I was prepared for a message I could never have been prepared for
This shouldn't be a big deal for many reasons;
For one: She is just another bible teacher.
For two: She is just another woman of God.
For three: This was just another stop on her tour.
Okay, now that we've supported the community of skeptics that may possibly read this post, I'll continue by explaining why this was most certainly not "just another" anything.
It's going to be dripping in faith and feminine fantasticness; you've been warned.
Over a year ago I had a dream that Beth Moore said "meet me in Ohio girlfriend!"
I hadn't yet done one of her bible studies, but I knew it was her in the dream for whatever reason the dream provided. It was only that sentence and I bought my seat as soon as the event was available.
I itched for this message of hers for many reasons.
For one: She's not just any bible teacher.
Beth has a way of connecting with women. She has a light that shines so bright you need sunglasses. Even if they don't believe in God, people listen and want to know what it is that she is so full of. Her message is clear: God is the creator of all, Jesus is His son, and we are all His children too if we choose to believe it. Her faith reaches back over 40 years and it certainly shows; whether in her blog writings or videos, or in her written study homework, or as I learned this weekend, in her personal engagement with other believers. She is a woman that is truly humbled by her position to preach God's Word and bring people to faith. Many critics eat up the opportunity to put down evangelism; I'd like to see them exercise an honest passion all for the benefit of others.
For two: She's not just any woman of God.
Beth is no stranger to pain and disappointment and is not afraid to speak on it during her messages and studies. Many people see this beautiful, strong, fearless and faithful woman and assume that she has run a yellow brick road to be where she is. She'll tell you that it couldn't be more farther from the truth. She emulates the very person that Jesus chose to run to when He walked the earth; that is the broken. His strength was used to lift others up. His life was devoted to saving everyone He made contact with. His drive was fueled by the desire to glorify God.
Beth's strength, life and drive match this, perfectly and if there is anyone that can be an example of crawling clean out of the pit of detachment, it's she.
For three: This wasn't just another stop on her tour.
This was the one I was called to. I could have flown to a beach city to see her, or pushed it back to a time when it would work better for me. I chose to heed the message I received and travel to Ohio. Now it happened to be the closest; praise God for that! I did choose to go based on the invitation.
The reason I say invitation is because I believe it was by God that the dream was what it was. Each stop on her tour is separate from the others. She explains that when one is over, they close it. The next one is then opened and focused upon until it begins and is completed. She said that how it usually starts is by a certain word and then she builds her two days of teaching on that. So each talk is unique. There was something I needed to hear from this talk in particular.
So what was the word? The focus?
Simple enough, Beth focused on the beauty of this word.
God prepared the world, it's people, it's very heartbeat. God prepared for Jesus to save His children. God is preparing the new Heaven and earth. He has also prepared a plan for each of us, and is continually preparing us for it.
As we literally drowned in scripture verses and definitions and comparisons and theories, we stumbled upon the first of the 9 major points that were covered over the weekend;
God has a gorgeous preoccupation with preparation.
He has everything planned, inside out. He even planned for free will, and so, He has a plan that re-routes automatically. From the beginning of the earth and universe to today to forever it is already decided upon. How we get there may change, but the end is known and planned for.
It all may be incomprehensible, but that does not make it wrong. I defend this to the last breath as I was someone who refused to believe based on the fact that things couldn't be proven. Read my devotional from last week if you would like to know my stance on all of this.
Everything about this weekend spoke very personally to me. Not even 10 minutes into her talk, Beth made a statement that concluded what I was praying over for the week before we arrived in Ohio. It was so specific and yet so fundamental. It is possible that we all wrestle with the same struggles, yes, but the timing and the delivery was such that I had to believe it was why God told me to go to this specific city.
And so, I guess this is where my devotional begins...
There is something special in feeling a feeling and acting on it. The world we live in is based on the physical representation of what is originally felt or realized, but after the "product is presented" the reason behind it rarely holds a place in the spotlight. I believe this is why our world is so desensitized to feelings and emotions, and also why many believers are still works-based rather than faith-based (as the Bible tells us we should be). Granted we are supposed to do our best to be the best, but it must come from our heart.
If we only act and there is no faith we are lost.
If we feel our faith is measured by our actions, we are lost.
If we act in faith and feel opposite, we are lost.
It is difficult for sure, but not impossible.
In believing God, actively, we must continually submit to His plan for our lives. The trick is that we do not know what that plan is. This does not mean we cannot still be obedient. By making the time to stay in fellowship, and develop a healthy prayer life, we are more likely to hear His tender messages to us, even in the times we feel He is not even there.
This is where I was when I found my seat at the Living Proof Live event. I sat down prepared for a talk I'd been anticipating for over a year. When those first words were spoken, I realized I could not possibly have been prepared for the conviction that filled me; this message was coming to me at precisely the right time. It was as if someone had been hearing my every prayer and provided a 3 hour and 30 minute personal message about how I have nothing to fear.
We know our faith pleases Him and in acting on even the smallest message, we are acting on faith. The future will always be a big mystery, but at that one moment I knew I was precisely where I supposed to be. Columbus Ohio, Value City Arena, section 122, Row F, Seat 1, listening to a message on all forms of the word "Prepare."
As I prepared this devotional I remembered all of the ways the Lord prepared the earth and it's people. I remembered how He has promised me that He has prepared for me a place in His plan, and that He is continually preparing me to fulfill it; in good times or bad. So I prepare myself to seek Him all of the time, and to be diligent and knowledgeable, living on His promises and acting when He tells me to. I strongly recommend that you do the same.
The quickest way to do so? Get in a womens' group immediately!
If you haven't done a Beth Moore bible study, or one at all, I suggest you get on that, stat.
I'm not talking about a bible study that says:
"read this scripture and tell me how it applies to your life.."
but rather a study that says:
"read this scripture, and these three, and look up these 5 words; do you see that God has planned all of this since before you were even the parts you're made of?? Can you believe it, now??"
It'll blow your mind what can happen when you actively seek for answers :)