Leaves and Feathers
By Jorge Parrott (all scriptures from AMP)
We know each moment contains a pathway and invitation to eternity. Our aim is to choose wisely to balance both the “busyness” of today and the focus of our attention on how we can align our lives with the Lord, our true compass. Recently, in my morning quiet time on my back porch, the Holy Spirit zoomed me in to see the minute arteries of nearby leaves and the intricate details of a feather. It is very easy to get too busy and distracted with our many tasks.
Wisdom to be in obedience to His abiding presence within us so we may thrive in our intimacy with the lover of our souls compels us to stop often and breathe in the priority of our relationship with Him, to know Him more and to listen to our Shepherd’s voice, feeling His overwhelming presence and love, so we may learn to grow in His wisdom. In Isaiah 30:15 we learn, “For the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel has said this, ‘In returning [to Me] and rest you shall be saved, in quietness and confident trust is your strength.’ ”
As I meditated on the leaves this verse came to mind, from Rev. 22:1-3, “Then the angel showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb (Christ), in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. There will no longer exist anything that is cursed [because sin and illness and death are gone]; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve and worship Him [with great awe and joy and loving devotion];…”
I then pondered the feather, and the eagle came to mind, with all its prophetic significance. Recently I read in Ezekiel 17:6-8, “Then it sprouted and grew and became a low, spreading vine whose branches turned [in submission] toward him, but its roots remained under it. So it became a vine and yielded shoots and sent out branches. There was [also] another great eagle with great wings and many feathers; and behold, this vine (Zedekiah) bent its roots toward him and sent out its branches toward him, away from the beds where it was planted, for him to water. It was planted in good soil where water was plentiful for it to produce leaves and branches and to bear fruit, so that it might become a splendid vine.”
So, even in the coolness of the morning the Spirit spoke to me, as I made time to sense His presence, even in the leaves and the feather He placed near me to grab my attention and shift my focus from waking up to the day before me and from thinking of all my tasks needing to be done that day. For that moment He drew my attention to pause and remember the “why” we do what we do in the nations. Seeing His handiwork, whether in the cosmos or in the “busyness,” we do well not to get caught up in the “doing” but stay focused on our “being” with Him. John Piper said, “Missions begins and ends in worship.”
Success or Significance?
In my 20 years of missions work in many nations and 11 years with our College of Theology, the Lord has taught me the holy value of building trusted, lasting relationships for maximum impact. Rather than just being successful in life we desire to be significant, not for ourselves but for our King. We are called to disciple and raise up those the Lord calls us to; and to transform or disciple a nation, we do this by impacting one life at a time—by one-on-one mentoring, by classroom experience, or by conference dynamics.
Bringing the Kingdom of God is not found by building any one man’s kingdom. This takes the heart of a father, much love and prayer, discernment and time. Carrying the assignment and calling to equip leaders around the world requires loving them first and foremost. Paul’s heart, in Col. 1:28, reminds us, “We proclaim Him, warning and instructing everyone in all wisdom [that is, with comprehensive insight into the word and purposes of God], so that we may present every person complete in Christ [mature, fully trained, and perfect in Him—the Anointed].”
We are not to make clones of ourselves or even our ministries but help people discover their God ordained destiny and identity through worship, prayer, fasting, hearing the Shepherd’s voice, and studying the Word. Often one prophetic word from the heart of the Father will set a person or ministry on a life altering course toward reaching fulfillment and purpose. We sow seeds and trust the Lord to complete the good work He started in each He has called us to connect and co-labor with. Cultural understanding is vital to our understanding of the interchange and work internationally. Even more important is our duty, wherever we go, to help instill a hunger for the culture of the Kingdom—a culture that transcends the culture of man or of any ethnos.
Escaping the wrong types of striving and traditions of men has always been a challenge. We see many references in the Word of how to attain the fullness of His joy—our strength—that we were created for so we can truly enjoy the Lord and receive all His benefits and spiritual blessings. He helps us to keep it simple, if we obey His instructions. 1 Cor 12:31 says, “But earnestly desire and strive for the greater gifts [if acquiring them is going to be your goal]. And yet I will show you a still more excellent way [one of the choicest graces and the highest of them all: unselfish love].” Also note in Luke 13:24, “Strive to enter through the narrow door [force aside unbelief and the attractions of sin]; for many, I tell you, will try to enter [by their own works] and will not be able. See also Matt. 6:33, Luke 12:31, Acts 24:16, 1 Cor. 14:12, 1 Tim. 4:10, and 1 John 3:7.
While there is increasing evil and darkness spreading worldwide, we walk in the light of His love and look to see His glory shine brighter and brighter in ourselves and in His friends He gives us in many lands and also in all the Body of Christ. What an exciting time we are in! Yet there is much to do. We invite you to hunger for more of the Lord and His heart for the nations. Everyone needs to visit a foreign land at least once.
Not all are called to travel, but all are called to play a vital part in helping fulfill the Great Commission. Pray, give, and go. We each have a part in these end-time battles. 1 Samuel 30:24 states, “And who will listen to you in regard to this matter? For as is the share of him who goes down into the battle, so shall his share be who stays by the provisions and supplies; they shall share alike.”
Bob Jones’ Word
Bob Jones gave me a word on September 8, 2013 that the Lord was going to increase my voice in the Middle East. This area is very important to the Lord, and many Biblical prophecies speak of its significance. It really is a huge region of many cultures and centuries old tribal rivalries. Bonnie Jones shared recently that this word Bob gave me was on the day of his last intense trance. I cherish every word Bob gave me over the last few years of his life. This one word holds very special meaning for me, being on that special day.
No wonder Jesus said “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.” As we become strategically aligned with certain people in the Middle East, many of whom need to stay hidden to avoid threats on them and their families, the Lord has been speaking how to help see His kingdom come. Will you pray how the Lord would have you help?
We value your prayers and ask you to seek the Lord about sowing into our covert network serving on the front lines in this region. At times, we help feed thousands of refugees, many of whom are coming to know Jesus. We also help medical teams and supplies get into closed areas.
We share the Word of God in many languages behind enemy lines, using creative technological tools to avoid detection. Your help is saving lives and helping to bring many into the Kingdom for all eternity. Your help is blessing many to know the voice of our Shepherd by prophetic training and firm foundational teaching in the Word of the Lord. You are making a difference, and the Lord knows all about you and the many seeds you are sowing here and abroad. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and visit on the web at http://eaglemissions.org/product/persecuted-church/