Heidi Baker is, I believe, the closest to the heart of Jesus of any living Christian. Christianity Today wrote a rapturous cover story on her.
I heard her in Birmingham, and here are my notes, reflections and resolutions.
1) “Always, always, always, say YES.”
Heidi: “I got so yielded that I didn’t have much more to say than “Yes, yes, yes.
“The world has yet to see what God will do with a man fully consecrated to him.’ Dwight Moody famously said.
How do we get fully surrendered? We just start, one tiny step at a time. And because it is just one step at a time, one minute at a time, it is an easy yoke. The hardest part is setting your feet in the right direction!
2) After reading about “the multiplication anointing” in Mark Batterson’s “Circle Maker,” I have been praying for it on my writing, business, and other endeavours.
Well, Heidi is in the business of multiplication anointings, and has to be, since she’s committed to feed 12,000 orphans.
She explains it: You surrender your lunch, your everything to God, and he uses it feed a great crowd “as much as they wanted.”
In the surrender, in living in the river, comes the power to have your resources of time, talent, energy, and money multiplied.
Heidi says she’s become cleverer. “God took my mind and enlarged it. I can do things now which I could never have imagined. I have the mind of Christ.” SQ, our spiritual intelligence quotient, she said, unlike IQ, grows with time.
3) “It all depends on how you look at things,” a phrase she repeated like a jazz motif. She had many tales of shipwrecks, and beatings and stonings, of when things went disastrously, dangerously, heart-breakingly wrong, but once she decided to praise God, and look at the bright side of things, they worked out. Not as she wanted them to, or prayed they would, but worked out.
She has had numerous opportunities to become a grouchy old missionary, but decided to choose joy, decided to choose to be happy.
4) “It doesn’t matter if people don’t like you, if God likes you!”
I find the thought so liberating. Not everyone will like me, and I am not to bother about that, as long as God likes me!
“Stick to your message. Four years down the line those people who opposed you will hug you!”
Another theme she riffed on, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition.” However, as you behave like children of God without fault,” you will “shine among them like stars in the sky” (Phil 2:8).
5) “When God shows up, people start showing up.”
Heidi: “When God shows up, everything shifts, expands and grows.”
As a blogger, it is my goal to grow my blog primarily by going deeper into Christ, and so it is good to know that “when God shows up, people start showing up.”
6) Growth Happens Outside the Comfort Zone
Heidi: “I don’t mind being stretched. I believe stretching is good.”
(I too am learning to force myself out of the comfort zone, into the growth zone.)
7) Love Looks like Something
Heidi spoke of Helena whose grandmother asked her brothers to stone her to death after her leg was amputated after a house fire; she was now useless. Helena escaped, and selling her body to keep alive, starting at the age of ten.
After Heidi took her in, and kept saying “love looks like something,” Helena decided to go back and tell them about the love of Jesus. Heidi said, “Never! That is the most dysfunctional family I know of.”
Helena said, “But you said, “Love looks like something.”
What a beautifully simple guide to relationships with our family and friends: “Love looks like something.” It is practical; you can see it.
8) Physical Fitness The work she does in Mozambique would be physically impossible if she were not supremely physically fit. She spoke of running; swimming; snorkeling; lifting weights in her bedroom.
I decided to privilege my physical life (strength and fitness) below my spiritual life, but above my intellectual life. I will try to fit in some walking and stretching, even if I write less. But ironically, of course, I will not write less if I make time to exercise; I will write more. As Jonathan Fields says, “if we make the time to exercise, it makes us so much more productive and leads to such improved creativity, cognitive function, and mood that the time we need for doing it will open up and then some–making us so much happier and better at the art of creation, to boot.”
9) She is learning to appreciate the diversity of all the streams in the body of Christ, both the super-campy and the chosen-frozen dying on their feet.
The body of Christ will have the same diversity as creation, and we should learn to enjoy each of its streams.
10) “We can have as much of God as we want to have if we continually say, “Yes, yes, yes”