Sunday, October 10, 2010

Learning Biblical Restoration

3:59 PM
Just finished our second week of teaching here at YWAM Orlando DTS. The base director, Michael Berg, spoke about Biblical Restoration, the Father heart of God, and the power of forgiveness.

One thing I’ve learned about YWAM recently is that there is no shallow end! My faith feels like its been thrown in the deep end. And just like a child learning to swim, I was scared and flailing at first, not sure if I would stay afloat, but then my Father’s hands found me and held me. Last week hearing the voice of God rocked my prayer life, and this week being able to experience forgiveness and the Father heart of God has set me free.

Here’s some of the key points that I really found helpful, beneficial, or just empowering:
- Hurt people hurt others – healed people heal others. That’s why forgiveness and healing is so important! God wants to set us free so we can set others free [Isaiah 61].

- Intimacy with God isn’t about saying “no” to sin, but its getting so close to Jesus that desire Him more than anything else.
Quick story about that point. I actually experienced this this week, before Michael even made this point. As you may know from my blog or just talking to me, I LOVE TV and movies. And one thing I initially struggled with before coming to DTS was the letting go of my weekly TV shows. It’s something I really enjoyed. But here at DTS, I have both the time and access to watch the TV I want [which I wasn’t expecting], but I find myself choosing NOT to, and instead opting to read more, or talk to my roommates, or just pray or worship. Not saying watching TV is a sin, but it used to be something I chose over Jesus all the time. Now, its different. I like this balance a lot more. I may not be able to tell you what happened on The Office last week, but I can tell you what God revealed to me during intercession yesterday! This is a good place for me. I needed balance.

- Serving God is not what you can do for Him, but what you can do with Him. It flows out of a relationship, not fear or obligation.

- Probably the most powerful analogy Michael used was comparing God to a mother eagle. Weird, right? In Deuteronomy 32:11, it says “like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them on its pinions” talking about God and the Israelites. So we learned the process that a mother eagle goes through to teach her baby eaglets to fly, and in nature itself, we saw a beautiful picture of God.

- Sometimes God protects us from tragedy, and sometimes He protects us through tragedy. HUGE realization there.

- Psalm 68:5 calls God “father of the fatherless”, and we studied the attributes of God the Father, and how at times our earthly fathers could have warped or damaged our view on our Heavenly Father.

Forgiveness was probably the biggest part of the week. We learned what forgiveness is and what forgiveness is not. We all have past hurts because sin doesn’t occur in a vacuum. When people sin, it hurts other people. So to move back to the place of fullness and rightness with God, it is essential to forgive the people in our lives who have wounded and scarred us. We release them to God, and we find healing and freedom.

What this looked like practically for us was a time of small group sharing. We had a list of 15 – 20 people that could have potentially hurt us [father, mother, brother, sister, classmates, teachers, etc…] and then we prayerfully shared the wound with our group and prayed out loud to forgive them. And this is only the second week with these people. Needless to say, it took trust and transparency. But at the end, it was beautiful. Some people even carried themselves different and their countenance had changed. At the end of the night, we had a fire, which we could burn those lists we made. It was a final act of releasing them God. We could never again gather those ashes and put that list back together. It was dust.

So that’s been week 2. I can’t even begin to imagine what’s in store for week 3.

About the author

Joy Muldoon is a full-time missionary and part-time blogger. Read about her travels, adventures, and missions here!