When I was 19, I would be around people who would go out and drink alcohol and take drugs. I was with these people because I was just looking to hang with people. I would go the extra mile with these people so that I could be in their group because otherwise I felt like an outcast. Months passed by and I realized that what I was doing wasn’t making me happy. I was very depressed and wanted to end my life. I would just go in front of cars and trucks but they didn’t hit me. I was invited to go to my friend’s house and they had all kinds of alcohol and drugs just laying out. I already made up my mind that night to commit suicide. I did all sorts of things and somehow I ended up back in my room. I said God just take my breath away I don’t want to live anymore. Suddenly, my breath started leaving and inside of me I was crying out please God let me live! My breath came back and I said God if you’re real, clean me up because I don’t want to do this anymore. The next morning I didn’t have a hangover and the toilet bowl wasn’t my best friend. It felt as if nothing happened to me. When I came to Florida, I was invited to a church and got saved. I’m so thankful that the Lord had saved me in just a time like this. I no longer need to please man and get into a group of people. I just please the Lord because he doesn’t pick and choose who he wants; he loves us all.
Being an intern in the youth department is completely life changing. I have the privilege of working “behind-the-scenes” and up front with the requirements of running a youth ministry, down to the small details. There is no better way to learn how to do something and what it takes than to do it hands on and have direct experience. I have seen many amazing things happen in the students at IM Student Ministries. I have seen the students who before might be considered the “hard”, careless students become the sweetest, most hungry, students. One specifically that has impacted me and I will always remember is one of my young girls who was always very “hard” and much closed; always sitting in the back, would not even let you hug her, etc. She is now always coming to us for hugs, always the FIRST one up front to worship, and is pressing in! It is amazing to see how simply loving on a student, believing in them, and not giving up on them can make such an impact. Each and every service we hold on Wednesday night is life changing. Seeing students get touched and changed by the power and presence of God is indescribable. There is no price that could ever be placed on seeing young people’s hearts healed, lives changed, and completely impacted. I would not trade seeing these things take place for anything. Serving full-time to help to prepare for services is all completely rewarded when you get to see the things that take place in and through the services in the young people’s lives.
When your heart is right it is a lot easier to stop and hear what God has to say to you. When you are dealing with issues in your heart all you focus on is the issues you are dealing with instead of looking unto God. However when your heart is right, God is able to pour into you and you are able to hear Him out. When you are dealing with things in your heart, it is easy for one to slowly back away from the presence of God. When you are dealing with things in your heart it is easy to sit back and just have a pity party. When you are dealing with issues in your heart it is easy to sit back and just think about yourself, when all the while you are supposed to be thinking about God and doing His works. When your heart is dealt with it is a lot easier to focus on God, it is a lot easier for God to move in you, and through you. When your heart is dealt with you feel a relief and peace. When your heart is not dealt with, you feel convicted, and until you deal with it you don’t feel peaceful. You are battling with your mind until your heart gets right with God, that’s when the battle stops, and you can just rest in Him. You can be sure you are doing His will when your heart is right with Him, and there’s no greater feeling then to know you are doing His will. When you are out of His plan that is a different story.
Having grown up in church I can certainly relate this passage of scripture to my own life. I have heard the Word preached for as long as I can remember, but it never took much root in my life for many years because I didn’t really understand what was being said and didn’t understand the Bible when I would try to read it. I was raised Baptist and the churches I attended thought only the Pastor heard from God, so I never knew the Holy Spirit as my teacher, so it was easy for the devil to steal the little that was planted in my heart. When I became spirit-filled and learned I could hear the Holy Spirit for myself and He would teach me the Word, I received the Word with joy, was hungry for the times I could spend time alone with Him allowing Him to reveal precious truths from the Word.
When your heart is open to receive the word of God, that is when you can truly encounter change in your life and grow spiritually. Recently, I have been struggling with being discouraged. Because of this great calling on my life, I’ve been so focused on my personal growth in this consecrated season of my life. It has been a struggle, because I feel like I haven’t seen the change in me or felt God’s presence like I have wanted to. God gave me a word last night out of Joshua 1:1-9 that spoke to me about not being afraid or discouraged, but to know that where ever I set foot, God will be right there walking with me. He said that He will never leave or abandon me, to be strong and courageous in the lord because I am the one who will lead His people one day.
In Jesus’ parable, the sower sowed the word into different types of ground, some along the wayside, some in stony ground, some among thorns, and some in good soil. Sometimes we read this and try to place ourselves into one of the categories. We try to decide whether we are the fruitful ground or stony. But isn’t it more likely, that we’re different grounds at different times?
Sometimes we’re on the fringes, by the wayside. We’re so distracted, it never even takes root, we miss the message altogether.
And sometimes we are the stony place when we’re hearing, or even studying the Word. After we’ve gotten some good revelation, we forget all about it, because we just received a text message, or have Facebook friends we must catch up with, and we never really get to the meditation of the life-changing revelation we just saw. We had it! But we lost it because of other interests intruding into our time.
We’re also sometimes thorny. We’re reading or hearing God’s Word, we’re inspired, but then we come back to what we see as “reality” and must send out resumes in order to find a better job that will pay more, or we must make more sales calls so we can win the trip our company has for a prize. We forget that God is our source, that God supplies all our needs, so instead of looking to Him, we try to figure it out ourselves. We don’t assimilate what we’ve learned into life-practice.
And sometimes, we’re the good ground – eager and ready! We hear! We’re convinced! We’re attentive to the Word, we’re inspired, and we put the Word into practice. We live it and demonstrate it. It’s real to us! We are doers of the Word, and not hearers only. We make choices according to God’s will, not our own. We serve God with our whole heart and soul!
The Word has been very effective because the field has been prepared for rain. The temple of God is likening to the Doctrine of sanctification. “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God and the Spirit of God dwelleth in you”. I am the temple of God; the Word is my sound doctrine and foundation that keeps me holy. In this holy temple my spirit by the Holy Spirit receives the richness of the Word that is sown, thus taking deep root because the heart’s ground is holy. A temple undefiled is a temple increasing in the richness of God’s Kingdom. JESUS said, “The Kingdom Is within You”, and you said that God can’t do through you what you won’t allow Him to do in you. Unprepared soil will never be binded with deep roots because the rain cannot fall on unprepared soil. Even if the rain did fall on this soil it wouldn’t have anything to enrich. I speak concerning the things of the Spirit which acts as the root in the prepared soil where the Word of God is sown. A prepared heart heareth the Word and takes it in and it brings forth much fruit. A man calls the prayer line afraid for his life; he says that his head and chest feel like they are going to explode. The mind of the Spirit hears the deep cry of concern from the man’s heart. The deep rooted Word inside of me springs forth mightily and in power, and penetrates the ears and goes directly to the man’s heart because it was sown with great faith. The man leaps up shouting, he shouts, “I’m HEALED, I’m HEALED, crying in great joy with such deep thanksgiving for the miracle that The Lord had done. Everybody in the room on both ends greatly hears and witnesses the Power of the touch of God, and all praise God with great rejoicing. Personally, I say in all truth, what has really taken root is when you said, “If you mean business with God, God means business with you.”
Coming back to Bible school has been a great blessing to me. It’s almost difficult to list the changes that have taken place.
I do remember feeling awkward the first two days of school. Many doubts and many fears, I had longed to come back, but now that I was back, I wasn’t sure I wanted it! The revelation of change that needed to take place within my heart (again) was overwhelming initially.
Now, however, I welcome it. The feeling of a bigger purpose is back in my life. And this school is exactly what my life needs: discipline and the anointing. It’s also a good feeling to know I’m going to complete what I started. When I was unable to continue in the internship 1 1/2 years ago, the attack that came against my thought life was intense. “Hope deferred makes the heart grow sick…” (Proverbs 13:12).
The greatest message ever preached contained three words: “Never give up!” I know at times I go the long way around life, but God proves Himself to be faithful when I don’t give up. “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength…” (Isaiah 40:31a). “Now faith is…” (Hebrews 11:!). Faith is now. Faith is today. It is hope activated. Being back in Bible school has caused hope to rise up in me again with a determination to run the race the Lord has set before me. The entangling of sin in one’s life truly is clever and deceitful.
It simply takes what’s right in your life and subtly adds a little extra weight here, and a little weight there. You don’t recognize the added “burden” in your life until symptoms appear. I thank God for this opportunity to be here. In these short few weeks, clarity of mind is back, weights are gone, and the crooked path has been made straight….Margaret W.
The only time that I felt free was when I was singing and praise dancing for God, nothing else mattered. I watched the Great Awakening for 4 weeks then, it turned into four months …I wanted to feel what The River congregation was feeling I wanted to be forgiven, I wanted to tell my mother I’m sorry I wasn’t there when she died, I wanted God to love me and forgive me for all that I had done. I wanted to forgive my father for mishandling me. I wanted to be healed. I wanted to stop hurting and laugh like everyone else. I keep praying and praying and I just want him to hear me. I went on line and I was BLESSED with a scholarship. Since I have been in RSW this past two weeks, I have won over thirty souls to the Lord.
Something I never thought I would do. I have become bolder in the things of God. I have learned to stretch my faith and the spirit prompted me to take in two RBI students. I thought I was hearing things because I do not like living with anyone and definitely not sharing my space. But God has placed these Individuals in my life who love me for me, that aren’t trying to take advantage of me or judge me because I may not show emotion or look the way others think I should look . Living with them has been such a blessing to me. I feel loved and that is something that I never felt. God even gave me an extended family, in place of my own.
I wanted more of God to know, what is my inheritance. The Holy Ghost and Fire now has burn in me a deeper desire for the things of God, an almost all or nothing attitude. I received a new hunger for his word. The more I hear the word of God, the more I want. An aching belly wanting and desiring more of the things of God as it draws, pulling from within my belly the things of God and not from my heads as I was accustom.
My selfish desires and motives are not controlling me no more; the things of the old are past away. Only the things God wants and desires of me. Something has happened to me on the inside. See myself more and more in the light of God’s word. I see myself in a zone and I cannot tell if I am awake or sleep, or is it just a dream. In the vision, I see myself and the word becoming one. I am Speaking the word only, seen the Holy Spirit confirming his word. Wow! Praise the Lord.
I remember when these changes occur; it was the second day of school when Pastor Rodney Howard-Brown was in Africa praying over us via sky scam.