Prediction Engine (Imminent Domain part 7)

“…and He will shew you things to come.” (John 15:13b)

This, I think, is the purest expression of the prophetic. While we need the Holy Spirit to do this–to show us things to come–the case could be made for our need for Him to show us what’s going on now.

“But Jesus called them unto Him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.” (Matthew 20:25)

So, the next verse is Jesus relating our need to be humble and be a servant. Inevitably, as you walk in this, and should you so desire, He will “lift you up”. One of the reasons God has us start at the bottom tier is for us to learn what leadership is. Jesus is the only one who gives complete freedom in spite of the fact that we’ve turned our entire lives over to Him. But this verse. The one cited refers to the hierarchy found in the world. And this structure is everywhere. From governments to schools to fast food chains. Jesus just put His finger on all of it. Look:

“He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that He might fill all things.” (Ephesians 4:10)

Okay, so that’s a broad proof-text. But I am a believer and this is what it boils down to. Another aspect to all this is that God the Father is in charge. Jesus did what He did at God’s behest and so things run smoothly. If you pan out and look at someone higher up, they know what’s going on in their sphere–more-or-less. Especially if they were promoted through the correct (read: ethical) channels.

“For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: He putteth down one, and setteth up another.” (Psalm 75:7)

The more time you spend where you’re at, waiting for God to do what is promised in the above, the more will you see patterns. If you don’t see any, ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes. Because I can guarantee you you notice stuff. And everything means something with God. Humbling ourselves under the “most high” will in turn show us what it means to lead and also what it means to serve. And as such, we will truly see what’s going on around us.

“I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:12-13)

In closing, one quick caveat. One can get so wrapped up in the minutiae of daily life that they forget God. As God is a living and active person with whom we must interact even as He moves us along, our attention must be directed back to Him even as He unveils details and reveals vistas about which we never had any idea were. It’s all a part of love.

“And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. But if any man love God, the same is known of Him.” (1 Corinthians 8:2)

Prophet and Loss (Imminent Domain part 6)

“But when Jesus knew it, He withdrew Himself from thence: and great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them all; And charged them that they should not make Him known: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esiaias the prophet, saying,” (Matthew 12:15-17)

Do you get this? The whole reason He had to do what He did is because not only had He healed a man on the Sabbath (!) but the fallout resulted in the Pharisees wanting to kill Him for it. From one extreme to the other. This is the prophecy from Isaiah, by the way:

A face in the crowd

“Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon Him: He shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause His voice to be heard in the street.” (Isaiah 42:1-2, emphasis mine)

Isaiah’s prophecy refers to the lack of strain Jesus would have to endure based on the fact that not only was the groundwork laid with John’s ministry and sacrifice but that He was God. Any struggle He faced as He walked with His Father was done so at His Father’s behest. And so, going forward, another connotation of the prophecy would be that Jesus didn’t have to tell you where He was going or what He was doing.

“The baptism of John, whence was it? from Heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From Heaven; He will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him? But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet. And they answered Jesus, and said, We cannot tell. And He said unto them, Neither tell you by what authority I do these things.” (Matthew 21:25-27)

Face value

Trust. Do we really believe that God is going to do what He told us? Whether it’s written in His word or something we want that flows in line with it, we must hang on. The broad stroke of “what things soever ye desire when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” (Mark 11:24) is like the fixed point on which we hang all our hopes for things we want from God that we cannot otherwise obtain. Think about what Jesus wanted. He wanted His Father’s will on one hand and His bride on the other. One is totally within our power. The other does the Father have to grant. It’s the same with us. Jesus had to die in order to receive His bride. But death always precedes resurrection. And dying to our wills and our wants will ensure God resurrects them with His power and purpose and life.

“I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me.” (Psalm 57:2)

Error Messages (Imminent Domain part 5)

“But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy…” (Acts 2:16-17a)

Eerie

“Then the Lord said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.” (Jeremiah 14:14)

That’s pretty serious. And it has nothing to do with “that which was spoken by the prophet Joel.” Not sure if anything like that is going on in the world today, I wouldn’t doubt it though. In Jeremiah’s time, when things were a lot rawer, it seems, than they are now, God called it like He saw it. The prophets, who, presumably were at one time right with God, had gotten so far off base that they had slipped in their inward vision of God. The gift with which they’d been blessed for the betterment of the people had been hijacked and was being used to spill lies to the rest of society. This, I think, is one of the reasons (and rightfully so) why you don’t encounter the spiritual gifts in operation like they were either in Old Testament times or in the Christian church during the time of Paul. Because we’re afraid of letting in something that is deceptive and clearly not from Heaven. I mean, if it wasn’t from God’s heart and mind, from where else could it have sprung? God says “a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.” So here it looks like it was colored by their own carnal nature. But spiritual emanations and utterances are from one camp or another. White or black.

The events of the Old Testament speak to the deep level of what’s always been going on in God’s program. This is why it’s good to trudge through them. They may be dry but there’s more going on than we know. The overarching and underlying themes will the Holy Spirit tag and intimate to your memory when you find yourself going through a similar situation. The time, place and epoch are altogether different–radically so. But the main ingredients are the same. God, the devil, people. Lies, truth, etc. Let the Holy Spirit show you what’s what.

Eyrie

“Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.” (Hebrews 2:1)

Consider this image that Jesus gives us. “And they answered and said unto Him, Where, Lord? And He said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.” (Luke 17:37) He’s talking about the Second Coming. Arguably the most intense event to happen in millenia. Where the spiritual will break through the physical leaving no reason for questioning the validity or existence of anything spiritual at all. Rewind a bit to what He’s saying though and think about what an eagle is made for. To soar. Its vision is perfect. It can stare into the sun. Yet what are they doing? They’re hanging around the body–“the carcase” as it’s translated in Mark’s gospel (24:28). Presumably He’s referring to His own, I’m not sure. What I see it symbolising is those who have endeavored to lay down their gifts and brood over Jesus. To ensure that, in spite of the radically awesome nature of the gift of flight and vision and tenacity, they remain “pressed in” to Jesus. Because, cliched as it may sound, He’s where “it’s at”. And so, from that, to this:

“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

Error

“For the Lord spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. Sanctify the Lord of hosts Himself; and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread.” (Isaiah 8:11-13)

I’m not seeking to put the kibosh on prophecy (or any of the spiritual gifts: tongues, healing, visions/dreams, etc.). What I am seeking to express is the utmost importance of receiving one’s validation, not from the gifts, but from Jesus Himself. Yes, “A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.” (Proverbs 18:17) This is a maxim. And so we have the next verse: “He that is first in his own cause seemeth just; but his neighbour cometh and searcheth him.” God gives the gift and it’ll happen of it’s own accord. Your gift, whatever it may be, will work. But the only way it’ll work as it was intended is for you to stay focused on Jesus. Look into the sun. You can do it, you have that ability as one of God’s kids. And He’ll be sure and shine through your gift to bless the body of Christ.

And thank God we have each other to keep us on the straight and narrow.

Under God’s Shadow (Imminent Domain part 4)

Seriously

“Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. And the spirits of the prophets are subject unto the prophets.” (1 Corinthians 14:29-32)

There’s a lot to this to be sure. Look at it all in the light of the last verse, though. The spirits of the prophets are subject to them. Verrry important.

I find that the baseline way of looking at life is that it’s a gift from God. Life itself: the greatest gift that God gives. One should never get beyond this substrate and undergirding fact. God did not have to create me. Had I not been created, I would not have the privelege of knowing God’s saving grace, either. What I’m seeking to do here, is shed the same light on all things that go on in the church. And as we all are taking part in this grand experiment of salvation, it behooves us to remain humble in order that no one be lifted up in pride based on a gift that is being…how can I say this, brandished. God wants to speak through His church, the Body of Christ. I find that a lot of the outlying and underused gifts of the Spirit are neglected because of the lack of humility in those who don’t see that they’re called to surrender that gift to see it’s used to build up and not make someone else envious. Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” was given (quote, unquote) to him. “Lest I should be exalted above measure.” (2 Corinthians 12:7) When God shows you how lost you’d be without Him and His circumspection, anything resembling a “thorn in the flesh” should indeed be looked upon as a gift, stark as it may sound. Because when something as powerful as a prophecy is uttered by someone who has not taken the time to humble themselves as unto the Lord, they necessarily color the prophetic word with an ungodly tint. And it’s that very thing that will prevent it from speaking to the heart of any and everyone who hears it, regardless of station or standing before the Lord.

“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” (Philippians 2:3)

Susurrously

“And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:11-13)

Till we all come in the unity of the faith…

Here, Paul is making a casting call. Calling out places and roles. And, he says, it’s for one reason. To all become like Jesus–as like him as we can possibly be prior to Heaven. Paul is acting as director or orchestrator, training our vision on the One whom we’re living towards and toward whom all gifts flow and point. Also very important.

See, the Holy Spirit is gentle. He’s oh so quiet. And He makes no mistakes. Should a word of prophecy be spoken in the church, we need to rest in Him and wait to find out how He would have us voice it to another–or if He even wants it spoken out at all. “If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by…” Paul is asking for accountability. If one person is going to receive a vision or image that looks, for all intents and purposes, to be a prophecy, Paul asks that it stand the test of anyone else listening in. And should the Holy Spirit whisper an addendum (that’s what susurrous means, “whisper-like”) after the original speaker has voiced the vision, the person who heard the second word then gets the floor. “Till we all come in the unity of the faith.” We are all meant to work in concert with one another.

Surreptitiously

“A gift is as a precious stone in the eyes of him that hath it: whithersoever it turneth, it prospereth.” (Proverbs 17:8)

“The gifts of the prophets are subject unto the prophets.” While I don’t necessarily see myself as a “prophet”, it doesn’t mean God hasn’t shown me “things to come” (see yesterday’s post). If I had to pinpoint one gift that I operate in above all others, it’d be that of dreams and interpretations. But this doesn’t make me any more important than anyone else in my church. Nor does it do much to buoy me when I get disappointed for any number of garden-variety reasons (that’s what worship and love and fellowship with God are for). It’s a gift plain and simple. It’s intended to bless, not just myself (as it has and continues to) but my brothers and sisters in Christ. And this is where things can get dicey. Any gift given, should the recipient not be inclined to press in to God, will–will lead them astray. Our gifts were never meant to be used outside of the leading and also incubation of the Holy Spirit. I find that the church, for it to operate more fully in these fringe (right word?) spiritual gifts, must submit more to the Holy Spirit and learn from Him how they are supposed to work. Anything else is bound to leave the door open for trains of thought and strains of lies that will end in alienating Christians who aren’t fully immersed in God’s presence. I know that we would never want this to happen. The sad thing is, when we get out on the edge and begin brandishing our gifts to the neglect of the simple and joyous miracles of existence and salvation, the church cannot grow as the Father intends. And that’s an understatement.

“Likwise, ye younger, submit youselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.” (1 Peter 5:5-7)

Stay humble

Saying a Few Words (Imminent Domain part 3)

The writing on the wall

An oft-repeated idiom. It’s from the book of Daniel (see chapter 5) and it refers to a prophecy that came to pass the very night it was written. The words of the prophet (in this case God Himself) were written on the palace wall–as opposed to the subway or the concert hall. Here’s the thing though, the words written–“MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN” (5:25) were Aramaic in origin and each word means one thing. Mene means “numbered”, as in “God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it.” (5:26) Tekel means “weighed in the balance”. Belshazzar, the king of Babylon, under whom Daniel served–as unto the Lord, I might add–had been audited by God and was “found wanting” (5:27). The final word, upharsin, or “Peres”, meaning to “split up” refers to his kingdom being divided among the Medes and Persians (5:28). A dark day for him. He was killed that very night.

Notice how so much information was funneled through three simple words. I find an interesting point herein. And while I don’t have a fresh prophecy to help illustrate what I’m trying to say, I suppose it doesn’t matter. When God speaks, through a vessel of His, a prophecy intended to bless and build up the Body of Christ, He is taking the wide-angle view, of time, season, culture, atmosphere, and channelling it through what is essentially akin to a press release. An official statement meant to buoy the individual or the church body through periods where it might look like exactly the opposite of what was spoken. Seen this way, a prophecy, in it’s most elementary form is like faith dispensed. It should follow, if we believe God is real and that He knows the future, that He is able to tell us what will happen.

“Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for He shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that He shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.” (John 16:13-15)

He will show you things to come…

Think about this for a second. Using Daniel as model, “in whom is the spirit of the holy gods” (Daniel 5:11), dial down the notion of what it takes to be a prophet and think about the pragmatic words of Jesus in the above statement. Daniel lived out his life in a selfless, yet determined way amidst the heavily pagan atmosphere of ancient Babylon. He had no problem interpreting dreams, speaking with angels, prophesying, etc. He was able to do it all. All because “the spirit of the holy gods” was in Him. This was a Babylonian declaration I might add. While they might have worshipped other gods, they had no choice but to acknowledge Daniel’s Deity. God in him was more effective than the gods of their pantheon and He proved it time and again. Look again at what Jesus is offering us. He gives us the Holy Spirit, who, He says, will show us things to come. Be it a wide-angle, panned out view of the world at large or something simple intended to see our brother or sister through a dark night of the soul, God will show us what needs to be said–and say it through us. And remember, “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Revelation 19:10) If you want to skip ahead, just look at Jesus.

“Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy. For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries. But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men (and women) to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.” (1 Corinthians 14:1-3)

Any prophecy from God will do those three things spoken of by Paul: edify, exhort, comfort. Again, it doesn’t matter if you’re speaking to one or to five-thousand. God aims to comfort the hearts of His children through prophecy and if you see this, you’ll be well equipped to speak a few words that someone can in turn live on as the days, weeks, months go by.

Calling It Like We See It (Imminent Domain part 2)

“The mighty God, even the Lord, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof. Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined. Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before Him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about Him.” (Psalm 50:1-3)

What if, from time immemorial, every single prophecy ever uttered was intended to do one thing only? In no way am I looking to detract or downplay the importance of what a prophecy is. What I am seeking to do, audacious as it may sound, is to streamline the whole process. I find that in a large church setting, when labels of “prophet” and “apostle” and such begin to be thrown around, it tends to eclipse the more baseline appelation of “believer”. Because we’re all believers. The incessant “name-calling”, for lack of a better term, might alienate those whose needs are hidden under layers of the exact same thing (name-calling) that happens outside the walls of church. But first: “Despise not prophesyings.” (1 Thessalonians 5:20)

“And this voice which came from Heaven we heard, when we were with Him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.” (2 Peter 1:18-20) Meaning, we can’t twist a prophetic word to mean what we want it to.

Eminent Domain

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” (Psalm 91:1)

I believe it’s eminently simple. Peter is referring to a specific time. He’s talking about when God spoke out of the cloud–“the excellent glory”– and testified again of Jesus and His life. David, in Psalm 91, is referring to a more emblematic mountain. The symbolic “Zion” in which God dwells all the time. God is there. He is shining and He’s looking down on us. And while I believe this is true, it’s also a symbol. Meaning we can’t fully wrap our minds around it in our current state. This is good–why would we want to sate our imaginations? Think about it. Dwell on it. “The secret place of the most High…” up there in the atmosphere where it’s, not freezing, but bracing. Where you feel more alive. Air might be harder to come by, but God’s got enough to go around. Keep climbing, you’re close. What I’m getting at here, is lining out the journey that all of us should endeavor to take. That of climbing the (figurative) mountain in order to “dwell in the secret place”. To essentially use all the grace and gusto and guts that God gifts us with to see things from His vantage point. And seen that way, I would say that prophecy should come easy.

Before we go any further, a mountain that is completely enclosed with a glacier is called a nunatak. Something that necessarily would have to be burned through before we get to God and before God can come down. Remember, “a fire shall devour before Him”. Hence the icyness in the church that has to go. Am I associating too freely? I don’t think so.

Ears to the ground

I believe it starts from the ground up. When we see that God is always speaking and always showing us that which we notice, we’ll begin to see patterns. And the more we orient our thinking to the ground rules He’s laid out in His word, the more we will know what He’s getting at. We’ll begin to see the world from His vantage point. Prophecies are wonderful. Prophecies are powerful. “But”, as Paul says very plainly, “whether there be prophecies, they shall fail.” (1 Corinthians 13:8) See, we are an integral part of what God is doing. And it’s only when we endeavor to get as close to God as we possibly can, do we take our places in the grand, overarching words that are spoken out into the future. Grammatically, the word “farther” is to be used when dealing with two objects in relation to one another, i.e. distance. “Further”, however, is used when referring to an intangible thing. Like furthering God’s Kingdom. But it’s up to us. God wants to come down, as it says in Psalm 50, that’s all I know. He wants to manifest Himself in new and exciting ways. How can we help Him with this? To determine to get as close to Him as possible in our day-to-day walk. He’ll be here before we know it.

“Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which Thou hast given me: for Thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.” (John 17:24)

And loving God–and loving on God–is the way up.

Sign Language (Imminent Domain part 1)

“And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called.” (Luke 1:61)

Think about that for a second. The above is referring to Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist. The one who was to herald Jesus’ coming to prominence. The one to whom Isaiah’s prophecy pertained. “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” (Isaiah 40:3) Those present at the baby’s birth were essentially making hand-gestures as to what the father would have his son called. John had a very important position in God’s plan for that time. As an aside, you don’t know that you’re not the answer to some prophecy God spoke way back when–why not? Not every prophecy that has come from Heaven is contained in the Bible. God wants to do something in the world and He wants to use you. He knew you were coming and now you’re here! Welcome. Back to the above. So how would you sign to a mute father what he would have his son be called? I don’t know. It necessarily required a pen and paper (i.e. “writing table” Luke 1:63) and so Zacharias spells out “His name is John”.

“John” means “God is gracious”, by the way.

“And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 19:10, emphasis mine)

Whereas John was called to inaugurate the Lord Jesus–to be His forerunner to society–the above verse in Revelation says the testimony of Jesus is simply “the spirit of prophecy”. From John (“God is gracious”) to Jesus, to God the Father. And the Holy Spirit is in and among all of it, making it work in our world.

What is a prophecy? As the verse from Revelation rightfully points out, the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. Jesus came to point to the Father. And to make it possible for us to get there, I might add. Prior to His life, death and resurrection, it was impossible to have our spirit recreated (something the Holy Spirit does) so that we can actually enjoy Heaven. But the testimony of Jesus. It’s “the spirit of prophecy” but all prophecies should inspire one to “worship God”. Keep this in mind.

Distant Early Warning

The DEW Line is a row of communication towers commissioned during the Cold War to warn of any incoming threat from the Soviets. They stretch from Alaska, through Canada up to Greenland. They still stand, but have been deactivated since the mid-nineties. While the DEW towers were in many ways detrimental to the environment, think about what it takes to get God to come down. And if you look at prophecy as just that–a distant, early warning–it could shed a new light on both serving the Lord in our day-in-day-out activities and also God’s character as revealed through Jesus.

“I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me. I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from good; and my sorrow was stirred. My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue” (Psalm 39:1-3)

God is exacting. God is holy. While we are encouraged to “come boldly to the throne of grace” (Hebrews 4:15), we must realize what it took to open these lines of communication. John. Jesus. “Our Father who art in Heaven.” Laying the groundwork to receive the Lord takes time and pain and hardship. Think about what David, in the above passage, went through before He spoke out. The timing of God is what causes us to both speak and to hold our peace. It’s our responsibility to see that God can come down and change the world through His Spirit. And God wants to come down. But He can’t unless certain conditions are met. If we listen, we’ll see in our life, the signs that God’s been seeking to intimate to us in whatever way, that would begin to pave the way for His coming. And I’m not talking about the Second Coming of Jesus. I’m talking about inviting God to dwell with us in a fuller measure by His Spirit.

“But Thou art holy, O Thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.” (Psalm 22:3)

Very High Frequency Omnirange

The VOR station enables aircraft to stay on course through a series of signals emitted on each of the 360 degree marks. With each giving a relation point with reference to magnetic north. Close enough.

Where is God? Sure, He’s in our hearts by His Holy Spirit. But He has a body. He sits on a throne and He wants to manifest Himself in our day to day affairs in ways He has been unable to for whatever (unbelieving) reason. When Zacharias doubted Gabriel’s instructions on what to name His son, he was stricken with dumbness. I’d wager to say both David and Zacharias were unable to speak for much the same reason. When God is doing something of utmost importance, it’s best to keep it to ourselves, and listen. God is always speaking. Always working out His plan on earth. Timing is everything and if we think nothing’s going on, we need to listen. God is sending His signals out circumambiently. All centering on one point. And that point is whatever you’re called to do. And what you’re called to do is to both worship God yourself, and exhort others to do the same. Gabriel came directly from the throne room to speak to John’s dad. “I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God.” (Luke 1:19) The tangent began in God’s heart (prophesied in Isaiah) and it continues in yours. And your call coincides with everything else going on in God’s plan. As we realize the gravity of this, let us dial down the noise in our head and heart and tune in to God’s transmission.

And now, very simply: “In the multitude of my thoughts within me Thy comforts delight my soul.” (Psalm 94:19)