Been wandering around in the wilderness of “Why.” Nothing remains of yesterday. The landscape is barren and the trees bear no fruit. But, I will continue to sing in this strange land, “He is able, more than able, to accomplish what concerns me today.”
The above was a comment I posted to Prophet Michael Dalton’s Facebook page after he posted the following:
I Will Make the Darkness Light
I will make the darkness light before thee,
What is wrong I’ll make it right before thee,
All thy battles I will fight for thee,
And the high place, I will bring down.
When thou walkest by the way, I’ll lead thee,
On the fatness of the land, I’ll feed thee,
And a mansion in the sky, I’ll deed thee,
And, the high place I will bring down.
With an everlasting love, I’ll love thee,
Though with trials deep and sore I’ll prove thee,
But, there’s nothing that can hurt or move thee,
And, the high place, I’ll bring down.
Although Satan in his rage would tear thee,
And with all his winning arts would snare thee,
Even down to thine old age I’ll bear thee,
And, the high place, I will bring down.
I will make the darkness light before thee,
I will make the crooked straight before thee,
I will spread My wings protecting o’er thee,
And, the high place, I will bring down.
~Words & music by Charles P. Jones (1916)
“I can hear this song ringing in my spirit from the LORD & knew I had to share it with you. Be encouraged today, be lifted up, be joyful in spite of what you & expect your KING to invade your reality with answers unstoppable & miracles unexplainable. Today…right now; the Almighty KING of Heaven & Earth is leaning in your direction listening to your heart & HE is telling you “Believe ME in this moment & watch the high places in your life come tumbling, rumbling, crumbling down.” ~Prophet Dalton
The phrase that captured my attention was “the high place I will bring down.” I cannot say specifically that I have ever heard this song sung by anyone, but I vaguely remember this phrase from some past something. As the phrase continued to resonate in me, a part of a scripture came to me, “though the fig tree not bud.” Now, I do have those moments when I’m not sure if what I remember is really a scripture or something I have heard someone else say, so I had to do my research. Voila! I found the passage and though I misquoted it, it certainly tied in to the song as well as my and Prophet Dalton’s thoughts.
Though the fig tree should not blossom
And there be no fruit on the vines,
Though the yield of the olive should fail
And the fields produce no food,
Though the flock should be cut off from the fold
And there be no cattle in the stalls,
18 Yet I will exult in the Lord,
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.
19 The Lord God is my strength,
And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet,
And makes me walk on my high places.
What is the significance of high places in the Bible?
- High places, very simply, were places of worship on elevated pieces of ground or raised altars in low land such as a valley.
- High places were originally dedicated to idol worship, especially among the Moabites.
- The Israelites, forever turning away from God, practiced Molech worship and built high places for Baal.
- Not all high places were dedicated to idol worship. They played a major role in Israelite worship.
“The high place I will bring down.” What is that high place for me? It may either be those “idols” that distract me from following God closely, or it may be anyone that challenges the absolute sovereignty of God and as a result challenges my faith.
God really worked with me about this topic, bringing another scripture to my remembrance:
Luke 22:31 – “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat. We too often miss the “like wheat” part. We are the wheat, thenew creation in Christ, the old thing (the husk) has passed away.
- Sifting is the last part of the wheat harvest process:
- Threshing breaks the husk away from the wheat: Sanctification/Set Apart for God Purpose
- Winnowing separates the wheat from the chaff (think of Psalm 1): They are like the chaff that the wind drives away: Discipleship/Removing that which has no value
- Sifting: Wheat is separated from debris, rocks by being tossed in a sieve: Refining process
- Satan desires to sift you as wheat: To toss not just Peter but every disciple to and fro as wheat is in a sieve; that is, to afflict and distress
- Satan hoped the disciples would be so shaken by challenges that they would lose their good qualities and cling to jealousy, pride, and resentment instead. Satan would then have them in his hand.
Back to Habbakuk – Though I was excited to discover that passage in Habbakuk, I knew I had to go back to that book to review his journey to this place of worship, how he got from “though it may not happen” to “Yet [in spite of all the thoughs] I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.”
I am not a consistent student of the Old Testament, meaning my first inclination is to study the New Testament because I love the challenges and exhortations in those books. This does not mean, however, that I do not know the Old Testament, it’s historical and biblical background (after all, the Holy Spirit brought that scripture back to me and you cannot remember what you have not first learned). I just love diving into those texts more.
Still, I found this review of Habbakuk most satisfying, especially when, after my review, I took a look at a commentary on Habbakuk by Warren Wiersbe who said the following about those three chapters.
Habbakuk lives during the time of the impending Babylonian invasion of Judah and as he considers evil men being “allowed” to overrun the people of God, he moves through the process/journey of faith. Mr. Wiersbe puts it this way:
Chapter One: Faith Wavers – v1The burden which the prophet Habbakuk saw…..
My thought: “Lord, why are you allowing this to happen?”
Chapter 2: Faith Watches – v2 I will stand my watch and set myself on the rampart and watch to see what He will say to me and what I will answer when I am corrected
My thought: “I will wait and watch to see what you are doing.”
Verses 2-4 reminds the reader to write the vision and make it plain so that whether an individual is walking by and or running by in haste, they will not only be able to read it, they will understand exactly what the vision is. The declaration that the just shall live by faith reminds us that we must always ignore what we see and trust absolutely what we know about God.
Psalm 46:10/Habbakuk 2:20 are gentle reminders that sometimes we just need to keep quiet and watch God be God.
Chapter 3: Faith Worships – v17 Yet I will exult in the Lord; I will rejoice in the God of my salvation
My thought: “I know you; I see your greatness (Psalm 8)”
When we cannot rejoice in the situation, we can always rejoice in the Lord.
“Do not rejoice in earthly reality; rejoice in His word, rejoice in His law. There will be peace and tranquility in the Christian heart, but only as long as our faith is watchful; if however, our faith sleeps, we are in danger.” ~St. Augustine
My take on Perseverance Under Pressure is threefold:
- Faith that does not flinch: 2 Corinthians 5:1
- Hope [confident expectation] that will no yield: Romans 5:2-5
- Grace that sustains: Romans 7:14; 2 Corinthians 12:8-9
How do I get from crumbling under the weight of burdens and get to that place of perseverance under pressure?
My on air conversation with Pastor Julie Norwood and Prophet Michael Dalton brought out the following:
Too many of us accept that God loves us, but we have a hard time believing that He likes us so we wrestle with our imperfections and expect God to punish us when we fail. Just be still and know that He is God. We need to have faith that God likes us. We receive His love due to salvation, but we fail to realize that he likes us to which hinders us in our faith walk.
Since grace is counter-culture, we too often misunderstand God’s grace.
Wondering where we have gone wrong is taking the focus off God and putting it on ourselves.
Normal for humans is not normal for God.
Faith has become more about receiving than about being; I expect God to bless me whether I walk in line with His will or not; our faith has become a kind of “me-ism” doctrine, its all about prosperity, materialism and success.
The journey may sometimes be arduous, but we can trust God to get us to the place of His design if we will just continue to deny ourselves, after all, His grace is still amazing and sufficient.