One morning the other week the Lord brought me back to a word I'd already shared around here. But He was highlighting it again, then confirmed it through speaking the word via other prophets just following, to emphasise the need for some to address this still. There is also a correlating relational shift some may be needing to make as well right now.
The returning word is that of remaining out of loyalty to where or whom you are when the Lord is calling you on and out. This is particularly hard for those of us who know what it is to value longevity and loyalty. But if the very virtue of loyalty is elevating itself above the leading of the Lord, it's no longer the Lord leading you. Instead it's become fear, or false responsibility, or comfort of the familiar, or control. Where might this apply? In employment, in family responsibilities, in ministry, in friendship obligations, in commitments you have made in service, time, or finances that have run their course. Maybe even in regards to the home or area in which you live. Or maybe even as simply as cancelling the gym membership you barely use but hope you might, though know you won't.
I am reminded of Elijah at the brook of Cherith (1 Kings 17). The word of the Lord sent him there and he was provided for, but eventually the brook dried up. Elijah needed to hear the new word of the Lord, otherwise he would have stayed at the brook beyond what he was faithful to do so and dried up with it. Outstaying the word of the Lord will cause spiritual dehydration. Ask the Lord, what areas of my life have fulfilled their portion that I now need to move forwards in faith from?
The second relational shift connected to this I saw, was needing to reevaluate investment of relationships for some. Some have in this past season given high levels of focused relational investment into particular relationships. Something to be admired. Yet the Lord has seen where these relationships have become unevenly yoked creating an unhealthiness of relationship. The Lord specifically said that you have put too many eggs in one basket, and now it is time to adjust the balance. (Ha! I only just realised the puns in all the egg terminology). This wasn't about ending relationships, but it was about pulling back from high levels of investment in one particular dynamic of relationship and actually spreading some of that into other quality ones. The high investment relationship dynamics required of you much more than you were able to receive, and the Lord sees where you are left wanting. But to shift that, you will need to shift the ways in which you sow and connect. Redistribute some eggs across other baskets so to speak. This will likely require establishing new relational boundaries, gates rather than walls.
Shifting Gears and Holding Patterns.
For a few weeks I had felt a bit stalled out. I could feel movement in the spirit, but in the natural nothing much seemed to be moving anywhere and even my physical body suddenly couldn't seem to breakthrough a deep tiredness as much as I wanted it to. Knowing myself, my body can be a sign of what is going on in the spirit. I soon realised (amongst some others) that I was in the equivalent of learning how to drive a manual, which in the natural I cannot. The learning to shift between gears correctly and with ease without stalling out and bunny hopping takes some practice. Now while I know very little about car mechanics, I understand some small basics. A manual car has a clutch that manages the linkage between the engine and the transmission. It's the use of the clutch that enables the effective changing of the gears and not stalling out the vehicle. In a manual you also have greater specificity of power output in the changing of gears than an automatic, which enables more efficient acceleration. The changing of gears determines the amount of power available from the engine. You move up and down the gears depending on the speed or power required. Higher gear faster speed, lower gear more power from the engine to say get up a hill. To drive a manual smoothly, you need co-ordinated timing and relevant application of the clutch, accelerator, and gearshift due to the conditions in which you are driving.
In all this I see the Lord revealing that we cannot mobilise ourselves or our primary vehicles of movement, whether they be ministry or even just how we have functioned as the body, in the basic automatic ways we have learnt to do in the past. We have automations that require our interaction, but we have a limited understanding and responsibility for how and why things move. The Lord is wanting us to move from the automatic to a more considered movement. To understand the higher coordination awareness of moving parts we need to engage with and within, that there are multiple gear changes for acceleration, deceleration and power required and not just cruise control or speeding ahead. That it will take a bit of time and practice to learn how to makes these changes smoothly and discerning when they are needed. We need to use all our discernment faculties daily.
I was also reminded recently by the Lord that this is a short holding pattern time. I wrote a chapter by the same name so I won't go into all the details as you can read the free ebook copy via the download on the website. But reminded that when we don't feel like we are making much ground in the natural, often God is causing us to arise. Like the eagle as it finds a thermal spot that lifts it higher on each rotation until it reaches such a height that it simply soars to it's next destination with ease. No flapping about wearing itself out. It may have been circling the same small spot over and over, but the height it gained enabled it to go further. We may feel like we are circling our little patch over and over, but we are arising within. We will be able to see where we are headed from a greater height eventually, and soar there with ease not striving. We will be able to go further than if we went under our own steam. Hold 'til you arise fully. Hold 'til you can see further.
I love this passage of scripture. And in consideration to the days and times in which we are living, so fitting to be reminded of our shared condition. Not haphazard, but sovereign birthing.
ROMANS 8:22-28 The Message
All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.
Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.