It’s Not Too Late – September 2018!
By Stephanie Butler | Shekhinah International
The Joy of the Lord is Our Strength
As I am preparing for my portion of the head of the year teaching in our regional gathering, God Took me through Ezekiel 9-18 again. He seems to be building on the blog He gave me in April earlier this year. I sense his heart is rejoicing over those of us who have returned to Him, who have chosen Joy, Forgiveness, Healing and received the fullness of His Grace in this season. I see that pencil drawing as I am writing this today of Jesus laughing. It is almost as if He is so pleased with those who have persevered; who have stayed in the narrow places; who have laid down their lives so that others could thrive; who have continued to obey even at expense of disappointing people. Some of us are still in the war, still pushing into the fullness of all he has promised this year. But gaze upon His beauty, ask Him to show you the joy in His eyes. It is almost as if He is so pleased with those who have persevered; who have stayed in the narrow places; who have laid down their lives so that others could thrive; who have continued to obey even at expense of disappointing people.
He is so pleased with your heart for Him. He loves to hear you say. “Not my will but your will be done.” However I also had a sobering realization as I read the chapters in Ezekiel 10-18 that God laments and even gets angry about the idolatry and compromise that remains in the hearts of His children as well. We know He has been beckoning many this last year to return to Him, but not all have come into all that He has in His heart for them. His anger comes from the place of Love. He sees where these ones are headed and is angry like any good Father about the unnecessary pain He sees that His children are about to endure.
Birthing in 5779
It is not too late to birth something glorious this next year. Head of the Year is a time to examine our hearts and allow the Lord to speak to us, to convict us, to cleanse us, to purify us once again. There is a changing of guards happening in 5779, leaders are being positioned to birth those things that align with His heart. Last year the focus was on Ezekiel 7-9. It was as if God was digging into our walls to allow us to see what we needed to deal with before Him. This year as I prepare, He has brought me to chapters 10-18. And in His perfect love He warns His people again to return to Him, to repent, to leave their idols and return to their first love, encouraging them that there will be no longer be any delay in the harvest of what they have sown. He paints a picture where each man, woman and child will reap a harvest of their own deed seeds – if you will. The harvest will come from the seeds they have sown this year. Some will reap the bounty of His glorious grace, gifts, and glory obtained as they have sought Him to be enabled to be gracious, generous, and sacrificial in their relationships with others. Others though it saddens His heart will reap the very thing they have asked Him to give them only to realize that those longings leave them still feeling empty, sad, tormented and lonely. Knowing Him and being known by Him is the only thing that can fulfill those eternal longings of our heart cry.