Here is a spoken word, a Psalm, a prayer, and a prophetic image to contemplate as 2015 rolls onto the horizon and extends out its arms before us.
After the worship portion of the evening Theresa Dedmon spoke at Joyland (August 3, 2014), the Lord moved Lauryl to share a unique, prophetic encouragement from Himself to those present. It does, I believe, remain as a beacon to follow in the year ahead. His encouragement to us immediately followed the song, “You’re Beautiful.”
First, the word. That night, Lauryl shared: “He says, ‘I have given you beauty for ashes. Beauty for ashes, I have given you. My beauty for ashes, so raise your head, for you’re beautiful. I’ve given you beauty for ashes, beauty for ashes…so raise your heads, raise your heads, because you’re beautiful, I’ve made you beautiful, you’re beautiful to Me… He says, ‘Let the light of My Face shine on you, I have made you beautiful. You are beautiful in My sight; I have made you a new creation. You are a beautiful piece of My kingdom. So, arise and shine, for your Light has come, My glory is radiating out of you – so lift your heads, all My people; I love you, I look for you, I look for My worshipers, My beautiful people. So lift your heads, and let the Light of My face shine on you…’ The Lord says that’s a key word, He made you beautiful; that means He’s done it; not making you beautiful, He’s made you beautiful. He wants you to understand that. You may notthink so, and you may not feel so; but He has already madeyou beautiful.'”
This “beauty for ashes” has its roots in a very-familiar passage of Isaiah 61: “The Spirit of the sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives, and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provicde for those whose grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of beauty, instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” (Isa 61:1-3, NIV, italics added)
Second, the prayer that followed, a prayer worth embracing, today: “Father, I bless everyone here, that a greater revelation of Your love would fall on them, and that the expectation of the ‘bigness’ of You, Father God, that there are big expectations, and they are able to put those expectations out, and You are going to meet them, Father, and we are going to do it boldly. We are not going to come timidly, any more, we are going to come to You boldly, and look at Your beautiful face. I pray that every individual …would have the boldness and the courage to go before God, ask to see His Face, ask to see His glory, and let it rain down on you, right now; in the Name of Jesus I proclaim the glory and the Presence and the Love of Jesus and the eyes of flame that burn for you, that you would look into them and you would be transformed. Transformed. When you have looked into the Face of Jesus, you will never, ever, be the same. I pray for an encounter with You, Father God, for each one here, that as they go about life-with-You, Jesus, that they look into Your eyes, they see the beauty of Your face, but then they go deeper, they go deeper, and You’re saying, ‘Look into My eyes, look into My eyes, you will see that they burn – but they burn with passion for you, church, they burn with passion foryou. They burn to be intimate with you. They burn with love for you.”
Thirdly, the prophetic image, worth contemplating: “He is in love with you. His desire is for you, right now, it’s just burning, and He wants you to receive it. His love for you is so huge, so huge. He is so ready to pour out…I see this huge pot, it’s just filled with gold, and it’s tilting over, and it is just about to rain down on you; and as He’s tilting it, I think we think it’s going to be heavy, or hot, but it’s not; it’s not… it’s almost as though it’s pure, liquid, silky gold that is going to pour down, but as it hits you, you’re going to feel this unbelievable warmth, but not heat – not heat like that. The security of the knowledge of who you are, in Christ…He is starting to tip that over and it is eventually going to unbalance itself and it’s going to rain down like a waterfall. And you aren’t even going to know what to do. You’re just going to stand there and even if you thought you weren’t going to get showered, you are going to get showered. And you’re not going to be able to contain the Love of God…and we say yes, we’re not even going to try to get out of the way, we’re just going to let it pour – let it pour, Jesus, let it pour over us. We say yes to you, Father God – we say yes, and amen to Your plans for us, to fill us so much with Your Love that we don’t even know how to contain it. And we will be transformed.”
I submit to you that these are words and images are worth prayerful thought and contemplation as a promise we have the opportunity to embrace in the year ahead.
Yes and amen. Abba, pour out that “liquid gold”, that You would grant us, “…according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in (our) hearts through faith; and that (we), being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that (we) may be filled up to all the fullness of God…” (Eph. 3:16-19, NASB, parenthetical first-person added)
Again, yes and amen. Let us display Your splendor….