What an incredible time we experienced together at our December Lampstand meeting! Even as we prepared for the gathering that day, Matthew and I both felt so much peace from the Lord (this is not always the case, as there is usually a lot to be done in order to welcome people into our home that is fully lived in by 7 people!).
As we began the meeting, I shared a brief “Christmas reflection” about the word “entrusted.” Reading the verses from 2 Timothy 2 about guarding what has been entrusted to us as well as reading the Christmas story caused me to stop and ponder the beauty of God’s plan in “entrusting” Jesus to earthly parents and the message of His birth to lowly shepherds. He has then entrusted His story to us to share!
Following this reflection of Jesus’s great worth and beauty, we entered into a time of worship led by Ian Wilson. We are so grateful for Ian coming and sharing the songs of his heart with us!
During worship, God highlighted in a unique way Acts 2 and the outpouring of His power and strength. It was such a powerful experience of uniting as a group to determine what the Lord was speaking, and it was as if He was instructing us in how to corporately discern His word.
We had a unique experience during worship. Matthew felt he had a word in tongues. He gave a brief explanation of how this works and shared from 1 Corinthians 12 how this is a valid and biblical way that God communicates to us. He then shared the word and it was somewhat lengthy. At the end of it, I shared what I felt was a direction from the Lord to encourage each person to just be faithful to share any impression the Lord may have given. They didn’t need to feel like they had to have the whole interpretation. If you have ever experienced someone giving a word in tongues, sometimes it can just feel awkward and no one wants to speak out and share an interpretation because they aren’t sure if they have it exactly…they don’t want to get it wrong. But, when we realize that we can just share whatever part the Lord may have stirred in us, it becomes a corporate effort to hear whatever message the Lord would want to highlight.
Why would God give a word in tongues when He could speak through a person in plain language? One reason could be that He wants this corporate effort of hearing. It could also be rooted in His nature, that it is His glory to conceal and our glory to search Him out (Proverbs 25:2)! He isn’t trying to be hard to reach, but He is always trying to awaken us and cause us to stretch and reach higher and deeper than we have before.
I believe that another reason for tongues and interpretations is that it highlights a message from the Lord in a unique way. Usually this means of communication is not common, so when it happens, it causes us to stop and listen.
God communicating with us in our meeting through the word in tongues highlighted that He really wanted us to rise up in HIS strength and receive the outpouring of His Spirit that He alone can accomplish. We are simply obedient to receive and speak with boldness.
This unique experience actually seemed to be a highlighting of the message the Lord had stirred in Matthew to speak about that night. He shared about the Miracle of Oil. Our meeting fell during the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, which is based on a historical event when the Jews had re-taken the temple from an occupying nation, but they only had enough kosher oil to last for one day. Miraculously the oil lasted for a full 8 days!
This holiday prompted Matthew to consider this miracle of the oil we receive and the Lord led him to two passages about miraculous oil in the Scripture.
1 Kings 17 tells the story of Elijah and the widow. She was faced with great need and she had to simply obey Elijah’s instruction to bake bread for him and the Lord would provide. She obeyed, and the Lord caused her flour and oil to not run out!
The next passage was about Elisha and another widow. In this story found in 2 Kings 4, we see an amazing miracle of oil not running out. Again, this widow had a great need, and the prophet instructed her to take what she had, and again, she had to simply obey to see the promise of provision fulfilled. The Lord completely paid her huge debt with only a little bit of oil.
In both stories there was this pattern of need, crying out, simple obedience and seeing provision and answer! God will also provide for us as we do what we know to do and then He multiplies the oil.
He is able to take our feeble efforts and do something huge! We are weak and we need His strength—the miracle of oil!
We always want to allow a response time because so often we hear a message and it truly goes in one ear and out the other because we don’t take time to stop and process what we have heard. So, this is an important part of our meetings, even if it is only a brief time. During this meeting, Matthew felt that we needed to pray impartation prayers for each other. So, we gathered around each one individually and prayed that the Lord would ignite a spark to cause us to pursue Him even more.
This was a precious time. I love seeing the Lord minister, and it is so valuable to take time to lay hands on one another and pray for encouragement together.
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