Love is Greater than Prophesy: Declaring the Abundance of Eternal Life

While it is good to hear testimonies of God’s power and understand the process of stewarding long term prophetic words, this information is useless without a deeper revelation of God’s love. Ultimately, the love of God is what sustains and motivates all Holy Spirit led prophesy.

Why? Out of God’s desire to give us eternity.

Jesus is God’s complete prophetic word to mankind.

In Jesus Christ, we discover that God’s primary motive and purpose for prophesy is love.

In the beginning, God knits together each person using his cords of love.

For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

139:13

I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love. To them I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek, and I bent down to feed them.

Hosea 11:4

This secret weaving is a holy mystery.

As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.

Ecclesiastes 11:5

15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.

Psalm 139:15-16

Through love, God keeps weaving us into communities. His love in other people calls us and aligns us to our right places.

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?

Romans 10:14

Then you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18will have power, together with all the saints, to comprehend the length and width and height and depth 19of the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Ephesians 3:14-19

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.

John 17:20-23

Through love, Jesus integrates and binds together his diverse people as one body. The covenant God makes to us all collectively in Christ is the foundation of Christian community.

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves[a] or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

1 Corinthians 12:12

Whoever has made a covenant with Jesus, through his sacrifice and their faith, is automatically a member of God’s covenant family.

Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Romans 8:17

Healthy communities are like a womb, forming and reforming us until we fully resemble Jesus.

And it was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12to equip the saints for works of ministry and to build up the body of Christ, 13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God, as we mature to the full measure of the stature of Christ.

Ephesians 4:11-13

Through covenants that reproduce God’s love, marriage also binds us together in Christ.

That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

Genesis 2:24

When we are ensnared by sin, God’s cords of love break us free from the entangling cords of sin.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,

Hebrews 12:1

And they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

2 Timothy 2:26

The cords of death encompassed me

And the terrors of Sheol came upon me;

I found distress and sorrow.

Psalm 116:3

God’s patience bears with us until the end.

The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have drawn you with loving devotion.”

Jeremiah 31:3

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. 

Psalm 147:3

 In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.

Isaiah 63:9

And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?”

Luke 13:16

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”

Matthew 18:21

“Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:20
Photo credit to BBC

Like Love, Good Prophesy Brings Life

The Holy Spirit only speaks out of God’s love.

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

John 16:13

By love, God speaks in order to break forth his overflowing, eternal life out of lifelessness.

But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort.

1 Corinthians 14:3

 “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’”

Ezekiel 37:9

Even challenging words are life-giving when they are motivated by God’s love.

Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.

2 Timothy 4:2

Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Although I did regret it, I now see that my letter caused you sorrow, but only for a short time. 9And now I rejoice, not because you were made sorrowful, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you felt the sorrow that God had intended, and so were not harmed in any way by us. 10Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation without regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

2 Corinthians 7:8-10

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,

2 Timothy 3:16

God speaks direction, encouragement, and correction to nations so that he can bring them into the fullness of his plans for them.

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!

Matthew 23:37

And I, because of what they have planned and done, am about to come[a] and gather the people of all nations and languages, and they will come and see my glory.

Isaiah 66:18

The measure of good prophesy isn’t accuracy, but the extent that it gives life by overflowing with the love of God.

God spoke to create all things in the beginning…

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

Genesis 1:3

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

John 1:1-3

Through his prophets, he still speaks to give the nations and people a hope and a future.

Listen! It’s the voice of someone shouting, “Clear the way through the wilderness for the LORD! Make a straight highway through the wasteland for our God!

Isaiah 40:3

 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome[a] it.

John 1:4-5

This hope and eternal future can only ever be found in Jesus Christ.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 14:6

I have written to you, children, because you know the Father.

1 John 2:13

By love, Gods words break us out of death into overflowing, eternal life.

 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

John 10:10

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

John 5:24

Eternal life is like continuous resurrection that was in the beginning, and will be again.

 And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.”

Genesis 1:20

When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Colossians 3:4
Overflowing LifeNatural Life
Originates in loveCan feel distant
CompletePartial
Life-givingUnsatisfying
EternalTemporary

Fullness of Life and Eternity

Unlike love, prophesy ultimately ends. This is because like our natural life spans on earth, prophesy is partial.

 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

1 Corinthians 13:8-12

When Jesus is permanently with his people in a New Heavens and New Earth, the human heart will finally have satisfied its desire to put on eternity.

Do not be amazed at this, for the hour is coming when all who are in their graves will hear His voice 29and come out—those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.e

John 5:28-29

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

Ecclesiastes 3:11

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations… There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.

Revelation 22:1-2, 5

The love of God in Jesus Christ will have brought his people fully alive, giving them new resurrection bodies that will last the entire scope of eternity.

 This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: “I will make breath[a] enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”

Ezekiel 37:5-6

 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. 43 It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”;[a] the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. 47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall[b] also bear the image of the man of heaven.

1 Corinthians 15:42-49

This is the fulfillment of God’s promise to his people: that by their faith they will taste eternal life.

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.

Revelation 2:7

Conclusion

From the beginning to the end, in this life and the next, God’s love is the driving force in our divine rescue story. Salvation, restoration, and resurrection are all motivated by love. They are all different facets of God’s overflowing life. Prophetic ministry, at the national or personal level, is all about encountering a God who knows what we need. He speaks powerful words motivated by love to bring all people to this abundant life.

Ultimately, all people who are willing to receive Jesus will be swept up with God into the fullness of his life, into his eternal, never-ending story.

Take me away with you—let us hurry! Let the king bring me into his chambers.

Friends: We rejoice and delight in you; we will praise your love more than wine.

She: How right they are to adore you!

Song of Songs 1:4

Prayer

Thank you Jesus, that you give us the privilege of prophesying your words of love and life. The level of trust that you have put in your human servants puts us in awe.

Please give us words that will show the people who you are.

May our lives be a vibrant representation of your life, in every way, big and little.

Through us, may the partial put on eternity.

August 2022 Monthly Summary

Miracles This Month

This month as I stayed with family, God taught me a fair amount about miracles. In 1st Corinthians 12:7-11, the gift of “miraculous powers” is named along with gifts of faith, healing, word of knowledge, wisdom, prophesy, discernment of spirits, tongues, and. the interpretation of tongues. Now like everyone who has been in church for a while, I’ve heard about the cumulative effects of “faith the size of a mustard seed” in Matthew 17:20. The thing I didn’t know is that God doesn’t often directly give the gift of miracles. Instead, he gifts little seeds of faith, wild circumstances in which they have to grow, and gives grace for our faith to displace our circumstances. This really came as a surprise to me, because on some level, I was still thinking that you had to be a special kind of person to see breakthroughs on a regular basis (lol). Apparently miracles are for all of us.

As I have stayed with family this month, I’ve seen the Lord send family members various breakthroughs, including:

  • My sister’s beautiful, affordable new apartment (and her joy in further independence)
  • Getting called out at an inner healing event, being able to ask for whatever I wanted prayer for as a sign that God sees me. God entirely healing my scoliosis related back pain
  • My physical healing prompting ripple effects for my uncle’s back being healed, reconciliation with family leading to his rapid recovery from various conditions
  • Godly resolution of a very delicate situation at a family member’s workplace
  • Receiving student loan debt forgiveness (after I just barely missing the quota for Teacher Loan Forgiveness, leaving my work in obedience, and asking the Lord to forgive the debt before I pass into the next step long term placement in ministry.)

Now I’ve left a good amount of details out on purpose for privacy, but suffice it to say that in April, I wouldn’t have believed this stuff was possible if you had bribed me.

God has been revealing through dreams that as he heals my relationships with family, he is giving me more authority within the sector of Family. At the same time, I’m seeing some older family members experience a renaissance in their faith and spontaneously walk in mantles that God has given me for ministry. It’s been wild to watch God bring transformation for people and situations through them, and provides evidence that faith is that much more powerful when it comes on a household than an individual.

Grace will Have to be Sufficient

Surely I am not the only one in this season more terrified of success than failure. Especially for those of us trying to pioneer things things that haven’t been done before, in the moments of terror over the size of the vision, grace will have to be sufficient.

In moments like these, I’ve had to remind myself that the Lord who spoke the promises and prophetic words did so knowing that I would need lots of help. He himself will be that help, and he will provide others too. God will give me the grace to do what comes next, just like he’s given me the grace for everything else.

Brothers, consider the time of your calling: Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were powerful; not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28He chose the lowly and despised things of the world, and the things that are not, to nullify the things that are, 29so that no one may boast in His presence.

1 Corinthians 1:26-29

I don’t have to be particularly qualified, he will stretch and grow me until the insurmountable distance is one footstep. My God isn’t afraid of the mess; he’s done crazier things with more broken people under crazier circumstances. This is not too much for him. When I think of all the ridiculous things God has brought me out of, I remember that God was adequate for it. If I just show up and do my bit for today each today, it will accumulate before you know it.

In my less confident moments, I also sometimes feel like the size of my dreams has caught up with me and I’m quickly hurtling towards a life I didn’t choose. I have never wanted to live a public life. Yet I’m refusing to believe that my pioneering and my privacy have to be at war. Even if it means developing new ways of doing social media and storytelling that allow me to have a little of both, God will show us all a better way.

When people attack my character, let me not say “I am enough”. While it’s true that God isn’t expecting me to be perfect, the correct response is “God is enough.” God is enough to deal with me, with all of me. He’s not put off by my mess. I may still be a work in progress, but none of this is too big for God. My hope is in his power to restore, beautify, and bless me and the rest of creation. My weakness does not limit his power.

Rest and Hiddenness

This month as I re-wrote my Identity section, I couldn’t help but notice how God wove the theme of hidden treasure into my calling story.

In a season where my primary audience is family, where my primary mandate is rest, and God’s primary purpose is healing, I find myself hidden in the clefts of the rock.

When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by.

Exodus 33:22

My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hiding places on the mountainside, show me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.

Song of Songs 2:14

I am grateful for the hiddenness. I needed it.

In quietness, I have been reflecting on God’s wisdom, in hiding things until the right time.

“Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.”

John 2:10

 No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began.

1 Corinthians 2:7

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.

James 3:13

In this season of hiddenness, I am trusting that God will reveal me to the right ministry partners who will see me as a missing, valuable piece of their mission.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, 46 who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.

Matthew 13:45-46

Just as he sovereignly revealed ancient Roman artifacts to the Italian Renaissance authors over a millennia after they were buried, just as a prophesy is sealed up until the right time, God knows how to reveal us.

And the LORD answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.

For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.”

Habakkuk 2: 2-3

Ultimately, the purpose of hiddenness is discretion. Discretion is that aspect of wisdom that preserves our lives and the lives of those we love.

Discretion will watch over you, understanding will guard you,

Proverbs 2:11

Blessed be your discretion, and blessed be you, who have kept me this day from bloodguilt and from avenging myself with my own hand!

1 Samuel 25:33

My son, pay attention to my wisdom,
    turn your ear to my words of insight,
that you may maintain discretion
    and your lips may preserve knowledge.

Proverbs 5:1-2

Instead of over-exerting myself, I am trusting that the right people will seek and find me.

Besides, there is something to be said for trusting God and leaving room for mystery.

The mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Colossians 1:26-27

Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.

1 Timothy 3:16-17

In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.

Ephesians 5:28-32

I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.

1 Corinthians 15:50-53

Inner Garden and Coming Fully Alive

Among the mountains, the water, and the 70 degree weather, Seattle is a beautiful place to sabbatical. Being in the Evergreen State has kept me reflecting on how God sends winds to refresh us.

It is a sign forever between me and the people of Israel that in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.

Exodus 31:17

Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.”

Ezekiel 37:9

And the king said to the man of God, “Come home with me, and refresh yourself, and I will give you a reward.”

1 Kings 13:7

In my article on stages of faith, I told the story of how God placed me in various communities in my 6 years in DC. Though God’s purpose in drawing me to these diverse communities was to teach me relational range, depending on the space, I often sacrificed comfort and the freedom to be fully myself.

In this coming season, I believe that the Lord is bringing me out of settings where I have only conditional acceptance, towards a ministry context where I can come more fully alive. He wants me not just to be a diplomat, but a daughter. In the last six months, God has withheld me from settings where I would only find conditional acceptance (for example, an excess of academic contexts). As I’ve let God refine me and written about prophetic sensitivity in children, God has been talking to me about my own sensitivity. He is bringing together the aspects of my personality I had to downplay in former contexts so I can flourish. I believe that God will put me in a place where I am safe to be fully myself, and where my unique strengths will be a blessing.

In that time of pressing and accelerated learning, there were various times where I had to let go of things I wanted in order to prioritize what God was doing. In this season, God keeps asking me to explicitly name what I want. I get the sense he is gearing up to give me abundantly not just what I need, but what I want.

When I think about the freedom to be completely myself, I think of the audacity I had as a first grader. As I was traveling this Spring, God reminded me that I am still happiest when I’m around friends, flitting around a room, connecting people. I love making introductions and memorizing people like I’m collecting playing cards. I don’t think of it in the sense of North American networking; it’s more about the freedom to meet many kinds of people and arrange them flexibly into groups. It feels like musical or artistic composition. In my next ministry context, I want to be able to connect people.

What does it look like to be completely free?
(I am the one facing the camera)

In addition to opportunities to gather people, I’m want my next ministry context to have fearsome love for the vulnerable. Beyond just my personal needs, as someone who spent years working with children, with individuals with special needs, with refugees and immigrants, I cant possibly care less about safety. If I cannot discern that justice and protection for vulnerable people are part of an organization’s embodied values, I do not want to be there.

Wherever you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD do this to me and more so if even death separates me from you.”

Ruth 1:17

Looking back on all that God did during my time of traveling, I cant help but remember how excited he was to launch this process. I think back to all the free desserts and it makes me smile to know that what I care about matters to God.

Joy from Obedience

Perhaps the best part of August has been the times where I’ve been able to look back and remember times where God showed me that he was proud of my obedience.

I’ll never forget the dream I had the day after submitting my notice in January. The Father came to me in the role of my book publisher, and said, “Well done for stepping into the story.”

Later when I reached out for support prior to travel, I had another dream where 10-12 people from the Great Cloud of Witnesses were cheering me on in an email chain. While the support ultimately came from different places than I expected, the fact that God sent the heroes of the past to bless the future really nourished me.

I remember how an angel told me that this season of nations training started early, as a reward for “not having added anything to the message.” I remember another dream where he gave me an E-16 visa, which in America is rewarded to immigrants who “possess extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics,” and can involve multiple countries. I remember being at the brink of risk and being touched that he thought so well of me. I needed the encouragement.

In these and other dreams, God has called me Chosen, Favored, Trusted, Honored, Accepted, Brave, and Pursued. These are moments I never want to forget.

Please Pray For:

  • The perfect will of God over my life

Media Theme: Steadfast Love of God

This month as I rested, I was drawn towards media that focused on the steadfast love of God.

Most Impactful Movie

“June Again” is Aussie film that explores themes of identity, restoration, family restoration, generations, and steadfast love. I love that the main character is an entrepreneur and that by the end of the film, her daughter is finding her wings as an entrepreneur also. This is the kind of movie where unexpected connections between characters and events emerge when you watch it for the second time.

Most Impactful Book

Through a friend’s recommendation, Alain Caron’s Apostolic Centers answered questions I still had about apostolic church governance, specifically as it relates to timelines and structure. The examples in this book have given me a clearer sense of direction for organizations the Lord will build through me later on. From greater clarity has come a greater sense of rest, celebration, and peace.

Most Impactful Songs

This song is all about coming fully alive
Especially at the 0:50 second mark, this song gets lit
Was singing this in a dream
So jazzy, I love it

Articles from this Month

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Stepping Stones of Growing Faith: Stories of Trusting God

He makes winds his messengers, flames of fire his servants.

Psalm 104:4

As I consider the process of acceleration God has had me on in the last year, I see it as the fruit of the 8 years of faith formation. Like walking up a set of gradually steepening stairs, there were concrete events that forced allowed my faith to grow (lol). Today, I’m sharing some of the lessons I’ve learned. While I don’t consider myself to be an expert, I’ve chosen to risk sharing personal stories with the hope that they will provide interested readers with more of a grid to trust God. The main thing anyone should takeaway from this article that when you put your trust in God, he is good for it.

Believing for One Reasonable Thing

By the time I was nearing the end of college, I had been a Christian for about a year. I had enjoyed that sense of easy dependency and gracious handholding that God provides to us when we need it. But as it became time to figure out post-graduation plans, he started to teach me to eat solid food.

At this point, I knew that my calling was somewhere between education and ministry (the church). I knew I had an easygoing, natural affinity with children, which had come as a surprise, since I had always assumed teachers were permissive, indirect people. While I came to discover that there are successful teachers of all kinds of personalities, it was true that I had to learn an entirely new set of skills (praise God). Especially at 21 years old, that was for the best.

As someone graduating with a degree in Psychology, I needed to find an Alternate Teacher Certification Program. After applying to Americorps but getting rejected because I asked too many probing questions on the interview, I had a very strong feeling about one teacher training program out of DC. I ended up applying for that program and that program only, as I started to get nauseous thinking about anything else. I was in gospel choir and various Christian groups at the time, and I fully intended to just worship until something shifted. And it did shift, but I had to wait months. With my qualifications, I got accepted into the program… but the person with the list failed to call me (well after they had called others). I really think the Lord allowed me to hang out in that furnace of waiting a bit longer because it was doing something good for me. Still, I was accepted in March, well ahead of the time I would graduate and needed to figure things out. God knew what I could handle, and he allowed the waiting period to end with enough time for me to process what it would mean to live Kansas and relocate to a much different environment.

The primary challenges for this level of faith were:

  • Stop controlling the timing. Don’t be discouraged if it takes a while.
  • Realize that God answers prayers, not people. Direct your prayers rightly.

Believing for Something Big with Conditions (Partial Surrender)

From what I can tell, the Lord’s primary purpose in having me in DC was to learn from as many organizations and people as possible. He had seen the way that I flourished in a large university context, and knew that giving me access to the nations while in the US was an appropriate sized challenge. He also continued having me learn from a variety of diverse denominations, ethnic groups, and communities to give me more experience building relationally with different types of people.

While I moved to DC in 2016, God gave me several years of building solid friendships before he kicked off the next season of acceleration on my life. Within 18 months, I had to trust God for a new apartment, a new job, and a new church. You can read more about those early acceleration days here.

In those days, I became a fan of practicing my favorite rule of impossible circumstances: Celebrate the blessing before it actually happens. At key moments, I’d worship and pour myself a glass of wine, thanking Jesus for the promises that he would answer through the next promotion. I’d make spreadsheets listing things I was sensing strongly, make declarations, and would cheer when those particular conditions would ultimately be met and exceeded through the blessing. During this season, God demonstrated that he wanted me to dream bigger and bigger dreams, which did came cost.

Let me give you an example. When I graduated my Teacher Training program in 2018, I graduated after finishing my Master’s degree during my first solo year in the classroom. That was such a gauntlet of an experience that I told the Lord, “The only way I’ll ever go back for a doctorate is if it’s in theology.” I estimated that I’d be back in a decade, because that’s what normal people do. But the zeal to learn and eat more of the word manifested in my body as physical hunger, and I was reeled in like a fish. Within 18 months of finishing my doctorate, I had been accepted and was enrolling in a Doctorate of Educational Ministry program.

So what did this time of acceleration in DC buy me? Well, several things. I say, “buy” because change comes at a cost. We serve a good God who knows exactly what he’s doing. But sometimes in order to go through the very narrow door, it can be costly.

One of the costs of this season was community. In exchange for relational range, I sacrificed comfort (in this case, a deeper sense of belonging). God brought me into. a season where I joined various groups not as a member, but as an ethnographer, a learner, and a friend. I attended an Episcopal Seminary, worked at a Catholic school, attended a conservative Charismatic church, as just some examples. I learned so much from each of these groups, and they have formed me in ways I couldn’t have predicted at the time. God was training me to be a bridge and a communicator, speaking the language of different people groups. As much as I loved collecting people, I grieved having a place where I could be 100% myself.

Another cost was certainty. In exchange for clarity, I sacrificed control, and the illusion of that solid sense of concrete knowing. Do you have concrete dreams? As in, places that are absolutely on your bucket list? People whose hands you definitely want to shake? Well, after a while, those dreams became less important than a greater sense of purpose and direction that was emerging. How much are you willing to give up to serve the greater thing? Remember, it is a very narrow door. It wasn’t just routines, habits, the casual weekly latte you give up for Lent. This was the ability to tell people “Yeah, I will be in this city for a few more years.” Or, “Yeah, I’d love to come visit over Spring Break.” Who knows where I’ll be, and when I’ll be there?

And I had to keep starting from scratch. The thing about acceleration is that it gets faster and faster. Just as I would start to get a dream, the biggest dream I could possibly conceive of at the time, within 6-12 months it wouldn’t fit any more. I was always putting on new clothes. This acceleration was only exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which God used to allow me to rest and change rapidly.

For example, I knew that I was drawn to the Southwestern US because of the Latino and Indigenous culture, and I knew I was drawn to leadership and the educational sector. The craziest thing I could imagine was being a school principal in New Mexico or starting a school down there. And for good reason! I was used to working with refugees, I loved speaking Spanish, I had learned a lot of really wonderful teaching methods in DC that could be useful to that area of the country. Using man’s logic, it would have made sense. But ultimately in the process of discernment, the doors remained shut and it gave me more time to rest and percolate. And sixth months after the doors stayed closed, I received a significant prophetic word about being called to Latin America more generally. And that word helped me see that all of the ministry I had been doing with Latino refugees was ultimately because God was calling me to the continent. It was the same thing with going back to seminary.

While those were costly days, the Lord cut them short eventually. And the same week I received the prophetic word about Latin America, another established prophet gave me a word that healed a lot of the whiplash. He saw me as a sheep that had been driven fast through the streets of an urban environment, and the Lord taking me out of that setting in order to show me the lay of the land I’d inherit. Suffice it to say, the Lord knew the cost and was in the midst of the process. He didn’t leave it unfinished.

Challenges:

  • In waiting, stop controlling the timing. Don’t be discouraged if it takes a while.
  • Realize that God answers prayers, not people. Direct your prayers rightly.
  • Stop telling God your requirements; he knows what he’s doing better than you do.
  • Be okay with things changing faster than you expected. Accept change when it comes faster than you expected.
  • Recognize that anything God takes away, he will restore. Do not give yourself over to self-pity or despair, that will ruin you.

Believing for Something Nonsensical Abruptly and without Conditions

A few days before last Christmas, the Lord confirmed various words about me leaving my teaching job. Once again, clarity came sooner than I expected.

I remember when I got the call to leave my job. Honestly, it was sooner than I ever expected. My spirit was yearning for more, but the time frame really startled me. You can read more about that process here.

While God had trained me for partial surrender, leaving work brought me closer to full surrender. I was no longer foolish enough to put conditions on what God should do. Full surrender is in not having spreadsheets of conditions. It’s in living day by day, trusting who God is, and expecting things to work out because of his character. It’s having a clear sense of what God is doing, but giving him complete control in how you get there.

In order to give God greater control, I gave up my credibility. While I didn’t realize it at first, this exchange ultimately bought me greater freedom. In the most performance driven city in North America, you can safely assume that various people thought I had lost my mind. I shocked a lot of people because I had been doing a great job. I showed few signs of needing to leave, and didn’t immediately lack strength. I had plenty of physical energy, I had plenty of emotional energy, I was carrying my grade level, and I was coming up to the most manageable part of the school year. My students generally loved me, and if I wanted to, I could coast until June. I’ve never done that since I have been in the classroom, but I knew enough from watching other people do it to intuit how it could be done. I remember sitting there, asking God if I was over-spiritualizing burn out, wondering why I still felt capable of staying. He just responded time and time again that he wanted me to focus on this idea of joy and that he was giving me more than I asked for.

Maybe if the Lord hadn’t given the explicit word to leave, I could have pretended that those dreams and words about “change, change, all change” were a suggestion. However, once you have received rock solid marching orders, you become accountable for what you do with it. My spirit was no longer just chafing to leave, I was rioting to obey. The thought of disobeying the word made me nauseous. I wasn’t thrilled about the likelihood of humiliating myself, but I couldn’t bear to be in rebellion. If I had stayed, the emotional and physical strength that I felt previously would have eventually been eroded by the discomfort I felt in my spirit to remain in rebellion. I would have dissolved like the fragments of a wet paper towel. Or, I would be standing there wondering what I had missed. Yes, God can reroute us after disobedience. But we serve a perfect God. Why not just obey the first time?

And so I went. The trickiest part of this season was not absorbing shame or blame from others that God’s plan turned out different than mine. I also had to be careful to not absorb jealousy from others that God had given me permission to leave. This process was made all the more awkward by the fact that I had to spend an additional 6 weeks getting rid of all my stuff while still living within a 5 minute walk of my former school’s front door. Yikes.

But again, when God asks that much of you, it is only for your good.

Weeping may endure for a night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning.

Psalm 30:5

If you don’t give up on what God said, he will unpack it for you when you are ready to receive it.

So what was all that about?

In the months after I left my job, I began to sense (January), then see (March-May), then comprehend the greater context of why God had me leave (May-now).

God wanted to take me out of my former DC context, and all communities in that context. He needed me out so I could do less, align more to how he made me, and receive more. The issue was “the good versus the great.” All of this was a gift I didn’t know I needed. About 10 months before I left DC, over Easter weekend, God showed me that I’d be carried out by Grace, personified. After all that time, God sent travel because he had more to show me. It was a gift..

What about right now?

In the past two months, God has had me slow way down so that he could deal with things that had accumulated during all the last 6 years. While healing is still a work in progress, God is pouring out grace on the process. The winds of acceleration that drove me to connect with the right people and places in February – July are now accelerating the healing process. There is a protection from rawness, fatigue, and anointed ease for restoration. It’s nuts. If I’m going to be completely honest, I think this is probably the most meaningful work I’ve done with the Lord in the last calendar year. And I wonder how much of learning to hear and obey his voice during traveling was about building the trust needed for deeper healing.

Challenges:

  • In waiting, stop controlling the timing. Don’t be discouraged if it takes a while.
  • Realize that God answers prayers, not people. Direct your prayers rightly.
  • Stop telling God your requirements; he knows what he’s doing better than you do.
  • Be okay with things changing faster than you expected. Accept change when it comes faster than you expected.
  • Recognize that anything God takes away, he will restore. Do not give yourself over to self-pity or despair, that will ruin you.
  • Don’t absorb shame from others. Pray for them to know what freedom from performance feels like.
  • Don’t absorb jealousy from others. Pray for them to receive a true revelation of sonship.
  • Let God’s plan be greater.

Believing for Something Nonsensical without Conditions and Only Getting Part of it Right

What kind of story would this be if I only included the highlights? I’ve left out the majority of my failures, which weren’t particularly noteworthy. Times when I ran recklessly after things I wanted and forgot that we serve a King and a Kingdom. Temper tantrums and stalling tactics. Boundary testing and walking out consequences. Come now, the consequences of sin are laid out clearly enough in the Bible that I hardly need to share about where that leads.

But what about times where you get part of a word right, yet somewhat botch it because God was doing something much bigger than it even occurred to you to ask about?

As some people may know, last August, I found out that I was accepted into a degree program at the University of Edinburgh. As I was applying, I was pretty careful. I asked the Lord for revelation about what themes to write about in my application essays, what date he wanted me to write the essays (in case the numbers mattered symbolically), and about the effect me studying there would have on my ministry long term. In October, I found out that I was accepted to study, and even had the opportunity to visit the university while in Glasgow, Scotland training in prophesy with friends. I didn’t have the sense of certainty I expected to have walking the campus, and I was surprised that the course listings didn’t focus very much on Latin America, to my disappointment. But combined with other dreams related to Scotland, it seemed promising.

Fast forward to January 2022, and it’s just two days after I submitted my notice. The night before, I had been working on scholarship essays for the University of Edinburgh, because I was still trying to figure out finances. As someone who keeps careful scribed notes, I had 6+ computer tabs open to synthesize different previous conversations I’d had with people, books, and revelation (worded carefully). I wove prophetic words into the two application essays I wrote, because I had the conviction that I was essentially offering this university an opportunity to partner with a vision that God had given me for a network of trainings on an international level. Therefore, the scholarship application would be a litmus test to see if this particular organization was aligned to the vision. I remember asking God to send me angelic help put the revelation into writing, and the sharpening effect it had on me. **As a side note, asking for scribal help from angels is a practice I do often when really struggling to distill abstract concepts. For any Christians trying to parse wild ideas, I highly recommend it.**

That same night, I had an intense angelic encounter in a dream. Essentially, the angel told me that the Lord was sending me early for nations training because I had been careful not to “add anything to the message”. He said that my timings would start at 6am and not 10pm (very early versus very late). He also gave me a prophetic word in Spanish that will continue to define my ministry in Latin America. At the time I received this word, I thought that traveling early for a period of nations training would be in addition to studying in Edinburgh. Now, I really believe God sent it as a replacement. The degree I applied for related to the Global Church History. From what I can tell based on recent articles, the Lord still has managed to teach me weave revelation, church history, national history, and the bible together. I didn’t need to spend more time in an academic context to learn that, it was already something he had been growing in me.

Just as the angel said, as I prepared, doors started opening. I got rid of all my stuff, obediently left DC, and then doors began to open for me to visit several nations, last of all in an area of Brazil that I had seen various times in dreams. Yet here is the part where the story gets even weirder. In April, the scholarship applications weren’t successful, but I had peace. I figured that it could be possible for God to pay for it if he wanted to, but was starting to feel like the grace to even desire that was lifting.

Over my birthday (May 1), God gut checked me about what I really want. When I use the phrase “gut check”, I’m talking about the kind of conversation where God asks you plainly, “What is it that you really want?” Now, do I believe that God would have given me either choice? No, I think he still would have redirected me if I was seriously off (he is that kind, because he wants the best for us). But as someone who loves the whirlwind and does truly prefer to go fast, God sometimes uses this strategy to slow me down and help me listen closely to my heart. (He did the same thing this July, which is why I’m currently in Seattle with family).

In that May 1st conversation, I told God that what I want most is to be in community. And later that month, I declined the University of Edinburgh offer and left everything up to the Lord.

This past week, God has driven me back to re-examine those scholarship application essays, the ones were I submitted several prophetic words. I needed to understand the link between what I had written and why it had attracted such a wind of favor from the Lord.

Having re-read that material, I think I’m beginning to understand. I honestly think that because of its historic value, the University of Edinburgh maybe symbolize something about the Scottish Educational sector or church groups that I’m still unravelling. Furthermore, the vision relates to technology and apostolic centers, except it’s packaged in very academic language. All that isn’t particularly surprising, because back in January, I had no idea what an Apostolic center was. The vision talks all about relational ministry that equips and gathers different people groups to activate gifts of prophesy.

In the Spring, I stepped into the vision without realizing it. In each of the places I went, God sent me to emerging evangelists, teachers, apostles, prophets, and shepherds who were all in roughly the same part of the emerging to intermediate part of the process. God did not send me to fully formed ministries, he sent me to small groups of individuals who were in ministry. His goal was for me to gather and befriend other emerging leaders so that we would be support one another over the next set of years to reach our collective goals. This connects to a word I heard back in November 2021 about babies in ministry birthing babies and radical changes in leadership in the Church post COVID-19. Without realizing it, I stumbled into the effects of that supernatural reallocation on the earth.

This attitude of this movement reminds me of a word God spoke in a dream over my cohort of prophet friends: That we would be known by our humility and desire to serve one another. And that we would not become conceited over the size of our gifts.

Challenges:

  • In waiting, stop controlling the timing. Don’t be discouraged if it takes a while.
  • Realize that God answers prayers, not people. Direct your prayers rightly.
  • Stop telling God your requirements; he knows what he’s doing better than you do.
  • Be okay with things changing faster than you expected. Accept change when it comes faster than you expected.
  • Recognize that anything God takes away, he will restore. Do not give yourself over to self-pity or despair, that will ruin you.
  • Don’t absorb shame from others. Pray for them to know what freedom from performance feels like.
  • Don’t absorb jealousy from others. Pray for them to receive a true revelation of sonship.
  • Let God’s plan be greater.
  • Pay attention to the parts of an atmosphere, organization, or person that do not resonate. Find a way to test the alignment.
  • After heavy duty holy angelic encounters, follow the instructions but don’t be distressed if you don’t understand for a long while afterwards. Ask your questions. When the mystery feels sealed, don’t stress. The Lord will take you and lead you along by the hand. He will reveal it when you have time and capacity to process it.
  • Your accuracy (whether you got it right) is actually less important than your obedience. Let God be the one who is most accurate and respond with your entire heart. When you respond from a pure heart, he will cause the road to unravel itself before you and you will not stumble (Proverbs 4:12). It ultimately isn’t about you.

Believing for Something Nonsensical over Multiple Years without Conditions

I’ve said several times now that in exchange for clarity, we give God control. But what if I told you that the amount of control you surrender is directly related the the amount of clarity you receive?

Listen, I’ve known people with some WILD promises from the Lord. The Lord tells them things related to the identity of key people, timings, sequence of events, geographies, and more. How is that possible? Well, if you have a greater degree of surrender, you leave more room for his perfect will. He loves it when we give him *complete* control over our friendships, careers, marriages, children, geographies, etc. He is wildly creative and his plans are better than ours every single time.

I know that you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are looking for a way to kill me, because you have no room for my word.

John 8:37

Do you have room for God’s word in you? If God showed up and said, “Hey, we’re doing it this way…”, would you throw a fit? God already wants to elect his servants for things that are truly wild. He doesn’t just save the cool assignments for the prophets and the apostles, he wants to receive your full permission regardless of your position. Whatever gifts you use fruitfully, he will amplify. The way that God selects people for specific assignments isn’t just destiny, it’s determined by every day stewardship and living a life that is trustworthy.

So let’s say God sends you a truly wild prophetic word about marriage, family, ministry, etc. First, you have to receive the word. When you give God permission to do what he wants to do anyways, he will explain more as you inquire of the Lord about it. I have often seen the Father smile eagerly and excited say something along the line of, “Ask me another question!” at this part of the process. Don’t be afraid to be completely transparent; he loves that. As your faith grows, he will gradually send you further pieces because you’ll be ready to receive them.

So why do some words take a multi-year process?

Some words are so wild that God needs to walk you through the full implications of them at a pace you can bear. Realistically, human beings have definite limits. God cares more that we understand the ripple effects of a word and that it bears fruit in our relationship with him than that we just get the facts. The word has to go deep and get planted on the inside, otherwise it wont be fruitful. If you skip the inquiry or nourishment process, what kind of fruit can possibly come from that? Many fruit trees take years to bear fruit. Oranges take 2 years. Apples can take 4 years. Pears can take 6! The Lord knows what tree you are, and the process you need to be fruitful. Let him be the Gardener.

The luxury of a multiyear process is that God has so much to say. He gets us fully ready! He wants to go at a pace where things are healed up and ready to go when he finally sends the ending. While it seems like a long time to wait, none of the time in dialogue with the Father goes to waste. He always can share more, and he’s worth enjoying in the moment, regardless of the promise. Trust him.

There is a word in my life that I have been walking out since November 2020. I will not write about it until I see the fruit, but suffice it to say that this process has become some of the best training and fellowship with the Lord that I’ve ever had. God has healed me so much in and through it, in spite of the emotionally demanding nature of the task. I’m looking forward to celebrating the final result with friends and the testimony that will come from it. Lord knows, I have enough material to write a book.

Challenges:

  • In waiting, stop controlling the timing. Don’t be discouraged if it takes a while.
  • Realize that God answers prayers, not people. Direct your prayers rightly.
  • Stop telling God your requirements; he knows what he’s doing better than you do.
  • Be okay with things changing faster than you expected. Accept change when it comes faster than you expected.
  • Recognize that anything God takes away, he will restore. Do not give yourself over to self-pity or despair, that will ruin you.
  • Don’t absorb shame from others. Pray for them to know what freedom from performance feels like.
  • Don’t absorb jealousy from others. Pray for them to receive a true revelation of sonship.
  • Let God’s plan be greater.
  • Pay attention to the parts of an atmosphere, organization, or person that do not resonate. Find a way to test the alignment.
  • After heavy duty holy angelic encounters, follow the instructions but don’t be distressed if you don’t understand for a long while afterwards. Ask your questions. When the mystery feels sealed, don’t stress. The Lord will take you and lead you along by the hand. He will reveal it when you have time and capacity to process it.
  • Your accuracy (whether you got it right) is actually less important than your obedience. Let God be the one who is most accurate and respond with your entire heart. When you respond from a pure heart, he will cause the road to unravel itself before you and you will not stumble (Proverbs 4:12). It ultimately isn’t about you.
  • Understand that less clarity often is a sign that God is respecting your limits. Prioritize quality over speed.
  • Enjoy the process.

Believing for Something Nonsensical that will take my Whole Lifetime and Hopefully Endure After

Have you ever had a dream that is so big that you start to get a little bit scared?

Or one that is so big that without a shadow of a doubt, you will need God sized help (and other people) to pull it off?

In April, someone I know received a prophetic word that is officially the most extreme thing I’ve ever heard come out of a prophets mouth. The impact and scope of the word still cause a lack of words. Since hearing that prophesy, the scope of the word has become a high ceiling. For the time being, my strength fails when I try to imagine bigger.

The feeling of not being able to dream bigger is something that only has happened to me in intervals where I’m already at capacity, and not for this long. When the garment starts to feel too tight, I normally give the Holy Spirit permission to have me daydream about whatever wild things are on his mind. I started seminary, moved apartments, and changed jobs all based on holy future-focused dreaming.

This sense of wordless awe reminds me of the sense of excitement and terror I have when I think about the miracles, signs, and wonders God is sending children in this era. God has gradually been giving me a vision for the scope of healthy supernatural communities that this movement of spirit-filled youth will require. The size of the vision will require training adults, teens, and children inter-generationally. It will likely require travel, training, and team building for the rest of my life. And it will not be finished in my lifetime, but will be progressively outworked by generations and geographies of people who God aligns. You can read more about that vision here.

Since I began to put the vision into words two months ago, God pulled people to it by the Holy Spirit. When I have shared the vision with communities of people, there has been shocking degrees of favor across denominations, ethnic groups, nations, and political backgrounds, and educational backgrounds. There is pressing hunger to see it established across sectors of Education, Church, and Family. Based on dreams, through my life the vision will also likely influence Media, Technology, and Business.

When I have shared, I notice that the vision is bigger than me as a person. It is big enough that even people who do not like me personally have been interested in hearing more. Beyond this topic being a synthesis of my personal interests, it’s been incredibly easy to share because I essentially just open my mouth and there is so much hunger that people cant help but respond.

“Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”

Ephesians 4:12

The wind of acceleration is coming on this vision because it’s something God has wanted for such a long time. The roaring of those winds in the Spirit is deafening. God WILL see the nations and generations of the earth equipped, he radiates holy intensity.

If I am being honest, other people’s hunger for the vision is intimidating. I am well aware that I still need a lot of training in prophetic ministry and children’s prophetic ministry, and will need years. Not just that, but as my life prepares to take an increasingly public turn, I’m more aware now than ever how I will need to intentionally cultivate privacy. I need strong leaders who can help give me a grid for what something this scope can look like. My ministry’s resources, time, and energy will need careful stewardship.

Yet none of this is too big for God. He will give me the training that is adequate. He will give me the strategy to balance public and private life, including with social media. He will give me mentors who I can learn from. In time, he will give me the grace to gather a strong team. He will continue to grow my capacity and resources in ways I haven’t dreamed of.

He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Phillipians 1:6

There is nothing too big for God. If I just keep walking out the vision one day at a time, it will accumulate. And since I will probably have the rest of my life to do it, I will take good care to preserve the stories.

Challenges:

  • In waiting, stop controlling the timing. Don’t be discouraged if it takes a while.
  • Realize that God answers prayers, not people. Direct your prayers rightly.
  • Stop telling God your requirements; he knows what he’s doing better than you do.
  • Be okay with things changing faster than you expected. Accept change when it comes faster than you expected.
  • Recognize that anything God takes away, he will restore. Do not give yourself over to self-pity or despair, that will ruin you.
  • Don’t absorb shame from others. Pray for them to know what freedom from performance feels like.
  • Don’t absorb jealousy from others. Pray for them to receive a true revelation of sonship.
  • Let God’s plan be greater.
  • Pay attention to the parts of an atmosphere, organization, or person that do not resonate. Find a way to test the alignment.
  • After heavy duty holy angelic encounters, follow the instructions but don’t be distressed if you don’t understand for a long while afterwards. Ask your questions. When the mystery feels sealed, don’t stress. The Lord will take you and lead you along by the hand. He will reveal it when you have time and capacity to process it.
  • Your accuracy (whether you got it right) is actually less important than your obedience. Let God be the one who is most accurate and respond with your entire heart. When you respond from a pure heart, he will cause the road to unravel itself before you and you will not stumble (Proverbs 4:12). It ultimately isn’t about you.
  • Understand that less clarity often is a sign that God is respecting your limits. Prioritize quality over speed.
  • Enjoy the process.
  • Remember that God was your only qualification in the beginning, and he will continue to be.
  • Trust God for the mentors, strategy, resources, support, and capacity. He will do it.
  • Preserve the story.

A Kingdom of Refugees: Restoration and Safety on God’s Mountain

How do biblical concepts of exile, justice, fruitfulness, idolatry, jubilee, sabbath, redemption, mountains, and eternal rest weave together?

Jubilee that Begins in Famine

Growing up in famine, Naomi had essentially never had true rest.

When she, her husband Elimelek, and two sons went to Moab for work, they left Israel due to the severity of the famine there, hoping to not die.

In the days when the judges ruled,[a] there was a famine in the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while in the country of Moab.

Ruth 1:1

After 10 years in Moab, the famine had spread there. Whether by famine or by some other cause, death gobbled up Naomi’s future, first by taking the life of her husband, then her two sons.

After they had lived there about ten years, both Mahlon and Kilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband.

Ruth 1:4-5

When they had no grain stored up and when all hope was lost, Naomi and Ruth gleaned jubilee at a time where they should have only known famine.

Naomi’s jubilee freedom journey back to her own land started in loss.

On this year of jubilee each of you shall return to his own property.

Leviticus 25:13

In the bible, the “year of jubilee” was a time of complete redemption. The Israelites would work their land for six years, and on the seventh year leave the fields to rest. This seventh year was called the “sabbath year.” After seven sabbath years (7×7), the following 50th year would be the year of jubilee. On this year of jubilee, the people would receive back all the inheritance (property) they had lost, and eat the abundance of the land that they had not sown.

 The fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you; do not sow and do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the untended vines. 12 For it is a jubilee and is to be holy for you; eat only what is taken directly from the fields.

Leviticus 25:11-12

The year of jubilee would start on the Day of Atonement, on the 10th day of the 7th month.

Then have the trumpet sounded everywhere on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement sound the trumpet throughout your land.

Leviticus 25:9

For anyone interested in keeping up with the times, the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) for this year is October 4th and 5th, 2022. Since Jesus has atoned for our sins and many people are waiting on the justice of God in this season, it is likely that God will reveal himself as the God of Justice to his people around this time. In the Jewish calendar, the Day of Atonement directly precedes the Harvest Celebration (Shavuot).

In their Ruth 2-4 Jubilee experience, Ruth and Naomi receive back their inheritance through the life of a half-Moabite, half-Israeli kinsmen Redeemer named Boaz (“Strength”).

In the year of jubilee the field shall return to the one from whom he bought it, to whom the possession of the land belongs.

Leviticus 27:24

Boaz’s mother was Rahab, the spy who hid the Israelite spies and plead for her household to be spared. Just as Rahab became a hiding place for the Israelites, so the nation of Israel became a refuge for her family.

God Buys Back what Binds us

The Devil stole plenty from Ruth and Naomi. Their experience is like Job, from whom the Devil stole everything.

Satan tries to directly steal:

Indirectly, he tries to steal:

  • Joy (via bitterness)
  • Healing (via rawness)
  • Dignity and Honor (via shame)
  • Peace (via displacement)

God’s steadfast love through Ruth calls the promises back in. God restores Naomi to her right name. She goes from Mara “bitterness”, back to “pleasantness”.

When Satan tried to rob Naomi and Ruth, God robbed him of his power and stole back the bitterness, rawness, shame, displacement, hopelessness, abandonment, poverty, and false identity. Today, Jesus’ blood is what allows God to buy back evil with good.

Since Naomi symbolizes Israel, it should not surprise us that the chronological length of Israel’s exile was directly related to the math of jubilee. Specifically, the seven sevens of jubilee is used in the book of Daniel as the divine math that God uses to determine the length of the Israel’s exile in Babylon.

When Israel became like the nations in worshipping other Gods, God made Israel like refugees of the Nations. While shocking at first, God is a great equalizer. He used this experience so not just Gentiles, but all of the people of the earth would identify as exiles, through an exile experience.

God buys himself a double portion, not just by redeemed Israel, but buying back Israel AND the Gentiles. Just as Naomi (Israel) returned to her land WITH a righteous foreigner (Ruth), so Jesus promises to restore the exiles of all nations to a better land.

Through the steadfast, family love of these two women, the Lord gave a son who would later be one of the ancestors of Jesus (Obed, related to the word obedience).

You can read more about this story and its implications for Global Apostolic ministry here.

Safety for Moab

In Jesus, God offers greater safety for Moab and all the nations. Historically, Moab put its safety in worshipping Chemosh on the Mount of Olives (Numbers 21:29; Jeremiah 48:7, 13, 46).

For the Moabites, the Mount of Olives was a place where Chemosh required worship in exchange for security (Numbers 21:29; Jeremiah 48:7, 13, 46). The Mount of Olives was also where the Ammonites worshipped Molech (via sacrificing their children in fire) for security and fertility.

Jesus habitually visits the same Mount of Olives to pray during his earthly life, and from this same Mount of Olives he sources his donkey for his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, tells his followers about the end of the age, and weeps in Gethsemane (located on the same mountain).

Other similar mountains of Israel’s neighbors included:

  • Mount Zaphon, where the Canaanites worshipped Baal
  • Mount Hermon, where the Sidonians worshipped Baal
  • Mount Bashan, where the Amorites worshipped Ashtoreth

The Greek pantheon with the (mostly mythical) Mount Olympus follows the same pattern.

It is these mountains that Jesus refers to in Matthew 17:20, saying:

“Truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.”

Matthew 17:20

Jesus understands that in an apostolic sense, the faith of his people will have the effect of dismantling the idolatry and the worship of other gods in their hearts.

Ultimately, God offers deliverance from other gods and idolatry because they cannot save people in times of trouble OR on the last day.

Do not turn away after useless idols. They can do you no good, nor can they rescue you, because they are useless.

1 Samuel 12:21

Yahweh weeps over those who have put their trust in false gods.

My heart cries out over Moab;
    her fugitives flee as far as Zoar,
    as far as Eglath Shelishiyah.
They go up the hill to Luhith,
    weeping as they go;
on the road to Horonaim
    they lament their destruction.

Isaiah 15:5

If people do not receive Jesus’ help as Deliverer, their false gods will take them into eternal captivity.

Since you trust in your deeds and riches, you too will be taken captive, and Chemosh will go into exile, together with his priests and officials.

Jeremiah 48:7

For those Israelites and Gentiles who fail to find their refuge in Christ, not even the idols of their mountains will be able to hide them.

 Then they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!”
    and to the hills, “Cover us!”’[b]

31 For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

Luke 23:28-31

Just as Ruth had to choose Yahweh,

But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.”

Ruth 1:16-17

And Orphah chose Chemosh,

And she said, “See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” 

Ruth 1:15

Yahweh offers each of us a choice.

 “Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Joshua 24:14-15

Like Ruth, Jesus provides an eternal home (and often, a permanent earthly home) for those people who have left their families, nations, and religions for him.

The vulnerable women and people of Moab may have been displaced from their territory, but in Christ, they have been invited to a better one.

“Make up your mind,” Moab says.
    “Render a decision.

Make your shadow like night—
    at high noon.
Hide the fugitives,
    do not betray the refugees.
Let the Moabite fugitives stay with you;
    be their shelter from the destroyer.”

Isaiah 16:3-4

Like Rahab, Jesus will not betray the Moabite refugees, but will be their permanent shelter.

And foreigners who bind themselves to the Lord
    to minister to him,
to love the name of the Lord,
    and to be his servants,
all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it
    and who hold fast to my covenant—
these I will bring to my holy mountain
    and give them joy in my house of prayer.
Their burnt offerings and sacrifices
    will be accepted on my altar;
for my house will be called
    a house of prayer for all nations.”
The Sovereign Lord declares—
    he who gathers the exiles of Israel:
“I will gather still others to them
    besides those already gathered.”

Isaiah 56:6-8

Yahweh promises permanent jubilee to foreigners who “keep his Sabbath”, leaving their rest and restoration to God without striving.

“Maintain justice
    and do what is right,
for my salvation is close at hand
    and my righteousness will soon be revealed.
Blessed is the one who does this—
    the person who holds it fast,
who keeps the Sabbath without desecrating it,
    and keeps their hands from doing any evil.”

Let no foreigner who is bound to the Lord say,
    “The Lord will surely exclude me from his people.”

Isaiah 56:2-3

God does not dismantle anything he will not Restore

God is not a thief. He does not take away anything permanently, or without a plan to restore it. He has invited all people (Gentiles and Jews alike) to find safety in the clefts of his mountain, the place in the spirit where he reveals his character to people. This is the same rock on which Jesus encourages his followers to build their houses (security, legacy).

God is aware that the exiles of the world of the world will need a new home.

Like fluttering birds
    pushed from the nest,

so are the women of Moab
    at the fords of the Arnon.

Isaiah 16:2

For those who willing, God brings exiles out of Moab as lambs to a place that they will find true safety.

Send lambs as tribute
    to the ruler of the land,
from Sela, across the desert,
    to the mount of Daughter Zion.

Isaiah 16:1

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 

John 10:27

In the Old Testament, The “I AM” mentions Zion as the mountain where he will be worshipped. Yahweh will be worshipped there because this is the place he has revealed his character to Israel.

For on my holy mountain, the high mountain of Israel, declares the Sovereign LORD, there in the land all the people of Israel will serve me, and there I will accept them. There I will require your offerings and your choice gifts, along with all your holy sacrifices.

Ezekiel 20:40

However, the promises of the New Testament in Christ are for all nations. In the New Testament, as a result to this intercultural dialogue, Jesus clarifies that the geographical Mount Zion will be replaced by worshipping God in spirit (in the spirit while still on the Earth) and as an eternal New Heavens and Earth.

“Sir,” the woman said, “I see that You are a prophet. 20Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews say that the place where one must worship is in Jerusalem.”

21“Believe Me, woman,” Jesus replied, “a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22You worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews23But a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the Father is seeking such as these to worship Him. 24God is Spirit, and His worshipers must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”

John 4: 19-24

This is the New heavens and New Earth where God will eternally dwell with his people.

And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

Revelation 21:2

 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’[b] or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Revelation 21:3

A Hope and a Future

Ruth and Naomi would have lost their hope for the future, but God redeemed their family and made it fruitful again.

Jesus warns his listeners that there is a direct correlation between idolatry and fruitlessness.

 Then they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!”
    and to the hills, “Cover us!”’[b]

31 For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?

Luke 23:28-31

But in his fullness of life, he promises to make the nations flourish and fruitful again.

Let no foreigner who is bound to the LORD say, “The LORD will surely exclude me from his people.” And let no eunuch complain, “I am only a dry tree.”

Isaiah 56:3

In Isaiah 56:3, God refers to the foreigners as “eunuchs” for multiple reasons. While he is likely redeeming the stigma of childlessness for people who are biologically unable to have children, he may also call them eunuchs because they are a people without hope for the future.

Just as Mara had to choose to come out of bitterness in order to have a hope for her future, many people just stop at bitterness. They fail to enter in to the promise because they have made suffering their identity.

But Jesus calls the hopeless back into hope. For every place of famine, Jesus calls in fruitfulness.

I will make cedars, acacias, myrtles, and olive trees grow in the wilderness; I will make evergreens, firs, and cypresses grow together in the desert

Isaiah 41:19

To a famine-stricken people, he promises that they will be trees of righteousness that bear fruit in every season.

They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

Jeremiah 17:8

Each of these trees is from a different geography, which speaks to the restoration of the nations.

Jesus promises that the people’s fruit will be not just earthly, but supernatural.

On either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

Revelation 22:2

Confession of the King and His Kingdom

Even in times of explicit shaking, many Christians have failed to claim Jesus as their only refuge. Partially, this is because many Christians are distracted with the idols of the world and do not know Jesus as their sole refuge. As shaking happens, God exposes the inefficacy of idols like money, power, sex, popularity and others.

Many Christians would prefer God to bless their own Mount of Olives without dismantling, without transformation, and without issuing a new invitation to the world through Jesus Christ.

In misplaced hope, they disown Christ through their actions and words.

But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.

Matthew 10:33

They consider it intolerant to offer foreigners or non-Christians true safety in knowing Jesus Christ.

 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Matthew 28:19-20

They do not know the King, and they do not know the purpose of the Kingdom. They have not tasted true security for themselves, and do not perceive their need of it.

Woe to you who are well fed now, for you will go hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep.

Luke 6:25

In the appearance of wisdom, they have not grasped hold of the promise. Their double mindedness equally prevents others.

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.

Matthew 23:13

These will all perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. 23Such restrictions indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-prescribed worship, their false humility, and their harsh treatment of the body; but they are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.

Colossians 2:23

They are afraid of looking foolish in the world’s eyes.

For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.

Matthew 16:25

For they loved human praise more than praise from God.

John 12:43

They do not hear Christ’s warnings, that he alone is the only stronghold in times of trouble.

So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination of desolation,’a described by the prophet Daniel (let the reader understand), 16then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17Let no one on the housetop come down to retrieve anything from his house. 18And let no one in the field return for his cloak.

Matthew 24:15-18

Still, the Holy Spirit will reveal the truth to anyone who is willing to receive it.

I know that you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are looking for a way to kill me, because you have no room for my word.

John 8:37

Make room for us in your hearts. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have exploited no one.

2 Corinthians 7:2

“There is no Salvation without Jesus Christ.”

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 14:6

Prayer

So Lord, may we perceive your invitation to hide ourselves in the cleft of the rock.

My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hiding places on the mountainside, show me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.

Song of Songs 2:14

Those who put their trust in God will never be put to shame.

Justice: Reaping a Harvest of Righteousness

Over the past month, I have sensed and seen supernatural evidence of what I can only describe as a tidal wave of justice coming to individuals who have patiently waited, served, and preserved their own integrity.

In the past two years, there have been specific moments where individuals have experienced delayed justice in situations that should have been resolved easily. God has allowed justice to only seem to delay so that he could bundle the recompense for past and present sins dramatically, as a tidal wave that comes all at once. As people have experienced growing debts of honor, finance, love, opportunity, and peace, there has been a gradual accumulation of righteousness in heaven for each reaction they have given out of righteousness and not self-serving motives. Over the next 6 months, there are and will be increasing moments where the accumulation of righteousness cannot help but eventually break through. Individuals will experience the radical vindication of God as a double portion blessing from the past and present to bless the future.

Jesus Prayed for Our Protection

Prior to his own suffering, Jesus understood the cost his friends would pay for following him.

“Lord, the Lord Almighty,

    may those who hope in you

    not be disgraced because of me;

God of Israel,

    may those who seek you

    not be put to shame because of me.

Psalm 69:6

Because Jesus cares, he prayed (and is still praying, seated at the right hand of God) that the Father would protect his loved ones.

Holy Father, protect them by the power of[a] your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by[b] that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.

My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by[a] the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.

John 17: 11-12,15-19

While it is easy to give up hope and faith in moments where vindication, restoration, and recompense feels delayed, God promises to restore.

He will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers

Romans 2:7

Mark the blameless man [who is spiritually complete], and behold the upright [who walks in moral integrity]; There is a [good] future for the man of peace [because a life of honor blesses one’s descendants].

Psalm 37:37 AMP

I will repay you for the years eaten by locusts—

the swarming locust, the young locust,

the destroying locust, and the devouring locustf

My great army that I sent against you.

26You will have plenty to eat,

until you are satisfied.

You will praise the name of the LORD your God,

who has worked wonders for you.

Joel 2:25-26

God Knows How to Restore: The Rejected Bridegroom

In his life, Jesus took the place of the stranger in his own family,

And the place of dishonor after giving all of himself on the cross.

Similar to his own parable of the Wedding Guests, Jesus takes the place of the least wanted guest at his own wedding.

“When you are invited to a wedding banquet, do not sit in the place of honor, in case someone more distinguished than you has been invited. 9Then the host who invited both of you will come and tell you, ‘Give this man your seat.’ And in humiliation, you will have to take the last place.

10But when you are invited, go and sit in the last place, so that your host will come and tell you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’b Then you will be honored in front of everyone at the table with you. 11For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Luke 14:8-11

The one who invites so many others to enjoy his wedding banquet was the least wanted.

“Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’

Matthew 22:4

18But one after another they all began to make excuses. The first one said, ‘I have bought a field, and I need to go see it. Please excuse me.’

19Another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out. Please excuse me.’

20Still another said, ‘I have married a wife, so I cannot come.’

21The servant returned and reported all this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the city, and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’

22‘Sir,’ the servant replied, ‘what you ordered has been done, and there is still room.’

23So the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. 24For I tell you, not one of those men who were invited will taste my banquet.’ ”

Matthew 22:18-23

Jesus identifies with the poor, disabled, unwanted people who were not invited to the celebration. For this reason, he tells his followers to permanently include them in their celebrations.

“When you host a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or brothers or relatives or rich neighbors. Otherwise, they may invite you in return, and you will be repaid. 13But when you host a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind, 14and you will be blessed. Since they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

Luke 14:12-14

As justice for Jesus’ willingness to take the lowest place in creation in order to pay for our sins, the Father gives Christ the highest place of divine honor and authority in his Kingdom.

Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place

and gave Him the name above all names,

10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,

in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father.

Phillipians 2:9-11

God restored his joy! He restored everything that Jesus was willing to give up for his sake.

7You have loved righteousness

and hated wickedness;

therefore God, your God, has anointed you

above your companions with the oil of joy.

Psalm 45:7

In the same way, God will restore whatever his people have surrendered for his sake.

God’s Righteous Standard

Yahweh is the God of Perfect Justice.

Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne. Unfailing love and truth walk before you as attendants.

Psalm 89:14

Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever,

and justice is the scepter of Your kingdom.

Psalm 45:6

God establishes his own infinite authority on his perfect justice and righteousness.

Habbakuk uses this precept to reason with God when he is tired of looking on evil.

Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrongdoing. Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves?

Habbakuk 1:13

God is the God of Sowing and Reaping. He will send a harvest of righteousness to those who have acted righteously.

Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.

2 Corinthians 9:10

Jesus, Minister of God’s Restoration and Authority

As someone who suffered, Jesus has perfect insight on how to restore the human heart.

In pages 53-55 of Jennifer Eivaz’s Inner Healing and Deliverance Handbook, Eivaz describes several common situations that Jesus’s life experiences qualify him to restore:

  • A Joseph experience (Deep betrayal)
  • A Job experience (Satan stole everything)
  • A Daniel experience (Falsely accused and punished)

Jesus promises to bless those who are persecuted for his sake.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets before you.”

Matthew 5:1-12

He will not let anything go to waste, and values the cost.

Knowing the Goodness of God to restore and redeem injustice, the Apostle James has the audacity to encourage his readers to delight in suffering because they understand that testing is the preparation for something good.

In advance of the good thing, we are invited to celebrate God’s faith in us that we have what it takes to navigate and overcome testing.

The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.

Acts 5:41

It is true that trials are difficult, but God is greater than our pain.

In advance, we can celebrate the good things that follow trials!

Celebrate that God has already decided the outcome in your favor!

Celebrate that the good thing is already on it’s way!

Righteousness is it’s Own Reward

Righteousness is its own reward!

It is worth doing the right thing when no one sees or values it, because to do the right thing is to be like Christ.

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

Matthew 25:23

Without any extra reward, Christ-likeness is worthy in and of itself.

Persecution Leads to Authority

Yet because of the connection between Jesus’ humility and his authority, God invariably gives Christlike people authority.

True leadership is marked by sacrifice.

For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8From now on there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but to all who crave His appearing.

2 Timothy 4:6-8

As a high office of authority, the Office of a Prophet can inspire persecution.

Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For their fathers treated the prophets in the same way.

Luke 6:22-23

The Office of Apostle is even more sacrificial.

Yet for your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.

Psalm 44:22

Continuing to do good is worthy in and of itself.

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

Galatians 6:9

Worshipping the God of Justice

There is no perfect justice in the world. But God who judges justly always rewards hidden sacrifice. God is just. He honors our cost both in Heaven and on the Earth.

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Luke 6:38

I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.

Psalm 27:13

In American culture, there is a saying that I grew up hearing in the Girl Scouts, in schools, and in civic groups. This saying is meant to motivate us earnestly to contribute, learn, and invest in the lives of other people.

“What you put into something is what you get out of it.”

I can think of interpersonal relationships, learning opportunities, and situations where I have experienced the richness of that promise. And yet…

While it should be true, it isn’t always.

Yet, God in his mercy and his justice DOES send breakthrough. He does send recompense, even if it comes through different people or groups then where the original sin was originally committed. He doesn’t have to, but he finds a way of paying us back.

I love that whatever I invest in God, I actually harvest. I love that choosing Jesus never be a waste of my time, energy, or emotions. God will always give us more, and he is unlimited. He is fair and limitless.

The King will say to them, ‘Yes! I tell you that whenever you did these things for one of the least important of these brothers of mine, you did them for me!’

Matthew 25:40

 But if you bear patiently with suffering [which results] when you do right and that is undeserved, it is acceptable and pleasing to God.

1 Peter 2:20 AMP

Lord, you hold us with such steadfast love.

We can fully trust what you are doing.

Prayer

Even as we wait for the full vindication, restoration, and recompense for injustice,

Even as we look out on the future without knowing how resolution will come,

May we have the grace to trust what God is doing.

May the unknown carry security, hope, and joy instead of fear, loss, and rawness,

May faith in the goodness of God and certainty of his justice qualify us to enter into the blessing.

Lord, I thank you for the grace you have given to your servants to endure hardship and ill-treatment for your name.

Would you grant us even greater persevering grace until the work is finished.

Would the recompense come like a flood,

And would we be able to perceive your, “Well done, Good and Faithful Servant” in every supernatural and natural way.

Amen!

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