With Shavuot, the Biblical Feast of Pentecost coming up on June 11th there is a heightened sense of expectancy of increasing measures of God’s Manifest Glory moving with purpose toward planet Earth. From the time that the door was first opened and the Spirit of God poured out on Israel around two thousand years ago, God has been moving purposefully and intentionally toward the summing up and completion of all things in Christ at His Return. At Pentecost the door was opened for the gathering in of a great harvest of souls. The Feast of Tabernacles is the closing of the Harvest Season, and a celebration of God’s goodness and faithfulness on the Great Journey toward union with His Presence and His Glory.
In the time frame the Father has purposed, Jesus is going to return in Glory, but until His feet touch down on the Mount of Olives, He will be CONTINUALLY COMING with ever-increasing waves of His Manifest Presence! The Body of Christ is poised to again experience what occurred at Pentecost, re-released in mounting waves of His Presence as momentum builds towards His return. If the Glory and an invasion of the planet by Angel Armies were needed to establish foundations at Pentecost, how much more will it be needed to sum up history, for the work that prepares the way for Jesus’ return, and the completion of the Great Journey represented in the Feast of Tabernacles.
On this Great Journey, like David we discover that there are consequences to touching the Ark of His Presence in an unrighteous manner outside of God’s prescribed way written in His Word. David’s intentions were good, even noble; he wanted to prepare a Resting place for God to dwell in. But our God is a Consuming Fire and will consume the dross in our lives on our Journey with Him.
“This is what the LORD says: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be? Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?” declares the LORD. “These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word.” Isaiah 66:1-2
In David’s case God’s wrath broke out against Uzzah due to David’s neglect in learning the correct protocol for handling the Ark, written in God’s Word. Like David, we can also become put off, or even angry with God when our intentions are noble and we desire to do great things for God, but the opposite of our expectations are occurring and all hell is breaking loose!
The Everlasting God is a Consuming Fire, He is Holy and the weight of His Glory can crush and destroy, the reason He holds back. When the Ark was stolen by the enemy, people died and plagues broke out wherever it was taken (1 Sam.5,6). God honors our deep desire for His Presence and is very gracious and patient with us. However, for a significant and notable upsurge of the Glory that the world-wide Church is pressing in for—that He also desires, and has purposed for this hour—a profound level of consecration to His Will, His Word and His Ways is needed. Like David we must repent, change course, press in for His direction and stay the course on the Journey of consecration. God is looking for purity in heart, righteousness in our stand, singleness of purpose, passion in our love, excellence in our walk and a willingness to lay down our lives and surrender all because He is so worth it!
God’s instruction to David for achieving his heart’s desire was six steps then praise……all the way to Jerusalem! God is not in a hurry like we are, He is a wise and good father who waits to see that our character can occupy and hold the ground that He intends to give, that we are not destroyed by it. Many revivals have come and gone over history, but God is now preparing a holy generation, a royal priesthood of great integrity, fierce in passion, magnificent in love, that will hold and occupy in revival fire, and through great turmoil on the Earth.
The Journey was not a chore for David; it was one that was filled with the joy of His Presence where he danced unashamedly before his Lord. Israel and the Body of Christ has been on a Spiritual Journey up to Jerusalem over the centuries; the procession up to Jerusalem to see the King established on His Throne, is one that is to be filled with joy despite the condition of the world and the circumstances around us. God’s antidote to get us through to the end is PRAISE! Every six steps we stop and praise, every time the enemy tries to derail us we to stop and praise; when life is hard and things look grim we dig down deep, find the joy and begin to praise. We are to repent quickly and press in for full consecration, as the very safest, protected place to be is always the very centre of the Will of God.
God spoke to me when we first opened our church and said we were to take one service per month for only worship and praise without any agenda, only the prophetic as it occurs. As time went on He put it on my heart, to have our worship night on Rosh Chodesh or as close to it as we could. Rosh Chodesh is the first day of the Jewish month and carries the principle of first fruits—where we choose to give God the first and very best of our lives on the first of the month. The word feast in Hebrew is mô‛êd and means an appointment. During God’s special times of appointment with Him, greater dimensions of open heavens are available to us as we press in to see His face!
The Jewish people continue to this day to be blessed in all spheres of life and mountains of influence, a phenomenon that has the world very puzzled. However the world has ruled out the God factor and Israel’s obedience to continue to honor God’s appointed times—these special times of appointment with Him, set by Him and for Him, in His Word. I don’t believe it is necessary for Gentiles to keep the rituals and traditions that the Jewish people do, but there can be an honoring of these set times, as they are ordained by God, and are weighted with glory! More importantly, over History we have seen that God has chosen to move significantly on these times, to release His plans and purposes for both Israel and the Gentile church, to mark them with His Glory. These special times are also intended by God to keep His people focused, single-eyed and steady on the path of destiny; they provide times to stop and praise Him on the Great Journey, and begin our next steps with hearts filled with thanksgiving!
These times of rest where we stop and praise are vital for our spirits to be refreshed that we may press on to finish our course, whether individually or corporately. It is dangerous to settle on the Journey, as we risk falling into the trap of believing, we are rich and have need of nothing! (Rev. 3:17). With this mind-set we become complacent, not only losing what has been gained but falling back into a place of religious activity devoid of His Presence. I can remember distinctly one day sitting in a park under a tree and heard the lord say clearly out of the blue, “Denominations are points of settlement on the great Journey on the ascent to Union with Christ.” On the Journey, our great hunger moves God to release moves of the Spirit in His appointed times; this wonderful atmosphere then becomes a great place in which to dwell and settle down.
I am reminded of the insightful allegory written by Robert Burnell, Escape from Christendom; in it he describes a pilgrim on the Great Journey, searching to find the City of God. On his way he stumbles on Christian City where he is tempted to stop and settle as so many had. Here he finds a place of much activity, bit his heart remains unfulfilled.
As we press in to consecrate our lives to the Lord, and press on in a dance of praise on the Great Journey on the ascent to Union with Christ, and the fullness of the stature of Christ, God will release increasing waves of His Glory to undergird us, lift us up in strength and carry us on to the finish line, and we will find the City of God! God’s intent is that the Great Journey takes us from Glory to greater Glory, from strength to greater strength, and from faith to GREAT FAITH!
“Blessed are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion. As they go through the Valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion.” Psalm 84:5-7 ESV
On January 1st of this year the Lord showed me that He was opening a GREAT and EFFECTIVE DOOR to the Body of Christ in 2016 see Let There Be Light. I believe in the month of June there will be a greater release of Glory to sustain the saints in the harvest fields—His Presence will increase, doors will open and breakthroughs will occur. Over the last two weeks I keep hearing God say, “Behold I do a new thing, do you not perceive it! Let us begin a new season of praise filled lives this Pentecost and remember always to stop every six steps and PRAISE!