Thinking Outside the Box
Have you ever had an experience or discussion about something in the natural, physical realm, and then had it revealed to you that is was also connected to the spiritual? That's what happened to me recently.
In a discussion with my husband, I relayed how I've been "thinking outside of the box" lately and making some changes concerning efficiency. These are not things of super consequence, just adjustments like clearing out items from kitchen cupboards that are no longer in use, or reorganizing to make room for new and more usable items better suited to our lifestyle—like reconfiguring and updating my writing and study workspace to more adequately fit my needs.
I mentioned how I've been sensing the Lord might be asking His Body to do the same concerning our ministries, our churches, and even our places of business or work. For example, with COVID-19, meeting for church in buildings in the traditional fashion has been met with hurdle after hurdle. Between stay-at-home orders, social distancing, crowd size restrictions, and now with many places implementing mask requirements in public spaces, church as we've known it has taken hit upon hit.
"But," I had wondered out loud, "what if the Church were to go to new levels of 'thinking outside the box'?" There has been an explosion of the "e-church" in various capacities online, but that doesn't fulfill the need people have to actually make physical contact and interact. In fact, according to CDC guidelines, you should even stop shaking hands with others—hardly an environment in which you can "Greet one another with a holy kiss" (2 Cor. 13:12, NKJV).
Of course, I am not suggesting throwing caution to the wind or promoting irresponsibility, but, as I said to my husband, What if more and more ministries and churches met outside, in places like public parks, beaches or campgrounds, or even in private homes, outbuildings or barns? We reminisced a bit about the early days of our ministry when at one point we held "church in the park" one whole summer, and otherwise met for church every week in our home. Even now we often hold ministry gatherings outside or in private homes.
Then the other night, the natural realm met with the spiritual realm for me. I awoke to hear a piercing announcement of startling and unusual clarity. I heard the Lord say, "I'm planning to do a NEW thing. The old ways won't work anymore!" (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
As the encounter unfolded, I heard the Lord say that we like to think we're working at absolute efficiency—but ARE we? He impressed on me that it's a good time to ask ourselves, "What's going on out there? What are some creative ways I might be able to physically connect with people?" Regulations might be different for your area, but where we live there are minimal restrictions for gatherings held outside or in privately owned homes and locations.
Throughout this encounter, the Lord impressed upon me that entering into the new levels of harvest He has planned means leaving the old ways behind and pressing forward into new levels, and that it's crucial to be "thinking outside of the box" and making room for the new by strategizing for maximum efficiency.
Friends, in spite of this crazy world, we as a Church must all determine that we will not be driven off by winds of adversity; we're here to stay, and like anything the Spirit of God is saying and doing, we each must also personally determine that whatever is going on, we can't afford to miss it!
Life from the Dead: Pray for Israel!
In another recent encounter, the Lord reminded me that a critical key to unlocking the harvest He plans is to pray for the nation of Israel. Again, I awoke one night to an unusually clear and distinct revelation. I heard the Lord say, "People that pray for Israel receive a special blessing," and then a series of specific Scripture quotations and references were given to me (see Gen. 12:3).
First I was given Romans 11:11, the context for which is a key passage concerning the restoration of Israel. The rest of the Scriptures concerned salvation—Hebrews 9:16-28, Romans 10:9 and Romans 5:8. As I prayed into this, the dots began to connect because praying for Israel's salvation is a vital aspect to releasing the harvest, and actually a message the Lord revealed to me years ago.
The nation of Israel and the Jewish people play a critical role in worldwide revival. Certain important end-time prophecies have already come to pass, like the founding of the state of Israel in May of 1948 and the liberation of the Old City of Jerusalem in June of 1967 (see Isa. 66:8; Lk. 21:24). The increase of the Messianic movement among Jews, both inside and outside of Israel, has followed these events.
"Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness!" (Romans 11:12)
The Scripture above reveals that if the Jews falling away was riches (unto salvation) for the Gentiles and for the world, how much more will their fullness be! Verse 15 says that if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, their acceptance (of the Messiah) will be as life from the dead! The book of Ezekiel declares that after Israel is restored, "...Then the nations will know that I am the Lord..." Ezekiel 36:23 (NKJV).
The increase of world revival, signs and wonders, significant advances in evangelism that have followed the restoration of the land (or nation) of Israel—and the beginnings of their return to the Lord—are well documented. This brings the realization that there are specific things that will trigger the end-time harvest, and I don't know how to tell you any more emphatically that one of them is prayer for the Jews. (Photo via Pexels)
If you carry a burden for Israel, revival or the release of the end-time harvest, I suggest you study the Scripture passages above and pray them over Israel—that deaf ears may hear and blind eyes may see. As they return to their land and to the Lord, we will see the continued escalation toward and ultimate release of total worldwide revival!
A "Mega" Move of God
No matter how much I write it seems like there's this preparation phase, and then the execution stage. I first have to posture myself to hear the Lord, stay prayerful, study the Word, do research, and finally—when the time is right—write. Revival and harvest are like that too. God has a purpose and a plan for harvest, but He has chosen His Body, the Church, to help Him first prepare for it and then execute it.
I recently heard the Lord say, "It's the year of the 'mega.'" Initially, I regarded this as something to be developed in time into a word for the coming year—which will likely still happen—but my sense is a measure of this "mega" year has already been released. Everything feels "supersized" or enhanced right now; whether because of COVID-19 or the latest riots, events seem to have exaggerated scope, substance and significance.
It is my belief that we are about to see the largest move of God's Spirit that's ever been seen—a "mega" move of God. For a mega move of God to happen, it takes mega men and woman of God who will usher in the movement with Him—the "dread champions" (see Jer. 20:11, NASB). There are different gifts, roles and callings, but each one of us can pray, and pray specifically for Israel.
We all have an image to portray. This is true physically (you should see me without the makeup and the hair!) as well as spiritually. Though the chaos in the world is trying to steal your joy, don't let it. Wouldn't you like to be known by God as a "friend of Israel," a person who refuses to relinquish their joy, and who helped unlock this next "mega" move of God?
Yes, Lord, let that be my image before You!
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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.
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