New York Fall Conference
We just never know what God is going to be up to. For all of our planning and inviting and working to make our 1998 New York Fall Conference weekend a point of outreach to our friends and family–those we have had on our hearts to hear His message-God had other ideas.
As usual, we started by getting people settled from their long trips from North Carolina and Mississippi. We had a virtual feast of catered Italian fare at Joe Laffin’s house in Poughkeepsie. After catching up with each other for a while, a more pressing discussion followed as we heard of one family’s dilemma. They initially thought that their desire to move to North Carolina to be a part of the bigger fellowship there was in conflict with the practical roadblocks they saw in front of them. One of our newer members was able to share his background in the business sector. It became clear before long that the real issues were not the practical obstacles, but spiritual ones–specifically, a husband not fulfilling his God-ordained role as head of the household. Satan’s inroads in his life were clouding his view of himself, affecting both his relationship with his wife and children and his responsibilities in the home and at work. By the time we parted company that evening, there was a lot on the table to think about.
Some of us felt uneasy that there was no closure that evening. We sort of held our breath until the next day, hoping that resolution would come quickly. Thankfully, others did not have a doubt out it.
What a privilege it was, the next morning, to hear the clear and heartfelt confession of this man. After an all-night wrestling with his self-image, he put aside his pride in favor of all that God was presenting to him. Once that was accomplished, he found himself engulfed by an outpouring of practical help and guidance that touched every area of daily living. I’ll say it again–what a privilege!
Of course, married people don’t live in a vacuum, and this person’s wife had some painful feelings and thoughts to share. It didn’t take long, however, for her to come to the spirit-truth of the matter: in spite of all that she felt, her one desire was to see her husband free in Christ and, subsequently, see her family restored.
This accomplished, there was a big sigh of relief for those of us who were still holding our breath. It was clear that this was not some human work being done that depended on human ability to get right with God. What I witnessed was God working to reach and change a person’s seeing and subsequently his wants and will. I hope I don’t ever forget this.
God had more work to do. With the conference only a little more than half over, the next morning found us in a discussion with a woman who was inwardly fighting to maintain an unhealthy attachment to her children. As we see time and again, inward battles don’t stay inward, and this was no exception. God was faithful to bring her struggle into the light so that she could get help in seeing the lie that she needed this attachment to complete herself.
Sadly, the conference ended without a resolution to this matter; however, progress was made in the days and weeks following. It often takes time for God to break down the inner barriers to believing, and although it is difficult to bear with this process in us, it is well worth the struggle. The only alternative is that we stay rooted in the old patterns of sinful behavior and limit the work that God wants to do through us.
Sunday night we went to dinner at a favorite restaurant for the close of the conference and were ready for an early night to bed. After such an intense and invigorating work of the Spirit during the weekend, we were ready for a rest.
Many of us stand in faith to see our loved ones come to Christ and recognize that in order to present Christ clearly, we must first be clear ourselves. We could now go out to those we are believing for with more clarity. This weekend was a step in that direction.
More Articles from The Intercessor, Vol 15 No 1
- The Purpose of the Negative
- Editor’s Note
- Moments with Meryl
- A Look at a Book
- Excerpt from The Intercession of Rees Howells
- New York Fall Conference
- The Story of the Ten
- Faith Action
- Tape Talk
- Life of a D.C.D.
- To Think About
- Questions & Answers
- Bible Study: Nehemiah
- From Jollity to Joy
- The Mailbox
- One Honest Moment That Changed My Life
- Area Fellowship News
- The Key to Everything
- Zerubbabel Focus: Zerubbabel Tape Ministry
- The truth is…
- Words to Live By…