I’ve had no luck fixing my computer yet, so this week’s set of Psalms posts remain trapped on my hard drive. I’m hopeful things will be fixed by Thursday or at the very latest by next week. For today’s post, I wanted to do something that I thought of a week or so ago. I was reminded of this idea when we had a guest speaker at my church this weekend who shared something similar to this.
What I want to do is share several amazing moments I’ve had with God this year and examine one major thing they all have in common.
First up, I want to talk about an all night worship event my church held this summer. It ran from 7:00 pm until 2:00 am. That night, as the room was filled with believers just lost in deep and absolute worship and praise of God, I felt the presence of the Lord like I haven’t since I was a teenager. His presence was so thick in the air at one point that I had my head bowed, and I was just crying these tears of joy, and I tried to pull my head up and I couldn’t. The air was just so thick with His presence that I felt like I couldn’t even move, because God was all around us. It was a powerful moment, and one of the most intimate, up close encounters with God I’ve ever had.
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A week later I went to the young adult service at my church. I was still pretty new, still very much inside my shell and barely talking to anyone, still getting used to the idea of being in a church again. The Pastor asked us to find someone and pray with them. At the time, this was a nightmare scenario for me. Praying out loud with other people, especially people I didn’t know, was like my church worst case scenario at that point in my life. But I saw a young man standing alone, and I just felt like I needed to go up to him in particular. As soon as we started talking, all my meekness and hesitancy and fear dropped off, and the Holy Spirit took over. This young man had a need for prayer, and I opened my mouth and God poured out a beautiful, awesome prayer just for this young man. I take zero credit, but man I was so excited to be a part of it. As soon as I left that night I called my big brother (who had recently prayed out loud with me). I excitedly told him what had happened. I prayed for somebody! And it actually went well!
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Since I’ve started this blog I’ve shared about my fear of the end of the world and of armageddon and all that. I also shared about how God delivered me from those fears. If you’ll remember, it was a few months ago. I was in a class at my church that I’d signed up for and that week was all about the second coming of Jesus. I almost faked an illness and skipped church that night, but I didn’t. I went into that class half filled with dread, and half filled with a hope that something would happen that would help me. And God caused a single word to resonate in my spirit. It bounced around my mind and my soul so loud that for a minute I heard nothing else. Trust. God asked if I trusted Him. And if the answer was truly yes, then how could I possibly fear His second coming and the dawning of His kingdom? Since that moment, I’ve not felt the dread and fear of the end times anymore.
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I could go on and on here. How after my class at church I was approached by the worship leader and drafted into playing bass with the worship team. How I showed up to a church home group and had a woman prophecy over me about my writing for the Lord. How I worked hard practicing music all week, fought through all sorts of troubles and distractions to make it to church to play that morning, and had a front row seat as the Lord moved mightily through the praise and worship that morning and changed lives. How I went to church and was able to ask God a direct question and he gave a fellow believer the answer and had them come over and tell it to me.
All of these testimonies I have of this beautiful, incredible year of mine have one major thing in common. None of them, not a single solitary one of them, happened to me while I was at home. The first step to every thing I’ve shared here today was me showing up somewhere. I’ve talked about this before, but it’s really become a core belief of mine. We have to step out of our comfort zones. We have to take a step. That’s why I love altar calls at church. God deals with people in their seats, they’re feeling Him and they know something’s happening and everything the preacher is saying hits home for them. And then the preacher says, if you’re dealing with these issues then I want you to come down to the front. Deliverance is at that altar. Forgiveness and comfort and love and new life. But it’s a few steps away, and it takes a couple of steps of faith and action on your part to get there.
Romans 10:13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
You first have to call on his name.
Matthew 11:28-30 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Jesus says you have to come to him, you have to take the yoke upon yourself.
Look back over the list of awesome things God’s done in my life. Every single one, I showed up somewhere. And if you knew me over the past few years of my life, you’d know that the last thing I really ever wanted to do was show up anywhere. God didn’t visit all of these amazing moments and breakthroughs on me as I sat in my computer chair for a year and wallowed in self pity over my illness. I first took a step out the door, and then I was met with blessings and joy overflowing.
I guess my whole point today is just those two simple words. Show up. In whatever manner or way you can, show up. Some people are bed ridden with illness, and showing up may take on a different form for them. Sometimes for me, showing up is as simple as studying my Bible instead of playing a computer game. But I’m telling you, if you’re not seeing God move in your life how you want, if you’re not hearing Him speak in your life how you want, the answer a lot of the time is going to be that you just need to show up. Take that step of faith out the front door, or down the aisle, or towards the sign up sheet to serve in the church, or towards that lost family member you’ve never told about Jesus. Show up for the Lord, with a right heart and Godly intentions, then stand there and be amazed at what he does in your life.
PRAYER AND CLOSING
Father God, today I just want to thank you for always meeting us when we take a step towards you. I’ve never seen an honest step towards you result in anything less than something beautiful and miraculous happening. Lord, I want to pray for boldness today, for myself and for anyone else reading this who may need it. You know my heart, God, you know how excruciating those first steps were for me. I almost lost myself, but you drew me in through the boys and through my brother, and when I took that step towards you it’s been nothing but blessing after blessing. Father, I also know that mine have been baby steps so far. How much more abundant will the joy be as I continue to grow and take larger and larger steps forward in your name? It’s hard to imagine things getting any better, but you’re the Lord of the unimaginable, and I’m so thankful that you’ve got goodness stored up for us that we can’t even imagine. Father God, deal with people today who need to take a step towards you, who need to show up somewhere for the Lord. Draw them in, nudge them, send a stiff wind to help push them out the door, whatever it takes Lord, I want more people to know the joy that comes from showing up for you. Your love and comfort is so good, Lord, and I just thank you and praise you so much for the way you love and comfort us. Thank you for all that you’ve done in my life, and all that you’re continuing to do. I’m so excited to see where this great adventure we’re on leads me next. In the precious name of Jesus I pray, amen.
I love you guys. I’m having a crazy week so far but man it’s good to be alive and to have the love of the Lord in your life. God loves us so well, doesn’t he?