Parade of Nations
As Jane called them out, each country would come forward — most of the flag carriers were dressed in traditional clothing and many of them danced and celebrated as they made their way around the room. The high point of the parade was when Jane called out the Middle Eastern nations. I didn’t see it myself, but I was told that one of the women started the procession with a burqa covering her face. Halfway down the aisle, she pulled it off and lifted her hands to the Lord in worship. You can imagine the response from the crowd — it was electrifying.
The Tribe of Aglow
Following the Flag Parade, we were given an update from Nigeria. God is doing amazing things in that country through Aglow — the church is growing and Islamic militants are coming to Christ. Thousands are attending Aglow conferences, even in heavily Muslim areas. God is on the move in Nigeria, pushing back the darkness and drawing all people to Himself. Praise the Lord!
Jane’s message on Friday morning included a big-picture view of Aglow around the world:
- We’re present in 170 of the 220 nations in the world
- There are 700 Aglow groups in Europe
- Africa has 940 groups
- There are 4500 places across the globe where God is using Aglow to change lives
- More than 17 million people are ministered to annually through this ministry
Jane went on to say that we are contending for a new level of faith and that God is taking us far beyond what we’ve known. She said that we are a “genderless bride” — a tribe of people connected with the same heart. That word, “tribe”, seemed to catch on, and we heard about the “Tribe of Aglow” over and over again throughout the day.
Before I move on from the morning session, I wanted to mention how inspiring it was to hear from two special guests: Dr. Raleigh Washington, President of Promise Keepers, and Qaumaniq Suuqiina from Indigenous Messengers International representing First Nations peoples. Jane asked Rev. Qaumaniq to greet the people and pray in behalf of all Native Americans.
Dr. Washington shared about how the Lord has aligned the hearts of Aglow and Promise Keepers. As you are probably aware, Jane was asked to speak at the PK conference in July — the first woman ever.
Afternoon and Evening Sessions
Mike Bickle of the International House of Prayer was our speaker for both the afternoon and evening sessions. This was my first opportunity to hear Mike speak. His teaching and preaching is powerful, annointed, practical and passionate. Mike’s first message was a study of the first commandment: Loving the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. There was so much that Mike packed into this teaching. The point that impacted me the most was from what Mike called Sphere #4: Love with All Our Soul:
Our identity must be established on being loved by God and in loving Him in repsonse. Our confession is “I am loved (by God) therefore I am successful” This definition of success takes the pressure off because anyone can have success based on this. Burn-out does not come from working hard, but from working with a wrong spirit. When we work for success, we get burned out. When we work from success our spirit is strengthened. As we change the way we define success we will love God much better because we will have much less “emotional traffic” inside our heart and mind.
The evening session began again with worship. What worship! Julie Meyers and Brian Ming have been leading into such powerful, profound worship experiences. I’ve appreciated the freedom in this place — sometimes loud and victorious, sometimes quiet and tender. It’s been wonderful. At times, I just have to lay down my camera and enter in — it just draws me in.
Mike’s second message was about intimacy with Christ. His text was taken from the parable of the wise and foolish virgins from Mt. 25:1-13. This message was equally powerful and profound as the morning session. I’ll just share with you one important point. The oil speaks of the presence of the Spirit touching our hear as we spend time with God. The oil of the Holy Spirit touches our hearts in different ways:
- It tenderizes our heart, enabling us to feel more of God’s desire for us.
- It enlarges our desire for Him by encountering His desire for us.
- It illuminates our understanding with revelation of God’s beauty.
- It imparts zeal for righteousness which helps us in our struggle with besetting sins.
I was seriously challenged by this message. The Lord showed me that my focus has been on the ministry that I’m involved with and I’ve allowed my relationship with Him to take a back seat. The intimacy was gone. I’ve been like the foolish virgins who ran out of oil. The Lord used Mike to draw me back to a place of desiring intimacy with Him. By the way, Mike offers free downloads of some of his teachings on his website.
It was a great day. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.