I have driven on many third world countries in my time. South Africa is one of these which I happen to often visit. Without fault every time I have been in a car at some stage of my visit, I have had to experience the impact that the regular power cuts have on the traffic signals in this nation. I remember last time I was there when once again while having to endure along with everyone else another blackout, I noticed something that I had never seen before when I came to a non-working traffic light. There is never an accident when the lights are not working whereas when they are working correctly there are plenty. How can this be? Well here is what my heart showed me.
We need God's wisdom more than anything else right now. This ability to perceive things spiritually through the Holy Spirit is called the gift of discernment. The gift of discernment, words of knowledge, discerning of spirits and the gift of wisdom are some of the most underestimated gifts from God. These incredible gifts utilize the senses, power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit and go way beyond our natural abilities. Back when I was seeking God's wisdom for something specific in my life, I went to Proverbs 1 and saw the word "Proverbs" turn into the word "Pro-verbs." I heard the Lord say, "I want you to look at the verbs in Proverbs 1 because I'm going to do something." I found some hidden gems about God's wisdom in the Book of Proverbs that are important in this season.
Maximus the Confessor (A.D. 580-662) was a Christian theologian, a monk, and an adviser to Constantinople. He taught about "interior freedom," which could only be experienced by those "who can close their eyes to the fault of a friend" (George Berhold, Maximus the Confessor: Selected Writings, 86). Nothing hurts quite like the betrayal of a friend. We assume someone has our back and then find out they've been talking about us behind our backs. Or we assume our friendship is strong, and suddenly things change and we receive a cold shoulder. Some offenses are big and others small, but when we take offense, they hurt just the same. We walk away feeling wounded.
As we cope with all of the issues of today's pandemic, racial tension and responsive protests, we find our emotions raging and all over the place as to how we should feel and think. In particular, children are struggling to understand and grasp what is happening to their world. Parents are searching for answers, worried about loss of income and stability for sustaining some type normalcy for themselves and families, and business owners are crying out for help to survive the economic crisis beyond their control. Suffering loss of business income, loss of employment, loss of housing and potentially emotional instability is not confined to race, color creed or religion.
Relationships have always been vital in the Kingdom of God, and they will always remain vital in the Kingdom of God. Yet, relationships are being perverted and ignored in the church body today. The spirit of God is moving upon the hearts of those who are willing to hear and to those who are willing to lay down their own desires of the flesh.
Do you know what it is like to be unvindicated? This means that your reputation is under a cloud. You would love to have your name cleared, to have both your friends and your enemies see you as having been falsely accused or misunderstood. This was the position in which the Israelites found themselves after they crossed the Jordan on dry land. So God ordered Joshua to circumcise all the men who had been born since they left Egypt 40 years before (Josh. 5:5). It was a sign of the covenant, going back to Abraham (Gen. 17:9-11). Circumcision showed that they were unashamedly the people of God. When the circumcising was finished, the Lord told Joshua, "Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you" (Josh. 5:9b, ESV). The word "reproach" means "shame." It means to bear a stigma; to be discredited, dishonored or disgraced. It refers to the way you are perceived or how you think you are perceived. It is embarrassing because it punctures your pride.
There seems to be a recurring topic that continues to come up in my life—the balance between contentment and goals. Do I appreciate what I have, and am I working towards something meaningful that forces me to grow? An either/or approach never works. On one hand, you lend yourself to apathy and stagnation. On the other, you live under the tyranny of nothing ever being enough, endless striving that costs you something you never intended. I don't pretend to have this figured out. Every once in a while, I sense the alignment between the two within myself, but it's normally a fleeting moment followed by the pendulum tipping back towards one side.
There is a specific assignment of the enemy targeting many right now who are on assignment from the Lord, pioneering with Him the new thing that He is doing, and the enemy has come hard against them. I saw such intimidation coming against these ones and it is to cause you to 'come off the wall' and to withdraw. The push against you is to cause you not to PUSH THROUGH with the assignment the Lord has given you.
I was recently walking up to the doors of our ministry center and had a prophetic vision. In the vision, I could see a company of angels standing over our building. Each of the angels was holding a large jar of beautiful oil, and it seemed as if they were about to pour them out. This vision confirmed many prophecies about our personal ministry and what God has promised to do in our region. However, I believe this is also a prophetic sign for the entire remnant.
Throughout the years, I have discovered that the average Christian, along with many ministers, lack a biblical worldview. When I use the term "biblical worldview," I'm referring to the practice of interpreting life through the lens of Scripture. That is to say, your view of such issues as politics, the sanctity of life, marriage, economics, education, science, the law and so on, should derive from biblical principles. The average believer usually has only a piecemeal understanding of Scripture, instead of a comprehensive world and life view. As a result, we have seen the church become irrelevant in the public square.