I recently had a dream that involved two short scenes. In the first scene I was cleaning out a shelf in a closet. I knew that I was making room for something else, so everything had to be removed and the shelf cleaned. The second scene was very different from the first. In the second scene a familiar prophet stood before me and he was brushing a camel skin.
As I have sought the Lord and meditated on this unusual dream, He led me to the message of John the Baptist. We know John the Baptist as the prophetic voice who came heralding the message of repentance and preparation for the coming of the Lord.
We presently find ourselves in another significant time of preparation and repentance as God is moving powerfully in the earth today. Like the act of cleaning off the shelf in the dream, we are preparing the place of His coming and outpouring. We are in a John the Baptist type of season where God is calling His people to make preparation for His outpouring.
When John the Baptist called for repentance, he was looking for a change of heart and mind. True repentance isn't about our feelings, but changing the way we think so that we will live out our repentance. When there is true repentance there will be fruit of repentance. False repentance wants to give the look of repentance without true heart and mind change.
Jesus later spoke about this very thing in Matthew 23:25, "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence."
God has graciously given us this time to prepare our hearts for His outpouring. Like Isaiah spoke of in Isaiah 40:1-4, it is a time to "make straight paths for Him". We are going to see the "crooked roads becoming straight, and the rough ways smooth" as His Spirit moves through the earth.
This is an important time where we invite and allow the Spirit of God to go deep within our hearts to heal and flush out the impurities that may have taken up residence in our lives over time. This is not a time to focus on the outside of our cup and dish, but to humbly receive Him to make the inside clean before Him. We do not enter into condemnation, or unbalanced introspection as we invite His work in our hearts, but gladly and fully claim His words to us in John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."
John the Baptist came wearing camel's skin, not unlike that of the prophet Elijah. (2 Kings 1:8). This is significant because of the angel who prophesied to Zechariah, John the Baptist's father, in Luke 1:17. The angel said, "And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous--to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."
We might ask, "Why camel's skin?" Camel skin was the humble clothing of a hermit or poor man. That, along with John's diet of locusts and honey, are in keeping with the unusual entrance of our Messiah. Jesus Christ came in the most lowly fashion, born in a humble manger, and wrapped in strips of cloth. His humble entrance was only recognized by the humble of heart and those who were willing to repent and change the way they thought and understood.
"And he said: Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." Matt. 18:3-4
We know the Pharisees and teachers of the law totally missed it. Heaven came down and was standing in their midst, and they couldn't see or perceive it. Our perceiving is related to the health of our hearts. In preparation for Jesus' coming, John the Baptist had come offering a way of repentance that would open up their hearts to be able to see and perceive, yet they refused.
Many have heard along with myself the words of Isaiah 43:19 for many months, "See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland."
Our spiritual perception of Jesus and His Kingdom is related to the depth of healing and repentance we have received in our hearts. The Spirit of God is longing to pour out more for each one of us and how wonderful that He has given to us the gift of repentance. As He touches those areas that are out of alignment with Him, He releases a grace to repent and step into truth so that we can more fully perceive Him and His Kingdom.
Many have cried out, "Is there any hope for our nation? Is there any hope for our cities? Is there any hope for our broken down families and relationships?" The Spirit of God is saying "Make way, make way! The King of Glory is here! Lift up your heads to see, for I am moving even now. I am blowing in to fill in the valleys and bring the mountains low. For you will be my instruments. You will be my instruments of change, restoration, and transformation in the earth.
Humble your hearts before Me and allow Me to bring true grace for repentance that you might be able to see and perceive My coming. Even now I am bringing waves of healing, alignment, restoration, and refreshing. Would you allow yourself to be caught up in My waves? Would you allow yourself to be swept up into something much bigger and greater than yourself? Let go and let Me sweep you into new things and new purposes. New assignments and new alignments await you. Let go of the old and perceive the new. We are shifting into a higher gear. We are shifting into a new dimension of My Kingdom in all the earth. For 'many will see and fear, and put their trust in God' (Ps. 40:3b) as you allow My life-changing winds of preparation and repentance to blow in your life."