In this new era, I hear the Lord issuing an age-old call to His Body to return to our First Love:
“I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first.” (Revelation 2:2-4)
In the last few years, the Body of Christ has persevered through much hardship; testing of all kinds; rampant deception; and a weariness that is pandemic-induced.
Many of us feel that we have become stronger warriors for it. Yet battling for truth and righteousness in the Name of the Lord is only part of Christ’s mandate to the church in Ephesus. The more important portion is abiding in God’s love.
“He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose (reveal) Myself to him.” (John 14:21)
At a time when lovelessness, hatred, and betrayal are increasing, God is calling believers into ever-deepening places of intimacy and encounters with Him: the kind of closeness where we notice and respond to the slightest movement of His eyes, just as He does with us. The Bridegroom is longing to reveal more of Himself to His Bride!
“...Go into your inner room, shut your door, and pray to your Father, who is unseen. And your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:6)
The end-time strategy of the enemy is to use spirits of trauma, fear, and division against believers to stop the ever-increasing flow of God’s love and power!
“At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” (Matthew 24:10-13)
As I listen to the Lord, I hear Him calling us into deeper and deeper intimacy with Him. Our divine Source of stability and security, love and power has so much more to release to help us overcome these attacks! But the “more” comes only from more time in the Father’s Presence!
In a normal family, a parent’s invitation to spend quality time with a child is a welcome blessing. Especially when there are multiple siblings, one-on-one time with a father or mother is rarely denied!
Yet when it comes to God’s invitation to spend time with our heavenly Father, His “children” (young or old) are often reluctant to respond to His call.
I believe God is breaking demonic strongholds of fear, pride, and a lack of knowledge of Him which will enable the broken to draw near to the Father in wholehearted love and restored intimacy.
RESTORING THE BROKENHEARTED
The Lord recently brought me into the book of Isaiah, saying that traumas and betrayals, sin and captivity are being demolished as God applies His Isaiah 61 anointing to broken hearts:
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
Because the Lord has anointed and commissioned me
To bring good news to the humble and afflicted;
He has sent me to bind up [the wounds of] the brokenhearted,
To proclaim release [from confinement and condemnation] to the [physical and spiritual] captives and freedom to prisoners,
To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord,
And the day of vengeance and retribution of our God,
To comfort all who mourn;
To grant to those who mourn in Zion the following:
To give them a turban instead of dust [on their heads, a sign of mourning],
The oil of joy instead of mourning,
The garment [expressive] of praise instead of a disheartened spirit.
So they will be called the trees of righteousness [strong and magnificent, distinguished for integrity, justice, and right standing with God], the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.
Those who take time to welcome the Father of Compassion into their own areas of loss or pain will find that they, in turn, become comforters themselves.
I hear the Lord saying: “Those who meditate deeply on these words from Isaiah 61 in this hour, inviting My Spirit to bind up their wounds, release comfort, and rub oil into broken places, will receive their healing supernaturally.”
AN ARMY OF HEALERS IS ARISING!
In the wake of one of the longest and most widespread times of difficulty we’ve ever known, the Lord is raising up an army of healers and deliverers who have accessed the Father’s compassion for their own healing and are now being sent out to release that same compassion to others.
These are the “medics” and spiritual EMT’s the Lord has highlighted to me in previous seasons (Click here to view a previous word) who will now be released en masse. These healers WILL overcome their own losses and betrayals as they meditate on the words of the Master Healer Himself:
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6; See also Mt. 28:20)
Trauma is inflicted not only through one-time events like accidents or death, but also through long-term, sustained difficulties such as pandemics or ongoing persecution. God is breaking past traumas off His Body and sending us out to heal the nations.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. (2 Corinthians 1:3-5)
SET YOUR MIND ON THE LIVING WORD!
God’s desire is that a personal, intimate knowledge of His goodness and glory covers the earth as the waters cover the sea. He longs to release His glory through us! The Spirit’s call to return to the secret place is a call to discover abundant life, which is hidden with Christ in God.
In this Hebrew month of Tammuz, I hear the Lord reminding us to set our minds and eyes on heavenly things above, where Christ is, seated at God’s right hand. The promised result is that when Christ, who is our life, is revealed, we also will appear with Him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4)
God is very interested in revealing Himself to people worldwide through experiential encounters with His Living Word. I hear Him saying:
“I would have you live, breathe, speak, and become My Word. To do so is to become Christlike, for HE IS the Word!
"The Word is the revelation of My glory. The world will long for My glory to the degree that it does not engage fully with My Word.
“As you open yourself up to My Word experientially, sharing intimate communion with Me, I will fill you with My glory and power, piercing the veil that separates us and producing godly fruit in and through you.
“Dedicate yourself to the study and application of My Word. Apply yourself to Me and I will reciprocate. Draw near to Me as holy and I will draw near to you with glory!
“Seek to know Me with heart AND mind - in Spirit AND truth. There is a reward for those who do so! In this way you become well-pleasing to Me.”
I sense so strongly that the Lord is urging us not to lose our focus, but to keep our gaze on Him through diligent study of His Word, so that the PURE VOICE of the Lord may be released at this time. Knowing the Word always precedes being a voice!
John the Baptist said, “I AM THE VOICE (of God) crying in the wilderness.” (John 1:23) In the same way, God is calling for pure prophetic voices to arise in the darkness and desert of our time.
The mystery of Christ which was hidden in previous ages is being revealed through the voice of the Holy Spirit who dwells within us!
The Lord is also highlighting Nehemiah 4 as a picture of the importance of the Word today.
In this biblical story, the Jews rebuilding Jerusalem’s wall became overwhelmed by fear and unbelief in the midst of what seemed an impossible task. Nehemiah’s solution was not to hide in fear, stop the work, or give in to the pressures of the enemy.
Instead, this wise leader instructed his workers to strap their swords permanently to their sides, essentially creating a team of builder-warriors.
In the same way, the Lord is issuing a call to hold tightly to the sword of the Word and to prayer even as we continue to build and advance the Kingdom. This renewed emphasis will provide stability and balance to those who feel overwhelmed by the battles of the current season. It will also protect those who are tempted to build without first seeking the Lord!
SPIRITUAL PRIDE AND IDOLATRY ARE BEING CAST DOWN
I have seen for several weeks that strongholds of idolatry and spiritual adultery are being brought down by the Spirit of God.
Worldly thinking reduces ministry to nothing more than titles and programs. Even ministry can become idolatry when our hearts find fulfillment in what we do rather than who we are.
The Lord is still serious about getting the world out of the church! Sadly, there have been plenty of examples of fallen ministries whose foundations were not laid exclusively on Christ.
When people’s needs become all-consuming, leaders trade the pursuit of God’s heart for mere service or the fear of man. This is a form of spiritual adultery. When leaders magnify their ministries out of selfish ambition or pride, people trade the true worship of God for the mere worship of man, which is a form of idolatry.
The shift is subtle, but dangerous: left unchecked, ministry itself becomes idolatry. The roots of idolatry and spiritual adultery include pride, selfishness, and unbelief.
By contrast, David’s army at Baal-Perazim sought God for His strategies, prevailing over the Philistines, who relied on man-made idols to win their battles. David and his men burned all the Philistine idols and received God’s breakthroughs. Because of this, David was able to restore the ark to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 5:19-21.)
In the same way, those who allow the Lord to burn and purge that which has become idolatrous in their lives, no matter how insignificant, will see increasing breakthroughs and personal victories. The burning is a precursor to the glory!
Godly ministers emerging in this time of separation and delineation are those who are consumed with passion for their Bridegroom, devoting themselves first to the priestly duty of wholehearted worship. Any other service they perform is done on assignment from the King!
The emerging lovers of God do not seek to propagate, praise, or promote themselves, but only Jesus. They believe that the Word of God is powerful enough to sustain them and the fear of God is more important to them than any substitute!
THE MASTER WAITS FOR LOVE
G. Campbell Morgan, who preached at Westminster Chapel, London in the early 1900’s, expressed it best: “He who woos the Bride can never have his heart satisfied with a servant. Activity in the King’s business will not make up for neglect of the King... The Master waits for love.”
May you be consumed with a burning desire for Jesus as you seek to know Him and make Him known. May the love of God so fill your heart that you become known as a radical follower of the Bridegroom, forever marked by experiential encounters with the living Word of God - Christ Himself - your true First Love!
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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.