My husband and I recently received our crisp new passports. Unfortunately, they don’t look much different from the expired ones we sent in with our paperwork. They both contain lots of blank pages. Just what you’d expect with the new ones. With the old ones? Not so much.
A passport is a gateway to exotic foreign lands, isn’t it? The magic key that unlocks the door to spicy foods, colorful culture, and unintelligible languages? The mere word ‘passport’ signaling unlimited travel?
Tell that to my not-so-unlimited bank account, calendar, or life’s daily commitments.
For having had my old passport for ten years, I had one – count ’em – one stamp. To an island in the Pacific that was part of other travel to the Hawaiian Islands. Barely outside the realm of my own country! My spouse fared a little better with two stamps – to the same island in the Pacific and Germany.
At this rate, it’s a good thing we have all eternity to explore the Kingdom of Heaven …
Meanwhile, renewal of our passports for another ten years dredged up a memory that hasn’t faded over time. I find that when Holy Spirit wants me to not forget, I cannot help but remember certain things with great clarity.
First let me ask … how often do you speak out something in a conversation that has a ring of prophetic truth to it? Not that it happens every other sentence. Sometimes it can be a long spell in between such occurrences. Un-thought, unexpected, and out it pops. When it does, your own ears clearly hear what your heart knows to be true. Plain and simple.
Or plain weird to some folks, including at times other Christians. Kind of like if you’re a believer making such a statement, then you must be one of those ‘so spiritually minded you’re no earthly good’ siblings in the body of Christ. You know, the kind you would just as soon avoid but you have to live, worship, or work with them.
In my case I’m afraid the plumb line developed a reputation, but what’s that got to do with prophetic passports?
A number of years ago I was employed in an organization with staff for whom international travel was an everyday occurrence. Given my one-stamp story above, obviously I was not among them. I kept the home fires burning and organization was my middle name. I did my job so others could do their job even as my heart yearned to have a bevy of beautiful stamps cluttering up the pages of my passport. To me it implied I’d have finally arrived.
I’ve yet to travel ‘over the pond’ and have not often arrived anywhere much beyond the borders of my own state.
Then came the conversation I haven’t forgotten and that Holy Spirit uses to cause me to wait in expectant hope.
Those who traveled in the organization were covered with much prayer as they went to the least-reached places of the world. We’re talking areas where heightened security measures due to geographic unrest are common.
Standing in a male coworker’s office one day, our talk turned to rising concern about global travel. In some places travelers could no longer gain entrance. Still-open places caused some occasional second-guessing and “help me, Jesus!” prayers over the wisdom of embarking on a planned, paid for ministry trip. Flight costs were continuing to increase as though the sky was the limit!
In response to a statement he made to the effect of ‘when-the-day-comes-of-closed-borders-and-no-longer-able-to-afford-airfare-and-we-can’t-travel-to-those-places-for-ministry-short-of-owning-a-private-jet’ … out popped the comment:
“I believe there is coming a day when the Lord is simply going to translate His people to those places.”
A pin dropping would have been kinder to my psyche than the ‘roll the eyeballs, isn’t she special?’ snort of reply.
Except that I heard that familiar ring of prophetic truth with my own ears. Like a clear bell that had just gone ding! in response to the Holy Spirit in me bearing witness to the truth (John 18:37).
Rather than press the point though, I pulled a Mary and treasured1 this thing in my heart. Years later it remains.
What do you make of an instance like this when your heart resonates with something that belies the natural laws of physics, aerodynamics, matter, or whatever you want to call it? It’s a battle between faith and scientific fact.
Sometimes faith simply says, ‘Move over, I’m not going anywhere.’ That’s when it becomes “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not (yet) seen.” (Hebrews 11:1 – comment added)
I had been spending time in the Word. When this statement popped out, I returned to the Word for confirmation – where I discovered I wasn’t entirely off my rocker. Related to Jesus by His shed blood, my big Brother spoke and acted in ways that rolled eyeballs and caused ones to accuse Him of thinking He was special.
I can only imagine the dings! constantly going off in Him as Holy Spirit bore witness to the truth over and over.
And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which,
if they should be written every one, I suppose
that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.
John 21:25 KJV
After the Resurrection, Jesus walked through walls and simply ‘arrived’, appearing in the midst of the believers. Better yet, He showed up like a hungry teenager – “Got anything here to eat?” (Luke 24:41) Stunned, they handed him a piece of fish. His hunger satisfied, He then “…opened their minds to understand the scriptures.” (verse 45)
Traveling makes a person hungry. Jesus was no exception. After He rose from the dead, more than a few appearances are recorded of Him eating with the ones to whom He shared understanding of the scriptures of old. After the daylong foot trip on the road to Emmaus, the two with whom He walked and talked had heartburn (verse 32), though they hadn’t even eaten yet. Instead, they were filled up with the whole loaf of the Bread of Life.
Since that day in the office I have chosen to keep my heart set toward the promise of Jesus who said, “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12 NIV)
Such are His great and precious promises that when His Spirit goes ding! in your spirit, it’s good to pay attention. What He did in the flesh as one person in one place at one time is and will be done in multiplied ways by His corporate body of believers – including women who have long hid His Word in their heart, waiting for that day.
Regardless of what others think, if the Lord some prophetic day looks your way and says, “I have need of you NOW in Timbuktu!”, you might want to have your passport handy. How He gets you there is His to determine.
In honor of His Word that is still living and active, and my birthday this International Women’s Day – March 8, 2016.
1treasured = to keep closely together, that is, (by implication) to conserve (from ruin); mentally to remember (and obey): – keep, observe, preserve.