The Blessing of these times together
Friends, I can never say enough how much of a blessing these meetings have been to our family and I believe for others who come as well. I am so grateful for the opportunity the Lord has given us to carve out this time to seek Him and find Him as we lift Him up in praise and worship. He is so faithful to encourage us through His presence and His Word through prayer and connection together in these times. We keep pressing on! Here’s a review of our most recent October meeting. We write these reports out so that there will be a record of the way the Lord was moving and speaking in these meetings as well as to be a reminder for those who came who might want to look back at what was said and done. We also pray that for those who weren’t here, you might find some nugget of encouragement that would cause you to press out oil wherever you may be as well! We’d also love to tell the great testimonies to tempt people to come the next time!!
Bethany Oakes led worship. The time and energy people have put into preparing for leading worship is so valuable. It is awesome to see how God weaves together these worship times and puts songs together that cause us to lift Him up in praise and adoration, and they draw us near in devotion and worship. He is faithful to highlight some aspect of His character each time.
“We believe in you. The God of miracles!” In this worship time, He was particularly emphasizing His power and ability to show off! We need to be reminded of who God is. He is the miracle working God! It is only by a miracle that any of us are followers of Jesus! He want to encourage us in places of need or trial to remember that He has always been, is now, and always will be a miraculous God who wants to put His glory on display!
Matthew shared at the end of worship a testimony of how God impacted his early Christian life with some awesome experiences and even seeing or hearing of faith-building signs and wonders. But, many of the people who were with him in those experiences have walked away from the Lord now. He felt like the Lord was emphasizing that we definitely want to see signs and wonders, but even more than that we need a deep knowledge of God. AND, we have to have a “life-time” mentality that we are going to pursue the knowledge of God through His word for our entire lives! We can’t be sustained by power experiences here and there. We have to grow deep roots in the word and love of God.
The message: getting oil in the midst of dark times
We did something different in this meeting in that we listened to a recorded message (that you can find on our website here) that had impacted both Matthew and I very deeply.
I was reminded of Psalm 37 and how the writer of the Psalm is in a difficult place of seeing the wicked prosper, but he “gets oil” in this time by waiting on and trusting in the Lord. One verse actually says, “dwell in the land and feed on faithfulness.” What a great encouragement! I feel like this is the message of stability for us in these times. No matter how dark or difficult things are, we continue pressing out oil! We continue coming to the Lord and being still before Him and allowing Him to refresh and re-stock our supply of “fuel” we need in order to keep going in difficult days.
We really wanted to emphasize that we store up oil for “dark” times, but we ALSO must learn to continue getting oil in the midst of difficult/dark times. We felt like Bob Sorge’s message entitled, “You’re still in the Story” (which you can find on our website or on YouTube) highlighted this with a particular emphasis that we could never do. Bob Sorge was a worship leader who suffered a drastic vocal injury that left him barely able to speak and in chronic pain. He shares a powerful experience from the early days of that journey in a video clip at the end of the message.
He also shares about Abraham and the Scripture in Romans that says, “Abraham didn’t waver concerning the promise.” In a humorous and powerful way he highlights that God isn’t really measuring our “wavering” by whether or not we have a good moment, day, week or month! He’s looking more at our journey of faith based on years!! Are we being strengthened in faith over the years? Are we setting ourselves on a life-long journey of growing in faith and trusting Him and His Word?
Our response: Let go and trust in Him
In our response time, Bethany led us in the song “It is well.” This is a new version of the old hymn, “It is well with my soul” and was written by a man who had lost so much: his son, his property, then all his daughters. Yet, he still wrote the words, “It is well with my soul.”
Look at some of these lyrics and let the Lord encourage you to trust Him even in the midst of dark times.
“Through it all, through it all my eyes are on You
Through it all, through it all, it is well
Let go my soul and trust in Him
The waves and wind still know His name”
Prayer together: grab someone and agree
We always take time to pray for any needs in the room. We had already agreed together for two specific friends and very challenging situations they are in involving cancer at the beginning of the meeting. We ended the meeting by sharing needs: physical and spiritual. This is an opportunity to ask for people to agree with you for healing, but also to agree for others that we may carry on our hearts. Rather than praying in one large group, we asked everyone to find someone who had shared a need and grab that person and agree together for their expressed need to be met through Jesus’ abundance.
I don’t know about you, but I want this reminder in other areas of my life as well, not just in a Lampstand meeting. I want to respond when someone expresses a need by grabbing them and agreeing together. (Ok, maybe don’t really “grab” them, but do agree!!)
Matthew or Julie Wine