Amber is one of those rare Believers who is not looking to make a name for herself but is truly interested in advancing the Kingdom while helping others and exalting Christ.
The words she has given to me and others are filled with encouragement. They will encourage you, too, while inspiring you to reach higher and deeper to align yourself more fully with Jesus. She also ministers the life of God to her patients who desperately need healing in a way that brings hope with kindness extended. (To Subscribe to the Elijah List subscribe here.)
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I had two prophetic dreams recently in which I had left an old place of cleansing and was stepping into a new place of cleansing that was unlike anything I had ever seen. In the old place, people were sick and broken and dying, but in the new place, people were equipped with precious resources and being sent out to fulfill their call.
As I reflected with Holy Spirit on these dreams, I understood that these two places represented the old Church model and the new, end-time harvest Church model which God is bringing into being.
Grace Is Stronger
In the old model, much of what we permitted to be called "church" left many jaded, broken, and spiritually dead. But in the new Church model that is coming, the saints will be equipped, battle-ready, and fully alive. Religion failed us, but that is no surprise to God.
The first time grace, through Jesus, crashed onto the religious scene, the power of grace over religion was demonstrated in a dramatic fashion. Jesus came to breathe life into the death we called religion and give us a righteousness that far exceeded the best that human effort could bring (see Matthew 5:20). Grace will always be stronger. Grace has power to redeem and restore. Grace has power even over death. (Photo via Pixabay)
"For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 15:56-57, NLT)
The New Wineskin
Jesus burst onto the scene declaring that religion had failed and it was time for the new; time for the era of grace to manifest; time for the Church to be born.
In the wake of the death of religion and the birth of grace, the first century Church was established in power, and a small remnant quickly expanded into a force that turned the world upside down. Somewhere along the line, we let religion creep back in. We forgot Who the source of our power is. We started believing we were doing this.
Religion breeds pride and hinders the move of God. Somewhere along the way, we lost our power. We maintained a form of godliness, but we forsook our power (see 2 Timothy 3:5).
God said to Zerubbabel, "...Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit..." (Zechariah 4:6, ESV). And His message to us is the same.
Revival begins with repentance, and it begins with us. To repent is to "about face"; to turn the opposite way; to run from the flesh-exalting, death-empowering, grace-hindering pull of religion and step into the power of grace.
God's strength takes residence in our weakness (see 2 Corinthians 12:9-10). We forever have a choice between our independent strength and the strength of God that inhabits human weakness. We cannot have both. The end-time, remnant revival Church that the Lord is making way for is a Church humbled under the mighty hand of God, submitted to His purposes, and fully reliant on His strength alone.
God is raising up something new in our day. As in the days of our first birth in the first century, the stage is set for a new birth in the Church. God has been stripping away the old, religious wineskin, slowly helping us see that the old has failed and that all the while He has been making way for the new. (Photo via Unsplash)
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." (2 Corinthians 5:17, ESV)
We are in a season of transition – a season of in-between. The in-between feels unsettling, but there is a purpose for the in-between: to awaken us to the emptiness of the old and instill in us a longing for the new.
He is building something inside of us, just as much as He is building on the outside. He is building up a Bride who will walk out of this wilderness leaning on her beloved (see Song of Solomon 8:5); a Bride who is wholly surrendered, with God's strength infused into every area of her weakness; a Bride who has forsaken the form of godliness and stepped into true power; a Bride who is ready to do battle for her victorious King; a Bride clothed in purity and captivated by grace; a Bride who has made herself ready.
"...'Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give Him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His Bride has made herself ready.'" (Revelation 19:6-7, ESV)
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Stand Fast in Freedom
Amber N. Johnson, MD is a physician in pulmonary/critical care medicine, as well as a writer, speaker, and the founder of Stand Fast in Freedom, a nonprofit organization aimed at empowering young women who have been impacted by human trafficking. She has a heart for healing and redemption and for the Church to know their identity in Christ. She resides in Omaha, Nebraska.
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