In my book, The Spirit & Power of Elijah, I began to make the case for presence-driven leadership. Jesus wants to be more involved with His Church than ever before! His Presence is not receding or moving away; He is getting more involved in the decision-making and problem-solving than ever. He is coming to stay awhile, a visitation in the sense of an accounting is coming to reset His house.
I mentioned the seven churches of the Revelation in the previous blog…our season of visitation is here! Jesus is walking among the churches in the same way the season was revealed to Apostle John, Jesus walking among seven churches of Asia.
This can be understood in Jesus’ words to Jerusalem in His earthly generation: “You did not know the time of your visitation.” The “visitation” season of Jesus, like that visitation season upon Israel, is a time of the Lord and King bringing His leaders to account for His assets and territories. He just walks in like He owns the place-He does own the place! But He seems like an intruder in many incidences because we have devised our own operational procedures for running kingdom and church during the seasons of delegated authority.
We must take care about protecting “what is” when Jesus is moving us on to “what is coming next.” The issue arises because we must live in ‘what is coming next’ before it arrives!
Prophetic leaders accurately anticipate what’s coming next and prepare the Lord a people ready to respond in the new season. Faith anticipates the unseen and unexperienced. jesus creates from unseen spiritual reality, from God’s mind to natural universe. Abel offers a sacrifice of substitution, the substitute stands in and the recepient is unseen on the altar. Enoch translated because his unseen relationship gets so real he steps into another reality.
Everyone in the list of faith heroes lives with anticipation, some living with anticipation of things they knew they would never experience! They were forward thinkers. Abraham and Sarah live their entire lives in anticipation of something they don’t experience until they are nearly dead! Enoch livsd for something he can’t see and isn’t of this world! Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph bless future generations with anticipation of things they never experience.
Your desire to maintain your present status causes you to miss forward-thinking faith for increase and expansion. Cain sees ‘what he is’ as good enough when God want to bring him into something he can never see. Moses leaves Egypt’s cushioned comfort for the fellowship of suffering with his people when there is no hope of doing anything about it, not knowing if he will ever have opportunity to walk out his vision. “None of these heroes gets their hands on promised things even though they live faithful to their faith; they see it from a distance, so real they lived as if it is true; they are so forward in their thinking that they live what they taste even when they never fully experience that taste as everyday dining.
You become concerned that you and other people recognize your present level of wisdom, experience, and anointing when that present level isn’t the full definition of your destiny. That is not faith but subtle fear of losing something; you are working too hard at establishing ‘what is’ when you must reach forward to establish ‘what is coming next.’ We establish in the spirit before we establish in the natural.
God is moving you to something, not from something. You will carry what you are with you into the new season if you are faithful to your faith, or you will begin to diminish in the very thing you are trying to maintain by moving your focus to ‘what is.’ You don’t let go of what you’ve experienced when you move into the reset of your assignment but carry it with you into the reset; if you turn back to maintain what you’ve built, it will begin immediately to crumble because what’s holding it together – God’s grace – will move on to the next season.
The sacrifice of faith’s forward thinking always involves the very thing you have worked so hard to build. Abel raises sheep, and sheep must die on the altar. Abraham works for decades while Sarah’s ability to bear children dies right before his eyes. Moses wants a position of power to help his people and must sacrifice that position of power in order to get ready to help his people. Enoch wants to walk with God on earth and sacrifices that to walk into God. Isaac and Israel have the blessing of Abraham but must give it away to the next generation in order to remain in that blessing they possess. Moses leaves Egypt and his people for forty years but not his destiny. Four decades of wilderness shepherding in preparation for wilderness shepherding 3 million of God’s people. Those decades are faith experiences according to Hebrews 11.
23 By an act of faith, Moses’ parents hid him away for three months after his birth. They saw the child’s beauty, and they braved the king’s decree. 24 By faith, Moses, when grown, refused the privileges of the Egyptian royal house. 25 He chose a hard life with God’s people rather than an opportunistic soft life of sin with the oppressors. 26 He valued suffering in the Messiah’s camp far greater than Egyptian wealth because he was looking ahead, anticipating the payoff. 27 By an act of faith, he turned his heel on Egypt, indifferent to the king’s blind rage. He had his eye on the One no eye can see, and kept right on going. [The Message]
Faith has tests and must be tested until it is pure: that is, you must live faithful to pure faith, with nothing else to lure you or assure you. Pure faith must exist in your spiritual man when there is nothing available for your natural man to experience. You believe God and live as if ‘what is coming next’ is already here. In other words, until living faithful to what faith anticipates is enough within itself, you are not ready to live in the experience you anticipate. You live in what you anticipate in faith before you live in it naturally. If you don’t, you will miss the fullness of it when it does arrive.