June 30, 2006
Beth Moore Event
I've been looking forward to this past weekend for months - my first Living Proof Live event with Beth Moore! It was everything I dreamed it would be and more. For goodness sakes, it started out great, before I even got there. My friend, Priscilla, and her husband, Jerry, picked me up and we drove to Oklahoma City together. Jerry is such an amazing servant! He reminds me so much of my precious husband, Steve. (Can you tell I've been listening to Beth Moore. By the end of this journal entry, I will have probably referred to you as my beloved sister, too.)
Priscilla and I climbed into the back of their SUV and started talking nonstop, pausing only long enough for a Subway sandwich. When we got back into the car we popped in the DVD, "Glory Road." What an awesome movie. You must rush out and rent it to watch as a family. This was the first time I've ever watched a movie in the car. Now I know how my kids have been living! It was so much fun and made the trip just fly by.
The minute we drove into downtown OKC, we saw women everywhere. It was amazing. The excitement was palpable and we hadn't even checked into the hotel yet. After a quick rest and another Subway sandwich with our friends from LifeWay, we walked over to the arena. Because Priscilla and Beth are good friends, we were invited backstage to pray with Beth and the Living Proof Live worship team before the event started.
Oh my goodness, I was sooooo intimidated. I was so scared I was going to have to pray out loud in front of them. I mean really, first there is Beth, who can probably drink a cup of coffee with anointing. Then there is Priscilla, who prays with such authority that she could be reading the phone book and people would get saved. Not to mention Travis Cottrell, the worship leader. Just being in the same room with him made me want to lift my hands, fall to my knees, and dance before the Lord all at the same time.
The feeling in the arena was electric. The minute the worship team stepped up on the stage, the Spirit of God showed up and the glory fell down! I'm sorry but this particular LifeWay event doesn't resemble anything close to the Southern Baptist church I grew up in. There were hands lifted all the way to the ladies seated in the "third heaven" balcony. Beth was boogying in the front row. I was on my face half the time. And that was even before the girls broke into "Shackles!"
To be honest with you, I could have hopped back in the car and driven back to Dallas after the worship and been full. I mean, I love Beth and all, but I came to meet Jesus and He showed up before we even got to see what Beth was wearing and how she did her hair.
But, I'm glad I stayed. Beth was amazing. (BTW, she was wearing a very cute shimmery/leathery white jacket with Capri jeans trimmed in lace with half of her hair pulled back in a large clip.) Her text for the weekend was Psalm 115 and, in my notes, I titled the message "You Don't Trust Me with This Thing."
There is no way I could even attempt to give justice to the dozens of insights she unpacked from this particular passage. So, I'll just share the heart of what I took home. By the end of the first message, she challenged us to ask God in which area do we, deep down inside, where our heart is ailing and our mind is racing, most not trust God. I thought of one, and then another, and then one more.
The first one was my fear that Tucker would choose the lure of the world over a life wholly submitted to Jesus. Beth challenged us to ask ourselves what we are afraid of, and what would happen if God didn't spare us from that fear. Would we trust Him to take care of us in the midst of the pain? So, I asked myself, if I could handle that. I was able to answer that I could honestly trust God with Tucker's future. Oddly enough, I have a deep peace about him choosing the Lord. I realized my fear would be that he would stray first and then people would be able to say, "See, that stuff Lisa has been preaching about doesn't really work after all." Deep down inside, I was afraid of, both being raked over the media coals, and also tarnishing God's name.
The other area I realized my heart aches the most and my mind obsesses over is my weight. Again, upon honest reflection, I discovered that I think I would be okay being a bit frumpy if it were just me as the wife of Steve who adores me regardless, and my kids who already know I'm frumpy from the inside-out. I feel like my weight might be distracting to the people I have the privilege of ministering to who only come in the first place to see "Blair." Again, I thought I was not being a good steward of the platform God has given me. Plus, I really wanted to wear great outfits and feel good about myself in them.
Lastly, I realized I was struggling with the size, significance, and "success" of my ministry. Yes, that is completely unspiritual, self-centered, prideful, and ugly, but I was getting honest and this dross floated to the top. I often battle feeling like my ministry is not as deep as a real Bible teacher. I feel like I'm a story-teller and an encourager, but that seems so shallow up next to say, Beth Moore, Anne Graham Lotz, or Joyce Meyer. I know I'm not even in the same arena (literally) as they are, but I would like to be.
That is another area that God shined His refining torch on. The fact that I'm not really content with the ministry He's called me to. I want to be on the bestseller list, I want packed-out sanctuaries, I want to see salvations and healings and lives supernaturally changed in an instant. I want to usher in and witness the power of God in manifest glory. Yes, I know that's just more gross dross revealing itself. I know it isn't about the show or the signs or the sales. It is about being the part of the body God has created me to be. I know that, but I want more. I want God to be proud of me. And I don't want to disappoint my publishers and event teams and women's ministry directors.
I really thought these were three completely separate trust issues until Travis and the team started singing "El Shaddai." During that song, I bowed my head and asked God to reveal to me the root of these distrust issues. All of a sudden, the tears started to pour. It dawned on me what these three things had in common. There were two threads - wanting to please man and not wanting to disappoint God.
Not that old thing again! I thought I had already dealt with that problem. I've known for years that I struggle with being a pleaser but God has brought instances of dramatic deliverance and years of ongoing healing in the area. I really thought it was taken care of. Apparently not.
Throughout the weekend I kept this "Thing" I didn't trust Him with at the center of my worship. During the very last session, Beth asked us to leave the building asking ourselves the question, "How would you live if you lived like you truly trusted God."
Well, in regards to Tucker, I wrote him a letter and asked him to forgive me for not trusting his own personal relationship with God. Other than some non-negotiables required to live in our home, I was going to trust him to make good choices and when he made mistakes to trust him to learn from them and experience, first-hand, God's mercy and grace. If I truly hand him over to God then God won't be disappointed in me for being a terrible mother and it is up to Him to worry about everyone else's opinion.
Now, about the weight. The truth is, I've made some choices and I'm choosing to not second-guess them. Because of my foot injury, I can't jog, walk, run, or play racquetball like I used to. I could go to the gym and get on the elliptical but I just don't want to give that amount of time and we don't have the room or the money to buy one for the house. Now that my kids are older, I have the luxury of spending a bit more time in the morning with the Lord than when they were little. I could give part of that up to go to the gym, but I'm not willing to. God loves me the way I am and if He wants me to lose some weight then in my weakness He can make me strong. I am willing to work at it.
Granted, I am a Type-A personality. So, I don't really run the risk of being irresponsible and undisciplined and calling it "just trusting God." If anything, I would tend to err on the side of a works-driven, pull-myself-up-by-my-bootstraps, "just do it," mentality.
The most peaceful work happened in the area of my ministry. I figure there is a need for all measures of warfare in a battle. You need the infantry, the mid-range missiles, and the bomber pilots. I believe whole-heartedly in the men on the ground. A huge part of my passion is convincing women that we each have a ministry and we need not look any farther than our own family, neighborhood and church to find opportunities to make an eternal difference in the Kingdom.
Sure, I would love to be a bomber pilot and see the power of God explode on the scene and the shrapnel fly all across the USA (and the Wal-Mart bookshelf.) But, if God wants me to be a mid-range missile and keep my focus on ministering to moms with practical encouragement then I'm not only going to be content, I'm going to thank Him for that gift. How shallow of me to feel shallow just because I'm not some great Bible teacher.
Can I ask you a couple of questions? What is that "Thing" you have the hardest time trusting God with? Is the root of that thing an old hurt that God needs to heal? For me it is. I've been a pleaser since childhood. I needed to come face-to-face once again with the mercy of Jesus and let His unconditional love heal me on an even deeper level than before. It is not now, and never has been, about me being a good enough mother, attractive woman, or powerful minister. My Heavenly Father adores me because I'm His little girl. He is the only One I need to please and that issue was taken care of on the cross.
Once you've identified your "Thing" or "Things," how would you live if you truly trusted God? For me, that is a choice I have to consciously make everyday, sometimes many times a day. How about you? Can God be trusted? Even if He doesn't spare you from your fears? Now, can you live like you believe that? I'll be praying for you. Will you pray for me, too, my beloved sister?
Posted by weblion at 09:22 PM