216. Twelve Steps to an Orphan Heart

Mike Parsons – 

We are coming into a revelation of who we are as sons of God, and learning how to live out of that revelation. But if instead we listen to the whisperers, the familiar spirits which empower demonic strongholds and mind-sets, then we can find ourselves on a downward spiral.

12 steps to an orphan heart

Humans are designed to be survivors. We develop coping mechanisms and protection mechanisms – layers, walls or skins that we believe keep us safe. But they quickly become behavioural blind-self prisons, and they are stumbling blocks to our destiny.

How does a slavery mentality or an orphan heart form?

  • Nature – we can inherit it genetically from previous generations.
  • Nurture – upbringing, parental and relational influences. Words, attitudes and treatment can have a powerful effect on how we see and think about ourselves.
  • Traumatic events.

And we too can pass it on in our DNA to future generations. In the field of epigenetics, scientists are showing that genetic material can change, even within a single generation.

Here are the 12 steps:

  1. We are affected by faults in parental activity.
  2. We receive parental faults as disappointments, discouragement, grief, rejection or insecurity.
  3. We develop unmet needs and coping mechanisms.
  4. We move into the fear of receiving love, comfort and admonition from others.
  5. We develop a closed heart.
  6. We take on an independent, self-reliant attitude.
  7. We start controlling our relationships.
  8. Our relationships become superficial.
  9. We develop an ungodly belief that says no-one will be there to meet our needs.
  10. We begin to live life like a spiritual orphan.
  11. We begin chasing after counterfeit affections.
  12. We begin to daily battle a stronghold of oppression.

Counterfeit affections

Depending on individual circumstances we may have extreme or mild symptoms. But we are all born separated from God and our souls have unmet needs and an emptiness that must be filled. Until we come to a full revelation of being truly loved and accepted in God, the counterfeit affections we seek include:

  • Passions – addictions – food, alcohol, drugs, sex, pornography, escapism etc. – comforts for our needy hearts.
  • Possessions – security in materialism.
  • Performance – perfectionism, doing things to prove or feel better about ourselves.
  • People – looking to people to meet our needs as substitutes for God – whether being people-pleasers or abusers.
  • Places – needing somewhere better to be happy – wanderlust looking for home.
  • Position – striving for acceptance and approval, especially from significant others: praise of man.
  • Power – seeking to control life and our own destiny by controlling emotions, people, or circumstances so as never to be hurt or disappointed.

We have all tried these things, and we know they do not work. Only God can truly meet our needs. So how can we get free of this bondage?

We have a 20-part series on Transformation which will certainly help!

We need healing from our wounds. We need to surrender our defences and be willing for those coping and defence mechanisms to fall away. We need to be redeemed, reconciled and restored to our relationship with God. We need to open our hearts to God as our Father and receive His adoption, acceptance and affirmation. Nothing and no-one can replace Father God, He wants us to receive our security and acceptance from Him.

We need to desire an intimate relationship with God where trust develops; to pursue Him – to ask, seek, knock, as Jesus taught (and it takes persistence to overcome the obstacles). Let’s give Him our first love, give Him our priority time, and then we will know Him and feel His great love for us.

Love languages

God desires to father us in such a way that we know we are truly loved as individuals. We are not just a ‘job lot’. We all have different love languages – the way we feel love is different. Our particular love languages may correspond to our different gift types or unmet needs. We need to find out which is ours:

  • Gift-giving
  • Quality time
  • Words of affirmation
  • Physical affection
  • Acts of service

Our love language with God may be different from the one we have in our natural relationships. It took me a long time to realise it, but quality time is my spiritual love language. Father God sharing revelation with me of His heart, mind, purpose, and word is what makes me feel loved, valued and appreciated. I am unique, special, and He fathers me uniquely, according to my destiny.

Our spirits all start out separated and orphaned from God, and separated from our souls and bodies, and from our heavenly home too. The spirit is orphaned and the soul therefore has a slave mentality.  Satan was the first orphan spirit, and therefore disunity, disharmony and division is always his goal.

Meeting our soul’s needs

We have seen this diagram before:

orphan1

Our soul has natural needs, but is separated from God and from our spirit. Our body (flesh) reaches out to the world looking for love, acceptance, security, significance and purpose – it has nowhere else to look. That causes damage (including hurt, pain, rejection, insecurity, fear, disappointment, guilt and shame).

When we are born again and our spirit is brought back to life, we then have access to the fountain of living water that is within us, and find love, acceptance, security, significance and purpose in God orphan2and in our relationship with Him. We are connected back to the source of life. So when we go through a process of transformation, in which we are restored and renewed to God’s original intended condition, we have this tension between how we have learned to meet our needs when disconnected from God and how we can now get those needs met in Him. After years and years of following the flesh, this is a battle we must persevere in and win. Once we learn to be cut off from the world, then we can be healed, restored and ultimately transfigured, so that the flow of life from heaven goes through our spirit, soul and body out to the world. We will begin to manifest God’s glory, His presence and His power to change the world in which we live.

We are supposed to be world-changers. It was always our destiny to bring God’s dominion and His blessing to the earth. But to fulfil that destiny we need to be willing to persevere and go through this process.

In Genesis 2 God said that it is not good for man to be alone, and that is because relationship is key to reflecting heaven on earth. God’s desire is for man to be joined, reunited, reconciled, and restored to Him in relationship. That is why unity is so important, as we see the early church of one mind, one heart, in one accord. They were together in their love for and pursuit of God, and they changed and transformed their world.

Centre of our being

Here is another familiar diagram, representing the gateways in our spirit, soul and body.orphan3

But we have a black hole on the inside which absorbs everything, lets nothing in and nothing out, until we enter into a relationship with God through Jesus.Then God’s glory and His Presence come to live in the very centre of our being (see the next two images), so we can engage with God in our spirit. However for far too many believers God is locked away in there.

orphan5

‘Gateways’ by Adam Butterick (Vimeo video). Click the image above to play (opens in new tab).

One spirit with Him

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

That is God’s intention, that we become one spirit with Him by being joined or united to God. We do that by opening up our first love gate, because that establishes a reconnection between our spirit and the Father and heaven. It also reconnects our spirit to our soul and body, so that we become one, holistic, unified piece. God’s desire is for us to be whole, that we would be completely reconnected to everything, to have the relationship with the Father and the Son that our spirit was designed to have in eternity.

Our spirit will be orphaned unless it finds its home with the Father and in heaven and God finds a home in us, which connects it all back together.

I encourage you to look at this picture right now, at the First Love door in the centre. Behind that door is the presence of God, the glory of God, God Himself. This is in the midst of your spirit.

orphan6

‘Gateways’ by Adam Butterick (Vimeo video). Click the image above to play (opens in new tab).

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me” (Rev 3:20).

That is an invitation to relationship, fellowship and intimacy. Maybe you have never opened that door. The handle is on our side, so we have to open the door. Will you open that door today? Will you become joined and reconnected to God today?

Open the door

Close your eyes and imagine this picture in your mind’s eye. There is a door, and behind it is God: His love, His acceptance, His affirmation. If you have never opened it before, you can do so now. You can say, in your heart, “I open that door to you, God. I choose to let you into my life. I choose to receive Your love. I choose to follow you and become Your disciple. I choose You.”

I encourage you, open up the door of your life to God. He is knocking, wanting relationship with you so that you can begin this journey from slavery to sonship, this journey of intimacy with God.

Now for those who have done this before, maybe you are feeling separated, distanced from God? Again, just open up that door right now, because Jesus is the source of life, and start drinking from the river of life that begins to flow. Get into that river of living water, allow it to envelop you. As you open the door, feel His love, feel His embrace, feel the joy that comes from His heart to you. Jump in the river. Let the energy of that source of life begin to flow in you, becoming rivers of living water to flow out of you. Just spend some time there, if you just need that refreshing, enjoy the feel of His arms around you.

Perhaps you are used to opening this door, and you want to go further, then you can follow that river back into heaven – you can walk through the open door and access the realm of heaven. You can get into the river of life there and follow it back to its source at the throne of grace, back to the Tree of Life, back to the garden of God. The atmosphere of heaven is the breath of life, the glory of God is the oxygen of heaven. You can experience Him in the realms of heaven, because you have opened that door and it becomes a two-way flow of life.

Meet the Father today.

Wherever you are in your journey, just spend a few minutes today in the presence of God, in your own heart or in heaven, experiencing His presence and receiving His love and affirmation. Receive His acceptance. Hear these words of affirmation from your heavenly Father.

I love you, my child. Receive My words of affirmation.
I accept you. I affirm you. I embrace you.
Receive My peace. Receive My love.
Return to me. Return to your heavenly home. Return to the intimacy of relationship.
I love you.

Related articles from Freedom ARC

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Note: all the ‘Gateways’ images are based on an original by Ian Clayton and used with his permission.

212. Who We Really Are

Mike Parsons

crown-759296_1280We are on a journey from slavery – rejected and separated from God – into our full inheritance as children of God. Even as children, we start out as babies, infants, and coming into maturity is a process that takes time and perseverance. Yet God always intended us to have a relationship of intimacy with Him, our Heavenly Father: and He wants to embrace us and reveal Himself to us as Father so that we can begin to feel, think, and act like sons.

As we saw last time, we need to be willing to allow Him to heal any relationship wounds which hinder us from having a proper child-to-father relationship with Him.

Our journey has many parallels with the history of Israel coming out of slavery into their Promised Land. Like them, we may have generational slavery in our family line, yet God wants to bring us into something entirely new. Our journey is from a slavery mentality to a mentality of royalty, knowing our identity as sons of the King. There is both blessing and responsibility associated with that, and so different from thinking of ourselves as slaves:

  • Slaves own nothing
  • Slaves live in survival mode
  • Slaves have no hope
  • Slaves have no expectations
  • Slaves have a poverty mentality

God wants to deal with those slave characteristics in us so that we can know the fullness of who we are and what we have in Him. Otherwise, that spirit of slavery, or orphan spirit, will effectively prevent us from being who God created us to be. If we persist in poverty thinking, our mind will stop us fully engaging with the truth of who we really are.

If you are a slave and an orphan, with a poverty mindset, it demonstrates a lack of trust in relationship. The children of Israel knew God’s works, they saw some of the things He did, but they did not know His ways. As a result, they did not trust Him, as we read over and over again in the story of their wilderness experiences. They had been set free from Egypt, but were still thinking like the slaves they had always been. It is the same for us. We have been set free from sin, and from slavery to a world system that exists to keep us enslaved and rob us of our inheritance, but sometimes it is a real struggle to trust and to enter into a deeper relationship with God.

Every time they faced an obstacle, they blamed God, or Moses, or both. They were motivated by fear. At the Red Sea, it was “Oh! You have brought us out of Egypt and now we’re all going to die. We might as well go back”. On the mountain, when God came down, they wouldn’t go to meet Him themselves and told Moses, “we can’t go, you go for us”. Whenever there was no water, or no food, they kept on grumbling and complaining instead of trusting that God would meet their needs.

They did not know God well enough to trust Him to be their deliverer and provider: they made Moses their intermediary and then gave him a hard time as well, because he represented God to them. Authority figures are always obstacles to people who think like slaves, because they think they are being robbed by people in authority, when in reality those in authority are there to release them into sonship.

You see, Moses had a destiny but the enemy tried to destroy it by wiping out a generation of children, just as he would later try against Jesus (with a similar lack of success). When Moses then tried to fulfil his destiny independently from God, using his own natural strength and resources to fulfil the call he knew in his heart, he experienced rejection by his own people, which caused him to run and hide from his destiny.

But when he was approaching the age of forty, it entered his mind to visit his brethren, the sons of Israel. And when he saw one of them being treated unjustly, he defended him and took vengeance for the oppressed by striking down the Egyptian. And he supposed that his brethren understood that God was granting them deliverance through him, but they did not understand (Acts 7:23-25).

Many people will not understand who we are, will not understand our destiny. Many people will try to get in the way and prevent us from fulfilling what we are called to do. But we must not try to fulfil it in our own strength, as Moses did. If we have been trying to make our way in life by doing things that make us feel accepted, loved, approved of and valued by others, rather than depending upon God, that will always cause problems.

On the following day he appeared to them as they were fighting together, and he tried to reconcile them in peace, saying, ‘Men, you are brethren, why do you injure one another?’ But the one who was injuring his neighbour pushed him away, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and judge over us? You do not mean to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday, do you?’ At this remark, Moses fled… (Acts 7:26-29).

How many times have we stumbled at the obstacles people have put in our path? How many rejections have we experienced? Have we given up, and fled from what we know is in our heart, just because something difficult happened? If we are not actively pursuing our destiny, what happened to deflect us from it? Every one of us has a destiny from God: when He started to reveal it to us and draw us towards that destiny, did we start to try to make it happen our own way, and mess up?

After forty years had passed, an angel appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in the flame of a burning thorn bush. When Moses saw it, he marvelled at the sight; and as he approached to look more closely, there came the voice of the Lord: ‘I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob.’ Moses shook with fear and would not venture to look (Acts 7:30-32).

Forty years on, God appeared to Moses again, reminding him of where his heritage lay and where his destiny came from – ‘I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob.’

And this time, he would do it God’s way.

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211. The Father’s Hug

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

FATHERLESSBehold I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. 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 their land with a curse (Malachi 4:5-6).

There is a curse, in the world, and the curse is fatherlessness: for some, not even knowing that they have a father. For others, that the father they do know does not match up to the fullness of God’s intention. God wants us to know Him as a real Father and wants us to feel loved and accepted as His real children. He is releasing His Spirit to turn the world back to Him, in an outpouring that embraces who we are as God’s children and releases that out to the world in an experiential and practical way, so that everyone can experience His love.

Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you. Abide in My love (John 15:9).

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another (John 13:34-35).

This is Jesus’ call to us to live in His love, and it has to be practical. It has to work: as God loves us then we love each other.

My testimony

I want to share briefly from my testimony, from my journey in which I have come to know something deeper about the heart of God.

With my natural dad, I didn’t know love, affection, affirmation, approval, encouragement: really no fathering at all. Even while he was there physically, emotionally he wasn’t; and then he physically left too, leaving a big hole on the inside of me. Not knowing what a father should be, I just thought that was what fathers were like, because I didn’t know any better.

So when I became a Christian I didn’t have a relationship with God as Father. I knew Jesus, because Jesus died on the cross for me. And I know He was supposed to be my Lord. So I knew Him as Lord, but ‘Father’? – it didn’t even compute. It wasn’t that I struggled with it. I didn’t even know that God could be my Father: it was such an alien concept to me. When I was baptised in the Spirit it was like liquid love poured into me. It was an amazing experience. Yet although I felt called to something because I felt love, I still didn’t know where it was from.

The Father’s hug

My first real encounter of the love of God as Father was in a time of worship. It was like God came and put His arms around me and hugged me. I knew that was the Father’s hug. I just felt it in my spirit. Now that really challenged me: how could that be a father? And I suddenly started to realise more about fatherhood. I had a revelation of the truth that God was not like my earthly father. Now you might think that’s really simple but actually you don’t know it, until you know it.

And I had a revelation of that. God started to work that in me, but I needed ministry, I needed help,  because I could not break through into this whole area. So I had some ministry sessions, and God gave me a picture. It was a picture of a photograph, a real photograph that was in our kitchen when I was growing up. It was a photograph of me sat on my dad’s knee. It just hit me like a ton of bricks that this was a posed picture, a sham that never actually happened in reality. And it really, really got to me emotionally. In fact my whole relationship with my earthly father was a total sham.

Forgive and Release

Emotionally it was a really hard thing to do, and I had to really choose to do it as an act of will, but it caused me to choose to forgive him and release him from not being a real dad to me.

It was hard, because I didn’t want to do it: it suddenly hit me that he didn’t deserve it, that he had screwed me over for years – that’s literally how I felt. It really hit me hard. I didn’t let those emotions out right then, but I chose to forgive and release him, and God enabled me to go and see him and give him a hug. He did not know what to do, he stood there frozen as I gave him a hug and told him I loved him. He didn’t know how to respond. I didn’t have a problem with that because I knew the reason was that he’d never been loved by his own father. But when I chose to forgive him, it opened up a whole different relationship with God for me.

Now that was back in the early 1990’s. Then, just before we moved here in 1994, we had a series of meetings in the Castle Centre in the town. One evening I had come up and I was doing some teaching as a prelude to setting up the church. We had a time of worship and all the emotion I hadn’t been able to let out from this whole thing with my dad all of a sudden just spilled out like a torrent. I wailed and I wailed and I wailed on the floor, and all the emotions flooded out. I realised it had all been stored up inside me, and at the end of it I was glad it was gone. That was a powerful experience.

Encounter

Then about a year or so later, I had what I now know was my first encounter in heaven. Again, it was in a time of worship, and this one long note on the saxophone just took me into heaven. God took me on his knee, just like in that sham photograph with my earthly father, but this time gave me a real experience of what it was to be bounced on a father’s knee and played with. It restored something deeper again of the relationship I had missed with my father. God is a great God and wants to restore us.

A father-wound

But in spite of all this, years later when I was on a 40-day fast, going into heaven and seeing God and meeting with Him for 2 weeks, it was Jesus and the Holy Spirit I was meeting with, not the Father. Then Jesus came to me and said: “You need to meet with the Father”. I knew in my own heart I needed to meet with the Father, and yet I couldn’t. Then Jesus showed me a big scar that went right over my heart. I was looking down at this wound and He said, “you have a father-wound.”

And I started to argue: “I’ve forgiven my father. I’ve done everything I can.” He said again, “You have a father-wound.” He spoke to me in that encounter and told me He loved me over and over and over again. And each time He said loved me and I received it, that wound began to disappear bit by bit until it was completely gone. It took about 45 minutes in earthly time (I don’t know how long it took in heavenly time) but it just went on and on, because He just would not relent until that wound was gone. And it went.

Back to zero

Since then my whole intimacy with my heavenly Father has been restored. I hang out with Him in His garden, He hangs out with me in the garden of my own heart. Now that was just the wounds being healed. You see, I might have been minus 60 on a woundedness scale, and some people are a lot worse than that, if they have experienced real abuse from their earthly fathers and others. But although all my wounds were healed, that just brought me back to zero on the scale. I didn’t want to be zero. Zero is better than being minus 60, but I wanted to be on the plus side!

Intimacy

I still needed to be fathered. What was it to be fathered? I did not know because I had never been fathered. So then I had to learn, how does God father me? I had an encounter with Him one morning and I was talking to Him, but I felt something was missing: I didn’t feel intimate. And He spoke to me and asked me “Why do you feel that?”

I struggled to explain, “Because I don’t feel it felt intimate”. He said “Well, what is intimacy?” Now I was looking for the kind of experiences that other people had described. I was looking for intimacy to have all the ‘warm and fuzzies’, and to feel lovely (and actually, sometimes you do get that, which is great).

But God said “When is it you really feel alive? When do you really feel close to me?” So I thought about it. “When You are talking to me and You’re sharing Your heart with me and when You are revealing the Word to me”. He said “That’s me fathering you.” It totally freaked me out to think that I didn’t have to have a relationship like anybody else’s or experience what other people said intimacy was. I could just be me.

And for me, with my redemptive gift, God’s love language to me is sharing with me and just having quality time with Him, quality time in which we just get to hang out together. It doesn’t matter if I feel all warm and fuzzy. Sometimes I just spend an hour with Him and come out of that time with pages of notes, because He has talked to me about stuff. I know He loves me. That is for me what has brought me into a place of freedom. We all need to find the love languages of our Father: how does God love you? What is (or would be) intimacy with Him to you?

Lavished on us

Do you feel like you don’t belong? Do you feel you don’t fit anywhere? Do you still feel like an orphan? Do you feel that no one loves you? Do you still feel rejected? If you do feel any of those things (and others), God wants you to feel His love and acceptance today.

See what great love the Father has lavished on us... (1 John 3:1 NIV)

He wants to lavish His love on you today, so that you will know you’re His child. ‘Lavish’: He wants His love to just overflow, so that it almost seems wasteful, He’s giving us so much love. Another version says:

See what an incredible quality of love the Father has given, shown us, bestowed on us, that we should be given, and named and called and counted the children of God (1 John 3:1 AMP).

prodigal

We are called children of God, and that is who we really are. God’s desire for us is intimacy with Him. The story of the prodigal son is a story of reconciliation back to the Father, and He wants us to experience that reconciliation and restoration of relationship today; not as a slave, or a servant, but as a son, with the full rights of sonship.

I believe that just like the father in that story, God wants to meet you with a hug. If you need a hug from the Father today, come to Him. If maybe you have never embraced the Father in a personal way, take that step today. He wants to hug you, and tell you how much He loves you, as His child. And allow the Holy Spirit to fill you, to shed that love abroad in your heart, so that you feel accepted, valued and appreciated; so that you feel loved.

Related articles from Freedom ARC
Other resources from Freedom ARC

SoundTrack (also from 1994)

We are the Fatherless – Brian Doerksen

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If our free or paid resources are a blessing to you, please consider making a donation to sow into and support this ministry. Thank you!

Are you part of the Joshua Generation?

We developed this just for you:

Engaging God on the Heavenly Pathways of Relationship and Responsibility
Equipping a Joshua Generation of supernatural sons of God to live according to the order of Melchizedek

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210. A Beloved Child

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

However at that time, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are no gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back to the weak and elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again? (Gal 4:8-9).

Relationship releases us and empowers us. Religion enslaves us. Are we serving God in order to have a relationship with Him? If we are, we will end up in religious bondage. Or do we serve because of our relationship? That will bring us into life.

Every one of us can come into a relationship with God. It is a free gift of grace. Sadly, though, if we listen to the lies of the enemy, we can be enslaved all over again by going back into religion, back into dead works, trying to please God – and trying to get a relationship with Him (when we already have one) – by what we do.

We serve God not so that we can have a relationship with Him but because we already have a relationship with Him in Christ. We serve from the security of our relationship with Him, so we are co-heirs with Him. We work with Him not for Him. If we are working for God then we will be looking to get something in return. But if we’re working with God, we’re working in partnership with Him and simply enjoying all the blessings that brings.

Who has labelled us?

Who has given us our identity? Who has labelled us? What labels have people put on us? Parents, siblings, friends? Authority figures, society? What has labelled us – and do we still believe the label? How do we label ourselves? Is it according to our past and what other people say? Or is it according to what God says about us?

If we label ourselves ‘sons’ then we will think, feel and act like sons. If we give ourselves some other label then we’ll think, feel and act the way we labelled ourselves instead. Who are we agreeing with? With God, or with what other people say?

Identity

Where do we get our identity from? From what we do? From our work? How do you introduce yourself? I’m a doctor, I’m a housewife, I’m a cleaner… If your identity is so tied up with what you do that you cannot separate it, then what you do has power over you.

Some of us will get our identity from relationships, with a father, mother or husband, wife, friend… Those relationships can define us. People join clubs – or even gangs – because they are looking for identity. They are looking to belong. Whereas, in God, we already belong.

Culture itself can provide our identity. I am British, and British people have a reputation for being stiff-upper-lipped. Is that who I am? We can adopt those traits and it can affect how we are, when we could be seeing and hearing what God says about us and getting our identity from Him.

Too often people base their identities on what they do, on anything from their jobs to their roles in relationships and their pursuits, and by doing so they significantly limit their lives. The truth is God intends for all people to find their identity in Christ. That is where we will find the truth of who we are and embrace it.

Abundance

Mark Driscoll says, “if you’re a Christian, your identity encompasses all the abundance of being a beloved child of God”. It encompasses the abundance, the overflow… everything it means to be a child of God. But our spirit has to grow and overrule the soul. It must overrule everything that has told us who we are, everything that has naturally defined us, so that our spirit decrees who we are, based on what God says. Then we can live in the truth of that identity and revelation of who we are and why we are here, and we can start living our lives fully in Christ.

Blessed

You are saved from punishment; you are reconciled to God; you are accepted as a child of God; you are adopted into His family. You are a saint not a sinner;  you’re blessed; you have a new spiritual identity as a son and an heir. Believe it. Start thinking that way, start meditating on that. Start embracing what God says about you!

By virtue of our adoption we have been given a new name, as a son not a slave, a new legal standing and status. Accepted; no longer alienated nor condemned. A new family relationship: God is our Father, no longer our Judge. A new image: the image of Christ. these are awesome things that God has done for us.

Destiny

Knowing your identity is absolutely key to knowing and fulfilling your destiny. Because if you don’t experientially know who you are (that means actually know it by experience, not just know about it), then how can you know what belongs to you and what you are called to do? See, if you were the son of the Queen of England but you were taken as a baby and put into another family, you would never know who you really were. And we have been robbed, we were taken into captivity, so (even though we have now been released) we have never known the fullness of who we really are.

But God is revealing to us in these days who we really are as His children; what sons really do in the kingdom of God; and what our inheritance really is in that kingdom.

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207. Restored to Original Condition

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

Isaiah_scroll

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
Because the Lord has anointed me
To bring good news to the afflicted;
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to captives
And freedom to prisoners;
To proclaim the favourable year of the Lord
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
To grant those who mourn in Zion,
Giving them a garland instead of ashes, 
The oil of gladness instead of mourning, 
The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of heaviness.
(Isaiah 61:1-3).

Every 50 years in the Jewish calendar there was to be a Year of Jubilee (or freedom), when everyone had their inheritance restored to them. That is the ‘favourable year of the Lord’ that we are called to proclaim. God wants all his people to have everything restored to them.

We will receive liberty in exchange for captivity, healing instead of brokenness, beauty for ashes, double honour for shame, the oil of joy instead of mourning. The time for mourning is over. It is time to know the fullness of joy in our salvation. God is looking to restore us to original condition: not the condition we were born in, but His original intention for us, all those wonderful plans He has had for us from eternity past.

He wants us to know our identity – who we really are. He wants us to know how He designed us, to know how we were made to be. And He wants us to grasp our destiny, our birthright, all that we are called to do.

Picture yourself

I encourage you to take some time out now.

Imagine that Father God is standing before You.
He is calling you to your destiny.
Picture yourself walking towards Him.

Come in repentance, with your head bowed, as a servant, because that is how we all come at first.

Now look up. See the Father waiting with His arms wide open, with love in His eyes for you.
Look into His eyes of love.

Run to Him.

Feel His loving embrace.

Just like in the story of the Prodigal Son,
Feel the ring of sonship He puts on your finger,
A seal, a signet ring you can use as His representative, with His authority.

Feel the clean robes He puts on you
All the dirt of the past has been completely removed
These are robes of righteousness
How clean and fresh they feel!

You have been declared righteous, made right with Him.

Enjoy the joy and celebration of His heart
Feel His acceptance and restoring love
Feel His affirmation.

Listen with your spirit

Just as God opened up the heavens to speak over Jesus, he has opened the heavens over you and is declaring this over you. I would urge you to listen with your spirit to what he is declaring. This is your Father speaking directly to your spirit, calling forth that eternal destiny He has placed within you.

I declare you are my beloved son and I am well pleased with you.

I call you My child
I am your Father
You are mine and I am yours.

I legitimise you as my child
I call forth your spiritual destiny.

I call your spirit to attention
Listen with your spirit to the words that I, your heavenly Father, have for you.

The Spirit of your Father gives witness to your spirit that you are My son
I bless your spirit with the spirit of sonship and the mindset of sonship
I bless you with a deep heart identity as My very own child, securely loved in My family
I bless you with the settled assurance that I have a future and a hope for you
And I have written all your days in My book with love
For your best interest and for My ultimate glory.

I bless you with the deep knowledge that I know what you need
And I have all the resources of the universe to meet that need.

Listen with your spirit to My words for you
My Spirit testifies to your spirit that you are My child
Feel your spirit pulsating with My life, My love, My acceptance.

I bless you with the ears to hear the testimony of the spirit of the Lord,
The spirit of knowledge, wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel, power and fear of the Lord
To hear what they say about you.

I bless you with being tuned into Me
With eyes for seeing, ears for hearing, and a mind for understanding
I bless you with being led by the fullness of My Spirit of Truth
To see things as I see them in the heavenly realms.

I bless you with the deep knowledge that you are an heir with your brother Jesus
To all of My treasuries
I bless you with the confidence that you lack for nothing you need
Spiritually, emotionally, mentally, physically, and practically.

I bless you with the sure understanding that I want you to have My blessings and My glory
To possess your birthright
I bless you with the desire to press forward to see the glory that I am revealing.

I bless you with a heart that does not rebel or shrink back
From the opportunities I put before you daily
I bless you with a hunger for the manifestation of My glory day by day
In you and through your life.

I declare that you are no longer a slave, an orphan or a victim
I declare that you are mine and I am yours:
I am your inheritance and you are My inheritance.

I declare that I am your Father and you are My son
And I give you access to your heavenly home
I give you access to the river and tree of life in your heavenly home.

I call you to be a gateway of heaven on the earth
You are my child and I call you to be displayed as a mature son on the earth.

Soak

Let your spirit receive those words. Go over them again and again, day after day if you need to. Receive them as affirmation of who you are as a son of God, as a child of your heavenly Father, as one who has a destiny in Him. Allow your spirit to just soak in it. Soak in the words of God to you. He approves of you, blesses you.

He wants you to know your identity, and outwork it.

He wants you to know your destiny, and fulfil it.

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Soundtrack: Beauty For Ashes – Chris McClarney

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204. A Journey Quest for Identity

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

identityWho am I?
How am I made?
What am I made for?

We all have an individual inheritance from God: destiny, birthright, calling, purpose – there are many names we give it. And God has created us all different, designed us to operate best in particular ways, which we need to discover and understand. We all have an identity, and that identity is as sons of God (including the ladies), but we all start out as spiritual babies who are on a journey quest to discover answers to these questions. This series of posts which we are starting today is all about that journey: a journey from the slavery of childhood and infancy to the maturity of sonship.

We must leave behind the slavery of a poverty mentality. Because we are born separated from God, we do not know who He is or who we are in Him; we do not know the wealth He has for us in that relationship, so we think like paupers. I am not really talking about money (though money certainly comes into it), but about knowing our royal identity. Someone who is of royal birth thinks very differently to someone who is not, and we have to learn to think like a child of the King of kings. Only when we think that way can we act that way, able to fulfil our calling and come into our destiny.

From slavery to sonship

We are in a training process, intended to produce that maturity in us. We start out as servants, then as we complete the training, go on to become bond-servants, stewards, friends, lords, kings and sons. Increasing levels of authority and power come with increasing levels of relationship and responsibility, as God entrusts more and more to us.

How much do we desire that? How willing are we to pursue that, to pursue Him? It will take diligence, faithfulness and perseverance. It does not come easily.

Opposition

As you would expect on a quest, there is opposition along the way; opposition to us knowing who we are and why we are here. When the children of Israel crossed into their Promised Land, they had to dispossess the nations who were there before them. There are things in our lives which need dispossessing too. There is a battle, but that battle to possess our inheritance will bring us into more intimacy with God. He has designed it so that we find Him in the difficult times, in the trials, where we learn His faithfulness; where we learn that He overcomes – and that through Him we too can overcome.

“Abba! Father!”

Now I say, as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave although he is owner of everything… But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son… so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons (Gal 4:1-5).

God has adopted us into His royal family. Spiritually we may have started out as poverty-stricken beggars, but when He adopts us, everything changes. That passage continues:

 Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God (Gal 4:6-7).

Every one of us is an heir of the fullness of God’s kingdom as His sons; but if we think like slaves, we will not act like sons.

Predestined

For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many sons; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified (Rom 8:29-30).

We have a destiny already agreed, to become like Jesus. It was impossible for us to fulfil our call and destiny when we were living restricted by sin; but all things are possible for us now that we are forgiven, now that we are justified, made right with God. And glorified – that was the part we used to think would only happen after we die, but the revelation God is releasing in our day is that we can be glorified here and now. We can access the realms of glory and the realms of heaven in order to bring heaven to earth through our lives.

“I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters”, says the Lord Almighty (2 Cor 6:18).

I get the impression from the way God phrases this that He is pretty serious about it. It is not open for discussion or negotiation. It is like that song we sing, ‘You Won’t Relent’: God will not relent, He will not let up, until we are His sons and daughters. We can no longer be content with living as slaves or orphans: we must pursue our sonship.

Every spiritual blessing

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, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will (Eph 1:3-4).

God has blessed us, just as He blessed Adam and Eve, with every spiritual authority to bring heaven to earth. We can access those spiritual blessings in heavenly places, in Christ, to manifest them here on the earth. God always intended to choose us, from before the foundation of the world. He wants us as His children. That is His will, and he is not going back on it.

God is calling forth our spirit to maturity. He is calling each of us to our identity as sons.  Let us each begin to embrace the fullness of what it means to be a child of God.

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Engaging God on the Heavenly Pathways of Relationship and Responsibility
Equipping a Joshua Generation of supernatural sons of God to live according to the order of Melchizedek

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196. Set Apart in Holiness

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

God is calling a new generation of forerunners like Joshua and Caleb to rise up, take hold of what belongs to them in God’s kingdom, and bless others by sharing this revelation and leading them in too.

Will you be one of them?

The Joshua generation has an inheritance that is both earthly and heavenly. We need the heavenly in order to be able to manifest the earthly. The other way round, it is a real struggle. Our inheritance is to act as gateways, bringing heaven to earth through our lives. Our status as royal priests enables us: as kings we have authority and as priests we have access to the holy things of God.

Fame

So the LORD was with Joshua, and his fame was in all the land (Joshua 6:27).

Some of us are beginning to be well known in certain Christian circles already, in a way that we were not just a few years ago. But when the Joshua generation start actually doing the signs, wonders and miracles God is calling us to do, once we set up the Cities of Refuge to which people will run for help and protection when everything falls apart, the world (not just the rest of the church) will begin to take notice.

We need to be ready for the media pressure. When people are raised from the dead, when fire falls from heaven, it will be a global phenomenon, because these are the days when ‘many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase’ (Dan12:4). It will be on Facebook and YouTube within minutes, not hours.

If we are not operating in righteousness and justice, if we are not truly set apart in holiness, then we risk being easy meat for the world’s media. You only have to look at the Lakeland Revival to see what happens once those areas of unrighteousness are revealed. The spotlight of the secular press and social media is unrelenting.

Any skeletons in the closet will be exposed, we can be sure of that. So we must deal with what we know is in our lives, deal with what God reveals to us, make sure there is nothing hidden, nothing for anyone to find out and discover, nothing we are trying to conceal. We all have history, we all have a past, and we have all messed up. But if we hide that from each other and from the world, then we are needlessly exposing ourselves to danger. The enemy can use what is in the dark; it has become his natural habitat. We need to make sure everything is brought into the light.

In all that God is doing, in the power of God that is coming, He must have the glory. The heavenly elders cast their crowns before God, and we redirect any honour we receive back to Him. Past generations have failed in this because they have taken glory for themselves, promoted themselves, instead of bringing glory to God.

It is all about Him. It is not about us. Let’s be sure there is nothing of ‘us’ standing in the way of God’s glory.

A radical stand against sin

And it is not only because of the world that we need to be uncompromisingly holy. Let the fear of the Lord be our strong motivation:

Rise up! Consecrate the people and say, ‘Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, for thus the LORD, the God of Israel, has said, “There are things under the ban in your midst, O Israel. You cannot stand before your enemies until you have removed the things under the ban from your midst.” … It shall be that the one who is taken with the things under the ban shall be burned with fire, he and all that belongs to him, because he has transgressed the covenant of the LORD, and because he has committed a disgraceful thing in Israel’ (Joshua 7:13,15).

God wants a holy people. If there are things in our midst that He has called us to lay down or deal with, and we are not doing as He says, then we are inviting defeat both individually and corporately.

Please understand, under the New Covenant no-one is going to be burned at the stake for this. If we get it wrong, if we make a mistake, if we sin, then the fire of God’s presence may come, but it comes to purify and refine us, not to destroy us. It is only sin that will destroy us.

The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness (Matt 13:41).

I have pointed out before that Jesus says ‘out of His kingdom’ and not ‘out of the world’, and we have seen these angels here at Freedom many times in recent years. He wants us to be pure and holy so that we do not live in bondage to sin, death, oppression, or poverty, but overcome them.

Our relationship with God is the most important thing in our life. Then, when we agree to be forerunners and accept responsibility to do what He calls us to do, we will not be afraid of the cost which goes with that responsibility.

The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8).

No compromise. The Joshua generation will be ruthless in pursuing, rooting out and destroying whatever is in opposition to God’s will, and they will teach the following generation to do the same.

There will be no end to the increase of His government and peace,
to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
from then on and forevermore.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this (Isa 9:7).

Are we willing to step into our inheritance?
Are we willing to accept and embrace our destiny?

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Soundtrack:

Tim Hughes – Set Apart (via YouTube)

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195. The Source and River of Life

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

Rivers of living water

Jesus died to give us access to heaven, and not only when we die: eternal spiritual life begins here and now. He died, but He did not stay dead. He rose again and is alive today. He is alive in heaven; He is alive in those who believe in Him; He manifests His presence here with us. Because of our relationship with Him, we can have intimate relationship with the Father as adopted sons, and with one another as brothers and sisters in God’s family.

We are connected to the source of life, and the source of life is connected to us. Within our spirit, there is a door that connects to God and to heaven, and it is up to us whether we open the door:

Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me (Rev 3:20).

When we choose to open that door on a daily basis, He comes in, fills us, and manifests around us so that people see and experience Him through us.

Living Water

Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water” (John 4:10).

Jesus was not offering the Samaritan woman a cupful, He was offering her the River of Life which is flowing in heaven. It is the same river that was in the Garden, where it split into four rivers and watered the earth.

The river that Ezekiel saw (see Ezek 47) was ankle-deep as it flowed out from the Temple. Ankle-deep water can refresh your feet; you can even reach down and get a drink from it. But it did not stay ankle-deep, or even waist-deep, but got deeper and deeper until it was so deep you could not cross it. Wherever that river went, it brought life. God wants us to bring that water to others so that they too can be filled and experience that life.

He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water’ (John 7:38).

If we go to that spring every day and drink of it, it will become a fountain of eternal life not only for us, but also for those around us. It will flow through our whole being, spirit soul and body. But we do have to draw water from the well. We have to get into the river. We have to drink the water.

Do we know the gift of God?
Are we connected to the flow of living water?
Do we drink from the internal well of water springing up to eternal life?
Do we experience the constant flow of the source of life, the Holy Spirit?

There is a river

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
The holy dwelling places of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns (Psa 46:4-5).

How deeply have we drunk of this river?

He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers (Psa 1:3).

That is a description of what our life can be like when we live connected to that source of life, putting our roots down and constantly drawing from it.

Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations (Revelation 22: 1-2).

We can follow that river flowing in our spirit, back up into the heavenly realms. Years ago, we would only have expected to encounter the river in this realm – ‘we rejoice for the river is here’, as we used to sing – but we can also experience the river in the realms of heaven.

Five Rivers

The River of Life is only one of five rivers that God showed me cascading like waterfalls out of heaven today. We can jump in and experience:

  • The River of Life – New Birth
  • The River of death and resurrection – Water Baptism
  • The River of the Spirit – Baptism in the Holy Spirit
  • The River of Fire – Consuming Fire
  • The River of Glory – Heavenly presence

Jump into the River of Life. Experience something deeper of the presence of God. Open that door in your own life and begin to sense the flow of His life in you. And if you have never met Jesus before, open up that door for the first time and drink of the River of Life. Drink that water until it becomes a well, a spring that bubbles up in you.

If you have had a baptism experience but you want more, plunge into the river of death and resurrection. Be washed inside and out, cleansed from your past, have the power of sin broken over your life. Exchange all the old for the new. Exchange the struggles, the sickness, the guilt, the shame. Exchange your old identity for a new one. Stop to trying to meet your own needs and allow God to meet them. Walk in resurrection power.

Jump into the River of the Spirit. Whoever wants to be filled with the joy, whoever is eager for the gifts, whoever wants to speak in tongues, come and receive a river flowing from within. Open your heart and receive all He has for you. Experience the power of baptism in the Holy Spirit at a completely new level.

Be empowered. Then give it away; let it flow from you.

If you need to be transformed, if you need the fire of God, then jump in and open your heart to the all-consuming River of Fire. Allow God’s fire to refine you, purify you, transform you. Allow God’s fire to destroy your chains. Jesus came to baptise in the Holy Spirit and fire (see Matt 3:11). Experience the power of baptism in fire.

Open your heart and receive all He has for you. Do not be satisfied with less.

Upstream to the source

If you are born again and have never engaged with God in your own heart and spirit, He is there, and you can do so right now. If you have never been into the realms of heaven, find the river within you and follow it back upstream to its source.

Experience God at a new level today. If you don’t want to jump right in, you can start by standing in the shallows. Feel the river flowing, and gradually go deeper. Eventually, go under, breathe in, and drink. Feel the energy, His life flowing in and through you.

Taste and see that the Lord is good (Ps 34:8a).

Activation

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191. Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

neuronsOur inheritance is to walk with God, to experientially encounter Him and live in a daily intimate relationship with Him; one heart, one mind, one will, one purpose.

But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him (1 Cor 6:17).

Since relationship is built on communication, how do we communicate with God? God is a spirit, God is light, God is love. How do we interact with Him, engage with Him? How do we see, hear and know?

When we see with our natural eyes, light is reflected from an object, focused through the lens to form an upside down image on the retina. Electrical signals travel along the optic nerve and are interpreted by our brain. When we hear with our natural ear, pressure waves from air cause the ear drum to vibrate, and that vibration is passed by bones in fluid to be interpreted by the brain. We ‘know’ by electrical impulses in synapses passing along neural pathways which the brain interprets as thoughts. That’s amazing!

But it’s not only physically that we are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ (Ps139:14).

Active or passive

We have the eyes of our heart, our imagination. Images form directly in our mind as if on a screen, an expression of our creative ability derived from a creative God. Then there are the eyes of our spirit: our brain interprets and understands what our spirit – and the Holy Spirit – shows us. Every aspect of how God created us works together in this. He created us to be able to engage both with the universe we live in and with our Creator.

He wants us to be active rather than passive: not just hoping He might break in and interrupt, but eagerly seeking and pursuing Him. He is looking for those who will do whatever it takes to develop their relationship with Him.

Seeing in the spirit

Our world is filled with vibrations which can only be picked up if we have the right equipment, such as a TV or radio tuned in to the correct frequency. Our natural eyes and ears can see and hear just a tiny portion of all the frequencies that exist. When we are in tune with God, our spirit is capable of detecting wavelengths which our natural senses are not, and can interpret and describe what it perceives. Just as our natural body does, our spirit passes signals to the brain, so that we are able to understand and distinguish between spirits and realms. We can train our spirit to become sensitive to what God is saying and doing in the dimensions around us, and to recognise what is God and what is not.

When we talk about ‘seeing in the spirit’, what we really mean is that our spirit is tuning into a spiritual frequency and communicating information to our brain so that we begin to understand what is going on.

We know that our natural senses and abilities develop with practice: so too do our spiritual ones (Heb 5:14). The more we train, the more we practise, the more readily our spiritual senses will engage with God. Our spirit was dead to God: now that we are born again we need to get it up to speed. Here at Freedom we do what we call ‘activations’ in order to encourage our spirit to learn how to hear, see, feel and experience in the realms of heaven. Meditation, too, will help us to develop our spiritual senses.

Harmony

Sound and colour have an effect on the natural and spiritual dimensions. We have experienced this with the colours and movement of flags together with the sound of music in worship: something shifts in the spiritual atmosphere, portals open, it draws the presence of God and the angelic.

There are healing frequencies. Fragrant oils have healing properties. Our bodies have a frequency, in fact the whole of creation has a frequency. I have experienced the sound of harmony in heaven, and it is calling us to join it and bring it to earth.

Spiritual sonar

Most of us have known occasions when we could feel or sense the atmosphere in a room. There is a saying, ‘you could cut the atmosphere with a knife’. We feel cold chill shivers in certain places, and peace in others. It is as if our spirit is sending out a ‘ping’ like spiritual sonar, and forming an impression based on how that signal comes back.

I asked God to open up the eyes of my spirit, and with practice I have learned how to turn this on and off at will. I can sense the atmosphere around people and places if I choose to do so. I can discern angels, and even describe them in terms of size, colour, shape and activity, even though I am not physically ‘seeing’ them. There is no reason you cannot ask for and receive the same.

Visions

If we want to hear and recognise the voice of God, we need to develop a lifestyle of the supernatural. He created us to be able to receive  from Him and to engage with Him in this way:

‘And it shall be in the last days,’ God says, ‘That I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, And your young men shall see visions, And your old men shall dream dreams (Acts 2:17).

Here are some examples from scripture:

As he [Saul] was travelling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”… The men who travelled with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one (Acts 9:3-4, 7).

Saul saw the light and heard the voice of Jesus, whilst the others only heard the voice but did not see the light. That light caused blindness in Saul, but the others were not affected. We might wonder what sort of wavelength of light it was, whether it was actual light, or whether it was Jesus himself manifesting as light. Was the veil of heaven opened around Paul so that he could see into a dimension the others could not? And the voice that they all heard, was it an actual voice? As they all heard it, does that mean it is easier to hear than to see spiritual frequencies?

Later on (Acts 9:10-12) we read that Ananias heard God speak to him in a vision (without actual process of eyes, ears, light and sound waves), telling him that Saul has also had a vision, of him (Ananias) laying his hands on him.

Again, Cornelius had a vision of an angel, and Peter fell into a trance (Acts 10:3-15). Even if all these things happened in Saul’s, Ananias’, Cornelius’ and Peter’s heads, that does not make them any less real. God communicated with them, and as a result, the church was completely transformed.

Four kinds of wisdom

Jesus said:

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me (John 10:27).

With practice we can learn to identify when something is God communicating with us rather than coming from our own or other sources. Most people will tell you that knowing the word of God is the key, but I would suggest that knowing the God of the word is actually more important. If we have taken the time and trouble to get to know Him, His character, His ways, His heart, His mind and His purposes, then we will have a pretty clear idea whether we are hearing Him or not.

This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. (James 3:15-17)

James gives a strong clue here too: do we see something characterised by jealousy, selfish ambition, disorder and evil or pure, peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering and without hypocrisy?

A place of rest

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matt 11:28-29).

“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me” (John 14:1).

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful” (John 14:27).

No matter the situations or circumstances going on around us, we need to come from a place of rest and peace in relationship with God, not worrying, being anxious or fearful (see also Matt 6:25-34). Let’s also practice the conscious presence of God, who promises never to leave or forsake us (Heb 13:5), and cast all our burdens on Him because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). All these things will make us far less likely to be deceived by things which are not coming from Him.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight (Prov 3:5).

Everything needs to flow from the rest and peace of our relationship with God, from the inside out. Let’s learn to live in a state of rest, peace and intimacy.

My prayer for you

Now when the attendant of the man of God had risen early and gone out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was circling the city. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” And the Lord opened the servant’s eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha (2 Kings 6:15-17).

From a natural perspective, the circumstances were dire. But Elisha could see into the spiritual realm, and he prayed for his servant so that he would also.

I want to pray the same for you.

Father, as You opened Elisha’s servant’s eyes
to see angelic beings and activity in the spiritual realm,
bringing peace and rest to his life in spite of the circumstances,
I pray that you will open the eyes of each person reading or hearing this.

Open the eyes of their spirit to see, to perceive, to receive;
To be a receiver of the frequency that comes from that realm
And that their brains will be able to interpret it,
So that they are able to see, to feel, to hear, to taste, to touch the things of God
And to know You through personal encounter, day by day.

Show them what you are doing,
Not only today, but as they practise and train their senses,
Bring them into maturity,
So that they are able to do Your works
As Jesus did, because He saw what You were doing.

Amen.

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190. By Personal Encounter and Experience

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

Practice...

Hearing God’s voice takes time, it takes practice, and it must lead to obedience.

Israel always sent Moses to hear God for them, although God offered them all the chance to hear for themselves. We have no need for a mediator. Our inheritance is to walk with God, to encounter and experience Him in a real, intimate relationship as Adam did, to see, hear, feel, smell, taste, sense Him, and to mature in that relationship. Then, as we experience intimacy, we need to teach and model that intimacy to the next generation.

This is a characteristic of the Joshua generation.

22. The Joshua generation will encourage people to hear the word of God directly

Then Joshua said to the sons of Israel, “Come here, and hear the words of the LORD your God” (Joshua 3:9).

Regular communication is essential to a relationship. We have the written word of God, and we have the Holy Spirit who interprets it for us. ‘For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life’ (2 Corinthians 3:6). Even more than that, we have Jesus, the Living Word. The Greek (western) mindset is about hearing and thinking, analysis and study, whereas the Hebrew way is by seeing and feeling, by experience. God wants us to experience Him in fullness.

When Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me” (John 10:14), He is not speaking of intellectual knowledge, but of personal encounter and experience, of being intimately acquainted with Him, just as He is intimately acquainted with the Father:

Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner (John 5:19).

The Father is in Me, and I am in the Father (John 10:38).

He who has seen Me has seen the Father (John 14:9).

All our worship and service must flow from the relationship of rest and intimacy that comes from truly knowing God in this way.

But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him (1 Cor 6:17).

We are the house of God, we are the gate of heaven

Jacob called Bethel ‘the house of God, the gate of heaven’ (Gen 28:17). It was where he saw the ladder set up from earth to heaven, and where God spoke to him. Today we are that house, that gate. Jesus said:

In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also (John 14:2-3).

Tradition interprets it this way: the Father’s house is heaven, with many houses (mansions) in it. Jesus goes to heaven to build our houses, and He will return to take us to heaven, where we can live in them.

But in reality, the Father’s house is the church, and Jesus went to the cross to prepare us to be the dwelling places. Jesus was resurrected to receive us into relationship: ‘where I am’ is not a location, but a relationship (I am in the Father and the Father is in Me).

We can be included in the intimate knowledge and experience that Jesus had of the Father. The Creator of the universe has chosen to make a home in us. That is amazing! But if it is not our daily experience, then it is just head knowledge. We can experience personal encounters with God, both in heaven and on earth, as Adam did, and as Jesus did.

We can connect with God in the realm of the spirit, and experience the reality that our spirit is a habitation of God’s presence and glory. We can build a relationship with God who lives on the inside.

We can also encounter God in the heavens, as we become a gate of heaven – perceiving what the Father is doing, and ourselves doing the works that Jesus did. Knowing and hearing must lead to following and obedience. As we become like the One we follow, we do as He did.

When God reveals, we are responsible to do.

God speaks

Does God literally speak, so that sound waves come and cause our physical eardrums to vibrate, sending a message to our brain which it interprets as words? Rarely. Most often, something in our spirit picks up and discerns what God is communicating with us. It takes time and it takes practice to develop that sensitivity.

When a prophet of the Lord is among you, I reveal myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams. But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house. With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the Lord (Num. 12:6-8).

There are 5 different ways the Lord speaks here:

  • dreams
  • visions
  • face-to-face, clearly
  • in riddles (parables)
  • in the open seer realm.

In fact, there are many different types or degrees of prophetic gifting throughout scripture, demonstrating how much God wants to engage with us in relationship. These avenues of hearing and seeing all require patience, practice and development. But most of all, they require relationship.

God of the journey

People can get frustrated that they are not having heavenly visitations and open encounters with angels, but most people do not start off on this level. God births spiritual babies, not mature eagles. However, baby eagles are born with the potential to fly.

If we are faithful with the little, more will be added. If we are faithful with the simple nudging He gives us, He will entrust us with more complex revelation. The nature of progressive revelation is that God gives us keys along the way, from one level of glory and experience to another. He is concerned just as much (and perhaps more) with the process in us as He is about end results. He is God of the journey, not just God of the destination.

The fundamental truths of our faith are absolute and unshakeable. However, they are living absolutes, because Jesus is the Living Word. He continually brings fresh life and fresh revelation into what is already written as we engage with Him today.

God wants to meet with you today

[Click here to hear the audio of this activation]

Picture yourself walking up to God, your Father.
Imagine coming to Father, head bowed, willing to be a servant.
Look up and see the Father waiting, arms open.
Look into His eyes, see the fire of His love and passion for you.
Feel His embrace.
Feel His arms around you.

Feel that ring of sonship which He puts on your finger
The seal that says ‘this is My son’.
Feel the clean robes He puts on you.
Enjoy the joy and celebration of His heart.
Feel His acceptance and restoring love,
Feel His affirmation,
Feel His approval.

Feel it.
The Father is here.
The weight of His presence is resting upon us,
The covering of His love.
We are under an open heaven

Hear these words coming from the heart of God,
Let them go deep into your spirit.

I declare you are my beloved child and I am well pleased with you
I call you My child and I am your Father,
You are mine and I am yours.
I legitimise you as my child,
I call forth your spiritual destiny.

I call your spirit to attention
Listen with your spirit to the words that I, your heavenly Father, have for you.
The Spirit of your Father gives witness to your spirit that you are My child.

I bless your spirit with the spirit of sonship and the mindset of sonship
I bless you with a deep heart identity as My very own child, securely loved in My family

I bless you with the settled assurance that I have a future and hope for you
And I have written your days in My book with love,
For your best interest and for My ultimate glory.
I bless you with the deep knowledge that I know what you need
And I have all the resources of the universe to meet that need.

Listen with your spirit to My words for you.
My Spirit testifies to your spirit that you are My child.
I bless you with the ears to hear the testimony of the Spirit of the Lord,
The Spirit of knowledge, wisdom and understanding,
The Spirit of counsel, power and fear of the Lord

I bless you with being tuned into Me
With eyes for seeing, ears for hearing and a mind for understanding according to the Spirit.
I bless you with being led by the fullness of My Spirit of truth
To see things as I see them in the heavenly realms.

I bless you with the deep knowledge
That you are an heir with your brother Jesus to all My treasuries.
I bless you with the confidence that you lack for nothing that you need,
Spiritually, emotionally, mentally, physically and practically

I bless you with the sure understanding
That I want you to have My blessings and My glory, and to possess your birthright.
I bless you with the desire to press forward to see the glory that I am revealing.

I bless you with a heart that does not rebel
Or shrink back from the opportunities I put before you daily.
I bless you with a hunger for the manifestation of My glory
Day by day in you and through your life.

I declare that you are no longer a slave, an orphan or a victim.
I declare that you are Mine and I am yours.
I am your inheritance and you are My inheritance.

I declare that I am your Father and you are My child
And I give you access to your heavenly home.
I give you access to the river and tree of life in your heavenly home.
I call you to be a gateway of heaven on the earth.

You are my child
And I call you to be displayed as a mature son on the earth.

Receive the truth of God’s words into your spirit and into your heart. Pursue Him, and live in intimacy of relationship with Him.

Soundtrack: Pursuit (Daniel Bashta feat. Kim Walker-Smith)

Related articles by Freedom ARC

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Support Freedom ARC

If our free or paid resources are a blessing to you, please consider making a donation to sow into and support this ministry. Thank you!

Are you part of the Joshua Generation?

We developed this just for you:

Engaging God on the Heavenly Pathways of Relationship and Responsibility
Equipping a Joshua Generation of supernatural sons of God to live according to the order of Melchizedek

Get started today!*

To find out more about the Engaging God programme, click here…

*Technology permitting: automated process on receipt of payment and completion of online registration form. Terms and conditions apply.