with Jeremy Westcott
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.
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 that 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.
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
- Transformation 20-part audio series (this post has been drawn from Mike’s notes for session 4).
- Preparing For Destiny (audio series and blog series).
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Sons Of Issachar is a blog edited and maintained by Jeremy Westcott on behalf of Freedom Apostolic Resources. ©2014-2015 Freedom Apostolic Resources Freedom Apostolic Resources is a trading style of Freedom Trust, a charity registered in England. Registered charity number 1039290. Registered office: Freedom Centre, 1 Howard Avenue, Barnstaple EX32 8QA, UK.