Something happened to me about a week ago that I am just now getting around to recording, but I feel that it is important to share anyway. And in light of Darin's message on Saturday and the weekend message, I think it ties in rather nicely.
So let me set this up for you.
I'm taking an inter religious dialogue class this quarter. The class is set up so that in our lecture of about 300 on Tuesday the professor presents a prompt and the historical/religious context. On Wednesday we have a discussion of the papers we wrote in response to the prompt in a class of about 30 people. On Thursday we meet in the lecture hall again of and the professor asks people to come up to the front and present their response to the prompt. Then the class can ask the volunteers questions. That's the basic set up. But as you can imagine, it becomes very heated. I'm not a person who does well with confrontation and it has pained me to see people talk themselves into a corner and see people say horribly degrading things to one another. In short, this class is the very definition of spiritual warfare. But don't get me wrong though, I absolutely love this class. I love the challenge, I love the writing, I love having an open mind.
The lecture this particular week was a lengthy list of reasons why theists believe in God with corresponding atheist responses. For the prompt we had to pick the most convincing argument to us for either side and defend it. I feel very comfortable speaking my mind in the discussion, but I have never felt bold enough to volunteer to go to the front of the lecture hall and speak. This week however, a boy named Juan who I have never talked to before, approached me after discussion and began talking to me about what I thought of the class. At some point I asked him if he was going to volunteer the next day in class. He told me that he would if the Spirit lead him too. I had been feeling for some time now that I really should be bold and speak in class. But I couldn't stop myself from confessing to this near complete stranger that I was scared. Juan went on to tell me that God knows what I am capable of and that he would never put me in a situation I would not be equipped to handle. He said that God only has love for us and that He ultimately has our best interest at heart. Now it wasn't as if any of this was news to me, but I am convinced that this Juan guy was literally a mouthpiece of the Spirit in that moment. I have never felt more encouraged and convicted to do something in my enitire life. And the revelation that this was an honest to goodness conviction from God absolutely terrified me. I literally wanted to run away from this conversation. Now I did not do that, I felt that might have been rude to Juan. But I certainly became very uncomfortable and I was so when the conversation ended. But I couldn't shake the conviction. I wrestled with it all day and it was at the high school life group that I finally realized that denying this conviction would be the worst thing to do. I told the girls so that I would be held accountable and so that I could recieve prayer. I knew that if I kept this to myself there would be nothing to compel me to follow through.
So I did it. I spoke in class. I was obedient. Nothing dramatic happened, no one asked me any questions or attacked me, God didn't bring divine enlightenment upon the class. It seemed like I had made such a big deal over something that ended up being relatively simplistic. But I am certainly not taking this for granted. This experience has actually been incredibly monumentuous for me. The first being, the power of prayer. Wednesday, the day of the initial conviction, was stressful to say the least. But the next morning, and even right after I told the girls, I felt this overwhelming and calming peace. I know my girls were praying for me and I can not deny the power in that. Kati told me a few days later that she had prayed that the class would be silent and just listen to what I had to say. And that's exactly what happened. I'm just blown away by how amazing that is.
The second reason for this being monumentuous is the simple obedience of it all. In reality, what I said in class wasn't really that important. I have no idea if what I said changed anyone's life or if they will eventually turn to Jesus--I'm certainly not denying that as a possibility--but ultimately this was such a literal act of obedience. I felt convicted to do something and I did it. I think that is what gave me such peace about the whole thing. In all honesty, I was a little disappointed that I didn't feel "fulfilled" or something afterwards because the day leading up to it caused me so much grief. But what I'm walking away triumphantly from this situation because I have this new confidence in my walk in obedience to God. I have been praying for boldness and for God to use me in some way. This has been my prayer for quite some time now. Chris Ward described it in a past sermon as a "whatever moment". I was presented with a circumstance for me to prove it. I feel confident that this was just the beginning of a new series of events in obedience. I am so excited and so ready.