There is a change you ache for. What is it going to take for God to work that change?
There is a wound you can’t get past. What has to happen for God to heal you?
There is a word God gave you long ago, which discouragement is stealing from you now. How do you continue to believe?
The power of God that accomplishes all of these has a name . . . it’s His power to reach out and find us, no matter where we are, to draw us into His saving embrace. We call it redemption.
Redemption makes all things new; working out the changes we ache for.
Redemption triumphs as it bears us forever beyond the reach of our wounds.
Redemption summons us to believe that God has a glorious destination for us.
Redemption breathes fresh life into the flame of our faith when discouragement comes.
So, what does it take for this power of God to become evident in our life?
If redemption is going to be experienced, a journey must be taken.
- Abraham had to heed God’s summons to a journey, leaving his father’s home to go to a land he did not know.
- Israel had to journey out of her bondage in Egypt, crossing the Red Sea and the Jordan River to gain The Promised Land.
And it is no coincidence that when I was very low one morning, God brought me passage after passage from Scripture — each pointing to a journey and echoing the same message: “Arise, and depart.” (Mic 2:10)
That one morning, two different devotionals, written more than a century apart, spoke of a journey that must be taken.
“The hour is approaching when the message will come to us, as it comes to all—‘Arise, and go forth from the home in which thou hast dwelt, from the city in which thou hast done thy business, from thy family, from thy friends. Arise, and take thy … journey.’ “
Spurgeon’s Morning & Evening, Feb. 7
“Look at the life of Elijah. ‘The word of the Lord came to him, saying, ‘Get away from here and turn eastward, and hide by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan. And it will be that you shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there’” (1Ki 17:2-4 NKJV). Ravens normally don’t deliver food, they eat it. But when you do what God tells you and go where He sends you, you move from the natural realm to the supernatural one.”
Bob Gass, The Word for You Today, Feb 7
That morning, I understood that God was giving me the illustration of a journey — tenderly but strongly summoning me to arise and depart, so that He could heal my heartache.
The revelation that leapt out at me was this — the journey He was summoning me to would take me from the natural to the supernatural.
- The change I ache for is a supernatural destination.
- I will get beyond the power of my soul wound — not in the natural — but in the supernatural.
- And the word I’ve been clinging to for so very long: its fulfillment lies not here, not now, not where I am … but where He is actively, supernaturally leading me.
We experience God’s power in our life by the journey He summons us to. If redemption is going to take place, then we need to arise and depart from the natural way we are trying to deal with issues and allow Him to guide us into the supernatural, where redemption is always unfolding.
The journey God summons us to
is a supernatural walk in a supernatural realm.
Faith is a supernatural walk in a supernatural realm. As you read these excerpts from the letter to the Hebrews, note how each experience defies natural explanation.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 7 By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household . . . 8 By faith Abraham, when he was called . . . went out, not knowing where he was going. . . . 11 By faith . . . Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life. . . 13 All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance . . . 17 By faith Abraham . . . considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead . . . 20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau, even regarding things to come. . . 24 By faith Moses . . . endured, as seeing Him who is unseen. . . . 29 By faith they passed through the Red Sea as though they were passing through dry land; and the Egyptians, when they attempted it, were drowned. 30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days.
God is summoning us to a journey
of being taught by Him
For me, for everyone I know who is intentional about God’s redemptive power being manifest in their life, their journey is a series of lessons. We are conscious of constantly being taught, instructed, corrected and disciplined by Him.
- We awaken morning by morning as disciples who listen
The Lord God has given Me the tongue of disciples,
That I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word.
He awakens Me morning by morning,
He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple.
The Lord God has opened My ear;
And I was not disobedient
Nor did I turn back.
- We are conscious of words telling us which way to go
Your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left.
- We are conscious of hearing and learning from the Father, being taught of God
“It is written in the prophets, ‘AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.
The journey God summons us to
is an intimate, imminent dialogue
At the very least this divine dialogue is the unfolding history of what God is teaching us individually. Each step, every mile of our journey is marked by the lessons we’ve learned.
Yet there are many voices that deny this intimate, imminent dialogue that is continually unfolding between our Lord and us . . . despite Scripture’s clear expression of this reality in both verse and story.
As my friend Kathryn finished her first lesson in a series on Hearing God, Susan ran up to wrap her in a big hug. Her face wreathed in delight, Susan leaned in conspiratorially to whisper, “If my preacher back home got wind that I was teaching material like this, he would be paying me a visit real quick!” The two women laughed gently as Susan’s robust humor touched a deep truth: the natural fears and does not understand the supernatural, often trying to shut it down.
The voice of fear and distrust emanating from our flesh comes against the supernatural, which is born of the spirit. Paul described this dynamic operating between Ishmael and Isaac, “But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now also.” (Gal 4:29-30) In each of us, there is a voice arising from our flesh, a voice that fears and distrusts the supernatural . . . a voice that is going to persecute and do everything it can to shut down the supernatural relationship, the divine dialogue that the Spirit of God is birthing in us.
I was on a trip flying with my precious husband who has a hard time accepting the supernatural. Three times in ten minutes, while he was parking the car, I did what I have never done before: I dropped my driver’s license on the floor and just kept walking, oblivious that I was leaving my ID behind. Three times in ten minutes a complete stranger restored my license to me. Because God so often orchestrates circumstances to speak to me, after the third time, I asked Him if there was a message in this. Instantaneously, He fired back, “You are in danger of losing your identity in Me.” That morning, checking in for my flight, I am ashamed to admit that I had been carrying on a silent tirade, mentally excoriating an acquaintance who had offended me. This was not who I am in Christ. And so, when He showed me that I was in danger of losing my identity in Him, I got it! Letting go of the offense, I asked Him to wash me and birth His mind in me toward that woman . . . and then I began to laugh . . . recounting to my travel companion how God had just dealt with me.
To my dismay, he suggested I was exaggerating . . . I surely hadn’t dropped my license three times. But I had. Then he suggested that I probably drop things like that all the time. But I don’t. When these natural explanations failed to explain what he was clearly uncomfortable with, he resorted to affable, affectionate humor. Laughing with an easy tease, my husband chided me for dropping my license on purpose . . . just so I could tell the story.
My beloved travel companion distrusts what he cannot explain. He fears the implication of so intimate and imminent a supernatural exchange . . . but he loves me too much to entirely dismiss my holy moments of divine encounter. They stand as an open invitation to him, summoning him deeper into his own journey. [i]
Susan’s preacher back home and my travel companion demonstrate the tension between the natural and the supernatural. I tell these stories, not to knock either of them, but to reveal the same voice that is inside of every one of us.
The voice of our flesh is always trying to shut down
what The Spirit of God is summoning us to.
God is summoning you to a supernatural journey in the supernatural realm, where you are meant-to-be taught by Him, where you are meant-to-be in intimate, imminent divine dialogue with Him; but you need to recognize that voice in your soul that will attempt to suppress and dismiss every divine encounter you have . . . because the natural man in you does not understand and is going to persecute the supernatural that The Spirit of God is birthing in you.
1 Cor 2:14-15
But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.
Arise and Depart
Fear is the voice of the soul yet to recognize God’s summons to arise and depart. Fear was the voice of the religious leaders, who were indignant with Jesus. They could not bear what the supernatural evidence of Jesus’ life implied.
Luke tells us that when Jesus saw a woman who had been …bent double for eighteen years and was unable to stand up straight…he called her over and said, “Dear woman, you are healed”…Then he touched her, and instantly she could stand straight. But the leader in charge of the synagogue was indignant because Jesus had healed her on the Sabbath day. (Luke 13: 10-14 NLT).
This woman had tried every means in the natural realm to find the change she ached for, the healing that eluded her. Like her, the solution to our deepest need lies — not in the natural, but in the supernatural. Yet we seek to alleviate our discomfort with everything we can from the natural realm: sports, television, entertainment, social media, shopping, never ending work, a constant stream of activity, mood-altering substances, and wrong relationships.
But one morning we awaken, unable to numb the aching hollow inside . . . this is the gift, this is the moment of divine encounter, IF we hear Him summoning us to the journey.
I pray you will hear Him,
and I pray you will identify and refuse to listen to that other voice
that is always trying to shut your journey down, because it is afraid.
Arise and depart with Him
deeper into the journey that transforms everything.
[i] No story is told, without the permission of the one to whom it belongs.