Are You Called?
Ever have an idea or vision that returns to you even if you’ve tossed the notion away? Has your spirit longed for something to the point of aching, an inner stirring, a restlessness, yet there are things present in your life that seem to block a single step forward? Maybe because of circumstances, you’ve accepted your current situation, tried to settle and forget about the vision and scrape it off the table, but the idea keeps coming back and coming back. Either by a subtle reminder, a tap on the shoulder, or a persistent nagging, recurring theme, or spurring revival of imagination and desire. Maybe the vision is huge, crazy, preposterous, or impossible. Perhaps that longing in your spirit is the prophetic call of the Lord on your life, awaiting fulfillment. Longing is our heart crying out for God and his purposes. And God does nothing half-baked. Sometimes we have to endure the process of his putting a unique assembly of ingredients together, kneading and shaping of the dough, waiting for the yeast to rise, and baking—not to perfection, rather, to the perfect time of readiness. This is us as we are put together, pressed and worked, to rise above, and bide our time in his kiln for the feast.
You’re called to a particular vision, a specific spiritual task if, after you’ve perceived it, you let it go, but it doesn’t let go of you. And you’re just peculiar, crazy, or credulous enough to believe in the vision, even if it seems impossible. God gets all the glory when it’s something only God can do. Even those who have been quiet and painstakingly baking, the Holy Spirit is calling you out of the shadows into the season of no more delay. Because in our minds, we can think things are delayed, but God is never late. At some point, by the Lord’s directive, our anticipated tomorrow will be today. From restless me to restless you, “Are you called, too?”
Ever feel marginalized? Treated as insignificant, or circumstances out of your control have made it seem as if you’re on the outside looking in? In some cases, maybe you’re on the inside looking out!
Sometimes we can make a change, but sometimes we are truly stuck. And to get unstuck, we are depending on Jehovah Mefalti (the Lord our Deliverer), or Jehovah Jireh (the Lord our Provider), and always Jehovah Ezer (the Lord our Helper). If you’re promised something (that deliverance maybe), yet nothing changes, and you watch as change is happening for others around you… Well, a specific story comes to mind.
In John 6:5-13, from five small barley loaves and two small fish, Jesus fed a crowd of five thousand as the food miraculously multiplied until all were full. Then he instructed his disciples to gather up the leftovers so that nothing was lost. They filled twelve baskets with leftovers! The point is, God gives plentifully, and nothing is ever wasted. If he does this with loaves and fish to satisfy his people, how much more of his people will not be lost? Even things we think are a waste in our lives or have come to nil. They will become something useful, valuable, because we are valuable. More valuable than a helping of carbs, protein and omega-3 fatty acids—as welcome as that kind of nourishment is to hungry bodies. We, his children, are the apple of his eye. High purposes and joy are ours. Where we get mixed up sometimes is in our timing/patience.
If you have ever felt like a micro-island of eroding sand, watching the various watercraft pass you by for their places to go and people to see, and you feel forgotten, isolated, stranded, stuck in stagnation. Just remember that Jesus is the central Spring of Living Water, the source from which to draw your strength. Like with the loaves and fish, the Spring gives plentifully; in fact, it never runs dry, and nothing is ever wasted. So repeat those trips to the Water for those refills to keep believing, keep hoping.
Parched? Stuck? On the sidelines?
The Spring! The Spring! The Spring!
All things in his time, my friend.
I have this relationship with the sky. When I wake up first thing, I grab a cup of coffee, step outside, glance up into its face and ask, “Well, what would you like to do today?” And whether the answer is filled with clarity, clouds, storms, or stillness, I make it a point to add, “This day belongs to you, Lord.” It has become a habit, this daily dedication. No matter what, come what may; in good times, bad times (you know I’ve had my share 🎶), there is no other name under heaven than Yeshua.
I’m a seer yet can’t seem to see what’s directly ahead of me right now (the irony). Other than a few significant dreams—about ships and clocks, specific people and cultures—I have no idea what God is doing. Yet, for some reason, I can glimpse up at the expansive sky and find reassurance, a reminder that HE’S got this day, and every day is in his hands. Instead of analyzing or fretting, I can rest in his presence, trust in faith, albeit blind faith sometimes.
As I was out visiting my horse, pondering the meaningful metaphors of the sky, I looked upward when my favorite Mr. Heron made a sudden appearance, changed direction and flew right over my head. I watched the stoic air-traveler meld into the horizon. I then drew a big breath—because I think I’d stopped breathing for a second there—and exhaled with pleasure. Then last night when I greeted the full moon, I acknowledged and appreciated its reflection of the cross.
Yeah, the sky inspires me. It is ever-present yet full of surprises. Just like my God who created the lovely, larger-than-me-and-my-issues, hope-filled sky. This day belongs to him.
Oceans of Grace
On my shoulder, I feel… tap, tap… the prodding of the Holy Spirit, along with the words, “The time is 0400 in Davao.”
Oookaaay. I’m perplexed. I also have to look up as a refresher what 0400 means, as I don’t operate on so-called military time. As a courtesy, if you’re like me, that means 4 AM, lol.
Other cities and times are given to me over weeks, maybe months now, at different spots in my days. Even a waking in the middle of the night, I hear, “The time is 12:39 PM in Dubai.” Appreciating better the civilian time, I glance at the clock and had already grown accustomed to looking it up, as if I still needed confirmation. It was indeed 12:39 at that instance in Dubai.
I’m an intercessor and requests of the Lord can be unusual. At first, I wondered what this was about. Then I realized these were all port cities. I asked if God wanted me to pray for these cities; did it have to do with territories, spiritual dominion, what? Then I saw in my mind’s eye distinct lines across blue. These were shipping routes. I began praying, and it led to praying for not just the shipping industry or routes themselves, more so, who works at sea. In some instances, what I was experiencing in “stepping into the shoes of another” so to speak, was rather tangible. And it wasn’t like intense spiritual warfare. This was more like prayers for edification, encouragement, a building-up of the human heart and soul.
Dates are important, and for some reason here, so are clocks. Over the past year, the Lord has taken me into three-month seasonal increments with themes. They are somehow connected, although my human eyes and reasoning cannot tie it all together (yet) but I’ve been through the wilderness, mountains, stretches of desert, and now it seems the ocean. This is my “Period of Rendering” I’ve been told, until Purim, anyway. Not sure I’ll fully know what rendering means, as there are so many definitions. But currently, images, visions, dreams seem to have much to do with the seas, ships, and nautical symbolism. It’s grown strong. Even in my prayer language, maritime terms have flown out of my mouth, including crew positions. I had to refresh my mind on, for instance, what a bosun is and does.
As I’m praying for others, the Lord is also working with me. Although I grew up in a fishing village where a lot of people were about boats and fishing, those in my immediate circle were not. And to say I’ve had a healthy fear of water is an understatement. It’s probably pretty unhealthy. I’ve watched movies like The Perfect Storm, All Is Lost, or Poseidon with abject horror—yet I can’t look away; it’s torture. I’m not a strong swimmer. The idea of cruising the ocean has filled me with dread. I’ve had a PTSD kayaking incident (rescue) in the Gulf Islands. And a recurring nightmare has plagued me most of my life where I’m trapped in a sinking ship.
He’s reminded me that there was a time when he’d asked if I was willing to go to remote places on the earth to share his love for others, and I said yes. Decades ago, I served as a missionary all over the world with an amazing group of people who strove to preserve cultural wholeness rather than changing everybody up. We presented Jesus exactly as he is, a Semite who came for all people. We did cultural exchange programs—and I loved these—where I’d learn the local dances; I’d also teach my Jewish dances, and together we danced and celebrated the glory of God. But the recent reminder here hovered over locations. And willingness. There’s a joke among missionaries, “Yes, God, I’ll go and serve you; just don’t send me THERE.” And that’s usually where God sends you, the place you fear the most. Kind of like Jonah running from his mission to Nineveh then getting swallowed by a whale. As I was thinking about that, I remember when God had asked me to go to some pretty challenging and hard-to-reach places, ministering, joining arts and hearts, planting churches, delivering commodities. So many places, opportunities, tribes, and events.
So the Lord recently questioned me, “Tessa, if the ocean were a mission field and I asked you to go there… would you?”
I think over much of my life, the answer would have been no. Instead, I jumped and shouted, “Yes, Lord! Hineni!” Hineni is a Hebrew term that means much more than “Here I am!” It’s a serious way of giving yourself over to complete availability and total readiness. Wildly abandoned to God’s will. In other words, if you say it; you’d better mean it. And I do.
Water is often symbolic in the spiritual sense of expanding and moving, cleansing and flowing. The important thing is being ready for anything. And trusting wholeheartedly. And this is where God is working on my fear. I was surprised at my emphatic answer. But then I realized, I’m mentally at a place in life where I could give up everything, leave everything and sail, if that’s what he wanted me to do. I know he has my life in his hands and I can face anything. For if he’s beside me, behind me, before me, and beyond me and the horizon, and even below me, then I’ll be all right. Not unlike a lot of people, I’m not void of snags and complicated circumstances that hinder a mission of picking up and leaving if this were literal. I wondered about those details when the Lord gave me a vision. I was holding two pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. The outline or frame of the puzzle was already laid-out. The Lord had all the rest of the pieces in his hands and he plopped them down within the frame, and suddenly the puzzle was done, pieces put together. I snapped in my two little pieces, and the Lord said to me, his little girl, “Good job! I’m so proud of you,” making me sweetly feel as if I completed the puzzle when he did it all. I took this to mean to not worry about the process or details or how things fit together; he’s got it all, whatever “it” is. Just focus on the big-picture result, and childlike-trust him.
I believe this year will be a revealing of mysteries and revelations. “He reveals deep and mysterious things and knows what lies hidden in darkness, though He is surrounded by light.” (Daniel 2:22). Things that are shifting or have been getting into position in the heavenlies will suddenly fit together in the natural. The weary will burst into rejoicing (hallelujah). And I hear the Lord say, “Thank Me. Thank Me for what I’ve already done.” I just have to interject here that I honestly don’t know why anybody would not want to pursue a Spirit-filled life. It’s spontaneous, meaningful, and exciting. As an intercessor, I sometimes get to live vicariously through someone else and what they do, someone for whom I’m praying.
Speaking of that, apparently, I’m still in the metaphorical maritime phase. Yesterday, the Lord again told me to get ready for my new assignment, and that my future is going to look nothing like my past. Then he said, “Suit up.”
I’m like, “Right on! It’s go-time! I’m ready—wait, did you just say ‘Suit up’?!”
… to be continued
“Unfathomable oceans of grace are in Christ for you. Dive and dive again, you will never come to the bottom of these depths.”—Robert Murray M'Cheyne
Dark King's Human Bride
Choices make destinies. Destinies can also change.
is a storyteller, and a transcript editor. She's also a Romans 8:28 kind of Jewish girl ...