It was a while back when I began to see a theme woven into everything I heard the Lord telling me during my morning quiet times. It seemed as though he was emphasizing a principle of opposites. The first shall be last, and the last shall be first. The humble will be exalted, and the proud will be humbled. We are at war, not with flesh and blood, but with powers and principalities. It is a spiritual battle, and there is an opposite and greater spirit to combat what is oppressing us. With all this in mind, I began to ponder what God was trying to tell me. The fact is, God can receive the greatest amount of glory from our mindset when He achieves the opposite of what we have come to expect.
If you have read our testimony in the “About Us” section, you’ll know that I grew up with a very grave struggle. Where I had come to accept that I was less of a man, God parted the waters for me, led me through, and proved to me that I was actually more of a man. The principle is that simple. But it’s that difficult to grasp.
God brought about a huge revelation to me in January of this year with the quintessential New Years verse:
For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
Isaiah 43:19, NLT
Usually we stop there for the great expectations of all the new things God will do in the new year. This year, however, God prompted me to read on.
I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
Isaiah 43:20, NLT
I was immediately reminded that some of the greatest events in the Old Testament include the parting of the Red Sea and the wandering of the Israelites in the dry wilderness. But here in the new thing, God is making a pathway through the wilderness instead of through the chaotic waters. Here He is creating rivers in the dry land instead of cutting dry land out of the sea. He is doing an opposite thing!
As I write this, we are approaching one of my favorite holidays. Ah, who am I kidding, the holiday I am currently celebrating is my favorite holiday because I love celebrations. I was raised in a family dedicated to tradition, and believe it or not, I married into a family even more so. To make life even sweeter, Megan and I have adopted Jewish holidays as our own as well. And why not? After all, we are adopted Jews, right?
As the country anticipates Easter morning, we have already been celebrating Passover with family prayer gatherings and a Seder in place of our weekly Shabbat. Matzah and charoset, feasts and wine. And then we would usually continue on into Easter morning dressing up in our nice clothes, going to church, taking pictures enough to fill an entire album. We would usually meet friends and family and gather for more feasting of roast beef and lamb and send the little ones out on an egg hunt. We celebrate!
Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who has given to us holidays, customs, and seasons of happiness, for the glory of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, the Light of the world.
We are celebrating the Passover, the Feast of Freedom, the commemoration of the night the death angel passed over the faithful. The commemoration of the time that God turned the Children of Israel from slaves into free men. Slavery to freedom. He did an opposite thing in one mighty act.
But this year we will have to do things differently. We won’t be seeing our families face to face. We won’t be worshipping corporately in a building, though the Church has not been diminished. And we won’t be eating roast lamb. But we will still be celebrating, and perhaps we will have even more to celebrate once this is all said and done. We are experiencing an unprecedented time, something that nobody alive on this earth has ever experienced. There is probably not a person on the face of the earth who has not heard of the Coronavirus, and if they have not suffered from the virus itself, they have been locked down in their homes with everyone else in the world.
During this time of many unknowns where the world is in flux and many are living in fear, I have begun to notice some things. Families are together. They are eating dinners around the table and going on walks and getting exercise. Siblings are forced to realize they are and have always been very best friends. Churches are still gathering in force, some streaming services and many gathering in virtual meeting rooms. We have begun to value the important things like extended family members and friends we have come to take for granted. We are acting responsibly to ration our supplies and food, though in this house we call it savoring. We are valuing life more than death.
Who would have thought it would take a virus to heal us? Instead of infecting us, it appears to be healing us. There’s that principle of opposites again. What the enemy meant for evil, God meant for good. And let’s not even mention the corruption in our country and across the globe that is getting exposed through all this. The altars and poles are being torn down as we speak.
All during the midst of a global pandemic.
I have great expectations for this pivotal time in space and history. You see, I am pressing in for the opposite of what I have come to expect…and in many cases have come to accept. I am praying that those that are in slavery will be set free. I am praying for the lost to be found and the sick to be healed. I am praying that this virus will pass over us all for the greatest Passover in history. And I’m not just praying for this, I’m expecting it. After all, God showed me in no uncertain terms that he was doing something new, and not only that…but opposite of what has come to be.
If this post finds you fearful or anxious, hurting or sick, or missing your loved ones…I invite you to press in to the awesome power of God who can, in one breath, insert life into a dying world. Who can part waters into dry pathways and send springs of water into the dry wastelands. Who can speak, and in one sentence dispel darkness with light.
…forget all that–it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.
Isaiah 40:18, NLT
Happy Easter, everyone. May you feel the presence of the Lord in the…opposite…you have ever felt Him before.