Living in a Place of Supernatural Transformation
Recently I preached from 1 Samuel 5-7:14. The challenge for us to turn whole heartedly to the Lord has continued to resonate within me. I must decide as an individual whether or not I will allow the Lord to have His way in me. I must decide if obedience to the Lord will be the unquestioned posture of my heart. Only when we as individuals choose to pursue God in a manner He is worthy of, manner that some might even call radical, a manner that is all about ministering to Jesus will we begin to see corporate breakthrough. Why? Because we will already be carrying the faith that comes from personal victories into our corporate gatherings. But breakthrough comes at price that requires some honest personal assessment. I believe there is a pattern to breakthrough that most believers never see through. The enemy tends to move against the Kingdom with a predictable multi-wave pattern and the Kingdom sets us on a trajectory of the breakthrough process. There is the phase of breakthrough where we learn about who God is and then there is the part of breakthrough that is about us learning who we are in Christ. Together each phase of breakthrough requires a learning curve for sustainability. The learning curve is about learning to live with wholehearted repentance, a posture of continuous turning towards Jesus.
But the call to choose, to decide is still ours. He has given us the grace to choose His ways, but will we? Only we can decide how long it will be until we really sell-out to Jesus... because God is looking for a Church that will burn before Him and keep on burning.
Hear me on this, I used to think that selling out was a frame of mind that had to be stirred up. Stirring up is good because it gives us a spiritual body adjustment. The problem with stirring up is that our arms get tired. It can last for a while, but then our human-ness kicks in and we get tired, complacent, distracted, or just plain lazy. What I am talking about is resting in God. A resting in the place of trust and total dependency that alters our posture from one of having to be convinced that God is worth obeying to one that chooses to operate in obedience to God before circumstances ask us to turn to a counterfeit. The Bible calls it, “setting our mind and keeping it set” (Daniel 10:12, Philippians 3:15-21, Psalm 41:12, Isaiah 26:3; 50:7). This is why daily repentance and corporate repentance should be the common daily practice of every believer and a regular practice in our corporate gatherings.
As priests and kings of the Lord, as Christ’s ambassadors, it is the Church that must make supplication and intercession on behalf of the people, righteous and unrighteous alike. We are called to stand in the gap for all. We are called to stand along the way and call out what is the way that we should be walking in. It is the Church that must repent on behalf of the nation... by repenting itself. God is searching for a Church that will discover the wonderful Savior through repentance and keep the fire of encounter burning by continuously allowing the refining fire of the Spirit to take us deeper.
1 Samuel 5:1-5
1 Then the Philistines took the ark of God and brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. 2 When the Philistines took the ark of God, they brought it into the temple of Dagon and set it by Dagon. 3 And when the people of Ashdod arose early in the morning, there was Dagon, fallen on its face to the earth before the ark of the Lord. So they took Dagon and set it in its place again. 4 And when they arose early the next morning, there was Dagon, fallen on its face to the ground before the ark of the Lord. The head of Dagon and both the palms of its hands were broken off on the threshold; only Dagon's torso was left of it. 5 Therefore neither the priests of Dagon nor any who come into Dagon's house tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod to this day.
Dagon fell before the ark of the covenant, but they put him back up. This is much like the world we presently live in that finds lessons of obedience to God hard to learn. The Church makes an attempt to reach the place of total surrender and total pursuit, but we get burned out too quickly. Our posture only lasts as long as our endurance because we are chasing after momentary experiences, not a lifestyle of encounter. We are not running the race to get tougher, to add to our endurance, to add to a sustainable lifestyle in the Spirit. Instead when we show up to run we tend to do so because we hope we’ll see Jesus do something that requires nothing from us but our presence.
But what happens when the devil you faced yesterday is back in your face tomorrow? Will you flame out? Flash in the pan? Brave enough to shout Hallelujah in the altar but not at your desk, not when you are alone, not when your posture of repentance is put to test? But this is a common pattern. We experience what we think is breakthrough and like a victim of an ice break, we surge forward to take a breath... a taste of life that we had been deprived of...only to drop beneath the surface again. But the opening is still there! Will you press in again? Pressing in, and deciding to keep on pressing. Set our mind, and deciding that every morning we will purpose to set our minds and keep them set on Jesus.
It is as if the first taste of breakthrough is about us learning a little bit about the character of our God. After the emotion of tasting breakthrough wanes do we press forward or do we become introverted, inwardly focused on past patterns? They sat Dagon back up only to see God did not just desire for them to see Dagon bowing before His majesty as “enough.” No! So often, God brings a breakthrough by breaking up what was in order to make room for what shall be. Dagons’s severed head symbolizes breaking old thought patterns that we set before the Lord but that we continue to hold on to. Dagon’s broken hands represent old actions that do not reflect the transformation of Jesus reigning as Lord in our lives. Friends, if we can just stay in that resting place of obedience to the Lord, we will attract the tangible demonstration of His presence in our lives. If we will press in and keep on pressing...set our minds and keep on setting...before the presence of the Lord we can learn to live on the top side of breakthrough where our thinking and doing changes. SUPERNATURAL TRANSFORMATION! When we stay, remain, and abide before the presence of the Lord the world can no longer deny the demonstration of God’s presence at work in us because the habits, the thinking, and doing that was governed by our flesh, by our sin nature, are broken before the Lord!
Spoiled for the Ordinary,