July 1, 2013 – Allen and Diane Lake
The Calm in the Middle of the Storm
This past month was one of the busiest stretches of time I can remember. There were several family milestones such as college and high school graduations and the accompanying transitions and celebrations. As well, there were important ministry obligations, and various events ranging from birthdays to photo shoots to funerals. I remember thinking it was best not to think too closely about how much there was to do, but plunge in and trust it would all work out somehow.
Somewhere in the middle of all this I was surprised to find the Lord began stirring in me to start an article. I remember thinking, “You’ve got to be kidding, right?” – but He didn’t seem to be. I had already sensed what the subject matter would be, but my next deadline was a ways off and I had no intention of writing any earlier than necessary.
Several nights before this, I had a dream. In it, I was explaining to a woman about the need to “enter His rest.” I remembered telling her that you can be very busy, but by entering His rest, you can do whatever the Lord has for you without strain, burnout or exhaustion.
It seemed obvious the Lord was asking me to trust Him for new levels of grace in entering His rest. I felt He said this was how we would be doing things in the days ahead.
So I started to write, and as I did, I had the sense of being at the calm in the middle of the storm. It’s a little hard to describe, but things just seemed to slow down for the time I needed; then, everything picked back up again. I definitely experienced a new measure of His grace and continue to hear the Lord speak about entering new levels of His rest.
Prepared to Prepare
I also keep hearing the Lord talk about timing and change. In fact, I recently felt the Lord said that He’s getting ready to do something different, and He’s getting ready to do something now.
Of course, interpretation for a word like this can be tricky. Being as the Lord said two thousand years ago that He was coming back soon (Rev. 22:12, 20), what does “now” mean? And we might wonder, what exactly does “different” mean to the Lord?
Rather than focusing too much on interpretation, I believe it’s more helpful to realize that many prophetic voices are hearing versions of the same thing. Many are speaking of change, of a large move of God, and that God is getting ready to do a new thing.
We may not know exactly what God is going to do, or precisely how or when He is going to do it, but we can be assured that something is coming – and we need to prepare for it now.
The prophetic is always easiest to interpret in the rear view mirror anyway – that was true even in Jesus’ day. (John 12:16)
It is important to pay attention to what the Spirit reveals regarding preparation, for those who are prepared will participate. And those who are prepared will also be those who are used to prepare His way. (See Matt. 25:1-13; Isa. 62:10, 11.)
Let It Be Done According to Thy Word
For a move of God to begin, there has to be some kind of momentum behind it. In other words, the Spirit won’t move among you unless there’s some kind of release for Him to do so.
Scripture illustrates this principle through such passages as James 4:8 and Jeremiah 33:3 – when we draw near to God, He will draw near to us; when we call to Him, He will answer. Jesus even said that no one can come to Him unless the Father draws him. (John 6:44)
We see a corporate example of this in Jeremiah 29:11-14. The Lord told those taken captive (through His prophet Jeremiah) that when they called on Him and prayed, He would listen. When they searched for Him with their whole heart, they would find Him and He would bring them back from captivity. And when God begins moving to draw a people back to Himself, a response is required. (See Jer. 7:13.)
This past year I experienced an interesting scenario. Last summer, our city’s pastors’ and ministers’ network hosted a combined Sunday worship service at the local fair. As an elected member of the leadership team, I followed the Lord’s prompting and boldly offered to do the opening prayer and call to worship for this service.
There was initial resistance to this for a variety of reasons, one of which was that no woman had served on this leadership team before. I watched the Lord supernaturally remove the obstacles one by one. And one person who might have interfered with my involvement at the last minute had something suddenly “come up” and missed that part of the service!
Through a series of revelations and confirmations by others, the Lord revealed that He used this opportunity to launch something into the spiritual realm. God is a God of protocol, and as an elected leader, I had the authority to speak over the city. I felt the Lord said He could now legitimately have the Holy Spirit begin to move in the churches in our city.
It wasn’t as much about the words that I spoke, but what God chose to do through them. This gave me a whole new perspective of how the Lord has been positioning His people to prepare His way. What’s exciting in this instance is that momentum was created for intercessors to pray into.
I encourage you to search your city in prayer for strategies the Lord might reveal. The situation in your area will be different, but the principle remains the same. As the saints make advancing the kingdom their priority, God will tell His people when to move.
Should He show a particular assignment to participate in, we must respond like Mary, who said, “Let it be done to thy servant according to thy word.” (Luke 1:38) We must be willing to respond boldly to the Lord’s direction and to intercede for God to begin moving in our churches and cities.
In order to be ready for the coming move of His Spirit, there are several aspects of preparation that warrant our attention. I see four important pillars as being evident in the lives of those who will be used in coming moves of God.
First, as discussed in the opening section, believers must be able to enter new levels of His rest. Romans 5:2 says that we stand in grace; as we stand in His grace, we will be able to withstand the shaking and storms. From this place of supernatural grace, we will minister the works of His kingdom – as truly, some have already answered the call to do ministry.
Second, we must gird our loins (have our strength centered) in truth – the way to combat evil. (Eph. 6:14, KJV) This will keep us from succumbing to worldly pressures and thereby falling into error. (1 John 4:5, 6)
Third, we must answer His call to holiness. (1 Pet. 1:15, 16) The summation of Paul’s message to young Timothy could be categorized as a charge to be consecrated unto holiness – not because it earns us anything, but because it benefits us everything. (See 1 Tim. 6:11, 12; 2 Tim. 1:9, 2:19-24; John 14:30.)
Finally, He is calling us deeper into His presence. Heaven is opening, with an invitation to “Come up here.” (Rev. 4:1) For those who are ready, the Lord is about to lift His saints to another level of ministering from the supernatural – under an open heaven – with unlimited access to whatever is needed to fulfill His purposes. I believe we’re poised to see the “greater works than these” that Jesus spoke of (John 14:12), but it’s just something the Lord hasn’t allowed me to talk about until recently.
Angels Ascending and Descending
If we are to move at these new levels of grace and anointing, we must understand that the key to this access is Christ. In Christ we have relocation; out of His death came relocation – through Him we are now seated in the heavenlies!
Colossians 3 bears testimony to this powerful revelation. When we believe in Christ, we receive salvation (John 3:16); when we set our minds in alignment with heaven’s purposes, we receive access to all that is available through Christ. (See vs. 1-3.)
To access something requires a point of entry. Spiritually, the highest level of entry is an open heaven. We are meant to become the gate of transfer for God’s power and glory to manifest on earth, accompanied by angels ascending and descending from the very throne of God! (See Gen. 28:12-17; John 1:51; Acts 7:55, 56; Col. 3:1-3.) And from this place, our every need is met, by taking it to heaven. (Eph. 3:19, 20)
We can be saved, but limit our access if we allow the pressures of earth to consume us. (Col. 3:5) Now, as at no other time, we must seek Him first and His kingdom. (Matt. 6:33)
God does not plan to establish His kingdom by Himself. It is the Spirit and the bride who say, “Come!” (Rev. 22:17) He is looking for a body of believers who will prepare His way, and who will prepare themselves to be used for His purposes. Let’s truly seek Him to become His gate to heaven!
1. Pray for a move of God to begin in your churches and your city. (Acts 4:31)
2. Pray for key strategies to be revealed to believers responding to the invitation to “come up” to heaven. (Rev. 4:1)
3. Pray for boldness and courage for those implementing the purposes of God. (2 Tim. 1:7-9)
1. Implement any strategies for kingdom advancement that the Lord might reveal.
2. Connect with like-minded groups and individuals, as unity and common purpose provide strength. (Eccl. 4:12)