As I sat quietly before the Lord a few days ago, I saw myself sitting on the top of a mountain at dawn. I was sitting, eyes closed, enjoying the silence and the sensations of the cool air on my face and of God’s presence all around me – pressing ever so gently against my skin. As I slowly opened my eyes I beheld a beautiful green and fertile valley which lay below me. It was hedged in on three sides by majestic steep green slopes topped by pointed rocky peaks, but there was an unobstructed horizon on the opposite side from me where the sun was beginning to rise. The sky was awash in yellow, gold, and orange hues as the sun ascended slowly but visibly above the horizon dispelling all the dark shadows of the night and evaporating the chill of the dew in its warming rays. A warm gentle breeze began to stir the air as the sun heated the atmosphere. It blew gently on my face and ruffled my hair. I smiled, enjoying its playfulness. What a glorous sunrise!
As I basked in the beauty of this experience, I heard a voice say, “It is the coming glory.”
I asked, “What does it mean?” and I heard, “What you are beholding is the glory that is coming on the earth at this very moment. Like the dawn it is rising upon the earth.”
Then I heard, “Behold I am doing a new thing!” and, “Behold I make all things new!”
I asked, “Papa, why are you showing me this?”
And I heard, “Daughter. Rest into my goodness. Luxuriate in my love. Do not despair. There is nothing to fear. Those who oppose you will be removed from out of your way. Arise! Shine! For the glory of the Lord has risen upon you!”
And then after a long pause I heard, “Let those who have ears hear what the spirit is saying.”
The vision I saw was of a new day dawning upon the earth.
Isaiah 43: 18-19a
“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?”
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away…And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”
Behold, all who are incensed against you shall be put to shame and confounded; those who strive against you shall be as nothing and shall perish. You shall seek those who contend with you, but you shall not find them; those who war against you shall be as nothing at all. For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.”
God is calling His sons and daughters to “Arise, shine!” And He promises to help us – even to hold our hand! We have nothing to fear! This call, and the vision of the future that Isaiah saw, is restated by the Apostle Paul in Roman’s 8:
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed (in) us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons and daughters of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
Right now there is despair in the hearts of people all over the Earth because of what is happening to our air, to our water, and to our land. There is fear about what will happen to our children and our grandchildren in the future. There is anger toward those who are greedily plundering the earth’s resources – which were given by God to sustain us – for the sake of monetary gain without consideration for future generations. And there is hatred and persecution as extremist and militant groups terrorize, torture, dispace and kill people from other groups that have different values and beliefs. Isaiah’s vision – which the apostle John saw 800 years later – is a picture of God’s rescue at the end of the age. But it won’t happen until the children of God arise.
The whole of creation is waiting – with eager longing – for us to rise up and shine with the glory of God that is dawning upon us all, right now! It has been groaning with birth pains as it awaits deliverance from its bondage to corruption. Only once we arise and shine will Creation be liberated and come into its fullness – all that God intended for it to be.
“Therefore…let us lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1) Let us heed the call of God! Let us embrace our identity as His children, and the destiny He has already put in place. Let us trust Him, and put side our doubts and fears. This is the time He has ordained for us to arise and shine!
Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you. The sun shall be no more your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give you light; but the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. Your sun shall no more go down, nor your moon withdraw itself; for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of mourning shall be ended.
I am the Lord ; in its time I will hasten it.
Isaiah 60 (excerpt)
(I have included only excerpts from Revelation 21 and Isaiah 60 but I sincerely hope – and strongly encourage – you to take the time to read these passages in their entirety.)