(This painting was created by Kevin Moffatt during a time of worship.
Visit his website at www.MannaArt.com .)

  Part One

  By Doug Fortune

In my book entitled “INTIMACY and ADVERSITY- Footstools of the Kingdom”, I delve deeply into Psalms 110:1-2, and the spiritual truth of our ‘enemies’ being the catalyst that release us into God’s purpose and our destiny, and then RULING rather than retreating. “The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool... rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.” (Psalms 110:1-2 Amplified Bible)

However, suddenly I am arrested with the very next verse. Yes, I’ve read it many times before, but now it ‘has’ me. “Your people will offer themselves willingly in the day of Your power, in the beauty of holiness and in holy array out of the womb of the morning; to You [will spring forth] Your young men, who are as the dew.” (Psalms 110:3)

The womb of the morning... this is a womb that produces a people who walk in “the beauty of holiness and in holy array.” This people sounds so much like the people we read of in Ephesians chapter 5; “That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” (Ephesians 5:27) Now then, is it just me, or does it seem that there’s such an emphasis in the Church on presenting to the ‘world’ a glorious Church. We’re very ‘seeker-sensitive’, so concerned about outward appearances, our image, our buildings and programs geared to ‘meet YOUR needs, dear consumer... after all, you ARE shopping for a Church, aren’t you?’

Granted, I’m not advocating sloppiness or a second rate ‘just get by’ mentality, excellence is definitely to be sought after, so don’t take me wrong. However, the Lord is more concerned that He ‘present it to Himself a glorious Church.’ The hallmark and outstanding characteristic of the ‘glorious Church’ is an irresistably intimate ‘bridal’ relationship with the Lord. Psalms 110 says this irresistable Church in ‘holy array’ comes out of the WOMB of the morning. We must remember that for there to be something in the womb, this requires that first there must be INTIMACY. Lack of intimacy produces an empty womb.

When we are more concerned and focused on being presented TO HIM, in reality we become very attractive to the ‘world’... THEN people will offer themselves willingly! Imagine not having to ‘lure’ people by offering a few more ‘perks’ than the Church down the road. “...and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13) True ‘seekers’ want to be with people who have been with Jesus. You see, intimate fellowship is what we were designed for, “And He ordained twelve, that they should be with Him...” (Mark 3:14), He is the one who builds His Church. And it is the PERSONAL intimate revelation of Jesus Christ that the Church is built upon, it is the personal declaration that “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said... flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven... and upon this rock I will build My church;” (Matthew 16:16-18)

The verse also says, “Your people will offer themselves willingly in the day of Your power...” Interestingly enough, this place of intimacy is where the ‘power’ is also. You see, if He can trust you with His heart, He can trust you with His power. It would seem that the primary emphasis of the Second Day Pentecostal/Charismatic experience has been POWER. We base this upon Acts 1:8, as it declares, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you:” However we must realize that the context within which this POWER was released was prayerful intimacy, “And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room... These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication...” (Acts 1:13-14) Indeed, the Lord had found a place of intimacy where He could manifest His power, and He is STILL looking for such a place. “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him.” (2 Chronicles 16:9)

So, what IS this womb of the morning that produces a people who walk in “the beauty of holiness and in holy array?” The word translated as morning, shachar in Hebrew, means ‘the dawn’, it is often translated as day(-spring), early, light, morning, whence riseth. Indeed, Christ IS the Dayspring, the early Light of the morning whence riseth in our hearts; “...whereby the Dayspring from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness...” (Luke 1:78) “...until the day dawn, and the Day Star arise in your hearts:” (2 Peter 1:19)

I believe that this “womb of the morning” is the womb of the dawning of the New Day, the womb of the Third Day, the womb of the resurrected Christ-Life. That sounds so poetic, so lofty and esoteric... that is until you realize exactly WHAT the womb of the Third Day really IS. You see, the WOMB that brought forth the glorious resurrected Christ on the third day was, in fact, a dark TOMB!

There is a Life that IS “the beauty of holiness and in holy array” and it is a resurrected Life, a Life that originates from a different source than the soulish life. It is a Life that only comes from “being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.” (Philippians 3:10-11) This resurrection that Paul desires “by any means” to attain to is well described in the Amplified Bible; “That if possible I may attain to the [spiritual and moral] resurrection [that lifts me] out from among the dead [even while in the body].” (Philippians 3:11)

Perhaps there is something to be learned from the account of Joseph of Arimathaea in the book of Matthew; “He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus... And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.” (Matthew 27:58-60) Am I willing to cut a fresh place out of the ‘rock’ of the hardened mindset of the religious Adamic nature and, while the wound is fresh, allow the Lord to ‘lay His head’ in my “own new tomb”? Am I willing to roll a great Stone, the Rock Christ Jesus, over the doorway of my ‘religiousity’ and walk away from it? Am I willing to allow that ‘new tomb’ of death to the ‘old way’ to become a WOMB to birth a ‘Holy Thing’?

I find it so amazing that this “resurrection that lifts me out from among the dead even while in the body” has it’s beginning in a dark TOMB. In the dark tomb that Jesus lay in, there was no outwardly visible evidence of the promise of God for two LONG days. You know that scripture, “...one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” (2 Peter 3:8)? You can be sure that, to the disciples, those two days seemed lke a couple thousand years! And so it is for us, sometimes in the dark tomb of death to the old paradigms, there is no outwardly visible evidence of the promise of God for what seems to be a LONG time. In some respects, I think this is perhaps where the Church has been for two LONG thousand year days. However, this is the dawning of the Third Day... and just think about it, what does the morning, what does the dawn produce?... LIGHT! God always brings LIGHT out of darkness! The Father always brings His purposes to pass, even in the face of apparent darkness. “For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD SHALL ARISE UPON THEE, and His GLORY shall be SEEN UPON THEE.” (Isaiah 60:2)

Listen to this principle clearly shown in 2 Corinthians 4:6-11; “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” Did you catch that? Light out of where?... DARKNESS! “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” The Treasure (Christ IN you) held where?... in earthen vessels (Divinity in dirt!). “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.” Bearing about His death, and why?... that His LIFE manifest in us! “For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.” Delivered unto death (remember the TOMB?), and why?... that His RESURRECTION LIFE may break forth from the WOMB of the morning! (2 Corinthians 4:6-11)

Does your life feel like you are troubled on every side, perplexed, persecuted, cast down? Perhaps you are in the tomb of the WOMB of the morning. Maybe it’s time to put on your spiritual ‘Son-glasses’, because LIGHT is about to spring forth in the beauty of holiness and in holy array! “And they that be wise shall SHINE as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” (Daniel 12:3) “The mighty One, God, the Lord, speaks and calls the earth (these earthen vessels WE are) from the rising of the sun to its setting. Out of Zion (that’s US!), the perfection of beauty, God SHINES FORTH.” (Ps 50:1-2 Amplified Bible, my input in parenthesis)
(To be continued)