The first time someone said to me, “Boy, you sure aren’t the same person you were three years ago!” I basically responded, “That’s true.” After two or three more people said the same thing, I began to think, “Wow. How bad was I three years ago?” I mean, does anyone ever think she’s really bad–or really good for that matter? All I know is my peeps are right. Things have changed.
My three year marker correlates with the culmination of teaching a Bible study class. For a first timer like me, that’s definitely something that could kill you or cure you, as the saying goes. And, yes that was a saying back in the day, you sweet young things. I’m the one who has to practice using a microphone by holding a bottle of truffle oil in her hand. Extrapolate that about 25 fold for preparing for and practicing to teach a Bible lesson to people who probably know more about the Bible than I do. And don’t even get me started on using PowerPoint or audio or video presentations on Apple TV. But, hey, the Lord saw me through it all. Who needs Mr. Apple.
People ask when things started to change for me. Was it that glory experience with the Lord, they ask? Hold that thought. I joke with people that everything I talk about and do is all about me, because let’s be honest. Most of the time it is. Ironically I believe the Lord started changing me when I focused on others. I’m not trying to sound politically correct here. I have a specific example that just happens to relate to that “glory thing,” as my friends have started calling it.
I had been closely following my friend, Sondra, who–out of total obedience to a word from God–followed His “commissioning” to go to what some might have thought a God forsaken part of the world to see the revival underway there, bring it back to our shores and to spread it to other places around the world. He promised her she would see His glory and wanted her to spread that as well. I was in–not on the trip. I am basically your 5 star hotel type of gal. But I was totally committed to support and pray for her, her team and this project.
I’ve also been a scripture gal for a long time now. Just ask any of the above referenced people who have become ensnared in the Diane Text a Scripture Thread. Sometimes the thread is unsolicited. It definitely doesn’t include a link to unsubscribe. This elevated to a new level when Sondra’s glory trip got underway. The Lord started putting more glory scriptures in front of me than I even knew existed. They were interesting, but I always immediately forwarded them to Sondra, knowing they really were for her.
Sometimes it is hard to get my attention. Just ask God, who has firsthand knowledge. He took the whole glory thing beyond His written word when he woke me early one morning with the words, “You are full of My glory. Go and release it.” Then, “Go and bear fruit.”
Whaaattt??? First of all, The Lord doesn’t usually wake me up to tell me something–especially something like this. I quickly determined this was for Sondra and planned to call her some time after day break and share God’s words for her. As is so often the case in my world, God had another plan.
Later He spoke to me again. He reiterated that I was full of His glory, and I was to release it. He told me I didn’t feel this because I didn’t abide in Him and open my heart to His glory. As I walked through a beautiful park, He then revealed to me His glory in every beautiful piece of nature He had created and I was seeing. I don’t mean He let me really see them. He described how each of them reflected His glory for me. Better than that, He enabled me to retain this “download” until I got to the end of the walk and provided a place for me to sit and transcribe it on my phone. He said the following, which I am providing without editing or embellishment.
“I am your shelter of protection. See it in every beautiful branch you walk under in this forest. I am your towering strength. Look at these majestic tall trees. They are my strength for you. Look at my light. How it brings beautiful color to the leaves on the trees. I will bring light and color to your life so you can share it with others–so you can go and bear fruit. Look at the wide, wide expanses of the greens. My love for you expands beyond anything you can imagine. See these perfectly shaped small trees. I am perfection. My Father made me thus. You are imperfect, but that is fine. I am always here for you–to guide you. Feel that calming breeze, how refreshing that is? That is my breath, refreshing you when you are weak. See the bench I provided you, again not only to rest but to fill your heart with the glory I’m sharing with you. To record it, store it, know it, abide in it. And when you return to the bright hot sunlight of the “world,” remember what I’ve just shared with you in the cool shade of my creation. I AM glory, and you are full of it now. Go and release my glory. I love you. Okay, another thing. I am the white clouds floating through the bright blue sky. I am majesty. I am all you need.
Even now as I remember this I am still in awe. It was one of the most beautiful, eloquent descriptions of glory and one of the most amazing, personal interactions with God I’ve ever had. And while it might seem a little “out there” for some, I have shared this glory story everywhere I can, just as He asked. I want everyone to know he or she can experience God’s glory. I am not someone special. I am just the messenger.
Since that time, the Lord has continued to give me more glory stories, scriptures, songs and experiences than I ever could have imagined. Now it’s become sort of a game between the two of us. Every time I think there can’t be more glory, He sends something else my way. I smile when I hear Him say, “Hey, just in case you thought we were done with the glory thing, not so much! Keep on spreading the word!”
So did I change with the glory experience? Yes I did. Anyone that knows me knows I’m all about the glory. But, it’s a lot more than that. If I could share just a few other important things that I believe have changed my life and enabled me to grow in the Lord it would be to:
-Listen to Him. Keep your ears, eyes, mind and heart open to what He’s trying to tell you.
-Talk to Him. Pray all the time whether driving your car, sitting in the carpool lane, standing in the grocery store line, or if you’re like me, waiting in any line in which I’m buying some cute stylish thing.
-Dig deeper into His word. Read and compare different translations. You will find the perfect scripture to claim for yourself and others. You might want to check with Him before starting the text thread.
-Obey Him when He asks you to go outside your comfort zone to serve Him.
While I believe all of the above have caused me to be “different than I was,” I am convinced the reason He is so active in my life and why He has given me more opportunities to serve him and be in his presence is because I have obeyed him when he’s asked me to go outside my comfort zone. Now, have I always obeyed? No. It’s hard out there in the no comfort zone! But it has been awesome when I’ve realized He’s at my door, asking me to come out and I’ve walked through that door with Him.
He’ll do the same for you, but here’s a tip. I’ve found it’s easier when He doesn’t have to bang on my door, saying, “Hey, you!! Yes, I’m talking to YOU!” Okay, so maybe the instruction to “listen” is important too!
(To read about Sondra’s wild trip I referenced above, check out the Jesus in the Jungle series on this website.)