The place of greatness, is a place of testing. The place of greatness is a place of presence, purpose, and inheritance. It is the church, it is Zion. It is there we can become like Christ and we can walk the path of destiny made for us in Christ. It is not merely a place of finding the blessings of God, it is the place of being the blessing of God.
I write to you pastors, leaders, and other expressions of the Chief Shepherd, Jesus Christ. We are called to lead others in knowing the greatness of being joined together for the glory of His name. We are one with Him and with one another in Him. We are the testimony of His praise in this world.
Isaiah 2:1-3 The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
In these verses, the prophet Isaiah was prophesying about what would happen in the earth in the future. An ability for all people to come to know God’s ways and to walk in His paths would be revealed. A change of character and a change of purpose would come to the hearts of those joined together in Him for God’s glory. Isaiah was speaking of Jerusalem and Judah, but his words were beyond the natural Jerusalem and Judah of his day. In the Old Covenant, the nation of Israel and its center hub of Jerusalem was a prophetic proclamation of something that would one day fill the nations of the world. When the nation of Israel was divided to the ten tribes of the north and the two tribes of the South, God still had a testimony of His presence and purpose in the southern kingdom of Judah. Something of the praise of God could be found, even in the divided kingdom. God’s plan was never a Jewish nation only. They were merely a shadow of what God had in mind. God’s way was never a nation. It was a kingdom, but the kingdom of God is an internal kingdom in our hearts and not a natural kingdom of external rule and control. It is an internal kingdom that affects the external working of each and every kingdom that receives the mystery within them. It consumes our lives so the kingdoms of our lives become kingdoms of our Lord and Christ. Ultimately of all the nations are to become an expression of our Lord and Christ. When the prophet was prophesying concerning Judah and Jerusalem, he was not prophesying only about a natural nation known as Judah with an earthly center of worship known as Jerusalem. He was prophesying to the spiritual reality of what was represented in the natural shadow of those things. To understand it we have to translate the words into our languages. Judah means praise. To be people of praise, or to become the praise of God in the earth, is the testimony of Judah. If we translate Jerusalem it means vision of peace. A vision of peace is seeing there is no separation between us and God. The spiritual reality of these two things is for all people to become the praise of God and for all people to become the community of God that is not separate from Him. The prophet was speaking to humanity in eternity concerning being the praise of God.
Praise is something we are, not just something we do. When we become fully alive for God’s glory, that is praise. Being an imitation, a fake, or an actor doesn’t praise Him. But when we become the excellence of what we are supposed to be for His glory, that is praise. When we live for ourselves it is not praise. When we live for Him we find life more abundant, because we become like Him in His nature and way. God doesn’t need anything from us. He gives us life, breath and all things. When we give Him our life, our breath and our things we discover there is no end to the increase of the life, breath, and things He gives to us. We enter into the joy of having a relationship with God who is a giver. We manifest as sons and daughters of God; givers of life to the world. When we are together as the people of God, the church, the gate of heaven, Zion; we become the community of God. We become a testimony of being one with Him. We become a testimony of Jerusalem.
The words of Isaiah chapter 2 are words of expressive literature. These prophetic words are expressed language. They are expressing an experience. These words are not merely giving us information filled with literal facts. They are giving us facts in an experiential way. Is the Lord’s house a mountain? No, it is like that. It is a high place, a strong hold. Something you can trust in and depend upon. It can’t be moved. I live where there are high mountains. I can see them. They have snow on them. I recognize they are the high thing in the area. At any time of the year there is snow on the top. It is most recognized thing in my world. The mountain of the Lord’s house is to be established above all mountains. It is to become more visible than other mountains and hills in our world. It is higher and more real, and we can depend upon it. It is a marker, a monument, and a stronghold. The mountain of the Lord’s house, where God lives, becomes the most visible thing in our world. It becomes the most trusted thing in our lives. It becomes the most established thing. When that happens, nations flow into it.
As leaders in the church, and as the church, we must not believe the lies of the enemy that seek to divide the church. We must lead for the corporate purpose of Zion and we must be unmovable and unshakable in our resolve to see the goodness of God break out in the land of the living!
It is happening in the earth. In times of instability the mountain of the Lord is revealed as stable. Right now, there are millions of Muslims coming to Christ. They are the largest people group coming to Christ right now. Islamic religion in its extremity is terrible. I believe that all religion apart from the life of God is terrible. Christ in humanity is the hope of glory, but a form of religion, even Christianity, without the giving attributes of Christ in humanity is terrible. It takes. I don’t like a form of godliness without God in it. If Christ is in it, it can be wonderful. But if not, it is not real. God wants humanity to become a testimony of the mountain of the Lord.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson