Before you picture the Almighty vomiting fruit, let me quote from Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary’s second definition for a raspberry. “A sound of contempt made by protruding the tongue between the lips and expelling air forcibly to produce a vibration.” We’ve all done it. You know exactly what I mean. What you may not have known is that God can blow raspberries too, when He’s trying to make a very clear point.

It all happened in the first twenty-four hours of my time as a new Discipleship Training School (DTS) student at YWAM Tyler. I’d come to DTS strictly out of obedience to God’s clear direction to attend. (That’s a long story for another time.) I had no idea why God wanted me in the school, but I left my home in Arizona for what I thought would simply be a five month break from the “real world.”

Sunday afternoon, before the school officially started that night, I drove my car to the other side of the campus by one of the property’s many lakes to have quiet time with the Lord. See, I already had a good relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I already knew how to have quiet time and how to pray. I knew how to hear His voice and share Him with others. I read my Bible. I loved Jesus. I ministered to people frequently, and some communicated their envy of my friendship with God. So, why did God bring ME to DTS? That was the question burning in my heart.

I situated my car by the children’s playground with my back to the lake. A little chapel was in the distance beyond the playground, and the scene was peaceful and lovely. I started talking to the Lord, sharing my gratitude that I’d arrived safely, but still curious as to why He wanted me there in the first place. “Why am I here, Lord?” I asked again. No answer. Shrugging my shoulders I thought, “Well, maybe You just want me at YWAM so I can minister to the people here.”

Suddenly, I felt like I needed a bath on the inside. The feeling confused me, so I prayed, “Lord, what’s wrong? Why do I feel dirty in my heart all of a sudden?”

The Lord spoke to my mind, the way He had hundreds of times before this moment, words I knew didn’t come from me. “Deonn, because you’ve not understood why I’ve brought you to DTS, you’ve decided it’s so you can help everyone else. Your attitude is called spiritual pride, and pride is one of the things I hate the most. I didn’t bring you here to help everyone else, though you may be a blessing to many. I brought you here to teach you things you do not know or believe about Me and My character. I brought you here for YOU!” Then, in my redeemed imagination, I got a picture of what I guess I imagined God would look like, sitting on His throne in heaven, looking at the spiritual pride in my heart, turning His head to the side, pinching His nose and blowing the biggest, longest-lasting raspberry I’d ever seen or heard in my entire life.

Just to be clear, I knew God’s contempt was not for me, but for the pride I’d allowed to slip into my heart without even realizing it. I immediately responded to the Holy Spirit’s conviction and repented for spiritual pride. I embraced the reality that God had me where I was to work in ME that which was pleasing in HIS sight, not so I could work in everyone else’s heart that which was pleasing in MY sight. The head of the revealed pride was crushed; I yielded my heart to the Holy Spirit, and I became completely teachable and excited about what God was going to do in my life in the days and months to come.

Once I humbled myself to receive whatever God wanted to give me, I experienced the most amazing five months of my life. I got revelation about the Lord, His ways, His heart for the entire world, and about myself I’d only caught a glimpse of to that point.

My obedience to go to DTS without knowing why I was going pleased the Lord. However, the spiritual pride in my heart in the going displeased the Lord. I wasn’t contemptible to Him; the pride in my heart was contemptible. In His kindness and love toward me, He led me to repentance, and everything became new again. He’s a good, good Father – even when He blows raspberries to make a point.


Are you ready to create space in your life to go deeper in your relationship with God? Many people, like Deonn have found great revelation of God's love and you can too. Get more information about the next Discipleship Training School.

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Deonn McDowell

Author: Deonn McDowell

Deonn attended her DTS at YWAM Tyler in 1988 and later School of Evangelism and School of the Bible. During her tenure with YWAM, she's traveled to 27 nations sharing the Gospel of Jesus and worked in multiple ministry areas. She authored "Love Needs - Getting Them Met In The Best Possible Way," and she presently leads a satellite ministry of YWAM Tyler in Centerville, Texas called YWAM PHOS Ministries. She's taught in YWAM schools at home and abroad since 1991.