Forward, Always Forward
Yesterday we began looking at how to cooperate with divine shifts. The first principle was to recognize and embrace God’s opportunity to shift. The second principle is determine to respond in faith and move FORWARD!
Divine shifts make the devil nervous. He knows they represent Kingdom progress, AND they remind him of Calvary. Satan had heard or read all the prophecies about the Messiah, yet he held out hope and fought God‘s plan. Then he saw the Virgin Birth and realized it was now God’s time for redemption. He had been dreading this for 4000 years. Though he couldn’t figure out exactly how God was going to redeem us, he realized it was unfolding. When the fullness of time came (Galatians 4:4), there was nothing the devil could do to halt the process. He knows he can’t stop God. BUT, he always attempts to influence the church in order to alter divine seasonal shifts (Daniel 7:25). He does this through discouragement, unbelief, apathy, or complacency.
We must not yield to his attacks! We must realize that the times of difficulty we walk through are not the final verdict. Christ is coming with mercy and breakthrough! And when God says it’s time to shift into this, we must be ready to shift with Him. Yes, He will pull us out of our comfort zones and require faith. But when God says, “Time to move!” it's decision time very quickly. We must rearrange whatever is necessary, adjust our lives, and move forward with Him.
While speaking to a statewide representation of prayer leaders in Alaska several years ago, Holy Spirit said to me, “Tell Alaska to move forward into tomorrow, not into yesterday. What a strange word. What does that mean? I thought.
The Lord then used a very unique aspect of Alaska’s geography to explain His play on words to me. (Follow closely or this could mess with your brain.) West of Alaska’s mainland is an island that is part of Alaska, but is on the other side of the International Date Line. Over on the island it’s already tomorrow. Conversely, if you’re on the island, the mainland is still in yesterday. Of course, wherever you are it’s today! Amazingly, Alaska has yesterday, today and tomorrow in it - simultaneously! How’s that for confusing!? (Sorry, some of you will be thinking about that for hours.)
Back to Holy Spirit’s word. In Alaska you can literally travel toward tomorrow, or you can travel toward yesterday. Alaskans know this. And God used this picture as a play on words to say to them, “Move forward into tomorrow, not yesterday.”
In the prayer gathering, Holy Spirit then began revealing the existence of a pattern, a cycle that often caused the Body of Christ in Alaska to become stuck in what He had done yesterday. This meant that whenever God tried to move them into new seasons (tomorrow), they would often abort it by moving right back into the old (what He had done yesterday). Yes, they were moving, but rather than moving forward, they were circling back into yesterday. We have all done this at times, going in circles rather than breaking out of the cycle and moving forward into the new.
This can be caused by traditions and old mindsets. Fear or unbelief also causes this stagnation. And it can be caused by not hearing what Holy Spirit is saying. We must discern the times by listening to Him. Holy Spirit will always tell us when it is time to shift into a new season. In the Exodus, a generation of Israelites, when faced with opposition, said, “We’d rather go back to Egypt.” Yesterday! During Christ’s time on earth, John the Baptist announced that it was time for a shift; Jesus followed with the same message. Sadly, the religious leaders of the day said, “We’re happy with the old.” Perpetual yesterday was their preference. “Stop rocking the boat, messing with our traditions, asking us to adjust our theology,” they said. Jesus proceeded to shift without them.
In the Jesus People Movement of the 70s, hippies began getting saved. Holy Spirit had shifted gears, changed the season. A church in California had several hundred of these young born again radicals show up one Sunday morning! They were barefoot, scantily dressed, some were dirty, and they were anything but religious. The elders challenged the pastor after the service to “do something about these kids. They’ll soil the carpet we just had installed.” The pastor replied that he would take care of it. When the elders showed up the following Sunday, he had removed all the carpet! The elders chose yesterday; the pastor chose tomorrow.
Haggai 2:9 tells us, “The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts…” God‘s desire is that our “latter” always be greater than our “former.”
In America, we are about to shift from plowing to reaping, from the wilderness to Canaan. I believe we’re about to shift from weakness to strength. God is going to shift us into a new season of power, signs and wonders, miracles, and deliverances. He’s going to shift many from sickness to health, from woundedness into wholeness, from torn families with prodigals into homes where prodigals now worship God. Yahweh is going to use the prayers we’ve prayed and the plowing we’ve done in the past season to create a fullness of time.
Our God, who loves this young generation, is going to shift things in our schools and move in a powerful way. He will break all of the man-made laws that say He isn’t allowed there. He who loves to save is going to show Himself strong on behalf of a generation that doesn’t even realize what they are hungry for. Some people will try to stop Him, but they won’t succeed. The wind of the Spirit IS going to blow, revival is coming to America.
We cannot shift the times and seasons; only God can do that (Daniel 2:20-21). But we can recognize the shift when He does so, and shift with Him. We can persevere and keep ourselves properly positioned, guarding against lethargy, complacency, and unbelief. We must anchor ourselves to the truth and stir our faith to believe that God can orchestrate changes rapidly. The mundane chronos seasons of plowing and persevering are necessary, but we must remember that God has the ability to shift things very quickly into opportune kairos seasons of harvest.
Pray with me:
Father, You’ve shown us that it isn’t enough just to simply keep moving; we must move FORWARD. In Your Kingdom this will always require faith. It also requires the spiritual discernment modeled by the tribe of Issachar (1 Chronicles 12:32). We desire to go from yesterday’s glory to new glory, today and tomorrow glory. Yesterday’s revivals were great but must be built upon. You are always adding floors and additions to the house You’re building.
Give us eyes of vision and faith. America must be restored, reconstituted, and renewed. Cause the church to recognize this. Also, cause her to clearly see how integrally this is connected to worldwide harvest. Break believers out of stupors caused by self-centeredness, heal them of fear’s paralyzing hold, and awaken vision to partner with You in Your eternal cause.
And Father, just as a remnant of Israel repented in Haggai’s day, allowing You to take them into a new phase of glory, a remnant of Americans have also repented. Now, do for us as You did for them - increase the glory!!! Cause Your glorious presence to produce salvation, deliverance, healings, and new beginnings. I ask You to manifest this for people even as we pray - NOW!
Pour out Your Spirit in America and around the world! We ask for all this as Christ’s representatives and in His name.
Forward! Only forward. Always forward!
Portions of today’s post were taken from two of my books: God’s Timing for Your Life and Releasing the Prophetic Destiny of a Nation.
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