It was a rousing discussion. I’d presented the following material and out of these simple comparisons conversation after conversation followed. We didn’t have time for all the thoughts and questions and dialogue.
The comparison of women led to talking about equality, men and women in terms of value, women’s roles, Biblical theology regarding women, historical reference to women as created in Genesis, and how a wife shines when she has a good man.
In the face of a few nay-sayers the men stood their ground and declared that without their wives they would be nothing. The women, swarmed around me at the end of that day.
What was so great is that as we walked through the material and thinking in a systematic way, it was clear as day that what I was bringing was truth. And a few commented about how evident it became that, by and large, we are still living and thinking along the lines of the kingdom of Satan, and not God! May God have mercy.
The comparison of tithing led to talking about money, about the perspective of gifts in the church, the injustice of taking advantage of people’s needs, the temptation to sell prayers and healing, various options for tithing practices, the letter of the law and the spirit of the law regarding tithe, that 10% is just baby steps and a way to teach us that God will take care of us, and that our whole lives belong to God, and more.
Here too, as a group they responded in grace and dialogue as we opened up this very touchy subject. It was truly amazing to behold their hearts and willingness to see things from various perspectives.
The comparison of the church led to talking about the subtleties of our intent and manner. Our motives and the belief systems beneath them make a difference. We saw that church is meant to serve a community, not take from it. That as leaders we are to lift others up and not keep them low. That we are to teach the body to do the work of the Kingdom, that we are there for them, not them for us, and more.
Now, I had begun the discussion talking about Roots and Fruit, this simple graphic that reveals that while there are bad fruits that we can always easily see, that we are always working to make right, that there are the thinking, the beliefs, these driving forces beneath the surface that just keep feeding these bad fruits, no matter how much we pick them.
There is much reason to move our awareness beyond what we see on the surface. For it is as we take on deeper conversations and authenticity that we will be empowered to truly change the fruit, the experience of our lives, both personally and corporately.
I moved from this awareness into the teaching about agreements. I gave a brief review about the historical legitimacy of agreement. How all through the Bible and ancient cultures we see that all matters of business must be conducted by at least two in agreement. That all matters of law must be based on the witness of two or more, even still today. And how Jesus himself said that where two or more are gathered in his name, whatever is asked that will be done.
We explored the idea that on one side of us we have Satan with all his lies, falsehoods, destructions and more, and on the other side of us we have God with all his hope, future, love, peace, joy and more for us.
And we, stand in the middle.
And how we, are the second witness.
We, by our emotions, thoughts, beliefs, actions, decisions, determine who we are agreeing with. And whatever we are agreeing with, this is what we get.
As simple, and potentially horrific as this.
As simple, and potentially stunning as this.
(depending on whom we are agreeing with)
At this point I brought the general and introductory comparison between the kingdom of Satan and the Kingdom of God.
And then we moved into the above-mentioned specific comparisons of what does the kingdom of Satan say about women versus what the Kingdom of God says about women. We went on to tithing and then church. And we began to learn, with the evidence building, just how much of our lives are still based in the kingdom of Satan.
There are of course many more topics to explore. But these three, women, tithing, church are the ones riddled with the most distortions from what I can tell, at least in the experience of my travels and ministry within many churches and alongside many pastors.
Of course, I didn’t leave the conversation with ‘here are the problems’ but I had the day before given the tangible lessons about the grand invitation to revival, where we take on a greater hunger for God, where we come in the beauty of repentance (that ALWAYS means freedom) and whereby religious spirits are broken off of our lives, our churches, our communities, and our nations.
I had also taught about Sulha, this manner and heart of our Lord by which we see the Father in the prodigal son running toward the son to take on the stoning, a stunning picture of God’s heart and literal action on our behalf as played out by Christ. I had taught that we are called to be in this same manner and spirit towards all others about us and that as we do this we are conduits of the Kingdom of God.
And so I then laid the three keys of revival (in the spirit of Sulha) over the conversation regarding the kingdom of Satan and the Kingdom of God. We found that we can personally come before the Lord confessing that our mind-sets, our thinking and beliefs and even behaviours, have been in agreement with Satan and not God. And in this confession and repentance we take on new freedom in God.
“God I come in the name and the blood of my Lord Jesus Christ confessing that I have been believing that women are for my pleasure, my use, my needs. I see God that this is what satan would have believe, not you. Today I break my agreement with this lie and I come into agreement with your words and heart about women. Today I come into agreement that women are co-heirs of Christ, that she is a GIFT to me and I must treat her well, and that she has meaningful work in the Kingdom of God also. Drive these truths deep into my heart and being and life today.”
And finally, I laid over it all the teaching about spiritual authority. That where individuals have moved from agreeing with Satan to agreeing with God, as they gather with other like-transformed people, that these ones, where two or more are gathered, can take on these same agreements as found in their communities, can confess these agreements of the community as if they are their own, can bring the community before the Lord in prayer and break off the agreements of the enemy over entire areas.
And we can be sure, that as the spirit of the living God is compelling and convicting them to do this that the Spirit is compelling and convicting other communities, other bodies of Christ, other leaders to do the same, and that in agreement between the body of Christ (that we may never fully know about) that God is lifting the heavy weave of despair and hopelessness from not only our communities but our nations as well.
And revival sweeps the land and our lives. We are made new.
“For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
Bit by bit, day by day, year by year, we take hard looks at our lives, what is the fruit telling us? We ask the Lord to reveal the root of our thinking, where are we not agreeing with him? We come in conviction, confession, and repentance, breaking the power of our agreements with the enemy and making new agreements with God.
We do this in word, we do this in action, we do this in thought, we do this in attitude and emotion, and our lives begin to bear the fruit of the Living God. As we do this, we participate in loosening the dark weave of satan from off of our communities, we usher in the kingdom of God, and by our lives others are increasingly freed to know the light and love and salvation of our Lord.
Instead of pointing the finger, instead of demanding revival ‘out there’, we take on the responsibility of the sins all around us, we run toward the world, we take on the stones, and we bring them to the cross of Christ where all things of the enemy are washed away by the blood of the Lamb.
This, THIS is the call and invitation to Christ. It is a profound work, a profound opportunity, and by it we are all transformed, made glad, blessed in the Lord.
1. We can easily see the bad fruit in our communities
2. Many are working to eliminate and reduce the bad fruit – this is good.
3. Yet there are deeper things driving the bad fruit from deep within our lives.
4. These are the agreements we have made, both personally and corporately.
5. Agreements with Satan lead to destruction – generally speaking.
6. Agreements with God lead to life – generally speaking.
7. God delights to show us these secrets of our hearts
8. As we see our agreements with Satan we can renounce them in the power of Jesus Christ.
*Note: generally at first, then with greater specifics, one agreement after another, bit by bit, year by year as the Spirit leads.
9. We can then make new agreements with God and unto his ways (i.e.: life).
10. First we do this ourselves personally.
11. Then, we do this in fellowship with other believers, on behalf of our churches and our communities.
12. By this, we stand in the sulha authority of our Lord to begin loosening the weave of despair, chaos, violence, hopeless and more, from off of our communities.
13. We, by this, participate in ushering in the Kingdom of God to our communities.
14. We can be sure that God is leading others to do the same.
15. In the spirit realm, all this agreeing begins to break revival into and upon our nations.
16. We become a transformed people. A healed people.
In the two days we had together, we covered in this order:
- 3 Keys to Revival
- Roots and Fruit
- Kingdoms in Contrast
- Repentance as Spiritual Authority
- Sulha Authority for our Communities
Such a great conversation! One I am facilitating in many villages, many town, many countries, with many pastors, many churches, many congregations. One by one, bit by bit, I’m showing the way to transformation in Christ, first personally, then corporately, for ourselves, for our communities, for our nations; come Lord Jesus come.