Forerunners are called to sink the plow of God’s truth into the hard ground of men’s hearts and plow up hard ground caused by tradition, wounds and experiences from the past, religion, and faithlessness: Perhaps this is just such a prophetic message, with directional teaching to guide us into the prophetic and physical realities awaiting our proper response.
We have entered a prophetic hour of restoration within the Body of Christ. God desires His people to walk as a victorious people, called to Kingdom power upon the earth. It is an hour of generational prophetic destiny in which God has ordained His people to walk in power, favor, and blessing. Initially, only those remnant few who have truly learned to enter “His rest” will touch this supernatural occurrence, laying a foundation and example for the masses to follow. Many unknowns to the people with an apostolic and prophetic call are emerging from years in the cave and now showing early signs of foundational restoration. Most, in these ranks, are no-names within the Body of Christ, those who have been deemed failures and misfits, and for the most part rejected by the religious establishment.
“And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For the prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:19-21).
I hear the words ‘recover’ and ‘recovery’ in my spirit. We are in a time of recovery in which everything stolen is being returned, but of almost equal importance I also see recovery uniquely tied to “the rest” of God. “Rest” and “recovery” are virtually synonymous terms in this unique prophetic hour. Since early 2003, prophetic voices seemed to awaken to this fascinating phenomenon of rest and restoration. I feel God saying even more now than ever to “speak it.” Judge this word, as I strongly sense that we have entered a time of restoration.
Recover! Your recovery has begun. Settle into my rest and the “suddenlies” will birth almost spontaneously. Trust me to completely restore you. You were purchased with a price and sealed by My Spirit, all of which translates into an inheritance upon this earth called “your destiny.” Find the good way and walk in it for there is treasure along this path. I will restore the years the locusts have eaten, the great destroying army that was sent against you. You will drink from wells you did not dig and live in houses you did not build, for my hand of favor and blessing are upon you (your house).
In God’s magnificent way, in His magnificent timing, He often marries prophetic truth, which is His part, with His commands to us, which are our part. When we engage these commands successfully, His prophetic promise manifest in our lives. Such, I believe, is the essence of what is written here.
I have walked in “the rest” of God at times, and known its existence for years, but only recently come into an understanding that allows me to apply it daily. Even with this new understanding, I must labor daily to evidence its workings. I am constantly having to kill the “old nature” to escape the trap of the natural, and thus propel myself into this extraordinary force of God’s spiritual law, allowing me to walk in and experience the supernatural. In short, obedience propels us into the supernatural, just as disobedience binds us to the natural.
This revelation is a major key to getting into place and position with God through which destiny and purpose can come forth. Obedience is the ‘place,’ just as rest is the ‘position.’ Perhaps it is simply the hour God has chosen to awaken the Body to the revelation that “When I stop, God starts, and when I start, God stops.” It is an extension of Jesus’ words in John 5:30, “By myself I can do nothing…” It is the recognition that I can only do what I see and hear the Father doing (John 5:17-20), that I have boundaries (1 Corinthians 7:17) (2 Corinthians 10:13), and to exceed those boundaries is to leave the peace, protection, and provision of my heavenly Father. In my ‘old nature’, I am drawn to my own fears, traditions, training, appetites, ambitions and pride; all of which work against my walking in the prophetic Kingdom power (Galatians 5:16-21) available, and all of which cause me to leave “the rest” of God. When I allow myself to be pulled by these forces, I allow myself to leave “the rest” of God, and like dominoesambitiion, my restlessness pulls me back into doing my own thing.
John 5:30 is an anthem of this prophetic hour – “By myself I can do nothing…” Exceeding the boundaries of God, even in the innocence of presumption will have costly consequences! This penalty is not being orchestrated for our harm, but for our eventual good because the age requires complete understanding and patient discipline in carrying out our assignment upon the earth. Like David in 2 Samuel 6:1-13, I have often received God’s ‘direction’ without awaiting His ‘how to,’ the end result being a quagmire in which I wallowed in the mess of my own impatience. Flesh cannot touch what God is doing. Ismael and Isaac cannot live in the same house. Those who have begun to see the end of themselves will no doubt recognize this type experience, and too recognize that impatience is a stout enemy to walking in this deeper place with God.
STEER US TO THE REST, LORD
Before leaving the subject of “exceeding boundaries” let us recognize its vast importance in Kingdom dynamics. Many are shocked to see the words “selfish ambition” in Galatians 5 linked with sexual immorality, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, jealousy, fits of rage, drunkenness, orgies, etc., Ambition is respected in the World’s System, even considered a worthy character trait; hence we often see the World’s System nestled in the Church in the form of mega churches and television ministries built upon the appetites and ambitions of men rather than God. Mega ministries are not the only evidence of man’s ambitious nature in the Church. Many pastors, music ministers, and church leaders are products of their own ambition. Elder boards are filled with successful businessmen and community leaders, not for their spirituality but rather their worldly success. Much of the carnality of today’s Church is a result of man’s ambitious nature. In business, we see Christian businessmen trying to ‘get ahead’ using their own striving nature to achieve their purpose in God, a trait I am all too familiar with.
In order to tap into “God starting” something in our lives, we must yield the deepest part of our being, even our dreams and ambitions; and this is where many will get off of the bus, because we are unwilling to give up our dreams and ambitions. The irony is however, that if we would, we would find that God has something even better! Many are missing their inheritance because they are in the wrong arena, launched there by ambitions. God is looking for a few dead men! What we are speaking of here is completely losing our lives in exchange for His (Matthew 10:39/John 12:24). Most of us have found it easy enough to give up the appetites of the flesh, but impossible to give up the appetites of the soul – specifically, our dreams and ambitions, even our desire for a mate. God sees our heart and inherently knows what we are willing to submit to Him and what we are not. Since our dreams and ambitions are so deeply personal to us, coupled by the fact that they cannot be seen in an outward way, we tenaciously cling to and are unwilling to submit them to God. To us, they represent the inner core of what we want out of life. These are always the last bastions of strength in self’s war against God.
It is also important to remember that Satan was kicked out of heaven and sent to earth because of his ambitious nature. The bible identifies him as the god of this world and his force rules many. This (almost) hidden spirit, unlike lust and other forms of obvious demonic spiritual activity, is often operating in us without our knowledge. Since, as the Bible states, satan is the subtlest beast in the field, we have been sold the bill of goods that self-appointed ambition is a good thing. As an evidence of the subtly and acceptance of this spirit, most of us ignorantly impose some of these ambitious appetites upon those we love the most – our own children! Often our acceptance of our children is based on how well they perform to our expectations, and our rejection of them when they do not. The challenge remains to muster the courage to yield ourselves completely to God for His expectations of us, not ours or anybody else’s.
Self-rule is a dangerous thing to a man or woman of destiny. What caused the fall of man initially was the desire to exceed the boundaries established by God: Man wanting to be God in his own life (Genesis 3:1-6). The temptation in Genesis had to do with limits. Man was originally purposed to respect God’s limits for him and trust Him (God) that these limits were for his (man’s) own good; NOT barriers to his growth and freedom as satan proclaimed. Man fell for the temptation because he saw the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil as something that would give him power to supply his own needs (food), give him power over himself and the environment by making him wise, and make him a god by knowing good and evil. In other words, man would become independent of his Creator and God’s imposed limits on him, and man could use his own resources of self-acquired wisdom and self-acquired ability to solve problems and create what he wanted. Remember this if nothing else you read; this continues to be our individual battle today! The antithesis of learning how to tap into God’s power within us is to constantly tap into our own strength, ability, intellect, and wisdom, the result of which is stress, toil, strain and fatigue. Stress, toil, strain, and fatigue are sure signs that we are not living and walking in the “rest” of God, a place of complete and total trust where we allow nothing to rattle us: A place in which we completely trust that all things we will ever encounter are of, through, and to God (Romans 11:36), hence whatever we face we can face with confidence if we are walking in the rest.
The first major factor in entering or returning to the rest of God is the knowledge that YOU ARE NOT IN IT! Of equal importance is the knowledge, that for a period of time you can walk in His rest in certain areas and be out of it in others. Eventually, however, restlessness will take its toll in those areas as well.
As we become sensitive to factors that remove us from the rest we become more apt to stay in it. We will address this in more detail later. Our peace and joy are the first things to go, and joy is the source of our spiritual, mental, and physical strength. From here we begin to experience confusion and anxiety, and finally, we see that in giving up our rest, our physical bodies begin to suffer extraordinary fatigue and even sickness. Migraine headaches tormented me for years, but as I have yielded to the rest of God, they have become practically non-existent. To reiterate, the progression is first a lack of peace and joy, which introduces confusion and anxiety, then fatigue and eventually sickness.
In examining the cause for Adam’s fall from rest to restlessness in Genesis 3, where the desire to self-rule caused the original fall of man, we again see scriptural evidence that when we take God’s place and begin to self-rule, we fall into the trap of our own carnality and leave “the rest” of God. Make no mistake about it; self-rule in the eyes of God is the highest form of selfish ambition. With that understanding, let us examine a poignant New Testament scripture – “For where you have selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and every evil practice” (James 3:16). There is no greater form of “selfish ambition” than to rule what is designed to be led by God’s Spirit (Romans 8:14). The disorder, or lack of it, in our lives today is gauged by our propensity to rule self strictly through intellect rather than God’s Spirit.
When we worry, when we doubt, when we fear, when we accept an evil report, we are accepting that God cannot be trusted. It is during these times that we are inclined to come up with something to help ourselves and form our own direction. It is during this hour of testing that we are revealed. How many Ishmael’s must I birth before I realize that God only desires Isaac? God’s purpose can never be found in the life of Ishmael, only in Isaac. One of God’s loudest prophetic pronouncements for this hour – Ishmael and Isaac can no longer live in the same house! Works of the flesh can no longer live comfortably with life in the Spirit. Ishmael will always taunt Isaac.
Upon recognizing that we have left the rest, we now have an incumbent responsibility to re-enter the rest. We must recognize that there will be no restoration without we first enter into the rest. There are times that we must labor, even fight to get back into the rest of God (Hebrews 4:11), but just how do we do this? If we have recognized that we have left the rest, and that the aforementioned downward spiral is now taking place in our lives, what must we do to return to the rest? We must first identify the areas in which we left (the rest); areas that we have stepped back into depending upon self. Once we recognize the area or areas, we must repent and RELEASE everything to God (Isaiah 30:15) and strive, even fight in the Spirit to stay in the rest. We must recognize who is sitting on the throne of our hearts – us or God?
Release is the key to rest. Recognize and practice this key because it also is also the key to walking in true Sonship, without which there is no Kingdom walking, no Kingdom power, and no Kingdom inheritance in this earth (Romans 8:14-17). What you cannot truly release to God, you cannot truly rest in. There will never be rest without release. Let me risk redundancy by writing this again – There will never be rest without release. Release is as tantamount to rest as sun is to light. Release is often impossible with man, but what is impossible with man is possible with God. When we humble ourselves before God, the grace will come to enable us to release our fears, cares, concerns, and ambitions to God. ONLY HUMILITY will draw the enabling grace; not a false carnal humility, but rather a Godly humility that allows us to come as a little child, broken but confident that “our Father will.”
As we begin to press back into the rest by ceasing from our own efforts, we soon see the revelation of Hebrews 4:10 (Amplified), “For he who has once entered God’s rest also has ceased from the (weariness and pain) of human labors, just as God rested from those labors…”
Once we recognize that we are back into doing our own thing, we must quickly “cease from our own labor,” or as the NIV states, “For anyone who enters God’s rest also rest from his own work…” The “God Thing” can never get done as long as we are doing “our thing.” In order to enter into the true rest, where we are able to flow with the Spirit of God, we must RELEASE everything to God, even labor to stay in the rest. “Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall…” (Hebrews 4:11). Rest is a prerequisite to restoration. Rest will initiate restoration as surely as restlessness will stop it! God is in the restoring business and desires us to recover all, but for this season to be initiated in our lives we must ACCEPT that restoration will only come through our “rest” in Him. God cannot and will not work through our anxiety, bitterness, backbiting, fear and complaining.
As mentioned, the “God Thing” can never get done as long as we are doing “our thing,” or said differently, God starts when we stop, and God stops when we start. When we violate the boundaries of the Spirit, we enter into doing our own thing, and it is here that we again face John 5:30, “By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.” When our true motive is not “to please ourselves,” we will begin to hear with clarity. When we can honestly say that we have been removed as the source of our direction, then the Spirit of God is free to direct us with specifics. Why? Because now our sole focus is obedience without interference from outside motives of self. Obedience is strong within us because the desire to glorify God, through our obedience, is greater than the desire to please self. When we launch into this condition of heart, we launch into the rest of God, because now my sole purpose is to glorify God through my obedience. My will, my way, my wishes are now secondary to God’s.
What I am learning, as first taught by Arthur Burt, is that “the greater always includes the lesser.” The greater, my obedience for God’s glory, always includes the lesser, my needs being met. Why do we take into our own hands what God intends to give us anyway? Because we have left the rest, because we have again become our own source and resource!
There are measures that can and will quickly tell us when and where we have left the rest of God. The following little phrase has been around for years, but honestly pegs the question of rest. The amount of stress in one’s life is directly proportional to the areas Jesus is not Lord over. If Jesus is made to truly be Lord over a situation, we will not stress over that situation. Testing is the time that determines whether or not we have truly entered the rest. The battle has two fronts: restlessness on the outside created by circumstances, and restlessness on the inside created by doubt and fear. True rest will produce victory on the inside and is the best way to insure victory on the outside. “So as the Holy Spirit says: Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, During The Time Of Testing in the desert” (Hebrews 3:8). The time of testing is the time of revealing what is really in us. As we have stated many times, “Circumstances do not make the man, they simply reveal him to himself. A test will reveal one of two things – rest or restlessness!
REST REMOVAL FACTORS
What will remove or prevent you from the rest of God quicker than any other factor? SELFISHNESS. The KJV in James states, “Where there is envy and strife there is confusion and every evil work.” Envy is a vicious form of selfishness. When we exalt and put ourselves above anything or anybody else, it is guaranteed that the rest and restoration of God will be lost. What will get you back into the rest the quickest? Putting God and others first; putting others ahead of self (I Corinthians 10:24). A willingness to do this is a sure sign of release, which spontaneously puts you back into the rest, which ultimately produces restoration. What produces God’s miracles and favor the quickest? Selflessness through obedience FOR GOD’S GLORY, which will always spawn God’s favor in your life because THE GREATER ALWAYS INCLUDES THE LESSER. From personal experience, the lesser is abundantly beyond what you can even imagine. I have seen a number of financial miracles that spawned as a result of putting others ahead of self. What started as a selfless acts ended in financial miracles. This continues in my life today. “Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others” (1 Corinthians 10:24).
Self-interest is a peace robber; selflessness is a peace giver. Selfishness will eradicate rest and deny restoration very quickly. As stated, what I have learned in business, which I am sure applies in other areas of life, is that selfless acts based on fairness and putting others first, will bring God’s hand and favor into the deal in incredible ways. If you are a businessman, lose the naïve notion that you must use your great skills and intellect to make money for the Kingdom – God doesn’t need your skills or your money, He needs your yielded heart! Forego the World’s System for your reward and gain the Kingdom’s method of receiving. Being yielded will require being selfless, which will result in God’s immediate favor and restoration.
“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by the good life, by deeds done in humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or DENY THE TRUTH. Such wisdom does not come down from heaven but is earthly (a product of the World’s System), unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest in righteousness” (James 3:14-18).
Another major revelation in staying in the rest can be found in I Corinthians 4:4,5 – “Everything hidden will be revealed.” When something in us has been revealed, we must be quick to acknowledge it to God, seek God’s direction, and if so directed make it right with those we may have offended or done wrong. Living transparent is a key to rest. Cover up is key to restlessness. Our Father will correct us if we will allow it because “those He loves He chastens.” A true son, who is led by the Spirit will not only hear the Lord’s correction, but also will be quick to respond to it. God honors transparency; in fact, he rewards it with anointing and favor.
“It is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful” (I Corinthians 4:2). We will be given opportunities to “prove faithful” as everything hidden is revealed. What will we do with it? Will we repent? Will we acknowledge it? Will we make it right with our brothers and sisters? If we “prove faithful,” God will reward us with anointing and favor. A major key to staying in God’s rest, which results in His favor, is staying “transparent.” Cover up will stop God’s favor as sure as transparency will start it. The extent to which we live our lives in transparency, to that extent will God’s mercy, favor and blessing flow into our lives. God rewards faithfulness.
BOWING: ANOTHER KEY TO STAYING IN THE REST
What do you do when opposition comes? Do you bow to it or do you fight it? If most of us were honest our answer would be that we rise, and yet nothing will rob our peace quicker than rising against that which God sends to oppose us. It is here that we must remember Romans 11:36, “All things are of, through, and to God.” Only accurate discernment and a yielded ness to God enable us to recognize opposition as God-sent. Is the broad statement being made here stating that the opposition I face in life could be from God? Arthur Burt, whose revelation of this is deeper than any I have been exposed to, states in his book Surrender, “Every moment of everyday I am either bowing or rising: bowing and glorifying God or rising and glorifying myself…so then, finality is glory, either man’s or God’s. Which shall it be?”
Opposition is designed and ordained of God to reveal to us areas in which our heart is not submitted to God. If we will simply allow God, by bowing to the opposition, He will reveal what is in us and give us the opportunity to “judge it” – repent, so He will not have to. By refusing to see the opposition as from God, we consequently lose what God is trying to reveal as ugliness within, and consequently we lose our peace and place of rest. Again, quoting from Arthur’s book, “If I (can learn to see God) in challenging circumstances, I will bow to the infinite wisdom that permits what the almighty power could prevent.” God can allow or permit anything. If “all things work together for our good,” then we should never doubt the power and vast importance of the words “all things” in our lives. Joseph told his brothers, “It is was not you who through me down that well, but God!
It is such a foreign thought to those of us who naturally fight and contend for what we perceive to be ours, or what we perceive to be right or wrong. We feel instinctively that we must rise up and position ourselves against the wrong we perceive. Again quoting from Surrender, “Man’s attempt to steal God’s glory occurs when his heart functions out of order and instead of bowing, rises in self-exaltation (pride). More damnable than any sin, more vile than any injury a man can inflict on his brother, is this refusal to bow to God, this rebellion of the heart in its uprising as it seeks to unseat God from His throne – to become a god instead of having a God! It is the same response Eve had when satan tempted her to eat of the forbidden fruit, insisting that she and Adam would “be as gods” (Gen. 3:5). When we judge from our limited perspective, we become god, and as inevitable as darkness befalling night, we lose our peace and rest.
I recently saw one of the most powerful examples of what can happen when we choose to rest in God, even in the direst of circumstances. A local Christian family experienced the horror of losing their 24 year old eldest son to drugs. His death shook the core of many young people in this community as evidenced by the vast numbers who attended his funeral. Well in advance of the funeral the family began to sense a divine purpose and began to rest in that purpose and yield to God instead of allowing the normal feelings of anger and guilt. They soon found out that their son had attended church recently, and that the pastor had called him out and prophesied that his life would be used to turn many young people to the Lord.
Bravely, as the service ended, the young man’s father stood before the church, and with one hand on his boy’s casket he said, “Don’t let my son’s death be in vain. There is a reason for everything that happens and this is your wakeup call.” He implored the young people, as a loving father, to examine their lives. The young man’s grandfather, a local minister, came forward and gently asked if those in attendance wanted to get their lives right with God. Many accepted the Lord. As yielded vessels in God’s rest this family turned a community of young people to a loving God, and in the course of doing so set one of the most powerful Godly examples I have ever witnessed. Through rest comes restoration.
Many young people, including my sons, were spiritually affected by the tragic death of their friend, yet by choosing the “rest” of God, a family allowed their tragic lose to produce enormous gain. Through rest comes restoration, and by bowing to the Father instead of fighting and contending with Him, a community will never be the same.
RESTING IN GOD PRODUCES THE DIRECTION OF GOD
We must learn how to work while resting in the Lord (Hebrews 4:10,11). The scripture says, “The servant of the Lord shall not strive” (I Timothy 2:24). How much strife (striving) is in us? Striving is a product of the World’s System. When we leave being led of the Spirit, we automatically arrive at doing our own thing, a form of striving – “Except the Lord build a house, its builders build in vain.” When we cease our communication with the Holy Spirit and escape into what we are doing, not listening to Him, strife (striving) is upon us. Staying in the Spirit keeps us aware of God’s direction and far from striving. Adam went from a flow with God to “toil in the soil” after the fall (Genesis 3:17). What once came easy now comes with a great price. God wishes us to return to the pre fall state, where there is a flow in our lives.
Strife (striving) causes difficult circumstances in both relationships and inefficiencies in accomplishing our task. We easily escape into toil and presumption and soon begin creating Ishmaels. The ramification of this generally affects others, because we will always produce fruit that looks like us. When we touch the World’s System in this way, it releases the same spirit, the Spirit of the World, in those around us.
Our ultimate rest, which is the antidote to strife, is in finding out what God is doing in us, through us, with someone or some situation, and joining in that work (Jeremiah 6:16, Matthew 11:28, John 5:17)! Jeremiah 6:16 is essentially saying, find out where God is walking and follow in His footsteps. Jesus said in John 5:17, “I do nothing out of my own initiative.” Whatever Jesus did He did in the rest of God. He did not initiate the process Himself. He found out what God was doing in the situation and joined Him. If you want spiritual hernias all day long, initiate things God isn’t doing. Rest is found in discovering where God is already working and simply joining in.
A sure way to know where God is in any situation is to understand that God pays for what He orders. First and foremost, if He orders us to do something, He will provide us with the grace to do it, the finances to do it, and the people to do it. Ask yourself the question, what is He providing me in the way of relational resources, those individuals that are assigned to work with us on God appointed projects? What is He providing me in terms of financial resources, the monetary means through which to accomplish the task? If the above provisional resources are not in place, spiritually first and physically second, chances are God isn’t in it. Often God may be telling us that step one to accomplishing anything for Him is in appropriating the faith for the resources. My experience has been that the people will always precede the money. Those that come as result of direction from the Holy Spirit are spiritual sons; those that come as a result of the money are hirelings – know the difference!
When the cloud is moving, we must move with it, never nailing our tent pegs so deep in the ground that we are busy trying to get them out of the ground when the cloud and the crowd have left. We must be sensitive at all times when the cloud has moved (Exodus 13: 21,22). We cannot stay where the cloud was yesterday – we must go where it is for us today. The cloud is always, always out in front of us, never behind.
One of the greatest deceptions of the age is to teach Christians about faith without teaching them about strategy – strategy is an integral part of faith working. Strategy is God’s direction and “ordered steps” for us to know our part in His plan. Without strategy, faith is dead. Said differently, “Faith without works is dead.” Works in this scripture means God-appointed strategy. “With wisdom, get understanding” – Wisdom is the direction of God, understanding is the “how to.”
The book of Nehemiah is one of the greatest exposes’ on strategy in the bible. The things that burden us are often the thing God is calling us to do something about (See Nehemiah 1:1-4). Grasp this concept, “Problems guard Power” – the problems or burdens we face are often designed to give us power in that specific area. How is this so? Look at what Nehemiah did (Nehemiah 1:4-11). He prayed and got the strategy of God to overcome the burden/problem. The burden/problem Nehemiah faced was the Jewish remnant and their protection – He knew that rebuilding the wall around the city was vital for their protection. As he prayed he became empowered to accomplish the task by getting the specific strategy to overcome the problem. Did he face opposition? Daily he faced life and death circumstances, delays, deception, and supernatural forces allied against him. Unlike many in Christian circles today, he withstood mountains of opposition to take the mountain of his assignment. Opposition is a confirmation of God’s assignment, not a sign that God is not in it!
Several years ago, I felt a tremendous burden or yearning to develop a piece of software for my real estate organization. Though I knew little of how to accomplish this, I was ultimately successful by getting God’s strategy for the victory. If ever I am led to do another software project, I have now become empowered in that area as a result of my experience. The lion and the bear prepared David for Goliath. Interestingly, God will use our past to prepare us for our future.
When we have been given the strategy or wisdom to solve a problem, it is unlikely that the problem can have power over us again. The word tells us “we are not ignorant of Satan’s devices used to gain advantage over humans.” Christians are often guilty of praying for faith when in fact, they should be praying for strategy, or their specific part in solving the problem. The gift of discernment will clearly tell you when it is time to simply wait upon God or begin to pray for and enact a strategy.
RESTLESSNESS BRINGS CHANGE
While I do not feel that this word is for everyone, I do sense it is for those who have ears to hear it. Several years ago the Lord said, “Ignorance often comes disguised as tradition.” This very profound statement began to awaken me to things in my life keeping me bound and in some cases defeated, and since this writing is not about that particular revelation, I think the mentioning of it is important in embracing an understanding yet another way in which God speaks to his people. It is particularly relevant in this time of upheaval and change taking place within the church worldwide.
For years, I accepted the more traditional ways of God saying or speaking to me in a still-small voice deep within my heart. I would often extend myself past obedience awaiting His comforting voice to direct me. Of late, He has exposed yet another element of communication which I accept as normal, Godly, and accurate. This particular aspect of God’s communication originates from the Holy Spirit and is often aimed at the soul of a man: It comes in the form of restlessness, discomfort, and even anxiety. I have also determined through the direction of the Holy Spirit, that often this method of Godly communication is aimed at us when our soul’s traditions have built walls around us, walls that block the flow of the Holy Spirit to freely communicate with us.
In recent past situations God has used restlessness in specific areas of my life in order to introduce mammoth changes that were about to occur. My religious and often traditional mind-set fought against this, even feeling guilt and condemnation for the way I felt. At another point in my life, God spoke to me and said, “Anything growing will change, be open, be flexible, be willing to change.” As I pondered this, I soon realized that growth requires change and our basic human nature is to resist. There are many in the Body of Christ today who are sensing and feeling this restlessness and discomfort, even the desire for change. They sense that something is wrong but do not know what it is. These thoughts initially bring some degree of guilt but as they search their hearts further, they realize that what they are feeling is not out of order. They find that deep within themselves they are in conflict with the order of the present day church, especially those under a hierarchy absent of the five-fold ministry or freedom to arise to the calling within themselves.
God is a God of order and anything short of His order will not be blessed with His anointing and favor. The saints of God are feeling restlessness and seek destiny and divine purpose. The word of God is clear; the perfecting of the saints will come through the five-fold ministry. Without it, destinies cannot be fulfilled. We have come to an hour and time in which the Holy Spirit has increased His presence in our lives and the cry within us is to fulfill our calling. The restlessness within each of us is directional. Listen, and you will be guided to the people and places that God has chosen to assist you in fulfilling your destiny. Recognize and remember that soul ties and traditions often impede progress and though we cannot speed up God’s timetable, we can slow it down.
The word clearly tells us, “Tradition makes the word of God to no effect.” If you sense restlessness, ask the Lord why and be careful that your traditions and soul ties do not impede your destiny. Anything growing will change, be open, be flexible, be willing to change. The Spirit of God is moving to and fro upon this earth, setting order and change in the church. He is moving even now to fulfill His great plan. If you sense restlessness and a sense of departure from what has been normal and traditional in your spiritual life, no doubt God is launching something new. As you seek Him with an open heart, His direction for your life will become clear. Many, for the first time in life, are realizing ‘callings’ in non-traditional church settings – business, finance, media, politics, medicine, etc.,
REST – THE ULTIMATE WEAPON
Is much chaos around you? Are you facing one challenge after another? Does hell seem to erupt against you in routine fashion? Do you see the world in greater levels of decay? The systems of men are dying; Babylon is falling and chaos spills over this planet is grand fashion. Could it be the chaos will get worse; the attacks against us more fierce? The answer is “absolutely!” Chaos is the new normal. “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds…” Again, chaos is the new normal, but His elect will stand up, stand strong, and stand out as lights in an ever darkening world. Masses will run to the light!!!
On the surface more chaos seems devastating; but as always, the devil overplays his hand. As the chaos increases, so too does our rest (in Him). In fact, we are learning that a divine upgrade is offered; a deeper, more abiding, continuous place of rest; above the fray, beyond the reach of the flames that roar around us. As Shadrack, Meshack, and Abendigo, the furnace is ten times hotter but the heat cannot touch us. How can this be? Hope deferred makes the heart sick, we are weary beyond words, how can we sustain these attacks? The answer is simple – we cannot! Praise God: We can no longer stand on our own two feet!
There is a Master Key to all Kingdom advancement, upgrade, achievement and it is found in Isaiah 46. Those who cling to ‘man dependency’ in any way, most often self, will find this form of idolatry extremely hazardous to health. YOU are not equipped to fight this battle. However, the upgrade is “Resting in the knowledge that He has upheld us since conception, carried us since birth; even to old age and gray hair” (see Isaiah 46). He made us, carries us, rescues us, and sustains us. He and He alone is our righteousness and salvation. As we seek first the Kingdom we are also implored to seek His Righteousness (right standing with God). Verse 13 of Chapter 46 in the Book of Isaiah is a Master Key. “Positional Rest” are words that come to me. Righteousness is a result of “positional rest,” seated with Him in Heavenly places far above all principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world, and spiritual wickedness in high places. When this position is realized and accepted, REST is the result, proper government is established within us, and restoration (being totally restored) comes.
Read verses 12 & 13 of Isaiah 46 – He is bringing about His righteousness. We are not to just seek first the kingdom of GOD but also “His righteousness, And then all these things shall be added…And his salvation shall not tarry.” We won’t wait long to see the manifestation of His salvation noted in verse 13. ‘His righteousness,’ right standing IS the awareness of being seated with Him in heavenly places – this is the faith of resting in GOD. The Lord is my Shepherd (my friend and companion), and I am seated next to Him with Jesus in a spiritual place (you are watching what is happening below). This awareness is positional rest – the knowledge of ‘where you are.’ REST is knowing where you are. REST is our new weapon: REST is righteousness (seated far above all aspects of earthly activity). Those who learn to live in His Rest will not only survive but thrive in today’s world of collapsing systems. Your rest is your weapon, causing you to soar far above the confusion and chaos of a decaying, dying world. God is preparing a banquet table before you in the presence of your enemies. You are ‘growing and becoming and you don’t even know how’ – it is just happening!
True Rest is the place of arrival (the City not built with human hands), where you no longer strive or try to achieve – you are content that your provider provides what He wants you to have, and whatever that is is enough. He is my defender, protector, healer, and provider – I need nothing else. In this, I REST!
THE POWER IS IN THE REST, being in His Presence, the secret place, the place of deeper encounters with Him. To REST is to soar with Him – the two go hand-in-hand. GREAT BREAKTHROUGH IS COMING TO THOSE WHO ENTER INTO HIS REST. The Captain of the Lord of Host is with you always; He will never leave or forsake you. Rest is the ultimate form of trust, even when I walk through the valley of the shadow of death – He is with me. In this, I REST!
SELF-LIFE – AN ENEMY TO THE KINGDOM!
As the light of God continues to brighten through an awakening people in this dark world, the forces of darkness, assigned to shut down that awakening are also at work. They exercise, through our flesh, a shutdown of all God intends to do (through us). A powerful center of this attack is focused upon a yet unsurrendered part of our humanity – a part that clings to ‘self.’ The need to look out for ourselves denotes a lack of trust – it is a diabolical enemy of the advancing Kingdom in us. Man dependency (often self) is the old nature and of the world; just as God dependency is of our new nature and a product of Kingdom citizenship. To the extent one depends upon God, to that same extent is he walking in the realm of Kingdom government.
‘Rights’ are an entitlement issue. ‘Responsibility’ is a Kingdom issue – one decidedly wrapped in our old nature, the other in our new nature and Kingdom citizenship. Rights always focus on me, my, I; responsibility always focuses on God (always asking what is my spiritual responsibility is this situation)? When my concern is always ‘rights,’ seldom can I see spiritual responsibility in the same circumstance. A very important truth can be added: The two cannot occupy the same space! Circumstances don’t make us, but do reveal us. As earlier stated, Arthur Burt taught “God allows in His wisdom what He could have prevented in His power.” If indeed “all things are working together for my good,” I must exercise trust and discernment when circumstances arise that seem to work against me…the test is on, my steps are ordered, I MUST PASS THE TEST!
As the ever advancing Kingdom continues to rise and ‘awaken’ us, so too are we called to “shine” in our rise – there is purpose in the rise, even greater in the shine; yet many remain hung in suspension between the ways of the world (self life) and the ways of God (Kingdom). Being ‘hung up’ keeps us from rising up, and able to shine up (demonstrate the gospel through our lives). Our ‘hang-up’ is our inability to let go of self-preservation; clinging to a ‘rights-mindedness,’ virtually erasing our spiritual responsibility and subsequent growth in that very same situation. The spirit of entitlement is now pervading the earth as never seen in world history, yet as the world and many Christians are hung up on entitlements, many Kingdom citizens are learning Kingdom assignments by first accepting Kingdom responsibilities in situations they face – the test is on! How will a man receive the Kingdom of God? Through many, many test and trials – Acts 14:22. The test are many until we quit fighting to self-preserve. Once we die, we can live and walk in the Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven – John 12:24. Every seed must first die that it might live and reproduce after its kind.
The word Kingdom and the word government are synonymous terms in most biblical uses, as the Kingdom in us is on full display when we walk in peace, righteousness, and joy in the Holy Spirit. When these three are nowhere to be found, somewhere along the way we strayed from the government of the Kingdom within us. This is costly; this is error but has consequences for our good if we attune our ear every time peace, righteousness, and joy escape us. In other words, the mistake can be our launch pad for growth if we simply recognize ‘why’ the peace, righteousness, and joy left to begin with. Often the culprit is turning to self instead of God. Situation after situation after situation comes UNTIL we finally surrender, and ultimately see God can be trusted in “all things.” When this point comes, we begin to see our spiritual responsibility in “all things;” as we surrender any and all rights in those same situations. The Kingdom arises, we shine through a demonstration of the word made flesh; bringing the Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.
Perseverance is the character of a true Kingdom man, who recognizes opposition goes with the territory: fierce opposition goes with the calling!