the Summer Storm
By Pat James
July 31, 2001
This article is an account of my time spent with the Lord one summer
morning in July as I sat on my back porch following breakfast. It was a
dark, cloudy day and you could feel a change coming in the weather. As I
waited quietly on Him to speak to me, I was impressed to write down what
I was observing and hearing from the Holy Spirit.
"Good, Morning, Abba Father. Thank you for the
coming rain, the cool air and to be able to sit on my porch with you
today. What a blessing." It was the "calm before the storm" and
everything was so still, yet all the birds were singing and chirping
delightfully. Overhead the gray clouds hung low as they obscured the
blue sky and morning sunlight. A much needed summer storm was on its
At first the raindrops were widely scattered falling
lightly here and there. As they increased in frequency, the light
sprinkle turned to a gentle rain. The rain then turned into a gracious
downpour. God graciously turned up the flow of his blessed anointing.
Occasionally, distant peels of thunder interupted the
calmness telling me the storm was coming closer. The Blue jays squawked
noisily from within the covering of their nearby oak tree. All the birds
were calling out now in a symphony of assorted melodies and tones. They
were also sensing the eminent change in the weather. As the gentle rain
fell, it began to refresh the earth, bringing life and hope to a thirsty
world. The rain was a reprieve from the hot, sultry summer weather of
Florida in July.
"Lord, what are you trying to show me today as I sit here in the
rain? Teach me, Holy Spirit, what I need to learn." Isn’t it
odd how times of refreshing and renewal are proceeded by the
threatening lightning and peals of thunder. They are accompanied by
darkness that blocks out the light and seem quite menacing. It is only a
temporary condition, or illusion though, one which plays tricks on your
mind and perceptions of your well being. Are you going to live or die?
In the midst of life’s storms, can you say, "All is well with my
soul?" Or are you overcome with fear and anxiety? Do you abide in the
Lord’s presence, experiencing his peace and grace? Or does the gloomy
atmosphere surrounding you threaten your joy and security?
You may not be able to change the darkness of the circumstances, but
you can change your perspective about it. How you think about a
situation determines what you expect will happen. Your expectation
determines your behavior. And your behavior determines the outcome,
either negative or positive. Always look to your heavenly Father for his
perspective on things. When you think with the mind of Christ, His truth
and light will be your guide. His light transcends the darkness of every
situation and His truth carries you through the troubling storm.
A shift in the wind caused the trees to bow and sway under its force.
The gusts of air blew the rain in on one side of the small porch so I
moved away from the edge toward more cover. Brandie, my faithful Cocker
Spaniel companion, was sleeping quietly until she was forced to abandon
her warm spot for protection under my chair. The humidity was 100% now
as the pages of my notebook soaked in the moisture. I found this whole
experience quiet pleasant, a lovely break from my usual household
routine. Sitting on the porch during that summer storm invigorated my
Overhead the threatening thunder increased and the rain fell in
torrents. The once gentle rainfall become a deluge, flooding the
backyard and garden. The birds stopped their singing as they also sought
shelter from the gusts of wind and pelting rain. No doubt they had mixed
emotions about what they were experiencing. Pine straw, pine cones and
dead branches dropped to the ground. I thought about the work to be done
the next day cleaning up after the storm.
"Thank you, Jesus, for your outpouring of mercy on the earth. Thank
you for the cracks of lightning that remind me of your glory and power-
to create and to destroy according to your will and plan. I welcome the
summer storm and I am thankful for your divinely appointed cycle of
water that replenishes life on earth. My natural man has experienced
some minor inconvenience and discomfort, but my spirit is being
refreshed. I know, confidently, that tomorrow will bring the sunshine
"Lord, I feel such peace in my soul. I feel your nearness even though
I can’t see you. Is there an angel here with me? I know that the angel
of the Lord surrounds those that fear you and your perfect love casts
out all fear. Your love must be surrounding me as there is an absence of
any fear in this moment. The lightning and thunder which can be
unnerving to some people has no effect on my heart and mind. I am indeed
captivated by its’ energy and respect its’ power to destroy life. Yet, I
am held suspended in your grace. My trust is in you, Lord. For I know
that you have a plan and a purpose for my life which no power on earth
can prevent from coming to pass. My days are numbered according to your
calendar, not the enemy’s, nor mine. Your grace is sufficient for me. It
is all I need to live out my life here on earth successfully and bring
you glory to the end."
Finally, the storm passed through and went on to other neighborhoods
nearby. The rainfall decreased and the singing of the birds returned to
the backyard. I heard a new sound as the gutters and downspouts
performed their duty of carrying off the water from the roof of the
house. The distant thunder no longer threatened my home as it moved
steadily eastward. The cardinals were the first to come out of hiding as
they flittered about from limb to limb. They seemed overjoyed at finding
new seeds released by the wind and rain. Worms and other insects forced
out of the flooded ground provided food for the blue jays and robins who
hopped about. Once again God provided the daily food for these beautiful
creatures. Finally, I noticed the solemn, gray mourning dove perched on
the fence nearby. She was cooing softly as if to say, "Thank you, Abba
Father." All was well with nature and life continued on.
The tall graceful cannas and the thorny rose bushes soaked in the
much needed rain God provided for them. The welcomed water carried
nutrients from the soil up into their stems and branches. Tomorrow will
bring new buds and blossoms as fresh colors of red, yellow and white
brighten the beauty of my garden.
"Thank you, Father God, for allowing me to experience your
life-giving power and your presence. Thank you, Abba Father, that as I
also embrace the storms in my life and welcome the temporary adversity,
I will be changed from glory to glory. For like the birds and plants in
my backyard, I must recognize that the storms have purpose. You are
using them to perfect me in the likeness of your son, Jesus Christ. When
the sunshine disappears and the darkness around me closes in, and when I
hear threatening sounds from those near and dear to me, I will remember
you are at my side.
The storm produces good changes, and positive results will occur as I
look to you to give me your perspective on what is happening in my life.
As I submit to the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit in me, I will see
those things that need changing. He will reveal those attitudes and
behaviors that are displeasing to the Lord and that need to go to the
Cross. His wind and rain merely washes away the impurities, everything
that needs to be removed from my life and personality. As I choose to
view the storm as a blessing in disguise, good things will come out of
Thank you, Abba Father, for renewing my spirit and joy following the
storm. Hopefully, today there is less of me and more of Jesus living in
this earthly tabernacle. As I choose to die to self, prefer the needs of
others before my own, and serve you, there is greater grace and more
agape love flowing out to others from me. As you remove the impurities
of my old nature, I am growing in Christ and the fruit of the Spirit
blossoms forth to reveal more maturity in the Lord. My joy is made
complete in you. My life is blessed above and beyond my greatest
expectations, all that I could ever hope for or ask! I am your garden
and I give you permission to bring on the summer storm.
Walking in the Light
By Pat James
Part I. Introduction
This topic has been an important part of
our ministry purpose and calling for over 20 years. As ministers called to
provide healing and deliverance to members of the body of Christ, we have seen
time and time again, believers are not walking in all the light God has for
them. We maybe born-again and Spirit filled, but our lives are not
representative of the rights and privileges of the kingdom of God. Many of us
have not matured in Christ like we should have by now and are not demonstrating
the gifts, or the fruits of the Spirit.
So my question is- why have we fallen short of
the glory of God and not developed to the full potential we could in Jesus
Christ? The answer just may be that… the people of God are not walking in
the light God has provided for us. The darkness that remains hinders our
growth and limits out potential in the kingdom of God.
The primary scripture text is I John 1:5-10
and is entitled “Walking in the Light” in the NIV. We’ll come back to discuss
this text later.
The message focuses on three main
1. What exactly does the Word mean by walking
in the light?
2. How does darkness exists in the minds and
hearts of believers?
3. How do you get purified or cleansed from
the darkness in order to move toward the light?
of light include:
essential condition of vision. Light is necessary for our eyes to function.
emanation from a light-giving body- the sun, the moon, a lamp
3. As a verb
transitive- to light, to set of fire, to ignite, to illumine with light.
4. Mental or
spiritual illumination, enlightenment, as “to throw light on a subject”
enlighten- to supply others with truth and knowledge, to free from ignorance.
Definitions of dark include- 1. absence of
2. a shade
tending toward black; a mixture of light and dark,
5. in secret,
hidden, in ignorance, uninformed.
Darkness is a moral state where we have a
mixture of light and dark: We’ve received some truth from God, but also some
lies from the enemy; a state of being lukewarm, neither hot nor cold. It is a
state of double-mindedness on our part-- that God cannot bless. Darkness exists
in our unconsciousness effecting our current behavior, attitudes and emotions.
Darkness is where we hide things, have secrets and give the enemy place to
traffic in our life. As born-again Christians, we still have some unsanctified
areas of our soul where darkness exists. We are the bride of Christ that still
has some spots and wrinkles in our character consciously or unconsciously from
our past experiences in life.
Transformation. Our transformation is a gradual process- a
moving from darkness into the light. We have to mature from a state of
sinfulness into a state of holiness. The work of the Holy Spirit is to gradually
expose the darkness that remains in our heart and provide us with the
opportunity to: turn away, repent, renounce the darkness and receive His grace
and truth in each particular area.
This sanctifying process is a continuum; not a
one time experience with God. It is a gradual process of moving from darkness
toward the light, moving away from the kingdom of Satan and toward the kingdom
The kingdom of Satan
Born-again The kingdom of God
An illustration from nature. Purchase
two new, healthy strawberry plants and place one in the sunlight to grow and
flourish. Take the other one and place it in a closet in the darkness to
survive as best it can. Give both of them water and check on them regularly.
After 30 days compare them to see how they are different. As you will discover,
the one in the closet turned yellow, stopped growing and may have died. The one
living in the daylight thrived, produced flowers and the beginning of some
fruit. The healthy one represents walking in the light in the kingdom of God.
The almost dead one represents darkness, the kingdom of Satan. Which one are
you most like?
Some distinctions need to be made.
1. We are forgiven from our sins when we
repent and invite Christ into our heart. Then there is the on-going process of
being cleansed from the darkness that remains. The first step happens instantly,
the second takes years and maybe a lifetime.
2. We see ourselves quite differently from how
God sees us. We tend to focus on the unrenewed, uncrucified fleshly
manifestations in our life. God sees us positionally in Christ with our
sins covered over by the blood of Jesus, seated in heavenly places as sons of
God with divine purpose and calling to fulfill.
3. Unrenewed minds keep us from living a life
of faith, trusting God or viewing ourselves as God sees us. Having the mind of
Christ enables us to be overcomers in this life, trust God completely and
fulfill our purpose and calling in the kingdom of God.
4. Wounded hearts distort our perceptions of
Biblical reality and interfere with our relationships with others. Healed hearts
filled with God’s love, peace and joy enable us to live the abundant life and
support healthy relationships with others.
5. Demonic oppression keeps us blind, deaf,
and defeated in this life spiritually, emotionally and relationally. Liberty in
Christ enables us to worship God freely and experience the joy of the Lord, just
to name a few.
Part II. What is Walking in the Light?
I John 1: 5-10 show us what walking in the
light means, we are:
1. Living in obedience to God who
2. Experiencing continuous
fellowship with God
3. Fellowship with one another in
4. Appropriating the blood of
Jesus Christ for purification from our sin.
Scriptures about light and
Mat. 5:14-16, “You are the light of the world” and “let your
light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your
Father in heaven.”
I Thess. 5:5, “You are sons of the light and sons of the
day. We do not belong to the night, or to the darkness.”
Eph. 5:8-14, “For you were once darkness, but now you are
light in the Lord. Live as children of light.”
As you can see, walking in the light not only
means possessing truth or knowledge, but also means being a living example,
a source of God’s light, to others. So how can we be light bearers if there is
still a measure of darkness in our souls?
1. Walking in the light means- choosing to
obey God’s word, continued intimacy with God, fellowship with one another and
having our hearts purified from sin by the blood of Jesus, not just forgiveness
for our sins. There is a cleansing that must take place.
2. Walking in darkness means- choosing to deny
the truth, not always obeying God’s Word, effects our intimacy with God and
fellowship with other believers. Means we have not gone the extra step to have
our hearts purified from past sinful experiences, either what we did ourselves
or others did to us.
Part III. Places Where Darkness Remains.
Excerpts from Experiencing
Father’s Embrace by Jack Frost.
Four Potential Areas of Darkness:
1. Hidden and unconfessed, attitudinal sins.
John 3:19-20, “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved
darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil
hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will
be exposed.” This includes such vices as pride, fears, control, anger, being
judgmental, blame-shifting, self-righteousness, impure motives, spiritual
ambition, or envy of others.
2. Another’s darkness invading our light,
or unresolved conflict with others. Resulting from our reactions to others who
sinned against us, disappointed, or wounded us. These events are open doors for
darkness when we thought we were right and have been wronged by others.
3. Our masks, cover-ups, walls and
pretenses. Jack quotes Roy Hession, in The Calvary Road. “Light
reveals; darkness hides.” Whenever we do anything or say anything to hide what
we are or what we have done, that is darkness.” We are driven, unreal,
cold-hearted, self-deceived, self-righteous, pretending to be something we are
not and wearing a mask.
4. The shame of past immoral sins.
Sexual immorality, sexual abuse, pornography all leave us with a sense of
defilement and shame which distorts out identity in Christ and effects how we
relate to others. We certainly can’t perceive ourselves as sons of God, or
daughters of the King when we have lived with years of hidden shame.
Part IV- Transformation
Many Christians have accepted Christ as their
Savior, but haven’t been filled with the Holy Spirit which gives them the power
to walk in the Spirit, live in the Spirit, produce the fruit and gifts of the
Spirit. By filled, I mean continuously filled, not a one-time
experience. We have to remain in the light, soaking in the divine energy of the
Holy Spirit to grow and mature and reach our potential in the kingdom of God.
There are other keys to transformation such as having our minds renewed by the
Word of God, the healing of our heart and the need for deliverance, but all
these are contingent upon being filled with the Holy Spirit. Transformation is
a supernatural, divine work of the Holy Spirit and He works-- from the inside
Nature’s illustration. Wisteria seeds
are an example of being born-again and being transformed by the sanctifying work
of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit reminded me that a seed must be planted in
the ground in order to go through the process of germination. Then as it grows
the process of photosynthesis enables it to take in light and produce life-- or
it will never survive. One day the Lord spoke clearly, “People need to be
born-again just like the wisteria seed does and then-- receive the power of the
Holy Spirit to mature and become reproducers of life.”
Two-stage process for the seed:
Stage One- germination. Takes
place in the darkness under ground, requires water-- constant moisture which the
seeds soaks up. This causes the seed to swell and activates the dormant life in
the seed. For a time the immature plant lives on the food stored in the seed
itself as it begins to transform into a baby plant, sending out a root below and
a stem above. It has been born-again
Stage Two- As the stem reaches the
surface above, it begins the process of photosynthesis so necessary for
life. The sunlight is its source of energy. Photosynthesis is the process by
which chlorophyll-containing-cells in green plants use light as an energy source
to synthesize (create) carbohydrates from carbon dioxide and water. The prefix
photo means… light.
Like the wisteria seeds, first we have to
cooperate with God by allowing ourselves to germinate in His love and His Word.
Secondly, soaking in His radiant light produces a divine photosynthesis in our
lives. We are transferred out of the kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom
of light. Christ is synthesized in us and through us so we can reach our full
potential as sons and daughters of the Most High.
Finally, how to walk in the light:
Be filled with the Holy Spirit continuously by regular
soaking in the light of His Presence. Submit to His guidance and control.
Hebrews 10:22, “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart
in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a
guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” Ask the
Holy Spirit to show us how others have sinned against us. Invite Him to
reveal those things hidden in darkness.
Receive prayer ministry for any areas the Holy Spirit
reveals to you. Ask a trusted friend or minister to pray with you using the
steps listed below. If not then, spend some time alone with the Lord in
your prayer closet asking the Holy Spirit to minister to you.
1. Walking in the light means choosing
to obey God’s word, enjoying continued intimacy with God, fellowship with one
another and having our hearts cleansed by the blood of Jesus.
2. Walking in darkness means not always
obeying God’s Word, nor allowing the Holy Spirit to do a sanctifying work in our
3. The solution is to be continuously
filled with the Spirit so that the kingdom of God is manifest in you.
Prayer Ministry Steps.
Call upon the Holy Spirit to reveal the things that are hidden in your heart, so
Repent of any sin on your part and ask God to forgive you.
Forgive others involved and forgive yourself.
Renounce the darkness and command it to leave your body,
soul and spirit.
Ask Jesus to cleanse your eyes, ears, hands, body, our mind,
Wait for Jesus/Holy Spirit to speak to you, or show you
a revelation (new understanding, new light) that cleanses.
Record in your prayer journal what you heard, saw or
If appropriate, share your praise report with your pastor,
counselor or friend.
Frost, Jack. (2002). Experiencing father's embrace. Conway,
SC: Father's House Publications, Inc.
The NIV Study Bible. New
International Version. (1983). Zondervan.
One Year Bible Reading Plan
by Pat James
Word format Right click link, then 'save
target as' to download to your computer.
"Walking In The Light"
an essay by Pat James. (same as above.) PDF format
click link, then 'save target as' to download to your computer.