Isaiah 42:9 (NIV)
“See, the former things have taken place and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you.”
As winter turns into spring, the bare trees around our house are beginning to bud and bloom. The birds have returned and serenade whoever ventures outside. Walking around the pool this morning, the usual chirping continued but I heard something a little different in their usual banter. When your smallest fur baby only weighs about three pounds, one must be alert to the birds of the air especially hawks and owls. But when I looked through the branches, a bright red bird caught my eye. All the other ones were now quiet as he continued to sing his morning song. I had to smile at his pride and projection as if he knew the world around him was watching. He had a new song and he was going to sing it loud enough to be heard. As I type today, I can still hear him outside on the tree.
As seasons change in life it is not always an easy transition, moving from how you expected things to be to how they actually turned out sometimes is very difficult. The barrier between us and that which we hope for is often human expectation. We want what the Lord has promised but cannot accept the changes necessary to obtain them. We rely on the image of former things and human experience rather than fully embracing the power and plan of God. God has declared new things for everyone who accepts Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. It is an immediate impartation but a lengthy process. God’s Plan for our life is fully comprehensive including every detail even that which we give up or have forgotten. Not the Lord, He never forgets a single promise. The Lord is moving our family into a new season. I wish I could give you the highlights but I really have no idea myself. I just know that He is changing us and moving us around to do something more wonderful than I could ever think to ask for. I am ready!
Ephesians 2:14-16 (NIV)
For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.
When Jesus died on the Cross for our sins, God set aside the law and its commands and regulations so He could now be at peace with His Children once again. He destroyed any barrier between God and man making a way for us to have all the promises of God and live with Him forever one day. His Purpose was to recreate a new humanity no longer divided by sin and selfish interest to make peace and reconcile them all to God through Christ. This means that God is no longer in hostile opposition with anyone who has asked Jesus to be their Savior and Lord accepting the full benefits of the Cross. Now what? He becomes our peace. Now this is very, very important to our faith developing confident hope. There are just some things that don’t add up and will never make sense on this journey we are on. Hard times and devastating losses that demand confidence in the Word of God and His Way over what we see, hear and feel in the natural.
Psalm 98:1-2 (NIV)
Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and His holy arm have worked salvation for him. The Lord has made his salvation known and revealed his righteousness to the nations.
The cardinal is singing because spring is finally here. The morning temperature was much cooler than it has been reminiscent of the winter that has passed. Sometimes when seasons are changing, the weather will bounce back and forth until the transition is complete so some days are warm, sunny spring but then the temperature will drop with a cold snap. Yet the cardinal hops around from branch to branch in readiness for the new season happily singing his new song. I wish that I could have the confidence of a cardinal ready for spring. Day after day doing what I know I should do rather than being reactive to the atmosphere and environment around me.
In fact, this is not today’s word for my life. It was actually yesterday’s bread on the table of God for my use. But I got up and walked away… the details of why I removed myself from His Presence is not as important as the grace and mercy I found in my return. I have blogged these daily encounters with God for more than six years now. In season and out of season sharing my innermost thoughts and revelations discovered in the Presence of God to encourage others that He will speak to us, guide us and encourage us in this life. We have been in a difficult season. It has lasted longer than I like. It has been more than I could bear. It is nothing short of God’s Miracles that I am still standing from the inside out. I know of others who feel the same way. Perhaps this is the purpose of this struggle that I have been in, maybe the Lord just needed someone who would tell others that the struggles in this life are real. He doesn’t expect us to know it all, do it all or work it all out. God has promised to do all of that. He just wants us to hang on until He’s finished and sing His Praise in each season.
2 Timothy 4:1-2 (NIV)
In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.
Be prepared in season and out of season. What does this mean? Most people attribute it to the preceding “preach the word”. I agree with that but I do not believe it only applies here. I believe that in the life of every believer that the Lord is not looking for us to run out to change the world, go to faraway countries and covert other religions. That too is only part of it. Going to church on a regular basis, serving as a volunteer, or even teaching Sunday school are all very beneficial and helpful things but the bottom line is this…the Lord is looking for confident and consistent Christians who no matter what live by the Word, walk in His Presence and act on what they know. Your actions do not matter as much as the attitude behind each action. Because when you cannot do anything at all, you must know what you believe to hang on. Our lives preach louder than anything we will ever say. Pretending ends when pressure bears down on us.
Galatians 6:7-9 (NIV)
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
When I walked away yesterday, I was in a prayerful tirade as I began to argue my point with God. As I began to relentlessly pound the Lord with my dissatisfaction and complete exasperation of the current season that we are in, I walked by the dining room window and something caught my eye. It was the little cardinal. He was sitting on the step by the backdoor where we come and go. He was looking in the house and it seemed like right at me. Surely God did not tell this little creature to stop me in my tracks. I mean the dogs were barking and house full of activity yet it just sat there looking in. Throughout the day, as I tried to make the best of things I kept hearing the Voice of God repeating His Word, replaying praise and worship songs that would begin to creep out of my mouth until silenced by my horrible attitude. But I couldn’t get the words above or the image of the bird out of my head.
The Lord knows every single thing that we have been through. He is well aware of all the tears as He has captured them in safekeeping. I know that God loves me. I know that He is good. But I don’t see the harvest that He has promised in our life just the tireless planting of the last few years. It seems like the world around us moves from season to season and continues to sow and reap happily but all I see right now is a well-tilled and broken field that has been planted without a sprout in sight. If I abandon this field, I have nothing. If I wait it will yield a harvest. See the justice of God cannot be mocked. Righteousness makes me in a position to receive it. So now that I am covered by the Blood of Jesus and His Grace, I will reap what I have sown. No one can stop it not even me. I only control whether or not I will be there to receive it.
Isaiah 40:25-26 (NIV)
“To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.”
If you are feeling like I have been feeling lost in God’s Plan, bound by faith but holding on by a thread called hope this Word is for you today. Those promises that you have held on so long for and believe to coming, yes those things so precious that you cannot let go of. The Lord says today, “Not one of them is missing…”
2 Corinthians 12:8-9 (NIV)
Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
If this blog is how I boast of weakness, so be it. I am definitely weak in my waiting today. I am sick of winter and ready for spring. When our son was diagnosed for a third time, this was the verse I relied on so heavily. I asked the Lord to heal Him of cancer then and two more times since then. Why didn’t it work the first time, Lord? I think that is a relevant question. The Lord’s Response – “My grace is sufficient for you.” What does that mean to us? Like in real time not in the world of “blab it and grab it” but real life with genuine expectation and devastating problems. God, why do we need this thing called grace. One reason that stands out today is so that we will not abandon the field we have been planting and even when we do walk away return to see it through. God understands our weakness. Jesus is quite familiar with our humanity. Real Christianity requires faith and confident hope not met by immediate gratification and constant compromise. God’s Love is perfect just like His Plan. It is only the best for His Children. So if you have to walk away and get your head together – the Lord has already provided the Grace for your return but He will never give up the blessing and prosperity of each promise for your life even when you do. The seasons of our life do not need our participation to move and change. It is the Hand of God operating in our life. We just need His Grace to see it through. Are you thinking of walking away? I hope you don’t. But if you do, know that He is waiting for you to run back home after you get it out of your system and He will protect what is yours until you do!
Luke 15:20-24 (NIV)
So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. The son said to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” But the father said to his servants, “Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.