by Heather Bock
Don’t miss my drawing for Passion’s new cd, “Whole Heart.” Details are below.
I long for more in my relationship with God. I have begged Him for more evidence of His Spirit in my life. I want to experience more of Him and know Him deeper. I know this is possible because for one, God is infinitely greater than the evidence I’ve seen of Him in my life. Don’t get me wrong. He has worked in my life in many ways. He’s answered prayers, He’s changed my heart, and He’s provided me with many blessings.
However, I know He can do bigger things for the second reason: I’ve heard accounts of it from other people in the Bible, in books, and in person. Trustworthy people tell stories of God giving the same dream to an entire village, all of them turning to Jesus in response. God has been giving visions to friends of mine, bringing great encouragement to those for whom the visions were meant to be retold. I’ve read of miraculous healing, not just in the time of the first disciples, but now. When I read of all God did through those first disciples, I long to see the power of God in the way they did–to show that power to others, to bring me closer to Him, and to see Him heal my own family of our short tempers and the pain we have caused each other. The Bible doesn’t say these manifestations of His Spirit were going to stop, and the modern-day parallels I’ve heard about prove He’s still working in this way.
So I’ve asked–no, I’ve begged God to let me see Him move in a powerful way. So far, He’s moved in response, but I haven’t seen any major breakthroughs. He’s instead told me that I need to long for His Spirit more out of love for His people than for myself. I’m praying for that love.
Erica Willis, in her book Believe Boldly, tells her story of longing for more of God, too. She starts with some doubt of what God would do, but God quickly dispelled that as she began a new habit of getting up at five every morning, setting aside an hour to pray. God began to work in her life in big ways as she did this, speaking to her spirit clearly. She began to pray over her children and her house and began to see changes there, too. Her prayers, which started tentatively, grew bolder. She didn’t stop after a week or a month, but continued, persevering in prayer.
As she did, her walk with God became closer and closer, and He began to show up in big ways. She brought together a group of women who wanted to pray in the morning, too. They began to pray at the same time in their own individual houses, texting each other as they began and later recounting how God met them there. Those groups grew, and she realized she needed to break them apart and form new groups. The groups have spread across the country and a few have begun in other countries now, too. Stories keep pouring in from the groups about how God is moving through the prayer. She called her ministry The Fives, as she gave out a challenge to women to get up at five in the morning for five days a week for five weeks and if they took the challenge, the groups would be there to help them stay accountable.
In addition to this ministry that was birthed out of her early morning prayer, Erica began to ask for other gifts of the Spirit, gifts with which she didn’t have much experience in the church where she was raised. One by one, God gave her the gifts of prophecy, visions, healing, tongues, interpretation (of both some visions and tongues), and dreams. God has used all of these gifts in her to build up the body of Christ: healing a child’s knees, bringing fertility to a previously infertile woman, and confirming through a dream the plans of her church, among others.
The book doesn’t just tell her story. She also warns about keeping spiritual armor on against spiritual forces that want to take us down, especially as we seek hard after God. She exhorts us against fear, pride, and other sin that can get in the way. She teaches about fasting and how it can go hand in hand with prayer.
I do want to warn readers not to think that Erica believes that some gifts of the Spirit are more spiritual than others, which I started to think in some parts of the book. I happen to know the author and have been able to ask her directly about this question, and she agrees that God gives the gifts to each person as He wishes, and it’s not just a matter of sin getting in the way.
This book has encouraged me to get over my idea that I am not a morning person and that I can’t possibly pray in the morning. The truth is I used to be able to set aside an hour in the afternoon when my kids were younger, but now, the morning really is the best time for me to give to God. I’ve been holding it back because I’m a night person, but through this book, God has convicted me to give Him that time. I’ve only been doing it for about two weeks, and it’s been a struggle–some days I see Him move in my life, other days I’m up against what really seems to be spiritual warfare, and I don’t always come out on top right away.
I still long to see more of the Holy Spirit in my life, so I will continue to pray for this, simply and confidently, as Erica encourages us to do, clinging to the promise in James 4:8: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”
Drawing for Passion’s “Whole Heart” cd:
I am in the middle of a drawing for Passion’s new “Whole Heart” cd. This is a beautiful cd that encourages worship of God with your whole heart–fitting for the book I just described. If you want to enter the drawing:
- Click the button “follow” in the place under my picture (top right of a computer and way down below the comments on a phone) where it says, “Follow Blog Via Email.” Once you hit the button, it should give you a place to type in your email address. You may have to follow up with an email sent to you to fully subscribe, so check your spam folder if it doesn’t arrive in your inbox.
- Please notify me in a comment of your name so I will know who to congratulate if you win!
To earn more entries, or if you’re already following my blog,
- Share this post via social media. Each share to a different social media venue earns you one entry (up to three).
- Let me know in a comment where you’ve shared.
- Notify me of your name.
Giveaways are only open to residents of the continental U.S. and are only open to those who have not won from me in the last year.
I will announce the winner on Wednesday, February 28, so look for it! If I don’t hear from the winner within a week, I will draw another name. Thank you!