When God gathers a speaker from Pennsylvania, a worship leader from Mississippi and a group of spiritually hungry Arizona sisters, you know it will be good.
Whatever He does is good.
Generous to a fault, You lavish Your favor on all creatures.
Everything God does is right-the trademark on all His works is love (Psalm 145: 16-17, MSG).
Lisa, the retreat coordinator and my Jesus sister, said several times she couldn’t have planned this if she tried.
Though I must interject here and congratulate her on planning our menu. But just not the what we would eat, she did some pre-prep, and she showed up with a system. We all had a number, and when your number was called you were on dinner prep or clean up.
Can’t stop there.
When I walked into the kitchen that first night, I observed Lisa managing several prep stations at once in her head. You knew she had it all when she randomly called your name with a task, “Julie can you get 3 more cans of black beans and open them in this pan?”
Amazing. Lisa has been blessed with creativity and leadership. Her favorite spiritual gift is hospitality. If you were in her company for fifteen minutes, you would be convinced of this too 😊
Obviously, Lisa was not the only woman there.
It was a rather eclectic bunch, a variety of ages and various levels of weight carried on their shoulders.
What seemed a common theme for the group who remained throughout was the seeking of Jesus, the reaching for His hem, the soaking in His presence, the unashamed worship.
An openness, both in the landscape of the retreat center and in the hearts.
Before the retreat, Jesus gave me a new story, a new drama. I tried to bargain with Him (I know a useless venture) that He already helped write a story/drama for Mary Magdelene.
All I heard in my spirit was Rahab.
Upon the third time His still small voice whispered this brave Bible sister’s name, I began to study.
The story and costume were fun to prepare, but heavy to present.
Before you, I ask Jesus for forgiveness for daring to question what He knew the women in Arizona needed.
In preparation, He showed me anointing. Karen and I anointing others.
After the drama, Karen and I offered ourselves to one or two women at a time in the prayer room for a fresh anointing with oil, to obey as God directed.
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives, and release from darkness the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God to comfort all who mourn and provide those who grieve in Zion, to bestow upon them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor (Isaiah 61:1-3, NIV).
Karen read this Scripture before we anointed each woman.
A couple hours passed. One by one, we covered our sisters with prayer, speaking life and love into their souls, reminding them of who Jesus is and always will be.
It is one of those things that doesn’t happen very often.
A quiet room.
No children or grandchildren.
Only truth spoken, echoing and reflecting His Spirit.
Three hearts for God in the room, two praying over one.
Some women shared their specific struggles. Some just received the wisdom and peace Holy Spirit bestowed.
I dare say all of us were changed during the retreat in some way, perhaps not even identifiable yet.
If He hasn’t already, my sisters, He will reveal to You what message He had for you during the preaching, the focus on Scripture, the prayer, the worship.
As a final Word for all reading:
Be encouraged by this story of women who did not fight or backbite, who did not compete or judge.
We gathered for His purpose at His specific chosen time, all looking heavenward.
As Lisa poignantly spoke, we all serve the same amazing God who stretched His arms across the United States to connect this group, to minister to this chosen group.
With tears streaming, Lisa shared what her heart received: the weekend was a glimpse of what heaven will be like.
Can you possibly, even slightest bit imagine what heaven will be like?
Jesus told us “the Kingdom of God is in your midst” (Luke 17:21).
Love God with all your heart and your mind and all your soul (Luke 10:27, Deuteronomy 6:5).
And do that together with other believers.
How incredibly pleased Our Father in Heaven is when He sees His children blessing His name while holding each other up.
God is the same God He was when Moses walked the earth. The same God when Jesus was born to Mary and Joseph. The same God who made Peter and Paul vessels for His saving grace. The same God who made you and me.
He wants us to join to-gether with the entire family of believers and storm heaven, keep the enemy at bay, lead others to the gate.
A divided house cannot stand:
“Every Kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. If satan drives out satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand? And I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your people drive them out? But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons then the kingdom of God has come upon you (Matthew 12:25-28).
We are the speakers, keepers, carriers of His Kingdom here on earth.
Wherever we are, may we have one heart and one mind for Jesus and His powerful saving grace.
Jesus is waiting for more sheep, more unity among His flock before He returns.
He is gracious should anyone turn to Him for the first time or return to Him for the hundredth time.
If you have not accepted Jesus as Your Lord and Savior, you can turn to heaven right now and ask Him to come into your heart.
Believe by faith Jesus is the Son of the Living God who died for all our sins. Believe then Jesus resurrected defeating death forever, making a room in heaven for His children. When you believe in your heart and confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and Savior of your life, He welcomes you into the family of God (Romans 10:9).
When Jesus returns, there will not be time to get your souls in order. The time is now.
If you have questions about Jesus, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are seeking a passionate, transparent speaker, please email me at that same email.