“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:5)
As I stated in my last post this past Friday, I spent this past weekend with my daughter serving as a spiritual director on a Chrysalis team in which 14 mainly teenage girls attended. We left Friday afternoon and returned late Monday night. It was an amazing weekend of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the love and presence of Christ.
As I heard some of these girls stories shared in counseling and conversations, I was amazed and saddened at the trials and struggles many of them have gone through already in life at such an early age. They were two young to have been exposed to such “adult” circumstances that required them to be “strong” and “hold things in” way to early in life.
As the weekend progressed the girls opened up and let go of their loads and simply became beautiful teenagers girls. Saturday night during a time of examination of conscience and letting go and releasing while gathered in the chapel, The Holy Spirit fell in a real tangible way. The girls in spontaneous ways came to the altar, turned to each other in their chairs, on the floor in corners and shared prayers and tears over each other. Myself and others on the team had the privilege of being invited into these groups and leading prayer over them and being led by prayer over them. Their prayers flowed out of true repentance and a desperate desire for God in their lives. Their prayers flowed from their hearts and souls and the Holy Spirit met them there and real healing, restoration, release, and renewing of faith took place as these ladies, all of us present, found and re-affirmed our identity in Christ.
I remember getting off my knees with one group and before being led into another group just standing there and looking around the room. In every corner of it every girl and team member was huddled in true prayer and worship, and it was so beautiful that all I could do was look and praise God! It was raw, it was real, it was simple, it was Holy, it was church!! And I was convicted of the ways some church's youth groups in their programs and attempts to be “seeker friendly” and “fun” don’t expose their youth to simply the Gospel and raw worship. Our youth are far more capable of deep spiritual encounters and being sources of spiritual renewal and leadership in our churches than we give them credit. Their prayers and praise that surrounded me impacted me and drew me into Christ’s presence as much as any “adult” led gathering I have attend. I was so blessed.
““..I tell you the truth, unless you turn around and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven! Whoever then humbles himself like this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes a child like this in my name welcomes me.” (Matthew 18:3-5)
My ODC family, I pray today if you run into a teenager today, you will see in them and share with them and encourage them to understand what an amazing potential vessel they are of the Holy Spirit. I pray that in your churches you will encourage and place your youth in leadership, and allow them to lead you “become like little children” and enter the kingdom of heaven! Please pray the same for me. God bless you my friends!!!
Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower
One Direction Community
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