This Monday, we will finish our last class on “Communion With God” in our weekly School of Prayer at House of Good Hope. I personally started this class on my own last winter, long before it was introduced in the School of Prayer. I started it originally with the goal of obtaining college credit. But the class was so good, I then introduced it on Monday nights. Many told me they’ve learned so much, said how great it was! Mark Virkler excellently teaches us how to hear God’s voice, and he taught us many tools on how to do this. Everyone in our class now knows the 4 basic keys:
1. Quiet yourself down
2. Look for vision
3. Tune in to spontaneity
4. Write what you hear God say to you.
All this looks very simple, but it’s a discipline I found we still need to learn. I was doing some of it, but not all 4 steps. Following all 4 has stretched and challenged me. And this comes from a seasoned journalist! I’ve been journaling almost all of my life: since I was 13 years old, after I read the book – Diary of Anne Frank. Her story so moved me, I decided to write down my thoughts and keep a record of my life. I’ve kept this up ever since, now have a bookcase full of my journals.
Everyone who comes to this house of prayer knows how strongly I emphasize the importance of keeping a journal, I regularly hand out notebooks to encourage those to start journaling. But one thing I’ve not done is to record all that what I hear God saying to me, as what Mark Virkler says: “the art of 2-way journaling“. I found I almost never allow Holy Spirit start the conversation with me when I pray. I rarely ask the Lord what HE wants to discuss with me, all of it is only about what’s on my heart, not God’s. As with most of us, I start my prayers with what I want to pray about. For almost all my life I’ve only written what “I” thought, or what “I” am going through. I never bothered to record any of the dialogue I have with the Lord; what He says to me (unless it’s a “biggie”!), and I’m an intercessor! If we believe God is real and He is keenly interested in all that we do, why can’t we go to Him, ask questions and write down what we hear the Lord say to us? We all believe God speaks directly to our hearts, why can’t we just write down what we hear? For me, this way of 2-way journaling has been life-changing! It has been a discipline for me to learn to quiet myself down and wait to hear what the Lord wants to say to me. I ask the Lord in prayer, and I do record my prayers, but I’ve been negligent in waiting for the Lord to answer me – and especially writing the answer down when I get it! I’m also very good at writing down my thoughts, my ideas, my strategies, etc. Not God’s.
As I’ve been practicing this “2-way” thing, one important topic the Lord has been discussing with me is my “trust” factor. I keep hearing the Lord ask me: “Do you trust Me?” Yes, I believe every word in the Bible is real. Yes, I do believe the Lord takes care of His children, provides for their needs as they relied on Him. Yes, I do believe that the miraculous is here today, I’ve even witnessed some powerful miracles in my life and in those who I’ve prayed for. Yes, I believe in prophecy and I do believe the Lord uses me at times. I believe in all of that. But do I truly believe in all of that…..for me? All the time? Do I also trust the Lord to meet MY needs? Especially my every need? Do I truly know how to depend on God for my everything? I remember one time wanting to discuss with the Lord something that was in my mind, but suddenly I found myself redirected to start thinking about my job. The Lord asked me – “Do you trust Me?” The Lord was asking me: did I trust God that HE is my Provider, not my own 2 hands or my paycheck? Until this was brought up, the thought never occurred to me. I’ve done a lot risky things in my life, but I always trusted in my weekly paycheck to provide for me. Not in God.
I suddenly saw a picture in the movie Aladdin – he had his hand out to Princess Jasmine and asked, “Do you trust me?” I heard the Lord ask me: “Do you truly trust Me to provide for your daily bread? Do you truly trust Me to provide for your every need?” Princess Jasmine knew if she took Aladdin’s hand, she would be going on a risky wild and crazy ride, there was no going back. But Jasmine desperately wanted to go with Aladdin. So, as risky as it was, she took his hand. She took the risk, went on that wild and crazy ride and loved every minute of it!
So here I am, in my prayer room with that image embedded in my mind. Like in the Aladdin movie, I saw the Lord extend His hand and ask me: “Do you trust Me?” Like Princess Jasmine, my heart beats quickly when I hear the question, yet I’m afraid. I hear the Lord asking me to take risks, even greater risks than I’ve had in the past. Am I willing? Do I trust Him? Do I trust God with my everything?
Another picture the Lord gave me was of Bilbo Baggins from the Hobbit, one of my favorite stories. I so relate to Bilbo! Part of me wants to remain safe and comfortable in my little “hobbit-hole”, yet part of me craves adventure: wild, life-threatening crazy adventure! Bilbo finally made the decision to go on the adventure that was put before him. Here he was, running down the lane, coat tails flying, off to meet his adventure. I keep hearing the other hobbits yelling at Bilbo, asking what’s he’s in such a hurry for? Bilbo’s response was: “I’m going on an ADVENTURE!!” Am I willing to risk it all? Am I willing to go on an “adventure” with Jesus? Do I trust the Lord with my……everything? Can I TRULY trust God?
I hear the Lord ask me if I can trust Him, not only for His ability to provide for my daily needs, but for me to partner with Him; in a sense, “go on adventures” with Jesus. We all have dreams. Some of us even may sense the Lord leading us in some sort of direction. Like me, many of us talk about it, but we’re a bit too afraid to launch out in what we hear the Lord leading us to. We think we need more training, more maturity, more money, more of something we think we don’t yet have. And…..we don’t have enough trust in God to truly believe He will provide all of that for us! We spend all of our lives preparing for our adventures, yet too afraid to step out and have them. For some of us, suddenly we find it’s too late. We missed it.
Are you willing to go on adventures with Jesus? Has the Lord challenged you in this area of trust? Are you willing to go so far as even lay down your time, your career, even your resources to go on these adventures with the Lord? Are you willing to be stretched?
Am I willing? Are you willing?
“DO YOU TRUST ME?”
Starting Monday, September 28, 2015 our Monday night School of Prayer will be studying and discussing the “trust” factor. The class will be called – “Do you trust Me?” We will explore what it means to go on these “adventures in God”, allow ourselves to be stretched further, even beyond than what we’re used to. This will be a class with no tests, with no right or wrong answers. It will more of a discussion forum, mixed in with lots of prayer. Together we will discuss and learn from each other what it means to truly trust in God for our everything. Everyone is welcome, no charge for the class. Offerings will be taken each weekto cover costs. Respond to this message if you would like to join us?
Come, let’s go on some wild and crazy adventures with God!