Occupy till I come...(Luke 19:13), by Deborah Kirby
Occupy till I come...(Luke 19:13)

Occupy till I come...(Luke 19:13)

Could He have said it any more plan? "Occupy till I come."

Occupy 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!"

One 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!)

Needless 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!

Well, soon 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.

One 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.....

After 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 physical.

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 stay.

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!

Occupying is 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 -----

Blessings,
Deborah

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.

 


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