The Pastor’s Quill
By Pastor Tim Hodge
Dec 31, 2017
In November, I did something I’ve never done before: I took two weeks ‘off’ (back-to-back). I guess one could call it a mini-sabbatical. My only agenda was to chill (rest, relax), read, write, do some maintenance work around my house, and on Sundays I visited various churches in the Lexington area. It was refreshing to my spirit to simply be in a season of down-time to reflect, glean, and listen.
One of those afternoons, during a time of prayer, I was lamenting some things to God. Okay, maybe it was more of a whiny, self-pity deluge. Have you ever done that? If not, that’s okay. He’s probably heard it enough from me, but if you did He has a compassionate ear to lend (He can handle my stuff and yours). On this particular stretch of my ‘supplications’ I was inquiring why some of my efforts didn’t have the full desired results I was looking for. That’s when it happened – the DIVINE INTERRUPTION. When you have one, you are aware that the Spirit of the Lord is speaking and you almost want to stand at full attention and salute.
On this occasion the Lord spoke rather nonchalantly to my heart: “Well, you are trying too hard. If I do the dynamic things you are wanting to see in your grand efforts, people may mistake your efforts for the cause of the results. I want you to relax, simplify your life, and let Me inundate your days with ‘pleasant surprises’.” When I heard the words ‘pleasant surprises’ I felt something leap for joy inside of me. I felt like a ten-thousand-pound weight fell off my shoulders. I literally felt rather giddy.
My mind went immediately to Acts chapter two. On the Day of Pentecost, those folks were probably assuming they were assembling for another typical prayer meeting like they’d been doing for over a week. However, this day held a ‘pleasant surprise’ for them! Just read the text from Acts 2:1-4, “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. (v2) And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. (v.3) Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. (v4) And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
Yeah! That thing quickly got turned upside down in a God-kinda way. The world has not been the same since. Over and over the Bible records moments of God’s interventions with ‘pleasant surprises’. Here are a few examples: the day Joshua was at battle and the sun stood still, the widow’s container of oil, the raven’s bringing meat to the prophet during the time of famine and drought, the Red Sea parting for the nation of Israel, the Jordan River parting for the nation of Israel, Elijah, and Elisha, and in Acts chapter three there was a lame man instantly healed after forty plus years of being crippled (and he ensued with a dancing spree in the temple – maybe some of these ‘pleasant surprises’ will set some of our feet to dancing).
I am not perfect at discerning the voice of the Lord, but I know I heard Him on this. I don’t think He was just telling TIM HODGE to prepare for ‘pleasant surprises’. I believe there are some ‘pleasant surprises’ coming to us (the body of Christ) in 2018. You will know it when they show up. Trust me.