“He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Matthew 13:9 (WEB)
“He said, ‘Go out, and stand on the mountain before Yahweh.’ Behold Yahweh passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains, and broke in pieces the rock before Yahweh; but Yahweh was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake; but Yahweh was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake a fire passed; but Yahweh was not in the fire. After the fire, there was a still small voice. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle, went out, and stood in the entrance to the cave. Behold a voice came to him, and said, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’” 1 Kings 19:11-13 (WEB)
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” John 10: 27 (WEB)
There was always some sort of wind blowing in this particular area I once lived in so the breeze that greeted me that winter morning was to be expected as I walked down a familiar stretch of sidewalk with our two dogs. The breeze that day, however, was particularly light. It was the kind of breeze you notice if you’re heading into it, but if you’re headed in the same direction with it you don’t notice it much at all. As I continued walking down the sidewalk my eyes were drawn to the surprising sight up ahead of a wildly vibrating, swaying plant. It seemed alive so animated were its movements which were akin to one of those inflatable, super-tall, madly flailing dancing characters automobile dealerships use to hopefully arrest your attention. Fascinating! But what made this scene even more remarkable was that this plant danced alone even though it was surrounded by numerous other plants which stood there unmoved as if they were the plant manifestations of the stoic Easter Island statues. The lone plant took notice of the faint breeze while all the other plants remained steadfast, unmoved, and locked firmly into place. The visual contrast between the two groups could not have been any more stark and dramatic. The one danced with unrestrained exuberance as the almost imperceptible wind moved across it, yet the others seemed to be stuck in concrete unwilling and unable to move at all.
Sadly, truth be told though, can the same not be said regarding our response to God’s presence in our lives? Some are moved to dance in His presence while others remain unmoved even though the breath of God moves across all. As with the plants the difference between these two different groups of people could not be any more obvious as illustrated by these two scriptures:
“But they refused to listen, and turned their backs, and stopped their ears, that they might not hear.” Zechariah 7:11 (WEB)
“David danced before Yahweh with all his might; and David was clothed in a linen ephod.” 2 Samuel 6:14 (WEB)
God’s breath, His very presence, moves across each and every one of us as 2 Peter 3:9 (WEB) points out saying, “The Lord is not slow concerning His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient with us, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” There is opportunity for movement towards Him for all in each of our journeys. Yet, the truth is only a precious few acknowledge or react to His presence in their lives in a profound and transformed manner. One is moved to dance in His presence all the while surrounded by others who rigidly standby in complete silence.
“When they had appointed him a day, many people came to him at his lodging. He explained to them, testifying about God’s Kingdom, and persuading them concerning Jesus, both from the law of Moses and from the prophets, from morning until evening. Some believed the things which were spoken, and some disbelieved.” Acts 28:23-24 (WEB)
There is a still small Breeze whispering out to you, beckoning you to move in His direction. We all have a choice to make. Will you remain hardened and unflinching in His presence such that you are “per-sway-dead” to remain motionless? Or are you “per-sway-did” to dance in His presence overflowing with the joy of the Lord?
“Now therefore fear Yahweh, and serve him in sincerity and in truth. Put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River, in Egypt; and serve Yahweh. If it seems evil to you to serve Yahweh, choose today whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve Yahweh.” Joshua 24:14-15 (WEB)
The Lord lovingly holds out His hand in invitation for this dance of your life. Do you hear it? Do you feel it? Oh my brothers and sisters I pray each of you take His outstretched hand and sway to the rhythm of His life-giving breeze of hope!
“Now the God of hope fill you will all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope, in the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 (WEB)
“You are the light of the world. A city located on a hill can’t be hidden. Neither do you light a lamp, and put it under a measuring basket, but on the stand; and it shines to all who that are in the house. Even so, let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16 (WEB)
So, here we are a few years later and the message remains the same, but this time expressed in a video: Some “leaves” move in the presence of His voice and are alive, but sadly some are decidedly deaf to His whispers and are dead.