The Lord called me from the womb; he made me a select arrow. - Isaiah 49 Yesterday morning I awoke from a dream where I was with friends and we were all talking about Acts 27. We even made up a song that we were singing with the lyrics only repeating 'Acts 27'. I awoke realizing that I needed to study this chapter, but also was running late to work. As the day's events went on I never had a chance to read the chapter, but God knew I would listen to it later that evening.
Thursday evening was just my second time to Venue & I entered with a heavy heart & mind just as I did the week before. As guest Pastor Grant Lewis began his sermon, he communicated that he felt led to speak to people who had lost hope & felt at the end of their rope, & as God would have it, he preached his sermon on Acts 27. Immediately my senses were heightened & I was hanging on every word. Before he began, I knew this message was for me.
He shared the story of Paul boarding a ship to his destination & appointment that was made for him with Caesar. As Paul & this group of sailors set sail, there was a storm that came so strong that it blotted out the sun & the stars, leaving them all hopeless, fearing for their lives & frantically using their own mechanisms to survive. An angel of the Lord appears to Paul & informs him that he & all the men on the ship will survive & make it to their destination, but that the ship in which they are currently in will crash & sink. Paul shares this with the men who are merely comforted for a moment until they decide to resort to their last resort, a small life boat, to save themselves from this inevitable ship wreck. Paul then informs the men that if they use this life raft, that all of the men will surely die. The men are then left with a decision, save themselves, or cut the raft loose & let go of their only backup plan for survival. The men choose to cut the rope, releasing all control. Eventually they shipwreck, & find themselves on an island with a people group. Paul gets bit by a snake, survives, as a result of this miracle heals many people on the island, & they hear the Gospel. When the sailors & Paul depart from the island to their destination, the people on the island provide them with all they need for this journey & more. The Lord restores what was broken & fulfills the promise given from the beginning. The moral being that heading to our destination & appointment God has given us will not always be easy, but we need to release control & trust God through the pits & valleys of what it takes to get there. We may be holding on tightly to a ship, when God wants to give us an island to minister to.
As the message concluded Grant asked each of us to picture what it was we needed to let go of & ask God what 'plan B' we needed to release in our own lives. He called us to come to the front if led to do so in obedience, & boldly let go of whatever it was holding us back from the destination & appointment God has in our lives. As I walked to the front, my heart was pounding and body shaking from the Holy Spirit stirring within me. I knew this was my breakthrough my mentor had prophesied would come just two days before. As a group of us received prayer & rested in the presence of the Lord I felt a peace & fire burn within me like never before.
Grant then spoke that there was someone in the crowd who needed to pray over everyone. A person who is a bit shy & who normally wouldn't do something like this, but was called to be bold & pray over themselves & their generation. I felt my heart race within me, & was afraid because I did not want to be perceived as prideful to man, nor was I a member of venue, it was my second visit! Yet as my heart began to race harder & faster, I knew it was me that Grant was speaking of.
What Grant & Venue did not know is that I had not been myself the past several months. Just a week prior to Thursday evening, I took a break from leading a dream & ministry God has given me because I was tired, I was broken, & I honestly felt like giving up. I was looking for a way out, & I was sure God picked the wrong person to lead & steward this dream.
As I stepped on stage Grant confirmed that it was me God had shown him. I shared with Grant that I felt God had been speaking to me the entire evening & how his sermon was exactly a message designed for me to hear. Before I prayed Grant began to prophesy over me dreams that I have only written on paper. He spoke of seeing pages of books just flying by & my books stacked high of what I will write. He spoke that the books will fly off the shelves & that he saw me at book signings. He spoke that he saw me ministering in some way & then said he saw me doing something with fashion. That I would create a clothing line or jewelry line of some sort. If that wasn't enough for me, he then said this. 'These things that I am telling you, they are you, they are your identity, it's who you've always been, you've just now been discovering who God made you to be.'
The words he spoke resignated deep with my soul. The dreams I have & the words God has given me, had been blotted out with fear & lies from the enemy. I had been doubting God at his word & doubting that any of it would be possible. I don't have the means, I don't have the resources, I don't have a way, & most of all I am young. Yet as Grant spoke, I felt this assurance that God had already spoken it to be. He has already commanded it so and Grant wouldn't have prophesied it if it weren't true.
I then began to pray aloud. I cannot fully recall my prayer but It was my heart crying out to Abba. Part of the prayer I was releasing the very fears, doubts, struggles, & back up plans I had been holding onto within my heart. Then I prayed with a boldness & felt the fire of God come upon me in that moment like never before. I prayed with this authority not of my own & and a confident assurance in who God called me to be. It was the first time I felt truly worthy of my calling. As I concluded I knew, I knew that I would never be the same. I knew this was my Jacob moment wresting with the angel, receiving God's blessing & walking away physically changed forever.
The message that Grant spoke that evening allowed me to breakthrough. There are so many details of God's divine miraculous hand weaved throughout the words Grant spoke on that stage and the word his wife gave me after the service. I am forever changed. Even more so I am forever grateful for one man's obedience & the willingness of a church to stop a normal Thursday evening & allow God to move. Truly nothing is greater.