Satan knows what lies to tell us. The ones we are most likely to believe.
I am one of the organizers of our women’s ministry and sometimes co-ordinate or speak at different events we hold. The thing that I am most afraid of is that people may believe I am attention seeking or want acclamation for myself. It stops me from receiving compliments well and sometimes from saying or doing all I feel, out of fear. The deceiver often whispers and takes away my confidence and boldness by convincing me I will look proud or arrogant, or self serving.
This past Saturday I had a different experience. This is the story of how a simulcast silenced Satan…
I have been to one Beth Moore Simulcast in my life, several years ago. This however, seemed to be enough last fall when seeing her live in Mississauga, Ontario, to have the idea come to mind to host one at our church. What planning an event like this looked like…I did not know. Working full-time and having four children, how it would all get done…I also did not know. All I knew was that if God wanted it done – it would get done. So our church signed up and we pressed forward.
At a typical ladies event at our church we would expect about 25 women, and so when a few weeks out from the event we had about 38 registered we were delighted. It turns out however, God was not done.We set up 75 seats and in the end 74 were filled. All but one seat (which I am pretty sure was reserved for the Holy Spirit!) We had women from at least 8 different churches and some from travelling from more than an hour away.
I began the day watching. I was watching for all the practical elements that affected the event. Were they all comfortable? Was there enough food? Was it too hot in the room, or too cool? Was everyone attended to and were they finding everything okay? Was the technology doing what it need to be doing? Etc..etc..etc.
Session one came, Travis and his team sang with conviction and passion. Then Beth spoke in her typical captivating manner and with authority. I sat and took in what I could while busy watching . At the lunch break we made some announcements and I found myself more emotional than usual when speaking to the group, I assumed it was me being tired from preparation. As the afternoon passed, something changed in me. It was as though I was watching even more intensely, but with very different intention. It did not seem to matter as much if the coffee was running low, or if every detail was perfect. As Travis’ and Beth’s voices flowed from the screen, I found myself watching the faces of the women present. Some were smiling, some teary, some contemplative and some eyes closed – having an unseen conversation with their “Maestro”. Each one, experiencing the day differently and it was amazing to watch.
Shortly after the second session I need to make another announcement regarding snack break. Waiting for the right time to come forward, I stood behind the stage door…and I listened to the ladies sing. I could hear with perfect clarity the sound of 74 voices lifted in worship. It was absolutely beautiful. I closed my eyes enjoying the moment, and envisioned the sound flooding that room and pouring out the open windows through the air and into the streets of our community. I got up to make my announcement and I stood looking over those women. Some I knew like family, others I had never met and I fought off the tears as I realized that I actually did LOVE them. I mean my heart ached for them (an expression I maybe until that moment, not fully understood). I wanted so badly to have the spirit just fill and transform them and make them mighty ambassadors of the Word as they travelled home. As Beth said…I really did want this to be a day they would write down and remember. I wanted them to be courageous, and comforted, bold and healed. I wanted desperately to say anything and everything I could to impress on them how I felt in that moment. But, somehow I knew it was not my place, so I made my announcements and let the day continue.
The event wrapped up, and the church was quickly transformed back, as though nothing has taken place. Standing and looking at the sanctuary there was something just right in that moment to me. They came, they listened and they went…back to their families, and workplaces, and communities. And I prayed for them. I prayed that it would not be left in that room. That the emotion, encouragement, conviction, inspiration and passion that was roused in each one, through the words God had given Beth to share with us, would not wane but flourish.
And after all of it I left, returning to my home, family, my workplace and community. And it was over.
The next day, I went on a long drive, it all came back in my mind as I was reminiscing about the day. The moment that stood out, was that moment I was listening behind the door to the women singing. I realized what I felt in that moment was what it was like to be used in a very small way by God. I know I had been used before, but perhaps this was the first time I had really believed it. I wept as I felt an overwhelming gratitude to have just been part of the days planning. Satan could have whispered whatever lies he chose to convince me that I wanted something else…but in that moment the truth was brighter and more beautiful and blocked out any whispers or lies he could present.
There has never been in my life a feeling I have achieved by success or award that even compared to the what I felt in that moment hidden behind the door knowing God was there and He had allowed me to serve in preparation of His arrival. So I will leave the impact on the rest of the women to God and the Holy Spirit. As for me, it will be a day I will remember and will write down, as somewhere in the busy activity of the day, God reassured me even if I didn’t quite understand yet what to do with it…I had found my seat.