When you breakthrough, the other side is not going to look like what you imagined. Keep moving forward, prepared for change at every moment. I am realigning people to walk new avenues that I have created for this time – unique and previously unseen. I am repositioning My people for Kingdom productivity. The path may look unfamiliar, but I have gone before You and My Spirit dwells within you. The fleshly urge is to stop at the point of breakthrough, but I say, keep going! There is a “much more” for My people – a much more of grace and glory. The breakthrough is to complete victory, not only to defend and hold your ground. Your breakthrough is the offensive move of heaven. There will be more than one breakthrough and with every one greater resistance. Keep moving forward! For those who do so, I am preparing delights on the way. Yes, even things that you could not imagine during a time of battle that bring great delight! Where the enemy has shown you your defeat, I have declared victory! Tune your ear to the rhythm of heaven’s army, so that you can breakthrough and move forward into My much more! Is. 43:19, “Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.” HCSB
Yesterday, I saw a giant angel with a huge sword ascend above and hover over the church. He stood there as though securing a perimeter, though he did not move. Then I saw swords appearing in the hands of God’s people, and as we began to walk away from the center of where we were gathered, we began to wield our swords together. It was not haphazardly done; rather, it was unified and fluid. It appeared to be choreographed – beautiful, intentional, and dangerous at the same time. We moved as one, and as we moved, we were joined by warring angels from heaven who moved in time with us, and wherever we tread, the blood of Christ was applied, and victory was secured.
I believe it is time for the church to stop seeing the Word of God as a book they pick up solely for use at church, but as a weapon, mighty in God for the pulling down of strongholds. It is time to apply the Word of God to what is taking place in our homes, communities, and nation. We must learn how to wield it as one for the goal of taking ground for the Kingdom of God. Let’s begin to declare God’s Word over our cities and move forward in the strength of His might, knowing there is power in His Word, in His blood, and our testimony!
2 Cor. 10:4, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.”
Eph. 6:12-19, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness, and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God: praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints; and for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel.”
Rev. 12:11, “And they overcame by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto the death.”
Jehoshaphat. His name means, “Jehovah has judged,” and he was one of the best, most blessed, and devout kings of Judah. For my purpose, I shall affectionately refer to him as “J.” In 2 Chronicles 17, we are told he walked in the ways of David and God’s commands rather than Israel’s, and because of it, the Lord established his kingdom. “His mind rejoiced in the LORD’s ways” (vs. 6). He was a reformer, educating the people in the ways of God, and he had amassed a mighty army. He also knew how to call on the Lord. His prayer was most powerful when the Ammonites and Moabites came against Judah. It begins:
“Lord God of our ancestors, are You not the God who is in heaven,
And do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations?
Power and might are in Your hand, and no one can stand against You” (2 Chron. 20: 6-7)
As we know, J. sent out the worshippers, and God wrought a mighty deliverance for Judah that day, without them ever having to lift a sword. Amid their praise, in their worship, God did something miraculous that was undeniable, all because J. led his people in intercession and fasting, and this is often used in the pulpit as an example of God taking up the cause of His people when they humble themselves before Him.
However, there are bookends to this event that had severe consequences for Judah, and it’s not a pretty picture. This beloved leader and man of God made some decisions that would send Judah into a tailspin for generations even though I don’t believe he intended to do so. Before the deliverance God wrought for the worshippers and people, J. entered into what I call an “unholy alliance.”
In 2 Chronicles 18:1, we are told that J. had riches and honor in abundance due to the blessing of the Lord and yet he chose to ally with King Ahab of Israel. Yes, that Ahab – the guy married to Jezebel. J. married his heir to their daughter, and in a visit to Israel, J. would be convinced by Ahab to enter into battle. What’s interesting is that J. insisted on asking a true prophet of God if this would succeed (18:6), and even when Micaiah said that Ahab would not return safely, J. still chose to go into battle and even adorned like a king, while Ahab would be in disguise (18:29). When the enemy pursued J., he did have enough sense to cry out to the Lord, and God did deliver him. Ahab was not so blessed – He died as the prophet had foretold.
Even though God delivered J. from his grievous error, that would not be the end of it. In chapter 19, verse 2, Jehu the prophet confronted J. saying, “Do you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord? Because of this, the LORD’s wrath is on you. However, some good is found in you, for you have removed the Asherah poles from the land and decided to seek God.” Note, God’s wrath was still upon J. for this unholy alliance of both marriage and war with the enemy of God. God spared J. in this battle and delivered Judah from the Ammonites in a powerful way, despite this unholy alliance because J. sought Him, but the next generation, well, that’s another story.
After their victory in the place of worship, it says that God gave J. rest on every side (20:30). Even though their worship and intercession moved the hand of God, in verse 33 of chapter 20, it says, “However, the high places were not taken away; the people had not yet determined in their hearts to worship the God of their ancestors.” What? God had just proven Himself in a mighty way in response to their worship, and yet they were still indecisive and double-minded? Even J. did not learn the lesson, for he would once again enter into an unholy alliance.
God had granted peace to J., and in that foolishly chose to make another alliance, this time with Ahab’s heir, King Ahaziah (20:35). J. entered into a contractual agreement with him to make ships for economic gain. This time, God was not so lenient with J. Eliezer prophesied against J. saying, “Because you formed an alliance with Ahaziah, the LORD has broken up what you have made” (20:37). J. lost all of his ships. The work and resources he had put into this project birthed of an unholy alliance were destroyed by the same God who had rescued him in battle. But that’s not all lost because of these unholy alliances.
When J. died, the kingdom of Judah passed to his eldest son, Jehoram, whom because of J.’s unholy alliance with Ahab, was married to Jezebel’s daughter. Though J. made provisions for his other sons throughout the kingdom, Jehoram killed all of his brothers and others, as well. He would prove such an ungodly leader that Elijah the prophet via a letter would condemn him by the Spirit of God. A horrible illness would strike his people, his wives, and his sons. Jehoram would be struck in his intestines and die a horrible death and live in pain the rest of his days. It would say of Jehoram that he “died to no one’s regret” (21:20).
How did things disintegrate so quickly for the nation of Judah? Rehoboam had lost the kingdom, but his son Asa followed the Lord, as did Jehoshaphat, and in one generation all was lost. Why? I believe it was because of the unholy alliances made by J. while he was walking in the blessing of God – and this greatly concerns me because the church is in this same danger.
The church of America has been greatly blessed. We’ve been blessed with funds to send the gospel worldwide, we’ve gone to battle on behalf of our nation with times of worship and intercession, such as this last month preceding Pentecost, but have our hearts been convinced to truly worship the God of our ancestors to the point of true repentance? The repentance that breaks our hearts and turns our hearts toward God?
You see J. compromised. He did what worldly kings did and married his heir to the world’s system that had infiltrated the nation of Israel at that time. Have we, while revelling in the blessing of God, married our heirs, the next generation of the church, to the world? What have we allowed to enter our house that is not of God and hates Him? Have we for the sake of our own economy aligned ourselves with the world’s tax-exempt status to enlarge our coffers, and lost our children?
Lest you think that I am exaggerating, in 2019, Barna reported that the drop-out rate for young people when they enter their college years and twenties is at a staggering 64%. In 2018, Barna reported that 59% of Gen Z don’t’ feel that the church is relevant to them personally. Would you hand over seven to the enemy for the sake of maintaining unholy alliances? Are we losing the next generation because we married ourselves to the world’s ways and methods, choosing the mass-production of converts over making disciples, as Jesus commanded? As a mother of four Gen Z boys, I am more than concerned. While there is hope for resilience, when will we move past the momentary excitement of seeing the Lord bring mighty deliverances and still not set our hearts to worship and serve him?
There is hope that we will not be the Jehoshaphat generation. We can repent, we can turn from our wicked ways, we can still call upon the Lord. You see, our future as people who love and follow the Lord is secure, but what of the next generation who has watched as we have compromised, only to call upon the Lord when trouble strikes, and then turn around and compromise yet again? What about my kids and your grandkids who have seen us make unholy alliances rather than trust in the power of God? What about the “None” generation who feel they have no affiliation with God or His church at all? It is a certainty they are watching, and we can’t get out of it with the proverbial, “Do as I say, not as I do.”
In his book, Grow Together, Jeff Myers shares that, “Failure to pass on godly principles in one generation always leads to bloodshed in the next” (42). We are seeing this firsthand today, and it was certainly true in the Old Testament. King Jehoshaphat may have been a good king, but he was a lousy father to Jehoram. Has our generation been the “good church,” seeing many come to God even while we compromised and failed to father the next generation? Are there unholy alliances that we need to break free of for the sake of our children and purposefully choose a return to holiness for their sakes? You see, J. wasn’t the one to pay the price. No, God was exceptionally gracious to him, but in his compromise, he passed the bill for his wayward ways, and it was his children and kingdom left with the debt of his unholy alliance. And it wasn’t just the next generation. This trend would lead to a usurper – Athalia – taking control of the kingdom until it was restored to its proper ruler. Let’s not let the enemy take our children there! May the victory of this past Pentecost endure – reviving us, changing us and restoring us to holiness. May we not be the Jehoshaphat generation that God must judge, and break our unholy alliances, refusing to lose the next generation!
Prayer: Father, You are our Creator, our Healer, and our only source of hope. Forgive us for building our own kingdoms rather than Yours and for making unholy alliances within the church that have pushed our children away rather than drawing them to you. Lord, we choose to break and rescind all unholy alliances and purpose with Your leading to reclaim the next generations for You and Your glory. We commit to being holy, even as You are holy (I Pt. 1:16), and to fathering as You father. We choose to make disciples, not just converts; world-changers, not pew-sitters. Holy Spirit, keep us on task, and cause us to remain true to Your heart for the coming generations that we will pass on a legacy of righteousness and fortitude – that our children would be resilient and strong in You and the power of Your might (Eph. 6:10). Teach us to teach them in the way they should go, so they will not depart from it (Prov. 22:6). We want to diligently impress upon them what it means to be a bearer of Your Name, recalling joyfully Your miraculous work in our own lives (Deut. 6:7). Help us to be instruments of restoration to those that have left, so that they will return to You and change the trend of ungodliness. Help us to be firm and unshakeable, abounding always in Your work with a confidence that our labor is not in vain (I Cor. 15:58). May we boldly cross generational divides with sensitivity and wisdom to see Your will done on earth as it is in heaven (Matt. 6:10). In the precious, most powerful Name of Yeshua, amen!
They tried to make their play, but I have called their bluff. They attempted to keep Me out of the game, and in their delusion, misread their hand. They thought they held the ace of spades, never realizing I already had them trumped. Now I will expose the fraud they have perpetrated against My people. Now I will put the truth before the people and allow them to choose between the truth and a lie, life or death. For I saw what was done in the dark, and now, because of their unrepentant hearts, I will expose them to the light. Watch and see if by the end of the summer they are not squirming like a gambler that’s been too sure of himself, realizing he’s lost the game. For I am God, and there is no other! I am God, and I judge the intentions of every heart. I am God, and no one and nothing shall usurp the place of My kingdom. For Mine is a Kingdom of Overcomers, Mine is a Kingdom advancing! An army is rising up who have girded themselves with truth, their minds redeemed and righteous before Me. They preach My Gospel of Peace, and war, wielding My Word as a sword, their faith is their defense. These are those who know their God. Yes, these are those for whom mighty exploits are reserved!
Inventory is the road to realignment. When you are willing to take stock of yourself and conclude that you are not where I would have you, that is the time of repositioning. You must rid yourself of what is unnecessary, and allow My Spirit to bring forth what is essential. There is no putting it off until later, for I have called you now. In this season, I have brought you to My refining fire to bring forth gold. You must choose whether you will yield yourself to My care, but I warn, “Today is the day of salvation.” This moment is crucial. Return to Me, and I will return to you. Repent and recalibrate your life according to My standard, refusing to allow yourself to boast of a faith that bears no fruit. Abide in Me, that you not be cut off. It’s time to replace what is dead, stagnant, and stinking in your life with what is living, vibrant, and fragrant before Me, bearing fruit and glorifying Me! 2 Cor. 6:1-2, “We then, as workers with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For He says, ‘In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” NKJV Prov. 27:1, “Don’t boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.” NKJV John 15:6-8, “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it will be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” NKJV
I see you where you are at, in this place of despair. I am calling you out; calling you to follow Me. I am not willing to leave you behind. Follow Me out of your darkness, the shadowlands where you’ve camped, and step forward into the reality of My light, radiating with life. Follow Me out of the desert to the place of green pastures, where I’ve prepared a banqueting table before you. It is a place of joyful rest and abundant provision. Let Me be the resounding exclamation to the questions of your heart, and allow Me to refresh the parched places of your spirit. What I desire for you is so much more than you’ve allowed. I have called you out. Refuse to dwell among the tombs, surrounded by despair. Walk, yes, come dance with Me in the light. Song of Songs 2:4, “He brought me to the banqueting house, and His banner over me was love.” NKJV Ps. 23, “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His Names’ sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” NKJV
In 2 Kings, chapter 18 verses 19-21, we see the Assyrians surround Judah’s King Hezekiah and Jerusalem, and the Rabshakeh [in Hebrew a “field commander,” but the Assyrian title could have meant “chief cupbearer or spokesman”] has been taunting them regarding their trust in Pharaoh’s staff, calling it a “splintered reed,” that will eventually pierce them. Interestingly, the word for stalk/staff is the same mentioned by David in Psalm 23, when he says that God’s staff is the one that brings comfort. Hezekiah has already invested his resources to pay off Sennacherib with the gold of the temple’s doors and pillars [2 Kings 18:16] and had sought an alliance with Egypt. Hezekiah was a righteous king and did what was right, but even the ungodly noticed that his trust was in help from Egypt even while saying they trusted in the Lord God. The prophet Isaiah also rebukes this in Isaiah 30.
Isaiah warns that this alliance with Egypt is ungodly and against God’s will [Is. 30:1], and that taking refuge in Egypt’s shadow would be Judah’s disgrace [vs. 3]. This is in direct contrast to David’s declaration in Psalm 91 that dwelling in the secret place of the Most High abides under God’s shadow, hidden from enemies. God had previously warned His people that they were not to turn back to Egypt for any reason. He warned their kings should not even buy horses from them [Deut. 17:16]. Isaiah warns them against thinking that they are going to flee this danger on horses [Is. 30:16], explaining they would be overtaken despite their best efforts. Why? Because even Egypt’s best would only enslave them, even if to another master.
The Rabshakeh would continue to mock any trust they would place in the Lord [2 Kings 18:22]. The taunts of the Rabshakeh were words of compromise. “So now make a bargain with my master” [18:23]. He spends an entire chapter scoffing anyone who would listen to godly leadership to trust God, insisting that they “Make peace with me and surrender to me” [18:31]. And that is always the goal of any siege, to force surrender to the enemy’s plans, so God’s purpose is not fulfilled in you.
In these uncertain times, when we feel besieged by this plague, our fleshly response is to take comfort in the place of our bondage, where we take control by creating alliances with ungodliness, trusting in what we should not. Perhaps it is in our abilities, our savings accounts, looking to our addictions for comfort. This is the danger of trusting in Egypt. It cannot and will not ever deliver us, but only enslave us further spiritually. When we look to any other source besides the Lord God, we have dethroned Him in our lives and made ourselves god, trusting in our own resources. That’s not to say God doesn’t use science, government, and our resources for our good, but we don’t trust in them, we trust in the Name of the Lord our God.
The people in 2 Kings 18, were given an edict not to even respond to the mocker. Even as we hear the report of the enemy, so does the Lord. He hears every word of blaspheme, and as we are silent, He moves on our behalf. Even as the Rabshakeh scoffed, saying that God’s people were being deceived [2 Kings 19:10], the leadership were in prayer, seeking God’s council [19:14-19], spreading out the need before the Lord. God responds, Sennacherib fleas, and Judah is delivered. Praise the Lord! Though besieged, there is hope for us in the Lord!
Isaiah states, “For the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel has said, ‘You will be delivered by returning and resting; your strength will lie in quiet confidence'” [Is. 30:15]. If we return in repentance, if we will rest in God, if we will quietly wait upon the Lord, trusting in Him, we will be delivered! Isaiah explains that even when we attempt to do things our way, the Lord “is waiting to show you mercy, and is rising up to show you compassion, for the LORD is a just God. Happy are all who wait patiently for Him” [30:16-18].
Oh – Egypt never showed up. Not once. Self is so unreliable. Our former crutches will never uphold us. Only God. This is the danger of trusting in Egypt. It is a mirage that drives us further into the desert, provoking us to surrender our trust in the Lord, and our faith has become nothing more than lip-service. The Word of the Lord is to return and wait quietly. He is waiting to bestow upon us His mercy, for He is the God who “bandages His people’s injuries and heals the wounds He inflicted” [Is. 30:26b].
One word has been reverberating in my spirit – “Prepare.” As I’ve been meditating on this word, its rhythm and beat grow, and I believe it is a word for the entire Body of Christ. Throughout Scripture there are calls for God’s people to prepare. There are preparations for offerings, provisions, war, and movement, and at no time has anyone in history accidentally prepared. Preparation is purposeful and deliberate, and there are priorities within preparedness. This is the case with the church.
Preparedness must first be inward. Without purification and consecration of our spirits to the LORD, any outward prepping is motivated by the flesh. Preceding the move of God in Joel chapter 2, verse 16, the bride must first emerge from her dressing room; and how is the bride clothed? Without spot or wrinkle [Eph. 5:27]. We must first remove ourselves from where we’ve lived for so long. We must be purified, both personally and corporately. We cannot continue on our path, filled with such pronouns as “I,” “me,” or “mine.” No, we must empty all that is of self, until all that is left is “Him.” We cannot expect to benefit from all of the “re’s” – revival, renewal, rejuvenation until we are filled with a repentance that we have been consumed with “me,” and have allowed our hearts to be filled with “He,” and in being filled with Him, consecrate ourselves to His plans over our own.
Consecration. It is what we are called to in Joel 2, verse 16. We must humbly submit to God’s purposes. While there are many voices, one must resonate above all others, and that is the voice of God. It alone must lead and guide us. The Word of God is what we must be able to rightly divide, which means that we must handle it accurately in truth, and that comes with an ear attuned to the Holy Spirit [2 Tim. 2:15, John 16:13]. It is not subjective to our will, but objective, based on the authority of God. To His truth alone, we must consecrate ourselves.
In all of our preparedness, if we will dedicate ourselves to these two, purification and consecration, we will find that our minds have sobered to the reality of the times in which we live, and we have become holy, even as He is holy [I Pt. 1:13-16]. We stand not in our strength, but in the completed work of Christ, able to move from inward to outward preparedness. A people, who unlike the five foolish virgins, are ready and waiting, prepared for the return of their LORD [Matt. 25:1-13].
I have called you to this race; I have appointed you for this purpose. Do not fear or be dismayed, for My presence goes before you. Yes, I have already secured your victory. Now is not the time to look down, but to boldly and confidently proclaim My Kingdom and do its work. Many are being challenged by the new roles to which I’ve called them and the methods I am giving them. Don’t allow intimidation to rule your heart; know that I am God, and My enabling power dwells within you to accomplish everything required during this time. Choose to be flexible, moving with My Spirit. Reject the temptation to hide in the familiar, for I am doing a new thing in the earth, unleashing a wave of glory upon My people. It is a wave that will surpass those of the past. Yes, many have prayed for encounters like what I did on Azusa, but I say, do not limit Me, for Azusa received what was needed in their time. What I do now is an outpouring for this age, in this time, for this harvest – yes, for you. Watch with diligence, and understand the direction My Spirit is moving, that you may move accordingly and not miss out for lack of discernment. Walk circumspectly and redeem the time I’ve given you, for surely, the hour is late, and the fulfillment of all things is at hand. Heb. 10:35-39, “Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. For, ‘Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay; but My righteous one will live by faith, and if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him.’ But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.” ESV
My children, rejoice, for following brokenness comes restoration to wholeness. I break that I may set in order and set right that which was fractured and misaligned, resulting in malunion. That which I sever, I make whole, for I return not for a broken church, but a whole and holy bride, unified, joyfully expectant, and set apart unto Me. Yes, I return for a bride wholly consecrated to Myself. Rejoice, you who are Mine! For those who have allowed My refining fire to purify, there will be joy for mourning and beauty for ashes. Put on garments of praise! I have made whole your brokenness, and in your wholeness, I have called you forth to holiness and power for such a time as this!
Joel 2:16-17, “Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children and nursing babes; Let the bridegroom go out from his chamber and the bride from her dressing room. Let the priests who minister to the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar; let them say, ‘Spare Your people, O LORD, and do not give your heritage to reproach, that the nations should rule over them. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’”
I Thes. 5:23-24, “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.” NKJV