Psalm 65:9-11 (NLT)
You take care of the earth and water it, making it rich and fertile. The river of God has plenty of water; it provides a bountiful harvest of grain, for you have ordered it so. You drench the plowed ground with rain, melting the clods and leveling the ridges. You soften the earth with showers and bless its abundant crops. You crown the year with a bountiful harvest; even the hard pathways overflow with abundance.
On my way to the gym the other day, it was foggy and humid outside. The sun should have been shining but instead the sky was gray and overcast. Pulling out the handy dandy weather application on my “smart” phone, the forecast displayed perplexed me. It was 100% humidity but only an 11% chance of rain. What was the difference? I still needed the windshield wipers to see clearly. The road was still wet with what appeared to be rain. How can there be total humidity but no rain or very little chance at all? This just did not make sense. Now on most occasions when things do not line up in the natural, I begin to dig in the spiritual or supernatural. I believe God interrupts what should be to encourage us to look for what might be by faith and belief in the Lord. Throughout the course of the day, whether the sun peaked out or remained hidden behind the clouds, there was still a noticeable water vapor in the air that was not rain but extremely wet. Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air. Rain is produced when the water vapor becomes a droplet falling to the earth. That is the extent of my education in meteorology. What I noticed was that despite the humidity, I was able to continue in my normal daily routine? But if the forecast would have been for rain, I would have changed my plans to avoid getting wet. I wonder if it was the Lord that did not allow the vapor to turn to water so I would continue to go about my business rather than running for the shelter of my home. Could it be that He saw potential in my day and purpose that would have been missed if I tried to avoid the downpour and overflow?
You take care of the earth and water it making it rich and fertile. I believe that God wants our life to be just that rich and fertile in all areas. He planned for us to prosper long ago filling us with potential and purpose yet to be realized. Those who choose to step in to the cleansing flood will be overtaken by a life of harvesting everything that we sow in abundance because God has ordered it to be this way in the life of His Children. The rain “melts the clods and levels the ridges” that keep us from all of God’s Loving Kindness and Favor yet to be discovered in our life. He softens our heart in preparation to receive His Great Love without measure. This year could be your year of bountiful harvest, even hard times will overflow in abundance for those who do not avoid showers but choose to dance in the rain.
Isaiah 55:9-11 (NLT)
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to and it will prosper everywhere I send it.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote, “Be still, sad heart, and cease repining; Behind the clouds is the sun still shining; Thy fate is the common fate of all, Into each life some rain must fall, Some days must be dark and dreary.” (The Rainy Day) Mr. Longfellow was right. In fact, it is Biblically sound to know and understand that rain is a part of life. It is also true that behind the clouds is the Son still shining. The heavens are high than the earth and the dwelling place of God. So it is without question that from such a high perspective, God sees past today into tomorrow. He knows the future and it is full of hope. But we must get through today no matter how it looks from here to ever claim the good plans that the Lord has laid out for His People. Rain comes to cleanse us, prepare us and prosper us to harvest the true potential of our life. It cannot do its job if we do not submit to it. Rain causes seeds to grow. You are seeded in righteousness ready to receive a bountiful harvest except you will not go near the rain running from every storm and cowering beneath each cloud. God wants to do a work in your life like never before. You are surrounded by 100% humidity as the Spirit of God dwells in you and surrounds you hoping that you will be ready to receive. God has sent out His Word. The order is in place. The rain is coming. Will you be ready or will you run for cover?
Psalm 84:5-7 (NLT)
What joy for those whose strength comes from the LORD, who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs. The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings. They will continue to grow stronger and each of them will appear before God in Jerusalem.
People who know me will tell you that I don’t like to get my feet wet. If I am at the beach splashing through the surf or dangling my feet in the pool that is one thing, but rushing from my car into the office trying to avoid the puddles and miss the raindrops is another thing altogether. I don’t like my toes wet or my shoes soggy. After showering and doing my hair, I am not particularly a fan of it now sticking unceremoniously to my head. Clothes once pressed now wrinkled in the humidity just makes me uncomfortable. I don’t like to go anywhere in the rain for these reasons and would rather curl up in the refuge of my home. When it comes to troubles and hardship in life, I feel the same way. I want things to turn out just as “I” planned when I planned them to be. I do not want any surprises and choose my carefully designed order over spontaneity. But it is through the pain of disappointment and the moment of disaster that takes us to the Valley of Weeping which will be a place of refreshing springs as I am moved out of the way and forced to depend on God. It is in this place that I find that my strength is renewed and He becomes the lifter of my heart and head to see things from His Perspective and His Plan rather than my own feeble wanderings. God wants to be my joy and strength but I must have the ridges in my heart leveled and softened to receive His Word and cultivate by faith holding fast to confident hope until He comes. God does not send the rain as He did in the days of Noah to wipe the face of the earth clean. In fact, the Lord promised never to do that again. (Genesis 8:20-22) He also made this the beginning of sowing and reaping in the life of every person but especially for those who choose righteousness and find life.
Revelation 3:15-19 (NLT)
“I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. So I advise you to buy gold from me—gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see. I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference.”
I believe that the reason that we are no longer seeing an outpouring and harvest in the Body of Christ today is tied directly to Revelation 3. Rather than being hot or cold, we are choosing a comfortable lukewarm position. Not to offend nonbelievers, or press new believers, we no longer ask God to fall down like rain but just surround our life with enough humidity to keep us comfortably watered. Our churches have become religious rather than stepping into a messy relationship with the Lord or anyone else. There is no weeping at the altar so no wonder the refreshment is gone. We have stopping calling out for His Spirit to come so we are drying up from the inside out. No longer will to cry and mess up our makeup or carefully combed hair, we embrace the performance and clap in the crowd but choose to avoid God’s outpouring never facilitating it in the least afraid it might mess something up. This is not a new problem but a common one noted over time. “But my people have stubborn and rebellious hearts. They have turned away and abandoned me. They do not say from the heart, ‘Let us live in awe of the LORD our God, for he gives us rain each spring and fall, assuring us of a harvest when the time is right.’ Your wickedness has deprived you of these wonderful blessings. Your sin has robbed you of all these good things.” (Jeremiah 5:23-25) We choose to live a comfort-controlled life rather than running into the rain, basking in the Presence of God and accepting His Outpouring in our life because we cannot control it. We are missing blessing after blessing because we are too prideful to step in the rain unsure of what to expect. We do not know His Word so are ignorant of His Promises enough to think that what this world has to offer is somehow better. “Can any of the worthless foreign gods send us rain? Does it fall from the sky by itself? No, you are the one, O LORD our God! Only you can do such things. So we will wait for you to help us.” (Jeremiah 14:22) Only the Lord can make real rain that will produce the abundance promised in your life! No other person or thing can bring forth the potential and purpose placed in you by your Father in Heaven. He plans to water you continually and perpetually until your harvest comes! Rain produces a heavenly connection as God sends it, draws it back up, and sends it back again. (Amos 9:6) Let me remind you today that without rain, there will be no harvest! (Ecclesiastes 11:3-4)
Isaiah 32:14-18 (NLT)
The palace and the city will be deserted and busy towns will be empty. Wild donkeys will frolic and flocks will graze in the empty forts and watchtowers until at last the Spirit is poured out on us from heaven. Then the wilderness will become a fertile field and the fertile field will yield bountiful crops. Justice will rule in the wilderness and righteousness in the fertile field. And this righteousness will bring peace. Yes, it will bring quietness and confidence forever. My people will live in safety, quietly at home. They will be at rest.
The stronger the person the greater the storm because it is going to take a lot to get you to let go of your way, your plans and your will to take hold of God’s Plan and Purpose for your life. Those who are survivors are careful not to let go because in the past that is the only thing that saved you. The Lord will allow the wind and rain to shake you senseless to produce a harvest of faithfulness and hope in your life. But when you do, you will be ready to receive His Spirit as He pours it on you from Heaven to produce the life that He promised you would have. You cannot do. If you could, why did you come to Jesus Christ? Rain makes us fertile and flexible in the Hands of God because we let go of the natural to embrace the spiritual. He promised that when His Spirit came that we would have dreams and visions. (Joel 2:28-29) Then in Acts it happened, and people were saved and set free by the thousands. (Acts 2:32-33) Now what? Why are the altars of our churches empty? Why are the storehouses empty? Why is there not enough to care for the House of God let alone the hordes of widows and orphans? We shut the door to our heart so the Spirit cannot come in and we have shut our ears to the Word that brings us seeds of faith. There is no righteousness just casual Christianity. Therefore there is no peace that comes only form God. We have avoided the rain so long that we are dry and dusty parched fields with no harvest in sight. It is time to worship the Lord in Spirit and Truth. It is time to dance in the rain of His Overflow even when it is in the Valley of Weeping. The Lord is ready to do something new. Are you ready for the rain? “Rejoice, you people of Jerusalem!
Rejoice in the LORD your God! For the rain he sends demonstrates his faithfulness. Once more the autumn rains will come, as well as the rains of spring. The threshing floors will again be piled high with grain, and the presses will overflow with new wine and olive oil.” (Joel 2:23-24)
Matthew 7:24-27 (NLT)
“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”
Are you ready for the rain? It’s coming. There is 100% humidity in the air. Everything is in place for God’s Outpouring to reach His People. But do not cry out for it until you are ready, or you just might be swept away! God’s People have been experiencing the harvest of righteousness found in minimal obedience, subtle righteousness and occasional faithfulness. Those who choose to accept the challenge of a full outpouring from God in the Spirit, better spend some time preparing for it. A radical relationship with Jesus Christ will cause overflowing floods in the life of His People so no more a blessing here or there, your life will become overwhelmed in the Favor of God so that His Harvest is evident in every season of life. You cannot handle His Goodness in your present state. Get ready for the rain! When it comes, stand in it. Do not run from it even if it is overshadowed by a storm. There is blessing in discovering your full-blown potential and purpose in God. It is prosperity! Do not let your field become useless. (Hebrews 6:4-8) It is time to pray for rain and be glad when it comes! Make it rain!
James 5:16-18 (NLT)
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years! Then, when he prayed again, the sky sent down rain and the earth began to yield its crops.