Updated: Aug 27
ORIGINAL MUSIC "Allelujah" available here: https://www.dawndyson.com/shop
Butterflies don’t live long, but they are never worried about that. They have gone through great and complete transformation and come out delicate, full of the strongest trust in the one Who made them to be so stunningly unique. They have individually earned their coat of colors directly from their Father—and we could take a lesson on that degree of unity. They do not compare themselves with their own past, nor other creatures who have not had to go through such intense change. They do not fear how cruel or competitive this world can be. They simply are what God made them to be. They travel far, simply floating on the breath of God for however long He deems. “Where” does not seem to matter, but they are timely and full of grace. They are a spectacle all their remaining days.
In John 21:21 (BSB), Jesus made His views on comparison clear…
Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them. He was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper to ask, “Lord, who is going to betray You?”
When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”
Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain until I return, what is that to you? You follow Me!”
God is in control.
The most control we can have is to be
one with our Father.
God has a very specific development program and authentic outcome for every Christian. This takes intense focus and calm trust. Like kids in school are reminded, “Keep your eyes on your own paper,” Jesus wants our eyes to continually remain on Him and His Word—not on our neighbor, not on our neighbor’s house, not on our neighbor’s work, not down on the ground consumed with the problems of the fallen world caught in its prophesied upheaval. Like the butterfly, we float above in the sun.
But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head (Psalm 3:3, ESV).
Since you have been raised with Christ, strive for the things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you [already] died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:2, BSB).
God does not renege on His Promises; this is never the outcome of intense change (see James 1:17). Rather, wilderness trials test our faithfulness to God, not the other way round. Will we keep our promise to accept Christ—forever? To die to self—our life long? To deny ourselves and follow Him closely all the days of our life regardless of circumstance or our perceptions?
Our relationship with God is one wherein it is impossible to cheat.
We must come directly to God, on His terms,
which is access through Jesus Christ—our Sun and Shield.
Do not let current events cloud your distinct choice to follow God, which you made long ago. Rather, let the signs of the times solidify your faith that every jot of the Word of God will come to pass, just as Jesus said (see Matthew 5:18). If the difficulties are written so specifically and come to pass therein, it stands that the blessings of the Bible are also true. What’s more, the promises of God are everlasting. Be patient with God’s program and keep the faith.
Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors.
So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way (James 1:2-4, MSG).
During trial, the enemy comes in with his layer of spiritual interference (Job 1:7-9; Luke 22:30-32). Particularly when times are hard, signs of Satan’s work include fear, hopelessness and a negative report. The “distractions of the age” he hurls against God’s saints include comparisons, competition, losses/failures, criticisms, complaining, lack, and other issues, used purposely to create anxiety and dissatisfaction with God’s gift of life.
Mark 4:19-20 (AMPC) warns us that,
“The cares and anxieties of the world and distractions of the age, and the pleasure and delight and false glamour and deceitfulness of riches, and the craving and passionate desire for other things creep in and choke and suffocate the Word, and it becomes fruitless.”
While faith is a fight, it is a good fight fought from a place of victory, pre-won in Christ’s accomplishments.
Fight the good fight of the faith; lay hold of the eternal life to which you were summoned and [for which] you confessed the good confession [of faith] before many witnesses (1 Timothy 6:12, AMPC).
Some Christians are passive and conned into thinking they are too old or too tired to engage in spiritual warfare. They miss the truth that the battle is still the Lord’s—always has been, always will be. We witness. Some of us want a specific outcome on earth, or we become dissatisfied with God—murmuring or complaining in our attitude, thoughts, and even speech. If allowed to continue, we may find ourselves spending less and less time in the Word or with God, developing an unhealthy anxiety of God. However, the correct, specific outcome we are to expect is Jesus Christ Himself—coming very soon. There is no confusion in Him; He brings Truth. The predetermined and very specific outcome for us is Heaven—guaranteed with Christ’s blood. Heaven will not disappoint. Our outcome will not disappoint. We can trust God and know His mercies endure forever. Have no fear, no doubt.
When we look at the state of the world, we may ask, “How long will this go on?” God answers, “Look at the nations and watch—and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told” (Habakkuk 1:2, 5, NIV). We have the Book of Revelation in our hands; we have been told. God’s answer early on in Habakkuk is not the answer of an inattentive, ill-prepared God. Nor is John’s account in Revelation documenting an unresponsible, absentee Father. Rather, God is absolutely meticulous in His planning and everything is right on course; the world is ticking precisely like a clock:
“For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay” (Habakkuk 2:3, NIV).
So, what are believers to do right now? Trust God. He has it all thought out and He will take care of us. Put down distraction; cast down anything that is not of Christ (see 2 Corinthians 10:5). Be in love with God fully, all your life through. Be dedicated. Spend more time with God than anyone else on earth and talk about Him to whomever you can—this is loving God and your neighbor as yourself (Luke 10:27; Matthew 28:18-20).
The Word is like Seed “sown on the good (well-adapted) soil” for those who “receive and accept and welcome it and [are prepared to] bear [God] fruit—some thirty times as much as was sown, some sixty times as much, and some [even] a hundred times as much” (Mark 4:20, AMPC). When you know the Word and speak it, you spread God’s Seed. Good soil—the kind we are to faithfully maintain in cooperation with God—is carefully prepared soil—healthy, balanced, nurtured and intently ready to receive and produce good things. The soil is your soul—you are God’s field. Therefore, setting aside time to prepare your mind, heart, soul and spirit, to be in the Presence of God, to do His will, requires prioritizing—saying “no” to other things that are not as productive for you, and intently saying “Yes” to God. I encourage you to...
Rededicate to this commitment:
God, You are elevated as the main Person,
the main Relationship, in my life.
Distractions of the age are little foxes that spoil the vine (Song, 2:15). For instance, two hours can go by perusing social media or watching that movie that your mind, heart, soul and spirit may have been better off not ingesting and filtering through. Moreover, what can be more entertaining or stunningly beautiful than the Book of Revelation, or Song of Solomon? Most Christians would agree nothing can outdo the Bible, but in times of great trial, or long, dry spells (wilderness tours), we throw up flimsy shields between ourselves and God—inept coverings, little foxes, like excessive busyness or the pursuit of more money or personal prestige.
Jesus addresses two distinct ways of living—distraction or dedication—as portrayed by Martha and Mary in Luke 10:38-42. As you read this powerful story, note that Martha needed the correction, not Mary. Mary was anything but lazy, but she knew to prioritize her Lord’s presence. She knew communication from Jesus was crucial—everything else could wait.
Today, we are facing much turmoil in the world, a “stirring up” of the pot, so to speak, so that good and evil can rise to the surface and great numbers of individuals can make a choice between them. The temptation tucked inside the heightened anxiety we are sensing is to start running on a wheel, getting nowhere spiritually. Faith is not on autopilot. Rather, we have been given the Book to use, day by day. While we know what happens, and we know God is faithful to those that love Him, God wants our Relationship, not our neglect. His active presence appeases our emotions. God takes care of us in real time. Simply commit to set aside even more time for God than you did as a new believer.
Jesus explains repentance as a Christian so very well:
But I have this [one charge to make] against you: that you have left (abandoned) the love that you had at first [you have deserted Me, your first love]. Remember then from what heights you have fallen. Repent (change the inner man to meet God’s will) and do the works you did previously [when first you knew the Lord], or else I will visit you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you change your mind and repent (Revelation 2:4-5, AMPC).
He is spot on. Trials are only intensified when we turn our back on Him. When I was newly Saved, I studied the Word vigorously. As a seasoned Christian, I find I need to ask God to pull me back into the Word with a fresh thirst and open eyes. If you feel the same, please pray this prayer with me:
God, we come before You in Jesus’ Name, and we thank You that You are in control of the times. We thank You that You are faithful, responsible, full of compassion, goodness and mercy, and have planned a very good outcome. We ask You specifically for a hunger for Your Word to be rekindled in us. We crave Your Presence and we repent from entertaining anything that has distracted us from You and Your purposes for our lives. We need You now Lord; we cannot do this without You; You are our most important priority and we desire to put You first in all things. We do not wish to take You for granted, but wish to seek Your face continually. Teach us to do Your will. Thank You for your continual mercy and grace and thank you that Jesus, Your Son, is coming soon. Amen.
Like a renewed butterfly, every person has a unique fingerprint and a unique soul-print—a unique path, a unique purpose, a special divine calling. No one portrayed living directly in communion with God the Father better than Jesus Christ when He was on the earth in the form of a man. Jesus’ life of sacrifice, His calling to go to the cross to pay for our sins was so out of the ordinary, so unique, yet He never doubted it. He was obedient to a “T”. It is as if Jesus wants us to look at His life on earth and wonder if we can learn to obey the Holy Spirit so precisely, under such pressures, and face our unique, one-of-a-kind path with the same dependent attitude. Jesus’ remarkable dedication to God’s will compels us to get prepared, like that good soil, to be set apart, to be conditioned by the Master Gardener however He deems.
You see, good things are coming and I want in on those.
If so, we as Christians need to return to God or we risk not being productive in this age. God designs the right mix of elements, the right placement, the right seed, the right timing so that you and I will, in all of our uniqueness, yield exactly what He designed us to from the beginning. In order to obey God with the precision necessary, we must cease from throwing modern distractions between ourselves and God. When the pressure rises high, so should our praise. We are to come apart from the world and become even more dedicated as Christians to receive goodness from God, pouring out our faith in Him like never before in history.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us (Hebrews 12:1, NIV).
If God saved us once, He will keep us all of our days, but He asks that we remain faithful. Like the biblical heroes—that great cloud of witnesses—we must patiently and faithfully endure our time, conduct our assignment, and prove faithful to God. One way this is outwardly shown is fearlessness. Confidence. Boldness in our profession. Our time is right now. God is wanting to use us to reach the lost. The times are increasing in their intensity; distractions are at an all-time high; people are scrambling for position and finances, lost to the throes of intense competition. But God simply wants His people to stand apart and unique, to live in peace and in the utmost holy assurance; to be used decidedly by Him to draw souls to His Kingdom. Truly, this is the only reason saved souls remain on the earth beyond the point of their Salvation. God, as He always has, handles the worldly complications and hands us His loving peace.
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I” (John 14:26-28, NIV).
I encourage you to pray actively and specifically to God to fulfill His unique purpose in you, to rekindle your desire to study the Word and pray. Accepting your God-ordained uniqueness is the opposite of comparison with others; your life is gaged only in comparison with Jesus. Ask for His personal help to continually come up higher into His image, amidst the worldly pressure. Now is the time. You are alive now for this very reason. Be determined and willing that you will no longer allow worldly distractions to come between you and God. They are an inadequate shield. God is trying to get your attention. Simply sit at Jesus’ feet like a well-prepared field coming into your most productive season. Vow to have no separation.
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:35-38, NLT).
Keep your eyes lifted to Heaven; look upon Jesus’ face and realize He is still smiling at you. He is not worried. He is coming soon.
Watch from your renewed perspective, Butterfly. Be in union with your Father, and see what our great God will do.
God bless you.
Scripture quotations taken from the Amplified® Bible (AMPC), Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. www.Lockman.org
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Scripture quotations marked (MSG) are taken from The Message, Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
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