I've discovered over the last few weeks I say this a lot now days when discussing or sharing my own experiences and how they might relate to my giftings or destiny. As if to say, these experiences and thoughts stand alone. They are what they are. It is what it is.
This has now become a folk-saying to me. Perhaps it has emerged from disappointments over the last couple years. We've experienced things or heard things or had dreams all of which might have been communication from the Lord, but little if anything has manifested in our movement forward. Oh well, it is what it is. It amounts to a fall back position of understanding. This isn't a denial of what I've heard or experienced lately. These moments or words can stand alone. If the Lord conveys to me understanding or an encouragement to believe, cool. If what I've heard or experienced are merely circumstantial, okie dokie. It is what it is.
April has begun adding an addendum to my folk-saying that casts our vision forward. It encourages me. I say, "It is what it is." She adds, "-- but its not what will be.
The last two days, I read from the books of Joshua and Romans and Acts of the Apostles through the scriptures from the Daily Office. From Joshua's words to the Hebrews before his death and the life of Paul, I sensed the theme of an ordained calling in these passages.
Therefore be very steadfast to observe and do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, turning aside from it neither to the right nor to the left. -- Joshua 23: 6
Now if you are unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served in the region beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. -- Joshua 24: 15
For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to win obedience from the Gentiles, by word and deed, by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and as far around as Illyricum I have fully proclaimed the good news of Christ. -- Romans 15: 18, 19
After they had set a day to meet with him, they came to him at his lodgings in great numbers. From morning until evening he explained the matter to them, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus both from the law of Moses and from the prophets. -- Acts 28: 23
There was a mission, a calling, a purpose in the days of Joshua, to maintain the Promised Land's integrity by sustaining the covenant. Paul fulfilled his mission, calling and purpose that came to him through revelation, as well.
God did all the heavy lifting for the Hebrews, as well as for Paul.
Joshua then says to everyone gathered together, "Choose this day whom you will serve."
Paul explained from morning till evening the Kingdom of God and tried to convince them about Jesus. Some were swayed, and some were not. On the Mount of Ascension at the close of the gospel of Matthew, some still doubted as the resurrected Jesus spoke to them.
There's always a calling, a mission, a God-given purpose by virtue of the revelation given and received.
The calling on our lives is real and has not been rescinded. It is ever with us. We're at a place of surrender and sacrifice for what we believed to be our God-given purpose. We were called to buy a farm on Sand Mountain, steward a place to be a portal for the presence of God to come in an environment of worship, giving testimony of the works of God and teaching insights of the Kingdom. Those who come will encounter a God that saves, heals, delivers, encourages and makes whole.
Our calling remains in tact.We've suffered a cost for coming out from under the mantle of a denominational system, but it was a cost we accepted. We believed and still believe we received revelation and subsequent confirmation. All of which solidified our calling.
The work of explaining and convincing and calling hearers to choose is not my calling. It was a yoke of obedience on Joshua. Paul couldn't help himself. This was their calling, mission, and God-given purpose but not mine. It is what it is.
What is interesting is while yesterday and today as I wrote about calling/mission/purpose, the song, For the Sake of the World, played on my iPod. Callings & missions in God are real. They are what they are.
Our callings are in tact. For the sake of the world, burn like a fire in me! While that's affirmed, it feels, at times, we're under house arrest. We so want to leave here and do what we're called to do. Our circumstances of being under employed and underutilized in the Spirit brings its own discouragement -- but its not what will be.
We've asked how long. We've been led back to a familiar congregation in Birmingham that's brought us a new feeling of being at home. We've also experienced renewed relationships with friends. The Lord has not told us how much longer we must wait. He's brought us new liaisons and renewed friendships, instead. They are what they are, but not what they will be.
What will be will be beyond what we can think or imagine.
April and I agreed in prayer the Lord would send prophetic people into ourselves to speak to us in person prophetic declarations that would bring us hope in these days. Before long, April had a vision in prayer which was followed by two people, one friend and one stranger, that confirmed the vision.
Angels have assembled to fight for our sake. The Lord Jesus will then split the ranks of the angels as our champion and open doors for us which to this point have been defended by the enemy and remain locked.
Our life is what it is. But today, we are encouraged and blessed, but its not what will be. It will be much more. Alleluia.