Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Just Apply Oil

I saw a picture during worship this past Sunday of the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz. I remembered that when Dorothy and her friends found the Tin Man he was in bad shape. His joints were rusty and unable to move. In other words, he was stuck. He wanted to move forward but couldn't.

Many in the Body of Christ feel like this right now. The enemy has waged war against you on every side and you find yourself feeling hemmed in, unable to move. You feel stuck. You may feel that your options have been reduced and there are no solutions for you.

Dorothy took the oil can and began to apply the precious oil to the Tin Man's joints. It wasn't long until he began to move freely. I felt the Holy Spirit releasing hope through this simple picture. The oil of the Holy Spirit is available to be applied to every difficult situation and circumstance that has us bound and boxed in.

It is significant that Dorothy applied the oil that enabled the Tin Man to step into freedom. If you carry Jesus Christ within, then you carry the oil, and are a releaser of this very substance of the Spirit to those around you. As carriers of hope, you release the life and Presence with your words, love, and touch.

Tin Man wanted to go on the journey because he was in search of a 'heart'. As we release the freedom and life of the kingdom to those around us, many will find their true heart for the very first time. The oil that He has given us to share changes hearts. Hearts that were once hard, cold, and indifferent, become soft as He gently massages in the oil.

Remember how Dorothy and her friends all linked arms as they walked together down the Yellow Brick Road?  I see the Body of Christ moving forward like this. It's like in Joshua 1:14b, when Moses had given them the instructions to "help your brothers until the Lord gives them rest, as he has done for you, and until they too have taken possession of the land that the Lord your God is giving them." 

In other words, we are to not only seek to move forward and obtain our destiny, but, like Dorothy, we are to help those around us find theirs as well.

What is transpiring now is bigger than just a few people getting victory and stepping into their Promised land. This is a time of corporate breakthrough, and many moving forward in power, love, and unity, each stepping more and more fully into the plans of God.

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners. - Isaiah 61:1

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Gaps are Being Closed!

So many I have talked with lately are feeling a sense of momentum and excitement at the season we are in, and the things God is doing in preparing us for what He wants to do. At the same time there seems to be a flurry erupting from the enemies' camp. It seems we have stirred up the proverbial hornet's nest.

All of this reminded me of Nehemiah when he sought to rebuild the wall that surrounded Jerusalem. Nehemiah had a vision, purpose, and God-ordained plan. But Sanballat, who represents the enemy in this story, began to oppose Nehemiah. It's important to notice how he opposed Nehemiah, because it is often the same way satan seeks to oppose us today.

Sanballat's language in Neh. 4:1-2 is condescending and meant to intimidate. You can hear the mocking in his voice when he says, "What are those feeble Jews doing? Will they restore their wall? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they finish in a day? Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble-burned as they are?

But, the thing that angered Sanballat and his cronies the most was that the building of the wall continued to go forward and the gaps were being closed.(Neh. 4:7)

The "gaps" represent entry points or open places where the enemy can penetrate and come in freely to attack. I feel we are in a time of God 'closing up the gaps' and taking away the devil's opportunity to attack and harass us. It's an important time to walk hand-in-hand with the Holy Spirit as He guides us through whatever the process of 'closing the gaps' looks like in each of our lives. I think for many it can feel like upheaval, but it's important to stay the course right now and see the Spirit's plan through to completion. In many situations He is rebuilding foundations, so the old foundations have to be removed first. He is healing hearts and replacing lies with truth so that the enemy no longer has access to our hearts.

But, another thing that leaps out at me from this story is how prayer played a part in their victory over the threats of the enemy. Nehemiah was an amazing leader, and each time the threats came he didn't resort to his own ingenuity, but he leaned into God to receive his plans and strategies.The strategies were simple, but amazing, and involved a corporate effort and intentional care for one another.

In Neh. 4:13, Nehemiah shares, "Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears, and bows."  And later he shares in vs. 17 how his builders were trained to work with one hand and carry a weapon in the other. What a great picture of how we are to move forward with the plans of God!

Earlier Nehemiah shared that the ".....People worked with all their heart"(4:6), and then they were taught the importance of warfare and prayer as they worked. It's a winning combination! As a church body, we are to shore up the exposed places and declare freedom and breakthrough for those who are in the process of 'closing the gaps' in their lives and families. We do this through our prayers and declarations that release God's kingdom into their lives.

In a city the walls represent peace, prosperity, and protection. As God's kingdom moves in, He establishes these things in our lives, our cities and our nations. It's time to partner with Him and work with all our heart to build what He is building. The gaps will not be closed and the walls rebuilt without prayer, and we must learn to wield our swords in sync with His Spirit.

Nehemiah had someone with a trumpet stay near his side. When he needed to gather the people and rally them to help one another build and fight, he would have the man blow the trumpet. I believe the Spirit is blowing that trumpet now through prophetic voices to rally those who will build, defend, and contend, for the sake of the kingdom.

In closing, here is a great word by LanaVawser of Australia. She is one of many prophetic voices trumpeting the rally call.