Redeeming the Time
Paul Keith Davis
We are going to revisit 1977! That is what I prophesied on December 31, 2009 at a conference WhiteDove Ministries co-hosted with our friends, Steven and Stacy Shelley. Initially, my thoughts returned to key events in the life of Pastor Roland Buck beginning in 1977 with the many prophecies and teachings that followed his supernatural encounters. This is a subject I have spent much time contemplating and absorbing. The Lord has made it emphatically clear this was a true word from Him and essential for our generation. I have written about his ministry in Books of Destiny.
However, what transpired over the following weeks was quite surprising and yet encouraging as it relates to our place in divine destiny. Within days of uttering those words, I was profoundly reconnected with many friends from my college years; some of whom played a significant role in my life both personally and spiritually.
Suddenly, I recognized these friends were all prominent in my life in the year 1977. I even accidentally located an individual for whom I had considerable admiration who first introduced me to the Pentecostal Church. At that time my little exposure to church life stemmed from scarcely attending a very traditional Southern Baptist congregation. Needless to say I was shocked at what I experienced in the Pentecostal service that I attended with my friend. I had no grid for understanding what I witnessed, yet something was awakened in me that spoke directly to my personal destiny. I realized my last encounter with her was in 1977.
Even though it was refreshing to rediscover these former friends and learn the course they took in life, I was still not prepared for what transpired on January 24, 2010.
Revisiting a Turn in the Road
I was scheduled to speak that Sunday evening in a Church just south of London, England. As I normally do when ministering in the UK, I flew all night arriving in London around 7 AM. I was taken directly to my hotel with the hopes of catching a brief nap before preparing for the evening service.
However, no matter how much I tried I could not sleep and ended up praying for approximately three hours. Somewhere around noon I went into a revelatory experience that has changed my perspective on multiple levels and provided enormous encouragement.
When I prophesied on December 31st that we would “revisit” 1977 I had no idea I would literally be allowed to see prophetically a key event in my personal life that transpired in that pivotal year. In the experience I saw by spiritual vision a certain day in the fall of 1977 and a chance encounter with the person for whom I had great respect and affection who had been responsible for first introducing me to Pentecostal Christianity two years before.
I watched in the vision as I walked away from this chance meeting and resolved in my heart to pursue a certain course in life that led away from God’s ultimate design for my destiny. Because of insecurities and emotional scaring resulting from a difficult family situation through my childhood and adolescent years, I didn’t have the ability to work through challenging circumstances at the time to make the best decision. Eventually, this turn resulted in my rejecting the commission God offered at my graduation in 1979.
In the experience the Lord spoke to me and said, “This decision and turn in the course of your destiny was not of Me, but I saw it before you were formed in your mother’s womb and I made a provision for you in it.” What a profound expression of God’s sovereignty and love for His children.
I was about to make a turn in the road that would lead away from my personal destiny of having a voice into the Spirit-filled/prophetic community and instead pursue a business career and the determination to stay within the conservative evangelical movement. Even so, the Lord made a provision for my return to the place of prophetic fulfillment and fruitfulness, although this path proved to be much more difficult.
With those words I asked the Lord for a biblical confirmation. Instantly I was given Jonah. Although I have often read the Book of Jonah I have not spent much time dissecting its meaning, until now. After my experience on January 24th I have looked at Jonah with an entirely new perspective and with spiritual eyes that reflect the loving guidance of our Father and His jealousy for our personal destiny.
We all know the story! Jonah eluded his destiny and God’s desire for him to prophesy repentance to an evil and ruthless city that was notoriously antagonistic towards Israel. Jonah was reluctant to offer an opportunity for repentance and mercy to Israel’s enemy and ran from this personal calling. I realized, like myself, Jonah made a wrong turn in the road to his destiny.
Even so, that commission was woven into his spiritual DNA and ordained as a pivotal experience in his life. I am certain Jonah had no idea we would still be reading about his life these many centuries later and gleaning insight into God’s nature and character because of his journey.
The Bible tells us Jonah boarded a ship and fled to the west towards Tarshish when the place of his destiny was to the east in the city of Nineveh. Jonah abandoned his destiny by boat, but returned by fish.
Through this revelatory experience, the Lord has profoundly changed my perspective concerning Jonah’s ordeal. I had always looked at Jonah’s “belly of the fish” adventure as God’s discipline. However, in my revelation I was shown it was the Lord’s PROVISION.
Without the specially prepared and appointed “fish” Jonah would have perished at sea and never accomplished his destiny. Although the encounter was difficult and frightening it was the vehicle by which the Lord returned His prophet to obedience and fruitfulness.
Prepared and Appointed
The Bible is emphatically clear, God prepared and appointed a “great fish” to swallow the prophet and “vomit” him out for a second chance at his destiny. (See Jonah 2:10) Like Jonah, many of us are being offered another opportunity to get it right and fulfill our purpose in life; there we will find true happiness and a sense of satisfaction that comes only from the Lord.
Because of God’s posture in eternity and His ability to see all of time in a single moment, He recognized before Jonah was fashioned in his mother’s womb, the prophet’s poor and rebellious decision. The Lord in His grace made a provision for Jonah. Long before Jonah rejected this commissioning the Lord had already prepared a great fish to partner with Jonah in his return. Before we got off course with God, He already orchestrated a return route for our ultimate benefit. Before Adam ever transgressed and needed a Redeemer, the Lamb of God was already slain before the foundation of the world. (See Revelations 13:8)
No matter what various scholars and theologians may argue, Jonah’s was a literal experience that had a literal fulfillment. The Lord Jesus highlighted Jonah’s testimony on two occasions as a sign of His three days and three nights in the bowels of the earth before His resurrection. If the Lord’s experience was literal, then so was Jonah’s.
Furthermore, scientists may argue that various species of seagoing creatures are not large enough to swallow a human being whole and allow them to survive three days and three nights. Nevertheless, a careful examination of the Scripture prominently affirms that the Lord “prepared” and “appointed” this great fish or sea monster for a specific purpose.
Not only did Jonah have a destiny but also the great fish that was designated and empowered to work with God to return His prophet to his purpose. Perhaps it was a one-of-a-kind species that God designed and engineered just for this encounter. In either event, the experience was literal and it was God’s supernatural provision to return a rebellious prophet to his God ordained calling.
Likewise, many of us have, either knowingly or accidentally, run from our mandate and calling in life. Even so, the Lord made a provision to return us to the place of our fruitfulness; He made that provision before time began. Perhaps we have looked at the experience as discipline, but in reality it is His provision. That was certainly the case in my experience.
Restoring the Lost Years
Clearly, the journey could have been quicker, easier and less costly, but in the final analysis the end result is the release into personal destiny. Jonah may have come out of his experience a little buffeted and smelly, but he also now had a testimony of God’s supernatural intervention that preceded his message, making it even more powerful than it would have been otherwise.
In my experience I realized that the hardships that I have experienced over a significant portion of my life were necessary to eventually return me to the place of my destiny and fruitfulness. Though I may have looked at it as the Lord’s discipline, it was in reality His provision.
More importantly, I have come to appreciate God’s enduring faithfulness to His Word and His promise to redeem the time. Joel 2: 25-26 declares:
So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the crawling locust, the consuming locust, and the chewing locust, my great army which I sent among you. You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, who has dealt wondrously with you; and My people shall never be put to shame.
Presently, we are living in a time of prophetic destiny and divine fulfillment through the realization of God’s economy that makes up for lost years and redeems the time. The Apostle Paul put it this way in Ephesians 5:15-16:
See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
The Word of the Lord returned to Jonah a second time requesting the prophet to prophesy in Nineveh. This time the bruised and battered prophet had a different perspective and agreed to this appointment and proceeded to Nineveh. What was perceived to be a three-day job was accomplished in one. The Bible declares:
So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, a three days’ walk. Then Jonah began to go through the city one day’s walk; and he cried out and said, “Yet forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown. Then the people of Nineveh believed in God; and they called a fast and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least of them. –Jonah 3:3-5
This is an indication of God’s acceleration. What we perceive to be a lengthy and arduous commissioning can be accomplished very rapidly in God’s economy. He is able to redeem the time, or “buy back the kairos moments” and do in a short period of time what we forecast to take an extended period.
Another Chance to Get it Right
There are multiple applications that can be derived from the spiritual principles outlined in the Book of Jonah. However, I feel it is important to point out that I have come away from my experience feeling a renewed sense of urgency and hope for our own nation. Perhaps God will grant to America another opportunity for grace and repentance as He did Nineveh.
There may be many prophetic voices that are reluctant to prophesy grace and mercy to our nation as Jonah was to Nineveh. Clearly we are in deep trouble as a nation. Even so, I believe there is still a revival on our horizon that will liberate multitudes from the grasp of death and hell. Repeatedly the Lord has emphasized to me that He will finish better than He started; and the Bride’s greatest day is not behind her, but directly ahead. That is what I choose to believe.
Secondly, there is hope for many who are steeped in hopelessness. The Lord has made it profoundly clear that he is returning many of His children back to the place of their destiny and fruitfulness. Though we may return by “fish” and a little smelly like Jonah, in the final analysis we will emerge with a testimony of God’s goodness and the empowerment of His Spirit to redeem the time and accomplish in rapid fashion what we might perceive to be a long and arduous battle.
The one thing we cannot afford to do is to give up. After having done all we must stand and believe in God’s restorative nature and His redemptive ability.
THIS PRESENT AWARENESS
As we carry on in the faith, holding to our belief systems and trusting God will move in and through us along the way, I would like to put things on pause for a moment. Yes, I would like you to push the pause button and just be aware of this very moment……….. There it goes – it has already passed. Hit pause again and just try to be fully aware of this marked point in time in your life………and there it goes again.
Being fully aware of the moment is a challenge we don’t impose upon ourselves because we are often simply on automatic. Life is one continuous flow for us as the moments, sometimes hours go by without a trace of awareness of what we are to be experiencing in God. Every second of every minute of every hour of every day of every week of every month of every year we are made in God’s image and created to function as one with Him at all times and in all situations, ever conscious of God in us, ever aware of this oneness.
And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them. Now I am no longer in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are. John 17:10-11
I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word: that they all may be one as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one. John 17:20-22
There is a never ending flow in us that comes from the very essence of who He is as we accept Him as our personal Savior and live out our lives, filled with His Spirit. We are so tied into the physical aspect of who we are that it’s difficult for us to wrap our minds around the fact that we are first and foremost a spiritual being, made in God’s image, encased in this temporal physical manifestation.
The fact that we live this life in a physical body throws off our perspective because it results in our having such a strong mindset toward the physical realm. But did you know that you as a physical being actually flicker in and out of time and space millions of times per second? It’s not so as you would notice because it happens so rapidly that our natural eye is unable to distinguish it.
It’s a scientific fact that our being is an energy flow that manifests in a physical way, just as does the bed you lay on, the table you sit at, the chair you sit on – everything. Newtonian Science held the belief that if you can see it, touch it, feel it – that is reality. With the discovery of Quantum Physics, the study of matter at the sub-particle level, we find that there is much more going on in the universe than we ever imagined.
This world we live in is held together by God’s awareness of all things, in all of creation, at all times! Amazing! It’s astonishing what science is discovering that redefines our perspective of our existence. And yet, as Christians, we should be excited that what is being revealed through all of these studies are all found in the Word!
While we do not look at the things which are seen, but the things which are not seen, for the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18
And He is before all things and in Him all things consist. Colossians 1:17
Science has been discovering the mysteries of the gospel and unfolding them to us, if we have an ear to hear, especially in these last few decades. One such discovery has to do with the fact that we are energy. ( I have written of this before – you can check out articles on my website, www.joannmcfatter.com that can go into a bit more detail, with many more such writings to come. )
As energy we are much more pliable and have much more influence as a created human being than we are aware of. There is that word again…..aware…..and therein lies the key. To the degree that we are aware of who we are in Christ and the dominion we are given we will be effective. How we influence our surroundings and are impacted by them is greatly impacted by our awareness of the interaction between ourselves and the world around us, both physical and spiritual.
We must awaken to the fullness of who we are intended to be with a full awareness of the eternal and physical realms at the same time. One foot in each realm, as a spirit being encased in a physical body, yet not limited by its boundaries! God alone is our boundaries and our borders, not this physical realm. We need to live in the full awareness of this as we awaken to the position we hold in Him, both in heavenly places and on the earth. We are “seated with Him in heavenly places” WHILE we are yet in these mortal bodies on the earth!
And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. Romans 13:11
Therefore he says: ‘Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.’
Both of these verses are in the context of coming out of a dullness of mind and spirit so that we do not fall into the complacency of the day, whether it be sin or unbelief. We can no longer afford to live the days, hours and moments on automatic, but must become aware of every present moment in our lives. All we have is this present moment.
What is in the past is gone and what is in the future has not yet been, at least that is true of what goes on in our time and space realm. But in every moment we have the endless possibilities of how our lives can change, how our mentalities can shift and our awareness can become stronger and influence not only ourselves, but the world around us.
Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:16-17
Unfortunately, we are still buying into the old. We still believe we are ruled by the limitations set on man between the fall and resurrection of Christ! Let it not be so any longer! We have NO idea what an amazing creation we are in Christ and have been living our lives in the deafening dullness of what has been before – the way of the old man!
When words are released into our ear, it is nothing but vibrations that we have attached learned meaning to. Air molecules vibrate, sending a signal to the inner ear, which then sends a message to the auditory part of our brain where the message is relayed and affects our whole being. If it is a language we don’t understand, we have no awareness of what is being spoken and our body doesn’t respond or become aware of what has been relayed.
On the other hand, if it is in a language we recognize, we take in that sound with awareness and it influences us for positive or negative, depending on the message. It can cause a reaction at the cellular level as though you just took into your body a drug composed of chemicals! That’s how impacting our emotional and spiritual response to things can be on our body, on our whole being. Medicine is just now coming to grips with the reality of how body, mind and soul inter-relate. That is how God created us to interact with each other and our surroundings. That is why he urges us repeatedly in scripture to think on the good, the ‘whatsoever things are pure’. EVERYTHING we come across leaves some sort of impact. Any two particles that have ever interfaced are connected forever. Science is now learning just how ‘one ‘we all are in Christ, in whom all things exist!
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. Philippians 4:7-8
To be aware every moment of every day of the positive things in ourselves and those around us could drastically change our lives. That, I believe, is why He urges us repeatedly in scripture to have a grateful heart; So that we can live in that place of abiding love. To be conscious at all times – in this present moment – of the flow of God in us so that we have a constant awareness of our oneness with Him would cause us to view circumstances around us very differently.
I wonder if that is not what is behind Paul urging us to pray without ceasing. Perhaps that is why he found it so beneficial to always be praying in tongues to the point that he said ‘I pray in tongues more than ALL of you! It put him in a place of acute awareness of his oneness with God.
Yes, our own awareness of the goodness of God in these days will go a long way to bring us through some challenging circumstances. We will do well to be awakened to the reality of the Spirit realm and the spiritual truths in scripture that can overcome what we are both seeing and not seeing with the natural eye.
In doing so, we put on the full armor of God as we wash over our minds and hearts with God’s perspective of things. Does it mean there are no troubles? Not at all, but we move through them with ‘grace grace‘ on our lips and with that same acute awareness at all times of the love and goodness of God that Paul had, loosing miracles to flow through him.
So he answered and said to me: ‘This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ”Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of Hosts. Who are you, o great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! And he shall bring forth the capstone with shouts of ‘Grace, Grace to it ‘’ Zechariah 4:6-7
It is time to shift our focus to things that hold eternal value so that we might be ones who will be able to bring healing and deliverance to the masses in this hour. We’ve heard over and over that the darkness will get darker and the light lighter, but we cannot presume that we will partake of this light if we have not looked into the Light as preparation. We are changed as we behold Him. We need to exercise our spirit man to release strength and clarity of mind as we “set our thoughts on things above.”
As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness. Psalms 17:15
To be ever present with Him is to be acutely aware in every moment that He is in us and we are in Him. Out of that present awareness, that place of oneness, we will see change in ourselves, as well as in the atmosphere around us. As we practice His Presence, as Brother Lawrence would say, we will begin to flow from His boundaries and borders, and not be limited any longer to our old mindsets.
We will experience the realities of the eternal even while we are yet in this dispensation of time, reaching into the age to come and bringing it into the here and now. To accomplish this, we must awaken to this present awareness of who we are in Christ — at all times. In this present moment that has just passed, the one that we are in at this moment, and the one that is to come. We are made in His image, the One Who was and is and is to come!