This was my face after reading what I'm about to share with you...
A man named Dallas attended the Discerning Spirits Conference my team and I just hosted. I've read his testimony four times. He sent me his story and I loved it so much, I wanted to share it with you guys. Here it is, enjoy!
"I was saved 4 years ago into a very religious community. The first time I read Acts, I knew that the people around me were all missing something. I found a conservative, Spirit-filled church and finally began to experience life in the Spirit and many of the other things I always longed for and searched for via the use of drugs, especially psychedelics.
"Some of our staff decided to come to Redding to be sozoed and visit Bethel. We stumbled on the Discernment Conference by happenstance.
"I did not grow up in the church. I was saved 4 years ago. The first time I ever took a spiritual gifts test, my number 1 result was discernment. I had no clue what it was. From the time I was a child, I always knew good people from bad people. I always just thought I was just a very strong judge of character. I have always been anti social and extremely empathetic. I always know what people think and how they feel. For most of my life, I had to hide, attack others, and also control people around me to feel safe.
"I was a manic depressive alcoholic/addict. After a lot of deliverance, inner healing, maturity, and time, I reached a place where I knew that I was generally mentally, spiritually, and emotionally healthy and whole.
"While reading about the conference, I found myself intrigued by language that was being used. Over the next 6 weeks before the conference, I went on a short journey asking God what it means to be afflicted by my gift and asking about discernment in general. The revelation I received just from reading about the discerning spirits conference brought me so much freedom. It was also the first time that all the emotions and feelings I felt my entire life were finally validated. Not only that, I learned that not all the things I have always felt were actually because something was wrong with me.
"Coming into the conference, I had experienced being slain in the spirit and I have a prayer language. I had never been what people have always referred to as "drunk" in the spirit. Much of what I have seen has offended me because of my discernment. I didn't doubt that it was real but much of what I have seen has been questionable and distracting, in my opinion.
"On the 2nd day of the conference, Deborah started things off with a bang. As she was being introduced, she was sitting on a lady in the back of the room who was laughing uncontrollably. I don't remember much about what she shared other than I was intrigued by her stuffed animals.
About halfway through, a woman broke out into laughter and Deborah stopped speaking and went to pray for her. Or something. Then all of heaven broke loose and the ministry team was sent out. It started on the other side of the room and I was able to witness something I had only ever heard of. Many of the things I saw were offending my eyes and my mind. Then Mike asked for us to posture ourselves in a way that was open to receive. So I did. Because I really did want to receive it, I was just extremely fearful of what I did not know.
"Then a guy came crawling over the chairs from behind us and as soon as he stepped onto our row, I was filled with laughter. Then when he put his hand on me, I began to laugh uncontrollably to the point that I felt like I was going to fall out of my chair. And so I did. Then I laid on the ground and laughed until my stomach hurt and then I laughed some more. I somehow ended up holding a large, rubber duck.
"As I lay on the ground, I was very aware that I had control of what was going on, but I surrendered it for the joy. I also knew that I probably looked like an idiot. But I was willing to trade my dignity for what I was experiencing. I have a 3 month old daughter. The weird thing is, as I was laying on the floor, I knew I was somehow experiencing life the way she did. I felt like I was all spirit. It was the most spiritual thing I have ever done. Not in a religious sense, but that it was like the first time I ever prayed in tongues. I had to completely shut off my mind and just be open to what was happening to my spirit.
"Something happened there and things were broken off of me that I can't quite explain. I feel liberated in a way that I have never felt before. I even started dancing in worship. I kicked fear in the face and it felt incredible.
"I have always been a person of great peace. I carry peace and I have the ability to release it over people. God showed me that joy should be no different."
The reason I was in tears after reading Dallas' story is God radically touched this guy who wasn't even planning on being at the event. I could not have convinced Dallas to open up to joy like that, to open up to trust. I felt so affirmed by God reading Dallas' story. He was ushered into freedom and will never be the same and I don't have the ability to get him there. I do my best to paint arrows and describe the door but people ultimately have to choose to walk through it themselves. The level of impact and freedom Dallas fell into was divine; the touch of God.
May you receive an impartation from his story for God to take you into a deeper place of trust and delight in Him as you step into the future. Life is designed to be enjoyed! Grab your rubber ducky and let the river of God take you into the joy that comes from a loving Father. :)