One of my favorite summer places is being at the lake and one of my favorite summer time activities is waterskiing. The Lord knows this about me, just as He knows some of your favorite things, for God uses these things to speak truths to us. Just as Jesus used parables that were understandable to the disciples and the crowds who followed Him, He uses parables in our lives. The Lord used waterskiing as a way to convey a truth to me yesterday, that I believe is for the body of Christ. If you have never been waterskiing, you may not understand completely what I am saying, but if you have been or have seen someone waterski, you will catch on quickly to what God is saying to us right now.
Waterskiing is a great sport, but just like riding a bike, it takes time to get used to the intricate details of how to get started. In order to waterski, you first my sit back in the water, like you are sitting in a chair. Your life jacket makes this easier to do, but with two ski’s that are much bigger than your feet, a tow rope and a life jacket, it does take some maneuvering to get the positioning correct. But once you are in a seated position, you bring the tips of your ski’s out of the water, for they must be above water or they will drag you down into the water. After getting your tips up, you grab the ski rope, which is attached to the boat and place it between your ski’s and hold on. The driver of the boat, will tighten the rope just slightly for it must be tight in order for you to get up. If the boat pulls you a little bit, it may cause you to tip to the right or to the left, but once you are seated securely, with tips up and rope between your ski’s you are ready to have the boat pull you out of the water.
Before I go any further, let me say this, many people are dressed for the days we are living in, many have their tips out of the water of the world and their issues, but their rope is not tight. The rope is the word of God. It is the plumb line, the prophet Amos spoke about, if the rope is not tight, you will not come out of the water. In order for the rope to become tight, we must hang on to the word of God with both hands. Jesus said it this way, “Keep both hands on the plow and don’t look back…” (Luke 9:62). As the Lord is tightening the rope, we may find ourselves a bit unstable, that is because He is tightening the rope, without a tight rope, we will not come up and out of where we are currently seated.
Once the rope is tight, tips are out and you are in the seated position, the only thing left to do is tell the boat driver to Hit It! This is when the boat driver accelerates rapidly, in order to get you up and out of the water and onto your ski’s so you can enjoy “walking on water”. The challenge many people face is that they either let go of the rope before they are pulled out and then sink back in or they try to pull themselves up and fall face forward into the water. In order to come up and out, you must let the boat do the work, all you have to do is hang on to the rope. Therefore, what the Lord is saying to us is, many are falling in their attempt to come up and out of their situation because they are either letting go of the rope (the word of God) or they are trying to pull themselves up, rather than letting the boat (who is God in this parable) pull them out.
Psalm 40:1-3 says, “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him” (NIV).
As we wait in the resting position, with our tips out of the water, with the rope between our ski’s, tightened, then when we say Hit It! the Lord will lift us up and out, if we hold on, but don’t try and pull yourselves up and out, He has enough horsepower to pull us out of any situation we have got ourselves in. All we must do is hang on to His word and let His power pull us up and out. I don’t know what you stuck in and feel like you can’t get out of us, but your life jacket is your salvation, remember you are bought with a price; your ski’s are mercy and goodness; the rope is the Word of God; and the boat is the Holy Spirit with the Father as our driver. All you have to do is say, Hit It! and hang on, He’s got this, your coming up and out!
The Lord our God is creative beyond comprehension; majestic beyond description; and perfect in the ways He deals with us as His children. People that don’t know Him are truly missing out on the adventure of walking with Him, for there is really no one like Him. I was in prayer last night while listening to Paul Wilbur sing, Spirit of the Sovereign Lord, come and make your presence known, reveal the glory of the risen King. For you that don’t know the song, it goes on to say, let the weight of your glory cover us, let the life of your river flow, let the peace of your kingdom reign in us, let the weight of your glory, let the weight of your glory, fall. For you that do know the song, I am sure you are singing along as you read this. I love these songs that we used to sing, for they carry a substance that is not seen as often in today’s worship music, but that is another blog.
As I was praying, the Lord spoke to me about someone in my life and the Lord said, “Their pride, produced in you, patience. Now let patience complete its work and you will be complete lacking nothing.” I was stupefied by this statement for it was true. I have someone in my life that is proud, their pride manifests in being stubborn, and unwilling to be transformed. Little did I know, their pride, which is still in operation to this day, has produced in me a patience that I did not see until the Lord revealed it last night. James 1:4 says, “Let endurance, steadfastness, and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfectly and fully developed, with no defects, lacking nothing (AMP).”
Maybe you have someone in your life, usually it is someone you are with daily, a boss, a child, a spouse, a family member, who is proud. They refuse to change, they do not see in themselves what others see in them that is hindering their relationships with God and others, they do not recognize how their pride is blocking their prosperity and they just frustrate you to no end. What if instead of getting frustrated with them; what if instead of nagging them; what if instead of focusing on them; you allowed God to work in you, patience, so you are complete, perfect and lacking nothing? What if, God’s was using that person to develop something in you that you did not recognize you needed? The Lord showed me that when we are lacking something, we look to others to fill that lack or meet that need. It is not the other person’s job to fill a lack in your life, that is God’s job.
The Lord says in Isaiah 55:8, “My ways are higher than your ways and My thoughts are higher than your thoughts”; He says in Romans 8:28, “For all things work together for the good of those who are called according to Christ Jesus”; therefore, God knows something we don’t know and we as people (stubborn, disobedient, just to name a few things) have already worked in God patience, so He is complete, perfect and lacking nothing, now He wants that worked in us. We are created in the image of God, we are to be a reflection of Him to others and the only way to do that is to let Him work in us patience, so we are lacking nothing. Who would have ever thought the person that is proud, would be used to work patience in you, in me. God did, for He sees the connection between pride and patience. Can you see it?
If you have ever been in a place where you can feel in the atmosphere the precipitation changing, you know more often than not, there is a gentle breeze that precedes the storm. The air starts to smell different; the clouds start rolling in, the trees start swaying just a little bit more. It is like a symphony playing the first lines of their song, before they hit the crescendo. It’s like the song that builds up to the chorus which carries you through the rest of the song. Nature has a way of revealing to us what is coming and just like nature so does God, He reveals in the gentle breeze of transition that a storm of change is on the horizon. For those who are awake, they can see it all around them, they can smell it in the air. Transition is happening and many people are struggling with the gentle breeze of transition, not knowing this is nothing compared to the storm of change that is just around the corner.
I have listened to those around me, online, on television and on the radio the sounds of the gentle breeze of transition are everywhere. Circumstances are shifting and it is causing many to be drifting. Those who we thought would stand, are struggling. Many who have said all the right things are finding themselves to not be who they thought they were or who others thought they were. The gentle breeze is blowing and straw houses are shaking and some are even falling. Can you see the gentle breeze of transition blowing, can you hear the gentle breeze of transition happening around the world? To some this gentle breeze of transition is a big deal, but it is just a gentle breeze. The storm of change has not arrived yet, but it is coming and coming quickly. Jesus said, “If they do this when the tree is green, what will they do when it is brown?” (Luke 23:31)
Believers in Jesus Christ, now is the time to do what you say and say what you mean. Now more than ever, we must be in the word of God daily, in worship continually and praying in the spirit on all occasions. Not for the sake of anyone else, but you. You do not need to get a prepper kit of food and water; you need to prepare yourself spiritually for a storm is on the horizon. A storm that is going to change everything for the better, but a storm nonetheless. Believers must exercise their authority in order to stand during the storm. Remember Moses stood in the midst of the Red Sea as the people crossed over (Exodus 14). He exercised his authority over the storm that sought to keep God’s people out of the promised land. Remember Jesus walked on the stormy water that was buffeting the boat of the disciples, the storm could not control Jesus, Jesus took control over the storm, but not until after he tried to show Peter how to do the same (Matthew 14:22-33). We are being invited to exercise our authority while there is no storm, so when the storm comes, we are prepared.
Being under authority, doing what someone else tells you to do, is a great way to exercise your authority. Lawlessness is what takes away your authority, while obedience increases your authority. If you are one that does not let anyone tell you what to do, you will not be able to stand in the storm. If you are not in obedience with the word of God you will not have authority in the storm. Anger is not authority. Remember the Centurion, he was a man under authority and was a man in authority and Jesus was impressed with his faith (Matthew 8:5-13). Remember Ruth, she told Naomi, where you go, I go…(Ruth 1:16-17). Obedience is the greatest way to exercise your authority and only through exercise will you get strong and be able to stand in the storm. We are experiencing the gentle breeze of transition, but the storm of change is coming and is closer than you realize. We, the body of Christ need to exercise our authority so we don’t get lost in the storm.
While in prayer this morning, the Lord spoke to me and said, “Tell them, exercise your authority!” As I began to think about this, the first thought I had was to the Greek class I took, for the word authority in the Greek is εξουσία and to remember this Greek word, I remember saying, exercise authority. This play on words, God used to speak to me this morning, saying, “Tell them, exercise your authority!” So, I say to you, what the Lord said to me, “Exercise your authority!”
Exercise your authority is the decree from heaven, but the process to this begins with identity. Have you wondered why the narrative of the church has been identity? It is because we need to know our identity in order to exercise authority. When we don’t know who we are, we get frustrated and the enemy offers us counterfeit authority, which is anger, as our modus operandi. Let’s take parents for a minute as an example. Parents have been given authority over their children (Ephesisans 6; Colossians 3; Exodus 20; Deuteronomy 5), but if parents don’t exercise their authority, they will use the counterfeit which is anger to get done what they want done. Knowing who you are, identity, is the first step to exercising authority.
The understanding of who you are, as created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26) and exercising the authority you have been given for being created in that image (Genesis 1:27-28) is critical for your success. The enemy knows this, henceforth, why he attacks your identity, undercuts your confidence and causes you to become angry. The enemy’s goal is John 10:10 to steal, kill and destroy, his goal is destruction and that is why he wants you to embrace the counterfeit authority which is anger, for he knows anger is destructive by nature. However, God wants you to know who you are, identity, so you can be productive.
The key that unlocks productivity is identity through which we exercise authority. Proverbs 12:26-28 in the Passion Translation says, “Lovers of God give good advice to their friends, but the counsel of the wicked will lead them astray. A passive person won’t even complete a project, but a passionate person makes good use of his time, wealth and energy. Abundant life is discovered by walking in righteousness, but holding on to your anger leads to death.” Learn your identity, exercise your authority and walk into productivity.
Why is this important right now? Because as Chuck Pierce says frequently, we need a mindset shift for the harvest. The harvest mindset is different than other mindsets. Tim Sheets wrote a book on the New Era of Glory that we are entering and it is an era of harvest. Talk to any farmer, harvest means more work, not less. If you are not prepared to be productive, you will not reap the harvest. We must know who we are, so we can exercise our authority, in order to gather in the harvest. Ruth Ward Heflin has a book called Harvest Glory and this I believe is the era we are entering, an era of Harvest Glory. Rise up church, the harvest is plentiful, Jesus said, but the workers are few. We need to know who we are, so we can exercise the authority we have been given and reap the harvest that is ripe and ready for our arrival. Exercise your authority!
The Word of God is filled with mysteries, not in order to keep us in the dark, but to give us something to search out. This to me is why the Bible is my favorite book to read, for the author is alive and speaking, every time we read it. Bill Johnson is quoted as saying, “I read my bible until God speaks, then I stop and listen to what He has to say.” This is the most practical, helpful advice we can be given as believers, for we have a God that speaks and He loves to share with us mysteries.
What is a mystery? Dictionary.com says, a mystery is something that is difficult or impossible to understand or explain; some synonyms are a puzzle, enigma, conundrum, riddle, secret. This is our working definition of mystery and when I asked my bible study group to define mystery, this is what they said as well. However, in the Greek, the word mystery means something that is not revealed here and actually holds a piece of the puzzle that unlocks the whole puzzle as it pertains to what Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2 calls the mystery of lawlessness.
Mystery in the Greek means to shut the mouth, silence imposed by initiation into religious rites, not obvious to the understanding, hidden purpose or counsel (Strong’s Dictionary). This definition of mystery gives us insight into what is happening in our world today. But to unlock it with great clarity, let’s define lawlessness according to Strong’s Dictionary. Lawlessness means, illegality, violations of law, wickedness, iniquity, unrighteousness, transgression of law. Therefore, based on these two definitions, the mystery of lawlessness is the illegal transgression of the law which silences people and they do not have a clear understanding of why they have been silenced or said another way, lawlessness silences the voice of righteousness.
Now do you understand why the Church is silent in the world today? Why the righteous voices are not being heard? Does this clarify for you, what has silenced the Pastors and Leaders and Lovers of God on earth and in the places of worship we call church? Lawlessness, which 1 John 4:3 says, was at work in the world when Jesus walked the earth and it is still at work today. Because those who are to be righteous (law abiding, both biblically and nationally) have entered into lawlessness, we have been silenced, for lawlessness silences the voices of righteousness.
Once the body of Christ repents of its lawlessness (2 Chronicles 7:14) and takes a stand for righteousness, among ourselves, in our churches, pulpits, conferences and denominations, then we will have a voice again in the earth. Once this return to righteousness happens, then we will hear a roar of righteousness that will rend the veil of deception. But right now, the body of Christ is living in 1 Kings 18:21, which says, “Elijah came near to all the people (of God) and said, how long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him. But the people did not answer him a word” (NKJV). The remnant has chosen righteousness, the world has chosen wickedness, but the majority of the body of Christ is not saying a word, for they have been silenced by lawlessness.
Proverbs 25:12 says, “It is God’s privilege to conceal things and the king’s privilege to discover them” (NLT). The mystery of lawlessness is that lawlessness silences the voices of righteousness. However, to break out of that silence, we must choose righteousness, no matter what the law of the land may say about marriage; what your friends may say about wickedness; nor what your Pastors and leaders may say about political correctness. Proverbs 28:1 says, the wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion” (NIV). If you want your voice back, you must repent of lawlessness and choose to live in righteousness.
Have you seen the myriad of prophetic words about restoration, refreshing and riches? Have you wondered what is the hold up? Have you held on to a promise about one of these three issues and yet, have not seen movement in regards to them coming to pass? You are not alone. Many are prophesying and preaching restoration, refreshing and riches, and they are not inaccurate in their prophesies or in error in their preaching. Everything they are saying is biblically accurate, so what is the hold up?
I was praying Ezekiel 44 the other day and the Lord revealed to me something I had never seen before, but just like God, it is not in one place, it is in many and I just missed it until He opened my eyes to it. In Ezekiel 44, Luke 15, Acts 3 and Revelation 3 we see three stages that we are to progress through, but what we hear is only the third stage. Look at Acts 3:14-15, 17-21 and see if you can identify the three stages the Lord showed me. “You denied the Holy One and the Just, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses…Yet now, brethren, I know that you did it in ignorance, as did also your rulers. But those things which God foretold by the mouth of all His prophets, that the Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled. 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.”(NKJV) The three stages are recognize, repent and be restored or refreshed.
When people preach restoration, refreshing or even riches, without preaching recognize and repent first, they will not be restored, refreshed or rich.
Our God is a God of order, He does not give us something for nothing. We are in a relationship with the Lord and therefore, we have a responsibility. The Holy Spirit was given to open our eyes to see things we cannot see about ourselves (Ephesians 1:18), to convict us of sin (John 16:8) and to lead us into all truth (John 14:26). Until we recognize our error, the deception we have believed, and the iniquity we are bearing, we cannot repent. If there is no repentance there is no restoration, refreshing or riches. It all starts with recognition.
Let’s look at Revelation 3, so I can show you how important this is. Revelation 3:17-19 “Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore, be zealous and repent.” (NKJV) It’s in reverse order, but do you see it. They needed salve so they could see (recognize) they were not who they thought they were; they needed garments of white (repentance) and they needed to buy gold refined in the fire (restoration) so they could be rich.
If your restoration, refreshing or riches are being held up, it is probably because you have been promised something out of order. Recognize the truth, repent of sin and be restored, refreshed, enriched. This is a word for the church, not the world, today. We need to be restored, so we can be ready for the harvest that we will be called to serve.
Many recognize we are not where we were, but we are not yet where we are going. Other realize, we know what has been, but are unsure of what is coming. Some are pointing to another wave of salvations, some are pointing to another visitation, and some are not sure what to call it. But everyone that has eyes to see and ears to hear know something of the likes we have never seen before is about to happen in the body of Christ on earth. Names like harvest, revival, outpouring, reformation, awakening, and even revolution have all been thrown around, but no clear picture of what is coming has taken hold in the most amplified voices in our nation and the Christian world. People with platforms, pulpits and places to proclaim the message, are not saying, yet, what God is speaking to the ground troops. People who do not have platforms other than Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo or Soundcloud are saying what God is doing, but their voice is yet to be amplified on a large scale, but God is about to turn up the volume on these people’s voices, for they are speaking the same thing, for they are hearing the same voice, for they all have the same head over the church, Jesus the Christ.
These men and women are not seeking to be seen or heard, they are seeking to be faithful. They have allowed the fire of His presence to purify their character, they have learned to walk in His ways, they have sought the face of a man, not the applause of people or the wealth of another. They are the ones who made it through the narrow gate that leads to life, they are the ones who are living in childlike dependence and they are hearing the mysteries of the kingdom, for they have been mining the depths of God’s heart and soaring into the throne room of God’s courts. These people have used their patio as their platform, their prayer closet as their war room, their car as their sanctuary, and they have learned how to commune with the King of kings. They are without title, without system, without the trappings of religion, they are free to sing a little louder, pray a little longer, and linger like a lover. They have learned what it means to become one with Him in spirit and in truth. These are the coming ones who will preach the gospel of the kingdom.
God is about to unlock the third fold of His threefold message of the kingdom. It is nothing new to God, nor to history, but it will be new to our generation. It will build on the past and lead us into the future. It is not a competing message, it is a completing message. I will complete the gospel of the kingdom message, it will mature the body of Christ, it will cause us to exponentially increase in the prosperity of our soul (3 John 2). Are you ready for more of the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven?
In the 1500’s Martin Luther led a Salvation Reformation. He preached that we are saved by faith, not by works. It was a reformation that changed the way we view salvation. In the 1900’s we had a Visitation Reformation led by William Seymour. God restored the Holy Spirit’s power and operation in the lives of believers. It was a powerful addition to the salvation reformation. Now, we are on the verge of another reformation, a Habitation Reformation. A habitation reformation is going to reveal to us that we are called to be ONE with Christ, according to John 14, 15, 16 this is the desire of Jesus Christ, that we would be One as He and His Father are One. The habitation reformation is going to bring us into oneness with Christ. This will be adding to the salvation reformation and the visitation reformation, not replacing it.
What the Lord showed me is that the salvation reformation was like Passover, everyone must come through the blood shed on the cross to be saved; next he revealed to me that the visitation reformation was like Pentecost, everyone is to be filled with the Holy Spirit, operating in power and speaking in tongues; and the Lord said, the habitation reformation will be like Tabernacles, everyone is invited into oneness, but just like salvation and visitation, not everyone will want to engage in it. This habitation reformation, will complete the cycle of the feasts of the Lord and make us complete as the body of Christ. Remember, Ephesians 4 says, we were given 5-fold leaders to train us, equip us and deploy us, so we may be mature and complete lacking nothing. The habitation reformation voices are about to arise in the earth and we will see a habitation reformation like nothing we have seen before in our generation. There is about to be people who literally have become one with Christ in character, power, authority and joy. We are on the verge of a habitation reformation!