Habakkuk 2:1-4 (NIV)
I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint. Then the Lord replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay. “See, the enemy is puffed up; his desires are not upright—but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness—
Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
naught be all else to me, save that thou art –
thou my best thought, by day or by night;
waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.
Be thou my wisdom, and thou my true word;
I ever with thee and thou with me, Lord.
Thou my great Father; thine own may I be,
thou in me dwelling and I one with thee.
The coming of the New Year has introduced many changes to our family. Changes never anticipated but moving like pages in the wind. As this chapter of life becomes something new, I am challenged in the natural by the things that the Lord is showing me in the supernatural realm. Things tucked away and hidden long forgotten. Words written on my heart are now being repeated in my head. Sometimes in the waiting rooms of life, we forget the very thing that put us there. Dreams and visions are very much a part of God’s Communication to His People. He speaks to us in them. It is up to us to live such a life that one might discern between godly vision and “pizza-and-chocolate” dreams. You know? When you eat certain things before bed that give you weird images and strange thoughts as you sleep, waking up like where did that come from? Not everyone is comfortable with such things, as the Lord draws near to us. His Influence makes us uncomfortable in our natural surroundings leading us to deeper faith and more confident hope. For the first time in a long time, I have been open to the Lord’s Images and Ideas invading my thoughts. Naturally, I am reminded of the words in Habakkuk instructing on this very thing.
Habakkuk 2:1 (NIV)
I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me and what answer I am to give to this complaint.
The things we want and desire in life are the very things that we will watch and wait for. If our deepest desire is Jesus, He will be the One who we watch and wait for. Most of the time, our longing is not for the Lord but what He holds in His Hand. We want things to make life better or relief from the worries and cares in each day. Sadly, these things do not lead to satisfaction or a cry for more. But when we identify that the Source of Life is Jesus Christ alone, the watching and waiting change into an intense search for more of God, His Son and Spirit. I have stood on the watchtower a long time. I have waited for many things. He has answered every complaint with a promise. He has blessed me beyond anything imaginable. But now as I haul myself up again, this time I have but one thing on my mind. The one thing that I seek is to dwell in the House of the Lord forever with Him.
Habakkuk 2:2 (NIV)
Then the Lord replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.”
I journal every single day. I write down even the smallest detail of what the Lord is saying to me. There are times when I don’t like what I hear and it challenges me to move closer so there is clarity and confirmation. Sometimes I think people don’t hear the Lord because they are not listening and do not want to hear what He is saying. They just want God to say what they want to hear. There are enough preachers doing that today. Empty words of empty gospels not full of truth but the very thing that strokes the heart and puffs up the ego. A blindness to the dark that prevents those involved to truly experience the Light of His Amazing Love. God is speaking. His Word never changed. His Way is still the same. Jesus will be the same yesterday, today and forever. It is the position of our life and openness of our heart, mind and spirit that allows Him to give us dreams and visions of what comes next and how to accomplish that very thing. When the Lord speaks, do you write it down? If not, you should. It is important. Maybe not for now, but it may be one day. To know the Word, Will and Way of the Lord is the only way to successfully navigate life into Eternity. I have also found it to be true that those open to receiving insight, direction, visions and dreams that lead to soulful prosperity, will be asked to share it. Write it down. Write it all down.
Habakkuk 2:3 (NIV)
For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.
Godly revelation has a specific time frame. God makes everything beautiful in its time based on the Eternity in our heart. (Ecclesiastes 3:11) He is working every detail of our life for our good. (Romans 8:28) He perfects that which concerns me. (Psalm 138:8) These three key verses are all promises that God things come to the righteous and faithful who wait on the Lord. He promises them strength and renewal so they will rise up like eagles who soar effortlessly through the air. (Isaiah 40:31) When God fills our heart and head with dreams and visions, it is for the benefit of the Kingdom first. This life has an appointed end, but the Kingdom of God is forever. His Sole Desire and Purpose is salvation. When God gives us revelation, though it seems personal, it will always lead to faith, hope and love – the three things that are eternal. It will always benefit the Kingdom. It would only seem logical that those who do not care about the future, forever or the Kingdom might night hear the Voice of God like others do. We must desire the Kingdom of God to receive insight regarding it. We must want more of Jesus to gain access to the Throne.
Habakkuk 2:4 (NIV)
“See, the enemy is puffed up; his desires are not upright—but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness.”
The Word of God is a comprehensive collection of words to live by. To pick and choose is to invalidate the whole book. It is all or nothing. You cannot add to it and more importantly – you must not disregard any of it. All of it is important to this life. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. (Romans 10:17) The Holy Spirit is our Advocate who teaches us all things and reminds us of everything that Jesus said. (John 14:26) With these two things in mind, it is clear that in order to remain faithful to God that we need His Word and His Spirit to be successful. The enemy comes seeking to destroy the good work of salvation that the Lord has promised to complete in us. (John 10:10; Philippians 1:6)
Joel 2:28-29 (NIV)
“And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.”
Acts 2:16-21 (NIV)
No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’”
I remember my first experience in a full gospel church. The move of the Holy Spirit in that place was exhilarating and even a bit scary to me. I was raised Southern Baptist and the Pentecostal change was a big one. I can only imagine that those who experienced the earliest outpouring of God’s Spirit felt the same way. As we engage one-on-one with the Lord, He begins to speak to us. No one else can hear what the Lord whispers to you His Beloved. He does confirm things to others that are shocking when they recite our thoughts and sometimes fears to us. He tells us first, though. In Joel, the prophet spoke of the outpouring of God’s Spirit on everyone to dream dreams and see visions of great things concerning His Kingdom. It says that we will prophesy. Out of our bellies should flow living water from our innermost beings. (John 7:38) Why are we living in an age of regurgitation? Why do we love little and sin more? God is speaking to us because the return of Jesus is imminent and we must get our affairs in order. Those loved ones and friends who need salvation must become a priority. He is filling our hearts with a deep desire for revival and true repentance. This is an uncomfortable thought that many will avoid. Is that you? I know for a long time it was me. The price of following Jesus is very high. It is a complete surrender of our life. We must consider the cost to become an expert builder or there really is no point. We have to decide if we desire Jesus or will settle for this life as the extent of our existence.
Daniel 1:12-17 (NIV)
“Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days. At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead. To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.”
We are entering the final week of our annual Daniel’s Fast for 2016. The Lord is desperate to speak to our hearts during this final push. We must press in deeper than ever before. It is easy to get caught up in the “diet” of the fast. We have observed a 21 day fast. It really doesn’t matter how long but where is your heart and head right now? In this moment, if it is on natural hunger and bodily desires – it is time to push in deeper and press a little farther. Our flesh is a worthy adversary. If you cannot hear the Voice of God and feel the Presence of His Spirit lingering over you right now – I encourage you to push and press harder in your spirit and deny your body more. Daniel ate nothing but vegetables and drank nothing but water for ten days. At the end of it, they looked healthier and better nourished. How about you? Do you feel better? Or are you wallowing in what you cannot have rather than soaking in the Bread of Life and Living Water? See to those who have never had a vision or dreamed a dream, they are focused on surviving in the flesh but I want His Spirit more and more. I want to do the Will of God. Just a few short months ago, I laid down my sword and slowly began backing a way. The cost of faith and confident hope seemed too high. Thank you God for never relenting. He continued to call me, woo me and invite me close again. It was because of the visions that God gave Paul which led to 2 Corinthians 12:9 when he uttered the words we live by – when I am weak, He is strong. The Lord wants to be strong in us again. It is in our weakness that this is possible. For some this fast has taken you to the end of yourself, your tired and sick. The Lord is speaking to you. He wants to bust through your physical weakness and empower you with His Strength. We have been given the opportunity to increase our understanding and knowledge of God during this fast…have we taken full advantage of this blessing?
Acts 10:9-16 (NIV)
About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.” “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.” The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.
Peter saw a vision of God in his hunger that defied his tradition and religion. The same religion that he observed with Jesus Christ. Now, he was told to kill and eat that nothing is impure or unclean. The challenge of change has been issued. Revival will never come in our tradition or religion. To some even fasting is traditional, we do it each year. Without fasting and seeking God with the purpose and desire to know Him more, there really is no point to it. It is a challenge to allow the Lord through our physical submission and weakness, to be fed spiritually and grow supernaturally. God can and will overcome your physical problems and meet those needs when you transition from trusting routine, religion and tradition and become radically faithful instead. Those dreams and visions of renewal, revival and restoration that will start the next great revival is completely available if it is truly what we seek and desire. Peter had to change. It was a natural change in order to place him among those that the Lord would save. Jew and Gentile were now alike. The veil was torn as the Spirit broke the heavy chains of religion to release freedom. Those who the Son sets free are free indeed to enter His Courts with thanksgiving and praise and take away a revelation of what is next. The Lord has a plan. He has purpose for your life. It is revealed by dreams and visions. These are only possible when we live for the Kingdom rather than today. When we seek Jesus above our personal wants and needs trusting the Lord with our life. I want Jesus to be my vision today. I want His Way. I will finish this year’s fast with a desire only to know Him more. “Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart… Be thou my wisdom, and thou my true word; I ever with thee and thou with me, Lord.”
Psalm 27:4 (NIV)
One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.