Therefore be patient, brothers and sisters, until the coming of the Lord... be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. Do not complain, brothers and sisters, against one another, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door. As an example of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. We count those blessed who endured. (James 5:1-11)
When the Captain of the Army of the Lord appeared to Joshua just before his battle for the Promised Land, Joshua asked him: "Are you for us or for our adversaries?"
The angelic commander had an unusual response: he was for NEITHER side! He told Joshua: "Remove your sandals... the place you are standing is HOLY."
Just as Joshua needed to look up to see the heavenly battle, so it is important for us, in a time of increased division and multiplied accusations, to remember that we do not war according to the flesh. Joshua would need more than partisan support to conquer Canaan; he would need military strategies, supernatural perspective, and patient endurance! So will we.
My heart weeps over the strife in our nation and in the Body of Christ. Never have I seen Christians pray more than I have this past year. At the same time, never have I seen such division among Christians, especially prophets and intercessors, over the “rightness” of their beliefs, whatever they are. Sadly, sectarianism exists in the one place where it shouldn’t even show its face. Jesus came to break down dividing walls, not build them!
Being "right" should never be the motivation for sharing what we do. The moment we tip the scales that way, our hearts are out of balance! Our plumb line is Jesus. We are measured not just by how true we are to what we hear God saying, but by how lovingly we communicate what we hear. I am concerned that like Joshua, we may fail to discern that the place where we stand - our place in the Spirit - is indeed holy.
When all else is stripped away, believers should be carrying the standard of the cross. There is no other unifying ground for us; there is no greater truth for those who have yet to believe! If I am really aligned with Christ’s cross, I will not criticize or judge others in my heart any longer. I will understand the weight of the price Jesus paid for unity and freedom. I will have the patience to wait for God to act on my behalf, no matter the issue. Hebrews 12:3 reminds: "consider Him who endured... so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."
We are not meant to be right; we are meant to be one! On the brink of what could be another civil war in this nation, it is alarmingly clear to me that we are not measuring correctly; we have not yet learned to love.
BALANCE, PARTNERSHIP, & FAITH
Today we are standing at the edge of what we know will be a battle not just for our nation, but for our spiritual inheritance.* Many worthy generals and commanders of the faith have gone before us, paving the way for new recruits now arising in God's army.
This is a time to restore balance and partnership in the Church. Balance comes as we keep our eyes on Jesus, not the problems, and remain in step with each other. Partnership is developed as the wisdom of the old and the strength of the new work together.
In a dream this morning, I saw again the airplane that the Lord had shown me in a vision last month. I saw that it was time for the last "boarding call" in the Spirit. Most people had embarked on this plane already, but there was a rush for the remaining few to ascend into the aircraft.
In the dream, the Lord highlighted to me that one of the passengers (whose name in the dream meant "disciple") had lost her cell phone. She had heard the boarding call and obeyed, following all the others, but she was not actually "connected" to Holy Spirit herself.
This is so significant to me, since what is coming will require believers to know how to "soar" in supernatural things, not just natural things! Our faith is in a supernatural God, and in supernatural weapons, strategies, and outcomes.
In the dream I quickly got off the plane and found her cell phone lying in the grass. Her phone was lost and turned off; there was no power. There could be no clearer image of the danger of not staying connected to the Lord right now through prayer and the Word! In this case, wisdom saw what was lacking and compensated for a lack of foresight.
I believe we will soon see barrenness and spiritual famine in our land. The current "shaking" is by the hand of God and will expose things for what they truly are, both in the church and outside of it. The shaking isn't pretty, but the exposure is good. Those who are hungry will seek food!
I believe that these judgments - or the discipline of the Lord, if that is easier to swallow - are meant to bring deliverance to the church and mercy to our world. They are the actions of a loving Father who is agreeing with His children's prayers for justice.
This does not mean that believers can sit back and wait for the storms to pass.
On the contrary, we are called to release a storm of God's goodness and glory; establish justice; and provide relief for those suffering in the wake of difficult days. In the Spirit, there is a call to war with violent prayers and fearless love!
We are coming into a time when darkness will be as thick as in the land of Egypt in Moses' day, yet deliverance will arise from God's anointed light-bearers. These "luminescent" ones will find their internal "power switches" and be turned on in the Spirit. We will recognize each other as spiritual lights in a dark place. The world will recognize us as those who are doing signs and wonders through the power of a supernatural God!
Exodus 11:23: "The Egyptians could not see one another, nor did anyone leave his place for three days, but all the Israelites had (supernatural) light in their dwellings."
God historically made a distinction between those who love Him and those who disobey. During the ten plagues in Egypt, God told Moses: "I will put a division (distinction) between My people and your people. By tomorrow this sign shall be in evidence." (Exodus 8:23)
Why does God do this? Exodus 9:16 reads: "For this reason I have allowed you to live, in order to show you My power and in order that My Name may be proclaimed throughout all the earth."
The shakings we are seeing will be followed by the strong breath of the Lord, "blowing" away the chaff in our lives and our nation. I believe it will look like a fresh Pentecost! After this will come a "burning" or "marking" process of the Lord that will bring forth holiness. (Click here for a video on this prophetic word).
Knowing all this, what do we do now?
A prayer walk this week led me through a graveyard. It seemed a fitting tribute to both my mood and the times! As I entered the cemetery, I saw a granite tower which intrigued me.
Curiously, I approached the tower and saw that its inscription read: “Amos” and bore the dates of the man’s birth and death in colonial times. Because I have sometimes been called an "Amos" (or "plumb-line") prophet, I was immediately attentive; because the timeline corresponded to the foundation of our American nation, I kept reading.
Beneath "Amos" was the word “Patience,” the name of his wife. Together, the words seemed to form a message: “Amos, Patience!”
Because I like to "play" with words, I thought this an interesting coincidence! I continued walking deeper into the graveyard, still praying, and came upon another tombstone-tower. When I looked at this second inscription, I was shocked. Almost unbelievably, this stone also said: “Patience!”
Coincidence? No! It is through patient endurance that the saints inherit God's promises.
Moses once murdered an Egyptian in his impatience and pride. He could not deliver Israel until he developed patience, humility, and love.
The way of the cross is love, not pride; humility, not anger. The word "PRIDE" has an "I" at the center of it. That "I" lies deep in the alphabet of excuses for wrong behavior!
"PEACE," by contrast, has the Author of all good things at its center. Let's direct our zeal and our focus toward Christ in prayer, and refrain from storming opponents with pride or self-righteousness!
We as Christ's Bride are nearing full term; we carry the precious seed of life-giving revival and a weight of glory through unity that is unprecedented. We must expect opposition. (See Rev. 12) Through love, humility, and patient endurance, let's give birth to a holy child: a great movement of Immanuel; heaven on earth!
© Deborah Perkins/www.HisInscriptions.com. Cover image by emerging artist Faith Najem; used with permission. Reach Faith at < faithnajem777 at icloud.com. >
*Dutch Sheets, "GiveHim15" Prayer App; click to view.
Free Link to the Subscriber Resource Library when you join His Inscriptions!
A severe hearing loss from childhood caused Deborah Perkins to develop what she now calls her secret weapon: tuning in to God's voice. A Wellesley College graduate and an award-winning writer, Deborah is now a wife and mother of 3 boys. Deborah has devoted over 25 years to professional and lay Christian ministry in New England and beyond. Her passion is inspiring people to cultivate greater intimacy with God.