Like many, my wife and I have entered a different season. It is on many levels one where you question things. New seasons often trigger challenges, thoughts and reveal patterns of thought or new thinking entirely.
One of the questions I have asked my self is “have I not believed.” One topic is employment. In 20 years neither of us has really gone more than a week without something happening in the employment field. Believing for work has never been “hard” but seemed to cause challenges to fall to the wayside.When I met my wife she was working part time in a pharmacy, from there we both bank couriered for a season. Then she went into banking and her last stint was a home buyer counselor for 13 years.
I have had a variety of businesses over the years and have only worked for someone for a year in over 20 years. From newspaper publishing, radio station general manager, ebay and salvage consultant and such. I have always worked.
As I have wandered through the last few months of Tina being unemployed and my own recovery from an environmental situation resulting in sickness, I have questioned what do I actually believe? How do I believe? And finally settling on, have I not believed.
I have been considered to be a prophetic voice in the church and even my wife will ask me “what are you hearing”. Sometimes I just “flow” and never think about what I hear. Other times I am looking for the answer. It is one think to “peek” into heaven for an answer for you, but still another to desire the encounter of God for myself. (And why not believe for encounters for each and every one?)
One of the greatest things I get to do is cause people to hear God for themself. And then hear for others. “But I only see a picture of duck.” I encourage them to stop and look and listen. To talk about the “duck”, helping them learn to hear the voice of the one who speaks to them.
Because of the number of word requests I have been receiving lately, I know people want an answer. My hope and help is that they would encounter the answer. His name is Jesus. An encounter with Him will change you forever.
It is often the great divide between “I believe God can do that” and “I believe because I have seen Him do that.” No faith is required to declare what you see. For then it is seen. Faith is required to “see” what you don’t see.
Rivers Of Change
A few years ago I was in a region that was dramatically affected by a tropical storm. Homes and businesses were removed by the flooding. Water is a powerful thing. In itself it is inert, but when you have enough of it and a new direction, things happen. The waters removed roads and land carrying it miles downstream in moments.
Over the years I have watched many a change. I have seen lives change. My own certainly would be one of them. Recently I have been in a season where I have “done everything” (employment) and now I find myself just standing.
Like Solomon in Ecclesiastes 3:1, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:”
I thought much about that river this week. About the cutting away of banks and the deposits in other places. What does God say? Amos 3:7, “Surely the Lord GOD does nothing Unless He reveals His secret counsel To His servants the prophets.” I think about that a lot. (The cutting away of banks has revealed gems, gold and more.)
One of the inherent difficulties in my own gift is often the timing. I have been premature on actions tied to words and late on others. But I absolutely believe God is always sharing, always revealing, always talking. The obvious question then is “Are we listening?”
There is timing to things. There are seasons. Like the river I think the life we live may be often be tranquil and peace is easy. During that time the “river” may add things to you or even drop away others. But add more water and life changes. (Ezekiel 47) Tranquility moves away and peace requires greater understanding. Stability is challenged. Everything churns in the moving of the waters. And sometimes you get to the end with nothing but your “life”. In real life I have been on rivers with rapids and falls like that.
Life’s river may be asking you to give up some things. To gain other things. God may be asking you to give or to receive when the opposite appears to be true.
Maybe it is my prophetic nature, but I had such a “traumatic” early life I came to a place where I appreciated stability. But that stability of life has been not been fluid compared to the stability provided by God.
For instance, I thought Tina and I would forever be in Rutland. Then forever in Springfield. If not there at least in Vermont. I bought a home based on word. I lost a home. (God did not take it.) For some reason I seem to get “forced” into the fast moving river from time to time. (Certainly I am in it on many levels right now.) God brought new meaning to my understanding of legacy.
Wherever you are is more than likely not where you will be at some point. (I am not talking about geography necessarily though that is a possibility.) Where I was theologically is not where I was 10 years ago. Nor 5 years or even 1 year ago. (I caught a word from the Lord in September and it has been a satisfying meal since then. Change.)
When we want a “move of God” it is easy to talk about. But like a woman in pregnancy, there comes a time where things “don’t fit” and life is different if not uncomfortable. The move of God is not “how you would do it” but more like He would. Sometimes bigger, sometimes different.
“God, I want to be more like you.” “God, I want to ___ like you do.”(You can fill in the blank with words like love, see, hear, walk, etc..) Folks, those are cries for change. Cries for a “pregnancy” of epic proportion.
Water. If you have ever had water spill, it just spreads…until it runs up against something. And then it either diverts to another direction or exerts increasing pressure on its confinement. Whether the bank of a river or a hole in the wall, it is going somewhere, somehow, some way. When my home was flooded the water never stopped! For months I was pumping, carrying and attempting to divert the water somewhere else. (The end result was the destruction of the home.)
In Ezekiel 47, he saw the water running out of the temple. The waters could not be contained in the temple but something was “constraining” it to force it to deepen. Its banks were higher than the water. Wither the bank goes or the water deepens.
There has been some constraint going on. Not to keep you from something (That would be restraint.) but to keep you for something. The Lord told me months ago He was constraining me. I thought well, awesome I get to hang out with Him. But, it was in my case, regarding work. I shared with my wife what I heard and continued to apply for jobs. (75 in the last three week period.) “Why would you do that?” Because what if I “missed” it? What if I was wrong? Yes, I go through those things. But no Ishmael has come forth.
God’s constraint is not always “timely” by our standards. (I often share my story of my friend Jack Taylor and his constraint.) Not always comfortable. (Mary’s visit by the Holy Ghost.) Not always understood.(See Job’s friends!)
In the coming days many will find themselves not where they thought. I have shared in the past my thoughts on sent, settled and set. This morning I heard the Lord nudge that sometimes you get to be the catalyst and not the fire. Sometimes you are the builder and not the inhabitant.
We are in an exciting day. Revelation is gushing out of deep places. Signs and wonders are becoming fast a daily occasion. And yet the largest cry of the Lord is to know you and have you know Him. Listen for it.
Have I not believed? What I have believed is being added to dimensionally. My life is becoming His life. Simply believe.