Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sweetly Broken, Wholly Surrendered

I felt it pressed strongly on my heart to document as much of my Bethel journey as I possibly can, and while my blog posts have been very and few and far between, my heart is that this would be a place that records my journey, not only to a foreign land, but a journey through ever changing spiritual seasons, and a journey into the depths of the father's heart. I want this to be a place where I write from the overflow of what God is doing in my heart, to both bless and encourage those who read. 

I began my first week of school at BSSM (Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry) just 4 weeks ago, yet the change in my life feels monumental, and the school year is only young. 
I have almost been reluctant to write a blog post regarding my school experience, because it seems as though I couldn't possibly begin to articulate my experiences well enough do them the justice that they deserve.  

This blog post is going to include my highlights thus far and things that have left the biggest mark on my heart.

Bethel to me is a place that has captured the essence of the Kingdom, and this is expressed not merely in words, but in authentic demonstration. What has ruined me the most thus far, apart from the the love of the Father, has been the Bethel culture. Before moving here and being a part of this movement, I listened to many teachings and podcasts, read many books that had been birthed in this place, and I thought that to some degree, I understood this culture. Upon arriving and experiencing it, I realized that knew so little of what the 'culture of honor' as they call it, is really all about. Some things cannot be articulated or conveyed using words and language but have to be felt. 
How would you describe the wind or the feeling of rain on your skin? These things are better left to be personally experienced, and so it is with the Bethel culture. As I walked into the sanctuary on my first day of school, I felt loved, accepted and honored without anyone having to say it or demonstrate it. It's in the air, and it dictates the way everything in this house is done. 
As Kris Vallotton shared with our class of 900 students, the core values of this house, I was undone. Before coming here, I was uncertain of what to expect and wasn't totally sure of what this year would encompass, but as we sat and heard what this movement is all about, it's vision and it's values, I knew that I was in safe hands. I walked into school that day feeling slightly apprehensive, and walked out feeling completely surrendered and yielded to the leadership of this house and all that God is doing in the midst of this group of people. I knew from the first day, that this was a place that I wanted to partner with and who's vision I wanted to support by allowing my gifts, calling and god-given talents to be a blessing to this house and ultimately this city. My heart has been, ever since, that this place and these people would be blessed by my having been here as I am blessed by the absolute privilege of being here at such a time as this. 

Every single day that I attend school, I sit in my chair, I look around me and think "I must be His favorite because surely life can't be this good on a daily basis."
I feel as though my life is enriched daily by the apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and leaders that are pouring into me, as well as the people I get to stand alongside and "do life" with this year. At any given moment, I can look around, and I know that I am looking upon revivalists and world changers. We are all told daily that we are destined for greatness, and we are all brave enough to believe it. I know that out of this year is going to emerge a group of history-shaping, revivalists that both know God intimately and walk in power and authority that are fruits of this union. I feel honored to be a member of this body of believers.

On a personal level, the Lord has been taking me on a journey of drawing me into himself, and in the secret place has been doing even more profound things than what he has been doing during our corporate gatherings. My prayer for this year has been that intimacy with him would be first and foremost, and that everything else would follow as a result of this deep, deep intimacy with the father. 
I desire to see miracles, I desire to change nations, I desire to see the dead raised, the sick healed and the broken made whole, but all of this counts for nothing if I do not know him intimately. I want my roots to go deeper into the ground than my branches go high above the ground. I want that which is secret, that which happens just between him and I, to be of far more value to me than that which the people around me get to see. I am a lover, it's in my DNA, and my prayer is that I would "know the love of God that surpasses knowledge" (Ephesians 3:19). One thing I ask and one thing I seek, now and for the rest of my life, that I would dwell in the house of the Lord and gaze upon his beauty all the days of my life.
Far be it from me that I should desire anything apart from him, for in him I find fullness of life. He is the fountainhead of all I could ever want and need, and in this season, I am swimming in the ocean of his presence. It's all around me. Everywhere. Every day. 

I am my beloved's and his desire is for me.

At the cross you beckon me
Draw me gently to my knees
I am lost for words
So lost in love
Sweetly broken
Wholly surrendered
- Sweetly Broken, Jeremy Riddle

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