Fast forward to Destiny Camp.
Every three years my church holds a three day camp with the purpose of discovering your destiny in God. It just so happens that the year they were planning to have this camp was the year I was in Grahamstown (Coincidence….I don’t think so!). Leading up to the camp our pastor urged all of the attendees to be in prayer and expectant about what God would reveal to us at the camp. The number 1 thing on my prayer list preparing for camp: what am I going to do for the rest of my life?! At least after the two years I have committed to be in South Africa. What did God want me to do? Where did God want me to go? To live? To help? Should I stay in South Africa? Should I return home and continue teaching? Should I go to the moon? Lord, just give me some direction as to what I must do next. Even if God couldn’t tell me the exact plan, at least give me a hint so I knew I was headed in the right direction.
Our church invited a prophet from our sister church in Johannesburg to come and share prophetic words with us and teach us about destiny in Christ. I made myself a promise that before the three day camp was over, I would make it a point to talk to the minister, not just so he could give me an answer to my prayers and tell my future. But simply have a conversation with him about purpose and destiny.
So did God reveal His master plan for my life during camp? Did He give me a clue as to what I must do after my two years were up here in South Africa? Absolutely not! Actually nothing I was expecting to happen actually happened. For example, before camp everyone filled out a pre-camp booklet to help discover some of our spiritual gifts and what our other abilities and personality traits say about our destiny. During the talk on Spiritual gifts, the leader revealed what each of our top three spiritual gifts were based on the test we took. I was certain that teaching would be my number one gift. Well turns out teaching is my number 5 out of 7…like what God? My top three were encourager, mercy, and of all things prophecy. I was certain the test was wrong until one of the leaders explained to me that in order to be an effective teacher I would need all three of those spiritual gifts. Ok God, I suppose that makes sense.
After the talk on spiritual gifts, the visiting prophet had each person at the camp including the leaders to pull a name out of a hat. We were instructed to pray for the person whose name we pulled throughout the day, and pray that God would give us a prophetic word to share with that person. Ok cool, I could do that. During dinner, the visiting prophet came and sat at my table. While we were all sharing about our camp experience thus far, the prophet looked at me and said,
“So you are Sarah Williams.”
I nodded my head yes tentatively.
“Well, I pulled your name.”
Wow! Ok God you are making certain that I speak with this man before the weekend is over. After dinner, we prepared to share our prophetic words with each other and then for praise and worship. Since the minister was leading praise and worship, he wrote down the prophetic word he received for me, and quickly shared it with me before we began. Listening to him share, I felt as if God was speaking directly to me. And in a way God was. Although his words didn’t include things like, “Sarah after next year I am sending you here and you will do this” the words were exactly what I needed to hear even if I didn’t realize it myself. Those words would soon mean so much more to me than they did at that time.
Then the moment came for us to worship and did we worship! The tables and chairs were cleared away. Our hearts and minds were open ready to receive all that God had to give.
The music began to play and we all began to sing praises. This was so very different than any other worship experience I have ever encountered. Everyone was so raw and open and vulnerable.
It started off slowly.
The spirit was so unbelievably thick.
It was hot but not unbearable.
I closed my eyes and just surrendered.
I started pacing.
Back and forth, back and forth.
My body felt light and dizzy like I was floating on air.
My spirit started praying. Praying for answers. Praying for direction. Praying for God to reveal His plan to me. To reveal anything.
The prophet came on the microphone and said that he was feeling like the Spirit wanted to take some of us in here into new, open spaces. And we needed to do something to symbolically show that we were now entering into those spaces.
My heart leapt. I knew he was speaking to me.
I felt God saying come into this new, open place. Receive all I have to give.
I walked forward, no longer moving backwards in my pacing. I started jumping up and down. Free to move. Free to receive all God had to give in that new, open place.
Exhausted, I went to my knees. Still praying for answers, anything would do. A hint, a clue, just show me what I must do, where I must go! Then I looked up and caught the eye of one of my friends in the church. She, a powerhouse in her own right, looked over at me and then looked away. Next thing I knew, she came and kneeled before me. She started praying over me, speaking in tongues, and prophesying amazing things over my life! Then just as quickly as she came, she moved away like now the mission is done. I have spoken to you what God instructed.
Tears are streaming down my face, as I continue to pray and cry out to God in my spirit. Then another girl in my church whom I have never seen or interacted with before came and sat before me. She started reading scriptures and praying and speaking powerful things over my life. Overwhelmed is not a strong enough word to describe all that I felt at that moment. My spirit still beseeching God for anything and everything He can give.
Then a still, small voice whispered to my spirit:
“No matter where I send you. No matter what I ask of you, will you say yes?”
“Yes.” My spirit whispered back. “Yes God.” I whispered out loud next. “Yes God!” I said a little louder. Before I realize what is happening I am screaming at the top of my lungs:
Over and over, I shout for everyone to hear. Over and over my spirit cries out “YES GOD”!
With every Yes God, I surrendered more and more of myself. I surrendered more of my plan, more of my agenda, more of my fear, more of my doubt, more of me. I shouted and screamed so loud my body ached as I released myself to receive all that God had in store. Yes God, to His will. Yes God, to His plan. Yes God, to His direction. Yes God, to whatever He asked of me. I am His willing servant.
Are you willing to do the same? To say Yes God. It is not easy. It is not always popular. It requires a lot. But despite all of this it is the best decision anyone could ever make. God longs to be God in our lives. God longs to take us on the most amazing journey, but it starts with a three letter word: YES.
I hope you follow me this year as I continue to declare #YesGod. As I learn what it means to say yes, I will share these lessons with all of you. I hope and pray that my willingness to say yes to God, prompts you to do the same. Complete surrender to God starts with a yes.