God sings.

God sings. Imagine that. No, really… imagine that…

Zeph317“The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.” (Zeph. 3:17, KJV)

I learned this verse as a scripture chorus set to music many years ago. Other versions include these two:

“The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” (NIV) Mighty Warrior! Sometimes I really need that warrior.

“The LORD your God among you is powerful— he will save and he will take joyful delight in you. In his love he will renew you with his love; he will celebrate with singing because of you.” (International Standard Version) I especially like this one, He will “renew” us with his love. (My strength needs to be renewed as the eagle regularly.)

Joy, rejoice – the original language means to twirl, jump, leap for sheer joy; to dance. Like a lamb playing in a meadow, run, leap, jump, twirl around and have a good time just for the fun of it. Could you do that silently? I doubt it. No, sing and shout while you’re jumping and twirling, words of praise, thanksgiving, adoration, exultation and victory.

Singing is from the Hebrew word rinnah, defined as a ringing cry of entreaty or supplication, or in proclamation of joy or praise. The KJV translates it several ways: cry (12x), singing (9x), rejoicing (3x), joy (3x), gladness (1x), proclamation (1x), shouting (1x), sing (1x), songs (1x), triumph (1x).

When your football team scores a touchdown, you make noise, don’t you? The whole crowd makes noise.

Last night I asked the Lord for a dream. A selfish request, maybe, but my recent dreams have been random, making no real sense. I wanted one that did. Early this morning I woke up from a dream that was obviously His answer.

A young woman was seated in a chair and I was kneeling beside her, speaking a prophetic prayer.

The Lord will sing songs to you of power, stamina and strength, His undergirding energy for endurance in the coming day.

The Lord will sing songs to you of warrior warfare, armor, weaponry and tactics, His strategy for victory in the coming fight.

The Lord will sing songs to you of wisdom, knowledge and understanding, His ability for success no matter what you face ahead.

Although I didn’t recognize the woman as someone from my past or present, I believe she is a real person somewhere. The Lord was using me to pray for her even as I slept. One phrase struck me powerfully, although the entire prayer was powerful —

“The Lord will sing songs to you…”

Meditating on the dream today, I realized that whoever that woman is, I myself am included in that promise. God is singing to me, providing with joy everything needed for what lies ahead. Such an incredible answer!

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Revival… happening now

The following paragraph was included in an email update I received today, reported by an evangelist who has been ministering in the UK:

There were nights where during our preaching, young people would come in off of the streets and walk to the front asking, ‘What must we do to be saved?’ With no altar call or invitation for people to accept Jesus, they were coming to the altar to be born again. The harvest was just that ripe!

2014 is a year of contrasts. Political chaos, record-setting weather events, economic disasters, tragedies of many kinds, horrible religious persecution — and spreading revival. That short paragraph above could describe what is happening in many nations right now. “Here, Lord!” is my prayer! “Here, in Florence, South Carolina, United States of America! Here.”

Co-workers

Growing up, and even as an adult I usually pictured Jesus and me like this:

JesusAndChildren   JesusAndSheep02

Those images weren’t wrong. But the more I study and listen to his voice, I realize they weren’t the whole story. The apostle Paul says, “For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.” And “As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain.” (I Cor. 3:9, II Cor. 6:1,NIV)

So today I tend to visualize Jesus and his disciples – including me – more like this:

TwoSoldiers   TwoScientists

TwoCarpenters    TwoFarmers

TwoElectricians