Friday, October 7, 2016, we had a service at our church called, “Awaken”. When I go, I listen for the theme of what God is doing right now in the Body of Christ.
As I arrived, I pulled out my journal and heard the word “FLOURISH”.
As soon as I stood for worship, I felt the need to take a small step forward. I was in the front row and if I went far, I’d be way out of line with others. I took a tiny step forward and began to worship, not worrying about if I was a little “forward.”
Then I saw water rising up in two columns, “flourishing”. It became two walls of water and I realized it was the sea parting, like the Red Sea with Moses rose his staff. I was standing at the opening where the Israelites would have had to choose to go forward and trust that the walls would not cave in on them. The “line in the sand” was at the beginning. I realized that the Israelites went forward on dry ground, solid ground. As I saw this, the music echoed, “The Rock won’t move, the rock won’t move… on Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand,”
As I sketched this picture, I wondered how many people there should be. Just one. This message is for an audience of one, because this was an individual journey. The step I choose to take was an entry into the parted sea, into what God would give let me enter into if I just said, “Yes.” At the end of the tunnel I saw the words “The Promised Land”. Have faith for the Promised Land, step into it.
The worship progressed and the prophetic painter, Tim, finished a picture of a fierce lion! I returned to the vision and looked down the passageway created by the parted sea walls. At the end of the tunnel a huge, flaming lion’s face appeared at the end of the passageway between the columns of water. The face of the Lion of Judah, in all his GLORY, began to come forward through the parted sea walls, filling the passageway. Nearer, and nearer, approaching me as I stood there.
How majestic he was! How magnificent! How fierce his love!
(Lion painted during worship by Tim Yearington)
He came through the tunnel toward me as I crossed the line to say “YES!” God is simply asking for our “Yes” and he will come get us and lead us like the flaming torch and the smoking fire pot that led the Israelites in the desert, yet we will NOT be in a desert. The sign at the end the the passageway said Promised Land. He is not going to leave us wandering in the desert any longer, if only we will take the step.
Genesis 46 flashed into my mind again as I worshiped. I stopped to read…
46 So Israel set out with all that was his, and when he reached Beersheba, he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac.2 And God spoke to Israel in a vision at night and said, “Jacob! Jacob!”
“Here I am,” he replied.3 “I am God, the God of your father,” he said. “Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you into a great nation there. 4 I will go down to Egypt with you, and I will surely bring you back again. And Joseph’s own hand will close your eyes.”
Jacob took the step of faith and went to Egypt. His didn’t yet know that he would find his son there, ruling as second in command of all Egypt! He went in blind faith, knowing his need. When he arrived, he found that his faith was well rewarded. What was stolen from him was returned!
Joseph, the misunderstood dreamer, the one who was outcast and rejected by his brothers YET adored by his father, was now second in command of all Egypt. God himself lifted him up and recognized the gifts his brothers hated him for. Those who scorned him were brought low in humility and repentance before him. The dreamer was unmasked before their eyes. They had no idea who he was until that moment. They had no idea of the greatness of the gifts, or the purpose, in the little brother they mocked. In spite of what had been done, Joseph valued the unity of his family. He had mercy and forgave.
“Mercy triumphs over judgment…” sang the worship leader as I read this scripture.
God rewards faith. He rewarded Jacob. He rewarded Joseph. Have you had years of trial, loss and struggle, insecurity, or fear? In the midst of it, have you pushed forward, continuing to believe that God is faithful, no matter what you are experiencing? Or, have you wavered, lost faith and wallowed in the slop! No matter where you’ve been, it’s time to stand up, WAKE UP, and wash the scales off of your eyes. Get out of your cocoon, shake yourself free, and LOOK down at that line in the sand.
Jesus said, “When I return will I find faith on the earth?” Will he? If you are willing. Stand up. Take a physical step forward. Say, “Yes, Lord.”
Don’t look back.
There is no looking back allowed when we want to flourish. No dwelling on the old! If the Israelites looked back while they were in the middle of the parted Red Sea they would have lost valuable minutes and the waves would have crashed upon them as they closed down on Pharaoh and his army. Remember Lot’s wife as she was fleeing Sodom and Gomorra. Lot’s wife looked back. She was turned into a pillar of salt by the Lord. Don’t grieve for what you are leaving behind, just go!
The time is now to believe! Any affection Lot’s wife had for Sodom and Gomorra was misplaced. Don’t grieve over what should be dead! Don’t grieve for an old identity you were not meant to wear anymore.
When you step over that line, you will be choosing faith. You will go nowhere without faith. Choose overcoming faith. As in Genesis when Joseph was calling for his family to come and receive what he paved the way for, God is calling you to come and “step into” the path where he will roar over you with His grace. “I will go down to Egypt with you, and I will surely bring you back again.” He is with us. “And Joseph’s own hand will close your eyes.” What Jacob had longed for, God had heard. God does not forget the desires of your heart. What was lost long ago will be returned. God has not forgotten, nor has he been inactive. While Jacob grieved, Joseph was being prepared for what was prophesied long ago in those dreams. God returned what had been stolen with abundance added!
HAVE FAITH! Celebrate what you do not yet see! Look at the end of this story and take it as a word for yourself. God has been active in your life and your situation in ways you don’t know. He has been fighting for you, whether you were striving in struggle, or resting or believing or frustrated while He was doing it. He was working anyway. Some of us have just been spinning our wheels going nowhere worrying about the path we were on. God wasn’t worried!
You may not see what is ahead; you may only see the step in front of you, but step forward and say “YES, yes God, I’m all in.” Done? Good. Now, you have postured yourself to receive. You are standing in faith. He will show you the next step.
Let this word be a light to your feet and lamp to your path. Joseph didn’t know his future when he left to greet his brothers the day he was thrown in the pit. He didn’t know it when he got to Egypt and spent two years in the pit again! There were people who got in his way, like Potiphar’s wife, and became tools of the enemy in his life, but God saw it all and said “Watch what I’m going to do with that boy!” Now, don’t be surprised at what God will do with you.
At the end of the night of worship, Jesus came before me and handed me a treasure chest. It was open and filled with gold coins. Having seen this picture before, I asked the Lord “Why are you showing this to me?” As I looked, something new happened. Select coins began to levitate and full color faces appeared on them. I heard the word, “CHANGE”. Imprinted on the coins were some of the faces of those who’s lives I’d seen changed by Jesus. “These are my treasures,” He said. “Lives changed.”
When these coins, these precious ones, were put together they amounted to a treasure that were a King’s reward. His reward for the cross. Each one had let themselves be submitted to the Refiner’s fire. Each one had taken the first step toward their Father God and now, they lived as His reward.
Take a step toward him. Adore Him. He will come for you, like the Lion of Judah that he is. He will come for you. Just celebrate where you are and believe God is faithful.
“You will seek me and find me
when you seek me
with your whole heart.”