Choosing a Window Seat
“For who knows a person's thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us."
- I Corinthians 2:11-12
As many are aware my wife and I prior to marriage were engaged in the epitome of a "long-distance" relationship as Joanie served the Lord on a one-year mission teaching in South Africa. Anyone who has been in an intimate relationship that stretches miles knows how difficult and testing it can be. It is difficult to not be face to face, to not be able to pick up the phone at any time just to hear the sound of their voice, to not be able to enjoy life's many activities (church, going to dinner and a movie, etc...). Our communication had additional challenges, as this was before the time of video calls and Joanie was in a remote village in South Africa where there was not a working land line, let alone cell phone coverage.
Despite all of these challenges, the distance did provide an extremely precious outcome in the relationship. It turned our monthly phone call and weekly letter correspondence a treasured gift. Reading the updates from Joanie's letters made me feel as if I were by her side on this twelve month mission. And hearing her voice (albeit it faint, with a slight delay and echo due to poor reception) to be able to laugh with her, process life with her, and pray with her brought a great sense of reassurance. Those weekly letters and monthly calls were an infusion of life, a confirmation of peace, and a gift of joy.
I wonder how many of us feel at times that our relationship with the Lord seems distant and our communication (fellowship) with the Lord is difficult to acquire and identify? We read the Bible or hear a sermon, and struggle to receive any personal insight or application; we pray genuinely for the Lord to reveal to us His presence, wisdom, and answer, and are left feeling as if we are engaged in a one-way conversation, empty of any true answer; personal times of devotion, such as worship and mediation, seem tedious and lacking a sense of joyful expectation. We can feel a thousands of miles away from what Psalm 105:3-4 instructs, "Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always."
If you are experiencing a weak signal when it comes to your time with God, let me share a picture that I hope is precious, powerful, and makes for a personal connection. The picture that the Lord gave me this past Sunday was of a WINDOW that was stuck and unable to be opened. This window represents our fellowship with God, having an intimate, deep, and special time of talking with Him, walking with Him, and receiving from Him. I felt the Lord encouraging us that He would open what was closed so that we could better see His face, hear His voice, feel His presence, sense His love, and know His will.
As the Holy Spirit continued to clarify the picture, I saw two applications. First, there are some whose window is completely shut. Just as a closed window can cause a room to feel stifling from the warm weather, a person who is unable to hear the Lord or sense the move (i.e.- the wind) of the Spirit can feel depleted and find themselves at a loss of being refreshed by the Lord's peace, wisdom, and hope. You feel nothing when you read the Bible, you hear nothing when you pray, you sense no leading for a decision to make or a path to take. If you find yourself in a space with no grace, then believe the word that the Lord will open the window so that you can receive from Him a fresh flow of blessing and promise. Isaiah 30:19 speaks of this precious treasure, "People of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious He will be when you cry for help! As soon as God hears, He will answer you."
The second type of window is one that is cracked open. There is a flow of air, there is a feeling of the breeze, there is a level of freshness that enters into the room. However, every attempt to open the window all the way results in its falling back to the same place. There are people who would readily confess that there times with the Lord do bring a measure of peace, wisdom, and hope. That times of worship, prayer, and reading the Word are marked by a degree of feeling uplifted, encouraged, and strengthened. However, this can be at a general or broad level. The word of the Lord to you is that He is ready to speak, deposit, and reveal Himself at deeper dimensions. As the Spirit brings a freedom and fullness by opening the window up all the way, there will be a reception that is crystal clear. You will move into a season of having dreams and visions from the Lord. This is not something that should seem strange, as Peter declared the birth of the Church to be a fulfillment of God's heart and plans in the last days, as he declares in Acts 2: 17, "In the last days, God says, I will pour out My Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams."
The window is open, the reception is clear, and the communication is beyond precious!