May the grace and peace of the Holy Spirit be with us always.
This is a different writing. I have been trying to write since Monday, but somehow in the midst of our "forced rest", I am in one meeting after another. It is a strange season we are in, but we entrust ALL into the Lord's hands and, at some point, all crooked roads will be made straight. I want to spend time this week on "words of knowledge," and we will, but interestingly when I settled into my prayer time this morning the Lord brought me to a most unexpected memory. I think it's a precursor to our topic. When I asked the Lord what He would say to you today, this is the least anticipated place I could have landed.
I grew up in New Orleans, and to say the least it is a most fascinating culture. The deep south is perhaps hard to understand if you didn't grow up there. Some customs were hard for me to understand and I DID grow up there. You know of Mardi Gras. What you may not know is the huge debutant culture. Suffice it to say that as a junior in college I was asked to participate in that year's debutant season. It was not unexpected. My family had roots in old New Orleans going way back. But it was the LAST thing I wanted. It not only was not an interest of mine, but it was something I did NOT want to do. It would consist of coming home from college in another town three nights a week, for weeks, participating in Mardi Gras balls until the wee hours of the morning, and driving back to LSU for early classes. Mardi Gras balls have a king and a queen and lots of maids (debutants) and lots of regalia and pomp and circumstance. If you ever get to attend, it'll be an experience of a lifetime. I had been to many, TOO many, and could have passed up this experience. But I was told it was very important to my grandmother and that I had no choice. So, I set about to just live through it.
For those who know me, you might imagine how I felt when I learned I have to go to "curtsy school." Yep. You might also imagine that what was going through my head… AND coming out of my mouth was less than ideal. At the end of it all I had an incredible curtsy. What I did not have was the eyes to see any goodness in this process at all. It was fun to reconnect with friends from childhood, but I had lots of judgments for those I thought took this too seriously. Looking back, I had an "A" in great curtsy and an "F" in attitude and any vision, and it caused me to miss so much.
So, imagine my surprise when I closed my eyes to pray this morning, and found myself at a Mardi Gras ball where Jesus was the King. He got up off His throne and came straight to me on the dance floor. He had a huge smile and asked me to show Him my curtsy. WHAT?!?!? My friends, this HAD to be God, because there may not have been a more buried memory!! Of course I did and He laughed and clapped and was utterly delighted. Then He began to swing me around the dance floor laughing and so enjoying everything and everyone. His joy was total, complete, and in EVERY. SINGLE. THING. As we danced by some of the ones I had most judged, He found delight in them and asked them about themselves, giving them some wondrous, glorious Jesus encouragement. He said, "Anne, even in this--ENJOY! Find the joy, find ME! There's nowhere I am not! Find Me, seek Me, open your eyes, your ears, your heart. EXPECT to find Me, to see Me, to hear Me, and experience Me. And you'll begin to see that I've always been right next to you, cheering you on in the most unlikely places. I love to focus My attention all on you! To tell you what I see in you--to fill you to overflowing. My beloved, the King came off His throne to dance with you, and to be delighted in every little thing you have to offer, even the curtsy. What do I have that you need, Anne? Take it! I've called you by name, chosen you to go and bear fruit that will last. (John 15:16) I only do what I see the Father doing, (John 5:19) and if you abide in Me and My words abide in you, you shall ask what you will and it shall be done for you." (John 15:7)
I went to my prayer couch to write on the ways that we can receive a "word of knowledge" and I got this wildness! So, let me try to connect the dots as a precursor to a teaching that will follow. So often we settle for what we think is truth about something. We have a limited view and we can miss much. But the Lord wants more than that! He loves to surprise us and once we see, He wants us to do something with what we see. There is always SO MUCH MORE, and we can never anticipate how incredible our God is and how much He loves us. Our King literally comes off His throne to each one of us, so ready to delight in every little thing about us and to whisk us onto the dance floor, pouring into us with such grace and joy. He wants us to KNOW Him and to learn to abide in Him. And He wants us to know that we can EXPECT to not only SEE Him but to HEAR Him and EXPERIENCE Him. And because we now carry this King, He wants to learn to hear His delight not just for ourselves, but for those in front of us. Hence, the great gift of the "word of knowledge!" When we activate this gift(which we will), the King who lives in US will come off the throne for the one in front of us, and we'll hear His Heart for them. And YOU, beloved, will learn how to share His love and His Heart with them. Tomorrow we'll look at words of knowledge as described in 1 Corinthians 12: 4-8. We'll discuss the ways one can receive a “word of knowledge”, what it is, and what to do with it. But for tonight, know that when you receive a "word of knowledge", it has one purpose...to release the love and the power of Jesus to someone in front of you. Jesus showed up this morning and did that for me. Sometimes He gives us a word for someone else, and sometimes He has a word for us. He wants us to get better and better at recognizing His voice and His presence in our lives because our time on earth is ON PURPOSE. When we've given Him our YES, He intends to fill us up so that we can go overflow on others. Are you ready for an upgrade? As He told me this morning, "I love to focus My attention all on you, to tell you what I see in you, to fill you to overflowing." This is the gift WE get to give, in His Name. This is amazing, people. The God of the Universe, the King of the Ball, comes off His throne and comes to you and to me. He only has eyes for each of us. And the greatest privilege on earth is that we get to bring others into an encounter of this magnitude with Jesus. That's what a "word of knowledge" can do. We'll look at this in more depth tomorrow. But think about it tonight. The King of Kings is absolutely crazy about you, and He delights in each hidden, tiny thing in your life. He celebrates in things you don't even remember...like curtsy school. God forbid! And by the way, if you want to learn the official curtsy of the queen, I'm your girl. Needless to say, the Lord caught me by surprise today. I hope He keeps it coming for all of us. This is quite the journey we're on. MORE Jesus! Love and prayers to each of you.