Today’s Thoughts: Living through the San Diego Fires
But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” Isaiah 43:1-3
Many of us have been in situations where we have claimed to have had a spiritual intuition of an event, as if “someone greater than ourselves” was trying to tell us or warn us of something. We tend to understand what God was saying after the fact instead of before. We also know that hindsight has 20/20 vision. Why do we struggle to put all the pieces together before the events happen? Personally, I can quickly discern that God is speaking to me from the heavens but I am not as readily able to predict how that message will play out on earth. The San Diego fires were no different. God knew what was coming and He desired to speak to His people about them. Sadly, we learn to listen to others more than we listen to the Lord. We learn to appreciate those verses and promises we can claim for ourselves with little insight as to how God intends to accomplish His will. Let me explain:
Bobbye Brooks (my ministry partner) and I were invited to a church retreat a weekend in October 2007. Our hearts are to minister to women of all backgrounds so we appreciate the uniqueness of the churches that have asked us to come. It is amazing that although some of the churches bear the same names, they have completely different callings and comfort zones. At this church retreat, the worship leader felt free to ask the audience if anyone had a word of knowledge from the Lord. We were surprised that she opened up the room to allow the Lord to speak personally to the group through the women sitting there. I am very comfortable with the Lord leading me like this so I was not surprised when a passage of Scripture came to mind. I turned to Isaiah 43:1-3.
The room remained quiet as I showed Bobbye these verses. No one else had anything to share which made my heart pound harder, faster and louder to read these verses. I knew that the Lord wanted these verses alone to be shared. Just as I was about to read them aloud, the worship leader began playing the next song. To Bobbye’s and my amazement, the song that the worship leader played quoted the very same passage of Scripture in Isaiah. We knew that the Lord was getting our attention. God was speaking to us through the Scriptures. After the worship was over, Bobbye and I were next on the schedule to speak. Of course, we shared with the ladies the passage in Isaiah 43, knowing that 2 Corinthians13:1 says that “By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established.” Isaiah 43:1-3 was confirmed by two witnesses that God was speaking to us as a group. We did not realize the significance these verses would soon have. This was one of those times that we had ears to hear but it was difficult to discern if the message was literal or figurative. We all seemed to be content with believing that there are no coincidences with God and He uses people to speak and confirm His Words to others, through others. No one that I knew of, including myself, asked the Lord to clarify this message any further. In hindsight, we should have been asking, seeking and knocking to not only know His Word but to also know His Will. Why was He was giving these verses to us? Are the verses for our spiritual well being or are these verses God’s Will to be accomplished on earth as it is in heaven…today? The reason for the verses became perfectly clear as we headed down the mountain.
On Sunday morning, the Santa Ana winds were so strong we had difficulty packing up the car. Little did we know that Isaiah 43:2 was not only a promise but a prophecy that was about to be fulfilled that day in all of our lives. Heading down the mountain, we heard that the fires had begun. We were about to be evacuated from our homes because of the fires and some of us would literally be “walk[ing] through the fire” as Isaiah 43:2 clearly states. At one given time, there were eight fires destroying the County of San Diego. Because fire is no respecter of persons, no one knew whose house would be next and no one could predict the path the fires would take. But we did know that God cared and that God had warned us up on the mountain. His desire was for us to know that He was with us, that these fires did not surprise Him, and He did not want us to fear. God speaks to us to comfort us and to bring peace regardless of the circumstance. The problem today is not that God is not speaking but that we are not listening. God wants us to know. He reveals His plans to His servants (Amos 3:7). God is willing to speak but are we ready to listen?
Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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