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The Rod and Staff

Each morning I start with a hot cup of coffee, closed eyes, and a house that’s asleep for at least 15 more minutes. “God, what do you want to show me today?” is always my prayer.


A few mornings ago, I had a particularly strange image. I saw a collar of a button-down shirt. I look up verses about collars next. Every instance had to do with two things:


Denoting anointing, office, or setting apart for a job. Or...

Picking out and doing away with what’s deceitful, choking, or coming against God’s words


Looking up the definition of “collar”, Webster calls it “a band placed about the neck of an animal to arrest, grab, get control of”. Other really interesting definitions include:


“to stop and detain in unwilling conversation”

“a part of the harness of draft animals fitted over the shoulders and taking strain when a load is drawn”


I tucked that word away in my heart, wrote it all down, then went about my day. The next morning, God had a new word, but a strangely familiar meaning: The image was a fishing rod. Here’s where it got my attention. Biblically, the rod we first think of is that of the shepherd. I read more into how it was used, and the rod was the shepherd’s defensive & steering tool. When looking up it’s full definition it included the following:

•a pole with a line and usually a reel attached for fishing (cast, lingering, focused and not massive)

•used defensively (by throwing to scare predators away)

•toss it near sheep splintering from herd movement without hurting any sheep

Then in Strong's rhabdouchos- one of the words for rod- means holding the rod of office, to police, or a policeman.


That night I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t go back to sleep. I noticed the windows were faintly flashing blue and white. As I peeked outside, and it was the literal police who had pulled over a driver and were testing and arresting him. I started thinking of that piece of the Biblical definition of rod (rhabdouchos) that literally meant “to police”.


It all came together, however, on the third day as I checked my email. An email reappeared in my inbox that was from mid-April and had been deleted. I keep my email really organized and delete things daily. Each time a message is deleted, a pop up will say “warning! You are about to delete this email. Once deleted, it cannot be retrieved.” So you can imagine my shock when one “came back” from being permanently deleted- over a month later!


As I opened and re-read it, it was a word about God’s ROD- specifically citing the rod and STAFF in Psalm 23. I immediately pictured the staff taking a sheep gently around the neck and pulling it in the right direction. I added “staff” to my journal and set to searching out its meanings.

Staff: support in walking, archaically it meant “a crosspiece in a ladder or chair”

•a rod carried as a symbol of office or authority

•the horizontal lines with their spaces on which music is written

•the personnel who assist a director in carrying out an assigned task


The way a staff fits around the neck of a sheep perfectly is almost like a COLLAR. It all came full circle. A perfect picture of what the Lord is doing now:


Corporately

-

*God is bringing back to UNITY those sheep that have gotten off on a different direction. Just like a shepherd throws his rod to redirect veering sheep in a way that hurts no one in the flock, redirection will send prodigals coming home.


*A restoration of law and order in such a way that God is “policing” perversions of justice or things that have come in the way of His words. There’s a special anointing on those stepping up into positions in many sectors of the marketplace and government in which they will be able to “hold the line” for the Lord.


*God is working through the marketplace, bringing "staffs" of people together to better accomplish assignments for Him.


*Creative worship- especially music- is going to be bring breakthrough and revival.


*There is an emphasis on cooperating and a coming beside each other in unity in order to reduce strain and bear one another's burdens


Individually

-

*Just like fishing with a rod, it’s not a mass-production (like commercial net fishing) or a quick process. It’s a stopping for the “one”. Just like Jesus had divine appointments for a specific person out of masses of people, there is a “going after the one” that takes importance now.


*You may be called to new “offices” or jobs strategically that are part of a greater picture for the Lord. These will be the next step on the ladder of where God is taking you.


*Gentle redirections are happening. God is gently redirecting and positioning people according to His purposes. You may find yourself "pulled" from where you were heading, but don't take it as a setback! Take it as a steering from the Lord setting you on a new course. Be flexible.


*God is drawing attention to places the enemy has kept you "collared" in unnecessary conversations. Things that you are given mental energy to, unnecessary battles being fought, struggling again with areas you've gained ground in. God is reminding you of His words which free you from these things. He's inviting you to police those thoughts and breeched boundaries and enforce His order again.


*There's a placing on Jesus's shoulders things that we have strained to shoulder ourselves in vain.


*He's also asking you to engage in conversation with Him- and not in a hurried way- but in Martha posture of lingering. Like the lingering of waiting on a fish with a fishing pole. You may be wanting to run or rush, but slowing down and lingering will be valuable in the long-sustained work the Lord is doing in and through you. To PRODUCE MORE you'll have to REDUCE MORE of the mental and scheduling clutter.


With new eyes, I see Psalm 23 over this time, and a time of refreshing, emerging, and restoring.


"1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,

he leads me beside quiet waters,

3 he refreshes my soul.

He guides me along the right paths

for his name’s sake.

4 Even though I walk

through the darkest valley,

I will fear no evil,

for you are with me;

your rod and your staff,

they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me

in the presence of my enemies.

You anoint my head with oil;

my cup overflows.

6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me

all the days of my life,

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord

forever.

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