Start the audio by clicking the arrow at the bottom of this page or you may first read this short synopsis.
Synopsis of Don’t Give Up – Look Up
We’re about to slice a piece of the Bread of Life, the Word of God. And today’s slice comes from the passage titled: ~Jesus Appears to His Disciples
LUK 24:36 And just as they were telling about it, Jesus himself was suddenly standing there among them. He said, “Peace be with you.” 37 But the whole group was terribly frightened, thinking they were seeing a ghost! 38 “Why are you frightened?” he asked. “Why do you doubt who I am? 39 Look at my hands. Look at my feet. You can see that it’s really me. Touch me and make sure that I am not a ghost, because ghosts don’t have bodies, as you see that I do!” 40 As he spoke, he held out his hands for them to see, and he showed them his feet. 41 Still they stood there doubting, filled with joy and wonder. Then he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he ate it as they watched. 44 Then he said, “When I was with you before, I told you that everything written about me by Moses and the prophets and in the Psalms must all come true.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand these many Scriptures. 46 And he said, “Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah must suffer and die and rise again from the dead on the third day. 47 With my authority, take this message of repentance to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem: ‘There is forgiveness of sins for all who turn to me.’ 48 You are witnesses of all these things. 49 “And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.”
I read recently about a kitten named Rajah who loved to sit on a shelf and look down into a fish bowl of fish swimming. From her vantage point she could see everything going on in it. I’m sure the fish were not happy at her antics as they were comfortably swimming with a hugh cat looking down at them. If they could have understood their plight they probably felt trapped. I began to wonder what if…. what if they were lifted out and set up higher to look down at the situation…. would their perspective change?
There are times in life that we may feel trapped. What if we were lifted up higher to see the situation as God sees it….. would it change our perspective. After all Ephesians 2:6 says: “God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.”
This story of Rajah is a great visual for us to remind us that we are not just swimming in circles. We are God’s children, and we can watch with Him from above.
With that, let me read a saying that I believe is befitting the title: “If you do not raise your eyes you will think you are the highest point.” Anonio Porchia
Now, with all that under our belts lets look at: LUKE 24:49 “And now I will send the holy spirit, just as my father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.”
The Lord made an offer to 500 of His disciples in Luke 24:49, but only 120 were committed to partner with the Promise in the upper room, and stay “until” they received power from on high. When they were given that promise, it does not say how many went into the upper room, it only says how many were left. How many of those 500 actually desired the Promise enough to go, and at what point did it became inconvenient to stay? If we were able to interview those 380 today, there would be a number of folks echoing regret. If they could have only discerned how close they were to the Promise knocking at their door.
We are on the verge of a significant spiritual shift. The Lord is drawing many into times of intimacy and preparation for what He is prepared to pour out. Along with this invitation, many are feeling a desire to return to the contemplative spiritual disciplines of generosity, prayer (including meditation), and fasting as outlined in Matthew 6.
Contemplative, now that’s a word we don’t hear too often. It simply means, consider thoroughly, almost constantly, studiously. For instance, I have been looking for the past year for a replacement of my old van. I have contemplating, considering, measuring, searching………….. and I just purchased a replacement, and it just fits my specifications.
Jesus said when we come away with Him in contemplative prayer, then our Father would reward us openly in the days to come (see Matthew 6:6). The reward, itself, is not our motivation, He is. However, He is a rewarder of our diligent and faith-filled–longing. Bro. Dick, where would we get such? Ephesians16b: I pray for you constantly, 17 asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you might grow in your knowledge of God.
Now is a season where we will transition as a people from knowing about Him to knowing Him. It is my hope that we, with Job, will soon be able to say, JOB 42:5 I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.
When those hungry disciples gathered in that upper room they did not know how long they were signing up for, they just knew that they were signing up. Jesus had given them the Promise of His Father. He told them to wait in Jerusalem “until” they received power from on high We are standing at a place in history, poised to see the greatest wave of God’s Spirit to ever come upon the earth. We are about to cross the line of “Until…”
“Until” represents the breaking point where shift happens. Breakthrough is found in our private devotion and personal pursuit of God when no one is watching. If you are in need of breakthrough, make it a point to “return to the stronghold” and watch what the God of the Breakthrough does for you. When He breaks open, we break out.
So, let’s examine this “contemplative” method of praying and getting closer to God, to be looking at our fish bowl from His point of view.
Technically it is called in Latin L,e,c,t,i,o D,i,v,i,n,a; pronounced “lec-see-o-de-ve-no.” and is sometimes translated “meditative reading” or “spiritual reading.” Others call it “Prayer of the Listening Heart.” I prefer that one… “Prayer of the Listening Heart.”
To listen to the audio of this message click on the arrow below.