Sunday, January 23, 2011

It's a Wonderful Life

So it's been kind of a crazy time lately. Struggles and breakthroughs that are followed by more struggles and more breakthroughs has kind of been my pattern of life right now. Not sure if it needs to be said, but it is sort of a tiring cycle. Compound that with the fact that I still don't really have anyone around here that I fit with though that is kind of changing/improving.

So let me share a few of the lessons that I have been learning very recently.
1) While my journey as a believer began in earnest after graduation, I have begun to realize that people were prophesying over me and praying for me for countless years prior to that. Seems kind of obvious to now, I was a little psycho on the fast track to prison and addiction but God has never allowed it. When the majority of my brothers have struggled with addictions to drugs, alcohol, and porn while I have basically never gone beyond the fringes of those social circles I have to be amazed. I desire sex, but so much more than that, I desire to have my best friend - the one that I can hold while we sleep and just enjoy as a person that God has designed for me. I'm not spotless, but God has kept me from many things that would have taken me away.
2) A related theme that I have received - most through visions but also through prophecy, is that I have an impossible to achieve on my own/in my own strength kind of destiny. I believe that is God's voice so I am unwavering in my pursuit of it, but in the pursuit I get tired, frustrated, and terrified. We were having a prayer meeting last night and some of the stuff that was being prayed over me so too intense for me to handle and I had to walk out to get my bearing. Well some of the stronger ones amongst the group came after me. One of the girls told me that I can't fail. I can't fail because it's not me doing the work. I am a worker so it's hard for me to swallow, but it was certainly the word that I needed to hear!
3) I am who I am supposed to be. I've never really liked pretense or masks - they just lead to suffocation, but I was never really satisfied with who I am. Like in the natural realm it is explainable, I come from a very successful and gifted family of which I was always sort of the runt. It's hard growing up thinking you were never good enough but again, I wasn't really suicidal so God protected me from it having too much play in my conscience. Now I know that I am who I am because it's who I am supposed to be. I'm extreme and stubborn so that I will persevere and never fear limits, I am a dreamer so that I can truly believe - not just possibilities but the things that are actually happening, the real beliefs.
My characteristics and my life have God written all over them but kind of like the King needing Daniel to read the writing on the wall, I need the Spirit, my community and more experience to grasp how God has played things out. But don't give up, he is working everything out!

Monday, January 10, 2011

A mysterious exchange

So, i've been through a few years of bible training now and I keep hearing about the Trinity - Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Well I find that there is a great discrepancy between the Spirit-filled believers and the yet-to-be-filled believers. I have heard from denominations that believe that the move of the Spirit can't happen anymore, except it does so I don't know how that works. I have heard from denominations that say it can happen, but it doesn't too often so I wouldn't call that belief so I don't know what to call that. What I might say I know is that beliefs are lived out and acted upon.
People at Bethany believe in the Baptism of the Spirit. We just had our Holy Spirit kick off chapel on Friday night, not the literal name for it - but that's what it was. The professed ideas are acted out here. That has been something I have noticed from the first time I stepped foot here when I visited last year. They love prayer so we pray for each other a lot! It is a missionary school, so we have required outreaches to stretch our comfort levels. There is a strong emphasis on fasting so we fast quite often - like every tuesday from lunch, for the first 6 months from dating, from media for the first 2 months and as often as personally desired. Truly living what is the spoken beliefs.
I think that so often we get caught up in the Trinity that we forget that they comprise one being. Now no true believer would ever say that, but it just seems to come through in peoples actions and speech. We classify "God" and "Jesus" and "Holy Spirit" so much but forget that as one they share attributes. Talking about Jesus for today is the same as talking about the Spirit. It is crazy to me that so many have such a hard time with this, because Jesus himself said it would be better for us that He would leave so that the Spirit could be sent. Like really, it is better! Our salvation comes through the work of Christ on the cross, I am not disputing that at all but like what about the 2000 years since then. The Spirit has been kicking it here that long but so many believers reject him.
Well I have seen the fruits from the commitment. At this moment there are 15 new January students plus 40/50+ students from the Rivendell school. Not surprisingly, each one of these new students is in a new place in relation to the work of the Spirit. On Friday night we had a chapel service for the purpose of having them receive Him. It was pretty much the most like intense 4 1/2 hours of ministry and Spirit time that I have had since like the first week of school. A mysterious and glorious exchange happened in many lives and it was beautiful to see.
Like honestly, I can't say that somethings that happen don't seem weird to me, but that is human logic. Anytime God moves throughout the scriptures it is supernatural aka strange. So why is it that we get bothered by it now when there is so much evidence in the scripture that barely phases us. Is it possible, because even people who say it can happen, don't believe it will and certainly aren't open to the reality that it will. I pray for the baptism of fire to come upon our church as it did at the first, but God in His infinite patients waits for us to open up to it. There is no greater thing than bowing before the cross and allowing the fullness of God work in us, to receive the exchange.