During my recent trip to Smoky Mountains National Park, we were driving along a winding road, when suddenly we came to a halt. Vehicles were stopped along the road in both directions. People were hanging out of windows with binoculars and cameras. Everyone was pointing upward and signaling one another that there was something “to see”.
When we inched our way up to the focal area, I looked up and saw a bear cub resting high on a tree limb. It was thrilling to see this little guy in his natural habitat. Like everyone else, we took a moment to get a picture, then drove off, talking about our exciting bear sighting.
As the night went on, I sensed a nudging from the Holy Spirit. I discerned He desired to speak to me (He often uses natural experiences to teach me spiritual things). The following morning, I got up early to sit and listen. Here’s my account of what I heard the Lord speaking:
“ My people are satisfied to gaze upon Me from afar. They want a God who delights in showing them all of His beauty but they do not want Me to expose the areas of their hearts that keep them from knowing Me. When my people come face-to-face with Me, there is exposure but with that comes illumination of My love for them. Vulnerability, repentance and humility open the door to kingdom treasures. Everyone wants to “see” Me but few want to know Me. Tell them to seek first My heart, desiring what I want, that I may release the mysteries of the Kingdom and manifest My glory”.
Let’s come to the throne of grace and let the Spirit expose and illuminate so His glory can manifest.
“Sing, O barren one who did not bear; burst into song and shout, you who have not been in labor! For the children of the desolate woman will be more than the children of her that is married, says the Lord. Enlarge the site of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes. For you will spread out to the right and to the left, and your descendants will possess the nations and will settle the desolate towns. Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; do not be discouraged, for you will not suffer disgrace; for you will forget the shame of your youth, and the disgrace of your widowhood you will remember no more. For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name; the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called.”
Isaiah 54:1-5 NRSV