214. The Hearts of the Children

Mike Parsons

heartsOur fathers were unwilling to be obedient to him, but repudiated him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt (Acts 7:39).

A whole generation saw their home as Egypt and not the Promised Land, because they saw themselves as slaves, not sons. How do we see ourselves? Are we looking to our past to define us, or are we believing what God says about us and looking to our future? The fact is, we tend to look the way we’re going.

Generations of slaves

They were generations of slaves. They had no understanding of freedom, and no understanding of godly leadership – they had to do what the taskmasters told them to do. They had no connection to God as Father, and had lost sight of their covenant family identity from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They had no sense of belonging, no sense of heritage, no sense of purpose. They had riches, because they came out with the gold of Egypt, and yet they had no wealth. Money does not bring happiness or fulfilment, and it does nothing to root out an underlying poverty mentality or an orphan spirit.

They had no loyalty either to God or to Moses, no faith or trust in God, and as a result they all died in the wilderness except Joshua and Caleb – including Moses himself. Joshua and Caleb had a different spirit, and a different relationship with God. They knew him as Father and were able to enter in, taking the next generation in with them.

Turn our hearts

He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse (Mal 4:6).

God’s desire is to turn our hearts back to our Father in heaven, and to see that His heart is for us. This is a fatherless generation, a strategy of the enemy to steal destiny by separating and removing fathers from their families, but we do not have to be part of it. We do not need to have an orphan spirit.

  • Orphans have no parents
  • Orphans have no inheritance
  • Orphans have no home
  • Orphans have no connection to heritage
  • Orphans think like slaves

A son or a slave?

Let’s ask ourselves, do we think and act like a son or a slave? It may not be black-and-white: perhaps sometimes we think and act like sons but then slip back into thinking and acting as slaves. De we identify with slavery or sonship? Do we know our identity as a son, our royal identity as a son of the king?

God wants to heal your father- (or mother-, or other relationship-) wounds. He wants to remove the scars that are on your life. He wants you to have a home in Him. He wants you to know you are adopted, accepted, and loved. He wants you to know and fulfil your destiny.

Will you allow God to be your Father? Or will you allow your relationship with your earthly father to rob you of that intimacy?

Will you trust Him with your heart? If your heart has been damaged, if you have been betrayed, disappointed, let down and hurt, then it is no small thing to trust someone with your heart again (even if that someone is God). It is a choice, and a choice that comes with risk attached.

Will you allow him to deliver you from an orphan spirit? Will you lay down your old natural identity? Will you pick up your new supernatural identity?

Stand and speak

If you will, then stand and speak these declarations out loud (if you can’t do that now, please be sure to come back and do it later, because speaking these things out carries power). When we have made these declarations, God is going to minister to us and speak to us in our hearts.

I choose to lay down my old identity as an orphan and slave
I choose to turn away from my past
I choose to forgive and release my earthly father for not representing true fatherhood to me
I choose to look to my heavenly Father for my acceptance

I choose to let go of rejection, fear and insecurity
I choose to embrace my destiny
I choose to give my heart to You, Father, afresh today
I choose to allow you to heal, deliver and restore me.

Now receive what God is going to do for you.

In the authority you have released I loose each person who made those declarations from an orphan spirit and a spirit of slavery and a spirit of rejection. I pray for the power of the anointing of the Holy Spirit to break those yokes, destroy those burdens and loose them from the control of their mind, their emotion and their will, from that orphan spirit and that spirit of slavery.

I loose them from it in Jesus’ name, in the power that Jesus is releasing today under an open heaven.
I bind each of them to their full destinies in heaven and on earth as sons of God

Now I want you to close your eyes for a few moments and see with the eyes of your heart the scars that may be over your heart from the past. You may picture them, you may feel them, or just sense that they are there.

Now hear the voice of Father God speaking to you and to those wounded areas of your heart. And this is what God says to you:

‘I love you my child – I love you, I love you.
I love you my child – I love you, I love you.
I love you my child – I love you, I love you’.

Over and over, hear Him repeat those words. Allow His words of love and acceptance and affirmation to heal the wounds and remove the scar tissue from your heart.

I release the angels, release the Holy Spirit’s presence and power, to bring that healing oil to heal the wounded hearts. Receive the love of God, receive the Father’s embrace, as He says:

‘I accept you as my child
I affirm who you truly are
I call out your spiritual identity as my son
I invest you with the authority as a prince (or princess) to subdue, rule, and manifest My kingdom on earth as it is in heaven’.

Receive that into your spirit. Let your spirit embrace and begin to expand and grow and mature. Let it bring God’s blessing into your life.

Receive a revelation of who you truly are as a son of God, and allow Him to continue that process of conforming you into His image, into the image He always had of you from eternity, into the image of Jesus. A son of God, taking up the full responsibility of who you are in the heavens and on earth.

God’s desire is for you to truly know that you have a home, that you have a family, that you are accepted, that you are loved.

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28. Present a Living Sacrifice (1)

Rom 12 1 wordleMike Parsons

Paul writes to the Romans, 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 (Rom 12:1).

A living sacrifice is a prepared sacrifice. It will help us if we understand what was involved in offering a sacrifice in the Old Testament. When they sacrificed a lamb they prepared it in a certain way so that it was able to be received as an offering. It was the High Priest who prepared and arranged the sacrifice on the altar, and we know that Jesus is our Great High Priest (Heb 4:14). So now we come into the holy place within the heavenly tabernacle and present ourselves on the altar of incense to be a sweet-smelling aroma to God; we invite Jesus to prepare us as a sacrifice: we know what He is going to do, and we deliberately allow Him to do it.

This is how the High Priest prepared the sacrifice:

  1. He slit its throat and drained its blood. If we are going to be prepared as a living sacrifice, we have to be willing to have our throat slit and our blood drained so that our life in the flesh is exchanged for His life in the spirit. Not literally, not physically having our throat slit, I hasten to add. But Jesus said, “You need to deny yourself, take up the cross daily, and follow me”. Lose our life, to gain His life. We are going to need to totally die to doing it our way, as a choice where we say, “I die to myself,  I deny myself”, daily.
  2. The head was chopped off. We cannot be in charge, with our head. We have to be saying, like Jesus, “Not my will, but Yours be done”. He is the perfect sacrifice. He did this every day. He presented Himself morning by morning as a disciple (Is 50:4). I renounce the right to my free will. Every time, my flesh would get in the way and I would choose to do what suits me rather than what suits God. Therefore, not my will, but Yours be done: I am not going to let my head decide what I am going to do.
  3. The skin was removed. We cannot have defence mechanisms, protection mechanisms and our own self-righteousness as a barrier: we have to be vulnerable and transparent before God, and before others. We cannot protect ourselves: we must live in His protection. We have the armour of light, the armour of righteousness, and the armour of God to protect us. We do not have any of them if we try to protect ourselves with inferior armour of our own making. It is time to let it go.
  4. He split the body completely open, and washed all the inner parts. God wants our heart purified, refined and washed in the living water of His Word and His Presence. We have to be willing to open up our heart, open up our life. That’s what a living sacrifice is, it is saying “Everything belongs to You. I am not hiding anything from You. You have it all”.
  5. Finally, He chopped the legs off. We cannot walk our own way, we have to surrender daily and walk according to how the Spirit leads. “I am going to do nothing other than what I see the Father doing” (John 5:19). That is how Jesus did His miracles: He saw the Father doing it. He is calling us to do the same: miracles, signs and wonders, being led by the Spirit daily, following Him, not doing our own thing and going off in our own direction, but every day surrendering that day to God and saying, “God, this day belongs to You. This is Your day, I am just here as a servant. You lead me, You use me, empower me, envision me, show me what You are doing.

When we go to heaven and He gives us revelation there, when we spend time in our spirit, in communion and fellowship with Him; if we present ourselves as a living sacrifice, He will reveal Himself.  He will use us if we give Him the opportunity. But we have to surrender and allow Jesus to prepare us to be the sacrifice, and we cannot offer it half-heartedly; because if we do, He knows.

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18. Experiencing Intimate Knowledge of God

Mike Parsons 

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‘God is locked up in unbelieving believers’

Knowing our identity as sons of God begins with really knowing God and not just knowing about Him. Who are we? As sons of God, we are royalty. We have a royal identity. We are priests – those who have free and full access to the holy things of God. We are a habitation of God – the Father, Son and Holy Spirit have made their home in us and want to be expressed through us. Bill Johnson says that ‘God is locked up in unbelieving believers’. He doesn’t want to stay locked up any more – He wants us to let Him out.

And we don’t want to be unbelieving believers either. We want to be believing believers, those who know what the word of God says about us and act on it without question, without hesitation. And there is a call for real intimacy, to know God’s love intimately on earth and in heaven. If we are a habitation of God, then we have God on the inside: more and more, He desires to open up His heart to us and for us to open up our heart to Him. This is increasing in intensity: we have seen that the initial outpouring of the Holy Spirit is as nothing compared to the latter rain that is coming.

Call to intimacy

We can struggle with the very concept of intimacy with God. The men in particular, even as we are singing ‘Romance me’ in our Sunday meeting, some are squirming because they don’t know how to take it, because they can’t get their head around being romanced by a man. But God is not a man, He is a spirit. Yes, He makes Himself known to us as Father, but God is a Spirit. ‘Hold me close, let Your love surround me’ – He wants to hug us, draw near to us, so that we can truly know Him, know what He is feeling, know what He is thinking, to feel His heartbeat. The Apostle John laid his head upon Jesus’ breast. Jesus is looking for a close, intimate relationship with us so that we can get revelation of His heart. He is drawing us into that intimacy. Sometimes we struggle, but our praise has the power to open up the heavenly portals so that we can have intimacy with Him, in the throne room, in the bridal chamber; so that we can find intimacy with the heart of God.

These and other chambers in the heavenly realms are places He wants to take us into, but we cannot enter into them unless we allow Him to open up that place of intimacy with us. We need to be willing, so that he can release truth to us, so that he can release our identity to us. The door is open in heaven, and God is calling us to love and identity. He is calling us to know by experience. We can read a book about God, we can even read the Bible, and know facts, but He wants more than that: He wants us to know Him by experience, to know what love really is, to know what acceptance really is, to know what forgiveness really is. He has made us a ‘kingdom and priests to our God’ (Revelation 1:2). And He says, ‘Behold I stand at the door and knock, if anyone opens to me I will come in and dine with him…’ As the Jesus Culture song says, we need to open up our hearts, and let Him in.

Open the door

Just as Adam walked with God in the Garden of Eden, so also we have a garden inside of us now, a place where God’s Spirit joins our spirit. He is wanting to open up a door for us so that we can have experience of heaven, but we have to open it up by opening up our heart to Him. And not just ajar, so that we get a brief glimpse; but to swing it wide and ‘let the King of Glory come in’. Jesus promises that if we will open up to His knock, He will come in and dine with us. Remember, dining is a very intimate thing in New Testament times; they would have reclined on the floor very close to one another; it was a place of sharing life. Jesus wants to do that with us so that we are able to hear His heart, to feel His heart, experience His love. And ‘Look, behold, a door open in heaven’ – as we open the door in our spirit, a  door in heaven opens and we hear a voice inviting us to ‘Come up here, experience my garden, experience the things of heaven with me’. We need to open the door in our spirits, daily, and when we open the door, a door opens for us to receive intimacy of relationship with Him.

I used to think I knew what His Presence was: now I know I didn’t have a clue. I don’t know all that much now, but I know more than I did, because I have experienced it for myself; because I have experienced going to heaven; because I have experienced what it is to look into His eyes, to look at Him on the cross, to see His eyes of love. There is so much for us to experience: let’s be hungry and thirsty, let’s not get stuck, let’s be eager for more. Because there is more to come. He is wanting to equip us to come into our destiny as sons of God. He wants to parade His sons before people and say, just like He did of Jesus, ‘This is my Son, whom I love, listen to Him’.

It is time for us to open up our hearts. It is time for us to become superheroes of faith. I am telling you, Marvel Comics characters will have nothing on the church when we come into our inheritance as sons.

Father, release a hunger and a thirst in Your people.
Release in them a passion for intimacy, for love,
So that each of them will open up their heart
And let the King of Glory come in.

Let the Holy Spirit come in and stir us to receive You.
Touch us afresh,
Help us to know who we are, and who You are.
Teach us to flow together with You,
To open up those heavenly gates and welcome You in.

Let Your people see that door standing open in heaven,
And hear Your voice inviting them to ‘come up here’.
Let Your Spirit brood over us.
Empower us as sons of the Living God
To be those superheroes of faith
Who know their God, and do exploits.

Amen.

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Soundtrack: Jesus Culture – Come Away