Revelations

courtesy of Google Images (sneak peek)Reading that post title, you probably think I’m going to talk about the end times, or the book of the Bible that discusses such things, right? Nope. Not even close, actually.

Instead, I wanted to share just a snippet — a sneak peek — of what God’s been doing in my life.

Back in October of 2005, I was walking closely with the Lord, and loving it. It was “well with my soul“, even though it wasn’t necessarily well with my circumstances. My marriage has never been the fairytale that I’d dreamed about as a girl, or close to what the Bible says a marriage union should be. It is difficult most days, and down right unbearable on others. I have cried out to God on many occasions that I just cannot take another day, and to please have mercy on me.

Well, at this time, I received what I can only term a “word” from the Lord. I can’t go into detail about it, but let’s just say that God let me know that He heard me, and that He was planning to act. And I was given a time frame: He would show Himself mighty in my life, sometime before December 2014.

Since then, I have had to do a lot of research. God has taught me how to “test everything” against Scripture. He has taught me about guy/girl relationships, and Christian marriage (my husband is not a believer). And, God has taught me how to give Him the pen to script my story, without manipulation from me. Admittedly, He and I are still working on those things. I often try to grab that pen back and write bits by myself. But, I’m constantly reminded, nowadays, of how I make such a mess of things when I try to do it my way… of how much better and more wonderful it is when God writes the story!

Recently, I have drawn even closer to the Lord. I credit His having me read Wally Armstrong’s book, “Practicing the Presence of Jesus“, as it made such a huge difference in my faith-walk. And, because of this closeness, I’m able to ask God things, and almost immediately — sometimes — hear/receive an answer.

In fact, I recently asked God for a “sign” of something to come — part of this “word” I received from Him about my future that wasn’t fully revealed at first. I even went so far as to ask God for something very specific, so as to be sure I wouldn’t miss the sign if God chose to bring it to me. Then I waited… it didn’t seem to be coming, which would have meant God was saying “no”. BUT… just when I’d almost forgotten I’d asked, there was the exact sign that I had asked for! And, it was a Scripture verse! But, not just any Scripture verse… It was John 14:12-14 which says:

12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

How like God to add in some humor! I’d asked God for something, believing I’d get an answer, and I received what I had asked for — just like this verse says! And, as if that wasn’t enough, the next day I was browsing through an online magazine, and came across this exact same verse, plus two others that say basically the same thing! {Matthew 21:21 & 1 John 5:14}.

God doesn’t mind giving us signs, so long as we aren’t looking for them because we question His authority. Or, at least, that’s what I’ve found in my research.

As part of the “word” I received, I was also given a sign to prove that what I’d heard was from God. And it has since come to pass… in a way that there is not a doubt in my mind that it was Him who spoke to me. There is no way I could have known what I did, otherwise.

So, I am holding out hope. Things are looking brighter every day, and I know my God is for me.

“But I am trusting You, O Lord, saying ‘You are my God!’
My future is in Your hands.”
Psalm 31:14,15a

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Experiencing God” ~ our new study

My church’s ladies’ Bible study group has chosen to do Henry & Richard Blackaby’s (and Claude King’s) book, “EXPERIENCING GOD“, this time around. They needed to step away from Beth Moore, for a while, as too many of the ladies were focusing on Beth’s teaching, instead of on what God was trying to teach them. And, the leaders seriously believe that God was calling them to do “Experiencing God“.

We’re only just beginning week 2, but already I can see that I’m going to have difficulty with this study. While I’m enjoying it, and certainly finding things in it that I can  use, I also have “experienced” (pardon the pun) some theological “red flags“, too.

For example, on page 15 of the workbook, the authors write, “‘If you ask the wrong question, you will get the wrong answer.’ Sometimes we assume that every question is legitimate. However, when we ask the wrong question, we may find an answer but remain disoriented to God and His activity. Always check to see whether you have asked the right question before you pursue the answer.

I honestly don’t believe that there are “illegitimate” questions. In my opinion, every question is legitimate, as that’s how we learn (by asking questions).

And, I don’t believe that we have to ask the “right” questions to get a proper answer from God. God is not spiteful, giving us wrong answers just because we haven’t asked the “right” question. God knows we’re fallible human beings, and He is always going to give us His right answer, regardless.

In a recent devotional my mom sent me –after we’d discussed this particular “red flag” from the study– God confirmed my beliefs. The devotional said this:

“…May we come to a realization that You’re pleased even in our searching, and You [God] honor our honest questions. Thank You for accepting us in our struggles and understanding our doubts…” [Charles Swindoll, “For Daily Doubts” devotional, excerpted from “The Prayers of Charles R. Swindoll, Volume 1″]

God honors our honest questions. They don’t have to be “right”, they just have to be honest. “Seek… and you will find”,  God says. (Matthew 6:33).

Another “red flag” I had was on page 14, where the author writes, “Your experience is valid only as it is confirmed in the Scriptures.” This just didn’t sit right with me, and I’m still not sure why… I just know that I get irked by it. I have to research this one a bit more, though, before I can say why I think it’s a “red flag”. (If you have an opinion about it, please leave a comment!).

Anyhoo. This isn’t to say that I don’t like this study. As I said before, there are definitely things that I’m getting out of it ~ enjoying ~ too. For example, I like that we are encouraged to look to see how God consistently responded in the Scriptures, and remember that He will still respond in this way to situations, today. God never changes. And, I liked that I’m being reminded that this life is not about me/us… it’s about God. This is God’s story… and we are priviledged to play a part in it.

My favorite part of this study, though, is how the author keeps stressing that God reveals what He is about to do to His people! Here’s a quote from the book, page 23:

Whenever God prepares to do something,
He reveals to a person or His people
what He is about to do.

Right after this sentence, there was a verse quoted… Amos 3:7, which says, “Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing His plan to His servants the prophets.” And, I thought to myself that this verse would be great to add to my collection of “proof” that God reveals the future to people. So, I went to my notebook to add this verse… and found that it was the same verse that I’d last added to my notebook! LOL. How cool is that?!

Anyway. I will share more from this study as the weeks go on. But, for now, that’s all I wanted to mention. 😉

24 Verses in 2010

I’m almost a week late with this, but I finally have a verse to share. I was reading along in my One-Year Bible, today, doing the day’s reading, and came across this Proverb… it hit me particularly hard, too, as I’ve got a lot of dreams, and I tend to often wonder if they’ll ever come true. Thankfully, this verse says that dreams CAN come true — to those who are living according to God’s plan. 😉

Proverbs 13:19 NLT ~ “It is pleasant to see dreams come true, but fools refuse to turn from evil to attain them.

The future…revealed!

Lately, I’ve been very interested in the fact that God seems to reveal the future to His people. And, because of said interest, I’ve been trying to write down every reference to this that I’m finding through my reading of the Bible.

I’m going to use this post as a sort of record of what I’ve found (or am finding). I’ll add to it as I find more.

But, I’m curious, too — do you think that God still reveals the future to His people? Do you think He still tells them of what’s to come in order to prepare them? Why, or why not?

Here’s the evidence I’ve found, so far, from the Word — incidences where God told His people of what their future would hold:

Genesis 25:23 ~ “And the Lord told her [Rebekah], ‘The sons in your womb will become two nations. From the very beginning, the two nations will be rivals…your older son will serve your younger son.

Genesis 41:25 ~ “…God is telling Pharaoh in advance what He is about to do.” [Joseph speaking to Pharaoh]

Genesis 46:4 ~ “I [God] will go with you [Jacob] down to Egypt, and I will bring you back again. You will die in Egypt, but Joseph will be with you to close your eyes.”

Exodus 3:16-22 ~ (God tells Moses how He’s going to free the Israelites from Egypt, and about how Pharaoh is going to get hard-hearted and argue).

Leviticus 25:20-22 ~ “But you might ask, ‘What will we eat during the seventh year, since we are not allowed to plant or harvest crops that year?’ Be assured that I [God] will send My blessing for you in the sixth year, so the land will produce a crop large enough for three years. When you plant your fields in the eighth year, you will still be eating from the crop of the sixth year…

Numbers 20:23-26 ~ “There, on the border of the land of Edom, the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, ‘The time has come for Aaron to join his ancestors in death. He will not enter the land I am giving the people of Israel…Now take Aaron and his son Eleazar up Mount Hor. There you will remove Aaron’s priestly garments and put them on Eleazar, his son. Aaron will die there and join his ancestors.’

Deuteronomy 13:1 ~ “Suppose there are prophets among you, or those who dream dreams about the future, and they promise you signs and miracles…

Judges 13:3, 5 ~ “The angel of the LORD appeared to Manoah’s wife and said, ‘Even though you have been unable to have children, you will soon become pregnant and give birth to a son… his hair must never be cut. For he will be dedicated to God as a Nazirite from birth. He will begin to rescue Israel from the Philistines.’

1 Samuel 2:31b, 33-34 ~ “…All the members of your family will die before their time. None will reach old age… Those who survive will live in sadness and grief, and their children will die a violent death. And to prove that what I have said will come true, I will cause your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, to die on the same day.”

1 Kings 13:3,5 ~ “That same day, the man of God gave a sign to prove his message. He said, ‘The LORD has promised to give this sign: This altar will split apart, and its ashes will be poured out onto the ground…’ At the same time, a wide crack appeared in the altar, and its ashes poured out, just as the man of God had predicted in his message from the LORD.”

Isaiah 38:7 ~ “And this is the sign from the LORD to prove that He will do as He promised…

Isaiah 44:7 ~ “Who is like Me? Let him step forward and prove to you his power. Let him do as I have done since ancient times when I established a people and explained its future.

Isaiah 46:9,10 ~ “For I alone am God! I am God, and there is none like Me. Only I can tell you the future before it even happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish.” ***

Jeremiah 44:29 ~ “‘And this is the proof I give you,’ says the LORD, ‘that all I have threatened will happen to you…’

Matthew 17:22-23 ~ “…Jesus told them, ‘The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of His enemies. He will be killed, but on the third day He will be raised from the dead.’ And the disciples were filled with grief.”

Matthew 23:34 ~ “Therefore, I [Jesus] am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers of religious law. But you will kill some by crucifixion, and you will flog others with whips in your synagogues, chasing them from city to city.

Matthew 26:32 ~ “But after I [Jesus] have been raised from the dead, I will go ahead of you to Galilee and meet you there.”

Matthew 26:34 ~ “Jesus replied, ‘I tell you the truth, Peter — this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know Me.'”

Matthew 28:10 ~ “Then Jesus said to them, ‘Don’t be afraid! Go tell my brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see Me there.‘”

Mark 14:8 ~ “She has done what she could and anointed My body for burial ahead of time.” [I wonder if God spoke to the woman, told her that Jesus was going to die, and instructed her to go do that?!]

Mark 14:13-15 ~ “So Jesus sent the two of them into Jerusalem with these instructions: ‘As you go into the city, a man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you. Follow him. At the house he enters, say to the owner, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room where I can eat the Passover meal with My disciples?’ He will take you to a large room upstairs that is already set up. That is where you should prepare our meal.” [again, I wonder if God told the owner of the house –in advance– that 2 men would be coming to ask this!]

Luke 1:13 ~ “But the angel said, ‘Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John.’

Luke 1:31 ~ “You [Mary] will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus.”

Luke 2:11-12 ~ “The Savior –yes, the Messiah, the LORD– has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David. And you will recognize Him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snuggly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”

John 14:29 ~ “I [Jesus] have told you these things before they happen so that when they do happen, you will believe.”

John 16:13 ~ “He [the Holy Spirit] will tell you about the future.”

Ephesians 3:3 ~ “…God Himself revealed His mysterious plan to me.