Dec. 28, 2002
By: Kevin K. O’Connor
Main thought: To express the desire of Our Heavenly Father’s heart in regards to our need to continuously be pressing in especially as the day of His appearing nears.
Widen the Tent!
These next few verses depict how our hearts need to be in these final hours of this world.
Nehemiah 9:15 In their hunger you gave them bread from heaven and in their thirst you brought them water from the rock; you told them to go in and take possession of the land you had sworn with uplifted hand to give them. (Whole Chapter: Nehemiah 9 In context: Nehemiah 9:14-16) Note the Hunger and thirsting that needed to be in place for their hunger and thirst to be quenched.
Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. (Whole Chapter: Matthew 5 In context: Matthew 5:5-7)
Isaiah 54 The Future Glory of Zion 1 "Sing, O barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband," says the LORD . 2 "Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. 3 For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities. God is desiring us today to widen the tents of our hearts and strengthen the stakes of our hearts hungering and thirsting for Him.
These next four verses depict how God sends His servants to His People to prepare us for His Mighty Judgments/Blessings.
Luke 1 16Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God. 17And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous--to make ready a people prepared for the Lord." 18Zechariah asked the angel, "How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years."
1 Samuel 7:3 And Samuel spake unto all the house of Israel, saying, If ye do return unto the LORD with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you, and prepare your hearts unto the LORD, and serve him only: and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines. (Whole Chapter: 1 Samuel 7 In context: 1 Samuel 7:2-4)
Jonah 1 1 The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai: 2 "Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me."
Isn’t it beautiful how God has always had His forerunners to prepare the way for Him? He had Noah who had spent years preparing the boat of salvation for his family prior to the flood as a testimony of the coming judgment. He had John the Baptist during the life of Christ proclaim prepare ye the way of the Lord. The heart of God hopes that no one will perish and so although He is righteous and Holy, He is also Loving and Compassionate and desires that no one will have to face eternity separated from Him. Even when He had His fill of Nineveh’s sin He still sent His forerunner to warn of the coming judgment.
So I believe that God by His Spirit is raising up men and women of passion and prayer to seek His face on behalf of preparing the Bride of Christ for His Son. I believe that in these final days before His Son shouts from on high to receive us that there is and going to be an incredible increase in passionate prayer from the Holy Spirit through those who will make themselves available. I also believe that just as our Lord spoke to the seven churches in Revelation and only told one of them that He would spare them from the coming trial that is coming upon the whole world that it will be so. Rev 3:7-10 7"To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. 8I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. 9I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars--I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. 10Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth. None of the other six churches did He say this to. Now there will be those who will say yes, but He just happens to say it to this church although all of the churches will also avoid the Great Tribulation. Wouldn’t that be nice! It would be so nice that everyone who has heard His voice even though they are not preparing their hearts and lives for Him wouldn’t have to go through the fire to prepare their hearts for Him. Revelation 18 1After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor. 2With a mighty voice he shouted: "Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great! She has become a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit, a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird. 3For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries." 4Then I heard another voice from heaven say: "Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; Please note verse 4 above where He Himself says “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues;” Why would He say this if it were not possible for His people to also go through being touched by the outpouring of His wrath upon a world that has spurned His Son? And yet He doesn’t want “His people” to also share in the wrath reserved for this obstinate world. Revelations 7:9-17 9After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10And they cried out in a loud voice: "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb." 11All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12saying: "Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!" 13Then one of the elders asked me, "These in white robes--who are they, and where did they come from?" 14I answered, "Sir, you know." 15And he said, "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore, "they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them. 16Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. 17For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes." Please pay close attention to verse 15 above where He states “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore, ----“ Note that they , God’s people, had to make themselves ready, unfortunately they weren’t ready as the church in Philadelphia as we read in Revelations 3:10 where He Himself says would spare them from the trial coming upon the whole world, “10Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth.”
We as people are so lazy especially when it comes to our relationships. We don’t realize that we tend to take those we love for granted. Our love life begins to fade, our communication, our time together they all just grow cold and die. We get so caught up in God’s people trying to predict whether His people will have to go through the Great tribulation we have pre trib (the rapture prior to the Great Tribulation), mid trib (the rapture during the Great tribulation) and post trib (the rapture after the Great Tribulation) teachings. Then, when we think we’ve got it down, we rest within the feeling of revelation that’s been given to us.
It seems that we’re all at different levels of revelation and I feel that each person will be judged from the revelation that’s been revealed to us. To those who have been shown much, much will be required. And yet we’re so quick to think less of those with a lesser revelation and yet the tiniest flower is no less than the mightiest sequoia. I personally feel that there is going to be many people proclaiming to know Christ personally at the time of the rapture but only those who have heard His call to ready their hearts for Him will be invited to the wedding feast. I also feel for those who have allowed themselves not to realize that the time is near that they will be made to awaken from their lethargic love by the great trial that is coming upon the whole world and their love will be made strong from the suffering of their bodies unto death. But, leave it to us to think that we’ve got it all figured out. Oh, that we would Love Him with all of our Heart, Soul, Mind and Strength! Then, when that happens we really won’t care when His rapture is as long as we can be with Him.
I feel that the time to prepare our hearts is here. I believe that God Himself is raising up His children to get in the Fire of His Love now. I believe that those who will listen and respond to this Holy Infinite Love will be spared the fiery trial that is coming upon the whole world and those who will not do so now, will do so later but at the expense of their own lives unto death. I feel that those who are drawing near to His Heart will have the fire burning within them to speak what is being revealed. Those who are not too proud to listen will respond, but those who are, will not. But, whatever each person decides to do, each of us will reap what we sow. Either obedience to His Word unto Life, or ignoring or outright rebellion to His Word unto death.
May our Lord ever teach us how to bring our Hearts before Him that He may create in us the Beauty of His son. May He ever teach us how to widen the tents of our Hearts for more and more of Him and ever teach us how to strengthen the stakes of our hearts hungering and thirsting. May we always desire being stretched more and more for Him each day He gives us the breath of Life to breathe unto His Glory, Honor, and Praise!
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