Waiting in the Wings

For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.

Tag: character/nature of God

A Listening Heart

“Eyes of Mercy” by Meghan Williams, Dyed4you Art

Recently, God has been taking me through a season to further cultivate a “listening heart.” I was impacted by the journey of my young friend, Stephen, who is just setting out on the road to law school. His mother told me of the mediation class he took that set him off on this journey. 

She said that Stephen did very well in the roleplaying mediation sessions. This was not surprising to her considering the fact that Stephen is a natural peacemaker. When there’s conflict between people, she said, “He’s very good at listening and empathizing with all sides involved.” 

Since I had just begun new spiritual training that involved “listening,” the Holy Spirit highlighted her words that day with fire. Isn’t our Divine Mediator just like Stephen? Our King is able to listen to every prayer, petition, and request in the earth and respond with fairness and justice. He does not show partiality in judgment nor does he pervert justice. Even more amazing, He is able to balance the scales of justice as a Father! He listens closely to all of His children and does not ignore one of us.

God began to stir my heart with this realization. As one who is introverted yet very nurturing, I’m naturally designed to be empathetic. I listen with my heart and pick up on subtle social cues with those around me. And as much as possible, I desire to listen with an intent to understand instead of an intent to respond.

However, my Heavenly Father began to challenge me to listen with equity in a way I never expected. He asked me to listen on a deeper level and become more attuned with the person I seemed to ironically know the least about—myself. 

I began to realize how often I fail to stop to listen to my own thoughts, feelings, needs, and desires. In the name of death to self, I often dismiss the internal voice of self in favor of serving others. Without realizing it, I had learned to make certain decisions motivated by the fear of punishment instead of a love that was able to encompass God, my neighbor, and myself.

While we certainly are called to emulate our Messiah by putting others first, I realized that to completely overlook any individual—even ourselves—is an injustice. By factoring myself out of every justice equation, I wasn’t being a very fair mediator. I wasn’t listening to all sides involved. 

To be sovereign heirs in the Kingdom of Heaven, God calls us to rule with equity and righteousness. Now seeking to make righteous judgments that involve ourselves may seem to be a conflict of interest. However, I’ve come to see how important it is to “stop, look, and listen” in such instances. While I may not be able to completely trust myself to make an unbiased ruling, I can stop and look up to My Heavenly Father, who is on the throne. I can draw upon His counsel and listen for His wise and balanced response in every matter.

1 Kings 3:12 (EXB) I will do what you asked. I will give you wisdom and understanding [a wise and discerning/listening heart] that is greater than anyone has had in the past or will have in [will make you unlike anyone in the past or in] the future.

A Throne-Room Perspective

“Throne Room Glory” by Meghan Williams, Dyed4you Art

There was once a point in my walk when I was afraid to have a throne room encounter with God. I was still healing from a broken sense of identity at that time, so I was certain that an encounter with Him would “put me in my place.” Certainly, the presence of the flawless Eternal One would only confirm the sense of unworthiness I felt on the inside. Yet nothing could have been further from the truth.

My encounters with the Divine have always had a way of radically transforming the way I perceive both God and myself. I begin to grasp the face of perfect love. (And no matter how many encounters I have with the Eternal, it will only really be just the beginning.) He is limitless, all-powerful, all-knowing, and truly, none can compare to Him. Yes, He is so flawless in His beauty that words often fail me. However, I am moved to spend the rest of my existence (here and in eternity) looking for ways to describe the impossible.

Yet to grasp a glimpse of the glory puts our identity into a breathtaking perspective. The One who is seated on the throne above all thrones has chosen to make His home within us. When unified, the followers of Christ are indeed a body through which the Divine moves and expresses Himself. Our relationship to Him is like a crown upon our heads.

Encounters with the presence of God restore our dignity and rightful identity as sons of God and living stones of His temple. We remember who we are, whose we are, and why we are alive. In this light, I can say it is easy for me to cast my crown before the throne. However, I no longer fear I have to cast my crown out of a sense of unworthiness. Instead, I am moved to honor my King out of gratitude and love for this precious gift of life.

Revelation 4:10-11 (AMP) the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and they worship Him who lives forever and ever; and they throw down their crowns before the throne, saying, “Worthy are You, our Lord and God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they exist, and were created and brought into being.”

1 Peter 2:5 (TPT) Come and be his “living stones” who are continually being assembled into a sanctuary for God. For now you serve as holy priests, offering up spiritual sacrifices that he readily accepts through Jesus Christ.

The Name

“His Holy Name” by Meghan Williams, Dyed4you Art

Exodus 6:3 (NLT)  I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty’—but I did not reveal my name, Yahweh, to them.

In Exodus 6:3, God makes an interesting statement to Moses. He says, “I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty’—but I did not reveal my name, Yahweh, to them.” There are Jewish scholars who claim that this Scripture isn’t saying that the forefathers of the faith didn’t know that “Yahweh” was one of God’s many names. Instead, the side of God’s character that the forefathers saw throughout their lives was only El Shaddai—the all-powerful God, their sufficiency and sustainer. However, generations later in Egypt, the children of Israel witnessed the character of God in a way their forefathers did not. Yahweh—whose very name reflects that He is the source of all existence and being—showed His power in a way that completely defied the laws of nature.

Whether we realize it or not, God reveals Himself to us through different names at different times. We come to know the many facets of His character through each of these names. Sometimes the “name” family members or brothers and sisters in Christ know God by may not be the same name that we know Him by. We may grow up perceiving the Creator, at first, only as Elohim—God, ruler, and judge of the universe. When we receive salvation, we come to know Him as Haggo’el—the Redeemer. And as the Spirit of Adoption draws us closer to our Creator’s heart, we may come to know God as Abba—our Father.

Yet an infinite God has an infinite number of names. And as our life experience transforms, He continues to reveal those names by revealing His character at greater depths. Therefore, it may behoove us to occasionally pause and reflect on God’s interactions with us in different seasons. The Holy Spirit can reveal the name that God is making Himself known by at that time. By inquiring about the name that God is revealing for you at any given time, you will have the opportunity to see who He wants to be in your life now and forevermore. Even more, because God is your Father, it’s important to see how He is imparting aspects of His nature into you. 

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