturally makes us want to give up in an unholy way. When it comes, we often take ahold of our own tools, safety nets, and pack our bags to travel without Him. Sometimes, it’s subconscious and other times it is a conscious decision. Either way, we have told Him through our movements and thoughts that we don't trust His leading or His timing.

So often I find myself on these journeys, where I take a turn and head into a direction where I know He hasn't given me permission to set up camp.

I set up all my things, get a fire going, and then realize nothing I could create with my hands can actually keep me warm from the cool of night and isolation. He never really leaves me of course. He is within me, but I do feel incredible distance because my heart isn't ready to receive Him and His words. So, I sit in my pain, discomfort, and efforts to find my way on my own for a little while. Then, I quickly realize that He never desires to harm me, even in the cold of night or through a winter storm.

It is His real desire to take me through the winter storm, so that I can see the beautiful icicles hanging from the trees and sit in the stillness and silence of winter's touch.

Perspective.

Our perspective changes everything.

Instead of giving up, I give everything up to Him. I fall back, I let go.

Disappointments will come in a world that is not Heaven yet. The next act of surrender is having a soft heart, inviting Him into the disappointment, even if that looks like sitting next to the fire and talking with Him for a while until there is understanding of what He is cultivating inside and the beauty that exists within hardship.

Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me." - Matthew 16:24

Jesus told us there would be a cross to carry. He already did it, though. He knows exactly where we are apt to get a splinter and He knows of all the places up the mountain where we are apt to lose our footing. He will fill out spirits. And the best thing is, He never really lets us carry the cross alone. He is always behind us, in front of us, or is actually carrying us. That is the true joy of surrender. We get to do it with Him.

In that realization, I know I don't want anything else but Him. Nothing else.

If I can be strong in that, I know that nothing can shake me. Everything could be taken from me and I would know deep, deep within my soul that He is God and He is all I want.

If I die…I die. And of course, I don't really die. I will always live.

I will declare the following words over myself until I see Him:

Lord, no matter what happens today, I trust you and I know that you are with me.

Lord, if you took away everything from me, I will still be content in your existence within me and in your love for me.


Lord, if you ask me to follow you on the hardest journey of my life, I will because I know it will be worth it.


Lord, I will take up my cross and follow you always, no matter the path before me because I know that you have already gone before me and conquered death. I have nothing to lose with you. I have everything to gain from you, and I trust you, my God.


In that place of humility, I can't help but remember that this life isn't actually about me anyway. My life is a single chapter in the book of life. It is not the title or the main source of attention, and I find freedom in that!

I also find freedom in letting Him remind me often that my chapter is actually really important and He cares so much about what is written He loves it, cherishes it, and will even read it out loud so that the cloud of witnesses can rejoice with my victories and comfort me when I feel overwhelmed with life's perplexity.

I am not the beginning and the end. He is.

We deserve Hell, but He gave us Heaven.

So I invite you to let Jesus come really close and align your body, soul, and spirit with Heaven's breath.

In surrender, you will feel attached, everything coming into alignment. He will be with you and you with Him, and you will know without a doubt that He is the God that you have heard about.

It's a simple yes. Follow the Lion. Awaken to the mysteries of His wonder and power. He is calling you out of the dust. Arise and go find Him… unhindered, unashamed. He will not take you into places where you will die without Him right next to you.


Pray this prayer:

"You provide the fire
I'll provide the sacrifice
You provide the Spirit
And I will open up inside"


Breath of God, overflow, permeate all of my soul.

Author | Emily Helton

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