Archive | April, 2016

Creation Eagerly Waits For…

27 Apr

For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. – Rms 8:19

Have you ever wondered what this verse means?  What relevance does it have to me… in my time?  Who are the sons?  And just what is it that Creation expects?

In the Beginning, Creation’s DNA was established to only function fully as it was originally designed, when it was under the ruler-ship of the sons of God.  Adam and Eve were great stewards and care takers of Creation.  Creation thrived… until… the Fall.

Carving in tree near my prayer trail… as if this tree has a soul longing to communicate to passers-by.

Thereafter, Creation has labored and groaned (Rms 8:22) under the substandard dominion of sin-ravaged mankind.  The liability of sin, left us flailing and grasping… sometimes dismissive of our role… sometimes over-reaching our role… sometimes taking advantage of Creation and sometimes pandering to Creation.  No consistency… without rhyme or Heavenly reason.  You see, it is impossible for sin-ruled man to rule righteously. 

But Creation knows that written deep within its DNA is an indomitable story that someday there would be an emergence of sons of God who truly know their righteousness and their righteous role.  Those mature sons would only “speak as the oracle of God” (I Pet 4:11).  They would have the witness of the Father’s favor upon them (Matt 17:5).  They would adjudicate the affairs of earth and mankind with Godly equity.  Justice and mercy would be held in righteous tension.  Their sin issues will be trumped by the transformation that comes from obtaining a RE-newed mind (Rms 12:2).  And they will know who they are and whose they are… and what their joyful assignment is.

This is the dream and expectation of Creation.  This code is written so indelibly upon its DNA, that it’s impossible to forget.  The code is pressing, contending and ever reaching in anticipation of these sons… even with groans like unto the pains of childbirth (Rms 8:22). 

Does that inspire you?  It does me!  Sometimes on my prayer trail, I speak to Creation.  I applaud it for its groaning and its longing that is helping to bring forth the sons of God.  I can almost hear the responding cheers as all of Creation acknowledges that there are indeed many sons who are currently finding their way out of orphan and servant status… and into the status of righteous ruler-ship under Heaven (Dan 7:27).  Can you feel Creation’s delight and joy as they see the increasing wave of sons emerge upon the earth… sons who know their true identity?  The Spirit realm must reverberate with a mighty chorus of rejoicing from both Heaven and Creation… a resounding exclamation that saturates the atmosphere.  O my!!!

Now, let’s revisit Rms 8:19, in my paraphrase: 

Creation can hardly wait for the sons of God, who are fully confident in their royal identity, to take their rightful place of righteous ruler-ship upon the earth.

Do you feel it?  Can you relate?  Are you numbered among those sons?  Can you hear Creation cheering for you? 
 
Without a doubt, an epic shift is taking place in the body of Christ.  We happen to be alive when current theology is lifting off the onerous ravages of sin and unveiling our Father’s love… and our incredible righteousness… just exactly what is needed to empower the sons to rule well.  We’re being transformed into the satisfaction of Creation’s longing…  and the fulfillment of Father’s dreams. 

You’re a good, good Father!  That’s who You are!

— MLH

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What is a Pioneer?

12 Apr

Pioneers are a different breed.  Many times they ‘ride’ alone and actually like it… while simultaneously loving to serve the whole.  They love the job that nobody else can imagine doing; making something out of nothing, going where no one else has gone, finding a way for those behind.  They have learned how to be an overcomer whether with little or much.  And necessity will likely require that they forge a greater dependence and deeper relationship with their Maker.  

Dutch Sheets‘ book Pioneer Spirit, starts off with the song Pioneer sung by Rick Pino and written by Nancy Honeytree in 1989 which captures some of the uniqueness, challenges and joys of the pioneer.

pioneer

Chorus
Pioneer, pioneer
Keep pressing onward, beyond your fear
Only the Father goes before you to your own frontier
You’re a pioneer

Uncharted wilderness stretches before you
And you thrive on going where no one has gone
Still it gets lonely when darkness deepens
So sing by the fire until the dawn

You travel light, you travel alone
And when you arrive, nobody knows
But the Father in heaven, He’s glad you can go
For those who come after you will need the road

What you have done others will do
Bigger and better, and faster than you
But you can’t look back, you gotta keep pressing through
There’s a wilderness pathway, calling you

Calling you, calling you clear
Keep pressing onward, you can’t stay here
Only the Father goes before you
To your own frontier
You’re a pioneer

Dutch’s book continues to describe a pioneer this way:

You are often dissatisfied with things as they are and you want to help change them
Something deep inside of you comes alive when you hear someone talk about making a difference
Being in the right is more important than being in the majority
The inconvenience of change bothers you less than the staleness of stagnation
Trying, even when you fail, is more appealing to you than risk-free living
You refuse to quit, realizing that dead-ends and failed attempts are just part of the path finding process
The beaten path doesn’t beckon you but uncharted wilderness does
The boredom of the familiar scares you more than the fear of the unknown
Status quo bothers you
You have a warrior spirit that would rather fight, even die, than forfeit liberty
You’d rather advance a cause than maintain a position
Playing it safe isn’t appealing to you
You can’t seem to leave well enough alone.
You want your life to count for more than money or pleasure
Makin’ a difference means more to you than makin’ it big
You’d rather die trying than live trying not to die
You march to the beat of a different drummer, and you often hear a completely different song

Being a pioneer myself makes the sentiments above especially relevant and stirring.  Pioneers start things, pave a way for others and then watch others take it beyond what they could have dreamed.  Their strength usually lies in their ability to dream the initial dream and endure the start-up hardships more graciously than others… and function well without kudos or recognition.  Usually, the pioneer isn’t exceptionally polished… in fact, is fairly crude compared to the settlers who will fine tune and enhance almost all that the pioneer initiated and modeled.  It’s been said that pioneers take the arrows, settlers take the land.

In a more practical application, parent/children relationships are like that.  As long as we’re decent parents, our kids will usually take our aspirations, acumen and accomplishments to the next level.  We’re happy for them… and proud of them.  That is as it should be.  

Here’s a verse that describes the pioneer (the ‘breaker anointing’) fairly well:

“One who breaks open the way will advance before them; they will break out, pass through the gate, and leave by it.  Their King will pass through before them, the Lord as their leader.” – Micah 2:13

Now, read it in my paraphrase:

Pioneers find a way of breakthrough, and then open a gate so that others will be able to pass through into that same breakthrough.  Of course, it’s all under the leadership of King Jesus who leads us all into triumph. 

Thank God for pioneers!  You are vital to the emergence of anything new.  Don’t give up.  Future beachheads, settlements and civilization itself, depends upon you.  We need you!  

“Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Josh 1:9

— MLH


Bonus addendum:

An emotion-awakening poem forwarded from my friend Dan Notley. It describes the compelling of the Whisper which compels the explorer into unknown possibilities.

The Explorer  (1898)
by Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936).

“There’s no sense in going further—it’s the edge of cultivation,”
So they said, and I believed it—broke my land and sowed my crop—
Built my barns and strung my fences in the little border station
Tucked away below the foothills where the trails run out and stop.

Till a voice, as bad as Conscience, rang interminable changes
On one everlasting Whisper day and night repeated—so:
“Something hidden. Go and find it. Go and look behind the Ranges—
“Something lost behind the Ranges. Lost and waiting for you. Go!”

So I went, worn out of patience; never told my nearest neighbours—
Stole away with pack and ponies—left ’em drinking in the town;
And the faith that moveth mountains didn’t seem to help my labours
As I faced the sheer main-ranges, whipping up and leading down.

March by march I puzzled through ’em, turning flanks and dodging shoulders,
Hurried on in hope of water, headed back for lack of grass;
Till I camped above the tree-line—drifted snow and naked boulders—
Felt free air astir to windward—knew I’d stumbled on the Pass.

’Thought to name it for the finder: but that night the Norther found me—
Froze and killed the plains-bred ponies; so I called the camp Despair
(It’s the Railway Gap to-day, though). Then my Whisper waked to hound me:—
“Something lost behind the Ranges. Over yonder! Go you there!”

Then I knew, the while I doubted—knew His Hand was certain o’er me.
Still—it might be self-delusion—scores of better men had died—
I could reach the township living, but … He knows what terror tore me …
But I didn’t … but I didn’t. I went down the other side,

Till the snow ran out in flowers, and the flowers turned to aloes,
And the aloes sprung to thickets and a brimming stream ran by;
But the thickets dwined to thorn-scrub, and the water drained to shallows,
And I dropped again on desert—blasted earth, and blasting sky….

I remember lighting fires; I remember sitting by ’em;
I remember seeing faces, hearing voices, through the smoke;
I remember they were fancy—for I threw a stone to try ’em.
“Something lost behind the Ranges” was the only word they spoke.

I remember going crazy. I remember that I knew it
When I heard myself hallooing to the funny folk I saw.
’Very full of dreams that desert, but my two legs took me through it …
And I used to watch ’em moving with the toes all black and raw.

But at last the country altered—White Man’s country past disputing—
Rolling grass and open timber, with a hint of hills behind—
There I found me food and water, and I lay a week recruiting.
Got my strength and lost my nightmares. Then I entered on my find.

’Thence I ran my first rough survey—chose my trees and blazed and ringed ’em—
Week by week I pried and sampled—week by week my findings grew.
Saul he went to look for donkeys, and by God he found a kingdom!
But by God, who sent His Whisper, I had struck the worth of two!

Up along the hostile mountains, where the hair-poised snowslide shivers—
Down and through the big fat marshes that the virgin ore-bed stains,
Till I heard the mile-wide mutterings of unimagined rivers,
And beyond the nameless timber saw illimitable plains!

’Plotted sites of future cities, traced the easy grades between ’em;
Watched unharnessed rapids wasting fifty thousand head an hour;
Counted leagues of water-frontage through the axe-ripe woods that screen ’em—
Saw the plant to feed a people—up and waiting for the power!

Well I know who’ll take the credit—all the clever chaps that followed—
Came, a dozen men together—never knew my desert-fears;
Tracked me by the camps I’d quitted, used the water-holes I’d hollowed.
They’ll go back and do the talking. They’ll be called the Pioneers!

They will find my sites of townships—not the cities that I set there.
They will rediscover rivers—not my rivers heard at night.
By my own old marks and bearings they will show me how to get there,
By the lonely cairns I builded they will guide my feet aright.

Have I named one single river? Have I claimed one single acre?
Have I kept one single nugget—(barring samples)? No, not I!
Because my price was paid me ten times over by my Maker.
But you wouldn’t understand it. You go up and occupy.

Ores you’ll find there; wood and cattle; water-transit sure and steady
(That should keep the railway rates down), coal and iron at your doors.
God took care to hide that country till He judged His people ready,
Then He chose me for His Whisper, and I’ve found it, and it’s yours!

Yes, your “Never-never country”—yes, your “edge of cultivation”
And “no sense in going further”—till I crossed the range to see.
God forgive me! No, I didn’t. It’s God’s present to our nation.
Anybody might have found it but—His Whisper came to Me!