Saturday, May 13, 2017

Days of Elijah by Surprise

Our daughter, Anna, attended a church in Auburn, AL in February where she received what was believed to be a prophetic word from a guest preacher.  In his word to her, he said she and the family could expect this spring to be full of supernatural surprises.

Thursday was full of moments of discouragement.  There was also a moment in conversation with April when I told her I had to commit to believe the Lord's words and promises all over again that day.

There are days when I resign myself to the discouragement and just look for things to distract me from thinking about our circumstances.  Nowadays, perhaps in light of the fact God has not been silent since the first of the year, I've determined it is my responsibility to declare to myself, heaven and earth and my partner in life that God remains faithful and will do in us and through us what God's promised.  Alleluia.

Worked last evening, amidst the cucumbers and the cardboard and markdowns covered by fruit flies, I encountered the discouragement once again.  It was as if a personality all its own came beside me to tell me all was lost.  A flag began waving to worn me of the spiritual intruder confronting my spirit and all I believed to be true. 

I rose up within myself, spoke of what God has promised us, believing as if I picked up a weapon of my choosing, clothed myself with joy (its my strength) and took to the fight.  The melee was short and sweet.  I told myself I was choosing joy and belief.  God was our good Father who had not forgotten us.  We are anointed, commissioned, comforted and at peace.  Alleluia.  The attack was over.

When I got into my car and headed home, I simply turned on the radio looking for something to entertain or inform.  At the top of the hour on The Moody Radio Network, I found the opening sounds of a song I recognized with my heart.  It was a song from the CD, Revival In Belfast, by Robin Mark (1999). 


Back in the 90s, I took my first leave of absence from pastoral ministry.  I was fairly certain I wasn't returning to formal ministry.  After my mother passed away in '97, I knew I had to withdraw from the demands of ministry to mourn completely and to reassess my needs and values in life.  In this process, I joined a prayer group at the church where April was on staff.  We'd meet on Sunday evenings, listen to praise music and then pray together.  It was in this setting I first heard Revival In Belfast.  I've said in several settings to different people this CD had a role in saving my life in those days. 

As I listened afresh to Days of Elijah, I stopped singing along and just listened to the lyrics.  What dawned on me was so many of the images and scriptural references are either part of the original vision for us, allude to encounters we've had with God over the years or echo scriptures brought to us by Holy Spirit since January. 

These are the days of Elijah  . . .
(Right off the bat, these are the days unequalled.)


These are the days of great trials
Of famine and darkness and sword
Still we are the voice in the desert crying
Prepare ye the way of the Lord!

(I was moved weeks ago by Isaiah 40 and Luke 3 where this preparation is described.  God has not been silent.)

Behold He comes, riding on the clouds
Shining like the sun at the trumpet's call

(This sounds so much like imagery from Revelation which April has been studying for weeks.)

Lift your voice, year of Jubilee
Out of Zion's hill, salvation comes


And these are the days of Ezekiel
The dry bones becoming flesh

(Back in Albertville, God came to me in a dream about the book of Ezekiel. I think about this often.)

And these are the days of Your servant, David
Rebuilding a temple of praise

(This captures the vision of our farm - a thin place where heaven meets earth, and God encounters people in worship.)

And these are the days of the harvest
The fields are all white in Your world
And we are the laborers that are in Your vineyard
Declaring the Word of the Lord

(The days of harvest have come.  Its always been our passion to declare the word of the Lord.)

This song came to me as a pleasant surprise, a gift, actually.  Grace is even more accurate.  This and so much of this CD brought healing to me when I needed it. Some of the other songs, Garments of Praise, Shout to the North, Revival, Jesus, All for Jesus, greatly contributed.  It was foundational in raising my passion again for God and his kingdom.  I returned to pastoral ministry in 2001.  The next year or so I had an encounter with God awakening me to a prophetic gifting. 

Spring is suppose to be a time for supernatural surprises for this family.  This was a surprise, a subtle, simple surprise on a night I fought the simple fight of confronting an attack by the enemy and affirming the goodness of our Papa God still at work in our lives. 

These days are rich with potential.  Even now, we see the Lord working our way and our walk as we affirm his promises in us and for us. 

I've been inspired for years to give testimony of what God has said, has done and is doing.  This is a plain depiction of what our God gave to me as an unmistakable token of grace to his son.  These days are unique and not through yet.

Behold He comes, riding on the clouds
Shining like the sun at the trumpet's call
Lift your voice, year of Jubilee
Out of Zion's hill, salvation comes

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