On Thursday I went to an Elevation Worship concert in Lancaster. Whenever I go to things like that, I always desire to encounter the Holy Spirit. The new “Jericho Prayer” on my wall I circle every day says: “Holy Spirit, come upon me. Light a blazing fire within my soul.” I have been craving Him, and not in a fearful way, like a more recent season. But I pray expectantly.
This concert, the Spirit came, but not in the “Spirit Concert High” I always typically expect. The Holy Spirit, as I have called upon Him, has been pushing me to ACT.
GIVING OF FINANCES
It started a few weeks ago when I was reading through Acts & the Holy Spirit coming at Pentecost, and how, because of the Holy Spirit, believers spoke with boldness and great power. Then in Acts 4:32-37:
“All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus.
And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.
Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”), sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.”
I became incredibly convicted at my wealth. I want for nothing, while I watch and listen as people around me struggle with debt, credit scores, or payments.
“Lord, what good is all this stability if I can’t use it for others who actually need help?” was the prayer that I prayed, and then spoke out loud, “I want to love Jesus like how Francis Chan loves Jesus. I want to obey the Holy Spirit like how Francis Chan obeys the Holy Spirit.”
The next day one of my teammates car died. Within two years she had gone through two cars just out of pure unluckiness, and the Holy Spirit pressed, “Will you help buy her a car?” And out of obedience, I said yes.
SPONSORING A CHILD
At the Elevation Worship concert, they paused halfway through to talk about sponsoring children through World Vision. I knew the drill, they’d have people from World Vision standing around holding packets of children you could sponsor, if you wanted to sponsor you’d raise your hand so you could fill out the information etc.
Again, I felt the Holy Spirit pressing me that it was now time to sponsor a child. “You have the finances, so act.” I had a feeling that the person from World Vision in my row would be holding a little boy’s picture, and I felt that there would be something off about the eye of the boy I sponsored.
I was right, the person was holding a little boy’s packet in my row. But I didn’t raise my hand. I came up with every excuse in the book. I didn’t want to feel embarrassed or seem “holier than thou.” Did I really want to give up almost $40 every month to sponsor a child? What’s the difference between World Vision & Compassion? I had heard more about Compassion throughout the years, so what if I should sponsor someone from Compassion and not World Vision?
Then the convictions started again:
- Ariane, every child that is part of these programs needs help. Regardless of which organization is “best” to go through, they are in need.
- Ariane you are in a room filled with people who just paid almost $30 for a concert ticket and claim to love Jesus, but are withholding action to help someone. Are you going to continue to be a daughter of me that withholds action?
Whew. So I promised I’d look up Compassion & World Vision sponsorships the next day. Friday came, and I went to Compassion’s page first. They always list the children who haven’t been sponsored the longest, with the number of days they have been in need of a sponsor.
I kid you not. I scrolled down, and the FIRST picture was of a little boy, in need of a sponsor for 320 days, with a droopy eye. My heart broke, melted, jumped for joy, and squealed, “That’s him! He’s the one!” I didn’t even look at his name, I didn’t look at any other pictures, I sponsored him immediately. I knew, I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, he was the one the Lord had prepared my heart for. And I cannot tell you the pure JOY I feel over my boy.
His name is Crescent, he’s from Uganda, and he is precious. My heart is fiercely in love over him, and I might never meet him. But I can rest assured that the Lord has Crescent in the palm of His hand, and that the Lord wanted us to be together in this.
TONGUES OF FIRE
At Elevation, in their song “Fullness,” we sing:
Tongues of fire
Testifying of the Son
Spirit come, Spirit come
Prophesy like it is done
Spirit come, Spirit come
And it stuck out to me this time around when I sang it. I desire so badly to be a speaker of the gospel. It has been a deep heart longing of mine to travel around the country, around the world, speaking truth & life into thousands of strangers about Jesus.
I crave to have a tongue of fire that testifies of the Son without fear or reservation. To speak because His Spirit is overflowing and I don’t fear man. I crave for the Spirit to come upon me, upon us, to rise up an army that becomes the revival of Christ in the world. I crave to prophesy as though what He has promised is already done.
And the Lord convicted me in this desire. I want so desperately to do this on a global or national level, but I am so incapable of doing it on a local level. So He convicted me that these desires are good, but it starts now. It starts today. It starts with the people around me. These are my people, they are my crowd. And if I can’t do it for those around me in little acts of obedience, how could God call me to do it on a bigger scale?
JUST DO IT
The Holy Spirit has been at work. And I am so excited about the things He is pressing into me, and how He is asking me to act.
Ultimately, these convictions all boil down to one thing, more of Him.
I want to give more of what I have, and that conviction only continues to grow stronger and gets easier as I press into Him more.
I want to be a speaker of the gospel and grow in confidence and strength to proclaim His truths to the world. And I can only do that as I lay down more and more of myself, to make myself less, so that HE is overflowing through me, and I’m not trying to do this in my own streangth.
So where does that leave me?
Well, we all know I’m a woman of systems. One system that has worked extremely well for me but I’ve let fall by the wayside, is writing on a calendar exactly what I’m going to read every single day. That way if I fall behind, I know exactly where I left off and can catch up.
I’ve done this before but have only done a few months commitment, and then when I come to the end of what I committed myself to do, I don’t revamp it and write out new books of the bible to read daily.
So this time around, I’m writing it out a year ahead of time. My excuse for not committing myself to more than a book or two at a time has always been, “What if I don’t want to read that next?”
Well I realized, it doesn’t matter.
[2 Timothy 3:16-17]
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
So here’s to “just do it” over the next year.
And as I wrap up this month’s word of “Knowledge,” I am excited at how the Lord will continue to grow my knowledge over the next year.
2 Peter 1:5-8:
August – Faith
September – Goodness
October – Knowledge
November – Self-Control
December – Perseverance
January – Godliness
February – Mutual Affection
March – Love.