Thursday, February 19, 2015

Keep These Words (In February)

When I was a child, I looked forward to February because my birthday was at the end of the month.  With my birthday being in the dead of winter, the darkness and cold of February was easier to take.  This month, also, commemorates some events in the Spirit in recent years that leaves my birthday pale in comparison.

February, 2011, April and I attended a supernatural school of ministry in Tennessee.  One morning, as the participants in the school gathered for a time of soaking (silent prayer and meditation on scripture and leading of the Spirit), I asked the Lord to share with me some scripture.  I sensed within my mind, "Ecclesiastes 7: 14."  As I sat quietly, I looked it up, read it and thought I missed it.

When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this:
God has made the one as well as the other.
Therefore, no one can discover anything about their future.

I then thought this couldn't be right.  I'd been praying and believing for the goodness of God to be manifested in our church.  Good and bad are bound to occur, and its all part of what God does.  This didn't bring me hope or encouragement.  

That same day, April believed she heard from the Lord, but it was a bit crazy. She thought she heard God tell her, "Buy a farm."  Over the weeks, months and years that followed, we've heard and experienced confirmations of this word being true for us.  It is our destiny and calling to own a piece of property on Sand Mountain where God will manifest his presence in the midst of worship and prayer and ministry.  Scores of lives will be permanently changed, and God will receive the glory.  

It was clear I'd heard from the Lord in February, 2011, as well.  There was good and bad in the breeze.  A couple days after we returned home, but still in February, I dreamed.  I've written about this before (The Left Hand In Hard Times, 7/31/14), so I won't go into detail.  Briefly, I dreamed I heard, "Ezekiel 3-7-9."  Ezekiel 37: 9 is the prophetic image of the dead bones rising which sounded wonderful.  Ezekiel 3: 7-9, I believed, couldn't be applicable to my life, but it manifested profoundly, anyway.  The congregation and me had hard heads and wouldn't compromise an inch.  All of this led to my departure from that church, and, ultimately, the denomination in 2012. The Lord told me in February the year before "the whole house is hardened and obstinate (Ez. 3: 7b)."

This February has its own feel, and words.  The Old Testament lesson from the Daily Office last Sunday brought some light to these days.

Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
-- Deuteronomy 6: 4-9

This so describes our lives right now. 
 
We share with our kids, and they with us.  We share what we've heard or experienced.  They do the same.  This is so much of what we do at home.  We're not mulling over the past or ancient stories.  We share what we're hearing, experiencing.  Everywhere.  In the bedroom, breakfast table, car, walking, at Starbucks or shopping.  We don't need to bind or fix the words on our bodies or fixtures at home.  The word and experiences and encounters are immediate and ever present.  We're looking for and expecting to sense the Lord's presence or Rhema word to come forth anywhere or any time. 

In the first verse of Deuteronomy 6, Moses is to teach the commands as they enter the land they're promised.  Observe the commands as you're about to step into your destiny.  Its as if the Lord is revealing to me we're living this way, the way the Hebrews were commanded to, as we're on the verge of stepping into our destiny.

Around the first of February, Anna told us about buying coffee on campus.  Where she bought a cup of regular coffee she smelled hazelnut.  Though she didn't order that kind, the smell stayed with her all day.  She got back to the dorm and looked up hazelnut's meaning because she believed the Lord was telling her something in the smell.  She found out hazelnut was understood to be almond biblically.  She looked in the Bible where almond might appear.  In Jeremiah, the Lord said, "Just like the almond tree, I will watch over my word to perform it. (Jeremiah 1: 12)"

We had supper a few nights ago (in February) with a couple we knew as non-denominational pastors from Albertville.  They offered us supper.  We accepted and met them at Cracker Barrel in Rainbow City.  Prior to supper, we did some window shopping at the Gadsden Mall and drank coffee at Books-A-Million.  April placed our order of two, small black coffees at the counter.  At our table, we took off the lids and found them both to be hazelnut.  This has never happened.  April wondered out loud if this was a prophetic sign for us before we ate with our friends.  He will watch over his word to perform it.

Tina shared some things with us over supper. The Lord told her he's secured some of his children in caves for a season for their security.  Its now time for them to be led out. Back in 2012, my friend, Taylor, said to me he saw us in a vision in a cave with water coming into it. This didn't endanger us, but it did collect inside.  Outside, there was a terrible storm that would endanger us if we were in it.

We refreshed their memories with our calling to buy a farm on Sand Mountain.  Tina then remarked, with prophetic insight, we won't spend a lot of time at the farm because we'll be elsewhere regularly.

She also said it was important for us to be in Anniston to be deprogrammed in this season.  We heard Kris Vallotton, an author and preacher from Bethel Church in Redding, CA, say recently on a video conference that in 2015 the Lord will detoxify many in more or less a six month season followed by a beautification season as preparation for what was coming.  Deprogramming and detoxifying sound similar.

Tina called us pioneers in the season to come as we step into our destiny.  Earlier in the day, April and I agreed with what Graham Cooke preached recently about a spirit of a forerunner.  She and I agreed we would be forerunners in stewarding a farm for the presence of the Lord to impact many, a 'farm' few have ever seen.  Pioneers and forerunners are comparable. 

This month commemorates words and experiences in the Spirit in years past that occurred and have shaped our calling.  This February, we've heard what we believe are expressions in the Spirit for this season.  It is ironic to see in Februarys past how our lives changed in light of what we heard.

Moses told the Hebrews to keep the words they're learning in their hearts.  When we gather together we can't help but talk about what the Lord has done, what the Lord is saying, and what we believe will emerge in the seasons to come.  He is faithful, and we will keep all of this in our hearts and on our lips to tell the world.

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