God With Us – Emmanuel

Somehow, more than a week has already flown by since my last update… Time seems to be moving so fast and so slow!

Here at YWAM, we are still settling into a routine and adjusting as our schedules change. Our environment is saturated with worship, oral teachings, required readings, and good conversations.

Since I arrived on campus, I have been constantly encouraged and comforted by the presence of Scripture everywhere. All of the teachings and spontaneous words we have been receiving have been grounded in the word of God, and many of them have even had a topical focus related to the power of the word of God.

But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

John 6:68 (NKJV)

It has been an amazing experience to see the “words of eternal life” seeping through from every direction. In class this week, our DTS leader Hannah Suggs is teaching us about hearing God’s voice, reviewing passage after passage that speaks of God’s heart to connect with us, to speak, and to lead us out of captivity. In our first meeting for the Worship Elective, we also learned about prophecy in worship.

The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones.

Ezekiel 37:1 (NKJV)

In Ezekiel 37:1-14, the prophet is spiritually led to a valley, where God begins commanding Him to “prophesy” over the dry bones laying there. In Strong’s Concordance, the Hebrew word used for “prophesy” is naba, defined further as “to prophesy, to speak (or sing) by inspiration…”. Our teacher pointed to this passage as an example of how God loves to co-create with us: to use us as His instruments to touch people and speak to them. As worship leaders, we have a unique privilege to sing songs that can break down emotional barriers and spiritual strongholds in a person’s heart, paving the way for encounters with God’s “still small voice” [1 Kings 19:12].

The passage from Ezekiel 37 stayed with me, and I dove further into it in my own personal study. When the Lord calls Ezekiel to prophesy at the beginning of the story and the end, He ends the prophesy by saying each time “then you shall know that I am the Lord” [v. 6] and “then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken it and performed it” [v.14].

So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.

Ezekiel 37:10 (NKJV)

In the context of the entire week (learning about prophecies, the voice of God, and our entire class crying out to hear from the Lord and feel the presence of His Spirit), I felt the Lord calling me to remember all the things He has already done in my life and in the lives of others I know. Through my short time at YWAM, God has already been hammering in the power of our individual and corporate testimonies. Even though He provides us with so many avenues and ways to know Him, often the stories of how He has moved in the lives of individual people with hearts surrendered to Him are the ones that resonate the most.

After my experience last week of feeling lonely and struggling to make meaningful connections, the truth of “God with Us”, a personal God who draws near to us and wants us to seek His face in return, is sweeter than ever. Since the beginning of the week, He has been nudging our small body of students individually to lay down idols that have been blocking a singular view of Him and to come sit at His feet — to just be present, to just breathe, to just be still. He has been confirming this truth in my own life by stripping away all distractions and calling me to go further into His presence.

Please pray for guidance and clarity for our leaders as circumstances in the world change. Please also pray for continued vulnerability and willingness from our student body to be open to hearing God’s call. Thank God for the work He has already done and the work He is still doing. He is worthy of all praise!!

Thank you for reading. 🙂

P.S. I was tickled by the fact that this song was just released by Dante Bowe just 5 days ago (see below), just in time for our class focus. God can speak to us in so many different and personal ways. How do you recognize His voice?

3 Replies to “God With Us – Emmanuel”

  1. Oh Anna, among the most meaningful ways I hear His voice is, exactly as you said, the Word of God itself, and especially as it is lived through our lives. I love hearing how others hear Him; it’s adds harmony and depth to my own voice with Him, so THANK YOU for sharing these tender moments with us and inviting us into your love song!

  2. Thrilled to read your latest update… and this is only a taste! Press in and press on and The Spirit is going to take you to unfathomable places… and at some point you will share much revelation with your CCMB family. Miss you but so very happy for you… praying that God shows you more and more of His heart & plans for you over these next months #howmuchmore

  3. Do you remember that worship conference we went to when you were maybe 9 years old and that talk by Paul Baloche where you took notes on my BlackBerry? One of the topics was prophecy in worship. <3

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