The Next Level

After the holidays are now basically over, I am on “re-group.”   I don’t think I have ever prayed for so many meetings so hard in my life!  But it’s a good thing and it was an assignment.  The Lord had asked, “Do you really care?” and I felt I had to prove I did!   I have assignments as an intercessor.

The Lord always wants to know if we really care.  If we love Him, we deny our flesh and keep His Commandments.  That is a full time job in this day and age as we are out in the world, making a difference, because we should be.  But sometimes we can get so caught up in the work, that we miss the Holy Spirit and what He is saying and doing and even ministering to us.

It is possible to get weary from well doing, and there are challenges and obstacles along the way.  But after a thrust of faith has been given and we know that our soul has extended itself in energies for God, we do need the balance of rest, but also of assessing the new place we are in because hopefully we have taken ground from the enemy! 

Not only that, sometimes there is what we call “backlash” from the resistance of having taken that territory.  We really are in a strategy mode for the Kingdom of God, and some of you who like games a lot really should start applying some of those strategies to the spiritual world, as you are instructed by the Lord.

Of course that first of all means you have to HEAR the Lord, and you have to get your own house in order (count the cost, as Jesus said) to move forward in God.  (You can miss a lot if you don’t make yourself willing in the day of battle.) 

In our early Christian days we are a lot on the “receive” end and we should be, but when that ministry is done, there should be new energies arising in you that have to be channelled for producing good Kingdom works – things like witnessing to people, helping people, praying for people, joining with people to accomplish varied good and necessary things!  The Bible says we were predestined for those good works!

That being said, we then need to learn how to mature in it.  And it’s not all drudgery works!  The more effective we get, the more we will see victories and some defeats.  But the biggest thing to remember as born again Christians is that those defeats are TEMPORARY!!!

As you get wiser and more sensitive, you will realize there is a channel or current of God flowing through you.  It’s your job to keep the stream open when trials and tribulations and circumstances block it up.  But besides tending your own soul, which you really must if you value it, you are going to get new assignments and understandings from God that you will need to apply to your life and then to others as is properly applicable.  We need the different ministry gifts to help us in this.

You must realize that the enemy wants to take you out.  Jesus told us that he (the enemy) comes to kill, steal and destroy, but that He came to bring life, and to overcome and even destroy the works of the enemy.  Personally I wish there never was a devil in the first place but there is a counter force to the goodness of God.  I could spend a long time crying about that, but God knows that counterforce reveals Him better.  If we LEARN how to cooperate with God and if we learn the strategies of Spiritual warfare, we can find that our “wounds” and “hits” become much more managable and even instructional.

We need to learn HOW to cooperate with the Living Spirit of God.  He says, “My sheep hear My Voice, and another’s they will not follow.”  So that means we do need to learn to discern.  But after learning to discern His Voice, we then need to learn how to OBEY His Voice!  – because sometimes that is easier said than done and we need His Spiritual resources to do it.

Many young Christians will try to accomplish Spiritual goals with worldly systems.  Now many of the successful sytems in the world have used Godly principles and succeeded.  And we really should have churches full of accomplishing business people.  Even Proverbs 31 will tell you that women are in the marketplace, supporting the causes of God and their family.  They are not leaders alone but they are active and wise and contributing.

God’s Kingdom is built without compromises.  Sometimes that is hard for us to see.  Sometimes we don’t even want to see it.  But it’s still the truth and try as we will to do things another way, we are only going this far and no further till we get it right.  It’s so great once we catch on to that to learn that He has supernatural ways to lead and guide us and show us these great things.  But we must become disciplined in the right ways of God.

What we learn as we move forward is that we don’t understand everything going on, but we do develop more faith and trust in His Voice.  The Lord is developing our spirits and not only our minds.  A right countenance goes a long way, along with right thoughts.  And when you are in a war, that can be an art you will find important to learn!

So what am I saying here.  Once you get on the right foundations, you can make great progress in your spiritual life.  But after you make an advancement, you need to take the time to process where you are.  Once you arrive in “new territory” you will also find that there are new opportunities but you can get distracted by those if you are not assessing what just happened.  The great news is that God is working with you on all this.  I am just saying, Don’t miss that!

The enemy is also looking to take his ground back if he can.  If we don’t assess our situations, we may miss a counter-move that we should have seen or discerned.  If  the Word is leading you, you have a lot of clues that you already need.  A lot of Christians have come to realize that “a lot of warfare” can mean that there is something really good that we are contending for in our assignment. 

God will speak to us and when He does, He is not looking for our counsel.  He does not mind a submissive spirit talking to Him, but sometimes He just wants us to obey.  When we learn how to do that, it’s great to see later what He was doing and we really do develop a lot of trust in Him that way!

Once we arrive in our “next level”, we need to learn it and discern it until He says otherwise.  He is looking for our hearts to connect with His Heart for the next big move, which could be sooner, or later.  He has a big picture in mind!  Remember when He assigned terroritories to the children of Israel, it was not just “four days later” and they had it all done.  No, they had to “take the land” and then build the land.  Even still, they are working on that!

When one territory had a problem, then the others were supposed to help.  It was Family!  We need to learn how to do the order of Family from a Kingdom perspective.  If children, rather than wise men, rule a family, then when trouble comes, we are not prepared. There is a big world going on outside the four walls of our houses.   Even if we work to get off the grid for our electric, and dig wells for our water supply, we are still dependent on each other and God has made it to be so that way.

But when we get in the order of Kingdom dynamics, we find that we are much more on the effective offensive and not the defensive.  And where we go can become a Garden of Eden for those areas!  If we develop our Spiritual tools and gifts, we have resources!  And if we develop our worship, we have inspiration and hope – which are very necessary.

So take your advancements in the proper ways, but then be sure to rest, assess, and discern.  Jesus said “I do the works I see My Father do.”  Keep the connection of God’s Love for you flowing in your channel.  Don’t take things for granted but be humble and teachable, because God has many more great things that we will not only want, but need.

Without A Wedding Garment

So many people are noticing and commenting on the shift God has just taken the Church. Things are changing, things are being re-aligned, and the recent does not fit like it did before.

In some areas, it is troubling and in other areas it is refreshing. But those who are prophetically “tuned” see it and observe and consider the changes, knowing that even more change has been prophesied and will come.

For years people have become disillusioned and even disappointed in the Church as we have known it. Sin has been exposed, betrayers seemed to win, thefts occured and offenses have been many.

It has disturbed a lot of people, and many have dropped out of church life altogether. Some have stood back at a distance, working to avoid the bitterness they were feeling in their hearts. They didn’t want to lose God; they wanted to find, seek, see and feel what is REAL. They wanted to reject the false.

But it seemed everywhere they looked for the real leadership left them more and more disappointed. People pulled back on their giving. They wanted to believe these mega promises were coming in, but some of the “pulls” were coming off a little too Madison Avenue rather than the Highway of Holiness.

Sacrifice in the right way is good. The Lord says, “Gather My saints together to Me, Those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice.” (Psalm 50:5 NKJV) It’s a mark on the heart that God sees with Spirit eyes.

But many through disappointment and discouragement have stopped giving their “love gifts” to God. The reason was that they did not want to be yoked to the wrong spirits. Some were even angry at God and hurt and wounded.

It has not been easy, it has not been pretty and honestly, there is more to come. But don’t present yourself to God without a wedding garment!

Matthew 22:
1 And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said:
2 “The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son,
3 “and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come.
4 “Again, he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.”‘
5 “But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business.
6 “And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them.
7 “But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.
8 “Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy.
9 ‘Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.’
10 “So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests.
11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment.
12 “So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless.
13 “Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.”

God still has need of you, even if He is tearing down the walls of the structured and rebellious church! Are you seeing Him or seeing a man? Will man be your excuse to turn away from God?

Or have you heard His Voice enough to use your heart, mind, soul, and strength to obey His will? Because people have pulled back, our country is in a financial crisis. It started because of sowing wrongly, and we can be deceived, but much of that is now being exposed and will continue to be exposed.

As it says in Joel 2: 13-14, “So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm. Who knows if He will turn and relent, And leave a blessing behind Him; A grain offering and a drink offering for the Lord your God?”

If we don’t give an offering to what is right and good, we have not honored Him in a way that He can bless. We must be like Job who even in crisis said, “Blessed be the Name of the Lord.” Job, even in his trial, had to offer a sacrifice to the Lord and pray for things to turn around for him.

We may not be able to control the timing, but we can control the outcome if we still look to Him. If you allow bitterness to swallow you up, you will not be able to praise Him and encounter His Presence. “But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.” (Psalm 22:3 KJV)

At this critical time, if you give to truth, you will receive and be established in truth. But if you give in to lies and disillusionment, you will be established in that and it is no comfortable place to be!

The enemy of our soul has been on a campaign to make you believe that wrong is right and right is wrong. Did you fall for the lie? If you just give in to it, it is to your hurt.

There is a wedding going on and you must have the right garment on to be accepted.

Don’t Fall For Idiot Prophets

Idiot prophets are either false prophets or they missed it, big time. And it’s not that we can’t each make mistakes, if we are honest, we know we can. But the difference is in what we do with our mistakes. Do we apply the Romans 8:28 principle and let God turn those mistakes for good, or do we deny their existence and declare what is wrong to be right? I guess it depends on who is on the throne of your life!

Prophets are called to confront sin. It’s really not the favorite part of their job description for the obvious reasons, but it’s something they must learn how to get good at, no matter what the outcome. And we all should have a little bit of the prophetic in us, even if it is just in raising our kids to know right from wrong!

There is no easy way for them to learn everything they need to know, but it is something they can prepare for. As God told Jeremiah, if you can’t run with the footman (the children), what are you going to do when the horsemen (or experts) come?

Oh yes, it’s hard, and there is pain, but we must toughen up! We have to know how God is judging us. When we get skilled at it, people will fear you. Some people live for that fear in others, but that is another example of the idiot prophet. It is what makes real prophets lonely people.

People might think I am harsh to call people idiot prophets, but my point is the truth that tough skin must identify with the obvious. Tough skin can travel. People respect the wise who are on to them. And many prophets have been given the gift of discerning motives which is not always a fun gift to have.

It’s great when you are doing deliverance and people can get set free, but when you encounter evil, you have to learn how to call on God because He does things a certain way. And some things He lets play out before He judges harshly. I like it better when He nips it in the bud (Isaiah 18:5). Correction is often better than punishment if you get what I mean there.

God is not into condemning people but He does condemn sin. And some don’t want to accept that, especially in this day and time we live in. Believe me, prophets are active, seeking His Face, because so much in this nation is not right. But we are not dealing with just the rebellious but also the totally ignorant. There is a difference. And there is also the “Big Picture” plan of God which means some things are just going to happen.

When you see God being misrepresented, especially when it seems to be for evil purposes, you know some have taken on God for a battle and He will answer back – in His timing! You just don’t want to be in the wrong place when He comes swinging, even while doing intercession, because you don’t want in on the wallop!

Some need training and some have wrong training and clean up is hard work. And anybody knows that no one human has all the answers. But some try to come across that way and when you test them, it bothers you when they come up lacking for all their proud words.

God really does speak. And when He speaks, yes, there is the still small Voice, but that Voice can also be pretty loud. You know when there is a dry place, that eventually water will come to fill that place. It’s just the nature of God to take dominion. But some flash floods work destruction too.

We have all missed it and come short of the GLORY of God and to see it, we must be humble in His Presence. Like the V-8 commercial on television, “Bonk! I should have seen and done that!” Because what we see and experience IS so amazing in God, our current circumstances pale in comparison!

Prophets can seem like a set apart breed, but they are very human. And when the human side is seen and respected, it is very appreciated. But there is also a heavenly burden on the prophet that cannot be denied. Many are into drama more than they are into sales. And Scripture says, “He who wins souls is wise.” Let’s win them.

It’s not really an option for those who are in the Kingdom of God. You are either on His side or you are not! Our lives should reflect our faith. We should see some activating good in everyone who calls themself a Christian. There are too many impostors!

The ones who are into drama aren’t really into people having freedom as much as they are wanting a following who will follow them for their collective power. Ministers who lead people into self discovery with God, are the ones who are truly powerful. They can multiply exponentially. They become enemies for those who want to control other people and gain their power the wrong way. And to control other people, they will usually use the tactics of fear (fearing the future) or shame (manipulating others by guilt) or false promise.

We all want the wonderful promises but if people are not taught well how to walk with God, the promise becomes hope deferred which makes the heart bitter and angry. Patience is a virtue and a fruit, but there is a false side of it too that has a negative result. The best thing to know about patience is that God is patient with us! More than we could ever dream, but passiveness is not the same thing as patience!

Jesus took our shame but people have to learn how to process that. And we have to know and believe the Word and be around positive believers to overcome fear. But they can’t do all the work for you, because we all carry our own load in working out our salvation. We can’t have idols or be idols for others.

It is very tempting to idolize prophets. Especially those who are gifted at forecasting. Selfish people want words for themselves and that selfishness can be a strong drive. But our true Christian power comes when we can break the selfishness in our own souls and take on His burden for life and others and create positive life (no sin but clean) zones while winning those souls. It is really the essence of the Christian life. It’s the fruit of self control in the Spirit.

Obviously today many want in on that blessing of power without paying or praying the price. And this is why prophets are important. They are human and can seem bizarre at times but you have to learn how to read them in the Christian context. True prophets want you to encounter your world with faith. Then life doesn’t just happen to you but you happen to life in cooperation with God!

One reason prophets are hidden at times is because they are battling life out on their own turf. Their words have to prove true! We all know there are a lot of cheap talk prophets out there. And it’s about much more than finding gimmick ways to produce funds.

The Bible says in I Chronicles 20:20: “… Believe in His prophets and you will prosper.” There is a burden on the prophet and every other true minister that the people prosper – spirit, soul and body. Sometimes that does mean that we take on abuse, sometimes it means we take on principles we either forgot or didn’t know, or needed to be corrected in a way where we didn’t realize we were going off track.

Being a prophet can sound exciting but they don’t get to choose the path. The path is laid before them, even if they are pioneers and are clearing the trails for others to discover. There are forces that oppose the Christian life until we come to the completion or literal fulfillment of it. Hindering prophets out of jealousy or even experimentation can be counter-productive. Some experimentation will happen in discovery but those who persist in “playing” with it will go into the area of sin.

Some call themselves “judgment prophets” and in its worst context, they declare false or skewed judgments outside of the Love and declared Word of God. We aren’t in Old Testament times, but New Testament or New Covenant times, our Covenant in the Body now being with and through Jesus. The job description of prophet and the other five fold is listed in Ephesians 4: 11-16. It is a work of ministry, not just declaration.

It does not mean that prophets don’t discern and learn and hear of things to come anymore, there is just an accountablity that MUST accompany it! They should be able to work with the other five fold and vice versa, but not in idolotry or dishonesty. The prophetic gift causes a balance for the other ministry. They don’t work apart!

Many are fascinated with the foretelling more than the forth telling. Sometimes people want the power of knowing the future but they really and truly don’t want that without balance. And if they fake it, there is a price they will pay, as the lie will be exposed. God doesn’t just play around. When non-pastors try to pastor, it’s a dangerous place for them.

But if you will hear the prophetic voice in all its different forms that it can manifest in, and if you see and discern that they want these words and messages for your good, you will also discern what the angels were saying when Jesus was born, that God sent Jesus for His peace on earth and His good will toward men, not their destruction.

When you realize that you can gain what the prophets who go ahead have learned, and minister reciprocally with your gifts – however that way works in your obedience to God – then you will realize that attaining where the prophet is now ENABLES them to go ahead even further for you! And today there is a company of prophets, not just one or two.

Many times prophets do suffer pain in their journey, but when the Body ministers to them – like I said, not to idolize them or condemn them – but to allow them to move forward in God for themselves – and there will be those quiet seasons for them too, just like when you or your pastor needs a vacation – then we all progress. We need the fruit of the Holy Spirit’s patience as well as our own diligence to work on our world that affects our daily Christian life with all the big picture in mind of God’s Plan.

We need to realize winning souls is winning the “whole” person, meaning not just fire insurance but a full life. When we put God first, then working out our salvation (our wholeness) will find God’s help and blessing on it! And that’s a good life!