The internet liberated music from cassette tapes and CDs. With all these online radio type platforms, like Spotify, not only can you amass your current favorites, but also all the old favorites. The lost favorites, from that CD that got fried in the backseat of your car senior year of high school, or that tape that got eaten by your tape deck in 6th grade. Even as far back as that old vinyl your dad listened to all the time (that you secretly loved) until the record player broke. All the music of your life is there in one place, accessible at any time. Add social media to that, and people sharing what’s playing on their air pods, it’s a whole new world.
I’ve been pretty hooked on a jazz album called “The Turnaround” the last year or so. Someone shared it, I checked it out, and that was it for me. It’s not the only thing I listen to, but it is the one I keep going back to again and again. In moments of alone time in the van, the odd hour spent sewing, or moments of prayer, it’s on. Some people like to pray to quiet contemplative music like William Augusto, I like to pray to jazz. What can I say?
God took it to the next level. About 4 months into this Turnaround marathon, a friend shared a prophetic word online, entitled: The Turnaround. It caught my attention, as you may expect, and got me thinking. My current favorite jazz might have more significance than the music.
What is a turnaround really? Fundamentally, its change. A change in direction, in finance, in health, in overall quality of life. Things were going one way, now there’s been a turnaround and they are going the other way. Usually it means a change for the better.
There are times when God does bring a turnaround into our lives. After pruning and growing anew, there’s fruitfulness. The season of loss has turned to a season of abundance. Those who sow in tears will reap with joy (Psalm 126:5). It is such an encouragement to hold onto that prophetic promise of God’s turnaround.
There’s more to the turnaround than the promise though. It is also a posture. Whether its figurative or literal, one of the heart or of the body, it’s a posture.
I recently went through a study on Revelation 1-3, and right at the start of chapter 1, John turned:
“I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I head behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying, ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,’ and, ‘What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.’ Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw.” (Revelation 1:10-12 NKJV emphasis added)
Jesus spoke to John, but John had to turn around to see the full revelation that Jesus wanted to give him. John’s turnaround opened up revelation that is still giving revelation to believers today! Jesus gave John a promise of revelation in His greeting, “Write what you see.” But John’s change in posture triggered the fulfillment of that promise, “Having turned I saw.”
The turnaround for John was a prophetic promise and a prophetic response. The same was true for Moses. He was shepherding along in the wilderness when the burning bush caught his eye. At which point he turned to see it more clearly (Exodus 3:1-6). That turnaround brought him into his calling as deliverer, and it changed not only his life but the historic trajectory of Egypt, Israel, and even Canaan. It created a change that would ultimately lead to Jesus, our hope and salvation. The turnaround for Moses triggered a turnaround for Israel, and out of Israel came a turnaround that is available to all past, present, and future.
Our turnaround isn’t automatic. The gospel is an invitation, a promise that is fulfilled when we change our posture, when we turn to see the Man holding out that invitation to us. In 1 Peter, the apostle writes, “For he who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit. Let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and His ears are open to their prayers.” (1 Pet. 3:10-12 NKJV emphasis added) He’s talking about repentance, the sort of repentance that changes our speech and habits, and the way we interact with others. He’s describing a posture of turnaround that is in response to Jesus.
Peter wasn’t the first person to say this, in fact he’s quoting David from Psalm 34 (verses 12-15). Repentance has always been a posture that opens people’s lives up to the promises of God to be fulfilled in those lives. It is a theme all throughout the history books of the bible, the poetic books, for sure the prophets, the gospels, and the epistles. It is all throughout the entire scripture.
I can just picture God burning in all His holiness and realness, and us walking along. Sometimes the light from His burning catches our eye and we turn aside to behold Him in all His glory. Other times He calls out to us, “Behold, I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, live what you see.” So we turn, and having turned we see, and having seen we change.