As we "spring" into a new season, the Lord wants to bring refreshing to the Body of Christ, as is written in Isaiah 43:18-19: "Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert."
Alleluia! God's Word is so amazing as it disciplines us. By it we learn to take every thought captive so as not to call to mind former things but, rather, march forward with the mind of Christ. For, beloved, if we look back, we draw back. Surely, rivers in the desert will sustain us as we prepare for a great harvest of souls.
Friends, there have been many long, hard-fought battles, and sin has tried to enter in, but righteousness will have its way! Holy Spirit recently reminded me of the woman at the well who had become entangled in darkness, possibly due to wounds from her past (see John 4:9-15). But Jesus met her right where she was at, even as a spirit of death (sin) crouched at her door. Jesus offered her exactly what she needed—living water, life...abundantly. Praise God!
He offers this "living water" to each one of us, no matter what has transpired on our journey—by nature or by nurture. For the Lord sees each person created in the image of God, and "there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28). How exciting to read of the Samaritan woman hearing of eternal life and running from the well to share the Good News—whose name was Jesus. Beloved, we too are being called to run and share truth as living waters now flow from our bellies (see John 7:38). You are a well—go!
Healing Waters Healing Wounds
Many years ago, I had a vision of the Body of Christ, the army of God, marching but wounded. Thousands of men and women hobbled along, clothed in bandages, using crutches to prop them up as they moved forward on the battleground—ever so slowly, but not so surely.
Following the vision, I witnessed outpourings around the world as our Commander in Chief, yet loving Father, poured out His Spirit. It was truly a spirit of love likened to that of a compassionate parent kissing the wounds of precious children—bringing comfort and healing. Of course, that balm is always available as needed. But, His "army" is much stronger today, and we know that offensive troops gain ground quickly. It's time to occupy, Church!
Bless the Lord as He hands out "prescriptions" for wisdom. For if we don't draw upon the healing waters, allowing deep cleansing of the wounds, then spiritual infection can enter in. Bitterness, for example, can become cancerous to the soul if it remains as unresolved revenge. Internal poisons can become like deadly cells, multiplying and attaching to peace and joy—killing and destroying. Wounds that have superficially scabbed over can create barriers, interfering with intimacy with the Lover of our Soul.
The fact is, all warriors for Christ can be wounded in the battle, dear ones, so we must be attentive to the ploys of the enemy. It's crucial to remember, we march on a victorious battleground, so it is actually the deep, inner infection and poison that is the real war. But aren't we blessed to have the cleansing Blood of our Savior to bring healing and total forgiveness to us? Oh friends, ALL things work together for good, for God, and nothing the enemy throws at us is a challenge to the King.
Yes, we encounter temptations and if we're not careful we can create landing strips for the enemy. But we must keep in mind that satan only has as much power as God allows. So what the devil wants to use to draw us away from the Lord, Holy Spirit wants to use to draw us closer to the Lord. In actuality, battles can produce increased Christlike character in us, for godly purposes, and allow His Kingdom to be advanced with power.
If you've been wounded friend, today is a good day to let go and let God. Hebrews 9:22 is a living, active Word that can wash your wounds of all infection. It says, "Without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness." In other words, no church, no therapist, no religion can do the cleansing Jesus can do, because the shedding of His Blood paid for every sin. There's power in the Blood yesterday, today and forever.
The Power of Choice
Sometimes I think we underestimate the power of choice—a power we see in mankind initially in the Garden of Eden. Beloved, each time we're wounded we can choose to become bitter or better. We can choose to inquire of our Heavenly Father as to how He wants to use every circumstance in our lives to conform us to the image of Christ. In other words, how do we process an event with the mind of Christ (see 1 Corinthians 2:16) so we do not allow sin to take a foothold? We must realize poor choices can cause distance in our relationships with our Savior and His/our family.
Question: What choice did our role model Jesus make each time He was hurt, wounded, betrayed? Answer: Love was always His greatest aim.
Another great example to follow is our brother Paul. We see in Acts 9:16 he was destined for pain in service, evenbefore he was an apostle. The Scriptures read, "I will show him how much he must suffer for My name's sake." There we have it...we're in good company.
Friends, have you ever been falsely accused? If so, you have even more in common with Paul. He was being falsely arrested in Jerusalem and ended up in Rome as a prisoner of the empire (see Acts 21-23). However, it's amazing thatwhile in prison he wrote the letter to Philippi—the epistle of joy. May we do the same, shouting joy unspeakable—salvation—to the world during times of darkness, and letting them know there's an eternal joy from above that the world cannot give and the world cannot take away. We must let them know we can all be faithful, even in the hard times because we know eternity is coming!
Are you imprisoned in some manner, today? Perhaps in your mind, your circumstances, your finances? If so, the epistle of joy clearly gives us keys to freedom. Paul kept his eyes on God! He knew God's peace, God's glory, God's salvation, God's effort and God's ownership. He kept his eyes on Jesus! His hope was in the return of Christ. He kept his eyes on the Gospel, on humility, on obedience, on faith, on knowing Christ, on the power of resurrection, on the sufferings of Christ, on the ownership of Christ, and on the grace (see Philippians 1-4). Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!
Of course, the devil would like to bring the focus back on ourselves, getting us to focus on our comfort or lack thereof when there's tribulation. But the Lord has created a divine plan whereby we can put our focus on others, defusing the pain of the battle. "Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves" (Philippians 2:3).
Paul recognized wounds as tools to advance the Kingdom. Listen to what he wrote in Philippians 1:12, "Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the Gospel." He had made a choice to go through anything and everything for Jesus. He went on to say, "More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ" (Philippians 3:8).
Spiritual battle wounds can be very productive tools if we allow them to complete a work in us—if we consider it all joy when we encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of our faith produces endurance. If we let endurance have its perfect result, then we lack nothing (see James 1:2-4). Did you catch that, friends? We lack nothing—Alleluia!
March Forth into Revival Glory
Okay, we know if something needs reviving, it must be dead. And we always rejoice in a God who causes ALL things to work together for good. How amazing—every spiritual battle wound can help crucify the flesh, allowing us to walk in the Spirit.
So we might ask today—Death, where is your sting? Praise God! Jesus, our Forerunner, conquered death thousands of years ago, and the same power that raised Him from the dead dwells in us—resurrection power. Therefore if we've been crucified with Christ, is it not time for revival? Beloved, if you've been wounded in the battle, if you know the Lord is near the brokenhearted and saves those crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18), then contrition can equal revival. This is one of the keys, Church, for God has promised to "revive the heart of the contrite" (Isaiah 57:15).
A contrite heart has been broken and crushed. It's like particles of clay that can be molded into beautiful vessels, ready to carry the glory of God. A contrite heart contains inner brokenness that weeps over sin and sinners and leads others to be revived by the King of kings.
Contrition is powerful! It creates a heart of habitation. For the Lord says, "'Heaven is My throne and the Earth is My footstool. Where then is a house you could build for Me? And where is a place that I may rest? For My hand made all these things, thus all these things came into being,' declares the LORD. 'But to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word'" (Isaiah 66:1-2).
Oh, yes, out of the battle into the glory!
Onward Christian Soldiers
For Christians, the battle wounds we really need to be concerned about are the ones in our souls, when we choose to think sinfully. We must also be alert for the wounds we refuse to pray about or choose to hang onto, not forgiving others, for those can become poison from the pit. Yes, the war rages friends, but the battleground is victorious. Jesus has given you all that you need to win—it is finished. Walk it out, be watchful—recognize spiritual warfare as choosing good or evil.
Each time we find ourselves in a spiritual battle, we must remember that we are overcomers! It's not about the battle, it's about the victory! It's about slaying the giants and advancing Earth as it is in Heaven. March forth! Don't allow any dark cracks in your armor, beloved. You've made it through boot camp with the Lord of victory—so claim your inheritance as sons and daughters of the King! You are not prisoners of wounds from the past but totally free to walk in your true identity.
Take off the grave clothes as He prepares a crown of beauty for His Bride instead of ashes. He gives you the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair (see Isaiah 61:3). Adorn yourself with faith in God, knowing that all discomforts and sorrow are covered by the Blood of Jesus. Forgiveness is mingled with forgetfulness. Arise, and put off despair as you clothe yourself in the praises of the Lord.
Fear not! Even the heat of fresh fire you may walk through only burns up more infection and ignites more anointing of His Presence. Your light has come! No more hobbling along—prepare for acceleration.
Prepare to MARCH FORTH, aggressively, occupying the land for the King of kings! YOU are a revival!
Copyright © Paulette Reed Ministries.