This week we are pressing in ever closer to Father’s heart through worship and intimacy. I heard the words, “Snake in the grass, snake in the grass” on Sunday afternoon last as I was washing clothes. I looked around to see if it was a real warning from the Lord and saw no snakes. All the next day I kept hearing that phrase. Then one of the missionaries told me that a person she was talking to at another Iris base in another part of the world felt that there was a spirit of deception over this region. We all know that the devil is the great deceiver. There has been an ever-widening gulf between our teenage girls as they have been split in two by problems concerning the two eldest girls. You know how girls can be and ours are no different.
It has consumed our week as we followed the Holy Spirit in correcting this problem. I told the two girls that I could order the disunity to stop or else… but that would not change anything except on the surface. The problem lies with these two girls and their stubbornness concerning unforgiveness toward each other. I have had three meetings with them, long meetings, trying to get them to talk to each other. I basically told them that they might not be the cause of the disunity but they are the reason, thereby they are the ones who need to fix it. I tell you God has really given me so much grace to patiently “wait it out” as these two get their act together.
I can scream and yell and threaten and punish but nothing will change until they do. The girls will follow those who lead the best I pray. They have had an entire week with me, of me praying over them, ministering to them, and guiding them into forgiveness. They have done that vocally yet their hearts are still….. There is a snake in the grass here that needs to be killed.
So, this weekend we gathered in our Prayer Hut and sat before the Lord for four hours, listening to His wisdom in the matters of our hearts. We worshipped and we listened. The two pastors from the SPC church also came to join us and were undone by the Presence of God here. They too said that they have never seen kids of all ages like this sit still for that long and truly engage with the living God. Our seven year olds close their eyes and rock to and fro, palms turned up to receive from their Father. Our kids only do what they see us do. Some lay on the mats and cry or laugh. One of our little girls, Beret, was sitting with her palms up and eyes closed, tears quietly rolling down her cheeks. She is only nine years old and experiencing the glory and majesty of God.
This morning in church we stayed in His Presence a lot longer than we normally do because the Lord wanted to do something. We were getting really wrecked, derailed, undone. The Lord told me on Friday that this weekend there was going to be a major shift for us. I didn’t know what it would look like but I just followed Him. I set aside everything to follow His lead. He said to seek Him with all our hearts this weekend and He would move in and on our behalf. The snake in the grass is crushed through obedience. God says He prefers obedience to sacrifice. An obedient heart is a willing heart. This morning, Sunday, I asked them in church, “Do you want God to change you when you come to church? Or do you just want to come because you like to sing songs and fellowship? If you come to church each week and are the same person going out as you were coming in then that is religion. Do we want religion in our church? Or do we want the reality of the living God in our church?” I tell you, our worship changed this morning. We want change, every day, in our hearts and minds.
After church and lunch I had all of our girls twelve and older meet together to resolve and reconcile this division in our midst. I introduced the problem and told them it is now up to them to solve it. I sat down. I was so proud of our two oldest girls, who were the reason for all this, who spoke first and encouraged all of them to forgive and love each other. Then one by one different girls began to stand and say who has hurt them and how. After about an hour I spoke up. I told them that we could all stand up and accuse and talk but if our hearts are still in the finger-pointing mode then we are going nowhere.
Jesus said basically, don’t come to my house of prayer, into my presence, with unforgiveness in your heart. I will shut the door until you forgive. I talked about how we all get in the glory and say, “Oh Jesus I love you and I love Your Presence and You are all I want” and then walk out the door with anger and unforgiveness in our hearts. He does not believe our love for Him if we hate our sister. He won’t listen to our eloquent words of love if we hate our sister. They are loud horrible noises to Him.
I told the girls, you get up right now and you go to the one who hurt you and you talk to them. Don’t shout it in the streets, go to them face to face. I was truly shocked at what happened next! The girls were so convicted in their hearts that they actually got up, quickly, no hesitation, and went to that person. The room became loud with everyone talking and forgiving and crying. Us three girl missionaries went and hugged and held all those who didn’t feel hurt and the tears even came from most of them as someone, somewhere hurt them. We then praised and worshipped the Lord and some were still reconciling during this on their own in love! It was all them and Holy Spirit! Amazing! Then they all went out, on their own, and went to their house mamas and the cooks to ask for forgiveness and to apologize for their disrespect in these last weeks. And now they are back in the meeting place still worshipping two hours later! There was so much healing in our family and all the snakes in the grass were CRUSHED! Deception vanished. Jesus was victorious through simple acts of love, acts of repentance and forgiveness.
I had very little to do with it as I simply followed what Holy Spirit wanted to do all weekend. He tenderized their hearts on Saturday and during church this morning. They were ready for “change”. I am always ready for change. But, I am not always ready to do what it will take to bring it. Sometimes it is very time consuming. It will take all your strength and energy but I will tell you, it is worth it. When change, good change, comes from heaven, it is amazing and life altering. The Lord showed me on Saturday that heaven is our ceiling. We spend out worship crying out for heaven to come down, for His kingdom to come. Until the walls come down, the ceiling remains beyond our reach. When the walls come down, heaven will crash in like a flood! I pray that this week, you will break and crush the snakes in the grass that are keeping watch. I pray for open heavens to come down on you as you become the church without walls!