I have been taking the Experiencing God bible study that is being led by Pastor Ronnie Collins at OOTB on Wednesday mornings. It is a small group that meets and I believe that group was put together by God Almighty Himself! Since starting the study we have all been made more aware of how God speaks to us. We are all at different levels, spiritually, so God speaks to us where we are at individually. No two are the same.
How does God speak? Well, for each person it is different and Ican only go on what I have experienced.
Part 2 of the study is titled,
” God Speaks.”
Jesus gave them this answer:
“I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself;
He can only do what he sees His Father doing,
Because whatever the Father does
The Son also does.”
Day 1 of last weeks study is titled
” What happens when you pray?”
Pastor Ronnie has been fasting ever since we started this study and everytime I would be where he was, I would be filled with emotions and just weep. I sensed the presence of Christ everytime I was around Ronnie. His obedience in God’s call has been humbling to watch. I know that God’s mighty hand is on this man, how? Because it is evident in his actions, reactions, teachings, his countenance, his whole being eminates Christ. You really have to be in a room with him to understand what I am saying. Through Ronnie’s obedience I have ” Experienced God.”
It took me awhile to figure out what God was saying to me through my weeping and my heart feeling wrenched whenever I looked at him. My eyes saw this hungry, skinny, tired man and I felt sorry for him and began to worry that he would get sick, etc.. My carnal mind could not comprehend how he was going to survive for 40 days without food! That was the humaness in me. But my heart saw something else. I have been able to see Jesus on his 40 day fast in the wilderness and have even been able to see the temptings of Satan through this man. I have seen the undeniable and unmistakable power of God at work in our midst. I have seen resiliency, tenacity, discipline, devotion, commitment, and a man falling hopelessly in love with our Lord and Savior. It has been life changing for me. This is the Spirit of God in me.
Ephesians 5: 1-2 says,
” Be imitators of God, therefore as dearly loved children and live a life of love,
just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
Pastor Ronnie has been imitating God. In turn- God has spoken to my spirit to do the same. To imitate God, to do what God would do, to fast and pray.
The study says, ” You must decide whether you will do what you want and ask God to bless it or go to work where He is working.”
We all want our way and we ask God to bless our ideas and plans. What we really need to be doing is joining God where he is working and get our selfish motives
out of the way. Isn’t this what Jesus did?
Well, my prayer for the end of Day one was this: Lord, I know you are always there preparing and guiding me in your work. May I always look to you- even in the silence, confusion, and busy-ness. Help me to stop the busy work and start God’s work.”
My question to myself was this: “Am I to fast for 7 days?” “How can I?” ” Look to God, Donna.”
What I haven’t told you is that since Ronnie started his fast- I was eating everything in sight. I had a very busy schedule and was feeling a lot of stress trying to figure out how to get everything done. I am a stress eater. Everytime I would see Ronnie, I would feel this nudge and it was saying, “Donna you need to do this also.” My unbelief just pushed it back farther in my head and satan convinced me that I couldn’t do that by whispering things to me like, “you’ll never do it, no way, you aren’t strong enough, you love to eat too much, you’ll get sick, pass out, dizzy,etc., etc.” For awhile I listened to that junk.
Then I shared my thoughts with a dear friend and she said,
” Donna I hear you saying that you can’t do it, and you can’t, however, nothing is impossible with God!”
I discovered that she was right.
That day I decided to fast for 7 days. I knew that God was calling me to it. I wanted to join Ronnie for the last week of his 40 day fast. I think that corporate fasting is a powerful thing and that God is preparing us for what is to come in our lives. So I shared my decison with my family and prayer warriors and they have been my support group. As soon as I decided to do it, I knew that God had brought me to it. The first few days were hard, but not as hard as I imagined they would be. Once I got past the third day it was a little easier. I have found out a lot about myself in these 7 days, and about the redeeming love of God. It seems as though some of my selfishness has been replaced with more of a desire to serve my family in love, with tenderness and compassion. I find myself responding in gentleness and love and I know it is God at work in me. He is changing me for a reason, preparing me for what is to come. In doing this, my relationship with my family has changed and we have really melded together in these 7 days. My beautiful girls have seen God at work in this time of fasting as Mom prepares meals and cleans up, never eating a thing, without complaint. Emily has even said, “Mommy, how are you doing it?” I explain that it is the power of God at work. It’s not me because I want to eat, but I AM NOT HUNGRY!!!!!!!!! My fleshly desires want to sit down and eat everything on the table, but PRAISE GOD that my spirit is finally in tune with HIS and I don’t!!!!!!!! I am able to see God more clearly in the things around me and He has consumed my mind. Whenever I think of food- I go to the scriptures. Then the desire to eat goes away. It has been amazing. My prayer life has been off the charts and I it seems like I am in a constant conversation with God. I thought I was before this, but now I see that I wasn’t.
Matthew 4:4 says,
“It is written: Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
I finally understand what this means. I have always known what it said in my head, but this week I have been able to EXPERIENCE GOD in this verse. I will never see it in the same way again. I truly have lived on the word of God. I even told Ronnie that I saw myself tearing out the pages of the bible and cramming them in my mouth and eating them. Because that is what we do when we fast. Not literally, but spiritually. My hunger was not physical hunger- it was spirutal hunger, except I couldn’t discern that on a belly full of food. God had to get me out of my comfort zone to speak to me. I had to be obedient. The weeping was my longing for Christ. I saw Ronnie one day at OOTB and just fell into his arms crying and he said, ” are you ok?” and I can’t remember what I said through my tears, but he then said, ” God is really working on you, isn’t He?” I just shook my head. That was about 2 weeks before I understood what God was asking me to do. Since I have “gotten it” the crying has stopped. Phew!
I have lost 8 pounds and my determination to follow Christ with my WHOLE life has returned. Before this I was feeling sluggish and full of apathy physically. I had lost my love for physical well being and gained my lust for eating. I can honestly and embarassingly say that the food was consuming my life and it was seeping into every aspect of my life like poison. In this time I feel like God is telling me that I am back on track and that I am past this time and onto a new season of physical and spiriutal well being. My desire to walk has returned and I even went and had my feet fit for some new walking shoes and ordered them! I’m excited! I feel like I could run a race! God is preparing me for that race through this fast.
My prayers have been many and I cannot share those with you now. Hopefully one day I can. My heart feels like God is about to blow the doors off of Carroll County and all the churches in the area. I even see things changing at the church I work at and I am sooooo excited for what is happening there too! It’s not about denomination- it’s about Jesus Christ.
This drawing ( above) is titled ” Come, Holy Spirit, Come”
That is my prayer today, that the Holy Spirit will fall on us in a way that is undeniable and that thousands will come to know Christ.
They will know Christ by OUR love…because we have experienced HIS love!
In Christ’s amazing and redeeming love,