Seeds, Roots and Fruit

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

We are looking to move from the presence of God into His glory.

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 does the transforming (and the non-conforming). We just have to give Him our lives. We present ourselves daily as a living sacrifice, and ask Him to remove all behavioural layers built up through:

  • Trauma – experiential programming
  • Nurture – environmental programming
  • Nature – genetic DNA cell memory programming

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 (Psalm 139:23-24).

We step into the place of His presence and ask Him to search, to examine and show us:

  • Our sin and behaviours
  • Family sin and behaviours
  • Seed line sin and behaviours
  • Our heart motives
  • What influences and directs our daily choices

It may become very uncomfortable as He starts to show us these things, but it is all part of the process.

Trees

The Bible describes our lives as trees: oaks of righteousness (Isa 61), trees planted by the river of life (Ps 1). What kind of fruit is on our tree? Is it the fruit of righteousness, or the fruit of rejection, fear, anxiety, worry, depression, addictions and so on? All those negative things are just fruit, and certainly God wants to address them. But if we are to be free of that fruit, we need first to deal with the roots which produce it in our lives. There may even be a tap-root in our generational line which goes deeper still.

Root of bitterness

See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled (Heb 12:15).

Doing things in our own strength can cause us to come short of the grace of God (His divine enabling ability and power), and that bitter root can spring up and cause all kinds of trouble and defilement.

Soil of insecurity

The soil of insecurity provides the perfect medium for those roots to grow. In the soil of insecurity, seeds of offence grow into roots of bitterness and produce the fruit of resentment.

The soil of insecurity arises because of a lack of love, acceptance, affirmation, approval or encouragement in our upbringing: we all have an insecure soil to some extent. Seeds of offence may be sin, or things said or done – or indeed things not said or done – sown into that insecure soil.

At that point we have an opportunity to deal with it before it has a chance to take root. If, instead of removing the seed straight away, we leave it to germinate, then it quickly sends down those roots. The roots in our lives are the things that we think and feel, our responses, emotions and attitudes which develop as a result of tolerating that seed of offence sown into insecure soil.

Then eventually, the tree will grow up and produce fruit: the things we say and the things we do, our behaviour, all as a result of the roots which have developed. When we see something happening on the surface, it is an indication that there are things going on underneath that we need to deal with.

Seeds of offence

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For example, if we begin to nurture anger because of what someone has done, that will trigger a response in our subconscious mind. We will begin to say and do things out of the roots of bitterness, producing the fruit of resentment. Reason filters kick in, distorting our view of everything, feeding our anger and resentment and causing us to make poor choices.

If someone rejects us, seeds of rejection are sown into our life. A root develops because of the hurt and pain, and produces the fruit of protection. That may take the form of rejecting others first and becoming prickly, or doing the opposite and becoming a doormat, accommodating people and being overly compliant, making sure we never do anything to cause anyone to reject us. Still, we feel rejected even when we are not actually being rejected, because we see through that filter.

Injustice may be a seed of offence: ‘it’s not fair’. Life does not always treat us well. If we allow roots of self-pity (‘poor me’) or self-hatred (I deserve it) to develop, it produces the fruit of depression, anger turned in on ourselves. And a victim mentality creates an environment in which unfair things happen.

When lack, poverty and deprivation are the seed of offence, the root of independence may develop, producing the fruit of self-sufficiency on the one hand and a lack of generosity on the other. Or a root of hopelessness, producing the fruit of failure.

One I found operating in me was the seed of false accusation. That produced the roots of pride (‘I’m in the right’) and the fruit of self-righteousness.

In all these cases, very often we simply try to remove the fruit, to change our behaviour. Every time we cut down the fruit, though, it keeps growing back. One day, we might realise that we need to deal with the roots, but even the roots keep growing back.

We have to deal first with the original seed of offence. As long as it remains in place, attacking the fruit or the root will not have lasting success. Once the seed of offence is dealt with, we can remove the fruit and the roots without them growing back. This works for our own lives, and even for the roots of iniquity in our past generations.

Forgive and release

Joff Day taught us the principles of ‘Forgive and Release’ at Freedom back in the early ’90s, and it has become our foundational understanding of how these things work. We forgive whoever offended us (or our ancestor), and release them from the debt they owe us (the negative results of what they did). That deals with the seed of offence.

Then we repent of the roots of bitterness, of our emotional response to the situation, and we renounce the fruit. Because the seed and roots are dealt with, we can actually change the way we behave.

Confess the truth

The problem is that if we stop there we still have that heart soil of insecurity. If more seed is sown, it will find a perfect growing medium. We change the nature of the soil of our heart by digging in the revelation of who we are, our identity, the truth of who we are and who God is. We confess the truth. God meets our needs for affirmation, love and acceptance. We know we are loved and accepted in Him.

As a result of that, we can put down new roots: a tree of righteousness, planted by a river of living water, with roots drawing from the life of God.
Then we will produce the fruit of righteousness.

Let’s pray:

Father I thank you that You have made a way for me to access your heavenly presence
By faith I step in through the veil of Jesus through the way of the cross
I present myself to you Jesus, my High Priest, in surrender as a living sacrifice

I submit to the authority of the living word in my life
I step through the veil of truth into the Holy Place
I stand in the light of your truth
I ask you to search me
Reveal my blind self to me, show me the hidden motives of my heart
Show me the seeds of offence and sin that have taken root in my heart

I commit myself to forgive and release all offences in my life and my generational line
Show me all roots of bitterness that have grown in my heart
I commit myself to a lifestyle of repentance against all negative roots
I repent of all negative emotions and attitudes rooted in my heart

Show me all fruits of resentment that have developed in my behaviour
I commit myself to a lifestyle of renunciation of all negative behaviours
I renounce all my defence and coping mechanisms
I renounce my sin as a way of life

Give me revelation of my true identity as a son of God
Give me a heart secure in its identity
Renew my mind to the mind of Christ
Meet all my unmet needs in yourself
Heal all my unhealed hurts
Restore my soul

I receive your unconditional love, acceptance, affirmation, and approval
I stand transparent naked and unafraid before you
I hear you say “I see you and I love you”
I receive your value, esteem and worth
I choose to live a lifestyle of forgiveness, repentance and renunciation

I step back into this realm to walk in the ways of your kingdom
Manifest your glory through me on earth as it is in heaven
So I will fulfil my eternal destiny

Related articles by Freedom ARC
Other resources from Freedom ARC
Recommended books
  • Forgive, Release and be Free (book by Joff Day) – or you might like to pick up a used copy of the original version which was titled ‘Settled Accounts
    (for the UK only, the links are Forgive, Release and be Free and Settled Accounts)
  • LieBusters (book and ebook by Jonathan Cavan – see also liebusters.org). Jonathan taught LieBusting at Freedom earlier this year and we have found it to be a really effective tool for identifying and breaking off the lies of the enemy, helping us claim our true inheritance and fulfil our destiny as sons and daughters of God. (UK link for the book: LieBusters).

Beholding As In A Mirror

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).

We have seen how we can come into Holy Place in the heavenly tabernacle through the cross, through Jesus who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Just as the sacrificial lamb was prepared by the High Priest, so Jesus prepares us daily as a living sacrifice.

Beholding as in a mirror

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)

Besides the altar of incense, in the Holy Place there is also a laver (a large bath, made of polished bronze) (Ex 38:8) in which the priests would immerse themselves to wash. This mirror surface is supposed to reflect the image of God. The word of God is our mirror (James 1:23), and when we look into that mirror we should increasingly see the reflection of His image in us.

Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water (Heb 10:19-22).

We may have thought this something we do on earth. Look again: we do it in heaven. We have access through the blood of Jesus, a new and living way, into the heavenly realms.

…Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word… (Eph 5:25-26).

Authority of the word

Are we willing to submit to the authority of the word of God in our lives? The Spirit of God breathes life into the word and applies it; we surrender to it and make it the authority in our life. The logos (written word) becomes the rhema (spoken word).

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and separating 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).

This familiar verse is not about the Bible, the book, but about the living word which addresses the issues in our life. When we look into the word; when we surrender our lives to it, God can reveal to us aspects of our life and behaviour to which we have been blind (our ‘blind self’). We see and surrender to the truth, and step into the light where the 7 spirits of God are burning, bringing knowledge, wisdom, understanding and so on (represented by the candlestick there in the Holy Place).

When Jesus, our High Priest, prepares our life as a sacrifice, He removes all our coverings, skins, and masks; all our onion layers of self-protection. We stand before Him naked, transparent, uncovered; our flesh completely exposed before God. Fig leaves did not work for Adam and Eve: we need to stop trying to cover up with dead works, self-righteousness, defence or coping mechanisms, trying to meet our needs apart from God. We need to surrender.

Threes

Hebrews 4:12 (which we looked at above) talks about three things: dividing, separating, judging; three layers of God’s dealing with us. The division of soul and the spirit is about our behaviours (transgression); but there is a deeper level, our thoughts and intentions, our motives (sin); and deeper still, the bone and marrow, the root or source of things in our lives (iniquity).

We are a 3-part being: spirit, soul and body.
God is a 3-part being: Father, Son and Spirit.
This is because 3 is the number of government.

  • The body has 3 layers of skin – dermis, epidermis, sub-dermis
  • The heart has 3 layers – endocardium, myocardium, pericardium
  • The brain has 3 layers – dura matter, arachnoid matter, pia matter
  • The soul has 3 components – heart, emotions, will

Everything operates in threes, even transgression, sin and iniquity.

Trauma, nature, nurture

God wants us to deal with the layers in our lives. We acquire these skins, layers, masks, and behaviour patterns in one of three ways:

  • Trauma – experiential programming
  • Nurture – environmental programming
  • Nature – DNA genetic programming

Trauma is the record of our experiences, stored as memories in our lives. We create layers of protection, coping and defence mechanisms because of such things as

  • Abuse – physical, sexual, emotional, physiological, verbal
  • Incidents and accidents – emotional
  • Grief and loss, death, divorce, moving home

Nurture is our environmental programming, the record of our upbringing. We may have been affected by:

  • Parents – less than perfect acceptance, affection, affirmation, approval – security
  • Family, school, friends, church
  • Words – curses, vows, agreements, lies
  • Familial and familiar spirits

Nature is our:

  • blood line – records of family sin, behaviours, spirits – iniquity
  • seed line – our DNA genetic record, which may contain reptilian seed (Cain), Nephilim seed (angelic/human hybrid) or righteous seed (Noah).

We can deal with both trauma and nurture by surrendering; by entering into the realms of heaven to present ourselves as a sacrifice. We allow ourselves to be skinned of all masks, coverings and layers; self-righteousness, religious coverings, denial and projection; self-protection, coping and defence mechanisms. We will see how to deal with our nature (blood line and seed line) later in this series.

Our being

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We are made in the image of God, spirit, soul and body. Our spirit is where the Holy Spirit is resident, with the mind of Christ, the glory of God and the heart of the Father. When we surrender our spirit and the throne of the government of our life to God, then our spiritual senses are activated to express God’s glory through us to the world around us.

Transformation 2012 6_279

Our spirit is surrounded by our soul. Our conscious mind is the outer layer of our soul, the connection between it and our body. We can have lies masquerading as truth in our subconscious (at Freedom we call it our ‘knower’ because it is where we know that we know that we know things). But just because we ‘know’ something does not make it true. Our strongholds defend our right to believe lies. We need them demolished so that lies can be replaced with truth, reprogramming the mind and renewing the heart.

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I do not know anyone who grew up with the ideal of perfect love, esteem, worth, value and security. We have all had unmet needs which we tried to meet through imperfect people, who inevitably disappointed us (God is the only one who can meet our needs). Emotional damage eventually comes out through our conscious mind and expresses itself in our behaviour every day. We have lived under the rule of things that shaped our lives.

If we present ourselves to Him, God heals and restores us.

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In our will, sin and iniquity have caused stubbornness, doubt, fear and so on. As we surrender, as we daily present ourselves as a living sacrifice, God replaces those with patience, confidence, humility, endurance – all the positive attributes you see there.

If we pursue transformation, God deals first with our behaviour. And if we persevere, beyond that there are still motives and roots that He will begin to address.

Wash me, skin me

Father I thank You that You have made a way for me
To access Your heavenly presence
I step in through the veil of Jesus through the way of the cross
I step into the realm of Your government

I look into the mirror of Your word
Reveal my blind self to me
Show me the hidden motives of my heart
Show me how I look compared to Your image
Wash me and cleanse me with Your living word

I step through the veil of truth into the Holy Place
I stand in the light of Your truth
I ask You to search me

I present myself to You, Jesus, my High Priest, as a living sacrifice
Prepare me for the altar of incense
That my life would be an acceptable offering

Skin me
Remove all layers of self-righteousness
Remove all the masks I hide behind
Remove all my defensive behaviour patterns
Remove all my coping mechanisms

Remove all the mindsets and strongholds I have built
To defend my false beliefs and values

Remove all patterns of thinking,
Philosophies, ideals, lies and values not of Your kingdom

Remove all layers of doubt and unbelief
Remove all my emotional layers of rejection, insecurity, fear, dependence,
Remove all layers of guilt and shame
Remove all layers of anger, resentment, bitterness and unforgiveness
Remove all layers of control, independence,
Stubbornness and rebellion, pride and self-sufficiency

Give me revelation of my true identity as a son of God
Renew my mind to the mind of Christ
Meet all my unmet needs in Yourself
Heal all my unhealed hurts
Restore my soul

I receive Your unconditional love, acceptance, affirmation, approval
I stand transparent, naked and unafraid before You
I hear You say ‘I see You and I love You’
I receive Your value, esteem and worth
I receive Your strength, patience, perseverance,
Courage, boldness, humility and confidence

I step back into this realm to walk in the ways of Your kingdom
Manifest Your glory through me on earth as it is in heaven

Related articles by Freedom ARC
Other resources from Freedom ARC

The Fire of Transformation

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

Refiner’s Fire

crucible The more the wind of the Spirit blows, the hotter the fire burns

To enter glory we must go through the fire of transformation. We are being prepared so that He can turn up in person.

There are three things you need for fire: heat, air, and a fuel source. God’s presence is the heat and the wind of the Holy Spirit is the air (the more the wind of the Spirit blows, the hotter the fire). Now, who is willing to be a fuel source? There is no other fuel for this fire.

Fire changes the composition of a substance at a molecular level. Chemically, this is the process, and there will be parallels for us in our lives too:

  • —Heating – temperature rises
  • —Transition – softening of bonds
  • —Degradation – bonds break
  • —Decomposition – release of gases
  • —Oxidation – combustion
  • —Transformation – change of substance (e.g. wood to charcoal)

Fire from heaven

We can see instances in scripture where the fire of God fell:

Then fire came out from before the LORD and consumed the burnt offering and the portions of fat on the altar; and when all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces (—Lev 9:24) [see also —2 Chron 7:1, —1 Chron 21:26, Rev 8:5].

But we are not dependent upon fire falling from heaven. We have access to heaven, where the fire is. We can enter into the fire of God’s presence every day.

Pure in heart

Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God (Matt 5:8).

Our lives become an offering when we go through this process of refining and purifying. Purity means there is no mixture. We gave God the go-ahead for this when we prayed “Try me, O God” (from Psalm 139) a few posts ago. ‘The Lord tests the heart’ (Prov 17:3), and ‘when He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold’ (Job 23:10).

We can count it all joy when we go through trials (James 1:2), because we know the end will make it all worth while. Like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the fiery furnace, we are not alone in the fire, and when we come through we will not even smell of smoke.

A new heart

—Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh (Ezek 36:26).

——We need pure hearts, because the heart carries the testimony record of our life and past generations. —The heart forms from the sperm and the ovum joining to form the first cell and contains 23 + 23 chromosomes from our mother and father. It contains the DNA record of our seed line and the cell memories of our past generational blood line.

Transformation is the process of rewriting our hearts (2 Cor 3:3). This is what will happen when we start dealing with these generational things in our lives:

You shall tear down their altars and smash their sacred pillars and burn their Asherim with fire, and you shall cut down the engraved images of their gods and obliterate their name from that place (—Deut 12:3).

  • —What are your idols?
  • —What are your family idols?
  • —Where are your high places?
  • —Where are your family high places?
  • —Where have you sacrificed?
  • —Where has your family sacrificed?
  • —What have you traded with?
  • —What has your family traded with?

This is all coming as we ask God to transform us.

Heavenly realms

We are to lay our lives on the altar, and come as a living sacrifice. That altar is not in a physical place on earth, but in the tabernacle in heaven.

Heavenly realms 2

This is a diagrammatic representation of seven realms of heaven. Between each of these realms or dimensions are gateways, and there are protocols for passing through them. The two cherubim and fiery sword are there to block the pathway to the tree of life, but Jesus has unblocked that pathway for us as we come through Him, through the cross.

When He described Himself as the Way, the Truth and the Life, (the names of the veils between the various parts of the temple), His contemporaries understood very well that He was saying, ‘It is (and always has been) only through Me that you can access the realms of God’s Presence and the realms of heaven’.

Way, Truth and Life

The seraphim and fire

—And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke. Then I said, Woe is me, for I am ruined! Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal in his hand, which he had taken from the altar with tongs. He touched my mouth with it and said, “Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away and your sin is purged (Isa 6:4-7).

We may well exclaim ‘Woe is me, I am ruined!’, or in more modern language, ‘I’m totally wrecked’ because that is how we feel when all the impurities come to the surface in the heat of the fire. The burning coal purges our sin and takes away our iniquity when we engage the seraphim. If you have not yet experienced that, then that too is coming.

A living sacrifice

We have looked before at what it means to come as a living sacrifice. Please feel free to read those blog posts now if you have not done so before. —By faith we enter through the veil, to the brazen altar, to Jesus our High Priest, who prepares the sacrifice. Our part is to come and present ourselves.

Jesus told us that this is the protocol if we want to come after Him: to deny ourself (surrender), take up the cross (the place of exchange) and follow Him (Luke 9:23).

Walk in the light

If we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin… If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:7, 9).—

How many of us have only ever applied this scripture to this earthly realm? But it is in the realms of heaven that we are cleansed from sin; it is in the realms of heaven where Jesus is, walking in the light. When we confess our sins, that cleansing comes as we step into His presence through the cross. We can experience cleansing here in this realm only because we can do so in that realm. And we can do it in an instant by learning to step into that place, to go through the veil of the cross and exchange old for new, sin for righteousness and so on.

Covenant exchange

Here are some declarations you can use every day:

—Father, I thank You that through your mercy
You have made a way for me to access Your heavenly presence.

—I choose to deny myself, take up the cross and follow Your way.
—I choose to lose my life to gain your life.

—I step in through the veil of Jesus, through the way of the cross.
—I step into the realm of Your government.
—I come to trade on the brazen altar of covenant exchange.

—I exchange my sin for Your righteousness.
—I exchange my rejection for Your acceptance.
—I exchange my guilt for Your forgiveness.
—I exchange my sickness for Your health.
—I exchange my old life for Your new life.

—I exchange my old identity for Your new identity.
—I exchange my old name for Your new name.
—I exchange my old nature for Your new nature.
—I exchange my old bondage for Your new freedom.
—I exchange my old records for Your new record.
—I exchange my past for Your future.

—I exchange my darkness for Your light.
—I exchange my weakness for Your strength.
—I exchange my thoughts for Your thoughts.
—I exchange my character for Your character.
—I exchange my ways for Your ways.

—I step back into this realm
Forgiven, cleansed, and clothed with righteousness.
—I am empowered for transformation
To manifest Your glory
Bringing heaven to earth through my life.

I would encourage you to do this every day. —Step in and step out; exchange old for new at the cross. —Be transformed. —Make this a way of life, daily denying yourself, taking up the cross, and following Him – into the realms of heaven.

Related articles by Freedom ARC
Other resources from Freedom ARC

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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.

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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)).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.]

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