Recently I had another encounter with the Cloud of Witnesses. (Heb.11,12) This brought more understanding while (as always) bringing even more questions at the same time. This is one of the Lord’s ways of nudging us along the path, gently luring us into the deeper things of God. The more we discover of Him, the more we want to know. The more we know Him, the more we love Him.
Jesus took my hand and immediately we were flying. He carried me away to a place I’ve come to call ‘the great high mountain at the edge of eternity’. The wind of the Spirit is always moving in this place, blowing our hair and our garments. It is a fresh wild wind filled with creative purpose and destiny. At times one can look down from here and view eagles soaring. Gazing even further, far away below, there may be a glimpse of tiny forests and mountains and oceans. At other times the view reveals another realm, quite unknown. It seems to be a place where He can reveal whatever He chooses, whether past, present or future, in this realm or beyond.
This time there was a large crowd of people assembled that I immediately knew was the cloud of witnesses – my witnesses. My Mother was there along with an old friend of hers that I remembered from decades ago. I also saw Rev. and Mrs. Shumway, missionaries in Nigeria that the Lord brought back to the U.S. to pastor a small church in Oklahoma. This was not even their home State but God brought them there to plant the seeds of Africa and missions in my little 6 year old heart. Others watered and tended those seeds and they grew.
In this large crowd were some I recognized and some I did not, but all played a part in my life somehow. There were writers whose works had mentored me and others whose prayers still affect me. They were individually speaking to me but not with words. This was spirit to spirit communication. As I looked in their eyes I saw all they had endured and overcome in this life and I felt a great deal of shame at my laziness and discouragement. I saw what my Mother had endured and overcome. I always felt that one day in Heaven she would have a chest full of medals. But here, the medals and battle scars were internal and worn with grace and humility for all to see.
Looking at all of them now I had a very strong sense that they were depending on me! The way I finish will add to their “perfection” there (that without us they would not be made perfect … Heb. 11:40). I felt I had let all these people down and I was ashamed.
But they were not condescending. They were encouraging me and also warning me. “Get up, don’t stop, don’t be lazy… you must fight and win and overcome the things in your own life that need to be overcome. Pick up the torch and finish what we began.” Then each of them laid their hands on me to impart things to me. As they filed past, Jesus was standing beside me with His hands on my head. I was humbled and overwhelmed.
In an effort to understand this experience further, I found this in Rick Joyner’s book Torch and the Sword (p. 139). Jesus led Rick into a great hall with a line of people on either side as they passed. They were all dressed in various clothes from different eras. The Lord said “These are the ones who helped to prepare you for your purpose. You have received from their teachings or stories. They are your witnesses. You are representing them as you are Me, just as those you have a part in preparing will also represent you. We are all one in the great purpose of the Father – the restoration of man and the earth to their purpose. They are not complete without you. Neither are you complete without them. This is also true of those who are to be called through you and the messengers in your time.”
And one more quote from Rick’s new book The Path, which I highly recommend. On page 60, Rick is being challenged by one from the cloud of witnesses who says to him, “I am but one of the ‘great company of witnesses’ who have been watching these times unfold and watching those of you who have been given the honor to live in them. The righteous and prophets of old desired to see these days and they are now seeing them. You live before an audience far greater than you can imagine. If your eyes were open as they should be, you would see the great host of Heaven that is with you. Right now you could not bear the gravity of these times, but you will grow in stature and vision until you can.”
May God strengthen us and give us wisdom to be the over-comers He has destined us to be in this age.