From the Desk of Steve Shultz:
I really enjoyed our time with Ryan Johnson when we interviewed him at our Elijah Streams studio.
He has a pastor's heart and really hears from the Lord in deep ways.
This is an excellent message and teaching for everything we've been going through as Ryan says:
We need the spiritual blacksmiths to rise up and be strengthened because the enemy seeks to remove the weapons of our warfare. The enemy seeks to keep us silent and remove the spiritual blacksmiths of this world, but when there is a fire of Holy Spirit, the blacksmiths will forge the raw material of God's Word into powerful weapons, which shape and mold His people into His image, equipping them for spiritual warfare...
That is such a rich statement by itself.
Let Ryan's word below help anoint and equip you for the very spiritual climate we are in. (To Subscribe to the Elijah List subscribe here.)
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No Blacksmiths Could Be Found
"Now Saul and his son Jonathan and the people who were present with them were staying in Geba of Benjamin while the Philistines camped at Michmash. And the raiders came from the camp of the Philistines in three companies: one company turned toward Ophrah, to the land of Shual, and another company turned toward Beth-horon, and another company turned toward the border which overlooks the valley of Zeboim toward the wilderness.
"Now no blacksmith could be found in all the land of Israel, for the Philistines said, 'Otherwise the Hebrews will make swords or spears.' So all Israel went down to the Philistines, each to sharpen his plowshare, his mattock, his axe, and his hoe. The charge was two-thirds of a shekel for the plowshares, the mattocks, the forks, and the axes, and to fix the hoes. So it came about on the day of battle that neither sword nor spear was found in the hands of any of the people who were with Saul and Jonathan, but they were found with Saul and his son Jonathan. And the garrison of the Philistines went out to the pass of Michmash." (1 Samuel 13:16-23)
Quickly in this passage we find that the enemy (Philistines) had surrounded Israel from the northeast, the west, and the southeast. The purpose of the enemy's presence was to get Saul (the king), Johnathan (Saul's son), and the Israelites (soldiers) out of their position and force them to fight. Once they were out of position, the enemy was going to attack.
In the passage above, there are some interesting insights regarding where Israel had found themselves; we notice that the Israelites had to pay the enemy to sharpen what they had available. By this time, the enemy of Israel had taken away all of their weapons, and their blacksmiths. (Photo via Pixnio)
As strange as it may sound, the Philistine strategy was very effective. Let's think about the fact that they took away the very individuals who created the weapons...THE BLACKSMITHS. Because of this one move, when crops began to mature, the enemy spoilers would raid the nation, stealing their bounty with ease because the Israelites could not defend themselves. No one could keep the tools and/or weapons in proper working order. Due to this one major point, we read that the only weapons to be found in Israel were in the hands of Saul and Johnathan. It was a season in Israel where they had armed leaders and disarmed saints.
A Season of Armed Leaders and Disarmed Saints
Why is this so important? Let's look at one of the verses found right before a very famously quoted verse in the Bible. "'Behold, I Myself have created the smith who blows the fire of coals and brings out a weapon for its work; and I have created the destroyer to ruin. No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; and every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their vindication is from Me,' declares the Lord." (Isaiah 54:16-17)
The blacksmiths worked with raw material and fire on a daily basis. They would take the hot material and begin to form the metal into what they had a vision for. Never knowing what a block of metal may be, the blacksmith would have a vision of what it could become. There was a vision and a process.
The process of the blacksmith is a very specific job, as only the blacksmith knows what he is forming from the raw materials that he has. He has to get the temperature of the fire just right before placing the metal into the tempered heat. Then, the blacksmith has to know the exact time to pull the metal out of the fire to begin the process of formation through the continual pounding of a hammer. He then begins beating on the material and eventually places it back into the fire, until the process is complete. Once that process is repeated over and over, the blacksmith ultimately seals the metal in water and it forms a bond that is purified with water.
Can you now imagine where Israel had found themselves? They needed the blacksmiths for their farming equipment, but more importantly for their weapons when faced with an enemy. And yet, there were no blacksmiths. Israel had become accustomed to paying the enemy for the work that they were once able to produce. How often have we surrendered to our enemy, even before the battle began? We often find ourselves becoming satisfied with paying the enemy to do what we are capable of doing ourselves. Then the very moment when you need that key person, that key weapon, the enemy has complete control.
We are in a very familiar situation today as week by week, we have leaders who use their gifts that have been entrusted to them, but typically, the soldiers are not properly prepared. We have the best of the best in certain areas, but sadly we find ourselves weak in areas where we should not be. We are in a season where we have armed leaders and disarmed saints. However, GOD IS CALLING FOR THE BLACKSMITHS TO RISE UP!
Blacksmiths, Rise Up!
We need the spiritual blacksmiths to rise up and be strengthened because the enemy seeks to remove the weapons of our warfare. The enemy seeks to keep us silent and remove the spiritual blacksmiths of this world, but when there is a fire of Holy Spirit, the blacksmiths will forge the raw material of God's Word into powerful weapons, which shape and mold His people into His image, equipping them for spiritual warfare. Although the enemy is constantly attacking the Word of God, we know that the Word is a double edged sword, and God is going to use that sword to overcome the enemy. (Photo via Flickr)
The Lord is looking for those who will be constantly in the Word of God; those who are willing to get dirty, hot and sweaty from the intensity of The Blacksmith's fire. God's Word has to be put into the hands of those who will take the sword and learn how to wield it with righteousness. Our prayers have to be in agreement with His Word, as our battle plans and our worship must be the strategy to our victory.
I am truly grateful for those who are demonstrating God's power, but we need sons/daughters to be equipped for battle, today! It's one thing to demonstrate God's power...it's another thing altogether to equip the saints to minister in the power of God.
The raw materials are available for forging spiritual weapons, and each Believer has these materials within them. We need to discover the purity of the fire of Holy Spirit. Excitement without purity is not fire. God's fire first makes us pure, then creates within us the passion that is needed to cause us to burn.
So where and how does this all begin? We must discover that God is our Blacksmith. Are you willing to endure the beating-away of what must be hammered out? Are you willing to be placed in the fire, only to be taken out and put back again, over and over, as HE begins the process of making you into the image that HE sees you to be? Are you willing to be sealed with the Holy Spirit? Once you know that your "yes" is YES, the process will begin, and from the process there will be a restoration of blacksmiths in the land again.
Let the blacksmiths arise!
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Ryan Johnson Ministries
Ryan Johnson¬†is dedicated in helping equip the Body of Christ to awaken the nations with a prophetic call of a rising Ekklesia. He is a son of God, husband and father of four. Ryan has devoted his life to the righteousness of Christ, with the demonstration of the Father's heart in regions, individuals and the Church across the world. Ryan has been serving the Lord since November 30, 1997, which has allowed him to serve as a pastor, an associate pastor and a student pastor. Ryan is the author of Illegitimacy and¬†How to Contend for Your Miracle¬†(Destiny Image Publishers). He has had many articles released through Charisma Magazine, Charisma News, The Elijah List and Spirit Fuel, and has appeared as a guest on Sid Roth's It's Supernatural.
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