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Sandie Freed: "Draw Nearer to God and Cycle Out of the Wilderness"


by Sandie Freed
Aug 19, 2016

Steve ShultzFrom the desk of Steve Shultz:

This is a great word by Sandie Freed about cycling out of the wilderness. I know some have felt like they have been in the wilderness for so long and are weary...but I want to remind you that those seasons are just that - "seasons" and are not permanent.

In Sandie's latest word, she offers up some great key insight of how to leave you wilderness and shares:

If you want out of the wilderness - then ROAR out of Zion! ROAR from a heart-felt place of worship. Worship Him, honor and desire His divine presence. Cycle out of your desert season today!

Amen! Let this word by Sandie encourage and fill you up this day...as you cycle out of your wilderness!

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Believer, I have been crying out this entire year to God with two main concerns - and maybe you can relate:

Lord, allow me to witness Your manifest presence in a greater way!
Empower me to completely cycle out of the wilderness!

The more I have prayed and studied the Word of God, the more I understand that these two concerns are connected! By this I mean that the way to cycle out of any wilderness is to first witness and remain in His manifest presence.

His Manifest Presence

Allow me to share a few excerpts from my book, Conquering the Antichrist Spirit: Discerning and Defeating the Seducer that Binds Believers Today concerning the presence of God:

"God is omnipresent; that is, He is everywhere. Though we cannot see Him, we know by the Spirit (and in faith) that He is with us. But His presence is more than that. I am talking about God's manifest presence - the experience of knowing God and His being real to us on a personal level. This means our senses are also involved; seeing touching, feeling, smelling, etc. Bottom line: God is real in every way to us!

When He manifests His presence, God is so real that there is no doubt whatsoever that we are experiencing Him at a greater level. His manifest presence is almost tangible as He reveals more and more of His nature to us.

Our senses are aroused in His presence at this level; we hear Him see Him, and sometimes even smell the fragrance of Him. At times I have felt as if an angel wing brushed my face during times of intimate worship...God does not manifest Himself simply to build our faith; He responds to our faith and chooses to reveal Himself." (p182-183).

Dear one, I have even been ministering and the smell of myrrh filled the room - many others smelled it also during a corporate gathering.

When the Lord manifests His presence, it is understood and recognized as it being Him! Think of these examples:

When Israel escaped from Egypt, God manifested His presence by going before them in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.

God manifested His presence upon Mt. Sinai by fire.

God instructed Moses to build a Tabernacle in the Wilderness. At the heart was the Ark of the Covenant where the Spirit of God dwelled. The living, breathing Spirit of God was in that Ark! Yes, His manifest presence dwelled there; therefore, it was important for the Israelites to take special care of that Ark!

As the Israelites traveled through the wilderness for forty years, the Ark was meant to go with them, thus the manifest presence of God was with them in every wilderness experience! The presence of the Lord was meant to empower them to cycle OUT of their wilderness, as well as dwell among them! (Photo via Wikipedia)

Believer, you may feel that you are in the wilderness...but are you recognizing the fact that God is with you? Yes, God is not only with you in your wilderness, He lives IN you while you're in the wilderness! You are not alone. And He has not brought you out of your Egypt experience to die in the wilderness! No way! However, unless we understand this truth, we will remain in a wilderness cycle.

The Wilderness Journey of the Ark of the Covenant

There was a time that the presence of the Lord was not important to Israel. In other words, they didn't pay much attention to the presence. In fact, the Ark had its own wilderness journey before it arrived in Zion. It's almost inconceivable that it was actually held in captivity at one time! Oh my, you need to read further, why? Because we all need to guard our hearts. It's so important to honor the presence at all times!

The prophet, Samuel, came forth when the Word of the Lord was rare and there was no open vision (1 Samuel 3:1-3). Now remember, God's manifest presence involves our ability to "see" and "witness" Him in a tangible way, which includes natural eyesight, spiritual eyesight, as well as dreams and visions. Samuel's eyes were waxing dim in the natural, but Eli, the priest, had a spiritual blindness. Eli's sons were next in lineage for the priesthood but they had sinned greatly in the eyes of the Lord. The priesthood had taken their eyes off of the presence, didn't give it first place in their eyes and, therefore, the ark was stolen by the Philistines in battle (read 1 Samuel 5-6). Israel had decided to take the Ark with them into battle for protection - not because they deeply desired His presence and wanted to continue to "draw near" to Him.

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The Ark was now in captivity and taken to Ashdod by the Philistines. Actually, the Ark was in its own wilderness journey. As you read through the Ark's journey, maybe you can identify with areas in your own life when we don't draw near to God or honor His manifest presence, thus finding ourselves in another wilderness. I have gone to great length to discuss this in my aforementioned book, Conquering the Antichrist Spirit but for the sake of this short article, I will get straight to the point concerning the wilderness journey of the Ark of God's presence because my desire is that you cycle out of your dry places and earnestly seek the Lord:

1. The Ark in Ashdod: Ashdod means "well-fortified place." Is there a stronghold in your life that keeps you from drawing near to His presence? A stronghold is anything in which we put our trust. It is anything we place above God. Also, let me ask - do you feel ashamed? Have you sinned? Dear one, He so desires for you to run to Him right now. There is nothing you could even do that would cause Him to not love you! His grace is there for you at this very moment. Simply repent (meaning change the way you think!) and run to the throne of grace. He's waiting for you!

The word "Philistines" (who were the ones that stole the Ark) means "to wallow in the dust." It is a direct reference to an unclean spirit. An unclean spirit represents many different things - one especially being a strong religious stronghold. It's time to let go of the doctrines of man that limit your God. If you come from a background that limits God and His ability to heal, restore, deliver and offer His best to you, please know that today, right now, He is offering Heaven's best to you. (For more on this subject, you may be interested in my book Letting Go of Limitations. If you struggle with religious mindsets and religious legalism and a fear of intimacy with God, then I highly recommend this book.).

2. The Ark in Gath: Gath represents "winepress." Are you in a "press?" Pressure often causes us to focus on ourselves rather than God's presence and His desire to empower us out of the pressure! On the other hand, He will allow the "press" to cause us to seek Him out - to draw nearer to Him. The best thing to do when in the press and under pressure is to press into Him and His presence! It all boils down to a heart-felt desire for Him and Presence!

3. The Ark in Ekron: Ekron represents barrenness. Do you feel barren? Are you witnessing any fruit in your life? When God's presence is in the midst, there is fruitfulness and joy! The Ekronites did not honor the presence of the Lord and as a result they were barren and plagued with illness. Have we fully honored God in all that we do? Dear one, let's draw near to Him now and experience the joy of His presence!

4. The Ark in Beth-shemish: The Philistines in this area didn't want the Ark either, so they sent it away to Judah with a trespass offering. Trying to manipulate all this resulted in their losing 50,070 people in a great slaughter. Why? My thoughts are this: why in the world would ANYBODY want to get rid of God's presence? It just doesn't make sense! I believe this is an example of how much God is grieved when we don't desire to draw near to Him. He is not a Covenant God that slays His children. But He does, however desire that we remain a people that honor presence!

5. The Ark at Kirjath-jearim: Finally, the Ark was sent to a Levite's home, the dwelling of Abinadab. Smartly, he sanctified his son to guard the Ark! Dear ones, guard the anointing and guard the presence! By this I mean let's not "box in" the anointing nor put God in a religious box! If we box in the anointing, we will remain in a wilderness. We must watch-over and protect the anointing that manifests under the presence!

6. The Ark at Gibeah: Under pressure from the Israelites, Samuel anointed Saul as King. Under Saul's reign, the Ark of the Covenant remained in Gibeah. Although the Ark was there, God's presence was not honored by Saul. Saul, rather than follow God and His Presence, sought the favor of man and sought the counsel from a witch. Dear ones, we must never bow to man or put man above God. To not submit to God fully in our hearts gives way to witchcraft and idolatry. Can you now see how important it is to fully desire the manifest presence of the Lord?

The Ark and the Presence

When the Ark was finally brought to Zion by David, by the man who had a heart after God, there was much celebration. The first time He brought the Ark into the City of David ended up disastrously. However, David did not stop with that failure- instead, because He so loved God's presence, He brought the Ark in properly, according to the directives of the Lord.

Once the Ark was honored again and desired by God's people, there were continual victories given to them - victories on every side! From David's time on - the city of David took on great meaning as it became a sacred capital and a place of government. David also established 24-hour worship, bringing in and honoring the presence in a magnificent way every day!

If you want out of the wilderness - then ROAR out of Zion! ROAR from a heart-felt place of worship. Worship Him, honor and desire His divine presence. Cycle out of your desert season today!

R - right thinking about His love for you will empower you to cycle out!
O - only His manifest presence can completely satisfy you.
A - always remember that His presence is with you and IN you!
R - run to the throne of grace NOW and cry out for His manifest presence! You won't be sorry that you did! He is waiting...

Sandie Freed
Zion Ministries |Co-pastor, Lifegate Church, Hurst, Texas

Email: zionministries1@sbcglobal.net
Website: www.lifegatechurch.org

Dr. Sandie Freed co-labors with her husband, Mickey Freed, doing the work of the Lord as a ministry team. In addition, they are the founders of Zion Ministries Training Center in Bedford, Texas, and Lifegate Church International. Sandie has traveled nationally and internationally teaching dreams and visions seminars and on spiritual discernment. Her ability to adequately prophesy and discern spiritual strongholds over regions has released numerous breakthroughs for individuals and ministries. Sandie has authored Dream On, and eleven other books, most of which are in several different languages. Dr. Sandie and Apostle/Pastor Mickey are ordained with Christian International Ministries, serving on their Board of Governors. They have been married since 1973, and have one daughter, Kimberly.

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