… and “i recognize YOU”.
“… and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” [Parable of the Good Shepherd, John 10]
In response to recent events, my prayers for clarity, discernment, precise Word has stepped up several notches. I have petitioned God in desperate prayer for only His Word, His sights to behold, and His voice, to be allowed in and out of me. I have prayed fervently that He shed the Light on any darkness that has entered… in all areas and places, including my heart and His sanctuary. I have prayed that He speak very clear and plainly with me, so I would not be deceived or dismiss His offering. I have prayed to my Lord to send me those whose heart’s bleed like mine for Him, because it gets lonely on this tour of duty. And I asked Him… “Lord if I may, I need a sign, a confirmation? I don’t want to get You wrong.” So for Sunday, June 26, 2011, my prayers would take flight, in a church sanctuary I so love. And the congregation screamed… “It’s a bat!”
And Jesus said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. 17 These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” [The Disciples Commissioned, Mark 16]
“It’s a bat.” It flew, hovered, and honed in like it was on a mission. “Shouldn’t I be concerned? Almost anything could get stuck in my hair. And didn’t I just have a conversation about rabies a day or so ago? Where is the fear… I just don’t feel it. I know God is all over this and He will take care of it. What is to fear?!”
This is not a test… or is it?!
In amazement, I looked around the sanctuary. My first thought was “Is the door open so the Lord can direct it outside, where it belongs?” After checking for an open door, I went back to the second row and stood. I was so burdened for prayer and sought silently for a church leader to lead. ‘This bat is a test’, I thought. ‘And whom shall go for us? Who will seek first for the kingdom of God?… our Lord being the supplier of all our need! What’s a bat to the Lord?’ YES Really… “What is a bat to the Lord?!”
“i recognize YOU!”
Oh my God, You tickle me. Isn’t it just like You to orchestrate a divine intervention in the form of a bat? As I looked around the room, I saw people ducking, people screaming, people scrunched down in their seats, other’s ranting “that is the biggest bat I have ever seen”, and a few good men standing in the back armed and ready. I kept thinking… this poor bat. This poor creature of the Living God. If we are His children, what is to fear? If we are His, couldn’t we even handle snakes or other poisonous creatures of this world… and LIVE?!
One came forward and petitioned the congregation to prayer. Thank You Jesus! As I stood with my eyes closed and my right arm raised in praise, prayer, and worship to my God, I sensed the presence of one whose heart bleeds like mine, who was of like mind… for Him. I turned around and saw only one… a woman standing in the back with her eyes closed and her right arm raised in praise, prayer, and worship. At first, I felt like I was next to, the last one, who felt the same… ‘no fear’. I found someone, whose heart like mine, picks up a cross daily, knowing the often turbulent climate, and still signs up as a saint to go marching.
I knew… the Lord looked down at her and I, and said… “I recognize you”.
I said… and “i recognize YOU” Lord! It was You who sent a blind bat to test our eyesight, our focus, our trust in the God of everything. It was You who revealed a unity of Spirit. It was You, and not manmade, this sign and wonder… to BEHOLD!
THANK YOU LORD!
BLESSINGS… sometimes in disguise.
1 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might come and anoint Him. 2 Very early on the first day of the week, they *came to the tomb when the sun had risen. 3 They were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” 4 Looking up, they *saw that the stone had been rolled away, although it was extremely large. 5 Entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe; and they were amazed. 6 And he *said to them, “Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him. 7 But go, tell His disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see Him, just as He told you.’” 8They went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had gripped them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.
9 [Now after He had risen early on the first day of the week, He first appeared to Mary Magdalene, from whom He had cast out seven demons. 10 She went and reported to those who had been with Him, while they were mourning and weeping. 11 When they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her,they refused to believe it.
12 After that, He appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking along on their way to the country. 13 They went away and reported it to the others, but theydid not believe them either.
The Disciples Commissioned
14 Afterward He appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at the table; and He reproached them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who had seen Him after He had risen. 15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. 17 These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they willlay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
19 So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by thesigns that followed.]
[And they promptly reported all these instructions to Peter and his companions. And after that, Jesus Himself sent out through them from east to west the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation.]
Parable of the Good Shepherd
1 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6This figure of speech Jesus spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were which He had been saying to them.
7 So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
11 “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. 12 He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, 15 even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. 18No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.”