Kim Meeder: 2 Corinthians 3:15 says that where the spirit of the Lord is there’s freedom. So Kim, where you don’t have freedom, guess where His Spirit isn’t. And will you invite him into that place and step through the ash and darkness of that place, into the freedom that you already have if Jesus Christ is your Lord and savior.
End of Excerpt
John Fuller: Perhaps you’re a Christian and, uh, that’s speaking to you, stay with us. Kim Meeder is our guest today on Focus on the Family. I’m John Fuller, thanks for joining us. Your host is Focus president and author Jim Daly.
Jim Daly: John I love meeting people who have recently accepted Christ that their faith just bubbles out of them, right? They’re looking for every opportunity to see God in every circumstance and it’s fun. And over time, sometimes, uh, people can lose that passion, uh, to, uh, lead people to Christ, to explore their faith with others. We kinda pull in and it’s just the expectations of life, right? We got bills to pay and things to do, but the Lord wants to be in all of it. He wants to be right there with us. And I think as a father would be a loving child, who’s excited about their- their dad. Um, that’s the relationship. And we’re going to talk today with a special guest who I think will either reignite your commitment to Christ and draw you closer to him, or, uh, certainly provoke thoughts about where am I with the Lord?
John: Yeah. And saying you want to walk by faith is one thing. And then actually walking by faith is kind of another thing. And we’re hear a whole lot about walking in faith from Kim Meeder, who is a best-selling author and a very popular guest here on Focus on the Family. Uh, she and her husband, Troy founded Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch in Oregon. And, uh, they rescue abused and neglected horses and they use them in a therapy program for abused and hurting kids. Kim’s newest book is called Revival Rising: Embracing His Transforming Fire. And we have copies of that at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.
Jim: Kim, it’s always great to have you with us here at Focus on the Family, welcome back.
Kim: Thank you so much. It’s good to be in the company of my brothers.
Jim: Well, uh, you know, as many of our listeners know you became a Christian as a child after some very traumatic circumstances, and we’re not gonna cover all that today, but if you miss that part of Kim’s story, I mean, it is powerful, probably one of the most powerful presentations about God’s pursuit for us. And- and, uh, I would encourage you to get the download. We’ll make sure it’s there, and, uh, you can pick up that story. Uh, but years later now, uh, you still have that same kind of wonderful exuberance for Christ. And you know what’s a little sad is that not everybody enjoys God at that depth over a long period of time. So, I think the- the question is how do you keep passion alive in your life over the long haul?
Kim: I think that’s a great question because the enemy is nothing. If he isn’t patient and all he desires is for God’s people to look away from the face of the author of love and hope and joy and peace. And when we do all there is, is darkness and frustration. And so, in order to maintain our joy in Christ, it’s imperative that we know who he is in us and who we are in him. And we do that by knowing his word and spending time in his word every day. And when we know what the truth is, then we know what a lie is. And we know what is literally the enemy or our own negative thoughts saying, “Hey, that’s not okay.”
Jim: Yeah. I- I wanna kinda drill down on this because I think a lot of Christians that have been Christians for 20, 30 years maybe, or maybe it’s only been five years or so, but there is the kind of the demands of life that just keep pulling us down, down, down to the kind of the normal get out of bed, go to work, say hi to Fred, make sure we treat Fred nicely. You know, whatever it might be, but it’s not, it’s not that faith. That’s on fire, it’s not that faith that is exuberant. It’s, there’s something missing.
Kim: Joy. Joy is second in our Holy Spirit arsenal of weaponry only to love God’s joy. And when we choose his joy, we’re commanded, Jesus commands us in- in John, the book of John to be filled with joy. We’re only filled when we’re actually overflowing. And he says that let your joy overflow. And we- we are filled by his joy oftentimes when we worship God and worship is one of the weapons of warfare. Satan has no defense against none, none, none, zero. And when we worship God, something beautiful happens. We were just talking about having our focus on everything that hurts and that’s painful. And our- our negative circumstances and our focus gets bent on everything that hurts instead of on the one who heals, and worship realigns our focus on the God that heals everything that hurts within us. And when we align ourselves in that truth, it’s literally like looking at Satan and saying, I don’t fear you. I fear him. And he’s crazy about me and all this negative stuff swirling around my feet, there’s no violence, there’s no virus. There’s no crazy politics that can change one promise in God’s word, everything that Jesus Christ did for you and me is still true. And for us to keep our focus on that, how can we not be flooded with joy?
Jim: I agree. You know, one thing that often I think begins to, uh, falter in a Christian’s life is a grasp on God’s freedom, which is what will give you that joy. And I think, uh, we tend to listen to the enemy, our own flesh about our- our sins, our shortcomings, the way we fail God. And we start concentrating on those things and they do become a barricade to that deep sense of joy because let’s face it, if we really got ahold of what the Lord has done for us, we should be walking joy bubbles, right? That- that God sent his son-
Jim: … to die for us and to take on the sins of the world and the exchanges. Do you believe Jesus is the son of God?
Jim: And in exchange for that, you have eternal life.
Jim: I mean, it’s amazing. We should be going yahoo.
Kim: Right. I see the whole world in pictures and I love that Jesus Christ spoke in parables to take something that we can see to illustrate something that we can’t yet see. And recently I was at home, it was a warm, the first warm morning of spring. I didn’t start a fire and I’m spending time in the word. And all of a sudden I can hear this racket over my head and this scratching and thumping and bumping and what could only be a bird falling into the stove pipe of our wood stove and falling down the pipe fighting the whole way until finally an exhaustion. It just drops and lands in- in the wood stove box. Gratefully there was no flame-
Jim: Yeah, yeah.
Kim: … and it saw the light, it flew hard, it smashed into the glass and then retreated. And so, I set everything aside and looked in and in the very back corner was a female starling. One of the most despised of all birds, they are- are known as a filth of starlings that they- they come, they take resources, they overwhelm native species of birds and their droppings produce disease. A lot of people would have just left her there to die. And yet looking at her in this firebox covered in blackness, it was like Jesus saying, yeah, that- that was just like you. And so, I put a- a towel over the door and reached in carefully and drew her out. And other than being covered in ash, she was fine. And I walked outside into the brilliant sunlight and just open my fingers slowly. And she didn’t ask questions. She didn’t ponder, she didn’t need to process or talk about it, she flew hard and fast into the freedom that was offered her and she never looked back.
Kim: And I could hear Jesus saying, “Do you see that? That’s what I’m calling my people to do.” Here’s what I’m not calling them to do, fly back over your shoulder, into the living room, into the firebox and close the door and then cry and sing God, Oh God, where are you? When Jesus Christ came to this 2000 years ago, he lived a perfect life and laid that life down for you and me and when he did that, he broke the lock on that prison door of suffering and sin and that firebox place where we are left to die. And it is his love that reaches in. And we choose if we’re gonna take his hand and step out into the freedom that he’s already purchased for us. Galatians 5:1, it is for freedom that Jesus Christ has set us free. And if we don’t have freedom in any area of our life, and I’m pointing my finger at myself, it’s for one reason only, I’m not choosing it.
John: Yeah, yeah. That came up in our Sunday school class the other day, uh, Jim, we were talking about freedom and God says, I have taken care of that. Jesus covered that. I’ve moved on, will you?
John: But so often we don’t move on.
Kim: 2 Corinthians 3:15 says that where the spirit of the Lord is there’s freedom. So Kim, where you don’t have freedom, guess where His Spirit isn’t and will you invite him into that place and step through the Ash and darkness of that place into the freedom that you already have if Jesus Christ is your Lord and savior.
John: And if you don’t know Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior, we want to invite you to call Focus on the Family today so we can tell you more about experiencing true freedom in Christ. Our number is 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY, or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. And, uh, when you get in touch with us, be sure to ask for Kim’s book, Revival Rising. We’ve got copies of that, and, uh, we’d be happy to send that to you.
Jim: Kim, another mistake that we can often make as Christians is that we get so wrapped up. And I think, you know, with some reasonableness, we get kinda wrapped up in our own world, our own issues, our own problems. And we don’t feel like there’s any capacity there to really love on other people, which when you get down to it, that’s really why we’re here, right? That’s why God has done everything for us is to show that kinda kindness and love to others. And he [inaudible] it sounded like as I read the book, you- you had an experience like that, where you were in that spot and you were busy and you pulled into a gas station to get gas and the Lord said, “Oh, you know, wait a minute. I wanna show you something.” What happened?
Kim: Again, uh, of all the weaponry from the Holy Spirit, gifted to God’s people love is the most powerful weapon of warfare we carry. And as I was driving into a gas station on autopilot, you just need gas and go get it. The Holy Spirit highlighted the attendant working there that day.
Jim: And in Oregon, they pump your gas for those of us that don’t live in those States, (laughs).
Kim: And so, on this very cold day, I was actually grateful for that. And as I was prompted to study this man, he was probably in his mid-60s. He was very thin. He wore tattered, filthy clothing, and he never looked at me once. And I could sense the Lord saying, “Do you see him? I love him so much. Will you let him know how much I love him? And today I want you to make him laugh.”
Kim: What, uh, okay. Okay. And so, put the window down and started to engage this man in what seemed like meaningless conversation. But every conversation that’s driven by love is far from meaningless, every single one. And pretty soon we were talking about some silly things and I- I shared something really, really goofy. And- and he broke into this great big smile and his hand flew up over his face, but not before I saw what he was trying to hide. And this beloved son of God was embarrassed because he had no teeth and he didn’t want me to see that. And finally, I looked at him and I said, “Brother, when you smile, your face gets so warm, don’t ever stop that.” And through a single conversation, as often as I was able, I would return to that same gas station. And there minutes at a time, the love of Jesus Christ was poured out into a life that needed to know he was seen and valued and perfect. And as oftentimes is the case, I don’t know the end of the story. I returned one day, and he was gone. But what I do know is the authority of God’s word, which says in Isaiah 55, that everything that we pour out into this world that is filled with the love of God, goes out like arrows, that the receiver can’t pull out. They can’t unfeel love, they can’t unhear truth. They can’t unexperience being seen and valued. And that went with him wherever he went. And I just got to be a piece in his journey of knowing the love of Jesus Christ. And maybe you who are listening will be the next piece for this beloved man who has no teeth to know he is a son of the living God.
Jim: And whoever that person is that the Lord is wooing, I mean, he uses his people to woo the, um, you know, the unbeliever to him. And it’s such a beautiful, poetic, I think, expression of God’s heart for us and how he does it and how we’re all part of the solution for that individual. You know, Kim, um, I don’t want this to sound like psychobabble or anything like that, but a lot of people they may ask themselves or say to themselves, they don’t feel they can give love ’cause they- they don’t really experience that for some reason, even from their father in heaven. What would you say to that person who is in that place that sometimes some people may express that as temperament? I mean, well, Kim sounds very extroverted, very capable of noticing people. And she engages people win- winsomely and you know, but it doesn’t create, you don’t have to have those gifts to do God’s bidding.
Kim: That’s right.
Jim: And he’ll equip you and-
Kim: That’s right.
Jim: … but speak to the person that doesn’t feel loved and therefore can’t give love.
Kim: So, I would begin this answer with equal psychobabble in that- that for anyone who would say, that’s just not for me, it’s not my nature. I would tell you, my nature is split right down the middle 49 introvert, 51 extrovert. I’m not either, but that doesn’t matter, what matters is that we avail ourselves to be used by the one and only living God. He is the one who equips us. When we’re trying to do something out of our own strength, we’re gonna fail every time, we don’t have what is needed. I don’t have enough love. I don’t have enough wisdom or hope or joy, but I do have the owner and the creator of all those things. And when we know who he is in us and that all those things are available to fill us to overflowing that- that when we move about in the world, that we’re so flooded with the presence of God, that he’s what comes out in every situation that is literally heaven coming to earth through God’s people. And that’s what changes the environments that we’re in. For someone who says I cannot give love because I don’t genuinely feel love, you are trusting your future in something that is fallible. And that’s your feelings. Let me just tell you straight your feelings cannot stand against the power and truth and authority of God’s word. It’s the same yesterday, today and forever. And you can build a life on it. So, let’s step off the feelings and stand on the truth of God’s word, trusting him to always give you what you need when you need it. That’s who He is.
Jim: Absolutely. And I think Kim, in addition to that, the irony of it is when you take that step of boldness or whatever it might be to show people concerned and show someone else the love of God. It’s amazing how you feel the spirit of God well up in you.
Jim: I mean, that’s when He’s on fire in you, right?
Jim: You can feel it when everything’s working in sync, you are the beneficiary of feeling God’s presence, I think.
Kim: Absolutely, I again see everything in pictures. And- and as I am learning to avail this vessel to- to pour out the fruit of the spirit of the living, God, I always see it like this molten honey coming down. And if it’s love or joy or peace, you cannot help, but be covered in that beauty and glory yourself, as you just avail yourself to be used by God. What a wonder.
Jim: It’s so true. And I- I love it. I mean, the idea that the fruit of the spirit love joy, peace, goodness, mercy. Um, self-control all those good things. I once encountered somebody who said, well, I don’t have much patience. And I remember saying to this person, I don’t think it’s a menu you order from (laughs). it’s kind of like-
Jim: … you know, it’s all present. If the Lord is present in your heart, it’s accessible to you. You may have obstacles that you’re placing to get there. And one of those is joy and I wanna end today and we’ll come back next time if you can stay with us and we’ll come back tomorrow and talk more about your great book, Revival Rising. But this idea of accessing joy, feeling joy, embracing joy, knowing joy, uh, letting that joy, renew our lives, um, speak to that joy aspect. And then that great story you have about that- that boy and how he found joy.
Kim: This is gonna make me cry. Um, I was invited with four other women to travel through Eastern Europe, to share the gospel in some of the poorest nations in Europe. And we were finishing our tour. We’d been traveling for weeks speaking up to four times a day and had been invited to an equestrian facility where they were doing equine assisted therapy and what we do with the ranch’s equine-assisted ministry. And those are two highly different things. And as soon as I got there, they wanted me to demonstrate what I do. And instantly they were frustrated that I was not following a model of logic. I was following the leadership of the Holy Spirit that Jesus himself says in John 16:13, that the Spirit is the one who leads into all truth. You wanna know how to work with someone who’s hurting, follow the Spirit into their life, where he wants to go. He knows them, he made them, he always knows what to do. And it doesn’t matter if it makes sense it only matters that you trust him more than you and you follow. And that annoyed them. And so basically, they let a horse in and a little boy and said, prove it, prove it and they were mad. And so, this little boy was brought in. He was 12, he was small. He had dark hair and dark eyes. And I was told he is highly autistic, he’s unresponsive. And he’s was born blind and so do your best with this subject. They called him a subject. He was a little boy made in the image of Christ and he was made perfect just because he was different, doesn’t mean that he’s not perfect. And so, his name was Christian, and we went through introductions. I was delighted. He knew quite a bit of English that we didn’t need a translator. And- and he’d ridden there before and through, uh, a brief conversation. This was his favorite horse and- and I told him that, “So this horse always gives you a gift. What do you think if we give this horse a gift?” And he thought that was a good idea. And so I said, “What do you think would be the best gift you could give a horse that’s your friend?” And he thought for a while, and maybe that sounded like a trick question. And I said, “Why don’t we give him love? That horses receive love through your hands. So, let’s put our hands on him everywhere, ’cause he’s big. And he needs lots of love.” And so, by putting my hands over his hands, we went over this whole horse from muzzle, eyes, cheeks, ears, mane, and all the way down through the whole horse. And now that he’s been loved so well, let’s love him from his back. And so, a pad was put on the horse and there was a- a leader in a couple side-walkers and- and I’m just narrating the scene. And so, I was aware that they were rolling their eyes till they hurt. They’re so frustrated with me that I’m not doing therapy. You need to bend him and twist him and help him find balance, which are great things. And so, to satisfy that logic, I had him ride forwards and backwards and sideways touching the horse all around and he did that. And so now the Holy Spirit is like, go deeper, go deeper. And I said, “Christian, have you ever trotted?” And he didn’t know what that was. And I said, “It’s going faster and it’s really bouncy. Does that sound scary or fun?” And he- he smiled. And he said, “That sounds fun.” And so, I gave him some simple instructions, hold the mane with both hands, mane always stays with the horse and then we’re going to ask the horse to trot. And so, the man leading the horse, asked him into a trot and this horse burst into a lively trot and this little boy rocked back and screamed. And this half child, half man thing and I looked at him and he wasn’t afraid he was excited. And so, as he started to- to ride this horse at a trot, he started laughing. This unresponsive subject was laughing. And then I saw something that has changed my life from that moment on. And it was like heaven split and glory and joy and light started filling this child and pouring out of his smile as he’s laughing, I was like, “Christian, oh my goodness, your smile is so beautiful. It’s so beautiful. Wow, wow, wow.” And as he’s trotting away from me, he- he says, “I- I have a beautiful smile, Ms. Kim, can you see it? Can you see it?” He’s riding away from me now. He’s coming around, “And Ms. Kim, can you still see it, I have a beautiful smile can you see it?” And yes, I can. Now I’m weeping, I think everyone behind me is weeping to see this unresponsive child respond to the joy of the Holy Spirit. And as he came up to me, he’s just laughing and beaming. And then he leans down where he thinks I am. And he says, can you tell me what my smile looks like?
Kim: Oh man, Holy Spirit lead on and I said, “You know what, buddy? You know, when you’re in- in your room and the sun hasn’t come up yet. And you know that because your room is dark and you don’t have to see the darkness, you can feel it it’s really cold. And then the sun bursts over the horizon and light streams in, and it fills your bedroom and you don’t have to see it, you can feel it because it’s warm. Your smile is like that, it is so brilliant and beautiful and warm that it filled this entire arena and it covered me and everyone in it. Don’t you ever stop smiling.” And he’s just beaming. And then he leans down, and he whispers, “But Ms. Kim, what does your smile look like?” And I took his little hands and I put them on my face, and I said, “Why don’t you tell me?” And so, he’s feeling my face all over. And to even get the whole picture, he put his little horse grubby fingers on the inside of my lips, and he’s really checking this out. And finally, he leans down this precious little boy, and he says, “Ms. Kim, your smile, it just looks like the best dream ever.” He’s blind and so what he sees in his dreams are given by God. And just as quickly as he was led in, he was led out, completely transformed by joy. And as he was leaving, he turned her hand and said in the direction where he thought I was standing, “Ms. Kim now, wherever you go in the world and you see a sunrise, you will remember me and my beautiful smile because I’m Christian and I have a beautiful smile.”
Jim: Man, that is so good. That’s what it’s about. And it’s, so what a great illustration of that battle too, between the world logic and God, something different, you know, something better, something that we’re made for. And Kim, this has been great, but, uh, let’s keep going and come back tomorrow and talk more about your great book, uh, Revival Rising. And man, I wanna make this available to you. And if you can, you know, jump on board, be a supporter of Focus, make a gift of any amount. And we’ll send you a copy of Kim’s book as our way of saying, thank you. And let me say this too, if you can’t afford it and you’re needing that joy, you’re needing a compass to say, how do I find that kind of, uh, we’ll send you a copy of the book, just give us a call. I’m gonna trust that others will cover the cost of that. And, uh, you just get in touch with us because when it comes right down to it, this is the most important thing for you to consider is how do I have a relationship with Jesus Christ that can be like that, that vibrant. And you can, and I’d encourage you to get in touch with us today.
John: When you get a copy of Kim’s book Revival Rising from us, uh, here at Focus on the Family, we’re gonna include a CD of our conversation. We’ll have lots of additional content, uh, for you. So please ask for that bundle when you get in touch, our number is 800-A-FAMILY, or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. Also, uh, we mentioned this earlier, if you would like to know more about having a vibrant relationship with God through his son, Jesus Christ, uh, we have put together a- a great little booklet called Coming Home. It’s available online, or we can send you a copy. Uh, just asked for that when you call us, but again, our number 800-A-FAMILY. We’ll hear more from Kim next time. Uh for now on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family. I’m John Fuller, inviting you back as we, once again, help you and your family thrive in Christ.