This morning I had a wonderful quiet time with Jesus. After prayer and intercession, and after putting the final touches upon the Sunday school lesson that I will be teaching on Sunday, I asked God for something personal. I asked Him for a word from Him for me. Although I know that He and He alone holds my future, I wanted something from the Scriptures that I could hold throughout this day. The passage of Scripture that He took me to was Psalms 71: 17-20. Not only does this word have enough “juice” in it to carry me through this day, but it is powerful enough to carry me for the rest of my natural life. In addition, God encouraged me to encourage others with this scripture. Let’s look at the Scripture that God gave me.
Psalms 71:17-20 (KJV) 17 O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works. 18 Now also when I am old and gray-headed, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come. 19 Thy righteousness also, O God, is very high, who hast done great things: O God, who is like unto thee! 20 Thou, which hast shewed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth.
My first reaction was OMG! David must have made the same request of God that I did, because this first verse uses words that describe my life experiences with God.
17 O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works.
As I look back over my life I can clearly see God’s handiwork. Even in the midst of extreme poverty, a racially prejudiced society and being raised by grandparents, God taught me from my youth many of the things that I live by today. And, in my latter years, I have declared the wondrous works of God to the best of my ability. In spite of the three little books that I have written; a blog that extols the goodness of God that has been viewed by at least one person in 98 of the 196 countries on earth; a podcast that preaches the gospel of deliverance; and a 47 year career of service to my fellow man as a nurse, I know that there has to be more that I can do for my Lord.
The Bible says in Luke 12:48 (KJV) 48 … For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required:
It is certainly true that God has been good to me. You have to know my story to understand my praise. Only those who know where He brought me from can understand how much I love Him. They alone realize why it is my cry to God to Use me O God in your service! And now I see that David, in the 18th verse of Ps. 71 cried the same thing when he said:
18 Now also when I am old and gray-headed, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.
Some of the quotes about old age from Wikipedia include the following:
Old age comprises the later part of life; the period of life after youth and middle age… In the 4th century BC, Plato divided the human lifespan into six phases, the last two constituting ‘Old Age’ (the ages of 62-79) and ‘Advanced Age’ (80-)…Hair usually becomes thinner and grayer…Pain afflicts old people at least 25% of the time, increasing with age up to 80% for those in nursing homes…Diminished eyesight makes it more difficult to read in low lighting and in smaller print. Speed with which an individual reads and the ability to locate objects may also be impaired.
Considering these and other definitions of what comprises old age the picture could be considered bleak if we focus on the negative side of the story. But we must also consider the fact that not everyone is blessed to attain to the state of old age. If we reach it then we should be praising God. Based on my years on planet Earth I certainly qualify to be a member of this category, grey hair, pain and all. But I, like David, ask God to:
- Not forsake me.
- To allow me to show God’s strength to his current generation and
- To allow me to show God’s power to everyone that is to come.
God spoke to me some years ago and said that He had given me an “end time ministry”. Later He clarified His words to mean that I would have a ministry at the end of time, at the end of their time (meaning a ministry to the elderly, the sick, the dying and to others who are close to the end of their time on earth) and the end of my time (meaning my latter years). So now that I am officially of old age I cry out to God that the time of my ministry has come and I humbly bow to His perfect will for the rest of my life.
I pray that You, O Mighty and Holy God, will use this vessel of clay for Your glory and Your honor. Have thine own way in my life O God, for there is none other like You! I look not at the few things that have been accomplished, but ask that in spite of my old age that You will be glorified through me. I want to be able to show your strength to this current generation, as well as to those who are to come.
As I was seeking God, He dropped into my spirit that these things are accomplished by sharing God’s word verbally and in writing to this generation and in writing for future generations. In addition, what I am to do is to encourage those of this generation, particularly my fellow “old age” peers, who have the ability to communicate in writing, to do so. While this generation needs our testimonies, future generations will need them even more. These are the words of encouragement that God gave me for my ‘old age” peers:
America, as well as the entire world, is teetering on the precipice of a paradigm shift. The Cambridge Dictionaries Online defines a paradigm shift as a time when the usual and accepted way of doing or thinking about something changes completely. In a very few short years our world will look very different than it does today. The life of freedom and open worship of our God that we who live for God enjoy today will sound like a fairy tale in the near future. It is our responsibility to share what is real about our lives and our love for God so that it is preserved for our progeny. They will need the encouragement to live holy that we are able to give them based on the fact that we lived holy.
Saints, writers, teachers, preachers, prophets and prophetesses, we have the precious gift of salvation in our earthen vessels. Those of us who are living holy hold a precious word that will cause others to live for God and escape the damnation of hell. Saints of God, when God speaks to you, write it and share it. That’s what I have done today. Let’s bless someone else with our experiences in God so that they will know that He is real. They need to know that He loves them just as He loves us and that they too can go to Heaven when they die. Then, when old age comes their way they will understand their continued responsibility to preach and teach the gospel of Jesus Christ. When God speaks a word in our ear we must declare it from the rooftop.
Matthew 10:27 (KJV) 27 What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.
When God speaks to his vessels, it may seem very natural because it comes through our spirits and into our natural minds. It may seem as though “everybody ought to know that”. But the truth of the matter is, everybody will not know what God has spoken to you. You must tell them. God spoke to Habakkuk and told him to write what He said so that the word could be preserved.
Habakkuk 2:2-3 (KJV) 2 And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. 3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.
The 20th verse of the Scripture that God gave me this morning states:
20 Thou, which hast shewed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth.
God has indeed shown me and many others that great troubles are coming upon the face of the earth soon. But even if the worse possible events happen to us He will indeed quicken or make us alive again; we who are saved will live with Him forever. Meanwhile, we must continue to pray so that the hand of the enemy is stayed and one more soul is able to make it in through our ministry. Older saints, it’s not over until God says it’s over; let’s continue to work for the Lord!