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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Its raining again!

3 Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him.
As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.
(Hosea 6:3)

The urgent call is to acknowledge the Lord.  He tugs at the strings of our heart, just like a child tugs and the garment of a parent, urgently seeking attention.  There is a desire in that child's heart to be acknowledged - knowing that the parent is both aware of his presence and involved in his life.  There is a desire to be embraced, lavished with love and cherished deeply.  God's tugs at our heart are meant for the same purpose!

To acknowledge carries the meaning of:
  • Recognizing the rights, authority, and status of a holy God - it is in the acknowledgment of his rights to be in control, instead of my continual battle to control my life that he is able to move freely in my circumstances.  Whenever we get to the place that we are willing to sacrifice our self-sufficient will to his, we come to a place where we acknowledge him as Lord.
  • Disclosing what is hidden - acknowledging something brings it out into the open.  We hide a whole lot of things in our lives - things we are not proud to display.  Things like wrong attitudes, past hurts, unwise choices, and outright sinful deeds.  The amazing thing is that the grace of God is also hidden deep in the inner parts of our lives.  It is in the exposure of that grace that we can deal with the other junk that is hidden there, as well.  Repentance brings the grace of God to the surface again and it becomes evident.
Sin cannot be hidden forever - light makes anything manifest that has been hidden in the darkness of its hiding place.  Whenever we acknowledge our need for God's love, protection, or leading, we are acknowledging our willingness to disclose what has been hidden.  This brings grace - and grace produces healing.

Let us press on to acknowledge him - this implies an action on our part.  There is an action of pressing forward - implying that he is not found in our wallowing in self-pity.  Returning to a fresh start with God always speaks of action - some change in our focus.  Revival speaks of an action on God's part - the renewal of what has become dry and pretty useless.  Restoration speaks of an action - begins with the acknowledgement of his presence.

There were two rainy seasons that were celebrated by the people of Israel - the winter rains and the spring rains.  The winter rains really were the former rains - those things that had already passed.  They were good - they served their purpose.  Yet, it was the spring rains that brought the new growth.  They were the latter rains of the season.  It was because of the spring rains that the harvest was possible.  We each experience seasons of growth and restoration in our lives.  Some seasons are for restoration - like the winter rains.  Others are for growth and production of fruit - like the spring rains.  

Winter rains were the most plentiful rains - drenching the ground thoroughly.  It was the winter rains that broke the drought each year.  It is in the "winter rains" of our lives that we are meant to soak up all that God is providing - until we reach a point of saturation in him.  Those times of "winter rain" are meant to "fill up" the watersheds of our heart - to give us reserves from which we can draw for the seasons ahead.  

Spring rains were the shorter rains - just enough to ensure that there would not be famine.  It is those short bursts of refreshing rain that keep us growing, even when the "season" we are facing is hot and grueling.  Growth was established in these rains - the sun of the summer season would not destroy the growth of the spring because of the spring rains that refreshed and the fullness of the watersheds from the winter rains.  

I don't know what "season" you find yourself in today - but it serves a purpose.  It either refreshes you enough to produce the fruit, or it fills you up enough to have the reserves of his grace to pull from whenever you need them.  Don't curse the "rainy seasons" in your life - acknowledge them for the purpose they fulfill!