During the past couple of months, I have made an ongoing, concerted effort to function from a platform of peace and not allow myself to be tormented by the prevailing atmosphere of anxiety that has been threatening to overwhelm our nation and even our world. Resting in God’s Presence to drink in His peace takes WORK, particularly when the tide of sorrow and suffering is rising around us. (Resting in peace certainly does NOT mean I am lying around in a bathrobe popping chocolates in my mouth!) Dwelling in His peace entails a serious examination of my thought life and heart attitudes, combined with a willingness to allow the Holy Spirit to correct and re-align my mind and heart to agree with His Word and character. More often than not, this process is exhausting and messy!
On Friday, May 29, I happened to be on the phone for a regularly scheduled prayer call. Toward the end of the brief call, I felt strongly prompted to pray a release over the things and people for whom we had been praying. This sense of release also applied, I felt, to some personal concerns of those on the call (including my own needs). I felt a strong impetus to speak the release of the Lord for those people and circumstances from specific hindrances and into the future the Lord would appoint for them. It was not a lengthy prayer, and the call concluded with additional prayers and mutual encouragement from the others on the line.
The fact that we were in the midst of the Feast of Shavuot (Pentecost) was not lost on me. In fact, the Lord promised His disciples that, if they WAITED for the promise of the Father, they would be immersed in the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4-5). He also informed them that they would receive power from this experience — power to be His witnesses even beyond their regular circles of influence (Acts 1:8). They waited, not knowing when this (probably strange-sounding) promise would be fulfilled. Suddenly, when the Feast of Shavuot arrived, what had been promised came to pass in the form of a mighty wind of God’s empowering Presence (see Acts 2). That experience became the ignition and fuel for Peter’s famous testimony that released thousands into an encounter with the truth and power of the Gospel.
We are always released FROM something INTO something else. The timing is of pivotal importance, as the wrong timing can lead to disastrous results. For example, oddly enough, the Spacex launch that had been planned for May 27 was delayed at the last moment, as conditions were not optimal for a successful launch. Instead, the fabled craft was launched a couple of days later (the final day of the Feast of Shavuot!).
Without any intention to assert that anyone deliberately delayed the timetable to ensure the launch could happen during Shavuot, the coincidence strikes me as interesting, as the Lord often uses physical examples to illustrate spiritual principles. In this, case, the prayer of release I felt prompted to utter on that very ordinary Friday morning proved significant on several levels. First, the next morning I learned of an unexpected but specific answer to one of the items for which we had prayed, and it struck me that this breakthrough was a clear response to the Pentecost prayer of the previous day. Over the course of the next two days, multiple other releases came to pass (some of which had been “back burner” prayer requests over the course of several months!).
Meanwhile, I discovered later that day that the Spacex had finally been gloriously launched. As I pondered the intricate and mind-boggling design of the equipment that powered the release of that massive spacecraft from the launch pad and propelled it into space, I saw a picture of the principle of release — God’s power to release us FROM things that restrain us (our past, our sin, our pain, or even roles we have outgrown) and INTO new realms of experiences and new vantage points.
How glorious He is! May the shaking we currently experience remind us of an impending “launch” and fill us all with holy expectation instead of fear, and may we experience release from hindrances and into His promises, in Jesus’ Name!