I have come to realize that, where God is concerned, there is no such thing as coincidence. In my journey, particularity: All that has been, and all that is yet to be: every action, inaction, reaction and consequence thereof, is exactly, "As It Is Written."
About five years ago, I wrote a letter to a select few of God’s elite/elect, seeking assistance with bringing forth my testimony. Unlike the letter in Jeremiah, my letter contained no prophecy. It was, at its’ core, a request for guidance. BUT GOD, foreknowing His own people’s insubordinate nature, promised, “I will help them; I will direct their work, in truth.” For certain, God has been navigating my life through the book of Isaiah. It is my assessment, that many books of the Bible serve as detail to the prophecies outlined in Isaiah. A couple years ago, I asked God, regarding my journey; Why Isaiah? God responded in the form of a question: "Did not Isaiah prophesy of all things regarding the redemption of man, from the coming of Christ to His return, save only the day and hour?" Several months ago, the question resurfaced. I tried to dismiss it, because I believed that God had already answered it. But it wouldn't go away, so I asked again; God, why Isaiah? Thoroughly expecting the same answer, God led me to the scripture where it is written that Isaiah walked the earth naked, "exposed." In that moment, I realized that everything that I have gone through, especially over the past few years, was to expose the truth of my journey and free me from the captivity of my past to clear a path to display the gifts, He had placed in me, for His Glory. Aside from the purging, scripture also confirms, in Isaiah, that God eventually, “flips the script," vindicating Jerusalem (daughter of Zion). But, for a long time I had inquired, of God, a better understanding of the reason. It’s not like Jerusalem was altogether innocent. I’m so grateful that God does not despise our questions; He invites them.
Not long ago, my daughter, her fiancé, and I were engaged in a discussion about biblical names; their meanings, roles and significance, in Christ's journey, as they relate to our own journeys. We researched our names, as well as other names in the Bible. My daughter and her fiancé, whom have been an absolute blessing in my, “next level,” restoration, were pleased to learn that his name was associated with that of a king. I was familiar with the name, but it had never really resonated with me, beyond being, one of the many “random” names of kings listed in the text. Like most people, I suppose, I had only truly familiarized myself, in-depth, with the most popularized of biblical names: Jesus, Mary, Joseph, John, Peter, Paul, David, etc. Yet, for some reason, I felt drawn to pursue further knowledge of this name. A small still, albeit persistent, voice kept prompting me to revisit the book of Ezra. Once again, Ezra is one of those books in the Bible which had left no real impact on me. I recalled it as one of the "Old Testament" books, that referenced several kings, and seemingly endless tribes, families and unequally yoked marriages. None of which, I initially considered data, intrinsically, vital to retain. "BUT GOD," knows what his children hath need of. A couple months ago, I gave in to the prompting, and reread Ezra. One of the reasons my favorite Bible is my "vintage KJV," is because of its' detail. It contains very concise summary at the beginning of each book, which outlines its subject matter, along with, biographical characteristics regarding the people about whom it is written. Reading the synopsis alone, immediately revealed that one of the kings, named in the text, who played a vital role in the restoration of Jerusalem, bore the same name as my daughter's fiancé. Coincidence?
In the book of Ezra, though Jerusalem, had erred in her duties as God’s chosen city; the kings and priests, in her midst, had likewise erred by interfering in God’s plans to restore her. In their own self-serving scheme to teach Jerusalem a lesson, through punishment (based on her forefather’s history of non-payment of taxes) they had, inadvertently, dishonored God, by unjustly and forcibly, obstructing His restoration process. God chastens, not man. Somewhere along the way, in their own majesty, they lost sight of God and became incensed over what they felt was disrespectful, not to God, but to them. It seems like God was saying, to those whom He had profited and positioned for His Glory: "IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU; SHAME ON YOU FOR BEING SO EASILY INSULTED.” In fact, God literally says that very thing in Isaiah 66:5 Hear this message from the LORD, all you who tremble at his words: "Your own people hate you and throw you out for being loyal to my name. 'Let the LORD be honored!' they scoff. 'Be joyful in him!' But they will be put to shame.” Yet, even after realizing they had erred, in God's eyes, they continued to dishonor and disregard God as if they had no knowledge of the truth. Reminiscent to my own story, where a letter was also involved; and whereby, interference, caused me to be forced out onto the streets of Houston, impeding my restoration. BUT GOD, didn’t allow it simply to chasten me; but also, that His Word be made manifest through the testing of His people. Would they, being obedient and having the mind of Christ, forgive, extend compassion as God had freely extended to them (even if I had wronged them, I had not), or would they, ridicule, withhold their goods and walk over me, some even crossing to the other side of the street? I love His way. He does a thing out in the open. The Word says “before a cloud of witnesses” (I’m so excited about Hebrews Ch. 12); so that even when we try to claim ignorance, He has already disqualified that excuse (Proverbs 24:12).
Like Jerusalem, the kings, too, had received (grace, redemption, salvation) without paying, therefore, what an insult to God that they would even dare to consider their own “prominence,” requiring profit and reverence from Jerusalem. Whether the actual nation of Israel, a church, or an individual, God's command is for His temple to be rebuilt. You can almost hear the frustration and disappointment in God's voice, as He asks: "Where were you when I came?" And "Why didn't you answer when I called?" Moreover, "Where is the house that you build unto me?" As if anything that you could possibly build would even pale in comparison to that which He has already done for you. We’re so busy with our own agendas and splendor that we don’t even recognize His presence. It's also about being a trustworthy Shepherd, through whom God's people can be built up, whether you like them or not. It’s interesting, the kings not only disrupted God’s plans, they also helped Babylon steal from God’s temple, as if God would be pleased with a stolen offering, simply because Babylon looked the part [“I hate robbery for burnt offering”]. The real irony is that, even today, the church, oftentimes cast out those who uphold God’s Word, while forbearing those with whom scripture says we are not to have so much as a meal: Denying “The Almighty,” not only, a clean vessel, but most importantly, His chosen place of rest, theoretically, leaving God homeless. WOW, I can't even. The devil is a liar!
Given my experience with the prominent ones connected, by letter, to my journey, God knows their names, I was almost inclined not to write this, but, as always, I sought God’s counsel. No matter where I went in scripture, whether Isaiah, Ezra, Job, Corinthians, Habakkuk and even the book of Jeremiah, which those who have come against me, attempt to use to label me “false prophet”, yet it says in Jerimiah 30 1”This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2“This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Write in a book all the words I have spoken to you. 3The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will bring my people Israel (of which Jerusalem is the capital) and Judah back from captivityand restore them to the land I gave their ancestors to possess,’ says the Lord.” God’s overwhelming directive was “write it.”
(So, “What’s In A Name?” Regardless of the names of the kings in the midst of Jerusalem or the names associated with my story; the only name that truly matters is the name that is above all names: “JESUS,” there is POWER in that name.)
Heavenly FATHER, Holy is Thy name. Thank You for Your abiding faithfulness and for Your Word made manifest in my life. Thank You for removing far from me, those who laid me waste; for contending with those who contend with me, and for preserving the remnant of my children. Thank You for the revelations of truth by which You are directing my work. Thank You for confirming Your voice, through the book of Ezra. Thank You for my daughter, Alyshia; and her fiancé, Darrius: Your angelic, vessels set forth to usher me into restoration. LORD, I humbly ask that You open the windows of heaven, this day, and pour out Your blessings, beyond measure, to prosper them in every area of their lives. I, likewise, ask that You show favor to those who bless them. Rebuke the devour for all their sakes and lift up a standard against their enemies. Grant to them the full protection of "Your Amour," against which, no man, power, principality, nor even the very gates of hell shall prevail. In Jesus' name. Amen. Thank You LORD.
"And EZRA blessed the LORD, the great GOD. Then all the people answered, "Amen, Amen! while lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and WORSHIPED the LORD with their faces to the ground."
This song is for me: Let The Church Say Amen