Friday, June 28, 2013

Psalm 102 Revisited

Write this down for the next generation so people not yet born will praise God:  God looked out from his high holy place;
    from heaven he surveyed the earth.  He listened to the groans of the doomed, he opened the doors of their death cells.”
Write it so the story can be told in Zion, so God’s praise will be sung in Jerusalem’s streets and wherever people gather together along with their rulers to worship him.
-Psalm 102: 18-22 (The Message)

God gave me this passage through the Daily Office in the Book of Common Prayer 13 years ago (today as I write this) as I worked at a hotel in Tuscaloosa.  These verses were a living prophetic revelation (His words are Spirit and life – John 6: 63) that led me back into formal pastoral ministry.  These verses revealed to me the nature of God.  I needed to experience again the heart of God.  This is the heart of God.  God looks out from his high holy place, surveys the earth, listens to the groans of the doomed, and sets them free from their death cells.  Alleluia!

This is the heart of God.  This is the nature of God – to survey, to hear, to set free.  Alleluia.  Our heart & nature is to record what he’s done so the generations to come would know.  Our heart & nature is to sing God’s praise in the streets wherever the people & rulers gather to worship.  Our heart is to remember the doomed being set free so the generations to come would know & experience & praise.  Alleluia.

Now I read Acts 5: 32.  And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.  I read this verse a few days ago.  It struck me all over again and, this time, because I found this nugget of truth through my own inquiry and not because somebody told me.  I am a witness of the resurrection because the Holy Spirit dwells in me.  This puts new light on what I’ve experienced through Psalm 102: 18-22.

I still know the heart of God, and I will encourage the singing of God’s praises everywhere.  The writing down for the generations to come is good, yet, with the Holy Spirit in the future generations, they will be witnesses of all God has done & is doing.  Our responsibility is to recall God’s actions AND to perpetuate an environment where the Holy Spirit is welcomed, known, embraced & craved.

Bill Johnson, in his book, Hosting the Presence, speaks about a dove landing on a person.  If the dove is to stay, one must walk carefully.  Bill encourages us to walk with the dove in mind.  We ought to live with the presence of God in and on us in mind.  The Presence is the Spirit upon us.

As we walk and live and work and love with the presence of God in mind, the Spirit witnesses to our spirit over and over again that we are God’s children redeemed by his blood and saved by the resurrection and made new by the Spirit himself.  We are witnesses of God looking, hearing & setting free throughout history.  Tell this to the generations to come and live with his presence with us always in mind.  Write it down, sing it, join with others as they rejoice in what God has done and is doing.  We are witnesses and so will be the children to come because we’re welcoming, embracing & craving his presence. 

What if you lose your journal or forget what he’s done in your life over the years?  Seek his face and crave his presence.  The great God will remind you and encourage you to be a living witness of all Daddy has done for and through you and all saints throughout time.  That’s pretty cool!  What a wonderful life God has given us!


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