I want to share a few more thoughts regarding the Awaken the Dawn conference that took place two weeks ago. Sometimes hindsight will do wonders regarding a corporate gathering like ATD. A year ago at the ATD conference my world was turned upside down due primarily to the preaching of Allen Hood (Director of the Forerunner School of Ministry in KC). He preached a Gospel that was uncompromising, which was the heartcry of my own spirit. Responding to the message I had a tremendous encounter with the Lord that was life transforming. The Lord was so gracious to me, breaking off a spirit of shame that had plagued me for years. The Father heard the deep cry of my heart that yearned so much to live completely for His glory. It was Him that my heart so intensely desired, but felt so utterly incapable of loving Him! God has placed that yearning deep within our spirits.
Prior to the conference, I told Aneta that I was willing to do whatever it took to get free. It got a little wild up front as the Lord dealt with the demonic oppression, which had created such intense agony, frustration, and pain in my soul. Marty Wilson from San Diego and Ed Hackett (IHOP-KC) were so gracious, yet firm, in praying over me. It was a work of grace. Previous to this life-changing encounter, I fought so hard for so long to enter into that dimension of grace, but was unable due to do so. There seemed to be a barrier in my life. Since that breakthrough I’ve experienced a new level of intimacy with my Heavenly Father like never before! By the grace of God I am truly a different person today!
It is amazing to look back on that night after the deliverance to see my initial thoughts and feelings. Just knowing that through the Cross I could indeed love the Father freely and unabashedly was simply overwhelming. I wept tears as the anguish turned to joy and gratitude. This was the background for Aneta and I as we sought the Lord for what He had in store for us this year at ATD. Interestingly this year the focus for us was on serving the needs of our guest speakers and those in attendance. As many of you may recall, I had requested people to send notes/letters of encouragement to our main guest speakers. I myself had planned on writing one to each of the main speakers. However, the week leading up to the ATD I came down with a terrible head cold. All I was able to do was write a one letter to Brian Heasley. As I sat down to write to him, I felt horrible, but in faith I wrote what I heard the Lord saying to me regarding this man-of-God that I knew little of, except for his involvement in the 24-7 prayer movement.
I had the chance to meet this man who was quite a humorous, but passionate speaker. It was a delight to listen to his “mixed” Irish accent. After the first day of the conference I decided to Google him to see if anything would come up, which led me directly to his blog. Upon reading his latest entry, which had been put up hours before, I learned that he had forgotten two crucial things for a main guest speaker: deodorant and moisturizer. Immediately I alerted Aneta and she was able to find some extras that we took to him the next morning. When we told him that we had read his blog he was quite shocked and embarrassed, but he was very thankful for the deodorant.
He wrote about this on his blog, with the appropriate title: The Power of Blogging. We had also purchased a book beforehand that we intended to give to one of the guest speakers. It became obvious to Aneta and I that we were to bless this Irish man-of-God with Dreaming with God by Bill Johnson.
In all, it was a quiet conference for us – amidst the raging head cold – in comparison to a year ago. Nonetheless, we felt refreshed greatly by the Lord as we were able to serve these amazing men and women who are serving the Body of Christ worldwide. In fact afterwards Aneta gushed about how much she love serving our guest speakers; she came alive in that context. I too, found it refreshing to serve, which was strongly motivated by a desire to honor our guests.
A story comes to mind as I reflect upon the difference between last year's ATD and the most recent one: the story of Peter's mother-in-law. Luke 4:38-39 - "Jesus left the synagogue and went to the home of Simon. Now Simon's mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Jesus to help her. So he bent over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up at once and began to wait on them." Once Jesus rebuked the fever, she immediately started serving the needs of others. I guess there is a time to get delivered and a time to serve!
For His Cause,
Brian Francis Hume