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THE SILVER PLATTER

January 22nd, 2009

 

 

God often speaks to us in dreams, visions and parables.  Having grown up in a denominational church that did not speak at all about the supernatural, this form of communication was foreign to me.   As I look back now, I am amazed at how easily the enemy had been able to hide these truths from me – after all, I had read through my Bible a number of times.  Apparently I glossed over the huge wealth of teaching based on the things that cannot be seen with our natural eyes.  I suppose I did not stretch my mind because I had no idea there was so much more of God than what I had experienced in my small world. 

 

Dead religion was always a burden for me, and it was only guilt, and fear of man’s opinion, that kept me showing up for church.  Later in life, when I found myself in a Charismatic congregation, I discovered that church could offer more than standing up and sitting down, boring recitations, and dry sermons.  Suddenly my whole life was turned upside down.  How grateful I am that the Lord drew me out of my little box and showed me a tiny piece of eternity, inviting me to drink deeply of its wealth.  Oh the depth of the riches of His glory in which He invites us to participate!  Now, every day I wake up hungry for more of Him. 

 

Even before I acknowledged and embraced my gift of writing, I was jotting down bits and pieces of stories and revelations I got from dreams, visions, and those downloads I call ‘knowings’.  I had a collection of paper but no direction about what to do with all that stuff.  As I began to share my words with friends and family, and they began to encourage me to share my writings with others, God began to show me that from the beginning, He had a plan for all that loose paper.  Of course – He always has a plan, and it is always good. 

 

What joy it is to follow His direction, crafting the words He gives me into stories and parables, and posting them on the internet!  I also plan to put the stories into a book some day.  Since I saved a number of those bits and pieces of paper that had accumulated over the past eight years, now I can go back and chew on the bounty He had set before me – and transform them into more stories to share.  The following is from an earlier writing, which the Holy Spirit has prompted me to spruce up and post.

 

In a vision, the Lord showed me a large and shiny silver platter, filled from edge to edge with beautifully decorated small boxes of various sizes and shapes.  This was God’s baby gift, given to me at my birth.  The platter itself was intended to represent my free will, which He has given to each of us, freely and unconditionally.  Each box placed on the platter represented a choice or a decision that would direct my life.

 

Initially my platter was filled by my parents as they exercised my free will for me.  However, as I grew into adolescence, I slowly began to remove some of the packages, as I discovered that my own will often differed from that of my parents, replacing the packages with choices more to my liking.  Thus began a game of take-away, put-back, and take-away-again between my parents and me.  Every year I gained a little more ground as my parents were forced to retreat, and soon the entire surface of the tray was filled with boxes representing my own life choices.  I found that in order to add a new box to my already full platter, I would have to remove something else presently on the tray.  (In finance, this is called “opportunity cost.”  The true cost of one choice or decision I make is the value of whatever I have to give up in exchange for the new choice; i.e., the cost of staying up late is the loss of my early morning walk; or, if I spend all my county fair money at the concession stand, my funnel cake cost me a ride on the roller coaster.)

 

When the Lord invited me to examine the boxes, I was surprised to find that, although they were beautifully wrapped, some were hollow on the inside.  I had to admit that too often I was guilty of making choices that looked good on the outside, but were empty on the inside.  Next, He showed me a few boxes He had to offer.  These were not beautiful at all, but were covered in scratchy burlap with no adorning of ribbons or decorations.  When I was tempted to decline the offer, surprised and disappointed that these boxes were not beautiful at all, He invited me to take a closer look.  These boxes were heavy, solidly filled with depth and substance, and the longer I gazed at them, the more beautiful they became, giving off a heavenly fragrance and offering up the promise of deep fulfillment for my soul and spirit.

 

Upon seeing the value and the inner beauty of these boxes, I began to reach for them, but I was quickly reminded that my platter was already full.  To take one of these boxes offered by the Lord meant I would have to remove a box already in place to make room on my platter.  Would I be willing to let go of choices I made in my flesh, and replace them with the true gold, the Will of God?  He loves me so much that He will always allow me to exercise my free will.  His love will also allow me to experience the consequences of each decision I make.  Every day I make new choices, and each small decision impacts the rest of my life.

 

In re-examining this story, I can see that when I asked Jesus to be Lord of my life, He took me at my word.  Almost immediately He began to show me small pieces of His plan for me, inviting me to step out of the ways of the world and walk in the ways of the Kingdom.  I see now that many boxes on my platter were empty, uselessly taking up space.  Some looked good on the outside, but inside they contained things I would not want exposed to the light.  Some boxes contained good things, but Jesus taught me that often ‘good’ is the enemy of ‘best’ for me.  Some boxes were very large but contained very little inside, while other boxes were overstuffed.

 

This morning I asked the Lord if this message is relevant for today, and He assured me that the message is more relevant than I realize.  These are exciting times for the church, and we must be ready to serve in the Lord’s army.  As the world’s system begins to crumble, many will look to us for direction and reassurance.  The ‘boxes’ we have placed on our platters will define us in these last days.  Choose well.

 

 

I Corinthians 12:1

Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant.

 

Ephesians 1:3

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.

 

Ephesians 1:18-19

The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power.

 

Romans 6:12a

Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them.

 

I Corinthians 12:31a

But earnestly desire the best gifts.

 

Ephesians 4:7-8

But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.  Therefore He says: “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.”

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