A YEAR OF THE PROPHET’S REWARD
In the midst of increasing instability on the global scene, God has an exciting word for His people, especially those who have embraced His prophetic Voice. I believe we are in a turn around season and that we will continue to see divine reversals in our personal lives and circumstances, in the positioning of the church in culture and even in the legislation of nations.
As I prayed about the upcoming season in the Church and what God is saying to us for 2018, I had a vision in which I saw and heard the words “A Time for the Prophet’s Reward.” Jesus spoke about this in Matthew 10:40-41 saying “He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.” The word “receive” means “to take hold of, to accept, to receive favorably, to embrace, to give ear to, to make one’s own.” This is what we must do with Christ in our lives. To receive Him is to receive the Father. And to receive a prophet and those who are righteous will bring blessing in our lives.
Later I saw just the words “Prophet’s Reward” written on a giant battering ram which was slamming against a huge locked gate. I knew the anointing of the Prophet’s Reward was going to open tremendous opportunities for the Kingdom of God to advance. Those who have received prophetic promises from God and those who operate and function in prophetic ministry will experience one of the greatest seasons of honor, advancement, promotion and favor as we align and actively participate with all God has said.
Now Is the Time!
So why would this be a focused year to receive this anointing? This year we celebrate 30 years since the birth of the prophetic movement. Prior to 1988, there were only a few places in the earth that were experiencing dreams, visions, angelic visitations and prophetic revelation. However, that year at Christian International (as well as several other places on earth) we spiritually birthed the prophetic movement. We recognized that God was raising up a company of prophets and prophetic people who could communicate His heart, will and mind to the earth. Today, it is now widely accepted throughout Christianity that God is still speaking TO His people and THROUGH His people and that as we hear God’s Voice it can change our world.
The number 30 signifies a promotion into a new season of success. This is a new season of authority and blessing for prophetic ministry and for seeing the prophesied word come to pass. It is a launching season! Jesus was launched into his earthly ministry at the age of 30 accompanied by signs, wonders, miracles, authority, power over demons and a heart to demonstrate that the Kingdom of God had come. 30 was a very important number in the Jewish culture. It was considered to be the year of maturity for leadership. Priests were dedicated to service at age 30. (Intercession). Men were eligible for military service at age 30. (Warfare). Ezekiel was called as a prophet at age 30 (Prophetic). Men were considered of age to run their father’s business at age 30. (Marketplace). This year get ready to be mantled for a new level of authority in your area of prophetic calling.
A Time of Prophetic Fulfillment
30 was also a year linked to fulfillment of prophetic destiny, overcoming & rulership. Joseph came out of prison and had his prophetic dream fulfilled as he became a ruler in Egypt at the age of 30. David came out of the cave & saw the prophecy fulfilled as he was anointed King of Judah at Hebron at the age of 30. Jesus was 30 when he was baptized and the Holy Spirit came upon him and anointed him to fulfill his prophesied destiny. All the difficulty these men went through leading up to their time of success was worth it to see all God promised come to pass. The Prophets Reward launches us into similar times of fruition when all we may have struggled through comes to an appointed time of grace and fulfillment so that we can step into our time to rule and legislate for the Kingdom of God in the earth.
30 also signifies prosperity & posterity. In the book of Judges, one of the judges, Jair, had 30 sons. He gave each of them a horse and a city! ( Jud 10:4)
So you see, in this 30th year of the prophetic ministry, all that has gone before has actually only been preparatory to what comes next. Where before the prophetic was met with skepticism and resistance, now there is honor and excitement to hear the Word of the Lord. The Voice of God is being integrated into the church and being drawn on in the business world. Even local and national governmental officials long to hear answers from the heart of God so they can have the capacity to bring their city or even nation into the Prophets Reward of breakthrough. One of the new things to watch for is how effectively prophets and prophetic ministry cross into the mainstream of culture, not just the mainstream of the church. Secular leaders will become increasingly open to hear what God is saying, even those who don’t know Him yet.
The Lord is saying it is time to receive the Prophet’s Reward whether you have been a part of what God has been doing the last 30 years or if you are brand new to the movement, your reward is the same. During this 30th year of prophetic ministry we should expect a greater anointing for fulfillment of prophetic destiny, blessings of prosperity upon ourselves and our families, greater revelation, greater miracles, signs and wonders than ever before.
So what is the Prophet’s Reward?
There are several examples of people being blessed, rewarded and advanced because they received a prophet or a prophetic message. In all these examples we find that receiving the prophet or prophetic word was not a passive response of hearing a word and hoping something good would happen as a result, but rather one that required active alignment, an expectant attitude and corresponding action. The Prophets Reward released rapid fulfillment of the things God had promised. In most instances below, the prophecy was fulfilled almost instantly, without delay. The Prophets Reward brings an acceleration of the process of divine fulfillment.
1) The Miracle You Need That Money Cannot Buy! Prophets release the miraculous! The story of the Shunamite woman is one of the best examples of receiving a Prophet’s Reward. In 2 Kings 4 we meet this woman who is wealthy, but has no child. Not only did she receive the prophet, she actually had a room built in her house for him. Each of us need to be challenged to build a room in our life and in our heart for the Word of the Lord to dwell. Rather than just occasionally receiving “a word” we must receive the abiding Voice of God. It seemed this woman didn’t need anything. She just wanted the anointing in her home knowing it would bring a blessing. But it was discovered that she did not have an heir. The prophet told her that the following year she would bear a son. She was so heartbroken from her years of barrenness that her initial reaction was not necessarily one of faith, but rather “don’t mess with me prophet!” Nevertheless, the next year she had a son. She blessed the prophet by honoring the gift within him, she made place for the prophetic anointing in her life and she received a miracle which she needed which money could not buy!
One of the beautiful things about a Prophet’s Reward is that it is not a one time blessing but continues to perpetuate the anointing through the years. When the boy was grown he was working in the field with his father and suddenly held his head and fell over dead. The Shunnamite, drawing on that Prophet’s Reward anointing, ran to get the prophet to raise her son back to life! Her heir was given back to her and all the enemy tried to rob was returned. This theme continued later in 2 Kings 8 when Elisha told her to go live somewhere else during a famine. She was gone seven years then returned to make an appeal for her house and her land. The king was hearing the story of how Elisha had raised the boy back to life, when his servant said “look! Here is the woman and her son!” The Prophet’s Reward Set her up with the anointing for favor for her to be in the right place at the right time! The king not only gave her back her land, but all the proceeds of the land that should have been hers for the past seven years! The prophet’s Reward will bring restoration of all that has been lost or stolen! It is a blessing that keeps on giving and in this time of the Prophet’s Reward God will make sure you are in the right place at the right time to receive your miracle and to bring influence for the Kingdom of God.
Not only will God bless those who have made room in their lives for the Voice of God, but it is now time to see blessings come upon churches who have made a place for the prophetic within their church structure. Have you given God’s Voice a place to move and minister whenever you gather? Then you will see the Shunnamite Blessing of the Prophet’s Reward upon your church and growth and increase will be the result.
2) The Reward of Provision
Prophets release provision. In I Kings 17 the Prophet, Elijah, had a word from God to go to a widow at Zarephath to be fed during a time of famine. When he got there he found the woman gathering sticks by the city gate, preparing to fix her last meal for her and her son before dying of starvation. He asked her for bread and she said she only had a tiny bit of flour and oil left. He asked her to go fix him a small cake first because he knew God sent him to this widow. He gave her a promise that if she did this the bin of flour would not be empty and the oil would not run dry. The widow received the prophet and fed him because he was a prophet and she and her household ate for months until the famine was broken. The prophet was blessed with food but the woman received the Prophets Reward that lasted for months or possibly even years of unlimited supply. It is time to see the Prophet’s Reward of unlimited supply manifested, not just for survival, but for the advancement of the Kingdom endeavors God has charged you with.
3). The Reward of Posterity
Prophets will bring generational continuity. In the previous two stories the prophet came and brought sons back to life. God cares about our generations! Likewise, the Prophets Reward can be seen in 2 Kings 4. A prophet died and left his wife in debt so that her sons would need to be sold as slaves. Elisha told the woman to take the small amount of oil in her house, go gather as many vessels as she could and begin to pour the oil into the vessels. Her obedience to the word resulted in a Prophets Reward of supernatural multiplication of oil which enabled her to pay the debt and set her children free. She worked with the word of the Lord through the prophet to see her generations free and blessed. We also see the Prophets Reward and generational synergy with the ministries of Elijah and Elisha. Elijah prophesied to Elisha and Elisha responded by wholeheartedly going after Elijah until he received the double portion blessing. The Double Portion anointing and the Prophets Reward are synonymous and it is time to receive this fresh mantle on your life, family, ministry, and business.
4) The Reward of New Beginnings
Prophets declare the new things and bring Reformation! Isaiah 42:9 says “Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.” This is prophetic function: to declare what God is doing before it even happens. Isaiah 43:19 says Behold I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth, shall you not know it. This year will be full of new things as reformation aligns God’s people to proper heart positioning and proper function so the church can thrive as Christ intended.
This is the Roman calendar year 2018 and the Hebraic calendar year 5778. Both years end in the number 8 which signifies new beginnings, reformation and resurrection life. Jesus was resurrected on the first day of the week which was the 8th day. Josiah, a reformer, began his reign at age 8 bringing a new era in the midst of idolatrous predecessors. He also began to seek the Lord for himself in the eighth year of his reign which later resulted in His purging Israel of the altars of Baal. Likewise, Solomon began to purge the idols from Israel in the 8th year of his reign. The 8 of Reformation will always call us back to the straight path.
Since I mentioned the number 8, I should mention here the biblical meaning of the number “18” is blessing and long life . In the Hebraic culture the number 18 is very significant as the word Chai, which is the word for life, has the numeric value of 18. This is where Jews get the saying L’chaim…to life! Eighteen also represents a time of coming out of bondage. Twice Israël was in bondage for 18 years when God delivered them. It does not signify bondage but rather freedom from bondage. In Luke 13:16 Jesus healed a woman who had been sick for 18 years saying Woman Thou Art Loosed! Finally, the number 18 is tied to judges. There were 18 judges from the time of Joshua until Saul became king. The first judge, Joshua, ruled 18 years. I believe it is time to see a new beginning in the courts of our land with a return to righteous rulership.
5) The Reward of Breakthrough!
Prophets bring breakthrough! David was Jesse’s 8th son and he ushered in a new era for Israel. David was a prophet who led Israel in battles of victory against the Philistines. He received the prophecy from the prophet, Samuel, that he would be king. He believed it, received it then acted on it by stepping up to face Goliath. This will be a year to see Goliaths fall! Goliath systems. Goliaths of intimidation. Goliaths of impossibility. The Prophets Reward released vision, courage, and a prophetic edge which was imparted through Samual and acted on by David. This anointing brought Goliath down. The Prophets Reward releases the ability to do things that have been impossible up until that time. It is a breaker anointing that will bring down spiritual foes. This year will be a record-breaking year! Things that have never been done before will breakthrough! Things stagnated or stalemated in previous years will break open through the Word of the Lord!
6) The Reward of Opportunity & Favor
Prophets release favor and open doors of opportunity. The prophet, Moses stood before the throne of Pharoah and said “Let My People Go” and God released favor in the courts of Egypt. In the Hebraic alphabet, the number eight is drawn as a picture of a gate or a door. Remember my vision of the battering ram with the words Prophets Reward pounding against a giant gate. Gates were always places of government and authority. Kings issued decrees from the city gates. Prophets prophesied from the gates. Jesus raised the dead in the gate. The apostles healed the lame man in the gate. Jesus identified Himself as the Door. In Revelation 3 he says he has the Key of David and opens so that no man can shut and shuts so that no man can open. Expect doors of favor and access which have been shut to you in the past to be opened to you for your future!
In I Corinthians 16:9 Paul says “for a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.” As we embrace God’s prophetic words in this season we will see unprecedented times of open doors, but also may have to contend with some adversaries. But take heart and have no fear. I heard the Lord say, “Your opposition will become your opportunity!” Just like when David faced Goliath & defeated him, it caused promotion to come that he could marry the king’s daughter and move into the palace. The opposition became his opportunity. In the same way, your adversaries have been given for your advantage. Your trial and trouble will become your triumph! I felt this year would be characterized by Gates, Goliaths and Glory! Go through the gates, defeat your Goliaths and then step into the glory!
Along with supernatural opportunities God is asking us to spend our favor. Faith is the currency of heaven. All we desire to receive from God takes faith to receive. On the other hand, favor is our currency of our dealings with men on the earth. We must understand that we can actually have favor without knowing how to spend it. Just as one can have money without spending it, one can also have favor without spending it or spending amiss. Favor opens doors for kingdom influence and kingdom endeavors. Favor assures we are in the right place at the right time for kingdom results. Favor is one more aspect of our Prophets Reward and part of the blessing God gives to those who receive prophets and prophetic ministry.
7). The Reward that Heaven Will Fight For You
Prophets release heaven’s angel armies. We see several times in scripture when a prophetic word is released by a prophet and when the people of God actively position themselves in agreement with that prophecy, heaven supernaturally intervenes in the battle. In Judges 4-5 Deborah released a prophetic word regarding the Israel’s harsh bondage under the Canaanites. The people and the generals responded by going to the prophetically indicated place by the River Kishon. Kishon means, “to set a trap or lay a snare for the enemy”. This is exactly what happens as part of the Prophets Reward. When the enemy showed up for the battle God caused torrential rain to fall and the heavens fought for Israel flooding the riverbed and washing away the enemy. In another battle in 2 Chronicles 20, Jehoshaphat, a great reformer and righteous king was surrounded by the enemy. He called the people to fast and seek the Lord during which time the prophet Jehaziel prophesies that they will not need to fight in the battle for “the battle is the Lord’s”. As a response to this prophetic word Jehoshaphat sends worshippers out in front of the armies singing “Praise the Lord for his mercy endures forever.” As we know, once the army got to the enemy they discovered that they had turned on one another and wiped each other out. Heaven got involved and fought for them. Again in Joshua 10, Joshua is in an epic battle with a coalition of Canaanite kings when God speaks prophetically to him. “And the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not fear them, for I have delivered them into your hand; not a man of them shall stand before you.” Joshua was exhausted but went to confront his enemy as instructed by God, but instead God Himself fought for Joshua and Israel and together they wiped out the enemy. As a matter of fact it is recorded that God killed more than Joshua! Part of our Prophets Reward is that God will cause His angels to fight for us. Hebrews 1:14 says that God sends his angels to assist those who are to inherit salvation. In the Book of Acts we see multiple times when angels intervened to deliver one of the apostles and position them to advance the gospel of the kingdom. This is part of our reward for receiving God’s prophetic voice. Send down your mighty ones oh God! You can expect angelic help in your battles in 2018!
8). The Reward of Nation Changing
Prophets change cities and nations. Jeremiah was tasked as a prophet to the nations to root up, tear down, throw down and destroy and to build and plant. The prophetic anointing has the ability to shift an atmosphere over a territory which can result in changes in government, business, economy, and even break the territory open for revival. We can see this demonstrated in 2 Kings 2 after Elisha received the double portion mantle from Elijah. The first thing he did was go into Jericho and break the curse of death and barrenness off the city. The city was forever changed by the word of the prophet and the city that received him received the prophet’s reward and was forever changed.
So in 2018 it is time to proactively step into your Prophet’s Reward. Align with all God has charged you with, embrace the prophetic anointing which God is releasing to you and expect the reward of His blessing.
Defeating the Giants at the Gate in 2018:
In praying about this upcoming year of 2018, I felt that this was going to be a year of tremendous opportunities for the Kingdom of God to make significant advancements at the gates of culture. We often talk about the culture shaping gates in our society such as Government, Business, Arts & Entertainment, Family, Religion, Education and Media as being key to territorial and national transformation. A key Scripture for this season is found in 1 Corinthians 16:9 which states, “a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.” I believe that this door is going to swing wide for many this year for kingdom influence in these gates, but there are menacing adversaries, ‘giants’ if you will, stationed there that we must overcome and defeat to accomplish the mission God has for us in this season.
THE BATTLE IS AT THE GATE!
In Isaiah 28:6, the word declares that God will be “a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment, And for strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate.” I believe that is the call and the challenge in this season: to turn the tide of social injustice, unrighteousness, immorality and evil in our culture today. The Gate is always where the battle rages to see who will control a city, a nation, a region and the culture of a people. This passage in Isaiah goes on to say that those who are called to battle at the gate have lost their battle to influence the culture, because as Scripture puts it, “But they also have erred through wine, And through intoxicating drink are out of the way; The priest and the prophet have erred through intoxicating drink, They are swallowed up by wine, They are out of the way through intoxicating drink; They err in vision, they stumble in judgment. For all tables are full of vomit and filth; No place is clean.” Wow, what an indictment! Those who are called to battle at the gate for the land are “out of the way” or out of position for what reason? It says it is because they are intoxicated or drunk on the world system. They have imbibed the current worldly culture around them so much that they no longer are holy, different, righteous or influential for the God’s cause anymore. They have negated their own call to bring change for God into the land. And if they are not actually removed, then their judgment and vision has become faulty so that they are unable to rightly discern the issues of the day or offer God’s solutions for them.
LOSING OUR WAY AND LOSING OUR INFLUENCE…
The Word laments that because of this condition in the pastors and prophets of the day, those called to operate in these spheres of society and gates of the marketplace are not able to affect these spheres rightly for the Kingdom of God. In fact, it says just the opposite is taking place. Because the Church is not rightly doing its job, then corruption is rampant in the land. It says all the tables are full of vomit and filth and no place is clean. What a grave condition for any people. Then in Isaiah 28;9, the question is posed. If the church is currently in this condition, how can we begin to shift things for God? Who can we begin to teach the right principles and convey the message of the transformation? The question is asked, “Those just weaned from the milk? Those just drawn from the breast?” It is as if the prophet is suggesting that we may have to intentionally turn to a new, younger generation to get the job done! And to start over, in a sense, teaching the principles of the full purpose of the Church to display God’s eternal purposes and the manifold wisdom of God to principalities and powers, the mandate for subduing and having dominion, the call to bring territorial transformation, the strategy to heal the land, the heart to restore people but also to restore all, the mission to cause the kingdoms of this world to become the kingdoms of our Lord and his Christ. It says in this passage that we will have to build precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little and there a little. We have to systematically change the culture of the Church to be a ‘Kingdom Culture’ in order to effectively change the culture in our land! So that we might break the covenant and agreement with death and hell in our land as described in Isaiah 28:15. So that the Gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church but the Church will prevail or overcome by operating with the Keys to the Kingdom to shut down the Gates of Hell and open up the Gates of Heaven over people’s lives and in our land as described inMatthew 16.
OPENING UP THE GATES FOR THE KING OF GLORY
God always has a strategy to win in every generation, and He has special times, called ‘Appointed Time’ or Kairos moments for His people to advance in amazing ways. I believe we are living in that kind of time right now! Another key passage for advancement in this hour of storming the gates is found in Psalms 24. We know that at the end of this passage the powerful declaration is made that the gates of a territory should lift up their heads to the ‘King of Glory’ and the ancient, everlasting doors should also open up to this Great King and welcome Him with open arms! Of course, Jesus is the King of Glory, and He is described in powerful terms as the Lord of Hosts (the Angel Armies) who is strong and mighty in battle! This is the nature of God that we must embrace if we are to see the transformation in our nations that God wants to bring. Jesus, the Mighty Man of War who will fight for us! The King of Glory is described, but who are these gates? I believe these ancient doors refer to the gates of our culture in our land, but also directly relate to God’s people, the church. The Church is called to be the determining factor of what takes place in a nation not just the government or these other gates. Scriptures says, “if My people” will turn, then the nation can be saved, healed and transformed!
How more specifically can this happen? Well, going back to the beginning of Psalms 24 we see the answers unfolding. First it starts with a decree out of our mouth of ownership. The decree goes like this,
‘The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein. For He has founded it upon the seas, And established it upon the waters’
The Psalmist is decreeing that the world does not belong to its inhabitants or definitely does not belong to Satan, no it belongs to it’s Creator, Almighty God, and all the people belong to Him as well. This is the only mentality that will cause the Church to understand it’s call and destiny…to be the Rulers of the Earth! …to Subdue and have Dominion! …to fill the earth with the Glory of God! …to Rule and Reign on the Earth with God forever! This is a Mentality Shift that will bring a Power Shift!
WHO CAN BE USED TO OPEN THE GATES?
But again, a question is posed! Who can ascend to the hill of the Lord? Or who can operate at the gate rightly to truly welcome the King of Glory and His Kingdom? And the answer is given. God says I need those who have ‘clean hands’ and ‘a pure heart’. Here He is talking about one’s deeds and motives. God says I need those who have not sullied themselves with the world’s ways and who have a motive of love toward God and His Kingdom Purposes first: Those who seek His kingdom first and not all the other things first like money, power, position, fame, pleasure, etc., and those who are motivated by God’s heart of love and live by His Word. It goes on to say that they must not be those who have lifted their soul to an idol or sworn deceitfully. It can’t be those who have made a secret pact with the powers that be to advance or who have chosen to serve other gods or interests in order to achieve their goals. These kinds will never be able to operate at the gate for God and see the King of Glory come in. However, those who choose to allow God to clean their hands and purify their hearts can be used powerfully! And the promise to them is that God will release His righteousness to them, He will save and rescue them in every circumstance and He will bless them continuously. God is saying that what He is looking for is a generation that will seek Him and seek His face so they will know their God and do mighty exploits and know how to turn the battle at the gates!
I felt there were 8 distinct foes that we would face at the gate of influence that God has called us to that we would have to overcome in order for us to impact our culture in this generation. We can term these adversaries ‘Giants’ for the sake of this word.
THE GIANT OF INTIMIDATION
This giant is waiting at the gate to negate your influence. It is becoming more and more prevalent in our world today. It is bit more of an outward force of persecution than an inward attack of perversion, but its affect can be devastating. It’s purpose is to release a spirit of fear that will undercut your faith and cause you to run from your post at the gate or keep you from ever attempting to operate there in the first place. It wants to make a coward of us all! It says, “You better not stick your head up above the crowd, or I’ll take it off. You better not let your voice be heard, or we’ll attack you and silence you.” One of its tools is to isolate you, make you feel alone and afraid.
This is what happened to Elijah after his powerful confrontation with Jezebel and the prophets of Baal where he proved who the real God was and broke the curse for the drought in the land. Yet, we know that it was long after that that he found himself hiding in a cave, feeling alone, isolated and abandoned and afraid. In his downcast condition God’s voice spoke strongly to Elijah saying, “What are you doing in this cave!” And “Son, you are not alone. I have many others who are believing and fighting as well.” This spirit of intimidation is real, and its goal is to take you out of the fight. David faced it with Goliath when he looked at a giant twice his size, armed in battle away, trained in the ways of war and much older than him.
Goliath shouted, bellowed and purposely intimidated this young man, David, but David had to choose what was going to rule him: His Fear of this very real, ugly giant standing in front of him or His Faith and Relationship and Covenant and Experience with a God that he couldn’t see physically at that moment. Praise God faith prevailed, because it was a turning point for a nation to either go into oppression and bondage or victory and freedom. We have to choose out of Fear and into Faith to battle at the gate and not abandon our post. In some parts of the world, people face the intimidation of physical violence and confiscation of goods and imprisonment. Daniel had to brave the prospects of a “lions’ den” experience, and his three sons in the faith had to face the “fiery furnace” in order to fulfill their duty as Gatekeepers for God in their generation. Jeremiah said concerning his experience at the gate,
“For I heard many mocking: “Fear on every side!” “Report” they say “and we will report it!” All my acquaintances watched for my stumbling, saying, “Perhaps he can be induced; Then we will prevail against him, And we will take our revenge on him”. (Jeremiah 20:10). What an environment to work in to try and fulfill your assignment from God. However, this is not the end of the story, because the rest of the declaration goes on to say in vs. 11.
‘But the Lord is with me as a mighty, awesome One. Therefore my persecutors will stumble, and will not prevail. They will be greatly ashamed, for they will not prosper. Their everlasting confusion will never be forgotten. But, O Lord of hosts, You who test the righteous, And see the mind and heart, Let me see Your vengeance on them; For I have pleaded my cause before you.” (Jeremiah 20:11)
Praise God, currently in America most of our persecution is not seen in these terms, but more in the power of pressure, restrictive laws, fines and in the power of words in our Media, Facebook, Friends, Fellow Workers or even misguided Christians. The spirit of political correctness and peer pressure is real, but we have to overcome it if we are going to operate at the gate for God.
THE GIANT OF HUMILIATION
This brings us to our next Giant you will face at the gate called Humiliation. This is also called a ‘Mocking’ spirit. Another tactic of the enemy to negate your influence at the gate is to try and make fun of you so that you will be shamed, marginalized and demoralized. If the enemy can dehumanize, demonize and shame you then he can justify almost any action against you and try and shut you down. This was one of Goliath’s tactics against David as he scoffed at this young man coming against him, acted insulted about it and then called him a dog and boasted that he didn’t stand a chance against him. If you listen to the enemy’s taunts, you will become disheartened and give up on the cause God has called you to champion.
Nehemiah was called to rebuild the Temple (the Church) and rebuild the foundations and walls of the Jerusalem (the city and the nation), but he faced fierce opposition of true intimidation and warfare as well as a clear strategy of humiliation. (Nehemiah 4) They intimidated through hiring lawyers against them, and tried to change laws and decrees. But they also tried to humiliate them by laughing at them. They basically said, “Who do these Jews think they are? Will they be able to rebuild these things in a day? And if they do, even if a fox jumps up on it then it will fall down and not last? Will they rebuild the stones that have been burnt and broken? Will they offer sacrifices in this land again? In other words, they mocked their purpose, their strategy and ability, their chances, their God and their character. The enemy’s tactics have not changed, and we are seeing it play out today again as anti-Christ forces seek to delegitimize any efforts by Christians in our generation to rebuild the purpose and power of the Church or to dare to believe to rebuild the righteous foundations or culture in America in our day.
Joshua was mocked from the walls of Jericho. The Children of Israel had to decide whether they were “grasshoppers” or “giant killers”. Jeremiah was mocked for his word of warning to his generation. Jesus was mocked by the religious crowd of his day. David was mocked by Goliath and his brothers.
Sometimes mocking comes from human voices, but other times it comes from the voice of the enemy as he mocks us as we walk through difficult circumstances. Maybe your bank account is mocking you or your church size or your pain. Maybe it is your friends or coworkers or society as a whole. You have to choose what voice you are going to listen to and let guide you and not allow the spirit of humiliation to move you out of your appointed place of influence at the gate.
THE GIANT OF ACCUSATION
The devil is described as the accuser of the brethren, and he goes about accusing us both day and night. The giant of False Accusation and even True Accusation is waiting for you at the gate. If the enemy can’t find something that is true, then he will just make something up to attack you with. False Accusation hurts. Many times, it is hard to defend yourself against it, because it is harder to prove something isn’t true than to prove it’s false. Scripture implores us to live above reproach, blameless and to have a good reputation. That means we need to work hard not to give the enemy something to work with to take us out of our position at the gate. But we also have to guard our hearts against the pain of false accusations that want to cause us to get bitter or hopeless about the call to operate at the gate of influence.
THE GIANT OF DEPRESSION
Some giants are more external, outward forces of opposition, and others are internal. Depression is a real enemy that will try and stop you at the gate. Some of the greatest men in the Bible had to contend with it. Men, as great as Elijah and Moses prayed to die or lamented that they were ever born at one point in their lives. The enemy wants to emphasize your failures, your faults, the difficulty of the task and the delays in our lives to try and make us feel hopeless and abandoned. Depression in rooted in grief, and one of the stages of grief is anger. Anger is the result of unresolved loss. And if anger stays in our life, it will either be turned outward in Aggression or inward in Depression. The key is to work through our grief to get to the other side where we can resolve by God’s love and help to live again and hope again after whatever loss we have walked through in our life.
It says that David learned how to encourage himself in the Lord. David was called to operate at the gate of government, but it was not easy. In Psalms 43 he says, “‘Why are you cast down oh my soul?” (your soul: mind, will, emotions, feelings, thoughts, attitudes). He is asking, “Why are you disquieted, so morbid, so frustrated and upset?” But then he goes on to say, “Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God,” The message Bible expresses it this way, “Why are you down in the dumps dear soul? Why are you crying the blues? Fix my eyes on God. Soon I’ll be praising again. He puts a smile on my face. He’s my God.”
It says of Nehemiah’s task that the people got discouraged and depressed because of the amount of junk and rubbish they had to deal with and the constant attacks of the enemy and the enormity of the task. These are real issues that we face that the enemy wants to use to depress us, so we will not have faith in God or ourselves, which we must maintain in order to accomplish the mission God has sent us to do for Him at the gate. There is always grace for whatever we face, and if we rightly appropriate it, it will release the joy of the Lord in our call that will elevate us out of every depressive syndrome. An honest, sober minded estimation of ourselves and proper understanding of the God we serve will cause the garment of praise to replace the spirit of heaviness every time.
THE GIANT OF DECEPTION
This is a big issue today. Scripture says that it is possible that in the last days the very Elect of God might be deceived. James 1 says, “Therefore, lay aside all filthiness and the overflowing of wickedness that surrounds you and receive with meekness, the implanted word which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”
We are living in a time when people want to decide for themselves what is right or wrong. This prideful approach is the very root of sin found in the Garden of Eden where man wanted to eat of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil and decide for himself what were the standards to live by and then man was influenced by Lucifer in to thinking there was no consequences to his sin. “If you eat of this tree, you will not surely die.”
Man, was deceived and ultimately died outside of the blessing and glory that God had intended for him to live in.
We must live by the dictates of the word of God and not just our heart or conscience because they can be deceived. We not only have to know what is right but then we have to choose to do it in order to stay free of deception’s insidious grip. How can we operate at the gate effectively and lead people to the light and life without knowing the truth and living the truth?
THE GIANT OF MANIPULATION
The Bible implores us to “Trust in the Lord with all our hearts and lean not to our own understanding so He can direct our paths.” It’s when we choose not to trust God with the issues of our lives and our cultures that we feel the need to turn to manipulation of people’s hearts and life’s circumstances to get our way and fulfill our goals. Unfortunately, this only leads to heartache, pain and confusion. Scripture says promotion only comes from God, and He knows how to promote us in the right season. Self Promotion and Manipulation are approaches of the untrusting heart and cause us to employ man’s tactics and fleshly approaches that ultimately dishonor God and don’t work, no matter how noble the goal may seem. At the gate, the temptation is to turn to manipulation to get the job done but this giant will side track God’s plans every time. The worst of it all, is that it will keep us from receiving the power and blessing of doing it God’s way by faith.
THE GIANT OF POLLUTION
The terrible thing about pollution is that it takes that which is meant to be beautiful and life giving and causes it to become ugly and death dealing. Beautiful, crystal clear, life-giving water, when it is polluted with contaminates, corruption and garbage, begins to cause the water to stink, darken and destroy beautiful, pure and pristine environments. If the enemy can pollute us at the gate then the moment we are positioned to release life, all we do is perpetuate the death, the junk and stinking things that are already invading our world.
THE GIANT OF DILUTION
To Dilute something means that there is a substance or solution that is meant to be potent, powerful and affective because of the active ingredients contained in the solution. However, when it is diluted it means that these active ingredients that are meant to release the power of this solution are overwhelmed by enough inactive ingredients so that the potency and effectiveness of the solution is lost. If the enemy can’t pollute us, he’ll settle for diluting us so that we no longer carry the power of the gospel of the Kingdom in our lives and, so we are not affecting our world by its power anymore because we have become overwhelmed by the busyness and cares of this life, and the lifeless traditioins of dead religion, to the point that we are no longer making a difference at the gate.
This is a season to overcome and defeat these giants at the gate, so we can do the work of transformation that we were made to accomplish at the gate!
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Vision Church @ CI
5200 East Highway 98
Santa Rosa Beach, FL, United States