I encourage you to read this article from Diane Lake and another we also sent out today from Holly Watson...both will really help you in the renewal coming our way!
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The Lord has been speaking to me a lot about renewal recently. One aspect of this is that I've seen renewal coming with a momentum that cannot be stopped. Renewal refers to the act or process by which something is renewed, or made new. The best definition I found for the word "renew" is: "to make like new, restore to freshness, vigor or perfection, or to make new spiritually."
One way this was illustrated was in a dream in which my husband and I sat on bleachers at a basketball game. Over and over we watched the opposing team try to take the ball in bounds underneath our team's basket, only to have it quickly stolen, followed by our team getting a score. The momentum became so one-sided that our fans didn't even clap or cheer anymore! At this point, my husband leaned over and told me that this signified renewal.
Another dream I had featured a baby about nine months old who I felt represented renewal. In the dream, I began to engage this baby to teach him a simple three-step game; a kind of fist bump, hand slap, high-five thing. In the process I quickly discovered he was far more advanced for his age than anyone thought. He was so responsive and so smart and we bonded almost instantly. He could do far more than anyone expected—even talk!
By this point, I was intrigued and asked the Lord to reveal more to me about how to engage this process of renewal that was apparently on His heart.
Batting a Thousand
The next time the Lord spoke of renewal I also heard Him speak of reaching "the 1,000 mark" and "batting a thousand." You've all heard of batting a thousand, which in the sport of baseball means a player hits the ball every single time at bat. In non-baseball usage, by extension, it can be used to refer to success in an endeavor or in multiple areas of one's life. Basically, it means to achieve perfection, or to do something perfectly.
This theme of perfection brought a Scripture to my mind—Ephesians 5:25-27. Here we find a description of the perfect Bride, who by the washing of the water of the Word has been found without spot or wrinkle, having become holy and without blemish, the glorious Bride of Christ. That's when I began to see the dots connect. Renewal is how the Bride of Christ becomes like new; it's the process by which we reach perfection!
You might feel stuck in your life, job or ministry, as if you're going nowhere. The Lord showed me that as you engage the spirit of renewal, you're going to start building momentum. There are going to be some things that make up time for you, and there's going to be a chance to do some things over. Life isn't fair sometimes, but I have good news...God is in the mood to make things perfect and new!
Much like the baby in the dream who learned a simple three-step game, the Lord showed me there are three basic components for engaging renewal.
Step One: The Word
The first step to engaging renewal is linked to the passage in Ephesians 5. It is the washing of the water by the Word that cleanses and sanctifies us. The Greek word for "word" is Strong's No. 4487, or "rhema." We often think of rhema as a prophetic word coming by another person, but it's important to remember that this type of word is subordinate to the logos, or the Scriptures. Another form of rhema is when the Holy Spirit quickens a particular Scripture to our mind at a specific time of need. But in either case the prerequisite is that we need to be regularly storing Scripture in our minds and in our hearts (Psalm 119:11).
Step Two: Fasting and Prayer
Scripture reveals that fasting and prayer are a superpower (Matthew 17:21; Mark 9:29 NKJV). I recently heard the Lord say, "A particular window is open for fasting and prayer right now." My sense is there are several aspects about this window, both general and specific.
The specific aspect concerns restitution. I first wrote about restitution in 2017, but I've been hearing it again. It can be tempting as time passes to quit contending for repayment for things the enemy has stolen from you, but be encouraged—now is the time to hold fast and press in! Prayer and fasting can be a superpower in restoring hope and seeing restitution come to pass (Zechariah 9:12).
The story of the man healed at the pool of Bethesda in John 5 points to other aspects I'm sensing. Remember how an angel came down at certain times to stir the waters, and whoever entered first was healed of whatever disease they had? I believe that now is a "certain time," and that a window of angelic activity is open for angels to be activated on your behalf when you fast and pray. In addition to restitution, I see a general application for whatever particular need you bring before the Lord in this manner.
Step Three: Repentance
This one's short and sweet. I'm hearing, "It's a season of repentance." By participating in repentance, both personally and on behalf of our nation, I believe times of refreshing, or renewal, will come out from the presence of the Lord (Acts 3:19)!
Suggestions for Activation and Application
On a recent night, I dreamed I was speaking to a group of people from Matthew 6 and 7. At the end I shared how the Lord had given me a love for His Word, and then I closed in prayer by thanking Him that the Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light to our path (Psalm 119:105).
If you'd like to engage the process of renewal in your life, consider reading and meditating on Matthew 6 and 7. There are so many nuggets in this passage. I've listed just a few that can help begin to activate this process in your life.
In Matthew 6:11, Jesus taught us to pray for "our daily bread." Jesus, who is the living Word and the bread of life, will give us what we need spiritually each day as we read and "digest" the Scriptures (Matthew 4:4; John 1:1-14; 6:51; 63). Ask the Lord to give you a hunger and love for the Word, and to help you hide it in your heart (Psalm 119:11).
In Matthew 6:16, we find the phrase, "When you fast..." Don't neglect or ignore the superpower of fasting and prayer. Ask the Lord for special grace to fast, and if you already fast, to continue fasting in whatever manner He might direct.
In Matthew 6:12, Jesus taught us to ask forgiveness for our sins, and to forgive those who have sinned against us. Ask the Lord for a tender heart and intentionally seek His direction concerning repentance.
As you follow the blueprint for godly living outlined in this passage, you'll be building your house on a firm foundation—your house—meaning your life (Matthew 7:24-27).
Together, let's close by praying: Lord, thank You for activating the process of renewal in my life! (To Subscribe to the Elijah List subscribe here.)
Diane Lake is a writer, speaker and minister ordained with both Christian International and Generals International. She and her husband, Allen, co-founded Starfire Ministries with a vision to see the Kingdom established beyond the four walls of the traditional church. They serve as Church Mountain, Regional, and Montana Coordinators for the Reformation Prayer Network (led by Mike and Cindy Jacobs), and as Media Mountain Facilitators for Christian International's newly emerging "7 Mountain Kingdom Influencer Network." They have three grown children and are blessed to call beautiful western Montana home.