Art based on Dante's PARADISO: DORÉ. Beatrice leads Dante into the Empyrean, or highest level of Heaven, where he beholds the angels and souls of the blessed forming a snow white rose in attendance upon the Deity

Today: Psalms 67; John 15; John 16:1-4; 1 Samuel 16; 1 Samuel 17:1-37

Psalms 67

“That Your way may be known on the earth, Your salvation among all nations.” Psalms 67:2

In August 2019, I started having visions in which my soul was transported to heaven where I joined with all the saints there to pray for the entire world. In my visions, heaven is a glorious place — an enormous lush valley surrounded by craggy snow-capped mountains. A crystal clear river runs through the valley center fed by an immense sparkling waterfall.

The millions of saints there (believers who have already died) are joyful and glowing, constantly worshipping the glory of God which is like a sun that lights up all of heaven. We float in a huge circle and I often see an image of the earth in the middle of our circle. I can feel the glory of God fill our bodies like electric fire and then emanate from our outstretched arms toward the earth as we pray. Our prayers aren’t comprised of words, but are a deep soul awareness.

The electric fire that is God’s glory is pure love. I cannot explain it using human words, but I feel His intense love for all of us when I am there. God’s love is so powerful that it is tangible. We can see and feel it. And He directs that love through us to the earth.

Since my visions began almost two years ago, I continue to have them several times per week. I am not certain why God has blessed me in this amazing way except that He has given me an assignment to pray for the world, for “salvation among all nations,” and that God’s “way may be known on the earth.” (v.2) And I do pray for this, every single day.

“May the peoples praise You, God;
May all the peoples praise You.
May the nations be glad and sing for joy;
For You will judge the peoples with fairness
And guide the nations on the earth.” 

Psalms 67:3-4

John 15

Jesus knew He would soon be leaving His beloved disciples. He still had so much He wanted to tell them. He knew they would not understand His words immediately. But He left them word of comfort that they would remember when their trials came. They are words of comfort, assurances of His love, and also guidance and warnings.

These words are also Jesus’ personal love letter to US. Read John 15 slowly. Read it more than once. Savor these words to us from Jesus…

“I am the vine, you are the branches; the one who remains in Me, and I in him bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

Jesus is our sustenance and life, the food for our souls. We remain in Him by spending time with Him in prayer, meditation and Scripture. Church is helpful and awesome but just going to church won’t get you there. Sitting and listening to someone for 30 minutes once a week is not relationship. It is not “remaining” in Jesus. Relationship requires your TIME, your HEART, your MIND, and your SOUL…

Notice that Jesus warns His disciples of impending persecutions by the world and also of “pruning” by God. He warns that we will have trouble in this life but also that our “joy may be made full.” (v.11) Only by Christ in us can we reach a point where we can still be full of joy and peace even through the most difficult times.

"David anointed king by Samuel" Europos synagogue painting

1 Samuel 16

“God does not see as man sees, since man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

God has eternal vision. He isn’t stuck within this cursed physical world as we currently are. In God’s kingdom, our temporary physical bodies hold little significance. Our cultural status, power or wealth does not matter. Our souls and our hearts are what matters to God.

None of Jesse’s first seven sons were God’s choice for king. Instead David, the youngest son who had been out tending the sheep (they gave him the lowliest job) was God’s choice. When Samuel anointed David, “the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon David from that day forward.” (v.13) And we have yet another example of the infilling of the Holy Spirit within the Old Testament. Glory!