Discerning the Way to Go

Surely one of the most challenging aspects of living a Presence-led life is the demands that are placed on us day by day by life itself!

If YOU don't prioritize your Life, someone else will. You can do anything but not everything!  Think of Jesus and all the things he didn't do... all the people he didn't heal, all the people he didn't pray for....and the time He spent with the Father discerning what He should do and not what others thought he should do.

Personally, I find that if I make my time with the Father my first and MOST important priority that He adds all the other things I need to do as He wills.  My days unfold with a sense of His leading, even when they change courses from the plans I’ve made.

I’m a list person, so every night, usually before I go to bed, my list is made for the next day.  Priorities are written down, because otherwise they escape me when the new day begins.  I like to plan...I believe God made me with the personality I have, and He gave me qualities HE has...after all, He is a planner extraordinaire!  At the same time I have come to learn that “there are MANY plans in a man’s mind (and surely even more in a woman’s!) but God directs their steps and causes His purposes to stand” Proverbs 19:21.

So my prayer is to yield to the greater one...not MY will, but thine be done.  Give me your mind, the mind of Christ, Father, so I can follow the path you have made ready for me to live a good life.

The Presence-Led life is a life of constant adjustment, discerning and sensing the leadership of the Holy Spirit at all times, and choosing to follow Him, wherever He may go.


I planned to blog once a month last year...I made 9 out of 12.  Am I beating myself up over it?  No, I’m thankful I started.  I got farther than I would have if I hadn’t,  but more importantly than writing about it,  I’m thankful that I lived a Presence Led Life last year, and am farther along in my pursuit of it than I was a year ago. 

I’ve lived a lot of my life driven...driven by my needs, driven by others needs...always wanting to be available to everyone all the time.  Don’t get me wrong, the Christian life is a “die to self” life, that loses a life to find one.  It’s so much more fulfilling to live for others than yourself, but thus enters the word called balance.  I used to despise that word because I equated it with compromise, but I’m ever growing and learning (even at 65) that God has created all things to be “beautiful in His time”.  To lead a spirit-directed life, we have to wait on God’s timing for some things, and not rush to just meet needs.  Sometimes we circumvent God’s powerful provision by setting ourselves up as God.  Sometimes we give so much out of time, that we don’t have the energy when He asks us to give Him some time.

I’ve learned most of my lessons in life the hard way.  I’m realizing how much I’ve done in life with a really great heart, but sometimes born in my own strength.  That’s where this PRESENCE-LED life is giving me such joy.  It’s not to say that I never lived this way before, but I’m being more intentional now...having more conversations with the Guide Inside to assure me that I’m in the flow of the spirit. I’m taking time to be FILLED, so I’m ready to SPILL.

This year, as the door of 2017 opened, I was running behind...we celebrated Christmas late as a family.  We had guests in throughout the holidays and I just plain wasn’t ready for the new year yet.  I was still enjoying and celebrating the old.  The time I normally take to reflect and celebrate my new birth which happened on December 31, 1971 came and went without thought and most of you know I’m a master at celebrating birthdays!  Truly this was a BIG ONE--45 years of knowing Him, walking with God, living my NEW CREATION life!  I still revel in the miracle of Him drawing me out of such darkness to Him and then His keeping power!  WOW!

I generally seek God each year for a word for the new year, and though I was running “late”, He was not.  Early in December I received this ONE word...fluid.  That’s it, fluid, like water, liquid, moving freely, creating a path, rather than planning one.

For a planner like me, that word could be scary, but if you know me at all, you know I also love to FLOW, and so I was drawn into the word and the year with great anticipation.  I didn’t know then just how FLUID He meant!  I won’t begin to list the daily happenings of my life since that day, but it will suffice to say it’s been a ride already, sometimes plans changing hourly, turning on a dime, keeping my heart flexible, being ok with change.

After all, it’s He who is in the lead.  Psalms 24 says “the earth is the Lord’s and all who are in it.  He has founded it upon the currents and the rivers...” Truly Christ is our solid rock, but we can’t hang on to our own plans, because there are currents and rivers changing now.  What we CAN hang onto is Him, and THAT, my friends, is the presence-led life.

The Invisible Moving the Visible

“Unless a person submits to this original creation--the wind hovering over the water creation, the invisible moving the visible...its not possible to enter God’s kingdom....You know well enough how the wind blows this way and that.  You hear it rustling through the trees, but you have no idea where it comes from or where it’s headed next.  That’s the way it is with everyone born from above by the wind of God, the Spirit of God.”  (John 3 Message)

When Holy Spirit hovered over the face of the earth in creation (Genesis 1) it said He was waiting for the command of God’s Word.  Then He went into action!  Performing what was spoken, we know light came into being, and waters found their limits, herb-yielding trees, and animals were brought forth and even man was created and then breathed into so that he became in the image of God.This is the way the invisible moved the visible into place.  As born again children of God, we now submit to that original creation.  Our lives are moved about by the invisible, the wind of God, so to speak.  We are to live ‘full of and controlled by’ the Holy Spirit.  That’s what allows us to be in the right places at the right times for the God connections!  We are carriers of His glory, frail human vessels, yet carriers of the divine light of Him.  We know and understand that of ourselves, we are nothing, and yet filled with Holy Spirit we become more like Jesus, going about--doing good, and carrying His love and healing power to those that are oppressed by the enemy.

I find that living a Spirit led life means submitting my plans to His greater plan, and believe me I HAVE plans!  Prov. 19:21 says ‘many plans are in a man’s mind’  and I can assure you there are many MORE in a woman’s!! The secret is submitting our plans and days to ‘the wind hovering over the water creation’ and being willing to be interrupted by the God plans.  Jesus greatest miracles happened as He went about His day, interrupted by the needs and draw from people.  Oh, that we would be willing to be vessels for Him to use as hands extended, words released, provision made, anointed to breakyokes and free the oppressed.  

These are days of the greatest signs and wonders the earth has ever seen...Jesus Himself said we would do the greater works...I believe God is demonstrating His love and power through us in this hour that ALL may know Him!  So, get out in the fresh air...listen for His ‘wind-words’, feel the wind at your back moving you about each day and participate in the GREAT ADVENTURE of the Spirit-led life.

Listen for the Wind Words....

Living in your spirit is living from the core of your being.  The information doesn’t always process through your thoughts, but is rather a knowing that comes from deep inside, a witness between your spirit and Holy Spirit.  It is communication with God, spirit to Spirit and He promises in John 14 that you DO know that voice.  He tells us that the world doesn’t recognize Him, but because you are born of Him, you do, because He lives inside of you!

16 And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another [a]Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), to be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive [and take to its heart] because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He (the Holy Spirit) remains with you continually and will be in you.

These scriptures from Revelation have always meant a lot to me....”listen for the wind words”  (Rev. 2:7, 2:11, 2:17, 2:29, 3:6, 3:13, 3:22 Message Bible)

When giving an explanation to Nicodemus of this born again life, Jesus explains in John that just like the wind blows and we don’t know from where but see it’s effects, so too is everyone that is born of the spirit.  We are carried by a force that can’t always be explained.  It is the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit.

8 The wind blows where it wishes and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it is coming from and where it is going; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

This past week in Ft. Worth, Texas, these words rose up in my spirit....”switch tracks”

I was sitting and listening as a friend was ministering God’s Word and I found myself stepping up to my feet as he was about to close the service to give voice to the words I was hearing in my spirit.  The message had significance for the crowd there, and I’ve had several calls and messages about the rippling effect in their lives, and I feel that it is a now word for everyone!

He said we are about to "switch tracks". Like a train there is a opportunity right now for a switching of tracks, and it will lead us in another direction. I believe it is on a personal level, and a national level. It is God's intervention in our lives and nation. Press in with prayer. You may not have attended Azuza Now or DC Cry, but you can join with others and be a part of the synergy that is gaining momentum and taking this nation where God intends it to go. ALL ABOARD!

I’ve found that many times as a word like this is spoken, you need to just “take it” for yourself.  If you’ve been going on a path that is taking you no where, SWITCH TRACKS.  There is a wind blowing and you can start moving in the direction where the wind is at your back, propelling you forward instead of causing resistance to your every move.  Turn in the direction God is leading.  Let prayer fuel your life to follow the track God has laid for you.  He says in Ephesians 2:10, he has a path prearranged and made ready for you to live a GOOD LIFE!  If things aren’t Good, they aren’t GOD!  Make a switch and get on His path for your life.  Sure there are times when things don’t LOOK so good, but remember He works all things together for good, for those that love God and are called for His purposes.

Listening prayer...

“ Incline your ear, (submit and consent to the divine will) come to me, hear, listen and your soul will revive.”  (Isaiah 55:3)

This passage in Isaiah follows another, inviting “all who are thirsty to come to the waters and drink...buy priceless spiritual wine without money and without price...simply for the self-surrender that accepts the blessing!”

We’ve all enjoyed so much powerful teaching on prayer.  We know that there are ALL MANNERS of prayer, and that it’s important to pray by the spirit, led by the spirit of God as to the appropriate way to pray in situations .  All prayer should be done with thanksgiving believing we receive when we ask.  All prayer should be done in faith because we know that all who come to God must believe that He is and that He is the rewarder of those that seek Him.  But I want to share for a moment about a very important facet of prayer not often spoken of, but so important to a presence-led life.

I’m talking about the LISTENING side of prayer.  

I’m finding more and more that when I come to God these days, I listen a lot more than I talk.  I used to spend all my prayer time pouring out my needs, wants, and holding God in remembrance of His Word...not because I was concerned He’d forgotten, but because it built faith in my heart, and I know that God has promised to watch over His Word and perform it, so I found myself holding His promises before Him in prayer rather than my own solutions to life’s needs for myself or others.  It is a powerful way to pray and brings amazing results!

As I continue to look to Him,  I find myself just Coming....connecting....spirit to spirit....His deep calling to my deep.  I come without $, performance, or claims, but I come to drink of the waters, and to listen.  You’ll notice in the above passage that His promise is for our SOUL to revive.  I think that’s where we truly need the “reviving”.  

Psalms 63 in the Message says “I’ve worked up such hunger and thirst for God,  traveling across dry and weary deserts.  So here I am in the place of worship, eyes open,  drinking in your strength and glory.”

I admit... I get tired, I get thirsty...not just in body, but in my soul.  My spirit is FULL, my spirit is alive to the things of God, and I feed it well, nourishing it daily, but I’ve discovered that the soul is where I thirst, and coming, listening, and drinking in His strength and glory is what I truly need at times...it doesn’t cost a thing, except the surrender of our will.  Pay the price, and listen, that your soul may revive!  It may just be the missing piece in your life.


The presence led life is such an adventure!  When God led Abraham out away from his family and home, he wasn’t sure where he was headed, it was to a city chosen by God.  When we left our home in Fort Worth to return to New England two years ago, we felt very much like that.  We didn’t know where exactly where we were headed.  God bless our realtor who listened as we shared our vision months before...”it’s a place of prayer...not sure where in New England, not sure how much money we have to spend...”  We put the pieces together during that search and began to realize where and what it wasn’t as much as what it was.  Many times it seems like we are putting a puzzle together for a water picture and we had all BLUE pieces!!!!  As God leads, and we listen and follow His voice our path gets brighter and brighter, clearer and clearer!

John 16 is clear that we are His sheep, and His sheep know His voice.  The world doesn’t recognize Him, it says, but YOU do, because He lives in you!  What an honor it is to have Christ IN us!  Guiding, leading, directing our lives, connecting the dots so that we can see the full picture!

This week I was in California for meetings.  One connection led to another and a conversation over lunch reminded me that the area I was in was where I had ministered 30 years ago, and visited Prayer Mountain of Scotts Valley.  There Steve and I met the founder of Fasting Prayer Mountain, Jong Sook Choe.  We were impacted so greatly by that place of prayer from the moment we bowed our heads to greet her.  The presence of God completely saturated us, and took us into a realm of prayer that was new to us at the time.  We began to pray out His plan for Prayer Mountain there, they for us...it was like an open heaven on that mountain of prayer.  

She and her comrades from Korea insisted that we join them on a trip to Korea they’d be taking that summer.  We thought it would be nice, but as the days and weeks went by, we bore witness we were to go.  Led by God’s spirit, we began to make preparations and truly right up until the time we were getting on the airplane, God was making provision for us.

The trip impacted us in so many ways, but more than any other to witness the fervency of prayer in the lives of the Korean people.  What we pictured as a small chapel at the place they called Prayer Mountain was actually built in the shape and size of Noah’s Ark, and had up to 10,000 people there for prayer (and that was in 1986!)  Located outside of Seoul, it was a place people “stepped out of the traffic” to seek God, and fast and pray for breakthroughs.  

We had an encounter with God there, and came away knowing we needed a place like that in New England...a place to come apart to hear from God.  When we brought it up to our heavenly Father, He agreed and then told us WE were going to establish it!!!! That was 30 years ago!

So fast forward to this week....I realize I am in the area.  I lost touch with these Korean sisters years ago.  I left them last on top of a mountain with one small house that served as a prayer chapel.  When I realized I was so close, I knew God was leading me to go.  A pastor friend agreed to drive me and we went again to Fasting Prayer Mountain but this time the road was paved, the buildings were abundant from chapels to prayer cabins, and the properties were landscaped with the most beautiful gardens.  Best of all, Jong Sook Chloe, now in her 80’s was there, and what light showed up on her face when she saw me, “I remember YOU,” she said.  I burst into tears telling her how her life had impacted ours, and now we had a place of prayer too on the East Coast.  I felt the synergy of connecting with her again with a vision that went from coast to coast, as God raises up houses of prayer all over our nation.

The weaving of God’s story in your life is as amazing as mine.  We make connections that are divine, for specific times and seasons.  God often brings us full circle as He did me this week, to see His weaving, and watch the growth of a vision, to reassure us again that He is the author and finisher of our faith, the God who is working a powerful plan in the earth and has given us the honor of participating in His well-thought out plans.

Oh, the presence-led life...what adventures are in store!  If you are hungering and thirsting for more, step into the waters and pray by the spirit.  He will unfold mysteries and unveil plans, all that His hand will orchestrate over time.  He will show you things to come, and see to it that it’s done by His mighty power!  So walk with Him, work with Him...learn His unforced rhythms of Grace and understand and know YOU have a place in the Master plan.

Our vital need...

You have said, Seek My face [inquire for and require My Presence as your vital need].  My heart says to You, Your face (Your presence), Lord, will I seek, inquire for and require [of necessity and on the authority of Your Word.]”  Psalms 27:8 Amp.

This is conversation...God speaks, and we respond.  In the heart of the Psalmist, there was an immediate response.  He didn’t have to think long and hard...yes, I will seek You.  I want my heart to respond as quickly to the Lord.  This is His guidance for the good days, the tough days, the I don’t know what’s going on days....Seek My Presence as your vital need. 

The word ‘vital’ used in the scriptures has always stood out to me...after all the first thing they check when you arrive at the dr. is your vitals...in an emergency, it’s your vitals that reveal so much.  They indicate immediately if your organs, your insides are stable.  Could it be that our need for His presence is as VITAL as a steady heart beat, or blood pressure?  

The indication is that our need for His presence is vital, without it we can’t live...at least not REALLY live.  The scriptures are clear that Jesus came to bring us LIFE, and that more abundant.  You can be alive or you can be ALIVE!  I want to live FULLY alive, don’t you?  

So many things try to dissipate the excitement of living fully alive, and the world we are in sure has it’s dampening affect, but remember we are in this world but not OF it.  Our lives are lived in the kingdom where righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost reign.  We are able to live above circumstances, and “shine as bright lights in a dark and perverse world” (Phillipians 2:15) if we keep one thing in mind...we must seek His presence as our vital need.

There’s something so securing about being held in the presence of God, dwelling in that place where a “1,000 may fall at your side, and 10,000 at your right hand, but it shall not come near you.” (Psalms 91:7)

“...His presence shall be my dwelling place.” (Psalms23)

Abide in His Presence

"If your spirit doesn’t go with me, I’ll not go."  

Do you think Moses finally figured it out...if God’s not in this, I may as well sit still and wait until I see where He’s going and then go with Him.  God never planned for us to 'win a few and lose a few'.  He told Joshua that if he would meditate in the book of the law day and night and “observe to do” what is written in it, he would deal wisely in ALL the affairs of life and have good success.  

Paul’s prayer in Ephesians that the eyes of our hearts would be flooded with light and that we would understand the hope to which we’ve been called is one I pray for myself and others often.  Before vs. 17, Paul was sharing ALL that we have been given in Christ.  He speaks of our adoption as sons and daughters, our access to wisdom and righteousness through Christ, literally summing it up that we’ve been given EVERYTHING that pertains unto life and godliness and then he prays...as a matter of fact he says he ALWAYS prays, which indicates that he made this his prayer often as well...that we would understand, have a revelation of what we have in Him.

It’s only the truth we KNOW that sets us free.  The Bible is full of truth, but until we meditate in it, and allow the Holy Spirit to unfold the truth to us personally, we can remain bound in areas of our lives, though freedom is our calling.  Remember Galatians?  You’ve been called to freedom, not as an occasion to the flesh, but for the purpose of in love serving one another.  

Truly being presence led means being LED each day to the waters of the word.  To thirst for His Word and find ourselves drinking freely of the truths, settling down and making our home in them.  John 15: Abide in His Word and let His Word abide in you...get comfortable with His Word.  If the translation you are reading isn’t comfortable, get a more comfortable one.  That’s how I became Barbara Amplified Arbo!  The King James was just “over my head”.  I needed something that would help me to understand and comprehend.  Paul’s prayer worked for me, and I was led to the Amplified Bible, and it’s become my companion for 45 years.  Now when I dwell in His Word, I know that I am dwelling in His presence.  His Word rises up to speak with me, and when I lie down it keeps me.  I’m talking the Word.  I can give you references for everything I’ve said in this blog, but it’s not just the Words written in the Bible to me anymore, they are written on my heart.   I live in the Word and the Word lives in me....we’ve become a part of one another.  I don’t go anywhere without the Bible, even when I don’t carry the book.  It’s a part of who I am, how I think, what I believe and how I pray.  It’s the presence-led life.

The Mind of Christ

As we all endeavor to be Spirit-led, we must trust that we have the mind of Christ, and hold His thoughts.  Sure we come up with a lot of our own ideas, but Proverbs 16:3 has proved invaluable to me as I have walked out the plans of God for my life.  “Roll your plans, your ideas, your thoughts over on God.  He will cause your thoughts to get in agreement with His will, and then all of your plans will be established and have good success.”


Paul speaks of “letting this mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus...if there be any other mind in you, He will make it clear to you”.  What a safety net we have, that we can trust the guidance of the Holy Spirit in us, and that if we for any reason are off the mark, He’ll redirect us, must like the voice in our GPS...”redirecting”.  There is certainly more than one way to reach your destination so don’t be intimidated to get moving and let the Holy Spirit steer you in the way you should go.  If you should take a wrong turn, He will redirect and get you back on the path.


Many years ago when I was facing the consequences of what I believed were some wrong decisions in my life, my spiritual mom, Vicki Jamison said to me, “Barbara, if your God is so small that He only has one way to work out His plan for your life, your God is too small.”  That has stuck with me for all these years.  Don’t limit God.  He is well able to KEEP that which we commit to Him.  That word keep, literally means ‘bring to fruition’ that which is committed to Him.  Put your concerns, your finances, your health, your life into His hands for safe-keeping.  He will guide you with His eye if you will stay in a face to face relationship with Him, trusting Him to work with you, and direct your steps.

Conscious of Him

Have you ever bought a car and suddenly every time you’re on the highway you notice dozens of the same car that somehow you passed before and never noticed?  Your awareness has been heightened now that you are driving that make and model.

The Holy Spirit has an abiding presence in our lives (I John 2:27) but sometimes we just have to be awakened to it!  As you make it a focus to be led by His presence this year, you’ll find yourself so aware of His presence guiding you along.

The steps of a good man are ordered of the Lord.  Every step is important, and that means just putting one foot in front of the other to keep moving!  You’ve heard the old expression ‘you can’t steer a parked car’ and it’s hard to lead a ‘parked life’ that is paralyzed by fear of making a wrong move.

You’d be surprised how many highways you could take to get to Florida from Boston.  There are some that start the drive and take two to three weeks meandering down, getting off the main roads to visit some of the scenic places along the way, but clearly if you get on 95S and just stay on it, you will run into Florida in about 24 hours!  

Even Abraham, our father of faith, made a few detours but God got him to his final destination.  Vicki Jamison used to tell us, “if your God is so small that He only has one way of getting you to His plan for you, your God is too small!”

This year, be conscious of His leading.  Let His presence be the TRANSPORTATION to your TRANSFORMATION!  Before the year is out, you will have made progress in the presence-led life.  If you should get knocked down, don’t get knocked out.  Just get back on your feet and yield again in prayer, asking God to lead you every step of the way.  

Galatians 5:18The Message (MSG)

16-18 My counsel is this: Live freely, motivated by God’s Spirit. Then you won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness. For there is a root of self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness. These two ways of life are antithetical, so that you cannot live at times one way and at times another way according to how you feel on any given day. Why don’t you choose to be led by the Spirit and so escape the erratic compulsions of a law-dominated existence?

Take a deep breath...

What does it mean to be presence-led?  I’ve heard of purpose-driven, but presence led?

If you are like me, you have lived your life sometimes frenzied, driven by schedules and appointments, and have-to’s.  Is it possible in the scurry of every day activity to live from a place that is God-directed, God-timed and with purpose?  I believe it is.  I have a friend who once made a statement....”small adjustments can bring radical change”.  I heard it, embraced it, and have endeavored to just keep making those small adjustments throughout life that add up to radical differences in who I have become.

I remember the old me well.  I rode the roller-coaster of life, and let the dead-lines I made for myself along with over-crowded schedules dictate a life that I was constantly enforcing with my words, “It’s been really bussssyyyyy.”

I fell on my bed in a fetal position years ago, sobbing in my husband’s range of hearing, “I just can’t do all this anymore.”  He calmly reminded me that I do all the booking of my schedule, and that I needed to change things if it was too much.  Have you ever been your own worst enemy?

Sure, life takes the wheel a lot of times and takes us places we weren’t planning to go, or loads up more in the car than we anticipated, but let’s be honest, a lot of the time, we do that to ourselves.  We do it to feel productive, we do it because we have to make a buck, we do it to please the people around us that we are there for them in every moment.  We interrupt family dinners for phone calls, we lay down our own lists to pick up someone else’s, we even forfeit our own dreams to get the validation we need from others in fulfilling theirs.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a giver.  I love being available for people....a steadying force in prayer when life overwhelms, and a listening ear that they know they can trust, but sometimes we all need to just “step out of the traffic and take a long, loving look at God, above politics, above everything.” (Psalms 46:10 Message)

I’m starting this new year with purpose!  I’m putting my life in drive, but I’m watching and praying.  I’m going to live life just “doing what I see Him doing, and saying what I hear God saying.” (John 20:)  That’s the spirit-led life!