I find it amazing how many people, including good musicians, really struggle with the “how” of practice. We live in a microwave society that wants everything as quickly as possible. That being said, I believe the true art of practicing anything is getting lost in the busyness of our lives. In my own studio, students come in each week thinking they’ve practiced a lot. Many times, they are so excited but when they sit down to play, the notes just don’t come out like they’d hoped. The comment “it sounded great in the practice room!” is usually the first sentence I hear.
After a quick question or two, I learn that the student practiced three times that week instead of two. And, some think a half hour a day is pretty good. I suppose if they did that EVERY day, it would make a difference. But, most don’t figure that out until it’s recital time. Or, at the end of the semester when they have to play all their scales and arpeggios. Students think cramming it all in the last couple weeks is gonna do the trick. Uh… probably not. They might get lucky but that’s still a long shot.
Maybe I’m the odd duck in the group but when I was in college, I lived in a practice room. I would spend hours going over and over the same passage of music until my body screamed at me! Why would I do such a thing? Let me ask a question. What makes your fingers move? If you said “muscles,” you would be correct! It takes repetition to produce the kind of muscle memory that when you play something enough times, mistakes are few and far between. Everything about playing a musical instrument is based on patterns. When you cement those patterns into your fingers, in your brain, and in your ear, everything is easier to do. Playing a musical instrument at that point becomes second nature to you. For those who study to be an artist performer, this is a way of life.
You’re probably asking “what the heck does this have to do with kingdom stuff?” Glad you thought that. Well, as I’ve said before, it has everything to do with kingdom principles. Let me ask you some more questions. How many years have you had the same thought and behavior patterns that you struggle changing? How many times have you said to someone “that’s just the way I am” when they comment on a behavior. Think about it. All of those behaviors took time to develop. You “practiced” being that way without even realizing it. It all starts with thoughts. Those thoughts lead to intents. Then, those intents lead to desires which are usually followed by actions. The more you do it, the more cemented it becomes into your being. It would seem that if we really want to change something, we have to reverse the practice techniques by literally turning away from what we’re currently doing and focus on something totally new. That, my friends, requires dedicated practice.
I liken this to putting scales in front of students their first lesson with me. They look at the sheet music and freak out. They’ve played their instrument all the way through high school but often, without the discipline of consistency. It’s something about all those sharps and flats that mess with their brains. They must also develop the ability to hear the patterns. The muscle memory of the fingerings takes the longest. The best students learn how to see the music at the same time they are developing the ability to hear it by feeling their way through the fingerings. When they can do both without thinking, it’s now second nature. I had a professor who used to read the morning paper while playing through his morning warm-up routine. That’s what I call having patterns cemented into the brain and fingers!
Practicing being in the presence of Yahweh is exactly the same. If we don’t do it, we’re not going to get very far. Too many people are concerned about “seeing” the wrong thing and being deceived. I get e-mails all the time from people asking me if my music has subliminal messages in it and if I’m using a different “spirit” other than the Holy Spirit. I pray over all the music releasing the light, life, and glory of Yahweh into it. But, that’s not what I’d consider a subliminal message. People are fearful that I might do something to mess with their psyches. Honestly, we’re the only ones who can mess with our own psyche. That’s where taking thoughts captive kicks in. It IS possible to make a decision what to allow into our lives, much like we do when a salesman knocks on our door. We have to learn to (by practicing) not look at all the negative stuff that entices us. I love what Ian Clayton says in several of his teachings. There are so many books about demons and so few about angels. Why is that? What is our fascination with the demonic? Personally, that whole deliverance ministry thing that popped up in the early 80’s never made sense to me. Ministers were constantly trying to force people to cough up a demon, spit one out or even vomit it out. Sorry, but that grossed me out so I literally turned and ran the other direction. To me, it makes sense that if you allow the Glory of God to infuse your entire being, there’s enough light in that place, no demon could stand to be near you! Put on the armor of light and then see what happens! (Romans 3:12)
Back to my point. Like everything else, if we want to be good at something, we need to put some time into it. It’s not occasional time – it’s consistent time. When I first started my journey into kingdom protocol, I took notes on teachings that included an activation or exercise. I wrote the exercise down and did it… EVERY day! For six months, I’d sit on my bed after it was dark “practicing” seeing in the spirit. I didn’t have any help from people other than Ian’s teachings. Because I started making kingdom protocol part of my lifestyle, I eventually saw changes. To me, I thought it took me forever but after talking with people two years into my journey, I learned that all my practicing was paying off! In fact, many were surprised at how far I’d come. That was confusing to me at first but then after more discussion, I learned that most of them weren’t consistent enough in the practice part to get very far. Even in Kingdom protocol, it requires daily engagement.
News flash! Everything about intimacy with Yahweh is going to take practice! It’s like developing a close friendship – it won’t happen unless we take the time to do it. I’m still on this journey. In fact, the more I learn, the more I realize that I don’t know or understand. How bad do we want it? When we want something bad enough, we’ll go after it. Until then, it’s like plodding along at a leisurely pace. We stop to take frequent breaks and when life gets tough, we get on Facebook and complain about it.
How do I know this is working? For the first two years, I saw very little change in my natural circumstances. Everything was by desire and faith. What I did see was a change in my attitude. I didn’t seem to have as many negative triggers. After about the third year, I started noticing other things in my circumstances. By then, I’d learned how to take things to the heavenly courts and repent. I’ve learned to embrace repentance, even when people have wronged me. The moment I realize there’s an accusation against me, I’m in court owning and repenting for that accusation. What does that do for me? It releases me from the accusation and helps me not to take offense. Remember, being offended is a choice.
The natural changes I’ve seen have been more evident only over the last few months. I’ve practiced the “dividing the soul and spirit” for over three years almost every day just as Ian described in his teaching (by that title). I’ve spent nearly three years (every day) cleaning out and working on the gateways. I’ve written down declarations and exercises from all the teachings I’ve heard. I have notebooks full of notes from these teachings. I go into my heart garden to spend time with Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I engage through scripture, but mostly, I desire more of Yahweh. Out of that desire, comes more intimacy. It’s nothing I ever expected. It’s been very organic because I’m learning to trust that Yahweh has me under the shadow of His wings. (Psalm 91)
What are the changes? Like I said earlier, things don’t frost my buttons quite like they used to. When circumstances do flare up, I’m not as flustered by them. I can stay in a place of peace most of the time now. I’m more joyful. The more I declare the Word over me (by faith) from heaven to earth, the more I see changes in my behaviors and attitudes. I’m also starting to see changes in my circumstances, my finances, and my health. I spend time cleaning up the junk in my ancestral line and in my own life. I’ve had a very long time to develop some not-so-good habits. They take time to break so new ones can be developed. My best barometer? It’s when people recognize a change in me without me saying a word. That’s truly how I know I’m a different person.
There are some circumstances in my life that haven’t changed. In fact, a few more interesting ones have stepped up to the plate, demanding that I entertain them. It’s my opportunity to stay in that place of rest in Him. My favorite example? I’m learning to continue being at peace while waiting on an upcoming move. I’m being forced to move because they’re building a highway over the top of our neighborhood! For five years, we’ve been in limbo because of an environmental group that won’t let it go. OK… feel free to sing along now. Let it go… let it gooooo!
I’m learning HOW to be in that place of rest despite not seeing any changes in the natural. I’ve also had lots of practice taking situations to court on behalf of myself and my neighbors. I’ve actually grown spiritually BECAUSE of this circumstance. Trust me, I’ve had many opportunities to be grouchy about it, especially when the time-line continues to change. Even before I understood how to function from heaven to earth, I knew by the Spirit that this highway was going to be built over the top of us, despite the efforts of the environmental group who believes they’re saving a prairie. You know, it’s kind of like a “tree hugger” who chains himself to a tree when the bulldozer comes over the hill. Yep, that’s this environmental group.
Moving right along… After spending time with Yahweh, discussing His plan for this highway project, I’m at peace knowing we’ll be taken care of. Now, it’s a matter of not letting the circumstances surrounding this issue get me off my seat of rest. The more I see this from heaven to earth, the easier it gets. I have to be IN peace despite the fact that I have no clue how much money they’ll give us, where I’m going, or what this process will entail. My advice to you in your interesting circumstance(s)? Go spend time with Yahweh and see His will in that place. Then, bring that from heaven to earth and declare His truth around you. Not only will it make a difference in your attitude but you’ll begin to see changes in the natural… eventually.
Everything I’ve talked about in this post involves practicing. The more you practice, the more proficient you become at something. In playing a musical instrument, if you want to be good, it’s important to spend time with that instrument. You literally have to think about it all the time. Becoming intimate with Yahweh is no different. Worship when you shower, pray in tongues when you’re getting ready in the morning, sing love songs to Him while you’re driving, pray in tongues some more… like three or more hours a day! Turn off the TV and radio. Put on good worship music. Watch the words that come into your home (via music, games, TV, obnoxious people, etc.). When we do these things for prolonged periods of time, stuff around us changes! Oh, no whining either. If so, I’ll be glad to send you some cheese with that whine. Just let me know your favorite flavor.
Both Ian and Mike (Parsons) say to not be overwhelmed by all this new “kingdom” stuff. Get on the journey wherever you are and move ahead! Don’t try to do everything at once. Pick a couple things to start with and be consistent! Practice is the key which takes patience and perseverance. When you need prayer, don’t immediately run to Facebook asking your friends to pray for you. Go directly to Yahweh and use it as an exercise in learning how to manage yourself. This journey is all about taking control over your own life and not expecting others to do it for you. Not that asking for others to pray for us is a bad thing. It’s just that we often rely on that instead of soaking in the presence and Glory of Yahweh. Other’s prayers should supplement what we’re already doing. They are a form of agreement. Because of that, be careful who you ask to join you in prayer. If you’ve read any of my blog posts on thoughts, intents, and words on the Healing Frequencies Music website, you’ll understand that it’s important to carefully choose those who DO pray with you.
My declaration for you: IN the midst of your circumstances, I release more of Yahweh into that situation so you can see His plan for your life through it. I release joy, peace, and comfort into and through every ounce of your being. May the light of Yahweh shine through you so that others find Him. May what you’re going through bring you into greater intimacy with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
© 2018 by Del Hungerford