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How a Summer at Bethel Church is Changing My Life

by | Jul 14, 2016 | Missions Articles

“Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord…” (Acts 3:19, NKJV)

As I walked into the pre-service prayer meeting I was taken aback by the weighty presence of the Holy Spirit. The power and presence of God, the overwhelming sense of peace and rest shook me to the core. The room was quiet and still, with people praying, worshipping, and interceding. The center focus of each mind and heart seemed to be inviting the presence of God to fill each of us and the place where we were.

When I sat down and settled in, I heard the Holy Spirit say, “I want you to forget everything you have ever learned about ministry.” I knew, at that moment, I was in for some new and unique experiences with God during my summer at Bethel Church.

That statement from the Lord brought me into a place of humility. The Lord was asking me to lay aside what I knew (and thought I knew) from decades of ministry experience and enter like a child into this new season. Acts 3:19, written above, beautifully describes the process I have seen God working during my time here.

1. Repent

Changing my mind and thinking differently has been vital here. For me, ministry was defined by activity. Within the first week of my trip, the Lord corrected this thinking and had me focus instead on developing intimacy with Him. I have spent the majority of my days in the prayer chapel learning to “be still and know that He is God”. As much as I hate to say it, sitting still and simply meditating on the God we love and serve was like pulling teeth for me at first. I wanted to be “doing ministry”. But taking time to gain an intimate connection with The Father is the foundation of anything that bears lasting fruit in His Kingdom.

2. Be Converted

Through this time of regaining intimacy with the Lord He has been calling me back to Jesus as my first love. He has been calling me back to some of the dreams and visions I let go due to discouragement. He has been calling me back to the importance and priority of family, relationships, and my own household. My priorities have been converted, tweaked, and aligned more fully with His heart during this season.

3. Your Sins Blotted Out

There are areas of my life that are not “hitting the mark” and in our times together He is setting me free. One area I have struggled with for years is anxiety. He let me know that He was going to drive this out of my heart. The Lord had me meditate on His promises and declare them over my life, dreams, family, or whatever the point of anxiety was. In just weeks, I have been blessed to enter a new level of peace in my heart and mind.

4. Times of Refreshing

Through this process of teaching and change, I have become even more aware of His refreshing presence in my life. God’s presence is wherever we go, because He chose to place Himself in us by the Holy Spirit. Cultivating that reality has been the biggest shift I have experienced since coming to Bethel. “Let us become more aware of Your Presence. Let us experience the Glory of Your Goodness” is now, more than ever, the song of my heart.

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