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We are in a time of lots of natural sight. Natural sight is the opposite of faith and natural sight manifests as sight, sound, feelings, and anything that is propagated by creation and created things. Faith comes by hearing God in our hearts and it is the voice of the Creator that spawns creative vision from within our hearts. As leaders we must lead in faith and inspire faith in those we lead. Faith towards God is a testimony of the Spirit of Wisdom working in our lives. Wisdom is the knowing of God that takes us from today through the door of life to the destiny of tomorrow. Faith towards God is exhibited through a trust in God, a childlike receiving of every new thing that He gives, an internal motivation empowered by an awe of Him, and a total dependance upon Him for every moment of standing and measure for our footsteps to tomorrow. I believe that these attributes were manifested through the lives of Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah who were taken captive into the nation of Babylon. These men demonstrated faith towards God in the midst of a worldly environment that was totally contrary to the culture of their faith. They did this by their internal connection to God in their hearts.
Daniel means, ‘God is my judge’. To him the Babylonians gave the name Belteshazzar, a name meaning ‘one who knows secrets’. When we trust the One who speaks it will appear to those who don’t understand faith that we know secrets. The name Hananiah means, ‘God is merciful, gracious and a giver of gifts’. It is a name that implies being willing to receive everything and anything from the One who speaks. To Hananiah the Babylonians gave the name Shadrach, a name meaning, ‘one who sucks the nipple’. A culture of faith inspires an attitude of being willing to receive everything and anything that God gives. When we are willing to receive anything that God gives it will appear to those who don’t understand faith that we are childish and foolish in our actions. The name Mishael means, ‘who is asked for or lent’ in the sense of ‘in awe of God’ or ‘God is awesome’! This name implies an awe for the One who speaks. To Mishael the Babylonians gave the name Meshach, a name meaning ‘drawn or controlled by force’. When we are willing to respond to the One who speaks with actions of honor, those who do not understand faith will accuse us of being controlled by force. They will interpret our honor for God as some cultic force of control in our lives. The name Azariah means, ‘God is my help’ or ‘he that hears the Lord’. It implies not knowing anything and being completely dependent upon God. The Babylonians called Azariah, Abed-nego, a name that means you are ‘in league with the god of knowledge or science’. It implies that you ‘know things’. When we are completely dependent upon the One who speaks it will appear to those who do not understand faith that we are in league with some form of knowledge or enlightened truth. These are the attributes of a culture of faith.
We are in a season where God wants us to find our strength in Him. I believe that one of the greatest realities of present faith is seen in the testimony of Azariah. We are in a season to be completely dependent upon God in all that we are and all that we do. This can only happen by abiding in the presence of God. It is not a matter of waiting for God to do something, but a matter of waiting in His presence. It is a waiting upon Him as the prophet Isaiah declared.
Isaiah 40:31 But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.
The word wait in this verse is the Hebrew word H6960, a word meaning, to bind together (perhaps by twisting), i.e. collect; (figuratively) to expect. God wants us to find our salvation in Him in all things and our strength in Him in every situation of our lives. God has been stirring these things in my Spirit and I have been hearing Him prophetically. Here is another word God stirred me to declare in the past week.
I just keep hearing the Lord say; In returning and rest you’ll find My salvation and in confidence in Me, you will find the deliverance from all that is against you. The Lord says; this is a season to learn Me more than ever before. To know My goodness. To know who I am. To be intertwined with My presence, knowing that in the season I’m not just bringing you through. I’m bringing you out of things. Some things are even being stripped off that you didn’t even know were upon you. There are garments that you wore that you didn’t even know were garments that were not yours to wear. The Lord says, I’m bringing you into a season of new liberty, a season of hearing Me more clearly. But not just hearing the words I say, but hearing the liberty that I bring. For there is a new confidence that comes in you because of the confidence that you find in Me. There’s a new freedom that you find in you because of the freedom that you find in Me. And I’m stripping away the garments that have been laid upon you that have been garments that have not given you the true identity of the son or the daughter that I ‘ve called you to be. And this is a time to find yourself entwined in My presence – A time for quietness in Me, a confidence in Me, a returning to Me and a finding of My rest. For this is a new day! This is a new season. Don’t think that this season is going to end in difficulty. This season is going to end in greater grace. This season is going to transition into greater glory.
Returning to the Lord and resting in Him is most important for us to exhibit the attribute of dependence upon God. In confidence and quietness God will demonstrate His strength in our lives. As leaders we must lead by embracing God resting in our lives and of resting in Him. We must lead by a peace in our soul that is inspired by our spirit that trusts the Spirit of God in all things.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson
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