Occasionally our spiritual journey brings us to a place of strategic convergence: a place where the many strands of our intricately-woven lives seem to intersect and "sync" with what God is doing. God brought me to just such a place last weekend. I had the unusual opportunity to hear three different Christian leaders speak in a span of three days. And apart from the fun I had in taking a break from routine, I want to share some of the joy I had in discovering how beautifully these leaders' words "synced" with each other, and with me.
I attended two conferences along with a few of you connected to His Inscriptions. We listened to Chuck Pierce, Dutch Sheets, and Shawn Bolz, each respected leaders with different callings. The overarching themes were two-fold: remembering and releasing.
Chuck Pierce is an apostolic leader who has heard God speak about remembering our covenant roots, both individually (our history is often a key to our victory) and as a nation (America was founded on Christian beliefs). To apply this principle spiritually, we need to return to Jesus, the Root of David (Revelation 22:16) and remember our first love (Revelation 2:4-5). We need to be in touch with where God's glory-cloud is moving next, and break out of our stagnancy. To quote him directly: "It is time to break out of our conventional ways of thinking. In a movement you have to MOVE! It's time to shift from last season's prototype" and "move with the glory" as Israel did.
How do we do that? Biblically, when the glory of God moved, the tribes of Judah, Zebulun, and Issachar moved first. (Note that the sons of Issachar were called "men who understood the times" in 1 Chronicles 12:32.) Judah was the tribe of worshipers, and Chuck noted that "the sound of worship in a place is connected to the move of God." His point? God wants to move us beyond our current borders. It is time not to pray that darkness be pushed back, but to MOVE it out with our worship. We need to walk through the open door, into the new things God has given us in this season. We do this with our sounds: our declarations and our worship.
Remembering the power of worship will help release us into the next season.
Dutch Sheets spoke on the power of our testimony. In an inspiring encounter with a rabbi, Dutch learned that Hebraic thought about time is not linear but cyclical. In other words, we westerners tend to think of events as one-time occurrences, when in fact, God regularly does the same thing over and over again, but on a higher level. When God healed you, He released power for that healing. When you testify of the healing that happened yesterday, more power is released in the Spirit realm for healing to occur today, for you or for others. This is why we're supposed to be healed when we take communion: we take the elements in remembrance of Him, "proclaiming the Lord's death till He comes." (1 Corinthians 11:26).
When God "remembered" Hannah, she conceived. (1 Samuel 1:19-20). When David recounted killing the lion and the bear, he went on to kill Goliath. When we remind God of what He has done, He does it again.
Remembering and relating our testimony releases God's power again.
There are three things hindering the move of God in the Northeast region, according to Shawn Bolz: a spirit of cynicism, an intellectual spirit, and a lack of love. It is time to give up the cynicism and speak a good report, like Joshua and Caleb did. It is time to abandon the idea of personal character or reputation as king, and allow the anointing of love to flow freely. It is time to use our prophetic gifts to disarm the intellectual spirit and reveal the love of God. Our character should be motivated by love, not mandated by ministries.
Bolz's challenge was for us to avoid using prophecy or discernment as a "diagnostic" for sin or as fuel for criticism. Our strategy, rather, should be to trust God to use someone's testimony and gifts even if they are not yet fully healed. This flies in the face of those who are building the church, not the people. How deeply can we love and empower others? Can we let go of our own need for self-protection and help others to go further than we have gone? Can we show others how to mature without paying the high price we have had to pay?
The testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy. Our prophesying should be full of the love of Jesus, exemplified by a good confession, and confirmed by changed lives.
Remember that the ultimate goal of prophecy is to release the love of God.
Are you willing to worship God as He moves you beyond your current borders and limitations into a new realm of glory? Are you ready to return to your roots and allow Him to transform your history into a new and powerful testimony? Are you able to give up criticizing and intellectualizing, and reveal the love of God to the people around you as you go? These three leaders believe that above all else, it is what we are remembering and releasing that empowers us for the next move of God. What do you believe?
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c.Deborah Perkins, 2014. All references NKJV unless noted.
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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.