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The Lord gave me this for a prayer ministry course we were teaching in 2000. It is no less applicable today.
There has come a time, says the Lord, when men and women will no longer worship me in spirit and truth. The elect, those who know me, will fall away and begin to walk, not in the ways that I showed them, but in their own ways. They will no longer rely on Me for power to live and serve Me, but will try to do so in their own strength. They will no longer listen to the voice of my Spirit, but will listen only to the thoughts of their own minds.
In the last days, says the Lord, I will pour out My Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out My Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the lord will be saved. (Acts 2:17-21; Joel 2:28-32a)
When a prophet of the Lord is among you, I reveal myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams. (Numbers 12:6)
What is the Lord saying today? He is saying that you can give up your futile struggle to live as a Christian. You can stop striving to overcome the world and your old nature. You can stop devising plans and schemes by which you might be able to appear to win one or two people into the kingdom. You can stop worrying about looking like a competent and successful church leader. You can stop trying to prove you are a better musician than others in the church. You can stop demonstrating your wonderful talents of administration, or preaching, or acting, or entertaining children, or counselling, or organising technology, or whatever it is you think you are good at.
In fact, the Lord says, you can not only stop doing these things - you had better stop doing these things. Unless you learn to walk in My ways, all of these things are like filthy rags in My sight. They produce no fruit that lasts, because the only glory they point to is your own glory. And I will give My glory to no man! And if they become a shield behind which you hide from Me, then they are sin, and you are in need of repenting and seeking My forgiveness. If you use them to push away your desperate need to be filled with My Spirit, then you impoverish yourself, you deprive your fellows of My presence, and you grieve My heart.
Oh My children, come to Me for rest. Come to Me for power to live and serve and minister in My strength and according to My ways. Do not be deceived by what the world teaches. They follow doctrines of men and doctrines of demons. They live out of the pride and arrogance of their own evil hearts, deceived by even their own thoughts. But I come to give you rest from striving, rest from having to prove yourself, rest from that aching emptiness and loneliness and weariness which is even now in your heart. The work is Mine, not yours. I delight in having you share in it with Me, but it is not to be a burden to you, but a delight. My yoke is easy, My burden is light. The work is Mine, and I will do it. Do not follow traditions of men. The way of my Spirit is always fresh and new. I am a creative God - I do not move in stale old ways. They were fresh in their time, but they were intended for then. Now I do a new thing. Can you not see it, Can you not see that a Creator never reworks the old. No, He makes new things out of fresh material.
When I saved you, I didn't renovate your old nature - I killed it. You now live with Christ's life, and have a new nature. So, why then do you persist in trying to live with your old ways and old resources and old talents? If they were any good I would not have had to die for them. Why do you persist in living on old experiences? Yes, in a distant day I saved you. But for what did I save you. Not so that you could look back on that event and say, "I'm OK, the Lord has saved me! I still hurt at times. I still sin. I'm still an emotional or physical or spiritual cripple, but the Lord has saved me!" No, that's no way to live. I want you to embrace life! I want you to have life in all its abundance! I died for you so that you could begin to live!
I destroyed your old nature, yes. It no longer has power to compel you to live in your old sinful ways. But you are still choosing to live in your old sinful ways. You do not walk in the power of my resurrection life because you still empower your old nature by choosing to give it life. Do you want me to have to die all over again, because you don't think once was enough? I will not do it! I need not do it. It is finished! I have defeated the power of sin and death! I have defeated them forever, and for all who will accept it and embrace it and choose to walk in the ways of their God.
And what does it mean to walk in the ways of your God? When you come into My presence at the last day, you will be perfect. Even now, you are perfect in My sight, but I see differently from the way you see. You need now to begin to learn to see true reality the way I see it. I see straight to the heart of a person. I see the new nature that is alive, not the old nature which you persist in giving back life. Whenever you do that you need to repent and seek My forgiveness and healing. Being saved is a once only event, yes. Which means that I have given you life, and you are able to begin to walk in that life. Before that, you were powerless against sin and death. But salvation is also a process. You need to learn to walk in your new nature, just as a newly born baby learns to live in its new nature.
When you came to Me and said that you surrender all to Me, I accepted you - but I also realised that you did not mean it with all your heart. You meant it with all that you were aware of, and all that you were willing to surrender. And then that was enough. You began to live. However, I need all of you. I intend to bring you to glorious perfection. Can any of you tell Me now to My face that you now do not sin? Can any of you say that your body never fails you in sickness and disease? Can any of you say to me that you never feel rejected, or lonely, or rebellious, or greedy, or revengeful? Can any of you say that you are as spiritually aware of Me and the kingdom reality around you as My servant Elijah was when he told Gehazi to look around him and see the host of the Lord? Why is this? I saved you, didn't I? Are you then going to try and deny these failings in you, pretend they don't exist, because Christians shouldn't be like that? Or are you going to fall into despair and doubt that I have saved you?
Perhaps you think that when I say I have saved you, that I don't really mean you, because you still don't measure up to the life of My Son? Am I a liar? Am I a God who pretends one thing when the reality is another? Never!
When will you begin to see that you need to live in reality? Reality is what is, not what we would like it to be, or what we think it should be. If I say you are saved, then you are saved! But then, if you sin, does that mean you weren't really saved? No, you are still saved. The reality is that you have sinned, and need to repent and be forgiven. And if, because of some traumatic thing in your past, you find that you now react in sinful ways when people do certain things, does that mean you are not saved? No, you are still saved. But the reality is that because of some traumatic thing in your past, you find that you now react in sinful ways when people do certain things. Was I caught unawares by this? Did I overlook that past trauma when I gave you a new nature? No, it was always there. It happened. I do not change the past, I change you! I could not change the past without breaking My own laws, but I do change people. I changed you, and am changing you, in ways that allow you now to face that trauma and deal with it in healthy ways, which you could not do then.
You see, salvation is something that I bring about, in My way, and it involves far more than your shallow concept of a ticket to heaven after a struggle through life. This life is not an apprenticeship for heaven, or a proving ground to see if you are good enough. No, in this life you are learning to live and walk with Me, because that is what you will be doing for the rest of eternity. Heaven began for you the day you were born into My kingdom. And from that day you began to grow into My child. And over time I will cause you to grow, until that day when you stand in full maturity before My throne. And life will continue on after that day, in perfect fellowship with me.
When I received you into My kingdom, I broke the curse of sin and death over you. Your old nature was the way of death, inherited from Adam. Your new nature is the way of life, won for you and given to you by Jesus. You began to live. But I did not remove your free will, and will never do so. You are still able to choose the old ways, and so give them life. I took away the life of your old nature, but you are able to resurrect it if you choose to do so. Learning to walk in the Spirit involves learning to rely on Me for all things, and to resist all suggestions that you should walk in the old ways again, whether those suggestions come from your yet to be renewed mind, your damaged emotions, the desires of your flesh, ideas from the world's way of thinking, or the lies and deceptions of the devil.
There are many things in you from your past life, over which Satan still has a legal hold, because you are still choosing, either consciously or unconsciously, to harbour them. They are still there because, whether you believe it or not, you still wanted them, and didn't give them to Me when you were reborn. You can see now that you wanted them to stay because even now, although you are aware of some of them, you still refuse to let Me take them away. You prefer to cling stubbornly to your belief that they aren't real any more because I died for them! But you can't deny that they still drive you in ways you know are wrong. You need to realise that part of your salvation is allowing Me to deal with those things you still hold on to now. This is why salvation is also a process.
If, because of some traumatic event, such as incest, a child reacts in sinful ways and no longer honours her father, then the father has sinned against the child, but the child has also sinned against her father and against Me. My law says, "Honour your father and your mother, that all may go well with you." The father is responsible for his sin. But the child is also responsible for hers. Understandably, the child finds herself unable to forgive her father for what he has done to her. And this gives Satan legal ground to operate in that area of her life. My law also says that if you do not forgive those who sin against you, then I will not forgive you your sin. So, when the girl becomes a Christian, that area remains unforgiven, because deep inside she is still holding on to her unforgiveness towards her father. Even in her adult life, as a Christian, she is unable to forgive, and so Satan is able to keep his hold, and has power to cause her to react in sinful ways to similar events which relate to honouring her parents and others.
Why didn't I heal this at the cross when she was born again. Because she wasn't able to reverse her decision to refuse forgiveness to her father. She may have even repressed the whole incident as a child and have no conscious memory of it, but it still happened. At her new birth she may not have been strong enough in spirit to face such a trauma all over again, and so, out of mercy, I did not raise it. But it must be dealt with if she is ever to walk in complete freedom and victory. Perhaps much later, when she has grown in strength and faith, she will be ready to face it, confess it, forgive and be forgiven. But only I know when that time will be.
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