Tag Archives: spiritual vision

When God Shows Up

Many years ago, in a small church in Mexico, I interpreted a whole sermon from Spanish to English. That might not seem very remarkable to some of my readers, but to those who know me (and my very limited Spanish skills) it was nothing short of miraculous. We had just spent a week helping two small churches with their missions to the local community, but just before the end of our trip our interpreter had to leave early.  When we arrived at the church that Sunday, I looked at the two young men who had been interning with a local missionary, waiting for them to begin interpreting. However, they just looked at me and said they couldn’t. I tried to tell everyone that I was absolutely not able to interpret a sermon, but seeing that no one else was able or willing I agreed to give it a try.

As I opened my mouth, God showed up. Somehow I found myself understanding words I had never heard before, and in the few spots (at the beginning) where I got stuck the pastor’s gestures were enough to help me get it. By the end of the message I was getting nearly every word. To this day, I find it hard to believe that happened, but really I should’t have been surprised. If I’ve learned anything in the last few decades, it is that God does miraculous things when we step out in faith.

For years I knew he was calling me to begin a domestic violence ministry, and I sat back waiting for him to show me the details. I prayed and waited for him to provide the income, but nothing happened. Eventually the calling became so strong I began to pour all my effort into developing an alternative source of income so that I could do the ministry. But that didn’t work either, nor did any of my efforts to figure it out and make it happen in a way that seemed safe and secure.

One day as I was crying out to God, I clearly sensed his voice in my spirit telling me that his calling was not for me to make it happen, but to be obedient-– even when I couldn’t see how he was going to do it. I had been spending all my efforts trying to do it in a way that made practical sense, but he was calling me to the impossible. He was calling me out of my comfort zone into the miraculous. Often when God calls it makes no sense in the natural realm. Consider the story of the Israelites crossing the Jordan. They arrived there when the river was at flood stage, but God told them to walk through the river.

“Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing.” Joshua 3:15-16

Isn’t it interesting that the flow of the river didn’t stop until the priests put their feet in the river? It seemed crazy by human standards, but that’s exactly how God works. He calls us out of our own understanding into his ways (Pr. 3:5-6).  We simply have to be obedient to walk towards his calling. Until we put action to our faith, nothing changes. That does not mean we try to force our idea of how his plan might look. Instead, it means trusting as we walk towards his calling. When we do He shows up mightily.

 

 

Lord, Give Me Eyes to See

Lord, speak to my heart today. Some days I just get so fed up with this world, and long for the Day when you will wipe every tear from our eyes, and live in our midst. Looking at people can sure be cause for discouragement. Actually, looking at myself can be cause for discouragement, and I desire to honor You with my life. So many in this world don’t know You—don’t have any desire to know You. Even worse, sometimes, I think they are led astray by people who claim to know You. I know I was for many years. Bottom line is that You seem to have a small remnant of followers in the world, there are many wolves among your sheep, and the world system is dark and lost. John was right when he said that this world system consists of “the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life” (1 Jn. 1:25).  Nearly every day I see people tying their value to possessions and achievements with no regard for spiritual things. Others seek approval from people and end up wallowing in depression, because people can never give them what they seek. We were made for You, and yet reject You to go our own selfish ways. I am so amazed at your patience. You are the potter and we are the clay. You certainly have every right to destroy it all and start all over again, but in your love and mercy You have chosen to work in our brokenness. In fact, You chose to enter it and become broken yourself in order to redeem those who would receive You. You shine in the midst of the darkness, and put your Spirit in your children as instruments of your grace. It constantly amazes me. I remember how impressed I was at the level of service offered by the churches after Hurricane Katrina versus the Red Cross and the government. People came by the thousands and sacrificed to help. Your light penetrated the darkness, and many were able to see your goodness in the midst of horrific tragedy. I saw so many cases where lives were positively changed forever, because of your church. Those little glimpses of light must be occurring all over the world, and You are in the midst of them all. I need to look at your grand design, and stop worrying about the darkness. Let me shine for You today. Amen

 Little one, my eyes are constantly looking throughout the whole earth (Zec. 4:10), and my purposes will stand. To your eyes the work may seem small, but it will be accomplished—not by might or power, but by my Spirit (Zec. 4:6).  Call to Me and I will answer, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know (Jer. 33:3). I can give you eyes to see. You are looking at things from a human perspective, and are missing the eternal purposes I am accomplishing. Trust that I have a good plan, and simply be obedient to the call I have on your life. I know that right now you are unsure of the direction to take, but continue to seek my face. Do not let shallow substitutes obscure your view; that is, do not allow anything to distract your gaze from Me. If you do,  you will sink, just as Peter began to sink when he started looking at the wind and waves (Mt. 14:30). The waves will continue to crash, and the wind will continue to blow until I bring you into my presence, but walking by faith will hold you up through the storms. Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen—the things that are unseen are eternal (Heb. 11:1, 2 Cor. 4:18). Learn to live for the eternal unseen kingdom, and the waves will become as phantoms with no power to move you. If you are discouraged, it means your eyesight is faulty. Let Me give you new eyes to see beyond the fading shadows. For now you see dimly and you only know in part, but one day you will understand it all (1 Cor. 13:12). Until that day, let me lead you, and walk in my Spirit. All things are possible for those who believe. 

eyes elightened