Mag. Claudia R. Wintoch
Spiritual Development I Ė Prayer & Fasting
World Revival School of Ministry
Fall Trimester 2001
I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. 2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. 3 He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord. 5 Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare. (Ps 40:1-3.5)
I will exalt you, O Lord, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me. 2 O Lord my God, I called to you for help and you healed me. 3 O Lord, you brought me up from the grave; you spared me from going down into the pit. (Ps 30:1-3)
God chooses the lowly, the outcast, to shame the wise (1.Cor 1:27), to raise up as His humble instruments; those who know theyíre nothing in themselves and that itís all Godís doing. David was the youngest son in Jesseís household. He was a shepherd boy, out in the field with the sheep, a lowly job that meant many lonely hours, hours alone with His God, when he could praise Him, take out his lyre and worship his Lord. Hours of conversing with his heavenly Father, of getting to know Him, His voice, of hidden preparation for the things to come. Little David didnít know the great plans God had for him, plans to give him hope and a future (Jer 29:11). Later in his life he would often be in very difficult situations, with enemies all around, whether physical or fleshly, when he cried out to the Lord, and knowing his God, he knew he could trust Him. Davidís words above mean a lot to me. I also was an outcast, the lowliest of lowlies, hidden, invisible. While I believed in God, I didnít really know Him. Like David, I would cry out to Him day and night, to deliver me, to intervene. David says, Record my lament; list my tears on your scroll -- are they not in Your record? (Ps 56:8) Yet no answer seemed on the way. Years of torment, intense darkness and brokenness passed. I was slowly starting to get a grip on my life, when the Lord decided it was time to lift me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire, to set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand (Ps 40:2). When I was 20, He drew me to Himself, even though I wasnít looking for Him. Seeing Him and His love, the love I had craved for all my life, I threw myself into His arms, clinging to Him, surrendering all my life to Him. He came, taking the pieces of my life, full of joy because of the way He could be glorified Ė to create out of nothing, to turn a life completely around as only He can do, to put purpose into that vessel which would know it was nothing in itself. David knew he had purpose. When things looked bleak and He wondered where God was, starting to question whether Heíll ever be king, he said, I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills His purpose for me (Ps 57:2). The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; Your love, O Lord, endures forever-- do not abandon the works of Your hands (Ps 138:8). He knew he was the work of His hands, he knew his heavenly Fatherís love and trusted in Him. And the Lord promised, I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you (Ps 32:8). He would show David His way, step by step He would lead him on and protect him. David knew the secret: Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him (Ps 37:7). While he would have loved to rush ahead into His purposes, he decided to let God prepare the way. I also had to learn patience. Two months after my conversion, He called me into full-time ministry, another two months later to Africa. I longed to go to Bible College right away, just live and give everything for Him! I even looked at different schools in England, yet while the goal was right, the timing wasnít. He had a far better plan. So I patiently waited for my Lord, for His will to be done, not mine. When I think of the years that followed, I can say with David, I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all Your works and consider what Your hands have done (Ps 143:5) and my heart fills with gratitude, with love and humility. He took something despised and made a new person, taking the past and making it into a testimony of His love and power, to send to the nations for His kingdom and glory.
David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the Lord with all his might (2.Sam 6:14)
Even as a little child I longed to dance. As a teenager I finally started fulfilling that dream, spending many hours a week with ballroom dancing, RockíníRoll, tap dance, etc., training and performing, preparing for competitive dancing. When meeting Jesus, circumstances had me stop dancing. There was a pain and longing in my heart to dance, yet the Lord was on the way to redeem it. In 1996 I did a counseling & healing school in Canada, to get more training in ministering to the broken-hearted, yet those ten weeks became an intensive time of healing for myself.
We will shout for joy when You are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God (Ps 20:5).
At that church, many people had banners they danced with during services. I was gripped by their free worship and longed to have that same freedom. And when He did set me free towards the end of those weeks, I started dancing with all my might and strength, with a freedom I had never known. Iíve been dancing ever since, with banners that declare His love, faithfulness, glory and kingship. Worshiping Him and making a prophetic proclamation to the world and the heavens. Truly, as David said, You turned my wailing into dancing; You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever (Ps 30:11-12).
He rescued me because He delighted in me (2.Sam 22:20). David knew His Fatherís love Ė He delighted in His son, He smiled over him and His hand was on him. No wonder he said, one thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple (Ps 27:4). All David wanted to do was sit as His feet and gaze upon His beauty, resting in His presence. The last few months have very much been like that for me. The first few years of my Christian life, the Lord cleaned me up and healed me in an awesome way Iím deeply grateful for. As He made me more and more whole, my heart would be able to contain more and more of His love. Being here in Kansas City, where Godís presence is so strong, this is all I want to do Ė gazing upon His beauty, sitting at His feet, just loving on Him. David put it well: I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings (Ps 61:4). How precious to me are Your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! (Ps 139:17)
O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. 2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord. 5 You hem me in--behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. (Ps 139:1-6)
The more time I spend with Him, the more I long for Him, the more I cry out for Him. Part your heavens, O Lord, and come down; touch the mountains, so that they smoke (Ps 144:5). I spread out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land (Ps 143:6).
O God, You are my God, earnestly I seek You; my soul thirsts for You, my body longs for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. 2 I have seen You in the sanctuary and beheld Your power and Your glory. 3 Because Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You. 4 I will praise You as long as I live, and in Your name I will lift up my hands. 5 My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise You. 6 On my bed I remember You; I think of You through the watches of the night. 7 Because You are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. 8 My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me. (Ps 63:1-8)
On October 13 the Lord answered my heartís cry in a way not anticipated. David, before the temple even was built, said, I love the house where You live, O Lord, the place where Your glory dwells (Ps 26:8). Davidís son built the temple and when it was dedicated, we read, When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple (2.Chr 7:1). That morning I got to that chapter in my Bible reading plan. As I started reading the first few words, God did what it said Ė fire came down from heaven. For 45 minutes I tried to read that verse, as God consumed me as His burnt offering, filling me with His glory. This was the beginning of a ten-day visitation of His glory.
Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in His holy place? 4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false. 5 He will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God his Savior. 6 Such is the generation of those who seek Him, who seek Your face, O God of Jacob (Ps 24:3-6).
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me from Your presence or take Your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. 13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners will turn back to You. (Ps 51:10-13)
During those 10 days I spent much time in His presence, simply gazing upon Him and enjoying being with Him. But I also spent much time in intercession for my two nations, Austria and especially Mali.
Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. 8 Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. 9 Lift up your heads, O you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. 10 Who is he, this King of glory? The Lord Almighty-- He is the King of glory. (Ps 24:7-10)
The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it (Ps 24:1). Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth (Ps 57:5). I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples (Ps 57:9, Ps 108:3). Again and again my heartís cry would be, send me, oh Lord! My heart would break with His heart, almost too much too bear, longing to be in my nation, as His instrument to bring His kingdom. The day will come when I will proclaim Him in my nation. I do not hide Your righteousness in my heart; I speak of Your faithfulness and salvation. I do not conceal Your love and Your truth from the great assembly (Ps 40:10). David knew that one day, all the nations You have made will come and worship before You, O Lord; they will bring glory to Your name (Ps 86:9). Amen!