Friday, March 28, 2008



By Ramone - March 27, 2008

As I was teaching a private student in class, we ran across the word "palm tree" in a text reading so I drew a little sketch of a palm tree to make sure he knew what it was. As soon as I did that, I was strangely moved from deep in my heart and spirit, and found it was like I wanted to cry in joy and love inside. I made up my mind to read about Jesus' "triumphal entry" into Jerusalem in Matthew 21 on the way home after class.

As I stood and waited for the subway train to arrive, I began to look up Matthew 21 and found that I myself was swaying! It was the strangest thing for me, because I'm not used to the Spirit moving my body, but He was doing that and He was pouring His love and joy into me, and I just about cried right there waiting for the train... wondering with amazement as He swayed my body back and forth like a palm branch in someone's hand.
A very large crowd that had come for the feast heard that Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem. They spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut palm branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
"Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!"
"Blessed is the King of Israel!"

"Hosanna to the Son of David!"
"Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!"
"Hosanna in the highest!"

"Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!"
"Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!"
"Hosanna in the highest!"
When He came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:
"Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!"
"Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!"
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!"

"I tell you," He replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out."

As He approached Jerusalem and saw the city, He wept over it and said, "If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes."

When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, "Who is this?" The crowds answered, "This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee."

- from the Gospel accounts
I asked God what this meant, and though I still don't fully understand, then I prayed,

"Lord, let me be like a palm branch, hailing You, Lord!"

You're calling us to be palm branches, to hail Your arrival and welcome You in! Could it also be that You have often or largely been outside of "Jerusalem", and You are calling us to hail You as you come to us before You come for us? Are You calling us to go before You, even in "Your church", and with our praises and casting our cloaks (works) on the ground, to make the way for You to come back to "Your city"?

Give us eyes to see You coming into our hearts and amongst us in our churches, Lord, and give us humility to recognize the many ways we have not welcomed You, and the places that we do need to welcome You!

So often we don't let You speak "in church" but keep You outside unless You work through our rituals and our schedule. It reminds me of how Tommy Tenney in "God Chasers" thought that Your path into Jerusalem probably went right past the Temple, and that the noise of all the people praising Jesus probably upset the priests and workers inside -- "Hey, we're trying to praise God, here! We're trying to pray for the Messiah to come!"

It's easy for us to feel as if we do better than them, but how often do we make room for Jesus to speak in our midst? 1st Corinthian 14:26-30 says,
What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church... And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop.
And Hebrews 2:12, Jesus declares and promises to His Father,
"I will declare Your name to My brothers and sisters;
in the mist of their assembly I will sing your praises."
How often do we hear Jesus singing Father's praises in our midst, in our "church" meetings? How often do we give room for "everyone" to speak and share what the Holy Spirit is saying to them? Don't we rather force everyone to "sit down" while one speaker speaks? Is this one reason why the body is weak today? Doesn't the Holy Spirit intending to reveal His heart through each one of us?

Maybe this is why the people gathered around Jesus were so often the "least of these", the outcasts, the poor, the homeless, the "sinners", women and children... not often the religious elite. These "babes" were the ones who hailed Him and welcomed Him, while the religious resented the King's coming into His own city.
Then the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them. But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple and saying, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" they were indignant and said to Him, "Do You hear what these are saying?"

And Jesus said to them, "Yes. Have you never read,
'Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants
You have perfected praise'?"

- Matthew 21:14-16
Isn't God calling us to become like children to enter the Kingdom? To sit at His feet with the humility of a child, run up into His arms, and embrace Him? Isn't the final picture of His people one where they're still holding palm branches, waving them and praising their King for all eternity?
"After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands."

- Revelation 7:9
Lord, so often we don't make room for You! Send us forth, Lord, to proclaim Your praises, because we have not always made room for You in Your own city, among Your own people in the church. Make us into palm branches, Lord! Places for You to walk on, and banners to let You come in and be Yourself among us! Lord, we want to hear You speak and sing to Father! But we don't always let You speak, especially not through "babes" and the "least of these"... often we don't let them in, either. Forgive us, Lord! We need You, and we need them. Break our programs and patterns and rituals that squeeze You out, Lord! Break the things of our hearts that do not give You room. Teach us to wait on You and to wait in eager expectation for Your word, spoken even through the children among us.

The cry from the Dwell song "Hosanna" (by Scott Reed) is the cry I believe He is birthing in intercessors in His church today, because we need Him, not more of us! We need the presence and voice of the King!
Oh, save us, O Lord
by the power of Your name
We'll sing of the victory
Sing of the King

Oh, save us, O Lord
by Your merciful hand
We'll sing to the nations
Sing to our land
This is a picture of Him joyfully calling us to become praising kids in His train as He comes into His temple! To joyfully let Him interrupt us, to lay ourselves down like palm branches, and center all our attention on Him because He loves us and He is coming here! Kids, children of God! Get your palm branches ready! He's coming to us!

P.S. I hope I told this well! I think there may be more to it, and it's yet so simple and wonderful and joyful! This whole thing took me by wonderful suprise. Perhaps that's part of the message of it? (^_^) He loves to surprise us! Get your palm branches out, eh!
Thanks Ramone. I laughed when I read about Jesus walking past the temple and the people within were hushing, "Shhh, we're trying to worship God. we're praying for the messiah." HAHAHA. that happens all the time.
What great insight the Lord gave you, Ramone! I can identify with the people who are being told to hush up and keep their hosannas under control as they passed by the temple... After all...loud praises might disturb the worshippers inside...

Isn't it often the same way today when people (I'm thinking of myself specifically right now)get hit with the manifestation of a "spirit of laughter" inside the "temple" (church building)? Often it is not understood by the people worshipping (including the leadership), because it is seen as disruptive and unacceptable behavior in the corporate church setting.

Incidentally, the "laughter" I'm talking about is His joy in us that bubbles up and springs forth as a result of embracing the new covenant gospel. It is contageous and cannot be contained because it is coming forth from the Spirit in us who is wanting others to know that His well of joy is bursting forth and is available to all.

We just need to come and drink at His well of Living Water so that we can be filled to overflowing...
Then we will see that his laughter is impossible to hold back.

Is it possible that even the stones will begin to cry out and laugh if we do not?

Yes, I believe God is so often wanting to interrupt the way we do church so that we can lay ourselves down at His feet like palm brances, and center all of our attention and adoration on Him!

Yes, He's coming to us buy His Spirit so that we can be freed to worhsip Him in Spirit and in Truth before He comes to claim us as His chosen bride in the clouds of heaven!

Our bodies are the palm braches--the living sacriifces that are acceptable to God!

In His Joy,
Hazel, thank you for writing that! I believe this may be the final piece of the interpretation of this picture for now:

"Our bodies are the palm braches--the living sacriifces that are acceptable to God!"

That is why as I first saw the picture of the palm branches while I stood waiting for the subway, my body started to sway like a waving palm branch! The Spirit was moving me and showing me that my body is a living sacrifice!

Now I understand and picture that God is calling for and building a church that is not made with bricks, but that is made of palm branches! A church built of living bodies that are waving and hailing His Son! A church that praises Him and sees only Him and welcomes Him in!

(This is another way of showing what Peter & Paul said, that we are "living stones" -- we ourselves, our bodies/souls/spirits are God's Temple!)

Thank You, God! Build Your church, Jesus! Tear down our bricks and dead stones and bring forth Your living stones, Lord! Make us palm branches, waving for You and welcoming You into the "city" (our hearts!) that is the rightful place of the King!

The "stones" that He wants to cry out are living stones! And He is able to raise up "children of Abraham" out of dead stones, even these dead stones!

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