22 March 2011

Volunteered or Volun-told?

I recently read that Isaiah had volunteered to be the one to go and speak for the Lord.  In a day when we embrace "the call" it's encouraging to remember that God takes volunteers as well. 

By contrast, Jeremiah was appointed by the Lord.  God left no question about His expections for Jeremiah. Years ago a friend of mine volunteered her son for some work.  He was quick to assure people that he had not volunteered, but rather, had been volun-told.  Jeremiah was volun-told.

Regardless if one volunteers or if he is volun-told, the Lord is faithful to establish relationship with him, assurring his servant that He is with him and all is well.  With Isaiah the Lord gave a vision to reveal His awesome holiness.  That vision of the glory of a Holy God produced an awareness and confession from Isaiah of his own unholiness.  That confession (agreement with God) made way for the angel of the Lord to bring the coal from the fire that cleansed him from iniquity and caused his sin to be forgiven.  In that act, a glorious relationship was formed beyond what it had been in the past.

However, the Lord initiated relationship with Jeremiah before he was formed in the womb.  The Lord set him apart and appointed him.  Jeremiah's response to the Lord was similar to many people today.  Someone, somewhere had given him the idea that he was not useful to the Lord because of what they perceived as weaknesses in his life.  But the Lord, in His goodness, says, "I AM with you".  Then gave him a vision saying, "I am watching over My Word to perform it." assuring Jeremiah that he could speak what and to whom, as he was instructed, without fear.  In any case, the Lord provides both the vision and the interpretation in order for us to SEE what He is SAYING.

The Lord seems to delight in revealing Himself and His plan through vision.  In Habukkak 1:1 we read the oracle that the prophet SAW.  In vs 5  we see that the Lord is doing something that requires the people to LOOK and OBSERVE because they would not believe if they were TOLD.  In Chapter 2 Habukkak says, "I will keep WATCH to SEE what He will SPEAK to me.  And what the Lord says to him is; write the vision down and make it plain so that the one who reads it may run.  Run where? Run to accomplish it.

The Lord will often give one person the vision, when that one has communicated it clearly to others, they can in turn DO the vision.  The vision and it's interpretation provide spiritual revelation through the use of our five physical senses.  Think of it like a jigsaw puzzle.  You have a piece of puzzle.  That piece is the vision the Lord has given you.  I have a piece, it is my vision.  Others that you meet, near and far, have a piece, it is their vision.  Some pieces are white, some are light blue, some have houses on them, some have grass, some have water, some have plant life and some seem to have a little bit of several things.  Often the pieces look like they don't fit with yours, occassionally you find one that fits perfectly, and once in a while you find one you think fits, only to discover it belongs to another puzzle.  Then you may come across one that you know without a doubt, does not connect with yours at all.

But here's where writing your vision down and making it plain is vital.  Your piece may not look like mine. But, someone else has a piece that connects to you and another has a piece that connects with me and those two pieces connect with each other.  When we all get connected properly, we find that yours and mine are dependent on one another in a way that we could not see initially. Maybe you have part of the sun shining on the part of the leaf of the tree that is shading my flower.  Only God can see the whole puzzle put together. My flower needs your sun.  It also needs the tree and it's leaf for the shade it provides.  You may be able to shine without me, but I cannot grow without you. In any beautiful picture there are variations of colors, shapes and textures, each one made more attractive when placed with the other.

As you embrace your relationship with Almighty God and the vision He has given you, hold it, look at it, see what He is saying to you and share it with others, without fear.  Take note of another's vision, even when it has no similarity to yours.  Perhaps the Lord would have you run with someone else's vision in order to get you to the appointed place and time of the vision He has given you.

Habukkak 2:3  "For the vision is for an appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail.  Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay."

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