Saturday, April 29, 2017

The Lord Hasn't Been Silent

Sometimes peace and comfort for my soul only comes to me when I write.  For some, this may be true when they play their musical instrument or draw or paint or exercise or eat a cheese burger.

I was told to write years ago by, who Bob Dylan called in his 60 Minute interview years ago, the Chief Commander.  When I write, I feel his pleasure.  The problem arises when I believe I have little to nothing to share, but something stirs within me to write, regardless.

This is one of the reasons I live and breathe, to give testimony to what God is doing so that many generations now and in the future will join in worshiping the Lord (Psalm 102: 18-22, The Message).   

To this point in writing and posting, I thought I'd be recording significant acts and events attributed only to God.  I thought I'd be documenting miracles and manifestations of glory and power from heaven to earth.  In actuality, I've recorded mostly what I've dreamed or heard in my spirit or what my loved ones have encountered in the Spirit. This isn't disappointing.  Its curious.  

Again, I find myself motivated to write what I saw in a recent dream.  I believe it was the Lord giving me a pearl of wisdom to direct my faith and passion.  

For the last six or so months, I've prayed two verses regularly.

Do not be silent, O God of my praise. - Psalm 109: 1


O God, do not keep silence; do not hold your peace or be still, O God! - Psalm 83: 1

Well, the Lord hasn't been silent.  My prayers have evidently linked with what the Spirit wanted to do, to speak.  My prayers have led me to be more attentive to what the Lord has wanted to say, or has been saying already.  Perhaps, I've paid more attention.

In the aforementioned dream, I simply saw a scripture reference, Isaiah 40.  The Old Testament chapter is attached to John the Baptist's ministry.  He proclaimed a baptism of repentance and Luke associated some familiar verses with John's message:

      He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the    forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah,“The voice of one  crying out in the wilderness:‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight'". - Luke 3: 3, 4

I've read and meditated on this chapter repeatedly.  I've come to the conclusion this chapter was given to me, to us as a fresh word to focus our attention.  This chapter is a signal that things have changed for us.  I want to share what I believe the Lord is telling me about these days.  Again, I'm giving testimony of what the Lord is doing.  He's speaking, and I'm doing my best to listen.

With the text of Isaiah 40 as the blueprint, I believe I'm told, first, comfort is due us.  Second, we've endured double in our waiting (verse 2). This echoes the double portion promised in Zechariah 9 spoken to April on Christmas morning.

Recently, in a prophetic word, we were told to get ready.  Verse 3 speaks of a voice saying for the hearers to prepare the way of the Lord.  For us, I believe, this says the same thing.  Get ready. Prepare the way.  I simply trust this calls us to believe steadfastly, believe he is about to act decisively for us and through us as he's promised.

Every valley filled and every mountain made low, all made level like a plateau, like Sand Mountain (a true plateau).  Perhaps we now can say the roller coaster times, highs and lows, are ending.  

We're to look for opportunities to be bold to announce his appearing, "Here is the Lord! (verse 9)" Our Lord is coming with might carrying his reward and gathering his loved ones to himself.

In the verses that follow, the prophet asks the hearers to consider what the Lord truly is, what the Lord can do, and do we compare anything or anyone with the Lord?  This caught me because when my faith has waned, I'd ask myself if God could or would do what he's promised.  Really, in moments of shallow faith, did I really know the Lord?

In between these questions, the nations are referred to as nothing, a drop in the bucket (vss. 15-17); idols for the rich and the poor abound (vss. 19-20); princes are nothing but dust (vss. 23-24).

These verses describe for me what is and may yet go on in these days.  The nations seem to be in tumult, but we're reminded they are nothing in these days (not necessarily a target of our focus). The rich can purchase what they want (even idols), but the poor must make do (even with the idols they can afford).  Finally, princes in these days come and go simply because of how the wind blows (Gov. Bentley comes and goes, Presidents come and may go as easily, UM bishops believe they're secure by virtue of their consecration or maybe not).

We've said for years it appears we've been hidden.  As if we've said, “My way is hidden from the Lord,  and my right is disregarded by my God” (verse 27).  The Lord says through the prophet the Lord is everlasting and does not grow weary but gives strength.  Then we who've waited for the Lord shall experience renewed strength.  Like the word I received from a friend years ago, we shall mount up on wings like eagles.  We'll run and not be weary, walk and not faint.

The Lord has not been silent.  This chapter from scripture was given to me, I believe, to direct our faith to what is at hand for us and through us in these days.  I haven't been able to document the miraculous, but I've compiled a record of words and accounts of spiritual encounters both awake and asleep.  

The Lord has not been silent in our lives.  How has the Lord been speaking to you these days?

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