It was out of LOVE that God gave to us what He most LOVED in order that we might have LIFE.
LONGING : He has filled the hungry with good things, but has sent the rich away empty. Luke 1:53 NIV
This is a time of recognising the LONGING God allows - the sense of emptiness and not being complete and of being unable to remedy this ourselves.
There is an ever louder cry in the hearts of many, a cry for the unknown, a cry for the One their hearts know but cannot see. The Holy Spirit begins to increase the desire that causes us to cry out with Him "Come" - a cry that arises out of our increased LONGING. The closer we move towards the marriage the more intense the cry of the bride's heart will become. It is intensified by His nearness.
'As a bridegroom who puts on a tuxedo and a bride a jewelled tiara. For as the earth bursts with spring wildflowers, and as a garden cascades with blossoms, so the Master, God, brings righteousness into full bloom and puts praise on display before the nations.' Isaiah 61 (The Message).
PLANTING HIS CHOSEN
Meanwhile, the Holy Spirit continues to anoint and send God's people to preach good news, heal the heartbroken, announce the year of God's grace, comfort those who mourn.
He's growing 'Oaks of Righteousness through whom His life flows to display His glory. It is most certainly time to begin to 'build a new city out of the ruins, wreckage and rubble' of what is currently falling down.
This passage in Isaiah is highlighted for the coming year as we are not to focus on what no longer works,but search for what survives and use it to build as God instructs. This is the time to look for what remains, all that each of us can come and place before His throne.
'Rename them "Oaks of Righteousness" planted by God to display His glory. They'll rebuild the old ruins, raise a new city out of the wreckage. They'll start over on the ruined cities, take the rubble left behind and make it new." Isaiah 61 (The Message)
"They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will RENEW the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations."
It will be the work of the "Oaks of Righteousness", those prepared and placed by the Lord, to allow Him to bring new life to everything around them, we can expect to see this in the ruined and devastated places. This will be a work of renewal/revival that will exceed expectations and break down current mind sets on what 'revival' looks like.
You will be called priests of the Lord, you will be named ministers of our God - all of this taking place for the display of HIS splendour.
There will be a specific mantling on those God chooses and places. It is light, protective and seamless. It wraps them in His comfort and protection. There is great strength inside this beautifully light garment.
LEADING & POWER
It is important to know that those carrying this mantle will be lead and directed by the Lord where to go - it will not be for man to say when and where. The going will be "in Him" and in His mantle. It feels very like living in Psalm 91, and there will be an outworking of His mighty power which will be as described in Isaiah 63 - to gain for himself everlasting renown ... to make for Himself a glorious name.
It will take a people called, prepared, and surrendered to God's will, to stand with Him in the dark places and see Him pour out His light. Many are invited but few are chosen. Matthew 22:14 NIV
There are many willing to go and do good works, but it is another thing to be planted by the Lord for the display of His splendour. These are those who will indeed love Him more than their own lives, and who are willing to trust Him in their own great weakness and vulnerability. These will be 'sent' in order to gather into His Kingdom.
I see these mantled ones walking into position and standing wrapped in all He has given them, clothed in soft blue light. They are positioned by, and for, Him. He has cleared the space in which they stand displaying His goodness and His power.
I see people gathering, looking at this light, wondering at it, timid and afraid to approach. Then I see small figures (children?) and they dart in and tug at the hem of the mantle - it fills their hands and mouths like candy floss. Many begin to come and gather and eat and it is a constant supply - the mantle maintains its shape and size no matter how much is taken.
I feel the enormous love this mantle contains and allows to pour through it. This love attracts the lost and hungry and repels darkness.
Isaiah 65 says in The Message "For my people will be a long-lived as trees, my chosen ones will have satisfaction in their work. They wont work and have nothing come of it, they wont have children snatched out from under them. For they themselves are plantings blessed by God, with their children and grandchildren likewise God-blessed. Before they call out I'll answer, before they've finished speaking, I'll have heard."
I feel the Lord is saying: "I want you to hear that I am near, and to know that I am active in areas as yet unseen. Remember that I hold the future in My hands and remain sovereign. The living must be in Me in the days ahead, to live by the ways of the world will be very unsafe, even destructive. There are so many things known only to Me, so do not rely on the words and wisdom of men.
Isaiah 64 (NIV) Since ancient times no-one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him. You come to the help of those who gladly do right, who remember your ways.
The key is to wait on the Lord, to become entwined in Him and His purposes. It is the way to allowing Him to develop and to plant those He chooses where He chooses. There will be a remarkable flow of His love, power and strength to those who allow Him to place them according to His purposes.