Saturday, April 12, 2014
It's a season of expectation and preparation. The only thing I know to compare this feeling to is the nesting instinct a young mother feels who is preparing for her newborn baby to arrive. Something, or should I say SOMEONE, is coming and we are to prepare and make way for the King and the coming harvest.
"See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. - Isaiah 43:19
About four months ago an unusual series of events began to occur for me. One evening as I logged on to my trusty Dell computer, my hard drive died. This had never happened to me before, but a trip to my local Discount Electronics confirmed the problem. So, a new hard drive was installed and after quite an ordeal, all of my data was restored to the new drive.
That hard drive lasted about a month and then the same scenario occurred. I figured the hard drive they sold me must have been faulty, and they agreed, and then installed another one. That hard drive lasted about a month and then it died, too. It was about this time that I began to wonder if God was wanting to use these unusual events to say something to me. Those who know me well know that He has used unusual circumstances and repeated events more than once to speak to me.
Still, I don't like to over spiritualize things, so I just told Him that I wanted to hear what He was saying and to make it clear so that I wouldn't miss it.
Maybe this wasn't the right prayer, because things were about to get even more frustrating. After the third drive died, I began to reason that it must be my Dell that was the problem, and it was a good excuse to finally make the long awaited switchover to a Mac. After doing some research, I decided to purchase a refurbished Mac, and fortunately it came with a warranty. I say, 'fortunately' because yes, you guessed it......within a month that hard drive died, too.
I'm a little embarrassed to say, but now, four hard drives later, He finally had my attention. I don't think He was killing my hard drives, but I do think He was using my circumstances to speak a powerful word to me for this season and it just took me a while to hear it.
You see, every time my hard drive died all my programs and info had to be re-downloaded onto the new drive. As I was rummaging through discs to find printer drivers, etc., I came across my windows disc and the words operating system were highlighted to me. And then I heard in my spirit the words, "You're going to need a new operating system".
In a very real sense this was just a vivid illustration of a truth that He had been speaking to me over and over for several months. Things are going to need to change for the new season we are entering. The old ways of doing things will no longer suffice. We will need a new wineskin for the new wine. We will need a new operating system.
It's not about better works or improving our performance, but more about fine tuning priorities, focus, and intentionality to aim with everything in us to run toward the goal. It's about an openness to step into the unknown and leave our comfort zone. It's about leaving some good things in order to be fully available for the best. And in all of this, it's about having an ear always turned toward heaven so that we move in sync with His heart.
One of the ways He has been fine tuning my focus is through prayer. I tend to be a bit of a Martha, and it's so easy for me to get wrapped up in tasks and getting jobs done. But, the reality He has impressed upon my heart, is that prayer and time spent in His presence is to be front and center as we move forward into this season. I'm excited that He is birthing new things and new ways of praying. He's awakening His church to join with Him to usher in His kingdom. Prayer, led by the Spirit, is never boring, but an exciting adventure!
Another area I see Him fine tuning in myself and our church body is community and covenant relationships. He is stretching, shaping, and challenging us to love extravagantly, and walk with utmost integrity of heart in all our relationships. There are some birth pains here as we make our way through to emerge with a new operating system in relationship to one another. I hear Him saying, "Come up higher into love, truth, honor, humility, and integrity in all your interactions with one another."
Old ways of operating are being exposed in this season, but it is His loving hand that is allowing it, so that adjustments can be made and a corporate unity and acceleration can occur.
So, four hard drives later, I'm excited about receiving a new operating system from Him. I'm excited for this season of expectation and preparation and I think it's the greatest time ever to be alive. It's a time for 'all hands on deck'. It's a time be alert, wakeful, and vigilant. It's a time to lock arms and advance forward. I'm thankful to partner with a wonderful church body to make way for the King and His harvest. Like a recent speaker prophesied over our church, let's build for babies!
"Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. For you will spread out to the right and to the left...." Isaiah 54:2-3a