Monday, June 04, 2012

Like breath like rain

Back in 2008, I was attending a church in ValMez, one of the Czech youth groups I've worked with, and one of the elders gave me a prophetic word. This was my first introduction to the more charismatic gifts of the Spirit. I've encountered some of these gifts a few more time since then, but only from the outside and as an outsider. After graduating from MBI, I'd say that I was a skeptic to this kind of working of the Spirit. I would clothe my skepticism with the phrase "God will chose to work in natural ways over supernatural ways." As I worked alongside churches like Valmez and talked more with people that believed they were given these sign gifts, my skepticism began to fade. I began to see that for some these gifts, especially that of prophecy, were in some ways a burden. Yet, I was still just an outsider.
Over the years I struggled to understand how to uses these blessings for ministry and their place in the church and my life. But to say that my struggle was just in regards to the sign gifts would be too simple. I felt an over all lack of the Spirit in my life. I looked to friends who seemed to be more in tune or sensitive to the Spirit, ones that could say they've heard God talk to them, ones that are more active in seeing, feeling, and discerning spiritual warfare. I shrugged it all off by saying that God had blessed me with just being a spiritual ditz.
Yet sometimes, in the deepest of doubt, I would wonder if there was something wrong with me. I questioned if I was doing something wrong because the only time I felt the the faintest of communication with God was about  a monumental event. I literally questioned the depth and truth of my faith because I could not point to any real activity in my life in the spiritual realm.
As Melissa and I began our journey over to Czech one of the things that I started praying was that I would be more willing to hear God. I prayed that He would speak clearly to us. I was more involved in the reading the Bible and discussing the Spirits work with others. It was as if I believed I could will a better relationship with God. Even in our journey God had to speak to me through Melissa and through the JV missionaries. As our team was given to us I noticed that all my interns come from a charismatic background. One has the gift of tongues and one the gift of interpretation. I jokingly asked if my team was given to me because I needed more of the Spirit in my life. While that wasn't the case I wondered if maybe that was God's way of saying to me I needed more of His Spirit. Over that last few days at intern training we've been talking about the Holy Spirit and we've been challenged to draw closer to him. I'm not sure what God's plan is this summer and what part His Spirit is going to play, but I'm excited for what lies ahead. I feel Him with our team in a very real way and I'm taking the challenge of drawing close to Him very real this summer. I'm excited to breathe in the breath of God.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Step two...if you haven't heard the news

For all of you who haven't heard the news, my wife and I are going to Czech...again...for the whole summer! After last summer, Melissa and I were invited out to lead an intern team. We spent a lot of time praying and thinking about what God wanted us to do this summer. We decided to step out in faith and follow Him. We are really excited to experience what God is doing there. Now we are packing up, moving and getting ready for what God has in store for our future. To get a better idea of what we are doing, you can read our support letter here. Siewert Missions Letter 2012