This month God has shown me that he does see me working to have that atmosphere that welcomes him. I’ve been aiming to have a stronger relationship with God. The meeting we had for Easter was awesome! The Holy Spirit reminded me how important His presence is. It’s not that we don’t know that, what happens is you get to working, and even with acknowledging him throughout the day and praying and reading the Bible at night before you go to bed, I had not been contending for his presence. I needed more than what I was getting. I became hungry and thirsty for him. I want to dig in the Word and look in that mirror to find those spots and blemishes make sure my dress is clean. To be close to him is all I’ve been wanting. I want to be what he wants me to be.
What a year that it has been! I have learned so much under this ministry that it’s hard to believe it has already been three years since I was in my room one night and God had given me a song in my spirit and that night I had an encounter with God. And from that night on I knew God had wanted me to come to the River Bible Institute and now I am an third year graduate. That just blows my mind to look back on all the people who went through my first year and to look at who actually went all the way. I just want to reflect on this past year, as I had the opportunity to be an intern under the Youth Ministry. I was stretched a lot as I got to learn how to disciple young students, start up Bible studies, hold big events and what all goes into putting together a youth camp. One thing I learned from Pastor Allen is the mindset that he has towards every student. He just looks at everyone not as who they are now but who they are going to be. He sees the potential that they have and he just pulls it right out of them. That’s exactly what happened to me during this year. Was I frustrated at times? Yes. Was I put into some impossible situations? Yes. Did I get through them? Yes. And just as Pastor said to me, “Everyone has growing pains, Are they going to hurt? Of course. But it’s a necessary pain that you’re going to have to go through in order to grow.” And that’s what I definitely experienced during my internship.
As my internship comes to an end I found myself looking back at my first year here at the River Bible Institute. I remembered the journey my life took just to come to Florida. I see now how the Hand of God was over my life even when I wasn’t living for Him. I remember how two weeks before school started The Lord arrested my heart. I knew I had a call of God on my life, but I was running. I somehow found myself here at R.B.I. the summer of 2009. The first year here at R.B.I. for me was very stretching for me. I remember how I never led one person to the Lord until I came to R.B.I. I remember when I led someone to the Lord for the first time, I felt so alive, I felt my life had purpose. My second year I had the opportunity to be a part of the Great Awakening Team that went to Virginia Beach, Virginia. Wow, what an awesome blessing and time that was. I learned firsthand that ministry is spelled W O R K. That week I had the privilege of leading over 300 people to the Lord. I saw healings, baptisms in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues and many salvations. I also had the opportunity to play in the worship team during The Great Awakening broadcast that went throughout the globe on Christian Television Network. We saw over 1 million decisions for the Lord that year. Again I learned ministry is spelled W O R K. After my second year, I was accepted to the Internship program here at the school. As an intern you are basically here at the ministry during staff hours. I had the privilege of working in the Pastoral Department under Pastor David Blair. The things I have learned here coming to R.B.I. are so priceless. There is no amount of money in the world that can amount to the teachings and the impartation I received here at R.B.I. If you have a call of God on your life, and you know you, do take the step, come to this school. Trust me, you don’t know who you are until you step into the Fire.
This week was an amazing week!! Being here at RBI, the Lord had stretched me so much, well like he always does. But this week He especially showed how to serve or do everything as unto Him. Not to please man but to please Him and even if no one is watching that the Lord is always watching. In Colossians 3:23-24 it says, “23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; 24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.” So if it says in the Word that even if no man sees me or ‘rewards’ me, as long as I serve unto the Lord, the Lord will see me and the Lord will reward me, and who would pick man’s approval or rewards over God’s approval or rewards? Because my God is greater, greater than any man, because He is the creator and man is His creation, thus as long as I know that He’s watching and that He knows my heart, I am happy. This is what the Lord had really spoken to me this week.
In the past few weeks, I have really learned something about the character of God. I have learned that He comes to us often and speaks all of the time, but it is up to us to listen and follow.
In the class on the Holy Spirit, Pastor Rodney taught on several ways to develop a relationship with the Holy Spirit and several offenses that hinder your relationship. My heart was open because I wanted a deeper relationship with the Holy Spirit. Pastor Rodney also talked about understanding the dealings of God and to take time and listen to the Holy Spirit, to learn Him and to follow His promptings. I can honestly say that this is an area where I have grown.
For a couple of days, the Lord was dealing with me about doing more in the kingdom of God; God was calling us to come up higher. I didn’t know exactly what or how, but after a few days, I said, “Yes, I can do more.” Once I said, “Yes,” things really took off. Doors opened without any of our doing or interference. Then the Lord gave me a new level of boldness to walk in. He told me that He is with me strong. That word sunk down in my heart and exploded. I leapt for joy! Since, boldness has increased in my life. My perspective in a lot of ways has changed. It started with receiving the word on developing a relationship with the Holy Ghost, not grieving Him or quenching Him, but listening to and following Him, even when I don’t understand. Because my heart was open to receive the word on developing a relationship with the Holy Ghost, the word fell on good ground and is beginning to produce fruit that will remain.
During the graduation, Pastor Rodney gave an altar call for those interested in attending the River Bible College in the fall. My sister came to me after and said that she wanted to answer the altar call but did not. She told me that she could not believe that free scholarships were given out. As God continues to work on her heart, I believe she will be transformed coming here. The Lord is preparing His people to be ready. We constantly see the end times are near and they are closer than ever before. Will you be ready? We are in a serious time in our lives where the focus needs to be souls like never before. There is a time for everything and this is not the time to be silent! We must shout the name of Jesus from the rooftop. I know that He who begun a good work in me will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.
This Minister’s and Leader’s Conference so far has really been an eye opener for me and others that I have spoke with, because we have an awesome privilege in this ministry to be on the fore front of what God is expecting from the church in these last days. We know that God is moving by His Spirit across this country and in the nations of the world through the church mobilizing His people to get out of the pews into the highways and byways reaching a lost and dying world. This Minister’s and Leaders Conference has been all about Divine strategy for the days to come. So what happens when we leave the pews and go to the highway and byways, what capacity are we going to stand in? We have heard things this week that let us know that God will need His church to step into different realms of society such as: business, education, government (politics), agriculture, finance, etc. We have to influence every realm with the Kingdom of God.
In Matthew chapter 13 we find the parable of the sower and the seed. As Jesus explains the parable to His disciples, He tells us that when the Word is sown into the good ground of an obedient heart, it will produce fruit up to a hundredfold. As I look back over my life as a Christian I can readily recognize distinct times in my life when I was hungry and open to the Word and how God moved in my life taking me to higher levels in Him. Several years ago a pastor challenged me to commit to reading at least one chapter in the Bible every day. I accepted that challenge, opened my heart and began the journey of a lifetime. Every time I read a passage, the Lord reveals new and exciting truths that I had not seen before.
The Word produces results. I have seen this in my life. When I am seeking God, hungry for Him, and my heart is surrendered to His touch, the Word is able to penetrate my heart and soak in. Sometimes it’s easy to be offended or choose to not submit to authority but these things are just pride that disables the effectiveness of the Word in our lives. The Word goes forth but as it comes to our hearts, pride is like a lock on the door that keeps the Word from being able to enter. Or, as the Bible says, some people really want to do right so they receive the Word but as soon as struggles and temptations come that Word is choked out and overlooked. There have been times for me personally as I have been sitting in a service and as the Word is being preached I have to make the choice to align myself and get my heart right.
Jesus explained how when the Word is sown into men’s hearts, the results of the Word rely on the condition of the men’s hearts. There are four different heart conditions that Jesus tells of, yet there is only one of them that serve God. When a seed is sown into good ground, it is able to multiply and produce fruit. The same goes for when the Word is sown into a prepared heart. A prepared heart is one that is ready to receive from God, one that will yield to God, and ultimately one that is humble. In order to receive from the Word of God, we must humble ourselves to God and allow Him to show us the things He wants revealed.
I have personally experienced the differences between a heart of good ground, and a heart of bad ground. While I was living in the world, I wanted nothing to do with church or God. I first visited the River while I was still in the world. It took several visits to the River before I opened my mind and heart to the things God had to say to me. As soon as I opened myself up to the Word of God, I immediately began to make changes in my life. Before I even knew it, I had rededicated my life to Christ and quit my party lifestyle. When I prepared my heart and allowed it to receive the Word, I began to see fruit from my life. We are to make our hearts like good ground, to sow the seed of the Word into them. When the Word is sown, we will begin to produce fruit.