Tickell Expressions

Monday, 11 January 2016

Why are you staring at the sky?

Dear Friends,

Today I did some art journaling in my bible after meditating on just a portion of one verse for the last two days.

" Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking into the sky?"

Let me put it into context for you. After Jesus was resurrected from the dead, he appeared to as many as 500 people (1 Cor. 15:6), over 40 days, speaking about the Kingdom of God. He told them to wait in Jerusalem for the gift of the Holy Spirit which was promised by his Father. He said they would be filled with power and would be his witnesses.

After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes and a cloud hid him from their sight. (vs.9)

But they kept staring intently into the sky (vs.10) until two men, dressed in white, were suddenly standing beside them, asking them why they were staring into the sky.

Now, I don't know about you, but I think that was a very natural reaction. I mean, somebody just floats into the sky and disappears into a cloud? I think I would be wondering what might happen next and I sure wouldn't want to miss a thing.

I always thought the point of this narration was to confirm how Jesus will return - the same way his followers saw him leave. He went up into the clouds and he will return in the clouds. There are other scriptures to substantiate this, so there can be no mistake.

But I felt the Lord wanted me to take a look into a deeper meaning and even to find a now-life application for it.

 Just before his death, Jesus urged his followers to love one another deeply. (John 17) After his resurrection, he talked mainly about the Kingdom of God and urged them to wait together for the gift of the Holy Spirit so they would be filled with power to be his witnesses.

Jesus' followers during his earthly life got to walk with him, talk with him, eat with him, minister with him and witness first-hand his mighty miracles. Peter even got to walk on the water with Jesus. The 12 disciples got to see food multiply as they served it from their very hands. What could be better than all of that? But Jesus said that it would be better for them after he went. (John 16:7)

After Jesus left and after the promised Holy Spirit came to baptize, empower and live on the inside of his followers, everything was different. It was a brand new day; a brand new era. Nothing would ever be the same again.

I have had the extreme privilege and delight to walk through some moves of God's Spirit in the earth that I would love to re-live over and over again. And I believe we are on the cusp of another great move of God, quite possibly the greatest we have seen since the beginning of the church age. Many have been prophesying this. But will I miss it because I am staring off into the sky, intently waiting for the signs of revival I have experienced in the past?

The prophets have also said that God is about to do something new. I think when God does something new it isn't like our "new and improved", meaning shinier, a new paint job, or smelling nicer. I think it is NEW as in something we have never seen before. Let's not forget who created the entire universe out of his marvelous imagination.

I like how the Easy to Read Version puts Isaiah 43:19:

A new plant. Not a copy or even a hybrid. The first Christians were unlike anything the earth had ever seen before. If we rely on what so many prophetic voices have been saying, and what my own heart tells me is true, the move of God we are eagerly anticipating will be like nothing this earth has ever seen.

I am determined to get my head out of the clouds of past revivals. I will wait for the NEW thing the Father has promised and, even though I have no idea what it will look like, I know it will be good because he is a good, good father. That's who he is. And I am loved by him. And so are you, Dear One, whether you acknowledge him, believe in him and ever give him a second thought as you go through your life. You are beautiful and you are loved.

Blessing hugs,

Simon Says Monday Challenge - stencils (wings, crown & leaves)
Simon Says Wednesday Challenge - something new (new stencils)
Word Art Wednesday - ATG (anything goes)
Paint Party Friday - art


Lin said...

I enjoyed reading your thoughts, and also seeing your art you added to your bible, Teresa! Thanks for sharing it with us at the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday challenge!

Nancy said...

Beautiful work, and beautiful words! Thank you, Teresa! :o)

Dea Lenihan said...

I think we are on the verge of a big change also--I feel it may have already begun. I have a collection of bibles and crosses myself and find them very beautiful and inspirational. Very nice to meet you. I found you through PPF and I'm new to the blog world so it is great to find art friends. Happy to say I am a new follower. Dea xo

Skrater said...

Beautiful and precious!

Angela Hoynes said...

Wonderful work Teresa. My favourite is the Crown. Lovely page x

cheiron said...

Very nice thoughts on this bible verse. You journaling is a wonderful compliment. Thank you so much for playing with us over at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Blog this week :)

Carole Robb Bisson said...

Teresa, I admire artists who can do things like this. It brings things home in word and picture. Thank you so much for taking time to post your very creative art with us this week at Word Art Wednesday in our 217th- FF AG challenge! Our first challenge in 2016. Praying you will have a Blessed, Prosperous, Peaceful and Creative 2016, Carole