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.




28 comments:

  1. Preach it girl...absolutely beautiful. God confronted me this weekend with some of those EXACT same issues. I never knew! When I missed out on meeting Beth Fri. night I was crushed. I had indeed made her the focus on my weekend instead of Him. Through some intense time with Him back at the hotel, I was able to refocus and make Saturday all about Him, and it was the most special time ever. It was after I changed my focus onto Him and delighted myself in Him that He was able to give me the desires of my heart. I ended up meeting her and got a picture very much like your last one in the post! He is awesome!

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  2. Oh, Amanda! I've read every single post so far about the weekend, and yours is my FAVORITE. I have been thinking/feeling SO MANY of those same things!!

    This is just so, so beautiful! THANK YOU for sharing from your heart. Talk about anointed!!

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  3. I loved this SO much! Thank you for sharing this - with such honesty and authenticity! I know the last thing Beth wants is for anyone of us to put her on a pedestal, but sometimes it's hard! Wish I could have met and visited with every single woman there!

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  4. Wow, thanks for sharing so honestly and openly. You are exactly right, He is so very faithful and loving to us, to gently teach and get us back on track. I could not go to Houston, but was praying for you all to have a blessed time, and I see you all did!

    karen:):)

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  5. Melissa Moore FitzpatrickJanuary 26, 2010 at 11:54 AM

    Amanda, I saw you on the front row and was sad I wasn't able to really meet you! Thank you so much for coming this weekend!

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  6. Love your honesty in this post! We girls were speaking of the same thing this past weekend. How we came to worship the Lord and how we did not want anything to distract us from that very purpose! We came, We worshipped, We Loved! What an awesome weekend! I remember seeing you there. I just love putting names with people's faces now! Blessings to you and thanks for an outstanding post! - Lori

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  7. You said it, Amanda! Everything we talked about and you shared with me this weekend--you got it down in print so beautifully. I'm so grateful that God brought us together. I think you need to continue to express your thoughts in writing, my friend. And I think we need to figure out how to eat at Pappasito's again. :)

    Much love in Him,
    Angie

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  8. Your post is beautiful..and thank you for sharing with us how beautiful the LORD is.

    Much love,
    Tisha
    Pilot Mtn, NC

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  9. Wow!!! I could have written this post myself........my favorite is your line "she is not more chosen than us, she has just chosen to be obedient". So true........

    Well done, my friend!

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  10. The Living Water was sweet there wasn't it!

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  11. Thank you for sharing! This is beautiful!

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  12. So well said! Thanks for sharing so eloquently about our weekend and how the Lord met you there.

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  13. Amanda, Thank you so much for your transparency. The Lord has used you to touch my heart.

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  14. so good to hear about this awesome experience! It's so true about creating idols...and what a gift the Lord has given you to feel his presence and look past that idol!

    Thanks for sharing with us! Your picture is adorable! I can only imagine what a wonderful time you had!

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  15. Amanda- it was such a blessing of a weekend, huh! thank you for sharing so honestly....You said it so well, that Beth has chosen to be obedient and follow the call the Lord has on her life. May we desire to know Jesus with intensity and intimacy- knowing that it is only then- that our lives pour forth such beautiful fruit.

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  16. I just randomly picked a few blogs to go to from the LPM page and mostly looked at pics, but for some reason I read yours (hmmm...maybe God wanted me to)!!
    how easily this is done...and you're EXACTLY right...we know better!! ...it still happens though! Thank you for so honestly sharing what we can all easily fall into! ...and thank you sweet JESUS for so lovingly bringing us back to where we belong!

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  17. thank you for that
    I feel part of the group in memorizing verses but didn't get to attend the event. I was bummed but I know God can bless me here at home and through all of siesta's posts.
    In Christ

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  18. Oh wow, that was a great post.

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  19. Thanks so much for your heartfelt post. I never have understood the "running to get a front row seat" thing. It is very disturbing to witness. Thanks for being transparent and sincere about your experience.

    I'm touched by your honesty and excited about the kindness of the Lord as He met with you and spoke to you. How precious...what an indescribable gift.

    He is so good! Jesus is enough!

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  20. Thank you for writing this; it makes me want to go be with Jesus right now!

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  21. Thank you so much for this post. The part you wrote about being "chosen" and obedience was a confirmation to my spirit. Although I have been wishing I could have attended, I am just thankful to be included in the number of SSMT and have that Word within me and be able to share in these posts.

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  22. Amanda May - thanks for writing so eloquently what I think perhaps some other of us Siestas (thinking of Yours Truly) have had to work through (ie. "God, I don't want idols. Pls don't let me idolize Beth.")

    I have to make sure my admiration and gratitude for who Beth is and how God has used her in my life and in the larger Body of Christ during this season is just that: admiration and gratitude, not idolization. That wouldn't be healthy for me or fair to her.

    But I really appreciated how beautifully and honestly you shared from your heart. And guess what? As amazing as the weekend was - with Siestas from all over - truly my highlight also was spending time with the Lord in my room.

    Isn't He good? I think He wanted to underscore the fact that as fun as travel and Houston and 500 Siestas and Beth's Teaching Gift in Fine Form and great Mexican food is -- He'll always, ever be the best Gift of all.

    Blessings on you and your family,

    Warm in Alaska.

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  23. Wow!!!
    This is my first time reading your blog and I just had to comment and tell you how very much your post spoke to me! What a blessing! (and an excellent reminder that our treasure is always and only in our wonderful Jesus!).

    Blessings,
    Susan

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  24. What a beautiful post! I loved sitting next to you too! Wish we had had more time to share heart to heart! This weekend was a blessing! I am grateful!

    I think what I love about Beth the most is that she is just a lay person who truly laid down her life for Him... I think if she can do it so can I! Her love for Him is contagious! I want and am praying for what she has! : ) God has used her ministry to change my life more than any other! I have prayed to the Lord not to let me make her into an idol! It is easy to do... she is precious, hysterical, beautiful... but I think what everyone is drawn to is the Lord in her! He just pours out! It is just beautiful... and we too can have that! That is my prayer!

    Loved your insight Amanda! Have a happy day!

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  25. What a great post....I was so sorry that I had to miss it....Great recap..
    I have 2 whole hours to blog hop and catch up with some of my blog friends....That's relaxation to me.

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  26. As everyone else has said, you tell it like we feel it! I struggle with idolizing Beth, I love her so.....but I know that's so wrong! She's an amazing deliverer of His word and no one has ever reached me the way she has. Well, Jesus of course....through her! Anyway, what a wonderful expression of your experience! So glad for you to have had that opportunity!

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  27. I am visiting from The Living Proof Blog. It is just after New Years here and your three words (paragraph's) made me cry. I am entering this year ready for it to be a "break through" year. Thanks for the encouragement. And now I will browse your posts;)

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