I want to share something the Father shared with me today with a view for the whole Engaging God programme members – and anyone else – to respond at noon on Wednesday 1st of April for 15 minutes to release a wave of love frequency by intention around the world and continuing weekly or however often you feel to led to continue.
Lived Loved, Love Living and Live Loving
Son, call for the sons of God to arise and take their places in the rest of their heavenly positions to rule.
From rest, release the love, joy and peace needed to overcome the fear that is lowering the frequency of the planet,making it more susceptible to disease.
Issue the call for global action so that I can bring good out of the present situation.
Son, know that I love all of My children and want none to be lost in fear but all to come to the true knowledge of Our perfect love that will cast out all fear.
Son, issue the rallying cry to arise and release Our perfect love into the spiritual atmosphere all around the world.
Son, choose a time to send a wave of love around the world starting at 12 noon for 15 minutes. Saturate your atmospheres with love, joy and peace daily to subdue and overcome fear.
Son, greater grace is available to those who know perfect love. Where sin abounds the divine enabling power of Love even more abounds.
This is the time for Our children to arise and shine love’s light into the darkness of fear to dispel it.
Creation can be set free from its bondage to fear and corruption by the glory of sonship shining love’s light brightly from the heavens into the earth.
Let’s celebrate God! He lavished every blessing heaven has upon us in Christ! He associated us in Christ before the fall of the world! Jesus is God’s mind made up about us! He always knew in his love that he would present us again face-to-face before him in blameless innocence. God found us in Christ before he lost us in Adam! (Eph 1:3-4 Mirror Bible).
God lavished His blessing upon mankind, from the very beginning, to empower us to fulfil the plans he has always had for us. He had a plan, before ever things went wrong, to ensure that His original intention would be fulfilled. He always knew that we would appear before Him righteous – in what Francois Du Toit calls ‘face-to-face blameless innocence’.
To be ‘blamelessly innocent’ it must be as if we never did anything wrong. Is that how we think of ourselves? Or are we still thinking of ourselves from the perspective of the history of our life, all the things we may have done in our life that we are ashamed of, all the things that were not quite aligned with what God wanted us to do? He does not look at it like that! He found us in Christ before He ever lost us in Adam. I love that thought. Already, God was looking to restore everything, even before we messed it up. He has already made a plan for us to be face to face before Him, blamelessly innocent.
He is the architect of our design; his heart dream realized our coming of age in Christ. His grace-plan is to be celebrated: he greatly endeared us and highly favoured us in Christ. His love for his Son is his love for us (Eph 1:5-6 Mirror Bible).
If there is going to be a restoration, and He is the original architect, then surely that restoration will be in accordance with His original design. He had a dream in His heart, and He is going to bring that dream to fruition. This is cause for celebration! And it is grace, His divine enabling power, which causes that to come about.
The secret is out! His cherished love dream now unfolds in front of our very eyes. In the economy of the fullness of time, everything culminates in Christ. All that is in heaven and all that is on earth is reconciled in him… This is how we fit into God’s picture… (Eph 1:9,11 Mirror Bible).
Restoration is unfolding before us. It is not just an event that will happen some time in the future, but a process that is already in motion; a process in which we have a part to play as maturing sons. There is an element of past, present and future in all of this. If everything on earth and everything in heaven is reconciled, and reconciliation is restoration of relationship, and we are ministers of reconciliation, then can we begin to see how we fit into this picture?
Repent and return
Peter, leading up to his mention of the restoration of all things on the day of Pentecost, says:
“Therefore repent and return, so that the sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you…” (Acts 3:19-20).
In reality, he is already talking about restoration. Repentance, we know, has nothing to do with being sorry enough about something to cause God to respond, but everything to do with getting God’s perspective on our situation and agreeing with how He thinks about us. And we have seen what God’s perspective is: blameless innocence.
Returning has to do with coming back to our original identity and purpose. The sin is the loss of that identity, our losing sight of the original image of God within us, a loss which has caused us to act in ways which have damaged both ourselves and others. Our whole fallen identity has been blotted out and wiped away; every accusation against us nailed to the cross.
‘Refreshing’ is the Greek word ‘anapsyxis‘, which means a breathing space(1), an opportunity to catch your breath and breathe easily again. God breathed life into Adam in a face to face encounter, and he became a living being. In this promised refreshing, God is looking to breathe the breath of life into us again:
He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20:22).
Jesus breathed on them; this was a face to face encounter in which the refreshing breath of God was imparted to the disciples after his resurrection. Continually refreshed in His presence, we will never need to try to draw from another source.
More than that, as Bill Johnson has remarked, “Whenever God restores something, He restores it to a place greater than it was before.”(2) Restoring our status as living beings is only the precursor to our being able to mature into the godlike beings which, as sons of God, He always intended us to be. He does not seek to restore us only to what we were on earth, but to what we were in the heart of God; in the ‘what was’, outside of time and space.
…and the God of the peace Himself sanctify you wholly, and may your whole spirit, and soul, and body, be preserved unblameably in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thess 5:23 YLT).
Young’s Literal Translation has it right. Most translations say ‘at the coming’ of our Lord Jesus Christ, but that Greek word ‘parousia‘ is really rooted in ‘presence’. If you are only looking to be sanctified and without blame sometime in the future when Jesus returns, then you will likely miss out on the potential of it happening now. But if you see it as the ‘presence’ of the Lord which brings refreshing as He breathes into us and restores us on a moment-by-moment, breath-by-breath basis, then you can enjoy that as a present experience, here and now. Because …you werewashed, but you weresanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God (1 Cor 6:11, emphasis mine).
(1) Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible, via biblehub.com (2) Hosting The Presence: Unveiling Heaven’s Agenda(Bill Johnson; Destiny Image, 2012)
Every one of us, whether we know it or not, has an inheritance that Jesus died to secure for us. It includes our identity, our redemptive gift and our destiny. If we choose to cooperate with what God has prepared for us, then we will find total satisfaction and fulfilment.
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book (scroll) were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
All God’s thoughts about us are good, because He is always smiling over us. Some people present Him as an angry God waiting to pounce when we get it wrong. That is not the God I know, nor is it the God revealed in the person of Jesus (who is the exact representation of God’s nature). He is always running with open arms to embrace us even when we do get it wrong, because His deepest desire is for relationship with us.
But there is a battle going on for our destiny. There may be problems to solve, messes to clean up, and raw materials to be shaped. Don’t let the obstacles, opposition or past mistakes stop you fulfilling all that God has destined for you, instead see them as stepping stones. He brings good out of every situation.
Perhaps you feel constrained, contained, limited by your life circumstances? God can explode the walls of the box your life seems to be in. Even if religious or political authority, position, power or laws are against you, God is bigger than all that. Willing hearts are all He needs to work with.
What is your destiny?
Most people never know what their destiny is. Of those who do, a small percentage know from childhood, but the majority only find out between the ages of 30-50, when perhaps they have more time to reflect or are more mature and willing to listen. But our age does not need to restrict us: Caleb was 85 years old when he took possession of his inheritance.
Here are three kinds of evidence to help us identify our destiny:
Physical evidence (what we can see or deduce by examining our lives).
Relational evidence (what God says to us).
Heavenly supernatural evidence (what is written on our scroll in heaven).
Abilities and desires
We can look for the things God has included in our design that have no cultural, generational or nurture basis, qualities unique to us. Abilities and desires which none of our family or peers share, our reactions to events and situations, the positive and negatives which stir us, these are clues we need to find. What lights us up, what do we find fulfilment in already?
But beware, brokenness can also be a strong driver. Say we lost a close relative to a particular disease, we might find purpose in running a campaign or support group for sufferers and their families, but that could be a hindrance to finding our true destiny. So let’s be sure that we are really looking at clues to God’s design, and not the results of our own brokenness.
These are like the Lego or jigsaw pieces of our destiny; we need to put them together to see the bigger picture.
For me, they include:
my inquisitive desire to understand how things work
my concern for issues such as racial inequality and injustice
a fascination both with history and the future
a liking for science fiction, the unexplained, the outside-of-the-box, broadening the perspective of the possible.
mountains always being special for me.
Later on, I was drawn to the Bible, to study it, to meditate in it, and eventually to encounter God in it, and that was something He placed in me. And I was always attracted to revivals, to moves of God’s Spirit. None of this could be explained by nurture, or by brokenness.
We should also look at the challenges we face, at opposition seeking to hinder us.
I had a fear of public speaking. I could not even read aloud in class! Yet later on, people kept asking me to speak. Eventually I did, and now it is one of the main things God uses me in.
I had to overcome serious health issues, and pursue living in supernatural health for myself. So now I have a testimony which can help others do the same.
I had no fathering, no mentor, and thus no sense of identity; I experienced being let down and betrayed, which led to loneliness, so I struggled with community and relationship. But all of those are things God is calling me to be involved with.
Are there character issues with which God keeps having us go around the mountain, until we deal with them? Negative personality traits He is asking us to work on? Things He gives us repeated opportunities to get transformed? Those, too, are clues.
Let’s not be limited by our past, nor let cultural constraint, gender, race or social standing stop us. God really is no respecter of persons.
Let’s surround ourselves with the right connections and associations, with people who will encourage, challenge and support us. Let’s be willing to obey even if God asks us to do something unexpected or unusual. Let’s not be passive, but actively pursue our destiny.
We can develop an intimate relationship with the God who has these vast thoughts about us. If we can learn to listen to and speak with God daily, then surely this is the simplest way to get to know our destiny?
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places (Ephesians 1:18-20).
God has made resurrection life available to us to enable us to fulfil what He has called us to do.
God is releasing a sound, a vibrational frequency, calling us to come into alignment with our heavenly destiny. It is coming out of the spiritual realm. People are hearing it, all over the world (and not only believers).
Deep calls to deep at the sound of Your waterfalls… (Psalm 42:7).
We can engage Him in this sound in our worship. We need to tune into that sound, to engage our spirit with the creative light realm, that spiritual dimension all around us where we can access every spiritual blessing.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:3).
And raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Eph 2:6).
Our destiny has been particularly fashioned for us, and involves ruling in heaven and walking it out on earth.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them (Eph 2:10).
Scroll of destiny
We saw in Psalm 139 that our destiny is recorded on a scroll. We can go into the record room of heaven and see the scroll of our destiny and the scroll of our life. When you compare the two, you can see where they line up (and where they don’t).
So let’s engage our destiny, fight for it, be prepared to be transformed for it. This is a good prayer to pray if you want to know your destiny:
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way
Then I said, “Behold, I come; In the scroll of the book it is written of me. I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your Law is within my heart” (Psalm 40:7-8).
God has placed it in our heart, so we can engage with it (and with Him) there. We give God access into our heart and He gives us access into heaven:
Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne… After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things” (Rev 3:20-21, 4:1).
Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near… (Heb 10:19-22).
In the heavenly holy place we will find the arc of the covenant. The blood of Jesus is on the Mercy Seat, which always gives us access to come. Inside the arc are manna (representing the will of God for our lives), the tablets of stone (representing God’s law now written on our hearts) and Aaron’s rod (a symbol of authority).
Let’s go there now.
Use the player above to hear an audio version of the following activation, or use this link: https://goo.gl/8s6uLA (opens in new tab/window).
Close your natural eyes And open the eyes of your heart, your imagination. Think of a door. Picture the door in your spirit. Jesus is knocking. Open the door, let Him in.
Feel His love, acceptance and affirmation.
Hear the sound of many waters, feel the vibration of His presence. He embraces you and draws you close to His heart. He affirms your identity He affirms your calling He affirms your destiny.
Listen to His voice. Feel your heart engage. Feel the desires of your heart released.
Now think of the door standing open into heaven. Step through that door.
Jesus takes you by the hand And leads you through the veils To stand before the Arc.
His Name is manifested as you stand in His presence: יהוה (Yod Hei Vav Hei) The Lion, the Ox, the Eagle and the Man. The Presence of God manifests between the wings of the cherubim.
Open your heart to Him. Let Him unfurl your scroll. Let Him write and reveal the contents of the scroll onto your heart.
Let Him cause those longings, yearnings and desires to be released within you.
You can eat the manna, as it reveals more of God’s will for you. Feel the energy. Pick up the rod and feel the authority, the confidence and boldness to fulfil your destiny.
And now you can step back into this realm…
I would encourage you to practise this daily, to feel and engage with the presence of God in the realms of heaven. Expect your heart to be changed, expect your destiny to be revealed and the longings that God has for you to be released.
We saw in the last post that every redemptive gift has a particular principle that operates with it, and a blessing or birthright that goes with it as well.
The ‘principle’ is simply how things are designed to work, or (if you are looking for something more technical) it can be defined as a universal, non-optional, cause-and-effect relationship. The ‘birthright’ or ‘blessing’ is how creation and people are supposed to benefit from our gifts.
Let’s look at the principles and birthrights of each gift in more detail:
Principle: Design – the art of weaving principles together in order to produce change.
God speaks to prophets before He does anything (Amos 3:7), because prophets are wired to bring about change. The principle of design is foundational to all the other principles. God has called the prophet to study principles (to look at problems and opportunities) and assemble them into sets that produce results.
The passion of the prophet is to take themselves and others to the outer limits of excellence with God, to explore the boundaries of what is possible (and nothing is impossible with God). The prophet wants to demolish barriers and expand our understanding so that we can go further.
The prophet will display a picture of God so dynamic and real that it moves people out of their comfort zones (which can become prisons) and into a journey that will bring them to fulfilment of all God created them to be.
God gives more spiritual authority to servants than to other gifts precisely because they will not use it for their own ends. They are not infected with the empire-building germ like the other gifts. The servant’s prayers for leaders carry more weight than other gifts.
The servant has the highest level of authority over the Death Spirit in spiritual warfare because God desires to set people free and servants serve the needs of others. God trusts the servant to do only what He has asked them to do.
Authority over land (restoration of ecology) comes naturally to those with a servant gift.
The servant walks in holiness in their own life. They are willing to embrace a high calling of holiness and bring a sense of purity and cleanliness.
When the servant hears truth spoken it resonates deeply.
The servant has the tenacity to reach out to the wounded and hurting (not limited to, but especially in, family situations).
The servant finds fulfilment in being a life-giver to enable others to do their work.
They provide cleansing and authority to others.
There is a deep desire to empower others to achieve their best.
The teacher is to walk in responsibility in every area of their life.
Their highest responsibility is to worship God. They must make worship a lifestyle, that they would anticipate and enjoy being with God.
If the teacher is carnal they will be selectively responsible and unwilling to impose responsibility on others.
The teacher would prefer to work hard at persuading people to change, rather than confronting them (or their behaviour) head-on.
A teacher must realise that their relationship with God is of primary importance, because otherwise they will just be bringing theory. There is no value in expounding theoretical principles to others without having worked them out yourself.
The teacher must know who they are as they walk out God’s will and then reveal the manifest presence of God to the rest of the body of Christ. Again, this must come out of personal experience and not just study. The Lord wants to be present in the life of the teacher, having them experience and celebrate Him.
Principle: Sowing and Reaping
Exhorters will use their life experiences to help others: therefore they must embrace pain and suffering. The most difficult area for the exhorter is to suffer rejection. But they must confront sin and be willing to face rejection from within the community without becoming disheartened or taking it personally.
Exhorters must incarnate truth, must live it out, through the authority they receive via their own personal experience. An exhorter who has gone through pain and suffering is well placed to use their own testimony to help others who are experiencing the same.
Know God personally and experientially, which involves taking some time away from people in order to truly know God and have His authority.
The body of Christ is dependent upon the exhorter becoming all God created them to be; God has called the exhorter to be a world changer!
The giver knows that God doesn’t want 10% of their finance/assets; He wants everything the giver is and has. This is about establishing relationship so that they are able to release blessing. Money is not the issue, it’s about their relationship with God.
Example: in Job 31:16, Job had an incredible relationship with God, and was a good steward of his money and assets. He walked in high justice, holiness and ethical behaviour in all that he did.
The blessing for the giver is to release a generational anointing. The giver has the authority to release a generational blessing into their family line and community and be a life-giver through blessing (and again, this is not just about money). Givers have a desire to see others succeed and prosper in fulfilling their destiny; they give to enable others.
The giver is to have a generational worldview – to think long-term.
Example: Abraham received authority from God and passed it on. He changed the world and was considered a friend of God.
The ruler is to go from bondage to obedience to freedom. But rulers have the tendency to be focused on task and do what’s required – and not walk in freedom. The ruler must learn to walk in spiritual freedom.
Like the giver, they are good at making things happen in the natural, but God wants this to be in the context of total dependence upon Him. The ruler is to be first of all righteous.
Generational freedom from sin.
The ruler is to release generational blessings into the world and the spiritual realm. The ruler who honours God and goes beyond obedience will possess a high level of spiritual authority. The ruler is called to express that immense authority in the heavens and release it to the generations.
Examples: David, a man after God’s own heart, and Noah.
The ruler must seek God to find out what He has called them to do and then honour Him in walking it out.
No other gift has the spiritual dominion that the ruler has.
By design, the mercy is able to engage spirit to Spirit with God. This is the highest fulfilment for the mercy, who loves intimacy with God. In Hebrew thought, every end is a new beginning, so the mercy needs to find fulfilment – if things are partially done, they struggle.
The mercy finds fulfilment in God and imparts blessing to others.
As the mercy is sanctified they sanctify their environment (time, people, place) and are able to transform the sinful into the holy.
Where do I fit?
In going through these characteristics, I encourage you to ask ‘Where do I fit?’, ‘What is it that I resonate with when I read these things?’ so that you begin to see how God has made you to be. Some of us may need to stop fighting against these characteristics and embrace them, especially if the way we have been brought up, or other people’s opinions, have caused us to undervalue or even reject them.
If you would like more detailed questionnaires which open as Excel spreadsheets and do the calculations for you, you can find examples of those here (#1) and here (#2).
Please note that Arthur Burk, an acknowledged expert in the field, says that even the best tests he has seen are only about 60% accurate and he declines to use them! So do bear in mind that all of these are only indicators and may give different results. We will look at some of the reasons for this inaccuracy next time.
Appreciate the other gifts
Let’s learn to appreciate our own gifting. And the reciprocal argument is also valid: let’s acknowledge that people with different gifts to us will think and operate in ways we just don’t understand. We need to learn not to be frustrated, but to appreciate them too! This is part of a culture of honour. We will more readily live in harmony if we recognise that God has hard-wired each one of us to respond to Him in a unique fashion. In music, harmony is created when a number of different but related notes are played together to create a really pleasing sound. We are not all the same, but God has called us to relate together.
Getting a handle on this can be really helpful if we are working in a team on any kind of project because we can assign tasks to individuals in line with their gifting – and avoid asking people to carry out tasks for which their gift is not suited. Let’s learn to honour the different gifts in one another and receive the blessing and benefits which those gifts confer.
Yet how many of our churches function in ways that reward those who conform and marginalise those who don’t? How would it be if we were to learn instead to prize distinctiveness rather than uniformity, as God does, and to see how beautiful diversity can be in making us a ‘whole church’?
However at that time, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are no gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back to the weak and elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again? (Gal 4:8-9).
Relationship releases us and empowers us. Religion enslaves us. Are we serving God in order to have a relationship with Him? If we are, we will end up in religious bondage. Or do we serve because of our relationship? That will bring us into life.
Every one of us can enjoy a relationship with God. He has reconciled us to Himself through the cross. It is a free gift of grace. Sadly, though, we can be enslaved all over again by going back into religion, back into dead works, trying to please God – and trying to get a relationship with Him (when we already have one) – by what we do.
We serve God not so that we can have a relationship with Him but because we already have a relationship with Him in Christ. We serve from the security of our relationship with Him, so we are co-heirs with Him. We work with Him, not for Him. If we are working for God then we will be looking to get something in return. But if we’re working with God, we’re working in partnership with Him and simply enjoying all the blessings that brings.
Who has labelled us?
Who has given us our identity? Who has labelled us? What labels have people put on us? Parents, siblings, friends? Authority figures, society? What has labelled us – and do we still believe the label? How do we label ourselves? Is it according to our past and what other people say? Or is it according to what God says about us?
If we label ourselves ‘sons’ then we will think, feel and act like sons. If we give ourselves some other label then we’ll think, feel and act the way we labelled ourselves instead. Who are we agreeing with? With God, or with what other people say?
Where do we get our identity from? From what we do? From our work? How do you introduce yourself? I’m a doctor, I’m a housewife, I’m a cleaner… If your identity is so tied up with what you do that you cannot separate it, then what you do has power over you.
Some of us will get our identity from relationships, with a father, mother or husband, wife, friend… Those relationships can define us. People join clubs – or even gangs – because they are looking for identity. They are looking to belong. Whereas, in God, we already belong.
Culture itself can provide our identity. I am British, and British people have a reputation for being stiff-upper-lipped. Is that who I am? We can adopt those traits and it can affect how we are when we could be seeing and hearing what God says about us and getting our identity from Him.
Too often people base their identities on what they do, on anything from their jobs to their roles in relationships and their pursuits, and by doing so they significantly limit their lives. The truth is God intends for all people to find their identity in Christ. That is where we will find the truth of who we are and embrace it.
The abundance of a beloved child
Mark Driscoll says, “if you’re a Christian, your identity encompasses all the abundance of being a beloved child of God”. It encompasses the abundance, the overflow… everything it means to be a child of God (in reality, that was the case even before you became a Christian). But our spirit has to grow and overrule the soul. It must overrule everything that has told us who we are, everything that has naturally defined us, so that our spirit decrees who we are, based on what God says. Then we can live in the truth of that identity and revelation of who we are and why we are here, and we can start living our lives fully in Christ.
You are reconciled to God; you are accepted as a child of God; you are adopted into His family. You are a saint, not a sinner; you’re blessed; you have a new spiritual identity as a son and an heir. Believe it. Start thinking that way, start meditating on that. Start embracing what God says about you!
By virtue of our adoption, we have been given a new name, as a son, not a slave, a new legal standing and status. Accepted; not alienated nor condemned. A new family relationship: God is our Father, not our Judge. A new image: the image of Christ. these are awesome things that God has done for us.
Knowing your identity is the key to knowing and fulfilling your destiny. Because if you don’t experientially know who you are (that means actually know it by experience, not just know about it), then how can you know what belongs to you and what you are called to do? If you were the son of the Queen of England but you were taken as a baby and put into another family, you would never know who you really were. And we have been robbed, we were taken into captivity, so (even though we have now been released) we have never known the fullness of who we really are.
But God is revealing to us in these days who we really are as His children; what sons really do in the kingdom of God; and what our inheritance really is in that kingdom.
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect (Rom 12:1-2).
God wants us to be ready for His glory to come in increasing measure. If we are not ready, we would be foolish to venture anywhere near His glory, but God is looking for a people who can stand in that glory and reflect it to the world. We need to be transformed.
Discipline, not punishment
Transformation requires discipline, but let’s not confuse discipline with punishment. We may have been brought up by parents or teachers who punished rather than disciplined, and we will have to overcome that if we are to allow God to discipline us. He is not there threatening us with a big stick. If that is our view of God, then we need to repent (think again, line up our thinking with how God thinks) and deal with that mindset. It is His kindness that leads us to repentance (Rom 2:4), not fear of the consequences. To be sure, every action has it own consequences, but God is not keeping account of our sins.
…God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:19).
Discipline is done in love, for the benefit of the person being disciplined.
The Hebrew word muwcar and the Greek word paideia both mean ‘reprove, correct, train, warn, educate, instruct’. Punishment is about payback, about the imposition of a penalty. God does not require us to make amends. He does not punish people (and He did not punish Jesus on our behalf, either) but He does discipline us in order to train us and help us live right.
For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems grievous and painful; but afterwards it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it (Hebrews 12:11).
Discipline is a good thing, because it corrects and trains and transforms us. When we face up to looking honestly at the reality of our life, it can be uncomfortable, even painful in the short term. But if we allow God to work in us, it will produce fruit in us, and bring us into a place of peace and joy as we persevere
The Lord’s mercies [lovingkindnesses] indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness (Lam 3:22-23).
The word ‘mercy’ is checed, traditionally translated ‘lovingkindness’, but it actually means ‘covenant love’. And it is by God’s mercies that we present ourselves as a living sacrifice to be transformed, as the passage from Romans 12 at the head of this post tells us.
Covenant is a commitment, agreement or contract only ended by death, and often sealed in blood by walking through the pieces of an animal sacrifice. It is a total commitment to each other. It binds each party to love one another and do good to one another, to share all they have and to support one another to the death when attacked by an outsider. It carries stipulations and terms which both parties know about before entering into it, and it is ratified by exchange, for example of coats or weapons.
God has always dealt with men through covenant (you can see this with Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and Jesus). God’s covenant with Abraham was actually with his seed; and Jesus is the Seed, as Paul explains (Gal 3:16). Since we are in Him, we also benefit from that covenant.
And if you belong to Christ [are in Him Who is Abraham’s Seed], then you are Abraham’s offspring and heirs according to promise (Gal 3:29 AMP).
Heir of the world
For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world… (Rom 4:13).
This was not about possession of a little piece of land in the Middle East. This covenant is for the whole world. It is not restricted to one group of people: it is for everybody. In His death on the cross, Christ made the promises available to us. The gospel goes to the ends of the earth, bringing blessing to everyone.
We did not make this covenant, so we cannot break it. The New Covenant is God’s fulfilment of His promises to Abraham, through Jesus. It is totally reliable. God will never break a covenant He has made in the blood of His own Son. And this is the basis on which we can be saved, healed, and transformed.
When Jesus died, I died. He was my representative to deal with the power of sin. Mercy (covenant love) applies the covenant power and the victory of the cross to our lives.
This is the covenant exchange that took place at the cross. We can come to the cross every minute of every day and enter into that life which is ours in eternity. His mercy, His covenant love, is new every morning.
…through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand (Rom 5:2).
We now stand in the grace of God, His divine enabling power, to be transformed. It is not something we can do ourselves by our own power or ability, but only by willing submission and surrender to Him. Because of His grace, we have an opportunity to turn away from our old way of life and follow a different path, turning to the way God has called us to live.
For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Heb 4:15).
The Father and the Son
God is a covenant-making God. Covenant expresses his inexhaustible and supreme love. The love between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is covenant love, and we are brought into that family of love.
In giving his life for the sins of the world, Jesus entered a New Covenant in His blood with the Father. It was total commitment and self-giving without reservation on behalf of both parties. The Father and the Son entered covenant for us.so that we could come into the fullness of relationship with God. That covenant is stronger than death; it cannot be broken or annulled: it sustains our salvation, and enables our transformation.
That New Covenant means that everything belonging to the Father now belongs to Jesus. And since we are in Christ, everything belonging to the Father now belongs to us. We have access to everything of God. We have access to the omnipotence of God, the omnipresence of God, the omniscience of God: surely that will enable us to fulfil our destiny and our purpose.
Come to the cross
I would encourage you to meditate on scriptures about God’s mercies, His lovingkindness and covenant love, because they are the basis of our transformation. God’s mercies are motivated by His love, and His love motivates us to change.
Is there anything of the old that you need to exchange? Anything which is death to you that you want to exchange for life? Come to the cross. If you have a mindset that is fearful of what God might do if you were to surrender and allow Him to transform you, then come to the cross. If you think God will punish, is punishing or has ever punished you, then you really need to come to the cross.
You can do this in a practical way if you find it helpful. Just as the parties in a covenant would walk through and around the split pieces of the sacrificed animal in a figure-of-eight or eternity symbol, you can walk a path the same shape, and come to the intersection, the crossover point, the point of exchange.
At that point you can break bread, and exchange the old for the new. You can be set free from bondage and from everything that is holding you back, because you walk through the victory that Jesus secured for you.
When you were conceived, it was because just one out of around 30 million sperm was successful in fertilising the egg. You have already shown that you have a destiny, given to you by God. You are an overcomer, just by succeeding in being you.
At this moment of conception, apparently there is an explosion of light. Scientists do not know what it is, but I will tell you: it is your spirit coming in. Light bursts in, your scroll of destiny bursts in, upon that fertilised egg.
This first cell already carries the record of 23+23 chromosomes, the DNA record of your parents’ history, what they look like, and their experiences. But it now also carries the record of your eternal destiny, as your spirit now enters what will become your physical body. The ‘substance’ which was before (Ps 139) now becomes the substance of your life.
Your cells begin to multiply until there are about 10 to 15 of them. Then the first cell, the one containing that record, implodes and becomes your heart. Your heart now carries the record of who you are.
The thinking heart
As he thinks in his heart, so is he (Prov 23:7).
Studies carried out in heart transplant patients have reported surprising changes in their habits and personality, which have begun to resemble those of the original donor. Clearly the heart is much more than just a pump which pushes the blood around our body.
The heart thinks. Scientists have discovered that they can detect thoughts which come from the brain as electrical impulses up to about 12 inches (30cm) away from the head. There are similar electrical impulses coming from the heart, but they are detectable as far as 6-7 feet (about 2 metres) away.
The heart is a thinking organ. In light of this scripture, we can see how very important it is how our heart thinks. On the one hand there is the record of our DNA, of our past generations; on the other the record of our spiritual DNA, from eternity. Which are we going to listen to? Which are we going to come into agreement with? Which are we going to vibrate with and resonate with? That will determine who we will become, whether we become who God created us to be.
Then I said, “Behold, I come; In the scroll of the book it is written of me. I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your Law is within my heart.” (Psa 40:7).
This verse is speaking about Jesus’ scroll of destiny. Everything He was destined to do and become was written in His heart, and He delighted to do it all. To fulfil God’s call and destiny is not a hard slog, something strange or foreign to us: it is a delight.
The song of our DNA
Our bodies each have a frequency at which they vibrate. We carry a song (two songs, actually). There is a place in America where you can send a sample of your DNA and they have computer software that will turn it into a melody. Unfortunately, it is a song created in chaos. We were formed in sin and shaped in iniquity (Ps 51:5), so that song does not properly reflect the song of the DNA of God which our bodies also carry.
Our natural DNA vibrates with the chaos in which it was created; our scroll vibrates with our God-given destiny. Which will we line up with? That is what will determine who we are or become, what we will do tomorrow, and where we will end up eternally. We need to come into harmony – faith – agreement (call it what you will) – with who we are, and what God says about us. It will transform how we live, how we think, what we believe and how we act. It will change the world.
Every one of us is called to rule, to operate in authority, and to bring heaven to earth to transform the world around us, to bring it in line with God’s eternal purpose. If we do as God says, deal with issues in our past or present, forgive people and release them from any debts we are owed, and resonate with the truth of what God says about us, we are on track to fulfil our destiny. If we keep hold of our hurt and pain, we bring divisiveness and division, and allow the enemy to rob us of our destiny.
There are countless thousands, maybe millions, of people missing from our churches today, who have been robbed of their destiny by listening to the rubbish fed them by the enemy. People living in unforgiveness because of what has been done to them by the church, or the people in it, because we are fallible.
We must be careful we don’t go that route ourselves, saying things like, “I’m just taking some time out”. We cannot take time out from pursuing God. We cannot take time out from relationship with Him or with His people. We need to get over ourselves, forgive, and move forward in the purposes of God with hearts open to hear, vibrate and resonate with the truth of our destiny in God. And we must rise up and call back those who have given their hearts to the Lord but are now living outside of the purposes of God. We must call them back into their destiny.
God has plans for us, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity, to give [us] a future and a hope’ (Jer 29:11).
We will not be robbed. We will not listen to the lies from our past. We will listen to and come into harmony with eternity past, and change our future.
Engaging God on the Heavenly Pathways of Relationship and Responsibility is our online school for equipping a Joshua Generation of supernatural sons of God to live according to the order of Melchizedek.
36. The Joshua Generation will bring revelation that wherever the next generation place their feet they will possess.
That possession includes not only this world but also the heavenlies. Both are their inheritance and destiny.
So Moses swore on that day, saying, “Surely the land on which your foot has trodden will be an inheritance to you and to your children forever, because you have followed the LORD my God fully”(Joshua 14:9).
Now as we know, God did not intend that inheritance just to be a piece of land, but the whole world. ‘For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world…’ (Romans 4:13). And Jesus said that all authority had been given to Him both in the heavens in the earth (Matt 28:18-20).
The whole of creation groans as it waits for the sons of God to be revealed. When you take your place as sons in the heavenly realms, you are beginning to step up into your inheritance, which is the whole creation. And you will find that you can go anywhere in creation, you will see the galaxies – and actually we are supposed to create too. We are supposed to do the works that Jesus did. Who created the stars, the galaxies? Jesus did. You can go and do the same, and you will. Yes, in eternity, but you can actually go and do it now, if you access some of these realms and especially the courts.
The courts of heaven issue papers which confer upon you the authority to act, here on earth. That is sometimes the reason we have been unable to do things we know we ought to have been able to do: we have neglected to go to the courts of heaven to get the necessary authority.
Yes, that was because we didn’t know we were supposed to. We do now.
37. The Joshua Generation will encourage a passion to love God, and walk in His ways, and serve Him will all our hearts and souls.
Only be very careful to observe the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, to love the LORD your God and walk in all His ways and keep His commandments and hold fast to Him and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul (Joshua 22: 5).
So take diligent heed to yourselves to love the LORD your God (Josh 23:11)
God hates mixture and lukewarmness – and so will we. It will take diligence, and self-discipline, and perseverance, but the Joshua generation will become so focused on walking in His ways and serving Him wholeheartedly that it will set us apart and cause others to take notice. The love of God will become a passion for us: it will burn in our hearts; and it will be unthinkable for us to offer Him anything less than complete obedience and dedication. Joshua the High Priest was promised access to heavenly realms if he would walk in God’s ways and perform Gods laws: we know the same offer is open to us. Once we have tasted of that, how could we turn away?
38. The Joshua Generation will warn the next generation about the dangers of compromise and going backwards.
There is a real danger if you see all this and choose to walk away from it. Ian Clayton has talked about how the spirit of antichrist is those who walked with the church and then turned away to start sowing false teaching. Once we get here, there is no going back.
For if you ever go back and cling to the rest of these nations, these which remain among you, and intermarry with them, so that you associate with them and they with you, know with certainty that the LORD your God will not continue to drive these nations out from before you; but they will be a snare and a trap to you, and a whip on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from off this good land which the LORD your God has given you (Joshua 23:12-13).
39. The Joshua Generation will charge the next generation to never stop waging war.
The fight goes on until the Kingdom of God fills the earth, until the glory of God fills the earth, and Jesus returns. Meanwhile, we cannot let up, we cannot compromise, we cannot stop fighting, we cannot let down our guard; and neither can the generation that follows us.
Now it came about after the death of Joshua that the sons of Israel inquired of the LORD, saying, “Who shall go up first for us against the Canaanites, to fight against them?” (Judges 1:1).
They continued to enquire of the Lord. They did not say, ‘Now that Joshua has gone, we can do our own thing’. The war was still ongoing, even though we have read that Joshua gave them the whole land (Joshua 11:23). The Canaanites were still out there in the rest of the world, and they were still enemies of Israel, and of God. Israel were heirs of the world, intended to be a blessing to it. They were supposed to take that blessing out into the whole world. Obviously, they didn’t do that. They stopped short, even though God had said “but indeed, as I live, all the earth will be filled with the glory of the LORD” (Num 14:21).
Yet that is still God’s plan – as Isaiah says:
Now it will come about that In the last days the mountain of the house of the LORD will be established as the chief of the mountains, and will be raised above the hills; and all the nations will stream to it (Isa 2:2).
The mountain, the place of authority; the house of the Lord – these are all in the heavenly realms. Then it is worked out in this realm, as all the hills – all the other earthly authorities – start streaming to the church. Because we are living in the fullness of our sonship, because we start to radiate the goodness of God, because we start to manifest light, and live in creative light, not just created light. There is some awesome stuff coming, but we need to be prepared.
There will be no end to the increase of His government and peace, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this (Isa 9:7).
Justice and righteousness are the foundations of the throne of heaven, foundations of the throne of the kingdom. God is going to accomplish this: He will have His way.
40. The Joshua Generation will set a clear choice before the next generation.
They can choose the past, or they can choose to walk in their future destiny.
There is so much that we already have, that we already know and enjoy, and it is good. People can choose to stick with that – but if they do, they will miss God’s best. We don’t want to take possession of what God has given us, and then settle. Our influence has to increase and grow, because it is the nature of God that He wants to fill the earth with His glory.
Now, therefore, fear the LORD and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD (Joshua 24:14-15).
We are coming to a close now, not just of these posts about the Joshua Generation, but of the whole 15-month series on the Prophetic Timetable. Next time we will begin something new, but for now I want to leave you with this: Joshua was 110 years old before he died, having fulfilled his destiny. There is time for all of us who are called to this purpose to raise up and release the next harvesting generation. Joshua did it: God wants us to do it.
Whether it is to be that Joshua generation who take our inheritance and bring others in, or whether it is to be part of the next generation, the Jesus generation, who will see Him return: God wants to reveal to us our destiny, and to see us fulfil it.
Engaging God on the Heavenly Pathways of Relationship and Responsibility is our online school for equipping a Joshua Generation of supernatural sons of God to live according to the order of Melchizedek.
In looking at Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 21-25, we saw last time that we need to understand covenant blessings and judgments. So today let’s consider Deuteronomy 28:1-14 (blessings) and 15-68 (judgments, or ‘curses’).
Above all the nations
Now it shall be, if you diligently obey the LORD your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth… But it shall come about, if you do not obey the LORD your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you… (Deut 28:1, 15).
‘High above all the nations of the earth’ – doesn’t that sound like the mountain of the house of the Lord being lifted high above the other mountains? All the other nations were supposed to stream to them. They had a kingdom mandate. If they kept covenant and were obedient, they could expect blessings. But if they were disobedient, judgment would come.
What would it be like when that judgment came? Deuteronomy 29:19-21 tells us:
It shall be when he hears the words of this curse, that he will boast, saying, ‘I have peace though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart in order to destroy the watered land with the dry.’ The LORD shall never be willing to forgive him, but rather the anger of the LORD and His jealousy will burn against that man, and every curse which is written in this book will rest on him, and the LORD will blot out his name from under heaven. Then the LORD will single him out for adversity from all the tribes of Israel, according to all the curses of the covenant which are written in this book of the law.’
‘Peace’. The first time this covenant judgment came upon Israel was when they were exiled to Babylon. At that time their prophets were prophesying peace and blessing, when they should have been prophesying judgment. ‘Stubbornness’: that sums up the attitude of the Pharisees and Sadducees, the rulers of Israel, who didn’t expect Jesus and didn’t accept His coming. There were bound to be covenant consequences (variously called ‘wrath’, ‘doom’ and ‘woe’).
As the eagle swoops down
Not so for us. Let’s be clear on this. God’s ‘wrath’ is not aimed at us, ever. It is an expression of His burning passion for us, not against us. But we will see where that wrath did fall.
“All the nations will say, ‘Why has the LORD done thus to this land? Why this great outburst of anger?’ Then men will say, ‘Because they forsook the covenant of the LORD, the God of their fathers, which He made with them when He brought them out of the land of Egypt. Therefore, the anger of the LORD burned against that land, to bring upon it every curse which is written in this book; and the LORD uprooted them from their land in anger and in fury and in great wrath, and cast them into another land’” (Deut 29:24-28).
Initially this judgment was fulfilled in the exile to Babylon, but with a prophetic promise of return. After a time, God restored them to the land and gave them another opportunity to be obedient. If they continued to be disobedient, then further consequences were inevitable, and this is what Jesus is warning them about. He is referring to passages like these in Deuteronomy:
A people whom you do not know shall eat up the produce of your ground and all your labours, and you will never be anything but oppressed and crushed continually… The LORD will bring a nation against you from afar, from the end of the earth, as the eagle swoops down, a nation whose language you shall not understand … It shall besiege you in all your towns until your high and fortified walls in which you trusted come down throughout your land, and it shall besiege you in all your towns throughout your land which the LORD your God has given you (Deut 28:33, 49, 52).
The final fulfilment of this prophecy was that Jerusalem was indeed besieged and subsequently destroyed. That happened at the end of the generation to which Jesus was speaking, in AD 70. And look at the phrase ‘as the eagle swoops down’: you can also see how that could speak of the Roman armies, which carried an eagle as a standard.
This was to be followed by spiritual restoration. There was a promise of physical restoration after Babylon, which was totally fulfilled, and they were brought back into the land. But afterwards, all the promises relating to the new covenant were of a spiritual restoration in Christ.
“Behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD. “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the LORD, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people” (Jer 31:31-33).
Restoration? Yes, for everyone, in Christ. This is new covenant language, and we see it again in Ezekiel. There would be a physical manifestation of this restoration, but it would be the kingdom of God filling the earth.
So much for the covenant background. Next time I want to consider in detail what Jesus said about all this, back in Matthew 21-25.
Mike Parsons –
I pointed out last time that there are widespread demonic doctrines entrenched in the church, which attempt to place the kingdom of God and the authority of that kingdom in another time, or give them to another people.
The enemy will always try to take us back to an Old Covenant system. The Old Covenant system was one country, one city, one temple. That is where God was, He wasn’t manifest anywhere else, whereas in the New Covenant God is everywhere. He is in His people; we are the temple and we don’t need another temple. But to try to rob the church of power and authority, the enemy has tried to make the church equal a building, a temple somewhere. That is not what the church is. It is a people called out by God, in relationship with Him and with one another in the kingdom of God.
Again, the enemy will always try to bring us back to an Old Covenant system where there is a priest, rather than all of us being priests, all of us having access to God. God does not want us to have any mediator other than Jesus; He is the only one we need. Yes, there are people with different gifts and calls within the church, but every one of us has the capacity to hear God for ourselves. Leadership in the church does not need to hear God for you. You need to hear God for yourself, otherwise all you are doing is obeying somebody else.
God wants to inspire and touch each of our hearts, and release everyone into their personal destiny. Every person reading this has a destiny in God to fulfil, but the enemy has tried to rob us of that destiny by all sorts of methods and means. So God is saying, ‘Rise up, fulfil your destiny.’
Now there are a whole herd of sacred cows in the church that we are going to have to challenge. I am only doing this because God told me to challenge them. Left to myself, I really didn’t want to do it. But as I have mentioned before, I went to a conference with Bill Johnson and Jill Austin, and I shook for a whole day until I stopped resisting what God was telling me to do. God was wanting to put a sword in my hand, and I knew what that would mean. But if persecution comes because of it then we need to be prepared and we need to have the answers. We need to know what God is saying, we need to know where we fit into that, what God is calling us to. We need to know what we believe and why we believe it.
We have to prepare for kingdom dominion. Kingdom dominion is what God’s intention was from the beginning. ‘Now it will come about in the last days that the mountain of the house of the Lord will be established as the chief of the mountains and will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it (Is 2:2). This is one of the key scriptures to understand, and this truth runs right throughout the bible, yet the enemy tries to put it off so that we think it is not for us.
We are going to see that it is indeed for us. This scripture is talking about the kingdom of God operating through the church. It will be chief of all the mountains, and mountains speak of authority. Authority will operate through the church; I am not talking about political authority, but about spiritual authority in the earth. We are to have spiritual dominion over all the works of the enemy, which will bring the blessing of God to the earth. That is what Adam and Eve were called to do.
Centre of the world stage
All the systems of the world culture will fail – they are only ‘hills’, you notice – they will come to nothing, and in the shaking of the world’s systems we will need to be ready to be raised up. I am sure that shaking will be beyond anything we can imagine right now, and in the midst of that, the church must be ready to rise up to provide the answers that all those worldly systems were unable to provide.
We need medical answers, financial answers, spiritual answers, governmental answers, societal answers; we need demonstrations of wisdom and knowledge and authority and power. Ryan Wyatt says (quoting Bobby Conner, I think), ‘The church is going to be taken out of the corner of the field and placed right in the center of the world stage’. When the medical systems fail people are going to be desperate for healing. Who is going to be able to heal? We are. We can lay hands on the sick and see them recover. When the financial systems start to fall, folk are going to be drawn to a people who are flourishing and being blessed. Again, that will be us, because we have supernatural provision and supernatural transfer of wealth to us.
We need to be ready to receive all these things and operate in them, because we are blessed to be a blessing and to bring heaven to earth.