While a majority of Christians in the U.S. are embracing their Christmas traditions, I am sensitive to a greater sentiment for rejoicing. I am sensing a connection among Spirit-led Christians, while at the same time, an expansion of where the Spirit is leading us. I know that may not make much sense, so let me see if I can expound on this premise...
Until very recently, I have felt as if the Lord had called Mark and I to a solitary place; a calling that seemed to almost isolate us from the Body of Christ. I knew He was doing a work in us and preparing us for a unique and, perhaps, even greater service than what we experienced within the corporate body of the Church. But now I'm discovering [and recognizing] those that have experienced the same "calling out", so to speak, and have been on their own individual paths of serving the Kingdom.
And now, the Lord is connecting us, each with his or her individual and particular assignment. And when we come together, it is expanding our ability to reach the Lost and the Saved! Because, as I have said before, [quoting Dr. Charles Kraft], our churches are full of wonderfully saved Christians who are still in bondage. And [quoting the Lord], the harvest of the Lost is great and the Laborers are few.
I don't claim to know the mind of God, but I am left wondering if it isn't like how God orchestrated Joshua and the Israelite's conquering of the Promised Land ... learning our individual responsibility and then how to relate collectively as we come together in one Body; learning from each battle as we step into the next. If we had each tried to walk out our new assignments [when we first received them] as part of a corporate body, there would probably have been much in-fighting for position, a lot of confusion, and much discouragement -- which would have delighted Satan.
But since God has taught each of us our roles, and refined us through our victories and defeats, we are now ready to come together without any jealousy, suspicion, or mistrust. We see the bigger picture and it is not about us, but for God's glory and establishing His Kingdom on earth!
I actually experienced this new Army of the Lord last night. I attended what was called a "worship and healing service" in Corpus Christi, Texas -- which coincidentally, means Body of Christ in Spanish. At this service, I witnessed people coming from the community to be ministered to for both physical and spiritual healing. There was the young Hispanic man, with obvious signs on his body of gang affiliations, who was prophesied over. I stood waiting to minister to his female friend, and watched as his countenance changed from scared [and skeptical] to a complete surrender to the Lord. As the minister declared that God had a word for him; that he would become a leader among his community and walk in authority, leading others to Christ, I saw a man broken in his flesh, fighting back tears, until he gave in and allowed the love of Jesus to flood his heart. There was much more spoken over him than I have recorded here; words from the Throne of God, specifically for this special young man who needed to know that God loves him. I watched as, tears finally flowed, and he allowed himself to be hugged and received by the men who were laying hands on him. You could tell that being hugged was a foreign action for him, but I saw his spirit respond to the love of Jesus through those men, and my spirit just kept saying, "Receive it, Brother, receive it!"
And then several of us women ministered to his friend, who was obviously suffering emotional pain from bad decisions in her life. The minister declared her a thing of beauty to the Lord and spoke of a bright future that God had planned for her, recognizing her gifts and talents that she would use for the Lord. He then asked us women if we were seeing anything in the spirit. My friend, Wanda, spoke of seeing a mantle of grace flowing over her, and covering her; the Lord delighting in her beauty. I spoke of seeing that the Enemy had placed a dirty veil before her eyes and that's how she saw herself. I prophesied that God wanted to remove that veil so she could see herself as He sees her, beautiful and pure; and that she would be able to do the same for other young women who lived their lives in shame and guilt. Then the minister asked my other friend, Debbie, to prophetically act out removing that veil from her. It was so powerful! You could see her face and her eyes brighten, the darkness being removed by words of knowledge and prophecy.
I witnessed physical healing -- including my own! And I was able to minister to another woman, leading her through forgiving her father for molesting her as a child, and releasing him to God in the Name of Jesus. She needed to know that she is a daughter of the King, and that is her new identity. Seeing her tears, I assured her that she was much loved -- by her Father in Heaven, and by each one of us. In short, I believe I was seeing what the Early Church must have looked like. We were people of God, gathered together; each obedient to our different calling and assignment, but partnering with Jesus to do the works that He did while on earth. And perhaps even more importantly, I saw Ephesians 4:15-16 in person: Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. That is what training and equipping the saints is to look like!
But we didn't look like what "church" normally does today. We didn't all sit for 30 minutes while someone preached to us. Instead, we spontaneously responded to the need of those who were in attendance. Several groups sprang up around the room, as the Holy Spirit called us to minister to a hurting soul. We came together with strangers to release the power of the Spirit to those in need of Jesus's forgiveness, mercy, and love. We were no longer solitary laborers, but were working in unison to advance the Kingdom of God and take back territory from Satan. It was palpable and the presence of God was unmistakable.
It excites me to declare that there is a definite movement of the Holy Spirit across this land, and I am seeing it in ways unlike anything I've seen before. Connections are being made from great distances apart, and communities are being supernaturally effected by this cooperation and spirit of unity among this growing remnant within the Body of Christ. It is a beautiful and compelling and powerful thing to behold! And it is happening near you -- I just know it! Ask the Lord to show you where you can connect into His power here on earth ... and then let nothing stop you from becoming a laborer for the Harvest. He will equip you for the work and the battles -- and it will taste and smell and look and sound and feel like sweet victory!
Luke 16:16 The Law and the Prophets were until John [the Baptist]. Since that time the Good News of the Kingdom of God is being proclaimed, and everyone with the utmost earnestness and effort is pressing into it for his share in it. (The Expanded Greek Translation)