The face of the body of Christ is rapidly changing. Some may find it liberating, while others find it frightening or frustrating. If we examine this massive shift through the lens of Scripture, we see that it is a manifestation of a pattern we see all throughout the Bible, as well as church history, where our adversary intends these things for evil, while our wise and sovereign God is working them together for our good (Genesis 50:20; Romans 8:28). Though our adversary seeks to fragment the body of Christ, our Father is working behind the scenes to peel away the old wineskin (outward expressions of the way we’ve done “church” in past seasons), while preserving the eternal principle that we are created for connection – first with Him and then with one another.
Our ecclesia here in Jacksonville, FL USA has gone through seemingly endless transitions since its inception 10 years ago. Sometimes it has felt that Holy Spirit would do a new thing in our midst and then, within a very short time, would remove His grace from it. This has been frustrating, confusing and disheartening, and one of my questions to the Lord has been how to move through this transition. A key He gave me just this week was : Hold fast to eternal principles, let external expressions of those principles go and lean on the Spirit of Truth to help you discern which is which. Viewing what we are doing (and not doing) within the framework of transition has helped us to understand that transition is actually a rapid series of births and deaths, ultimately leading to a completely new wineskin which He can then fill.
The old is the womb of the new, so we must faithfully steward that womb, even though it is dying. If we fail to do so, there will be nothing in place to facilitate the birth of the new. Both Isaac and John the Baptist were born when the earth experienced one of these 2000-year transitions, and both were born from wombs which were “as good as dead” (Romans 4:19; Hebrews 11:12). In our day, we will see the dead womb of the church bringing forth the sons of God… ones who will truly walk in the “greater works” Jesus promised and ones who will fulfill the original mandate, which was lost in Adam and restored in Christ. Perhaps you heard about the configuration of stars in 2017 which painted a picture of the woman giving birth. This picture is described in Revelation 12 and is a multidimensional prophecy, of course, fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ. But, since He is the “firstborn among many brothers and sisters” (Romans 8:29), it is fulfilled again in US, as His church gives birth to His sons!
If you listened to my teaching, HOLY SHIFT, you know that the stars are speaking of transition and that earth has moved out of Pisces (the fish) and into Aquarius (the water bearer). Water is very fluid and easily changeable, But in order for something new to come forth, there must be a womb – something that is stable enough to contain the water and is solid enough to form a birth canal. Even when Moses led God’s people out of Egypt and when Joshua led them into the Promised Land (another huge transition time), they walked through walls (wombs) of water!
What does all this mean for you in your practical, daily life? Well, you might feel the grace of God lifting from facades of yesterday, from old church or ministry structures and from ways you interacted with God in past seasons. These external expressions are water. Allow them to move and morph and change forms as led by Holy Spirit. But hold fast to the eternal principles of God, allowing them to be solid, like the walls of the womb, which move in order to push but which never give way. In order to successfully navigate this season, you must have STABILITY in the midst of DIVINE INSTABILITY. So, you may find yourself letting go of the way you “do” church or of church structures that are not specifically outlined in Scripture, but you need to hold fast to eternal principles like intimacy, transparency, relationship, accountability and connection. In your personal walk with God, the way you spend time with Him may change as you mature, but you will still need to hold fast to intimacy, prayer, worship, the written word and the spiritual disciplines.
The Father recently encouraged me about all this, saying, “As you allow the external things to die and fade away, you will experience, in the Secret Place, the unseen realm in ever-increasing glory.”
Therefore we do not lose heart, but though out outer person is decaying, yet our inner person is being renewed day by day. For our momentary, light affliction is producing for us an external weight of glory beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. – II Corinthians 4:16-18, NASB
I hope that this has encouraged you and given you clarity on your journey today…