Saturday, October 14, 2017

Overcoming Discouragement

Over the past few days, the Father has been speaking to me about a battle over many of His people and He said this battle is called discouragement.

The enemy has set out to do as much damage as possible to stop, interfere with, and delay what God has promised but the one thing he has monopolized on most is using discouragement to keep many of us weighed down and entangled.

Now, I know there are many things that are happening in the world that are really discouraging, to say the least. And I know many of us are going through personal hardships that are just as disheartening. However, we must learn how to overcome while still in the battle and it’s ultimately done through the overcoming nature of our Lord Jesus.

The Father wants to stir up the overcomer in us because we have “the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27) within us as believers. We have the capacity to overcome because the One who has already overcome the world is alive and well in us and wants to empower us to move and function as the mighty overcomers we truly are.

We are being called to operate from our true identities as His sons and daughters on earth as it is in Heaven. The Father not only wants us to renew our minds in Christ but also allow Him to establish new paradigms of Kingdom thinking, doing, and being in our everyday lives, which will help us in our overcoming.

In a way, there is a divine discontentment that’s paralleling this battle of discouragement and it’s through this discontentment the Spirit of God is calling us to come up higher. 

I remember hearing the late Prophet Kim Clement say something several years ago that stumped me initially but gave way to having a spiritual light bulb moment later on. He used the phrase, “The dynamic of God operating within the demonic” while he was doing a teaching on how the Father uses whatever He desires to accomplish His perfect will and work all things together for our good.

I’m sure if you’re hearing this for the first time you’re likely thinking the same thing I did, namely – Whhhaaaat?!?

I started asking Holy Spirit what in the world it meant because I didn’t understand how that was possible. He showed me and once I got it; I saw it was a deep and profound truth. 

Let me explain what I'm getting at. 

God is greater than the devil and his kingdom of darkness every day of the week. Even in the midst of demonic happenings, the Father is always about His business and it’s often in ways we cannot see or fathom. We know He does not author evil, but in His wisdom, He will sometimes allow the workings of the enemy to play out in order to bring about His higher purpose and Jesus is the perfect example of this.

Satan must have really thought he had the Lord finished off while He was hanging on the cross, even more so when he actually died, but little did that devil know; it was the greater dynamic of God at work. The enemy didn't have a clue Jesus chose to lay down His life for us. And he sure didn't know the deep selfless love that motivated Him to do it. 

In the midst of what looked to be the total undoing and end of Jesus, the Son of God, a supernatural and eternal overcoming was taking place. More was accomplished through the crucifixion of Jesus than anyone knew while it was happening and even though He told the disciples ahead of time He would rise again in three days; the pain and horror of the moment overshadowed His words. I’d say they were pretty discouraged. 

We know the rest of the story; three days later speaks for itself. But for the sake of truth, I will say it nonetheless – Jesus was raised from the dead by God’s Spirit; just as He said would happen. He overcame all and He did it for us. 

The unthinkable gave way to the extraordinary; the impossible yielded the possible. God was powerfully at work in what seemed to be the devil’s playground. On the outside looking in all was lost, but on the inside looking out all was saved.

Whew. Let that sink in for a minute.

It’s like that with us. We can be so overwhelmed with what’s happening in the present that we cannot see beyond it – and we’ve all been there. Even if God has given us a prophetic word to carry us through; we can lose sight of it in the depths of our struggle and discouragement.

Of all the days, Saturday – the day in-between His crucifixion and resurrection – was probably the hardest. Waiting usually is. But waiting on the Lord also carries its own strength and harvest if we don’t give up (Isaiah 40:31; Galatians 6:9). 

Waiting eventually gives way to what’s really going on behind the scenes, meaning what cannot be visibly seen. Until it is. 

He is indeed doing a greater, higher work and much of it has been taking place out of sight, although we may be seeing some evidence of it. While He’s been revealing many things concerning this to His sons and daughters, including His prophets, it still isn’t fully visible. We only have certain pieces because we know in part and prophesy in part (1 Corinthians 13:9), which speaks to the importance of bringing our pieces together to help form a better and unified whole but that’s for another time. 

So while we’re waiting for His glorious plan and promises to unfold in our day and age, we must learn to overcome those things that are trying to oppose us in the process, including discouragement. And we must learn to overcome it through the ways He's wanting to teach us, which will be uniquely different for each of us. This is what I'm being shown is on the Father's heart.

There is a unique way He speaks or communicates to every, single person, and so there is a unique way He will reveal how to overcome discouragement to each person as well. 

For one person it might be through fun and laughter; for another, it might be through downtime and rest; another it might be through prayer and counseling; another through reading and decreeing the Word of God; still another perhaps through art, nature, or a pet. Maybe its a combination of those. Whatever it is, just listen and heed His voice because He knows what you individually need. And ultimately, keep your focus on the Overcomer himself; that is Jesus – the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). 

The mere fact that His revelation is so personal is amazing enough but add the dynamic overcoming nature of Jesus operating within us and it goes to new heights - Kingdom heights. And that's exactly what He wants.

Whatever you might be discouraged about, whatever you’re going through or waiting on the Lord for, know you carry His overcoming nature within you as an heir of God and co-heir with Jesus.

Right now I speak encouragement to each of you through Christ. I speak to the overcomer in you – rise up in the Name of Jesus! And I pray and ask Holy Spirit to reveal the unique way in which the Father wants you to learn to overcome discouragement in your life. 

In the meantime, rest in knowing you are very precious to Him, His grace is sufficient for you, and He is able to do abundantly more than you could ask or imagine according to His power at work within you. 

He believes in you, beloved.

Blessings.

– Michelle 


Photo © Michelle Holderman

Michelle Holderman
Copyright © 2017 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

the beauty from ashes project: a photographic journal series


Photo copyright © Michelle Holderman

I'm starting a new project. It's a journal of sorts; a photographic series about life and beauty and hardship and creative expression. Actually, Holy Spirit exhorted me to begin this on Facebook earlier in the summer. And so now, I'm going to be sharing it here on The Ragamuffin Saint as well.

I'm calling this the beauty from ashes project, which I think speaks for itself. I also think many of you will be able to relate to it in some way through your own life's journey or experience.

Whatever the ashes, we all have an innate desire for meaning, value, and beauty. Still, it can be really difficult to find when we're in the thick of it and dealing with things that impair our bodies, rip our hearts, and/or challenge our faith. But in our longing and struggling, I believe we might discover something more; something deeper, greater, and unexpected. Perhaps we'll discover Jesus right in the ashes with us.

I suppose this project is ultimately a revelation of that. And of His love, grace, and hope at work; even in the little things; even in the painful things.

For me, a photo always captures a moment in time and reveals a piece of the grander story. Sometimes it's obvious and sometimes it's not. Sometimes it's simple and sometimes it's complex. Nevertheless, it speaks.

So it is with these photographs.

This is a work in process and is probably for me as much as anyone, but I do hope it can speak to other hearts in a way that words cannot. If it does, I'd love to hear from you. And if you'd like to share your own beauty from ashes photo in the comments; I'd love to see it. Or should I say listen to it?

Thanks so much for following along, friends.

God bless you all,

- Michelle

All photos copyright Michelle Holderman

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Holy Is

Holy is loving God. Holy is also loving your neighbor as yourself.
Holy is being led by the Spirit. Holy is also walking by faith.
Holy is seeking first the Kingdom. Holy is also serving others.
Holy is worship and obedience. Holy is also joy and peace.
Holy is personal. And holy is also communal.

Holy is taking care of your family.
Holy is teaching your children.
Holy is doing it everyday.

Holy is plowing the field.
Holy is growing the vegetables.
Holy is inviting others to sit at your table.

Holy is laughter and tears.
Holy is sound and silence.
Holy is rest and labor.

Holy is buying a cup of coffee for someone who needs it.
Holy is cooking a meal for somebody who can't. 

Holy is clothing one who has none.

Holy is acting justly.
Holy is loving mercy.
Holy is walking humbly with God.

Holy is ministering to the broken and the hurting.
Holy is caring for someone who is sick or injured.
Holy is taking the time to genuinely listen to a troubled heart. 


Holy is rejoicing with those who rejoice.
Holy is weeping with those who weep. 

Holy is the mountaintop and the valley.
Holy is in the beauty and the ashes.

Holy is truth.
Holy is grace.

Holy is faithfully doing the work the Lord's given you to do.
Holy is doing that work as if you're doing it unto Him.

Holy is as much in the little, ordinary things as the big, grandiose ones. Holy is as much doing the natural part as the spiritual; it's both. We cannot separate the two in living out our faith. 

Scripture says faith without works is dead (James 2:17). What does that mean? I think it means putting tangible action behind our words and beliefs. It means giving faith our eyes, ears, voices, hearts, hands, feet, trust, time, money, energy, and attention. 

Holy is serving people as much as serving Christ. In doing one; are we not doing the other? 

I know we mostly associate holy with purity and righteousness, and this is true. However, it's not in the context of keeping or adhering to rules and regulations. Rather holy is being dedicated to God and this happens through a relationship with Jesus. 

We are holy in our union with Christ. 

We participate in holy living through spiritual intimacy with Jesus, which naturally flows out into our daily lives. We find holy in our genuine, intimate, transparent, ongoing communion with Him. But I believe we also find holy in our communion with each other. 

In this way, holy isn't religion; holy is relationship.
In this way, holy isn't just going to church; holy is a lifestyle.
In this way, holy isn't a Sunday thing; holy is a heart thing.

And the older I get, the more clearly I see through this lens.

Jesus, please help us be holy as you are holy.
Help us honor you and honor others.
Help us live holy everyday lives.

- Michelle

Michelle Holderman
Copyright © 2017 


Photo Source: drodd.com

Friday, July 21, 2017

The Excavating of Truths

The Father gave this insightful word to me on September 18, 2016. However, He’s never given me the green light to release it until now and that’s because it is actually for this present time and season. Now is the time of this word and it speaks volumes to me. I pray it does you as well. – Michelle

The Father is speaking –

“Problems are going to be solved in this time. There are many who have struggled for years with certain troubles or issues. They’ve sought understanding and counsel but to no avail. Some of it was because the time had not yet come for the revealing of such knowledge, but the time is now. And as you work through untangling these difficulties, I will open access to the truths surrounding them.

There are bridges to the past that must be crossed and dealt with.

Some are under a form of oppression that’s related to past hurts or wounds. Even past words spoken can carry power if they’ve not been brought into the light of truth.

Some are being held captive by that which they do not even know. What am I saying? There are generational issues at hand that must be properly addressed. Some struggles in your life have nothing to do with you directly but rather with your ancestors. The consequences of their choices are affecting you presently.

Bloodlines are crying out to Me, and there are those who are standing in the gap for the sake of their families. They want to know what the true root or cause of the problem is. And so I shall make it known to them.

The exposing or revealing of what was previously unknown, sometimes even for many generations, will have a tremendous impact on the present. It will be like an excavating of ancient ruins; digging and unearthing truths buried long ago that will bring divine revelation into the here and now. In other words, your understanding lies in knowing what was long before you were even born. That is something only I can uncover.

I AM bringing much knowledge and truth to My people. I AM revealing what was in order to help you heal what is in the present because that is the root of your struggle. This might sound somewhat cryptic or confusing but I assure you; it is where the truth of what you long to know is hidden.

The sound of My voice is shaking what must be shaken. And what I AM shaking is dismantling that which needs to be uncovered.

A divine dismantling is underway and you are going to walk in greater strength and resolve in what I uncover. I will give you grace to do the work that must be done in this process. I will walk with you. I will give you the resources you are in need of. But I must unveil that which is hidden and bring the truth of the matter to light. It will be the source of your recovery on many levels. And I desire for you to walk in truth. I desire for you to have fullness of life. I desire for you to prosper even as your soul prospers.

I will give you signs. I will speak to you through My creation. And you will know that I AM for you and not against you. I always have been. It is the devil, your adversary that has been in operation opposing you. He is the trickster that’s been at work.

Nevertheless, there are those times when your own choices are at work and then there are times when the choices of other people are in play. They can affect generations yet to come if not properly dealt with.

Even those who have made poor choices and not previously done what I wanted; there will be a time of second chances because of how I AM at work. I do not wish that you would deny the cost or consequences of your wrong choices. I desire for you to allow Me to help you remedy them. And that means being responsible for what you’ve done. It also means I will help bring restoration into the matter that will cause greater reconciliation.

Exposure is under way and I will render My justice through the process of what I have spoken. I AM a God who delights in righteousness and justice. I also delight in restoration and redemption. And I AM unmasking truth and revelation in order to do just that.

Selah on these words, but also on Me.

I will restore the years that the locust and the canker worm have eaten. I will give back to you what the enemy has stolen and greater even still.

I desire that you function in Shalom – total wholeness.

All that I AM doing is to ultimately draw people back to Me.” 

Michelle Holderman
Copyright © 2017

Photo Source: Pixabay

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Kingdom Artists

I see the Spirit of God moving through the arts in a wholly new, unique way. Painters, sketchers, graphic designers, potters, videographers, filmmakers, photographers, poets, writers (including songwriters), musicians, singers, dancers, and even DJ's – get ready to express the Father's heart in the new ways He's going to show you. Say what you will, but I am also getting He is going to move through chefs, cooks, bakers, and baristas; clothing and jewelry designers; and also graffiti artists (that's specifically what I heard Him say).

You will deliver the word of the LORD through your art; through the gifts and talents He's given you. And it will minister to and bless people in a way nothing else can. It will be sharp with precision and integrity. Holy Spirit will lead you and give you fresh ideas, some through dreams and visions, but you must step out and release them. Don't be afraid to share the unique creative expressions He gives you. You will know the right timing to release them too.

Also, this will present unusual opportunities only the Father could orchestrate because He wants to make himself known to those who would not set foot in a church. So He's coming to them through you and your art. 

I believe the anointing of Heaven, the sound of Heaven, is strongly flowing through the arts in this time and season. And as His Kingdom Artists, you are helping to bring His Kingdom and His will on earth as it is in Heaven and glorifying the Son [Jesus] in the process.

~ Michelle

Michelle Holderman
Copyright © 2017

Art In Contrast | Prophetic Art