Where is Jesus?

Where He Is . . .

Is always where we want to be and that very rarely looks like what we expect.

Ever have one of those moments as you’re reading the Bible when you can’t move past a verse or two – you have to know more? That was the case with me this morning. I love those moments because they send me on the most glorious rabbit trails of searching out word meanings, reading commentaries, and researching on the internet. That may sound boring to some, but I’m unapologetically an avid student and when I’m learning about my favorite subject, faith, it’s an absolute joy to me!

So, what captured me today? It was Matthew 11:16-17, two verses that hadn’t yet been underlined in my over 25-year-old Bible, so they’d obviously not made an impact previously. This is Jesus speaking . . .

“But to what shall I liken this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their companions and saying: ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we mourned to you, and you did not lament.’” 

Let me give you a bit of background before I dig into what the Lord was speaking to me in those two verses. In the larger picture of this passage, Jesus is talking to the multitudes and is validating John the Baptist and his ministry. He’s calling out the people, including the teachers of the law – the Pharisees and Sadducees, for their responses to John’s ministry. While many people believed in the message John preached, they didn’t all believe he’d come as Elijah to prepare the way for the Messiah, many ridiculed him for the way he lived as a Nazarene and fasted, and some certainly didn’t like how he delivered his message. Jesus, on the other hand, didn’t fast, He hung out with “sinners and tax collectors,” and drank wine. There were plenty of those who weren’t pleased with that either. They refused to be satisfied.

Now, back to verses 16-17. What Jesus was doing was likening the people to children who played in the marketplaces. Several commentaries mention children would have seen their parents at weddings and funerals and could easily pretend play at those things and likely often did. These children were frustrated because whether they played the flute and danced, like at weddings, or “mourned,” their friends weren’t happy with either and didn’t want to join in with them. It was the same with John and Jesus – the people weren’t satisfied with either way of living and preaching.

This got me thinking about dissatisfaction in the church body today. For instance, some are “Team Traditional,” while others are “Team Contemporary” (and there are different views on what “contemporary” looks like among churches). There are cries of dissent over all kinds of things in the church.

  • “There’s too much grace preached and not enough repentance!”
  • “Worship has become a glorified, too-loud concert all about people and their needs, rather than it being focused entirely on Jesus!”
  • “Tradition has no place in modern Christianity – that’s for churches that don’t preach the salvation message. It’s just dead religion.”
  • “People have become too familiar with the Lord in their desire for intimacy with Him. There’s not enough fear of the Lord in the church today.”
I’m not saying there aren’t valid points in what I’ve written above. What I’m pointing out is that there will always be those who oppose one “side” or the other, just as people opposed John or Jesus.
My question for God was, “Where is Jesus in all of this? Is He in the flute playing or in the mourning?” Here are some personal opinions of mine that lead me to believe He’s in both.

  • I’m so thankful for His grace given to me every moment of every day . . . and I believe in the importance of repentance in our walk with Him. I love that it’s His GOODNESS and KINDNESS that draws us to repentance (Romans 2:4 ) – that part of the message is often left out.
  • I see beauty in the hymns and the ways they can draw us into His presence. I really appreciate the words and meanings of those songs written so long ago and love how many of today’s artists have re-recorded those hymns in powerful renditions. I’ve been totally caught up in His presence through those yet choose much more contemporary worship on a daily basis because that’s what I love. There’s a place and room for both. I’ve been grateful for each time I’ve needed Jesus to meet me in hard places in my life and He’s done so through songs that are more about me and my needs than about the beauty of His holiness. In this season, I’m much more in search of songs about Him than about me because I’ve finally discovered everything I need is found in His presence.
  • I have pretty strong feelings against religion because I believe Jesus died to forgive us of our sins and free us from the law. To me, religion is the law – it’s the trappings of legalism that hold people in bondage to “do/don’t,” “should/shouldn’t”, and “have to.” I want to see people freed from the shackles of religion and brought into encounter with God. Why? So they can experience the truth of who He is, rather than be bound by legalism and a wrong view of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and so the things they do or don’t do stem from the love for and depth of relationship they have with Him. That doesn’t mean I believe Jesus looks at all traditions and things of the past as “bad” or “useless.” For instance, I believe there’s a place for quiet contemplation and meditating on Him, spending quiet time in His presence, much as monks and others have done for centuries. There’s also such power and transformation that takes place through Communion, yet for most, it’s mainly become an act done on a specific Sunday of the month and lost its meaning and purpose. I also believe in the supernatural and the realm of the Spirit. I believe in praying in the Spirit, miracles, healing, raising of the dead, partnering with angels, visions, dreams, the prophetic, and so much more that’s available through our relationship with God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit. Many discount so much of what’s available to us through the Spirit realm because the New Age movement hijacked much of what was meant for Christian believers and accessed it through an entirely different spirit realm.
  • The fear of the Lord is crucial in our walk with Him yet often, we ignore this aspect because we don’t know how to walk out fearing the Lord. I don’t believe our loving Father would ever ask us to be afraid of Him. He would never require something of us that would drive a wedge between us, especially not after having sent His Son to die on the cross so that we might be forgiven, redeemed, and restored to right relationship with Him. To walk in the fear of the Lord is to walk in reverence, awe, and wonder. We simply haven’t understood how fear is defined.
In response to the John and Jesus debate about which was right or better, Jesus said in the second part of Matthew 11:19 (NKJV), “Wisdom is justified by her children.” In another version (NASB 1995), you read, “Wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.” My favorite is “God’s wisdom will become visible by those who embrace it” (TPT).
Wisdom isn’t found in arguments over this or that being right or wrong. It’s found in the person of Jesus. Together, let’s find Him in the dancing and in the mourning. Where He is is always where we want to be and that very rarely looks like what we expect.

I think there’s a lot more we can discuss on this topic and what I’ve written has just scratched the surface. What are your thoughts? Reach out and let me know!

Living for Him,

P.S. As always, if Brian and I can pray for you, please reach out!

Our Mission: Love Others Well & Empower Them to Do the Same

August 2022 Prophetic Word: Press

August 2022 Prophetic Word: Press
I’ve been lingering on and marinating in this word for the last week. When I began asking the Lord about it at the end of last month, He gave me a few picture illustrations – wine, oil, and a flower press. When something is pressed, pressure is put on it in the form of physical force. It can be a verb or a noun. In each case, flattening, shaping, smoothing, and / or extracting can be part of the process.

The most amazing things can come from being pressed – wine and oil are two of them. It takes a lot of work to extract even a minimum yield from a lot of grapes and olives, but the fruit of the labor is often highly prized, especially when given time to age and mature.

Pressed flowers are a delicate thing of beauty. I have an antique flower press given to me 30 years ago by my mother-in-law. It had been given to her by her parents before that. It’s made of thick, heavy pieces of wood and has a big, corkscrew handle that you screw down tightly with flowers or plants nestled between sheets of paper placed between the slabs of wood. In the coming days, the screw handle is tightened even more as the flowers continue to be pressed until the moisture is removed and the petals and leaves become nearly transparent when dry. In each of these, increased force, effort, and time are needed for the pressing to have its effect.

We’re in a time of pressing. What will come out when we’re squeezed? 

This month we’ll see an outpouring of Holy Spirit, represented by the oil and wine. It’s a time to believe for the miraculous and to be the ones through whom God works to bring about those miracles. Press into Him with the pressure of faith and trust and you’ll see Him work miracles through you! 

This is also a month of outpoured blessing, but it will only come as a result of pressure. Oil and wine are also filtered, allowing impurities to be strained out. There’s a “taste and see that the Lord is good” element of wine and oil flowing abundantly, but it can only follow the pressing required for it to flow, as well as filtering, and it may need time to mature to come into its fullness. 

This is a month to become a thing of beauty through the pressing – even to the point of transparency, like the pressed flowers, with nothing hidden in His sight. As I thought more about this, I also saw a potter molding clay. We’re each going to be molded (pressed) this month – shaped, smoothed, rough edges flattened out. Don’t complain or question it. It’s for destiny’s sake (Isaiah 45:9-11, TPT).

It’s important to be discerning in what you listen to this month. Whose report will you believe? This is the Hebrew month when the Israelites chose to believe the negative report of the 10 spies, rather than believe the report of the two who were in the minority. They chose to stand in unbelief and not enter the Promised Land with faith to conquer and take hold of what God had promised them. It delayed them 40 years. 

Filter what you hear and be discerning in your understanding of it. What actions will you take based on the reports you hear? We each have promises from God that have to be obtained through faith and it may mean taking risks to stand with the minority report. We get to choose what we’re going to believe, and that choice will bring celebration or delay.

Embrace the pressing and press into Him with a return pressure of faith. Be discerning in what you listen to and the corresponding decisions you make. Allow time for maturing and aging. 

Welcome, August 2022. Here’s a phenomenal worship song for this month.


NEW WINE, Hillsong Worship, Songwriter: Brooke Gabrielle Fraser, New Wine lyrics © Hillsong Publishing. 

Living for Him,
Andrea & Brian
P.S. If we can pray for you, please reach out to us.
Our Mission: Love Others Well & Empower Them to Do the Same

Cave Hiding

I’ve been hiding in a “cave.” Feeling lost, alone, unsure, I haven’t known what to say, so I’ve stayed quiet. This has come during a time when I’ve heard the Lord more constantly and clearly than ever before and what I’ve heard from Him has been confirmed over and over again through so many prophetic sources.

Despite that, I’ve allowed shame, fear of man, and wondering if I’m being judged to keep me hidden from sight and my voice silenced when I know that’s the farthest thing from what I’m called to be. These lies of the enemy have been a strategy and plan to keep me from moving forward in what I know the Lord has called me to in this new season.

“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

The season of the Lord changed, and I had to change with it. Old wineskins would no longer hold the new wine He was longing to pour out. I could no longer wear the garments that had once fit and been comfortable.

It’s left people questioning and those I love dearly not understanding the decisions I was making in following the Lord. I haven’t fully understood His leading either, but I knew it was Him and despite the constant confirmations, I still questioned if what I was doing was “right.”

I walked in shame because the approval and blessing I’d hoped for from man wasn’t there. It wasn’t enough for me to know with certainty that I’d heard from God and had total peace in following Him. Like Elijah, I found a cave to hide in and sat in my perceptions.

Prior to Elijah hiding out in the cave, he had just experienced an incredible victory over the enemy (I Kings 18). The enemy was none too happy about it and spoke death threats over him, producing tremendous fear, doubt, and misgivings in his heart (1 Kings 19:1-3). Elijah allowed the voice of one to drown out the Voice of One who had just shown His power and might to be far greater.

The voice he listened to brought him to such a place of discouragement, defeat, and depression that he longed to die. He fled to the wilderness where was strengthened by an angel more than once, then sent on a journey to a mountain where he went into a cave.

In this cave, God asked him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (I Kings 19:9b, NKJV)

God didn’t ask Elijah this question because He didn’t know the answer. He was asking for Elijah’s sake. He wanted Elijah to recognize what was in his heart, as well as the lies he had allowed himself to believe. What was God’s answer to Elijah? To go out and stand in His presence.

It was there the Lord once again asked him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (I Kings 19:13b)

Elijah’s response was the same as it had been the first time God had asked him. Oh, how I understand Elijah! I’ve been a broken record before God over these last few months in my cave. I’ve poured out my cries of, “You, said . . . !” And now I feel alone, and unsure, longing for blessing, affirmation, and a sending off into destiny . . . 

I’ve felt God speak to me much as He spoke to Adam and Eve in the Garden when He asked them, “Who told you that you were naked?” (Gen. 3:11) In essence, He was asking me the same question. Who told me I was being judged? (What would it really matter if I was?) Who told me that I needed the blessing of man when I had the blessing of God? Who told me that the minority was greater than the majority? Who told me that following God wasn’t enough?

Lies. They were death threats to my destiny . . . and I listened to them. I hid in my cave feeling like I had nothing to say, so I didn’t say much of consequence for weeks that became months. I shrank back from being the fiery, passionate, warrior I know I am – the one who strikes fear in the camp of the enemy because of the One who lives and moves and breathes within me.

Outside of the cave, God gave Elijah clear instructions regarding his next steps and, in so doing, dispelled the lies of the enemy. He strengthened Elijah in His presence as He showed Elijah His glory. In the face of that glory, Elijah was able to hear the truth that gave him forward movement in his destiny.

It’s a time for each of us to go out and stand in God’s presence, allow God to ask us what we’re doing in the places we’re in, then allow Him to speak truth to our spirits and souls that will position and propel us in our destinies in this new season.

This isn’t about us as individuals. This is all about a world in need of the One who has defeated the enemy and our roles in enforcing that victory. We have mandates to fulfill on the earth and we can’t do it hiding in caves.

I’m emerging from my cave, getting into His presence, and listening for the next steps He’s telling me. I’m determined to walk out what He reveals and I’m wearing my combat boots as I take each step.

No more hiding in fear.
No more silence.
No more eyes on man.

I have to fulfill my role in bringing heaven to earth and it’s imperative I carry out His mandates assigned to me. He’s positioning me and propelling me forward. I may not fully know what that looks like, but I trust the One who does, and I’ll follow Him anywhere.

What's God speaking to you outside of the cave?

I linked a song below that's great to play as you spend time in His presence listening to Him speak to your heart. I'd love to hear what He shares with you!

Please feel free to share this post with others.

Our Mission: Love Others Well & Empower Them to Do the Same