One of the challenges we as the body of Christ face is our lack of love for the truth. In a post-modern world, where truth is relative, believers have adapted a belief that truth is relative, therefore, no one can speak truth into our lives. Culture has created a belief that has crept into the church and if someone speaks the truth corporately we can handle it because if we don’t agree with it we just dismiss it in our hearts. But if someone even gets the courage to speak the truth to us individually we get so offended we shut them off and shut them out as though they have no idea what they are talking about.
The challenge with this culture of post-modernism is we are becoming more and more bound, because only the truth will set us free (John 8:32). If we don’t want to hear the truth and adjust according to the truth, we will never be free. Freedom is a gift money cannot buy, it will not be wrapped under the tree with your name on it, it can only be accessed by having a heart that says, no matter who speaks it, I want to know the truth that will set me free. Freedom is the cry of everyone’s heart, because we were created to be free. I would even say most if not all of our challenges are due to a lack of freedom in some area of our life. And if there is a lack of freedom, there is a lack of truth being spoken.
I wonder if there are people who have truth we need to hear but they don’t share it with us because we have created a culture around us that makes it clear we don’t want to hear the truth. This is a dangerous place to be. Truth can be spoken by your child if you will listen, by your spouse if you can handle it, by your friends if you make space for them, and by a variety of other places and people if you are a lover of truth. The only way we as people are going to be free is to hear the truth, adjust to the truth and then truth will set us free individually, family, community and nationally. Jesus said, I Am the way, the truth and the life, there is no other way to Father but through Me (John 14:6). What we need is truth!
The Lord is highlighting the word OCCUPY. Now upon first glance this word sounds like a take possession of finances type of word. It has the connotation of being positioned. Which are both true, but what the Lord has shown me this morning is that when He tells us to occupy, before we can occupy wealth or positions, we must occupy the enemy. In recent history the church has become very passive when it comes to the enemy. Passivity with the enemy has meant we have been told to tolerate and yet we wonder why it now dominates. The mantra behind this is Jesus statement in Matthew 5:44 “I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” What we don’t realize is Jesus was talking to the Jews about loving the Gentiles that were about to be invited into the kingdom.
In order for us to occupy the way the Lord is inviting us to occupy is to recognize we have an enemy that is out to destroy us and as long as we tolerate this enemy it will dominate us. But we must break off the shackles of religious passivity and put on our kingdom authority. If we choose not to do this, we will find ourselves needing to be rescued/harvested, rather than being the ones doing the rescuing/harvesting. The choice is yours, but the call is clear, we must occupy.
What does it mean to occupy? The Greek word in Luke 19:13 where Jesus said, “Occupy until I come…” means to put your foot on the neck of your enemy; to restrict and restrain his movement. This is a nod to Joshua 10 where five kings created a coalition to come against Israel and when the Lord fought for Israel, “Then Joshua said, “Remove the rocks covering the opening of the cave, and bring the five kings to me.” So they brought the five kings out of the cave—the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, and Eglon. When they brought them out, Joshua told the commanders of his army, “Come and put your feet on the kings’ necks.” And they did as they were told.” (V.23-24) This is what Jesus meant when He said occupy until I come. There is nothing passive about the word occupy. That’s why Jesus says to us and Joshua said to his commanders “Don’t ever be afraid or discouraged, Be strong and courageous, for the LORD is going to do this to all of your enemies.” It is time to OCCUPY!
Faith is a word we have heard preached since getting saved. Faith is a word that is used in Christian circles as common language. Faith is possibly the most powerful and most challenging word we as believers speak. Faith is hard to measure, because when we struggle we think we have no faith. When we have doubts we scold ourselves and say to ourselves “you are supposed to believe.” Faith builds us up and it is used to beat us up. We read Hebrews 11 about all these incredible men and women of God and we call the chapter the Hall of Faith. When we compare our lives to them it can “feel” like we have no faith, or have little faith. But faith is not something you get from someone else, faith is inside of you. We can be inspired by other people’s faith, but faith is a personal issue, not a corporate one.
How do you know if you have faith? I was reading 2 Corinthians 1:24 this morning and Paul said this, “It is by your own faith that you stand firm.” I have heard a lot of messages on faith, but not one has been on this verse. Hear me out for a minute, have you gone through a trial, a temptation, a sickness, a betrayal, a rejection, a anything? Yeah me too. More than one thing. Paul says, your faith is evidenced in the reality that you stood firm. Did you come through the trial, the struggle, the sickness still a believer on the other side? Yes, me too. In the middle of it, when I wanted to quit, when my mind was wandering around the idea of unbelief, I felt faithless too, but Paul says, standing firm is evidence of faith.
I don’t know what you have walked through, I don’t know what you are standing firm in even right now, but I want to encourage you this morning, the fact that you are standing firm, in the midst of something is evidence that you have faith and I want to encourage you stand and keep standing, for faith looks like standing when we are struggling. It seems so simple, but its the truth that will set you free, for standing in a storm is a sign of faith. Stand my friend and keep standing for in your standing, I see your faith!
The idea to use a military against an enemy was not the idea of men, it was the idea of God. Israel was not just a nation, they were a military force to be reckoned with of which God was the head of their army. Imagery of military is both natural and spiritual with Paul speaking to us in Ephesians 6 and 2 Corinthians 10 about a spiritual war that uses spiritual weapons. The Old Testament identifies God as the Lord of Hosts, Commander of the Angel Armies, A Mighty Warrior, A King who has never lost a battle (Isaiah 6, the train of a king’s robe was a testimony to the victories they won). Abraham was a military leader, Deborah went to war with Barak, Saul was removed from his position as king for not defeating the enemy completely and David was a man of war. The point is, the military is both spiritual and physical and it is necessary when dealing with enemies.
In prayer this morning, I saw a canopy being lifted up over the United States of America as intercessors prayed for the salvation and vindication of this nation. The Holy Spirit said, “Just as when Aaron and Hur lifted up the arms of Moses and the battle was won, so the intercessors are lifted up a canopy over this nation so the invisible war being fought by the natural military can be won.” Most people have no clue the war we are in because it is an invisible war, both in the realm of the spirit and in the natural realm. It is a war with the same ancient enemy Israel fought when they left Egypt, we are at war with the spirit of the Amalekites both spiritually and naturally.
Exodus 17 says it this way, “Then they stood on each side of Moses, holding up his hands. So his hands held steady until sunset. As a result, Joshua overwhelmed the army of Amalek in battle. After the victory, the LORD instructed Moses, “Write this down on a scroll as a permanent reminder, and read it aloud to Joshua: I will erase the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” Moses built an altar there and named it Yahweh-Nissi (which means “the LORD is my banner”). He said, “They have raised their fist against the LORD’s throne, so now the LORD will be at war with Amalek generation after generation.”
In the days of Saul, Agag was an Amalekite, in the days of Esther, Hamaan was an Amalekite, the enemy may change names but it is the same Amalekite spirit that is being destroyed. This war is invisible to The natural eye, but it is very real to the military in the natural and the intercessors that know what is going on. The war is being won, but we must keep holding up the canopy over our nation until this ancient enemy is completely eradicated. The Lord is still our banner!
The more time I spend with God, the more I recognize what is truly valuable. God is truly the smartest person I know and when He teaches me, it goes so contrary to culture that sometimes I struggle to embrace what He is saying when it is first said. The longer I linger over His words, the more I recognize the absolute genius of God. The enemy offers a far lesser quality product, which is why the masses buy into it. People love cheap stuff. But God offers us everything that is high quality, valuable and in some cases priceless. I have learned to receive that which God is offering and nod and say thanks but no thanks to what the enemy is offering me through the world.
I have learned that the genius of God is found in humility. The path to everything valuable is humility. Humility is the core belief that I don’t know it all, there is always something to learn and I will be silent because I don’t know rather than fake it until I make it. People are experts at spotting the fake from the real, even if they don’t tell you they realize you are faking it. Real confidence is humility manifested; real wisdom is humility speaking; real joy is contentment personified; real hope is trust on display; real life is grace in action.
James 3:13 and 17 says this, “If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. … But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds.” People know what humility looks like, feels like and acts like. Humility is a value of the kingdom and God is raising up those who have kingdom values, humility, authenticity, honor, servants heart, peacemakers, joy bringers, life speakers, because He has expanded the kingdom tent pegs and the harvest is being brought in to become more like Him. Humility is the key to kingdom success.
The Bible is my favorite book to read because it is living. I can read the same verses, same chapters, same books over and over again, but because it is a living word, I never hear or see the same thing every time. God does not change He is the same yesterday today and forever (Hebrews 13:8), but because His words are living, they speak everytime you read them if you have ears to hear. Having ears to hear means you are coming to the word to listen not assume you know what it is saying or what it means. To really hear the word of God that is living, speaking and new every morning, you must be forever teachable, for we serve a God who knows everything.
Today I was praying Psalm 2 and the first few verses are applicable to right now in the world, so it was not hard to see them, but what I hadn’t heard before is that the plotting, planning, anger, of the nations is because they are trying to escape the rule of God, Creator of heaven and earth. You can’t escape the one who made you, you can’t control the One who owns it all. No wonder the nations and rulers are angry. Listen to how Psalm 2 says it, “Why are the nations so angry? Why do they waste their time with futile plans? The kings of the earth prepare for battle; the rulers plot together against the LORD and against his anointed one. ‘Let us break their chains,’ they cry, and free ourselves from slavery to God.”
A law was passed on Monday “establishing” same sex marriage, Dutch Sheets in His Give Him 15 yesterday talks about it. If you did not create marriage, who do you think you can redefine marriage? It is just one way “people” try to play God and decide what is best for them, for us. But this is nothing new to God, it has been tried before and will be tried again and it will fail just as all other raging against God fails. The funny thing about humanity is we think we are so smart and in doing so we reveal how foolish we really are. No wonder Psalm 2 continues by saying, “But the one who rules in heaven laughs. The Lord scoffs at them.” Maybe one day we will stop resisting the very God who made us for His pleasure and in His likeness because He loves us!
Ekklesia, don’t be shocked by what you see and hear, the Lord has always known what is going on. The manifestation of what has been done in the dark, coming into the light is so we can bind the spirit of wickedness and loose a spirit of righteousness. We are not supposed to share all the evil details with our friends, when we hear of it via some media outlets, we are to identify it, bind it, bundle it and burn it. Then we are to loose something into that vacancy with a righteous occupancy of some kind. Sharing it, talking about it, fearing it is not what we are being told about it for.
The ekklesia must exercise her authority in this hour for God is doing a worldwide house cleansing. Isaiah 61:11 says, “The Sovereign LORD will show his justice to the nations of the world. Everyone will praise him! His righteousness will be like a garden in early spring, with plants springing up everywhere.” The winter worldwide house cleansing is God sweeping out the wickedness that has been operating in darkness and to fill the house worldwide with righteousness and justice so we can see a springing up in the Spring.
We don’t have to know all the ins and outs of what’s going on or why, but when we see it, hear it, we must bind it, bundle it and burn it, then loose something into the vacancy. Jesus said it this way, ““When an evil spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert, seeking rest but finding none. Then it says, ‘I will return to the person I came from.’ So it returns and finds its former home empty, swept, and in order.” (Matthew 12:43-44). We have been given authority to fill the vacancy with the kingdom of God.
Bind the spirit of pedophilia and loose family; bind the spirit of abortion and loose life; bind the spirit of gender confusion and loose Psalm 139; bind the spirit of witchcraft and loose righteousness; bind the spirit of injustice and loose justice. Ekklesia, we have been given authority to bind and loose (Matthew 16) now we must excercise that authority for the Lord is cleansing the nations and we must bind, bundle and burn what He is casting out and loose the kingdom of God that He is bringing in! We live in historic days.
The great awakening in a nation is the eyes of the people being opened not to some financial increase they receive in the bank, some promotion they receive at a job, not a spouse. they have been desiring and is now here, or any other prayer being prayed by so many around the world. No, the great awakening in a nation starts in the hearts of people. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6) and there are veils inside of us that God wants to tear. His death tore the veil of separation between us and Him for salvation, eternal life, assurance of salvation, access to His blood for the forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 6-9). There were not one but two veils in the temple in Jerusalem.
Since we are the temple now, there is also multiple veils in us that have blinded us from truths God has wanted us to see. I was speaking with a young man yesterday over lunch and he asked me why I do not give him a bunch of do’s and don’t in regards to his behavior and I said because your behavior is the fruit of a belief you are worthless which is the root. He shot his head up and looked at me and I said, you don’t believe you have value so you do valueless things. He was like how do you know this, I said because how we think is how we act, whether we realize it or not. A veil tore in his heart yesterday and the “aha” moment was obvious to me by his facial reaction. He had a great awakening.
This morning, I was praying Psalm 30 and it says, “Your anger lasts for the night your favor is for a lifetime.” Lifetime favor, hmmmmm. As I was praying into this verse the Lord took me on a tour of my whole life and said, “Favor looked different in varying times of your life, but you have lifetime favor.” I never saw it before this morning. I always saw the rejection, the faults, the bad choices, but today the Lord opened my eyes to the lifetime favor He has bestowed on me. I had a great awakening.
Now for you, it’s the time of the great awakening, the Lord is opening our eyes to things we could not see before and when we see them we will be astonished at how the Lord corrects us up in our thinking. As we are awakened, others will see it and it will wake them up, or as we wake others up to how God has been working in their life, it will wake something up in us. All I know is we are in the midst of a great awakening.
The Lord invited me to pray Isaiah 22 this morning, which seemed like an odd place to find prayer points, but between verses five and seven I was seeing very clearly what the Lord wanted me to pray. The Lord is calling intercessors and watchmen to their fixed positions at the gate, not because there is a war coming, but because the glory of God is coming. When the Holy Spirit said this to me, I wept. The Lord said, my intercessors need to repent, change the way they think, for the kingdom of God is at hand. We have been taught to watch for war and warn the people of evil coming, but the Lord said, we need to repent, for we are not to be watching for war in order to warn, but we are to be watching for the glory of God.
What you are called to watch for will determine what you see and what you see is what you will speak. The Lord was very clear this morning, I want my intercessors and prophets watching at their fixed positions at the gate. I want them watching for my glory is coming. The Holy Spirit reminded me the glory of God comes through the gate and I found that in Ezekiel 43:1-5 “After this, the man brought me back around to the east gateway. Suddenly, the glory of the God of Israel appeared from the east. The sound of his coming was like the roar of rushing waters, and the whole landscape shone with his glory. This vision was just like the others I had seen, first by the Kebar River and then when he came to destroy Jerusalem. I fell face down on the ground. And the glory of the LORD came into the Temple through the east gateway. Then the Spirit took me up and brought me into the inner courtyard, and the glory of the LORD filled the Temple.”
There is not a war on the horizon, the glory of God is on the horizon. We are not headed into a war, we are headed into the glory of God. The Lord is about to flood the earth with glory as the waters cover the seas (Habakkuk 2:14). We are about to experience the mountain of the Lord as the chief of all the mountains (Isaiah 2). We are about to have a revelation of Jesus Christ (Revelation 4) of the likes that will transform us into our original design and we will no longer want to sin for the glory will be so desirous to us. As a watchman on the wall, I want you to know I see the glory of God coming!
Now that we are in a watching time and the waiting season is over, we are going to notice things we missed or failed to see in the waiting season. The waiting season can be marked with striving, performing, trying to prove something, but the watching time is true rest, deep inhales and exhales, it is eyes wide open, heart responding and deep breaths.
I was driving down the same road I drive every Monday at the exact same time and the same measure of traffic was on the road, but as I looked to my left as I was creeping along in a long line of traffic, I noticed a cluster of grave stones I never saw before. The Holy Spirit smiled at me and I knew it was a nod to this new time of watching. When we are watching we see things that have always been there but we had not seen before.
In this time of watching, we are going to see things that will surprise us, shock us, anger us, delight us and capture us. One of the things we are going to see is justice, which is the the same coin as righteousness. We need to see justice, for righteousness exalts a nation (Proverbs 14:34) and when the righteous are in power the city rejoices (Proverbs 29:2). But we must also remember Ezekiel 33:11 “As surely as I live, says the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live. Turn! Turn from your wickedness, O people of Israel! Why should you die?” When wicked people start receiving justice, it will not be a time to celebrate their death, but it is going to be a time of the fear of the Lord coming on the nations.
Remember this, every person has been given a chance to repent, but some literally refuse and if they persist in hurting others, they will have to face justice for their crimes against humanity. However, this is not reason for us to rejoice in their death, but rather to rejoice that righteousness is exalting the nation. File these thoughts away, you will need them in the near future.