For the first time ever, various houses of prayer throughout Asia came together both physically and virtually for the inaugural One Thing Gathering, hosted by Riverlife Church and Kingdom Community Church on Jul 19, 2018.
In collaboration with Burning Hearts House of Prayer, a power-packed team from IHOP Kansas City (IHOPKC), including worship leader Misty Edwards, opened the livestreamed event on Thursday evening with 780 in attendance.
IHOP KC’s missions base Associate Director, Allen Hood, set the stage for the rest of the two and a half day conference with a moving exposition on Psalm 139. Using almost every verse from the 24-verse long Psalm, he urged the audience to see how much God loves them, the way King David, who wrote it, did.
“When you receive this revelation, there is no need for performance,” Hood told the crowd. “Because if you don’t hear God through this lens, Singapore, you will just be trying harder to be please a heavenly parent – just like you’ve tried to please your earthly parents.
“And who’s going to please a heavenly parent whom you think is always angry and mostly sad when He looks at your life?”
Before we rush ahead under the pressure of Psalm 27:4, the Gathering’s theme verse, we must start from a place of right identity: Knowing that before we even desire to make God our one thing, we are His.
“Psalm 139 is the verse of refuge from a life of demands and performance,” Hood said. “It’s the go-to Psalm for the rejected, the insecure, the religiously weary … Where those who are tired are beckoned to come.”
Carefully dividing the Psalm up into what he called “four rooms of truth”, Hood explained how David brings us through an exploration of four truths that will guide readers to a revelation of God’s immense love for each of His children.
Before we even desire to make God our one thing, we are His.
4 ROOMS OF PSALM 139
1. I am fully known and loved by God (Verses 1-6)
“O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.”
Human beings long to be fully known and fully loved, and the lack of this is one of the most painful experiences. Most times, it is the places where we should be the most known and loved that are our greatest pain and loneliness – in our marriages, families, friendships and workplaces.
The good news is you may feel alone but you’re never alone. God knows you fully and perfectly – and yet He continues searching you.
What does it mean for God to search us? You can review what you know, but you can’t search what you already know. After all, what’s left to search when you have perfect knowledge? We get so bored so fast with what we know, the way we rarely watch movies twice or get tired of people we’ve gotten to know.
God perceives you even before you come into consciousness of who you are.
Yet God who knows you perfectly can’t wait to search you – like a proud father, He loves watching your life unfold in every season even though He already knows the beginning from the end.
He knows the most menial of things, like sitting down and standing up. He also knows the most fundamental things that make you, you – your thoughts. And before your thoughts even come, God knows them. God perceives you. He perceives you even before you come into consciousness of who you are.
And with that perfect knowledge and perception, God, like a good husband, still chooses to accept us, be with us and protect us every step of the way (Psalm 139:5).
2. I am never separated from God (Verses 7-12)
“If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.”
How many of us retreat when we are too “known” or when it gets too close for comfort? Sometimes we try to flee from God, but even there He is there with us. Even Jonah, who avoided following God’s directions and wound up in the belly of a whale, couldn’t get away (Jonah 2:1-7).
Out of the depths we cry and God hears our voice – we cannot get away by accident or on purpose.
“If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,’
even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.”
That means we won’t even be able to separated in our mind or emotions – no shadow of depression, despair, anger, numbness or discouragement. Because the darkness is not dark to God – He will take the shadows and turn it to light, He will take the night and turn it to day.
Everybody suffers, but for believers, God has said He will work all things together for our good (Romans 8:28), regardless of our circumstances, emotional state, and internal disposition.
He will take the oppression, break it and use it for your good.
3. I am lovingly handcrafted by God (Verses 13-18)
“For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.”
In Genesis, God spoke creation into existence, but when it came to Man, He formed him with His hands. You see, God didn’t just speak you into being – He formed, knitted, made you. You weren’t part of a mass production line, you aren’t an anomaly, neither did you go unseen by God.
“How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.”
We don’t just meditate on Him, He meditates on us. God’s eyes are free to roam heaven and earth, yet He fixes His gaze on me – His thoughts are about me, and they are countless!
And here’s the best part: Not even death can separate us from His love (Romans 8:38). When we awake in His presence, we are still with Him. God has removed the last enemy of our souls – death – that He may dwell with His creation forever.
4. I am one with God (Verses 19-24)
“Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!”
The reflection upon God’s sacred love and purpose for humanity and the overcoming of death moves David to yearn for God purpose to be fulfilled. He turns his attention to what opposes this purpose and what degrades God’s beautiful creation – evil without and evil within.
David begins with the manifest wickedness externally. Oh, God destroy the wicked that oppose Your purpose and degrade human beings through violence and oppression. David lines up his heart with God’s holy purpose and makes a statement about his solidarity with God. David has seen God’s holy heart and loving purpose. Now, he hates what God hates!
David ends with the request to the One who knows him better than he knows himself. He turns inwards and asks the Lord to search his own life, remove all wickedness, and lead him in the way everlasting.
Hood ended the night with a few concluding thoughts. “David only had a glimpse of what was coming, but we know the person of Christ. Through Jesus, God took on our form as human beings – He didn’t just write the manual of humanity, He became humanity.”
God became one with us so that He can truly be with us and know us, the way Jesus told His disciples in John 15:15 that He can now be called a friend. He’s not just our Maker, He’s our Master (Isaiah 54:5); not just our God, but our brother (Romans 8:17).
He knows what it feels like to be wrapped up in shadows – He even knows what the depths of hell feel like because He’s been there.
Because of Jesus, God knows our frame, our emotions, our every season in life. He knows what it’s like to be rejected, broken, misunderstood and forsaken. He knows what it feels like to be wrapped up in shadows – He even knows what the depths of hell feel like because He’s been there (Acts 2:31).
And in the same way Jesus said, in His lowest moment on earth: “Father, I can’t feel you, but because You’re my Father, into Your hands I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:46), we too can trust the words of His forefather King David in Psalm 139. There is nowhere we can go from our Father God, nowhere we can be hidden or separated from Him.
“If you’re suffering tonight, don’t suffer alone,” Hood said. “God is very near you. He is with you.
“Yearn to be with Him – cultivate that longing – and remove everything that hinders your relationship with Him.
“As long as you get this revelation of Him, you will long to be with Him.”
Happening from July 19-21, 2018, for the first time in Asia, the One Thing Gathering calls for young people who have purposed in their hearts to live with abandonment and devotion to Jesus, to do His work, be His voice and see His transformation in the nations.
To register your attendance, visit their page. Night sessions are free!