"It is Time for My Church to Graduate!"
Recently I was in a corporate worship gathering and had a vision that speaks to the season I sense we are in as God's Ekklesia. In the vision I saw a number of people representing the Church, and each was wearing a graduation cap on their head. In unison the group moved the tassel on their cap from one side to the other, a traditional symbolic gesture. Then, I felt I heard the Spirit of God say, "It is time for My Church to graduate!"
As I have spent time with the Lord, I sense Him saying that the Church is stepping up or graduating into a new place of walking in Her identity, authority, and power. We have been in a tumultuous season of foundations being reconstructed and strengthened so that we can bear the weight of the glory that Jesus is wanting to release through His maturing Bride. It has also been a time of exposure as false structures are being revealed and rebuilt so that God's kingdom will advance in righteousness, justice, and truth. It is a time to assess if the house we are building is truly built upon the Rock of Jesus Christ.
"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock." Matthew 7:24-25
As we move from one assignment to the next, God usually releases identity upgrades for us, His people, so that we take on and embrace fully that which the new assignment will require. For a number of years, the Father has been establishing in our hearts a solid foundation of knowing and receiving His love for us. Encountering Him as Father and receiving His love is foundational for walking in power as His sons and daughters. The Father is continuing to welcome the prodigals home and running to embrace them, putting His royal robes around them, rings on their fingers, and sandals on their feet. There is a pivotal moment where sons and daughters not only receive, but begin to embrace the position that their Father has bestowed upon them. In the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15, the elder and younger brother already had an inheritance from their father, but neither initially understood or walked in the joy or benefits of that inheritance. Though they had a compassionate and loving father, they each were still walking in orphan thinking. They had not yet embraced what was their rightful inheritance. It was veiled to them.
The parable in Luke 15 ends with this moving verse, " 'My son,' the father said, 'you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' "
As the Church awakens, She will step into greater and greater levels of understanding that we are always with Him.....we BELONG to Him. And, we have been given ALL THINGS in Him. Our inheritance in Him is unfathomable! As the Holy Spirit blows on this revelation in the hearts of His people, the orphan mentality will have to leave. Where there have been "heavy veils" covering and concealing the true nature of sonship in Him for many, the Holy Spirit is breathing fresh wind to deliver powerful encounters with the Father that releases inheritance.
"...All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future--all are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God."
I Corinthians 3:21b-23
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ." Ephesians 1:3
"And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus." Ephesians 2:6
God is calling His sons and daughters to step up to a new place of owning their royal position in His kingdom. We have been seated in Christ in heavenly places and it is for a purpose. Jesus Christ is on His throne at the right hand of the Father, and we are seated there in Him. A throne signifies governmental authority. The One on the throne has been given the right to rule, and as we own our position in Him we must acknowledge and embrace our inherited authority to rule with Him.
"And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way." Ephesians 1:22-23
In a time of intercession recently, I saw a vision of the Church taking up gavels. We know that a gavel is a small wooden hammer used in courtrooms. Wikipedia says about a gavel, "It can be used to call for attention or to punctuate rulings and proclamations and is a symbol of the authority and right to act officially in the authority of a presiding officer."
In the coming days, we are going to begin to see the Church embrace Her seated position with Christ, and take up the gavels given to Her. From this place, the Church will not wrestle against "flesh and blood" as emphasized in Ephesians 6:12, but She will begin to enforce the sentence already written against our adversary, satan.
"He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross." Colossians 2:13b-15
The Royal Priesthood
God has been highlighting to me the role of the royal priesthood mentioned in I Peter 2:9 for several years now. When God keeps repeating a subject like this, I know that there is still more to see, know, and understand.
"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light." I Pt. 2:9
This radical statement made by Peter to the early Church must have created quite a ripple in the culture of it's day. In the Old Testament, kingly and priestly functions were strictly separated, and now Peter was joining the two in one groundbreaking statement. A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD! Chosen....royal....holy....God's special possession.....how these words must have stirred the hearts of those who heard them!
We step into our royal role by choosing to enforce the rule of God's kingdom from our seated position in Christ. We take up our keys, binding and loosing, and bringing heaven to earth by releasing the decrees and declarations we hear from the Spirit of God. We recognize the power of agreement and covenant to come into alignment with what God is saying and doing both individually and corporately. The corporate agreement birthed from the throneroom will have great power to unlock families, cities, and nations to receive the transformation from the Kingdom of Light.
We operate in our priestly role by standing in the gap as intercessors on behalf of people, places, and situations that are in need of the King's dominion and goodness. Jesus taught us that now we are to pray for our enemies and those who would persecute us. We also step into our priestly role as ministers of reconciliation, releasing light to the darkest situations and corners of the earth.
"All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ not counting people's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation." 2 Cor. 5:18-19
What a powerful combination God is releasing now through His royal priesthood! These royal priests will function seamlessly flowing between the roles of royal and priest, standing in the gap on behalf of those trapped in darkness and as ministers of reconciliation, releasing encounters with our good Father. They will take up their royal governmental authority by binding, loosing, and decreeing the King's dominion over darkness that has trapped and chained many. The royal priests will be known in heaven as ministers of FREEDOM.
Yes, God is graduating His Church into new levels of revelation of our authority and position in Him as we have been seated in Christ. The Church will begin taking up Her gavels and powerful times of corporate praise and worship are going to emerge with the Ekklesia stepping into corporate agreement to enforce the rule of the kingdom through proclamation as She worships. It is from this place of anointed governmental worship that a great establishing of the kingdom of God will flow into all the earth bringing needed breakthroughs.