Welcome to Chapter 10 – the final chapter of Celebrate Jesus and Lift the Veil.
When I, the returned Prodigal, first began praying for my own loved ones to come to faith, I prayed in the flesh. I prayed from a place of unbelief, rooted in pride and self. And yet, even in that place, God saw my true desire to know Him in His death and resurrection.
He honored the tiny mustard seeds of faith – the Word He had fed me since I was a little girl- that lay buried and dormant in my heart. He took them and broke them open unto life.
Each seed began to unfurl and flourish and bloom, by the power of the Holy Spirit that He poured out upon me, as I sat at His feet. Physically, at first, nothing changed, but spiritually: everything. For, my heart awakened, quickening to the touch of the Holy Spirit.
As I began to pray, rather than compelling me to plead for my loved ones’ rescue, the Holy Spirit compelled me to arise in thanksgiving and praise. He placed one Promise from God’s Holy Word after another before my eyes and invited me to take His hand and walk into the truth of my loved ones’ salvation in Christ Jesus. And then, He commanded me to look for proof of His Presence at work in them.
I was astounded to find Him so very present, where I had deemed Him absent. He led me to so much repentance, as I gloried in His power and grace.
Psalm 105:3 (ESV) Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice!
Through it all, it was as if He was asking me afresh, what He had asked me, right at the start of my walk with Him: “Who do you say that I am, Anna?”
And as He did this, I continually found myself weeping before Him. Why? Because as I lifted up those Promises before Him, I was not just affirming my loved ones’ salvation, I was affirming my own salvation and redemption in the LORD.
I was shedding my own unbelief, rooted in pride and idolatry. I was taking off the accusations of condemnation I had allowed the enemy to clothe me in, to instead put on my breastplate of righteousness and belonging in Christ.
I was deflecting the darts of the enemy, as I picked up the shield of faith to declare every human rejection for doing the will of my Heavenly Father, as Christ’s choosing of me to be conformed unto His likeness and to pour out the love and comfort He was pouring into me, out upon others.
I was shaking off the dust of every place that did not receive Jesus in me and putting on the shoes of peace to walk into the knowledge of God’s completion of the good work He had begun in them and in me in each of these places.
I was laying down the works of the flesh and picking up the sword of truth to speak the Word of completion and wholeness into situations of incompletion and brokenness.
I was putting on my helmet of salvation, as I woke up daily to study and listen to the Word of God, to find God returning the Word to me, when prideful or selfish thoughts threatened to consume me. Instead, I found Christ consuming the dross in me, as each testing I faced proved the gold of His Presence and love in me.
I found myself laying down the thoughts the enemy was feeding me to instead exercise the mind of Christ and praise God for His good and perfect judgments in my life, even where these judgments were causing me such deep pain. It’s then my eyes began to open to see the beautiful grains of truth glistening in my hands.
And now, I know that Christ has been interceding in me, not just for others, but for me too. For, through it all, God has been purifying and cleansing my own heart, as I have prayed for and spoken the Word of God over others. He has been busy making His home in my own heart.
What I saw as God’s withholding as a child, I am now beginning to receive as His gift to me. When everything looks like it is falling apart, as we pray – trust me: it is. But only so that it can all fall into alignment, according to the will of the Father in Christ Jesus, in whom every Promise is Yes and Amen.
For, Christ is inviting us to let go of our worldly peace to receive His peace that passes all understanding. He is inviting us to let Him take off our masks of self-righteousness, that He might reveal the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in His face.
He is inviting us to let Him break open our hearts hardened by sin and rebellion to restore our faith in Him. He is holding out His new heart of flesh to us that we might hear, see and receive Him in ourselves and those He has set before us.
Truly, truly, just like Jesus prophesied over Peter in John 21:18, when I was young, I used to dress myself and walk wherever I wanted, but now that I am older, I am stretching out my hands, and Jesus is dressing me and carrying me where I do not want to go.
Numbers 16:28 (ESV) And Moses said: “By this you shall know that the Lord has sent me to do all these works, for I have not done them of my own will.
As I am ending up where I would never have chosen to go of my own accord, I am tasting a love, joy and peace beyond measure in the arms of my Jesus, through every trial that comes my way. By the grace of God, I am getting to know the One who knows me better than I know myself, the One I now experientially know to be faithful to His every Word.
In returning to my stronghold of hope, He – Jesus – has given me a double portion. He has opened my eyes by faith to see His face reflected in myself and those He has set before me. He has turned me back toward Himself, reminding me that He has already lifted the veil that once covered my face and heart.
As I gave my heart to Him as a little girl, I turned towards Him and it’s then my heart and face were unveiled before Him. Not so I could hide His beautiful face in mine, but so that I and others might now behold His unfading glory in our midst. So that I might arise to boast in my weakness and confess my sins freely, that His power might rest upon me, as He transforms me, from glory to glory,
Has the Holy Spirit turned you back toward Jesus with me, as you’ve been reading? I trust that He has. For, where the Spirit of our LORD is, there is freedom. It is the very breath of our God that lifts us up above the fray to see what He sees, that we might together in one accord celebrate Jesus and lift the veil, as co-laborers in Christ!
Come, let’s magnify His Name, knowing our LORD will perfect that which concerns us. The God whose mercy endures for ever, who just cannot ever forsake the works of His very own hands.
Celebrate Jesus and Lift the Veil
As you read the Scripture below aloud, what word or phrase lingers?
Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to reveal why it lingers and what God our Father wants us to see, know or do in response to His Word to us.
2 Peter 1:17-21 (NASB) For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, “This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased”— and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.
As you close this book, may God bless you and keep you. May He make His face to shine upon you unto eternity, giving you a peace that passes all understanding, as you look to Jesus. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross (Colossians 1:19-20, ESV).
No, may we never stop praying, never stop turning to Jesus that by the power of the Holy Spirit, we might continue to celebrate Jesus and lift the veil hiding His face in those around us too! May His Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.
Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you. 2 Corinthians 13:11 (NIV)