3 For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
2 A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
3 A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
4 A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
5 A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
6 A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
7 A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
8 A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.
9 What do people really get for all their hard work? 10 I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. 11 Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.
I met with my therapist today. I’ve been needing to for a long time, but, well, life, or….. my stubborn will just didn’t want to. He’s the perfect Therapist. Always available. Always willing to listen. Always dispenses wisdom. Always gives me practical things to do to reemphasize His plan for my life.
I sipped on my ½ regular, ½ decaf cup of coffee this morning like I usually do. I talked to the Holy Spirit about what He already knows; I’m struggling in this season. I’ve been wrestling in it for a long time. 7 years long. I’ve pleaded. I’ve whined. I’ve complained. I’ve bartered. I’ve justified. I’ve cried. I’ve thrown adult sized hissy fits. Not one of those things has led me out of the season that I’ve wanted to be over for a long time. 7 years long. So, after I finished pouring out my complaint (Psalm 142:2) again, I read another chapter of Psalms and devotions from Spurgeon, Chambers and Tozer. Then I got up to begin the practical portion of my therapy; de-cluttering and re-organizing.
I LOVE to de-clutter and re-organize our home. It helps to de-clutter my mind and re-organize my emotions. It helps me to see all that we possess and be grateful. It helps me to see what is no longer needed and to grieve the loss. It helps me to see what needs to be thrown away, so that I can embrace something new!
Let me put this right on out there: I am severely impatient. When I see a new season approaching, I want it to happen yesterday. I don’t want to wait until tomorrow. Not so ironically, I married a man who approaches life much differently. He’ll ponder and wait and wait and wait. It makes me coo coo for Cocoa Puffs! NOW is the time! No need to dilly dally in today’s season- let’s just MOVE ON! Yet, God in His infinite sense of humor has not only given me the gift of a man who changes seasons slower than I do, but He’s also given me the gift of prophesy so that I can see seasons that are coming in a long, long, time. He’s trying to teach me to be still, to know Him, to realize He has made everything for its own time. He knows His work from beginning to end. He lives outside of time, and He’s planting eternity in my heart so that I will embrace each season from heaven’s perspective.
At the end of today’s session, I heard the Spirit whisper, “it’s time to quit searching, it’s time to throw some things away.” He’s already given me the answer to my endless questions. He’s already shown me the next season, but I must wait for His time to transition into it.
In the meantime, it’s also time to take out the trash which is full of junk that nobody needs, and deliver the pile of household goods that somebody does.
Luke 9:1-6 (NLT)
One day Jesus called together his twelve disciples[a] and gave them power and authority to cast out all demons and to heal all diseases. 2 Then he sent them out to tell everyone about the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick. 3 “Take nothing for your journey,” he instructed them. “Don’t take a walking stick, a traveler’s bag, food, money,[b] or even a change of clothes. 4 Wherever you go, stay in the same house until you leave town. 5 And if a town refuses to welcome you, shake its dust from your feet as you leave to show that you have abandoned those people to their fate.”
6 So they began their circuit of the villages, preaching the Good News and healing the sick.
All across the state, many of my fellow North Carolinians have been without power as we continue to endure heavy rains and gusty wind from #HurricaneFlorence2018. Even though FLO has been downgraded to a tropical storm, she is slow moving and her circular bands are dumping record numbers of water onto our already saturated land.
We were without power last night for a few hours. Yes, only a few hours. But lemme just go ahead and confess this to you: I’m a wuss without power. Born and raised in Southern, CA, this city girl, who was transplanted to the country in the late 80’s, is NOT equipped to live like a pioneer. Sure, I can go tent camping. I even enjoy “roughing it” for a few days. But at home? Uh. No. It’s like I forget how to function! Without powerI can’t cook, do dishes, wash clothes, turn on the fan (this is VERY important for hot flashes!!!), use my computer, iPhone…wah, wah, wah. I have become much too dependent on electronics that are useless without power. Electrical power helps me be productive in my role as Home Manager, Homeschool Mom, and with At Home Ministries. The same is true in my relationship with the Lord, and in what He has called me to do. Without His supernatural power, I’m unable to fulfill His plans for my life.
Such is the case with the church in America. She, in many instances, is trying to function without power. She has equipped herself to preach to the multitudes on Sunday mornings by using electrical power to brew fresh coffee, show videos and announcements on the big screen, stream children’s curriculum, share on social media, amplify instruments, and project people’s voices on microphones… But none of these things need supernatural power to perform. Supernatural power doesn’t need to be plugged into a sound system. Supernatural power simply needs disciples who know Jesus. Disciples who know Jesus andhave been given His power and His authority to cast out demons, heal the sick and tell others about the Kingdom of God.
Without power, we, the church, cannot PREACH the Kingdom of God.
Without power, we, the church, cannot PRAY for others to be healed from disease and set free from the demons that torment them; body and soul.
Without power, we, the church, cannot LOVE our neighbors, as we love ourselves.
Without power, we, the church, cannot LOVE God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.
Jesus didn’t send His disciples out into their community to PREACH & PRAY until they knew Him andHe equipped themwith His Spirit & Authority (Luke 9).
Jesus didn’t send His disciples out into their communities, their nation, or the world to PREACH & PRAY after His death, resurrection & ascension until they knew Him andHe equipped themwith His Spirit & Authority (Acts 2).
Jesus still doesn’t send His disciples out to PREACH & PRAY until they know Him andHe equips themwith His Spirit & Authority (Hebrews 13).
My fellow disciple,
Are you trying to fulfill your calling without power? Are you preaching the Kingdom of God as a spectator of Jesus Christ instead of His friend? Are you praying for others so that they can be healed, or because you want to be their savior & lord? Stop. Confess. Repent. Be still. Know Him. Then….He will equip you with His Spirit & His authority.
My fellow North Carolinians,
I sincerely apologize for my whiny-ness of being without power. I am acutely aware that many of you have been devastated by this storm. You’ve lost loved ones, homes and all your earthly possessions. My heart grieves for you. May the Lord be with you as you endure the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, and may we, the church provide what you need to rebuild.