Banished by communion
Sheltered under grace
(Building 429 – Power of Your Name)
Imagine this. Really think about it.
This past week I’ve been doing a fast. As a preface, I’m not saying this for any attention, it’s just what I’ve been doing. I felt led to do a fast, and at the beginning of it I wasn’t completely sure how long I should do it. Since that time I’ve kept hearing a week. So here I am resting on the verge of a week. What did I fast for? For one, I felt His leading to do this. Another, to grow closer to Him. Another, to pray for difficult and unresolved situations in my life that I know God has to show Himself in in some form. So here I am again on the verge of the next day, which happens to be the last one. Here is what I am learning!
The question running through your mind is – how has it been? Have your prayers been answered? Obviously, I’ve been hungry. But I’ve been hungry for more than food. I’m hungry for change. I want to see the work of God’s glory not only in my life, but in the lives of others. I want to see Toccoa Falls College, Toccoa, GA. Georgia, the USA, and the rest of the world to see just that – God’s glory. I’m realizing our hunger for it, and especially mine. I’ve been waiting for so long knowing that it’s going to come. I want it to come like my next meal is going to come tomorrow night. I eagerly anticipate its coming, and I’m ready to devour it and be filled to overflowing.
My prayers have been answered. Again, I am asked yet again to endure and wait – the end of this time is near. God has eased the pain and toil in my life I was overwhelmed in just about a week ago. I am still just as much having to live through my circumstances, but through my supplications He has changed my attitude and outlook. I feel once again like I can be who I really am. I can be the carefree person I used to be. But, there are several things that have changed in lieu of that. I am carefree because He has shown me that I can be ‘casting all my anxieties on Him, because He cares for me (1 Pet. 5:7). I have nothing to worry about, because everything I face is in His hands. It doesn’t mean that I am not still in pain, or face great things ahead. It means that I can trust Him with my future and take joy in that despite and even because of what is going on right now. He is working.
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control (2 Tim 1:7).” This change in me hasn’t been of one that is out of fear and running away from what mountain I face in front of me. Rather, it is embracing it head-on through the power of God in my life. He has given me love and self-control. I intend to spread those things and use them for the glory of the One that instilled them in me. There is so much power in the Word of God. I am barely realizing this power in my own life. But I also know its vast potential because of Who it comes from. I know that as the water washes sand between my toes it is fed from a vast ocean of His love that I can’t see beyond the horizon of it. And the horizon that I look at – is a beautiful sunset reflecting off the water. That is His glory, and it is coming. The end is drawing near. That my friends is told to us in Scripture, and I sincerely believe it. I am not an alarmist, and not saying that in 5 minutes that the world will come to an end. That is lunacy, and I cannot claim to know something that only God knows – not even the Son knows the time. What Scripture also says is that we “are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober (1 Thess. 5:4-6).” I believe God is not allowing us to be in complete darkness about what is going on. He is revealing to us His will as we seek it and He gives it to us.
Now remember the lyrics I posted at the beginning. This is the movement that God has been laying on our hearts. He wants to end loneliness, brokenness, and everything else. Those will be banished by the communion of His Spirit in us fellowshipping as one body – the Bride of Christ. We are called to be united under His magnificent love. We are broken, but sheltered under His grace we can reach out to others that have been broken just as we are. We have been put through what we have been so that we can draw others to Him and unite as His Bride brining others to the knowledge of Him – so the cycle continues. Our lives have been ridden with hope in the midst of a world that is so bleak. Our hope comes from the depths of God because our lives have reflected the bleak world we so long to reach. We have been made hopeless so that our hope comes from Him. In that, we passionately share the awesome hope that has been given us because Hope died for our sins. Our hope in Christ has changed our lives from being destitute and dead to fully growing and alive through the power of Christ. We have been given something magnificent, we must give it away just as it is the free gift we have been given through the love of Christ that died for us.
Now, I end this. I didn’t know where I was going to go with this. Looking from my eyes, my fast seems rather uneventful on one side. But on the other, what God has been doing has been opened to my eyes. He has shown me what He wants. Again, God has been faithful beyond my asking or imagining. This is what I’ve been taught.
O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live;
in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food,
and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,
when I remember you upon my bed,
and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
for you have been my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.
But those who seek to destroy my life
shall go down into the depths of the earth;
they shall be given over to the power of the sword;
they shall be a portion for jackals.
But the king shall rejoice in God;
all who swear by him shall exult,
for the mouths of liars will be stopped.