Pursue and Embrace

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

Fire Season

FIRE

The fire of God’s Presence is coming to the church, to remove and gather stumbling blocks, to raise up a Joshua Generation.

We must be strong and ready if we are to withstand the coming storms: and we will find God in the midst of some of them, hidden in the fire and the clouds and the smoke.

At the dedication of the temple, the priests could not stand and minister when the glory of God’s presence came. But we have to learn to stand and minister in the storm of glory, in the storm of judgment that is coming to the church, where God is drawing a line, saying ‘This is Me, and this is not’.

Open spiritual warfare is coming: we must be able to withstand it. When everything starts to fall apart, God’s people will be raised up. When the time comes for the storm of judgment to come upon the world, we are not only to have the answer, we are to be the answer,

In being transformed (2 Cor 3:18) we are being changed into the image of Jesus, the image we had before the foundation of the world, from one degree of glory to another. That process of change enables us to display the glory of God, the manifest presence of God, on earth as it is in heaven. We do not call heaven down, we bring heaven down. To bring heaven to earth, we have to be able to access heaven: God is opening up heaven so that we can engage there.

We can choose to pursue and embrace this process of change, or not. Only by so doing can we be prepared and able to do all that God has called and destined us to do. Otherwise we risk being unprepared and unable. Do we want to stay babies and infants for ever? One day we will have to give account for what we have done about the call of God and our scroll of destiny. I have chosen to respond to His call, and go after my destiny: how about you?

Wall of Fire

—’For I,’ declares the Lord, ‘will be a wall of fire around her, and I will be the glory in her midst’ (Zech 2:5).

To come into the glory, we have to go through the wall of fire. That wall of fire is God’s Presence. The glory in the midst is His Person. God wants to take us from having wonderful experiences of His Presence to being able to look Him in the face, a completely different level of relationship.

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy (Jude v24).

He will keep us from stumbling (the removal of stumbling blocks is part of our transformation), so that we can stand in His glory and not be completely destroyed by it.

Wilderness

A voice is calling, “Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness; Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God. Let every valley be lifted up, And every mountain and hill be made low; And let the rough ground become a plain, And the rugged terrain a broad valley; Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, And all flesh will see it together; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken” (—Isa 40:3-5).

—The environment in which transformation takes place can seem like a wilderness. God has a purpose in bringing us there. Let us be willing to face and embrace it, unlike the children of Israel:

Then they said to Moses, “Is it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you dealt with us in this way, bringing us out of Egypt? Is this not the word that we spoke to you in Egypt, saying, ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness” (—Exod 14:11-12).

—But Moses said to the people, “Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever. The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent” (Exod 14:13-14).

They were afraid of the uncertainty of change, preferring the slavery of their previous life. They were like baby Christians, saved out of Egypt but not willing to be transformed. How many of us responded to a gospel of salvation rather than to the true gospel of the kingdom, and have been surprised at the cost of becoming a disciple of Jesus? We have seen salvation as a one-off event, whereas the Greek word ‘sozo’ implies a process of transformation.—

If we want our sinful life to ‘never be seen again for ever’, we cannot keep looking back towards it. Instead, we focus on what is to come, on the change that God desires. —The wilderness is a place of separation in which we can deal with our souls and allow that transformation to take place. It is a place of calling, as Moses was called at the burning bush. It is a place of testing and overcoming, as Jesus was tested and emerged victorious.

Forerunners will go into the wilderness to prepare the way for others. It may be inconvenient, uncomfortable, inhospitable, but here we can learn to fight, to overcome, to be obedient, to trust in God’s provision. Here we can be prepared to possess our inheritance. Here God can deliver a message that will transform our lives.

Here He can make straight the crooked ways of our behaviour. He can fill the valleys, the low places of our lack of confidence, our inadequacies, Insecurities and weaknesses. The mountains of pride, personal agendas and ambitions, self-promotion, self-reliance and competitiveness He can make low.

Our crooked, uneven ways of thinking and understanding, our sinful secrets and moral compromise He can straighten out. The rough ground of our defects of personality and character He can make a plain. He will bring about changes in our attitudes, beliefs and actions to bring us into alignment with the kingdom, so that the —Glory of the Lord can be revealed in us.

The Highway of Holiness

A highway will be there, a roadway, And it will be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean will not travel on it, But it will be for him who walks that way (—Isa 35:8).

—Righteousness is gifted to us so we can choose to be holy. The highway of holiness is built in our souls, in our hearts. In this process let us seek to be ruthless, honest, and open to the light. We will identify by revelation the patterns of sin, weakness, hurts, mind-sets, character  issues, behavioural fruit and so on which are operating in our lives. We will deal with them by owning them, confessing, repenting, renouncing and forgiving. —Blockages will be removed from our conscience, imagination, mind, emotions, and will.

I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent (Rev 3:18-19).

—How do we buy? We present ourselves for transformation, as living sacrifices. We step into the presence of God through the pathway or veil of Jesus, through the cross. He will do the work in us, but beware: it will be at a deeper level than we have ever experienced before.

If we understand that, and are willing to submit to Him, then let’s pray:

—Father by faith I choose to step into Your heavenly presence.
—I receive Your acceptance, love, mercy and grace.
—I stand in the victory of the cross forgiven, justified and cleansed.

—I thank You that You clothe me in white robes of righteousness.
—I am the righteousness of God in Christ.

—Father I choose to give You full permission 
To do whatever it takes to change me 
And transform me into the image of Jesus.
—I give You full permission to remove all stumbling blocks from me.

—I give You full permission to use whatever means you see fit
To purify, refine and restore me to my original eternal condition.

—Father I choose to deny myself
And surrender control of my life to You.

—I give You my conscience.
—I repent of and renounce everything that has damaged it.
—I ask you to purify and restore my conscience,
—Direct and protect me through my conscience
By a flow of reverence and fear of the Lord.

—I give You my reason centre.
—I repent of and renounce doubt, unbelief,
Rationalism, scepticism, cynicism and denial.
—I ask You cleanse me of all false doctrine, philosophies and ideas.

—I ask You to renew and restore my reason.
—Use my reason to interpret your thoughts
And understand your ways

—I give You my imagination.
—I repent of and renounce viewing any image that has polluted me.
—I ask you to blot out every negative image with the blood of Jesus.

—Purify and restore my imagination.
—Restore my screen, vision and revelation

—I give You my heart, my sub-conscious mind.
—I repent of and renounce all strongholds,
Negative belief and value systems,
Vows, words, curses, doctrines, triggers,
Coping and defence mechanisms.

—I ask You to cleanse every negative memory.
—Purify, restore and reprogram my heart
With Your truth, Your values and my destiny.

—I give You my emotions.
—I repent of and renounce all unforgiveness, bitterness and anger.
I ask You to purify and restore my emotions
—Use my emotions to feel Your heart and guide me through intuition.

—I give You my will.
I repent of and renounce all sin,
Rebellion, stubbornness, wilfulness, control, fear,
Doubt, unbelief and indecision

—I ask You to purify and restore my will.
Restore courage, perseverance and boldness.
Use my will to enable me to do Your will
Through obedience and true worship.

—Father I surrender my spirit, soul and body to You
—I declare that Jesus is Lord of the gates of my life.

—I step back into this realm
Readily available to do Your will and purposes.
—Manifest Your glory and presence in and through my life.
—Manifest Your kingdom authority and power through me and around me.

Amen

If you prayed that prayer, please do not be surprised what God brings to the surface in your life as a result… and please, don’t blame me! Be willing to deal with those things when they come up, so that God can have His way.

Related articles by Freedom ARC
Other resources from Freedom ARC

Tadpoles and Caterpillars

Mike Parsons 
with Jeremy Westcott

[We] are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another (2Cor 3:18).

We are to be transformed into the image of Jesus. As John the Baptist said, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). He adds to me what is like Him, and He takes away from me what is not like Him.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect (Rom 12:2).

Metamorphosis

Transformation (the Greek word is metamorphosis) is a change from one form into another, such as a caterpillar into a butterfly or a tadpole into a frog. It is not something which happens just on the surface. The kind of transformation God requires will affect our spirit, our soul (mind, will and emotions) and our body, right down to DNA level.

Look at the life cycles of the butterfly and the frog:

lifecycles

There are similarities, and one major difference. The tadpole gets to enjoy freedom while he gradually changes, a little at a time. The caterpillar is shut into a cocoon and radically changed, all at once. Some of those cocoons look very pretty, but what goes on inside really isn’t. The caterpillar is dissolved, its DNA is completely deconstructed, turned into mush, and recoded to form a butterfly. The emerging butterfly struggles to escape from the cocoon, but that very struggle produces the strength to overcome and fly.

I know which kind of transformation I would prefer.

Now a tadpole can live only in the water, but a frog is at home both in water and on the land. A caterpillar is earthbound, whilst a butterfly can fly in the air or perch on the ground. As a result of our transformation, we are enabled to operate effectively in the dual realms of heaven and earth.

Visions of a dark cloud

A number of people have seen a dark cloud over us here at Freedom. It is not a warning of something bad about to happen: the dark cloud is like a cocoon, a canopy over us, protecting us and enabling us to operate as a safe haven, a city of refuge, even as we are transformed here ourselves. It is the cloud that surrounds His glory:

…there were thunder and lightning flashes and a thick cloud upon the mountain…  the Lord descended upon it in fire; and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked violently (Ex 19:16,18).

We can see our place of transformation as a cloud, as a cocoon, a wilderness, a crucible, a furnace. In all of these it will be our situations, circumstances and relationships that God uses to bring about the result He desires. We may find ourselves asking searching questions. Where am I? Who am I? What am I? Why am I?

When the cloud overshadows, the Spirit is brooding, hovering, resonating: causing us to come into harmony with Him. The vibrating energy of the Holy Spirit causes shaking, realignment atthe very deepest level, and brings us into resonance, into harmony with our identity and destiny as sons. His overshadowing always produces change:

The Spirit of God was moving (hovering, brooding, vibrating) over the face of the waters (Gen 1:2).

The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you…” (Luke 1:35).

Pursuit (the proof of desire)

We can run, we can criticise the fire for being too hot, we can complain that other people are unsympathetic and uncaring. Or we can submit, and allow Him to have His way. Let’s even pursue and embrace the transforming cloud and fire of God’s presence. What is buried deep in us will come to the surface. What is hidden will be revealed. We may feel disoriented; that it is dark, restricted, hot; that we are falling apart (there may be some truth in that). But heat and pressure turn coal into diamonds, and weeds into fertile compost. Our identity as sons is forged in the fires of adversity and challenge.

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing (James 1:2-4).

And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;  and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us (Rom 5:3-5).

We must fight, press in, press on and not give up. We must pursue our inheritance; not being settlers but pioneers. We must also not cave in to pressure to help others out of their cocoon. We can encourage and support, but we must not try to rescue them from their struggle, because it is the struggle that will enable them to fly.

From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force (Matt 11:12).

Ready to move?

God is always moving, and He wants us to chase after Him towards maturity. He makes us uncomfortable where we are: it may be that we find the spiritual techniques and disciplines we have relied on no longer work, that we cannot see or hear as we once did. He is moving us from His presence to His glory.

Are we ready to move when the pillar of fire or cloud moves? He is not where He was; He is not doing things as He was. But His glory and grace depart slowly – in the Old Testament they were unaware that He had left the temple (Ezek 8-11).

God is calling us to transformation because He loves us; calling us ‘deep to deep’ (Ps 42:7) to engage heaven; calling us to a supernatural lifestyle; calling us out of the wilderness into our true inheritance. He wants us living in dual realms so that we can bring His kingdom government from heaven to earth.

Transformation is the only way to maturity, to sonship, and to the true fulfilment of our destiny, which is nothing less than the restoration of the whole universe (Rom 8:19).

I dare you to pray this prayer; I dare you to continue praying it as the heat and pressure build and you engage with the process of change; I dare you not to stop praying it until you are fully transformed into the likeness of Jesus:

Investigate my life, O God,
find out everything about me;
Cross-examine and test me,
get a clear picture of what I’m about;
See for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong
then guide me on the road to eternal life.
(Psa 139:23-24 (TM))

Search me thoroughly, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.
(Psa 139:23-24 (NASB)).

Related articles by Freedom ARC
Other resources from Freedom ARC

Mercy: God’s Covenant Love

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect (Rom 12:1-2).

God wants us to be ready for His glory to come in increasing measure. If we are not ready, we would be foolish to venture anywhere near His glory, but God is looking for a people who can stand in that glory and reflect it to the world. We need to be transformed.

Discipline, not punishment

Transformation requires discipline, but let’s not confuse discipline with punishment. We may have been brought up by parents or teachers who punished rather than disciplined, and we will have to overcome that if we are to allow God to discipline us. He is not there threatening us with a big stick. If that is our view of God, then we need to repent and deal with that mindset. It is His kindness that leads us to repentance (Rom 2:4), not fear of the consequences. There are consequences of sin, but Jesus has already paid the price for them.

Discipline is done in love, for the benefit of the person being disciplined.

The Hebrew word muwcar and the Greek word paideia both mean ‘reprove, correct, train, warn, educate, instruct. Punishment is about payback, about the imposition of a penalty. Jesus took all our punishment and paid every penalty. God does not punish people, but He does discipline us in order to train us and help us live right.

For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems grievous and painful; but afterwards it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it (Hebrews 12:11).

Discipline is a good thing, because it corrects and trains and transforms us. When we face up to looking honestly at the reality of our life, it can be uncomfortable, even painful in the short term. But if we allow God to work in us, it will produce fruit in us, and bring us into a place of peace and joy as we persevere

Covenant love

The Lord’s mercies [lovingkindnesses] indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness (Lam 3:22-23).

The word ‘mercy’ is checed, traditionally translated ‘lovingkindness’, but it actually means ‘covenant love’. And it is by God’s mercies that we present ourselves as a living sacrifice to be transformed, as the passage from Romans 12 at the head of this post tells us.

Covenant is a commitment, agreement or contract only ended by death, and often sealed in blood by walking through the pieces of an animal sacrifice. It is a total commitment to each other. It binds each party to love one another and do good to one another, to share all they have and to support one another to the death when attacked by an outsider. It carries stipulations and terms which both parties know about before entering into it, and it is ratified by exchange, for example of coats or weapons.

God has always dealt with men through covenant (you can see this with Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and Jesus). God’s covenant with Abraham was actually with his seed; and Jesus is the Seed, as Paul explains (Gal 3:16). Since we are in Him, we also benefit from that covenant.

And if you belong to Christ [are in Him Who is Abraham’s Seed], then you are Abraham’s offspring and heirs according to promise (Gal 3:29 AMP).

Heir of the world

For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world… (Rom 4:13).

This was not about possession of a little piece of land in the Middle East. This covenant is for the whole world. It is not restricted to one group of people: it is for everybody. In His death on the cross, Christ made the promises available to us. The gospel goes to the ends of the earth, bringing blessing to everyone.

We did not make this covenant, so we cannot break it. The New Covenant is God’s fulfilment of His promises to Abraham, through Jesus. It is totally reliable. God will never break a covenant He has made in the blood of His own Son. And this is the basis on which we can be saved, healed, and transformed.

Mercy (covenant love) applies the covenant power and the victory of the cross to our lives.

  • Jesus was my substitute. He traded places with me to deal with the penalty or wages of sin. He died for me.
  • When Jesus died, I died. He was my representative to deal with the power of sin: He died as me.

Covenant exchange

Covenant exchange

This is the covenant exchange that took place at the cross. We can come to the cross every minute of every day and enter into that life which is ours in eternity. His mercy, His covenant love, is new every morning.

Grace

…through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand (Rom 5:2).

We now stand in the grace of God, His divine enabling power, to be transformed. It is not something we can do ourselves by our own power or ability, but only by willing submission and surrender to Him. Because of His grace, we have an opportunity to turn away from our old way of life and follow a different path, turning to the way God has called us to live.

For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Heb 4:15).

The Father and the Son

God is a covenant-making God. Covenant expresses his inexhaustible and supreme love. The love between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is covenant love, and we are brought into that family of love.

In giving his life for the sins of the world, Jesus entered a New Covenant in His blood with the Father. It was total commitment and self-giving without reservation on behalf of both parties. The Father and the Son entered covenant for us.so that we could come into the fullness of relationship with God. That covenant is stronger than death; it cannot be broken or annulled: it sustains our salvation, and enables our transformation.

That New Covenant means that everything belonging to the Father now belongs to Jesus. And since we are in Christ, everything belonging to the Father now belongs to us. We have access to everything of God. We have access to the omnipotence of God, the omnipresence of God, the omniscience of God: surely that will enable us to fulfil our destiny and our purpose.

Come to the cross

I would encourage you to meditate on scriptures about God’s mercies, His lovingkindness and covenant love, because they are the basis of our transformation. God’s mercies are motivated by His love, and His love motivates us to change.

Is there anything of the old that you need to exchange? Anything which is death to you that you want to exchange for life? Come to the cross. If you have a mindset that is fearful of what God might do if you were to surrender and allow Him to transform you, then come to the cross. If you think God punishes you, then you really need to come to the cross.

You can do this in a practical way. Just as the parties in a covenant would walk through and around the split pieces of the sacrificed animal in a figure-of-eight or eternity symbol, you can walk a path the same shape, and come to the intersection, the crossover point, the point of exchange. At that point you can break bread, and exchange the old for the new. You can be set free from bondage and from everything that is holding you back, because you walk through the victory that Jesus secured for you.

You can come to the cross today.

Related articles by Freedom ARC
Other resources from Freedom ARC

The Image of Jesus

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott -

Transformation: embrace the season

We are entering into a season preparing us for holiness; a season of removing stumbling blocks; a season of preparation to cross the threshold into the glory realm; a season for transformation. Not just a minor adjustment of surface appearance, but fundamental, radical change, affecting body, soul and spirit.

Let’s not resist it, but embrace it. Let’s cooperate in being changed from glory to ever-increasing glory. Entering into the process of refining and purifying is entirely voluntary. That said, we know that sometimes God will engineer circumstances around our lives to give us further opportunities to volunteer. We can fall on the Rock, or the Rock can fall on us.

Like you have never known

Here is part of a prophetic word which God gave me before I first taught this series at Freedom in 2012:

“It is time to pray that the lid comes off and to call forth my angels who are waiting to start gathering and removing stumbling blocks both within and without. Holiness fire is coming, the highway of holiness has been prepared. It is time to walk in the river of fire. You have walked over it and felt its heat but now it is time to be baptised in fire. The heat will turn idols back into the dust they came from: to be under your feet, not in your hearts.

Call forth the gathering angels. The lids are coming off the sewers, the secret and hidden things of the heart are about to be exposed. All I ask is for the willingness to submit to the fire that will refine, purify and prepare you for true holiness.

I am about to restore your souls like you have never known, and lead you on paths of righteousness like you have never known.

I am going to prune the church. I am going to cut off the branches that are producing no fruit. I am going to remove the stumbling blocks to true kingdom government. I am going to close the access doors that the enemy has had. Some have already been removed.

I am looking for those who are willing to be pruned in the unproductive areas of their lives and in their desires and their priorities…”

Metamorphosed, transfigured

We have seen that happen at Freedom Church (kingdom government has been established here, but in the process, lids have certainly come off some sewers and we have experienced some painful pruning, both corporate and personal). What is true for us locally is true for you, wherever you are reading this. God wants His whole church transformed, metamorphosed, transfigured, changed, conformed into the image of Jesus; not patterned, moulded, conformed to the world.

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect (Rom 12:1-2).

Transformation is a process of change, a renewal, a restoration to original condition; not to what Adam was like before his sin but to what he would have become. How would things be today if Man had not fallen, but had spent the intervening centuries pursuing God’s plan for him and for creation? How would we be?

Our goal in transformation is to become wholly like Jesus; to live like Him; to do as He did, and greater things (John 14:12); to be conformed to His image.

For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son (Rom 8:29).

One degree to another

In our day, the prophetic books (portals) have been opened and we are receiving deeper levels of revelation and understanding. But these also call for deeper levels of transformation. It is like going from preschool mathematics (recognise a number), through primary school (counting, simple sums, addition, multiplication), to secondary school (algebra, equations, calculus), undergraduate, postgraduate and so on. I suspect many of us are not much beyond preschool as yet.

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit (2 Cor 3:18).

There are progressive levels of transformation to maturity, progressive levels of responsibility and authority. God wants to take us from servant to bondservant to steward to friend; lord to king to son.

By the mercies of God

Freedom from sin (Rom 6:16-18); the gift of eternal life (Rom 6:23); peace with God (Rom 5:1); the grace of God (Rom 5:2); salvation from wrath (Rom 5:9); the gift of repentance (Rom 2:4-5); the love of Christ (2 Cor 5:14-15): the mercies of God are new every morning, and they motivate us to present ourselves as living sacrifices, ready for transformation.

It is indeed a process, and it may take some time. But we can begin today (and every day) by offering ourselves as a living sacrifice. We can invite Him to do what He needs to do in us.

He will challenge our conscience, imagination, reason, mind, emotions, will, and choice; our motives, desires, attitudes, mind-sets, belief systems, familiar spirits, patterns of sin, trading systems, idols, stumbling blocks, entanglements; hurts, pains, rejections, fears, inadequacies, inferiorities, disappointments and more besides. He will deal with our sin, transgression and iniquity. He will restore our supernatural abilities.

Are we up for that?
If so, let’s pray:

God I thank you for your presence in my life.
I open the gate of first love and invite you into my spirit
I invite you to activate my spiritual senses and flow through me
Jesus I surrender control of my life to your lordship.
You are Lord of my life.

I choose to be a bond servant.
Train me as a good steward
So that I can be your friend.

Renew my mind
Heal my emotions
Restore my conscience
Cleanse my imagination
Direct my will.

Train my senses to hear your voice
To know your heart
See your vision
And be directed by your peace.

Cleanse my bloodline and seed-line
Transform my DNA.

Father I choose to follow my eternal destiny
Into lordship, kingship and sonship.
I choose, as an ambassador of heaven,
To administer the rule of the kingdom of God
On earth as it is in heaven.

Display me as a son of light on the earth.
Manifest your kingdom rule through me to the world around me.

Related articles by Freedom ARC
Other resources from Freedom ARC

Gateways Open, Flowing Freely

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

Me, myself and I

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please (Gal 5:16-17).

Self-centredness, selfishness, self-importance, self-promotion, self-control, self-respect, self-esteem, self-worth, self-image, self-reliance, self-sufficiency, self-belief, self-righteousness, self-help, self-expression, self-gratification, self-indulgence…

You might think that not all of these are bad. But it really depends on what is driving our lives. If we are to reflect the glory of God and flow with His life, then ‘me, myself and I’ will have to die.

Our soul is supposed to get revelation and direction from God, on the inside. Once it finds the true source of life and grows accustomed to drawing from that source, it will not want anything else. But while we keep trying to feed it from two sources, it remains confused. We have to re-train it to receive from the inside out.

We were looking in our previous post at Ian Clayton’s diagram of our spirit, soul and body gateways, and we understand that we need all our gateways open and flowing freely.

So what might block and close up our soul gates?

Common blockages

Sin: unforgiveness, rebellion, independence, self-centredness.
Strongholds: mind-sets, beliefs, lies.
Negative emotions: fear, doubt, unbelief.
Demonic: familiar spirits, generational spirits.
Deception, confusion, control.

Mind gate: strongholds, words spoken, words received, curses, fear, false doctrines
Imagination gate: images seen or imagined, TV, films, books, fantasy, games, internet
Emotions gate: rejection, disappointments, unforgiveness, betrayal
Conscience: sin, deception, pride, independence, judgment, criticism, defensiveness

Unmet needs affect our soul’s desires and motives. Unhealed hurts affect our emotions. Unresolved issues affect our trust and foster doubt. Sin and rebellion will dull our conscience so that things no longer seem wrong, so that we become comfortable with our weaknesses and patterns of sin, and eventually they seem to us to be normal, acceptable behaviours.

How can we open our gates?
How can we keep them open?

Whatever it is that has blocked our gate(s), we must own, confess, repent of, and renounce. As we apply the blood of Jesus, there is no guilt, shame or condemnation for us: we receive forgiveness and cleansing. Cleansing the gateways by the blood of Jesus is essential to fully opening the flow.

Step 1: Open the gate of first love

This gate is often most damaged by our natural experiences of hurt, pain and rejection. Renouncing inner vows, repenting of fear and forgiving hurts, we invite Him into our spirit and out through our soul and body by deliberately opening the door. Jesus is knocking: the door handle is on our side and it is up to us to open it (Rev 3:20).

We give God first love, first place, first priority

Step 2: Opening spirit gates

In our relationship of intimacy with God, we act in faith and meditate on each gate, surrendering our spirit to Him. We pray in tongues, open it up and welcome the glory and fire of God’s presence to come through.

Here is an example prayer for one of those gates (revelation). These are just words I have used – you are welcome to use or adapt them, but you can find your own if you like:

Father, I choose to open the gate of ‘revelation’ in my spirit.
I open it and yield it to Your glory.
I receive and release the power of God through this gate
I begin to receive revelation of Your kingdom
So that it will change my soul into the image of the Son of God who abides in me.

Persistence and diligence are key. We can work on all the gates, one at a time or in groups, but we must pray until we start to see the results – and then keep going.

Step 3: Opening soul gates

The soul gates are often influenced by demonic familiar spirits and our sin nature (which we know must be crucified with Christ and reckoned dead daily (Rom 6;6, Gal 5:24)).

As gateways begin to open, we can expect warfare from our soul as the kingdom influence begins to exert itself. We have to take back possession of our souls and dispossess anything residing there: demonic spirits, blockages, strongholds, controls, or anything else.

Again we act in faith, this time speaking to our soul and yielding control to the direction of our spirit. We take God’s word as a sword to separate our spirit from the control and dominion of the soul (Heb 4:12), declaring, “Soul, you will not motivate me, control me, or block the flow of the spirit”.

Our soul draws life from our spirit, but it has been used to drawing from the world, through the body. It has been used to ruling, being in control, which is why it fights the spirit when the spirit seeks to assume its rightful place. We break soul ties to our spirit, and break independence by surrendering control to our spirit.

Here is my example prayer for the ‘conscience’ gateway:

I bring my conscience into submission to my spirit.
I release the life of God to flow from my spirit
Through the gateways of reverence and of the fear of the Lord
To a consciousness of God’s righteousness and truth.

Where my soul has been seared by sin,
I now take the sword of the spirit and cleave the gateway open
To allow the flow of God through it, to dictate my actions.

Father, make me aware of my actions
That I may submit to Your authority in my spirit…

Step 4: Take possession of the gateway and place Christ at the centre of it

We yield the soul’s gateways to the dictates of the spirit. We allow the life and glory of God to flow through them to the body, influencing and dictating its actions.

Step 5: Repent

We repent of allowing any demonic spirits access through the individual gateways of our souls, acknowledging our sin and taking responsibility for not guarding the gates. We take the blood of Jesus by faith, wipe the gateway clean and redeem it.

Continuing my example prayer over my conscience gateway::

Today in Jesus’ name
I take authority over [the spiritual force or condition]
That is resistant to the flow of God in me.
I loose it and cast it out of this gateway in Jesus name.
I make, and place, Jesus as Lord over this gateway today.

Father I thank You that my conscience gateway is full of Your glory.
I thank You that my conscience receives and releases
The flow of godliness and holiness through it in Jesus name.
My conscience will now dictate my body’s actions in the world.

[Thankfulness is very powerful. I may not feel that my gateway is actually yet full of His glory, but I declare that which is not as though it were, and give Him the opportunity to use my words to bring that about in me].

Persistent, diligent

When the life of God begins to flow, sometimes it is just a trickle. That is better than no flow at all, but we want a flood! This type of praying needs to be persistent in order to maintain the victory and widen the flow. Once our gates are open and functioning, as long as we are diligent and keep short accounts with God, we will never allow sin to block them again. But even if we do, we now know how to get them open and flowing freely again.

We lay hold of the gates of our life by faith as our inheritance, so that we exercise our God-given right to exercise dominion and authority there. We cast out any spirit seeking to exercise authority in those gates. Jesus is Lord of the gates only as we give Him the right to flow through them. In the spirit, by faith, we raise the banner of victory over each gate as a declaration that Jesus resides there.

God’s desire is that we manifest His kingdom, so that the world can see His love, His grace and His mercy, flowing freely to them through us. Let’s begin to enforce the kingdom of God from the point of authority in our spirit, so that it floods into our soul, through our body and out into the world.

Related articles from Freedom ARC
Other resources from Freedom ARC

Spheres of Influence

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott -

Rule

Your destiny is to rule, to bring God’s kingdom to earth as it is in heaven.

This is His ‘Plan A’, and He has no other plan. God said to Adam and Eve when they were first created:

Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule (Gen 1:28).

He intends us to bring His will (His kingdom) from heaven to earth. It is our individual destiny, and also the destiny of the church: the mountain of house of the Lord will be raised up above all other mountains (Isa 2:2).

But the person who is united to the Lord becomes one spirit with Him (1 Cor 6:17).

It is in relationship with Him that we become one. With time, dedication and obedience, His will and purpose and kingdom will be increasingly outworked through us as we become increasingly in tune with Him. Our destiny to rule comes only through relationship with Him, and is based in love.

Spirit, soul, body senses

This is a picture we have seen before, courtesy of Ian Clayton, showing how we can relate to God and how He can flow through us.

gatescol

Before we were born again, that yellow circle in the centre was missing. We had no connection to God and our spirit was dead to Him. But after we were born again, He came to live inside us, empowering us to live, to change, to be transformed.

We all have a body, soul and spirit. Our body enables us to relate to world; our soul to relate to ourselves; our spirit to relate to God. Our destiny flows through a strong spirit, but can be blocked by a dominant soul. So it is vital for us to have our soul restored and refined, and spirit – soul – body in the proper order, not the other way around.

When we are born again, we become a dwelling of God’s presence. Heaven is a spiritual dimension all around us, and we are now connected to it through God who is in us. We have a flow of abundant life flowing through us like a river from heaven (from the spiritual realm), and we can experience the goodness of God, on the inside.

This means that everything we are used to getting from the outside, God can give us much more effectively from the inside. God is love, so we can now experience the love of God from the inside instead of looking to meet that need for love from somewhere else (which is ultimately unfulfilling). God is light, so we can receive understanding and knowledge from Him, on the inside.

The river flows from heaven through God in us, to our spirit, soul, and body, and from there into the world around us. God’s will (His kingdom rule) in heaven is able to operate in us, through us and around us. Every single person reading this can be a world-changer. Even if it is only your own world you are changing, that is still something of eternal significance.

Spiritual blessings

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ (Eph 1:3.)

In our relationship with Christ we are blessed. And those spiritual blessings can be manifested in the physical realm, equipping us to succeed in life. Those heavenly blessings can flow to us, through us and around us.

But more than being connected, we have access to actually enter into those heavenly places:

…and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Eph 2:6).

So we can engage with the eternal things of God and manifest them here and now.

Flow

A flow of revelation comes from heaven into our lives through God’s presence. Rather than trying to build up our intellect from the outside and get worldly knowledge (which may be good to have, but is not of eternal value), we get revelation knowledge from God. In that flow there are also resources, authority, light, glory, God’s presence and power, all coming from the unseen spiritual heavenly dimension into the physical realm through the gateway of our lives.

…the water that I will give him shall become a spring of water welling up (flowing, bubbling) [continually] within him unto (into, from, for) eternal life (John 4:14 AMP).

He who believes in Me [who cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me] as the Scripture has said, From his innermost being shall flow [continuously] springs and rivers of living water (John 7:38 AMP).

In the world, everything flows from the outside in. But with God, everything flows from the inside out. So if we are looking to change, to be transformed, then we can be changed from the inside out rather than picking away at the symptoms of our behaviour, and peeling away the onion layers one by one. We can go straight to the root, from the inside out.

Higher

This physical realm is held together by the spiritual realm, which is higher than the physical realm in power and authority:

For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together (Col 1:16-17).

Spiritual laws or principles supersede natural laws and principles: healing overrules sickness and disease; freedom overrules captivity and bondage, and so on. Jesus is our example of heaven ruling earth through His life – the will of the Father was perfectly demonstrated through Him. He demonstrated the higher authority of the spiritual realm over the natural. He walked on water, turned water into wine, multiplied food, passed through crowds of people and disappeared from natural sight. He made money appear in a fish’s mouth, controlled the weather, stilled the storm, healed the sick and cast out demons, restored limbs and raised the dead – the spiritual realm has authority even over death, proved by the resurrection.

If we are to do the same, and greater things (as He said we would), then we too need access to and familiarity with that spiritual realm.

We have learned how to relate to the world around us through our five physical senses, from the outside in. Our soul also has senses that have been trained from the outside in, by nature, nurture and trauma. But our spiritual senses can only be trained from the inside out, through our relationship with God. We cannot get them trained anywhere else. This will transform our soul and body senses from the inside too.

He is all-knowing, all-powerful, all-present – and connected to us, which gives us access to all He knows, everything He does and everywhere He is. Through Him we are connected to everything, everywhere, at every time.

Positioned to receive

We are in position to receive a spontaneous flow of revelation knowledge: inside information. Prophecy, for example, is information from the future: God disclosing to us what is to come. So if we want advance information about what is going to happen, to know all about our day before we live it, we can get in touch with God in the morning and ask Him to show us. God wants to give us an advantage. The information we can get from the physical world will never be greater than the revelation we can get from the mind of Christ who is in us.

The thoughts of God dance in our mind, as Einstein said. The feelings of God move our emotions; the impressions God gives motivate our wills; He causes visions and pictures to form in our imagination. We can learn to tune in, to hear God’s voice on the inside. We can learn to see from the inside – see angels, see that spiritual dimension, the spiritual signals people are giving out. Learn to hear from the inside, that still small voice, sense of peace, the umpire in our hearts; to feel from the inside, moved by the compassion of God; to smell from the inside – spiritual fragrances, which often indicate what God is doing; to touch from the inside – many of us have experienced heat, or vibration, when we have laid hands on someone for prayer.

We need to activate our spiritual senses: the fear of God, intuition, revelation, worship, hope, faith, reverence and prayer. Some of those senses we may use more than others because of our particular gifts and callings, but we all need to use them to some degree.

Channels, conduits

It is when we have these senses functioning that our lives become an open gateway to manifest God’s presence in this world: His rule, as it is in heaven, on the earth, through us. Each of us has a kingdom sphere of influence in which we have authority to rule. For some it may be wider than others, but we all have the power of God’s kingdom to bring godly influence into our home, family, social gatherings, workplace, street, church, and ministry. If where you work is miserable, you can come in with joy and peace to transform it. Let’s start bringing heaven into our workplace, and every other setting in our lives.

We can change the atmosphere, and we can change a situation, because we carry the kingdom of heaven within us. If we see someone sick, we can bring healing. If we see someone in poverty we can bring blessing. We can find the will of God in heaven and bring that will to earth as a manifestation of the kingdom.

Keys of the kingdom

We will need to use the keys of the kingdom.

I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven (Matt 16:19).

We have to bind or loose it in heaven first. We bind to the will of God, to the truth and so on; we loose from the restrictions and chains of the enemy.

We need to be flowing from the inside out, God’s kingdom manifesting through us. We need to know our identity as sons of God, that we have a right to bring God’s rule wherever we go. Then we can walk into a situation with boldness, knowing that we will affect it and bring change to it rather than being affected and changed by it ourselves.

We can change our lives, and those of others, by being open to God’s kingdom rule.

Your destiny is to rule.
Your destiny is to be a world-changer.

God I thank You for Your presence in my life
I open the gate of first love and invite You into my spirit
I invite You to activate my spiritual senses and flow through me
Jesus I surrender control of my life to Your lordship. You are Lord of my spirit.

Transform me into the image of Jesus from the inside out
Renew my mind, heal my emotions, restore my conscience, cleanse my imagination
Train my senses to hear Your voice,
Know Your heart, see Your vision, be directed by Your peace.
Manifest Your kingdom rule through me to the world around me.

Related articles from Freedom ARC
Other resources from Freedom ARC

Familiar, But Dangerous

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Heb 4:12).

…penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analysing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart (Heb 4:12 AMP).

For God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart (1 Sam 16:7)

God is more interested in our motives than our outward appearance or actions. So in preparing to fulfil our destiny, we must look closely at our heart.

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father (John 14:12).

He desires that we operate in the fullness of the Spirit’s power, just as Jesus did. But who gets the glory when I do a miracle? If it is God, that is great. But evidence from history and from around the world suggests that is not always the case. When we do things that people appreciate, it can feed a need in us.

God will do awesome things through us, for His glory. But will we use them for ourselves instead, to gain money, position, popularity or power? Those are the temptations of the flesh.

Two examples

Let’s look at two biblical examples of this:

In Acts 5, Ananias and Sapphira sold property, gave some of the money to the apostles, and held some back for themselves (as in fact they were perfectly entitled to do). But they lied and claimed they were giving it all, so Peter asked Ananias, ‘Why is it you have conceived this deed in your heart?’ It was because they wanted to be thought more generous than they actually were. They were looking for approval from people.

They dropped dead because of what was in their hearts. I do not want anyone to die. But with greater power comes greater responsibility. We have to be pure in heart.

In Acts 8, Simon the sorcerer was claiming to be someone great. He believed and was baptised, but because he was still looking for position, tried to buy the power to lay hands on people to receive the Holy Spirit. Peter admonished him to ‘pray that the intention of your heart may be forgiven you’.

Search me

This is a familiar prayer to many of us by now:

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.

(Psalm 139:23-24)

Familiar, but dangerous. Are we willing for God to show us what is in our hearts? Are we willing for Him to change and transform us? Let us not be too quick to answer without considering the cost. It is not always easy to agree with Him. We can find it hard to accept that we have wrong motives, that our heart is not right. We do not like others to think that of us either. We think we are mostly OK. But this is our opportunity to humble ourselves and allow God to do what needs to be done.

Encounters in a dark cloud

Let me share with you from my journals a little of how this went for me.

15 Nov 2010: I saw a cloud, like a nebula, and my scroll of destiny flashed before my eyes. In the centre was a crucial point. All things were leading up to this point in time on the scroll and all things were then flowing from this point. I saw a fire, a flame.

Jan to May 2011: If we want to come into the presence of God, the presence of His Person, we have to come through a dark place. The dark cloud is there for our protection, but with preparation we can go through it (see Gen 15:12, Deut 4:11, Psalm 18:11-12, Psalm 97:2). You do not want to meet God unprepared (that is why the High Priest had a rope tied to his leg when he entered the Holy of Holies – so that they could pull out his body if he had not prepared properly and was burned to a crisp).

3rd May 2011: I asked, “Father how do I meet You in the fire and the smoke?”

“Son, you have met Me but you have not been hungry and thirsty enough to come where I am in the thick cloud. You have held back, you have been fearful. You have not been ready to surrender everything. If you really want to come you can but you will never be then the same. You can’t act the same. You must want to come above all else, you must need to come”.

“You have too many encumbrances to come; they anchor you to the world. You must be willing to have them dissolved away. You have been far too comfortable. The gathering angels need to gather from you the things that hold you to the ground and restrict your range of movement”.

“Son, I fear that if you come now you would not go back. Prepare yourself; discipline the flesh, discipline your mind. Surrender your emotions again and I will welcome you in to see Me”.

6th Nov 2011: During a worship time I was lost in the presence of God on the dance floor within a swirling curtain of colour and I was instructed to spend the next 4 months in the garden, dance floor, soaking room and bridal chamber. I was to make a marriage contract and take it into the canopy of darkness, into the presence of the person of God, for consummation.

I was shown that February 20th would be my breakthrough day.

The garden for love, the dance floor for joy, the soaking room for peace, and the bridal chamber for hope – four months like that did not sound too bad. But it turned out to be a time of darkness, in which I could do nothing, see nothing, know nothing, ultimately even be nothing, a time of intense testing.

He told me, “I don’t need your assistance, just your surrender”.

Would I trust Him without seeing and knowing what He was doing? Could joy come from nothing external, only the Lord? Was I willing to take the yoke of Jesus, to offer my obedience even when it made no sense?

In the fourth month, in the bridal chamber, I was instructed to wait expectantly in hope.

I entered into 21 days of fasting, and spent the first 6 days reviewing 15 months of my journals. I had not been ill for 16 years, but I became sick by drinking contaminated water, because I had not cleaned out the water cooler properly. I had no sleep for 5 days, could not even keep water down, and was physically running on empty, all reserves gone. I did not do what I would advise anyone else to do, I did not fight, stand against the sickness, or call the elders – God said just to wait.

Psalm 22:1 became very real to me. ‘My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?’

I started losing my reasoning abilities, could not focus, was struggling even to pray in tongues. Emotionally I started to feel really vulnerable, that I needed to put my house in order. I began to think that nobody at home would miss me if I wasn’t around. I realised I had sown 18 years of my life into church to the detriment of my relationships with my wife and family, that my priorities needed to change.

I wondered if I would make it to February 20th, my breakthrough day.

One night there was intense fire inside and out, waves of loss rolling over me: disappointment, despair, despondency, grief. The 59 points of the marriage contract, which I had drawn up in obedience to what God had told me, were lost one by one. And He was asking, “Do you still love me?”

If none of my dreams were realised
If none of the prophecies came to pass
If my destiny was never fulfilled

Would I still love God?
Would I still trust God?
Would I still have joy and peace?
Would I still be able to rejoice and give thanks?
Would God still be a good God?

Could God trust me?
Was it all about Him? Or me?
Was it about what He could do for me?
Was it about what I could do for Him?

Was it all worth it just for a relationship with Him and nothing else?
Eventually, the answer was YES.

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched…” (Isa 43:2)

Monday 20th February: I was totally restored to health and wholeness. The shackles were removed, and I was free to minister again. Straight away I found I was able to engage God in the heavenlies.

I met face to face with Him.

Fire

Can God trust us, His church, with all that He desires to give us?
Is God more important to us than what He does for us?

Not without the purifying of our hearts. It is the pure in heart who shall see God.

His fire is coming, to refine and purify. I saw God on His throne with a large can labelled ‘accelerant’. Jesus is preparing to come and cleanse his temple. Judgment will begin with the house of God.

God disciplines those He loves, because He wants the best for us. Not everyone will have to go through what I went through. I am a forerunner: I break through for others to follow. But are you willing to go through the fire of refinement, purification, preparation? Whatever this means for you, are you really willing for the motives of your heart to be tested in the fire?

Careful how you answer.

[This post is based on session 10 of Mike’s teaching series Preparing For Destiny.]

Related articles from Freedom ARC

Our Defining Moment

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott - 

God only ever has ‘Plan A’. There is no ‘Plan B’. Each of us has a destiny, conferred and agreed before the foundation of the world, and with that destiny come both the ability and the authority to fulfil it. Our options here are extremely limited. God has made it really simple for us. We can either step up, say ‘yes’ to His plan and fulfil our destiny, or hesitate, hold back, say ‘no’ and miss it.

Three generations

God is calling a generation in our days. In fact, He is speaking to three generations and calling them to fulfil their destiny.

  1. A Joshua generation, who will see the Promised Land, enter into it as forerunners and draw others in with them.
  2. A generation of harvesters, a billion of them, as prophesied (in 1975, nearly a generation ago – and let us not miss the significance of that) by Bob Jones. These will reap the final harvest, which will be far more numerous, and to do so they will need to be operating in the fullness of Jesus’ greater works (John 14:12).
  3. The Moses generation, who have seen and experienced God’s deliverance and His miraculous provision. Faced with the giants and the walled cities, they have a choice to make. It is not too late for them, not yet.

The church today is in transition from one place to another, or at least, a part of it is. And we all have a choice to make. Two-and-a-half tribes of Israel chose to stay on the near side of the Jordan, chose not to enjoy the benefits of God’s provision for them, and more or less completely disappeared from history.

The generation who entered the Promised Land were offered exactly the same choice their fathers had rejected forty years before, with exactly the same obstacles to overcome, but this generation said ‘yes’ to God rather than ‘no’. Still, the process of taking the land was not easy. The cities had to be conquered (using God’s strategy, not theirs); the giants and the nations had to be dispossessed. Even though we choose to say ‘yes’ to Him, we will still have to fight for our inheritance, and we will have to be overcomers if we are to fulfil our destiny.

“This is me, and this is not”

Some will choose not to enter. We will honour them for the path they have trodden in the forefront of the purposes of God, some of them for decades. But if they are not prepared to take that final step, then we know that in God’s Prophetic Timetable there is a time for judgment to come to the house of God. Judgment is as simple as Him drawing a line, and saying “This is me, and this is not. Which will you choose?”

The church has a very poor reputation with the world. We may laugh at comedy shows like ‘The Vicar of Dibley’ and ‘Rev’, but they are an accurate reflection of how the world sees us. When I first taught this series, God told me that in three years He would be coming to overturn the tables of the moneychangers in His temple. Coming to us individually as the temple of the Holy Spirit, certainly. But also coming to the church, wherever it is not a true representation of Him.

Authentic works of the kingdom

We may think that here at Freedom, especially in Barnstaple, our reputation with the world is somewhat different. We are engaging with and meeting the needs of people in our community. But we cannot afford to be complacent. It is not enough. We must not settle. We must go in, inherit our destiny and take our Promised Land.

There is a whole generation of young people to be won for Christ. They will not respond to the same boring experience of church they have already rejected. And not just young people – the Joshua Generation and the harvesters will be of all ages. Nothing less than an authentic demonstration of the works of the kingdom will draw them in.

Cleansing the temple

I am going to once again shake all things.
I am going to turn over the moneychangers’ tables in My temple.
I am going to drive out the thieves and robbers from My temple.
I am preparing the whip right now to expose the attitudes and motives of your lives.
I am going to expose in My temple the church those who are using it for their own purposes.
There will be many exposed for who and what they are.

My temple will once again be known as the Father’s house; a place of habitation.
My temple will be known as a House of Prayer
Where My words of truth will set My people free.
And through free men
The world will be set free from the chaos, confusion and dominion of darkness it is in.

My desire is to reveal sons to the world; true sons living in the truth.
True temples where rivers of My presence and power are flowing to fulfil My purposes.

I am preparing the whip now,
So be ready for motives that are selfish and self-centred to be revealed.
Know for sure that My temple will be known as a true house of prayer.
(See Matt 21:12-13, John 2:12-22).

Jesus is plaiting a whip, and all those who are trading for their own purposes are going to be turned out. That three-year period will be finished early in 2015, when it will also be 40 years since Bob Jones’ prophecy. This is a serious business.

Visions

We have had a vision of a canopy being stretched over us, and eagles flying out, carrying the four corners of it into the far distance.

In another vision there was a portal opening, and angels coming through in great numbers. They were carrying cords attached to stakes, and dropping them at people’s feet. Some ignored the stakes completely, some knocked them into the ground where they stood, but others picked them up and took them as far as they could, until the ropes were pulled tight, and drove them in there.

The message is clear, and how we respond is of critical importance. These are exciting days. Although the time before Jesus’ return will be like the days of Noah, when evil becomes more overt and the darkness more apparent, we have the opportunity to be part of a generation who will make history. This is a definitive choice, and our defining moment.

“Choose for yourselves today whom you will serve… but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15).

[This is a 'now' word, though much of this material was originally taught in session 9 of 'Preparing For Destiny' at Freedom Church in 2012. The audio and Mike's notes for the whole series are available at freedomtrust.org.uk/AR. - Jeremy].

Related articles from Freedom ARC

Equipping a Joshua Generation

Aside

Equipping a Joshua Generation to live a supernatural lifestyle

Engaging God on the Pathways of Relationship and Responsibility

We are sorry, applications for this test group are now closed. Please stay in contact with us for news of the full public launch of the course when it happens.

[You can find the original post in the comments]

Related articles from Freedom ARC

Your Word, Treasured in my Heart

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

In meditation, we position ourselves to hear God’s voice and experience His presence. Meditating on the word of God, so that we have that word firmly established in us and can live from it, will enable us to prosper and have success in all we do.

This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success (Joshua 1:8).

Give attention

The process of meditation is as simple as giving attention to the word of God.

My son, give attention to my words;
Incline your ear to my sayings.
Do not let them depart from your sight;
Keep them in the midst of your heart.
For they are life to those who find them
And health to all their body.
Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life.
(Prov 4:20-23).

He wants our attention. Yes, we can relate to God in the busyness of life, but it is important for us to give Him quality time too. When we meditate, we repeatedly bring the things God has said into the forefront of our thinking. What we repeat gets stored in our heart, in our subconscious mind; and what is in our subconscious triggers our conscious mind: Out of the abundance of his heart, his mouth speaks (Luke 6:45).

Meditating on the word of God also ministers life and health to us. Certainly healing can come through the anointing and laying on of hands, but if we get the truth of health and healing in our hearts, we will not normally need anyone else to pray for us.

God’s life in us comes from our spirit, out through our heart and through our body to impact the world around us. So let’s keep watch over and guard our hearts. Worry and anxiety come from focusing on the wrong things, driven by fear. The word can protect us by guiding and directing us, but only if it becomes part of us, through meditation.

Your word I have treasured in my heart,
That I may not sin against You
(Psalm 119:11)

Remember

When I remember You on my bed,
I meditate on You in the night watches
(Psalm 63:6)

I shall remember the deeds of the LORD;
Surely I will remember Your wonders of old
(Psalm 77:11).

I remember the days of old;
I meditate on all Your doings;
I muse on the work of Your hands
(Psalm 143:5).

The logos word of God reveals God’s nature and His character. It safeguards truth, and becomes our standard, our plumb-line. When we remember God, call Him to mind again and again, meditate on His character and nature, on the way He does things, we recognise Him in the world around us and He can flow through us out into that world to transform it.

We must be not only prepared to listen, but also to respond. God speaks truth into our spirits, into our hearts. We respond to that rhema word in obedience, we act on it and live it out. And God then always responds Himself to our living faith in His word.

In Psalm 119, verses 1-40, we read of meditating on God’s word, ways, testimonies, judgments, law, precepts, statutes, ordinances, commandments, and wonders. Then those verses speak of what we do with that word: how we walk, observe, seek, look, treasure, tell, rejoice, meditate, establish, delight, live, long for, cling, run, incline, reverence, give thanks. Finally we see the ways in which God responds to us: blesses, ordains, teaches, opens our eyes, rebukes our enemies, takes away reproach, revives us, answers us, strengthens us, grants us, enlarges our hearts, gives us understanding, and deals bountifully with us.

Beholding and becoming

[We,] beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory (2 Cor 3:18).

What we consistently look at, we become like. If we look at, focus on and meditate on the Lord, if we have an intimate relationship with Him, we will become more like Him. It does not happen overnight, but little by little, step by step, from glory to glory, until people can see God in us and in what we do.

Preparing to meditate

Here is a prayer we can use as we prepare to meditate on the word:

Lord, cleanse and prepare my heart.
Give me a teachable attitude.
I surrender my senses to You
Open the eyes of my heart.

Lord, I present to you
My abilities to reason and imagine
For You to fill and flow through.

Lord, I focus my attention
On what You show me
And I thank You
For what you are revealing to me

Garden of our heart

In closing, here is another way of looking at meditation: every testimony we have, every encounter, every vision, every victory won, every revelation from God; every word God has spoken to us, we can take as a seed and plant it in the garden of our heart. The River of Life flows through our garden and waters it. We have the authority to speak life to what we plant, and command it to grow. So we can expect to receive fruit from it again and again – and not only fruit to eat, but more seeds to sow. These in turn will grow into more plants, producing fruit and seeds of their own.

What are we growing in our garden?

Related articles from Freedom ARC