What is Amen?

The following is an excerpt from Start With Amen by Beth Guckenberger.

________________________________________________________________________

Our guide, Bible teacher Ray Vander Laan, took us to a hill where we watched sheep graze under the careful eye of their shepherd.  I asked why the shepherd was tending his sheep on a hillside without grass. Everywhere I turned, it seemed brown and rocky.

“Look under the rocks,” he encouraged me. “The dew from the morning gets caught under them, and there are small grass clumps that grow. See how the shepherd is walking among his sheep? They know his voice, and he’s pointing out to them where the grass is found.”

I located the thickest tuft of grass, and it was still smaller than a human fist. Do you know how long it takes to bite, chew, and swallow a small tuft of grass? From our observation, about the time it takes to go three or four steps. Then the sheep has to listen for where he can find the next bite.

I started to think about Psalm 23, and our guide pulled out his Bible. As we talked about the imagery for this passage, we agreed our idea of being led to green pastures conjured up images of waist-high grass, careening in a gentle wind, as far as the eye could see. But my picture of a field of grass represented my total independence. I could eat however much I wanted, whenever I wanted, wherever I wanted. I could tell God thanks beforehand, but all other factors were in my control.

David, however, was on hillsides like this rocky one when he penned those words. His idea of God’s leading us to a green pasture places us in a posture of dependence, looking more like what I was watching that afternoon. God’s way puts me in a position where he might provide only what will sustain me for the next three or four steps. Then, dependent on him for more, I stay on the path within earshot and listen for his leading so I’ll find what I need. Listen. Bite. Step. Repeat.

Today, amen is most often our sign-off to a prayer or a testimony of agreement, but it was designed to be so much more. Its intent is to describe a spiritual position before God. Nehemiah explains it as: “Ezra praised the Lord, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, ‘Amen! Amen!’ Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground” (Neh. 8:6).

This is amen: hands raised, faces bowed, hearts at peace. There our metaphorical spiritual buckets get filled, and there is plenty to offer each other. Unity is felt among the church, and communion is a reality. Here, in this posture, I am always surprised by what God has for me.

If I could pray no other word ever again, I would be okay. Amen speaks affirmation and commitment. It says yes to a life- style where he is to be trusted and I can rest in him.

When I talk to God, I start with amen, and, with it, we communicate intimacy and a sense of knowing.

I know he’s got this.

He knows I’m letting him have this, whatever in the moment “this” may be.

As amen permeated my life and prayers, I noticed a new- found confidence in my faith. I woke up one day along my journey and sensed a fresh boldness in my faith. It wasn’t a result of new head knowledge or better self-discipline. It was simply a longing for miracles and revival; I wanted to see God be God. I developed a craving for intimacy with Him. This idea of amen, or surrender and submission, opened doors of restoration in my relationships—and in my soul.

More Posts

Kids talking in a group

10 Scary Things That Today’s Kids Think

This article was written by Chuck Peters, Director of Lifeway Kids. My team and I have done a deep dive into research on Gen Z and Generation Alpha to help Kids and Student Ministry leaders better understand how we can best reach the next generation with the gospel. The research

Read More >

Creating a Children’s Ministry Assistant Job with Your Role in Mind

Ministries that are growing can encounter new challenges and opportunities. Throughout the history of God’s people, spiritual leaders have needed to expand their influence by raising up leaders to help maintain existing and new responsibilities. In Exodus 18, Jethro encouraged Moses to expand his leadership team by creating many assistant

Read More >

Planning Outreach Events for Greater Impact

A leader only has a few opportunities to put on events that impact their external community. You may only get 2-3 chances a year to do an outward-facing family-friendly event, inviting people from your town or region. Hopefully, these considerations will help improve the impact of your events.

Read More >

Three Reasons Ministry Leaders Can’t Ignore Digital Discipleship

This is an excerpt from “Time to Update: 7 Areas to Integrate Digital Discipleship into Your Children’s Ministry Strategy” by Brittany Nelson, creator of DeeperKidMin.com and INCM Partner. There are many positive and negative opinions about the next generation’s obsession with the digital world and how the digital world is

Read More >
INCM

Get Your Free Creating Moments Guide!

By submitting the form, you're opting in to marketing emails from INCM. Your email is 100% safe.

Join the list, and we'll send you more info on coaching.

By submitting the form, you're opting in to marketing emails from INCM. Your email is 100% safe.

Join the list, and we'll send you the INCM Member invite!

By submitting the form, you're opting in to marketing emails from INCM. Your email is 100% safe.

Get Your Free Video Devotional & More!

By submitting the form, you're opting in to marketing emails from INCM. Your email is 100% safe.

Get Your Free Prayer Experience Guide!

By submitting the form, you're opting in to marketing emails from INCM. Your email is 100% safe.

Get Your Free Felt Safety for Kids Guide!

By submitting the form, you're opting in to marketing emails from INCM. Your email is 100% safe.

Get Your Free Trauma Assessment Resource!

By submitting the form, you're opting in to marketing emails from INCM. Your email is 100% safe.

Get Your Free Policy Review Framework!

By submitting the form, you're opting in to marketing emails from INCM. Your email is 100% safe.

Receive Encouragement, Get Exclusive Offers, and Much More

By submitting the form, you're opting in to marketing emails from INCM. Your email is 100% safe.

Be the first to hear about the coaching release in 2020!

By submitting the form, you're opting in to marketing emails from INCM. Your email is 100% safe.