10 April, 2013

Asking for the "Nations"

I still find it funny or interesting how God often operates or speaks into our lives. It's like God know that we (or at least not me) won't "get it", unless he drives the  point home to us. Yesterday morning in my devotional time, I felt pulled to the Psalms, and in particular Psalm 2. That was kind of strange because I've been studying in 1 Samuel for the past few weeks. Anyway, in this passage I kept being draw to verses 7 & 8 where it says, "I will declare and decree: the Lord has said unto me, 'You are my son; today I have become your Father. Ask me and I will make the nations as your inheritance."  Just a little while later I got on Facebook and I saw where a friend of mine from North Carolina had posted these two verses as his status. A short while after that, I received an email from a friend in Uganda and he began with these same verses. Later, I was in my car and I heard a minister (don't even know who it was) preaching and he repeated verse 8 several times. Last night I went to a service here in town and the minister was speaking on building a legacy, preaching from Genesis 17, when in the midst of the message he began to speak about, yep... you guessed it, Psalm 2, verse 8. He challenged us about reaching all peoples and nations.   

OK, so I can be a bit slow, thick headed or what ever you want to say, but as I left the service last night I'm praying and asking God where he is wanting me to go. I'm thinking and asking myself if it was time to return to Germany, as I've had a deep burden for that country since I first went there in 1998.... but I felt nothing as I was asking God about this. I chewed on it awhile longer, then put the whole thing on the back burner of my mind. I was having a very hard time resting however, as every time I'd begin to drift off to sleep, I'd here these verses in my spirit again. A little after 4:00 this morning I was suddenly wide awake again and I kept hearing those verses over and over. Suddenly, it was as if I saw myself in my own church, as I spoke this past Sunday. Sunday, at one point I began speaking from Job 22:28 where it says, "Thou shalt also decree a thing and it shall be established unto thee."  And then I saw my church, not as it is today, but as it was just a few years ago. I looked over that crowd and I saw people of every color. I saw white folk, black folk, Korean, African, Chinese, Mexican, Native American, Filipino... I my heart broke as I recalled how the great ethnic diversity of my church had been lost. I got out of bed and began to walk my house and pray and lament what had been lost... and finally it hit me: God was telling me to rebuild it! The word "nations" in Psalm 2:8 does not translate as geographical places, but it literally means ethnic groups or peoples. Like I said, I can be slow... but I was beginning to get what God was saying... "Ask me... and I will give you the 'people groups'."  It can be built again.  

OK... so I'm getting it, but when later went back to bed, my thick "headedness" (I'm coining a word here) began to kick in and I began thinking of how difficult it would be, and then became sad again over what we had lost. I drifted off to sleep with that deep sadness over what we had once had and lost.  Again, I love how God works...  In my sleep I dreamed something from high school... in one of my art classes. We were working clay, and I was nearly finished with a piece and my teacher kept commenting on how much she loved it, and I kept telling her it was not right. One day, I walked into the class room and took the bag that held my piece out of my locker and swung it over my head and down onto the table and smashed it. Mrs. Shearry was just livid at me because I destroyed my work just days before they were to be fired in the kiln. She kicked me out of the class, but I later returned and told her that I knew she loved it, but it was not right... not what I had visioned, and that if she would allow me, I would throw another piece and have it finished on time, but this time the way that I saw it in my mind.  She allowed me back in and when it was all said and done, she was so pleased with the piece I did that she asked to purchase it from me. I gave it to her as my final gift as a graduated just a few days later. I woke up from my dream as I was giving that pot to her.

When I woke up, I finally got it. God was telling me that it can be rebuilt. The scripture from Jeremiah 18:4 was stuck in my mind. This is the story of the potters house, and where the pot was marred or flawed, so the potter took that same piece of clay, smashed it and reformed it. I love that verse, because it says, "he made it again, another."  The potter did not start with a fresh piece of clay... he used the same piece... smashed it, worked with it and made a new pot or vessel from that which had been broken. What a powerful illustration of how God works with us! 

Anyway... to top all this off, I came down stairs this morning, got my coffee and opened my Facebook, and the very first thing I saw was a post by Francis Frangipane which he started off with the words of Psalm 2:8.  I had to laugh as I said to God, "OK, I got it." It is time to start declaring and decreeing and asking God for the "nations" once again!

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