The evening began with worship songs expressing this theme: My Jesus, My Saviour… Tower of refuge and strength; Jesus is Lord…from His throne eternal; Show your power O Lord: In Christ alone…Light of the world by darkness slain…He stands in victory; Father in heaven how we love you (because He loved us first), and finally, Be still for the Presence, the Glory and the Power of the Lord are moving in this place.
Deaf and partially-sighted after a childhood illness, Tracy introduced herself as a co-worker with gospel-singer Marilyn Baker, and began with a track “Open my eyes” from the singer’s album “All that I am” which asks How do I know to whom I belong? And answers with the declaration that the old has gone and You (Jesus) are making me new. I have a brand new name, and I am seated together on high with Him, Jesus my brother, my next of kin.
How do we know that to be true? asked Tracy. Many congregations repeat the Lord’s Prayer every week, asking that the Lord’s Will may be done on earth and His Kingdom come. But are we aware of the reality of Heaven in our daily living? We forget that the Lord Jesus in all His Glory is standing with us. To emphasise this Tracy called for a volunteer to put on a represent-ation of the Robe of Righteousness, in purple edged with white. We may feel insignificant and we all have weaknesses, but Jesus has promised to clothe us with Himself, in partnership with Him and in tune with His wishes.
Tracy quoted 1 Corinthians chapter 2, verse 9, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.” And the closing words of verse 16, “But we have the mind of Christ.” The most important of the Gifts of the Spirit is the Gift of the Holy Spirit Himself. Reading at close range from one of her books, (and taking off her glasses to do so – they are for seeing people) she related an incident from a Summer Conference in Devon.
A woman who had made many wrong choices in her life, was looking at a picture on the wall of a vine with a branch broken off and withering on the ground. That’s me, she thought. But the Lord drew Tracy’s attention to the same picture with the message that in fact this woman was represented by the topmost branch of the vine, and she was later able to pass on this joyful news. We must converse more with Jesus, she emphasised.
Since we can never be sure that the thoughts we have are directly from the Lord, working with a group of like-minded people can be beneficial. Shared thoughts about a problem may produce a more rounded course of action; such as the young woman who had an ongoing foot problem until the collective opinion emerged that she was carrying her latest child wrongly!
We must be prepared to step out our comfort zones; although we shall feel vulnerable, we will see miracles and difficult healings. Consider Ananias, the man sent by God to deal with Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9, vv 10-19). The Lord called him by name and sent him to fulfill a vision of someone who would restore Saul’s sight. I have heard about him and the harm he has done to your saints. But the Lord said “Go, I have chosen this man to carry my name to the Gentiles.” So Ananius went – and Saul the destroyer became Paul the Apostle.
Has our daily walk with God become like a jar of jam, unused and pushed to the back of the shelf where it is becoming mouldy? We must lift the lid and ask the Lord to scoop out the mould to reveal the still-usable jam underneath. Maybe your church needs someone to welcome newcomers, or serve tea and coffee, or to lead worship – or to visit potential murderers. All of these must be done in the Power of God’s Love and not in our own strength
Please note that this not a full transcript of Tracy Wiliamson’s address.
For more information on her work visit www.marilynbakerministries.org