|GOD IS CALLING: "WILL YOU OBEY ME NOW?"||| Print ||
|Written by drk|
|Friday, 24 October 2008 05:40|
GOD IS CALLING:
"WILL YOU OBEY ME NOW?"Bill Click
A few weeks ago while running some family errands, I had a very interesting experience. Whether traveling, walking the aisles of the department and grocery stores; while banking or getting the mail, I had to resist the feeling that I was always in someone's way, that someone wanted to be where I was (& couldn't wait until I got out of their path). No one seem to be connecting with each other. Everyone seemed choppy and abrupt, no one seemed to use courtesy, and there wasn't a smile to be found on the face of anyone.
Being the way I am, I asked the Lord: "why do things seem so jumbled and awkward here so much of the time?" This was the Lord's response: "things are out of order in the natural realm here because they are out of order spiritually." I saw again how much our area needs transforming by the Spirit of God- how much the spiritual climate here produces such an obvious, observable, physical reality.
After continuing to pray concerning the ways things are "out-of-order," I was specifically led by the Spirit of God to relay what God shared with me concerning the spiritual climate of our area, what stands in the way of change, and what will be required to see the tremendous promises of God fully manifest for the body of Christ.
I. THE HIRELING SPIRIT: HERE IF IT 'WORKS' HERE UNTIL SOMETHING ELSE COMES, OR: "UNTIL WHAT I'VE REALLY BEEN CALLED TO OPENS"
It's no surprise that leaders of God's people often have such a this-age perspective of how God wants them to become what He's called them to be. In almost every church tradition, the model for progression in ministry is no different than the climb up the ladder in secular society. When this mindset controls the perspective of God's leaders, it flows outward transferring to the congregation and infecting those who are being called and prepared to go forward as "ministers" as well.
The hireling spirit knows the "Godspeak;" it knows how to spiritually phrase the plan for the development of "my ministry." It is clever, precise, and has all the right actions and mannerisms down pat. The 'heart of the warrior,' the 'compassion of Christ,' the 'good of the congregation,' and the use of 'good wisdom' all become metaphors of self-protection, self-advancement and self-achievement to the one with the hireling spirit, because what they are doing is really all about them, not Jesus Christ or His body. They will serve (as long as what they want to accomplish through the 'service' will result). They will war (as long as the prize is more exposure, more resources, more influence or more support for what they want to accomplish). They will love (as long as it gets them what they are after). They will work (if they can insure there is no real risk involved; no real possibility of jeopardizing their personal security). First and foremost to them is the path of upward mobility into the "destiny" that they have charted for themselves, often based on ideals that are North American (not New Testament)-- values they have received (& transmitted without questioning) from those who have 'had' what they wanted, or from those whose ministries they have idolized and are striving to emulate.
A particular manifestation of the hireling spirit is evident in copycat doctrines or programs. It is much easier to do something others have tried and found true (& what that means is it's proven popular and will likely bring the desired result)-- eliminating the need for true Apostolic strategy or simple faith and trust in God. A hireling seeks to become adept at employing the successes of others in their own context, and hides behind 'wisdom' as they seek to substantiate the righteousness of their approach by pointing out to those whom they may be accountable that others have been successful with this technique. It's hireling, it
produces Ishmael, and it results in dangerous religious bondage (because it takes the body into "forms of Godliness which deny the power thereof").
For example, the "prayer of Jabez" emphasis. Sure, it comes from Scripture, but the emphasis is incomplete and one-sided. The balance is Jesus' teaching that Godly division is often the result of true obedience and that we must be willing to lay down all established relationships (if necessary) because they all too easily become encoded with idolatry and control (Mt.10:34-39/Lk.14:25-35). The extent to which so many mimic 'winds' such as these should be proof enough that leaders often prefer getting their insights secondhand and/or by following those they admire rather than hearing and obeying the Spirit of God. We criticize mainline groups for their liturgical emphasis and their weekly common readings in their churches, but we fall prone to following every wind of doctrine more easily than we imagine. It's time we repented of following the crowd, found the cloud, observed its direction and followed it with our face steadfast toward Jerusalem, being willing to suffer any consequence rather than risk being disobedient or grievous to the Holy Spirit.
Those of the hireling spirit continually deal with the question they repeatedly ask themselves in their hearts: Should I stay or should I go? From the original prophecy I received for southern Ohio on April 20, 1999:
"The housecleaning for leaders will be in the form of ministers and
congregational influences who are out of position being moved out, while
those who remain will be purified, and the remodeling will be in the form
of new concepts of ministry and character that I will mandate that have
always been in my Word, but these are no longer going to be neglected,"
thus says the Lord. New leaders are going to come to the forefront and
some of the more visible ones of this area will fade into the background.
This divine shakeup/repositioning in leadership will even cause some
leaders to run from this area not because of God's open door, call or
commission, but because God's visitation is not going to honor them,
while others are going to be elevated, and it is going to be a tremendous
blow to their ego and pride. The Lord says, "if my chosen leave, apart
from my express desire, then their shame, embarrassment and reproach will
The Lord promises that "those who weather the coming changes without
concern for how these will affect their image, standing and influence
among others will become more resounding in their brilliance if they
choose to honor those who are receiving from God regardless of their
position or lack of Saul's armor in reputation and appearance of
readiness." The Lord is also saying that "to go on with Me as a leader in
this area is only going to be possible as my mouthpieces and handmaidens
spend their energies on digging deep within the well I've placed within
their heart to follow my Kingdom principles in relationships and use less
energy and attach less importance--priority-- for some much less--
on trying to make things happen."
When is it time to stay? When you don't to, yet you know God wants you to in order to lead His people into greater freedom by risking personal rejection and criticism of various types, in various forms, from various sources. Usually those called to 'stay' will be those God can use to righteously influence others in high places in a denomination or fellowship group or network of churches or ministers (yet always at a high-risk price tag).
If you are called to stay in this area, you must settle once for all that you can no longer use the platform, reputation or influence you may have attained to continue providing comfort and security for yourself you must see your 'way up' for what it has become: a divine positioning in order to receive and fulfill a revolutionary calling to reformation. God is NOW requiring an obedience that will risk everything: position, platform, recognition, reputation and/or audience attained in order to fully reveal Him.
To obey God in this hour, you must lay down any acceptance, and use the position God has given to you to speak prophetically for the sake of calling those you lead upward, be willing (& ready & able Lk.14:25-35) to finish what you start, and realize that God has given you the platform you have for "such a time as this" in order to reveal, announce and impart the need for change with all the strength and heart that is available in the bosom of the Father to enable you for the task.
To stay is to 'get into the fray,' be willing to give all, ready to start over (if necessary) in a new day and way with God after the dust settles. But 'to stay' and obey God is different than 'to stray' by remaining and doing nothing to set in motion processes which insure God's Voice is heard and opportunities to obey Him is received.
When is it time to leave? When you don't want to because your natural heart is tied to where you are, your relationships are set, you are financially committed, you can't imagine being anywhere else yet you 'know that you know' God is moving you on, has shown you that this won't work, and that you must enter a transition of faith that will lead you (at first) 'down,' but (eventually) 'up' (Jn.12:24/Mt.23:11-12). When you know that it's not going the way God wants, when you face that those you serve and/or lead have no intention of obeying the Spirit of God, when you realize that your denominational, congregational or network relationships are preventing what God wants, when you cannot obey God as you are, where you are. . . you must go.
But sometimes it's time for an entire congregation to make a 'move;' it's time for a 'coming out' from the religious stench that is only producing bondage to fear. Congregations will have to begin walking in the truth they've been shown; leaders will be required to take the entire group out of existing relationships into new ones.
The Lord is clearly showing me that if you won't move forward, then the possibility that always exists will become reality for many in this hour: those who cannot wait any longer for 'revival' or 'the move of the Spirit' or 'the five-fold ministry' or 'the New Testament church' will leave you and find something they can better relate to especially if they feel alienated, excluded, pushed-aside, or have been allowed to believe they have not been received. This is now going to increase in occurrence and intensity. The effect is going to have a greater consequence on the corporate condition of congregations than it has had in the past (and such occurrences have already resulted in more than one church disbanding in this region!)
But whenever those who 'leave' arrive at their next destination, then the prevailing hypocrisy of leaders in the body of Christ is many times exposed. Leaders love when people come into their 'alive' church from out of a 'dead' one. This not only fattens the congregational purse, it massages the ego of the leadership by falsely assuring them they are on God's cutting edge. But changes from ICU to a regular ward wing won't 'cut it' even when your RN's & LPN's are excited to see patient improvement. Don't mistake the ones you've welcomed in on life support for the Harvest God has promised, or as proof you have obeyed God.
Leader of God's people: you have been willing to receive ones from other camps, yet when you are being told by the Spirit of God to go outside your own camp in order to obey God as you know you should, you refuse! (Heb.13:13-14). No amount of transfer increase will excuse you from the expressly revealed will of the Father that you are going to be accountable to the Son for! The Spirit is grieved by your rejection of the truth, even though your ego is massaged and you have labored mightily to become totally convinced that you've done 'a good work for the Lord.' Your 'good work for the Lord' is a stench, because God has revealed a path requiring you to proclaim and demonstrate greater truth, is calling you to model the example of deeper commitment, and is requiring you NOW to expose and discard unscriptural religious traditions you have been using to put people in bondage (and they sounded so spiritual). Everyday you continue to stay as you are and yet hope things will change you put more people in bondage and lay up judgement for yourselves. Talk about insanity! You have coveted other's members and their money, yet you have rebelled against what you've firmly and freely told others they must do. What's worse? you would rather do anything than consider doing it yourselves! (Mt.23:1-15).
II. THE CORPORATE CURSE: ALLOWING THE CONTINUED CURSE OF GOD'S PEOPLE
AND FAILING TO RELEASE INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD
Do we believe the Word that there are blessings and curses attached to financial obedience? Do we teach the tithe without apology, insisting (and following through) that a mandatory requirement for anyone in service is their current status of full financial covenant with God? Do we understand that people who serve in our churches who are under the curse of the "taker" release that curse and reproduce it each and every time they serve, because 'like produces like' and God cannot bless what is cursed? Do we really want to be accountable for this? Is our 'house' a channel of blessing or just a 'drop box' for receiving 'tithes and offerings?' If there is no release into good soil coming from your house into the Kingdom according to right authority and the leading of the Spirit of God, you have no right to expect increase financially, in soul winning, in maturity growth, or in reproduction of the callings of God!
Do you teach "the graduated tithe?" Nine percent is just as non-covenant to God as zero percent! (Although 9% is preferable to you if you are compromising the truth for the sake of making the budget). It's not the edge of a swimming pool we're after here, it's the fully-flowing river that will flood southern Ohio with His Glory! The Scriptural challenge in testing God is in bringing in the whole tithe, not 5, then 6, then 7%, etc. That's still a cursed status, one whose only use is to help 'prop-up' the Ishmael strategy of the one who compromises "for the sake of relationship."
Afraid they'll leave if you put it that way? Well, if you prefer the cursed "tips" that those with power and influence throw your way (if you please them) to the honorable obedience of those who would become the blessed of God (because you estimate the "tips" would be larger, the building more full, and the budget more secure), who will prevent you from doing so? Just don't expect to move forward God's way by doing such . . . for you won't! Do not let cursed people 'operate' in your churches, and stress they will receive nothing from God because of their double-minded spirit . . . even in the prayer line. One can't have the promises of God without releasing to Him what He's conditioned them on!
III. FIGHTING THE 'SEEN' WITH HUMAN 'WISDOM' INSTEAD OF BEING
"MIGHTY THROUGH GOD TO THE PULLING DOWN OF STRONGHOLDS"
When we strive to bring change to the political realm we do a 'good thing,' but we have falsely equated the mission of the Kingdom with transforming the visible, political 'realm.' The Word of God says that "what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal" (2Cor.4:18) We tend to operate exactly opposite. We mistakenly think that outer change will result in transforming the inner man. But even when coerced or deterred from sin, unless the heart turns to God there is no change. Modifying behavior can help to preserve society, and may be better than nothing, but it is less than (and not) what God has called us to.
We are "salt" and "light." The world is a better place because of us through the power of God, not the influence of law. Receiving, revealing and releasing the mind of Christ and taking "every thought captive to the obedience of Christ" is the "God thing." We have not renewed our minds to see the true nature of the battle which surrounds us. "We do not war against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Eph.6:12). To prevail against those of flesh and blood who practice wickedness is not the answer. There are multitudes standing in line to take their place. But we believe if we change the outer structure of society that we do God's work and bring change. Preposterous! That deception results from our preferring "the form of Godliness" to "the power thereof." Principalities and powers remain unmoved by political change, for it takes them little effort to manipulate the actions of whoever are in high places, keeping their maneuvers concealed by greed, blackmail, threats, and evil partnerships designed to facilitate protection and self-advancement.
But when the church 'pulls down' that which "exalts itself against the knowledge of God" providing revelation and intimacy with Him, creating an "open heaven" in which the Spirit can establish the Kingdom, real change can and will come!
How can this happen? It can and will happen as we suspend our predetermined ideas of what God wants to do and allow Him to reprioritize us by the Spirit and Word of God. How does your evaluation of 'how things are' take place? Who determines the direction of how you serve the living God? Is it the media, the trends of humanity, those whose 'pockets' you are afraid of, or the Spirit of God? When you Prophetically 'hear,' 'see,' and 'say' that which God is leading you into, then the stage will begin being set for the Apostolic dimension of 'going,' 'moving' and 'pioneering' that will establish the will of God with you and throughout southern Ohio!
IV. FAILING TO UNDERSTAND SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY: BOTH GOD'S AND THE ENEMY'S--
RELEASED IN SPECIFIC GEOGRAPHIC TERRITORIES
The Word shows us how "the prince of the power of the air" organizes and deploys forces throughout specific territories to subvert nations, kingdoms, localities, and people groups (Dan.10/Eph.6:12/ 1Th.2:17-18). How do people end-up becoming more like their surrounding culture than the Christ who sovereignly bought them and longs to give them more than just "a mansion in glory?" It's obvious. The prevailing 'prince' over the territory has more influence over them than their God in their thinking, their decisions, and what they ultimately believe and practice. This demonic influence is advanced primarily through culture, tradition and local media. This is the essence of the message to 6 of the 7 churches in Revelation 2-3, and although various 'calls' are made, the common theme is that each must "overcome" (nikon, nikonti, 2:7,11,17,26; 3:5,11).
Whenever we run up against the "that's the way people are in this area" wall, it's a sign of the influence of the prevailing principality. Moreover, it's a call to specific intercession for lifting up the name of Jesus Christ and "pulling own" this stronghold that God's people have a valid opportunity to receive who Christ really is. If they do, then they can witness an authentic demonstration of Him as a prelude to being fully established in their hearts and minds as His. We must walk in this knowledge for victory to come in this area! We must refuse to receive or believe that "it's always been this way; it's never going to change." We must love the 'bound,' but we must set them free by the truth, and we must believe in this truth at all costs!
V. REFUSING TO SEE OURSELVES AS A SPECIFIC EXPRESSION OF THE BODY:
SET BY CHRIST & ORDAINED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT'S AUTHORITY
Deliverance will begin to come when God's leader's perceive and receive the rightful measure of authority they're specifically given in an area of ministry and/or geographical territory. The enemy stays organized in territories (and tries to convince us otherwise) because of the realization that the essence of Apostolic authority is equivalent to being "sent." The enemy does not want those "sent" to see themselves as "set" here by Christ and backed by the Spirit's power; the enemy wants them to (instead) feel 'stuck.' The enemy does not want any sort of functional unity, and that's why there's such stress on doctrinal
differences by those yielding to that spirit. The New Testament Apostles understood that which God had called them to do, where God had called them to do it, and the alignment God had given for it. They also understood that they must stay within their sphere of authority-- in territory, activity, and in Spirit-led, kindred relationship (2Cor.10:8,12-17).
Apostles God has "set" in this area will be able to look back on a specific experience in the Spirit (or perhaps several) which informed them as to their calling, location and even mode of Apostleship. We can look back on several experiences in prayer and through prophecy (later) by those who did not know us (after arriving) that we were called here to bring in an Apostolic/Prophetic expression of the body of Christ and to fill this area with Prophetic and Apostolic foundation, revelation, equipping and authority, instilling hope and faith throughout southern Ohio. God has given us specific assignments in this regard, specific decrees to make, specific tasks to complete, some to visit to move in the Spirit of God, and told some others to reach out to us because of their sense what God wanted to do in mutual relationship.
There are many with the calling of "Apostle" throughout this area, who-- regardless of the degree of their maturity of understanding in what God is wanting to do through them-- are being urged by God to receive a greater vision, an increase in anointing, and a bonafide sense of kindred-oriented functional unity which will enable their leaders and churches to better perceive and proceed toward what God is doing. Denominational influences/intimidations can be strong, but we must see ourselves as part of a greater local body, not those of "Paul,""Cephas" or "Apollos." God isn't calling for corporate mergers, or the formal assimilation of congregations by those larger or more successful; God is calling for leaders to realize once for all that no one can do it alone, that we must work together by being willing to freely assist, enhance and submit to one another.
VI. OBSTACLES TO APOSTOLIC COOPERATION & CO-LABORING
WHICH MUST BE OVERCOME FOR THIS REGION TO MOVE FORWARD
We understand it is difficult for those who lead (& often those who sense they are called to lead) to receive from others. But we must overcome these reluctances if we are to receive from each other in the way God intends. 'Roots' of 'fear,' 'pride' and 'control' are the 'buttons' of self-defense and unbelief which often erupt whenever the truth of the development of a collective pool of Apostolic leadership is heard of or considered.
'Fear' is a sign of lack of maturity in God's love (1Jn.4:15-21), 'pride' is the manifestation of the Luciferian spirit (Isa.14:12-17/1Jn.2:15-17), and 'control' is witchcraft (1Sam.15:23/Gal.5:20). Responding to God's plea with these manifestations will hasten the day of His previously warned judgement and reserve a place on the 'ash heap' of sinful suffering (Job 1:5;3:25), the fall from favor and position with God (Lk.10:18/Rev.12:7-9), and rejection as His anointed (1Sam..15:22-35).
DON'T FALL PREY TO THESE DECEPTIONS:
fearing how those you minister to might react;
concern that you'll lose control of 'your ministry;'
rebellion because you'll have to grow in areas you don't want to deal with;
fear of rejection by other leaders;
hiding from you'll be discovered in your sin (instead of covered in His love);
worry that you may 'lose your place;'
unwillingness due to 'cost' in pride, finances, or humility by receiving from others;
hesitancy to 'risk' denominational, fellowship or 'peer' relationships;
unbelief: feeling it is unnecessary because you have ministerial fellowship.
Let me be careful to state that we don't believe 'we' are the answer. God doesn't need 'us' for the task. But, let me add this: if what existed now in this realm were adequate for the challenge that is before us it would be resulting in real, lasting change in our communities. It's obvious that change such as I am describing has not taken place. For such change to take place, everyone who leads must obey God's leading- whatever that is (Ro.8:12-17). Only then will the promises God has made have a valid opportunity to come to pass.
More than anything else, however, this is a revelation of the condition of our area, a proclamation of what God wants to do here, and a call to those who know they need to repent and adjust so they can move farther forward developing some relationships that will help them have a legitimate opportunity. It's so crucial right now that we understand just how much The Head of The Church wants to align His Gifts and ministries locally and throughout this region to accomplish what He wants in our cities. It's so important that we be willing to receive from others to move toward what Paul called "the whole
counsel of God."
But ultimately, it comes down to disconnecting ourselves from our activities, our external identities, the many superficialities and carnal hopes of becoming 'bigger and better.' That is, if we are going to receive what God has given through the Gifts of Christ. "NOW IS THE TIME, THERE IS NO OTHER" were the Words the Holy Spirit specifically shared with me. The question is this: what will you do with the opportunity God is giving you? Will you yield to what the Spirit is saying to you?
GOD IS CALLING: "WILL YOU OBEY ME NOW?"
|Last Updated on Sunday, 12 February 2012 12:39|