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I woke up at about 3:00 AM, very much aware of the Lord's presence around me. I started shaking mildly on my bed. I found myself telling God that I really wanted to do serious business with Him -- that I wanted to come away changed, not just having an experience. Of course, I welcomed His touch on my bed in my hotel room. But if this was just some sort of emotional response or flesh, and not Him, then I wanted it to stop. I went on to tell the Lord that I wanted to be in the Spirit and not in the flesh, that I did not want to be a jerk...
I could not get the rest of the sentence out in prayer. I had a sensation of a giant finger coming down and poking me playfully in the stomach. I heard the phrase "jerk for Jesus..." strongly in my mind. The next instant, I was shaking violently in my bed and laughing, similar to what happens when I just have received powerful prayer. It went on for about 10 minutes, and then I fell asleep again.
I woke up about 6:00 AM, feeling fully refreshed -- even though I'd not gotten to bed until almost 2:00 AM. I still felt surrounded by the Lord's presence and felt very full of Him. I spent a while in scripture and then stopped to pray. I still had a very strong sense of wanting to do serious business with Him and asked Him to reveal to me any areas of my life that interfered with my relationship with Him. The Lord did not waste any time answering that one. He reminded me that I was still struggling very much to forgive Ron (an evangelist/prophet from Delaware) for something he did that really hurt me. I agreed with God that I wanted to forgive him, but was not really sure that I could muster that up on my own. After all, I'd been trying for a few months now. I'd already given God permission to bless him and his ministry and to not punish him for what he'd done to me. I wasn't sure how to release it any farther -- I did not want that inner twinge (grudge) that happened every time someone mentioned Ron's name, but I was powerless to stop it from happening. I certainly did not want it to stand between me and God. I felt like I should be crying tears of repentance, but none would seem to come. So I told God that I felt like I should be repenting, but did not want to be phony. I was sorry that this stood between me and Him, and I sincerely wanted to forgive Ron. But I could not work up any tears and was powerless to release the grudge I felt. I asked God if He would please help me with it.
God spoke two things to me. First, He asked me what would it take to forgive Ron? Would it help to talk to Ron face to face and to tell him what he'd done to hurt me? I told the Lord that I felt that would help very much, but thought that would be impossible. After all, Ron lives in Delaware and I live in California -- opposite coasts. I simply did not feel free to call Ron about this and doubted very seriously that Ron would call me. But yes, Lord, it would help very much.
The other thing that God spoke to me was that repentance was NOT an emotion, but a sincere desire to correct things that displease Him -- to really turn from it and change our behavior. He went on to say that it's impossible for us to change without His help. Repentance is agreeing with God that there is a problem in my behavior/attitudes that displeases Him and cooperating sincerely with the Holy Spirit to change it. He said that my prayer ("sorry God, I can't work up tears but I really sincerely don't want this between us -- please help me because I can't do it on my own") was in fact what sincere repentance was. He said that He found it acceptable and that He would help me -- that He never expected me to do this on my own, that He always planned to help me with it -- but that He needed my cooperation.
There was a lot of release in this conversation with God and I became filled with His joy and felt an eager excitement to see what else God would do this day.
I was supposed to meet Walter at the Church at 10:00 for coffee, so I left my hotel room about 9:40 to walk over to the Church. I was so full of the Lord's joy that I felt like I might burst. Someone came out of another hotel and was walking on the other side of the street. The noticed my big smile and figured I must be heading to the Vineyard. We had a brief conversation from opposite sides of the street, and I discovered that he and his family were from South Africa. I just kept bursting into song as I walked. It felt like Jesus was walking right beside me.
By the time I hit the church building, I was buzzing with joy. It turned out that Walter got held up on a previous errand and was not there. I saw a couple setting up as worship team on the stage and knew that had to be Ron and Sigrid Taylor who I "knew" from new-wine. (Sigrid and I had been having some private e-mail discussions. We'd set up to have lunch after the Wed afternoon ministry time and I was going to accompany them to the local pastor's meeting since I'd already heard what they were going to be teaching in the Pastor's meeting this morning.) So I went up to the stage to greet Sigrid. We had a good hug and then a brief chat. It came out that Sigrid was not feeling well. I asked her if I might pray for her, and she said yes. So, we went to the far side of the stage and prayed. When I laid my hands on her, the Lord's presence really showed up. The intensity was so powerful that I started jerking from my midsection, sort of like continuous half bows. After the prayer, I followed Sigrid into the cafe for some coffee. She went back to the stage and I started to held back to my seat, still jerking. It's a wonder that I did not spill my coffee.
Several people thought it was fun to see me "manifesting" before the meeting started and wanted to talk to me. I was still so full of the joy of the Lord that I was not even embarrassed. When I finally made it to my seat, the lady who was sitting in front of me turned around and started waving at me and said "more Lord." I started waving back and asked God to bless her. She ended up getting the laughter (I was laughing quite a bit myself). We tried to have a conversation, but it turned out that she only spoke french and I only spoke english.
Then I saw Ron (the evangelist/prophet from Delaware) walk right past me down the aisle. I was shocked to see him there -- he was literally the last person in the world I expected to see. I stood up and called his name. Ron had already passed me without seeing me. But when he heard his name, he came back to me and gave me a big hug. We both mentioned that we were surprised to see the other here.
(I hope it won't be too confusing that there are two Rons in my story. I don't want to mention the last name of the Ron who I was struggling to forgive because he is a public figure and my writeups tend to get circulated widely. Anyhow I'll try to keep a clear distinction between him and Ron Taylor.)
Then the worship started. My goodness, Ron and Sigrid Taylor certainly are anointed! All of the worship was great. But there was one song that was particularly powerful. I think it was "Shout Unto The Lord" but I'm not positive which one it was. Anyhow, the song had a section of la la, la-la-la-la-la la's at the end. Ron had us sing that several times. One time he had us sing it as children before the Lord, care free and full of joy. One time he had us sing it at the devil, which was more of a nanny-nanny-nah-nah than a la-la-la-la-la-la. I could feel the Lord's presence and power really build in the room as we sang it. Then Ron invited us to do a victory march around the auditorium as we sang. I don't think I've ever gotten so much worship out of la-la before.
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