Blessings Friends and Happy New Year!
Here we are in 2018, 5778 on the Hebrew calendar, both numbers ending in eight, signifying abundance and new beginnings. I’m reading and hearing so many prophetic words focusing on this eight, speaking about all the great new things being poured out from Heaven this year, which is great—but we are not in 2008, we are in 2018.
I, too, have been pressing in to hear what the Lord has to say about the new year. Beginning with the symbolic meaning of the number 18. Eighteen is basically 2, which can represent either unity or division, times 9, which is the number of judgment or finality. What I heard in the spirit was that this is a year of separating the sheep from the goats in the church. As we learned in our study of Amos, the Church is by no means exempt from the great shaking we are seeing in the other mountains of influence today.
With all the prophesies about mantles being released, double portions, and breaker anointings, what I’m not reading and hearing is how to position yourself to receive all these great things. The impression being that all we have to do is say, “Yes,” and “Amen,” and the gifts are ours. But the release of a prophetic word isn’t the end of the story, it’s just the beginning. There are conditions which must be met to bring prophecy to fruition. The gifts the Lord gives come with responsibilities and expectations of stewardship. The Lord will not give you what you are not prepared to steward. He does not set us up for failure.
Even as with the priests in the Temple, we must be prepared to enter into the Holy of Holies. I’m not talking about Salvation, I’m talking about hosting the presence of the Living God. Even though the veil has been torn, granting us access, there are still things which cannot enter into the presence of God, which is why James wrote (to the Church, not to the unsaved),
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up” James 4:8-10.
Jesus may be our sin offering, but He did not eliminate the other sacrifices, He merely brought them home. We may not offer bulls on the altar, but we must sacrifice our souls. Our willful desires, which the bull symbolizes.
“Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, The power and the glory, The victory and the majesty; For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, And You are exalted as head over all” 1 Chronicles 29:11.
“Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven” Matthew 6:10.
We may not offer rams, but we must sacrifice our bodies. Our power and governing authority, which the ram symbolizes.
“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.
“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder” Isaiah 9:6.
We may not sacrifice lambs, but we must sacrifice our spirits, our weakness, worry, fear, which the lamb represents.
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” John 10:27.
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” 1 Peter 5:6, 7.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths” Proverbs 3:5, 6
Sanctification is the process of the Holy Spirit, gradually revealing the unclean parts of us that need to be laid on the altar and consumed by God’s Holy Fire, cleansing us from within that we might dwell continually in His presence. That we might be pure conduits for His power on Earth, unhindered by enemy strongholds, hidden or unrealized sin that keeps us from hearing the Lord clearly and seeing His creation through His eyes. It is a process His bride submits to daily, replacing the stench of the world with the sweet aroma of Heaven in preparation for her Bridegroom.
Sounds lovely, doesn’t it?
In fact it’s more like the wonderful aroma of coffee brewing in the morning. It smells so good…and then you take a sip of that bitter blackness and have to reach for the cream and sugar just to get it down. But there’s no cream and sugar in sanctification. Only the comfort of the Holy Spirit, and the sweetness of worship to get you through. I can say that in all honesty, because I’ve just survived another trip through the fiery furnace.
I’m a little late with my New Year’s message this year because, frankly, I ended 2017 in a pretty dark place. In fact, it was probably the biggest crisis of faith I’ve experience to date. I don’t share this to gain sympathy or discourage you, but because I strive for authenticity and transparency in my walk, in the hope that it will strengthen your faith and encourage you when you face similar trials.
The enemy did his best to convince me that I was fooling myself into thinking I could be of use to the Lord and His Kingdom, using the death of a precious friend, overwhelming me with “prophecy” contradicting what I was seeing in the spirit, creating strife in my family, and, as always, one of the enemy’s particular favorites, severing the lines of communication between my husband and myself, isolating me even more. Thankfully, I’ve been paying attention and learning from my enemy, who is consistent if nothing else…not that that made this go-around easy, it just helped me fight wiser.
So what did I do? In spite of the voice of the enemy roaring in my ear, “GIVE UP! GOD ISN’T LISTENING TO YOU! HE WON’T ANSWER YOUR PRAYERS!” I continued to drag myself up to my prayer room at 5 every morning for two hours, forcing myself to focus on God’s promises to me (dreams, visions, and words spoken over me), praying in tongues, and waiting on Him.
In spite of my weariness and fatigue, I returned to my prayer room at midday with my young daughter to sing praises, worship our Almighty God, and soak in His presence.
In spite of the lies bombarding me with, “YOU’RE NO PROPHET! YOU’RE NOT HEARING WHAT OTHER PROPHETS ARE HEARING! WHY WOULD GOD TALK TO YOU?, keeping me from sleep, I fought against them, praying in the spirit and worshipping until sleep came.
With childlike defiance, I clung to God’s promises that,
“No weapon made will prevail against you. In court you will refute every accusation. The servants of Adonai inherit all this; the reward for their righteousness is from me,” says Adonai” Isaiah 54:17 CJB.
“Yeshua said to them, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Remember, I have given you authority; so you can trample down snakes and scorpions, indeed, all the Enemy’s forces; and you will remain completely unharmed’” Luke 10:18, 19 CJB.
Again, I’m not sharing this to show you what an awesome warrior I am. I know it was only by God’s grace that I overcame. I’m not proud of how close I came to walking away from ministry, but at the same time I never considered walking away from God, so I’m thankful for that. And it is because of past battles that I have learned to discern the enemy’s tactics and how to fight back. That said, I still have a long way to go.
I laugh now, because once the lines of communication were restored between my husband and me and he began to encourage me, reminding me of one of his favorite Bible heroes, Job, it was as if a light switched on. I started laughing, and my husband of course asked why. I had suddenly remembered the words I had been praying every morning for months—“Sanctify me by Your Holy Fire!”
Somehow, when the Fire came—in answer to my request—I kind of forgot I had been asking for it!
Looking back, it’s a little unnerving to think that lies could make me doubt or even forget such powerful visions, like the one I shared in “Stronger Than Ever!” just this past Rosh Hashanah. But it stands to reason that each time I defeat a demon, the next one (or ones) to be sent in will be more powerful than the last. Like any battle field, in the smoke, noise, chaos, and physical and emotional pain, what elevates survivors to victors is the ability to transform training into instinct. How do we do that? Practice, practice, practice.
“Meanwhile, through trusting, you are being protected by God’s power for a deliverance ready to be revealed at the Last Time. Rejoice in this, even though for a little while you may have to experience grief in various trials. Even gold is tested for genuineness by fire. The purpose of these trials is so that your trust’s genuineness, which is far more valuable than perishable gold, will be judged worthy of praise, glory and honor at the revealing of Yeshua the Messiah” 1 Peter 1:5-7 CJB.
So will I stop asking God to sanctify me by His Holy Fire? NO WAY!
The burning furnace isn’t my idea of a great time, but each time the Lord brings me through it I lose a little more of myself, and gain a little more of Him. The more like Him I become, and the more AWESOME He becomes to me.
One day I will be as Jesus in the wilderness, facing off with Satan, and dispatching him swiftly and thoroughly. And I, too, will be able to say,
“He [the ruler of this world] has no claim on me; rather, this is happening so that the world may know that I love the Father, and that I do as the Father has commanded me” John 14:30, 31 CJB.
While the gifts of God are wonderful and to be desired, know that it is not merely His gifts that make us mighty in Christ, but the proving of His good and perfect will on Earth through the sanctification of His saints. So, don’t just sit idly by waiting for the gifts to start raining down. Cry out to God, “Sanctify my by Your Holy Fire, Lord! Cleanse my hands and purify my heart! Make me a holy vessel to carry Your presence and glory!” Then, like a warrior training for battle, submit to the process. Learn. Grow. Trust. And when the enemy comes to temper you, don’t curl up in a ball and cry, “Uncle!” Stand up! Put on your armor! Raise your sword, and yell, “You want a piece of me?!”
Then worship the Lord with all your might—and watch God work!
“Give us help from trouble,
For the help of man is useless.
Through God we will do valiantly,
For it is He who shall tread down our enemies” Psalm 108:12, 13
Next time, I’ll be sharing some of the amazing dreams and visions the Lord has given me concerning the Church in this season. Until then,
God’s grace and peace be yours,