Like clockwork, I awake most mornings at 4:00 a.m. without an alarm. A few days ago as I stirred awake, I heard the call of an owl. In the 15 years that Jan and I have lived in our home we have not heard an owl – ever. That is a unique fact considering that our neighborhood is surrounded by a forest filled with all kinds of wildlife.
As I lay in bed listening to the owl, I could tell he was perched atop a tall tree in our front yard just outside our bedroom window. I nudged Jan awake and said, “Jan, listen! An owl is outside our window.” We lay there for the next few moments listening to the owl. It sounded beautiful. As the owl continued to call, I could sense God was getting ready to speak to me.
We then heard the owl fly off. He didn’t go far. He landed atop another tall tree on the side of our property and perched there making the same sounds. The owl flew off once again and continued to do this circling flight around our entire property landing at the top of each of the tall trees that surround our home. Finally, after landing and calling from around the perimeter of our property, he flew away.
As I lay in bed, the Lord began to speak to me a word regarding the assignment of the Church and the future of our nation. He said, “I am surrounding your nation with wisdom. This wisdom will appear in the darkness that has blinded so many from the seeing the way forward. I am sending wisdom to the high places of each sphere of cultural influence. From those high places, they will issue a call. Wisdom is calling out to those who have ears to hear. This wisdom will reveal my heart and advance My Kingdom in unusual ways.”
“At first, it may not appear to some this wisdom is from Me because it will challenge some of the thinking people have concerning My heart and the mission of the Church. This wisdom will not be so obvious or predictable. I will release something fresh.”
“Wisdom will call from the high places of your culture replacing the voices of deception that have been making sounds of judgment and causing fear in the hearts of people. The sound of My wisdom will be heard in the deepest valleys, speaking a word of hope to the forgotten and the marginalized and to those who think they have no voice. The sound of wisdom is calling out to your nation. Listen.”
Prophetically, owls are known as symbols of wisdom. The wisdom they symbolize is a wisdom that can see through the darkness to comprehend the will of God and the way forward. The owl that flew through the early morning darkness around our home had no problem navigating the obstacles that stood in his way. God had equipped him to fly in the darkness.
Those who are like the owl will not announce solutions from the past. In this time of critical decision-making, a fresh word is needed. Wisdom will reveal unique and undiscovered solutions that will change our course. The message of this wisdom will be used to solve our most complex social problems. This will happen even as many have given up hope and retreated into intellectual bunkers to wage a hopeless and never-ending culture war. Wisdom will suddenly appear perched above our greatest challenges and call us to a higher place.
When I wrote the book, The Sound of Reformation, I wrote it knowing a new sound was being released in the heart of the Church. Reformation is brewing in our culture and the product of this reformation will be the simple and profoundly wise insertion of Godly truth into our social dialogue. To some, this wisdom may not sound familiar and because of its unfamiliar sound, it may be rejected at first. Over time, it will be understood as the heart of God.
When Paul wrote to the Ephesians, he said we are no longer to be immature like children. To not be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. To not allow our thinking to be wrongly influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. “Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church” (Ephesians 5:15). A mature follower of Christ is someone who has learned to wisely speak the truth in love.
The wisdom that flows from truth spoken in love has the power to dispel the sounds currently being made from each cultural mountaintop. Wisdom will begin to displace those sounds and call our culture to a higher Kingdom purpose. This wisdom will give us the ability to speak a simple and uncomplicated message of truth. It will sound as simple and distinct as the call of an owl in the night. Its simplicity will awaken a slumbering culture to a new day and a new reality.
In the darkness of the night of our national malaise, God has been positioning voices of wisdom on the summits of our culture. They will be like the owl that flew and landed on each tall tree that marks the boundary of our property. God is marking the boundary of our nation with wisdom. Supernatural wisdom is being declared from dark summits releasing beacons of illuminating hope. Reformers are being strategically positioned in our cultural night to call from the high places to those willing to hear the message of wisdom. Those who are able to lay down their assumptions and their demand for a predetermined outcome are the ones God will use to issue this call of wisdom.