Waiting in the Wings

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

Category: Meditations of the Word Page 2 of 4

In His Image

“Bezel El (Shadow of God)” by Meghan Williams, Dyed4you Art

Genesis 1:27 (NKJV) So God created man in His [own] image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

In the opening of Genesis, we are told that humanity has been made in the image or shadow of God—in Hebrew, tselem (Strong’s H6754). Something that I have frequently meditated on is what this term tselem means. This meditation most often happens when I’m going through trials and tribulations. During these times when my soul is grieved, and I’m searching for the righteous path through the chaos of life, I will hear my Heavenly Father’s still small voice saying, “Come back into My shadow.” I‘ve come to understand that He means this is several ways. 

Firstly, He is reminding me that it is only under His shade—tsêl (Strong’s 6738)that we have any hope of finding real comfort and peace. Sometimes if we are not careful, life’s difficulties can chase us out of our hiding place in God instead of remaining in Him. Nothing in the world can refresh and sustain us better than our Source. In the heat of trials, when I pause to listen for His voice, I can tell that I have unintentionally moved out of His shadow. It is like standing outside on an incredibly hot day and completely avoiding the shade of a nearby tree. While the shade doesn’t compare to air conditioning, I would be a fool not to abide there when left with no other choice. Plus, there is sweet fruit from the tree that revives and sustains me.

Secondly, I know that by calling me to come back into His shadow, the Father is also referring to His image. One can say that, during troubles, we are tempted to lose our mind—or lose the mind of Christ. We can quickly forget who we are and the vows we have made to His covenant. Trials always require a response from us, but what will our response be? Will we let the trials disconnect us from our Source, leaving us with only the resources of our flesh? Or will we continue to abide and bear the fruits of the Spirit while under pressure—love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control? We have a choice in difficulties even when we may feel like we don’t.

When trials come—and as our Savior told us, they certain will come—they become an opportunity for God to build His character into us. The more we yield to the process and are mindful of the point of the difficulties, the more we will have access to the life-giving flow of the Holy Spirit. And the more of God’s Spirit that we are able to receive, the more we are able to accurately hear His voice and reflect His image in the earth—in both good times and bad.

Galatians 5:22-24 (TPT) But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions:

joy that overflows,
peace that subdues,
patience that endures,
kindness in action,
a life full of virtue,
faith that prevails,
gentleness of heart, and
strength of spirit.

Never set the law above these qualities, for they are meant to be limitless.

Eye of the Lord

“Surrendered Heart” by Meghan Williams of Dyed4you Art

Psalm 17:8 (VOICE) Keep close watch over me as the apple of Your eye; shelter me in the shadow of Your wings.

At some point in my childhood, I was seriously convinced that the moon was the eye of God. Before I would go to bed, I would sit by the window and stare at that bright light in the darkness sure that the One who loved me was staring back. At this time, I didn’t know about the Scripture that says the eyes of the Lord are always upon the righteous (Psalm 34:15) or how we are the apple of His eye (Psalm 17:8). Yet somehow, I instinctively knew this truth.

This bright, unblinking eye in the sky didn’t scare me though. In fact, I was sure that even though I was going to sleep, my Big Daddy above didn’t sleep; He would be keeping His eye on me, and I would be safe. God was so big and yet so close to me all at once! He was completely involved in my life and certainly not too busy running the universe to watch me while I slept. I would wrap myself in that truth and fall into a deep rest.

Although I’m an adult and now know what the moon really is, I have to admit that that pure, childlike truth about my Heavenly Father remains a powerful part of my life. Sonship is a beautiful and ever-unraveling revelation. Our Father is infinite, a sovereign over all created things. Yet sometimes we can feel lost in the midst of this creation and the chaos that sin brings. And when we feel lost, we lose sight of who we are and Whose we are. But when the eyes of our heart can manage to refocus on the truth—that we are much-loved children of the King of the Universe and God of Angel Armies—then it gets pretty hard for the troubles of life to overwhelm us. We may be adults in the earthly realm, but from a heavenly perspective, we never leave the watchful and loving care of our Heavenly Father. His thoughts towards us our vas,t and His care over us never changes. His love and favor are truly the only security blanket we need to find rest in this world.

Our Songs of Ascent

Open the Gates with Praise” by Meghan Williams of Dyed4you Art

For many years, I was always curious when I came across the Psalms known as the “Songs of Ascent” (Psalms 120-134). I wondered what this special title meant and the story that sets these psalms apart. Over time, I discovered that these psalms are known as the Pilgrim Songs. Some scholars believe they were sung by worshippers as they ascended the road to Jerusalem to attend the three pilgrim feasts (Deuteronomy 16:16). Others believe that the songs were sung by Levitical priests as they ascended the steps of the Temple in Jerusalem. Another theory suggests they were written after the rebuilding of the Second Temple. Finally, there are scholars who think these songs were individual poems that were collected and given a title that would connect them to the Jewish pilgrimage after the Babylonian captivity.

As I have studied these psalms and even listened to them when they were put to song, something beautiful happened as I meditated on them as a picture of our spiritual pilgrimage. I had already done many studies of Scripture through a Hebraic lens; I was in awe of lengths that God has gone through to honor His promise to Abraham to bring his children back to the land of Israel—the land of promise. From the forefathers of the faith to the different generations in captivity, God would always create a road for them to return to the Promised Land and to Jerusalem, the very place of His throne. He created a way for them to dwell in His Presence.

Now, as much as the land of Israel is a physical land set apart by God, I couldn’t help but see in the Songs of Ascent that the process of return required a spiritual ascent of the soul. Truly, this road echoes a higher call that we have in Christ. For our Kinsman Redeemer has freed us from the captivity of sin, making a way for us to “ascend the hill of the LORD” again. Our inner man is called to make the pilgrimage to the Jerusalem Above as we submit to the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. 

To me, the Songs of Ascent are a reminder of what inspires our praise and worship. We worship God because He has made a way for us to dwell in His Presence again. We rejoice over His continual deliverance. We express our gratitude that He has chosen us and sanctified us as His kings and priests in His eternal Kingdom. Praise and worship elevates the soul as we set our mind our higher things and our upward call in Christ.

1 Peter 2:4-5, 9 (NKJV) Coming to Him [as to] a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God [and] precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. … But you [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

Attuned to His Voice

Listen to the Sound” by Meghan Williams of Dyed4you Art

Very early in my prophetic walk, I had several incredible encounters with the audible voice of God. Other than a smattering of Scripture references to this voice, it had never entered my mind that such encounters still happened. Primarily, I had these experiences while I was asleep. Somewhere between dreams, I would find myself pulled into a completely dark place. While my body was asleep, my inner man was suddenly wide awake. In the majority of these encounters, the only sense that was engaged was my spiritual hearing. 

I remember that the first encounter began with the loud gong of bells sounding at various pitches. The vibrations rang through my being and felt like waves of a tuning fork. The sound, along with the darkness captured my attention and called me to be alert. 

Then suddenly, God spoke. The sound felt as if it would rip my very being apart with its sheer force! Yet somehow, He spoke and I lived. His voice was slightly garbled. In retrospect, I believe this was symbolic of the fact that God was working to clear up my perception or reception of His voice. 

While I don’t recall all the words in this encounter, I remember that it was a dark saying that had to do with His voice. As with most of these encounters, it was as if the meaning would bypass my mind and go straight into my spirit man. I do remember, however, that the encounter ended with a very clear call—a call for me to go forth and speak of the “sound” of His voice. It was a call to testify to what I had heard.

I have had several encounters with this audible voice in my walk with God. All are in this place in the Spirit where the sounds seem to resonate throughout my being and where what I hear is a mystery. I will also hear music and songs at times. It’s taken me many years to even find the words to write about this, and I’m just beginning to see the purpose in these encounters.

For me, being attuned to the sound of heaven and to the voice of God has been an essential part of flowing in the gift of prophecy. I believe those early encounters were very similar to the prophet Samuel’s experience, where the voice of God called to him in the tabernacle (1 Samuel 3). Before Samuel could begin his training as a prophet, he had to become aware that God was even speaking to him. Samuel had to become attuned to the voice of the Divine. Once the high priest, Eli, helped Samuel to recognize the One who was rousing him from his slumber, Samuel was able to position himself to become the servant of that Voice. 

In our daily lives, there are so many voices, sounds, or frequencies that are vying for our attention. Yet when the voice of our Creator calls from within, it should truly command all of our attention. My encounters with the audible voice of God roused me from a state of spiritual slumber and into a posture of listening. I often struggled to embrace the calling on my life, and these encounters often made it impossible for me to ignore it! While I have never heard that voice while I’m awake, it doesn’t change the fact that I’m now attuned to its vibrations as it resonates throughout my daily life. The Holy Spirit carefully cultivated a heart attitude within me so that I would respond, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening!”

1 Samuel 3:9-10 (VOICE) Eli (realizing the Lord was calling Samuel)Go back and lie down, my son. If the voice calls you again, I want you to say, “Speak, Eternal One. Your servant is listening.” So Samuel went to his bed in his place and listened. Then the Eternal One came into his presence as before.

Eternal One: Samuel! Samuel!

Samuel: Speak, Eternal One. Your servant is listening.

The Moment of Breakthrough

“Mighty Breaker Anointing” by Meghan Williams, Dyed4you Art

I have always been fascinated by God’s words to the Israelites concerning the process by which He would empower them to dispossess the promised land of the nations that were there:

Deuteronomy 7:21-22 (VOICE) So don’t be so terrified of these other nations—the Eternal your God is with you. He’s a great and awesome God! But He will drive out these nations ahead of you only little by little. You won’t be able to finish them off all at once because if you did, the wild animals would reproduce rapidly in the empty land and that would be dangerous.

These verses encourage me to manage my expectations when it comes to the process of breakthrough. If Christ’s work was finished on the Cross and liberty in the Spirit is available now, then why is it such a process to walk in that freedom?

There’s a saying that goes, “The first step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one.” I believe this saying can aptly be applied to the concept of spiritual breakthrough as well. The moment of our breakthrough isn’t when we finally get off the merry-go-round of our cycle of pain. It isn’t when we stop having panic attacks, experiencing those outbursts of anger, or when we stop having to scrape dollars together to make ends meet.

Our breakthrough happens the moment God shines the light of understanding upon our lives and reveals the root of each cycle itself. Now we may feel exposed and defeated when finally see what has kept us bound, restricted, and feeling powerless. And we may feel overwhelmed and intimated thinking of the internal battles we will face in the days ahead to dispossess the resident lies, trauma, and shame. 

However, it’s no small miracle to be able to recognize limiting thought patterns and wrong beliefs. We can’t address the things that we can’t even see. And there is no need to think that we have to fight these battles in our own strength. Ultimately, each battle has already been won through the Cross. God has gone before us!

Truly, the moment of our breakthrough is the place where we choose to follow God into a new area of our inner promised land. Each day becomes an opportunity to receive new truths from His Spirit and have our minds renewed. Instead of walking in circles in the wilderness, we can open our hearts to learn a new way of being and experience abundant life.

[The Moment of Breakthrough originally posted on Waiting in the Wings, reposted in its entirety with permission.]

The Way of Righteousness

“Heir of Righteousness” by Meghan Williams, Dyed4you Art

John 14 stands as an important reminder for those who are followers of Yeshua (Jesus): we can show our love for our Bridegroom best by keeping His commandments. Doing so will not only stir up Christ’s love for us, but the Father will love us as well (John 14:21). From this perspective, one could say that “righteousness” is God’s love language!

And how can it not be? As we yield to the work of the Holy Spirit in our innermost being, we are giving Him permission to write God’s law upon the tablets of our hearts. We are agreeing to adopt His desires as our own and showing God that we value what He values. Each time we yield our inner desires in favor of another, we are demonstrating a small act of self-sacrifice. Doing so mirrors the love of our Bridegroom as expressed through the Cross.

To choose the way of righteousness is to allow our love for God to transform from feeling to action. We are putting our affection for Him on display by doing what is just, especially when it is hard. Our righteous acts become a sweet and powerful fragrance in the spiritual realm that touches the heart of God and the hearts of our neighbors.

John 14:21 (NKJV) He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.

Matthew 22:37-40 (VOICE) Jesus (quoting Scripture): “Love the Eternal One your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is nearly as important, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” The rest of the law, and all the teachings of the prophets, are but variations on these themes.

A Throne-Room Perspective

“Throne Room Glory” by Meghan Williams, Dyed4you Art

There was once a point in my walk when I was afraid to have a throne room encounter with God. I was still healing from a broken sense of identity at that time, so I was certain that an encounter with Him would “put me in my place.” Certainly, the presence of the flawless Eternal One would only confirm the sense of unworthiness I felt on the inside. Yet nothing could have been further from the truth.

My encounters with the Divine have always had a way of radically transforming the way I perceive both God and myself. I begin to grasp the face of perfect love. (And no matter how many encounters I have with the Eternal, it will only really be just the beginning.) He is limitless, all-powerful, all-knowing, and truly, none can compare to Him. Yes, He is so flawless in His beauty that words often fail me. However, I am moved to spend the rest of my existence (here and in eternity) looking for ways to describe the impossible.

Yet to grasp a glimpse of the glory puts our identity into a breathtaking perspective. The One who is seated on the throne above all thrones has chosen to make His home within us. When unified, the followers of Christ are indeed a body through which the Divine moves and expresses Himself. Our relationship to Him is like a crown upon our heads.

Encounters with the presence of God restore our dignity and rightful identity as sons of God and living stones of His temple. We remember who we are, whose we are, and why we are alive. In this light, I can say it is easy for me to cast my crown before the throne. However, I no longer fear I have to cast my crown out of a sense of unworthiness. Instead, I am moved to honor my King out of gratitude and love for this precious gift of life.

Revelation 4:10-11 (AMP) the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and they worship Him who lives forever and ever; and they throw down their crowns before the throne, saying, “Worthy are You, our Lord and God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they exist, and were created and brought into being.”

1 Peter 2:5 (TPT) Come and be his “living stones” who are continually being assembled into a sanctuary for God. For now you serve as holy priests, offering up spiritual sacrifices that he readily accepts through Jesus Christ.

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.

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. 

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