Olive Tree

But I am like an olive tree, thriving in the house of God.
    I will always trust in God’s unfailing love.
I will praise you forever, O God,
    for what you have done.
I will trust in your good name
    in the presence of your faithful people.Psalm 52:8-9

Photo courtesy of wisegeek.com
    Photo courtesy of wisegeek.com

I attended a conference this weekend up in Bellingham. A good friend of mine invited me, and we drove up together.

It’s been a long time since I saw people truly hungry and abandoned to the presence of God. They had no shame as they danced, basking in the love of Christ. It was amazing. The conference itself was called the School of Prophets. Nobody asked you if you were prophetic. If you attended the class, you simply were. If not, you’d better figure it out right quick, because we did exercises giving each other words from God on the fly. I’m sure it sounds kind of crazy, but it was glorious. I learned to hear God for myself. I might get a glimpse of a picture or see a word – even hear a word – and I had to go with it. Our instructor said we were in a gymnasium. We were practicing, getting stronger. Anything we spoke that wasn’t life, which is the essence of the prophetic, would be dead and simply fall away.

Here’s an example. We formed two lines, one with backs to the wall. That line stood stationary, while the line facing us rotated. Every couple of minutes, the person in front of the stationary line would move down. Each of us would give a word to the person across from us. Eek!

I landed in the stationary line at first. Across from me stood a lovely girl with short dark hair and sea-blue eyes. We had no time to prepare, truly. I smiled. She smiled. We introduced ourselves.

I closed my eyes. Then I saw a bubble.

Great, God, I thought. She’s going to punch me in the throat for this ridiculous word.

“I see a bubble…” I started and I went on to talk to her about having a fun personality and how much we all need more of that.

She giggled.

“My nickname is Bubbles,” she told me.

My turn to laugh. The Lord knew her, even if I didn’t. God, I’m in.

See, in the end it isn’t about us, our super-spirituality or awesome knowledge of the Bible. It’s the Lord wanting to speak to His children. His thoughts outnumber the grains of sand. Guess what? Thousands of those thoughts are about you. He thinks about you all the time. All of them reflect His love for you. Guess what else? He loves us. All the time. He doesn’t love you more or treat you differently if you pastor or if you drive a bus. His love won’t diminish if you cheat on your spouse. He won’t abandon you when you gossip.

If you want a specific answer from God, you might get it. Or you might not. The thing He wants to communicate most is that He loves you. Period. He probably won’t deliver you out of your circumstances. But He will deliver you *in* the circumstances so that your heart changes.  His love changes everything.


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