Saturday, March 22, 2014

18

While it has become my responsibility to write this down for the next generation so people not yet born will praise God and write it so the story can be told in Zion, so God’s praise will be sung . . . (Psalm 102: 18, 21 in The Message), I don’t believe the record should ignore the struggles nor neglect telling the bizarre, godly transmissions that appear to be too overblown to be believed.  All of this is the testimony of budding & growing revival. 

I read this morning from Mark 4 in the NRSV, “For there is nothing hidden, except to be disclosed; nor is anything secret, except to come to light” (4:22).  The NIV has a slightly different spin.  “For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open.”  It’s meant to come out.  Everything?  Hmmmm.

Earlier this week, I posted on Facebook a prayer request to friends and acquaintances.  I asked for a serious devotion to petition for us in the moments to come in love and faith.  April said she never felt prayers for her before but believed she felt them that night.  The next day, in a midst of some budding optimism, a close friend of ours messaged me on Facebook.  She said our family was on her heart strongly that day along with the number 18.  She had also dreamed that night that 18 people worshiped in our house.  She didn’t know what it meant, but she was praying for us. 

Its remarkable to me how many dreams and what can be construed as visions have either come to us or have been told to us that seem to address our circumstances.  You can easily see this reflected in Peter quoting Joel on the Day of Pentecost, prophesying dreams and visions.  These are the days we live in, and I’m blessed by our new reality. 

April did the research.  She found Christian sources interpreted consistently 18 in scripture, prophecies and dreams meant bondage.  That struck me negatively, at first, but April reminded me that once something is disclosed to a believer in the Spirit, they ought to believe they have authority over it.  That’s what Jesus did.  He discerned/diagnosed and cast it out.  With new found confidence, we agreed that we’ve been in bondage for too long. 

For too long we’ve felt under some form of bondage in ministry. We’ve experienced more of the power of God that has set people free in the last few years than ever before; however, we both saw short term successes in disciplining believers, and the successes proved to be short-lived or Satan came and took away the word that was sown (Mark 4).  Something always seemed to impede manifestations of the Kingdom though the word was planted. When we both had good salaries, we had money shortages. The bondage seemed to be related to years of disappointment and failures.  The woman in Luke 13 who suffered for 18 years was set free by Jesus.  We renounced and rebuked the spirit of bondage and cast it down and out.  In subsequent hours, things began to feel and appear different.

When Anna heard of Ellen’s message and the number 18, she reminded us of hearing “Romans 8:18” in worship a couple weeks ago, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”  I thought, “That’s accurate and a promise.”

Later that evening, Anna and I went out to find a resolution to her phone dilemma.  She couldn’t charge it.  Our recent experiences regarding such issues have not turned easily or positively for us.  I was prepared for just coping with the outcome.  Turns out, the phone was still under warranty and, to the surprise of our salesperson, the company was to send us a new phone via Fed Ex Next Day Air.  Coincidence?  Maybe. 

Got home, we prayed for our son after he disclosed over the phone about his battle with depression.  A few minutes later, he called April and told her the presence of the Lord with joy came over him, and he was feeling remarkably better.  He thanked us for praying amidst his giggles. 

We still feel like we’re invisible and God’s manifested purposes through our calling still feel hidden to us.  But, whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open.  I’m all for disclosure.  We were told recently through a prophetic word that people will see us and appreciate what we carried.  Amen.

As we consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us, I trust that bondage has been broken, and we will begin to experience in and through us God’s desires for this region.

Two mornings ago as I walked for exercise, I headed home and the scripture from Matthew 16 came out of the blue and into my mind: Whatever you bind on earth is bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth is loosed in heaven” (16:18).  I then bound with my heart and words the powers that held us bound these many years, and I loosed our inheritance in Christ for his glory into our hands afresh. 


These are the days of budding revival and the faithful being encouraged to stand strong.  So, I will write, and I will trust.  Alleluia!

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