All the Earth Shall Be Filled – Part 1
Many of us have some background in a denominational church which colors our understanding of the Lord and His kingdom. Often, we think we must shed everything we heard when in those places. While the traditions of our earthly teachers may hinder the Holy Spirit’s work in us, we may be losing truths of value. I was recently irritated by someone referring to themselves as being in the office of the prophet. I do not see such an identification voiced by the apostles, except in humility. But I must confess, my attitude is tainted with self-ambition. Out I say to that, and it is done. On the other hand, among the reformers of the 1500’s, it was understood that every believer is a prophet, priest, and king. If Christ is in you, the potential for any operation of His Spirit is living in you. Most notably, the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy. Does it look, sound, feel, and taste like Jesus? That is the mark of true prophecy. I thank God for those who have spoken His life into my own.
All things are possible to Him who believes. This leads us to many questions. If we believe for something that in a broad sense is His will, it does not mean it will come to pass through us personally. He is sovereign. It is He who initiates in a very personal, intimate way. Do we know Him? Are we growing in that knowledge, that relationship? It is certainly no mistake that His church is identified as His bride. In earthly marriage, as human beings, we all know what destroys a marriage. Unfaithfulness brings deep wounds. Trust is broken. Our lives here in this age, in the world, present opportunities to know the truth, to know Jesus as friend, even as lover. The true knowledge of Him happens through real life. Do you bring your heartaches to the Lord Jesus? Are you trying to be tough? Trying to be a “good Christian”? We are learning to yield to His life.
No one is righteous! No, not one! We look to pastors, preachers, teachers, and sadly some of those only want to draw us to themselves. Of these the prophet spoke that the Lord’s face is set against them. He does not like them. We must be careful how we judge. Is it the pastor that is the real problem, or is it your own desire to be connected with the “right” ministry so that you can ride on that one’s coattails? Some lessons come hard. But do not misunderstand. We do want to be connected to ministries that minister His life. As time goes on, I so enjoy meeting “strangers” who I find to be believers, and those who are disciples. And I meet some who love truth but do yet have a revelation of the One who is truth Himself. The Lord must go deep and tear down all self-righteousness.
I knew a woman who was married. She made the mistake of marrying to fulfill a desire to have a family. She deceived herself and did not really want that particular man as a husband but he seemed “safe”. No man is “safe”. During the marriage, she had a friend who she treated as a boyfriend. She confided more deeply with him than her husband. And she wanted intimacy with him. He wisely withdrew. Her husband was lonely. Something was missing. Eventually she ended that marriage with that man that she never really wanted. At times she had wanted him but they were never fully in sync. You have to want to want your husband, and husbands need to want to want their wives. Love includes desire.
Desire is a necessary part of love. What does this have to do with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord? Everything. Are you knowing His passion for you and returning it? Is that passion growing? If it diminishes are you asking why, and seeking for more? Earthly marriage is ultimately only a picture, a life lesson. I am not saying it does not matter. If we are following the Lord Jesus, our marriages, on our part, will be the best they can be. We will want everything we do to reflect His glory. We cannot remake our husband, or our wife, into the “perfect” other half. This life is about learning, about receiving, eternal life, the knowledge of Christ. Jesus taught us that in the kingdom of heaven, when this earthly life ends, our earthly relationships will pass away. Oh, we will still recognize family that received the life that Christ is but our desires here, while valid for now, will have passed away. And we will be so enraptured with the glory of the Lord, of Elohim, of our heavenly Bridegroom, that we will not remember the former things.
When Jesus met with His closest followers, those 12 men, and shared that last meal this side of the heavenly table, He prayed that they would behold His glory. That beholding accelerated at Pentecost. But there at that table, that meal, Jesus said, “I have earnestly desired to share this meal with you.” The word He used could be translated “lusted”. That word may trouble us. It is too strong, even wrong. No. We must have our earthly passions redirected by the Holy Spirit. The more we invite and allow Him to fill us, that fruit of self-control will grow. As we soak in His passionate love for us, we will return the passion. Then we walk worthy of His calling and our ways are pleasing to Him.