Eph. 2:10: For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
It has often been said (as quoted in the “four spiritual laws”) that God has a wonderful plan for our lives. This is most definitely true, but I think that we have not consistently looked at this statement through the lens of scripture and reality, but mostly through the lens of western cultural thought. We need to rethink all of this to get to the essence of true living and kingdom impact that the Lord intended for us in fulfilling His desires and plans, and in being fulfilled in our destinies.
Acts 3:19-21: “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.”
Rev. 18:1-5: “After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illuminated with his glory. And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, ‘Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird! For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.’ And I heard another voice from heaven saying, ‘Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.’”
Both the Old and New Testament foretell of a “Great and Terrible Day of the Lord” yet to come. This seemingly paradoxical description comes clearly into focus as we recognize that our position (either in Christ or not) will determine just what kind of day it will be for us. This “Day” is a period of time which is fast approaching. It promises to evoke a full spectrum of emotions ranging from spectacular awe to a terror that will drive even the hardest, most rebellious heart to hide in fear and dread of the approaching wrath of God. Can we know when this day is coming? Where we will stand? How we should prepare?
“Have you heard the latest prophetic word?” “Have you heard the latest revelatory teaching?” “The move of God at (fill in the blank) has to be the beginning of the final move of God in the earth!” “There’s no need for the local fellowship anymore, your business can be your ‘church’ and missions organization!”
“The ‘Bridal Paradigm’ has fulfilled all my longings and questions! The ‘Seven Mountains’ teaching has finally set my heart to rest because now I know my destiny! Praise the Lord, we can now all come to rest because all our questions, desires and destinies have now been answered!”
I have literally heard with my own ears statements like these. Such is my personal observation of how many in the “charismatic” wing of the body of Christ have acted and reacted for many years. Everyone is looking for “IT” – the one thing that will bring revival, rest, healing, fulfillment…again, fill in the blank. The enemy continues to keep hungry, but deceived Christians from coming to rest on the solid Rock of Jesus Christ by the excitement that many leaders continue to foment. I know this, because I have done “IT” in the past.
Hosea 2:6-7; 14-16: Therefore, behold, I will hedge up your way with thorns, and wall her in, so that she cannot find her paths. She will chase her lovers, but not overtake them; yes, she will seek them, but not find them. Then she will say, ‘I will go and return to my first husband, for then it was better for me than now.’ Therefore, behold, I will allure her, will bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfort to her. I will give her her vineyards from there, and the Valley of Achor as a door of hope; she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, as in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.” And it shall be, in that day,” says the LORD, That you will call Me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer call Me ‘My Master’….
We have entered a new season of restoration (Acts 3:19-21) in which the full purpose of God in restoring His fullness and glory in the earth will come to fruition.
Several years ago, the Lord gave me the scriptures, Joshua 3:1-6 and Joshua 5:1-12, as templates of the activities of the Holy Spirit that will lead the body of Messiah up to a “crossing over” into a final season of restoration.
My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defense; I shall not be moved. (Psalm 62:5-6)
Waiting on the Lord is one of the hardest things for the flesh to embrace. One of the biggest obstacles to moving into the new season, and moving into greater glory and harvest, is impatience. Impatience caused Moses to be set on the backside of the desert for forty years as the Lord dealt with his life and character. Impatience caused King Saul to presumptively take matters into his own hands when it seemed Samuel was delayed in his arrival to bless the troops before battle (1 Sam. 10), thus causing a hardening of his heart in pride and ultimately losing the kingdom. Impatience by the newly saved Saul of Tarsus caused unnecessary turmoil and problems for the still infant church in Jerusalem, causing the senior leaders to send him back home to Tarsus for the discipline of silence and solitude (Acts 9:27-31). Part of the Lord’s refining process to prepare us to enter into the fullness of His presence and purposes is learning to wait on the Lord. There’s nothing more irritating and deadly to the fallen nature, but conversely reviving to the Spirit of God within us, than waiting on God.
I am very thankful for those pioneers of the kingdom of God, going all the way back to Abraham, who braved the unknown and the scorn of others to press forward in their obedience to God’s call and leading. We owe everything we are and have to the spiritual and natural pioneers who faced misunderstanding and death at almost every turn to pave the way for those of us in this day to settle and enjoy the blessings and benefits both from the spiritual and natural dimensions. There are many pioneers still moving forward into realms yet unreached for no other reason than they heard the voice of Abba call them, and they’ve left all to pursue Him, out of love and simple obedience. This is a lonely, misunderstood and often dangerous place to be, fraught with spiritual, mental, emotional, financial and relational pressure and warfare that most do not or care not to know. I have a message for those pioneers that answered the call of God to press into the unknown…you are NOT a failure.
Save me, O God, by Your name, and vindicate me by Your strength. Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth. For strangers have risen up against me, and oppressors have sought after my life; they have not set God before them. Selah. (Psalm 54:1-3)
What does it mean to be “vindicated” by the Lord? I have found myself praying the prayer of the Psalmist for vindication for several years now. There have been literally years of misunderstanding, slander, offense, etc, that I and Lionheart Ministries have been on the receiving end of. Some of what has been said is deserved, as many mistakes and weaknesses have been exposed over the years. But most has been accusation that is beyond plausibility for rational thought. This type of regressive warfare and stress (friendly fire) begins to take its toll on the spiritual, mental, emotional, financial and physical health of both individuals and a corporate covenant community. In light of these “momentary light afflictions,” one begins to cry out to the Lord, as the Psalmist did, for “vindication.” Is it righteous, Christlike vindication that one seeks? It is now my experience that what I thought it was to be vindicated by the Lord is actually the seeking of human retribution, at least at some motivational level. Such is the insidiousness and subtlety of the deception of the “idol” of self-preservation.
Jonah 2:8: Those who regard worthless idols forsake their own Mercy. (NKJV)
1 John 5:21: Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.
On June 7, 2011, right at the beginning of the festival of Shavaot (Pentecost), I began to have serious heart arrhythmias combined with classic symptoms of heart malfunction – shortness of breath, chest pain, etc. I believe we are entering a new season where, if we will position ourselves biblically, we will have a great refreshing, infilling release of the Holy Spirit. This is to prepare us for a new season described in scripture as the “season of the restoration of all things” (Acts 3:19-21). I was expecting a great release of deep repentance and power to come. I still have those expectations, but with the state of my heart problems at that time, the Lord radically altered my conception of what is required.
Oftentimes, it is ungodly soul-ties with something or someone that prevent us from advancing. The Israelites were so “tied” to Egypt, they would not enter into God’s full promises. Ungodly relationships form one of the worst hindrances to fully entering God’s purpose for our lives. If we want to fully serve the Lord, we need to stay single. Why? 1 Corinthians 7 encourages the single life, unless we find that one person who is totally devoted to what God has called us to be and to do. We will be judged for what God has purposed and planned for us at the judgment seat of Christ. By marrying out of loneliness, sexual frustration, etc, we have chosen to disobey the Bible. Once we are married, God says that marriage covenant takes precedence over all others. If we are married to someone who is not called to our purpose, we will probably end up never fulfilling it! (We will still have to give an account before God for the gifting, calling and graces.)