To begin can I just say Christ is beautiful? In every moment of Advance I was reminded of the depth of the one whose Glory I life for. He is truly beyond anything I can describe.
To me, Advance 2012 was by far one of the best weekend of my entire life. While I was saved before, this year the Lord filled me along with everyone with the Holy Spirit like never before. I was able to experience the Spirit in new ways in my life, in my friends life, and in everyone’s lives. Friendships I’ve been previously struggling with turned to bonds like family. God was so faithful.
I could spend time showering you with pictures, hilarous stories, and much more but honestly nothing is more exciting to me about this weekend but how the Lord worked.
I came to Advance, full of bitterness in my heart. Many siuations had caused me to desire to have more depth in my friendships and see that many friends that I had called best friends weren’t that close to me spirtiually. I desired biblical fellowship with all the Relay kids. I was honestly truly looking forward to the messages but suffering with what 4 days with friends would lead to.The Lord gave me a sense of Joy during this entire trip but by the end I was struggling with a desire to be filled with the Holy Spirit like never before. I desired deeper relationships with friends. And I began to get angry half way through the retreat because I felt like God was doing nothing. I knew these feelings were not right and I should trust God to anwser prayers at His timing.
Before the worship night on the final night, I asked my Mom to pray for me to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Before dinner that night, a friend asked me and one persosn if we needed prayer. I found out me and the another person both we’re wanting the same thing in our lives. I felt in the shallow end and I wanted to go deeper and deeper until I drowned in Holy Spirit. So we were both prayed for and it was wonderful. Many people joined the prayer and we all got to pray for each other.
Worship night was life-changing. Immediately I felt a deeper sense of the spirit than ever before. I could not stand, I could not sit, I could barely sing. It was overwhelming. When Mr. Cooper asked for those who wanted to be filled with the Holy Spirit I went up soon. I wanted desprately to feel more. I wanted fire in my soul. As Mr. Cooper prayed I felt the Spirit just as I had desired. Like I said, it was overwhelming. I realized I had had desires and hopes that I thought and demanded in a way from God. I knew then, it was not my power to make those things happen, but God’s power. And then I was made aware of the weakness I was. I was nothing, nothing, nothing apart from him. I was nothing but an empty thing and God was the one at work and He would do everything in His timing. My need was for Him to consume every inch of my soul, to fill every cell of my body, to shine through every word I spoke.
After that I was plain filled with the Spirit. I can’t describe it except it was intense. I knew everyone else in the room was feeling it too, with all the tears and worshipping it was so clear Jesus was alive and in this room, working.
After the service I went over and was amazed by the spirit’s work that night. I teared up randomly in coversations, because I could stand the beauty of Christ working in our souls. As I had cried earliar for the Lord to let me go deeper I felt consumed with water, drowning in this Glory.
The rest is so good I barely can write it. A bunch of kids went over and were going to pray but really ended up just sharing verses on our hearts. All those prayers desires for godly fellowship seemed to come true at that moment. The verse I had on my heart was the same verse that was the theme of my trip to Poland :
” Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
(Ephesians 3:20,21 ESV)
We all sort of split into groups and we ended up praying for a friend who was struggling. Then we all prayed for Mr. Cooper. I got to have long conversatons with people who I never have been able to before. Because while we might be different, we share this one great Love that unites us all. Mr. Cooper had prayed that everyone ther might have been filled with the Holy Spirit and we all were. Nothing could describe the overwhelming joy in my soul. It was all God, all my beautiful savior.
It was truly a Relay revial. Everyone I taked to was open and the Spirit was there. Every cry of my heart coming into this retreat was anwsered. Even the next morning the Lord worked as we got to worship on the way home for a while. A friend’s brother who I had been praying for the entire trip was saved that Sunday morning!!!! I truly went home and cried a bit and could not thank the Lord enough for His faithfulness.
I’ve been to may Advance’s but this one was truly one where the Lord transformed everyone’s heart. We became more of a commuinty and I can’t wait to see how the Lord will contuine to work in all of our souls. Usually by the next day after Advance the fire starts to die, but today it is as fresh at it always was. Again it was all Jesus!
Oh, He is beautiful! I long for Eternity where always we’ll be together worshipping about the Glory of the majestic Christ.
Soli Deo Gloria!