Crossing the Jordan

Posted: January 11, 2011 in God Moments

February 2005 I attended the Firestorm conference at the L.I.F.E Center in Harrisburg, PA.  At the first opportunity I went into the Furnace, a room set apart for individual worship and prayer.  As I was lying there, I heard the Lord say to me, “Get ready to cross the Jordan.”  My initial reaction to these words was, “Oh, no, what is God going to ask me to do?  Is it going to be scary?”  But then as I sat and meditated, I recognized that “crossing the Jordan” was a very good thing.  It led to the Promised Land, for one, and I would never be expected to “cross the Jordan” without the Lord being with me.  I didn’t know what “crossing the Jordan” entailed, but I dedicated myself to the Lord in the Furnace and said that I was willing.

Later in the day, I heard Michal Ann Goll share her testimony of how God had freed her from intimidation.  I could relate to her story of struggling in this way.  I have often felt intimidated and insecure, comparing myself to others and preoccupied with what others are thinking about me.  One major way that this has manifested in my life has been in a paralyzing fear of speaking in front of a group.  Ever since middle school days, speaking in front of any size group was something that I’ve dreaded terribly.  When giving a speech at school, my heart would pound, my voice would quake, legs would shake and I couldn’t finish without feeling very, very foolish.  I remember in high school. wishing with all my heart that the Lord would come back before the hour that I had to give my speech in speech class.

I kept this fear hidden as much as I could (although it would have been obvious to anyone who had occasion to listen to me) and didn’t talk about it to almost anyone.  I come from a family where each other member is often behind a microphone in front of a group, ministering in some way or another.  And from what I observed of them, there was never any fear, only enjoyment in talking publicly.  I was afraid that if I talked very much about my fear, someone in my family would try to get me over it by putting me in a speaking situation that I would find mortifying.

Before attending the Firestorm conference, I had just recently come to the point where I was willing to talk with my family more openly about this fear.  My mother had asked me to speak at a women’s group about my experiences living overseas and I quickly told her, “No way!” explaining that speaking in front of a group scared me and that she should ask my sister instead to share something from her life.  I found a level of  was a freedom in sharing my weakness like this.  But I was to find that God had more in mind for me.

The last day of the Firestorm conference I attended Michal Ann’s seminar where she talked about horses.  I remember her speaking from Zachariah 10:3 which says, “The Lord almighty will care for his flock and make them like a proud horse in battle.”  She related her knowledge of horses to this verse, saying, “An untrained horse is governed by fear and tries to run away.  Running for the sake of running is bondage.”  She said, “We want to be so in love with Jesus that we will go where He wants us to go and we will not run away.”

I realized that I was like an untrained horse, governed by fear.  My mother had asked me to testify in front of her women’s group.  I had told her, “No way!”  I realized that if God himself had asked me to speak in front of a group, I probably would have said, “No way!” to Him, as well.

Michal Ann gave an altar call and encouraged us to come up and ask God for what we wanted.  What I felt led to ask for that day was monumental.  I asked the Lord to help me to speak in public without fear and to have a message to share.  Never before had I asked for this or even desired to ask for this.  My prayer had always previously been, “Lord, help me to not HAVE to speak in public!”  I knew that as I went forward with this request, I was opening a dark, cobwebby door in my heart and allowing the Lord entrance.

Looking back and making all the connections, I’m sure this is the “crossing the Jordan” that I had heard the Lord talking about in the Furnace.  Indeed, I had received several prophecies over the years about ministering in front of groups.   I always thought, “I would have to be a different person for that to be fulfilled!” I needed to cross the Jordan, surrender my fear of looking foolish, surrender my reputation, etc. to begin to enter the land of promises.

The past several years have been amazing to me as God has taken residence in this new area of my heart.  I find it unbelievable to see how he has taken the impossible and made it possible.  It began when my mother came to me again and asked me to speak to her women’s group.  This time I did not say “No.”  With tears running down my face, I said “Yes, mother.  Yes, Lord.”  And God gave me a message to share – on Freedom from Fear, of all things.  And He took away my fear.  Amazing!  In the years since this experience God has been always faithful to His end of the bargain, giving me freedom from fear and a message to share.  And for this I praise Him.

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