As we approach Thanksgiving here in the United States and I was thinking about what to write – the Holy Spirit reminded me of a teaching I heard earlier this year. It resonated deeply with me that I am soooo very thankful for the joyful anticipation of good. This expression comes from a podcast by Bill Johnson of iBethel. I encourage you to go out and listen to the entire podcast (Waiting Patiently in Hope 06/23/13) to be refreshed and set free with the truth it contains. Internalizing this teaching has had a great impact on me. I want to share that with you.
Below is what I transcribed into my own journal after listening.
- Waiting (Ps 37:7) – is waiting as a hunter waits watchful, to set up am ambush, seeking out and following so that he can apprehend his prey. That is how we are to wait for the Lord. Alert, watchful, and seeking out Him, His presence and following where He is moving; because He has promised that when we seek Him , we will find Him! (Jer 29:13)
- Hope - Any area of your life where you do not have the joyful anticipation of good, like children waiting for Christmas presents on Christmas morning, that area of your life is under the influence of a lie. The biblical word Hope is literally translated as this excited, joyful expectation of something very significant. I may not know what it is, I may not know when, I may not know how. But I am not leaving because it could happen at any moment that God is going to do something extraordinary. (Eph 3:20)
- Patience (James 1:2-4). Definition: The independent, unyielding, defiant perseverance in the face of aggressive misfortune and thus to a kind of courageousness.
As the richness of this teaching sunk into my soul (emotions, intellect and will) the Holy Spirit came with personal revelation of how it applies to me and the passions of my heart … which you have probably guessed by now is unconditional hope for every heart
Part of how I live that out is being involved in an inner healing ministry called Sozo. For those unfamiliar with that word: “The New Testament word for ‘Saved’ is the Greek word ‘Sozo’ and it literally means ‘To Save, Heal and Deliver.’ When you combine Sozo with Sōtēria, which is the Greek word for Salvation you get the complete meaning. Simply putting these words together you are able to get the whole picture. To be ‘Saved’ means to be saved, healed, delivered, preserved, protected, to make prosperous and to make whole. The word ‘whole’ means to restore, or that nothing is missing and nothing is broken.
The definition above is what I deem the “technical” explanation. As wonderful as that is, after soaking in this teaching from Bill Johnson, my heavenly Father gave me this personal revelation of what Sozo is:
What you are showing me Father is Sozo is;
positioning yourself like a hunter looking for prey,
only in this case it is looking for Jesus.
Watching, looking, positioning yourself to be able to take hold
of what You are doing; to follow Your lead.
How do I follow? By definition of patience above:
“The independent, unyielding, defiant perseverance
in the face of aggressive misfortune and thus to a kind of courageousness.”.
Why? Because I have hope; the joyful anticipation of good.
That is what sozo is.
We are seeking to follow You and to find You
and You have promised to be found.
You have promised You will put yourself, as Bill Johnson said,
“in the midde of the road” if we take those actions:
seek You out, look for where You’re moving and what You’re doing
and we go after it aggressively with independent,
unyielding, defiant perseverance in the face of aggressive misfortune
whatever the person has been through,
whatever we’ve been through because we know –
I KNOW, I know, I know, I know – I have the joyful anticipation of good
because I know YOU WILL BE FOUND.
I know You will provide for me, for them
out of the bounties of Your goodness and Your riches in heaven.
WOW that is quite a definition and revelation of what Sozo is.
To cap it all off my sweet Heavenly Father gave me the dream below:
I am driving along a coast in a car I later discover was borrowed from someone who lives in the area. It’s a beautiful day. Suddenly as I am driving I hear a “roar” and look to my left there is a HUGE wave approaching. I see it with just enough time to see it before it engulfs me. I feel absolutely no fear – actually the opposite. I feel giddy, effervescent, joyful, empowered and child-like as in “do it again”. Somehow I am floating within the car, but when the wave recedes I am still driving; the road is till there, the car is still running. Then it happens again. I am trying to remember if it happened 3 times or more. This is sketchy but I believe I remember that I was thinking “what if this happens when I bring the group here”? So I guess I was checking out a new place to bring people. The scene changes and I am on a deck at a hotel, telling a group of people about it. I think one of them is my Mom. I am so excited. The looks on their faces are ones of fear and almost horror. There is one particular person, and I get the impression it was their car I was driving and they look very concerned about their vehicle. I try to convey that it is fine despite the consuming wave. As we are there on the patio, I start to hear the roar again. I stop, stand-up look at everyone, and tell them “listen, wait for it”. The words are barely out and the wave hits the patio. I remember laughing as I am engulfed. I wake up.
As I typed the word “roar” I suddenly remembered the blog post I wrote last fall while in Kiawah “the roar of love”. That’s what these waves are – waves of consuming love. I just asked You what is “the coast” and heard “living on the edge” – the edge of what I’ve known and what You have for me. Oh, and the car is “driving” from the power imparted to me by others experience of You and driving it to a new level of experience in You. Being absolutely overtaken and consumed by Your Presence Your love like nothing I … or “the group I’m leading/guiding” has every experienced. Father I feel like Mary, Mother of Jesus in this moment in that I hear You telling me this consuming wave of love and Your Presence is something You are imparting to me and wherever I share my experience You will come and consume those around me – the patio scene. Like Mary Father I do wonder “how can this be”, but also like Mary my heart’s response is be it unto me according to Your Word!! Your freshly spoken Word that contains within it the Power to accomplish what it declares. Mary couldn’t make it happen, I can’t make this happen – but You certainly can make this happen … Hallelujah
Now THAT is joyful anticipation of good! Just how powerful is this joyful expectation of good? Jesus endured the cross because of the joy set before him (Heb 12:2) … because of His joyful expectation of good even in the midst of excruciating pain that would try to tell Him otherwise. Whatever your circumstances are telling you, the choice is always yours what you will believe.
This Thanksgiving I am so very thankful for the choice to believe in the joyful anticipation of good as I wait patiently to see earth’s sphere permeated with our Heavenly Father’s heart, which is sozo for every life, including mine and yours.
I invite you to come along with me to enter into living on the edge of what we have known and being consumed by what God has for each of us so that we can impart it to those around us and be “the light on the hill” in Isaiah 60:1-3 that the world so needs at this time.