Hidden to Meet with the Lord

I’m hidden for a short while…again.

Something I’ve learned over the years about my walk with the Lord is that His special offer to meet with Him never expires, and the very purpose for which He has created me is fulfilled only through seasons of living Hidden in Him.

There’s a favorite room in the rambling old farm house that my husband and I call home. I study and write in that room, but what I especially enjoy in that quiet space is being with the One who loves with the purest and deepest of loves.

After five weeks of traveling and ministry, I’m glad for the Lord’s invitation to come aside to be with Him. My soul and tired body need a hidden life; being with Him will rejuvenate both.

Coming aside from daily routines to meet with the Lord is the way to a closer relationship with Him.

Do you understand what I’m talking about here? I haven’t traveled to a remote location to be cloistered away with the Lord. I’m not wearing a nun habit. It’s not that I spend day after day hidden in my room away from earthly activities, and hour after hour deep in prayer. Please, don’t misunderstand.

There are people who are called to a life like that, but that’s not what I’m talking to you about. What I’m sharing with you here is that there is a way to a deeper Christian walk and union with the Lord. In more than two decades of following Jesus, I’ve found that what’s needed for this is time alone with Jesus. Daily. It’s that simple.

This isn’t a religious requirement.

For many people, being alone with the Lord to pray, worship, or to sit quietly in His Presence is the best part of each day. This is what I’ve found. Prayer is not a religious requirement. It’s an invitation to walk through the door that God has opened to you. That door leads to Him.

If you have decided to step aside for a little while, to be in a hidden place with the Lord, distractions will nip at your heels.

This nearly always happens to me. Just as I’m headed to my favorite place, I remember that I promised to return a phone call, or that I didn’t finish the last article, and I think that doing so will take just a few minutes of my time.

What do you imagine happens? When I submit to these distractions, more time is consumed than I had anticipated and the block of time that I had is gone.

Prayer is the one thing that will reveal to you the things in your life that have a hold on you.

You can hide away in a cabin in the middle of a forest, at the top of a hill, where your cell phone and computer won’t work and still be restless and distracted. That restlessness is not from the Lord. He’s the God of peace, not of constant mental and physical activity.

Jesus said, when you pray, go into your room and shut the door. Pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly”–Matt. 6:6

In Matthew 6:6, we find Jesus’ instructions concerning prayer. When you pray, go into your room and shut the door. We shut the door to close out distractions, then we Pray to our Father who is in the secret place; and our Father who sees in secret will reward us openly.

There may be a battle to get to the “Secret Place,” that place where you’re mentally and emotionally present with the Lord. Whatever needs to be overcome to get there, He’s worth it. Push through. Turn off your phone. Tell your family that you’re taking a little rest. Close your door. You need to be with Him.

When you’re in your room behind your closed door, that hidden place will reveal to you the things in your life that have a hold of you. You can be in the middle of worship and suddenly a thought crosses your mind of something you’d like to do, need to do, must do. Those things that pop up in your thoughts are trying to dominate your life. My friends, what you don’t rule will rule over you. Be in dominion.

Not everyone will understand and not everyone walking on the journey with you today will continue on the journey with you tomorrow.

The “Secret Place” is a prayer closet built for two–you and the Lord. It’s not my intention to shock you, but some of you will be surprised to learn that there aren’t crowds of people knocking down the door to get in.

Following Christ and particularly coming aside from a busy life to be with Him in prayer is counter-cultural, which means that it’s not appealing to the masses, but it’s greatly valued by the Lord.

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith…

The people you know may not be interested in following Christ to the extent that you are. Not everyone will understand your journey, and those walking on your journey with you today might take a different course tomorrow, but you are not alone.

We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. Throughout the ages, men and women have found the way to the Secret Place to meet with the Lord, these include: Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Caleb, Isaiah, Elijah, Daniel, Deborah, Samuel, David, Esther, Zechariah and Elizabeth, Anna, Mary (the sister of Martha), John the Baptist, Priscilla, John the Apostle and Paul.

I’m in a hidden place for a little while. This means that I’ve stepped aside in the midst of a very full and busy life to be with the One who loves with perfection. Not everyone understands this journey and that’s okay.

Pamela

Professor of Evolution Stunned by Christian Testimony

Last February, on my way to minister in Australia, I spent 13 hours on the plane beside a Professor of Evolution.

A week later, while touring an Australian wildlife sanctuary on one of my days off, I met the author of a book disproving evolution. I live in Oregon. The Australian author’s book was published in Oregon.

Meeting the professor of Evolution, followed by getting acquainted with the author of a book disproving evolution led me to conclude that neither was coincidental.

Then it happened again.

April 5th, while returning from serving the Lord in North Carolina, my seat number was beside another Professor of Evolution. Imagine my surprise! But then this sort of non-coincidence happens to me so often as to be typical.

“Are you a science teacher?” I said, politely interrupting his reading.

“I’m a professor of Human Evolution,” he said.

“Where at?” I asked.

“New York.”

I told my seat neighbor about sitting beside a professor of evolution on my last international flight. We both agreed that such a thing is so mathematically improbable as to be more than coincidence.

“I’m a Bible teacher,” I told him. (This is what I tell people when they ask, “What do you do?” It’s easily understood and avoids confusion and needing to try to explain my role in the Church to those without the grid to understand.)

The evolution professor gave one silent nod with a look like, “Oh whoopee! Here we go.”

I’m not the preacher that he hoped to never sit beside on a four-and-a-half-hour flight. You know the one. They mesmerize folks with “the Four Spiritual Laws.” As exciting as they may be, that sort of sermonizing doesn’t fit me and I don’t think preaching at people is all that effective outside of church environments.

So, no sermons from me while on the plane. But since the Lord arranged our seating, didn’t He want me to share my hope with the professor?

Before doing so, first I needed to learn why he’s an evolutionist when the evidence of creation by design is everywhere we look. I’m sincerely baffled by what seems obvious to me–every living thing is far too complex and intricate to be the product of evolutionary processes. Adaptation, yes. Evolution, one species into an entirely different species, no.Perplexed by what’s obvious to so many of us, I sought to understand.

My professor neighbor explained his reasoning and stated that his belief in evolution, as well as what’s printed in academic material, is based on unproven hypothesis. Additionally, he said that he believes creation by design also is unproven. He said that he believes that both are based upon stories invented by mankind.

Our conversation helped me understand where he’s coming from. Then when he paused, I invited him to understand where I’m coming from.

“I wasn’t raised in a Christian environment,” I said. “I was a latch key kid–being left alone for hours at a time was my reality. It was normal to be home alone.”

As I spoke, the professor watched my face with interest.

“When I was eight years old, I arrived home from school to an empty house. No one was home but me. My hand was on the front doorknob when I heard someone, who I couldn’t see, tell me to run from my house. There was no-one there.

“I ran to my next door neighbor’s when, before I reached her door, my house exploded into flames. I knew that the One who saved me was the Lord. I had been praying to him every night and, for nights before this happened, I had even asked for His protection.”

I kept my jaw firmly closed, because his surprised reaction totally surprised me, and my jaw wanted to flop open and my eyes wanted to bug out, but I kept them in their place. Relaxed. Calm. Unemotional. His jaw was in his lap…well, not quite, but almost.

As his jaw flopped open, I saw wheels turning in his profoundly intellectual mind. Well, no actual wheels, but his facial expression revealed that at the conclusion of my testimony he was in deep thought, and this blessed me.

Maybe something I said gave him a glimpse at a Christianity that he didn’t know existed or perhaps he’s now questioning his evolution-based theories. I hope both are true. And most of all, I hope that he will ask the Lord, “Lord, if You’re real, like that woman said, then let me know somehow that it’s true.”

Today in worship, it dawned on me that having wrong assumptions hinders what God desires to do with and through us in reaching those around us with His amazing love.

For instance, it’s easy to assume that the Professor of Evolution has zero interest in hearing why I love God.

But isn’t it just as easy to assume that such a person longs to hear about legitimate God-miracles?

The proliferation of bad, depressing, twisted news has created a vacuum waiting to be filled with encouragement, inspiration and hope.

It’s my belief that people everywhere want to encounter good news. Let’s love and honor those around us, and tell them about the time when the Lord helped someone we know, or when He intervened to save our lives, or how He healed us. Or_____. You fill in the blank.

Our experiences matter. When we share them, they make a difference—a big, big difference.

So, I thank our Lord Jesus for delivering me and my sister, when we were children, from not one but 4 house fires, and for seating me next to Professors of Evolution.

Shine your light whenever there’s darkness,

Pamela Koefoed

P.S. When I think about God’s seating arrangement, I’m amused and amazed. After all, I was diagnosed “Learning Disabled” and placed in Special Education classes. But He seated me next to Professors of Evolution. This is far too amazing! Isn’t that just like our Good and Wise Father?

You may be interested in learning more about my story. I’ve written the book, JoyRide, Life, Death and Forgiveness, available at bookstores by request and from Amazon. Please ask your local bookstores to carry it. Readers, your feedback on Amazon helps others to find it in book searches. JoyRide is a thoughtful and helpful gift for anyone working with children.

Advice to Women in Ministry

As women anointed by the Lord to lead and serve, we sometimes personally experience the negative effects of prejudice, gender preference, and wrongly interpreted scripture related to women.

I’m thankful to the Lord for eighteen years of ministry, for the ability to persevere and learn through all sorts of experiences, including incidents related to bias and to God’s call upon my life.

I remember one afternoon, staring out a bathroom window with tears streaming down my cheeks. I was younger then, not as wise as I am now, and I had just experienced the heart breaking reality of prejudice in the church. At that time, I was broken up over a choice that looked me right in the eyes. Would I silence my voice to avoid further pain or would I carry on?

I’m sure that we all agree that skin color, gender or nationality should never limit someone from being who God created him or her to be. Yet, sometimes, as anointed women of God, these very issues can get in our way.

If you have green skin, wear a tutu over bright pink tights, and God gives you a blessing to give to me, I’m not standing in His way–bring the blessing sister, wear your tutu. I won’t miss out on what the Lord has for me and I won’t stand in His way, hindering Him in you.

If these very real issues hinder you from doing what God has called you to do, take it from me…

You can be bitter or you can keep going. My advice to every woman is, Keep your eyes on Jesus and carry on.

A long time ago, I saw the inequality in the Church. Honey, the only one who can change someone’s mind is God, so keep praying and keep going.

Certainly God knows when you’ve been hindered by prejudice, misunderstandings, and wrongly divided text, choose the road of Christ, love no matter what and carry on.

You are called. You are anointed. Be the authentic you that you are. If you’re called to wear tutus over pink tights don’t let the opinions of people reduce you to someone that you’re not.

But do all things with Jesus at the helm of your life, cause not another to stumble into sin, keep love as an established value over all that you do and keep going.

As you put a watch over your lips, refusing to speak ill of those who hinder you, and continue your walk with the Lord, He will do amazing things on your behalf, including opening double doors that no man can shut.

I’m so totally for your success and so is our Heavenly Father. With Christ you can do all things.

Blessings to you,
Pamela

For Your Study

Scriptures Related to Women Ministers: Exodus 15:20; Judges 4-5; Luke 8:1-3; Acts 1:12-14, Acts 2:17-18 (The Holy Spirit came upon women and men, giving them the ability to prophesy, which is declaring God’s word to all people), Acts 16:11-15 (Meetings in Lydia’s home, indicates that she was given a leadership role, as was typical of that day and culture.), Acts 21:8-9 (Prophets have leadership roles. They tell God’s word to women, men and children.); Several examples of women as leaders are in Romans, i.e.Romans 16:1-2 & Romans 16:7; 1 Timothy 3:3 (Paul acknowledges Phoebe as a woman deacon.), and there are many other examples.

Are you Sabotaging Your Future?

Please don’t sabotage the future by neglecting the priorities of today. I feel deeply impressed to encourage you. Do not forfeit what will be yours in due time.

Don’t be like Esau who gave into his natural urges and exchanged a bowl of stew for the inheritance of wealth that was rightfully his. (Genesis 25: 29-34.)

No matter where you live or what you do, God has something better than meat, potatoes and gravy for you. Your life is of greater substance than lentils, vegetables and broth. There’s a reason you’re alive. Don’t fall for the savory aromas that fill the air around you, because a “bowl of stew” is a cheap price to pay for losing what never can be replaced.

Esau received from his brother Jacob his appetite’s desire. That delicious, warm, aromatic stew entered his mouth, his stomach, and then where did it go? We all know. In a huge way, he flushed his heritage down the toilet. What he lost would never be regained.

Throwing something of worth away isn’t what any of us desire for our lives. I’m sure if I asked you, what are you throwing down the toilet? You’d look at me quizzically. But reality is, we live in an era when, if we’re not living purposeful lives with God blessed priorities and goals in focus, we could easily flush the precious and valued down the drain.

Cell phones, social media, television, hobbies, careers, shopping, socializing, and serving others all have worth and are important in their intended use. Certainly, food also has some value, for sure, and if you’re dying of hunger, its value increases enormously. But there was no lack of food in Esau’s life, only a lack of self-discipline, wisdom and foresight.

I urge you, please don’t sabotage your future, your loved ones, or your inheritance by living as though a cheap “bowl of stew” is more important than what’s truly precious and valued in your life.

Pamela Koefoed                                                                                                                                                  © Copyright 2017

Part II coming soon~

Fear is Gone: A Personal Victory that can also be Yours

I’m soon taking an overseas trip, without another human traveling with me, and I’m so completely unafraid because the Lord is with me.

But I realize that the courage that I have today is dependent upon my relationship with Him, and that it didn’t come without personal warfare, overcoming a traumatic past, and deciding to trust God.

It didn’t come without a walk with God, one in which there was personal suffering and triumph. The courage that I have is because He lives. It’s not due to sheer human effort, to will power, or to mind over matter.

I realize that when the sea is stormy around me–if I look at the waves, I will sink. I am human. But I also know that if I begin to sink, Jesus will reach out His hand to me.

Have faith in God.
Don’t be afraid.
Take courage.

 

Blessings of peace to you,

Pamela Koefoed

There is no God?

Pamela Koefoed

How can they say there is no God?
 
When I remember the miracles that I’ve personally witnessed God do, I am protected from doubting His existence.
 
And when I look at the complexity of our universe, which is perfectly organized with moon and sun held in place, while planets rotate on the same courses they’ve moved on for many thousands of years, then I know that only an extremely wise, intelligent and perfect Designer could accomplish a feat of such magnitude.
 
And as I reflect on the incredible human eye, which processes some 80% of the information that we receive, my jaw drops in awe! How can anyone say there is no God?stock-photo-blue-eye-86729113
 
How can a universe with everything in its perfect place have been accidental?
How could the oceans with an ecosystem perfectly suited for countless aquatic life be accidental?
 
How could you and…

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