2016 Los Angeles – Isabel Syers

Serving with Obedience is Excellence

Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. – 2 Corinthians 12:7-11

To start off the new year of 2016, I went on a ministry trip to Los Angeles with a golden team of lead pastors and members from Seoul, Sydney, and San Francisco. Our team had been invited to minister at a conference for a Korean American Presbyterian ministry called “Holy Wave,” which is part of Sarang Community Church. The conference was called “Converge,” and the conference theme was “Dunamis,” as in the power of the Holy Spirit mentioned in Acts 1:8. At the conference there were 270 students, young adults, and married people hungry to be taken into further depths of understanding of the Holy Spirit. On this trip the Lord did exceedingly more than we could ever hope for or imagine. He gave each of us divine appointments, and knitting the hearts of Holy Wave leaders & New Philadelphia together. The Lord taught me a lot during this trip as well, specifically about how He wanted me to serve.

During this ministry trip I had the privilege of being the team doctor. I had the role of covering each team member with prayer for health, and providing them with medical attention as needed. Before embarking for LA, through the missions training I had already been desperately seeking to learn more about God’s healing power. I wanted to understand our inheritance to heal as disciples and sons of God. As I began to exercise laying hands and praying I witnessed supernatural signs & wonders in healing. So as you can imagine, I entered the trip fully confident and a little big headed in my spiritual gifting. But throughout the trip our team underwent so much spiritual warfare, specifically through the form of sickness. Satan attacked our bodies with colds, in addition to emotional as well as mental attacks. I quickly got discouraged when I prayed for healing didn’t see immediate results. Therefore I stopped laying hands on the sick, and instead just prayed for healing on my own. As my pride became crushed, I began to doubt my anointing and authority. I was frustrated and discouraged, but I kept it to myself.

In entering the conference, I was so concerned about appearing equipped and polished, when in reality it was my first time being part of a ministry team and praying for others at an altar call. It would have been totally normal to feel a little stretched, but my focus was on performing well, not messing up, and on getting perfect results. When I prayed for others I wanted to see them fall under the power of God or get immediate healing because that’s the right outcome, right? That perfect outcome means I did a job well done, right? My focus was so inward that my goal was to fulfill my will, and not God’s. But the Lord humbled me really quickly, and my focus turned to what was at hand- ministering to those around me out of His heart. And He gave me my first divine appointment during lunch. I was getting to know two girls sitting next to me, and the conversation flowed so well that I ended up sharing about my healing and deliverance session, and being set free from visual lust. One girl politely responded but I could tell she didn’t bear witness with my testimony. But the other girl have me so much feedback, smiling in amazement as though this was the very conversation she was waiting for all along. When the other girl left, she opened up to me, sharing of her past struggles with lust, and how it made her doubt her identity. When I offered to lead her in healing and deliverance prayer, she admitted it was hard for her to believe that she could really be free. I shared Isaiah 53 & 54 with her, which state that the Lord came to bear our guilt, and Jesus promises to not shame or disgrace us. She responded, “OK, do I just start? How do I do it?” And the Lord blessed me in being able to declare freedom for someone who had the same shackles as I once did. God is so good.

By the last night of the conference, the Lord had completely humbled me, and now my prayer had changed from “Lord please give me a word, help me to do this and that” to asking what His will and desire were, and asking to be filled with His love for those He put in front of me. While we were worshiping that last night, I felt a pressure, and pain on my chest. I commanded it to leave in Jesus name, and it did. I thought nothing of it, until the altar ministry when I led another young girl through healing and deliverance prayer. After repenting and renouncing sexual sins, the girl told me she had a sudden pressure on her chest. I was a little surprised, but before I had time to be wrapped up by worries of what I should pray and what words I should use, the only phrase that came to my mind was “in faith.” Thus I prayed, commanding every oppressive spirit I could think of to flee, and declaring full healing and ease over her chest. And the pain left. She was so relieved & wept and we hugged for forever, and it was such a beautiful moment. Once more I was able to witness a freedom released that was so similar to my own.

It wasn’t until the conference was over that God gave me the revelation that what He desired the most from me was neither excellence performance or ministry results, but rather obedience. He was the most pleased when I submitted and obeyed, despite feelings of inadequacy or confusion. I glorified Him most when instead of looking at the outcome I was able to focus only on the present when the Lord was telling me to lay hands on the sick and bind up the broken hearted. In these moments it was my obedience that demonstrated my faith. And then my faith grew even stronger- not through my own power, but because of the Lord, who has all authority and power. Now instead of looking at my own strength, I am able to see whom my help comes from! This revelation is all that the Lord wanted from me. He was not so worried about a super fiery performance. All that He asked from me was active obedience and a submissive heart.

I’m so excited to see what God is doing in LA. I am so excited to discover what God is continuing to teach me and work in me as I return home. I want to live every day with a missions heart, knowing that I am fully equipped and called to serve and proclaim good news wherever I go.