Season of Division
If you were to turn in your Bible to the books of Samuel and Kings you would read about a period of almost 500 years when the nations Israel and Judah were struggling with a disobedience that led to an incredible missed opportunity that altered the future of the nations. They split into two kingdoms: Israel in the North and Judah in the South.
Both of the nations remaining in disobedience which became progressively more hostile as time went on. The Lord warned that if they couldn’t turn away from their idolatry and evil behavior that he would have to step away from them, and that’s exactly what happened to Israel. You would assume that at this point Judah would turn in repentance, afraid of the same exile that they had been warned about; but they didn’t surrender and they were later cut off as well, leaving both the nations of Israel and Judah in exile and apart from the Lord.
Throughout these years of disobedience, God sent twenty prophets that were documented in the books we have in the Bible all the way from Obadiah around 850BCE through Malachi around 372BCE after the exile. God was anointing prophets to go into the nations and share his story. The people went through roughly 500 years of evil kings, exile, return from exile, and the rebuilding of their nation with God pursuing them. They were not abandoned by the Lord and in the midst of their disobedience He continued to tell his story.
Season of Silence
Although the nation was disobedient, not everyone was disobedient. Throughout these books of prophecy, there were people who continued to say yes to God even when it seemed that everyone around them was going the opposite direction (sometimes I think it feels a lot like that today). Malachi was the final prophet and then God was silent for around 400 years. Even in his silence the Lord was never still. His story continues every moment of every day regardless of if he his speaking to us clearly or if we notice the things he’s doing. God exists outside of time; he does not feel rushed. And, he is well aware of the big picture and the best way to execute his mission.
[bctt tweet=”Even in his silence the Lord was never still.” username=”breathepartners”]
After that 400 year period of silence God spoke again, this time through a preacher, John the Baptist. He came to continue the message of Malachi and prepare the path for the Messiah, Jesus. The people of Israel wanted the God of the Bible, but in his silence they had built their faith on the clearest parts of scripture that they had: the law. This created a society full of legalism and structure; a hard place to follow the Lord, let alone build a relationship with a God who created us for intimacy and communion with Him.
Season of Change
God was ready for his people during the years of judgement, the kings, and the exile but they weren’t ready for him; so, he let them be. God never wanted to force us into a relationship with him. When John the Baptist came around, the people were ready. They wanted God. The Lord was ready to reach them through His son, Jesus. The Messiah came in a way that no one expected or was prepared for, bringing with him a culture of change and new life that many of the people weren’t expecting. This change in a society of consistency built on rules raised a lot of questions and made things complicated at times. But, Jesus committed to reaching out personally and building a team of disciples who he knew would be able to learn from him and share his story after his ministry was done.
The Disciples – urgency to follow
The disciples had an incredible unique opportunity to do life intimately with the Messiah. They dropped everything they were doing and left everything that they had for a chance to follow God. They came immediately when Jesus asked. That is exactly the same offer that we have. We have the incredible unique opportunity to do life intimately with the Messiah. To walk in community with Jesus every second of everyday. To learn from him and about him. To talk with him. To create a life that invites others into that same, now widely available, opportunity.
The Kingdom – urgency for relationship
The kingdom of Israel had an open window and an opportunity that they didn’t take. The disciples were eager to cease their chance to live with God. They had been waiting for Him for centuries. Friends, there is an open window for you and an opportunity that you do not want to miss out on. We have an incredible chance to build a personal relationship with Jesus. We get to spend the rest of our lives learning from him and fulfilling the unique mission that each of us are created for.
The Urgency for You
Why are you here? What has the Lord gifted you in and created you to do? How can you bring new life and hope into the world?
I encourage you to dig deep into your soul and find these things out. Don’t wait. You will not regret acting in urgency to share the Good News and to spend the rest of your life serving God and loving others; and loving God by serving others. The window is open, His hand is reached out to you. This moment, this opportunity to change the lives of your neighbors and the nations around us is ready for you now.
Are you going to wait until it seems easy or comfortable or will you take that chance and trust that all of your peace and comfort lies in obedience to Him and saying yes to what you’ve been put on this earth at this time to do?