2015 Delhi – Arielle Arn

A Still Small Voice

Then he was told, “Go, stand on the mountain at attention before God. God will pass by.”
A hurricane wind ripped through the mountains and shattered the rocks before God, but God wasn’t to be found in the wind; after the wind an earthquake, but God wasn’t in the earthquake; and after the earthquake fire, but God wasn’t in the fire; and after the fire a gentle and quiet whisper. – 1 Kings 19:11-12

Being so new to New Philadelphia Church, I had no idea what I was in for when I signed up for this missions expedition to New Delhi. All I knew was that God wanted me to go, I had heard about the amazing and powerful demonstrations of God’s power in the past, and this year I wanted to see for myself. I wanted to see these moves of God with my own eyes. But I now realize that as much as I wanted to see the Lord move, He wanted me to sharpen by own spiritual vision to perceive what He was doing.

My journey started long before we ever landed on the runway at New Delhi International Airport. I was so excited to move into action after so much spiritual and practical preparation. But as we started on our way working as a team, practicing our performances at the airport, and ministering in the field, I was struggling. I had been preparing to serve as the VBS (children’s dance ministry) director, and I was quite excited. But I soon learned that I just did not have the polished moves required for the role. The other team members had been able to practice with regimented direction in Seoul. But soon it became necessary for me to be replaced. This is when I started to flounder. I love performing. I have been thrown up on stage ever since I was able to string notes together. Thus I was feeling the word FAILURE being hammered into my head from every direction.

This insecurity was highlighted on our second day of ministry where we had our first encounter with people from the Kuki tribe, ethnic minorities from northeast India. Our entire team struggled that day and everyone felt it in different ways: fear, accusation, opposition, exhaustion, inadequacy, and for myself: FAILURE. This spiritual struggle manifested itself when despite weeping in their seats, not a single youth member stood up to receive the altar call. That night our team pastor Anna Roh said we must contend in the spiritual realm and break off the forces that would stand against our ministry. That night before we went back into the field, we contended for our last day of ministry with these Kuki youth. We knew God loved them so passionately. We prayed with supernatural fervor and authority- in a way that I had never heard before. I began to weep, and God gently whispered to me, “Arielle you are not supposed to be on stage.” I responded, “But God that is what I know how to do.” And He responded, “Exactly…”

After God’s heart was revealed to me, I felt equipped. I did not know how, but I was ready somehow. I realized that God was going to have me step out in a way that might feel uncomfortable, but was necessary. The next day our team moved forward in peace, knowing that the contending had been done. With God moving for us, no one could go against us. That day the entire sanctuary was transformed into an altar. Instead of catching and taking care of people whom the Holy Spirit was ministering to, I was actually asked to pray for individuals. I was so uncomfortable with this. Every other person on the team was praying in tongues and with words of knowledge and prophecy. But I had not yet received these gifts. I witnessed many people falling under the Holy Spirit- something which I had also never experienced. Yet I continued to pray for these moves of God to manifest in the congregation, knowing exactly how much these people wanted to encounter the Lord in this way. It was exhausting, but at the same time it was incredible, and we left with a spirit of joy and victory. We were warriors jubilant for the Lord!

That night I shared in our debrief meeting what had been revealed to me earlier that day. Even though I was very comfortable on stage, I knew God wanted to use me in new ways. I also finally saw the value of spiritual gifts like speaking in tongues where I had not before. I started to desire these gifts for myself with a new fervor. And to my surprise, at the end of this meeting I was informed that I would be a background presence on stage for worship and VBS, and I would also follow that by sharing my testimony. I had been sure that with the next day being the last day of ministry, and with God not wanting me on stage, that I surely would have no time to share my testimony. But I was wrong and I panicked. What did I have to share at this youth empowerment seminar in India? I knew God had done great things for me, but the healing I had to testify about was so fresh, and it had actually been something I struggled greatly with every day of the trip.

Finally it was the morning of New Year’s Eve, when I was to give my testimony. Our team gathered all the members who would be testifying that day, laying hands, releasing boldness and peace. But I was still in the midst of doubt and struggling. During prayer time I raised this up to God. I was not instantly released from my struggles. I did not break out into speaking tongues, nor did I fall under fire. But I heard a still, small, and rather casual voice say, “You’re ready.”

And this was all the assurance I needed from my Father. But because God is just so good and overflowing with blessings, He also gave me a vision. I was standing open-armed in worship before Him, with the backdrop of a beautiful sunset (likely representing the year coming to a close). I was so beautiful before Him and I could tangibly sense His pleasure, as I stood before Him in unfastened praise and extravagant worship. It was time.

I stood up and gave my testimony that day. And God released in me a new level of freedom by revealing a fresh layer of the testimony that He is unraveling in my life. It was almost as if immediately after being healed I was like a freshly laid egg- new and pure, but still being made ready. But when I spoke out the healing, I was able to shed that shell, break out, and embrace my new freedom. I was able to soar towards the skies with widespread wings. I was starting the New Year having learned that there is power in both humility and boldness. Our team encountered a spiritually hungry people who encountered the Lord through their inner healing. I learned that I do not have to jump on stage just because I have talents to fill that role, or because I feel that I am lacking in spiritual gifts. Our Abba does not accept failure for His children. Rather He lets us soar forward in victory!

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