PREPARING FOR & EMBRACING CHANGE
We have been dealing with two major issues over the past few weeks. In order to move forward we all need to grasp them both in order to be prepared for what the Lord is speaking to us now.
First - We must understand the times that we are now living in. What do you see, hear feel? What is the Spirit of the Lord saying to you now? He is saying,”If you continue to do what you have always done, you will continue to be who you have always been.” Matthew 24:4-12 NCV - This passage showed us the signs of the times as prophesied by Jesus.
Second - We need to be prepared to embrace the change that is coming. We always seem to be talking about change. It’s true - we are living in a world of constant change.
Today before we return to our principles of change, I want us to look at some issues we are having to deal with.
Revelation 12:7-9, 12 NKJV
7 And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought,
8 but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer.
9 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
12 "Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time."
Ezekiel 33:7-9 NKJV
7 "So you, son of man: I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me.
8 "When I say to the wicked, 'O wicked man, you shall surely die!' and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand.
9 "Nevertheless if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 NKJV
9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,
10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.
11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
John 8:31-32, 36 NKJV
31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.
32 "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
36 "Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
We are experiencing these times today - right now.
The following is an outline for ‘change’. It’s critical to make the shifts necessary to bring about the next move of God. We must take positive action. To sit around - and even pray - but refuse to make pivotal changes - is the same as knowing a tornado, a tidal wave, a hurricane etc is coming where you are, but you refuse to move in order to remain alive and function to help those who will be hurt.
1. ACCEPT CHANGE ~ Change is the great neutralizer of dead-end dreams and lost purposes. All it takes to realign us with our destiny is a simple series of course corrections. They’re critical to our journey and they turn our spiritual ship in the right direction.
2. EMBRACE THE DISCOMFORT OF CHANGE ~ Often, this is the tipping point for fresh encounters with God. However, most folks embrace change ONLY when the pain of remaining the same is greater than the pain it takes to change. We must welcome change. Remember: no pain – no change!
3. REPENT OF HOPELESSNESS ~ This repentance should result in a change of heart that will accommodate the Presence of the Holy Spirit. It’s unrealistic to think we can change the world with revival without dealing with our own despair!
4. LEARN PROPER STEWARDSHIP ~ Great demands are being placed on our physical and mental health. In order to survive, make a major shift in the way you manage your life. Get the proper rest, nourishment, physical exercise and relaxation our bodies require. Our usefulness to God is directly related to the management of our mental and physical well-being!
5. REPENT OF A PERFORMANCE MENTALITY ~ God isn’t impressed with your performance. He’s impressed with our broken-ness of heart! Until we’re broken and refashioned by His hand, we’re of little benefit to His purposes. In order to participate in the next move of God we must lean on the ALREADY FINISHED work of Christ! It’s not about what you bring to the table - it’s about what HE brought to the table when He finished what God sent Him to do in the first place! WE can’t add to that! And if our aim is to be congratulated for our contributions, we’re going to be miserably disappointed!
6. LET GO OF THE PAST ~ Genesis 19:26 says that Lot’s wife lost her place in God’s purpose when she looked back to her former life. She was ‘called’ to be part of a movement - but, instead, became a monument of caution to those yearning to live in yesterday’s glory. Her life is a testimony to the futility of trying to move forward, while looking back in the rearview mirror of life!
7. DEVELOP NEW VISION ~ Many have a vision for bigger ministries and greater anointing. Though delightful, we desperately need fresh sight for renewal. Noah was moved by FAITH for the coming flood! Expand your vision for an unprecedented encounter with God. Accept no limitations OR imitations!
8. PRACTICE OBEDIENCE ~ It’s impossible to reach our God-ordained destiny without learning the value of radical obedience. EXTREME PURPOSE IN GOD REQUIRES EXTREME OBEDIENCE TO GOD! And, listen: self-sacrifice and performance cannot replace obedience to the Lord! In every area of our lives, we must come into compliance with the voice of the Holy Spirit before we can fulfill the will of God in our lives!
9. BELIEVE FOR A RESOURCE SHIFT ~ A poverty mentality is the doorkeeper to failure, discouragement, hopelessness and many other negative influences. Do NOT nurture a spirit of poverty and expect to live a life of Kingdom abundance! We must make the shift necessary to swing us into the “blessing” mode rather than the “being blessed” mode! When you become a blessing in others lives, you can truly say the blessing of Abraham is yours!
10. WALK IN HUMILITY ~ James 4:6 says the Lord resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. In fact, God expects us to conquer the powers of darkness through humility in Christ Jesus. We’re promoted by humility - not by mere performance!
11. EMBRACE THE CENTRALITY OF CHRIST ~ The next move of God will not be centered on a particular doctrinal theme or the demonstration of a spiritual gift - but on the Person of Jesus Christ! If you don’t make the shift from self-centeredness to Christ-centeredness, you will miss your opportunity to properly represent Him to a lost world. We must change our emphasis from Our MINISTRY to His MINISTRY ---- FROM TALKING “ABOUT” Him, to “knowing” Him!
12. PREPARE, PREPARE, PREPARE ~ Tomorrow’s success is shaped by our willingness to prepare today! This means the depth of your anointing will be in direct proportion to your depth of preparation. The question is NOT whether there will be a great outpouring. But whether our spiritual well is deep enough to accommodate the coming rain! Like Noah, we must give ourselves to the issue of preparation LONG BEFORE THE FLOOD BEGINS!
13. BRACE YOURSELF FOR GLOBAL IMPACT ~ Noah’s flood affected the landscape of the entire earth - he was prepared! To ride the crest of one of the greatest revivals IN RECORDED HISTORY, our vision must shift from an earthly perspective to God’s perspective. This means nothing is impossible
14. PREPARE FOR A NEW ERA ~ Noah stepped out of the Ark into a new dispensation of God’s Kingdom (Genesis 9:1-3). We also have an opportunity to possess the whole earth. To make this shift from spiritual complacency to ruling and reigning in this life through Christ Jesus, PREPARE YOURSELF FOR A NEW ENCOUNTER WITH THE LORD, JESUS CHRIST!
15. GET READY FOR GLOBAL HARVEST ~ This coming revival will include every nationality that will “Hear”, every religious persuasion and gender. God is no respecter of persons. All of humanity will be given a chance to experience the great outpouring of the Holy Spirit .
Acts 2:17-21 (NCV)
17 'God says: In the last days I will pour out my Spirit on all kinds of people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams.
18 At that time I will pour out my Spirit also on my male slaves and female slaves, and they will prophesy.
19 I will show miracles in the sky and on the earth: blood, fire, and thick smoke.
20 The sun will become dark, the moon red as blood, before the overwhelming and glorious day of the Lord will come.
21 Then anyone who calls on the Lord will be saved.'