Dove Notes – Intro

A single mention of anything in Scripture ought to be paid attention to.  But when there are multiple mentions of any one thing, it seems to me God has something important in mind!  It piques my interest.

Scripture mentions doves over thirty times.  Often the context gives great honor to the dove.  The most well-known mention being in the baptism of Jesus, which links the Holy Spirit with the symbolism of the dove.

animal animal photography avian birds

Photo by Matthias Zomer on Pexels.com

 

And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.  Luke 3:22

In Song of Solomon, the great book on the love of God, both the lover and the beloved are said to have eyes like the dove.  Jesus sent His disciples out with the admonition to be as wise as serpents but gentle as doves.  Noah sent a dove out to learn if the ground was ready for dwelling.  Doves were a common sacrifice in Temple worship.  For more details on the Scriptural mentions of doves, Biblical Archaeology offers an in-depth look at the symbolism of doves.

Interactive learning helps me  The dove as symbolic of the Spirit of God intrigued me; so, I purchased some doves to learn from them.  It’s been a delight and I wanted to share some of their lessons.  Over the next few weeks, I will share a dove note to enjoy!  May it bless you and tune your ears to the Holy Spirit!

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Tagging God isn’t (always) Aligning with God

For all of recorded time, humanity has brazenly used God’s name to affirm its choices.  Much like “tagging” a friend on Facebook, we tack God’s name on our activities, thereby implying His presence and approval.  From wars to divorces to abortion, we humans audaciously attach His Name to plans and projects His heart never conceived…even to activities wholly contrary to His holiness.  It is a fearsome tendency, a deadly deception. Its occurrence is increasing and delving to deeper depths. 

We live in a culture that promotes choices and creates laws contrary to the Word of God…all while calling the wrongs,  right. The words of the Prophet Isaiah need to be heard as a clarion call today:

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Isaiah 5:20

Abortion does not honor women; it destroys lives.  Gender identity is not a choice; biology determines it.  Hard hearts, not irreconcilable differences destroy marriages.  Euthanasia and Suicide do not end suffering, they transfer it to another.  

Free choice is ours.  The choice is:

will we obey the Word of God or choose to be our own God.  

God’s Word is the only source of Truth for this world.  Leaders who lead away from the Word have been a reality throughout history.  The Bible offers myriad accounts to learn from. Isaiah recorded the very words of the Lord as he said, “For they who lead this people cause them to err and they who are led astray by them are destroyed.”  The wrath of God rests upon those who choose to follow ways outside the Word.

The wrath of God is actually a cry of mercy that begs us to make choices that align with Truth…choices that honor and glorify the Creator & Sustainer of all. 

Original Martyrs Cross by Jon Lewis

Amos, a contemporary of Isaiah, received visions of coming judgments and begged God to relent.  God did so and then appeared to Amos standing near a wall with a plumb line. He said, ‘I am setting a plumb line as a standard in the midst of my people—I will not pass by and spare them anymore.’  In our day, we have that plumb line in Jesus Christ. Recognizing that our culture does not align with the Plumb Line—with Jesus Christ–is vital.

Recognizing and dealing with sin is the only way to establish a solid foundation for life. 

As Christians, we must heed the call of the Apostle Paul in Romans 12: ‘Be not conformed to culture but be transformed with the WORD.’  Christ embodied the Word. We are to do the same, living out all that God desires. We are to be trained by the WORD to distinguish between what is morally good and what is contrary to the WORD.  We have lots of opportunity to practice.  

choices decision doors doorway

It is a well-known inspirational idea that the Chinese symbol for crisis conveys the concept of danger at a point of juncture.  Every choice we make in life is a juncture—an opportunity to give glory to God or to be more conformed to the world we live in. To be trained by the WORD produces mature Christians.  It grows us up. We begin to have integrity to our core. Our head, heart and heels line up with the WORD.  

This lining up requires attentive observation and total trust in the goodness and power of God.  It often requires us to act on faith instead of sight. It is supernatural living that requires the Spirit of God dwelling within us.  Tagging God is a surface expression…trusting God is laying everything we have and are into His care. It can be terrifying but it is always best.  

silhouette photo of man with backpack standing in seashore during golden hour

Photo by Samuel Silitonga on Pexels.com

Jesus taught His disciple to pray ‘Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’  Isaiah records a glimpse of heaven that speaks to me of obedience. He saw seraphs—angelic beings called the ‘burning ones’—above God’s throne.  They dwelt in His presence calling out Holy, Holy, Holy, the whole earth is full of His glory.

We can miss the glory of God in the midst of our hard times but the Seraphs did not.  Perhaps that is because two of their wings covered their eyes. We must cover our eyes from that which draws us away from God.  Two wings covered their feet—they weren’t concerned with where they were called. We must not walk where God would not want us to.  The wings they employed moved with the heart of God.  We must learn to fix our eyes on God’s glory and let Him direct us, trusting our paths will always be in His glory.  

God is here.

God is at work.

God is calling you.

Draw near.  Don’t just tag God onto your choices.  Enter His heart. Receive His plans. Hebrews 12 tells us there is a cloud of witnesses—they are not critiquing us.  They are there for us to learn from. They are there for us to join that others can learn. The passage in Hebrews goes onto say watch out for each other.  Make sure no one slips back. Make sure no one misses out on receiving God’s unmerited favor. Our choices are observed by others. Choose His way that His goodness will flood your life and overflow into the lives of others.