Genesis 7:11 says, “…on that day, all the fountains of the great deep were broken up and the windows of heaven were opened.” The fountains of the deep could represent the hearts of mankind. As hard-heartedness is broken up and gratitude, worship and thanksgiving gush forth, the heavens respond in a torrent of Divine blessing.
Matthew 25:29: “For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what He has will be taken away.” The ones who “have” are the ones who choose to focus on what God has given–even if it is little, even if it is in seed form. The who “do not have” are those who are focused on their lack (ingratitude). Gratitude forces your focus to shift from what you do not have to what you do have. And what you focus on multiplies! This is a spiritual law and works for all who apply it.
So today, even if you feel overwhelmed by pain or lack, draw upon God’s grace to “enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise.” He will receive the faintest whisper of gratitude with a smile and will multiply that precious sacrifice.
May His beauty rain down upon you today….
When Adam and Eve sinned, mankind fell from spiritual dimensions and became subject to a very limited 3-dimensional reality and the constraints of time. Death claimed body, soul and spirit, and we were separated from God. When we are “born again,” our spirits are literally born again! We have passed from death unto life.
So our prayer should not be, “God, change me into something different.” Instead, it should be, “God, remove all that is hindering me from being who I truly am.”
Our spirits are “seated with Christ in heavenly places” (Eph. 2:6). And now, our souls are being restored, “transformed by the renewing of our minds” (Rom. 12:2). We are being changed “from glory to glory” (II Cor. 3:18). We are already transformed at spirit level, so now our souls are experiencing the process of sanctification, as His life flows out from our spirit, affecting our soul and body. It is the maturing process, just as a baby grows–not into a different person, but into a mature adult, able to function in the fulness of the destiny for which he was created.
So, no matter how high we go into supernatural, heavenly encounters, it all goes back to the basics of the cross and of Jesus’ shed blood. His blood poured out is the doorway that allows us to be born again of a different bloodline, one with no memory of the fall. When His flesh was torn and the veil of the temple was torn from top to bottom, the separation between us and God the Father was removed, and the veil blinding our eyes from seeing and experiencing the realms we fell from was removed, too.
Because of the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross and because He is alive, we are free to enjoy every heavenly realm. We are no longer bound to the limitations of earth and it’s dimensions!
Now that’s exciting!
Everyone who lives in this fallen world has known hurt, to a greater or lesser degree. Often, we respond to hurt by closing our hearts, in hopes of avoiding future hurt. We build a wall. The problem is that, when we do this, we must either keep everyone out or we must begin walking in judgement, deciding who is safe to allow behind our impenetrable fortress. Walls are all about self-protection.
But God has a better way…. He desires to be our protection, our fortress. Instead of walls of self-protection, He builds around us boundaries of His protection. He heals our wounds and dismantles the strongholds attached to them, showing us that our heavenly Father loves us and is strong enough to keep us safe. In that place of trust, we are free to open our hearts and to receive from imperfect people, knowing that God is our source, that He knows what we need, and that He can use anyone He chooses.
As a child (either natural or spiritual), we often respond sinfully to hurts by judging, retaliating, protecting ourselves or becoming offended or bitter. It is the expected response of a child, which is why Jesus warns us of the severity of offending “one of these little ones.” Once our hearts are defiled with these things, even from long ago, all we can do is be honest with ourselves and with God, releasing it in the safety of His healing presence and allowing Him to purge, to cleanse and to restore. Then, as we mature, He holds us to the higher standard of not allowing this defilement inside our souls in the first place, “turning the other cheek.”
Walls or boundaries.. we all must choose. But God’s sheltering wings are better, as we learn to live with an open heart… as He teaches us how to love.
Today, God desires to release fresh hope, encouragement and strength to those who might be growing “weary in well doing.”
Because the western church tends to be more conformed to our “fast food” society than to the true ways of God, we have unknowingly preached a quick fix gospel that leaves many weary and disillusioned. The institutional church system tends to allow people to remain immature in their walk with God, weak in spirit and more dependent upon man than God for spiritual food and spiritual help. We have misinterpreted hardships to mean that we are doing something wrong or that God has abandoned us. Often we “try” what we expect to be a spiritual quick fix, and when it doesn’t “work” (meaning our situations are not instantly better), we feel that we have failed, that what we tried was not valid or that God has let us down. In reality, we just do not understand the process of maturity.
I Peter 4:12-13 says “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.”
The same passage from The Message reads: “Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.”
MIRACLES FLOW WITHIN (NOT IN PLACE OF) THE PROCESS OF GROWTH! Do we believe in miracles? Yes! Are we going to continue contending for the manifestation of all that Christ promised us and died to give us? Absolutely! Are we teaching that we must earn what Jesus has already freely given to us? Never! But often, when we do not instantly see our miracle, it is because God desires that we build a framework to properly steward that miracle. If we are given a miracle and do not have the strength or maturity to properly steward it, we will be judged, just like the unfaithful servant. So often, God, in His mercy, waits until we are mature enough to steward what He desires to give us. Perseverance in prayer is not about convincing God to give us something. It is about building within us a framework to house that promise. This is why we MUST NOT GIVE UP even when the process seems long and hard, and even when we do not understand.
Abraham and Sarah are perfect examples of: “THE GREATER THE PROMISE THE GREATER THE PREPARATION!” It is like the familiar example of the butterfly and the cocoon. If we try to “rescue” the butterfly from his struggles emerging from the cocoon, he will die, because the process of breaking free is what gives his wings the strength to fly. So, BE ENCOURAGED! DO NOT BELIEVE THE LIES! DO NOT GIVE UP!
We are contending for the “restoration of all things,” asking to walk in the realms, dimensions and the total dominion that Adam lost at the fall. These are not small things. And so…. the strength and maturity it will take for us to be able to properly steward these things will not be small either.
We have been wandering in the wilderness, allowing God to get the slavery out of us, so that we can rule and reign in our Promised Land. Now, we are at the threshold of crossing over. Like the 12 spies, we have a choice. Yes, there are giants. But God is asking us to be like Joshua and Caleb and, while acknowledging the magnitude of what we are facing, not to give up and not to give in. If we will do this, we, like Joshua and Caleb will be allowed to eat from the fruit of a Promised Land that is reserved, for the most part, for another generation.
Come join us tonight as we release this timely word of encouragement, as we break off the disappointment and hopelessness of the last season, and as we release an impartation of fresh grace and strength to cross over!
The 7 Spirits of God: Sent by the Father to Equip us to Rule and Reign
We have shifted from CHURCH AGE to KINGDOM AGE, and, with that, from a primarily priestly function to the Order of Melchezedik—King and Priest. Hebrews 7:17, which quotes Psalm 110:4, affirms that Jesus is a “priest forever after the order of Melchezedik.”
Revelation 5:8-10: “Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; For You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.’”
Ephesians 2:4-6: “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”
We, as a corporate body, have crossed over into the Promised Land. The wilderness was all about getting the “slave” out of us—both personally and corporately—because a slave cannot rule and reign. Even if a slave is given “houses he didn’t build and crops he didn’t plant,” he will sabotage his external circumstances to fit his limited view of himself.
A religious system programs everyone involved to be a slave. In this system, you will either function as a victim, a victimizer or a savior—all of which are controlled by each other and all of which are powerless.
Revelation 2:1-7: “To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, ‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent. But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”’
Notes from the original Scofield study Bible says this: “From nikao, ‘to conquer,’ and laos, ‘the people,’ or ‘laity.’ There is no ancient authority for a sect of the Nicolaitanes. If the word is symbolic it refers to the earliest form of the notion of a priestly order, or “clergy,’ which later divided an equal brotherhood (Matthew 23:8) into ‘priests’ and ‘laity.’ What in Ephesus was ‘deeds’ had become in Pergamos a ‘doctrine.’”
So, the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which God hates, literally means to conquer the people and manifests whenever the clergy controls the laity. We see this every time we allow ourselves to be manipulated, exploited or controlled or every time we are controlled by the needs of a victim rather than being led by the Holy Spirit. Eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good, we push past the grace of God, allowing the victim to depend upon us, when God is trying to grow him to maturity.
But God’s true design is for each member of the Body of Christ to operate in his or her God-given functions, roles, gifts and responsibilities, serving and honoring each other as led by the Holy Spirit in a safe atmosphere of unconditional love, age-appropriate responsibilities, and healthy boundaries communicated honestly in love. It looks like a healthy family, which probably very few of us have been privileged to experience. It is love vs. fear, freedom vs. control, and responsibility vs. blame shifting.
The key lies in Revelation 2:7—The Tree of Life, which is absolute dependence upon God. Hearing from God for ourselves automatically takes us out of the slave role and empowers us to do what He is telling us to do. We no longer need to blame others, but can accept responsibility for our own walk with God. We no longer need to control others, but can simply be pro-active in controlling ourselves. We no longer need to react to the needs or the abuses of others, but can proactively respond by doing the will of the Father.
This is how Jesus functioned on the earth. And this is what we have said yes to: being an earthly picture of a heavenly reality, “on earth as it is in heaven.”
For those who have become adept at surviving the religious system, the shift may feel uncomfortable, unstable or unsettling. It may trigger insecurities, as we shift from over-dependence on man to absolute dependence on God coupled with healthy interdependence with others. Some may even unconsciously attempt to recreate a situation in which they are occupying a familiar “powerless” role.
But in this hour, God is growing His church to maturity, and we have the privilege of saying yes to this process of growth and maturity, this freedom wrapped in responsibility, which will enable us to rule and reign with Him.
In Revelation 2:1-5, the lampstand, (the menorah) represents the 7 Spirits of God mentioned in Isaiah 11:1-2: “There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of His roots. The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and Might, the Spirit of Knowledge and of the Fear of the Lord.”
Several years ago, in a powerful encounter, the Father revealed that He has sent them to us:
1. To grow us to maturity
2. To teach us the protocols of the kingdom
3. To teach us how to go “up and down, in and out, to and fro,” (or, in other
words, to teach us how to live out of the heavenly realms and dimensions from which Adam fell from and that Jesus died to give us back)
4. To teach us how to interact with spiritual dignitaries
Proverbs 8:12-16 is a companion passage, revealing their vital role in equipping us to rule and reign: ““I, Wisdom, dwell with prudence,
and find out Knowledge and discretion.
The Fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate. Counsel is mine, and sound Wisdom; I am Understanding, I have Strength. By me kings reign, and rulers decree justice. By me princes rule, and nobles, all the judges of the earth.”
And so, Father, we come to You now, in Jesus’ name, asking You to reveal all areas of powerlessness in our lives, so that we can repent and can be healed and strengthened in You. We receive Your ministry, Spirit of Truth, and thank You for “guiding us into all truth.” We submit to Your dealings in our lives, and ask You to grow us to maturity, so that we can rule and reign with You. We now receive Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Might, Knowledge, the Fear of the Lord and the Spirit of the Lord. And we accept the crown and throne (the seat of rest and of authority) that You, Jesus, died to give us. We yield to You, asking You to make us an “earthly picture of a heavenly reality,” for the glory of Your name and the advancement of Your kingdom. Amen!