Arise, shine for your light has come
Many, many years ago in a small house in a small town of New Zealand a man visiting a small house meeting which he only came to once and was never seen again by us, spoke a word from the Bible to us. It was from Isaiah chapter 60. It was this:
Arise, shine for your light has come
And the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
For behold, the darkness will cover the earth,
And deep darkness the people;
but the Lord will arise upon you
And His glory will be seen upon you.
The gentiles will come to your light
And kings to the brightness of your shining.
I had become a Christian a very short time before from a very lost state and didn’t look like a person with any future of any kind let alone being one that God had a purpose for.
Now it is nearly fifty years later.
Last February Denise and I were in Seoul, Korea doing some meetings over a few days with our good friend Peter Jackson in a church there. The leaders of the church were dear friends and the corona virus had just spiked in it’s numbers that day and extra precautions were being put in place. We flew home the next day and a day later the flights to and from Korea to New Zealand were cancelled.
On that last night just before I was to get up and speak Denise leaned over to me and said she thought we should just spend the evening praying for everyone there. Peter had flown home that day and it was just Denise and I. Denise has a way of scaring me with her faith and although I knew it was the right thing to do I was worried about doing this. I just didn’t know if I had any energy left to do this. In the two weeks before coming to Korea we had held two conferences in Bangkok in Thailand and Manila in the Philippines. Manila was particularly draining on me. However I agreed and instead of going up to speak we went to the front and Denise announced that we would pray for everyone who was there including the unknown number in another room watching on video. And the people came in a great line filing to the front one at a time.
After praying more conventionally for some I realised that it wasn’t my prayers that were touching people. It wasn’t my hands being laid on them that was touching people. It was my eyes and my face. When I just looked into the eyes of those who came and their eyes glanced at mine the love of our Father was meeting them in myriads of ways that I knew nothing of. They would fall into my arms, great tears would spring out of their eyes, they would be wracked with sobbing crying etc. as our Father was healing broken, wounded and lonely hearts. It was an amazing night for me as I saw again the fulfilment of the prophecy, that was given to Israel through Isaiah the Prophet and given personally to me so long ago.
“The Lord will arise upon you and His glory will be seen upon you”.
We are so blessed in the church across the world today that there are so many who know the anointing of the Lord in their ministries. We see so much physical healing. We hear so much wisdom in the teaching of so many. Our churches have access to wonderful music in the midst of which we can enjoy worshipping with all of our hearts. There are so many going out into the world reaching people with that good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and many are finding this new life in Christ. We are enjoying many different realms of anointed ministry around the world.
But I just want to speak a little warning in the midst of it all. The anointing of God in our ministries isn’t just power, physical manifestations, effective results, excitement and enthusiasm around well presented speaking or big gatherings with much fanfare.
The anointing is when the glory of God is seen upon us. What this means is not bright shining halos, physical manifestations or miraculous events etc as listed above. I mean, it can be and is these things but not without something much more important being revealed over shadowing these things. The glory of God isn’t just the wonders of what He does. It is the wonder of who He is being revealed. The glory of God is Him manifest as a person. You can visit a house and see the glory of the builder and the architects in their ability to do. But it is not until you work in the presence of the architect or the builder that you will really see them for who they are. Learn the way they think, the way they smile, the way they walk, the way they feel, the way they love etc. This is their true glory. Maybe we wouldn’t want to know what the builder and the architect of our buildings are like as people; we just want the buildings they make for us. But when living in God’s house it is different. We live here, not for the house, of which we are glad if we can just be a door keeper of, but because of the One who created the house and lives in it.
That last night in Seoul as I ministered to those who came to the front the Lord reminded me that He wants the glory of His love to be seen upon us. What those of us who have brokenness in our hearts need is not really in seeing the miraculous power of God in action but we need to see His eyes of love, loving us. We need to see His personality of kindness assuring and stabilising our hearts. We need to feel His joy over us touching our hearts and filling our emotions. We need to have his patience with us comfort our fears and failures. We need to ‘know’ His friendship in a personal way. We need to be safe in His present fathering of us at all times. The glory of God is not primarily what He does for us but it is who He is to us.
This is the glory that is risen upon us. This is the shining brightness that kings will come to. The phenomena of anointing is when people make contact with God as the person He is, through us! When they are impacted by a person to person meeting. When they meet the nature of God through you and I. His kindness, His gentleness, His carefreeness, His laughter, His joy – through you and I!
Many, many times over the years I have met with God in so many differing ways like this. I live for more of them. They overshadow being seen to be a man of God. They obliterate any thought of importance in this world. They make mere effectiveness in ministry an abomination. Without going into God’s heart and ‘seeing’ the wonder of His person, so understated when we call Him Love or Beauty or Good because our understanding of these words are so puny, life is an empty wandering in the coldness of a cloud covered mountain. But ‘seeing’ Him is dancing on the mountain tops in the sun with sense being made of everything around and perspective stretching as far as my eye can see.
This is not the anointing and glory of seeing what God can and is doing that is here today and gone tomorrow. The anointing we need is the glory of God’s personality revealed which is here today and better in all of our tomorrows.
Darkness does cover the earth and deep darkness the people, but the Lord will arise upon you and his glory will be seen upon you! The gentiles will come to your light and kings to the brightness to the light of YOUR shining.