“What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light…”
There are deep truths and graces which can only be known and understood in the night seasons. God has purposed specific lessons, along with dispensations of mercy, for each of us which are discovered as we walk through dark places. It is in those trying and desperate times that we are weaned from the distraction of other things. Our sight is limited, and the silence is disconcerting. God seems distant and we are left with little but our own thoughts and perplexities. It is then that God draws near to unveil Himself and reveal His greatness and purposes to us.
David had learned of this when he declared in Psalm 139 this magnificent truth:
“If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee”
Scriptures are full of the visitations of God in the night seasons. They testify of the wrestling within whereby Jacobs become Israels. They speak of strength and hope being ministered to His own in their pilgrimages and wanderings in lonely and desolate places. Foundations are established, callings confirmed, and hearts renewed in the faithfulness of our God. Who cannot but praise the One who visits us in such places!
“And God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night… Saying fear not…”
It was during the night that God called Samuel to be a light in the desolation of Israel because of a backslidden and adulterous priesthood. It was in the night that Jesus came walking upon the stormy seas to call His disciples unto Himself.
“And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea… And he said (to Peter), Come”
As David’s history with God developed over the years he began to speak of his own personal “night watches” where he meditated upon God. He remembered his God and listened for Him to speak and comfort him within the depths of his soul.
“When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches”
Do not fear the night seasons for hidden within are the personal and private disclosures of His purposes for you. Out of these times men and women of faith emerge with renewed strength to meet the New Day and declare in the light the truths received in their own night season.
“And it came to pass that night, that the word of the Lord came unto Nathan… ” Go and tell my servant David, Thus saith the Lord…”
2 Samuel 7:4
“And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me”
It is important for us to reacquaint ourselves often with the words of Jesus during his earthly walk. Let those words reverberate within our hearts and pierce through the rhetoric. There is something so uncompromising about His Call. May we meditate upon these words of His and allow them the full and undivided attention of our hearts. The solemnity of His Call to us is not to a mere forgiveness of sins (as overwhelming and precious as that is). His Call is to Himself. Our redemption is for His glory and the following of Him. His whole design is to bring forth a people who are no longer their own, but rather “As He is, so ARE WE in this world” (1 John 4:17).
Look at the depth of His conversations with those who heard His Call:
“He said to another, “Follow me!” But he said, “Lord, allow me first to go and bury my father.”
“But Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead, but you go and announce God’s Kingdom.”
“And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house”
“And Jesus said unto him, no man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God”
There is power in the Call of Christ that defies logic. There is a stark contrast between then and now; between the perception of Jesus in our day and the Jesus presented to us in the Gospels. The Call of Christ is to the “whole” of us, not just a portion. Our response is not to be a casual one where we fit His Call into our daily life as if it were a part-time occupation. The Call is to Him; to sacrifice and to a determined relinquishment of all that we are.
Paul reiterates this in his plea to the Church at Rome.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service”
There is a pleading in the ministration of the Call of God that this becomes an experiential truth. The things we allow in ourselves, and in the lives of those who claim to know Him, reveal our ignorance of His claim upon us. Sin no longer disturbs the majority. We look lightly upon the issues of others because we look lightly upon the issues within our own hearts.Lethargy is contagious; as contagious as any pandemic with eternal implications far beyond the loss of life here on earth.
Paul left no doubt with the Church at Colosse as to the purpose of the true ministry of God.
“Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus”
What did this intensity of heart look like?
“Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily”
The mighty working of Christ within is revealed in a life of labour without; it is the exposé of His claim upon us. There is no place for the lethargy and indifference men and women display to the Call of God.
We Are Not Our Own
We may declare such things, we may present our claims of following God, but the reality of the life we live may reveal something different. The works of a life reveal the faith of the life. In Revelation God declared unto every location of the Church in that day, “I KNOW THY Works”. God is ever beholding our works for by them He knows our faith.
The validity of our love for Him and the power of Him working within us is readily expressed in our interaction with our brothers and sisters. Paul sums up his expression of the workings of Christ within: “Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom…”. If mere confessions of faith were sufficient (as is commonly taught today), why did Paul express warnings, admonitions, and exhortations to the people of God? To the church at Ephesus, one of the crown jewels of the early church, Paul declared:
“Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears”
The deception and lethargy of a confession-based gospel has produced the slumbering church of our day! It produces a blindness to the magnificence, grandeur, and enormity of His Holiness. We have reduced Him to professions which require nothing more than a mental assent which consequently requires nothing, costs nothing, and correspondingly produces nothing. A confession without sacrifice leaves people without resources to face what lies ahead. Ministries must heed the Call of God to build up His Church and to prepare His people for the storm which is about to engulf our land. He is coming first of all to judge His church to the intent that in righteousness He may then be free to judge the world.
“For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?”
1 Peter 4:17-18
The time IS COME upon us! Let those who have ears to hear tremble and seek Him afresh that we may be found “doing” when our Master returns. Take no comfort in confessions and doctrines which do not produce the Fear of the Lord, that do not bring forth a growing holiness and purity of heart. Forsake the delusion of heart which enjoys hearing the word, discussing the word, while yet refusing to obey the word.
A New Ministration of Mercy
It is a day to seek a new ministration of His Mercy; a mercy which produces sacrificial living and bringing forth of a new worship which is costly, pure and holy.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice…”
The true mercy of God enables men and women to give themselves wholly unto God, not to comfort them in their sins and rebellion.
May we as His redeemed rise up to respond wholly to the Call of God in Christ!
“Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of His goodness, and the work of faith with power”
2 Thessalonians 1:11
“And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived…”
“And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne”
As I was writing Part One of this article I felt a burden of the things which are about to break upon my heart. These things are occurring now in the earth and the fulfilment is at hand. I trust the clumsiness of my words will give way to God’s Spirit to give clarity to that which He is speaking.
“And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered”
The rising up of the “great dragon” (the coming together of all who are opposed to God) is happening in our day! The Bride is beginning to feel the birth pangs of the ages within her very being. Those who have received Him into the womb of their heart are beginning to touch the cry, the travail of the very Spirit of God to give birth to this one end: a Man Child who is to rule all nations. This mystery cannot be obstructed. Though all the evil and worldly forces shall become one with the intention to prevent this very thing it shall be!
“And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born…”
We see this “great dragon” not only in the heavens but also at work in the earth “with his tail” drawing spiritual forces (and their corresponding entities upon the earth) into ONE expression of evil to prevent the great wonder of God in the earth.
“And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast. These shall make war with the Lamb…and they who are with Him”
We are about to witness and experience the final assault of the combined forces of evil upon all who live Godly in Christ Jesus. There will be a unity of purpose as all earthly powers and governments will be united to this one end: to make war with the Lamb.
“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened”
This gathering of forces is happening in our day and it will continue until the end. It will be on a scale never before witnessed and the severity will be to such an extent that if God does not intervene no life will be saved. While many place their hopes upon some politician, political party or “declaration of independence,” those who know their God are preparing themselves for the Day at hand. They can place their trust in none other than the very Life of Jesus within their hearts. Those who have the faith of the Bride do the works of the Bride, for the Word declares that the “Bride hath made herself ready.” Her heart knows the day; she is not walking in this day carelessly for she knows the time is short. The life within is moving her to obedience and the contractions of travail are beginning to take hold. The hour is upon her and she is sensing it. While the religious world carries on with little idea of what is about to befall them, the Bride is preparing herself for His Day.
In the Day of this birth the enemy is fully assembled to devour this child; nevertheless God’s purposes shall stand.
“And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne”
God will complete that which He has begun in Christ. None can stay His hand or His purposes. This being true we have strong consolation for the sufferings coming our way. Glory must be revealed in a corresponding measure of suffering. Paul knew this as have all the saints who have gone on before us…
“That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead”
To know Him in the power of His resurrection, one must know Him in the fellowship of His sufferings.
This drama is now playing out unto the fulness of all that is revealed to us in the scriptures. The Bride is making herself ready while the forces of darkness are preparing for war on a scale never seen to this day. We are called in this hour to overcome evil by His goodness within us, to overcome evil by His Love which surpasses knowledge; a love which will stagger even the enemies of Christ because of its purity and power to love beyond all human capability. It is by this alone that His people will overcome for “LOVE endures ALL things”.
The promise to those who walk in the faith, obedience and life of the Bride is glorious: for as soon as she (Zion) travails she will bring forth!
“…for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children”
Oh saints of God, let us not grow weary in this hour. Though we may know isolation from our brethren, though we may walk a lonely and solitary way, let this be the confidence of our joy…
“Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the Lord: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God. Rejoice ye with Jerusalem*, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her”