Our time in Ava, Missouri was amazing! The LORD moved in such a powerful way and touched us all! We witnessed Him change so many lives!
When we arrived in Ava, we quickly discerned the area was rife with religious strongholds and fear of man. In spite of that, we all had a strong sense of the LORD’s heart for this group of people He'd gathered, and He kept confirming it!
It's such a blessing and a privilege to be working with a team who have each given up everything to follow Jesus Christ. The LORD in His grace and mercy turned each one from a HEARER to a DOER of His Word. Each individual journey has been different, but God saw fit to draw each one to lay every bit of this earthly kingdom down in order to live and breathe and perpetuate the Kingdom of God.
What we're seeing in the Body of Christ is that many are being SEPARATED and CALLED OUT to find the LORD - to take Him AS HE IS, not as whom people have tried to fashion Him to be. By those who are seeking the LORD to find Him for Who HE REALLY IS, and counting all else as LOSS in order to do so, He is being found. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with ALL your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13) The LORD GOD is calling out HIS OWN for such a time as THIS!
The weekend was amazing! Oh, that God wants to walk among His people!
The first night, as voices in worship were billowing out from under the pavilion, crying out to the one true living God (on account of His Son Jesus Christ), the rain started coming down harder and harder... (The Creator of the universe wants to pour out on His people!... Are we thirsty enough? Hungry enough for God alone?) All of a sudden the clouds started flowing slowly and steadily up over the building... Then, they were barely clearing the roof! The clouds had "COME DOWN" to where we were! It was beautiful watching this steady stream of cloud flow up and over the building and over the pavilion, as worship rang out to the heavens!
The LORD CAME DOWN in a pillar of cloud... (Numbers 12:5a)
The LORD WENT BEFORE THEM by day in a pillar of cloud TO LEAD THEM ALONG THE WAY and by night in a pillar of fire TO GIVE THEM LIGHT, THAT THEY MIGHT TRAVEL by day and by night. The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night did not depart from before the people. (Exodus 13:21-22)
The next day, strong testimonies of God's holiness and goodness touched hearts. He really seems to be reaching for those who are hungry for Him above all else. One by one, sensing God's presence and call, people responded throughout the weekend. Several surrendered to Christ, repented thoroughly, and were baptized in water and filled with the Holy Spirit.
The third night was amazing! God was working powerfully in our midst not only individually, but also corporately from the very beginning of the evening. The first song was, "Blow The Trumpet In Zion".... A young man had brought his shofar and was "blowing the trumpet" along with the song. Our speaker for the evening had also brought his shofar. He called the young man forward and they blew their trumpets together. The LORD seemed to be saying, "Rend your heart, not your garments."
Strong truth was shared, much of it from Joel chapter 2. At one point, the team could tangibly feel a wall of resistance.... The strongholds of the area were hindering people from fully responding to the hand of the LORD reaching for them to surrender.... We found out later that at this time, we were all praying separately for those walls to be torn down.... Slowly, people came to the front and prostrated themselves before the LORD weeping in repentance, reverencing the LORD GOD of heaven and earth. This lasted for hours. It turns out that "Blow the trumpet in Zion...., Rend your heart and not your garments....," and the message God relayed to His people that night, were ALL from Joel chapter 2!
After hours in brokenness before the LORD, the evening ended in joyful worship with young and old alike dancing together like little children!
This earth makes us dull, but God says, "a broken and a contrite heart I will not despise." He is "seeking such people as will worship Him in Spirit and in truth."
It's time to lay it all down and seek the LORD with everything in us! He is worthy of our full attention! He is alive! He wants to dwell among His people in fullness and in power!
O come; let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker [in reverent praise and supplication]. For He is our God and we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand. Today, if you will hear His voice, harden not your hearts..... (Psalm 95:6-8a)