By JEFFARAH GIBSON
Tribune Features Writer
To experience the fullness of joy and passion in any relationship requires mutual love, respect, consistent communication and lots of time spent together.
If Christians took this approach to their personal relationship with God – treating Him as a partner and taking time to know Him – they would reach a new level of depth in their life and be fortified, said Minister Vernita Lopez.
As president of the Women’s Ministry at Evangelistic Temple Minister, Minister Lopez said she has come into contact with many people who are downtrodden and lack vigour in their lives.
It is her hope those who attend the church’s upcoming 18th annual “Women After the Heart of God” conference will be re-energised and inspired to walk closer with God in a greater level of intimacy. During the conference, she said, attendees will be exposed to strategies to be victorious in life.
The conference is organised annually by the Women’s Ministries of Evangelistic Temple, it runs from November 13 - 16 and will be held at the church on Collins Avenue. Sessions will be held at 7.30pm on weeknights, and will climax at 8am on Saturday, November 16, with a prayer breakfast.
“If you look around society, there is basically a spirit of fear, even among Christians. There is a lot of anxiety, frustration, uncertainty with their future. Young people coming out of college are not motivated,” Minister Lopez told Tribune Religion.
“But God did not promise us that. He has promised that in the midst of adversity He will be there for us. There is always hope and out of adversity there comes a glimmer. Sometimes it takes adversity to pull you up by out boot straps and move forward. But I want people to understand to never give up.”
Minister Lopez is encouraging women from all walks of life and denominations to join in this powerful “spirit-ordained gathering” that will set them free.
“God Almighty has already provided every tool we need in the spirit realm. We must now call down every talent, every gifting that has been appointed for us and walk in the supernatural. We have been empowered to be fortified and fearless,” she said.
Guest speakers over the course of the four days will include Dr Wendy M Cash, Rev Lavette McFall, Rev Dr Margo Victor and Rev Carla Culmer.
“They are uniquely gifted and well able to reveal the nature of the battle, and the tools God has provided for us, so that we can stand firm and be successful,” said
The conference will be held under the theme “Fortified and Fearless”. Minister Lopez said when Christians begin to not only “talk the talk, but walk the walk” then they will be see a major difference in their lives.
“They believe in God but their focus is always elsewhere. We live in the realm of the natural. You can be in this world but you do not have to conform to it. We live under the unction and guidance of the Holy Spirit. And in the midst of famine we can reap a harvest. That calls for more than a ‘Now I lay be down to sleep prayer’. We tend to operate on the surface of what we are capable of because we do not press in the things of God.
She said believers have to transition from a casual relationship with God to one of more substance. She said in doing do they will be able to see the manifestations of what has promised them in His word happen in their lives.
“We have a courtship with God. And entering a relationship that has depth requires time. When you are in relationship with someone that you really care about, you spend time. It’s the same thing with God,” said Minister Lopez.
“A lot of Christians are in an emotional relationship with God. You would hear them say they went to church on Sunday, and ‘pastor preached a good message’. There was excitement and there was some good music. But if you ask them on Monday what he preached about they cannot even remember. When you go to church you go to hear a word, but you need to take that word home with you, digest it, regurgitate it, assimilate it and let it become a part of your spirit. It is not a casual thing. And that is where we need to move from.”
And in order to move from a casual to a meaningful relationship with God requires Christians aligning themselves with a “Bible believing” church, she added.
“There is not one person on the face of the Earth that God does not have plan for.”
All conference sessions are free, with the exception of the prayer breakfast which requires a donation of $5. Attendees will also be given the opportunity to register for the conference with a seed of $25, which will earn them a gift packet. Infant and child-care services are available for children up to age nine.