If you are living in the Spirit (Holy Spirit), you are likely sensing that we are in a period of great transition. The times are quickly becoming what Scripture said they would as the last days begin to display birth pains and signs of Jesus’ nearing return.
What an exciting time! And yet, there are many who feel anxious, uncertain, and unsure where to turn or what to do as spiritual and earthly conflicts increase.
I hear an abundance of theories and opinions regarding how things are going to go, and it makes me all the more certain that now is the time for God’s people to not only know what we believe, but why we believe it. Many hold fast to theories and teachings they have received from other teachers, and this can be good, but it isn’t always. As my Pastor says, “A man at best is still a man.” We have become so comfortable that we often just sit down together, eat what we are given, and then give it no more thought.
Is this true growth? And will it result in a life that is truly rooted in Christ, in the truth?
I have the benefit of sitting under solid teaching, from the mouths of men and women I have observed up close and whose lives I personally know are true and holy. I know, because I study God’s Word for myself, that what they teach is truth. Still, it is only partial. It is meant to provoke something in me which leads me back to the table when I am alone with God, to understand still more. To possess what I’ve been presented with.
There are a lot of questions surfacing suddenly. Are we in the end times? Is the mark of the beast coming forth? Is the antichrist rising? Will Jesus come before or after the great tribulation?
These questions have been debated for centuries, and there are still as many differing opinions about them today as there were before. Scholars of the Scriptures, all well versed in their studies, have not all agreed about their interpretations. So where does this leave us, many of whom have been happy spectators of our Sunday services?
I believe the Spirit of God is calling in the earth, drawing the body of Christ – His Bride – to her final hour of preparation. I believe there is an invitation – even an urging – for us to step into divine partnership with God, where we are appointed to be effective in the realms of the earth before Jesus returns.
Among the many false depictions of our relationship with God are two which have historically led many into either apathetic delusion or faithless striving. I see both of these still at work today, and lament for those who have fallen into their traps. Ours is more like a marriage with God than either of the two relationships we tend to settle for.
The first can and has been described like the cat-hold, where the big cat carries the little kitten by the nape of its neck, and moves it to where it is supposed to be. In this kind of relationship, God directs everything, and we are passive participants, just carried along by Him. This belief rests in the thought that everything will be okay because God is in total control and He will have His way no matter what. If we happen to miss it, if we’re off on some path we shouldn’t be, He will simply move us back onto the right path. All is well, and once we are saved, we will always be safe.
This belief, of course, contradicts the truth which God made plain in the first book of Scripture: that humans have been given a free will, and may choose God or not. The rest of Scripture makes it plain that, while God is working on our behalf, ever wooing us close to Him, He does not violate that free will, and those who do not choose to come near when He draws will perish. It also contradicts the passionate urgings of Scripture which tell us to pray for and warn each other when we see someone drifting away into error.
The second false depiction I hear and see still very often among believers today can and has been described as the monkey-hold, where the little monkey clings determinedly to the big monkey’s neck, afraid that if it lets go, it will be dropped. In this kind of relationship, there is constant fear and striving. There is no peace in trials, and no joy in dark nights, because everything is dependent upon our own efforts to make sure we are safe. In this kind of relationship, God’s love is real, but not consistently and proactively demonstrated. Only the strongest and those who fight and cling the hardest are secure.
This belief contradicts the reality of the incarnation and the cross, where God stooped down to pick up a fallen humanity, and carry us into eternal life. It contradicts the grace of God, which has been at work since we were knit together in our mothers’ wombs, and is still at work today. It contradicts the countless mercies we are given with every new day, as God turns His gaze upon us and seeks to commune with us in loving relationship. And it contradicts the Scriptures that tell us to wait on and trust in the Lord, and that His strength will carry us in our weakest moments.
To rest in one belief or the other is to settle for the enemy’s deception, and to live with the possibility of error that could cost more than we should desire. If eternity is at stake, shouldn’t we desire to know the truth for ourselves? Shouldn’t we want to have our beliefs examined, to see if they are really evidence of true faith, or if we have been influenced by a lie? The devil has been at work in the church since its inception, seeking to turn people away from the real partnership God desires, because He knows what will come out of that divine relationship.
Dear Woman of Breakthrough, now is the time – if you haven’t already done so – to get serious about understanding God’s Word and living in right relationship with Him. He is calling His Bride to cooperate with His Spirit in getting prepared for His return. Will you be a wise Bride-in-waiting, full of the Spirit, walking in truth, and responding to His direction? Or will you be foolish, lacking true and intimate connection with His living Spirit, walking in deception (which, by the way, looks and sounds and feels a lot like truth), and being incapable of responding to His direction because you are walking in your flesh?
May I remind you that your Pastors cannot fill your lamp with oil? There is a personal response, and a personal relationship which God requires with each of us. And as we enter into that relationship, His Spirit will expose deceptions and bring us into all truth. If we do not enter in, the terrible reality the enemy seeks to conceal in his deceptions will become our awful experience one day soon, as the door closes and we hear Jesus saying, “I do not know you.”
These are not idle times, and we have a great and Heavenly calling to be united with the Lord, and to touch the earth together. We can’t do that if we are all standing in confusion, half-convinced of what we believe, and struggling with slippery theology. We must know Him, and we must pursue the truth of Who He is and what He is doing in the earth, daily.
Consider this an urgent invitation, Beloved one, to get alone with God. Devote yourself to Him completely, and seek His wisdom in your journey. He knows where you are, and where you need to be. He knows just how to prepare you, whether you have need of correction or strengthening. Commit yourself to follow after Him and to grow in the wisdom that comes from above. It is a divine partnership where neither party bears full responsibility, but where both are invested because of love. We cannot afford to be half-hearted in our seeking anymore. We cannot afford to sit and spectate.
It is time to possess, and time to march. The Last Days’ Army is arising, and there is a work to be done which demands your participation. God has you in the palm of His hand, and you are also called to rise up from there and step into Your place of appointed influence. Whether it be in your home, at your job, within your church, in your city, or all of the above, let Him lead you into greater maturity and deeper longing to see His Kingdom come. Grow hungry for the truth, and search it out with God at every turn.
Know what you believe, and believe it because God has revealed it to you as truth. Be thankful for the leaders who have poured into you, and bless them by taking what you have received and growing in it.
I charge you, dear brothers and sisters in the Lord, arise! May God be glorified as we grow in His love, more and more every day as we await His return.