“ .  .  . along with every trial God has provided for you a way of escape

that will bring you out of it victoriously.” 1 Cor. 10:13 TPT

With Phoenix still reverberating loudly, the above verse is speaking with fresh clarity to my spirit. The source of last week’s intensity, as the proverbial dust settles and things become clearer, was our laser focus on the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. Everything within us that was frayed or distracted or despondent or weary or disgruntled, wilted, then vanished as our hearts were swept up in the Father’s fervent bear-hug embrace. We spent so much deliriously delicious time face-to-face together! It was a supreme feast!  So, here’s the open secret, another facet of the mysterious kingdom to which Paul was referring: while the conference schedule admittedly was packed with the sweetest worship (have I told you about that??) and excellent content from eloquent speakers, the resulting impact was the provision of an escape, a direct route up and out of the mire of all our distresses and straight into the arms of the Father. Looking towards Him caused his light to be seen more brightly on us, the warmth of his smile to make our hearts melty, and his grace to flow more copiously, washing and freeing and invigorating our souls. We weren’t seeking an escape hatch, we were just intent on resting in, and enjoying, his presence, but while we were busy going for it, he swung the exit doors wide for us, ushering us unawares into victory over every obstacle that had been standing in the way. (As Jill Weber affectionately says, he’s Jehovah Sneaky!) Paul, in his letter to the church at Corinth, is in full celebration of the great invitation from the Father, to come to him and discover his ready-and-waiting provision, not to stand in line, hope for the best, maybe beg for his attention. I think the more we fuss and fume and struggle and strive, the more our focus gets fixated on our pitiful, personal provision and our list of pitiful failures and the less we are able to recognize, much less respond to, the ginormous and magnanimous invite from the Father to which the Spirit is forever, by times feverishly, attempting to redirect our hearts. Someone has said, ‘the hurrier I go, the behinder I get.’ A new take on that could be, ‘The worrieder I become, the loster I get.’ Our escape is found in the eyes of the Father. And the Spirit knows the way.  PD

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