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Please Standby

I had a strange little encounter with God yesterday morning. I suppose it’s accurate to say that anytime flesh and bone are touched by infinite power it’s a bit of a jolt, but this was just plain quirky.

I was piloting the USS Suburban through the S curve on Red Bridge Road about 5:50am, heading to IHOP for the 6am prayer meeting. Typical for my eight minute commute, the CNN hourly podcast ended there. Normally I kick over to NPR for the short drive up the hill and into the parking lot, but as I hit the Source button on the stereo, my eyes caught the LED readout for a split second. It said, profoundly, I thought…STANDBY.

God doesn’t speak through the stereo, does He? And if He did, surely it would be with a song. Not the LED panel. What’s He going to say next? TREBLE? FADER?

I didn’t hear an audible voice, but I can read the handwriting on the LED, so I left the Source Selector in that position. STANDBY. I stood by as I drove up the hill. I grabbed my bag, walked into the prayer room and prepared to STANDBY.

picture-1About the time I found a seat, I was reminded of a verse in Habakkuk. It’s one of those Bible Camp Verses.

You know, the kind that the guest speaker could wrap around a couple of cool stories about when he was your age and then convince you that you could walk on water next fall when school started? I dug out my Bible and found this classic STANDBY verse, Habakkuk 1:5

Look among the nations and watch – Be utterly astounded!  For I will work a work in your days which you would not believe, though it were told you.

Thus would commence the sermonizing. Standby, God is going to blow your mind. Standby and be utterly astounded. You don’t have a clue what He has planned. Of course, we all assumed it was something to do with us, revival, and probably a certain measure of renown. Some for God, some for us. Jesse Dixon told us – we were destined to win.

…except that’s not what that verse means.

God was telling the people “You’re not going to believe what I’m about to do. I’m about to raise up the pagan kings for my own purposes, which include judging your nation for it’s sin.” It was not originally a Bible Camp Verse. It was written as a sober warning. Not even so much as a warning as a pronouncement. It was the ultimate in ‘Please Standby’. Minus the please.

I’m not sure what to make of all of it. I do know that the STANDBY message thumped me in the chest before the scripture came to mind. I wasn’t playing some weird Bible association game.

I also know what I feel…that if our nation were to undergo a severe trial in coming months or years, that it could be fully God causing it, and He’d be fully justified in doing so. I’m not trying to get my head around the specifics of what’s coming or how to thwart it – I think scripture’s accurate when it says that if He told us, we still wouldn’t believe it…but I am trying to adjust my theology to match scripture and the character of God rather than my preferred future.

Until next time, please STANDBY.


7 Responses

  1. That will give me something to chew on for the morning. Thanks.

  2. Good word – I think God wants to go way beyond in amazing us in what He is about to do through us! Standing by, watching, and patiently waiting are going to be key in hearing from Him. I have been thinking on Psalm 77 and how God chooses to work – sometimes in the sanctuary and sometimes in the sea….but He is always working and working for my good. My job is to agree with and trust how He chooses to work. Standby, and eagerly expect God to fulfill His promises! Thanks for your reminder to me this morning in New Zealand, Another thought I had….President Obama passed the “Mexico City Policy” allowing US funds for abortions to go all over the world. The “epicenter” for Swine Flu is Mexico….God will not be mocked – there are consequences when we sin. What do you think about that? Blessings, Julie Pigneri

  3. Billy Humphrey did an incredible message on that very Scripture at the House of Prayer summit this January. If you’d like the message, just email me and I can get it to you. It really resonated with me.

  4. I’ve felt for a long time that the US would face God’s discipline/wrath, because of our complacent acceptance of her moral decline. Not that some haven’t tried to make our voices-or rather God’s will for us heard. May we continue to pray, and take shelter in His word-I’m thinking of Psalm 91. It comforts me, but again, may I not become TOO comfortable-it’s time to EVANGELIZE like we never have before. May God have mercy on us all.

  5. Julie, I too live in New Zealand and thought of Swine Flu when I read this. I had today been lead to David Wilkerson prophecy
    on the 7 March about an ‘earth shattering calamity’ – buildings will burn. I wonder if they will burn because this is the quickest way to get rid of diseased bodies.

    Wilkerson went on to say he felt he was to “Stand still” as a response.

    Standby – Stand still – even his judgments reflect his love.

  6. Love this. To “Standy” with understanding will require a paradigm shift of sorts in the church. Like those who overcame in Revelation 15, we will learn to say, “Great and marvelous are your works, O God, Just and true are your ways…..your judgments have been manifest in the earth!” These overcomers are the martyred ones. Crazy that they were still singing….and standing by.

  7. interesting…in april I had an interesting thought during one of our first God encounters…meeting worship prayer etc… In May, God May ________. I’m looking for the blank.

    A year ago 3mos before the hurricane in Ohio I wrote my first poem about the wind of God…and Our first God encounter was called Winds of Worship…that day winds came and blew through Ohio the heartland of the Nation…many people were without water and power for days…We worshiped that night by flashlight, generator, and candles un plugged…no we didn’t cancel the meeting. Looking back, the winds began to blow, and are still blowing…the economic melt down began really on Sept 11 when the towers fell my opinion

    …in the 70’s I was standing in NY City looking at the towers…and thought how great will your fall be O Babylon… still pondering all the above… and all that is currently happening.

    for us the wind in September woke us up to prepare for what’s ahead… we are forming prayer 911 Rapid Response Teams…practical, and spiritual


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