Today, the Lord says, “Your time to rejoice has come.”
The Night Is Over
Today the Lord reminded me of the dark places and dark seasons that he brought me through over these past 43 years. I don’t know about you, but it has sometimes felt like I have lived life in various “pits,” and sometimes the pits were literal, while other times they were pits of thinking. I’d climb out of one and fall into another. But now, as I see promises begin to take shape, I can’t help but think, “Is it real this time, God?” “Am I really ready this time?” “What if I mess up again?” As the words of my prayer leave my mind and float up to the throne of heaven, the Lord spoke, “Your time to rejoice has come” silencing my questions and smearing peace over me like mayo over a turkey swiss sandwich. (I like a lot of mayo on my turkey swiss. I guess I could also say, “like queso on chips.” You get the idea.)
The Lord led me to Psalm 40 in the Old Testament which reads,
“I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord
Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods. Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders you have done. The thing you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare.
Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but my ears you have pierced; burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require. Then I said, “Here I am, I have come– it is written about me in the scroll. I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.”
I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly; I do not seal my lips, as you know, O Lord. I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and salvation. I do not conceal your love and truth from the great assembly” (Psalm 40:1-10).
What You Thought Was Adversity Was Really Preparation
Adversities are known as conditions marked by misfortune, calamity, or distress. Some of us have lived a life of adversity, and we’re tired. Some adversities are a result of generational sin cycles that stop with us. Some adversities, like those that Joseph endured, were to prepare us for coming out of the pit to strategically set us in the palace, or place of godly influence. For some of us, God has been preparing us to carry mantles similar to Joseph, Moses, Joshua, and Esther. We are called by God’s grace as HIs instruments of provision and deliverance for a bloodline, a group, an audience, an entire generation that He has called us to impact. What if we had given up? We knew we couldn’t give up…because while we didn’t understand the process, we had enough faith to believe that God would somehow work it for our good according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
The kingdom of God isn’t built with soft leadership, it’s built through warriors developed in a furnace of affliction (Psalm 119:71), crafted and refined as weapons for God’s glory. Had we not been afflicted, it’s much less likely that we would have pressed into understanding and searching for God, and God’s purpose in the pain. It’s much less likely that we’d embrace the bible as our instruction manual ensured success in living an overcoming life. It’s much less likely that we’d want to help others find Jesus like we did.
We are the Weapons of the Kingdom of God
A weapon could look like a mother and father who intentionally parent and mentor the next generation of children, starting in their own home. A weapon looks like a pastor who doesn’t feed his flock milk and honey, but challenges them in their thinking, being, and doing. A weapon is a marketplace CEO who bears the mark of Christ, creating a workplace culture founded on a biblical worldview. A weapon looks like a woman who visits nursing homes weekly to love on the elderly just to remind them that they’re not forgotten and that God loves them. Weapons are positioned both publicly and privately, and all are designed to advance the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Warriors are those who are engaged or experienced in warfare; soldiers. They are people who show great passion and courage. We are those who look out across the territory we’ve been assigned to. We survey the culture. We intercede in prayer, and we say, “Lord, use me. Send me!” We are those who bear the Standard of the Lord in the places He’s called us to. We raise the Banner of Hope, whose name is Jesus. We look different. We act differently. We live differently.
The Lord Is Placing You
He’s putting you in a place and is going to fill your mouth….”I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly; I do not seal my lips, as you know, O Lord. I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and salvation. I do not conceal your love and truth from the great assembly.” (Psalm 40:1-10).
It might be a stage. It might be a group. It might be the digital space. Just know that you’re being positioned to speak of his faithfulness and salvation. His deliverance. To share his love and truth in whatever great assembly he’s giving you to influence for HIS kingdom. This isn’t about your influence. This is about pointing people to Jesus right now because the hour has now come for those who are sleeping to wake up from slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here (Romans 13:11).
It’s time to be about our Father’s business.
There are many of us who are about to see why the preparation has felt like a lifetime. God is saying the it’s not just going to make us feel happy, but it’s going to cause joy and rejoicing that we’ve never fully known before. So let’s start now!
“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I say, ‘Rejoice!'” (Philippians 4:4).