R u b e n D u a r t e
(While sitting at an old upright piano, as I played the final chord of a worship song and as I left the SUSTAIN pedal down to allow the harp strings to resonate for a long time, I sensed the Lord say)
“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 with which we first began---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 read, '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 can influence the measure of My love for you. It is SUSTAINED by Who I Am and who I have made you to be.”
'It was THAT MARY who anointed the Lord…'
(John 11:2) (John 12:1-11)
When we are spoken about, what is the defining trait which identifies us---wise, wordy, wishy-washy, wanderer, or WORSHIPPER?
Two sisters, Mary and Martha, had a most important Guest for dinner and Mary probably lingered too long at the feet of Jesus while the food on the stove probably needed stirring and the table needed to be set. Her sister Martha could only do 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 laid 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 went and tracked down the most expensive perfume she could find from her collection, drenched Jesus' feet with it, and wiped His feet 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---but 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? Will we ever be blamed for excessively expressing our love for God too extravagantly? Will we ever be referred to as “that Ruben (Tony/ Sam/ Larry/ Sara/ Maggie) who continually goes way overboard in demonstrating his or her love and devotion to God”?
Perhaps that is not such a bad way to be remembered.
Recently, I was enjoying a video of world-famous male vocalist Andrea Bocelli singing some of my favorite Spanish love songs which I grew up listening to. I was deeply touched by the singer and the exquisite lyrics of the songs, inasmuch as I was raised in a bi-lingual environment. As I saw the faces of the audience (who appeared to be predominately Anglo), they were totally enthralled as well. I thought, "How can they be so absorbed when many of them probably don't even know what the song is saying?"
I sensed the whisper of God respond to me---"They are absorbed by the passion of the song, the music, and the performance, although they don't fully understand the intimate message of the song."
I was undone by what the Lord indicated next. He continued, "Such is the language of worship. For an unbeliever, the best they can glean is to be deeply touched by the music, the passion, and the lyrics of worship. However, for a believer, it is a deeply personal, touching experience and a conversation with God Himself---It is the secret language of worship."
Dear reader, It is said that the best way to learn a foreign language is to literally move to the foreign country and immerse yourself in the people and the culture.
If you haven't yet done so, I counsel you to immerse yourself in God, His people, His culture, His worship, and significantly, His Word. Christians are by no means perfect. However, as they live within their environment, they allow themselves to daily be perfected by God.
"The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever; Do not forsake the works of Your hands.” (Psalm 138:8)
As we enjoy this rest from our labor on this Labor Day, 9-7-2020, may we remember that whatever the 'heavy lifting' we are assigned to do in life, there is One who calls us to partner with Him in 'lifting together'. Receive this timely Word of inspiration which the Lord shared with me on this wonderful day.
Matthew 11:28-30 "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.””
<<>>There is a dynamic difference between the process of LABORING as opposed to the process of CO-LABORING WITH CHRIST.
<<>>When we are in charge of our own LABOR, it is inevitable that we can eventually become HEAVY-LADEN. However, when we are committed to PARTNERING WITH CHRIST, our LABOR BECOMES PRODUCTIVE AND ENDURING.
<<>>As we take on CHRIST'S YOKE, He invites us to LIFT TOGETHER, to PULL TOGETHER, to ADVANCE TOGETHER. The fact of the matter is that, although it may not seem like it to you, CHRIST IS ACTUALLY DOING THE 'HEAVY LIFTING'. As Jesus carried the cross towards Calvary, a Cyrenian man named Simon was summoned to carry the HEAVY YOKE with Jesus. It may have seemed like 'heavy lifting' for Simon, but Jesus was committed for the duration and full assignment, as well as the eternal blessings of that HEAVY LIFTING. Simon experienced the revelation of 'pulling together with Jesus' and the strength of the One who seemed like the weaker One in that moment of time. Simon had a divine assignment---but JESUS HAD THE DIVINE COMMISSION.
There is a massive revival outpouring coming---and the precursor to that outpouring is going to be a MASSIVE OUTPOURING of RECONCILIATION. I sense God declaring, ‘I don’t want you to hear this word just to get excited and do nothing about it. I want you to get excited---but be prepared for it. For there is reconciliation coming among those whom you have been severed from for whatever reason, for whatever occurred---whatever was the chasm or whatever was the wall that was set up.
God is indicating, ‘The walls are coming down!’. Those walls of partition are now coming down and I say to you that RECONCILIATION IS ON THE WAY. So prepare for it. Prepare your heart. Prepare to open up your heart to those of whom you may have said to yourself,
‘I don’t want to have to run into them. I don’t want to get a text, an email. I don’t want to get a phone call.’ The Lord says, ‘BE OPEN because this is the season---IT’S OPEN SEASON!!! It’s open season for reconciliation.
So prepare for it and receive it because this will be the preparation for the outpouring of the great end-time revival.’
As I sat at church on Sunday, February 2, 2020, I heard my pastor mention that this particular date was 02-02---20-20. The uniqueness of this 8-digit calendar date is that it happens to read the same forwards and backwards. Rarely do 8-digit calendar dates (mo-dy-year) read the same forwards and backwards. The last occurrence of this happened nineteen years ago on October 2, 2001 (10-02-2001) and before then it happened 640 years ago on August 31, 1380 (08-31-1380). Immediately I heard in my spirit the phrase, "MIRROR IMAGE".
I then stood and released a word which I sensed came from the Spirit of the Lord as I declared:
"That which you have endured in last season is but a ‘mirror-image’ of that which you will rejoice in for this new season. For I have reversed those things which you travailed through in last season to bring you into the blessings in which you will be prevailing throughout this new season. That which reveals negative images from last season will now reflect positive outcome in the new season."
Just like Joseph, the dreamer (Gen.37:23+) who got sold into slavery by his brothers, as well as Jesus, who was betrayed, convicted, and crucified, although He was totally innocent---were both able to see the blessing of seeing the 'mirror image' of their extremely negative experience and contrast it with the positive image of their victorious outcome---WE ALSO CAN REFLECT ON THE NEGATIVE ISSUES WHICH HAVE SURROUNDED US AND JOYFULLY CONTRAST THEM WITH THE POSITIVE OUTCOMES OF THIS NEW SEASON OF OUR LIVES.
Hebrews 12:2 describes Jesus' anticipated joy this way: "Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame..." Jesus was able to anticipate with joy the positive outcome of Him having to endure such a cruel, torturous death, knowing that it would reap the benefit of salvation being made available to all humanity who would call upon Him for forgiveness and eternal salvation.
Those issues which many of us have endured in this last season will reflect a mirror image of the positive outcomes we will be enjoying in this new season with the Lord. Therefore, whatever the negative injustices have been, it is time to forgive, release, bless, go forward, and do not look back. In doing so, you will be able to fully enjoy the light and glory of this brand new era in the greatness of our God.
A great and effectual door has opened for you, says the Lord. It is a door that has opened up for this new year where you will step through without effort. The door is not opening from your side where you would need to handle the knob---but it is opening from My side---as I blow the breath of My Spirit, says God.
It will cause you to rise to new heights like the eagle and be able to see with eagle eyes down below not only for the prey which will serve as your sustenance, but also to see with eagle vision those who have fallen prey and become prey to the schemes of the enemy.
Just as you will swoop down to take the provided prey for your sustenance, you will also swoop down to rescue those who have become prey to the enemy. For in this year of 20-20 high definition vision your assignments will be all about divine provision and divine rescue for the victims of life and the enemy.
Go forth with confidence, with focus, and with divine resolve.
ABIDING---when it comes to God---is all about honorably waiting on Him without the demand for answers or demonstrations of power. There is a richness in God’s presence which creates a closeness that cannot be measured logistically. It is like a family gathering together for Thanksgiving. Beyond the meals, the snacks, the conversations, and the football games on television, it is about loved ones appreciating just ABIDING together.
I remember sitting at my piano at home, worshiping the Lord for an extended time and, as I prepared to conclude my heartfelt musical devotion, i heard somewhere in my spirit the Lord sovereignly whisper: 'Don't stop.' Could it be that far more than the need for us to ABIDE in God is the passion of the Lord Himself who is deeply wanting to ABIDE with us and in us?
The very notion that God Almighty Himself---who has the universe and all of creation at His disposal---would desire for us to ABIDE in Him, is a great MYSTERY. This is also at the very foundation our life’s ministry---to intentionally ABIDE in Him.
"Abide in Me and I in you As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it ABIDES in the vine, neither can you unless you ABIDE in Me."
“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall ABIDE under the shadow of the Almighty.” (Psalm 91:1)
In My kingdom, every fall which happens to My beloved, is ultimately meant to be a FALL FORWARD. For if you will trust Me through the stumble, I will personally be there to pick you up, shake off the dust, heal up the wounds, and send you forward into My kingdom purposes. You may question that outcome as you consider the length and the depth of your falls. However, I consider the strength and the heights of your resilience to bounce back up, be restored, become reignited, and use the very scars you bear to give you the significant parameters for your future.
I am saddened by those who give up on themselves because they tragically underestimate the mercy, the grace, and the forgiveness which is found within the expanse of My heart.
The FALLS will undoubtedly happen. They are a part of the human experience. However, the glorious, divine recovery is why I AM God and you are not. Become part of the culture of My kingdom experience and grow in it. Thus, when the FALLS of life happen, you will actually FALL FORWARD, regain your footing, be restored to wholeness, be released in greatness, and become the trophy of My grace which I designed for you to be.
Perhaps you have said, “That’s all that I needed. Just one more thing that I needed to have to chase after, to have to accomplish.”
I sense the Spirit of the Lord responding, “All you’ve ever needed, son, daughter, is found in that secret place which I have created exclusively for you. You have read in the Scriptures, ‘He who dwells in the secret place of the most high shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty’. “This is that secret place that I set apart for you,’ says the Lord, ‘It’s a place not of escape. On the contrary, it’s a place of encounter.’
‘What do I encounter, Lord?’ “You encounter Me,’ says God. ‘You encounter everything I represent, all the storehouse of heaven and all that you could ever desire and all that you could ever need, even for the those times when you exasperatingly cry out, “That’s just one more thing I needed!” ‘Let me tell you the one more thing you need. You need Me. You need to focus on Me and Me alone. This is where your answer is found. Don’t go out to the public square, to the arenas. Don’t run to the church, even though the church is a wonderful place that I have sanctioned for the saints to gather together. But don’t make the church your secret refuge. Make Me your secret refuge, and you will be found of Me.”
‘For in the days ahead,’ says God, ‘I’m going to release wisdom and strategies for you to walk through that place that you have exasperatingly said, ‘Just one more thing that I needed to go wrong’, “There’s one thing that has gone right in your life,’ says the Lord, ‘Christ in you, the hope of glory, this is how I share My secrets with those who have been bought with the price---the Blood of My only begotten Son Jesus. So, if you’re ready to do business with Me, I’m ready to do Kingdom business with you. Lift up your heart right now and say ‘Jesus, I’m ready to do it Your way. I’m ready to take the higher road, and I realize today that that higher road is a road less traveled. There’s not many that want to go through it. They want to take the easy road---but as for me, Lord, I will take the higher road---the road less traveled, where You are found in the SECRET PLACE. I choose, God, to go there with You.”
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)