Waiting in the Wings

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

Tag: Exodus

Consecrated to God

Refreshing Worship” by Meghan Williams of Dyed4you Art

Romans 12:1 (AMP) Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship.

{vision} I saw a woman waving her arms up and down in worship. Her eyes were closed, and I could sense she was fully enraptured and focused on God. I got the sense that as the motion of her arms was meant to symbolize the rising of incense, I could sense her soul ascending in some way and recognizing its oneness with God.

This vision came to me as I was meditating on the subject of aliyah, the immigration of the Jewish people in the diaspora to the Land of Israel. In Hebrew, “aliyah” means “ascent.” As I shared in my post, “Our Songs of Ascent,” my studies of Scripture through a Hebraic lens have given me a deep appreciation for God’s promise to Abraham and his descendants. And while I, along with many others in Christ, eagerly await the fulfillment of God’s promises to manifest in the earth, I always find there’s much to learn about our spiritual pilgrimage through events in the natural.

As my friend author Meghan Williams often says about the story of Scripture, “All along God has only wanted one thing: that He would be our God and we would be His people.” From Genesis to Revelation, we see the lengths that God has been going to in order to restore humanity to oneness with Him. He desires to make His dwelling place with us. Humankind sins, yet again and again, God makes a way to redeem us; He makes a path for us to return to Him.

Much like the Jewish people’s return to the Land of Israel, our spiritual return to God is an ascent. Through Christ and the path of holiness and righteousness, God lifts our lives out of the captivity of sin and into His marvelous light of freedom. Yet this ascent to the Jerusalem Above is a daily process, a walk that is paved with grace. Like the children of Israel in their cycles of captivity, our aliyah requires consecration. As Psalm 24:3-4 says:

Who can possibly ascend the mountain of the Eternal? Who can stand before Him in sacred spaces? Only those whose hands have been washed and hearts made pure, men and women who are not given to lies or deception (VOICE).

What I sense from my vision of the worshipper about aliyah is our need to continually consecrate our lives to the Eternal. The worshipper symbolizes what it means to be a living sacrifice. We must close our eyes to the physical realm in order to realign with what is true—the fact that our lives are hidden in Christ and He now lives through us. Like the worshipper lifting up her arms, we willingly give our hands (our everyday actions) to the service of the King.

Many Jewish scholars share how keeping the commandments are meant to elevate the mundane activities of life and make them spiritual. When Israel sinned and was carried into captivity, their return back started with a return to the covenant of God. We too can see that, through our own repentance and redemption, we receive the Holy Spirit, and God writes His commandments upon our hearts. Our actions, great and small, suddenly become elevated as we are led by the Spirit. We become pleasing in the sight of God.

Yet, in order to be led by the Spirit, we must make room for the Spirit. There are always new areas where God desires to redeem us from captivity and cause us to return to Him. Therefore, we must clear our minds, turn our focus upon the King, and expand our hearts so that He can write more of His Word upon it. Much like the children of Israel before Mount Sinai and the followers of Christ before the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, there is a call to consecrate and prepare ourselves to come up higher in the things of the Spirit. God desires to flip our perspective so that we come to see our everyday lives through heaven’s eyes.

Beloved of Christ, God desires to enlarge your heart to receive more of His Kingdom. This paradigm shift will elevate the mundaneness of everyday life onto the level of the holy. For He has called you to be a king and a priest, to live a life that is set apart and pleasing to Him. Receive the fresh revelation the Spirit is pouring out. Allow Him to write His Word upon the tablets of your heart so that His ways become your ways, your hands become His hands, and your actions become His actions. Allow Him to flow through you, move you in a new way so that you act as one. Tarry and make room to receive more of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Exodus 19:10-11 (NKJV) Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes. And let them be ready for the third day. For on the third day the LORD will come down upon Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.

Luke 24:49 (NKJV) “Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”

Acts 2:1-2 (VOICE) When the holy day of Pentecost came 50 days after Passover, they were gathered together in one place.  Picture yourself among the disciples: A sound roars from the sky without warning, the roar of a violent wind, and the whole house where you are gathered reverberates with the sound.

Revelation 21:2-3 (NKJV) Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God [is] with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them [and be] their God.

True Rest

“Wings of the Spirit” by Meghan Williams of Dyed4you Art

Hebrews 4:1 (TPT) Now God has offered to us the same promise of entering into his realm of resting in confident faith. So we must be extremely careful to ensure that we all embrace the fullness of that promise and not fail to experience it.

When the children of Israel were delivered from the bondage of Egypt, God promised that His Presence would go with them and give them rest (Exodus 33:14). In Hebrew, the word “rest” in this Scripture is nuwach which has the concept of settling down, dwelling, and remaining. No longer would they be strangers in the land of their affliction nor would they be strangers in this new land where their father Abraham was a sojourner; God was bringing them to a place they could call home and the place that He would abide with them.

In Hebrews 4, Paul alludes to this concept in light of the redemption that Christ has brought us. He warns the redeemed not to follow in the pattern of those who wandered in the wilderness and miss out on the rest that Christ has purchased for us. But what does this rest in Christ look like? A clue can be found in the two types of rest that Paul alludes to. 

Not only does Paul mention a nuwach type of rest (being settled, dwelling, and remaining in a place) but also another Hebrew word for rest, shabath. Shabath implies a sense of completion; God began the process of creation on the first day, and it was on the seventh day that He stopped creating because His work was complete. Nothing else need be added, so God could sit down and appreciate all that He had done.

We are being called to find our resting place in Christ. Just as the Israelites were redeemed and removed from Egypt, we too have been redeemed from the power of sin and bondage through the Cross. God is saying, “It is finished! It is complete! And your Promised Land of rest in the Everlasting Arms is accessible now in the land of the living!” When God promised the Israelites rest, technically the battle for the Promised Land was still in sight for them; but they allowed their fear over those looming battles to prevent them from attaining God’s promise. From their perspective, their redemption and fight for freedom wasn’t complete. 

Therefore, we must be careful to resist the urge to let the battle against the flesh keep us from entering into our resting place in God. For the beautiful part of our redemption is that God comes into His rest with us as well. Just as the throne of God and His dwelling Presence went with the Israelites in the wilderness and into the Land, so God’s abiding Presence keeps us at every step. The battles ahead are already won. The only effort required on our part is to listen to the direction of the Holy Spirit. It is our redeemer who will do all the work and all of the fighting on our behalf. It is God alone who is responsible for bringing us into our completeness and fullness of Christ.

Exodus 33:14 (NKJV) And He said, “My Presence will go [with you], and I will give you rest.”

The Name

“His Holy Name” by Meghan Williams, Dyed4you Art

Exodus 6:3 (NLT)  I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty’—but I did not reveal my name, Yahweh, to them.

In Exodus 6:3, God makes an interesting statement to Moses. He says, “I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty’—but I did not reveal my name, Yahweh, to them.” There are Jewish scholars who claim that this Scripture isn’t saying that the forefathers of the faith didn’t know that “Yahweh” was one of God’s many names. Instead, the side of God’s character that the forefathers saw throughout their lives was only El Shaddai—the all-powerful God, their sufficiency and sustainer. However, generations later in Egypt, the children of Israel witnessed the character of God in a way their forefathers did not. Yahweh—whose very name reflects that He is the source of all existence and being—showed His power in a way that completely defied the laws of nature.

Whether we realize it or not, God reveals Himself to us through different names at different times. We come to know the many facets of His character through each of these names. Sometimes the “name” family members or brothers and sisters in Christ know God by may not be the same name that we know Him by. We may grow up perceiving the Creator, at first, only as Elohim—God, ruler, and judge of the universe. When we receive salvation, we come to know Him as Haggo’el—the Redeemer. And as the Spirit of Adoption draws us closer to our Creator’s heart, we may come to know God as Abba—our Father.

Yet an infinite God has an infinite number of names. And as our life experience transforms, He continues to reveal those names by revealing His character at greater depths. Therefore, it may behoove us to occasionally pause and reflect on God’s interactions with us in different seasons. The Holy Spirit can reveal the name that God is making Himself known by at that time. By inquiring about the name that God is revealing for you at any given time, you will have the opportunity to see who He wants to be in your life now and forevermore. Even more, because God is your Father, it’s important to see how He is imparting aspects of His nature into you. 

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén