A MISSED OPPORTUNITY
By Paul Keith Davis
After forty years of governing Israel’s people in the wilderness, Moses came to the end of his journey and recorded a fateful discovery that prohibited his generation from entering the Promised Land. He admonished them by reiterating the great and awesome deeds and powerful demonstrations which the Lord had performed in their midst. He also underscored a sad reality —that generation did not receive the promise because:
To this day the LORD has not given you a heart to know, nor eyes to see, nor ears to hear. —Deuteronomy 29:4
What a valuable lesson for us to heed in our day. Although we can witness notable expressions of spiritual power and authority, these things in themselves are not enough. It remains imperative for us to receive an impartation from the Holy Spirit to possess eyes and ears open to His truth with hearts of understanding. Without that spiritual endowment, we cannot enter the fullness of the promise. Not only do we have an inheritance in Him, but He also has an inheritance in us. Our spiritual eyes and ears must be expanded to facilitate that union.
The truest form of spiritual comprehension requires the Holy Spirit, through the grace of God, to impart the Spirit of Revelation. Those favored with this grace will begin to see with their eyes, hear with their ears, and comprehend in their hearts the unveiling of God’s plan and ascertain willingness to participate in it. Apart from the Spirit of Revelation, spiritual dullness will prevail, as has been historically demonstrated.
Nonetheless, we cannot point a condemning finger at our ancestors. Isolated from this grace, we would also abort the birthing of God’s purposes in our generation. Ideally, by a reexamination of the reproof given to the generation typifying ours will stimulate us to radically pursue and embrace having our hearts filled with desire for intimacy with the Lover of our soul and with the passion to possess illumined spiritual eyes and ears.
DISCOVERING THE PROMISED LAND
The apostle Paul once prayed that our eyes would be illumined with spiritual understanding. He continually gave thanks and made mention of the Ephesian church, hoping they might possess the ability to discover their rich inheritance in Christ by awakening to the Spirit of Revelation. During a season of discipline, Jerusalem was chastened with a closure of this realm when the prophet Isaiah said:
The LORD has poured over you a spirit of deep sleep, He has shut your eyes, the prophets; and He has covered your heads, the seers. And the entire vision shall be to you like the words of a sealed book, which when they give it to the one who is literate, saying, “Please read this,” he will say, “I cannot, for it is sealed.” —Isaiah 29:10-11
It is not the Lord’s intent for this generation to remain in a deep sleep. Rather, it is His aspiration to enlighten us with prophetic insight and uncover our heads. He wants governmental leadership endowed with Kingdom authority and power. To prepare us to walk into our destiny, the seal is being broken and great mysteries of the Kingdom are being deposited into the hearts of overcomers.
The Lord has promised once again to deal marvelously with His people. Through the Church, God plans to openly demonstrate that the world’s wisdom will perish and the worldly discernment and agendas of this present age will be concealed. God has a higher way, and it will be confided in and expressed through His covenant people.
It is an important spiritual mandate to have enlightened eyes to see where we are presently placed in human history and in the unfolding of God’s redemptive plan. It is equally important to have eyes that can see ahead to our prophetic destination. From this enlightened perspective, we can set our gaze on the goal of our faith and recognize the enemy’s snares that are intended to hinder us.
O LORD, OPEN HIS EYES
On one unique occasion the prophet Elisha, who had spiritual insight as to where he was and where he was going, boldly stood before the king of Aram’s armies. He could do so because of the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation that rested upon his life. When Elisha’s servant nervously recited what his natural eyes were seeing, the prophet prayed:
‘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 6:17
With that prayer, an impartation of spiritual sight was given to his servant. Through that blessing, the servant saw with spiritual eyes that Heaven’s armies and fiery chariots surrounded God’s prophet.
With keen spiritual vision, fear is replaced with faith; a comprehension is imparted that there are more for us than for the enemy. Nothing really changed in this scenario except the vision of Elisha’s servant. Without question, after seeing with spiritual eyes, his faith level soared. His countenance and courage were not based upon what he saw with his natural eyes. His spiritual eyes provided clarity to the entire picture.
The Bible promises that to each believer a measure of faith is given. However, a much higher realm of faith can be accessed when our eyes and ears are expanded to see and hear the unseen heavenly realm. According to Galatians 2:20, we need to begin walking in faith, realizing that God’s Spirit lives within us:
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son
of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.
This dimension of faith can only be discovered in God’s supernatural realm. The early apostles knew this reality and did exploits full of God’s glory. In formulating our objectives, the apostle Paul once declared that we are not to consider things that are seen but those that are unseen. Visible things are temporal and fleeting, while spiritual and invisible things are everlasting (2 Corinthians 4:18).
What an incredible illustration of the importance of making decisions that are not merely based upon those things we observe with our natural eyes. We need the anointing of the Holy Spirit to remove the veil from our spiritual eyes, so we may see and comprehend our supernatural provisions. Without the Holy Spirit’s anointing, the natural realm will strive to steal our faith and the reality of our birthright.
A PRESENT OPPORTUNITY
One of the most prominent invitations being offered Christians is the admonition to “come up here” (Revelation 4:1). This expression denotes a divine call to proceed through an open door to a heavenly realm that can be accessed in this generation. Throughout history we have discovered a few individuals who were forerunners to this secret place in God.
Many saints journeyed beyond that door and walked with the Lord in profound and supernatural ways. These individuals serve as prototypes of a company of men and women who will characterize the latter days.
At certain times throughout history, this door into the heavenly realm has been opened to those who pressed into the Lord and obtained a favorable testimony from God. Like Jacob, some saw the Heavens open and a stairway with heavenly hosts ascending and descending.
It was their privilege to discover significant mysteries of God’s Kingdom, in ways similar to that of the apostle Paul. He was esteemed with divine favor and was granted numerous visions, revelations, and appearances of Jesus Christ. Entrance to the third Heaven was granted to him; he saw the unveiling of God’s Kingdom before the throne. In our generation, a greater awareness of this dimension will come to those who bring forth their revelation of the Kingdom from God’s throne.
THE FRIENDS OF GOD
The Scripture says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. And he was called the friend of God” (James 2:23, NKJV).
What higher privilege and experience could be granted to humankind than to be granted admission into the company of those called God’s friends? God first established the forum for divine/human friendships to exist. It would be inexcusably presumptuous for any person to say, “I am a friend of God” unless God had first identified that being His friend was possible. As part of our heritage and spiritual inheritance, we are given this unthinkable privilege that must be pursued and attained through God’s grace.
Our generation will be remembered as the season of friendship with God because of the numbers of people who will discover that reality. Numerous pioneers went before us to blaze this spiritual trail. They became acutely conscious of the presence of God. They gave everything to maintain that realization for the remainder of their lives. Men and women like A. W. Tozer, Maria Woodworth-Etter, John G. Lake, William Branham,
Alexander Dowie, Walter Beuttler, and many others who perhaps were never known publicly—men and women who tasted union with God and discovered His rest.
Human history records the amazing power for good that God exercised in those who ascended to the experiential reality of friendship with Him. These men and women walked in conscious communion with the tangible presence of God and lived with the mindful conviction that their prayers were expressed to Someone perceivably present. In our day, this alone is our highest aspiration and one that will be attained by many.
AN EXPERIENTIAL REALITY
The Bible stresses that we are positionally seated with Christ in heavenly places. Once that heritage becomes an experiential certainty, our conscious awareness will be centered in that place of residence, rather than in our natural surroundings. Our decisions and actions will be dictated by the understanding we obtain in the eternal realm. Like Elisha’s servant, when our eyes are illumined to the spiritual domain, our perspectives will change.
In our day, a first-fruits demonstration will accompany this reality. Like spies who venture into the Promised Land to discover the grapes of Eshcol, many will taste God’s good word and the supernatural powers of the eternal age to come (Hebrews 6:5). The outcome will be a representation of Kingdom dimension, and authority displayed through humble and contrite vessels. This expression of the Lord’s grace will awaken the body of Christ to her destiny and cause her to abandon all else to pursue Him, the true pearl of great price.
A joining of the Head to the body must occur. Jesus is described in the Scriptures as the Head and His followers comprise His body. Through us, He will articulate the Father’s thoughts and desires. Unity can only function from a position of compatibility between Jesus and His body.
Focused concentration is now required on each person’s nature and character in order for him or her to experience divine visions and revelations in the manner of the apostles Paul and John. This privilege is offered to every believer. However, grooming and proper equipping is necessary to inhabit these high places in God.
Possessing the desire and desperation to comprehend this reality is a gift from the Holy Spirit. Our earnest prayer should be for the Holy Spirit to “make us ready,” without guile or tendencies to corrupt His sacred place. It was once spoken of Nathanael that he was an Israelite in whom there was no guile. Our prayer should be for the Lord to make such a proclamation about us and grant an awakening to our eyes and ears.
By Jason Hooper
We are on the verge of a significant spiritual shift. Can you feel it? The Lord is drawing many into times of intimacy and preparation for what He is prepared to pour out.
He is inviting us to encounter Him in secret. Along with this invitation, many are feeling a desire to return to the contemplative spiritual disciplines of generosity, prayer (including meditation) and fasting as outlined in Matthew 6. With these disciplines, come a great grace for spiritual hunger and the Revealed Word.
Jesus said when we respond to this invitation by coming away with Him then our Father would reward us openly in the days to come (see Matthew 6:6 & 6:18). The reward is not our motivation, He is. However, He is a rewarder of our diligent and faith-filled longing to experience more of Him as we position our hearts to be flooded with the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him (see Ephesians 1:17).
This is a season where we will transition as a people from knowing about Him to knowing Him. It is my hope that we, with Job, will soon be able to say, “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You (see Job 42:5).”
Becoming the Wave
On Wednesday, May 16, 2012 I had a brief spiritual encounter related to this truth. This experience gave some definition to the season I am experiencing, and may be helpful to many of you in the same place.
I was standing on a beach looking out into the water that was drawn to sea in preparation for a coming wave. I noticed the ebb of the water continued for much longer than I thought it should have. As I pondered why it could be taking so long for the tide to turn from the place of ebb into the coming flow, all of a sudden, I became the water.
As I left the shore, the sands receded and exposed hidden treasures including seashells and other rare and exotic nautical gems, the likes of which I’ve never seen before. It was then that I began to have understanding of this present process recognizing that while it may appear to some that we are being pulled back or somehow delayed, the truth is that we are being pulled in. This “pulling in” is in preparation for what’s about to break.
As the wave continued to build, I realized that it is in this process that we actually become the wave. I watched as the wind (Holy Spirit) continued to blow upon the water (the Word), bringing with it infusions of divine energy that continued to permeate and pulse throughout the current.
The Coming Shift
How long is this season of ebb to be? The answer to that question is two parts. Part Him and part us. I believe a lot of God’s timing is not recognized by when a spiritual outpouring itself occurs, but when the hunger and desperation for it is imparted. This is the initial point on heaven’s timeline.
When those hungry disciples gathered in that upper room they did not know how long they were signing up for, they just knew that they were signing up. Jesus had given them a Promise; the Promise of His Father. He told them to wait in Jerusalem “until” they received power from on high (see Luke 24:49).
A good way to define the coming turning point in this Spiritual tide is the word “until.” “Until” represents the breaking point where shift happens.
This coming shift will bring with it tremendous breakthrough and blessing. We all have areas where we are in great need of the Lord of breakthrough, but remember that before God broke through David’s enemies he returned to the stronghold and inquired of the Lord (see 2 Samuel 5:17-20).
Return to the Stronghold
Breakthrough is found in our private devotion and personal pursuit of God when no one is watching. If you are in need of breakthrough, make it a point to “return to the stronghold” and watch what the God of the Breakthrough does for you. When He breaks open we break out! (see Zechariah 9:11-12 and Micah 2:13).
Jesus modeled this profound truth in His own life. We see in Luke 4:14 that His time of fasting in the wilderness produced great power as well as preparing and positioning Him for His next stage of life and ministry. Great miracles along with public demonstrations of tremendous power and authority were often preceded by significant time spent hidden away with His Father in secret.
When we purpose to live a life of sacrificial devotion to our Father in the secret place through contemplative prayer and fasting, we and the world we live in will become greater for it. This is one way that we can say, “yes” to the ebbing pull of the Spirit in our daily life.
David found the God of the Breakthrough in the stronghold, not on the field of battle. He is our stronghold (see Nahum 1:7). It is in our returning to Him that He restores, breaks through and gives back more than what we had lost and better than we had!
The book of Zechariah provides a wonderful promise of restoration in response to our “returning.” “Return to the stronghold, you prisoners of hope. Even today I declare that I will restore double to you (see Zechariah 9:12)”
A Door of Great Hope
Many of us feel that we have been pulled into a place that at first we did not see as necessary in our apprehension of God’s promises in our life. Truth be told, it is in this place that we are prepared to inherit and fully occupy the promises.
For some of us, it may feel like a wilderness, but if we can embrace His pull we will begin to know and experience the Lord in a new way. It is in the “valley” of our troubles that He establishes a door of great hope (see Hosea 2:14-23).
Properly recognizing and engaging in the wilderness experience is as vitally important to our divine destiny as when the “walls came down” for Israel. There we begin to see God and the treasures of His inheritance in a way that we have never seen before.
Launch Out Into the Deep
At the beginning of this year, the Lord began to speak to me from Luke 5:1-11. As the story goes, Peter had been fishing all night and had caught nothing. They had just returned to shore and were cleaning their nets when Jesus jumps into his boat and asks that they push away from the shore so that He can instruct the multitude that had gathered to hear him.
Once Jesus had finished teaching, He turned to Peter and instructed him to first “launch out into the deep” and secondly “let down your nets for a catch.” To this Peter replied, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.”
As great as this “catch” was, it pales in comparison to how radically their lives would be transformed. Verse 11 says, “So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.”
The word “forsook” means to leave behind. In one day, they abandoned their way of life and everything familiar to them to pursue Him and the destiny for which they were created.
What had happened? What made the difference? When Peter was willing and obedient to do what the Lord asked, the harvest of what he had believed for came to him (see Isaiah 1:19). In that moment his previous desires were replaced with a new desire.
In this place of undivided devotion to Him, He captures our hearts and like the disciples, we abandon everything to pursue Him wholeheartedly. It is in this place that we find Him (see Jeremiah 29:13).
I believe Jesus’s invitation to Peter is still being given to us today. Are you ready to leave the shore and become something more?
“Deep calls unto Deep at the noise of Your waterfalls; all of your waves and billows have gone over me (Psalm 42:7).
Can you feel the depth of God’s heart calling to you in this season? Can you feel the depth of your spirit desiring Him more than your next breath? Launch out my friend, and Launch into Him. It is in this place that your wilderness becomes a fruitful field.
The letting down of our nets has several applications. Firstly, the coming catch is not according to human effort, but trust and rest in Him and His Word to us. Secondly, it is a place where we let down our guards and allow the Lord to go deep in us. It is in this place of humility, willingness, and obedience that He brings to us the very things we have need of as we delight ourselves in Him.
“Delight yourself also in the Lord and He shall give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4).”
“Delight” means to be pliable, soft and effeminate. It’s a willingness to be molded and changed as He sees fit. “Desires” can be broken down as “de (of)” and “sire (father)” to mean “of your father.”
As we situate ourselves on His Potter’s wheel (see Jeremiah 18:1-11), He begins to mold us and shape us “until” we are gloriously transformed into a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work (see 2 Timothy 2:21). Through this process, the desires of His heart become the desires of our heart.
Jesus was the exact representation of His Father. He said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father (John 14:9).” That day, Peter saw his Father. A Father who takes delight in the blessing and prosperity of His sons and daughters, a Father Who’s good pleasure it was to give him the Kingdom (see Psalm 35:27 and Luke 12:32).
For us, I believe “the catch” speaks of much more than resources. It is the revelation that brings resources. Peter had a revelation; therefore the resources came to him. His obedience to “Launch out into the deep and let down his nets…” was a choice he made by faith in response to Jesus’ word to Him.
“Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17).” This is speaking of the Rhema word of God, or the spoken and revealed Word of God. That day, Peter heard the Word, Himself and received a revelation.
Not The Time To Be Complacent
Waking up on the morning of May, 24th, 2012, I heard the first few words from Isaiah 32:15 echoing in my spirit, “Until the Spirit is poured out upon us from on high…”
In this passage, Isaiah was speaking to a group of women who had not recognized the season in which they were living and the way in which they needed to posture themselves in preparation for what was coming. Their complacency to act and failure to discern the Lord’s voice was leading them to a place of lack, disappointment and despair if they did not recognize their invitation and adjust accordingly.
As Isaiah addressed the consequences of their complacency, he pleaded with them to recognize the areas of injustice that were being wrought in their day. Sadly, they lacked the eyes to see, the ear to hear and the heart to perceive what the Lord was asking of them.
Because of their complacency and failure to recognize the Lord’s voice, they were told “In a year and somedays you will be troubled, you complacent women; For the vintage will fail, the gathering will not come (Isaiah 32:10).” Their “catch” would not come to them, because they had not first come to Him. Now is not the time to be complacent.
We must also not be like the Shulamite who was not willing to respond to the voice of her beloved in the day of her visitation (see Song of Solomon 5:2-8). She responded to the very invitation that she had so longed for with a list of reasons why His coming wasn’t convenient for her.
In verse 6 she looked back with regret recognizing how her heart leapt within her at the sound of His voice. Let us not look back with regret, but instead do whatever we can to meet with Him when He comes knocking. Her complacency cost her the visitation that she had so desired. When He knocks, we must open!
Partnering With The Promise
We have a responsibility in receiving what we believe for. The Lord gave a promise of power to 500 of His disciples in Luke 24:49, but only 120 were committed to partner with the Promise “until” they received power from on high.
When they were given that promise, it does not say how many went into the upper room it only says how many were left. How many of those 500 actually desired the Promise enough to go and at what point did it became inconvenient to stay.
If we were able to interview those 380 today, there would be a number of folks echoing the same regret as the Shulamite. If they could have only discerned how close they were to the Promise knocking at their door.
We are standing at a place in history, poised to see the greatest wave of God’s Spirit to ever come upon the earth. He is knocking and He is calling, in this season of ebb, to those who will open the door and launch out as we dine with Him in the deep.
If we will make it our highest goal to receive from Him everything that He has for us in this season we, like Jesus, will come out with power greater than we have ever known (see Luke 4:14). Let’s join Jesus in becoming the water (the Word) breathed upon by His wind (Holy Spirit) that we might, with Him-become the wave!
We Are About To Cross The Line Of “Until…”
Until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field, and the fruitful field is counted as a forest. Then justice will dwell in the wilderness, And righteousness remain in the fruitful field. The work of righteousness will be peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever. My people will dwell in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places. Isaiah 32:15-18