Tuesday, January 26, 2010

s t r i p p e d

I just spent THE most amazing weekend in Houston, Texas. I was there to celebrate with 500 sisters in Christ (“siestas”) a year’s worth of scripture memorization. Beth Moore and her two incredible daughters, Amanda and Melissa, hosted the event…a huge blessing!!

I spent months anticipating the big weekend…I could hardly wait! I have done so many Beth Moore Bible studies – her studies have played a huge part in where I am in my walk with the Lord. I am forever grateful. I experienced Beth Moore’s teaching live at a ‘Living Proof Live event’ in Portland, Oregon last year and to say that I was blown away would be the understatement of the year. I was on a spiritual high for days after that. Her teaching is so anointed…it’s ridiculous!

I could not wait to experience that again.

By the time I boarded the plane last Thursday morning, I was sure I would burst with excitement. I didn’t know a single person that would be there, but I didn’t care. I was going to get a fresh word from the Lord…AND I was going to see Beth Moore up close and personal…it does NOT get any better than that!

After arriving in Houston, I headed to dinner with a new friend/siesta (Angie) who I was so blessed to have met at the airport. We had a wonderful time chatting over some amazing food at Pappasito’s (yum!!), and then called it a night. I headed to my hotel, and she headed to hers.
I was so tired and looking forward to a few hours alone with Jesus when I woke up in the morning.

Friday morning, I got up, made myself some coffee, curled up on the couch and began to pour my heart out to Jesus. I read my Bible and prayed. I thanked Him for blessing me so abundantly and loving me so much. I asked Him to pour out His Spirit on me and speak to me as I sought Him over the weekend. I told Him how much I wanted to sense His presence.

He reminded me of Matthew 7:9-11
"Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!”

I asked Him to strip away anything that would get in the way of me seeing His glory…ANYTHING! I just wanted to see His glory!

I flipped in my Bible to Exodus 33, where Moses was asking the Lord to show him His glory.

I clung to verse 14… “The LORD replied, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."”

and verse 17… “And the LORD said to Moses, "I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name."”

I wrapped up my quiet time with tears streaming down my face. So much anticipation. I could not wait to see what the Lord was going to do!

Fast forward to Friday night. I ended up in the front row (I'm not gonna lie, it did involve a little running & diving for a seat...pitiful).  I sat down and thought that I would surely have a heart-attack when Beth Moore walked out. For crying out loud, I almost had a heart-attack when she walked out at the Rose Garden Arena in Portland and there were thousands of women there...and I wasn’t nearly this close!

After much anticipation, the moment finally came - out walks Beth Moore...the most adorable woman I think I have ever seen!
It was so much fun, everybody was cheering and squealing!
What a blessing to be so close to a woman that God is using with such power…wow!
As I sat down, it hit me. I wasn’t freaking out. I was having fun, but I wasn’t overcome with the emotions that I was sure would nearly do me in.
What was my problem? Where was that “rush” I was so looking forward to experiencing?

Then my first memory verse of the year came to mind…

Ezekiel 36:25-27“I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 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. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.”

All my idols?

Had I made an idol of Beth Moore? I know better than that. But guess what, I think I had.
It wasn’t my goal, but I think I fell into idolatry…okay, maybe I dove into it.  I think it can happen pretty easily, and the feelings can seem innocent enough.

I didn’t even realize it, but the Lord did.

And He is so sweet to me…so faithful.

He knows that I want to love and serve Him…but sometimes I don’t even know how.

He knows that sometimes I can get so caught up with someone that I admire, that I take my eyes off of Him.

So He took my prayer, my willingness to be stripped, and He did it.

Exodus 33:17 - "I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name."

The Lord freed me up to enjoy and learn from Beth’s teaching, without being so caught up with her that I missed Him.

As I listened to her teach, and received word after word from the Lord, I was continually struck with the same thought - while Beth Moore is truly anointed & unbelievably gifted, she is no more “chosen” than any of us…she has just “chosen” to be obedient and follow the call of God on her life…a BEAUTIFUL thing!!

So as I reflect on the past weekend, I realize that my flesh was seeking an “experience”…a spiritual high that would have me on cloud nine for days.  But God wanted to give me more. He wanted to give me Himself.

I was looking for a double-shot of espresso.  He gave me water…living water.

He didn’t want me to find satisfaction in another human being. He wanted me to find satisfaction in Him.

He met with me.  He did not disappoint.

He used Beth Moore to speak truth to my heart...I am so thankful for her.

But I can honestly say that the time I spent alone with the Lord in my hotel room was the best time that I had!

So I left Houston steadied & refreshed. Reminded that He will not withhold any good thing from me (Psalm 84:11)…I can take Him at His word.

He knows what I need. He will never disappoint.