The Path To The Secret Garden
Beauty and wonder awaits you!
“The Path to the Secret Garden” is a journey that will help prepare you for what lies ahead and create a hunger and a thirst in you for more of God.
Along the path you will need to do some discovering, digging, finding, opening and changing. This journey will help you prepare for what God wants to do in you at bU Conference.
Will you join us as we walk along the path and discover “The Secret Garden” together?
(the latest movie made in 2020, produced by STX Films)
Firstly – I just know you’re going to LOVE this movie! It’s not only just BEAUTIFUL in every way, but it will set you up and give you eyes to see a glimpse of the journey we are on and what lies ahead.
Things to look for:
Her discovery begins with curiosity which then leads to a desire to go further and see more than she had ever seen or experienced before
The bird (the Holy Spirit) led her every step of the way: to the key, the gate, and then inside the garden!
Her discovery led to a miracle for someone else: she brought her cousin into the garden and he got healed.
• Jot down other things that spoke to you out of the movie.
• Do you ever feel like there is more to life than what you are living right now?
• In what areas of your life do you want to discover more? Go ahead and write those down, and don’t stop at just one thing!
• What do you think is stopping you from experiencing those things? (Take time to allow the Holy Spirit to help you discover the answer to this, because it will be deeper than your first response.)
Curiosity and desire. Two words that excite and stir in us the possibility of more; undiscovered pathways, new dimensions of connection, a depth of love that truly satisfies, like living water to the dry and thirsty soul, and a world so much bigger than the one we currently occupy! But also attached to these words is the possibility of leaving what we know behind, the fear of the unknown, the question of “Will I be able to go back to where I feel safe?” Curiosity to go further, but the decision is ours.
Will we prepare ourselves for that journey of surrender and trust? Hunger and desire can be cultivated, curiosity can be fed, trust is only activated when we are forced to rely on another.
• Read Psalms 20:4
• Do you have a desire to leave the familiar behind in order to discover and experience the excitement of something new?
• Use this time to remind yourself of all God has done for you. Record a video, tell a friend, post on your story, write in your journal, then begin to imagine MORE.
• Ask God to give you a desire for more. Read the Bible and see yourself as one of the characters in the story. What would you have done differently? Developing a hunger for more and a curiosity to discover it will change the outcome of your future.
• Take a step – Make a choice to move today! Choose to move from where you are now spiritually and embark on a life-changing journey. What step will you take today?
Like any invitation you receive, you have a choice to RSVP ‘YES’ or ‘NO’.
Read Song of Songs 2:10-13
This is God’s invitation right now to you.
The invitation is delicious, intriguing and deeply intimate. It’s an invitation to rise up, to leave behind the mundane, the winter of your past, the rain of tears and struggle, and trust the one whose invitation describes you as His ‘love and fair one’.
He’s inviting you into His secret garden, to share His heart and celebrate His love for you with laughter and singing!
• Will you choose to RSVP and say “YES” to Him today?
• Take a moment and grab a piece of bread/cracker and some juice. Re-read this passage again while you take Communion. What perspective change does that give you regarding His love for you, and the fact that He is beckoning you to come?
• Grab your diary and block out time each and every day between now and bU Conference to seek Him, spend time with Him. Not praying or doing – but just being and listening.
Today is a prayer and invitation for God to change us! For any change in us to be long-lasting we need to prepare the soil of our heart. We want to water the ground for seeds of change.
And this starts within us.
Romans 13:11 (MSG)
But make sure you don’t get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-to-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God. Be up and awake to what God is doing!
Sometimes life’s day to day obligations make us doze off and become oblivious to God. We don’t want to miss anything that He wants to do in and through us as we gather for bU this year. In order to be awake to what He is doing, we need to stop and reset.
Read Psalm 139:1-4
I think most days we forget this – we get so busy and absorbed with life and engrossed in our work that we don’t stop to check in with God – and say “God, you know me best. What are my blind spots? What am I missing? What strengths and gifts can’t I see?”
If I were honest, my response in almost everything in my life is “How does this affect me?” not “God what are you trying to reveal to me?”
In the Bible, David reminded himself how known and loved he was by God, and then after that revelation he asked God to examine his heart.
David prays an amazing prayer in Psalm 139:23-24
Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
Sometimes we don’t stop to ask God this: to search me, test me, see me or lead me… in fact our instinct is to actually hide anything we aren’t happy with or we think is a weakness from Him. Today I want to encourage you to utter this same very prayer to God.
Why should this be your prayer? Because He knows you better than you know yourself.
This is a very vulnerable prayer. You know when you’re searching through a box of papers to find something, it exposes things from the past. God sees you and knows you COMPLETELY and He wants to change you into His likeness.
Today, allow Him to guide you, minister to you, reveal things to you and lead you.
• Read Psalms 139 and remind yourself that God knows you better than anyone else. And pray the same prayer that David prayed: God, search me, test me, know me, see me, lead me.
• Write down the things the Holy Spirit reveals to you. Is there any bitterness or unforgiveness that is making the soil of your heart hard? Do you need to let go of it and let God heal you?
• What has the Holy Spirit shown you that you need to leave behind in preparation for bU Conference?
• In these times of reflection with God, write a list of things you’d like to live your future without, and ask God for keys to help you let go of each one.
When Jesus left this earth the disciples were grief stricken, but His words to them were, “I’m sending someone in my place, a comforter and a guide, that will lead you.” That guide is the Holy Spirit. Instead of Jesus, restricted to a human body, He left this earth and sent His spirit, the Spirit of God, who could be with all of us at the same time!
I don’t know if you have a relationship with the Holy Spirit, but He is God’s gift to you. He will help you discover the life God created for you, and He has the keys to the doors ahead of you that lead to a supernatural place of healing, relationship, and faith beyond anything you have ever experienced before. God hasn’t left us to find our own way! He’s given us a guide. If we quiet the noise and chaos of our lives we will hear his call, leading us onward.
• If you have not become best friends with the Holy Spirit, or have lost connection with Him, begin reading about Him in God’s word. Here are some places to start. Maybe write something about Him that God highlights to you, as you read these scriptures:
The awesome thing is that by sending the Holy Spirit, Jesus was able to fulfill his promise that He would never leave our side! On the path ahead of us there may be obstacles, unfamiliar or difficult things that make us shrink back in fear, but the Holy Spirit is there to guide you, comfort you, teach you how to get past things that have stopped you before. He wants to help you discover that secret door into a life that will become your new ‘normal!’
Your best encounters with Jesus are ahead of you! Do you believe that? Are you ready for it? We must prepare the soil of our heart to receive what God has for us.
In Scripture, your heart is compared to a garden. In one parable, Jesus says your heart is like soil, that if you plant the right seeds, you will produce good fruit. The seed is always the same, it is the Word, but the condition of your heart determines how much fruit you produce.
Proverbs 4:23 says, “Keep (or guard) your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” This means to watch your heart, tend to it diligently and uproot the things that God never planted. All so that you can produce good fruit.
Sometimes because of life, disappointments, hurt and trauma, the soil of our heart changes and can become hard. So it’s vitally important that we continue to work at it to keep it soft and fertile. Just like a farmer prepares the ground to receive the seed he is about to plant, we too need to prepare the soil of our heart.
Every moment we have to worship Him and enter into His presence is another moment where the condition of our heart is nurtured. Every time we read our bible or hear the word of God preached is another way we grab a hold of seeds and plant them into the soil of our hearts.
Hosea 10:12 tells us “Plant the good seeds of righteousness and you will harvest a crop of love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you.”
• How is the soil of your heart?
• What things need to be uprooted that God never planted there?
• How can you prepare the soil of your heart for an encounter with Jesus? (Your posture and positioning matters)
• What do you need to leave behind to keep moving forward?
Last week I took my 8 year old son Jordy on a walk down to our local creek, a walk we do often together. But this time we discovered all these beautiful hidden paths off the main footpath. These little paths led to gorgeous creeks, towering trees, and untouched nature that was raw and beautiful. The temperature felt different; in fact it all sounded and felt very different to the main path. These were hidden beautiful paths we had never seen or discovered, even though we had walked that path at least a hundred times before!
Every one of our senses was heightened with curiosity and wonder. Jordy’s little imagination began to run wild as he explored it all, making up story after story of where we were and describing every detail of it to me. The unknown didn’t scare him, it excited him and he wanted to explore it ALL! I looked on in wonder and felt utterly challenged too. I felt the Holy Spirit say to me “Sjhana, will you come? Do you want to explore it all too?” I believe this is an invitation to each and every one of us. To set aside the time to discover God in a way we have never seen before.
There are secret paths that have been there the whole time; we just haven’t explored or discovered them yet – but what awaits you when you get there will be breathtakingly beautiful.
Will you join me on this journey? Come ready and willing to discover and walk along paths you may never have walked before. Beauty and wonder waits for us there!
Whilst this path is for you to discover, it is also for you to invite others to join on this journey. Who are you bringing with you? Take a moment to pray about who the Lord wants you to invite. What friend or family member needs to be in the room with you?
Beauty and wonder awaits them also!
Come into His Garden, experience His Heart, His Love, His Healing, His Miracles and His Breakthrough.
We can’t wait to see you at bU Conference 2022.
Love from Ps Jane and Ps Sjhana xx