Thursday, January 04, 2007

God is moving

Tonight was a great night at my Life in the Spirit Bible Study. Some of you will be shocked to read that, since that is not normally my assessment of the study. And, honestly, I did not go anticipating anything different than the last few weeks. But, tonight, God showed up in a mighty and real way that is hard to even describe. It all started innocently enough. We are studying being filled with the Spirit and the fruit of the Spirit. The pastor asked us to share stories of people we knew where we had seen the Spirit at work. I immediately thought of several people at different times in my life where the Spirit had moved in dramatic and not so dramatic ways. I thought of Jason who a friend and I had discussed was going to be a preacher two full years before he heard/accepted/acted on the call (you choose what works in your way of thinking). I thought of another friend who I had seen change from deathly afraid of international travel to working in full-time mission work. I thought of how God has led us to each job change and locality change that we have made in our marriage. I thought of the ladies who have been posting their New Year’s meditations on Laurel’s site and the way God is moving in blogsphere. Others thought of and shared their stories as well. It was encouraging.

Then the pastor asked what would it look like if revival really came into our church family and how we would react. Could we anticipate revival? How do we do that? We had a great discussion about watching for God at work and being active in seeking His leading and His moving in our church. And we talked about that part of anticipating God moving is to be willing to do things differently--to be open to change--because God rarely does what we expect; He does so much more! That really got me to thinking about what the “more” might look like. Would I like it? Would I want it? Would I be a part of it? I would hope that I could answer “yes” to all of those questions because I should want to be a part of anything God is doing. But moving outside my comfort zone always takes my breath away. So I realize that I need to pray to be ready to change. I need to honestly and earnestly seek a flexible heart if I am going to experience God in a "more" way.

Before I left for the study tonight, I grabbed a copy of this that Ellen wrote over at Laced by Grace. I had copied it because I‘ll be sharing part of it with my Ladies Bible Study next week to jumpstart a discussion of where we see God taking the group this year. I had not given any thought to taking it tonight. But something (or Someone) prompted me to get it. And then I really felt I needed to share questions one, two and six. So I did. I guess we‘ll see what God does with that. (side note--I‘ll be sharing some of my answers to those questions in the coming days, because I am being seriously challenged by them. Watch this space.)

Then it was prayer time. It was a time of open prayer, which is usually 3-4 people praying out of the group of 10. Tonight it was silent. Really silent. For a good 10 minutes. I can hardly describe it. It was “heavy“ with the presence of God. I kept hearing a repeated refrain in my head of “Don’t talk” so I didn’t. I was literally bouncing with giddiness as I prayed about what God could do in our church if He truly filled us. (I may need to remind you all that I am in a conservative traditional evangelical church that shies away from charismatic anything for the most part--so this is not our normal prayer time expression). All of a sudden I could not help smiling at the thought of what God was going to do. I almost laughed aloud, but thought better of it, since the time was not really right. The pastor closed the time with a prayer that he thanked God for a time of “overwhelming presence that keeps us in silence.” Afterwards one of the ladies in the group came over to me and said, “That was the greatest feeling--kind of heavy with God’s Spirit and then I couldn’t help but smile as He washed over.” HOW COOL IS THAT? I don’t know what it means, but I know that God is at work and I am EXCITED to see what He does. I wish I could say that is always the case, but too often I am comfortable in the normal and even leery of change. So this is a great feeling. I’m sure I’ll be posting more as this unfolds. But for now, I feel like my waterfall is coming. COOL!

10 comments:

janiswrites said...

That is awesome that you had that precious time with God last night at Bible study. Nothing else refreshes your soul quite like that. I hope that your Bible study group continues growing with God. It sounds like all of you are on the way! Blessings!

Tina said...

Wow, that gave me chills.

my4blessings said...

Can't wait to hear more of what God is revealing to your group. How exciting!

Grafted Branch said...

Wow mipa! It was surely the Lord to keep 10 people at a Bible study quiet for 10 minutes. You described it with such energy that I can almost sense the heaviness of the moment myself.

Cyndi said...

Just the title of this post gave me shivers. God is indeed doing a great work. What a great story of what He's doing in your Bible Study! I love this feeling of anticipation that I have right now that He's poised to do something big for His great name.

Sissy B. said...

I am always encouraged when I read posts such as this. It makes me quite hopeful!!!

Linda said...

Thank you so much for visiting my blog Miriam. I loved you post. I have had a deep yearning in my heart for such a long time to see God move in a powerful way. You made me think about exactly what I thought that would be and would I be willing to move out of my comfort zone. I'm not good at that at all. I like to always be in control of things. It has given me much to think about. I want to be part of whatever God is going to do - but am I really open to it? Thank you so much for such a thought provoking post.
Please come visit again.

Jaime said...

Isn't God awesome!!!
I really look forward to your posts. They are so inspiring and make me want to get to know God more and more.

Margaret said...

The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. Ps 126:3

pandacanup said...

It would be so wonderful if more people in churches across America would be more expectant of the Lord. True faith is the quiet assurance that He is at work in every situation and circumstance. I will be praying for you and your church as you seek to join Him in His work around you!