Answered Prayer, Fresh Start, Hearing from God, Mid-life Crisis, Overcoming the impossible, Sign of Revival

Friend, Foe or Lord

God might be described as a Sovereign who will not allow His purpose to be crossed or thwarted. God has a Plan! Like a great and awesome river, He is going somewhere. Can we remain friends if our wills are momentarily wrangled like Jacob and the Angel of Jabbok? The man proceeded with a limp and that is no light matter. As some saint of old might comment from his heavenly bleacher, “I served with Jacob. I knew Jacob but you… You, my fellow saint are no Jacob!”

The patriarch also came away with a name change but no one seem to immediately notice not even Jacob, aka Israel! What was noted was seemingly, a loser’s limp.

Reading the passage from Genesis 32, the imagery is of a believer, uncomfortably bent over on his knees struggling in prayer due to his own evident shortcomings and self-inflicted problems. Back and forth he mentally weighs the issues of faith; His God appointed calling, his unworthiness compared to his predecessors, his lack of confidence; his fear. Jacob invited God to the tete-a-tete and as a Gentleman, when it was time to leave, God made it clear that He would be going only at His host’s release. God allowed Himself to be bound, in a sense, by decorum. This polite allowance is limited when He is likewise asked His name, just as He previously asked Jacob his name. With condescension, the angel replied with a royal snub. “Why do you ask?”

God is both Friend and Lord. As Jacob’s battle within transcended into the spiritual, God willingly joined the fray. Scripture reveals three areas that marked significant change as Israel, formerly Jacob continued his life’s sojourn. First, he prevailed spiritually speaking and the evidence is recorded and validated by a name change: Cheater to Prince of Power. Next, his *hurple, a war wound. God goes from being Friend to serious Enemy when His Sovereignty is questioned by unbelief. That wound was not gained by friendly fire! And yet, perhaps only eternity revealed to Jacob what he as Israel accomplished, seen on this side of the veil as that earthly limp. Finally, putting the man’s fears and doubts to rest, the Holy Ghost interchange went from mere dialogue, a tete-a-tete to a vis-a-vis. A face to Face encounter with the living God, at times a Foe but also, a Friend and forever the Lord.
*Contrary to popular English literary legend, the word, purple does have a rhyme.

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Dominion, Fresh Start, Hearing from God, Mid-life Crisis

Mid-Life Catalyst

I read the picture caption of former military officer, David Petraeus who was sidelined in his career by carelessness on his part and ruthlessness on the previous administration’s part; he was conversing with the top Israeli security advisor, his equal. In the photo, what stood out to me is the fact that the retired general was no longer in uniform. I thought to myself, “Here is a man who was overturned in the prime of his life and career but has gratefully taken up another baton offered.” His new job, his purpose is shaped by all his past experience, including headship betrayal. The helm has new leadership and Petraeus’ assignment is proof of his worth in their eyes. Going forward, confidence in his own ability or lack thereof will be the impetus of his future mettle.

If racing against mere men makes you tired, how will you race against horses? If you stumble and fall on open ground, what will you do in the thickets near the Jordan? As asked in Jeremiah 12:5 or something similar, might be a worthy question, any person having gone through a midlife earthquake crisis should contemplate. Is it possible to get up and go on, succeeding in tougher circumstances than previously encountered when one was young and passionate about a cause?

History and recent history, reveals that even in the midst of a snowflake snowstorm, the answer to this query remains, Yes! There is no sound evidence that the majority of people who trip at midlife, never spring back to press forward but it seems so. People become leary, weary and cautious after a stumble. Only a fool does not. Having spent the majority of your wealth of time in a given pursuit, only to realize that a thief has come in the overlooked unlocked window, inspires a modified outlook. True, your house has been overrun but do you flee to watch from the back 40 as the overset goes from bad to beyond repair? Or maybe you take a stand and maintain your territorial dominion from an overwhelmed parapet? Mulligrub your way to the study to pen vindicated memoirs? To the detached garage, tinkering at a new business? Or into the kitchen to mix your last bit of flour and smidgen of oil as the widow planned, recorded in 1 Kings 17:12? Whether God inspires the person without their knowledge and consent, or the person retreats to a prayer closet to touch the hem of His robe, staunching the psychological hemophilic bleed-out, one can arise from seeming defeat to run with horses.

Overturned, overran or overwhelmed take yourself to your prayer closet; your catalyst to destiny.

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Fresh Start, Overcoming the impossible, success-in-the-new-year

2017, A Fresh Start

 

Better is the end of a matter…
How do you know what will become of your project or prayer or endeavor at it’s inception? Like a small squirmy fetus resembling any other small squirmy fetus of a multitude, do not despise small beginnings. As counseled in the scriptures via Zachariah, ‘for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin.’

The prospects! The opportunities! The challenges! The catalytic course of life! That transcendent spark giving cells the ability to duplicate and eventually, to form into a functioning organism will reveal what that specific small beginning is to become… A tadpole? A finch? A python or alligator? A giraffe? A whale? A human with the possibility of becoming a royal member of God’s eternal household? Every painted masterpiece traverses the gap of creative thought to actuality when that fimageirst stroke from the paintbrush touches the canvas. And such a small beginning, at that! Even an infant can dab color onto a virgin surface.
An accidental splotch does not a masterpiece make.

One year concludes and we can look into the rear mirror of our journey vehicle to say either Well done or Oh, what have I done?! Either way, as the annual sun sets, the future’s blank canvas arises with hopes of a new day arriving. Our palette holds the old stuff from which we must extract our masterpiece but also, colorful additions to bring eternal purpose to our endeavor. Will you be a child prodigy or an obsolescent genius? Perhaps, the New Year will allow you to discover your small beginning has already progressed into a delightfully eternal production which only needs you to be not weary in well doing.

Ecc 7:8
Heb 12:2
Gal 3:26
Gal 6:9 or 2Thes 3:13

Victorian postcard from flickr/nova scotia archives

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Snowflake

Safe Space

Unlike the politically correct, urban definition of this term “safe space,” I propose the only true and eternal safe space is the Will of God. What is it that the Great God of Heaven and Earth has called you to do? Once He has made that clear to you, as His plenipotentiary, you can go forward in your space safely. One’s Safe Space is not actually geographic as much as it is an atmosphere from which you perform the Will of God.
Using history as a reference point, the Old Testament backdrop is historical. Not representing the entire world during these recorded parameters of time but a telescopic viewpoint which is focused on a small patch of land and a limited group of people as seen from the eye of God. We are not told from scripture what is happening in the Andes or the islands or the Poles. Rather, dialing in on Elijah the prophet’s generation and into an even tighter spot on the biblical map we have a unique pov revealing God’s ability and willingness to assist people. The mind of God, His benevolent intervention, His miraculous and more are discovered in the Elijah recounting.
Names have meaning and so, Elijah the Tishbite defined as God is Jehovah even in a difficult situation… He was from Gilead; translated a rocky region confirming this imagery further. ‘Elijah the Tishbite from Gilead’ represents God who is there when someone is between a rock and a hard place.
Can the common believer identify with Elijah? Was he a supernatural hero, beyond the normal flesh and blood? I don’t think so. James 5:17 states, Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years! NLT And then, we read that he prayed again so that it rained and the earth bore fruit, verse 18.
For many reasons, I find that Elijah represents the common man chosen of God as a plenipotentiary; acting as a representative of God while having full power to act independently.
Does God give supernatural powers to those that will harm themselves and others with said powers? Yes. The world is full of these empowered ones while the Elijah types are far and few. Not being perfect, Elijah nonetheless endeavored to fulfill his purpose and to please God. Was he smart, mature or courageous? Apparently, not. And even his faith wavered concerning God’s willingness to watch his back… God allowed all of this and it would seem, God  adjusted His plan to include Elijah’s reluctance. After meeting Elijah’s needs during the 3 and half year drought, the prophet experienced a loss of confidence afterward; Elijah ran for his life to hide in a cave, 1Kgs 19.
A bit like the rhetoric question asked of Adam in the garden, God asked Elijah, “What are you doing here?” God knew very well what Elijah was doing there in that cave and Elijah’s answer appears to be either induced by self pity or self-deception. God disproved Elijah’s reasoning before asking him again, “What are you doing here?”
When Elijah gave the same answer, it seems God changes course or horse in mid-stream as we read that Elisha will take Elijah’s office of prophet. God didn’t punish Elijah for the his unwillingness to finish the task but perhaps God is not done with Elisha, even now.

From Revelations 11:3-7 And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth…These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire… When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them.

Are the Two Witnesses Jews as the “olive trees” imagery alludes? Perhaps, Moses is one but it certainly looks like Elijah even as Jesus confirmed, is the other of these two. So Elijah has work yet to be accomplished but again the idea of acting independently is revealed here; “as often as they desire.”
But… But… How is Elijah representing the everyday human, doing the Will of God, considered to be in a Safe Space? You ask, after all, if it is true that he is one of the Two witnesses, he dies at the hands of God’s enemy. Examine again the story of Elisha found n the Old Testament scriptures, 1Kgs chapter 18 through 2Kgs chapter 2. God kept Elisha safe from all manner of injury. God proved to Elisha that He was not only capable but willing to keep him safe and also, to miraculously keep safe those who relied on Elisha; those who were between a rock and a hard place. Yes, even when Elisha was reluctant to finish the job, God kept him safe. True, we understand that sometime in the future Elisha will have to pay the price of death but lets be real. Truth says in the letter to the Hebrews 9:27, ‘each person is appointed once to die and after that, judgment…’
Elijah represents the Safe Space human. All humans must die, as flesh and blood cannot enter Heaven even as a caterpillar cannot fly without metamorphosing. Elijah will return to die physically, as the reborn saint must die-to-self spiritually to participate in that great up-taking, the Rapture.
Die-to-self and finish your task! Find the Will of God for your life! It is the true Safe Space even for a snowflake.

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Sign of Revival

Harriet on the 20

Harriet Tubman; Congress will memorialize her on the twenty dollar bill. Free people everywhere may see this act as a wise conspiratorial move to either calm the riffraff or insight them, or quite possibly, to divide. I choose to believe that this decision was ultimately from God in answer to prayer. There is a cloud, as small as a man’s hand, rising out of the sea! From 1Kgs 18:44, we might suppose that huge results are often seen as small beginnings.

From our shoes, the historic Harriet Tubman is like the North Star she reckoned from during her extralegal journeys. She died a hundred years ago and still, the philosophical are awed by her faith and action.

This generation and more specifically, our nation is in need of an seemingly insignificant sign on the horizon. Harriet Tubman on the $20 is it.

Though they did not perceive it at the time, hindsight reveals that the fleeing slaves were safe with gun tottin’ Miss Harriet as they traversed the landscape. She would have shot any escaping slave who gave in to second thoughts, trying to return to their old ways of slavery. That was the only reason she carried the weapon. Her threat, never challenged kept all involved safe from betrayal. So too, escaping into the shadow of God’s protective wings can be both reassuring and intimidating.

Hindsight will prove how very safe it is.

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Overcoming the impossible

Impossibilities

Not everyone loves a challenge.
When I look for the challenges of the impossible, my mind goes blank.

It is impossible that my parents should fully reconcile after 50 years? They are in their 90’s for heaven’s sake! and yet…

What about becoming affluent in a season of financial upheaval? People will continue to buy and sell until the trumpet blows…

Health? My peers and I are more fragile physically, emotionally, mentally and it would seem spiritually. Is is impossible to think that these frailties cannot be reinvigorated? No!

On the national level; cannot our nation be revived even as other nations have been in the past? How many praying saints does it take to see this nation rescued from defeat? God knows but it cannot be overmuch, surely.
Image result for ray of light pictures
Internationally, there are thunderous clouds of strategic dark forces plotting and preparing but in truth, light always overcomes the night when a single ray breaches the horizon. Is it impossible to believe that individuals and organized groups would not respond to the task at hand? I think not.

Abuse, violation, despair and suicide that have become personal strongholds in this generation, wearying the soul to dullness and apathy, seem impossible to overcome. And yet, God is no respecter of person. He will deliver by unlocking the intangible prison doors… ‘Ask, seek, knock.’

Impossibilities are limited because with God, ‘all things are possible.’ And, that is why my mind went blank.

*hinatara-chan.deviantart.com/art/Ray-of-Light-vers-1-164945239

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