Wilderness or Pasture? It’s all in your perspective.

Perspective is so important in life, and it’s easy to stay focused on ourselves to the degree that we are consumed with feelings and attitudes that are not from God. As I was in a place of deep intercession this morning. I began to cry, “There are no unwanted children! There are NO unwanted children in this world. Everyone of them is wanted.” Oh, how the lies settle into our soul when we don’t see the bigger picture God has planned for our lives. His timeline seems long sometimes, as we wait, but he is developing us in the place we are at.

To those who feel rejected, God says, “I see your heart. You are not misunderstood. You just don’t understand how MUCH you are wanted. You have listened to a voice of deception and not seen the whole picture. Don’t focus so much on your own heart and look at the heart of the ones who you think have given up on you, or hurt you. Do you fully understand why? Do you understand what sacrifice looks like yet?

The wilderness is not a bad place! It’s a restful place, a pasture, where David sang to the Lord and overcame the lions and bears he alone faced. God gave him a promise while he was still there, even anointed him, yet he had to grow up in faith and stature to be able to carry the title of king. He had to learn, be trained in warfare and prove himself or he would have not have been the king who overcame as he did, who did not let the world or its ways affect him. Note, David didn’t get a personal trainer to do it. He didn’t even get a mentor! A shepherd is left in the quiet and focuses on his sheep.

 12AFAAE9-AE8D-4E96-9155-732E9FAD434F.jpeg

If you feel isolated, or alone, remember Samuel. Remember how his mother gave him up for a greater purpose to be alone with God in the temple at a young age.

Understand the sacrifice Hannah had to make when she cried for a child and then promised to raise him for God. She wept. She wept! But she said, “Yes”, knowing her relationship would be limited but that she had to prepare him to live dependent on God and his voice alone. How great the temptation to feel alone in that place. But Jesus said, “I will never leave you.” Can we be content with him alone? Is he enough? 

There are different groups of people who may be reading this.

There are Hannah’s

Remember the story above.

There are humble kings

Remember David. God was developing him in the pasture. His calling was not recognized by anyone but the prophet. David’s father didn’t even include him in the lineup when Samuel came to select one of his son’s as king. He was still “out tending sheep”. The prophet knew who he was looking for but, note, he didn’t take him along with him and raise him up. That was not in his power. No, all he did was call him out. Then, David was content to man the sheep or to serve until his time came, when the people recognized him as King 15 years later!

David always honored Saul, even when he knew he had been anointed future king. Could he walk as king yet. No. He just went back to his sheep and cared for them well. He walked in fear of the Lord, wanting to be ready when the time came for him to lead a great people, God’s people! With reverence and humility and never exalted himself or pushed his way to the top. He waited for his time and seemed to understand the need to grow until the time came to take on more responsibility. 

There are prophets going through death to self

Remember Joseph. What did we hear from him at first. “I… I…. I’’’ I had this revelation. I had that revelation. It was more than his brothers could take, and he was rejected by them. Sold into slavery. Mopped floors in the palace, was misunderstood and thrown in a dungeon. Yet God allowed it. He had great revelations from his youth, but he needed to learn something. Psalm 105:19 says, “Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the Lord tested Joseph’s character” (NLT).

When the time comes to be recognized, you will not exalt yourself, so rest and take care of what is in your garden right now. Just walk in what you have and shepherd well what is right in your pasture. Don’t envy what is not yet yours, or lust for what you do not yet have. You are gaining wisdom, patience, self-control and learning to love. Relish the opportunities to be humble. Be content and serve well with what you have. In time, as you are faithful with little, God will entrust you with much. Remember that a prophet needs to be SURE of the voice he/she is hearing, so if you have a call to speak on God’s behalf, RELISH all the opportunities for pruning and correction that come your way. Stretch and practice your gifts, but don’t be eager for responsibilities you are not ready to walk in. Surely Joseph thought his time had come when he got that wise dream interpretation, but he had to wait two more years. God was preparing him for a certain time. A CERTAIN TIME. Striving in the dungeon would have done no good. How humble he had to be before he went before the Pharoah to interpret that dream. It was a hard dream. It determined the fate of nations. 

What can you do while you wait? Enjoy the fellowship of the Lord. Learn what is His voice and what is not. Do what God instructed Jeremiah to do in Jeremiah 33:3 “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you unsearchable things you could not know.”

Savor the revelation God gives you. Hide it in your heart until he makes it come to pass. Test those words. Speak out only what he gives you permission to say. Cherish the rest and let it give you joy. Live in humility as David did. Learn from him. Jesus himself was called a “son of David”. What an honor.

Hearing the Heart of God – To go or not to go, that is the question

How many times do we feel called to do something and then wait for someone else to push us, help us or join the vision. The passion God puts on our heart is for US to act upon. It is beautiful when others receive the same vision and even more wonderful when we actually connect with them, but it doesn’t always happen that way. Sometimes a call is lonely and we wonder why others aren’t hearing the same thing and jumping in the car to drive with us. God uses the people who are available and stirs us up when we seek Him. Some calls seem big, some seem small. It could even just be a call that lasts a moment, or it could mean your life with change forever. It could be a fleeting idea or a driving burden in our hearts, but it’s still a call to move.

Sometimes we are the answer to someone else’s prayers, or the answer for a whole group of people. I think of the times God has connected me to others and spoke through the body of Christ to me, or used me to speak to others. It is amazing what gifts he has given to His children! When we receive a calling from God, we often wait for someone else to feel the same way or for others to be equally concerned before moving. I was led to read Jeremiah this week. He was called and he didn’t have a church to back him up, or an organization to fund him. He just was asked to speak the heart of God to a people who didn’t want to listen. It was lonely, and they thought he was crazy, but God told him it was important and it had to be done.

Are there places you are called to speak out?

Have you considered what is burdening God’s heart?

It isn’t a fun feeling when you have a calling and you don’t do all you should with it. I speak from my own heart of remorse. Let today be a day of redemption. God, redeem all the missed moments and renew our zeal for the burdens of Your heart. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven!

ImageI’m asking forgiveness today for myself, for mixing my priorities with God’s priorities, for setting His priorities aside when it was inconvenient, and for the times I have forgotten how BIG HE IS! I’m taking up my cross today and receiving grace for where I’ve not lifted it high enough. I’m giving to God all the things that could have been done better and starting a new day today. You can include yourself in the prayer if this speaks to you….

Lord, have mercy on me for the things I’ve put off and for the lives left abandoned because I relied on others when I should have relied on you. Forgive me for not having courage to be the flood light where you have called me. Forgive me for thinking less of your purpose than you do. Whether big or small, what is important to you needs to be urgent for me.Excuses are so lame. Put your torch before me and let it burn constantly. Keep my eyes on it and fan it when you want me to flame for You. I am humbled by what you give me to do, but I am helpless without you. I pray for redemption of all the missed opportunities and for full restoration of all of your plans in areas I’ve messed up. Let the sun shine where I’ve left it dark and fill me with the joy of your salvation!

Jeremiah (Full text)

The Call of Jeremiah

4 The word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

“Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.” But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.

Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”