By Mike McClung (adapted from his book Restoring the Ruins)
But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God (1 Cor. 2:9-12).
Limited vision produces limited people and limited fulfillment of purpose. Mike Bickle, Director of Friends of the Bridegroom Ministries and the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, once told me that he believed that imparting vision was the key to dealing with rebellion and lack of discipline in the lives of God’s people. I believe this is a profound insight. We become what we behold: “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Cor. 3:18). Anyone who has ever driven a car knows the feeling of something catching their attention off to one side of the road, only to look back to the front to see their vehicle swerving in the direction they had just been looking. One of the tragic things that has happened to the bride of Christ, especially in western society, is the lack, or inconsistency, of leaders in the church focusing the vision of God’s people on the Person and purposes of the Lord Jesus Christ. These purposes entail more than winning the lost, although this is a primary objective. The purposes of God are always kingdom purposes, with a view of exercising the dominion mandate man was originally given. (Gen. 1:26-27.) We are to exercise the authority of the Lord in every dimension of life and society: family, socially, politically, economically, music and the arts. But we have, in many ways, become Laodicea – focused on this present life and materialistic in our desires, habits and activities…even in church! Instead of getting the people of God ready for a final outpouring and resulting harvest of the glory and power of God in these last days, we have in many ways developed a “bunker” mentality. We sit around waiting for a rescue in the nick of time, while letting the powers of darkness run rampant, plaguing, afflicting and destroying the lives and destinies of people and nations, and releasing and enforcing curses on the very land itself. Proverbs 29:18 states: Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint…. Lawlessness, carnality and purposelessness mark the present generation in western society. We have become what we have been beholding! But a new generation is beginning to arise under a new kind of leadership that will impart vision of the Person of the God-Man. This will, 1) reveal to us our identity as lovers and sons and daughters of God, and, 2) reveal a vision of destiny – that to which God has called and destined us for in these last days. That destiny is to fully possess the promises laid up for us. (1 Peter 1:3-5.)
The Lord is searching for those who hunger after His heart. Scripture declares that the Lord’s eyes “run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him” (2 Chron. 16:9). The Lord is still looking for the “heart of David” in His people. When He finds this, His kingdom will be released and established. In order to better understand the “heart of David,” let’s first examine the best example found in scripture of the complete opposite nature – that exhibited by King Saul.
Remember the Law of Moses, My servant, which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse (Mal. 4:4-6).
Curses crumble when generations are joined together. Curses impact generations in a specific bloodline through a family, and they also impact cultures or nations, through a tribe or people group. The cause and cure remain the same. The generations must join together, through the redemptive power of the cross and blood of Christ, or the bondage, habits and mindsets of peoples and nations will change little. But…this is changing. When God begins to answer the cries of His people for deliverance from bondage, he first moves on the “fathers,” or leaders, to make the initial step for change.
Proclaim this among the nations: “Prepare for war! Wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near, let them come up. Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears; let the weak say, ‘I am strong.'” Assemble and come, all you nations, and gather together all around. Cause Your mighty ones to go down there, O LORD. “Let the nations be wakened, and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; for there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations. Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, go down; for the winepress is full, the vats overflow– for their wickedness is great.” Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. – Joel 3:9-14
Believers are presently being exercised to make decisions, and not to have them made for us as children. We are faced with decisions that will have far-reaching and powerful effects and consequences now and in the ensuing weeks, months and years.
Faithful Servants Needed!
In Luke 12, Jesus tells a parable about a faithful and a wicked servant.
And the Lord said, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has. But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and be drunk, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more. Luke 12:42-48 NKJV
The faithful servant obeyed, operated in his dominion gift and was commended. The faithless servant obeyed and operated in his dominion gift until delay came.
How do we prepare for destiny? It is not accomplished independently. It is attained through community and a joining of the generations. Just as we are transitioning as individuals, God is transitioning generations. The generation that has led us is now shifting to an advisory capacity. Like Moses, they have been forerunners; they have led the way into the depths of God. Now they are needed to counsel and advise the next generation. Leaders like Bill Johnson, Lou Engle and Mike Bickle represent a transitional generation that can join generations together. They are “raising up” the next generation to recognize their destiny before they are ensnared by the cares of this world.
What is your dominion gift or gift mix? We are in a kairos (God’s right time) moment. We must get in line with God’s order and His timing. Now is the time to begin to walk in our dominion gift. Until intercession is established, things never fully work correctly, and therefore operating in our dominion gifting in the culture is greatly hindered. God created man first for intimacy and from that position we are to rule and reign. The word “mediocre” literally means “half way up the mountain,” which is a picture of those who will not accept the discipline and dedication necessary to see the fulfillment of God’s plan and purpose. Part of this discipline is character development and learning to prevail in prayer. “Halfway up the mountain” is a picture of those who do not completely answer God’s call and quit somewhere in the process of training and discipleship. Most people quit during this transitional phase (between the actual change, and the full enactment), because it’s the place where our relationship, character and commitment is tested.
What is transition anyway? It is a defined leaving of the familiar we have been in, and going through a narrow, confining passage, to an unfamiliar place. It’s a place that holds no name because it is the space between where we were and where we are going. If we observe a bundle of smashed grapes, we can no longer identify the distinct, beautiful, plump, ripe fruit. It is not what it was; it is not yet what it is to become — juice or wine. More grapes, additional ingredients and time all play an integral role in the transformation of the grapes to the desired, new state. Many of us are like these grapes; we are ripe fruit presently being squeezed through a narrow place. Just like the grapes, the Lord is changing us into who He has called us to be. Transition is what we pass through to become; it is the place of transformation.