Chain Reaction in Realms of the Spirit
Beauty For Ashes Part 4 - George H. Warnock
CHAPTER 12 - REND THE HEAVENS, O LORD, AND COME DOWN!
This was the heart-cry of the prophet Isaiah in a time of great distress in Israel; and it is the heart-cry of God's people today, who are sensitive to the heart of God. I find it most encouraging to know that God's prophets were moving in the winds of His Spirit--not only when they uttered great and glorious prophecies, but when they wept and lamented in great anguish of heart. In either case it was the heart of God that was being moved and torn because of the need of His people, and the prophets were simply expressing the burden of God's heart.
The needs are so great, Lord! The problems are so severe! Your people are in great distress! Your holy and glorious Name is blasphemed among the nations! You came down before in the sight of men, and You did great and wonderful things--even when we were not expecting them! But Lord, the needs are greater now than they have ever been! Your holy cities are a wilderness! Our beautiful house where our fathers worshipped You is burned up with fire! All our pleasant things are a heap of rubble! Zion is a desolate wilderness! How can You be silent, Oh Lord, when You know Your people are in great distress and affliction?
And God's answer is the same today as it was to Isaiah. God says, "I still have precious, unseen things that I am going to reveal and make known. I have not yet exhausted all of My wisdom and My riches. I have thoughts in My heart that no man has yet imagined. AND I HAVE GREAT THINGS PREPARED FOR HIM THAT WAITETH FOR ME."
"For since the beginning of the world
Men have not heard,
Nor perceived by the ear,
Neither hath the eye seen,
O God, beside Thee,
What He hath prepared
For him that waiteth for Him"
When Heaven Touches The Earth
"O that our God would the heavens rend,"
So we cry with the prophet of old...
"Let the mountains melt and the hills dissolve,
And make Your Name known to men.
When our resources are gone and our strength is small
And we patiently do His will,
And we give Him our all, and cancel our plans
And lay it all before Him.
When we come to the end of out own resources,
And have learned to wait and be still,
He has gone on ahead and will meet with us there,
And Heaven will touch the earth.
For eye hath not seen, nor ear has heard
The wonders that He will do,
In vessels that are prepared of God
And have learned to wait for Him.
But waiting for God let us never suppose,
Is sitting around in ease;
For all the while we are waiting for Him,
We must faithfully do what He says...
Laboring in the menial tasks,
In shop, or in the mill,
Or gathering fruit from the sycamore trees,
Or walking behind the plow,
Or preaching to crowds in the forums of earth
And traveling far and wide,
Or sitting at home with no words to say,
Dumb--when He says to be still.
All the time I am doing His will,
I am waiting for God to work.
And I want to be there in the pathway of God,
When Heaven draws nigh to earth.
I thought my part was to do great things,
Lest I stand at His throne undone.
But now I have learned my part is to wait,
His workmanship to become.
And while I am waiting I trust I am learning
That His ways, not mine, are the best;
That His ways and my ways are one and the same,
When I learn to enter His rest.
That His part is my part, and His burden mine,
When I walk in the yoke with Him.
So working for God is no longer my quest,
But working together with Him.
I can no longer say, "I have done my part,
Now come on the scene and do Yours";
But abiding in Him as the branch in the Vine,
The fruit is entirely His.
And so men of all ages who walked by faith,
Were men who waited for God.
And as they waited they did what He said,
In patience, longsuffering and trial.
Dwelling in caves and holes of the earth,
Refusing to run and go free--
Preferring to die by flame or by sword,
Than to have the approval of men.
And as they walked in the ways of the Lord
They earnestly longed for the day
When God would come down and mountains would melt,
As the heavens responded to men.
So now I have learned that walking by faith
Is walking with God in His way;
That doing His will is all He requires,
And to leave all the planning with Him.
Whether it be to shepherd the sheep,
On Horeb's barren slopes,
Or tending the children with loving care,
And washing the pots and pans,
Or gathering fruit from the sycamore trees,
Like Amos the prophet of old;
Or hammering nails, or bending the tin,
Or walking behind the plow,
Or filling my days with meaningless deeds
In shop or assembly line...
If this be His will, to learn how to serve,
In faithfulness, honor and trust--
Then this I must do, and be faithful and true,
If I hope to hear His "Well done!"
If I rush to the front, when God says to stand,
If I build, when God wants to tear down;
If I seek to enlarge, when God says "Decrease"
Or run, when God says to be still;
If I want to expand because needs are so great,
When God wants to keep me small--
For He seeks to refine the ore that I bring,
Till nothing is left but the gold--
And I stand all aghast at the havoc I see,
Scarce anything left but the ash--
Then He is so faithful to show me His Word,
And whisper assurance so clear:
"Your thoughts are not Mine and My ways are not yours,
Behold the great work that I do,
When men lose their strength and I clothe them in Mine,
And they walk in a way that is new."
Then the Word becomes real as it settles within,
And knowledge gives way to the Truth,
And hope rises fresh from the ash of despair,
When I know what the Potter would do.
He tells me of Joseph and how he was trained
In prison cell lonely and bare,
To sit on a throne and minister bread
To a people who lived in despair.
He reminds me of Moses and the vision he had,
How his failure was turned into strength,
How in walking with God he grew gentle and meek,
Approved in the Furnace of Time.
How his meeting with God had all been arranged
In the secret councils of Heaven.
And how God remembered the cry of the slave,
As He spoke from the burning bush.
O how we would try to make Heaven respond
To our needs, to our prayers, to our woes;
And we plan and connive and arrange and promote,
Like Jacob a man full of guile.
Yet we long for Him, and He patiently waits
Till we come to the end of the road,
And all of our loves and our treasures and flocks
Have been driven beyond the ford.
And we stand all alone in the dark of the night,
To be smitten and crippled of God:
No longer to walk in the wisdom of men,
No longer to get, but to give--
For here was a man that was chosen of God
Even from birth--but defiled;
And God would now change him, and make him anew,
As He challenged him there at Peniel.
Again and again the heavens were moved
To respond to the cries of the earth.
He came to reprove and He came to bless,
And to sift the hearts of men.
He came to convict the couple who sinned,
And were hiding among the trees,
And atoned for them by the blood that was shed,
And clothed them with coats of skins.
He came down at Babel to deal with the crowd
Who builded the City and Tower.
And when Abraham walked up Moriah's slopes
To give his son back to God--
God was already there and waiting for him,
His patience and faith to reward.
He appeared to Moses in a wilderness shrub,
And to Joshua as a Captain strong.
He came to Samuel while yet a young child,
And stood at the foot of his bed,
To make Himself known to a chosen man
Who would nurture the people of God.
But He came again in the fullness of time,
To a world in the darkness of sin
To show a great light, to be a great Light
That would lighten the hearts of men.
The earth did not quake, nor the heavens shake
As He lay in a cradle of hay,
But when Jesus our Lord hung on Calvary's hill
To atone for the sins of men,
The last words He spoke made the earth to shake,
And the heavens to darken their face.
"It is finished" He cried, and with that He died,
With the work of redemption complete.
Then after three days He arose from the dead,
And the hopes of His people revived.
"Will You stay and be King?" is what they implied,
As their broken dreams sprang into life--
But No! He must go to a heavenly throne,
And from there He must rule and reign,
Till the earth is subdued, and the heavens are purged,
And He scatters the kingdoms of men...
And so there He now reigns, not from temple or throne
That men have erected on earth,
But from Heaven itself, with power and with love
To transform the hearts of men,
To minister grace by the Spirit of Truth,
Through men in the earth who are true,
And who walk with Him, and abide in the Vine,
That their words might be His--not their own,
To birth a new race, through mercy and grace,
To beget His own kind in the earth.
And He comes again, and for this we must wait
Till His work at the throne is complete.
He comes for a Church that is cleansed and made pure,
For a Bride--adorned and made clean;
When the precious fruit of the earth is ripe,
And the tares are ready to burn...
To gather the harvest for which He is waiting,
And to trample the grapes of His wrath.
"Fear not, little flock" is the Word that He speaks
To those who would suffer with Him,
Who go forth from the camp to walk by His side,
Rejected and hated of men.
Once again as of old, the prisoners groan,
And creation still longs to be free,
And God is preparing a people of Truth,
Who are humble and meek as He,
To minister life as they walk in the earth,
As they hear a pure Word from the throne--
To create a new nation, a new generation,
Joined by one Spirit to Him...
To send forth a light that will lighten the earth,
As they walk in the shoes of peace.
When God spake on earth old Sinai quaked,
Midst the thunder, the fire, and the smoke.
When He spoke from the Cross the earth again shook,
And darkness covered the land...
Yet once more saith the Lord, His voice shall go forth
Not speaking from earth, but from Heaven,
That the things that are shakeable might be removed
With earthquakes and heaven-quakes strong,
That the kingdoms of men might be brought to an end,
And the heavens rolled back like a scroll;
For He comes again, on a white horse of power,
Not riding the ass with its foal:
Still meek and lowly, but strong and almighty,
For the Lion of Judah is the Lamb.
That the earth once destroyed with water and flood
Might then be destroyed by fire,
As the elements melt, and the heavens dissolve,
Consumed by the breath of His mouth;
And a new world is birthed from the ash of the old,
Holy and righteous and pure.
No eye hath seen, nor ear has heard
What God has prepared for him
Whose heart has been stilled to wait for God
When the light of the way grows dim;
When he cries for Heaven and Earth to meet,
And for mountains and hills to flow,
And he feels so sure that the time is ripe
For God to come down and show
His might and His power and make bare His arm
To a people oppressed and made low.
"You have done it before. please do it again"
Is the cry of the bleeding heart,
"O why do You wait, when the need is so great,
Why do You tarry so long?"
But the cries and the prayers of the anguished soul
Are all stored in the vials of Heaven,
Preserved for the day that He has prepared,
To make Himself known to men;
When vessels of clay who have waited for Him
Shall arise in the strength of their Lord,
And go forth in the splendor and power of His Name,
And clothed with the armor of God:
With the helmet of salvation upon their head,
And their loins girt about with Truth,
Guarding their hearts with a breastplate pure,
And carrying the shield of faith;
With beautiful feet, prepared of the Lord,
With the shoes of the Gospel of Peace,
And a two-edged sword going forth from their mouth,
With a piercing, consuming Word.
For the hearts of men are only changed
When the Master comes on the scene,
And the heavens respond to the cries of the earth,
And His servants have learned to be still.
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