[God] reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him.
Special thanks to those who have been praying for the ministry of His Inscriptions! I had the privilege, this week, of talking with Joel Yount from SpiritFuel on a live broadcast. We talked more about last week's "Puzzles" word (you can read that post here or on SpiritFuel's website).
Watch the broadcast on Facebook or Twitter to hear our conversation. Or scroll down to read the summary.
* As we trust God with the puzzles of our lives, He has a way of putting the right pieces together at all the right times so that we begin to see His image formed in us.
* The "Box Top" of your personal puzzle is the image of Christ! (Christ in you, the hope of glory.) You are designed to "fit" into the Maker's holy plan - the larger Kingdom puzzle He's putting together throughout the ages. Jesus is the centerpiece of that puzzle!
* There are larger puzzles for our families, cities, and even nations that require "solving." We can be confused and frustrated trying to figure them out on our own, or we can respond to God's invitation to be seated in heavenly places with Him, working in partnership to assemble these puzzles.
- Ephesians 1:8: In all wisdom and understanding, with practical insight, God made known to us the mystery (or "puzzle") of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ, concerning the fulfillment of the times - to bring all things together in Christ, both things in the heavens and things on earth.
- Colossians 2:2: Our hearts are being knit (joined) together in love, until we come to a full understanding of God's mystery, Christ Himself! We need God to help us solve our puzzles. But we need the Body to help us understand God and His perfect plan.
- Proverbs 1:5-7: The wise will hear and increase their learning, and the person of understanding will acquire wise counsel and the skill to steer his course wisely and lead others to the truth, to understand a proverb and a figure of speech or an enigma with its interpretation, and the words of the wise and their riddles that require reflection. The reverent fear of the Lord is the beginning and the preeminent part of knowledge, but arrogant fools despise wisdom and instruction and self-discipline.
*Daniel 2 gives us a beautiful picture of how to solve complex problems or puzzles. King Nebuchadnezzar had a troubling dream for which which he demanded an interpretation from his seers. The problem was that he didn't bother telling these wise men the dream! Daniel needed both wisdom (practical interpretation of a dream) AND revelation (to know the content of the dream itself).
Daniel did several things that are valuable lessons for us today:
1. He replied with discernment (wisdom) and discretion (the word in Hebrew speaks of "good taste.") He didn't whine or complain that his life was in danger! He remained calm and got the facts first.
2. He refused to fear but took courage and boldly went in to the king, asking for some time to pray and "solve" the mystery. He remained in a place of faith despite the pressure, trusting that God would answer in time.
3. He returned to his house - a place known for prayer and intimacy with God - and sought counsel with his companions. They partnered with him in prayer for the interpretation. There's wisdom in many counselors!
Notice the names of the three counselors: Hananiah means "Jah has favored." Mishael means "freedom." Azariah means "Jehovah has helped." What a beautiful prophetic picture of what God does for the one who prays! In times of confusion or pressure, don't forget to do the basics of prayer, worship, seeking counsel, and speaking words of faith.
4. He praised God and testified of His goodness when the puzzle was "solved" through a dream, a vision of the night. In all things, the fear of the Lord (Proverbs 1 again) gave Daniel a peaceable wisdom which resulted in his promotion and an expansion of the Kingdom. (Daniel 2:46-49.)
Dreams and visions can provide you with an internal "map" for your life or the direction of your ministry!
*Puzzles need to be assembled in a certain order. For those who are trusting God for the salvation of friends or family members, don't force the "pieces" in place before their time! Pray and wait for the connecting pieces to be put into place in God's timing. He will show you how everything fits together!
*Right alignment is critical. You are unique, you belong to God's plan, and you won't "fit" into someone else's puzzle!
*Jesus came to seek and save the lost. If you feel like you're a piece of the puzzle that has fallen off God's tables somehow or gone beyond the borders of His will for your life, simply pray and ask Him for help. He's a good God; He knows how to find you and set you back in place again!
*To hear an encouraging story of how God brought three prodigals home, listen to the broadcast.
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A severe hearing loss from childhood caused Deborah Perkins to develop what she now calls her secret weapon: tuning in to God's voice. A Wellesley College graduate and an award-winning writer, Deborah is now a wife and mother of 3 boys. Deborah has devoted over 25 years to professional and lay Christian ministry in New England and beyond. Her passion is inspiring people to cultivate greater intimacy with God.