Occupy till I come...(Luke 19:13)
Could He have said it any more plan? "Occupy till I come."
is a "power" verb to me. It implies standing one's ground against a
force that would seek to displace. It brings my thoughts back to a time
when I wrestled the Lord over moving or not moving.
You see, in
truth, there was a time when I whole-heartily despised living where we
do. We live on a visually 'nice street', but the issue that tried me to
the bone is that these 'nice homes' were and are inhabited by lost
people who party loud and furious! I use to pray, "Lord, move us, move
them, or change me, or change them, but something has got to change!"
morning, several years ago, the Lord slowly woke me. As I lay there in
the bed, a vision unfolded. My eyes were closed, but I became aware
that my physical head took on the shape and function of the top part of
a lighthouse. Where my eyes would have been located, the light to the
lighthouse went round and round about my head, flashing out its
warning. The Lord spoke, "You are a lighthouse to people..... a warning
to pending danger."
I am just going to be real with you for a
moment. As great as that sounds, I wasn't too thrilled, especially in
light of my 'neighbors'. After all, they had kept me up for one too
many nights partying like there was not going to be a tomorrow. "Warn
them," I thought, "just let them crash!" I am sorry to say this is
exactly what my immediate thought was.
"Love thy enemy" is a
TALL TALL order when the rubber meets the road! And yes, I confess I
have "John" tendencies --- just pray down fire and burn them up!
(Rarely a day goes by when I don't thank the Lord that I am not Father
and that HE is LONG SUFFERING and PATIENT!)
to say, I spent A LOT of time on my knees crying out for forgiveness
over my bad attitude and hard-heart. Aren't you glad He promised to
remove the heart of stone and replace it?! I am!
after, the Lord began having me "prayer walk" up and down the street. I
obediently walked - but praying in the Spirit because alas I had no
human words of care, concern, or love to convey before the throne...
none. They had simply pushed beyond my threshold of tolerance.
neighbor, I recall, had a birthday and threw a big party. There must
have been 30 -35 people in their front yard alone. As the night wore
on, they became so profoundly drunk, the "guest of honor" was screaming
straight up into the midnight sky. And to make matters that much more
vexing to me -- it was my birthday too -- I kid you not!! (When the
Lord places His finger on an issue in one's life -- don't you know He graciously (mildly
sarcastic here) brings ALL the elements together just so, such that it
either makes or breaks you!!) I thought about taping her and showing
her the next day just how she looked celebrating 'her day' while train
wrecking mine! But I chose the "high road" and didn't.
Anyway, I fear I digress from my point.....
prayer walking for months, my heart truly changed. One day as I was
walking, the Lord asked me, "What would it be like to actually move?"
It stopped me dead in my tracks. I remember standing there on the
street, looking at the houses on my street as no longer just houses --
but picturing the faces inside those houses. I was startled to realize
my countenance actually grew sad as I pondered the scope of moving. I
had to acknowledge something had shifted both in the Spirit and in the
The day my husband and I made the decision to stay and
add on to our home is a day I will never forget. Immediately we both
knew it was the right decision. Such peace fell upon us as we made the
choice to own -- truly own -- what He had entrusted to us. He was
trusting us not to bail on Him until He released us. Our house no
longer is something we wish to unload and flee from. No, it has become
our home. I sensed, in the Spirit, roots push down deeper into the soil
this house sits upon the moment we bowed the knee to His will for us to
He never promised us a bed of roses in life. Following Him
is often times stretching, painful, and challenging. But if our heart
is positioned to lay down our will and obey --regardless of our own
emotions -- our heart is transformed through the process and what was
once a burden, becomes a delight.
Do I "fellowship" with my
neighbors now? No. But I certainly see in the Spirit that that day is
approaching. The one who was screaming up in the sky and causing my
blood to boil on my birthday ----- well, He showed me a vision of us
exercising together -- running side by side -- and laughing as we ran.
Can't see that in the natural just yet -- but if you had asked me a
year ago if I would still be here --- I couldn't have seen that either!
All things are possible through Him! All things!
tough -- especially knowing we are just passing through this world and
evil does their best to "displace" us and keep us ineffective. But we
are to make a difference through the action of occupying. If we had
bolted off this street, it would have been left in darkness for there
use to be not another single Christian on it. Not one! Since this all
began five or so years ago, He has moved in "reinforcements" and I am
gradually seeing Him "weeding out" those that perhaps have no desire to
know Him as Savior. But those that remain -- well, they are my
potential brothers and sisters in Christ -- and I must treat them as
such-- no, I DESIRE to treat them as such!
We are still known as the "Jesus freaks" -- but at least we know the lighthouse is burning bright -- right?!
So, where ever the Lord has you 'planted' for now -- I encourage you to occupy the space as Kingdom property of the Most High --- be a lighthouse --- and together we will make a difference to those looking -----
I am first and foremost a daughter of the Most High. He has blessed me
with three maturing children, ages 12 years old through 7 years old,
and a Christian husband who is my best friend. I spend my days home
schooling my children, tending the 'home front', exploring God's Word,
and lifting up my fellow sisters in Christ.
I have a tremendous appetite for the Lord's Word and a desire to know
Him to deep depths. As for my fellow sisters in the Lord, I have a
passion to see them walking out their destinies in Christ. In all
things, Give Him Praise!
You can visit Deborah at www.joyinthemorning.com.