Nate Johnston: "Your Promotion in the Midst of Warfare"
Nov 17, 2023
Earlier in the week, as I was praying, I kept seeing this vision of people with targets that were painted on their backs, and they were unaware; and they had these huge sickle-type instruments in their hands, and they were creating paths and slashing through the scrub and bush of untouched terrain.
And I saw these barriers or fences they were coming up to, and I was like, "Who are these people?" And in my spirit, I instantly discerned, these are the pioneers who are paving new paths for the Kingdom of God.
The reason the targets were on their backs was because they were coming up to significant thresholds in the spirit realm that they didn't understand, and the enemy had painted targets on their backs because he was threatened. They were coming up to significant, cultural and social thresholds. Their pioneering had been so significantly successful, but they had no idea.
I looked at their faces, and they were oblivious to what they'd accomplished in the spirit; they were oblivious to what they'd built that was so significant, and they were oblivious to just how powerful and advancing their work for the Kingdom of God had been, because they were feeling the pain of the arrows that were flying and hitting their backs constantly.
They were words of slander, judgment, and misrepresentation of their character. They were taking them out. They were causing them to stop and not keep plowing ahead. They were causing them to feel like God had abandoned them. They were saying, "God, why would You allow people to do what they're doing towards us? Why would You allow this land to continue? Why would You allow these circumstances to keep swirling around us?"
But God hasn't abandoned you. This is the call that you're anointed for. This is the task that you are anointed for.
Guaranteed, if you ever come up to a threshold in the spirit in your pioneering journey, you will face resistance. You'll face the sudden onslaught of territorial spirits trying to prevent you from breaking through into new ground for the sake of the Kingdom.
Over the years, I've seen the same pattern happen over and over again, where I'm pioneering semi-peacefully with a little bit of warfare here and there. Suddenly, I come up to a place that feels like some barrier in the spirit that I know I need to push through, and I can sense the victory on the other side. Everything inside me knows I must become a battering ram and break through to the other side. But then, in a moment, I'm hit at every angle. Suddenly, things are happening in my family, health, finances—strife, division, fires erupting everywhere around me—and I suddenly feel too weak to push forward. (Photo via Pexels)
Many times, discouragement has set in, and I've wanted to sit where I am and not move forward anymore. Does this sound familiar to your journey? But now, knowing what we know, these moments are critical for us to push forward... not just for the sake of the Kingdom, but for the sake of finalizing that pioneering chapter that we've been through.
Unfortunately, we tend to repeat chapters over and over instead of completing them, finding ourselves going around the same mountain of warfare and facing those same familiar territorial spirits over and over, never feeling any more victorious. But I'm here to tell you today that those days are over. It is time to push through and break into the other side of our pioneering journey. It is time for us to enter the next chapter to experience new realms of authority and blessing and favor that God has for us.
It Only Pulls Back the Bow
Opposition, when you are building and forging something new, is not only expected, but it's actually part of the process. Let me say that again: Pioneers, opposition is a part of the process. God doesn't orchestrate it. He doesn't design it. He doesn't send it, but He will use it for your benefit and for your favor, if you allow Him to do so. If we allow it, opposition in the midst of pioneering will actually advance us into realms of favor that we could not ever have imagined.
"'No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their vindication is from Me,' declares the LORD." (Isaiah 54:17)
God uses the things that the enemy sends against you to bless you. It is the pulling back of the bow. It feels like a decrease. It feels like a demotion, but it actually sends us into new realms of favor and blessing that we could not have experienced if that bow had not been pulled back. And what happens when the bow is pulled back? The arrow is sent further and farther, and is able to hit its mark with more precision and force than it could have without that opposition.
I think it's important for me to use the analogy of a bow because the arrows that the enemy sends at us only become the same weapons we use back. Does that make sense? They are the same arsenal that we use to advance the Kingdom of God. Do not be afraid of those arrows for right now. The Lord is plucking them out of your back, and He's placing them in your quiver for war. He's removing the trauma—the wounds that have been sustained by you—healing you, and putting those arrows in your hands (the same ones that wounded you) as arrows sent to be placed in your bow to hit the mark.
So, pioneers, don't count yourself out just because you are battered and weary from your pioneering journey. Don't think that this is the end. You just haven't seen that hammer yet. You just haven't seen that weapon that God's forged for you yet, but He's picking it up and He's wielding it, and He's ready to take out your enemies before you.
Promotion Looks Like This
Over the years, I've noticed a trend. When I'm getting close to a breakthrough and about to step into a new level of authority, anointing, and favor, the enemy sends people in droves to slander me, curse me, troll me, and bombard me on all sides with lies from the pit of Hell. It used to shake me, but now it just gets me excited, 'cause I've been here before, and this is what PROMOTION looks like!
Yes, over the years I've been at this place, many, many times before, and I've seen the same patterns emerging in the spirit realm. I've seen the same chaos trying to ensue in my family. I've seen sickness trying to rear its head, financial decay, discouragement, defeat, weariness, and then a sudden onslaught of slander and character assassination. It's when you are already down, but the boot gets kicked in even deeper. Ouch.
I know this pattern. I know what it's about. It's when the enemy is screaming over and over, "Demotion, demotion, demotion! You have failed!" But I want to tell you today what it really means: It's the Lord saying over you, "Promotion, promotion, promotion!" This is the sign that you are entering into a promotion season, not a demotion season. (Photo via Pix4free)
Let me share one last story with you. In 2022, when we were stuck back in Australia, everything felt like it was falling apart. I remember being in my car one day, and I remember yelling out to the Lord, "What am I doing here in Australia? My assignment isn't here! God, I feel like I'm floundering!"
Only two days later, I received an email to my inbox spouting the same words that I'd said to the Lord and using them as a demonic confirmation that I was "right"... At first, my heart felt crushed, realizing maybe I had failed. Maybe this person was right. Had I disobeyed God? What was going on? And the Lord began to speak to my spirit and said, "No, son, that is not from Me. Stand firm and watch what I'm about to do!" Only three months later, our visas were approved, and we started to plan to come back to America. And here we are.
Yes, I've seen this pattern time and time again. I've seen the word wars. I've seen the enemy's games. I've seen the rising up of witches in my inbox, cursing us, judging us, trying to limit us, hex us, but all of it always falls to the ground. I've been through the seasons of deep betrayal and the heartbreak... But when you stay at the feet of Jesus, He turns it around, and He turns it all into your blessing. Let me say that again: When you stay at the feet of Jesus, all of it is disarmed, and He uses it to increase you. In fact, all of those words fall to the ground like dust, and then God uses them as mortar in between the bricks of the thing that you are building for Him.
Is that not an amazing revelation—that He uses those arrows and turns them into your weaponry, or into dust that you use as mortar for what you are building for Him? Be encouraged, pioneers. This may be a place you have to pass through, but it's not a place that you stay in.
"Every warrior's boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire." (Isaiah 9:5)
A Table Prepared Before You
Yes, pioneers, don't be moved or intimidated. This is where the Father anoints you in front of those who can't stand the glory on your life. This is where He honors you amidst the trials of dishonor, and He exonerates you in front of the Pharisees. You are His prize and possession, the apple of His eye. What He blesses can't be cursed. What God sets apart can't be broken apart.
"You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows." (Psalm 23:5)
Prophesying Increase and Promotion Over You!
Now I hear the Lord speaking this over you: "Don't be dismayed or discouraged, people of God, for I am not going to let you decrease or fall into the pit. For the enemy is like a lion pacing around you right now and speaking his lies over you, but his words are false! I am not decreasing you but leading you into a season of increase and promotion! I am leading you out of robbery and into a RECOVER ALL season!" says the Lord.
(Excerpt taken from chapter 12 of Nate's book "Letter to the Pioneers.")
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Nate Johnston is a prophetic voice and worshiper who has a heart to see sons and daughters unleashed into passionate friendship with God and an effective supernatural lifestyle. Through his ministry school "Everyday Revivalists," he leads people from the basics of the Gospel through to being sent and released into their mission field, as well as championing and raising up emerging prophetic voices around the world. His burning cry and desire is to see the Body of Christ become a beacon for the lost by raising up a generation that walks in the love and power of God, representing Him well. Nate and his wife Christy have three daughters, Charlotte, Sophie, and Ava and live in Dallas, Texas.
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