("God's Mission Protocol" Series 2, Post 13)
This high today where I live is 101 degrees, very unseasonably warm. Although I have had a good, blessed summer, I am ready for change. I am ready for fall. This deep desire for change has also caused me to be a little downcast lately, and of course restless. To this, God spoke. In church, He said:
My love, write these words down: I have a lot to say to you today. Worry. Strife. TIMING. Attacks. Attacks. Don’t give into them Susan. Instead fall into Me. FALL into Me. This fall, fall into Me. I will carry you. I can be trusted. I will see you through and I WILL NOT DISAPPOINT. What do you have to be disappointed in? Only timing. But how can the pot say to the Potter that He is done, that the desired design is complete? It can’t. Only the Potter knows the final plan, the final design and for what true purpose He made the pot. So again, I say relax. Fall into Me your Creator, your Master design weaver, and in doing so, enjoy the process, the forming. I am the God of both design AND function. Susan, I have told you the end from the beginning. I have given you your amen, THEREFORE all that remains is for you to believe, to remain faithful to the forming process, especially knowing you have a great function before you. . . you must be perfected and designed in such a way that allows for this. Change is upon you My love, truly great change and therefore finishing touches are required. I am putting the finishing touches on you Susan. I am in the details. Though you see many, there are many you don’t see. No one can truly fathom the Master’s plan. My ways are higher than your ways. My thoughts higher than your thoughts. From one generation to the next I am faithful. With each, I accomplish My perfect plan. No one’s life is in vain for all were created for great purpose.
Fall into Me. FALL into Me. With the season’s change, fall into Me. Seasons come and seasons go therefore fall into Me, the Giver of life, even in death, even in sorrow, especially through change. Some change isn’t pleasant, but ALL change brings fulfillment and life for those who are in Me. Fall into Me My people. Fall into Me, the Giver of hope, life, strength, provision, and purpose. All these things I promise you therefore fall into Me. FALL into Me. I am good. I am faithful. I am life. I am direction. I am favor. Life. Change. Breath. Breathe Me in. I long for you to experience Me anew. A revival is at hand My people and with it the change that so many desire but until then fall into Me. Rest in Me. Though you desire change, don’t force it, don’t strive towards it, for I promise to move and act by My Spirit in the appropriate time. I am the Potter and you only the clay. Fall into Me. Fall into My hands and let Me faithfully form you into My perfect plan. My people, YOU are My plan. My people, you are My victory plan. I plan to use you, whom I formed and created, for a time such as this. You may see what looks like scary times, but I tell you that it is a world ripened, prepared, and ready for a mighty move of My Spirit. So, fall into Me that I may fill you with renewed truth, purpose, function, and power, for I use what I create for My purposes, for My victory, and this next season belongs to you My mighty warriors. Arise. Arise. Arise. Arise and shine. You WERE created for a time such as this. Don’t look at the darkness as fear and defeat but as a threshold towards victory and a new day for I make all things new. I have already given all of you your amen, the end of the story, therefore believe and be empowered. Fall into change. You do this by falling into Me. Fall into Me. Let Me hold you, revive you, and breathe new life into you, even in death. Fall brings death. It is a time when nature dies around you but I ALWAYS bring life out of death therefore know that with this season change that I will be bringing great change and revival upon you, My people. If you choose to fall into Me and submit your ways to Me, expect a move of My Spirit. Expect new life, a new breath. The winds of change will be My Spirit’s breath upon you. Though it seems I terry and delay this change, I will be faithful. I can be trusted and I will NOT disappoint. I will NOT disappoint. Timing. Timing. Timing. Is there anything that disappoints more than timing? Give Me your timing. Cast it onto Me and as you then fall into Me, I will renew your mind and realign you with My perfection, My plan, and My timing.
My pastor’s sermon was entitled “Victor or Victim?” and he talked about marks of a victor based on Acts 7:54-8:2. Within this passage we read about the church’s first martyr, Stephen. In grace and love, Stephen had testified to Jesus. He finished doing what we are all called to do. Then Acts 7:54-56 says, “When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. ‘Look,’ he said, ‘I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.’”
As this passage was being read what stuck out to me is that Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, saw God’s glory. Oh, what wonders befall us when we are filled with the Holy Spirit. Filled with the Holy Spirit we see the very glory of God. No wonder God wants to pour out His Spirit upon us. But there’s also something else Stephen saw, something my pastor pointed out that I had never noticed before. After asking us if Stephen was a victor or a victim, my pastor pointed out that along with seeing God’s glory that Stephen saw Jesus standing. In Luke 22:69, Jesus Himself says “But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.” There are also other verses that mention Jesus sitting next to God, yet here we see that Stephen saw Jesus standing. The point that my pastor made was that in this moment, a moment when it looks like evil is winning and that Stephen is a victim because he ends up dying, that he is instead truly a victor. He is a victor because the very Son of God stands in honor of him in this moment. Within what looks like a dark, chaotic, and scary moment, Stephen is victorious.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 says, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” As my pastor pointed out, one of the things that made Stephen a victor is that he kept an eternal perspective. As my pastor said, we “tend to focus more on what is passing away than the eternal.” For Stephen however, the veil was lifted. Whatever you want to call what stands between us and Heaven or the eternal, it was lifted for Stephen in that moment. In that moment he was seeing reality in real-time. He was seeing God’s glory and Jesus standing right as he was enduring worldly hardship, the worst kind in fact.
Another thing that made Stephen a victor is that because of his eternal perspective, he had no fear of death, or this worst kind of hardship. Hebrews 2:14-15 says, “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” My pastor then talked about how this fear of dying truly drives everything. Who can argue that it isn’t the number one fear people hold? God has already addressed this fear many times within previous prophet words through me, especially through "Fear = Fantasy Eating At Reality."
Philippians 1:21 says, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” And who wrote those words? Who not only wrote those words but a huge chunk of the New Testament? The Apostle Paul, who at the time of Stephen’s death stood there encouraging his stoning as Saul. Yet, he is proof that God uses death. That God uses death to bring about great change, change that furthers His Kingdom. Stephen’s death was not in vain. It glorified God because it became a seed planted that brought about a new season for the church, for the building of the Kingdom of God. And even though it may have seemed scary and chaotic at the time, this event ended up not only setting the stage for the transformation of Saul into Paul, but scattering the early church, something that God intended. Before Jesus ascended to sit at the right hand of God, He had told the disciples to go into all the earth, to start in Jerusalem and Judah, but then to move further and further out. God used this moment in time to further this mission, this Great Commission. God uses everything. We may not understand it at the time, the value of death, darkness, hard times, and chaos, but God uses it all for His glory and for His end, for truly furthering and growing His Kingdom.
As my pastor pointed out at the end of the sermon, “victors still grieve.” After Stephen’s death “Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him” (Acts 8:2). As God said, “Seasons come and seasons go therefore fall into Me, the Giver of life, even in death, even in sorrow, especially through change.” I am currently grieving a friend that just passed away. In fact, my husband and I have a set time later this week to go and console her husband and family. Grief is a part of life. Jesus also felt grief on earth. He wept at Lazarus’ death. But, even still, Jesus, as my pastor pointed out, delayed in coming. He delayed in coming to Lazarus until he died so that God could reveal truth, the reality of death. In John 11:25 Jesus says, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” This is reality. This is truth. This is what happens in real-time even when a warrior of God is in the midst of dying. We were made for what is behind the veil, where my friend now exists. We were made for the Kingdom of God. This is the true eternal perspective.
Revelation 6:9-11 says, “When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, ‘How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?’ Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been.” These are the ones “that triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony” and “did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death (Revelation 12:11). And as my pastor pointed out, Stephen was the first martyr this side of the cross. There then came more, but when will this end? Since we are still between Jude and Revelation, there will be more. There is, as we read, a special place for martyrs in the Kingdom of God, but they are told to wait. They wait because their number will be added too, by maybe me, by maybe you. It is, I admit, a scary thought. It is hard, no matter how many Bible verses we read about victory in death, to not be afraid. Which is why after the sermon was over, I myself said to God, “You have been speaking a lot about death lately Lord. It scares me.” He replied:
I am the God of life Susan. I bring life out of death, true life. This is truth. This is reality. This is a truth My people need more than ever for the spirit of fear has greatly come upon My people. It has stunted their growth and their purpose, but a new, renewed, day is coming when My people will experience victory because I need them, I need you, for a time such as this. Fear, My people. Fear is fantasy eating at reality. But true reality is found in Christ. True reality is Me. True reality is what exists behind the veil of this world. True reality is the Kingdom of God where My people truly belong. While you live My people, as victors, know that your only true purpose is to grow this number. It is to build this Kingdom. It is to fill those coffers. Grow My Kingdom My people. Know Me. Fall into Me. Then go and testify. Go and make Me known. Shine. Shine. Shine. Shine the light of Jesus Christ for the world to see. Believe. Believe and get to work My Bride.
God needs us. He needs us for a time such as this. He needs us to be mighty warriors who like Stephen, are filled with the Holy Spirit, who see God’s glory and our Bridegroom and choose to be Revelation 12:11. He needs us to look past that veil towards the Kingdom of God so as not to love our lives so much as to shrink from death. He needs us to keep this eternal perspective and to live as victors, not as victims. God wants to use us to fill those coffers, to as co-laborers with Christ, finish building the Kingdom of God. We were made for great function and purpose. Therefore, join me in surrendering, in falling into the Master Potter’s hands. Only He can make us new. Only He can transform us into the vessels that truly testify, that shine the light of Jesus Christ for the world to see. We, Bride of Christ, are God’s victory plan. Amen and amen.