Deliver Me

IMG_20160307_212818

A few weeks ago, I posted about my car’s breakdown and having to choose joy in the midst of stress. Here’s the sequel to that episode and what God was teaching me in it.

Idris broke down on Sunday, February 14, (happy Valentine’s Day to me) and was in the shop until Saturday, February 20. It took the mechanic a while to figure out what was wrong with it, so for almost a week, I had no answers — and no car.

The Tuesday of that week in my Desert Spirituality class (we’re studying the Egyptian Coptic monks of the 4th and 5th centuries) my teacher posed a challenge: Meditate on one verse for a week. The verse assigned was Psalm 70:1.

“Make haste, O God, to deliver me!

O Lord, make haste to help me!”

 

I admit, although I undertook the challenge enthusiastically, at first I couldn’t really connect with it. David was asking the Lord for deliverance from men who were trying to kill him. Being unable to relate to that situation and feeling pretty secure in most areas of my life, I wrestled with the question, “What do I need deliverance from?”

On Friday, while walking from my piano lesson back to the prayer room, I got a call from my mechanic. Long story short, my catalytic converter was blocked and needed to be replaced ($600) but this was only a symptom of a larger untracable problem and the blockage would only build back up over time (six months to two years) and possibly damage more things along the way, sooooo… his advice was that I start looking for a new car.

GREAT news to hear on a Friday morning!

I sat down in the prayer room, opened my journal to where I had started to write about Psalm 70:1, and thought wryly, “Welp, I know what I need deliverance from now.”

But in the next moment, I knew it wasn’t my car situation itself that I needed deliverance from. It was my attitude about my car situation.

I needed deliverance from fear. Worry. Distrust. The enemies I was fighting were all internal.

Crazy how I get the most revelation and encounter when I’m suddenly in some sort of desperate situation… when I suddenly realise how much I need Him.

At noon, right at the beginning of her set in the prayer room, Erica Jensen started singing a song by Audrey Assad that has recently become very dear to the entire IHOPKC community since Audrey sang it at Onething. (You can watch the set HERE, and you can even see me in the front row. It’s kind of weird to watch the exact moment God was impacting my heart!)

From the love of my own comfort
From the fear of having nothing
From a life of worldly passions
Deliver me O God

From the need to be understood
From the need to be accepted
From the fear of being lonely
Deliver me O God
Deliver me O God

And I shall not want, I shall not want
When I taste Your goodness I shall not want
When I taste Your goodness I shall not want

“I Shall Not Want” by Audrey Assad

It was exactly what I needed to hear.

That night, Misty Edwards sang the exact same song at Encounter God service. It was a powerful moment. Even Misty was choking up and had trouble finishing the verse. (You can watch that set HERE. The song starts around 33 minutes.)

Lord, deliver me from fear of not having what I need. Deliver me from trying to figure things out on my own. You are my shepherd, and I shall not want. I lack nothing with You. I rest in Your presence and provision.

Enjoy Audrey Assad singing I Shall Not Want at Onething 2015:

Epilogue: I paid for the repair and got Idris back on Saturday, February 20. I’ve been driving her gently ever since (except that one time I drove to Dallas last weekend…) and she’s been behaving very nicely for me.

Advertisements

Onething 2013

I arrived in KC-home from Rancho-home (as I have taken to calling them) on December 27. I would have stayed in Rancho-home longer, but I was eager to get back to Kansas City to attend the annual Onething conference December 28-31.

Onething 2013

“Rightly do we love You, Son of God, Son of Man. Rightly do we love You, Jesus…”

Since 2002, IHOPKC has dedicated the last few days of the year to a massive young adult conference with the chief aim of growing passion for Jesus in the “one thing” spirit of Psalm 27:4. In 2002, over 4000 people attended; in 2013, over 35,000 people filled Bartle Hall in downtown KC. I had just taken ten days off of work to go home, so I didn’t want to take any more time off for the conference, but I made sure to be there every chance I got. Since I had so little time to be there, I signed up to serve every session I could. I served two shifts in the bookstore and two on the ministry team. As much fun as I had working with books in a retail environment, my favourite times were when I got to wear the blue “Ministry Captain” vest. I got to go up front during worship and sing my heart out with the crowd of young people pressing close to the stage, then move through them during the ministry times and lay hands on them and pray for God to move in their lives. I believe God gave me several divine appointments with people He wanted me to pray over, and a few of them keep coming to mind and I’m still praying for them.

This year was extra special because we had several special guests. Matt Redman, Jesus Culture (including Banning Liebscher!), and Francis Chan all joined us. That was of course in addition to our own amazing IHOPKC worship leaders and speakers such as Misty Edwards, Laura Hackett, Justin Rizzo, Mike Bickle, Allen Hood, Corey Russell, and Brian Kim. Matt Gilman even came back to worship with us! He led us in some very loud, sweaty, dancey worship through midnight on December 31. We entered the first minutes of 2014 with dancing, singing, and shouting praise to Jesus!

The recurring theme through the teaching all weekend was David’s vow in Psalm 132.

I will not enter my house
or get into my bed,
I will not give sleep to my eyes
or slumber to my eyelids,
until I find a place for the Lord,
a dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob.

~Psalm 132:3-5

This vow highlights the urgency of forsaking personal comfort for the pursuit of God having a dwelling place on earth. In David’s time, that meant building the Temple. Ultimately, that will mean Jesus’ personal return to the planet. Throughout all times, however, it means the manifest presence of God dwelling among us. We want God here. We want to create an environment in which God is welcome. We are not okay without Him. Everything else is secondary.

We need to regain this urgency.

I need to regain this urgency.

Francis Chan and Misty Edwards both spoke about Revelation 3 and the slow slide into lukewarmness. The scary thing is that we can be in such a spiritually dynamic environment and still realise one day that we don’t have the same fire we once did. I once wrote in my journal during the final few weeks of my internship:

I’ve learned that going dull is not acceptable. And it can be fought with actual tools I’ve been given. I was created to live in communion with Him. If I can’t hear His voice, that’s a problem. If I can’t seem to remember why I need to, that’s a full-blown crisis. I need to live inside His heartbeat… If I read this later and realise I’m not–consider this the trumpet sounding in Zion. Shields up, red alert. Houston, we have a problem. There is no neutral in the Kingdom. You’re either going forward or back… if you don’t have that constant communion with Jesus, get on your face, figure out why, and then do whatever it takes to get it back.

This is what’s been striking me the past few weeks. I’m hearing that Joel 2 trumpet sounding in Zion. I want to hit 2014 running harder than I ever have before. I am not okay without the daily presence of God.

Lord, help me.

Watch the archives of the Onething 2013 conference here: IHOPKC.org/onething And don’t miss Corey Russell’s teaching on Psalm 132!

Midpoint Update

Hi, all! Sorry it’s been a couple weeks since I last blogged… I haven’t really known what to write about. I’ve been journaling a lot, but so much feels like things I’m still processing internally and not quite ready to share yet.

We just had our midterm break, and it was relaxing and delightful (as well as productive!) but I’m really happy to be back in the regular schedule again.

Halfway through. More than. I leave Kansas City in less than two months.

I’m not sure that’s really sunk in yet. I’ll be glad to see my family again, but I will miss sooooo much about this place… the people, the prayer room, the learning, the freedom, the like-mindedness, the stretching… I don’t know what I’m going to do when I go home and life just goes on, business as usual. I’ve had plenty of times in my life when I get all fired up and then “real life” sets in, and I just sort of… dull down. I can’t let that happen. I WON’T let it happen. When I came here, I felt like I was giving up so much, and this was my “wilderness” season. Ha. This is the sweet season of abundance.

Misty Edwards sang an oracle last night (what I like to call a “prophetic shpiel”) that went something like, “Don’t look back and waste your life remembering the good old days. Nostalgia will kill you.” I pocketed that one, because I guarantee I’ll need it in about two months. I don’t want to spend my time in Cali moping and/or trying to recreate IHOP. Ain’t gonna happen. Good news is… Holy Spirit doesn’t just live in Kansas City. This place is on his heart in a very special way, but guess what… so is California. I don’t need to worry about losing everything I’ve learned and experienced here, because it is a part of me. The DNA of my soul has been rewritten.

I have been sensitised to recognise when I’m starting to get dull, and I have a bucketfull of simple, practical tools to combat it, and a track record that says I know how to use them and I know they actually work. I don’t have to be in the prayer room to intercede, fast, pray in the spirit, meditate, or sing the Word. All I have to do is carve out a little bit of time and space and lift my eyes.

The things that are so easy to believe at IHOP are equally true elsewhere. The things God is doing in this generation are global. He’s raising up a praying church to sing back the King… and Kansas City isn’t living in some alternate reality bubble where that’s only true here. If it’s true here, it really is true EVERYWHERE.

However… I’m also increasingly getting the feeling that my season here isn’t over yet. (I’ll tell that story in a later blog, because it’s still just in the beginning stages right now. [EDIT: HERE it is!]) I’m starting to make plans for coming back, but a lot of things will have to line up in order to make that happen. I’d appreciate your prayers for direction and provision as I begin to step into the next season of my life.

God is so, so faithful. Every day I find myself recounting to myself the stories of how he’s met me and provided for me in the past. He sees me, he knows me, and money has never been an issue for him. If he wants me back at IHOP, he WILL provide. And I get to partner with him in that by giving in faith that his promises are true. That’s just how the Kingdom works.

I Will Waste My Life

Here’s another song I love dearly… I Will Waste My Life by Misty Edwards. (Misty is one of the worship leaders at IHOP.) And it’s not just the song, it’s this video in particular. The first time I watched it, I already knew and loved the song, but when I saw this performance I literally stopped breathing. All I could think was, I recognise this. I don’t know that wimpy guy playing Jesus, but that girl… so enamored, so in love, so ready to just take his hand and dance to the ends of the earth without looking back… I know her because she’s me.

And the moment at 2:40… yeah. I definitely recognise that moment too.

Waste is one of my favourite words in the English language. I have magazine cutouts spelling WASTE taped up on the wall over my bed. It always reminds me of Mary of Bethany, and how she wasted her perfume on Jesus’ feet.

Ah. Yes. Anyway, watch it.