For the past few months Zach and I have prayed that God would put a strong desire in us to want to grow closer and seek him. Over the past couple weeks I have had a deeper longing for him that I have not had in a while. However, my life has been pretty hectic and full of change with starting a new career and Zach starting his own business. In fact, on Wednesday I had to drive to and from Atlanta for a Food and Wine show then get up the next morning for our trip to the Womens' Conference in St. Louis. I was exhausted to say the least, and sort of wishing this conference would be next weekend.
But God always has perfect timing.
A little history on Joyce:
She reaches 2/3 of the WORLD from television broadcast
She has authored over 90 books
She was raped over 200 times within 5 years by her own father
She gives none of the credit to herself, she obeyed God and he used her gifts to reach people in some of the most remote places in the world
She is one of the most "real" speakers I have ever heard
We went to the 5 services of 15,000 women joined from all over the world, Joyce spoke each service in a way that I have not heard before. There was truly an anointing on her, God was speaking through her very clearly.
One thing I know more than ever after this weekend, Jesus Christ is alive and well. He died on this earth and rose again on this earth. Buddha, Muhammad, and any other worshipped being died and that was the end of their story. Why is being a Christ follower different? Because we serve a living God...WOW! There is POWER in Jesus name to give anyone and everyone a NEW life. His love will bring life to the suffering, healing to the sick, and deliverance from evil. I can say in my own life I have been delivered, and I want to go all the way through with God. I am not perfect nor is any Christian, don't judge us on that, but judge us based on the ONE PERFECT HUMAN Jesus Christ.
If you aren't sure what I mean, please watch this clip from the weekend. This young lady was born unwanted and passed off to her grandparents who repeatedly told her how unwanted she was. She lived in a very violent environment, her aunt began sexually abusing her at a young age. Her aunt then sold her to men for money. As a teenager she began abusing drugs, cutting, and tried to commit suicide 28 times. This is her telling her story at the the conference: Kim's Story
Now if that don't get you fired up, I don't know what will!
Some of the main points of this weekend that hit home with me:
- "Lean on God for encouragement instead of looking to people to get our needs met." JM
- "Don't ever hold back when God gives you the opportunity to help someone else" JM
- "The only way to be happy is to be in the middle of God's will for your life" JM
- "Stop worrying, we aren't smart enough to run our own lives, just let God take control" JM
- "Do not be concerned with what the world considers important or holds in high regard" JM
1 Corinthians 1:26-31
- "If you do what you can do, God will do the rest." JM
- "Can God trust us to love people? The ones that no one else wants to love" Nancy Alcorn
- "It's much better to have the pain of progress than the pain of stagnation" JM
- "Anything you don't feed will die (concerning our sinful nature)" JM
- "The 1st sign of a spirit-filled life is Enthusiasm" JM
I could say so much more about all the wonderful moments and messages of this weekend. The Holy Spirit was in that place. If you are reading this and wondering where this passion and intensity comes from-it is from the one true hope of our world-Jesus Christ. I pray that my attempt at expressing what God showed me this weekend has at least been of a reminder of the power of God. He is real and waiting on all of us with open arms, BUT we must surrender to him to live a life of TRUE joy and an eternity spent in paradise.
I have been so desperate in my own life for God's grace and mercy to set me free because I was born this way, but I don't have to stay this way, I can be a new creation in him!