After my freshman year in college, I was a camp counselor for sixth-grade girls. Early one morning, as the girls were sleeping, I sensed God's presence enfold me. There were no audible words, no bright lights. But suddenly I knew, without a doubt, my future was entirely his. You are now mine, he told me.
It took me a long time to break free from self-destruction. Yet even in those turbulent years, Jesus drew me back every single time. I couldn't stand anything that put a distance between Christ and me. I still can't. His presence is everything to me.
How can we experience that kind of passion?
By studying his Word. I tell women to pick a Bible study and fully participate. Do the homework. Get together with the other women. And ask God to light a fire for his Word in your heart. That's a prayer to which he'll never answer no. It doesn't matter whose Bible study series it is; if it has a sound approach to God's Word, for crying out loud, do it.
I love what it says in Matthew 13:11-12that to those who've been given kingdom secrets, he gives more. In other words, Jesus reveals himself progressively as we seek him. He becomes a glorious, holy addiction.
As you've taught on Daniel recently, have any insights knocked your socks off?
Absolutely. I was struck by the parallel between ancient Babylon and today. Babylon was a spectacular city, the center of commerce, not unlike our self-absorbed, consumer-oriented culture. Isaiah 47:8 talks about the daughter of Babylon saying, "I am, and there is none beside me." That's the mindset we're surrounded by today.