FTGM would like to thank the ladies at Crooked Oak Baptist Church for giving Corrie the opportunity to serve them last month. On March 13th, Crooked Oak ladies held their annual women's conference and Corrie served up a strong Word for us that day. I always look forward to Corrie's conferences. Not because she is a lot of fun or because she has this uncanny way of addressing a large group of women like she was each one's closest friend. All this is true, but I love going because I never leave without being deeply challenged by God through His Word. Corrie's goal for every speaking opportunity (I know this because I never fail to hear her pray this before every conference) is that she would fade into the background and Jesus Christ would take over. Girlfriend may look cute, but when the Spirit of Christ takes over her mouth, you forget about her cute accent and charm and you suddenly find yourself in a personal wrestling match with the Lion of Judah (Jesus Christ) Himself! And that weekend was no exception.
Before I continue the recap I have to mention that this particular conference was a double treat because Corrie's closest friend, Heather, was able to attend for the first time. Heather is a major part of FTGM in many vital facets. She lives in Orlando, FL with her husband, Adam (also to whom FTGM owes many thanks!), but grew up with Corrie in north Alabama and was home this weekend for her BABY SHOWER! The FTGM family is tinkled pink (literally) for baby girl who will be coming soon! Hopefully, we will have more details later on, but for now let me see if I can finish this recap as succinctly as possible.
As soon as we arrived, Heather and I found a perfect spot on the back row (not because we double as bouncers) and eagerly awaited the conference to begin. Before I unpack a little of Corrie's message for you I wanted to mention a clip I caught, or actually it caught me, from some of the special music. I don't remember the song's title, who wrote it, or blast it, even who sung it (I am so sorry if you are reading this!), but I certainly rememeber how she sung it. That's what caught my attention. This woman had lived the Word she was singing, and she belted those words with an authority that could have only come from having been with and witnessed Jesus Christ herself. I scrambled to find my pen and paper in enough time to scribble a version of the lyrics.
There is victory through it; Its up to you to stand firm.
Wait for Him and see it through.
Before this bold woman of faith took her seat, she exhorted every soul in that room to seek out what God says in His Word about your trial or circumstance, stand firm on that truth alone, and refuse to move.
And that was only the beginning.
Corrie brought us a message from the series she authored and is currently walking through with her God Seekers Bible study group on Tuesdays. The message is entitled, "If the Walls Could Talk" and it is based on Daniel 5. She spoke on the secret places of our lives. Our thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors that live in our hearts and are seen lived out daily behind the "safe" walls of our homes. However, every bit of it is exposed to God. And of course the key question is, "If the walls could talk in your home, what would they say?" Well, I don't mind telling you that after she finished I didn't stay on that back row for long. Even now, while I am recapping this message for you, the conviction is being renewed. I'm sorry I can't list all of the points from this message here for you, but you can contact Corrie to receive her complete notes and handout if you want. There was one major thing she said that resonated with me then and now that I want to share here.
He wants us to do it His Way....even in the secret place.
And isn't that where the fight is the fiercest? It's scary how its too easy to grow weary of fighting and relaxing our grip on Christ when it is only just me and Him in my thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors at home. Yet, His eyes and opinions are absolutely the only ones that ever count, and that won't become more evident to us than on that Day when we stand before Him and Him alone to be judged (see 2 Corinthians 5:9-10). Some of our toughest battles seem to also be the most private, where it is just us and Jesus and maybe our closest family members present. We think its no big deal to give in to the attitudes and behaviors that are not brought under the control of the Spirit of Christ, especially since no one really notices when you agree with that thought or maintain that attitude toward your husband (ahem, this may or may not be coming from my own personal experience). And all the time scripture reminds us that there is a spiritual war between two kingdoms waging all around us and all of heaven and all of hell looks on to see what choice you and I will make in that, what we believe to be, most private moment.
Who will be glorified?
As Beth Moore says, in every harrowing circumstance and trial there is "glory at stake". Thank you, Lord for your faithfulness to convict your people of abundant life-stealing sin so that we will cry out to you for a new heart. Thank you for having zero tolerance of sin in a people made holy for your Name. For not allowing any of us to remain comfortable with the attitudes and behaviors we practice in our secret places that are against You and who You have recreated us to be like in the image of our Lord Jesus Christ. We ask you to come expose us. It is You our deceitful hearts really want. We are dependent on you for any stitch of healing, and we are hopeless to change apart from you doing the work in us. Point out each sin and give us godly sorrow over each one, then we trust that you will forgive us our sins and create a new and pure heart within us that seeks to do God's will and not ours...even in the secret places.
To God be ALL glory forever and ever. Amen.