As I was praying recently the Lord spoke to me and said that more shaking was about to come, that this was a good time to posses the Spirit of the fear of the Lord! Before I go further, I would first like to build on the topic of fear that I touched on in a recent article, as fear can be both a good and a bad thing, depending on who or what you are fearing. In my last article I said in essence:
We never have to fear the enemy or anything when we are living inside of the will of God; nevertheless, if we are living outside of the will of God, we should fear! God created fear to keep people from things that would harm and hurt them. Fear can sometimes be a good thing, especially when it draws us to God and causes us to become obedient. Hebrew 10:30-31 says that God will judge His people, and that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God! God will sometimes use fearful situations to awaken and mobilize Christians, to move them out from a place of complacency or danger.
God designed humanity with a hormone called adrenaline for times of crisis; it increases blood flow and prepares the body to act in an emergency. This is good fear! Another good fear to have is the fear of the Lord that the scriptures say is the beginning of wisdom. The fear of the Lord keeps us safe in a position of awe before an awesome and holy God. The fear of the Lord provides protection and prevents us from straying into sinful situations that lead to our harm. To maintain a healthy fear of the Lord, is to remain safely tucked away in Him. When living and moving and having our being in Him, He is magnified before us in His might and His power above all, and we will therefore not fear anything but Him. The enemy holds no power whatsoever to intimidate and cause fear, as He has no power unless given to him through sin and disobedience. His power to steal, kill, and to destroy is founded upon disobedience to God!
We have entered a season of war and are moving through times of trial and testing on the Earth. The enemy is fighting to win and is making great inroads. As I said previously, most Christians are not fighting at all, except with each other! This must stop for us as a corporate people, as it distracts us from recognizing the dangers and the pitfalls ahead. We are not to fight in the flesh, for God has given us weapons to fight that are not carnal but they are mighty in God to pull down strongholds (2 Cor. 10:4).
There is a dichotomy to Christ depicting the two differing sides of mercy and Judgment—the double-edged sword. Many leaders, ministries, and individuals present from one or the other of these perspectives, some leaning heavily on one of these two characteristics. The opposing views of mercy and judgment have created some discord in the Body of Christ, as many aggressively taken their stand on one side or the other. However, God would have us understand that the double-edged sword comes forth from one source—from one mouth.
In Scripture, Jesus is presented to us as the Lamb that was slain and as the Lion of the tribe of Judah—He is both. All facets of Christ come from one heart and one mind. The key truth important to note, is that all that God is and does, is founded on His Love. His mercy pours forth from His heart of love, and His judgment is embedded with His wisdom and His love.
When I first got saved, after the initial honeymoon season of God’s love being poured out on me, I was quickly assigned to Boot Camp for intense training, refining of character and understanding of the spiritual warfare that began to target me ferociously. At the time, it felt as if I were running the gauntlet, with attacks and fiery arrows coming at me from all sides. For over two decades, I lived through God’s refining fire; yet through it all, I have always known the intensity of the Father’s love for me.
The scriptures teach that the Father disciplines His children (Heb. 12). In a typical family the father is usually the disciplinarian and the mother, the comforter, showering the child with love. Both are needed in the child’s growth and development. A father will relate to his grown son in a far different way than He would with his four-year-old or adolescent child. It is the same with our Heavenly Father, He is now looking for a high level of maturity to be revealed in His sons and daughters, from all He has sown into our lives over many years. The Father is looking for a return on His investment—He is looking for the revelation of the sons of God!
During the boot camp years and through an extremely painful and difficult trial, I sensed the Lord’s surpassing love and concern for me; however, He did not offer pity as I was prone to self-pity. He did not even offer me comfort, as at that time, I was in the midst of learning one of the most valuable lessons of my life. Instead, I heard the still small voice of God, the voice Elijah heard in the cave, after his spat with self-pity; the Lord said to me, “You have fallen under the weight of this trial…when it comes around again, rise above it.” At that moment, I didn’t need pity or loving arms, I needed to understand that I possessed the ability in Christ to rise in His authority, to overcome in this trial, and send my enemies fleeing. I was being trained to stand in conflict. That became one of the most important lessons I have learned to date. I was determined from that day, in the strength of the Lord, never to allow circumstances to overwhelm me and destroy me again, when I possessed the supernatural power in Christ to change it!
Understanding how God is moving in any given situation, at any given time has a multifaceted dynamic to it. Our knowledge, in a carnal sense, is limited to one perspective of a process that is in motion. We stand at a fixed position in time, in any given situation, viewing a moment in God’s transcendent and fluid process of transformation—our knowledge and understanding is limited, and can therefore only be ‘in part.’
There are so many layers of consciousness hidden from our view, in the tapestry of God’s handiwork, whether globally, in a nation, or in an individual’s life. If we understood this, we would see that to choose one facet of God to depict Him—as in mercy over judgment, or love over discipline, would be to miss the surpassing, multifaceted, treasure of a triune, omniscient being, presented to humanity as the one and only true God.
Many church leaders keep their people locked in an adolescent stage, dependent on them, never allowing them to grow into the mature, courageous, warrior leaders God intended—needed for this hour. Some leaders pile on the unsanctified mercy, and unsanctified grace, providing people with the permission to remain in a state of immaturity. They remain stagnant in regard to growth in righteousness that leads to strength in character, and a life that is deeply rooted and anchored in God—this is the life that cannot be shaken! Many Christians in my time of trial, with good intentions, would have comforted me, offered me Christian platitudes, like God will make a way—when what I needed was some tough love to shake me out of my stupor, caused by unbelief and self-pity, and a reminder of who I was in Christ.
When you have truly known and experienced the love of God, most would be willing to give all for Him, some, may even be willing to lay down their lives for Him. Peter thought that he would be willing, until his love was tested in the Fire; when he heard the rooster crow three times, he ran. When things do not go our way, we can become offended in God, giving the enemy an opportunity to take advantage of our disappointment or disillusionment. Enduring love is love that has been tested by Fire in crisis, tempered by discipline—as steel is tempered in fire to increase its strength. Elijah said to the people at Mt. Carmel, “…the god who answers by fire—he is God” (1 Kings 18:24). Be assured our love will be tested.
Many of this present generation have been pampered or neglected by parents, given few boundaries, indulged by society, provided with everything, with nothing required in return. We are now all suffering the consequences of this, as they now act out on society. The frightening thing is that many of them now occupy important leadership positions in government. Unfortunately, this may also be true for many in this generation of Christians, grown up with too much grace and too little discipline—many abandoning the church when they become offended. Many, never having been taught the foundational principles of scripture, of obedience and humility, submission, and accountability. Yes, we can all sing, shout, and dance—and personally, I do love all of that! But when the shaking begins and the fire heats up, the question remains, will faith be there to uphold us? In the fire many are shaken and become offended in God. Even John the Baptist, who spent years in the wilderness had his doubts about Jesus when he was put in jail; he sent to ask if Jesus was truly the One. Jesus answered him, “…blessed is the one who is not offended in Me.”
I am putting an emphasis on discipline, the fire that refines, and the fear of the Lord, because during a recent time of prayer, the Lord brought these things to my attention. He said that more shakings were about to come, and the fire would be heating up; that shakings would be coming like travail upon a woman, increasing in intensity, that will bring forth a birthing, an awakening that is His Great Reset—a reset back to the knowledge of God and to the fear of the Lord! This Reset will be the love of God coming in a great wave of discipline on the earth. The Father is about to give His children and the Earth a spanking. Those who fear God will bow. Those who do not will be offended and fall away. The earth will be given the choice either to rebel or to seek out the face of God. Much of the world has been turned upside down, but God is about to set it right again—but it may come with some discomfort.
God is saying, to choose today whom you will serve. Will you to stay on God’s side and not be offended? Will you fear man, or will you fear God? The scriptures declare that our God is a Consuming Fire. There was a time when God instructed me to read Isaiah 33; verse 14 asks the question of, who can dwell with the devouring fire, who can live with everlasting burnings? It answers, he who walks righteously, and goes on to reveal the reward of living such a life:
“He will dwell on high; His place of defense will be the fortress of rocks; Bread will be given him, His water will be sure. Your eyes will see the King in His beauty; They will see the land that is very far off.” Isaiah 33:16
We see this ability to dwell in fire also depicted in the account of Shadrach, Meschach and Abed-Nego, whose courage, born from a disciplined life, chose the fire rather than to bow to idols and gods. They told the king:
“…our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.” Daniel 3:17-18
The fire was heated up seven times for them, but they were not burned, as a fourth man was seen with them in the fire. If we choose to go through the fire of God voluntarily, we will find that it burns nothing, other than our chains and bondages of sin. God is looking, and the Earth is crying, for a new breed of saints who have been trained in fire, who are devoted to a righteous life, firmly anchored to the love of God. James provides us with particularly important instruction to take note of in these times of viral opinions, as we will be called to account for every idle word we have spoken before a holy God.
“Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly. Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way…the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself. People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right!” James 3:1-10
I believe God would say to many: “Which part of touch not my anointed and do my prophets no harm, did you not understand? What part of listen to my prophets and you will prosper, did you not get? I chose this word 2 Chronicles 20:20 for the year 2020 to release the Word of the Lord for this critical hour. This was not a coincidence; it was by Divine design to test you.”
We have little understanding of the spiritual realities at work in the many spheres of God’s divine unfolding plan. As Paul said, we should judge nothing before its time!