Saturday, March 8, 2014

tarry for the promise

"I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but wait in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high." Luke 24:49

I like to go out to this park at sunset and just feel the night air. It used to be a forest, a field bridging neighborhoods and friendships, a path littered with old weed-bags and lighters, and for this former atheist, a tree to look through and question; on this night, I went out to pray. 
The moon and sun, despite being so vastly different in size and distance from each other, appear equal in circumference when viewed through our irises. That they eclipse amazes me.  The universe was created for our eyes. We were created for His. And that we might be found gazing back. 

Some old tree-houses can still be found, and deer-packs still jolt across what is now a Frisbee-golf course. There's a group of guys who fly mechanical airplanes off the hillside that I like to stop and talk to. 
"You can put this on the back-burner if you want to, but I don't think you are going to be involved with what your involved in (secular newspapers)," said a stranger-made-friend.
"I think you have an artist's eye, and that even you don't know what you're capable of. I feel like you are going to do something different." 
This man was prophesying and he didn't even know it! How it should be, I think. We prayed. Maybe, that night, he believed in his heart that Jesus is Lord.
Hours later, he sent me a text message:
"Just remember one thing: be bigger than who you are. That will be his truth."
It will only happen one way. Not by my might or power, but by His strength. How? We must wait upon the Lord. We must heed the call to tarry. Merriam-Webster's definition"


intransitive verb (tair-ree)
: to delay or be tardy in acting or doing
: to linger in expectation
: to abide or stay in or at a place
I really like that last one, "to abide," as it reminds me to think of tarrying as a lifestyle of continual leaning. To be dependent. 

Mary of Bethany sat at the Lord's feet. She matured as she learned from him. She cast her burdens on him. She grew in strength, peace and joy, so she could then love others without worrying about externals.

"...Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me." But the Lord answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her." Luke 10:40-42
It's really about knowing Him! That we would spend our most valuable thing - time - for him and with him. This is being present, intimate: sharing in the unfolding of his grace. 
It marvels me, that our creator-God actually desires for his kids to participate and share in the process of seeing His kingdom come, his will be done! But it was always about this - relationship and partnership; laboring and rejoicing together; being one.
As I practice waiting, I'm increasingly surprised how much restoration comes as I abandon my agenda, my strict comings and goings and normal routine, my perspectives of what appears right. 

"Though youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary." Isaiah 40:31
He's shown me that the work happens in the waiting. Being watchful is not passive. The teaching and refining, the pruning, the cultivating, all produces endurance.

"And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promise." Heb 6:11-12
He's also shown me that we still labor as we reap a harvest! "The revelation is an invitation," as fiery preacher Corey Russell says. The revelation that comes as I wait and still myself, and ask for him to open the eyes of my heart, is an on-ramp to the grace of God for laboring in the Spirit. As we wait, our labors become life, an overflow of the cup and our communion with God. 

From Richard Foster's Celebration of Discipline

Scripture tells us that following the marvelous resurrection of
Dorcas, Peter “tarried many days in Joppa with one Simon a tanner”
(Acts 9:43, KJV). It was while tarrying in Joppa that the Holy Spirit
got through to Peter (with visual aids no less) about his cultural and
ethnic prejudices. What would have happened if, instead of tarrying,
Peter had immediately struck out on a speaking tour to tell of the
resurrection of Dorcas? Is it possible that he would have failed to
come to that shattering insight from the Holy Spirit, “Truly I perceive
that God shows no partiality, but in every nation any one who fears
him and does what is right is acceptable to him” (Acts 10:34)? No
one knows. But I do know this: God desires various “tarrying” places
for all of us where he can teach us in special ways.
Beyond just a few spots to tarry, may we embrace a lifestyle of waiting upon the Lord. Where are you led to tarry? 

Friday, March 7, 2014

Contemplating Telling

Dreams.Visions. Prophecy. These words are not so palatable in some circles, and so I'm a little intimidated. 

But we are being given open ears, so as to test and savor these three words; dare I say, five: the word of the Lord

"Does not the ear test words as the tongue tastes food?" Job 12:11. This is like new cuisine for many of us. But they are some of  my favorites, to taste and see that the Lord is good. 

I'm following the the Holy Spirit, the nudge, to begin blogging about some of the dreams God has given me for His Bride, and myself as one eagerly seeking prophecy. The one who prophecies builds up the church. This is where prophecy has its fruitful harvest.

I also plan to record the revelation of His heart for this topic of telling, as I wait for his grace to move me toward forming a Christian newspaper. And it just "seemed good to me," as Luke states so simply in the beginning of his gospel:

"Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have ben accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you...that you may have certainty." 1:1-4

And this is just my small part of a much larger work of the Spirit in our generation. The Bride is going to be unified (and become one with the Father) as we not only share our testimony with the lost, but declare His testimonies among the congregation - what He is doing in our midst. Our story will become one, the narrative will be a common one we share. The prophets will be subject to the prophets. The inter-dependent, manifold wisdom of God will be displayed in the church.

 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me." John 17:20-21

Our testimony and declaration is not just for persuading unbelievers. It's actually how we become one. The story told throughout the generations that binds us; the writings of those who God entrusted to steward His breath; the Word we now read, and are so prone to treat as mere words on a page. May we believe what this book really says about us. 

That we would be in Them, operating in tandem with the Trinity. It comes down to hearing from heaven, and partnering with our Bridegroom.

"When we see unity, we see revival," said my dear brother, Daniel Markum, assistant director at The Well House of Prayer in Denton. "The unity of faith is really Himself, it's Jesus," he said, speaking to a handful of intercessors during a Tuesday-night Encounter Service. 

It's about everyone seeing the same thing. That we would see His glory. This will not just be the result of unity, but the present reality during its formation, and for the rest of eternity. 

"The revelation contained is the revelation unknown," Daniel continued, full of the Spirit and writing new notes at this point. It's true that the Spirit closes the distance between us as a Bride, pouring out the same revelation to different communities. But our declaration actually brings what we feel and think into existence. Our words are given life. 

"The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it." Psalm 68:11

Oh, that we would not restrain our lips! That we would be friends of the Bridegroom, our joy complete at hearing His voice! And by hearing, have faith, and that faith be accounted to us as righteousness - the kind that moves mountains. We will be carriers of His Kingdom, lungs full of revelation which he breathed into us, that we might exhale to see His purposes fulfilled, His will be done. 

This is our glory! Yet we have traded it, hewing out broken cisterns, all our resources and sphere of influence falling through the cracks. 

This is our inheritance! Our greatest honor. The church is turning back to the old paths of intercession, to the altar where we will rend our heart and not our garment, our externals. 

Psalm 40 has been a foundational psalm for me on this journey of entering-into my calling as a messenger. I'm learning to do more waiting than doing in my own strength. To wait for the word, so I may watch Him move. Instead of seeing man, we will see God. He is like one whom no eye has seen, or ear heard, but acts on behalf of those who wait.

My Help and My Deliverer

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

40 waited patiently for the Lord;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the Lord.
Blessed is the man who makes
the Lord his trust,
who does not turn to the proud,
to those who go astray after a lie!
You have multiplied, O Lord my God,
your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;
none can compare with you!
I will proclaim and tell of them,
yet they are more than can be told.
In sacrifice and offering you have not delighted,
but you have given me an open ear.
Burnt offering and sin offering
you have not required.
Then I said, “Behold, I have come;
in the scroll of the book it is written of me:
I delight to do your will, O my God;
your law is within my heart.”
I have told the glad news of deliverance2
in the great congregation;
behold, I have not restrained my lips,
as you know, O Lord.
10 I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart;
I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;
I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness
from the great congregation.