Hearing God in the Whirlwind

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Over the past few weeks, we have been seeking the Lord about all the details for the August gathering.   We know it’s not like a typical conference where specific people are invited to teach or do ministry according to a pre-determined agenda.  It’s more like an adventure; the Father is inviting us to gather in Edmonton because He wants to release something for and through Gen Xers. To do so, He needs a remnant from all generations who are willing to lay down their own ideas and ways and even their right to know exactly what will happen so they can journey with Him for those three days.  So as of right now, our only plan is to worship and wait in His presence and give Him the maximum freedom to lead us into His will, His way. 

We also feel the gathering is a connecting time for kindred spirits (to borrow from Anne of Green Gables).  To facilitate this we have decided to order in reasonably-priced lunches and dinners so we can have our meals together between sessions (details and registration for the meals to come).  

We have also been seeking the Lord about what is the right plan for the children and that has been a really interesting journey for us.   Knowing many Gen Xers have little kids, it’s almost become a default that if you want Gen Xers in the meeting, you should provide child care.  But the word the Lord has been speaking to us is to forget the former things – to let go of the structures and ideas of how things “should be” so that we can perceive and embrace the new thing He is doing.   Ever since we made this commitment to let God erase the past and prepare us like a blank slate for what He wants to reveal for the future, He has been exposing  so many of the “shoulds” in our lives.  The “shoulds” are default ways of thinking – things that we do automatically without even consulting God because they seem rational, reasonable, or even common sense. 

You can see that we were operating under just such a “reasonable default” by what we previously posted on the website about the kids: recognizing that many Gen Xers have young children, we are looking to provide child care (ages infant to 12 years of age) based on the needs of those attending.

It all seems very logical except that as believers we are supposed to respond to the voice of God, not react to the needs of people.  That’s why Jesus sometimes ministered to just one person, even when hundreds were pressing in around Him.   As compassionate as He was, He wasn’t moved by the needs of people or their expectations – He was fully submitted to the will of the Father, only doing what He saw the Father doing and speaking only what He heard the Father speaking. (John 6:38, John 8:38, John 12:49,50)

So the Lord started exposing our “should” mindset about Gen X and kids.  One of the ways He did this was by frustrating all our attempts to organize child care.  There was just zero grace for it. Then as we began to talk as a team, we discovered that most of us felt not to bring our own kids (we have 20 kids between us).   From that we then reasoned that maybe God wanted our undivided attention as Xers and so we were to make the gathering adult-only.  And even though we wrote an email explaining all of this, we could not find a peace to send it.  So we waited.

Then last Friday morning during our team conference call, we listened to an excerpt from a conference call the Alberta Project group had the night before.  Siobhan, one of the Gen Xers who is coordinating worship nights in Calgary, shared,   “In Calgary our worship times are kind of crazy, but it seems like God is bringing us to a place where we can press in and hear Him in the midst of chaos.  We have lots of small kids and there are times when they are engaged, but there are other times they are just banging around with toys. But I feel this is a picture of our lives. He is asking us to press in when everything is loud around us.  It’s not a clear quiet place, and part of me wonders if this isn’t part of our preparation for the days to come.”

Immediately we felt the witness of the Spirit on what Siobhan was sharing because we know many Gen Xers who are so focused on the “chaos” of their lives that they feel hopeless (this is never going to change, it’s too late for me) or frustrated  (all these responsibilities are preventing me from being with God); the “chaos” has become a stumbling block that makes it hard for them to see how they can possibly step up into spiritual leadership at this point in their lives. 

And yet we know that God’s ways and timings are perfect.  What if He deliberately waited to release Gen Xers until this most inconvenient time of life because He wants to use us to birth something new – a new capacity to live in the Spirit at all times?   Maybe instead of requiring God to change our circumstances before we step into what He is asking us to do, we need to simply obey by faith and believe that He will meet us in the whirlwind in a way we have never experienced before.

Hearing Siobhan also revealed to us that we had unknowingly fallen into another “default” mindset - “if there is no childcare, then kids shouldn’t attend.”  So in order to bring ourselves into alignment with what the Lord is revealing, although there will not be a formal kid’s program or child care, the door is open for children to join us in worship and/or the rest of the meetings.   As far as what is available at the church, there is a large nursery area and we may be able to get access to a few children’s church rooms.  You are also welcome to bring someone with you to help you with your kids, if this is what you feel to do. Please be aware though that the church is located in a converted warehouse space in an industrial area so there are no parks or playgrounds nearby.

Above all, we want to encourage you not to fall into default ways of thinking like we did.   A big default pattern for Xers is “If there is no child care, I can’t come.”  If the Lord is asking you to be at the meeting, He has a plan for your kids.  If you choose to obey Him and trust Him, He will take care of all that concerns you.

This week for worship we’ve chosen a prophetic song called “Deeper” sung by Heather Clark and Tracy Rahn .  As we worship together, may this song be our corporate commitment to let go of our circumstances and let God open new doors to take us to deeper places of intimacy and communion with the Spirit than we have ever experienced before.  

The Awaken Team  

Our desire is to hear what God is saying for the August meeting and  Gen X in this hour through as wide a representation of the Body as possible.  If you have something you feel to share, please email us at share@awakenthedream.org.

Deeper – Heather Clark & Tracy Rahn (click the link to listen – a window will open in your internet browser.  To download the mp3 simply right click on the browser and select “save source as”)

I want to go deeper and deeper
deeper and deeper
Deeper and deeper
With You

Oh Lord Untie me! Untie me!
Untie me Jesus!
I will run, I will follow hard after You

Deeper, deeper, deeper
To the centre of Your Heart
Engulfed in who You are