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2. From Spiritual Laodicean to Daring to Ask for More: Melody's Story

Melody Mason

Presenter

Melody Mason

Coordinator of the United Prayer program and assists with the Revival and Reformation Initiatives at the General Conference

Conference

Recorded

  • December 30, 2018
    10:45 AM
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This message was presented at the G Y C to be used in Texas for other resources like this visit us online. Well this is. Hard to. Be someone our growing and effective. And vibrant her ministry and today Jim and I are specifically sharing. Some of the some of our testimonies behind the scenes testimonies and I know some of you said you've already heard my testimony so you're going to hear some repeat today because you know our testimonies are Testimony Of course God is adding to it as we go along and there's new things that he's doing in our lives but still how it started and things along the way it's still the same story so there is going to be some overlap and and repeat. Hopefully we can keep this microphone up here so let's just pray one more time before we begin and Jim at some point I need your phone or something up here because I have no sense of time I'm going to lose track of time up here and I think I have too much to share but anyway let's pray. The only Father thank you so much. For the privilege of prayer we just praise you that even when we were not seeking after you you were seeking after us and we would not be here father if it were not for the beautiful gift of the Holy Spirit who is drawing our hearts and pulling us to desire you and to hunger for you into thirst for you and so we just thank you for this gift we thank you for answering our prayers even before we knew how to pray those prayers and I just pray that you will bless this presentation give me the words to say Father I am struggling to know what to share and there's a lot what to focus on and what not to and I'm just asking that you would be with my words and that you would be glorified and lifted up thank you Father in your precious name Amen. So a little bit behind the story of daring to ask for more. There's a picture of my family I grew up in a 7th Day Adventist home and I'm very thankful for that I consider myself very blessed because I know many don't have that privilege as a young person but I have I have a wonderful family and God has been very good it's not picture perfect we always have our struggles. But I've really seen. God's goodness and his leading over the years and so I just praise the Lord for that but I you know I want to my favorite verses comes from John 1010 I think I have it here on the screen I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly I believe that this is what God is calling us to but you know the 1st part of this 1st what it says the enemy comes to steal to kill and to destroy and so his purpose and desire is to keep us from experiencing that abundant life and that's what he's constantly doing and one of the ways that he he does it is just the culture that he that he leads us in and that is the Wilderness Experience and Jim shared some of this in his own testimony in fact I was thinking as I was listening and I've heard his testimony before but there were new things that he reminded me of today as he was sharing that there's a lot of similarities in our testimonies because we were in the church and all those things but we were lacking that deeper experience I really believe that you know what happened with the children of Israel being called out of Egypt we know God called them out of Egypt but his purpose was not to leave them in the wilderness right his purpose was to take them to the promised land and that is the ultimate goal however there are some of us that grew up in the church and you know we're pretty proud of the fact well I was never an Egypt so you know this I mean doesn't really apply right you know I haven't been living in the world and you know I was one of those. Good. Model students really I did what was right I was friends with my teachers I was a little crazy as a youngster wearing all my friends out but I was a good kid I wasn't like I was often crazy things and so you don't really relate to those that have been in that Egypt experience in the world and and there's kind of the subtle spiritual pride that begins to develop in your life as a result I think many in the church especially like Jim talked about 3rd 4th generation 2nd generation we just become complacent we become lukewarm or used to things as they are in the church and we grow up in this culture especially for in the West where we're just comfortable with the life we have we're not pushed too much out of our comfort zone one reason that I think it's so important that we actually do leave and go other places because it pushes us out of our comfort zone right because yeah maybe my own backyard needs to be claimed but. You know it's a familiar territory and we're more complacent whereas whereas if we follow God by faith to another place we recognize we have what I need to relate to this culture you know you go to put the place where they speak a different language and all these different things and so it's a whole new set of circumstances that really challenges you to trust God in a new way but he's calling us to start with where we are to be faithful with where we are and. So that's a lesson that he's he's really been seeking and growing in my life but I believe we live in a culture of Old Testament Christianity that has moved into modern day wilderness Christianity and we really need to pray for God to awaken us to our condition to our poor poor wretched poor naked condition that we're told in Revelation 3 many Christians are just barely surviving spiritually Here's a quote that I have from councils for the church most professed Christians have no sense of the spiritual strength that they might obtain where they. Ambitious zealous and perseverance to gain the knowledge of divine things as they are to obtain the perishable things of this life many are satisfied to be spiritual dwarfs that's the reality of our culture and our church and our society we grow up in a church and things are comfortable we're not really having persecution everybody's it's I mean it's kind of the cool thing to to be part of youth group to do this to do that but there's not really any definite stance that we have to take we're not really challenged and we just become kind of wimpy Christians really lukewarm Christians and I believe God wants to bring us out of that to be really strong for him so this is a little bit of my testimony of growing up in the church. I knew you know like I said I was a good kid but I struggled going to church as a young person because I just felt like. I just felt like it was a dead environment I didn't really see a lot of life I saw people professing that it up but I didn't really see them living up to that in their lifestyle and I saw how they treated one another and you know what that her more than anything watching per fest Christians how they related to one another and as a result of that some of my family members actually walked away from the church and you know how painful that was you you say you're whatever you know trying to reach the lost and you can't even be nice to each other and love one another and so seeing that and we see that even today was so difficult and if we focus on what everyone is doing around us and how we're treating or how we are imperfect Christians because we all are we're going to lose our way we have to learn to keep our eyes on Jesus because He is the only one that will not fail us that will not forsake us that will not let us stay on the is always who he is supposed to be because we are imperfect we live in an imperfect generation we live in an imperfect church and I praise the Lord that he doesn't cast of the way because we're not the perfect role models that we're called to be but I struggled going to church growing up I didn't really like it honestly it would have been. More attractive to do some of the things that the fact I I love God I gave my life to Christ when I was young and I wasn't really you know attracted to go off and look for the world so it was kind of you know not really sure what to do but I did decide to give my life to Christ and I decided I was going to be a missionary and I was going to start working for him and I always loved adventure I loved travel a little bit exploring and doing things so I started traveling doing mission trips here and mission trips there and some of you have heard this testimony before you know a lot of the joy of the of the missions was just the adventures that I had and the pictures that I brought home and the tales I could tell my. Is about being in the jungle and doing this and doing that but it wasn't really necessarily because my heart was for souls you know I thought I was doing a good thing because I was getting status stamps in my passport and all these different things but it wasn't really for the love of souls I mean I felt like it was but deep in my heart there was there was something missing this this quote from Christian service has really opened my eyes and says Could we see all the activity of human instrument talent as it appears before God we would recognize that only the work accomplished by much prayer which is sanctified by the merit of Christ will stand the test of the judgment nothing apart from the merit of Christ apart from the Holy Spirit which comes in answer to prayer is going to last the fire comes it burns these things are not going to last I wish I had recognized this earlier in my life I would have. It would have been. Well a different story earlier but you know God has to allow us I think and he does allow us to walk through our times of complacency and lukewarmness and trying to work in our own strength and all these things. And he allows us to come to a point where we finally break and recognize I don't have what I need I don't have what I need to live this life that he's called me to I don't have what I need to be the person that he's calling me to be I desperately desperately need Jesus and I had to to walk through an experience I kind of call it the Dark Night of the soul and I think that that's a point that we come to in our walk and some of you may have already experienced that some of you may be going through it now or you my in the future where you have to come to a point is this is is he really my savior is this Christianity experience really mine and especially when you have been challenged or you've gone through pain and you're like God how could you allow this to happen you know Jim talked about that going through an experience where he felt like I'm serving you I'm giving you my life how could you allow such and such to happen and basically to kind of fast forward through a number of things that's that's what happened with me I'm I'm serving the Lord I'm giving my use to ministry I doing what I know to do but I'm falling so short in so many ways and I had to laugh when Jim said he said what he did about being on the Lord's team because you know what I thought the same thing I remember thinking this kind of subtle thing because I'm doing all these things you know I was very very active you know the Martha and the Mary in the Bible Martha's doing doing doing doing and Mary's sitting in Jesus' feet and I was like totally Martha and I still in Martha if I don't. Recognized my desperate need of Jesus because I'm a doer and a mover and shaker and like like Jim you know we like to do and we like to have action and that's how I was in my life in ministry and I had this subtle spiritual pride that began to creep into my life and I'm going to talk more about this tomorrow in tomorrow's session as we talk about heart preparation but the spiritual pride that creeps in and and says you know you know because when I was a young person all my friends would come to me like in high school I was the ARI in the dorm and they would come to me for advice and had so many problems from the struggle of come to me and I feel like I have struggles but at least I'm not like there's you know and and there's this spiritual pride that I didn't even recognize how. My struggles actually the biggest struggle because pride does not recognize its need pride thinks I'm doing OK You know I'm on the fair See I do this and this and I don't do that and you know we don't recognize our spiritual need and so that's a struggle I had it wasn't like I'm walking around like oh I'm better than you it wasn't that at all but it was a very subtle spiritual pride that I struggled with and I remember thinking you know God's pretty fortunate that he has me on his team I'm serving him but I can so relate to what Jim just said I'm serving him and I'm giving him my energy and my life and I mean I could be doing this that I could be I mean if I wanted to be out making money I could make money you know I. After high school I took a few years to do miscellaneous missions and ministry but then I went to Southern Nabbous University and and graduated with nursing became became a registered nurse and I took nursing specifically for ministry because I was expecting that I was going to go overseas to the mission field so I did nursing I got involved in travel nursing started making a lot of money in that because travel nurses make about twice the amount of a regular hospital nurse but I was a track to just stay with that because my goal was well I want to use this for God I had you know that motive on want to use it for service so money was not a huge hole for me but it could have bed and I congratulate myself you know this isn't pulling me on but pride is an issue and this is an issue and this is an issue so you know we have these different things so God had to allow me to go through my own breaking experience and. A little bit to that testimony before we started a couple years ago at G Y C I shared my testimony and I gave a message called growing above and beyond faith even when God is silent and you can hear that message online if you go to audio verse and that will show. Where that whole testimony about God allowed me to go through this experience really broke my heart I felt like God had betrayed me I felt like I couldn't trust him any more and I was the you know good kid that always had all the answers and then I didn't have any answers anymore because of this experience that I walked through and I was really. Struggling why God How how could you allow me to go through this than it got so bad at a point I stopped praying I stopped actively praying I stopped seeking the Lord in His Word Now the interesting thing and I share this there is about 2 or 3 years that I walked through this where I didn't really have a good walk with God I tell people this testimony you know I stopped praying I stopped reading word of stuff memorising I still had a semblance. Of godliness OK so when I say that it wasn't like I said it well God doesn't exist anymore I was still going through the motions I'm still going to church and most people around me had no clue what I was going through so what I'm saying when I walk through this 2 or 3 years of just like stepping back God I don't trust you I can't I was still going to church and going through the motions and doing all the right things to have my Bible open when the pastor says that you know do this and that so I looked like I was OK but inside I wasn't and it was only my family and very closest friends that knew the I just didn't trust God how can you how can you pray how can you be in His Word and memorize a scripture when you don't trust him you know my word time is going so fast of so much. Of thinking I'm struggling so much preparing for this some in our German are talking about it like what when we're going to share what if they've heard it before where do you know how to include it it's been a struggle pulling this together so we don't have everything together you know even now we come and we're just like Lord help us give us what we need for today we'll share what you give us for today but they're going to hear and I'm like oh maybe I have too much anyway so I keep going so I went through this experience and it was really an experience that broke me at the cross and I don't know if you have walked through this experience yourself if you've been in the church all your life we forget the significance of the cross or we don't really recognize he died for me he was broken for me it's for me that he came because we hear it all our lives so we grow up with it it's just like and I was numb to that experience and I remember as I'm going through this breaking experience and God began to bring me out of it whole another long testimony God began to bring me out of this breaking experience and I'm like Lord I don't even understand the cross Can you show me and then he began to break my heart of the cross and he began to show me personally do you recognize how desperately. You need me do you recognize that my body was broken for you not just because of what you do I mean yes it was broken because your pride in your lust and your self sufficiency and all these things but because you're a sinner in need of a Savior I was broken for you and when I recognized this for the 1st time it just I mean I remember weeping and weeping and weeping and it made and and hour that I was crying and we were like what your time I mean how come I haven't recognized the soul my life and here I've been a Christian for years and I'm just for the 1st time being broken at the cross it was a transforming revolutionary experience that really I believe started me on this new journey that has led me to where I am today I believe that there's a couple times of broken there's a broken this because we're full of spiritual pride and we don't recognize our need so the main thing is we're broken but we don't know what OK we're broken and we don't know there's another kind of broken neither one of these are good by the way we are a sinner we know we've messed up we're broken but we don't believe that he has what he has what we need to save us we are afraid to come to the cross because we don't deserve His mercy but that's why we're supposed to come because we don't deserve you know the enemy comes to steal to kill and destroy that is what he's constantly trying to do is to convince you you do not deserve his mercy do you think you are coming to look at what you've done if people knew what you had done you wouldn't be here he's constantly trying to convince us we do not have a right to come but the fact that we don't have a right to come is actually the qualification that gives us a right to come. I don't know if any of you here in this room today feel like you're in that wilderness experience that dry experience where you're struggling and you just feel like I don't have what I need and this is actually the perfect place if that's where you are right now this is actually the perfect place for you because he came for you he came for me our only claim to his mercy we're told and ministry of healing is our great need that is our only claim to God's mercy he came to save centers of her room I am chief so I walked through this experience and this experience was really the birth of a new relationship in my walk with God. And it was the birth of my falling in love with him like I never had and how did that began it actually began on my knees as God broke me afresh I remember just taking my Bible and reading my Bible and looking at things from Scripture and saying God you say such and such in your words I want that to be a reality in my life I want that full most of joy I want to be a reality in my life I don't have the Lord you say you know that you come to give life and life more abundant to you cuts to give us peace and and strengthen all these different things and I just started looking at the Word of God and claiming the promises and I'm on my knees on my bed crying and I'm just going to the Scriptures I'm like Lord teach me again what it means and how it means to walk with you and to live with you and to love by with you and that's where the journey began as I was in God's word he began to bring a life and a freshness and a vibrance that I had never imagined before and like I said in the beginning I had a good life I look back on my my. Early young adulthood I was I was a spiritual leader in my school I was teaching scripture memory programs I was doing all these things I memorized Scripture and all these different things so I had a good you know. A life but I didn't have the abundant life that he comes to give us and that's what he began to give me as I got into his word about the time that God began to heal he brought me out of this I was in really really severe depression for a little while in that dark period of time. I just don't know what to do this like maybe I need to take off the scarf. It just keeps falling will try this now but as I was coming out of that God led me to Loma Linda Loma Linda California now I have to say there's a couple places in the United States that I've never wanted to live anywhere near and that was one of them. But he brought me there and praise the Lord because it was a beautiful beautiful experience so I'm working as a as a travel nurse in Riverside California living at Loma Linda became part of a young adult group Advent hope at Loma Linda and that's where things really begin to take off with ministry but I'm sharing this specifically to say while I was there I'm on my I'm on my knees reading my Bible crying and praying and seeking the Lord and I began praying Lord I mean I don't want to just be a good person anymore I want there to be fruit in my life if I look back on the early part of my life I don't really see a lot of fruit I see a lot of wonderful adventures a lot of passports a lot of fans of my passport a lot of passports and my stamp has that word a lot of stands of my passport of and wonderful things but not a route and he says the purpose is to bear fruit in our lives right for His glory and so I start praying Lord I want there to be fruit and teach me and if he's teaching me of course I'm falling more in love with him the natural resort result is you want to share right when God has done something good for you as Jim was saying you want to share with your family and with your loved ones and so I began this exuberance in my walk in and relationship with him I began saying Lord teach me how to share and it is begin to start with the hospital with my patients I don't want to just be a good nurse but Lord teach me how to touch their lives in a way that will be in eternally impactful and so I became very active in in seeking to pray with my patients and for my patients and looking for opportunities to share with them about God and I had a lot of amazing adventures along the way I remember one day I came to work at the hospital and I was supposed to be on the certain floor but they moved me upstairs to another floor and then they changed their mind and they moved me back downstairs which is a little frustrating when you get report twice as a nurse and then you have to start all over again. But. That's what happens when the travel nurses kind of get shoved around you know where the holes are but I get back down stairs and one of my assignments that day was a girl who had tried to commit suicide and nobody wanted to take care of her so guess who gets to take care of the lady well I'm immediately like that's why I'm here God brought me here for her today and so it's just an illustration of some of the things that he did and so she was very violent had a guard in the room with her and it was. A struggle with her but I was praying Lord please help me to know how to speak to her help me to know how to share her errands just open the doors and I began praying and sometime in the afternoon she kind of calmed down a little bit and I asked a guard to step outside and I went and talked to her and I said start talking heart to heart I said you know that there's a reason why you didn't succeed in killing yourself and she was like why you know. And I says it's because God loves you and he has a plan for your life and I understand what it's like to to kind of be in your situation I haven't tried to take my life but I've been in points where I wished that I could because I didn't want to live that's how dark it got for me and I began to share with her my story just how God brought meaning and purpose into my life as I surrender to him tears start to roll down her eyes and she prayed with me that day as a result of that she didn't need the guard anymore we were able to send the security person away she was no longer violent and I took care of her I think the rest of the week and probably a few days beyond that and kept praying with her and just saying Lord please do something in this girl's life because well after she was leaving the hospital to go to drug rehab she had tried to overdose and had come from the drug scene Oh and and backing up to this whole situation this is really interesting because I had been reading testimonies to grow my faith and my walk with God and I'm reading these stories and I'm like Lord I'm praying for fruit I want this type of thing and I. I've been reading a story I think it's chasing the dragon by Jackie Poland or she's a missionary that went into Hong Kong and the drug lords in Hong Kong and all the different things and miraculous how God used her just this little tiny woman to calm these these bins that are just full of drug addicts and different things it's amazing story so I'm reading this and I'm like you know while I don't think I'm quite ready to go there at this point in my life but you know I mean I mean I don't even know if drug addicts you know this isn't about have the people that I associate with and so I was praying you know like Lord teach me how to love these type of people because you know what I have love for these type of people I mean I'm cushy and comfortable and yes I want to be a missionary and stuff like that but I don't even have this type of love so this was a prayer that I was praying is God is growing me in my walk with him and guess what I'm running into this girl and so I'm just praying Lord Jesus just use me and this time so as she leaves to go to rehab I did something you're not supposed to do I gave her my contact information and I said I want to know what happens to you let me know after you get out of rehab. Fast forward 5 or 6 weeks I get a phone call from this girl and she's getting out of rehab and she says I'm you know heading back up to such and such I'm not sure what I'm going to do and I was asking where she's going to stay and she didn't really have a place to stay all her friends are into drugs and like here we go to stay on the same road again and so I was praying and I just felt impressed right there as like if you want to come live with me and she's like what. And I said you know but you have to do everything I do you have to eat what I have to go where I go you have to exercise and I exercise you have to you know all these different things she had no idea what she was getting into. She never heard us as they have in us before. Coming into a hall I have no television you know any of this type of stuff I'm very active active in the church there Loma Linda stuff I remember the 1st time I took her to admit Hope's out of school there in Loma Linda and she has all her her piercings and her rings and everything and I was singing in the choir they had invited people to come up and sing in the choir and it wasn't necessarily that everyone had rehearsed it was kind of an it's prompted thing she's like can I go up and sing with you and I'm like sure. You guys better not say if I get. This if she comes up with me and she just and she just. Jumped right in with this anyway God really blessed she lived with me for about 3 or 4 months that summer as. The story went right at the time she was getting out of rehab I had actually finished a nursing contract so I I would work for a few months and then I would take a month or 2 off and I think I was actually on a 6 month leave during that time just doing ministry projects and stuff so I actually had the time to babysit this girl and walk with her through the depression recovery program and do these different things anyway God blessed in our interaction she ended up moving on later than later on and got remarried and has been clean I think basically sense has 3 children now and is married and God still working in her life you know I would love to say she's a 7th Day Adventist she's not but you know what she still tells me sometimes happy sad and you know God plants you know we plant seeds God has to bring the fruit and bring things but these are the type of experiences that began to happen and I'm just praying Lord take me deep or show me how to be a witness I'm having these amazing divine appointments with my patients I never dreamed of having doctors that want to hear about the great controversy I'm giving great conversely to wind since when do doctors you know want to know about your spiritual walk you know and I was praying for opportunities and I got opportunities to witness and share with doctors and so a lot of amazing things began happening so this is really my faith journey growing in my permanent stream beginning was in the own personal prayer closet with God. God against a pull me out of nursing I'm not sure if I'm quite yet there in the story. I think I might be where. Opportunities are beginning to open for more prayer ministry in different things I think I may have part of the story here a little out of sync but he walked me through the process of saying Can you walk away from this and just serve me full time and it's a point that that happened I really didn't have an option because I had so many ministry options so many things begging my attention it's like I can't keep working and doing what God's calling me to do and so it was easy to move forward but as my journey of faith is continuing I'm I'm praying the Word of God we're going to talk more about that later on in the seminar and I remember looking at Matthew 633 and it says Take no thought what you should eat or drink when you take no thought I mean I shouldn't really be stressing about these things right or shouldn't really be stressing about my bills and how I'm going to do this and how I'm going to do that and so I began putting those needs on a list and I call that my take no thought list and I would give God that take no thought let's Lord I trust you with this take no thought list and I would focus on ministry and something I was praying during this period of time I want to see an answered prayer every day in my life you know I want to I want to see you working in my life every day and I would write my per request down on these colored pieces of paper and I would put bible verses on the other side of them and when they were answered I'd fold them up and put them in a jar and this is a little lengthy testimonial which I don't have time to share but I began when I challenged God I said Lord I want to see you working in my life every single day you know supreme and not just thank you for waking me up this morning OK appraisal and I have another answered prayer I'm alive today not those type of answer prayers you know more significant God began doing it every single day special answers to prayer and that is actually a photos of those answer prayers as they begin choose to stack up in my life and how encouraging for my faith that was and I actually did that for 2 years and never once did he fail me every day I found the answer per sometimes I saw 4 or 5 or more. So I'm kind of fast forwarding. Here a long long the the way Army Bible camp it started and I think. Again that's a little bit later on in the testimony but God was leading in opening doors and prayer ministry I began to work with the prayer ministry and training churches and doing different events and like Jim talked about we had teams going all over the Philippines in different countries and along the way I was asked to write to write a book on her for the church now here comes in the pride factor you know because I love to write it was like something like when I was a kid I was writing books 12 years old I was writing a book you know I was writing publishing magazines and 12 years old and I had I have like 20 subscribers to my magazine to just friends around the community you know and it was just a black and white magazine but I was so proud of myself you know so this was something I was very interested as a young person and then I got into high school I continued to write in the college I wore I won awards on writing and so my dream was kind of the Anna Green Gables dream I want to be an author you know so that was something I was really excited about. And then God opens the door it seems like to write a book so excited but you know what I could do it here I have this wonderful opportunity finally at my fingertips I'm working in perma story and the church is recognizing me more in the tell us that I haven't they've asked me to write a book and I can't do it and I struggled with this for like 3 years and till I came to the point where I'm like broken again afresh like Lauren forgive me for thinking that I could do this. There's lots of other people help their you know that are more qualified or whatever to do this I can't do this I just give this to you and I'm fast forwarding story time sure all the details but came to the point of brokenness I give you my dream you know Jim gave God His photography but God is still using and blessing people through his photography but he surrendered that to God you know that was his and I had to do the same with my writing like Lord this is yours I'm sorry and so long story short and. I gave that to God and I was broken and basically felt like I couldn't do it and I was fasting and praying what next and that is actually when God brought the inspiration for the book and it came very quickly and it came in such a way that I knew it wasn't me it was God I remember reading some of the chapters as after writing and doing to us for more and crying and I'm like I didn't write this I mean God brought this together this is a message I need not preaching to the you know it's for me and so it was such an amazing miracle I really struggle with the fact that my name is on the book because I know that it's God's miracle and how he brought that in the process as this whole was journey was was starting. Was when I went completely by faith living as far as no money no income no nothing because I had been making very well as a travel nurse and then God calls me more and more into the prayer ministry as things had taken off with Army and then and then the money I was receiving through the ministry was completely cut and so I had nothing like. Well the temptation is to go back to nursing right because you can make well and you can make fast but I will have time then to work and do the ministry God's call me so what I do and I was struggling and I'm just like Lord I know that you you know he's he's giving me the inspiration now to do this and the right move forward I know that you're going to provide and I'm just going to trust you and I'm not going to tell a single soul. That I've lost my income my parents didn't know my best friends didn't know nobody knew that melody no longer had any paycheck from any ministry or anything and I was just like you saying you're going to be my husband I want to see you prove it. I mean you've been faithful This isn't like and this isn't like a mocking goddess like I'm proving your word you say OK Lord now's the time I'm putting your words as a terrorist I want to see it through in my life and so I'm I'm just again claiming the promises and going forward with what he's calling me to do and that very month people started writing me out of the blue I remember this one couple wrote me I had no clue who they were but they had met me somewhere in there like we've been watching your ministry and we've been convicted to start supporting years our missionary here in the states that mean chart for $450.00 someone else wrote me out of the brew sent me a 100 here here God began to bring it in from all these different ways I had no idea no expectation he began to pay my bills month by month by month I didn't lack I was I didn't have to cut the giving that I was already doing it was just amazing and I remember about 6 or 7 months into that journey telling my mom I couldn't keep it to myself anymore do you know how I've been paying my bills how God has been providing for me because my parents they're amazing they're the most generous people in the whole world they don't have a lot of money but they are so giving you know some of the most giving people are actually the people that are coming for I've discovered anyway and so they were always I mean my whole life I remember growing up and they're always taking in somebody taking care of somebody and at the time they had a single mom with a single mom with 8 children living with my family and that's the kind of people they are and she lived with our family for 3 years she moved on and then we have another single mom live with our family and she lived with our family for another 3 years and she moved out 6 months ago so my family always has their very giving and so also when it comes to their children you know it's like if you're struggling they will sacrifice been over backwards to help you and I didn't want them to have to do that I wanted them to see that God could take care of me. So I put him to the test so 6 or 7 months into this journey. I was like Do you know what God has been doing and I shared with them and this is likely Wow All Praise the Lord you know he's the one that's responsible for us he calls us here quips us he provides if he's calling you he can do it what's that. Something God Bill. If it's his will it says Bill something like that that's what I saw happening literally like. We can pray this confidently This is not for our own glorification this is not for our own luxury but when we are seeking to do the will of God What we need to do the will of God He doesn't always give us our wants I admit but he does provide our need and the need is sufficient what he gives is sufficient and more than sufficient I look back over these years that God took me on this journey of faith which was actually about 4 years that I had no regular income it was all just from these random places I never knew the next month how my bills were going to be paid but God provided So this is a journey of faith that God is taking me on there's a lot of stories that I could share about how he provided but through this process he's also teaching me about the power of intercession and that prayer is not just for my own needs so that I can pay my bills or so that I can find something that I've lost or so I can you know do this or that is for the glory of God the souls would be brought to him in the souls of be brought to the foot of the cross only in the light of eternity can we rightfully estimate the loss of a single soul and so God is teaching me what it means to be an intercessor What does it mean to be an intercessor actually if we look at these the kill 20 to 30 we see the Lord saying I sought for a man among them that should make up the hedge and stand in the gap for the land that I should not desist that I should not destroy it but I found none he's looking for people to stand in the gap now standing in the gap is not easy if you are someone that is willing to be an intercessor or stand in the gap you know Christ was our intercessor he stood in the gap for us that was not easy we have to be willing to be in convenience and. This is what God is taking me on this journey of what does it mean to be an intercessor What does it mean to go all out for him and God is growing my own personal prayer life my own personal walk with Him in faith in His Word and then he begins calling me to more aggressive prayer and that's when I'm still living in Loma Linda at the time he convicted me and my roommates one of my roommates we need to be going and praying around our youth hall which at the time was bird in the hall in Loma Linda ad where admin helped meant I don't know if any of you are familiar with that hope and well Melinda just great great experience there so my friend my roommate and I would go at 4 o'clock in the morning in the dark and we would go from probably half an hour or so and just pray on the steps of Burton hall and I remember security coming by in like and we had our blankets around the thought we were hopeless or something like what are you doing OK We're just praying or praying for the church it's OK so we would do that and that's when God really began this journey for me and in intercession I have more testimonies I can share what God did in my own family and home but I'm going to kind of skip past that along the way of teaching me intercession I remember an experience happened one time. And I don't know that I had actually I had written daring to ask when the story happened so these these stories are. Like you're so struggling with what to say as affording and how to put them together but anyway I had a phone call from somebody and a pastor and his wife and they were expecting a baby but she was look like going into premature labor looked like she was going to lose the baby and so he said would you pray. Like oh yeah yeah I'll pray so I prayed but what is your normal thing you know when somebody calls you with you know you pray but then life goes on right OK I prayed I did my prayer now life goes on but God really convicted me at this point. You need to keep praying you don't just stop worrying you pray until you see God answer in some way you keep praying. And so are you willing to be inconvenienced and that was the question for the son born child so I prayed every hour throughout the day I stop and pray for this unborn baby and then it got nighttime and at this point in my life I had never prayed through the night by myself I had done it with other groups but never by myself now you know how Christ we know prayed through the night and we see stories of intercession this is something I've been praying for I'm like Lord teach me how to be an intercessor for you teach me how to pray through the night teach me to have that love for others so these are prayers that I've been praying and you know when you pray these prayers God is going to give you experiences to answer those prayers What are you doing you're praying for patience and everything happens to test your patience for hey that's what happens I'm trying to treat how to be an intercessor teach me how to and then God gives me this opportunity and I'm like OK And so I'm praying and I'm praying and. You're asking me to pray through the night for this baby and so I'm struggling and I'm like you know are you willing to give up you know a sacrifice a night of sleep for an unborn child that's what God is impressing in my heart and so I did I prayed to the night and I'm just claiming the Bible promises and and different things. And. The next day still nothing's happening keep praying praying this went on for like 5 days now this is kind of a little sad story just to warn you what happens but such a growing experience for me about the 5th day one of my friends was praying with me for this child and she prayed Lord you know what's happening with this child if this child is is not going to live for your glory and honor are there some health struggles or something like that and it would be for your glory to let it rest and give the baby to them in heaven then let that be but give the parents peace. Well the parents had peace and the baby was born but it was stillborn and I remember when that happened I was just broke and hope like a lord I mean brings tears my eyes now and this is years ago that happened Borg we prayed and prayed how could you let that baby down why we prayed we wrestled like I never prayed so hard for anything in my life is the unborn child I don't know why did you let this baby die when I remember the Holy Spirit just speaking to my heart and mind in the process and like Melody do you know how my heart breaks for the unborn and not just the unborn child but the unborn people around the world that have not experienced me that have not tasted me this was not just for an unborn child that I was teaching you to pray this is for the unborn adults and youth and people that don't know me you need to learn to have a broken heart for them and I just remember oh I was just so broken so hard but this experience the reason I share this experience is I feel like it was the beginning of my deeper experience with God when it came to intercession and I still don't understand his heart trust me I don't know but he gives us a little glimpses of our inadequacy our weakness and how he wants to take a steeper and I think that's what we need to pray for that he would break us and that he would give us is hard for the last because we don't have it we're self-sufficient we're comfortable as long as me and my spirit my family is OK I feel bad yes I'll pray I'll pray for you but then life goes on and we don't pray through we're not out there praying think about this if everyone was praying. For the last person on the street as much as you're praying for them would anybody be saved I think about that if everyone was praying like you pray would anyone be saved on the street we need to ask that God will give us a deeper experience and a deeper heart so this journey is growing me personally and along the way God started God open the doors for the beginning of Army Bible camp and some of you may be familiar Army bible camps a wonderful wonderful ministry started through the inspiration of Pastor Ivor Meyers teaching people how to study the Bible and get into the Word and prayer became a vital part of our army and that's how Jim's life has been changed that's what led me into prayer ministry and we just have so many so many miracles and testimonies that we could share the ministry started in 2009 and since then God has marital after Americal every camp I mean it started I remember Melissa the same girl that he talked about when the very 1st Army that we had she he she came she was one of the team members and she's like we need to we need to start the conference with a morning per time what time 66 o'clock in the morning that's a little early don't you think. I mean we're just hoping people will come for the 7 o'clock devotion but you want them to come and pray at 6 o'clock in the morning and I was one of the ones that was objecting. I mean the sly. Well people have to come but we can offer right so we ended up doing this and people came 1st it was 20 and 40 than a 100 and people began praying and we see the Holy Spirit being poured out lives being changed marriages that were on the brink of divorce that were healed I remember the young person that Jim mentioned who didn't think she could pray for more than 5 minutes her life with change she goes home and starts to prayer groups in her church I think she was 14 or something like that and God is changing lives and he's bringing healing and it was just amazing in what we saw happening as we compain time in the word in time in prayer just like adding dynamite to the fire of our fire to dynamite whichever way it works this explosive. But never I or you know when we're told our house is to be called a house of prayer for all nations but think about the prayer in our own lives in the Pern our church how little we actually pry our houses to be houses of prayer we are to be many houses of prayer we are the temple where the Holy Spirit abides and we walk around we are a house of prayer everywhere we go that is what God is calling us to be but so often this is not what we are Morehouse of entertainment or a house of this warehouse of that was not a house of prayer or if there's anything the saying does not want you to do it is to be in your private prayer closet on your knees and if there's something more that he does not want you to do if he does not want you to pray with your family and your closest around you and if there is something he absolutely a poor choice is when he sees churches praying if ever there was a time that we need to be praying it's now it's now as a church. So we saw so many amazing miracles and the answers to prayer and testimony and testimonies in answer to prayer and is changed my life and it's changed Jim's now in the process God had already been leading me on my own personal prayer journey before the army Bible camp journey started and I got to be part of that and it was just an amazing seeing how God worked but it's been. Such a journey the See here if I can start to close and summarized a few more things up before I end in 2012 I always like to start the new year is a begin a new year I say always in 2012 I was convicted to start the new year as with prayer and fasting just specifically for my own walk with God you know maybe 10 days maybe 20 days just seeking a closer walk with God And just to say that didn't mean I was starving myself I fasted from certain things and God blesses the results more on that later we'll talk about that more later 2012 I started this god convicted me as I was praying in fasting he says melody you need to go in fast and pray for the church like the World Church and I'm like What does that look like. And you know why don't you take a group to Silver Spring Maryland to the General Conference headquarters and pray for the leaders of the time that our leaders need prayer it's now you know the story of Moses up on the Hill and and Joshua and the people are down in the valley in the battles happening in Moses holds up his hands and and they're getting victory and his hands go down and they're not and he needs somebody to hold up his arms and that's what God's calling us to do is to hold up the arms of our church and our leaders and those in ministry your local conference your local pastors if there's anybody that's being hit it's them so God convicted me and so I didn't know how this was going to happen but fast forwarding the story 6 months later God brought a group of us 8 of us to the General Conference to pray and that was our only task $21.00 days. So fast and pray on behalf of the church and this was a completely behind the scenes under the ground operation when we went the 1st time I didn't want anybody to know we're just you know we would go in at 3 o'clock in the morning into the General Conference and of course God had to arrange all the details so we could even get passes to go into the building because you can't just walk in there if you have you have to get permission and badges and go and security clearance but anyway God had already been paving the way for this because in 2010 they had asked me to bring a protein to the General Conference to pray so we've had prayer teams there but now we're there for 21 days to fast and pray and we're going in every morning at 3 o'clock in the morning we spent 3 or 4 hours praying through the building in each department praying for everyone that works there and then we'd leave before people came to work so nobody really knew except the people who you know Jerry and Janet page and others who allowed us and we began to see America with any answers to prayer behind the scenes I remember one time one of my teammates was praying 3 45 in the morning and she's like oh lord if there's anybody here that's not walking with us they should because there are a couple things we are praying one was praying. You know give them a deeper experience with you because we get so busy in ministry that we lose our connection with you so that's one thing we're praying but another thing we're praying is you know there are people that are serving but they're not really converted they need them. Anyway they're not walking with God as they should so one of my teammates was praying Lord wake him up. 345 wake him up if you know they need to get on their knees and repent and confess and so we keep walking and praying and that very day on one of our church websites this person posted they said 345 this morning I woke up out of my sleep and I was overcome with the conviction of my sons and I got on my knees and confessed and repented and asked God to do a new work in my heart and I encourage all of you to do the same that something somebody shared that was that just ran down No I believe God was giving us little evidence is not going to know until eternity really how God answers our prayers you're praying for different things you're not going to know on this side of heaven some time. How God works in answer to prayers but he began to show us and it was beautiful beautiful beautiful I know I'm out of time here but if 2 of you still agree as touching anything that they ask it shall be done this is the promise that he gives us in the marital son the answers that we saw in answer to these prayers was just amazing so this was really you can see how the progression how God led me he had to break me he had to lead me to my own private prayer closet and my own experience with him and prayer in the word and then he began to give the ministry did I go seeking after permanence story. No that was not my goal I would have never in a 1000000 years expected to be in prayer ministry with the world church now I would never that was not my. God lead each step of the way is I faithfully faithfully followed and again there are so many testimonies I could share and maybe all incorporate some some more of those maybe into coming sessions but we saw God working in the hearts of leaders we saw leaders taking prayer in a greater way back to their own divisions we saw America Lls I remember the West Central Africa Division they were struggling in tithes this one year they were bringing in like 23 percent tithes and so were praying with them and they were really inspired that they needed to be praying more as a division they went back the next year they came back with a new report for the treasure 103 percent ties so the division with over 3000000 people and look at what God did it was because they got on their knees and prayed and they were seeking revival and reformation so God is working you know you where you are you may feel like you're a little distance from the church you don't necessarily understand what's going on in the church you hear a lot of confusing things that are going on I want to assure you coming from the front lines from where I work that God is working with this church he's not failed us you may not always understand you may not always agree but you know if there's something that you need to be doing on behalf of our church. It's praying and I praise the Lord he's working all around the world it's just been so inspiring to see that it's not just our little group here but it's all around the world I see how he's breaking hearts this is last year's G Y C This is a video that we were supposed to show last night didn't happen but this is the morning prayer time and that's what it looks like here basically the smarting in this prayer room it's just beautiful seeing what God is doing you know so he's given us a glimpse of the Promised Land I've tasted and seen and like him says I have to share like you guys you have to understand what God has given us in the gift of prayer and a relationship with him in time in his word if we only understand we would be like why why why why wasting my time on the superficial Why am I wasting my time on this entertainment or this or that and God what he has for us is so much more abundant So that's a glimpse of my testimony calling to me and I will answer the issue of the great and mighty things which I noticed not and prove him take him at his word and he's going to he's going to do amazing things so we look forward to sharing more with you in the coming days I'm going to have a word of prayer and then for anybody that wants that post script. To the story that I mentioned I'll take another 5 minutes and tell you let's pray Heavenly Father thank you again for your goodness and for your mercy we just praise you for how you have led how you have worked and that you're so patient with us even when we. Are not doing what we should do we're not trusting you as we should father we are undeserving but Father we thank you for your righteousness for your blood that covers us and we thank you Father for what you are going to do so we continue to walk forward in faith to thank you Father we love you in your precious name Amen so feel free. Just a just a postscript those that want to leave just go ahead leave but maybe leave quietly. OK but. I don't know. That off OK I don't actually care if it's recorded it's fine I don't know what I'm going to share doesn't totally go with it so a couple years ago I shared a testimony just about my own journey when it came to romantic relationships and not understanding what God was doing in my life and it's been a very very long journey for me started when I was very young trusting God said Lord you know oh man I forgot I was going to give up going to give you some books. I don't have anybody. If you stay for a minute you might get a book for those that don't have daring to ask for more we actually have some books for you but anyway. So God led me through a long journey and it's not over yet the story's not over but a couple years ago for those of you that were here I actually introduced you to somebody to a really wonderful godly man and the reason that I introduced you to him was because I thought I was going to marry him that was we were already planning we were already we hadn't announced it yet but we are actually already making plans for a wedding and for somebody who's waited their entire life for this to happen of course you know you can't wait to share the good news right. And he was my 1st boyfriend as those of you that heard the testimony want to hear the full testimony go and hear the story. Trusting God growing above and beyond faith even when he's silent on audio verse you can hear the testimony. Anyway so God's Law walk me through this journey this man walks into my life it seems like it's the way that God's leading and we were together for almost a couple years planning to get married I introduced him here I see and was just really excited so we're just getting close to announcing this officially and I began praying Lord. I mean I've been praying the whole time but now I'm like Lord I'm about to marry this man if this if we're not supposed to be together please stop it NOW show us because otherwise we're going forward and this is a very very serious thing you know you're in courtship What is the purpose of courtship the purpose of courtship is to decide Is this the person you want to marry or you know this not just play this is not just I can have a boyfriend I mean I didn't I didn't want to my forty's I'm in my forty's and I don't we're talking 40 just have a boyfriend you know I want to make sure the one that God has so I'm praying and it was after that that God made it very clear to both of us that we were going to stay together and it was heartbreaking for me because I'm like why did it start if we were supposed to stay together because I had this very idealistic perfect perfectionistic purpose when it happens for me it's going to be perfect and this and this in the US. And I think that that's another way that God has had to allow me to walk to be broken it doesn't mean that that's what it needs to be for everyone I really believe that God wants to do this right in our lives it doesn't have to be broken OK Don't post this on social media OK you can share it with your friends don't post this on social media. But when God I think God has to allow us to be broken and he does and so this was part of my breaking experience was in the area of relationships and it was difficult for a few months after that because I was all over again this happened in 2016. The beginning of 2017 so 2 years ago basically right now 2 years ago when this happened society. Even announced to the world people at G Y C Why did I do this because like melody you just have to trust me you know allow yourself to be broken allow yourself to be humble but recognize I'm good I know what I'm doing no good thing will I withhold from them that walk uprightly Hi I'm good so God's been leading me on a new journey we parted in peace we're still friends he's a wonderful man I I respect him he respects me it's very good but God made it clear that we were moving around and so God is walking me through this process the now he's been teaching me you can't see the end of the story but can you praise me even when you can't see the end of the story and so he's taken those tears and that pain away I'm not crying anymore like OK when is it going to be right you know Lord my prayer if I can be of more service to you as a single woman you say you're my husband keep me single. And if you have someone I know at the right time it will be but I'm praising you in the middle of the story even though I cannot see the end so that's my testimony praise him in the middle of the story and have a lot more I could share with a show I just want to since I announced it publicly I wanted to share. Because people are asking what happened to their god. He's doing well and God bless his ministry and I know he's working with wherever you are in that journey. Or wherever circumstances that don't make sense. You know what he's doing so we look forward to seeing you tomorrow. Yeah if you want to daring to ask for more you can have. This message at the. Texas. Supporting Ministry of the 7th Day Adventist Church. Based. Christians. Other resources like this.

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