Waiting in the Wings

For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.

Tag: 1 Corinthians

The Gift of the Present Moment

{vision} One day as I was praying for wisdom in carrying out a long-term goal, I saw a vision of a Christmas tree with presents beneath it. In my spirit, I saw myself waking up each morning like I did as a child on Christmas morning—with a feeling of excitement, expectation, and hope.

When I received this vision, I sensed Holy Spirit calling me to seek the treasures that the Father has prepared for me each day of my life. So often, from the moment we wake up to the time we fall asleep, our thoughts can be plagued with our to-do lists. Many things need to be done, and many things need to be addressed. And depending on the urgency of those needs, it can be hard to stop and recognize the good that is before us.

However, in those moments when we feel like we’re not moving fast enough and doing enough, our thoughts are consumed with the possible future. As a result, we can miss the treasures hidden in the present moment. Therefore, Holy Spirit is calling us to slow down and take inventory. 

When we’re able to pause and fully inhabit the present moment, it gives us the opportunity to shift our focus back to God. We realize we don’t have to continually feel in a place of need and lack because we have Emmanuel—God with us. God is present with us in our day-to-day lives. He is the answer to every prayer, the fulfillment of every desire, and the provision for our every need.

Isaiah 65:24 reminds us of God’s loving care towards us. He says, “I’ll anticipate their prayers and respond before they know it; even as they speak, I will hear” (VOICE). And Matthew 6:8 tells us that our Heavenly Father knows what we need before we even ask. For those that would align with the Father’s heart, Holy Spirit says now, “Wake up each morning with an expectation of good. There are so many treasures I have in store for you. Know that each moment of each day has a gift from My heart hidden in it.

“I have not left you. I will never forsake you. So know and trust that I have provided exactly what you need for today and every day.”

No longer do we have to fear the past. And worrying about our future will not benefit us. There’s a way for us to keep our mind on the next spiritual destination without taking our eyes off the road—off of the present. We can remember that God has the future in His hands. Even more, we can remember that God is with is. Just as the Israelites in the wilderness had the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar fire by night, we too carry God’s abiding presence with us. And by focusing on the gift of the present moment and His abiding presence within it, we open our hearts to receive His daily provision for the journey ahead.

1 Corinthians 2:9 (VOICE) But as the Scriptures say, No eye has ever seen and no ear has ever heard and it has never occurred to the human heart All the things God prepared for those who love Him.

Isaiah 65:24 (VOICE) I’ll anticipate their prayers and respond before they know it; even as they speak, I will hear.

Deuteronomy 29:6 (VOICE) You haven’t had bread to eat or wine or strong drink to consume, but I’ve fed you each day with manna so you’d know that I, the Eternal, am your God who protects you and provides for you.

The Window of Your Heart

“Ayin Tovah (Good/Generous Eye)” by Meghan Williams of Dyed4you Art

Matthew 6:22-23 (RSV) “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is not sound, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”

I once heard a wise saying that goes something like this, “Whenever you’re feeling negative emotions, it is because you have stopped loving.” Or as I have come to interpret it—whenever we are in a negative state of mind, it is because we have inadvertently disconnected from the source of love—the heart of God.

We don’t always disconnect from God’s love out of willful sin and rebellion. In fact, I often find my disconnects occur in the subtlest of ways. Usually, I’m going along in life, some minor or major event occurs, and suddenly, my perception of life and God has subconsciously shifted. It often takes me a while to recognize that I’m no longer looking at my life and experiences through the lens of God’s infinite love. Little by little, feelings like fear, shame, guilt, condemnation, and worthlessness begin to creep in and darken my inner man. All in all: I have forgotten that I am loved.

When I do become aware of the shift, I can actually feel it in my heart center. It’s as if the window of my heart has closed and that holy light of love isn’t able to get in. It is reminiscent of Matthew 6:22-23, “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is not sound, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” (RSV). How we “see” the world, shapes our experience.

In Paleo-Hebrew, the letter hei has been linked symbolically to a window. And there are some rich connections linked to this letter and the themes in Matthew 6. Jewish sages explain that hei stands for revelation, expression, and light. Hei is also a letter that unifies the concept of giving and receiving; it is constructed of the Hebrew letter dalet (symbolic of a poor and humble man) and a “foot” of the letter gimel (symbolic of a rich man.)

Furthermore, the number of hei is five (5). In the creation account, the word “light” is mentioned five times. The Torah is compromised of the five Books of Moses (which are also the first five books of the Christian Bible). Therefore, the sages suggest that the mention of “light” during the creation account hints to how God permeates and animates all of creation with His infinite light, His Word. 

Having these concepts in mind, often the key to shifting our focus from a negative mindset to a positive one requires that we open the windows of our heart so that God’s light can fill our inner man. God’s light is His Word, and His Word is love. When we close off our hearts to receiving love, often it is because we have what I would call a “miserly” perspective of God’s love in a situation. (We unconsciously put limits on His infinite love.) We need fresh revelation—an “ah-ha” moment where we can see our life through God’s eyes.

Do you perceive God is growing impatient with you? Remind yourself that “love is patient.” When you make a mistake, do you feel like God is mad and frustrated? Do you think He’s adding that mistake to a long list with your name on it? Remind yourself that love “it is not easily angered” and “keeps no record of wrongs.” Remind yourself that God abounds in love and generously pours it out upon His beloved children.

When you find yourself feeling disconnected from the Father’s love, pause and remind yourself of what His love looks like. Return to the revelation of love as expressed through God’s Word. Take a moment, to open the window of your heart and let the light in.

1 Corinthians 13:4-5 (NIV) Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Renewing Our Focus

“Be Still” by Meghan Williams of Dyed4you Art

Psalm 46:10 (VOICE) “Surrender your anxiety! Be silent and stop your striving and you will see that I am God. I am the God above all the nations, and I will be exalted throughout the whole earth.

When we are yoked with our Creator, there are moments when we’re not going at the same speed that He is. When we are out of alignment with Him, we can feel it as tug upon our soul. Sometimes that tug is gentle, and at other times—when we are insistent in our striving—that tug is much more firm. “Stop striving,” He beckons. “Stop pulling against My yoke. It’s time to come and sit at My feet and just rest. It’s time to remind yourself of Who is leading.” 

This call is reminiscent of Psalm 46:10, where God tells us to “be still and know” that He is God. When we dig deeper into the Hebrew of this text, there is beautiful insight into what God is asking us to do in the moments when we feel that tug upon our souls. The command “be still” in Hebrew is raphah (Strong’s H7503), which means “to sink, relax, sink down, let drop, be disheartened.” One definition according to the Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon is “to leave off anything, e.g. a work begun, Neh. 6:8… Psalm 46:11 ‘leave off your own attempts and know.’” 

Think of a field hand diligently working the soil in a field. His supervisor suddenly calls out to stop work and take a break. So the field hand immediately stops, lets go of the tool in his hand, and walks away to take that break. In much the same way, when God tells us to “be still,” He’s calling us to stop striving over a matter in our lives and come into a place of rest.

Yet there’s a second layer to this call. God asks us to “be still and know” that He is God. Not only must we stop striving, but we must also be intentional to realign our focus on God. In Psalm 46:10, the Hebrew word for “know” is yada (H3045). Yada alludes to a type of knowledge that involves an intimate perception of something. Yada is also used euphemistically for the intimacy between spouses. (Genesis 4:1 says that Adam “knew” his wife Eve, and she conceived and bore their son Cain.) When we really comprehend a person or matter, we obtain intimate knowledge. We gain a unique clarity of perception.

In 1 Corinthians 13:11-12, Paul says, “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known” (NKJV). When we feel the call to “be still and know,” God is calling us to realign our focus in that moment. This is a precious gift, an opportunity for us to enter the Holy of Holies and have a “face to face” moment with Him. This is a call to reconnect with the Source of Love.

When we are striving, there is a misalignment in our spiritual vision and our misperception of love concerning a particular matter. Clarity can only be found when we’re seeing the matters of life the way that God sees them. By the flesh, we have a cloudy, distant perception of life, but with God, we have access to a full level of disclosure. 

Are you anxious and afraid over a matter? Do you feel alone and without answers or help? Or perhaps, you feel exhausted and weak, facing a challenge in your life to which you feel at a disadvantage. It’s time to “be still and know.” It’s time to reconnect with your Creator and remember that He has everything under control. Let His love and peace wash over you, and allow Him to give you fresh revelation for the road ahead.

Arise and Build

“Igniting Hearts” by Meghan Williams, Dyed4you Art

Beloved, I know that there are moments when you feel intimidated by the call on your life or the measure of the gifts I have given you. When fear tempts you to hold back what I have placed inside you, remember My purpose for raising you up. I lift you up that others may be drawn to the Light of My Spirit within you. 

I have imparted My Spirit, the gifts, and the offices for the building up of the Body. When each member embraces their role and does their part, it opens the door for My will to be made manifest in the earth. From this perspective, not one of you is insignificant or useless. In fact, each of you is a vital part of My Kingdom plan.

I stir you up now to arise and not hold back what I have placed inside you. Let your light shine and let your testimony be heard. Watch as I draw those to you who need the same healing, comfort, and truth that I have given to you. Build them up as I have built you up. Raise them up as I am now raising you up. Arise, and build up the Body.

Ephesians 4:11-12 (VOICE) It was the risen One who handed down to us such gifted leaders—some emissaries, some prophets, some evangelists, as well as some pastor-teachers— so that God’s people would be thoroughly equipped to minister and build up the body of the Anointed One.

1 Corinthians 14:12 (VOICE) It’s the same with you; in your passion for spiritual gifts, seek to strengthen the community of believers, and you will all be better off.

Spring of Hope

“Sun of Righteousness” by Meghan William, Dyed4you Art

John 4:13-14 (NKJV) Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

There is a saying that goes, “Hope springs eternal.” As someone who battled the darkness of depression for over ten years, I once struggled to believe that such a thing was true. Anyone who has faced depression knows that hopelessness is a key component in that battle. Wounds of the past can cast such shadows on our path, that it can be hard to imagine and hope for better experiences in life.

Yet I after walking with God out of depression and through years of emotional healing, I can say with certainty that He is an eternal spring of hope for the hopeless. During times when the Master Surgeon has worked upon my heart, I have faced low moments where hope seemed hard to find. Yet the Holy Spirit has always been faithful to bring to mind words of life He had spoken through dear brothers and sister in Christ. Those words acted as a mirror meant to remind me of who I am in Christ at just the right moment. God would take those simple words of truth and increase them exponentially. Suddenly, the barren landscape of my heart would be flooded with His love and everlasting life.

Beloved of God, refuse to underestimate the power of the words that God releases through you to others! Speaking words of encouragement to people may seem insignificant when compared to the trials and circumstances they are facing. I know all too well how powerless I have felt in such moments, even though God was the one prompting me to release His words.

However, the Apostle Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 3:7 that it is God who gives the increase from our spiritual work. Faithfully speak what Holy Spirit gives you, and watch how God moves. You can trust that, in due time, hope will spring up in the barren places through the words of life you release.

Romans 5:5 (NKJV) Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

1 Corinthians 3:7 (NKJV) So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.

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