R u b e n D u a r t e
“And (Jesus) said to (Mary and Joseph), ‘Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?’ But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them.” (Luke 2:49-50)
Rarely, if ever, does a parent fully understand or readily embrace the calling and destiny that is upon their children’s lives during their young and developing years. Parents can begin to identify the talents and tendencies, but how and when those giftings unfold is a whole other ‘God-matter’ altogether.
If Mary had understood what this ‘Father’s business’ would lead to just 21 years later in Jesus’ life, realizing that her Son would be brutally beaten and left hanging on a cross to die, she may have protectively done everything in her power to derail the destiny lined out for Jesus. Who could have blamed her?
God sovereignly unfolds our lives so that we are given every opportunity to unpack, explore, apply, and ultimately fulfill the plans He has for us. The price of that fulfillment is always high. The scars are always deeply embedded and ever present. The rewards and end-results, however, are ALWAYS magnificent and ABSOLUTELY worth the journey.
So, may we never shun from fulfilling ‘Father’s business’. It is always much higher than the ‘carpentry business’ of our earthly fathers---as exemplified in Joseph's life. Ultimately, it reaps the glorious fruit which we can gladly transport to heaven with us---which consists of redeemed souls, transformed lives, destinies fulfilled, and eternal bliss with Almighty God forevermore.
Have you considered the way of the Waymaker? Have you come to realize that someone had to dig a trench which would leave an absolute trail to follow to get to a goal called Calvary? As that rugged, oversized, crude cross was dragged across a crowded street filled with onlookers who were shocked, mockers who gawked, followers who trembled in fear of being identified with Him, and one who was summoned to assist in the torturous trailblazing towards the crucifixion---it took Jesus, who was called to be the holy plowman, who would dig the trench---thus creating a way, The Way to Calvary. So, this is our Waymaker.
The trench which was created led much further than Calvary---for the Way which Jesus Christ created opened up a holy highway of righteousness and salvation for all of humanity. The Waymaker created a superhighway called the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
We have taken more than enough wrong turns in life. It's time to get on and stay on the highway forged for us by the Waymaker Himself---Jesus Christ. Hold tightly to the 'steering wheel' until the palms of your hands become imprinted with its emblem, "Holy Bible". It will get you where you want to go.
You have heard it said that you can't be all things to all people, but I say to you---BE all things. To the one who weeps, mourn with them---to the one who laughs, rejoice with them---to the one who struggles, endure with them---to the one who resists, just walk with them. As you walk by their side, without judging or condemning, you create a mirror for them, not of what they SHOULD look like, but of what I created them to BE like. Even in your own imperfections, you will demonstrate persistence to achieve. Even in your own discouragements, you will demonstrate trust which defies circumstances. Especially in your own triumphs, you will demonstrate full expression of your gratitude unto Me.
So, as ALL PEOPLE look at you throughout ALL OF YOUR LIFE'S JOURNEYS, they will see and identify themselves with you---and in doing so they will feel safe to wholeheartedly identify with ME. After all, isn't that really why I created you---so that I can be within you and throughout you "Christ in you the hope of glory" to all the world around you ? (Colossians 1:26-27)
May I make your life a God-assignment---one continual open-ended link to Divine appointments which connect strategically to each moment and movement of your daily life? Could you keep your heart open and your reputation so fluid that, at a moment's notice, I can tap on your shoulder and dispatch you into a situation which will alter circumstances and trigger God-sized destinies into motion?
I am looking for a few who look just like you---bold, broken, grateful, humble, and fierce in their faith. Those who trust in Me whole-heartedly. Let's run together. This is what Kingdom glory looks like---and it looks great on you.
I sensed the Lord say to me: I blessed you with a piano that understands the power of 'sustain'. There is a strength in 'resonance' which is not found in 'staccato' or even 'digital delay'. SUSTAIN carries My HEART---My SUSTENANCE---My PERSISTENCE---and, yes, My EVERLASTING VALUE.
There are sounds in the heavens which began millions of years ago and they are STILL resonating today. I'll give you one example which will help you understand it all. 'IT IS FINISHED' still resonates as strongly today as on that day which My Son spoke it.
Your own words carry RESONANT value. Have you ever spoken words you wished you could swallow back into your mouth? It is said you cannot take back and retrieve negative words. I say 'Yes you can'. It is accomplished with two words---FORGIVE ME. Then it is upheld with true repentance, true change of behavior, and true honor. Then, it is all held together from that which we first began with---SUSTENANCE.
You have heard it said, 'Having done all to stand, STAND THEREFORE...' That's all that is. Take a stand for righteousness and then SUSTAIN IT. You have heard it said, 'Jesus Christ THE SAME yesterday, today, and forever.' You guessed it---SUSTAIN.
As far as My love for you in comparison to your behavior, your ups, your downs---it does not change---My love is SUSTAINED unchanged. Not even your mighty, amazing exploits for My kingdom influence the measure of My love for you. It is SUSTAINED by Who I Am and who I have made you to be.
The Lord would say, "I'm a Painter. Sometimes I paint in broad strokes. And sometimes I paint the fine lines. Sometimes I paint within the frame of the canvas and other times I paint outside the frame altogether. I paint what I want and I truly want what I paint---and I am painting you, your life, your destiny, and the most subtle details of your beauty. I created you beautiful---and now I am coloring in the hues and tones which cause your joy to leap off the canvas. For you are much more than just another pretty picture. You are My masterpiece.
I am placing My signature on the threshold of My portrait---Thus, I have caused you to be priceless, exclusive, extravagant, and amazing. You are an amazement and a wonder to everyone around you. And why shouldn't you be? After all, I have painted all My glory within and throughout you.
I am displaying you as My showpiece so just get used to the awe and wonder of those around you---for they are understandably enthralled by My masterpiece---which is YOU.
Listen to Me. You don't have to always get 'it' right. The resonance of My love goes on and on. I love you more than all the mis-steps you can take. Ahead of every mis-step you take is the indelible footprint of My forgiveness, My grace, and My unrelenting plans which I have for you. You cannot revoke what I have once and for all redeemed.
Greater than your 'regrets' is My 'rejoice' as I look upon you. For you tend to gaze upon the place where you stumble---but My gaze is upon the place where My Son stood, and having done all to stand, He withstood, re-stood, and today and evermore He shall continue to stand tall---not for His sake, but for yours.
So again, you won't always 'get it right', but FRET NOT, I have already GOT 'IT' RIGHT on your behalf. So learn to lean on Me---completely. Be still, & just know that I AM Lord.
Everything you apply the Blood of Jesus to is redeemed. During a time of massive destruction, fueled by gross dishonor of My Lordship, I instructed for the blood of lambs to be smeared on the doorposts of the entrance of the homes.
The Blood that spilled on the day of My Son’s death did not soak into the ground to evaporate into nothingness. It did not lose its power then---and it holds its glory now. Call upon the Blood for every area of your life which has compromised My destiny for you and yours. As you do, call upon the One Whose Blood was shed. Jesus is alive and so is the power of His Blood.
There are few things more unsettling than walking into a dark room and ‘feeling around’ for a light switch. Even more so, knowing the light switch is dangling on a string from the center of the ceiling and not quite knowing where it is. You feel, you probe, you wave your hand around, and finally you grasp the string---pull---& Voila! LIGHT!!!
Recently, I heard this statement resonate in my spirit: THE ENTRANCE OF YOUR WORD GIVES LIGHT. I quickly tracked it down to Psalm 119, verse 130. It goes like this:
“The entrance of Your Word gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.”
No matter how intelligent we consider ourselves to be, if we avoid the ENTRANCE of God’s Word into our lives, into our understanding---then there is a great ‘simplicity’ (or lack of learnedness) about us. We may as well be a people who are constantly waving our hands in the air in a dark room hoping to find the ‘pull chain’ which ignites the LIGHT. God has already provided ‘the light for us. Genesis 1, verses 1 through 5 tells us:
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light’, and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good, and God divided the light from the darkness.”
Thus, there are three powerful ‘LIGHTS’ which God has provided for us: 1. THE ‘WRITTEN’ WORD
(the Bible) 2. THE ‘REVEALED’ WORD (prophetic revelation) and 3. THE ‘LIVING WORD’---JESUS.
So, in a world filled with so much darkness, God has graciously provided for us an abundance of ‘LIGHT’. All of us were created with a symbolic ‘pull chain’ within our soul which we need to grasp in order to activate the light of salvation---Jesus---into our lives. Once we talk to God, repent of our sins, and invite Jesus in to be our personal Lord and Savior, we shall become gloriously, eternally, and amazingly LIT UP FOR GOD!
"It was THAT MARY WHO ANOINTED THE LORD..." (John 11:2) When we are spoken about, what is the defining trait which identifies us---wise, wordy, wishy-washy, wanderer, or WORSHIPPER?
Mary probably lingered too long at the feet of the Guest of Honor while the food on the stove needed stirring and the table needed to be set. Her sister Martha could only administrate so much. As a result, dinner was probably later than Martha had planned and perhaps colder than it should have been. However, THAT MARY---that worshipper---was too overwhelmed with gratitude. Her brother Lazarus, who had lay in a tomb stinking and rotting away for four days, was now alive and well, and sitting AMAZED across the table from the One who called him back to life.
Mary tracked down the most expensive perfume she could find from her collection, drenched Jesus' feet with it, and wiped the perfume on with her own hair. The aroma and very atmosphere of the room was filled with the extravagance of her action. Judas criticized it, everyone else was bewildered---however, Jesus absolutely loved it!
When people remember this grateful servant of God, she is most appropriately referred to as 'THAT MARY WHO ANOINTED THE LORD WITH FRAGRANT OIL AND WIPED HIS FEET WITH HER HAIR.'
What will people remember about us?
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.
As we step into His Presence, His anointing begins to fill every crack and every crevice.
Every nuance of our lives is made whole as we step into His Presence. -RD
"Let us come into His presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to Him with songs of praise!"
(Psalm 95:2 ESV)