Today I write because a great metamorphosis is taking place. A Call has gone out from our Father in Heaven to hundreds in the body of Christ and the call is: Give Me your kingdom.
As I was listening to God about this call, I saw a great tug o’war. A castle and all it’s surrounding lands were the “rope.” The hand of God held on to one end. He ever so gently tugged at the rope. The other end was held by His kids. Unaware Father God was doing the tugging, they interpreted the disruption as attack. They used every bit of their strength to hold onto the rope and protect their castle and its lands. Father God let that go on for awhile lovingly watching. Then He pulled a little harder. The castle and the lands shook under the pressure of His loving grip and He spoke to them softly: Let Go. On the other end, His kids shook too. They were alarmed at the perceived intensity of attack hitting their kingdom. They armored up and went to war. They called reinforcements. They cried out to God for help to defeat the enemy destroying their land and what they had built for Him. Father God smiled so lovingly and let them go on like that for awhile listening carefully to their cries. And, then with great mercy He pulled even harder. This time louder, He said with loving firmness: Let go. At His voice part of the buildings around the castle collapsed. Part of the land fell away. On the other end, His kids collapsed with fear, confusion and grief over the losses. They fell on their faces and finally said the words Father had been waiting for: We repent. Show us Your will, Your plan, Your ways. We humble ourselves before You. We give you all. Help us in our weakness. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. With that, Father God took hold of the rope with power and the tug o’ war was over. The castle crashed to the ground. The castle was demolished. But, the land was perfectly preserved, in fact better than before! He restored what had fallen away then He placed it back in their hands. It had turned ever so green and and lush. His love poured out to heal, strengthen and renew His kids. He swept away the castle ruins as His kids willingly gave Him each bit of the rubble. In exchange for the rubble, He gave them new dreams, new vision, new materials to build with, new plans, new ways and the land got more and more green. They flourished in His abundance and favor.
Our God requires a lot of those whom He loves. He requires absolutely everything!
Change and sacrifice is an ever constant process in the Kingdom of God that produces wonderful new things that glorify our King. Or, perhaps more precisely, it is the result of the advancement of the Kingdom of God in the earth. Wherever His breath blows, wherever He is working, there is change. And, since the whole earth is His and the fullness thereof, that means our world is experiencing constant changes.
Who doesn’t get excited over the prospect of all things becoming NEW? The part we forget is that we have to let go of the old in order to receive the new. Sacrifice is always required if there is to be transformation. If you are like me, I am very excited over prospect of all things becoming new in Christ Jesus. I can pray and ask for that of God with enthusiasm and truly desire the change… that is until I am one of the souls in the middle of His mighty work of transformation. My response and maybe yours too is WHOA, what’s going on here. More than one time I dug in my heels, just like the vision He gave me, and fought for what is mine, not discerning the huge change was an answer to my prayers and a gift from my God.
Mercifully, He works soul by soul with slow, steady, deeply profound internal changes, perhaps over many years. As we yield to those small steps, we become more like Him and step out doing His work. We build our lives and ministries are launched. Then the time comes for His new plans and seemingly overnight the ministries, the works, the thing we do for Him, what we thought was rock solid and even our highest call in Him, He closes. The season is finished. The training is over. Something new is on the way. When we don’t discern that He is requiring change and stubbornly hang on, suddenly those castles we have built get shaken and eventually they collapse so that He can build up something better, something more reflective of Him. Something He has prepared for us and us for it. Yes, something that gives Him more glory and benefits humankind in ways we could never have imagined if He did not take this action.
When Father God spoke to me to give up everything He had birthed through me, everything I had built and nurtured, I couldn’t do it. I could not believe the impressions and pressures I was feeling were actually coming from Him. My first thoughts were not that my awesome God was trying to initiate change to ignite transformation and birth something totally NEW. So, I thought it was demonic attack. I fought off “the enemy” in every way I knew how. That is until He gave me a vision where I was standing on the edge of a cliff. There was a strong wind blowing as I could see my hair and clothing were dancing in it. I stood for a long time with just a couple of fingers holding on to a rough rock wall next to me, and finally the wind was so strong I had to let go or go back the way I cam. I chose not to go back and was blown off the edge. First reaction was TERROR! Then the Wind grabbed me and I began to fly. It was in 2013 when I got the message to let go and FLY with Him.
When I first had the vision and opened my heart to His transforming work, I let go as much as I could at the time. In fact, I thought I had really given my all. The truth was I was holding back, but that never dawned on me. What I held on to, I could not begin to fathom would ever be required of me. But, the reality is I interpreted His message through fear and through an inability to let go of MY kingdom. I had “kingdom confusion.” I thought I was holding on to His Kingdom, but I was selfishly clinging to mine.
Certainly, He originally birthed it all and I have always given Him the glory for what He has done. There is no way I could have ever launched a ministry without HIM nor would it have been so very successful or satisfying without Him. Nonetheless, my heart and pride took ownership and my identity became entrenched in what I was doing for God and not founded 100% in Him and Him alone. Father God is so good and patient with us. He knew the changes I did make were difficult, very difficult, for me. He is pleased with every step toward His plans that we make. However, what I gave up was not the ALL He was asking for. The rest, in my thoughts and heart, I felt He would never require of me. He would never ask me to give up what He had helped me to build in the first place was always what I told myself. He had helped me and our team to minister to thousands, to plant a church, to bless hundreds and hundreds of children, to sponsor and help plan major city-impacting prayer events and on and on… Surely, He would never ask that we, that I, give up ALL that! But, that is exactly what He required.
All that we built was good and it was His plan for a season. That season ended and we, I, needed to move on to the new. He knew that it would be hard and He allowed me and the team so much time and grace to walk through the steps of relinquishing to Him what He had given me to steward. Little by little He tugged on our kingdom. Each time Holy Spirit walked us through the process of letting go. But, “the castle” remained. The castle I have come to understand was the stronghold of my identity here on earth; the one I had built. It is so easy to become what we do and to forget our identity is to be in Christ and Christ alone.
When our identity gets misplaced, Father God makes sure we get back on track! In my case, I collapsed at His feet and in His sweet presence He spoke to me. He said that He was requiring a very great sacrifice and meticulous obedience. If I would obey and give Him all, He could a lot with that.
So, with grieving heart, sadness at the sense of loss, and with no clue what my future would be, I gave Him ALL. He took the sacrifice with great pleasure and confirmed it with joy unspeakable and full of glory. The result sounds like failure when viewed from the world’s point of view. Over the course of time we closed our church, then closed our twice a month Bible Study and prayer meeting. Next, we closed our Bless the Kids Back Pack Project after finishing its 15th year. Lastly, we dissolved our nonprofit corporation. It wasn’t because we had no funds. In fact, we gave away thousands of dollars to other nonprofits so they could do back pack projects and ministry work. It wasn’t because we won’t be ministering any longer. In fact, I am, we are, more involved in the community and ministering more than ever. No, we gave it all to God and closed it all because we heard His voice, received His directions and did what we heard. Sure, it was hard, confusing at times, and it took awhile, but we heard Him and obeyed. Indeed there is great reward when we listen and obey!
I must report that I have not felt this free in the Lord for a long time. He told me He would make me into His representative, an ambassador for Him, who was spontaneous, movable, and flexible so I could touch people’s lives with His goodness and love in a new way. He said every day would become a surprise in Him. That is exactly what is happening. The transformation isn’t yet complete, but I am thoroughly enjoying the process and surprises (well, most of them – a few are challenging) and I’m having a grand time doing brand new things in the Lord that HE is directing, orchestrating, and divinely planning for me.
Am I saying that the Lord is going to topple everyone’s ministry? Yes, and No. If your identity is placed anywhere else but in HIM and Him alone, YUP! Get ready for the rope of your kingdom to be tugged and your castle, whatever your castle is, to tumble. If your training is complete and He has new things for you, changes will come. Expect new everything, some of it seemingly heartbreaking, truly sacrificial, followed by new growth, favor and abundance. The process is challenging, but the results are spectacular! On the other hand, if you are placed where He wants you, quickly making changes He desires, and your identity is firmly in Him alone, then No. No castle collapsing required. Once we are where He wants us, leaning fully on Him, we can expect the favor and abundance to overflow. We can expect to grow and see our efforts multiply. Yes! He wants ALL of us unfettered and able to step into a season of spontaneity and multiplication in HIM.
Lord, let YOUR Kingdom Come and YOUR will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Topple all of our self-made castles, solidify our identities in YOU and help us to hear your voice of direction as we enter Your ordained time of transformation and reformation of your Ecclesia. In Jesus’ Name we pray, AMEN!