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2014 is a year of promise and promotion and opportunity. It can be difficult to believe that our future has this potential, because the recent path has been filled with loss and difficulty and tragedy – all the things associated with death. Here is the axiom of how the Father has been dealing with His children. The way he breaks through ceilings to promote us into new levels in the Kingdom is death and resurrection. Resurrection is not restoration to a prior level. Resurrection is a slingshot that takes us through death, past restoration, through the ceiling… to a higher level. He is not resurrecting us from death just back to life; he’s taking us to a place of dreams coming true – abundant life.
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10 NKJV
Death – Few Christians understand that living the resurrection life of Christ implies death. Spiritual growth is like breathing – it naturally goes through death and resurrection. The problem is that death feels like there is no resurrection. It really feels like the end. It’s a place where we can’t see our future, and feel like we don’t have one.
In 2012, I went through a death… a good friend was killed, we lost over 2 million dollars and had to borrow money to keep from going bankrupt, and put our cars, animals, house and inheritance up for sale to pay taxes and debts. I felt very alone, and I couldn’t understand what I had done wrong to cause God to abandon me into a sense of hopeless poverty. I kept writing newsletters one week at a time, thinking that each one would be the last. My calling and purpose evaporated; I had trouble sleeping, developed some health issues, got depressed and even considered suicide at one point. … that’s what death feels like.
Resurrection – At first, resurrection isn’t very glamorous; it’s more like work. I called all my friends from the past and got a job. It still felt like death. After six months, our inheritance sold and we used the all of the money to pay off loans and taxes. We had resurrected back to zero – it didn’t feel like much of a victory, but it was a relief to be “above water.” A year later, our retirement is still pretty fuzzy, but we are money ahead. That’s the financial / survival side.
In my heart, I’ve realized something very precious was birthed that success couldn’t buy me. Somehow our ministry in Releasing Kings is touching new levels in places like Europe, my own prophetic gift is sharper, and I have a passion for people that wasn’t there before. Death and resurrection bring a brokenness and a depth of character and spirituality that is precious in the sight of the Lord. The fragrance isn’t released until the alabaster box is broken. As believers, our fruitfulness with people and finances and ministry (every area) all starts multiplying after our experience with death. That’s just the way Christianity works. It’s normal – painful – but normal. The well-worn path of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Daniel, Jesus, Paul… everyone.
I tell you the truth, 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. John 12:24 NIV
We’re receiving a Kingdom that cannot be shaken by the enemy. For us to be part of it we get to go through shaking and fire. It’s not our fault! It’s not even about us. It’s the price tag that goes with choosing the Kingdom and allowing the potter to shape us and dig us deeper. The world continues to shake but we, and the Kingdom within us, become “unshakable.”
At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” 27 The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken — that is, created things — so that what cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29 for our “God is a consuming fire.” Heb 12:26-29
Knowing Jesus is inheriting your heart’s desire. It is fun. It is an invitation to a party. It is the privilege of co-laboring with our Father. The price tag of sharing in His suffering is totally worth it. Test and trials are never permanent but they bear a fruit in our lives that doesn’t come any other way.
What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ — the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. 10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. Phil 3:8-11
2014 – Here’s the real point. You may have experienced loss. The enemy may kill, steal and destroy, but we serve a God of resurrection. And the very nature of resurrection is that He is not just restoring us back to our prior level; resurrection is a sling shot to higher levels. That’s the point of 2014: it’s a year where God will give us opportunities to make a quantum jump, to multiply instead of add, to see dreams come true. Our job is to see this truth prophetically and expect it in faith… and then take the steps to make it happen. First we have to see it in the spirit and then we see it in the natural.
Death is all about being reduced to nothing but our trust in God’s intervention. When that trust is mature, it results in initiative on our part and miracles on God’s part. Both are always present in the Kingdom. It is our faith in God that allows us to have big dreams and to put our hand to the plow in practical wisdom and see them move from heaven to earth.
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