Isaiah 43:18-21 (AMPC)
18 Do not [earnestly] remember the former things; neither consider the things of old.
19 Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs forth; do you not perceive and know it and will you not give heed to it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
20 The beasts of the field honor Me, the jackals and the ostriches, because I give waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, to give drink to My people, My chosen,
21 The people I formed for Myself, that they may set forth My praise [and they shall do it].
Have you ever had God speak to you about something and have repeated encounters with people and situations that all point back to that one particular train of thought?
I love how that God puts things together and how that when it comes to showing us deep things it is He and He alone that can connect the dots. What’s even more amazing to me is that often times He does it through people, even when they may be unsuspecting or even knowledgeable of it!
Think about that for a moment, there can be things that come out of your mouth that are birthed in your thoughts that God planted there to be spoken at the right time to the right person for the right reason!
Recently, I had several of our prophetic ministry team members and the ministry leader gave me some prophetic words when I visited the “Furnace” or our prophetic ministry room at His Place. To save time I won’t go into details but they were very powerful and right on target with things God has been speaking to me.
Afterwards, I left and was talking with my Senior Pastor before services that Sunday morning and we were sharing with each other the words we had received and just insightfully looking into what God was saying to us. As I shared part of what I received he told me I should go back and reread the books of Samuel.
I had not read very far until I came upon Hannah. Hannah was discouraged and I can certainly relate to what it is to be frustrated and discouraged because of a lack of birth. If there is one thing I have learned, it is that a lack of seeing the end result in our present circumstances is no proof that God is not up to something and working a process. This was certainly true with Hannah. I also know what it means to commit what is given to us by God to be given back to Him!
All of that aside, what struck me most was how she was perceived by Eli the priest as she prayed. Now Hannah certainly was bold, she had no qualms about going to God directly and praying both out loud and quietly. What struck me most is that the way in which Hannah was engaging God and praying was seen as “out of order” by Eli and the religious status quo and certainly was not customary. So grotesquely that Eli both reprimanded her and assumed she was not in her right mind and accused her of being drunk. That tells me that she was not concerned with appearances or standards and her response to Eli also let him know that she knew her God and that He was listening to her! She meant business and she was determined that God would hear her and see her frustrations and her discouragement. What courage, what tenacity! I love that about her! I can see a picture of the bride of the last days painted in her example as I write this.
Ironically, as I thought on this and I recalled what my pastor told me to read, I also remembered some points that he made concerning Jesus in his sermon last Sunday. He spoke on the counter culture approach that Jesus had in His ministry and how that the established cultural norms were not only exclusive, they were prejudicial against women and the whole methodology that Jesus used went rogue and flew in the face of all the religious and prestigious formats of the day. It all began to gel together in my mind.
It resonated further on a much deeper thought that God has been dealing with me about for several months; changing my preconceived notions about Who He is and how He does things.
For some time, perhaps as far back as 4 years ago, God has been challenging my thinking about myself, about Him and how He thinks and acts. If there is one thing I am coming to a rising climax on mentally speaking, it is that God cannot be defined conventionally in any shape, form, or fashion. Not poetically, not intellectually, and not theologically. I know it sounds radical but God IS radical, there is nothing passé about God in any respect. Now before you jump and bear your religious teeth, I get it, we need good teaching and yes all scriptures are profitable for doctrine, but doctrine is not the only way in which God speaks or is conveyed. Doctrine at best serves as guard rails to keep us from unbelief. Knowing doctrine will never equal practicing a relationship.
This is also something that God has been dealing with me about even more intently on for the last several months. I believe that God wants to speak new things and give us new revelations concerning His nature, His ways of thinking and His heart. Christians have a tendency to camp on things or establish things as to what can be evidence of credible displays of the Holy Spirit or that it is credible revelation because it is associated with a certain person. While those things may be true, we often as Christians are trying to live off of yesterday or even more yester-years manna. I believe there is much from the past and from God’s previous movements that is important and can teach us, but we must be willing to follow the pillar of fire, to follow the whirlwind into new previously unknown territory. We know that in the end day (which I believe us to be in) God is going to pour out the former and the latter rain and while we can expect to see things God has done before, we should also be so open in our minds and imaginations to anything that God wants to do to demonstrate His manifest presence, His glory, His power and most importantly His love. We have the mind of Christ and we have an opportunity to know Gods thoughts and intentions and ways of thinking but we so often limit ourselves to a standard that has been established settling for spiritual leftovers instead of something hot off the grill so to speak. God is not finished giving new visions and He certainly is not finished giving revelation if we can only let go of what is in our hand currently to grasp what He is trying to hand to us! The question is, can we be open enough to see it, hear it and accept it? Or will we filter every expectation or occurrence through a prescribed manner of formulated religious scrutiny? Can we let God be God and test the spirit and the fruit as the bar of standard? Of course I am not talking about adding to or rewriting the bible as some may immediately jump in their conclusions to. I am not talking about that at all. I am talking about experiencing God and the supernatural and inexplicable nature of relationship with God. I get it that some people don’t sit well with the idea of expanding their understanding of what it is to walk and interact with God, but at the same time I certainly don’t feel comfortable with them trying to dumb mine down.
As I get back to my main point, and revisiting the examples of Hannah and Jesus I have since looked at other examples in the bible who did not “do it right” as far as how religion, religious culture or even the world says is should be done. It is as if God keeps reiterating to me, “change your way of thinking” as I was also once told in a prophetic word given to me to “let go of my preconceived notions”. God is challenging me and He wants to challenge us to open ourselves to His sovereignty. If we truly believe He is sovereign then we also have to be open to the idea that God can do it however He wants, whenever He wants, and through whomever He wants. No wonder Jesus said “blessed are those who are not offended because of Me.”
So here it is, just a blast of things Holy Spirit has put into my heart. He that has ears to hear and eyes to see, let them see and hear! Be open to the leading of the spirit; be open to the creativity of your imagination and your mind and the mind of Christ in you so that you can begin to grasp the deep things of God!
Be less concerned with “doing it right” in terms of what church tradition says and more concerned with “doing it with the right heart”. God does not look at the outward man, He looks at our hearts. God rewards those that diligently seek Him with passion, with desperation, with brokenness and even those with failure and weakness. Even more, let us be ever increasingly open to God’s sovereignty in the “new things” God says He is going to do.