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Proverbs 4:23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.
Proverbs 27:19 As in water face reflects face, So a man's heart reveals the man.
Comments on the houses in this vision: Though there is reference to the meaning of the two houses in the vision, let me observe something about how I experienced and understood them when I was having this vision. First of all I think it is safe to say that most of us are quite drawn to the grand house—nearly everyone wants a grand house. Most of us are not at all drawn to a hovel. I think those pictures represent our feelings and real internal struggle with being as vulnerable, as needy, and as weak as we are in our own resources. We love to feel strong and together and be able to be secure in our own resources. In trying to attain the grand house condition, and to maintain it, we may not realize that we are depending on ourselves more than on God and can be blocking the very thing we need most. This inner wrestling in relationship to God is difficult to get in touch with, but if you notice how you feel when reading about the grand house (except, of course that the stream can’t get in), as opposed to how you feel about the dark little hovel, you will be getting in touch with the Lord’s purpose in painting this vision the way He has. The very condition that opens the way for His river to flow is the condition we resist and hope will never happen to us, though it is the reality of our very nature in relationship to Him. That is the dilemma I believe the vision addresses. One can live in a grand physical house and have an open heart, but there is a different kind of awareness that must go on than when we are more broken and in a hovel-like condition which itself causes us to be open to the Lord’s life-giving stream. The key is to have the door open in whatever state we are, knowing who He is and knowing who we are.
April 8, 2005
I feel a need to rest in You, Lord, but I also feel the press to get on with the book, hear through what the last part of this chapter needs to look like, since it is so nearly done.
As you rest here with Me this morning you will see more of how I work. I pour out pieces that uncover and knit together, layer upon layer. It is not a matter of getting done. There, in fact, is no “done,” as there is always more, but there is a place of enjoying the ongoing ways of God, and you are coming into it.
According to My way the refreshing of your heart is just as important as the completing of the Chapter—even if it doesn’t happen today, child. The brightness of the end of the chapter in fact depends upon the refreshing.
I can see that, Lord, now that You show me. And I think of the Scripture: “Show me Your ways, O Lord…” (Ps. 25:4). Just seeing Your way is refreshing in itself!
There is much more, child. Let Me show you.
Here I am, Lord.
I am here, dwelling within; I am also at the right hand of the Father, where you are seated with Me (Ephesians 2:6). Let us look from there together this morning.
Do you see all the lost ones, and the decay of My vineyard for lack of sincere, connected stewards that reflect the glory of life in Me?
Do you see those who have turned away because of the hardness and cruelty of the stewards in both families
(natural family experiences and church family experiences)
Do you see the clear, quiet stream yet winding its way through the vineyard, having its source in Me?
See it wind through the vineyard and how everything it touches gradually springs to life.
Now look at those places along the stream that have come to life. Do they stand out in the midst of the decay and ruin around them? Even to those who are convinced that only anger and self-preservation are the true way, they stand as an undeniable alternative and hope.
See what happens with the revived plants of the vineyard. Out of them begins to pour some of the clear stream they have taken in, been brought to life by, and they impart a compelling invitation to join in this river of God. They cannot help but impart that.
So the clear stream produces tributaries through each one touched by it, and the stream spreads out to other dry, decayed areas of the vineyard. There are various sizes of the tributaries aren’t there? Do you see what their size depends upon?
How much and how long they draw on the clear stream and therefore how much they have to pour out of it.
Now you see one of the larger tributaries flowing toward and lapping against one of the great houses built in the midst of the dry, decaying vineyard.
It laps and laps against the house, but the house goes on functioning, unaware of its need for clear, living water.
The stream flows around the house, touching it on every side but no door is opened. The stream is seen as something that would mess up the house, something to be kept out.
So it flows on by toward a dark little hovel* not far from the grand house. The hovel is full of cracks and breaks and the stream easily flows in through those openings. The hovel begins to radiate the light and character of the stream, manifesting an indescribable glory that makes the grand house look dead and lifeless.
Seeing the transformation of the hovel, a handful of inhabitants emerge from the grand house. Two of them marvel at the transformation of the little hovel and want that light. The other three warn against it, calling it bizarre and untrustworthy, small and insignificant and not to be messed with, regardless of its glow. There is great fear in their heart of going near it.
But the two marveling ones draw nearer. They begin to visit regularly, soon they can hardly stand life in the grand house and long for the simple, powerful light of the hovel. Gradually they cease to return to the grand house at all.
Do you recognize this picture, child?
(I understood this question to be about the transformation in my own life, described in A Heart’s Returning, and that which I have been privileged to be part of in others’ lives.)
My heart is deeply touched by it, Lord, but I know You are saying much more than I understand.
The grand house and the hovel represent the hearts of My children. Those who know they are like a hovel without the clear stream of My life receive it freely and are transformed by it.
Those who trust in their own resources and ability abhor the thought of vulnerability and dependence. So long as they stay there, they never see Me clearly.
*Hovel, according to Webster’s—1: an open shed or shelter 2: tabernacle (Ex. 25:8,9)
Two days later:
Shall we look a bit more at the vineyard?
As the plants touched by the stream grow and spread and flourish, what do you have?
A rich, luscious, well kept vineyard because all of it draws on the stream, loves and counts on the stream for its life, cannot imagine being disconnected from the stream, and would not trade it for anything.
The hedge around the vineyard is completely intact, no holes, no one unaware of the efforts that work to make breaches in the wall, and all equipped to defeat them at the first pinhead effort to break through. They never get large enough for a fox to enter, as no cunning work is tolerated by any member of the vineyard.
The surrounding countryside will say:
“Surely God is in you,
And the hearts of My people will be prepared to hear their cry, to walk with them into the midst of the stream, to teach them to drink of its water freely, to cleanse themselves in its light, to be filled to overflowing with its power to save and restore—until they are no longer able to reflect any other reality than the truth and glory of the Risen One.
This is the revival I will work. Press in until you see it.
And there is no other;
There is no other God.” (Isaiah 45:14)
“How do we have such a vineyard? How do we live in the stream?”