Boy, I tell ya what, I am exited this morning! Good nights rest! Awesome debate last night! (That”s like the Super Bowl for me!!!) and God has shown me something in the Word this morning that just blew my mind! But first, is this bizarre news: Here in Viginia, on the Eastern Shore, there are apparently bits of raw chicken falling from the sky! Yup, you heard it here first! That’s all I know so far, heard it on WRVA radio. I’ll let you know what else I find out, and give my impressions on the debate in a later post.
From falling chicken bits, lets get back to the Word:
Remember about a month ago, that fire tornado?
I’m studying Ezekiel again right now. I was studying it several weeks ago, and set it aside for a bit, and in the interim what you saw in the video, took place! Listen to this: Ezekiel 1:4 And I looked, and, behold a whirlwind came out of the North, a great cloud and a fire enfolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the color of amber, out of the midst of the fire. Does that give you chills like it did me? Was that possibly a subtle sign of warning to this world? Surely, like all the other signs, but this verse sure lends a little more punch to that one in particular, for me anyway!
That passage goes on to describe 4 beasts that come out of the midst of the fire, in imagery that aligns with that of Revelation 4:6-8. This is one point of comparison that correlates between Ezekiel and Revelation, out of approximately 80, clearly demonstrating the close relationship between these two major prophetical books.
Maybe I just drank too much coffee this morning, but this really got my engine going this morning! I am practically trembling with excitement. God had to hold me down to finish my study time because I wanted to run over here to the computer and broadcast it from the rooftops! But like John, whom God instructed to eat the little book and it would make his belly bitter although it would taste sweet as honey on his tongue, (See Revelation 10:9-10) he could not take his prophetic message to the people, until he had known the “flavor” of the message for himself, and I needed to pause and absorb before I rush to give to others, what God has showed me. The message of Revelation, as well as Ezekiel, is sweet because it comes from God Himself and is perfect and pure. It is bitter, though, because the fulfillment of it will be painful to the recipients. The message of Ezekiel applies to an historical time, and the Babylonian captivity, yet has also a greater application with a fulfillment that is yet future. This is heady stuff!
Ezekiel’s vision in chapter one is designed to show coming judgment, evidenced by “storm” (turmoil, upheaval, wrath of God) “cloud” (confusion, blindness of the people, wrath of God), and of course “fire”, (purification, purging). The whirlwind in scripture is always symbolic of God’s divine wrath. Wind is breath, (God doesn’t have to physically reach down and shake up the Earth, all He has to do is speak) aned of course wind is also symbolic of Spirit, the Holy Spirit which the idolatrous Israelits (and we today) have alienated and grieved.
Folks do you see any new relevence to that video of the recent fire-tornado which went viral over the internet and was seen by probably a great majority of the whole world? I mean, it was no small thing. They are not unheard-of but they are extremely rare! In light of all the other wierd weather events, dust storms, etc, I just counted it as another sign, but this one verse in Ezekiel cast it in a whole other light and, to my thinking, upped the stakes of significance by several degrees!
While I am hanging out in Ezekiel, I feel the Lord leading me to share a testimony. This is a testimony, really, of how and when the Lord called me to be a Watchman on the Wall. Those of you who’ve hung out with me from the beginning of this blog, know that when I spontaneously free-write, I write in a rather stream-of-consciousness way, as my thoughts occur to me, and this blog, if viewed in macrocosm, exhibits that “consistency of inconsistency” which is very characteristic of how I generally express myself. When I started the blog, I gave you some life- history, and a good bit of the “flavor” of me as a person, with posts that were rather personal. I shared what the Lord was currently teaching me, in devotional-type posts along the way, and then a few weeks back sort of went “all news, all the time” for the most part, as the Holy Spirit led and as prophetic chess-pieces started just falling into place in real-time.
But even as I was checking my references like a good Berean, for this post, I saw notes I wrote in my Bible in February of 2011. February of 2011 is significant because it was a pivot-point in a specific season God took me through in which He educated me in the area of the Holy Spirit, and Spiritual Warfare. It stretches back to about the autumn of ’09. Through-out that time-frame, our family had a season of “riding the rapids” and muddy waters of apostacy-in-the- treacly-watered-down-modern-church.
When our first son was born, we moved from a fairly large city, back to the small town that I’d grown up in, and went to the one church in town where there were folks I still know, but it was from the old denomination I grew up in, and neither hubby or I felt quite at home there. By the time the baby was 2 and a half, and our second son was on the way, we’d found a church we loved, (let’s call it “Church #1) and became members there. Within about a year, there were rumbles between “factions” we didn’t even know existed in the church, and there was a split, and like the children in the case of divorce, we were left bewildered, hurt and disillusioned when the church we loved came apart at the seams. We didn’t even know what the issues were, much less who was right and who was wrong. We just witnessed some very ugly behavior during a business meeting, on the part of a person whom we had never even seen in our church before (apparently disgruntled and estranged) who got wind of the business meeting and decided to show up and speak his mind. Accusations were tossed about, and my husband and I were just bewildered. We’d been there about a year, our kids were 1 and 3. We got a call from our Sunday School teacher the next morning in which she said, simply, “The preacher and some of us have decided to leave “church X” (for the purposes of my narrative, Church #1) and start our own church. Well, our rapport was of course mostly with those in that class, we trusted the preacher and had no idea about any history, so at a loss and with some reserve, we went to the “new church” hoping maybe to figure it all out as we went. This period also co-incided with the early years of my chronic illnesses, which were mysterious and as yet-undiagnosed at that time. That was about 1999. (I’m giving you back-story and will work up to the account of my calling.)
I was involve in the prayer ministries at the first church and remained in that role in the second church. Well, long and short of that period, things happened in the “new church” which soon made us really wonder if we’d stuck with the wrong group, although frankly, there is always wrong on both sides, and the real underlying issue is too much love of self and self’s own way, and lack of forgiveness and tolerence. For many months we embarked on a search for a good solid church we could trust and commit to, week after week, another new church. As you can imagine, that grew wearisome very quickly with little ones, so we next went to a church in our neighborhood (Church #3) and lingered there for a time, where there were several people we knew, who were real salt-of-the-Earth kind of Christians, (much love, many extended famililes intermingled there), however, the pastoral leadership was weak and though the focus was rooted in scripture and solid Biblical principle, it bothered us that we never heard the gospel clearly given, nor was there any foreign missionary outreach. They were very good at local outreach in their immediate neighborhood, though, and looking back I recognize that is probably more in line with the New Testament church than most, we just didn’t recognize it at the time. We didn’t feel led to join there, but we did feel led to rest there awhile. The people of the church itself lived out their faith more practically than any church I’d ever been in, and that by itself was a huge plus. Still, we longed for a church we felt led to commit to, we wanted to settle down and grow, and yet we were loathe to contemplate yet anther period of church-shopping.
We landed next in a mega-church, (Church #4) drawn as many are, by the excitement of “so much to experience”, and certainly plenty to “sample and explore” yet allowing us to remain slightly apart from the ugly underbelly and inner workings as we know they are there in every church and had concluded it’s best not to have to know about them. But the problem with that was it left us distanced also from forming much real relationship among the body, which I longed for and felt we very much needed, and God intended. My husband is a less-social creature than I, and this suited him fine at the time.
Now, I have left out details of very hurtful things that happened to us personally at the hands of some of these “leaders” in that fractured-off new church (Church #2) we had left behind. Very personal. Very deeply wounding and in a time that was personally prettty stressful and frightening for our young family due to my symptoms, losing the ability to work, and health insurace. Sufficed to say that trust did not come easy for this gal who already had trust issues due to some traumatic personal history (again, you can read more about that in my early archives of the blog and particularly on the Labels at the top of my blogstream which is about 40 “permenant web pages” of poems, stories, and reflections, etc). To this day I remain cautious about personal relationships within the church, although I would step out in faith again, vulnerable to the inherent risks of throwing all your heart into ministry and relationship.
We kept in touch with folks from Church #1, and after 2 and a half years in Church #4(Megachurch), we ran into a dear member from Church #1 who informed us they had brought a dynamic new pastor, a young man with a lovely family, wife and 5 kids, and were experiencing wonderful revival. We promised to visit, fell in love all over again with the place we had so hated to leave to begin with, and stayed. (Church #1 thus became also Church #5. That is, until……!
Yep, you guessed it. Man, Satan is busy in the church. My personal belief when it comes to that particular church, is that it has a HUUUUGE potential for impact. It sits on a nearly -isolated lot, surrounded on three sides by three of the BUSIEST thoroughfares of our city, and scarcely a mile from one of the largest and busiest Army bases in America. We became close friends with the new pastor and his family, but the horrendous attack upon him at the hands of, well, frankly what I believe to be a real demon entity of division, given access to wreak harm and havoc through probable “tares-among-the-wheat”. But that is an understanding which only came years later through the pivotal events that I will get into next, in a subsequent post.
Stay tuned for the “rest of the story” and of course, the daily “noonish” news.