Are You Ready for Reformation?
‘Our nations are a reflection of the churches or ekklesias within them.” When I first heard Robert Henderson make this statement, I knew in my spirit that it was true. It dismayed me at first because I realized that we, and not our government, were responsible for the state of our nation. We, the church, had given the enemy the legal right to create a government and a nation in which so much corruption and poverty were rampant. And it happened on my watch! I determined at that time that I wanted to see that changed. I wanted to be a part of the Ekklesia that would raise a standard in our nation that would give God the legal right to install righteous government so that our nation would prosper under His hand.
It IS our job as the Church of Jesus Christ to BE the change that we want to see in our nations. If WE, the church, do not change, the nation will not change. If the church does not change, our cities and regions will not change. The church needs to become a new wineskin. It needs another reformation. We all agree and talk about it. And pray about it. And shout about it. And write about it. But when are we going to DO something about it? And HOW are we to do it. Well – you and I are the church. You and I are the Ekklesia. So, logically, change and reformation must start with us.
If we want to see reformation in our nations, cities and cultures, we are going to have to intentionally go after reformation in our own lives. WE must change in order to be the change we want to see. We need a personal reformation before we can go after a national reformation.I have written and preached a lot about this because it is a challenge I constantly place before myself. Am I changing? Am I allowing the spirit of God to reform me? Am I becoming the new wineskin that can hold the new wine?
Becoming a new wineskin is all about reformation. It is about allowing God to take you through a process to reform you into something altogether NEW. Reformers are those who have submitted to this process. They have allowed God to RE-FORM their thinking and their ways. They have become new wineskins that can carry new wine. The challenge is that when God says a NEW wineskin, He means NEW. He does not intend for it to be the old pattern, with a new patch sewn on to it! I want the new, just as you do, but I am discovering that it takes courage to become NEW.
The most difficult part of letting go of the old was discovering WHAT was old. In the last year, God has held the light of His Word up to my thinking and behaviours and my, oh my, it was illuminating! (pun intended!) I discovered that my thinking and behaviours have been steeped in religion, tradition, poverty and selfishness – to name a few things. Yet, once I got over myself and my pride, I was able to see and embrace the truth of my wicked ways. I was able to let go of those mindsets and deal with the demonic structures that kept me imprisoned. It was a process. it took strength and determination, but I was able, by God’s grace to step into some new thinking.
I thought that would be the difficult part. But I am discovering, that process was simply the dissolving of old structures. Rather like when you make something out of clay, then you smash it down into a ball before beginning to make something new. Suffice to say, I feel smashed down into a ball. And the process of forming something new has just begun. But I am discovering that this, too, is a process. I thought that God would just put something new in me and everything would change around me. If I could get rid of the old restrictive ways and thinking, it would be easy for God to ‘land’ something new in me. But becoming a new wineskin is just that, it is a BECOMING!
As we leave the old behind, we make space in our lives for God to begin to show us some new ways. We have turned away from old ways and turned towards Him. We have said YES to Him. We have said YES to learning more about Him. Your YES is your consent for Him to begin to release more of Himself and His kingdom to you. When you do that, you will begin to experience revelation. The word revelation in the original Greek is ‘apokalupsis’ and it means ‘an uncovering or an unveiling, a disclosure of truth, an instruction concerning divine things which were before unknown.’ God shows us new things about Himself, his kingdom and even about our own destinies or nations. When we receive revelation, it is exhilarating.
Revelation can come in a moment. Things that you could not understand SUDDENLY become crystal clear. You see matters in a way that you have not seen them before and you have understanding of how that thing works in the realm of heaven. Now, very often, you have no words to describe the revelation because the revelation is by the spirit. Your spirit understands it perfectly, but your soul has trouble processing it into words and actions. That is the nature of revelation.
When God unlocks revelation and directs me into new paths of thinking, I get so excited. You know that feeling? When He opens up His word and the spirit of revelation flows over you as you ‘see’ and ‘perceive’ His purpose and His way. There is such a great excitement in your spirit and you cannot wait to start walking in it. You write it down in your journal with great exhilaration and anticipation. You are jumping up and down inside praising the Lord for His amazing goodness… and then you get up the next day, look at your familiar surroundings and BOOM. It hits you. “How on earth am ever going to explain this to anyone. How am I going to live this out? What was I thinking?” But you cannot ‘unlearn’ or ‘unsee’ the revelation He gave you. Now you have a choice. Will you take hold of the revelation, treasure it and work with it, so that it can manifest in your life? Or will you simply tell everyone about it and let it remain as an exciting vision that you received and recorded in your journal?
It takes courage and tenacity to live out revelation. It is one thing to get it, it is quite another to be faithful with it. Revelation is released to us as a seed. (Remember, everything that comes out of heaven is released in seed form.) The life of God is in that revelation seed, but it needs to be tended in order to ‘grow up’ and become what it truly is! An apple seed looks nothing like the tree it will become or the apple it will produce. But the apple seed has everything it needs within it to fulfil its destiny of becoming a tree and producing fruit in season. But the seed alone cannot fulfil its destiny. It needs to be planted in good soil. It needs to be watered, tended and pruned. In due season it will become the fullness of what was written in the seed. I believe it is the same way with revelation.
Revelation is a seed. The fullness of a concept is dropped into our spirits in seed form. We are the ‘earth’ that the seed lands in. It takes root in us. Then it is our responsibility to tend that seed and create an environment for it to grow according to the life of the Kingdom that is within it. Did you notice, that revelation results in responsibility. Once we receive revelation, we have a responsibility to steward that revelation. The revelation was the heavenly seed. The seed carries everything within it to grow into the fullness of what is written in it, but someone has to take up the responsibility for creating an environment for that seed to grow. And that someone is you and I. If we want to see our own lives reformed and our nations reformed, there is a PROCESS We need to get rid of old ways. Then we need to say YES to God, that we want His revelation. BUT a crucial part of this process, is that we need to take up the RESPONSIBILITY to steward that revelation into a full manifestation.
God has impressed on me in the past month, that if we want true reformation, we will need to take up the responsibility of what the new releases. When God takes us into new territory or releases new things to us, there is a tremendous responsibility that goes with it. And we cannot have the new thing without the responsibility.
Just think about the Israelites for a moment. They were wandering in the wilderness, waiting to enter the Promised land. But while they were wandering around, God took care of them completely. Their shoes never wore out, there was manna every day, God protected and guided them with the pillar of fire by night and the cloud by day. They had no worries! They simply had to live by the Law and keep their hearts right before God. Notice, the responsibility level on them was small. God did everything!
When they entered the promised land, they suddenly had to find their own food. They had to grow crops and harvest them before they could eat. They had to keep their own cattle and build their own houses AND they had to war with the enemy to take territory. This was a completely different world. One in which each person and family had a responsibility to do their part to ensure the good of their own family and for the nation. The days of wandering around, with God taking care of everything was over. It was time for them to grow up and be responsible – and that took a LOT of work!
The same principle applies to us. If we want new wine, we need to reform into a new wineskin. I hope you are realizing, as I am, that being a new wineskin will require a new level of responsibility from us. As we let go of the old and make space in our thinking and hearts for His new revelation, we will begin to see certain things as He sees them. Our hearts will begin to align more and more with His heart and we will see our lives and nations from His perspective. When that happens, He will start to release assignments to us and those assignments include a lot of W-O-R-K! Maturity and growth in the Kingdom is all about taking up responsibility. Our prayers and our administration as priests in the heavenly realm ALWAYS translates into a kingly work in the earth.
We all started this process of becoming a new wineskin because we realized that what we were doing was not working anymore. We realized that a reformation was necessary to see God’s plans manifest on earth as it in heaven. We have started the journey well. We have been laying down the old and dealing with wrong patterns of thinking. We have been cleansing our bloodlines and getting free from the issues that have held us captive. Now God is starting to release mysteries and revelation to equip His body to become that new wineskin. As they are being released, we need to position ourselves with an ear to hear and a heart to understand. But more than that – we need to be ready to say YES to taking up responsibilities in the natural that we may have never held before.
For me, this has been extremely daunting. I am happy to pray and administrate in the Courts of Heaven, but God has shown me that we cannot be priests and not kings. Revelation 1:6 says that He has made us to be kings and priests. The new wineskin requires us to be both. Reformers understand that we need to be both. Priests administrating in the heavenly temple who can then step from Mount Zion into the earth to execute His will. This is a HUGE responsibility that comes with a LOT of work. Part of me wants to run away, but the other part knows that this is the ONLY way for us to truly see reformation come to our cities and nations.
What calms me every time I go into a panic about whether I can actually do all He is calling me to do, is a word found in 2 Timothy 1:9
"who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and gracewhich was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.”
Robert Henderson teaches that for every purpose that God has for us, there is a commensurate grace released to us to accomplish it. I am finding that as I say 'yes' to the purpose, the grace is released in and through Jesus. The days ahead are going to be challenging, but we are not alone. Our High Priest, Jesus, that went before us was the greatest reformer of all time. He was and is the perfect pattern for us. Just as He succeeded in the purpose for which He was sent, so shall we!
Are you ready to be a REFORMER?