Witness Him Now
Something so strange happened yesterday, and I have to share it. It took my breath away. My husband and I made a delivery to Houston, and I was in a middle school office waiting for someone to tell us where we needed to deliver the set when an INTENSE JOY entered my heart. Oh my goodness. I couldn't breathe.
I was watching the students and parents coming and going. I stood and watched the secretary go about her business, and something magical happened. I could see the goodness of God all around me. I could see each person fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God, each person crowned with glory and honor and given authority over all things. For whatever reason at that exact moment, I could see clearly the goodness of God when He created man.- all men. This feeling choked me all day long. My heart was so full, full to overflowing; it still is.
So last night God woke me up, and all I could think about was JOY. This month we were challenged in our church to seek wisdom and to read one Proverb each day. So yesterday, January 8th - Proverbs 8:30-35 talked about wisdom saying, "I was the architect at His side. I was His constant delight, rejoicing always in His presence. And how happy I was with the world He created; how I REJOICED with the HUMAN FAMILY! And so, my children, listen to Me, for all who follow My ways are JOYFUL. Listen to My instruction and be wise. Don't ignore it. JOYFUL are those who listen to Me, watching for Me daily at My gates, waiting for Me outside My home. For whoever finds Me finds life and receives favor from the LORD."
So I started thinking about my journey into JOY, and I could see clearly how it happened for me. For me it started in 2011 when God gave me the Parable of the Raccoon. With that parable, God allowed me to understand spiritual warfare. He then took me to a place where I was able to recognize my enemies, put a name on them, defeat them, and crush them fine as dust under my feet and sweep them out the door. Hallelujah, thank you Jesus!
One of my strongest enemies was judgment, and God delivered me from judgment in five different stages. All of them were glorious, and when judgment left my heart, my heart stopped judging myself. I could then see myself and others more clearly. WOW! I cannot tell you what a difference this made in my life. My heart was at peace.
Then about two years ago, God started teaching me about honor. The definition of honor is to hold someone in high esteem and high respect. This is something that happens in our heart, then it comes out through our words and our actions. It caused me to think of people - all people - as valuable and important. I started putting people on a pedestal in my heart. It started with "Honor your father and your mother." Then it moved to "Honor and your husband." Then "Honor all who are in authority." Then, "Honor all people for my sake." WOW! Honor. My heart started honoring people. I started looking past what they were doing into who they are - a man created in the image of God and crowned with glory and honor and given authority over all things. I began to see that what God had created was "good" regardless of what choices we make.
Then somewhere along the way - it may have been before honor - God started showing me that there is no "us" and "them." There is just "This is us." It doesn't matter whether we are Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal, black or white, Jew or Gentile, Christian or Muslim. There is just - THIS IS US! We are all in this together. Humanity. Proverbs 8:31: Wisdom said, "How happy I was with the world He created; how I rejoiced with the HUMAN FAMILY!'
In may heart, the walls have fallen. Everything that separated me from others is now gone. In its place, I now have peace and JOY! WOW! If we could only bottle this one, the whole world would want it. What is so crazy is that it can be found.
Listen as Wisdom calls out! Hear as understanding raises her voice! On the hilltop along the road, she takes her stand at the crossroads. By the gates at the entrance to the town, on the road leading in, she cries aloud, "I call to you, to all of you! I raise My voice to ALL PEOPLE. You simple people, use good judgment. You foolish people, show some understanding. Listen to Me! For I have important things to tell you. Everything I say is right, FOR I SPEAK THE TRUTH AND DETEST EVERY KIND OF DECEPTION. My advice is wholesome. There is nothing devious or crooked in it. My words are plain to anyone with understanding, clear to those with knowledge.
Choose My instruction rather than silver, and knowledge rather than pure gold. For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies. Nothing you desire can compare with it.
I, Wisdom, live together with good judgment. I know where to discover knowledge and discernment. All who fear the LORD will hate evil. Therefore, I hate pride and arrogance, corruption and perverse speech. Common sense and success belong to Me. Insight and strength are mine." (Proverbs 8:1-14)
I don't know if you are getting any of this or not, but when we find wisdom, not only do we get joy, but we get: common sense, success, insight, and strength. Later in this same chapter, we find that we also get: riches, honor, enduring wealth, and justice, and God will fill our treasuries.
So my friends, I want you to know that the LORD is drawing near to His people right now to give us every good thing that He promised before the foundation of the earth. LOVE and JOY and PEACE are my favorite. JOY takes my breath away. But look at all the other good things He wants to give His people: patience and kindness and goodness and gentleness and faithfulness and self-control - grace and mercy and light and truth - wisdom and understanding and counsel and might and fear of the LORD and knowledge - common sense and success and insight and strength - riches and honor and enduring wealth and justice. His treasuries are overflowing with good things He wants to give to His children. We just have to let Him.
Blessings, my friends. May you, too, experience the joy of the LORD that takes your breath away.
The scripture says, "May you prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers."