Breathe. This is a Command.
I believe the Lord speaks to His people today, and what's more, I believe He speaks to ALL of His people, not just the "best of the best." Spending true, intimate time with the Lord is A MUST in the lives of all believers. And once we get to the point, He WILL speak to us. It's just a matter of time.
This has been something I have grown to understand a lot more this past year. It is a huge reason why I applied to the World Race (which also encourages people to seek the Lord voice, asking Him to speak to them personally). Austin, a World Race alum, took this a step further and decided to partner up with the Father and create keys with prophetic words stamped on them in order to encourage future Racers and other people around the world (see Keys for the Journey at https://www.keysforthejourney.com). As soon as I heard about them at Training Camp in October, I KNEW I wanted one. My key wasn't given to me until Launch in January, so the suspense was killing me! BUT FINALLY Launch came, I got my key, and the Father began to speak to me about it.
The idea behind the key is that you ask the Lord to give you more of an understanding behind what is stamped on it. But then, when you have "unlocked" that aspect of the Kingdom for yourself, you give the key away to someone else who needs it (and the Lord will reveal it to you as well). It is a great way to connect with the Lord in an intimate way and gives you some sort of direction in seeking His voice out (because it can be very intimidating starting from ground zero).
Are you as pumped to know what my word is as I was? I won't make you wait nearly as long as I had to wait. Here it is:
Isn't it beautiful?! It almost takes your breath away, doesn't it? Honestly, same. Good thing it literally tells you to breathe, or I might have died and gone to heaven right there.
As soon as I read the key, my mind IMMEDIATELY went to what I had read earlier that week in the Scriptures: when the Lord breathed His Holy Spirit into Adam and made him into a living, breathing being. I also thought of the flood story with Noah, how the Lord caused a mighty wind (breath? It's a stretch, but maybe?) to blow over the earth, and the water subsided (Genesis 8). To me, these passages parallel to the book of John and Acts respectively. In John 20, Jesus breathes on His disciples and says, "Receive the Holy Spirit." In Acts 2, we read that what sounded like a rushing, mighty wind filled the house where the disciples were praying when they received the Holy Spirit.
I still am not 100% sure what my key means yet, but I have a feeling it has something to do with Holy Spirit epiphany. I eventually received some further clarity from the Lord one night at Launch.
1/5/19, Saturday night at World Race Launch. We were spending some time in worship before the message for that night. It was great and I loved it... up until I felt the Lord leading me to literally BREATHE on one of my squad leaders.
"Oh, nooooooooooooo. That is so WEIRD, Lord!" I felt myself trying to say.
Again, I started meditating on my key and what I had read earlier in the Scriptures. If this key really does have to do with the Holy Spirit being breathed onto believers, then I am not worthy to do the breathing. If anyone needed to be breathed on, it was me! That's what I was trying to tell the Lord, at least.
"My squad leader is already FULL of the Holy Spirit. You can feel it just being around her! I'm the one that needs more."
"Nope. Do it." I look down at my key and run my thumb across the inscription: Breathe. Then again, I feel Him nudge me. "This is a COMMAND."
Ohhhhh... Well that changes things. I still don't want to, but I do at least "get it". "Why can't I just do it after worship?"
"Nope. I want you to do it without her even KNOWING about it."
Now by this point, I am growing really frustrated. What?! What's the point? As I was stewing that over, I suddenly realized the lyrics that the worship team had started to sing. "Thine is the glory." Oh ok. If they aren't aware of what I do, there is no chance that I can get any credit or glory from it. To HIM goes all the glory. If the Lord moves, it's all Him.
Suddenly, my squad leader started to move around. She was now SURROUNDED by people and in the most uncomfortable of all places: the front row. "Oh, no! Now it's even worse!"
"Yup. It's just going to keep getting harder until you do it."
I knew in my heart He was right. So I determine that if the worship team does another song, I will muster up the strength to do it. And like clockwork, from my mouth to the Lord's ears to the worship team's fingers, they transitioned into another song.
Great... Well now I have no excuses. So I step out and walk towards my squad leader. I push my way through the worshipers and situate myself between two of my other squad leaders. But rather than hesitate again with a "what if they say something?" (which I had already started to think), I kept going. I felt the Lord again. "Yup. Just right over her right shoulder."
I go back to my seat, and by the time I get there, I feel like I might just lift off the ground. Finally, peace in my heart again! It was THEN that I had an epiphany.
"You see. You think she is already so full and that you are not. But SHE needs encouragement just as much as YOU do. SHE needs the Holy Spirit just as much as YOU do." And even now, I feel in my heart to add, "Stop putting her on a pedestal. She is just as human as you are." Wow. Slap... But I have found that when I get one of these "slaps" from the Lord, I am encouraged. It doesn't feel good in the moment, but I know it is good for my growth... as weird as that sounds. I guess God likes to use the weird things to teach us the other weird things.
Ultimately, the Lord took what was in my heart and mind and taught me something about it. I'm not saying I've fully unlocked the meaning behind this key, but I am saying that the Lord saw a dangerous pattern in my life and used the key to challenge it before it became an even bigger problem in my life. It's all the Lord's timing and He keeps blowing me away with His gentle nudges. And as scary as it may be to pray this prayer, I'm praying it anyway: "More, Lord!"
In all things, be blessed!
You can read more about Andrew Galea's world race journey on his blog: https://andrewgalea.theworldrace.org/