April 22 .2022
Let’s be honest – the enemy loves it when the saints of God lose the plot with a loss of love in their hearts for God. This is his greatest strategy to derail you. Beloved, it’s all downhill after that! Now is a good time to stay with our eyes fixed on the prize -whose name is Jesus! He is our reward. The winds of change are upon us, and we need to check our foundations, windows and doors are secure and ready for the current conditions, and the storms that are yet to come!
Here are ten ways to stay burning hot for God:
1.Relaying Covenantal Foundations with Jesus
It’s a season of trusting the Lord with all that is within us. Everything has been shaken or is going to being shaken, so it’s time to look at the need for solid foundations and submitting to the Lordship of Christ. Many are having to relay their first love foundations as they did not build the deeper more solid foundations in the last seasons that are holding them up in this season.
Our foundations are built on the truth of the Word of God and our covenantal love with Him through intimate connection to the Holy Spirit. Hot fiery love looks like enduring through the fires of radical social shifts and changes.
If we burn for Him, we won’t burn out.
All our offences must be dealt with. True spiritual foundations are based on a radical love that will obey God, regardless of the season. Ask God to help you and decide that nothing can be allowed to rob your passion and your fire for God. It’s time for a new first love anointing.
2.Overcoming in Love tests and Spiritual Battles
The fruit inspector is the Holy Spirit – He comes to check the fruit. In John 15 he describes Himself as the Vinedresser. He comes to inspect our fruit and to see the quality of the fruit. Each of the fruits require inspection: our love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, perseverance, and self-control.
There are two key areas that are inspected: one is our love tests with the people in our lives who drive us crazy! The second area is the battle with the demonic spirit that is attacking you the most. Many mix these two up, but they are two separate battles!
Because the battle intensified during the Covid season, we must be so much more aware to stay out of offence. Offence is first a choice in the mind, then it can become your personality and lastly it attracts a demonic spirit.
It is rampant in this season and will destroy your first love anointing. Listen “an offendable Bride” are two words that never go together! Remember: it is so hard to stay offended when we choose humility. Ask the Holy Spirit: “What areas of offence am I still carrying?” Sign me up Lord for a radical covenantal love that is completely non-offendable!
3.Going Through the Gates and Thresholds God has for you in this Season
Isaiah 62: 10
Pass through, pass through the gates!
Prepare the way for the people.
Build-up, build up the highway!
Remove the stones.
Raise a banner for the nations
The gates speak of our heart and or spiritual thresholds that we pass through to mature.
As you are passing through a threshold or gate, all hell might come at you. There are many spirits of false accusation that are at work to destroy God’s children.
It’s vital we do not get our eyes off the prophetic promises of God, regardless of the circumstances!
Beloved, it’s time to pass through the gates and stay on course. Don’t get distracted or defeated but stay with the upgrades He has for you. A good question is always asking the Lord: “Am I maturing through overcoming in this season?”
4.Invest into the prayer movement – The House of Prayer
My house shall be a House of Prayer
In the past Covid season there has been such a call to start or continue the great work of the House of Prayer. Ultimately, 24/7 prayer is the only way the Bride is going to prepare for what is coming. Further to that, holy midwives who are birthing this new move of God are on fire as they travail and birth His promises for the Body of Christ. Being with them can change you for ever – impartation from heaven is caught not taught.
I feel the Lord shouting this one.
You cannot afford to not be committed to weekly prayer meetings anymore. Get with the prayer warriors. Further to that no believer can truly be on fire without being attached, grafted in and submitted to local church. This is a biblical mandate and not one we can ignore.
Radical prayer and worship is the oil that will sustain this hour. First love is cultivated in the hot soil of the prophetic community and in the fire of sustained prayer and worship! Ask God: “How can I partner with the prayer movement world-wide and the local church?”
5.Receive Fresh Intel from Heaven – Not from the World
There is a divine intelligence in this hour to be downloaded from heaven. Be careful what you are listening to, as information is a key factor in staying on course. We must keep our eyes on the Lord and stay focussed on hearing His voice without the bias of news, ideas and or opinions of others. You need the heavenly news. Remember Isaiah 55- “My ways are not your ways. My thoughts are not your thoughts”.
Listen -even other peoples’ prophetic is not going to sustain you in the hour of fire. You must get your own oil in the prayer furnace alone with Jesus. As you do you will fulfill one of the greatest verses in the Bible… Jeremiah 33:3- “Call to me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things which you do not know!” Ask the Lord: “Am I hearing all that you have to say to ME in this hour?”
6.Overcome the Spirit of Fear and The Spirit of Intimidation manifesting as either Conspiracies, Accusations or Lies
In righteousness you will be established: tyranny will be far from you.
you will have nothing to fear. Isaiah 54:14
There are many lying spirits and confusing narratives at play. Recognise the fruits. There is a unique mental health assignment right now for those who drink the cool aid of conspiracies, accusations and lies. Some of them may have a teeny-weeny bit of truth. Even still, don’t focus on them – look past them to the greater battle.
Turn your eyes on Jesus not the fear. Ask the Father to show you where fear is hiding in your life. Intimidation is shouting taunts and threats, but we must ignore that. “Lord teach me to keep the door shut to these spirits. Rise up and stay firm in the Holy Spirit.” The fruit is always courage and peace, and an increase of His incredible presence.
7.Sit under the Spirit of Wisdom and Of Revelation
For those who are hungry there is much bread. So many times, in 2021, I awoke to the smell of fresh bread and no we do not live near a bakery. I believe there is so much fresh revelation that is truly satisfying to the lover of God. Don’t be distracted. A big one right now for most people is learning when to be silent and when to speak. Don’t mix that one up.
Let your eyes be filled with a fresh understanding that the Lord of the Harvest has a fresh revelation for you in this hour. Eat the bread of revelation beloved. Get it for yourself not from a book or website. Press in for the fresh bread of heaven.
Let’s pray from Ephesians over each other: “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints!”
8.Get Healed from past Wounds, Traumas, Shocks and Betrayals
God is highlighting in our lives, all kinds of things so we can fly higher. Soul ties, co-dependency and trauma in particular are being targeted by God so that we can get free!
Remember the verse in Mark 7.23 “out of the heart comes defilement”. It’s not the world only that defiles us, it is our own unclean areas that can defile.
Therefore, we have a Godly responsibility to clean it all up. Ask God: “What areas of defilement are you highlighting for me to repent of, turn from and get cleansed from in this season.”
9.Pick up your Assignments
There are new prayer assignments in this season – new ministry assignments too but of course the main ministry focus is to help your family/neighbour get on fire for God and do all that He tells you to. “Father, what assignments do I need to complete in this season?”
10. Prepare Yourself for the Greatest of Days Ahead
Matthew 24 – “You will hear of wars nearby and revolutions on every side, with more rumours of wars to come. Don’t panic or give in to your fears, for the breaking apart of the world’s systems is destined to happen. But it won’t yet be the end; it will still be unfolding.”
Beloved it’s a season to sign on for not only a lifestyle of surrender, but a true Biblical understanding of sustainable revival as the glory increases for you personally! This must be our goal.
JOHN 17 GLORY IS COMING AND WILL INCREASE AS THE BRIDE SAYS YES TO THE BRIDEGROOM
Finally. If you are a frontline worker for the Kingdom of God, you must remember that in this season of extreme sowing there WILL BE A REWARD!
The Harvest is Coming, and your labour is not in vain. Get ready!
April 22 .2022
Lovers of the Cross
Good Friday – 2022/ Maria Mason
Today is Good Friday and we stop to celebrate the cross of Jesus, but it seems as though the cost of the gospel has increased. Many attribute this to the sway of “cultural relevance”. Regardless of the reason, so many have come to even despise the cross in our post Christian era.
Many have become what Paul described as “enemies of the cross of Christ” (Philippians 3:18), who prefer the culture of the world, to the way of the Lord. Have you seen this tendency in your own heart? Perhaps you have heard your heart mutter the words: “I’m over it!” In doing so, we can sometimes let go of the cross.
The fruit is discernible: an independence away from building the Father’s family, a pride that draws us away from a lifestyle of prayer and the need to invent our own plans because God’s ways seem difficult.
I believe our Father is saying: “I am looking for the burning hearts who will stand like Mary at the foot of cross, who can look past the shame of its nakedness, it’s uncomfortableness and see beyond, to the joy and the glory of resurrection.”
Beloved, we must realise the cross held high is our greatest icon and the power of the gospel. It is the story of covenantal love. The story of hope. The story of redemption. The gospel story – that we were sinners who needed a saviour.
I hear the Father saying today: “Do not despise the very thing that I have chosen to open the heavens. My cross made a way. Therefore, speak of it in the highest of honour. Do not despise it and do not blame the cross or the cost. I have created a way through the gates, for us to be connected. Many reject My love. My hands that were pierced, and My feet, that were crushed under the weight of My body broken. They reject My love and instead blame Me and My people for the cross.”
In this season, there has been an increase of evil against those who hold high the cross. This outpouring of evil is not a rejection of the people of God as much as it is of Christ Himself.
“All the calamities, rejections and distractions are just stirring up noise and will come to nothing- I am establishing my army – an army of lovers of the cross” says the Lord.
As you hold holy hands across the earth today beloved, let us indeed celebrate the cross and uphold and honour the cost of the blood that was shed and let us proclaim His death and resurrection in this hour.
Father: We renounce all tendencies of the flesh and soul to despise the cross. We repent in any way of being enemies of the cross. We humble our hearts to receive the fullness of love displayed in the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, and we deeply acknowledge Your way of love. We choose the way of the cross and we choose the cruciform. To be made like Him in this world.
Although we may been seen as fools sometimes, yet we are of the greatest company that ever there was -the saints of God. Seen as irrelevant, and yet being those who are the relevant ones. The gospel carriers. The Holy Cross bearers. Lovers of Christ Jesus and His cross. Amen and Happy Easter to All.
There is a shift right now as we come to the end of 2021. The shaking of this year is done, and after the storms. However, I feel the Lord warning the church that the Religious Spirit is on the prowl and has one major agenda – to stop the saints to recognise His voice and the unique factors of our season in preparation of the move that is coming.
Satan seeks to blind everyone in the church through various means. One of the keyways is through the religious spirit.
This Spirit has a primary agenda: to keep people from engaging with the true spirit of prophecy.
Spiritual sight and vision are the by-products of the Spirit of prophecy, but it is fuelled by “clean hands and a pure heart” – In other words staying free from things that are not our battle and keeping our hearts in step with the Lord.
Right now, the prayer movement and worship movement have paved a way and God is releasing unusual discernment in the Spirit, for the new year of 2022. The Spirit of Revelation knowledge is upon us, and the Lord is visiting with new and clear sight of the days that are coming! However, the church’s confrontation with the religious spirit will be one of the epic battles of the last days.
The conflict between Jesus and the Pharisees is a type of the struggle between the prophetic church and the religious spirit.
Satan entices the church into an outward religious performance where the focus is upon religious activity. The focus of religious activity is upon overcoming the presence of evil in our lives through trying very hard to be good to be accepted by God. The religious spirit substitutes religious activity for the power of the Holy Spirit.
People affected by the religious spirit are feeding from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil instead of the tree of life. They focus upon evil in others and their own good works in themselves. They flatter themselves into believing that they have overcome evil by doing so much good.
It’s when we are at our most passionate stage as a disciple, that we can become very susceptible to this Spirit.
When we are the most eager to please God, we are more susceptible to falling into the snare of the religious spirit. Satan cannot stop the zeal of devout religious people, so he seeks to push them too far into religious excess and fanaticism about their faith. He constantly tempts deeply religious people to become proud of their religious zeal and fervour.
Jesus warned against the “leaven of the Pharisees,” (Matthew 16:6) which is pride. This leaven inflates bread, but it doesn’t add any nutritional value to the bread. It puffs us up by filling us with a sense of pride in our own spirituality and religious attainments like scripture memorisation, Bible knowledge, good works, zeal for God and evangelism.
Someone operating under a religious spirit will proudly assume that they know God and what he wants from us. They become unteachable and impervious to correction. They will think that rebukes and words of correction are for other people but not for them. They are pleasing God, but others are not. This is exactly what the Pharisees did!
The Pharisees focused upon what was wrong with others whilst being blind to their own faults.
They had become harsh, judgmental, unmerciful and without compassion. Religious people are always full of their own self-righteousness. They are quick to draw attention to their own good deeds and abilities and don’t see how they are inflating their own pride through feeling better about how they do things or see things.
A person can have ‘religious flesh’ without having a demon of religion.
A ‘religious spirit’ doesn’t always imply the presence of a demon. It can mean a religious disposition or orientation. However, a person with religious flesh is a prime candidate for receiving a demon of religion.
These religious spirits entice believers into an extreme caricature of their own brand of Christianity that is quirky and offensive to those outside of their own stream. These spirits deliberately foster a sense of elitism and superiority that exalts itself over others outside of their movement. Religious spirits cause church members to keep at arm’s length from other churches. It is possible to tap into the wrong spirit. Paul talked about receiving “a different spirit from the one you received.” (2 Cor. 11:4)
People living under the dominion of a religious spirit have tapped into a false spirit masquerading as the Holy Spirit.
They are living out of a religious spirit that is energising them in their religious activities, instead of living out of the Holy Spirit as a source. The religious spirit seeks to replace the Holy Spirit as the source of spiritual life.
Characteristics of a person with a religious spirit.
1. Performance based approval through religious activity and service.
2. Delighting in self-abasement. (Colossians 2:18)
3. Fault-finding, tearing others down, seeing what is always wrong, trying to fix others, perfectionism
4. Feeling better about ourselves after we have done something good or spiritual
5. Pride in spiritual discipline and good works
6. Looking cool and always coming off as the good or nice guy
7. Comparing ourselves with others
8. Spiritual manifestations to be seen by men
How do we overcome the religious spirit?
1. Develop a secret life before the Lord.
2. Put to death the need for approval and recognition by men.
3. Intercede when you see a problem instead of criticising.
4. Get a revelation of the finished work of Christ and learn to live from His righteousness not your own!
5. Value, uphold and put your treasure on the word of the Lord to your own heart.
6. Uphold love as the ultimate triumph of the grace of Jesus!
7. Value others. Submit to others. Listen and stay humble in your heart. Learn from Jesus.
Prayer for Freedom
We are all Pharisees being healed! Father we pray you continue to show us our vulnerability to this Spirit. Show us Your heart and how free from this You are! We want to be free in the Spirit of Jesus. Deliver us from any false prophetic spirits and false notions of the prophetic gift. Father I pray you convict us of religious behaviours. Needing to be seen of man. Gaining approval from doing things instead of trusting you and building identity in Jesus. Lord I rest in you and your righteousness. I hide in your love and your purity, and I submit to your Holy Spirit. Amen.
Our hearts can close off to others without us even realizing. Some folks are oblivious to this skill of knowing when they are in danger of closing off, as its been the way they have “survived” life. Others are so in their heads, they are just stuck there, not realizing their own hearts betray them. I love how Paul spoke to the Corinthians:
“We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts to you. We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us. As a fair exchange, I speak as to my children, open wide your hearts also.” 2 Corinthians 6:11-13 NIV
The greatest strategy to destroy community, lies within our own hearts! It is the capacity to “shut your heart” to others. When my heart is closed it is cold and withdrawn. When my heart is open my heart is warm and affectionate, drawing towards others and not pulling away. In studying this feature in community life, I have noticed that our gatherings are affected by this extraordinary and yet simple revelation.
Hearts open, means we are more likely to have an open spiritual experience together of Heaven. “Closed hearts” is a difficult spiritual situation; decreasing the presence of God.
We are all learning to recognize these unique relationship enemies and go after them. Here’s a hit list of enemies to watch out for:
*a fear of being vulnerable or known
*unforgiveness and in particular holding onto offences
*pride in not wanting to share your life or heart
*anxiety issues and isolation issues
*fear of rejection or shameful feelings
*avoidance of the heart altogether, resulting in a shut heart
*accusation from the Spiritual realm (although sometimes we can’t blame the devil for this as some people love accusing others)
*not feeling safe to stay open although this can be an excuse for some
Declare war today on your enemies of connection.
As you do, you will begin to see your relationships within community grow and flourish. Write up a prayer to read when you feel your heart pulling away and shutting down. Have a personal strategy to re-join the community connection daily in some way. Its so worth it!
God wants to teach us this epic skill of being open hearted ones, so we are aware of our own heart condition, whether we are open or shut or somewhere in between!
“My peace is the legacy I leave to you” 14:27 – The Voice Bible.
It’s surprising how many people walk around every day with little to no peace. Peace is absolutely vital to our inner well-being, and the gap we feel internally without it is just as detrimental as not having an adequate diet or nutrition. We were created for peace. We so need peace! Not the kind of world peace the world gives, but the kind of peace that is absolutely heavenly.
A supernatural peace from above that fills our hearts, our minds and even our physical bodies.
This is the peace that passes understanding (Philippians 4:7) bringing deep rest and resolve. I’m personally convinced a lack of peace is the cause of much of our current first world anxiety disorders.
The world can be an epically traumatic place! As New Creations, we are all learning how to host peace on the inside! True peace comes from only one source – the prince of Peace Isaiah called Him (Isaiah 9:6). He is the peace that fills our hearts and pushes out the trauma and concerns of this life.
“Not as the world gives”(John 14. 27), denotes a very different kind of peace! A peace that is based on intimacy through sonship and not on the things we can see or feel! A peace that is about relationship instead of performance!
We don’t have to earn it or work for it – it is a gift – even on the worst day imaginable.
Peace is the opposite of trauma. I see that there are two internal tanks we tend to operate from; one is the peace tank while the other is the trauma tank. They seem to go up and down based on our experiences. Ask any humanitarian worker or missional person and they will vouch for this.
When Jesus sends us out to do justice, it is always restorative. In other words, not just to bring commentary but to fix the problem. Not just to be a voice but to leave a legacy that is tangible. That legacy by nature is the peace of God.
How can we live on the devil’s doorstep, take ground from the enemy and do all the cool things He says to do without the perfect peace of God? The shalom peace of God is designed to be the foundation of our lives, and all that we are is to flow from that place. Peace, I believe, starts deep inside and is entirely essential to our new way of thinking. It comes from being made right with God and being made whole within. Peace is the by-product of our oneness with Him. As sons and daughters of God we have a right to feel His peace, know His peace and abide in His peace. It is indeed very, very tangible. Ask Him for more of His tangible peace right now.
How can you foster a life of deeper peace that affects your spiritual community?