Last December, I found out that the Deeper Still event was coming somewhat close to Oregon…Las Vegas to be more precise…but closer than Atlanta where the last event had been held.
The fall is usually the time that 3 of my close childhood friends get together for a weekend of fun…I thought I would casually toss out a new twist expecting that it was too far fetched a proposition being just after school would begin…that precious first weekend at least for those in this part of the country where Moms are running back to the store to get more school supplies, etc. I really didn’t expect any takers…and in actuality only one of the 3 could do it…the other two gave us their blessings and said we would still find the time to get together…so Maria and I threw caution and reason to the wind and booked our flights in January and purchased our event tickets as well…I am not sure either us had planned something so far in advance in quite awhile…there were a few things that seemed to throw obstacles in our paths over the weeks leading up to the event…but God prevailed and we each boarded our flights with great expectation.
When I think back to how I asked my friends expecting a big NO…it made me think of how many times I have done the same with the Lord…just throwing up a popcorn prayer hoping that maybe He will hear and say yes but all the while knowing that it is too big of a request…I shouldn’t be so silly…but that really isn’t how God is…He tells us to ask Him…present our requests before Him…to not get weary like the persistent neighbor…keep on knocking…He might just surprise us and say YES!
I want to share with you some of what was shared during the past weekend…of course, I can’t do it true justice…but I will do my best!
If you don’t know anything about this event…it featured 3 women…Priscilla Shirer, Beth Moore and Kay Arthur…throughout the weekend, there were video presentations that were entitled 3 women…3 different lives… 3 women going deeper still…it was really neat to see these 3 women who are all 20 years apart at 30’s, 50’s and 70’s coming from really different backgrounds, coming to the Lord in various ways, tripping and stumbling at times yet as they completely surrendered their lives to Him and the call on their lives…it has lead to such powerful lives…testimonies…Bible teachers…
Priscilla started Friday session…and bless her heart she is 5 weeks from delivering her third child…but she doesn’t lack energy!
She began by saying that we always need to be ready to expect God to do something we were not expecting.
I love this first question: What have you stopped praying for/about? Let God bring it back into your memory.
The bulk of her message related to the wilderness…it is funny how a message can impact you when you first hear it but it can also hit you once again when you review the notes…to realize that you are still in the midst of the surroundings of a wilderness. I have tried to post these notes but have really struggled but here I am today ready to type them out for you to read and for me to be reminded that God is here…right here…with us wherever we reside…in fact, Priscilla reminded us that all of us are in one of three locations…about to be in the wilderness…in the wilderness…or just leaving the wilderness. Now that can sound a bit discouraging but hopefully you will see that the wilderness is by God’s design and can bring about good things.
“In the third month after the Israelites left Egypt—on the very day—they came to the Desert of Sinai. After they set out from Rephidim, they entered the Desert of Sinai, and Israel camped there in the desert in front of the mountain.”
Exodus 19: 1-2
“The LORD said to Moses, “I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear me speaking with you and will always put their trust in you.” Then Moses told the LORD what the people had said.
“Then Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him from the mountain and said, “This is what you are to say to the house of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel: ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.”
Exodus 19: 3-4
And the LORD said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. Have them wash their clothes and be ready by the third day, because on that day the LORD will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.”
Exodus 19: 9-11
- God was getting ready to speak to the people.
- God sets the atmosphere before He spoke by speaking 3 times about the wilderness (desert).
- The wilderness was necessary before God would speak to them.
“And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.”
Exodus 3: 12
Moses was told that his journey would be fruitful when he returned to this place (Mt.Sinai) after he had taken the people through the wilderness.
“When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of Egypt armed for battle.”
Exodus 13: 17,18
God chose the way even though it was the least direct way. The wilderness was not a mistake…God always has our best interests in mind.
We must be faithful in whatever season we find ourselves in…be it single, married, moms with young children, workers, retired…don’t be waiting for the next season to think that is where your fulfillment or happiness or calling will come.
We have no guarantee that when we leave a season that we will ever return to it.
Embrace the season…
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
The abundant life is for now…
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
John 16: 33
“My ears had heard of you
but now my eyes have seen you.”
Now is the time to see the hand of God move in our season.
In Exodus 19:2, the people pitched a tent and camped (rested, dwelled) in front of the mountain of God.
If God allowed it…He intended it…so settle in…camp there…unpack your belonging…
How God prepared the people (and us) to see Him…by remembering:
- He called them to remember (Exodus 19: 4a)
The past gives us a reference…think back on how the Lord has delivered you…what was it from?
- Remember that He lifted them (you) on eagles wings (Exodus 19: 4b)
A mother eagle never leaves her eaglet but eventually she will shake the nest to cause the eaglet to venture out and learn to soar. God will never leave us or forsake us but He will shake things up enough so that we can reach our highest potential. He will come beside us in our callings.
- Remember how He brought them (you) to Himself (Exodus 19: 4c)
The purpose of the journey was not just to get to the Promised Land…it was to get them to Him.
God calls us to remember…He also calls us to recognize…
Recognize our spiritual identity:
“Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”
Exodus 19: 5-6
We are God’s treasured possessions…we are a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.
Don’t be afraid of holiness…God is fully aware that we can’t do that on our own…thankfully we have been given the Holy Spirit.
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
I Peter 2: 9
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
Galatians 5: 1
Pray for spiritual discernment…it can be subtle…being able to tell the difference between right and not so right…the enemy doesn’t just tell us out and out lies…he dresses up the truth with fiction.
The enemy is anti-Christ…so we will try to get us to believe that Christ is not enough…we need Christ plus something else…anti-christ (in addition to Christ).
God calls you to new levels of surrender:
“So Moses went back and summoned the elders of the people and set before them all the words the LORD had commanded him to speak. The people all responded together, “We will do everything the LORD has said.” So Moses brought their answer back to the LORD.”
Exodus 19: 7-8
There is only one answer when it comes to obedience…will you obey Him (YES) or will you choose to disobey (NO)…
We are to surrender on the heels of God getting ready to come down…saying yes on the heels of God getting ready to speak!
My notes end here…as Priscilla was the first of the 3 teachers to deeply impress upon us the need to know His Word…because He speaks to us…and we need to be ready and in a position to hear Him…Priscilla ended her time which was nearly 2 hours with the lyrics from that wonderful song by Aaron Jeoffrey…reminding us that we can find God speaking to us on the each and every page of the Word…in each book we find a new layer of His character…the fullness of God written down for us to hear from Him…I wish that I could share all the funny stories she shared in the course of her time as well…but this post might not end anytime soon…and I am a bit scared to begin my recap of Kay Arthur’s time…it was over 2 and a half hours and I am a major note taker but there is just no way I got it all…so until the next installment…be blessed by being reminded of Who the God of the Bible is:
In Genesis, He’s the breath of life
In Exodus, He is the Passover Lamb
In Leviticus, He’s our high priest
In Numbers, the fire by night
Deuteronomy, He’s Israel’s Guide
Joshua, He’s salvation’s choice
Judges, He’s Israel’s Guard
In Ruth, the kinsmen’s redeemer
1st and 2nd Samuel, our trusted prophet
In Kings and Chronicles He is Sovereign
In Ezra, He’s the true and faithful scribe
In Nehemiah, the re-builder of broken walls and lives
In Esther, He’s Mordecai’s courage
In Job, the timeless redeemer
In Psalms He is our morning song
In Proverbs, He is our wisdom
Ecclesiastes, He’s the time and season
In Song of Solomon, He is the lover’s dream
In Isaiah He is Prince of Peace
In Jeremiah, the weeping prophet
Lamentations, the cry for Israel
Ezekiel, the call from sin
Daniel, the stranger in the fire
Hosea, the forever faithful
Joel, the spirit’s power
Amos, the strong-arms that carry
Obadiah, the Lord our Savior
Jonah, the great missionary
Micah, the promise of peace
Nahum, our strength and shield
In Habakkuk and Zephaniah, He’s brings revival
In Haggai He restores that which was lost
IN Zachariah, He’s our fountain
And in Malachi, He’s the son of righteousness rising with healing in His wings
AND THAT’S JUST THE OLD TESTAMENT
In Matthew Mark Luke and John, He is God and Messiah
In the spirit filled book of Acts, He is the reigning fire from Heaven
In Romans, He is the grace of God
Corinthians, the power of love
Galatians, freedom from the curse of sin
Ephesians, our glorious treasure
Philippians, the servant’s heart
Colossians, He’s God and the trinity
Thessalonians, our calling King
In Timothy, Titus and Philemon, He’s our mediator and our faithful pastor
In Hebrews, the everlasting courage
In James, the one who heals the sick
In 1st and 2nd Peter, our faithful shepherd
In John and Jude, He’s the lover coming for His bride
AND in the Revelation, in the very end, when it’s all over, said and done, when time is NO MORE. He is and will always be the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Prince of Peace, son of Man, Lamb of God, The Great I am, Alpha and Omega, God and Savior He is Jesus Christ the Lord HE IS EVERYTHING THAT YOU NEED!
He is everything that we need and He is our refuge in every generation!
P.S. It sounds like the Deeper Still blog is shutting down this Friday…I am not sure if that means that it will not exist or that there will be no more new content…so check it out for more pictures, etc.
I am finally bringing this to a close…please let me know if this is helpful…I don’t want to be trying to recap something that feels disjointed to you…I welcome your comments…and if you had any “a-ha’s” along the way!
My love to you,