My time here in Kansas City has been going great so far. I feel the work of the Spirit softening and opening my heart to a lot of things. One of the things the Lord spoke to me about was the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Desiring The Gifts
In the afternoon session, Mike Bickle spoke to us about the necessity to operate in the gifts of the Spirit. All of them. The one he hit on the most was the gift of prophecy. And rightly so, because Paul earnestly desired that all of us would prophecy (1 Cor 13,14).
As he explained how we should operate in a prophetic spirit, my heart longed within me for the gifts of the Spirit to be realized in me. It was four years ago, at my first OneThing conference where God surprised me in a breakout session by teaching me the gifts of tongues. I still remember that room; after the teaching was over, there was a time of ministering. Someone laid their hands on me and the fire of the Holy Spirit filled me up and I began to speak in tongues! I was both filled with joy and shock because it was such a blessing doing it and because I disbelieved the existence of tongues. God sure did a number on me!
And so I sat there, desiring for the Lord to work in that same respect but in a greater measure. The Spirit started probing my heart at the verses to “earnestly desire the gifts.” Such great desires welled up within my heart. I wanted to prophecy, I wanted to interpret tongues, I want gifts of miracles, and of healings, these things the apostles did with great power when they had received the Spirit! And we are instructed to desire them and to use them for the building of the body.
5pm The Prayer Room
I spent some time in the prayer room after the session to just talk to the Lord about some things. The prayer room is the heart and soul of IHOP, as they are a 24/7 prayer and intercession ministry. I started praying to the Lord about many things. But what I love about going into prayer is that sometimes you come in with an agenda to Jesus about the things in your heart, but sometimes He’ll flip the switch and He’ll just tell you what’s on HIS heart!
That’s pretty much what happened in the prayer room. The Lord flipped the switch and began to speak over me concerning His calling on my life. I remember two years when I was in Kansas City he drew my attention to Isaiah 49 and told me this passage was speaking about me. I remember my heart came alive in that moment. I treasured that memory in my heart but have not visited that verse since then.
And as I sat in the prayer room, the Spirit started speaking to me, “Isaiah 49, Isaiah 49, Isaiah 49, Isaiah 49” And so I turned there and lo and behold, the Lord began renewing and putting a fresh zeal and urgency over my life. In case you’re wondering, Isaiah 49:1-2 reads like this:
1Listen to me, O coastlands,
and give attention, you peoples from afar.
The LORD called me from the womb,
from the body of my mother he named my name.
2He made my mouth like a sharp sword;
in the shadow of his hand he hid me;
he made me a polished arrow;
in his quiver he hid me away.
I knew the Lord’s calling on my life is to be a messenger of God. (v2- “He made my mouth like a sharp sword”). And the way he would form me would be “in the shadow of his hand.” I knew that this meant that I would be forged in the place of intimacy before the Lord. It is going to be those times in my room where I’m on just on my knees in prayer with the Scriptures in hand. I sat in the prayer room and he urged me to press on take hold of these promises.
What a blessed day!
The Holy Spirit is doing a number on my heart and I feel like a child before Him. I desire earnestly to be filled with the Spirit to the full measure of God! In addition to that, here are some other things I have learned/noted today:
- I don’t need to continually say words when I enter into prayer. Sometimes it is better to say a thoughtful sentence and wait for the Lord to see what he wants me to pray. In other words, have more silence in prayer.
- I have fears in operating by the power of the Spirit.
- I care way too much about the opinions of others about my life. Opinions of others=vapor (Ps 62:9)
- Ask the Lord in the morning, “Are you saying anything today to me? Do you want me to do anything?”
- Continual thankfulness is the secret to continual joy. Must get rid of my foolish spirit of self-sustenance and ungratefulness for joy!
That’s all for day 2! I guess I should’ve mentioned this earlier but all the sessions are available online for free! This link will probably expire after the conference is over, but here it is!
Tomorrow, the founder of YWAM is going to be speaking in the morning, so I best be getting some sleep.
Grace to you all!