We just finished up our week on Fatherheart of God and it was another busy one! We didn’t get to do a lot of fun stuff because I (Alix) have been really sick for the entire week. But lectures were awesome and we both came out of this week with some great revelations, some of which we’ll share below! This week we talked about fatherhood and how we can often take the negative characteristics/experiences we’ve had with male authority figures and associate those with God. This leads us to believe lies about God’s character, and can prompt us to live in a spirit of orphanhood (a.k.a. living as if you are not a child of God). If Satan can’t get you to dismiss the existence of God, he will try to make you live your life as if there is no God. In addition to discussing some characteristics of being a spiritual orphan, we also discussed how to overcome this spirit. One of the ways is to understand God’s character and fatherheart is to read the Bible – it is full of truths about who He is and what He wants for you.
This week, one teaching that stuck out to me was the notion that there are 3 steps of tranforming your faith: Revelation, Change of mind/heart, then Turning. For my Christian life so far, I have read a lot of ideals and had a lot of revelation, but only truly acted upon a handful of them. The rest are stuck in my head at the revelation stage, waiting for me to do something about it. Being here at YWAM has allowed me to really focus my energy on seeing these revelations play out in my thoughts, words, and deeds.
Some other things that we’ve been spending time doing are work duties (daily) and Youth Street ministry (Saturdays). Work duties are a way for all the students to pitch in around the base and keep things tidy and in working order. Connor is part of the property development team (basically a handyman), and Alix’s duty so far is gardening at our house. On Saturdays, everyone meets for Youth Street, YWAM’s local youth outreach/ministry organization. We break into our teams and spend a few hours with local youth who come to the warehouse every Saturday to join in the activities. Connor is on the skate & scoot team which busses kids around to different skate parks, and Alix is on the sports team which plays different sports or activities with the kids each week (this week was a slip-n-slide). Between these extra duties and lectures, we’ve been keeping thoroughly busy.
I was most looking forward to this week’s topic, so when I got sick on the first day of lectures for Fatherheart of God I was really bummed. I’ve been sick for a week now and am finally starting to feel better. I had to miss a few days of lectures and Youth Street but I was still able to learn a lot. After discussing some of the personality manifestations of being a spiritual orphan, I realized I struggle with a few of them, mainly mistrust, emotional concealment, and independence. This lead to the revelation that I’ve lived by my own strength from an early age and therefore I don’t know how to rely on God for strength or how to be weak and vulnerable with Him. I never saw that as a weakness until this week. It’s pretty cool because my one-on-one (a staff member who meets with me once a week to disciple and talk) wrote me a letter before I arrived. She said while she was praying for me, God gave her the word “strength”. She said He wanted me to learn to rely on His strength and not to be afraid to be weak with Him, because His power is made perfect in our weakness. Woah – mind is now blown.
This week God also confirmed to me the reasons why I view Him as a God instead of as a Father. He also gave me so much reassurance that He wants a father-daughter relationship with me. That He is not distant and uninterested. That I am adored and counted as His child. From here I just need to get to know God’s character and fatherheart more, as well as identify the areas of spiritual orphanhood I lean toward and change those behaviors. As Connor said above, revelation is only the first part of the transformation process.
Other than school (which occupies 90% of our time), this weekend we were finally able to go to Newcastle and explore! We took a taxi there and walked around all day visiting coffee shops and cafes. We also spent a little bit of time at the beach! The water here is super blue and the beaches are amazing. Newcastle is a really beautiful city and we can’t wait to explore it more! Below are a few photos of our day around the city!