“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9 NKJV
This season is a defining moment in history for this generation and our future. As I was walking outside in the late afternoon sipping hot tea a couple weeks ago, a small leaf dropped from a hovering tree branch and landed in my “DREAMER AT WORK” cup. As I fished the small red leaf out, the Lord whispered to my heart, “This is a new season (also in your life); see and know what I am doing; your prayers touch My heart; I am moving.” The once beautiful little leaf served its purpose and its shriveled, unattractive form is now taped to my refrigerator, serving as a prophetic reminder to wisely lean into the clarion call of the Lord. What are YOU doing, Lord? What are YOU saying, Lord? What do YOU think, Lord? What do YOU want for my life (and others’), Lord? What is YOUR plan, Lord? Those 5 questions are typically on the forefront of my soul. His altar is all that matters. His opinion is all that matters. His way is all that matters. His will is all that matters. Death to self, the old man, is what matters to Him, as we are made in His image and are called to live for and follow Him. This is how we can determine how life matters to the Lord be it young, old, born, preborn, black, brown, or white.
Did you ever wonder as a child, is everything that we are, go through, and end up becoming for a purpose beyond ourselves? Did you try to connect the dots, hope to get answers, and feel dissatisfied in the unknowing? I was that kind of child. I had tons of questions, and asked many of them, but didn’t have many answers. I was a churched kid with a tiny bit of depth (very little) as God seemed very mysterious to me. I would “play” Mass (my Catholic heritage), do what I was led to do, and enjoyed a few highlights along my childhood path. There was a level of respect for and sensitivity to God but I didn’t know Him. Although He began to draw me towards Himself at a young age (maybe through my endless questions), I didn’t seriously connect with and give my life to Him until my mid twenties. That’s when I determined to follow Him, love Him, and serve Him for the rest of my life. I was given new life that changed me forever. At that time, He released the revelation that we were created and designed to follow Jesus wholeheartedly, discovering His mysteries.
Colossians 1:25b – 29 NASB states “So that I might carry out the preaching of the word of God, that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ.”
Living out this revealed mystery (Christ in us, our hope of glory) is our goal on this earth to prepare us for living and reigning with Jesus in eternity. It is intended by the Lord to be the legacy for our families and spiritual families, as well as the end-time generation we are part of. This is our inheritance. Our lives are actually very short, and every decision that we make on this earth is vital and should have eternity in mind. This is our purpose and defines what true success looks like. My life radically changed as I determined to try and live my life for Jesus: Daniel 1:8 NASB and AMP state: “But Daniel made up his mind (determined) that he would not defile himself with the king’s choice.” Sounds simple, and is, but it is not always easy. Being a truth-seeker has taught me that Truth Himself is more than enough to bank your life on. And that knowing Him and loving Him above all in my life is worth it.
During these turbulent times, the Lord is very intentional in what He wants to accomplish on this earth. He has a plan and we are to fit into it. As our focus is truly and seriously on Him, He will guide us through the uncertainty and instability. He is with us, for us, and totally reliable and trustworthy. He will remove all fear and release great faith to those who run towards Him rather than away from Him. He loves dependence on Him, not independence.
ALL THE TREASURES OF WISDOM AND KNOWLEDGE
Paul continued on in Chapter 2:2-15 NASB of Colossians stating that we are built up in Christ, and the assurance that results is powerful: “That their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this so that no one will delude you with persuasive argument. For even though I am absent in body, nevertheless I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good discipline and the stability of your faith in Christ. Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus, the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.
See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh of the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, he made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way having nailed it to the cross. When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.”
ALIENATED AND HOSTILE?
How do we navigate through the ridiculous and endless shame, hurt, pain, rebellion, murder, divorce, and anger that seems to be a constant in this world, and maybe in some of our lives? Can any of this really be reversed? Yes. Real change can happen. Considering Colossians 1:21-23 NASB helps us remember where we were before we gave our lives over to Jesus and where we are going as a result: “And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach – if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.”
This is a Scripture text of hope. There needs to be a total reversal of our attitudes on the inside, the inner man. This can ONLY happen when a person comes into contact, personally, with Jesus. Words are nice, friends can cheer us up, we can “agree to disagree,” but ultimately we need an encounter with Jesus Himself for real change to occur.
Can we actually believe that before we were a follower of Jesus there was a time when we were considered “alienated from God?” We really didn’t have much to do with Him; He wasn’t very important to us personally; we really didn’t care or have much use for Him. He might have been considered someone who was rather important, but when tough times hit, He became more of a cosmic kill joy who would just get in the way and make us live lives that were pretty dull, boring, and mundane. We would avoid Him (and others who loved Him deeply), or fit Him in because it was the “right thing to do,” but certainly not seeing or wanting Him as the Supreme One who desires that our lives be totally centered around Him, during easy and tough times. Sometimes it might be hard to admit that we really were (or still are) like that. If this Scripture is true, which it is, we just might get upset or feel condemned because we aren’t “doing it right.” We might be convinced that we were just “people pleasers” in the past, and it’s now time to quit striving for approval. Wow, the enemy is pretty tricky, indeed. He knows how to keep us away from the Lord, or if we ever knew the Lord and backslid, we might even question that reality. This leads to further believing lies that are intended to water down, neutralize, and even destroy our faith. As a result, the enemy roars and his lies spread like cancer in our minds, wills, and emotions. And history can be “rewritten” in our soul. The only way of reversing this inner scenario is through repentance. Complete repentance. Incomplete repentance brings destruction.
The Biblical text says that we were enemies of God, and that resulted in us expressing that enmity in evil behavior. Evil behavior is not the cause of inner alienation and hostility toward God. That’s not accurate. Actually, the inner alienation and estrangement from God along with hostility toward Him is what causes evil behavior. As Paul speaks about us being reconciled to God and we receive this for ourselves, a miracle occurs as the blinders are removed from our eyes. This is lifted from us so we can realize that the death of Jesus was for us personally. His work on the cross, and our participation with Him as we became “co-crucified, co-buried, co-raised” with Him, changed us. This is the mystery revealed that satisfies our soul. Our thoughts about God as a callous Judge, not a Loving Father, tangibly change. This is the Good News that changes lives and all of us must start here. Since the Lord has a goal, to “present you before Him holy (whole, complete, well balanced in spirit, soul, and body) and blameless and beyond reproach (without blemish and free from accusation),” He will accomplish it. If we are introduced to the Christian life and it just fades and phases out over time with more of a mental assenting rather than a true change and real-life commitment, we need to look at where we really are and what is (was) the foundation of our faith. It’s time to consider the reality of Jesus and offer Him your entire life. Anything less than that is called rebellion, and is not a wise or healthy place to be. If you continue in the intensity of your faith, that is the proof of its reality. Deception is real and the Bible warns against it. Avoid deception at all cost.
This current season is not for the faint at heart. We are to be established solidly in Jesus and help others to become the same. Every period in human history is part of God’s timetable for the preparation and activation of His sovereign global plans to unfold. This new season upon us globally is intentional and direct. The Lord makes no mistakes. We will remain steadfast in our connection with Him as we consider His Presence in our lives as our highest privilege and aim. Hanging out in our comfort zones is not the cry of the Lord’s heart right now. It’s “wake up” time, “let’s get moving” time, “I’m all in” time. Although this is not new, we are compelled by the Lord to see, hear, discern, and decisively move forward towards that end in an expeditious way. The Lord is shaking us out of our slumber as we have been impregnated with the holy purpose of overcoming. When we lose ourselves, we win, and God can really use our lives for His exact purposes and plans.
“For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man will come in His Father’s glory with His angels, and then He will repay each one according to what he has done.” Matthew 16:25-27 Berean Study Bible
“What will you gain if you own the whole world but destroy yourself? What would you give to get back your soul?” Matthew 16:25-27 Contemporary English Version
With all that is at stake in this wild season in the USA and globally, we need the wisdom and discernment of the Holy Spirit, rising to His Nazarite call to surrender our lives and truly walk closely with Jesus. He accomplished everything on the cross and we are to enforce His victory over darkness. Jesus is coming back for His spotless Bride, and that’s no small thing. Eternity is on the heart of the Father and we are called to understand that and live our lives in light of the “bigger picture.” The fledgling early Church was catapulted into extreme conditions after Jesus was crucified, buried, resurrected, and had ascended to the right hand of His Father in Heaven. Any circumstantial comfort and hope that was enjoyed when Jesus walked the known world as “one of them,” was quickly snuffed out as the Master exited the earth. The Great Eagle had birthed many young eaglets who had to fly on their own as their visible Papa departed. Their nesting experience had abruptly ended. Deciding to live totally for Jesus cost each person dearly. Each decision carried eternal weight. The consequences were significant. “Fence sitting”, or “whatever” complacency never moved the cause of Christ forward. The spread of the Gospel was like an unstoppable wildfire as people took their rightful places, actively pursuing the True Lover of their hearts. Stagnation was pure disobedience to the call. Forward movement was the cry at that time, even unto death.
This is the call on all our lives today. Only His love capturing our hearts will enable each of us to stand against the resistance to run with Him. Courage to do so will come from the Champion of our soul, Jesus. Courage is not the absence of fear, rather it’s the ability to stand up and face our fears through His empowerment. Saving faith in Jesus is not only a declaration that He died and rose, but also trusting in the work of the cross and embracing Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior with a believing heart. This involves yielding our wills and committing ourselves to Him in practice. When we turn away from sin with true sorrow, a new way of life emerges. We become grateful through the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, and a heart-felt attachment and loyalty to Jesus develops. Faith and love are tied together which involves sacrifice and self-giving, all directed toward Jesus. This attitude grows and is strengthened throughout life.
I can only imagine the questions offered to the Lord 2000 years ago. Were their dreams dashed? Were they prepared to stand? Were they qualified to stand? COULD they stand in the face of extreme adversity? Was it worth it? While the enemy capitalized on great fear and uncertainty, the Lord had prepared the way of intimacy for each soul to face their fears and walk in courage with God Himself. The empowering Spirit of the Triune God lived inside of each person who surrendered control of their lives to the Master. Nothing was too difficult for them. Fast forward to today. Where do you stand? Don’t waste any more time. RESET.
There has never been a more pivotal time in history where the Word of God needed to be the center of our personal world. The clear message of the purposes and plans of God must be sought after and clearly understood in this hour. Getting caught up in rhetoric or stuck in the quagmire of any narrative other than the Lamb’s is pure foolishness and ultimately stupid, playing into the hands of the one who is smarter than any mere man. The enemy’s ideology carries heartache and pain, death and destruction, and laughable false hope for a better tomorrow. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to see, at first. That’s why sin is deceptive. As history makers, we are on the hinge of history as The Lion of Judah is roaring and setting things in motion for hope to rise. Take your place in history. Now is the time. This is the real violence that pleases Jesus.
“From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force.” Matthew 11:12 NASB
“And from the days of John the Baptist until the present time, the kingdom of heaven has endured violent assault, and violent men seize it by force (as a precious prize – a share in the heavenly kingdom is sought with most ardent zeal and intense exertion).” Matthew 11:12 AMPC
You are a worshiper, a called one. You are a sent one to carry His heart and glory to the nations. Because of Jesus, you are deserving to walk out your total prophetic destiny and walk very closely with Him. He does not want your destiny to be aborted. If you know Jesus, you were created to fly and soar as a mature eagle. 50% of young eagles die due to a variety of circumstances. Your identity as an eagle Christian, growing in maturity, is to soar high above every storm and see with new spiritual eyes. The eagle’s vision is 4-8 times stronger than human vision. Its vision is sharp and intense. The eagle is an example of strength, power, and destruction to its enemy. He lives in the high places, in a different atmosphere, and is an apex predator. This is who you are designed to be as a strong and mighty lover of Jesus. He’s worth your life. Your entire life. Be who you were created to be in fullness and fly with the Great Eagle.
“But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31 ESV