Monday, October 3, 2011

Design for Life

Mountain View - Stealing Your Breath With Views of the Heart of God

A week and a half ago, I traveled to Ozark, Missouri to attend my favorite women’s conference – Designed For Life.

Highlight video and info about next year's conference:

Standing near the front on opening night worshiping with 3,000 other women with eyes closed, I opened my eyes to see one of the lead pastors of that church standing in front of me looking directly at me. She touched my arm and asked, “How can we pray for you? God led me to you, and I want to know how I can pray for you.” How she saw me in that crowd of thousands, I do not know - or perhaps I do.

About a year ago, I became very intentional about finding healing from some extremely difficult challenges. Bitterness was not an option. I desperately wanted to be better and had been praying that God would remove all hardness of heart from me. In a year's time, I had made a lot of progress and actually thought I was doing pretty darn good. But when the pastor asked that question with genuine love, tears started to flow. She and another woman prayed over me and before going back up on stage she said, “Be all here this weekend. Be all here.”

When something like that happens, you begin wondering what God is up to. One of the things He showed me that weekend was that I had been holding a piece of my heart back from him. Now you have to understand that I have a fierce devotion to God and holding any part of my heart back was not like me – but he was right. I had been so deeply damaged that I had been guarding the deepest parts of myself from him. There was anger too because I felt he hadn’t shown up or defended us in particular circumstances. Making myself vulnerable to him (to anyone) again was a terrifying thought. I wasn't completely free yet, and was still in bondage to some pain.

Let me just tell you, God showed up in big, big ways that weekend. The speakers’ messages hit home - building upon each other and fitting together perfectly.  

John Lindell's (Lead Pastor) blog about this year's conference

One of the speakers, Nancy Alcorn, reminded us that God has called us to freedom. She urged us to appropriate the truth of Christ's freedom in our lives, and to use our lives to draw attention to God - instead of using our problems to draw attention to ourselves. At the end, she asked us to stand if we would commit ourselves to embracing freedom and the future God has for us. I stood.

"He is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18

God answered my prayers. My desire was for complete healing, and He knew exactly what was needed to move in that direction. He pursued me that weekend and helped me give my heart wholly to him again. I can tell you today, “It feels so good to be back home where I belong.” 

"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh." Ezekiel 36:26

So here’s something for you to think about:

God's design for your life is wholeness, freedom, and fullness of life. (Deuteronomy 30:19; John 10:10; James 1:3; Philippians 1:6, Romans 8:21). Is there a piece of your heart that you're holding back from Him? Is there a place you're guarding? Can you admit to that today? How can you begin making your way home again? How can you get intentional about moving into the freedom, wholeness, and life He has called you to? Maybe for you it will simply begin with the decision to become better - not bitter - and to trust God to get you there.

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength." Deuteronomy 6:5

With Great Confidence in the Character of God . . .
Lisa ~