Rebuilding the Foundations

Seven years ago this week, we moved to our current location in obedience to the Lord, even though we truly wanted to remain where He had previously moved us three years prior. This move was confirmed by our pastors, friends, Bible Study members & at a Graham Cooke conference we were led to attend. Last weekend, I again attended a Graham Cooke conference at the Lord’s leading. The message was a kairos word for the Body of Christ to rise up & out of judgment & negativity, fully maturing into the identity Christ purchased for our journey as the Father’s Beloved, & the Son’s Betrothed, on Earth as it is in Heaven.

Seven years ago this summer I was seeking the Lord as to His purpose for our move & I clearly got ‘Jonah.’ I promised Him at that time I wouldn’t run or complain. Little did I know how difficult keeping that promise was going to be. Following that word, our two youngest children received visions from the Lord clearly revealing this journey being about the rebuilding our foundations. (I have every detail documented in journals, with dates, interpretations, etc., however, they are as clear to me now as I write this, as on the days they were received.)

We recently attended a service where the message again was ‘Jonah.’ My spiritual antennas were on high alert, as I’ve had several confirmations about the seven year season we’ve been in coming to fruition, & a new season being upon us. I have accumulated twelve years of prophetic words, inheritance Scriptures, & prayers on behalf of our family & our nation, all contained within journal pages, digital documents, & the tablet of my heart, standing & waiting in faith to manifest.

The recent Jonah message in a nutshell was, “America, bow your knee to God or suffer the consequences of His wrath.” Any message pertaining to the nation we live in penetrates the core of my being, as the Lord has burdened my heart deeply for America, for this generation, & for raising our family to walk wholeheartedly in His ways. I was moved to tears during the message concerning our culture, our freedoms, pushing God out of our nation, false teachings, intolerance, aligning with Israel, etc.. Although I agreed with many of the facts the speaker was addressing, much of it Scriptural, my gift of discernment was stirring. I knew something was different about this Old Testament message I have known intimately.

The presence of the Lord was all-consuming that night as I lay in bed praying until sleep finally overtook me. In a sudden jolt, I was awakened at 3:16 a.m. (I immediately looked at the clock). I assured the Lord I would search all of the 3:16 passages in the morning in order to gain clarification about what He was speaking. He had other plans, however, as the sun arose, I was immediately awakened by ‘John 3:16-17, focus on 17, “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him” (The Message (MSG)).’

The Lord began to download the past seven year journey & His rebuilding of our foundations. I have been on a zealous journey with God since I first encountered Him at age 14. Along the way, I took a few detours, which by the age of 30, impacted for good, the training up of our children in this culture for the Lord & His Kingdom. When we arrived in our current location seven years ago, my experience included 34 years of ministering in numerous denominational, nondenominational & charismatic churches, having stewarded my teaching & worship ministry, discovered/developed my own prophetic gifting, serving in worship, family, children’s, house of prayer ministries, & traveling as a family ministering at camps & conferences. I had studied to show myself approved with a Master’s in Music & a Doctorate in Theology. I was all about being separate from the world, because “a little dog poop in the brownies ruins the entire batch”. (*See P.S. Note at the end of this post.)

Through our hearts being steadfast & teachable over the past seven years, however, the Lord has transformed much of what our lives used to be about. We have encountered a revelation of the Father’s love & the identity His Son purchased on our behalf in an entirely new dimension. The enemy’s attempts at invading my thoughts negatively or critically no longer impact. Because I know I am extravagantly loved by my Heavenly Father, offense or being defined by what someone does/doesn’t say/do no longer matters. The new foundation we’ve been given is not conditional on what we do/don’t do, but rather on believing His Son did it perfectly on our behalf, & as His Beloved sons & daughters, that’s how our Father sees us & it’s all good. I’ve learned that the sacrifice of punishment, judgment & wrath for ALL sin & all sickness was perfectly satisfied/accomplished at the Cross, therefore ALL judgment has been suspended (GRACE) until the opening of the Lamb’s Book of Life (Revelations 13:8), contingent on whether our names are written on its pages because we believed, received & confessed Jesus as Lord. I’ve learned that in order for people to be drawn into this amazing relationship of love, they must encounter His presence, which happens through people who are in continuous encounter with Him, relating to Him in Spirit & Truth…people who have cooperated with His transforming power to become His ambassadors, carrying His nature (the fruits of His Spirit) to a world desperately in need of knowing Him.

My heart is deeply burdened for our nation & it’s people. We are in a critical hour of choosing whether to place God on the throne of our nation, as our founding fathers so wisely & humbly did, or continuing the path of the past 50+ years in turning our backs on Him, pushing Him & His ways out of our culture. The truth of the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in this hour remains & has never been more needed. Jesus Christ took upon Himself the full wrath & judgment of God at Calvary. He is the only way we can truly & eternally be restored to our Father & saved from all the future holds. However, we have until our final breath in this life on Earth to choose Jesus without judgment or wrath, simply because of God’s mercy & grace in Christ. When we truly understand the love of the Father & the love of the Son, both for one another & for all mankind, why would we refuse or run from it? Why wouldn’t we want to encounter the One who first loved us beyond anything we can describe or imagine, having sacrificed His only Son to take on the punishment of all sin for all mankind until the fullness of time; having willingly laid down His own life in the most agonizing of punishments for the healing & forgiveness of all mankind? Many have refused or ran because of religion. Religion & relationship are two very different realities, & our nation needs a revelation of relationship with its Heavenly Father through the only Way, the only Truth, & the only Life, Jesus.

The Jonah message for me is not the same message it was seven years ago. Jonah was an Old Testament prophet whose message was ‘repent or be destroyed.’ John the Baptist was last of the Old Testament prophets whose message was, ‘Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.’ Jesus Christ was the first of the New Testament prophets & His message was, ‘Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.’ If we are in Jesus, then we are in New Testament covenant with the Father, & our message is, ‘Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.’ The Kingdom’s greatest commandments are to love God & to love others. The Kingdom’s message is wholeheartedly: “God’s Spirit is on me; he’s chosen me to preach the Message of good news to the poor, Sent me to announce pardon to prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, To set the burdened and battered free, to announce, “This is God’s year to act!” – Luke 4:18-19 (MSG). Being in Jesus is the only path to freedom & it’s the freedom to carry a message of life, hope & blessing. Being in Christ keeps us as the Father’s delight, walking out His good plans & purposes for us, which always encompass the good plans & purposes He has for others. That’s good news! It’s that very news that draws us out of a lifestyle of sin, into one of complete, continuous forgiveness & restoration in the love of our Heavenly Father. It’s really that simple. We believe & receive with childlike faith & delight. He who the Son sets free is free indeed!

Sons & daughters of the Kingdom carry the light of Christ into their world. The wrath & fear message has not drawn this generation into the Body of Christ. Who wants to be in relationship with someone we’re incredibly afraid of because they’re angry with us? A true revelation of the Spirit of the fear of the Lord manifests as reverential, holy awe by His Spirit alone; one we embrace when we truly know & are known by the One who loves us unconditionally & incredibly. When Jesus walked this Earth, His life was a demonstration of kindness that drew people to the Father. The only people that angered Jesus were the religious people who tried to bind people up with rules, regulations, shame & condemnation, & those who tried to exploit others through what they’d been given to steward for good. It is the kindness of God that will lead the nations to repentance: ”Those people are on a dark spiral downward. But if you think that leaves you on the high ground where you can point your finger at others, think again. Every time you criticize someone, you condemn yourself. It takes one to know one. Judgmental criticism of others is a well-known way of escaping detection in your own crimes and misdemeanors. But God isn’t so easily diverted. He sees right through all such smoke screens and holds you to what you’ve done. You didn’t think, did you, that just by pointing your finger at others you would distract God from seeing all your misdoings and from coming down on you hard? Or did you think that because he’s such a nice God, he’d let you off the hook? Better think this one through from the beginning. God is kind, but he’s not soft. In kindness he takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life-change (Romans 2:1-4, The Message (MSG)).

This is the message of the new wine (Matthew 9:17). The goodness of God & His grace is not a license to live however we want, it’s not religion with all of its rules & regulations, it’s not condemnation, guilt, fear & wrath, but rather, it’s LIBERTY of Biblical proportions, as never seen before in every nation. Liberty through identity in Christ & a love relationship in the love of the Father & the Son beyond all description, in preparation for an amazing eternal journey that has already begun in this life on this Earth for those who have chosen to say, ‘yes,’  to Jesus & His Kingdom being at hand. Liberty that is completely available as an open invitation to all who have not chosen Jesus until the fullness of time (Romans 11:25-27).

In this journey of having our foundations rebuilt, I continuously encounter & enter into the knowledge of the truth of this infinite & intimate Love. The light of Christ shines brightest in the darkness. Sons & daughters of the Most High God, the Bride of the King of Kings & Lord of Lords must be in the world, in relationship with people in the darkness, yet not of it, or how else do those in captivity to the darkness ever experience the freedom available only through the Light of the world (John 8:12)? The Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is about a Kingdom that is not of this world, in which we are His ambassadors on this Earth, representing His higher ways: ‘Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: “God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age (Matthew 28:18-19, The Message (MSG)).

In this hour, we must be people of Spirit, Word, Truth, & Love through our identity in Christ. There is a message of Good News that must be released in our nation which desperately needs revival. Revival, however, lies within the Body of Christ awakening to their identity in Him & being in an intimate love relationship with Father, Son & Holy Spirit, releasing His love to a world in need of demonstration through us, His Body, in action. This is the first & greatest commandment, that we love God & love others with the love of the Father & the Son. America, God loves you. This is the message that will set the captives free. America, when you truly receive the revelation & encounter His love, revival will come, restoration will come, & you will bow your knee because of love & holy, reverential fear/awe of how incredibly amazing His Story is. The end of the age will come & it will come according to the truth of His Word, as revealed in Scripture. Awaken Church! Awaken Bride of Christ! Awaken Beloved of the Father, to the truth of being extravagantly loved. Receive the love of Jesus Christ, positioned before Your Heavenly Father in righteousness. Be released to move forward in power Holy Spirit! We, Your sons & daughters, Your Bride in preparation, believe it, receive it, & by revelation understand & surrender to it. Let the Kingdom advance on the Earth as it is in Heaven in every tongue, tribe & nation, in every generation, for such a time as this!

P.S.: ONE FINAL ‘JONAH’ NOTE:

We can’t be lights in the darkness if we’re going to be influenced by it or look just like it. The Lord purposefully hid our family away during the past seven critical years when our kids needed/wanted friends most. He protected our children from the journey that goes along with being immersed/influence by the culture, to some extent, like Jonah being swallowed up & protected in the belly of the whale, until they could mature in their sonship. I have prayed fervently throughout the years for Him to be kept as their focus (parents must be their children’s intercessors/prayer warriors); for them to be wholehearted in Him as they were trained up in His ways, letting Him & our family BE the very things they were needing/missing/desiring socially. During those years, instead of running around filling their minds/hearts/time with worldly activities, they were honing their God-given gifts & talents for the Kingdom (practicing their musical instruments & voice, art, dance, writing, worship, prayer life, studying His Word, etc. for hours upon hours). Praise God not one child had to journey off to find what they didn’t need. By the time they began PSEO as juniors in High School, they were far more mature in so many character/virtuous ways than many who were years older. Our family was their strong covering, & being grounded in Him, the Lord used each one mightily in their two-year journeys of High School/College, carrying His light into a dark, unChristlike atmosphere. None of our children ever went through the prodigal teen/college years because of the training, covering & hiddenness of their earlier years in our family. I have a pastor early in our journey to thank, as the Lord used him to cast this exact vision, & He used us to walk it out as a family.

The Scripture that comes to mind is: Matthew 23:37-39, “Jerusalem! Jerusalem! Murderer of prophets! Killer of the ones who brought you God’s news! How often I’ve ached to embrace your children, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you wouldn’t let me. And now you’re so desolate, nothing but a ghost town. What is there left to say? Only this: I’m out of here soon. The next time you see me you’ll say, ‘Oh, God has blessed him! He’s come, bringing God’s rule!'”

I received the following prophetic word several years ago, in the midst of the hiddenness, amongst a group of individuals who did not know me. Note the similarity to the Scripture passage above, not really even realizing it at the time:

‘You’re making a difference, you ARE causing change. You’re shooting for the sky, and YOU’RE MAKING IT! Dove’s eyes, that she wouldn’t look to the right or the left sowing in tears. Birthing new sons and daughters of God. We’re asking that others would receive the vision. God wants you to know that you’re not alone. In the next four years, a shift in your ministry you aren’t aware of it yet. It will be your time to be sent out. You’re like a mother hen – snakes, rats, hawks didn’t see you with all your little chicks. God, continue to hide her in your feathers (Psalm 91). How high, and wide, and long and deep is Your love. Well done, My good and faithful servant. He will move you out to be a mother of many. Not so different from a Moses calling…He is bearing this burden. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. This is a testing so that your heart will be planted and that when the time to go out comes, there will be no turning back. “I have appointed you to be that green pasture and safe haven for many. These times are times of preparation.” Don’t forget that time to worship, between just you and Him. o Jesus, we pray that You would meet her every longing…’

If you are reading this, receive this very prophetic word for yourselves & for your children, as He drew you to it for His very purposes. Throughout our children’s training up years (birth to 16-18), we must gather them under our wings/under His wings, until His love & identity are firmly rooted & grounded in them as His sons, daughters, & ambassadors of the Good News of the Kingdom. His Light will shine ever so brightly in the darkness through His children, as depicted by this iPad artwork, just released through our daughter Jenna this past week. Adopted into our family at the age of ten from Guatemala, along with her two younger two siblings, she has most definitely been on a journey of becoming a living picture of this very truth. She is graduating from both high school & college in May, as did three siblings before her, to begin a new season in her journey with our King.