Prophet Blessing #11: The Immensity of God
Beloved, I call your spirit to attention, and I invite the Prophet portion to come explore how God has designed you to gloriously enrich the world in your very own way.
It is with extreme pleasure that I search for the words to frame and honor your most celebrated gift to mankind – your grasp of the immensity of God.
While each of the gifts is designed to resonate to a specific facet of the nature of God, the Prophet tribe lays the foundation for all the gifts that follow by showing us the immensity of God. This is a gift of immeasurable value for which we are profoundly grateful.
Think of the Prophet Elijah who revealed the immensity of God in nature to a nation of people who thought Baal controlled nature. He soaked his sacrifice with 12 barrels of water and captured the run off in a ditch around the altar. Then with no drama, he called down fire from heaven that burned up the wood, the bull, the water in the ditch and even the stones the altar was made of. Then he caused it to rain with intensity.
How immense is that! Other people over the centuries have called down fire from heaven or have broken droughts but have you ever heard of someone burning up ROCKS with effortless ease?
It was not enough for Elijah to show that Baal was powerless and God could make it rain. He, by nature, needed to show much more than that. He needed to demonstrate to the people that God was more immense than their wildest imaginations.
And he did.
Because that is what Prophets do!
God knows that about Prophets so He tailors His revelation to the man receiving it. For Abraham, the Giver and the friend of God, there was one flavor of revelation. For David the Mercy, the man after God’s own heart, there was another flavor. For Isaiah, the Teacher who knew land, there was a distinctly different vision of God. Paul and John who went to heaven each saw a difference facet of the nature of God, one that was appropriate for their gifts and for the revelation that should rightfully flow for them. The Prophet Ezekiel was from a priestly line when God called him into the office of a prophet. For his ordination party, God gave him the most immense revelation of God ever recorded in Scripture.
There are at least 64 different facets to the richly textured revelation of God in Ezekiel chapters one and two. If we take just one of those facets, motion, there are 12 different expressions of motion in this one event It starts with the rotation of the whirlwind and extends to the living creatures that moved at the speed of light. There is individual motion and exquisitely synchronized motion. There is expected motion of flying with wings and the counter-intuitive motion of wheels that move without rotating. And these are only a few aspects of only one facet of only one Prophet’s initial glance at the topic of God. How vast is the immensity of God. He has commissioned the entire Prophet tribe to feed at the table of His immensity and to share their exultation over His immensity with the seen and the unseen world.
THIS is the glory of the Prophet – ruthlessly, relentlessly, defiantly stretching your view of God larger than your spirit seems capable of stretching, and then rushing back moments later, before you have even begun to recover, to do it to you all over again.
Dr. Alexander Whyte, that incomparable Scot pastor, embodied the Prophet’s passion for the immensity of God. During the many years that he graced the Presbyterian pulpit he preached from Genesis to Revelation and back again, covering the full range of human hopes and hardships. Yet with all that diversity he only had one sermon. The beginning and ending points of any message were mere cultural accommodations because his great Prophet’s spirit invariably went straight to the topic of God. Again and again the impassioned flow of his robust sermons would be interrupted by a more impassioned apostrophe as he shouted out with fresh awe, “Who is like unto our God?!”
Each week’s sermon raised the bar in his portrayal of the immensity of his God. Far from celebrating his own excellence in vision or speech, he swiftly converted each achievement into another rung on the ladder, so that he could reach higher the following week and portray The Almighty more honestly than the previous feeble attempt by capturing and expressing another facet of His immensity.
THIS is why we welcome you into our midst, Prophet. Come with kindness if it works, come with consummate skill at all times, and come with violence if you must, but do what you must to break off the shackles of our small view of God. We beg you to share this monumental treasure with us. As you do, we will bless you in the name of our King, Jesus Christ.
At the University Library
October 15, 2008
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