Both in Times of Pain and Prosperity ~ Isaiah 11:1-3
...for we live by trust, not by what we see.
~ 2 Corinthians 5:7 (CJB)
December of 2007 was a life-changing event for the Schroeder family. In fact, many things have changed in our lives over the past year due to our settling into a new community and all that goes along with that. We have been truly blessed and enriched in countless ways. I know that 2007 brought many blessings - as well as some pain - into each of your lives as well.
I would like to share with you the comforting reminders of His Spirit and the richness of His Word that met me one cold December night as I helplessly watched my (once vibrant) Mother lying stretched across a hospital gurney, void of all faculties that made her ‘Judy’ and slowly slipping away from those who loved her best.
‘How does one bear such intense pain?’, I used to ponder. And then I got to experience firsthand the Words of Jesus, “How blessed are those who mourn! for they will be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4)
But, I don’t want to stop there with just the ‘times of pain’. I want to go even further and closely examine our ‘times of prosperity’. For in the former, our spirit’s cry out, ‘LORD, where are You?’. And in the latter, we are apt to pompously say in our hearts as Agur conveyed in Proverbs 30:9, “Who is ADONAI?”. (O wretched human that I am!)
7 [God,] I have asked two things of you; don't deny them to me as long as I live - 8 keep falsehood and futility far from me, and give me neither poverty nor wealth. Yes, provide just the food I need today; 9 for if I have too much, I might deny you and say, "Who is ADONAI?"And if I am poor, I might steal and thus profane the name of my God. - Proverbs 30
Either way, we need His faithful guiding Presence, His Power and His Provision for every day He grants life. Isaiah 11:1-3 gives deep-seated insight into the Savior we serve and Whose Spirit lives in us. That Seven-fold Spirit of the LORD stands ready to quicken our own spirits with His sustenance at all times - in every situation - so that we may truly live.
AND THERE shall come forth a Shoot out of the stock of Jesse [David's father], and a Branch out of his roots shall grow and bear fruit.
2 And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him--the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the reverential and obedient fear of the Lord--
3 And shall make Him of quick understanding, and His delight shall be in the reverential and obedient fear of the Lord. And He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, neither decide by the hearing of His ears; ~ Isaiah 11:1-3 (AMP)
1.) Spirit of the LORD - Spirit of YHWH is complete, lacking nothing. Because He is SHALOM (nothing broken, nothing missing), the Self-Existent One is wholeness, perfection, contentment, integrity, peace, health, well-being, tranquility, and rest!
This Perfect Spirit of the LORD is the:
2.) Spirit of Wisdom - Hebrew chokmah (skillful living, exceeding wisdom)
3.) Spirit of Understanding - Hebrew biynah (perfect understanding, perception, discernment [ability to mentally distinguish], diligent instruction, skillful prudence) (**I want to note here that as the LORD was reminding me of Who He is through my mom’s passing, He revealed to me an often overlooked Scripture that gave me tremendous comfort during my time of grief [Isaiah 57:1]. Note that this passage also uses ‘biyn’ - to understand, consider or realize**)
4.) Spirit of Counsel - Hebrew ‘etsah (advisement, [Maker of] plans, counsel, Divine purpose)
5.) Spirit of Might - Hebrew gbuwrah (might, perfect power, victory, strength and [ultimate] force, warrior, champion, valiancy, mastery)
6.) Spirit of Knowledge - Hebrew da’ath (skillful knowledge, discernment, knowing, perfect comprehension, discovery)
7.) Spirit of fear of the LORD - Hebrew yir'ah ([filled to overflowing with] reverential and worshipful fear)
This is WHOLE and COMPLETE living! This is life abundant! This is the Kingdom Living that lifts us out of the depths of despair that painful times bring and plants our feet upon the Rock - as well as anchoring those feet to that same Blessed Rock in prosperous times.
Living by the Seven-fold Spirit of God is to willfully live by mountainous trust in His Word rather than to live myopically by our feelings. It is to purposefully and continually elevate His Eternal Word above my transient emotions (LORD, help us every one!). As we live by this Spirit, we too shall judge not by what our eyes see nor by what our ears hear.
Where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty...
I had a choice when I looked at my Beloved Mother lying there. I could see just what my physical eyes saw...or I could see much more by His Life-Giving Spirit. And so it is in prosperous times, I get to simply choose to see what I see and risk being overtaken by blinding and heartless pride...or I can see MUCH MORE with a spirit of gratitude.
I love the much more life. I need the much more life.
Since it is through the Spirit that we have Life, let it also be through the Spirit that we order our lives day by day.
~ Galatians 5:25 (CJB)