As I meditate on this scripture from Ezekiel, I am painfully aware that many are suffering in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, probably the most significant storm we have ever experienced in our lifetime. My heart and my prayer goes out to my friends, family, neighbors, and all who have been affected by this unprecedented storm.
But I have a Word of encouragement for the Body of Christ, even those who are suffering and trying to pick up the pieces of their lives. When others see devastation, I see the glory. When others see darkness, I see the Glory, When others see suffering and pain, I see the Glory waiting on the other side of it, a surpassing Glory that all that preceded its arrival will pale in comparison. Let me share a few thoughts to encourage you first.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 KJV
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Romans 8:18 KJV
I have a bit of a different perspective on the flooding and the aftermath of this hurricane. As I am currently republishing my third book, “The Heavenly Worship Room, ” the Spirit has captured my attention on a few things. In my first two books, Unlocking Worship and Lessons… I wrote about the Glory, the hindrances to the Glory, Crossing over the Jordan River, and into the Promised Glory for which we and many others have been contending and believing for in the Region of Houston, Texas. I have been standing on the promises of Amos 9:11 (…I will restore the Tabernacle of David…) and Haggai 6:9 (…the Glory of the Latter House shall be greater than of the former house… and in that place I will grant peace…) and Hosea 6:1-2.
“Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces, but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. After two days he will revive us, and on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence. Hosea 6:1-2 NIV
As I began to see these promises being fulfilled, even in the last several weeks, after the miracle of Resurrection and Restoration of the Heavenly Worship Room, I realized that there was a passage of scripture I had included in my first writings in 2007, which I had always wondered how it all fit in to this amazing prophetic tapestry the Lord was piecing together before our eyes. And then I began to see it and understand it’s significance…
1 The man brought me back to the entrance to the temple, and I saw water coming out from under the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was coming down from under the south side of the temple, south of the altar. 2 He then brought me out through the north gate and led me around the outside to the outer gate facing east, and the water was trickling from the south side. 3 As the man went eastward with a measuring line in his hand, he measured off a thousand cubits and then led me through water that was ankle-deep. He measured off another thousand cubits and led me through water that was knee-deep. 4 He measured off another thousand and led me through water that was up to the waist. 5 He measured off another thousand, but now it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in—a river that no one could cross. 6 He asked me, “Son of man, do you see this?” Then he led me back to the bank of the river. 7 When I arrived there, I saw a great number of trees on each side of the river. 8 He said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, where it enters the Dead Sea. When it empties into the sea, the salty water there becomes fresh. 9 Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live. 10 Fishermen will stand along the shore; from En Gedi to En Eglaim there will be places for spreading nets. The fish will be of many kinds—like the fish of the Mediterranean Sea. 11 But the swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they will be left for salt. 12 Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.” Ezekiel 47:1-12 NIV http://bible.com/111/ezk.47.1-12.NIV
How was a River supposed to flow out of the Temple? And how was this River which rose past the ankles, past the knees, past the loins, and over our heads enough for us to swim, a river we could not cross, supposed to bring freshness and life to all dead things it came across?
In our humanity and in our physical limitation of the flesh, of course we want to ease suffering, we want to erase trauma, we want life to go back as it was before this catastrophic event. And of course, we the Church are going to shelter those who have lost their homes and lives, and shoulder the burden of grief and despair, and help our neighbors restore and recover what has been lost. My great joy is to see the Church arise in her finest hour, to be the Light in the Darkness, to be the hands and feet of Jesus, comforting all those who are mourning and suffering loss. I love seeing the Unity of the Body of Christ arise with such resilience and strength, to see Great Hope in the face of despair, and to see the Joy of the Lord and Gratitude shine on so many during these difficult times…
What is Heaven’s perspective in all of this? We prayed for the rains and the swirling storms to go away, and for the rising floods to stop and dry up, and I believe it does not give the Lord pleasure to watch his children suffer…unless there is a purpose and a greater glory that will surpass the suffering on the other side. The Lord in His Soveriegnty allowed this natural storm to hit our coast and come across our path, not that he was doing this to the ones He loved. His Beloved Son suffered the Wrath of our Sin upon the cross, that we would not pay the penalty our sin afforded us, which was death, paid in full by the Blood of the Sacrificial Lamb!
I believe as the words of “Let it Rain,” continue, “Open the Floodgates of Heaven,” is our hearts’ cry. And though we see a natural flooding in our streets and in our homes, and the natural plant life soaking up the moisture after a dry and parching season, as in the natural realm, how much more in the spiritual realm? I believe the Floodgates have opened and a River that runs from the Temple as described in the unseen Temple in Ezekiel 47, that River of Heaven is going to run through the streets and homes of our region, the region of Houston, Texas, and the Unprecedented Glory is going to begin to manifest in our city streets, our schools, our homes, our families, our churches, interrupting life as usual! Our normal activities and church as usual is a thing of the past. Just as we cannot go back to the way things were before this storm, our new normal becomes the supernatural! Just as we were awakened to the severity and critical nature of the darkness swirling around us, we cannot go back to sleep! And the suffering lends way to the surpassing glory, the Hope of Glory, Jesus Christ revealed in us! And the River that runs ankle deep, past the knees, past the loins, over our heads enough to swim in, a River we cannot cross, shall bring life to those things that were dead. The dead shall come alive, the Lost shall be found, and all shall be recovered, not for our physical comfort and return to apathy, but to bring lost souls into the Kingdom! Our pain, their gain! And when all is said and done, we will cry, “Worthy is the Lamb to receive honor, power, glory, forever, Amen!” A River of Glory shall flow through this City! And the streets shall be glad, and the Redeemed shall Rejoice!
See you in The Throne Room and in The City,
Bride Song Ministries