deep breath

I feel each breath I take in and let out.  As I rest my shoulders down and keep my head bowed, my chest rises and then falls.  I’m conscious of His presence in me.  Like this overflowing mass ready to take over my entire body.  Many talk of heat and tangling, I felt heaviness in my chest and on my body.  My breathing slowed and I was aware of each deep breath I took.  As if my breathing got harder, but it didn’t because breathing was still easy, but slowed.

No turning back.  I’ve made up my mind.  I’m giving all of my life this time.

When I was younger, I remember the countless times of giving up my life to Christ, yet somehow… always, straying back to how my life was before that decision.  However, as I sang those lyrics above (a Kim Walker song), the permanence of my decision this past week sunk in. Matteus Van der Steen, pastor and CEO of Touch Reach and Impact the Nations, summoned all up to lay down their lives.  To sacrifice and take up their cross.  Not in the perception of giving up little desires in life or being “slightly” separate from the world around them.  No, he called us to lay down our lives.  To make our bodies a living sacrifice, to never be the same.  To give up our earthly desires.  He called for us to lay it down, give it up, sacrifice.  I went up.

My breath deepened.  Then he told us to pray for one another.  I prayed for an older woman.  She prayed for me.  I think that moment in time was the most touching moment for me.  I began to pray for her, sitting beside her with an arm around her back.  Slowly as I prayed her arm came up and cupped the side of my face.  We held each other close.  Intimately.  With a woman I didn’t even know, I felt so intimately close to for several moments.  It was like Jesus’ arms were around me.  He was in the air we were breathing.  I treasure this memory.

The thoughts that ran through my head the whole week were:

Nothing can remain the same.  My relationship with God has changed.  We are deeper now.  I want more.  How do I get more?  How do I live out all that I have been told?  I want to live a life that reflects Him.  I want to be a person of intimacy with God like Heidi, Rolland, Greg, Robby, Will, Matt, Rebecca, Shampa, Angela, and Philip.  I want to stand in assured boldness and authority given by God.  I want His love to flow through me and I through Him.

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