Sunday, October 21, 2007

Filling Up to Overflow

Off and on in the past sixteen years I’ve tried many bible studies in order to do everything from jump start my faith to finally succeed in seeing some real maturity in my life. My first experience with a deeper study followed a spiritual valley where some false teaching was seeping into the Church that directly affected me. I was, frankly, petrified. My husband knew exactly how to refute what he called extra-biblical teachings. My discernment was kicking in along with the Holy Spirit; but I needed to know the precepts of the Bible better to steer confusion away with confidence.

Twelve years ago a friend recommended Bible Study Fellowship, International. I devoured my study every evening. When my leader saw my hunger for knowing the truth of God’s Word, she gave me some teaching tapes of a pretty famous BSF leader by the name of Anne Graham Lotz. Those teachings completely reshaped the way that I taught whether from a platform or in a small group.

This past weekend, I finally had a chance to hear Anne Graham Lotz live at The Cove near Asheville, NC. “Filling Up To Overflow” is a four day seminar that does what it promises. I’m not just filled up, but broken. I’ve moved out of the realm of student of the Word to full blown addict.

I’ve experienced for quite some time the peace of Christ dwelling inside of me. But Anne’s teachings have struck a chord in me words don’t do justice to describe. And the few critiques I’ve found of her conferences simply don’t do Anne justice. I feel as though I’ve been in the presence of a true saint, a person of high spiritual pedigree. What a privilege in a day of spiritual blindness and lethargy to find so apt a teacher!

I’ve enjoyed so many conferences over the years and I always take away something from each of them. But Anne Graham Lotz has challenged me to my knees. I was convicted to the bone; so much so, that when we were given our quiet time to go and pray and study, I sought a quiet meeting room where I knelt, broken, and encountered God in a way that I’ve never encountered before. When I told my sons and husband about it over dinner tonight, I said, “There was a place in the O.T. text she read where God came and spoke to Abraham and He was called the word. How many times have I read that and just missed that reference?” Jesus appears everywhere in the Bible and I knew that, but I realized more than ever that to encounter Him and practice the presence of God, I have to know the word to know The Word.

If you have a chance to participate in Lotz’s “Filling Up to Overflow”, do go. Like her famous dad, all attention that falls on her is humbly returned to Jesus who has blessed her with an amazing gift as a bible expositor.