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Friday, April 7, 2017

Is the Birth of Your Promise Taking Longer than an Embryonic Elephant? Here's Why...

Here is a startling thought: Abraham carried Isaac in his spirit for over twenty-four years before Sarah ever carried him in her uterus. He got pregnant long before she did.

His journey from conceiving Promise in his spiritual womb, to the moment of birth so many years later, is what made him into Abraham.

In the same way, whatever word from God you are carrying in your spirit right now is making you into you. That is, into the fully developed you that God saw and called forth from eternity past before the worlds were formed. He is the Author and Finisher of your faith. The good work He began in you, He will complete. And much of His transformational process inside of you will happen as you carry His “baby” of Promise.

Did you take God’s pregnancy test and find out you are expecting? Now comes the more challenging part. There is absolutely no guarantee, whatsoever, that you are going to see this particular baby show its face nine months from now. In fact, you probably won’t. Spiritual pregnancies are peculiar. They could take any number of months, or years. In my own life, I’m convinced that I beat out the elephant (who bears her young for two years) with some of the things He’s had me carry within. Abraham and Sarah? The physical pregnancy with Isaac did take nine months. But again, the spiritual pregnancy took twenty-five years!

In the natural realm, human pregnancies last for three trimesters, or nine months. This has spiritual implications.  As we move into the heavenly realm, the number nine stands for the fruit of the Spirit. What’s astounding is just how much of His fruit is actually going to develop inside you, as you stand firm and nurture the life that is growing within, for the full period of gestation.

Oftentimes, we are so anxiously fixated on wanting to see the manifestation of whatever God has promised us, that we miss the most vital point. Yes, He too is joyfully anticipating the moment you can set eyes on His Promise burst forth from your spiritual womb into physical reality. However, He had an even greater purpose in impregnating you with His word in the first place. This conception was all about who you are coming to be in Him! His purpose in breathing Promise into your inner being was to produce fruit deep within your spirit that will endure for all of eternity – “fruit that will last” (John 15:16). Heavenly fruit. The exquisitely beautiful fruit of His own nature, worked profoundly into the very fabric of who you have become.

In God’s language, children are often a symbol of spiritual fruit. Through an eye-opening story from the gospels, Jesus helps us understand this truth. He points out in Luke 7 the contrast between the Pharisees who have rejected Him, and the spirit-hungry listeners who have eagerly received Him. In this context, He makes the statement, “But wisdom is proved right by all her children” (v. 27, NIV, emphasis mine). In the parallel passage in Matthew, His words are expressed, “But wisdom is proved right by her actions” (Matt. 11:19, emphasis mine).

We can conclude from this that “children” are equivalent to “actions.” Our actions – our choices and the way we live -- are the fruit that we are producing. They are the “children” of our spiritual wombs. The spiritually ravenous that embraced Jesus’ teaching were producing the fruit of wisdom. The cold, prideful, closed religious leaders were not. God’s sperma, His Word, found no place in their spirits to make a home. Though He scattered His seed in their hearts, it fell on hard ground. It was immediately lost forever to the birds of the air.

I rejoice that you are exploring this subject with me! My reason is this: if you are taking the time to more deeply excavate an understanding of spiritual pregnancies, then I know you must be one of His hungry listeners. And if you are yearning for Him, then you too will spend your life producing His fruit, His babies, His children. I’m celebrating both whatever Promise you are currently carrying for and with Jesus, inside your spirit – and the breathtaking wonder of how gloriously you are going to resemble Him when He has finished taking you through this full gestation experience!

For some time, He has been on this subject with me. I mentioned Abraham and Sarah. Even though Sarah was the one who physically carried Isaac in her womb, the Bible goes into much more detail about Abraham’s inner journey towards that birthing. Truly, Isaac’s appearance was much more a story about spiritual pregnancy in both a man and a woman than it was about his natural arrival. Holy Spirit has particularly arrested my attention through this Scripture:

“Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead — since he was about a hundred years old — and that Sarah's womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God…” (Rom. 4:19-20, NIV, emphasis mine).

Isaac began to take shape in Abraham’s spirit years before God knit him together in Sarah’s body. He was conceived by God’s divine sperm far, far in advance of being conceived by Abraham’s physical seed. In Abraham, God found a man willing to tenaciously carry His promise on the inside for an indefinitely prolonged period of time – for as long as necessary for the full process of maturation to be completed. In other words, for as long as God needed to finish producing “the fruit that would last” deep, deep, deep within the core of his being.  From studying his spiritual pregnancy, we can learn an incredible amount about the development of our own faith on God’s chosen journey for us.

“What then shall we say that Abraham… discovered in this matter?” (Rom. 4:1, NIV). In my next post, we will quarry deeper into the mine that this man, the “father of the faith,” unearthed for us. The golden treasures he uncovered will provide us with wonderful encouragement as we continue to press on with our pregnancies…

Daddy God, what is it that You want to strengthen in me as I carry Your Promise within my heart? I ask that You would speak to me today about Your process with me. Show me more about what You are doing deep inside of me. I welcome Your transformational changes, welcome Your relentless development, welcome Your beautiful workmanship in me! Continue to breathe life and vitality into what You have planted in my spiritual womb. Once again, I surrender to Your magnificent purposes. You are my Rock and my portion forever!

What are your thoughts on God’s long term work in you as you hold onto His promises? I would love to hear about your journey!

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