We’ve been gearing up for a retreat at The Cove (The Billy Graham Training Center). We were scheduled to go this past weekend. North Carolina was on the edge of a huge winter storm. The days leading up to our time to leave were intense, as I had to make a decision about safety in traveling.
I have to be honest, I prayed last Tuesday night that the Lord would not be ambiguous with us. After all, nothing about Him is ambiguous. Right? I prayed He would either remove the bad weather completely or hit us with winter weather. Lord, let it be one way or the other. No in between. Be clear with us, and keep us safe. These were my prayers. I share this to say, I see the glory of the Lord. Asheville/Black Mountain was hit with 8-12 inches of snow. There was no way I could take 60 women up that mountain in the snow and ice. Rescheduling was inevitable.
I kept hearing the Lord say, “I’m sifting and shifting.” I believe He is sifting old mindsets, matters of the heart that need changing, even sifting faith and people. When we have word of a pending dangerous storm in our path (whether literally or figuratively), the truth about what’s really in our hearts begins to be revealed. Will we believe the report of man or the report of the Lord? After all, we know He does have the final word. We know our safety and our best interest is always on HIs mind. We belong to Him. When the storms come, we have a choice, don’t we? We can trust that God is at work on our behalf, or we can choose to be overcome by anxiety and fear.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. ~2 Timothy 1:7
In this process, He’s even been sifting me: my attitude, my faith, my ability to rest in who He is. I even got sifted some last week as I had a mammogram and had to go back to be rechecked. Some of you know this is common for me, but still a little unnerving every time. “Rest Rivera. Rest in Me. You’re going to be okay. Trust.” I had to choose not to agree with the voice of the enemy for a second and put all my trust in the voice of the Holy Spirit.
I believe with a true sifting comes a shift. A breakthrough for most. Out with fear, in with new confidence. Out with anxiety, in with peace. Out with bitterness, in with joy. Out with prejudices, in with love. Out with judgement, in with right thinking. Out with unforgiveness, in with forgiveness. We get a true perspective shift. Out with the old, in with the new. He’s doing a new thing. He’s readying us. He is shifting our course and moving us into new realms of His glory. How exciting is that?
Behold, the former things have come to pass, And new things I declare; Before they spring forth I tell you of them. ~Isaiah 42:9
Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert. ~ Isaiah 43:19
I was excited before, but now I absolutely can’t wait to go on this retreat. He is shifting schedules, priorities, thought patterns, and ideas. As I write, no doubt, He’s readying someone to go who wasn’t originally planning to. He’s healing some who were too sick to go. I just know it’s going to be filled with His glory, through and through. He’s putting people and hearts in place. He’s doing something new. We can rest in His plans and know they are for our good, either way.
Oh, sing to the Lord a new song! For He has done marvelous things; His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory. ~Psalm 98:1