By Jean Wilund
Last weekend Revive Our Hearts ministry descended on Indianapolis, Indiana. Thousands of women (and I) poured into Indy, eager for God to awaken the hearts of His people for personal revival.
But we were not the only ones in town.
After two flights and an Uber ride, I checked into the crowded JW Marriot in downtown Indy. I sidestepped the throng of fellow travelers and wheeled my suitcase through the lobby, around a column, and back into the airport. Or so it seemed.
Do You Have Any Weapons?
A policeman waved me toward an X-ray machine. As my belongings slid through the X-ray, I stood before the body scanner.
“Do you have any weapons?” the policeman asked.
I’ve never carried a weapon, but I’m always nervous when someone asks me that question—and relieved when the scanner agrees with me.
After I walked through the scanner and the police waved his metal detecting wand, he deemed I was not a threat and sent me on my way.
I dropped my bags in my room on the 11th floor and then ventured down to the 2nd floor for a much-needed coffee.
I took only my wallet and keycard—definitely no weapons.
When I stepped out of the elevator, I ran into another policeman.
This one was wearing a bulletproof vest, bulging biceps, and a gun strapped to his waist. And he was searching a little old lady.
I hesitated, but he waved me on.
“We’re not searching anyone coming down from the floors. Only going up.”
Ten minutes later, I was going up.
Do You Have Any Coffee Weapons?
“Do you have any weapons?” Muscles asked me.
As usual, my heart raced despite knowing I hadn’t brought any with me nor bought one at the coffee shop with my iced latte.
He pointed to the table beside him. “Empty your pockets, please, and stand with your arms out and legs in a wide stance.”
Muscles wanded me front and back with the speed of a high impact aerobics instructor.
Another man dressed in a sharp black suit searched every pocket of my wallet. Then he peered into my coffee cup and stirred it with my straw. (Looking for a miniature AK47?)
I had to know. “Is all this security normal?”
“No, it’s not,” Muscles said. “The Vice President is staying here tonight.”
“Ah-ha!” It finally made sense, especially when I noticed his chest protector said Secret Service, not Police.
I smiled and said, “I want you to know I feel completely safe with all of you here.”
The agent smiled back. “Yes, you’re in the safest place in Indianapolis tonight.”
Welcome to the Safest Place
I was indeed in the safest place, but not because of the secret service or police protection. Because I’m safely hidden in Christ—and at rest in the center of God’s will.
Since the moment I received my salvation, I’ve always been safely hidden in Christ. His Holy Spirit seals for eternity all who’ve trusted in Jesus.
But I have not always been in the center of God’s will. Sometimes I’ve been so far out of it, it would take me two flights and an Uber ride just to see it.
In the days leading up to this conference, I felt like I might have been out of His will.
Maybe. I wasn’t sure.
My heart longed to please God and help those I love in a certain situation beyond my control, but I didn’t know what to do.
I begged God to give me inescapable clarity. “Don’t make me have to figure this out, Lord. Just tell me what to do to fix this situation.”
But instead of giving me guidance, I felt like He turned and asked me, “Do you have any weapons?”
“What? No. Of course not. At least I don’t think I do. You tell me. You know all things. Am I concealing something?”
God didn’t pull out a wand or body scanner to expose the truth. Instead, He remained silent. And the silence was deafening. It consumed my thoughts.
What should I do, Lord? I must do something. But what? What?
Feathers and Mountains of Gold
God began to reach my heart through a 17th-century English preacher sitting in seat 16B with me in the skies over Indy.
This English preacher, Thomas Watson, preached to my heart through his extraordinary book “A Body of Divinity.”
God is a superlative good. He is better than anything you can put in competition with him.
He is better than health, riches, honor. Other things maintain life, he gives life.
Who would put anything in balance with the Deity?
Who would weigh a feather against a mountain of gold?
God excels all other things more infinitely than the sun excels the light of a candle.
It is the enjoyment of God which makes heaven.
“Then shall we ever be with the Lord.”
The soul trembles as the needle in the compass, and is never at rest until it comes to God.
As I reflected on Watson’s words, “Who would weigh a feather against a mountain of gold?” and considered the Secret Service agent’s question, “Do you have any weapons?” a silent alarm went off in my mind.
Yes, I did.
Concealed in my heart was an unlikely weapon. A feather—a precious feather—that I’d unknowingly lifted up above the mountain of gold—above the Lord, my God.
I had confessed God is sovereign and that I can trust Him, but I’d set my heart on a certain outcome. It was a good outcome, not a selfish one. This desired resolution would honor God, bless those I love, and cause my heart exceeding joy.
I loved this feather. I had to have this feather.
And in that, I’d turned it into a weapon wielded against me because I’d weighed this most precious feather—the resolution I had to have—as greater than the priceless mountain of gold.
I’d worshipped my feather, not God.
“Forgive me, Lord,” I prayed.
Then I snatched my feather down from over the mountain of gold and laid it at its foot. Back where it belonged.
Broken and Poured Out
Later that evening at the conference, God set off another alarm in my heart.
As Pastor Bob Bakke brought the story of Mary and her alabaster box of great price to life, he described the scene. In vivid detail, Bob explained what it cost Mary as she broke this precious box and poured out its costly perfume onto the feet of Jesus (Luke 7:36-50).
This box was her greatest earthly treasure, worth more than a year’s income.
In her possession, the box offered her a valuable dowry and the hope of a future and security.
But without it, her future promised nothing. It stood bleak—hopeless.
Could she have dared presume to ever possess such an extravagant treasure again? Not likely. Nevertheless, Mary didn’t hesitate.
She kneeled before Jesus, broke the alabaster box, and poured out her most priceless treasure—her entire future and hope—onto Jesus.
With only pure worship.
And this was the difference.
Mary Showed Me the Way to Joy
Through the secret service agent, God showed me I’d lifted up my priceless treasure—my feather—above Him and had turned it into a weapon. I repented and placed it back at His feet. But with dutiful resignation. Because it was the right thing to do.
Unlike Mary with her offering, I’d offered Christ my priceless feather with fear and trembling.
I felt no joy in the offering.
Mary showed me the way to joy is through worship.
Not the throw-your-hands-up-and sway-to-a-praise-song type of worship.
But through sitting at the feet of the One who is our truest treasure and gazing into His beauty with a heart that sees, understands, and believes. And offering Him our all.
Christ is not only trustworthy and true. He is our prize of greatest worth.
Jesus meant more to Mary than all her earthly hope because He was her hope.
In Christ, she knew she was safe.
Are You In The Safest Place?
What about you?
Is there a situation you desperately need resolved? A relationship you need healed? Or a hope in your heart that’s leaving you unsettled?
Does fear of the future weigh on you?
Do what if’s haunt you?
Perhaps, like me, you’ve unknowingly lifted your cares and concerns above God, longing for that good thing you want more than Him.
Lay your cares at the mountain of gold and entrust your greatest treasures to the One who is wholly worthy.
Kneel at the feet of Christ and pour out upon Him all your hopes, future, and desires. And worship Him with delight and abandon.
You have no need to worry. He is trustworthy and true.
While you worship and enjoy Christ, He is working in your situation. He is caring for you.
Surrender to Jesus in worship. And then rest in purest peace. Because, in Christ, everything you have, are, and hold dear is in the safest place.