Monday, November 28, 2011

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

This was written by a dear friend. I have her permission to post it, but I didn't think to ask if I should reveal her name. Oh well, for now she will remain anonymous until I contact her again.
Follow the Yellow Brick Road
Passage Jeremiah 29:10-13:

10 For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.
11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.
13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

We find here what may seem like a peculiar situation for the children of Israel. The chosen of the Almighty have found themselves captives in a heathen nation. Not only have the people been taken captive, but the leaders of their religious system of worship have been taken captive. (Jeremiah 29:1). The elders, the priests and the prophets. Those who stood as the very voice of God to the people found themselves imprisoned with the people.

Now we know that Babylon is representative of confusion (Genesis 11:1-9) – and confused Israel must have been. In many times past they had rebelled against God, repented and God had acted swiftly on their behalf. Rescue always seemed to come from the heavens for this people. This time, however, everything is on lock. The doors of the church are no longer open, and the Word comes to say don’t even believe your prophets (Jeremiah 29:8). For your prophets will come to you with a word of comfort that has not come from MY mouth, but from theirs! Verse 10 plainly declares, that it would be seventy years, a lifetime in our modern day estimation, before the captors bands would be broken. Through the lips of the prophet Jeremiah God says to Israel, “Get comfortable. You are going to be in this land called confusion for awhile.” (Jeremiah 29:5-7)

To the natural eye this seems counterproductive. It makes little sense for God to withhold His power to deliver, and allow His children to languish in confusion and chaos, and even instruct them to pray for the land that holds them prisoner. You see Israel had been caught up in the whirlwind of repercussions associated with their continuously rebellious behavior. They remind me of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. For those of you who have not seen the movie, allow me to share with you how this temperamental teenager finds herself worlds away from home.

Dorothy has decided that no one at home truly appreciates her or her dog Toto, and she runs away. It is while she is running that she encounters a wise old man who sends her back home. He tells her how good her family is and how lucky she is to have them. We have all had that experience – that moment right before we mess up, take that drink, go to that club, etc – when the phone rings and it is Momma, Granma or First Lady calling just to talk about the goodness of Jesus. Dorothy immediately starts home. You see, she has transitioned from doing what was wrong to doing what is right. However, her transition does not prohibit the storm that is on the way. See there was a yellow bricked road that God had for Dorothy to travel, and no amount of wise counsel could stop what God had already put in motion. But faith in the goodness and mercy of God comforts us, as we know that His ultimate plan is always to prosper us. Regardless of how the facts and figures add up to all negatives right now, His plan is your prosperity.

Now we may struggle to understand why He would send a storm Dorothy’s way. After all, she had repented, and turned and was on her way back home – much like the prodigal son had done. (Luke 15:11-31). But Dorothy’s transformation was in the journey; she had to take the yellow brick road. So, as that house began to twirl and things in her life grew out of control; as she found herself in a city that confused her – shattered her very perception of all that was right – God had her exactly where He wanted her! See it would take those 70 years in Babylon for there to be a Daniel in the Lion’s Den (Daniel 6:10-23) and a Shadrach, Meshach and Abendago in the fiery furnace (Daniel 3:19-30). In the midst of the city called confusion God was making His glory known. God was pulling out of these heroes of faith what He had placed in them from the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4-6) for such a time as this. He was changing a king’s heart, and preparing the way (through the display of His power) to deliver His chosen people.

But before the book of Daniel, there was the prophecy of Jeremiah. The prophet said to Israel, settle down in this city called confusion. I know it looks backwards. I know that scarecrows don’t talk where you come from and lions don’t cry, and there is definitely no use for a rusty old tin man. But just take the journey with me Dorothy. I know that they told you to follow this road to a city called Oz and find a man they call a Wizard. I realize that you are looking to his greatness to get you back home. But I am going to show you – along this yellow brick road – that the Power and the Greatness is already on you, and once you believe it and receive it, it will get in you. And when that POWER gets in you… then you can have the desires of your heart. You will witness those things being manifested before your face, and it will be undeniably the POWER of God working through the Power of His chosen vessel.

The Wizard of Oz wasn’t at the end of that yellow brick road – revelation was at the end of that yellow brick road. And I used the storm, the confusion, the longing, the hurt, the despair, the captivity to reveal to you the ME that I have placed in you. I know that you have been tossed and probably injured in the fall, but rise up, dust yourself off, click your heels together and let your Father know that you realize that your captivity has ended and home is wherever He sends you… Amen!

November 27, 2011

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