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Prophetic Endurance

Language of Heaven

So I will be like a lion to them, like a leopard I will lurk by the path.

Hosea 13:7

Now there was a certain old prophet living in Bethel, whose sons came and told him all that the man of God had done there that day. They also told their father what he had said to the king. Their father asked them, “Which way did he go?” And his sons showed him which road the man of God from Judah had taken. So he said to his sons, “Saddle the donkey for me.” And when they had saddled the donkey for him, he mounted it and rode after the man of God. He found him sitting under an oak tree and asked, “Are you the man of God who came from Judah?”

“I am,” he replied.

 So the prophet said to him, “Come home with me and eat.”

The man of God said, “I cannot turn back and go with you, nor can I eat bread or drink water with you in this place. I have been told by the word of the Lord: ‘You must not eat bread or drink water there or return by the way you came.’”

 The old prophet answered, “I too am a prophet, as you are. And an angel said to me by the word of the Lord: ‘Bring him back with you to your house so that he may eat bread and drink water.’” (But he was lying to him.) So the man of God returned with him and ate and drank in his house.

While they were sitting at the table, the word of the Lord came to the old prophet who had brought him back. He cried out to the man of God who had come from Judah, “This is what the Lord says: ‘You have defied the word of the Lord and have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you. You came back and ate bread and drank water in the place where he told you not to eat or drink. Therefore your body will not be buried in the tomb of your ancestors.’”

 When the man of God had finished eating and drinking, the prophet who had brought him back saddled his donkey for him.  As he went on his way, a lion met him on the road and killed him, and his body was left lying on the road, with both the donkey and the lion standing beside it.

I Kings 13:11-24

Today, love is overused and undervalued at the same time. We love everything from various foods to cars, from movies to retailers, from people to God himself. We may not consciously distinguish one use of love from another, in part because our speech is becoming more and more informal, but it’s important to be intentional about the differences. As we know, Scripture tells us that love is the highest attribute. So let’s look at the four types of love found in the Bible, and that Lewis helps to draw out in The Four Loves, published in 1960, and based on a radio series he did with the BBC a few years prior to the book’s release.

If we think that perhaps love is not worth the sorrow and pain, then we are more pagan than Christian. Though the fall has invited such selfishness to linger heavy in our culture, ours is the Gospel charge – to go to the nth degree to love those who are broken, not for some vague humanitarian effort, but to make disciples of all nations, “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). Let us ask God to awaken such an abandoned and reckless love to come alive in us.

Four Types of Love, C.S.

Read more . . .

What language do you suppose we will speak in heaven? Of all the languages ever spoken on earth, when I asked the question what language will we speak in heaven, the answer was: the language of love. The language of love is spoken in five dialects: agape (charity), eros (romantic love), pathos (burden bearing), philia (friendship), storge (affection). When we become familiar with these languages on earth, we are more and more suitable for heaven. We learn to speak from birth all five, growing in our attachment to our Saviour and his love for us. These may make us interdependent with the rest of the community of believers, able to give and receive.

Four of these loves were discussed by C.S. Lewis in the book The Four Loves, the fifth I have added as my knowledge of the ways of people has grown on. Burden bearing seems like it has been discussed in detail for over two decades. Although no one want to be a sponge, there are certain types of people who just pick up everything they come in contact with. They feel real pain and real emotions that aren't their own. They can even be diagnosed with diseases that don't apply to them. They cost more at the counselling office.

The conclusion: they are not delusional, saying all sorts of things that aren't real. They need to pray more to release these burdens to Jesus, and become a conduit in the process for intercessory prayer. Finding a verse that relates to each burden helps, but you might have to be a walking concordance. These people make good worship leaders. They will actually perceive the burdens in the body and society and sing them to the Lord. I have watched the nuns doing this as they sing their evening prayers, from the chapel of the Poor Clare's. Several books have been written on this phenomenon. One is the book The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity by Carol Brown.

More and more, it is needed for us to identify that love comes in many ways and many forms. For example chastity is a love of many people, whereas marital fidelity is the love of one person. The problem with long-term marriages is they have a tendency to make Christians feel self-righteous and look down on folks who aren't quite as fortunate. They are associated with "bad apple syndrome". No matter how faithful you are to your spouse, if you become a Pharisee, judging other's relationships as good or bad, you have gone bad yourself. No amount of Christian doctrine can save you if you think marriage is the way to heaven.

There remains the issue of prophetic inappropriateness. To ask a prophet for a prophetic word is a mocking taunt. The Bible clearly points out in that this is dangerous territory. They are not at your disposal; they have no need to answer your question. Your continual pestering of spiritual persons needs some exoneration. What is your motive? For one, whenever you ask someone a question, you may be perceived as testing this. It is good to question how appropriate this is. Second, to wear down and exhaust another person's defenses is time consuming and expensive. Jesus is busy, leave him alone. Bothering him is like bothering head office at Save-on-Foods. 

The question we need to ask is: am I testing Jesus or is he testing me? During this time of trial and refinement, it is an acceptable martyrdom to suffer, it has been ordained, and further, as my friends at the Vineyard would say, the difference between suffering and martyrdom is prayer.

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Prophetic Moments

Waiting for Jesus.

Listening to the Holy Spirit.

Urged to act by power not our own.

Worshipful Postures

Hold your hands out.

Keep your candle lit.  

Worship every day.

Pray for others. 




Quiet Time With Sea