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>Welcome the Summer Storm


Welcome 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 way.

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 spirit.

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 once again."

"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 it.

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 points: 

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?

 Definitions of light include:

1.      The essential condition of vision.  Light is necessary for our eyes to function.

2.      The 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”

5.      To enlighten- to supply others with truth and knowledge, to free from ignorance.


Definitions of dark include- 1.      absence of light, 2.      a shade tending toward black; a mixture of light and dark, 3.      lacking enlightenment, 4.      evil, sinister. 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 of God.


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 is light.

            2. Experiencing continuous fellowship with God

            3. Fellowship with one another in the body.

            4. Appropriating the blood of Jesus Christ for purification from our sin.

 Scriptures about light and believers:

  1. 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.”

  2. 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.”

  3. 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?

 Let’s Recap:

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 out.

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:

  1. Be filled with the Holy Spirit continuously by regular soaking in the light of His Presence.  Submit to His guidance and control.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 hearts.

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 you can:

  1. Repent of any sin on your part and ask God to forgive you.

  2. Forgive others involved and forgive yourself.

  3. Renounce the darkness and command it to leave your body, soul and spirit.

  4. Ask Jesus to cleanse your eyes, ears, hands, body, our mind, our memories.

  5. Wait for Jesus/Holy Spirit to speak to you, or show you a revelation (new understanding, new light) that cleanses.

  6. Record in your prayer journal what you heard, saw or experienced.

  7. 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  Right click link, then 'save target as' to download to your computer.