We’ve all heard the stories about children who have been forced to grow up way too fast! Perhaps some of you have even been one of those children. These stories come from people, who at a very young age, endure things that they shouldn’t have to. They live through experiences that cause them to function in areas, obstacles, understandings, and expectations way beyond their years. They learn to do things that they shouldn’t even know about, but the world thrust upon them demands that they learn and grow, or fail and perhaps even die.
I propose to you that we, God’s children, are in the midst of such a time as this! We are in the midst of things that should be causing us to grow up. I’m talking about growing up in our understanding, experience, connection, and revelation of God. Many of us shouldn’t even be in the category of “children” at this stage in our walk with the Lord, but perhaps we are because we haven’t engaged in larger arenas with Him. We should have learned and grown beyond our little boxes and ideas of who He is, but we have stayed safe, blessed, comforted, and allowed our surroundings to shape our image of who He is.
This fiery trial we are smack dab in the midst of should certainly prove to be a milestone marker of our growth and understanding. Are we still relying upon the revelation and insight we have had of Him in the past, or are we allowing the Holy Spirit to stretch us beyond our paradigms and religious ways? We have entered the era of “the open book” — the “feast of tabernacles” where God is opening our hearts to His ways and mysteries beyond our current understanding. In the book of Daniel, he was told to seal up the book until the end! In the book of revelation, the One worthy to break open the seals appeared and released wisdom, knowledge and insight so far beyond John’s current grasp. This is John we are talking about! He walked with Jesus throughout His ministry days, the cross, the resurrection and His appearance for 40 days thereafter! I think he probably knew some things about Jesus, right? THIS Jesus that appeared to him, was so far beyond his comprehension that he fell down as dead at the sight of Him!
I once had a friend who loved to say, “God is more concerned with our character than he is our comfort”! I think he was so right on! We need to stretch beyond our comfortable ways and thoughts and begin allowing the Spirit of God to reveal Himself in new ways. He is not new, but it is new to us because we’ve not been here before! We’ve not walked this era of life and our need to grasp the holiness, righteous, and awestruck wonder of a mighty God! The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. This doesn’t mean that we cower and fear that he will strike us down, beat us up, or heap accusations upon us. The fear of the Lord is actually the awestruck wonder of God that causes us to love, worship, obey, honor, and to follow Him as lovers, not like slaves. It’s beyond simply believing IN Jesus – it is allowing His holiness, righteousness, and ways to shape our character, which in turn shapes our lives so we begin to look like the One we love! It means that He has so shaped our lives (and continually does so), that we look more and more like Him. We no longer say we are Christian and continue to look like the rest of the world. I’m not talking about being ‘holier than though’, ‘quoting the bible’, or ‘judging people’, but rather that His character and ways begin replacing the old ways and transforming us into someone who lives His way. It’s not about what we say, rather it is about who we are! Being continually shaped and transformed by His love and character so we reflect what we say we believe. We actually begin to reflect the One in whom we believe. Remember the old saying, “you may be the only bible some people ever read”? It’s sobering to ask ourselves, “what are people reading when we are in their presence”? Is it religion, or is it a relationship with the One who loved the world so much that He gave His life for each and every person?
He will be your constant source of stability in changing times, and out of his abundant love he gives you the riches of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge. Yes, the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure! Isaiah 33:6 (TPT)
I’m reminded of the time when Ron and I volunteered at an alternative cancer hospital in Mexico. We actually lived in the hospital for 8 1/2 months as ambassadors of a ministry that worked hand-in-hand with the hospital. People from all over the world came for help and most of them brought a companion. The ministry was the helping hand to the patients and companions to provide friendship, prayer, events, and assistance in everything needed apart from medical care. Most of these people had been through every other type of treatment and were there as a last-ditch effort. I remember one day, Ron said to me, “I have never shared the gospel with so many people who simply say thank you, but refuse to change their thinking”. Wow! People in dire circumstances who still refused to listen to the loving voice of Jesus as He extended a hand of help to them!
My friends, we are in these dire circumstances at this very moment in time! During these times of shaking, let’s ask ourselves … will we listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit and allow Him to form within us a new understanding of our Father, of Jesus, and of the Spirit of God? He is the God who is always MORE than we currently comprehend. We need aTODAY knowledge of Him in order to choose the right side. It is this deeper understanding, fellowship, and connection with Him that enables us to grow up, and to align ourselves with His plans during this hour in history! Let’s be like the sons of Issachar who know the times and seasons and are able to align our ways to His ways and our thoughts to His thoughts. As our hearts become full of the awestruck wonder (fear) of the Lord we shall yet see His plan unfold in us and through us.
I leave you with this … it is time to grow up, show up, rise up, wake up, and go up! Let’s go up into the realms with God that will transform us in the very deep fabrics of our being! He wants to reveal His mature sons and daughters to the world so that they (the world) might see Him! Let’s grow up so that we might reveal the true Christ to the world around us!