We meet once a week for small group. Caleb, our group leader (and GSSM grad) told us that Alan Hawkins was his favorite speaker. I now understand why. I have never heard a teaching on covenant like this before. Okay, he had to go through it 90 miles an hour but we got the gist of it (AND he gave us an mp3 of the entire teaching!!!). I have a new understanding of so many things. He started by talking about the importance of story and that the Bible was over 2,000 years of writing with over 40 authors. It’s important that we as Christians know that we are the heirs of the story! If you don’t know Israel’s story, you don’t know your own story. He then went into the teaching about John the Baptist being in prison. Did you ever wonder why, after John saw the dove descend on Jesus and proclaimed that there was “the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world”, the one whose sandals he was “unworthy to untie” and yet when he’s in prison he sends someone to go ask Jesus if He’s the expected one? Well, it’s basically because John was in jail and Jesus was doing nothing about it! John was expecting a political king, someone who would throw out the usurpers in the land. But Jesus didn’t come to overthrow an earthly king, he came to destroy the power of the god of this world and set up His kingdom here on earth! That’s good news! But good news in John’s eyes is God sending a great king who would lead them into their freedom. John was offended. “Why haven’t you gotten me out of here, cuz?” I like what Alan said, “Jesus didn’t come to get John out of jail, he came to put the devil in jail!” The disciples, too, thought they were joining a political party. They were fervent because they had a political spirit which was stirred up by fear and anger. Hmm, somehow that sounds relevant to today….
ANYWAY, I don’t want to talk politics. Basically Jesus’ reply was like saying, “You need to repent, John, because you’re not thinking right.” Offense is a dangerous thing. Basically when you become offended at someone, when they’re happy it doesn’t make you happy, and when they’re sad, you don’t care (and may even rejoice). Offense is at the root of so many problems in the church. And Christians are far far too easily offended. People need to get over themselves.
There was so much good stuff I just don’t have time to tell you about it. Mixed in with Alan’s preaching today was a little bit of “suppository preaching” which is when you don’t know what actually happened but you suppose, lol. When he closed his teaching, he got up on the stage to pronounce a blessing on us, so we stood and “assumed the position” lol. I stood through the first wave but went down on the second. And he was twenty feet away!
But back to earlier in the day. The original plan was to go to Jubilee Days in Mechanicsburg in the evening, but the weather forecast was for storms (which we got) so we went over lunch and then stayed later for the rest of the class. Something had happened in the morning that kind of threw me for a loop, and I felt drawn to a particular lady, so I asked her to go with me and then poured out my heart to her along the way. God is so good. I know I say that a lot, but it’s so true and I don’t get tired of saying it. He keeps affirming this little girl in me that everything’s gonna be okay, that’s He’s right there with me, and every day my trust in Him grows. That’s what’s going to enable me to receive. The more I trust, the more I rest, the more I can receive. I’m trying to give away something I don’t have.
Our small group met in the evening. I’m really coming to love these people despite the fact that you feel as if they can look right through you, lol. Seriously, they operate in a level of the prophetic that I dream of despite the fact that much has been imparted to me already. The blockage is in my ability to receive. One of them turned to me at one point and laid his hand on my shoulder and started saying, “Rest….rest….just rest….” Believe it or not, rest does not come easy to me, constant striver that life forged! I had to struggle to enter into it, but it came immediately after he said, “Gently, Lord, gently…like a feather.” I kid you not when I tell you that I felt that feather in my spirit!!! I felt it land, and when I did I couldn’t help but smile. How did he know I needed rest? A few minutes later I interrupted just to share how out of place I was feeling. I mean seriously, it’s like in a movie I saw (X-Men?) where they’re sitting around showing off their gifts! Now I know they’re not showing off, they’re just talking about the great things God showed them and how He used it, but you see, I don’t see!!! I’m not getting it, and there’s this pressure on me (that I know I’m putting on myself) to perform. But you can’t strive. You can’t strive, you can only do these things from a place of rest. It’s really incredible, you know.
In any event, Caleb had me lie on the floor and the others gathered round and started to pray for me, their hands on my hands or head or shoulders or something and I closed my eyes as they prayed for me to receive rest. Anyway, at one point the other lady in the class says, “Patti, do you have problems remembering things?” OHHH MYYYYY WORD! See what I mean? Do you have any idea what it’s like for someone who has felt like a fake all her life to be surrounded by people who can see into her soul? I guess she got her answer when I started to cry :) I don’t know how long I laid there but eventually I got up (though with some effort–I was incredibly weak) and two of the guys helped me out to the car.
Kevin got home soon after I did, and at some point came over to me and gave me a hug, and after a few seconds down I went (there was a chair there, fortunately :). I am so in need of rest that his love triggered it. I told him, “You didn’t know you could do that, did you?” His love is so healing, and that is as it should be. I am blessed :)
There’s so much more that happened today, including an impartation by a new friend who has something I want. I’m hungry, and I’m opening my mouth wide for Him to fill :)