Recently, I was in my study in worship when the Lord asked me a simple question: "Will you give Me that dream?" I had been dreading this question for months, knowing it was coming.
Since September of last year, I've felt like I've been in a season of surrendering everything again and watching as unexpected doors closed and the plan changed dramatically. This dream God was referring to was the last seed I had left, yet here I was holding onto it for dear life when the question came: "Will you give it to Me?"
I didn't want to, if I'm being honest, but I wouldn't withhold anything from the Lord. So I said, "Yes." As I gave it to Him wholeheartedly, a massive grief welled up and out of me – like I was mourning a death. It was deep and gut-wrenchingly painful, but I placed it on the altar – the last seed I had left. I spent the next hour on my face as I allowed God to minister to my heart and sever the tie and expectations I had with that dream.
It's never easy letting go of everything you have been contending over and building for years. I believe this is where many of us have been – a season of being emptied and giving God everything we have been carrying and building. But why?
The Ledger of the Seeds
As I was on my face that night, I went into a vision where I was holding a ledger, and inside was written John 12:24: "Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds."
In my vision, I started flicking through the pages to see the different kinds of seeds that had fallen to the ground in the last few years, but especially the last eight months. This is what I read and what I discerned they represented:
• The seeds of planting, establishing, and family – the seeds and dreams of being settled and established after a long season of transition. Surrendering these to the Lord has meant having to surrender to an unknown period of time of being in a holding pattern.
• The seeds of purpose, movements, and ministries – our ministries and movements that we have been building for a long time. God has been asking us to hand them over to Him in this season.
• The seeds of promises unfulfilled – the seeds that haven't come to fruition that we thought would have happened by now. God has asked us to place them, and all our questions, in His hands. (Photo via Unsplash)
When I saw these first few headings, I knew right away that these were the seeds that were painful to let go of or hand over to the Lord, yet were crucial to hand over because of what was going to take place next: the resurrection, multiplication, and increase God was bringing to every single seed we handed Him.
Multiplication and increase aren't the only reasons why God leads us into these seasons; it's a more strategic chess move than you know. It's to cut cords from areas that we have been in bondage to or will be in bondage to down the track that would debilitate us.
Cleaning House and Closure
Then I saw more headings written. I knew, right away, that these were the categories of seeds that God was sending to the ground, never to come up again.
• The seeds of man – the seeds of our own ambition, desires, and will; the things we were trying to build and plant in our own strength, and the empires that have been built without Him, or have strayed from His design.
• The seeds of the enemy's plans. These are the seeds the enemy subtly plants in our lives that grow and strangle God's plans and purposes. These are the seeds of diversion and distraction that are planted to attack us, like an inside job, when God is wanting to promote us.
• The seeds of wrong relationships and alignments – the ties we have to people, networks, and movements that are wrong for us; the ties we have to people who are secretly pitted against us that we can't see.
• The seeds of false identity. These are the seeds of building your life around a religious system or infrastructure of something that is not Spirit-led and keeping you in bondage. It's a persona that requires lots of work and upkeep, and God is confronting that to draw you out and free you!
• Seeds of generational cycles and dysfunctions – the connection points that keep you tethered to dysfunctional cycles, habits, mindsets, and addictions. God doesn't want you going around that mountain again.
• Seeds of hurt and trauma. These are the seeds that keep coming back, like a dog for a stick. Seasons of pain and abuse have caused you to feel like a victim and God is burying those lies once and for all.
• Seeds of demonic torment – the seeds sown that have created entry points for the demonic to come and bully you daily. These seeds are falling to the ground in this season.
• Seeds of control and manipulation. This narcissistic tie has robbed you long enough by silencing you and keeping you bound like a puppet on a string.
• Seeds of complacency and lukewarm Christianity – the seeds of apathy that have taken the fire away from the Church and turned your passion into a religious task.
That's right, God is delivering us right now for our own benefit, even if we don't see it. We only see what's been lost, but many of us have been straddling the fence for far too long and it's been wearing us out. This is God's way of rescuing you, even if it doesn't look like it right now. (Photo via Unsplash)
Let Them Stay in the Ground and Avoid These Traps
You'll notice that everything that was man-made will stay in the ground; every bit of striving, fighting for scraps, lofty ambitions, and ideas not co-birthed with the Holy Spirit. You'll also notice that the relational attacks, slander, and constant barrage of chatter against you will stay in the dust as God has used this season of deep surrender to clean house, and sever ties to the wrong people – people who are assassins, fake confidants, and secretly opposing your mission.
Traps to avoid in a closure season:
• The temptation to run backwards to avoid the discomfort of the new.
• Trying to hold on to seeds that need to be given to the Lord.
• Taking this process on as judgment or failure.
• People from old seasons trying to reconnect or attach themselves to you.
• Old sources of control and manipulation trying to put their claws in you again.
• Opportunities to rehearse and revive the pain and rejection from a buried situation.
• Taking on the opinions and judgments of critics who are influenced by the accuser.
• Wallowing in hopelessness and defeat.
• Believing the enemy's lies that it's over for you and your best days are done.
It's Not Over – It's a New Beginning
You won't believe the things God is going to resurrect in the days to come. Ministries, movements, plans, marriages, families, and legacies will all be resurrected. I know it has felt like a season of handing over the broken pieces of dreams, desires, promises, and the destiny you have built your life around, but watch as God breathes new life into what you thought was dead and impossible to raise.
Soon you'll see that, while painful, this season was the reset you needed to be able to step into the new day God is opening for you. It's going to be unexpected for those of you who are still living in the grief of letting go of what you've built, and what you've felt has failed, but it's going to feel like you are being given a new map, compass, and directions as God revives the shipwrecks from the past season and blows fresh wind into your sails.
Your heart may still be numb and feeling like hope has been deferred, but soon you'll start to feel God reviving the deep places of your soul, and fresh rivers of living water will flow out of you again.
Have you felt like you've gone into the grave? Have you felt like it is over, and the enemy thinks he has you beat? Think again.
"Therefore prophesy and say to them: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel.'" (Ezekiel 37:12)
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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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