1. There is Beauty in Community
As a nineteen year old girl who grew up with five brothers, I was challenged with the idea of living with twenty plus girls in a community house. I came to God with my fears asking questions “God, what if I don’t get along with anyone here? What if I don’t make any friends?” He replied, “But what if you do?”
Before my DTS started I thought of my classmates as ‘different’; unable to connect and relate to them because of their differences. At least that was the fear I had, but since starting my DTS in July I’ve been challenged with the idea that God has created me and the people around me to relate, to connect and to build beautiful relationship with each other. Despite our different cultures, despite our different personalities or church backgrounds, we all have one thing in common. We are completely infatuated and radically in love with the King of Kings!
Something that helped me at the start of DTS was remembering that God had placed me and my peers there for a specific purpose. The people I’ve met here I know I will be friends with for a lifetime. God asked me to take the first step of faith and in my obedience came blessing! And what a blessing have my fellow DTS classmates and friends been!
2. Vulnerability Brings Freedom
During our third week in DTS our weekly topic was Openness and Brokenness. This week is a beautiful time to take five days to go deeper with God into the things that have hurt you in your past. It is a time to be vulnerable with the people in your class. We took time sharing and understanding any lies misconceptions we were believing about Father God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I know what you are thinking because I was thinking the same things: “to uncover and openly confess burdens and hurts from your youth is scary and painful and I don’t want to do it”. Yes– it was hard, but also–yes, it led me into a beautiful encounter with the Lord. I’ve learned that God is so so gentle and He desires to hold you and comfort you in the midst of your mess. Through the process of inner healing, God didn’t just take away the pain I had but He will replaced it with hope, love, joy and FREEDOM.
Openness and brokenness has been my favorite week so far because I was able to address hurts and disappointments in my life that I was never aware of, and as a result I was able to walk in deeper freedom and intimacy with The Father. There is nothing more freeing than giving up the things that are hindering you from getting to know who God really is. God wants us to be vulnerable with Him, and the people around us, so that He can take our hand and lead us from Glory to Glory and we can walk in our true identity.
3. The True Power of Worship
Before I came to YWAM I was battling with the question, ‘What causes powerful worship?’ As I entered into a new season at DTS God quickly answered this question. He revealed that worship has everything to do with the posture of your heart. It isn’t depended on talent or a big stage.
Walking into the first night of corporate worship here at YWAM Redding I had no idea what to expect. I made my way into the sanctuary where about 50 people were gathered–the music started and all of a sudden my focus shifted. The presence of God was so present in the room and it demanded my complete and total attention– I grew silent in awe and reverence of his His utter nearness. I learned quickly that powerful worship isn’t about an outward appearance–how you move or what you say.
DTS has shown me that it is okay to worship in our own way, God does not look at how high I raise my hands, He looks at the openness of my heart. Worship isn’t about what the person next to me is doing, and there’s no reason to compare. It’s a time when Jesus and I get to have an intimate connection; it’s about expressing my love toward Him.
DTS is such a unique period of your life where you are constantly surrounded by people who adore The Father and are consumed by their love for God. People here are hungry to worship Him, and I am eager to continue in this season and burn for the Lord right alongside them. I have learned to let my heart burn and be motivated by His love and to let go of outward appearance. This is what creates powerful worship.
4. God is my Ultimate Provider
A major area of doing a DTS is raising the finances for your tuition and outreach phase. I had a mindset that I needed to work and provide all my money for my school before my DTS started. This was not only untrue but through this mindset I was also hindering the Lord from showing up in my life as my ultimate Provider. I wasn’t trusting God fully with my finances.
I held on tight to my money instead of giving God the opportunity to show me that I could trust Him with everything, including my finances. By the first week I found myself in need of finances for my outreach. It was definitely ordained by God to be done this way because it put me in a position to give God the role as my only source of provision. God has shown me that He will always come through, He is faithful in all things! Not only did He provide the amount I needed, He provide an abundance! God takes care of us when we let Him!
A big way God provides is through the generosity of others around you. I’ve learned to humble myself enough to ask people to help contribute towards my call to YWAM and although it can be hard to ask others for money, having faith in the Lord to provide is an essential part of mission work.
Relying on Jesus in this way not only benefited my finances and grew my relationships but it inspired me to be more generous with everything that I have! I know that the money I’m given is not my own, it belongs to the Lord. The Father loves providing for His children and one of the biggest mistakes we can make is hindering Him from pouring out His goodness over each part of our lives.
5. God Speaks to Me
One of the most common topics talked about in YWAM is hearing God’s voice. Growing up the idea of hearing God’s voice was not an unfamiliar to me. However, I still struggled with knowing if I was truly hearing from the Lord or if it was my own thoughts.
Something I’ve learned going into my DTS is that the more you know the character of God, the easier it is to distinguish His voice. The more you pursue the presence of God the more your ears will open up to His voice. It becomes easier to discern the Lord’s voice versus your own thoughts or words from the enemy.
When you know who God is–His character and nature–you will know if you are hearing something that goes against who His Word declares him to be. Since starting my DTS, I’ve grown confidently in my ability to hear God’s voice and I discovered that I can hear His voice more clearly than I ever thought I could.
When you accept Jesus into your heart the Holy Spirit comes and dwells within you–this, along with God’s Word is your source of comfort, peace, and wisdom in every situation. John 10: 27-28 says, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” What a promise! Never underestimate the desire of the Father to speak clearly to you. Have confidence as a child of God that you know His voice better than you think.
What is the Lord teaching you in your current season? Are these areas that you want to grow in? Have you considered dedicating a season to fully commit to the Lord? Come join us here at YWAM Redding for your Discipleship Training School! Click here to get redirected to our DTS page for more information!