Wow! God is on the move! I’ve heard others speak of great moves of God throughout history. I personally have mostly just read about such moves. I’ve been around people who say they want to be a part of a great move of God. I’ve been around people who believe they are a part of one in the present moment.
The past few weeks…I believe I’ve been ushered into something bigger than me that He is up to…I don’t know what it is or what He is doing with it…but it is BIG! I believe God is always on the move in the hearts of people. I believe He lives inside each one of us so we don’t HAVE to have a big move of God to see Him at work, but I think it is interesting when you can see something He is doing across a large and diverse group of people. I think it is time to stand up and take note when that happens.
So, what is this move of God I have seen over the past couple of weeks? It is a call by God for His people to become vulnerable to Him and to others. I’ve seen the call in a number of places. I’ve seen it in several unrelated ministries. I’ve heard it come from a wide spectrum of friends whose walks with Him are in varying seasons and stages of growth. I’ve seen the results of those who are vulnerable and open their hearts to those around them and the results when they choose a life of hiddenness. I’ve seen the impact vulnerability has on me personally when I choose to risk and when I choose to shrink back.
Yes, I think there is a time for vulnerability and a time for guarding, but it appears to me God is calling His people out right now to a greater degree of vulnerability. Perhaps He has something He wants us to say and to remain hidden would mean that the words are not spoken that would change a life of someone around you.
I’ve been away from my blog lately because I had some other things to write. I was asked to give a quick testimony at a retreat this weekend and I had that on my heart. I was given the opportunity to honor a couple of my friends with words of blessing and encouragement and I had those things on my mind and heart. I didn’t have much time or space left for anything else. I’ve also attended two “retreats” in the past two weeks that required my attention away from this blog. And…yes…the central message to me from God during those retreats and the surrounding interactions with others was a call to vulnerability. For me…the call was to a greater degree of vulnerability between me and God. For others in my circle of friends it centered on what He has them to do in His Kingdom in support of the rest of His sons and daughters.
I’ve gone back and forth on whether or not to share that testimony in this blog. I’ve wondered if it would make sense. I’ve wondered how it would be received by a few people who are close to me that I know will read it and have questions about why they didn’t know anything about the particular testimony. I’ve decided to share it here because of another move of God I’ve been blessed to be a part of in recent years that goes along with the vulnerability I personally have been called to by Him….listening to Him….seeking to hear His voice for myself….daring to have a personal relationship with the Creator….that will set you up for vulnerability!!!
So…here is my testimony of a time when God had me in the palm of His hand and used the vulnerability of one of His daughters to speak directly into my heart…AFTER I had opened my heart in vulnerability to Him.
Shannon called me a while back and asked me to pray for her. She believed she was being prompted by God to speak at the retreat and wanted me to pray that if this was from God that she would follow thru. Little did I know she would then be prompted to ask me to speak.
Shannon asked me to talk to y’all about a name that God has given me. She told me I only have a minute, but I’m going to take just a little bit longer because to get to the name, I have to give you a little back story and a bit of a warning or encouragement depending on how you want to look at it. I’m hoping you see it as encouragement. Back in 2007, Sheri started including Covenant of Silence as a part of these retreats. One of the things that she encouraged each of us to do was to sit with God and ask Him for a name that was special just for us. We were encouraged to ask Him how he saw us. I thought that was pretty cool, but I didn’t know how frustrating it would become over time. It became frustrating because I began approaching God with an expectation of how He would speak to me. I limited what I thought His words to me would look and sound like and when they didn’t come that way…I stopped listening. I would follow that same pattern every year for 3 years.
Then in January of 2010 just before the retreat I was at a very dark place spiritually that no one knew anything about. I was very close to giving up on God. I was very close to arriving at the conclusion that He wasn’t real and none of the things that any of us believe are real. After all…He didn’t speak to me and no matter how hard I tried, I could never measure up to the spiritual giants in my life. I could never get to the place they were. I was about to decide that this was just a big social club we had created for ourselves. I’d never measure up because there was really nothing to measure up to. These thoughts were swirling in my head and I was wrestling them out with God. I didn’t want to be in that place but I was. I hadn’t shared this with anyone. I hadn’t shared this with the office staff because I was pretty sure being a church bookkeeper and not believing in God wasn’t going to work out too well. I also didn’t need anyone talking me into what THEY believed. I did share my frustration about not hearing anything from God during Covenant of Silence with Sheri right before the retreat that year. She said we will have to pray about that and then walked away. That was it. That was all she had for me. That was all God wanted her to say about it.
Fast forward to the retreat and the covenant of silence. It was time to meet with God. It was time to find out what He had for me. I was in receiving mode. I desperately wanted and needed to hear from Him. I wanted to believe in Him. I wanted to believe He would speak to me. I wanted to believe He was real. The covenant of silence came…and went…but this time I was holding out hope. The weekend was not over. I had been praying and I knew Sheri had been praying for me to hear from Him. I knew if she asked Him to speak to me surely He would. And He did, but not at all how I expected. He chose to speak to me thru someone who didn’t even know me. I think that He knew I needed to hear from Him in a way that I could not mistake His still small voice for my own thoughts. He knew I would talk myself out of that being Him. He also knew I would talk myself out of any scripture that He might have highlighted as I read because I was looking so hard for Him. He knew I wouldn’t believe it was from Him if a friend had said what He thought of me, so He chose a stranger to share a word for me that He had placed on her heart for me.
That day GOD told me I was BECOMING. He told me that I was becoming to Him. I was pleasing and acceptable AND He wasn’t finished with me. He told me I didn’t have to be something I had not yet become. He told me I was in process. With that word, He told me I was just who He wanted me to be in that moment but that He didn’t plan to leave me there. He told me He was listening to my wrestling and my desire to hear from Him. He confirmed He is real because that word spoke to everything I had been wrestling with Him about…and it continues to speak to me to this day…3 years later. He has been confirming that word for me thru scripture and sermons and books AND HIS still small voice and His other children. He has built on that word with names like Sparrow and Soaring and Survivor. If I had time I would share those stories too because they are all woven together into the person He created me to be right here and now and for the person I have yet to BECOME.
The enemy will try to steal your word, your name from God. He will try to diminish it. He will try to alter it. He will try to make you work for it. He will try to make you think you have to do something to make sure it is true about you. As often as the enemy has tried to convince me to strive to become, God has reminded me that He is the one who makes me becoming.
2 Corinthians 3:18 says…
So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord–who is the Spirit–makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.
I am becoming because HE says so. I am becoming because I am a child of His. I am becoming because when God sees me He sees me thru the reflection of His son. I am becoming because until I receive the name He has written for me in Heaven He will continue to make me more and more like Him.
And each of you are BECOMING because this promise is for ALL!!
Please don’t be discouraged if His answer to your question doesn’t come to you the way you are expecting. Go to Him with your question with an open mind and heart willing to receive all He has for you by whatever avenue He chooses. He is really good at answering questions in a way that you cannot deny Him. If you are asked to pray for someone, be bold in your prayers. If God places someone on your heart and gives you a name for them, share it. It may not make sense to you, but it may be the answer to another person’s question that will point them straight to the heart of God.
I didn’t know this testimony was going to have anything to do with vulnerability with God or with others. I prayed that sharing this testimony would be an encouragement to at least one person out there that needed to hear from God. Opening yourself up to hear from God for yourself…that is a bold move. Speaking words that God has placed into your heart for another human being…that is a bold move. Praying to God for things that are bigger than anything we can control or do ourselves and BELIEVING He WILL move mountains and still performs miracles….that is a bold move.
Lord, please increase our desire for you and for the hearts of others so that we are willing to pour ourselves out to you and on behalf of others no matter how bad we might want to hide. Give us a FEARLESS, loving heart!!