It's Sunday morning after a full July 4th weekend. I'm feeling a bit weary, but not too bad. We did a lot this weekend, or at least it feels like it. We went to the horse races Thursday night, the Fort Worth Cats game Friday night (where we saw a pretty cool fireworks display), and then we spent a very nice afternoon with my Father-in-law yesterday (Saturday). Good times. I've also started reading HP5(OotP), so I will be adding my opinion to the mix soon.
I'm actually feeling kind of "spiritual" today, so watch out. As always, I begin my devotional times with a reading from Oswald Chambers's My Utmost For His Highest. If you have never read this book, and are interested in this kind of thing, it is one of the best devotional books ever. In today's reading the text is from Isaiah 35:7. Isaiah 35 is a beautiful passage of Scripture that speaks of things to come after the "day of vengeance" of the Lord. Handel's Messiah made a portion of it famous, "Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped:" etc. What was given in Isaiah was a vision. And what Chambers writes about today is a vision. After a vision is given to us, even though we know it is real (it is not yet real in us, yet), then comes the time in which we are most susceptible to Satan's temptations. "God gives us the vision, then He takes us down to the valley to batter us into the shape of the vision, and it is in the valley that so many of us faint and give way. Every vision will be made real if we will have patience." I have been in this valley. I have spent a lot of time in this valley. And I must confess that I have come very close to "fainting." Perhaps I even have. But through encouragement such as this, and through encouragement from the body of believers that I serve, I will prevail. The vision will be made real. Understand that by "vision," I don't mean that I have gone into a sort of trance and seen things that will happen in the future or anything like that. That happens to very few people. By "vision," I mean something to press towards. A "purpose," if you will. It is something to work towards, a goal. The vision that Father gave me many years ago was that of being a worship leader. Well, you might say, you are doing that, so the vision is fulfilled. Not quite. I am not satisfied with where I am. That doesn't mean that I'm not satisfied with the church that I serve. I believe there is more. My vision is being a worship leader on a much grander scale. Not for popularity, mind you, although that is tempting. But I want to be one who leads and inspires thousands, yea, millions of people to worship my God. So God has me in the valley. He is working to get me ready. Problem is, He has all the time in the world. "He is never in a hurry. We are always in such a frantic hurry. Ever since we had the vision God has been at work, getting us into the shape of the ideal, and over and over again we escape from His hand and try to batter ourselves into our own shape." That is a tremendous sentence! Read it again. "Ever since we had the vision God has been at work, getting us into the shape of the ideal, and over and over again we escape from His hand and try to batter ourselves into our own shape." Finally, he says, "If you have ever had the vision of God, you may try as you like to be satisfied on a lower level, but God will never let you." I know this to be a fact.