I am staring at my keyboard trying to get quiet.
In the middle of a study being prepared, I am annoyed by a tugging I can perceive in my spirit
I don’t like that.
It messes with my agenda. “Agenda “after all is what makes me a productive member of His body. “Agenda” is what advances the kingdom. Or… is the kingdom advanced by hearkening unto the voice of my Savior? Is it brought forth by the Creator whose raging love for His own will call upon a friend to touch the heart of another in His way, His time, and with His passion?
I forget sometimes… but I digress. Probably because I am annoyed.
I am thinking about John the Baptizer. I am thinking upon the splendor of his life. A man who was related to Messiah Jeshua. Did they play together? Did they ever see who could run the fastest or jump over a sword the farthest? How many times did John knock on the door of the carpenter’s house and before the wooden latch even permitted anyone a glimpse of the visitor would shout, “Can Jesus come out and play?”
Did they walk the dusty streets as they got older, discussing the things to come?
Or, did they never speak? Did the will of the Father quickly whisk them far from each others’ circle of fellowship? One went to a lowly agricultural town in the middle of nowhere. The other ventured deep into the blast furnace of God’s breaking. How fitting it was a desert.
I don’t know. But I do know this. When these two men came together, the Holy Spirit did two things.
One. He tore the heavens open and poured Himself out all over Jesus as the first-fruits of what was to come. The Voice of the Father confirmed His Son audibly from the spirit realm. At times this voice roared like a clap of thunder so forcefully that people literally mistook it as such. Two. John witnessed all this.
“Behold the Lamb of God… this is the One…” (John 1:29-)
John even politely attempts to dissuade Jesus from being submersed by him. I have often thought on that scene and the exchange of love that must have flowed through the hearts of the greatest Old Testament prophet and The Prophet.
Fast-forward. In the mire of a submerged black hole of a dungeon the Romans would call a cell, John’s physical senses were speaking so loudly that he questioned everything he ever heard from God. His very commission was crumbling in his mind and heart as his circumstances pressed hard upon his will, convictions and revelations. This man was no stranger to self-denial or discipline. As a man who took the lifelong oath of a Nazarite, he was well acquainted with suffering and loss. He enjoyed consuming a personal favorite of mine- honey dipped insects. He wore a coat that would make our childhood wool sweaters seem like the finest cashmere garment. The Holy Spirit came to John as a trainer comes to his beloved prize fighter at the onset of the opening announcements of a bout and said “It’s time, John.” He came out of the desert. This prophet was no joke.
One day, he sends two friends of his to Jesus with a simple, straight forward question.
“Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” (Luke 7:19)
The empathy that Jesus must have felt for John makes my mind go on tilt. A man whose entire existence has been to make Israel’s heart ready for her Lamb was unraveling within that abode of hell where John was chained.
There is someone out there whose circumstances are so contrary to the promises given to them by God that he/she is tempted to toss it all away on the notion of self-delusion. It is not.
I want to encourage you with this:
Natural circumstances always oppose the kingdom of God up until the Kingdom breaks through.
If this were not so, the exhortation and proclamation by Paul that we “…walk by faith and not by sight,” would be without merit.
Brothers and sisters, we are called to take our place in the halls of those who would see natural circumstances yield violently to God’s kingdom invading the life of His children in fulfillment of His promises. The Heroes of Hebrews obtained their reward by laying hold of that which laid hold of their hearts. Hold fast to the word given you.
Your Redeemer, and Author of the story called “YOU” has not put His pen down yet, but the epilogue reads, “Beloved. Conqueror. Victorious. Fulfilled.” The Promise is yours. It-is-yours.
Do not let it go.
“So he replied to the messengers, ‘Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor.’” (Luke 7:22)
My comrade, the redemption of your heart’s desire as He proclaimed to you is overshadowing you even now. It is carried more fiercely than all the wonders and terrors of the Old Testament. You are in a whirlwind. But the whirlwind is not your circumstances my friend. There is only one whirlwind, one that none of us can ever escape.
It is the storm of His love.
“Look up, and lift up your heads for your deliverance draws near.”