So right now in my quiet times I’m going through Hosea. It’s funny because I’m pretty sure that I thought the only reason why I chose this book is because I just went through Daniel and I had no idea what to read and Hosea happened to be next in the Bible. Also at the church I go to here in Austin, they’ve been doing a series on idolatry. While going through both of these things, God’s been speaking to me a lot.
The past couple of weeks, I’ve been feeling really bleh. Like I feel worn out and overwhelmed. However, this isn’t a normal worn out feeling like I went through last semester where I was actually just stressed and spreading myself too thin. No this feeling is much different. I thought I was going through some kind of spiritual warfare or something. Throughout it though, I’ve still had a sense of enormous joy, so it didn’t make any sense to me.
As I went through my time with God today, I felt him talk to me about what was going on. Going through a book of the bible and a series at church about idolatry is a lot to handle. It’s super difficult. I feel a lot of guilt about where my attention and focus is, about my sins, and about how I basically just suck. God let me know though, that what I was feeling was like an actual physical affect of him stripping me of myself. I feel like a strange pressure and even pain on my body but it’s hard to describe exactly what it’s like. I just know that when it’s over, God wants to be seen more in me, which is great. I’ve been asking that God will make me someone that reflects Him more and me less. He wants to strip me of myself and I guess this feeling is like my flesh trying to resist it. I don’t want to resist it though. I want to get over myself and stop letting my world revolve around me. So while God does this, I’m not going to complain anymore, I’m just going to realize that in the end it’ll all be better.
So God, keep stripping me, molding me, and making You the center of me.
Here’s a song that I was listening to during this quiet time. It’s kind of irrelevant, but I felt like God was speaking to me through it.
I originally thought I was going to be writing a post about my church’s youth camp that I attended last week. However, there’s something much more important that I think I should discuss. Camp will be a big part of it, but there’s something really exciting on my heart. Something that makes me want to jump around when I just think about it!
Never before have I heard the phrase “spiritual warfare” thrown around so much until lately. We talked about it in our meetings almost everyday at camp. And I can feel it. Spiritual warfare is when there’s an attack from the enemy that keeps a person away from God. I’ve seen this as a wall in someone’s attitude towards God, causing doubt or anger, or even an actual demonic attack (yes I believe that happens), but the Holy Spirit is trying to push through. I’ve been experiencing this myself on and off for the past couple of months. I’ve found myself many times feeling dry and doubtful. So, why is this exciting to me? Well usually when there’s a lot of spiritual warfare, it’s because God is on the verge of doing something BIG! Are you ready?
So last week I was at a youth camp for my home church, and wow was their so much spiritual warfare going on there! Even though this was probably my 5th or 6th camp for this church, I experienced something that I never have before. Usually at these camps, it feels as though we are broken down, normally for personal reasons and we don’t have any big experience in God’s presence until the end. However this year, God started things off with a bang. It felt as though the first two days is when God really broke us down, except the students didn’t feel sadness, they felt release. My favorite night had to be the second. After we were heard a message from our guest speaker Jason Spears (who btw brought down the house and was so in tune with the Holy Spirit that he had to stop a couple of times in his message to pray and prophesy over our pastors and even specific students and leaders), we as leaders were called down to the front so that kids could come to us with their prayer needs. I don’t think I’ve ever been more blessed. The Holy Spirit was so there, that the girls that came to me to pray I felt were led to me for a reason. A couple of these girls I had known for years, but when they came up to me, their prayer needs were things that I completely related with. Many were things that I went through just last year. It was awesome how God led us to each other, so that not only could I pray with them, but I could encourage them and tell them what God told me when I was going through these things and that He wanted them to hear them too. As I prayed with these girls, I hugged them as they were totally broken down weeping. I could feel all of their pain being released as God was replacing it with His peace and love. That night as we leaders were praying with our students, it felt as though we were going into battle! We cried and yelled out desperately to God asking for His spirit to make these kids whole again. I had never felt anything like it! The rest of the nights that week I saw God’s joy like never before in those students. We literally saw them set free. There was so much healing, even physical! I had never seen so much freedom in worship before. The kids were jumping, dancing, and just giving their all to the Lord. God is starting something huge in that youth group! Those students, as well as us leaders were told that we are going to be used in amazing ways to help God transform the people we know and the areas we live.
Something similar to this was happening this week in Chicago, Illinois. One of my friends had the opportunity to go to the Jesus Culture Awakening Conference there. Now, even though I wasn’t there, I could feel the Holy Spirit moving as I watched online through the live streaming of the event. The same sort of healings were happening there. And, as my friend was keeping me updated, it sounded a lot like God was releasing the same sort of freedom that He had at my camp at that conference. Thousands were there experiencing the Holy Spirit in crazy ways and even more were getting to watch it all happen online.
Finally, today I got to go to The Response here in Houston at Reliant Stadium. What was seen as just a cheap publicity stunt by Governor Rick Perry, was actually one of the most genuine things I’ve ever experienced. Over 30,000 people of different cultures and denominations gathered to desperately cry for mercy for our nation. And yes, that same freedom that I experienced at camp and that same power and joy that came down in Chicago was there too!
So I don’t know about you, but I don’t think that the fact that there were two great rallies for God in one week in the third and fourth largest cities in our country is just a coincidence! At the Response, we asked God to send a third great awakening on our country. Can you just imagine something huge like what happened with Jonathan Edwards happening in our time?! What better time than now? God is setting many of us Christians free right now because He needs to get us pumped so that we can radiate His love to those around us. So that we can win our family, our friends, our campuses, our cities back to God! Get excited! The Holy Spirit is about to fall on us like it did for the first time to the people in Jerusalem in Acts 2. God’s already sending prophesies to people of certain areas that are about to get transformed. Are you ready? God’s not going to do this on his own by the way! He needs us, his servants, to get bold, to declare His name everywhere, and to love Him with everything! Get ready to go into battle! Revival is coming!