Tuesday, April 11, 2017, 4:50 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Seek the Lord.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Zechariah 11 (quoting vv. 1-3 ESV).
Open your doors, O Lebanon,
that the fire may devour your cedars!
Wail, O cypress, for the cedar has fallen,
for the glorious trees are ruined!
Wail, oaks of Bashan,
for the thick forest has been felled!
The sound of the wail of the shepherds,
for their glory is ruined!
The sound of the roar of the lions,
for the thicket of the Jordan is ruined!
In June of 2006, when the Lord began in me this writing ministry he had for me, I believe he had me see on the news one morning that a very large and stately tree near the White House had toppled over during a storm. The next two paragraphs here are taken from my journal entry from that morning:
“The tree had evidently been planted during Teddy Roosevelt’s term of office (100 years ago). Fox news reported that they did not understand what caused the tree to just topple over. I sensed God telling me that this was a sign of what was going to happen to our nation; our government. I also saw on the news during that short period of time yesterday morning how vast the wildfires are out west, killing over 100,000 acres of greenery. Then, I turned the news off, prayed and read the word. I read where I had last left off in my reading,” which began with this passage in Zechariah 11.
“I believe God was showing me that our nation, our government, our economy, and our leaders are about to fall, just like that tree, and that our people and land will be destroyed just like those fires – “the threat of judgment and disaster for both land and people.” And, all this is going to happen because of the pride and the power and arrogance of our nation and its leaders. This is not the only reason for the judgment of God, but it is what the Lord is showing me right now” (1).
The Side Walk
And, God is giving me a similar message this morning, on April 11, 2017. The picture (illustration) he gave me this morning was that of a sidewalk which is being constructed in the front parking lot of the high-rise apartment complex, of which my husband and I are residents. What we learned from those who were pouring the concrete for this sidewalk is that, at the end of the sidewalk, they are going to construct a handicap ramp for people in wheelchairs to get on and off the sidewalk. And, at the end of the ramp will be a crosswalk for people to go across the driveway which heads to the back of the building. The crosswalk, nonetheless, will lead them to go to the front of the building, to the main entrance. At least, that is how I understood it.
The picture the Lord was giving me through this illustration was that of a rich man, who lives (lifestyle) in a high-rise complex. The word “high” means “elevated, lofty, superior, haughty, arrogant and proud.” To rise means to increase or to intensify, so the feeling here is that his pride and arrogance are rising (escalating). And, a complex can be his hang-up, fixation, or obsession. Or, it can be “a group of repressed desires and memories that exerts a dominating influence upon the personality” or “an exaggerated reaction to or preoccupation with a subject or situation” (M-W Dictionary). So, his pride is influencing his personality, his behaviors and his reactions.
I also saw that the sidewalk represents his life. In this case, the Lord had me separate the words “side” and “walk.” Our walk has to do with how we live our lives every day in our thoughts, attitudes, values, words, and actions. And, “side” gives the sense of something not on the path, or not central. It can have to do with having someone else on the side, like an extra-marital relationship, or to behave in a morally questionable manner, or something separate from what is the main focal point, which is Jesus Christ and his gospel. It can also mean crooked, twisted, disorderly or not straight. And, straight means honest, above-board, upright, unadulterated and pure.
The sidewalk was constructed of concrete or cement, which has to do with fortifying, strengthening, reinforcing and existing presently. Cement is also a mixture of various elements (not pure; adulterated). So, the picture I was getting here was of a man, symbolic of our nation or of our government (or both), as a whole, on average, though not including everyone. The man is walking (in lifestyle) separate from the straight and narrow path God has for us, and, instead, has fallen or has wandered off to the side. He is not honest or above-board. He is disorderly, twisted and crooked, and he is impure, not trustworthy, and is mixed with the world (adulterated). And, this is existing presently and is firmly fixed (reinforced, fortified) in his life. He is enslaved.
The Ramp and the Crosswalk
Then, I gave thought to the handicap ramp and the crosswalk. This ramp has not yet been constructed. A ramp has to do with an increase or a decrease, especially quickly, which could well fit with the rise and fall of nations. Since this ramp was at the end of the sidewalk, the sense was that it was to lead down to the crosswalk. “The end” often brings with it the sense of the end of time, which is what this passage in Zechariah 11 appears to point to. And, since the ramp was to lead someone down and off the sidewalk, it appears it represents some kind of decline, like a financial recession or the fall of our nation and its leaders, which we know is coming.
The word handicap is defined as “a disadvantage that makes progress or success difficult.” I believe this has to do with this “side walk,” in which the person is caught in a web of sin and deception and can’t get out. It is cemented into his life, and he can’t find his way – the right way. And, so God has made a way out, and that is through the cross of Christ. Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By faith in him we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are resurrected with him to newness of life, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Jesus provided the way through his shed blood for us to be delivered out of our bondage (addiction) to sin, so that we now walk in his righteousness.
Yet, so many Christians (or professing Christians) in America, in particular, are not taking the way out. So many people of the world are also not responding to the true gospel message, and I believe that largely has to do with the fact that the church in America, overall, though not all gatherings, are walking on this “side walk” and they have gotten off the straight and narrow path and are getting caught up in the world and are following after the values and ways of the world – immorality, adultery, witchcraft, sexual deviancy, lying, cheating, hate and an obsession with entertainment. And, so they are not teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, but a man-made version intended to tickle itching ears with feel-good messages meant to soothe people’s consciences so that they don’t feel guilty about their sin.
So, God is going to provide this “ramp,” which is a judgment on our nation, and it is the downfall of our nation, in order to make the way for those who have gotten off the straight and narrow path to take the “crosswalk” back to the front, i.e. to the beginning. The crosswalk, is the way of the cross, i.e. it is death to sin and living to righteousness, which is why Jesus died for our sins. It leads us across the way (from one side to the other of the road) which takes us to the back (a returning to or still stuck in our past sins). And it leads us to the beginning, where we started with Christ, or to where man began with God, i.e. to the main (through Christ) entrance. In other words, this is about revival, but it is also the gospel of our salvation from sin.
So, God is calling out to his church which has gotten off the right path and which is on this “side walk,” and he is calling her to turn from her wicked ways and to return to her Lord to follow him in truth and in righteousness.
Seek the Lord / An Original Work / July 20, 2012
Based off Isaiah 55
“Come to Me all you who thirst; come to waters.
Listen to Me, and eat what’s good today,
And your soul will delight in richest of fare.
Give ear to Me, and you will live.
I have made an eternal covenant with you.
Wash in the blood of the Lamb.”
Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him.
Let the wicked forsake his way, in truth.
Let him turn to the Lord, and he will receive mercy.
Freely, God pardons him.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,”
declares the Lord, our God.
“My word that goes out of My mouth is truthful.
It will not return to Me unfulfilled.
My word will accomplish all that I desire,
And achieve the goal I intend.
You will go in joy, and be led forth in peace.
The mountains will burst into song… before you,
And all of the trees clap their hands.”
(1) A previous writing on this passage of scripture from 2006: https://cfservant.wordpress.com/2017/04/11/the-pride-of-the-nations-will-fall/