Decades ago, we used to sing a sprightly little chorus: ’The move is on, I know; the move is on. \ The move is on, I know; the move is on. I can hear the rustling in the mulberry trees, \ And I know, I know, I know the move is on. So move on, Brothers; move on, Sisters; \ This is the moving day. \ Move a little closer to where the stream is flowing; \ Move on, Brother; move on.
Probably only remembered now by ‘old timers of the faith’ but popular in its day, it was taken from 1 Chronicles. 14:15, where God confirms that he’s going ahead of his people defeating their enemies. The Message version puts it very interestingly: ‘When you hear a sound like shuffling feet in the tops of the balsams (mulberry trees), attack; God will be two steps ahead of you, slaughtering the Philistines.’
Confidence in a mighty God
Wow! That’s a great scripture for any Christian going through times of uncertainty, trial and testing, or decision making. Those times when we need to hear a quiet assurance from God that he is in charge and is not only with us but going before us defeating all our enemies – whatever they may be…sickness, finance, employment, home moving, ministry, family, critics.
Mulberry trees represent crying, weeping before God for a successful future. There are Christians especially church leaders who will testify that there were times when tears were shed before the Lord before the breakthroughs occurred. Then, suddenly, there was a definite movement ‘in the trees’ and the move (whatever it was, however it worked out) was on!
So mulberry trees, especially ‘movement in them’ also represents victory through a moving forward, something that God is always wanting his people to be doing and trusting him as they do. The fact is that if we stand still or sit still in our comfort zone; we become spiritually complacent and lazy, and don’t grow in Christ.
Be in it to win it!
As the old saying goes…Be in it to win it! We need to be aware of what’s going down in the kingdom life and of what God wants of us. And to be involved! One of the great tragedies of Israel was that they so often missed out on what God was doing! They didn’t get involved, they were unaware at times, they put other things first…homes, businesses and self before the building of the house of the Lord (see Haggai 1 for example).
Consequently they kept missing the shekhinah glory of the peace of God and other blessings. And they would whinge and complain! As Solomon observed, ‘Is anything new?’
But praise God, around Christendom today there are ‘different folks with different strokes’…full-on committed people who, more than ever before, not only hear from the Holy Spirit but are willing to obey and move on into new areas, pleasing God and blessing others.
As we exercise Proverbs 3:5 (Message): ‘Trust the Lord from the bottom of your heart: don’t try to figure out everything on your own,’ a solid, confessable assurance comes and we just know that we can trust God to take care of everything, no matter how hopeless or difficult the situation seems, or what ‘experts’ say against the chances of success.
Against the odds
Here’s a recent personal example. We’d been led by the Lord to move location and to purchase land closer to a regional bypass which will make it much easier in getting to our state capital for ministry engagements, reducing travelling time by 20 minutes. But this required selling our home at a required price and trusting God that it would all happen.
Real estate agents were rather negative regarding the timing to sell and the price we knew our home was worth. But, we knew that we had heard from the Lord and trusted him completely. Some time went by and friends expressed their concern. We didn’t worry one iota! We ‘knew that we knew that we knew’ the right buyer – one couple only – would come along at God’s right moment, fall in love with our home and price would be no problem. And that’s exactly what happened.
The next step was to find the right rental as we can’t build on our new land for some months. Again people were concerned for us as time was getting closer and closer to settlement date when we had to vacate the sold home. Once again we were not worried as we were embracing the Proverbs scripture above in respect of the right rental, area, rate and timing. And, against the odds, it happened just as we had prayed.
This was, of course, a very practical matter. But over the decades the principle has operated in many areas of our life, especially in ministry and moving on in God. Many times we heard ‘a rustling in the mulberry trees’ and knew that God, through his Holy Spirit, was calling us on to new territory and new ministry where streams of the water of the supernatural of God were flowing. And, as that old chorus urges, we wanted to be closer (And still do!)
Expect a great future
Embracing Proverbs 3:5, trusting God in everything (large or small, ministry or simply general life matters themselves), relying totally on him no matter how large the difficulties, obstacles and enemies, and being obedient will always guarantee his approval, pleasure and supernatural assistance.
2011 will soon be over. Personally we have seen God accomplish much for us this year as we’ve been obedient to his ‘still small voice.’ But the year isn’t over yet and we look forward to continuing to receive his blessings as we listen, be aware what he wants accomplished and obey. We also look forward in anticipation to following Jesus Christ in an exciting 2012!
May it be likewise for you too as you trust God in everything and grow in your faith. Remember… as you do so, ‘God will be two steps ahead of you, slaughtering the Philistines’ – overcoming enemies and obstacles on your behalf because you’re pleasing him. And, oh yes, maybe you too have to shed a few tears some times, but joy will follow as you really trust.
2010.11. (c) Life Focus.