Redemption Re-Tells Your Story
A number of years ago, I attended an acoustic show of a friend at a local café. At that time in my life I was just beginning to step out in faith regarding walking in prophetic revelation as a normal course of life. I was asking God for an encouraging word for someone at the show.
As I was looking around, God highlighted a specific individual to me and began speaking to me about their past, what they were currently struggling with, and where he was taking them. A few minutes before the show ended, I worked up the courage to sit down at his table and ask him if I could share an encouraging word with him. He agreed. I laid out what the Lord had shown me, he thanked me, and we sat in silence for the remainder of the show.
After the show I mingled with some of the people at the café, and eventually went to my friend to give him a job well done. When I approached him, he asked what I had said to the young man I had been sitting with. It turned out that young man was his cousin, and had been visiting because of some of the chaos in his life.
As I shared what I told his cousin, he began telling me what his cousin had been dealing with in his life. As he shared, it dawned on me that the circumstances of his life sounded oddly familiar, even down to some of the finer details of what I had been through.
As I drove home later that night, I was in awe at the complexity of God’s plan. He had just used me to encourage a young man who was in the thick of going through what I had just been through. I gave him the prophetic word that no one had given me. God truly is a God of redemption. He used my story to impact the story of another. And that is the Gospel, His grand story that impacts every other story ever lived.
What you considered a weakness in your own life, God will turn into a strength, and often in the most surprising of ways. Consider the apostle Paul. He was sent to the very people he persecuted, and then was used to proliferate the kingdom of God. God had taken his story, transformed and redeemed his life, and used his story to impact the very system he was called out of. God strength truly is on display in the midst of our weakness.
Prayer Prepares You
The birthplace for any deep ministry is intimacy with the Lord. God takes your history, brings redemption, and re-tells your story through the lens of his heart. The terms used for redemption in the OT literally mean to buy back property that has been lost, or to pay the ransom owing for a thing. Both carry the connotation of restoring back to original intent. The thing that God is interested in restoring is your heart. He has created your heart to resonate with his own.
Prayer is one of the most vital aspects of transformation, because in prayer you come in to contact with the heart of God. We have learned from a young age that the path to transformation is through knowledge, this is a fallacy. Knowledge can inform you, but it cannot transform you. Only through sheer force of will (which many of us lack) can knowledge re-form you. And if that is the path you take, your must sustain your own re-forming through additional knowledge.
The true, deep path to transformation is the heart of God. Only in coming into contact with his heart does Christianity truly take root in the depths of the heart. Transformation is not a matter of doctrinal belief, it is a matter of the heart.
Prayer dissolves the dividing line between you and God. When you are praying there is a co-mingling and a sharing that transpires between you and God. You cannot place a definitive line within yourself, where your presence ends and his begins. You are one spirit with him, there is not clear distinction between what is him and what is you, especially when you become aware of his presence within your heart.
This is vitally important to the journey of restoration and redemption that we long so desperately long for. When you co-mingle with his Spirit, you become one with him. The dividing line has to dissolve because you are becoming like him. This is the place of true, deep transformation, when you look like him.
In describing a significant encounter with God, Teilhard De Chardin (a Catholic priest) said,
“The man felt that he was ceasing to be merely himself; an irresistible rapture took possession of him as though all the sap of all living things, flowing at one and the same moment into the too narrow confines of his heart, was mightily refashioning the enfeebled fibers of his being.”
Throughout Christian history this has been the case. Man finds God and realizes that God has been finding him all along. Somewhere along the way we are all called to find ourselves lost in him.
The Prayers of John Chrysostom
John Chrystostom, and early church father from the 4th century wrote out 24 prayers designed to be prayed and meditated upon every hour throughout the day. He design was to never let an hour go by where he did not think upon and encounter the presence of Christ. Of utmost importance to the desert fathers (who influenced Chrysostom) was the “remembrance of God.” Today we may call it meditation, lectio divina, contemplation, soaking prayer, etc… And it is no less important today than it was in the 4th century.
Below you will find a smattering of them (language has been modernized). I hope they bless you as they have me.
O Lord, of Your heavenly gifts, deprive me not.
O Lord, give me humility, purity, and obedience.
O Lord, forgive me if I have sinned in my mind or my thought, whether in word or in deed.
O Lord, send down Your grace to help me, that I may glorify Your name.
O Lord, free me from all ignorance and forgetfulness, from despondency and stony insensibility.
O Lord, deliver me from every temptation.
O Lord, enlighten my heart which evil desires have darkened.
O Lord, as a man have I sinned, and, as the God full of compassion, seeing the feebleness of my soul, have mercy upon me.
O Lord, sprinkle into my heart the dew of Your grace.
O Lord, establish in me a mind trained upon your goodness.
O Lord, give me patience, generosity, and tenderness.
O Lord, implant in me the root of everything good—fear and reverential awe of You in my heart.
O Lord, grant me grace that I may love You with all my soul and mind, and in everything to do Your will.
Spending some time with a few of those will be good for the interior life. Try setting them as daily reminders in your phone calendar. They are a good way to reflect on the heart of God.
We are quickly approaching May 8, the due date for baby #3. We are in the last stages of preparing for baby Hoffert to arrive. Erin is ready to put this pregnancy to rest. Your prayers for a safe delivery are appreciated.
We have many projects and plans on the go, please pray for wisdom and direction regarding what to focus on. Between writing, speaking, book publishing, teaching and writing courses, recording video and audio content, and others, I need clarity on the timing and plan of God regarding all he has put on my heart to do.
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Joshua Hoffert Wind Ministries
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