I’m trying to put something up before I get ready to go to the last day of the conference, but I don’t have much time. Ben Williams spoke in the morning. He’s a great speaker and has a lot of passion. One of the things that stuck out to me was his treatment of the verse that “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” I wish I’d taken better notes, but basically I realized that so many Christians have their identity tied to this verse and have it wrapped up in falling short. “I’m a worm” was my mantra. But you can’t fall short of something you’re supposed to have. We carry the image of God, His glory. And we’re going from glory to glory! He gave an acronym for TAG. T is Truth, a person who walks in integrity. A is “Awe with Authority”. G is Gifts. For God so loved the world He gave. We need to be what we’ve been freely given. So tag, you’re it :)
In the afternoon Max spoke again. I’m beginning to see why GSSM students consistently rank him as a favorite speaker. Max gave us a new view on Adam and Eve. They were functioning in an environment of perfect trust. They had no reason to doubt each other, no reason not to trust God, and had absolutely no grid work for not trusting the serpent as well. They’d never been challenged not to trust. Trust is a big deal. If the enemy can keep the kingdom from trusting, he can keep it from growing. The church today has learned how to “do religion” and religious things without trust, but the kingdom is all about trust. Jesus modeled a restoration of that trust. Years back the WWJD slogan went around, but it really had no impact on the church because the power isn’t in the doing, it’s in the being! What we do is a choice because of who we are! And people can tell when you’re just acting like Jesus. Max also spoke about the difference between power over and power under. The world does things from a power-over standpoint. In fact, that was Satan’s temptation to Jesus, that if He would bow down he’d give him “power over” the world. But Jesus understood that it doesn’t happen that way. Though I’d never heard of the “Seven Mountains” evidently Max did a great job of explaining why the church has been ineffective today. The vision comes of the seven mountains that need to be taken, but the church employed the power-over techniques and of course they don’t work! He then talked about Jesus and how He did only what He saw the Father doing. At this point he got Alexis to come up (she’s a trained dancer) and do a short dance routine, after which he tried to imitate it. It wasn’t hard for people to tell the difference, lol. Then he said “The world may not know Jesus, but they know when they don’t see him.” How true is that?!!! Yeah, I get the favorite teacher thing. He’s full of nuggets like those.
I sat with Josh and Prem and at one point they began to prophesy over me. Josh said he saw me like a little girl standing in front of a huge closet of clothes and I kept asking my Daddy, “Can I wear this? Can I wear this?” The thing is, it’s all mine and I don’t have to ask! He said he saw the church commissioning me and I told him that there was going to be a service before I went to Brazil and he said no, this was sending me out for something greater. He said I’d have my own ministry. I’m here to tell you that’s off my radar. It’s never been a desire of mine to have a ministry, and being in ministry for years at the church I can honestly say I’m burning out. But yeah, if it’s something God has for me then He’s going to change all that.
Bob Hazlett spoke in the evening. It’s what the students had been waiting all day for. It began with an incredible time of worship, and Bob led some at the end (he has a great voice). After a short message he called the students up and so I went. I wasn’t in the second row and as the music played he began to walk around prophesying over the group for eyes to see and ears to hear and for more fire. I had my eyes closed but at one point I knew he was close and the next thing I know he puts a finger on my forehead and down I go. And inside I’m going nooooooooo! I don’t want to just fall, I want a prophetic word from someone his contemporaries call the most accurate person they know. My mind and heart are in turmoil as I lay there. After a bit I sat up and moved back. At this point he’d begun going down the row prophesying over each person individually. Amazing incredible prophesies and it was awesome to just be a part of what was going on. After a half hour or so I went back and sat down at my seat. A friend had come for the evening so she had to wait until all the students were prophesied over before she could go up. After another hour I decided I needed to go home. I didn’t feel right getting back in line. This morning I got a short note from her that said she got it and she was the last one at midnight. She’s just beginning this walk and I know whatever he said is going to change her life!
I don’t know why I do these things to my heart, get my hopes up for something. And what was it anyway? That God would do some kind of amazing eye-opening thing like Elisha did with his servant? I’ll be honest. Yes, I realized afterward that is exactly what I was hoping for. And how I was feeling was much like an experience I’d had in fifth grade. For some reason we were given a name and told to buy a small gift for them. I remember going to a store in New Holland that had this room upstairs with toys and all kinds of wonderful things. I wanted to buy the coolest thing I could find for two bucks (or whatever it was, lol). In any event, I found something really neat that I’d actually wanted for myself! The day came when we exchanged gifts in class and I was so excited and sure (of course) that whatever I got was going to be cool, too. So what was it? Two pencils. I went home that day and told my mom and dad how disappointed I was and they first chided and then laughed at me. I ran upstairs crying. I’m pretty sure I made a vow that day but God hasn’t revealed to me what it was. In any event, last night brought that pain back (even though I’ve forgiven my parents). All of my life I’ve tried to keep from getting my hopes up for things because I’ve had so many disappointments. And so often when I allow myself to hope I just open myself up to more pain. God’s dealing with me today and part of me doesn’t even want to go to class because I can tell already that I’m “fragile.” It’s gonna be one of those try-to-hold-myself-together days. So silly of me, isn’t it? And yet I type it out and am determined to hit the “publish” button. This blog is about being real no matter how stupid and self-centered I look. God still loves me in spite of all this yuck. And I still believe what He’s said about me. Eventually my heart will, too.