Let the River Flow — Move in POWER
One day, many months ago, the lyrics “Open the floodgates of Heaven” just kept going through my head. Suddenly, I heard the voice of the Lord break into the song and say, “I already have. I’ve sent My Beloved Son and My Holy Spirit. Now, (using the lyrics of another song) ‘Let the River Flow — Move in Power’.”
We have to look at this and really grasp what He is saying. What is the river? How does it flow? What does moving in power look like?
In 2008, I had a vision for which the revelation unfolded over about a two-year period. In this vision, I was swimming in a pool of cloudy, murky water. I had all of these heavy chains wrapped around my body and around my neck. The more I swam, the more I sank to the bottom of the pool.
Then the vision shifted and I was free of the chains, resting in a brook of clear flowing water. There was a natural bank of rocks in the middle of the brook that I was just resting against as the water flowed over me in such a relaxing and refreshing way.
As I sat with the Lord for understanding, He explained to me that the chains represented all of the expectations and requirements I had of other people. He showed me that all of the disappointment that I experience, and all of the ways I am hurt and offended by others are a result of the expectations I place on them to meet needs I have that I should be looking to Him to meet. As I understood what He was saying to me, I began to grieve but didn’t understand exactly why. All I knew was that letting go of the expectations I had of others felt like I was dying.
As I committed to releasing everyone else from expectation, requirement or obligation the vision changed to me getting out of the pool, taking the chains off, and walking free. Over the next many weeks I became increasingly aware of moments when I felt disappointed or offended. Dang it! I thought I’d released that expectation — what the heck was it doing back in my pocket?!
It was a process of observing myself and “noticing” those moments. Over time, however, I found myself becoming less and less disappointed, less and less offended, and more and more grateful.
After walking in this process for a while, the Lord illumined to me the cause of my grief when I first had the vision. See, the chains also represented all of the expectations and requirements that I had accepted from others. The reason it felt like I was dying was that if I let go of others meeting my expectations and I was stuck with a life of meeting everyone else’s expectations of me, then my life didn’t exist. The question then becomes “Whose life are you living?” Now I began the process of releasing myself from being bound to those obligations. This is difficult because it means others will become disappointed or offended – that’s what unmet expectations do! However, this is the only way to freely follow the Lord — His order and plan for your life, not your own or someone else’s.
Entanglement vs. The Law of The Spirit
So that’s a cute little story, but what does it all mean? Let’s go deep with this!
Back to our questions. What is the river? The river of life is love — love that is freely given and freely received. No coercion, no control, no manipulation. There is something we all know in the deepest part of our knower: the only way to truly live is to be a free giver and a free receiver; anything else feels like entanglement. Anything done outside of the Law of the Spirit — which means from a motive of freely giving out of love, not from expectation, obligation or requirement — doesn’t count. And it does not add to our inheritance.
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And this makes absolute sense when you really think about how it works. If I have an expectation of you and you don’t meet it, one of two things will happen. I will either become disappointed / offended with you, or I will believe something is wrong with me — I either don’t feel loved, or I feel I am unlovable. Either way, the expectation became a wall or a dam that blocked the flow of love. Because there is something deep in our spirit that recognizes expectation and obligation, anything done or given for those reasons cannot be received by us as love because love isn’t what motivated the giving. Love can’t flow through obligation.
Likewise, if expectations are in place, anything that doesn’t meet those expectations cannot flow through to be received; the “accounting system” won’t compute it. The River of Life needs to flow in the Body!
So if expectations and obligation are what dam the river, how does it flow? Well, obviously the simple answer is to release the expectations and obligations. Simple doesn’t mean easy though! There is much work to be done to become unoffendable and release others to be who they are, where they are from a place of love. There is re-framing of circumstances that requires focused perspectives work with the Holy Spirit to illuminate possibilities beyond what your emotions are saying to you. There is relinquishing your self-made “rulebook” to the Lord so He can expand the territory of your comfort zone. There is stillness and quietness before the Lord in humility to honestly look at disappointments and their roots in your own heart.
Abound in Grace
So what breaks open the dams and allows you to move in power? Grace (unmerited / unearned / non-performance based)! It’s Grace, a freely-given gift from God, that removed all requirements and obligations of the law and opened the door to relationship with Him. Grace freely gave love extravagantly, and it is only in freely receiving that we enter into that relationship through faith.
One morning after months of being in-process and working out this revelation, I woke up with a burning irritability for no reason whatsoever. There were absolutely no circumstances going on in my life for me to be irritable about. In fact, quite the opposite was true. I couldn’t read my email because I was so distracted by this irritability. I couldn’t even spend my quiet time with the Lord in the Word because I knew I couldn’t receive anything in that state. So, I went to take a shower and just asked the Lord, “What the heck is wrong with me today; why do I have this ‘raging’ undercurrent?” He said, “Oh that – yeah, well I just removed My Grace from you this morning.” I gasped — and I suddenly saw how true that was because I recognized the old feeling that I lived with before I first received His Grace. And hear me, it wasn’t His Grace for me He had lifted; it was the Grace He had given me for others. I screamed at Him, “Don’t You ever do that again! I can’t live without Your Grace. I can’t be in relationship with others without Your Grace — Your Grace is the most amazing gift and brings life and love into my heart for everyone!” Then His voice softened, and saddened, “Yeah, I wish people had Grace for Me.” That landed on my heart with a thud!
How much of our relationship with Him is based on expecting Him to act a certain way? What would it look like to let Him just BE? Are we unoffendable with God or does our faith waiver if He doesn’t show up the way we think He should? As I sat with this, He showed me that His Beloved Son was not offensive. He was a stumbling block because of the people’s own expectations of what He should be.
So it’s time for the Body to really move in power! That power is Grace and it means releasing others and trusting God. It takes great faith to release others and become unoffendable. We have to expand our ability to receive by removing limitations we’ve placed on what love is supposed to “look” like for our needs to be met and be willing to receive with deep gratitude the love extended to us by others (in whatever measure or by whatever means they have capacity to give). Recognize it and receive it with gratitude, and your heart will expand.
What I know as certain as I know my name is that expectation, obligation and requirement create a dam that blocks the free flow of giving and receiving any expression of love. It cannot be freely given or freely received because deep in my spirit I know that it was required or expected. Deep gratitude is not possible if things are given or done out of obligation — it is no longer a gift — it becomes a transaction.
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