New Wine for New Wineskins February 2009

By , January 31, 2009 4:38 pm

Let the Weak Speak

Part 6 – Enoch – Walking the Walk (1)

As we have said from the beginning of this series there is tremendous potential in the Body of Christ – there are ministries, kingdom businesses, and world-changers awaiting release into their destinies!  But if our potential is going to be realised there must be change.  Remember – all change in the kingdom is EXCHANGE – and it is always new for old!  All God wants from us is our weakness so that his supernatural strength can be seen in us.  And so, the purpose of this series is to release anyone who is bound and limited by weakness into the fullness of their potential so that they can fulfil their purpose in bringing glory to God!

God’s plan is for us to be signs and wonders and to be the most exciting thing that is going on wherever we are!  Jesus said it was better for him to go so that the Holy Spirit could come upon all believers and so the church could not just be added to but multiplied.  The power of God that Jesus was anointed with is no longer limited to one person or restricted to one geographical location!  The problem with a church or ministry that becomes too big is that it can sometimes be limited to addition unless it has a strategy for multiplication! (You may have to think about that statement)

Isaiah 8: 18

18 Here am I and the children whom the LORD has given me!
We are for signs and wonders in Israel
From the LORD of hosts,
Who dwells in Mount Zion.

And our foundation scripture for this series – Let The Weak Speak!  

Joel 3: 9 – 10

9 Proclaim this among the nations:
“Prepare for war!
Wake up the mighty men,
Let all the men of war draw near,
Let them come up.
10 Beat your plowshares into swords
And your pruning hooks into spears;
Let the weak say, ‘I am strong.’”

We are winners in the war of words when we enforce the victory that is already ours over a defeated enemy that is too proud to acknowledge that he has been defeated and stripped of his   power!  The only access that he has into our lives is through deception and the only power he has is the power of persuasion.

IT IS TIME TO LET THE WEAK SPEAK!  IT IS TIME FOR THE WEAK TO SAY, “I AM STRONG!”

So let’s turn back to the Hebrews 11 “Hall of Faith”.  Remember – those listed here were not perfect people – in fact some of them were far from perfect.  But they made it because they believed God’s Word and allowed God’s strength to manifest in them and deliver them from their weakness!

This list is by no means an exhaustive account of those of God’s people who lived by faith but it is a fairly comprehensive collection of characters from many different backgrounds who overcame a wide range of weaknesses by faith.  When I began to meditate on this chapter I was not intending to look at all of those listed there and so as I was going through the “Hall of Faith” I was planning to begin with Noah. But as I continued to meditate on this great chapter I knew that I had to start with Enoch.  At first I thought there were no apparent weaknesses mentioned in scripture relating to Enoch but as I continued to meditate on the Word I realised what his weakness was.  All will be revealed shortly.

Hebrews 11: 5 – 6

5 By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death,  “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. 6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Isn’t it wonderful that when God takes you he takes you ALIVE – he doesn’t have to kill you first!  Enoch didn’t have to experience death!  We need major adjustments to our traditional understanding of certain things.  As I was reading a daily devotional some time ago it was talking about Job and how losing his children, etc. had done such a great work in him.  I began to realise that with that very common yet faulty understanding of God’s ways it was basically saying that Job was the important guy while all of his children were obviously expendable!  Is that really God’s heart?  No!  It was the devil who took Job’s children!   God’s will is that none perish and that all come to repentance and faith – and through faith overcome all of the weaknesses that give the thief access to steal, kill, and destroy!  
Genesis 5: 21 – 24

21 When Enoch was 65 years old, he became the father of Methuselah. 22 After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked with God for 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 23 Enoch lived a total of 365 years. 24 Enoch walked with God; then he was gone because God took him.

Enoch was only the seventh generation from Adam but already wickedness had spread like a cancer through mankind.  Although it says that men began to call on the name of the LORD in the third generation, Enoch stands out in the genealogy listed in Genesis 5 because it clearly states that he walked with God!  Who knows that there is a difference?  Some folks only call on the name of the LORD when they are in trouble whereas those who walk with God are also talking with him all the time!  Hebrews 11: 5 reveals that Enoch pleased God and verse 6 reminds us that the only way to please God is by faith – hearing what he says and believing that HE IS able to do what he promises for those who diligently seek him!  

Like so many other things in our relationship with God I believe that there is a triune element to this.  Jesus said it this way:

Luke 11: 9 – 10

9 "So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

Enoch went all the way – he wasn’t just an asker but he was also a seeker and a knocker!

This part of the series is titled “Enoch – Walking The Walk” but I was tempted to call it “Enoch – Knocking On Heaven’s Door”!

Enoch was the seventh generation and yet he is apparently the first one since Adam’s fall who walked with God in such a way that it made him different!   I believe that there are many askers in the church today, and even a fair number of seekers – but there are very few knockers!   There are not many people who know how to open up heaven and who press into God’s presence to the extent that they carry his manifest presence and his anointing in the earth.

According to Malachi, obedience in tithing opens the windows of heaven so that blessing is poured out on the earth but I believe God is waiting for a people who will come knocking on the door of heaven so that the entrance is cleared for a church that – just like Enoch – gets so close into God’s presence that one day there will be no turning back!

Revelation 3: 7 – 10

7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things says he that is holy, he that is true, he that has the key of David, he that opens, and no man shuts; and shuts, and no man opens; 8 I know your works: behold, I have set before you an open door, and no man can shut it: for you have a little strength, and have kept my word, and have not denied my name. 9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. 10 Because you have kept the word of my patience, I also will keep you from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. 11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which you have, that no man take your crown. 12 Him that overcomes will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. 13 He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches.

The catching up of the church may occur suddenly but it will not come as a surprise or a shock to those who are walking with him – it will only be a surprise to those who are left behind!

So what was Enoch’s weakness?  I believe that Enoch’s weakness was in his genes!  

It would appear that Enoch was preceded by ancestors (many of whom were still around in his lifetime if you do the arithmetic) and surrounded by family members that didn’t have the same heart after God that he had.  Who knows that family traditions can be very strong and that the pull and pressure from family can be very powerful.   Who has ever heard intimidating statements like, “This family doesn’t do things that way!” or “This family has always done things this way!”, or “No part of this family will ever have anything to do with that!” etc.

Enoch would have been aware that his weakness could have pulled him away from where his heart was leading him and so he obviously took his weakness to the only place where it could be overcome – into God’s presence to exchange it for God’s strength!

I have seen too many people pulled away from God’s best for their lives through strong family allegiances that created weakness in them and caused them to give up on their wholehearted pursuit of God’s will in order to placate their family.

Remember – anything that is strong in your flesh is actually a weakness that needs to be surrendered to the LORD so that his strength can enable you to overcome and walk in the fullness of his purpose for your life!

Jesus was very clear that family relationships can expose our weakness and hinder our progress in the kingdom!  He said that our love for him must exceed our allegiance to all other relationships if we are going to be his disciples and be completely free to follow him wherever he leads us!  Sometimes you even need to leave the dead to bury the dead!

We are commanded to honour our father and mother but not to blindly follow their example or perpetuate their mistakes for the sake of upholding dead family traditions!  I have seen people who were so intent on following their forefathers that they ended up in religious bondage, and I have also seen people who were so adamant they they were not going to do anything (including the good stuff) the way their parents did it that they too ended up in a mess.

We honour and respect our natural parents but ultimately we must follow the direction and leading of our heavenly Father if we are going to walk in victory and fulfil his destiny for our lives!  We must choose to walk with him and be intimately acquainted with and obedient to him just like Enoch – regardless of what our forefathers did or didn’t do and how they did or didn’t do it!

There is so much that could be said on this subject and if you meditate on it God will reveal areas of your life that need to be freed up and released from the limitations that this area of weakness has produced in you!  Some of the things that are held up proudly as family strengths are actually weaknesses in the light of God’s word.  For example – no man in this family ever cries in public, or no one in this family would ever show their emotions, and so on.

Enoch walked with God!  Those who walk with God talk with God!  They not only ask but they also listen!  Faith comes by hearing – not by speaking!  Faith hears and then it speaks!  Faith listens first so that it will know what to speak!  Those who walk with God learn to talk like God!  They know where their strength comes from but they know that they have supernatural strength!  Like the little mouse who crossed the old wooden bridge with an elephant.  When they reached the other side the little mouse looked up at the elephant and said, “We really shook that bridge, didn’t we?”

IT IS TIME TO LET THE WEAK SPEAK!  LET THE WEAK SAY, “I AM STRONG!”

I believe that some folks have allowed their background and upbringing or the circumstances of their birth to hinder them in walking in the fullness of God’s blessing for their lives, and that has in turn limited their effectiveness in being a blessing to others!  Some have excessive pride in their heritage and others are ashamed of their heritage but the effects are the same because both of these negative attitudes place limitations on your life!

If anyone could have been proud of his background it was Paul – but listen to what he says!

Philippians 3: 3 – 15

 3 We are the [true] circumcised people [of God] because we serve God's Spirit and take pride in Christ Jesus. We don't place any confidence in physical things, 4 although I could have confidence in my physical qualifications. If anyone else thinks that he can trust in something physical, I can claim even more. 5 I was circumcised on the eighth day. I'm a descendant of Israel. I'm from the tribe of Benjamin. I'm a pure-blooded Hebrew. When it comes to living up to standards, I was a Pharisee. 6 When it comes to being enthusiastic, I was a persecutor of the church. When it comes to winning God's approval by keeping Jewish laws, I was perfect. 7 These things that I once considered valuable, I now consider worthless for Christ. 8 It's far more than that! I consider everything else worthless because I'm much better off knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. It's because of him that I think of everything as worthless. I threw it all away in order to gain Christ 9 and to have a relationship with him. This means that I didn't receive God's approval by obeying his laws. The opposite is true! I have God's approval through faith in Christ. This is the approval that comes from God and is based on faith 10 that knows Christ. Faith knows the power that his coming back to life gives and what it means to share his suffering. In this way I'm becoming like him in his death, 11 with the confidence that I'll come back to life from the dead. 12 It's not that
I've already reached the goal or have already completed the course. But I run to win that which Jesus Christ has already won for me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I can't consider myself a winner yet. This is what I do: I don't look back, I lengthen my stride, and 14 I run straight toward the goal to win the prize that God's heavenly call offers in Christ Jesus. 15 Whoever has a mature faith should think this way. And if you think differently, God will show you how to think.

If anyone should have been ashamed of his background and family line it should have been Enoch.  After all, six generations back his forefather had cause the whole human race to fall out of God’s best and be excluded from the fullness of his provision.  Then in the generation after that when there were only two brothers on the whole earth one murdered the other by giving to a self-righteous religious spirit that opened the door to resentment in him!  By the time he was grown Enoch was surrounded by family who were sliding into wickedness as their thoughts were becoming continually wicked – leading to wicked words, wicked actions, wicked habits, wicked character and ending in the destiny of the wicked as God’s judgement in the flood was rapidly approaching!

But Enoch chose to overcome family pressures and the temptation to go with the flow.  He refused to allow family allegiances to influence him and compromise his personal faith!  In the midst of everything that he was surrounded by, Enoch walked with God!  

Pressing into God is the only way to correct our genetic flaws and weaknesses!  It doesn’t matter whether we were born in a brothel or a bungalow, a palace or a prison, or whether we were born upper class, middle class, working class or just plain no class!  What matters is that from the time we are born again we learn to walk with God!

The word of God is clear that the sins of the fathers are passed down generationally – that generational curses will continue to operate in our lives until we cut them off by faith and choose to walk in the blessing!  Enoch cut off all of the negative effects of the generational connections in his life by choosing to walk with God!

Personally, in my family history there is good and bad.  I choose to focus on the good and look back with honour and thankfulness for the good and I also choose to reject any negative influences, impressions, or impartations that may have resulted from the bad stuff!

Familiar (family) spirits that have followed your family for generations will try and suck you back into the same destructive patterns of behaviour, but we can break generational curses by choosing to walk in the blessing!  By staying close to the One who loves us the most – who doesn’t ever try and manipulate or control us but simply invites us to walk with him and talk with him and learn from him!

IT IS TIME TO LET THE WEAK SPEAK!  LET THE WEAK SAY, “I AM STRONG!”

We all inherit bad stuff and so we can choose to allow that stuff to control our thinking and our lives as expressed through our words and our actions or we can choose to walk with God as new creations for whom the old has gone and the new has come!

Enoch took his generational weakness to the LORD – his relationship with God took precedence over every other relationship!

We have been reconciled with God – there are no longer any hindrances to our living in relationship with him and we can walk as closely with him as we choose!

Galatians 3: 28

28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Many people are worried about hereditary sickness.  The first thing a doctor asks you at a medical examination is if there is a family history of any of the major illnesses.  You can allow these genetic weaknesses to limit you and control you through fear or you can choose to walk with God and exchange sickness and weakness for Divine health and strength!

LET THE WEAK SAY, “I AM STRONG!”

There are many negative character traits that can be inherited such as a short temper or a depressive nature (anger turned inwards), etc.  We can live under the shadow of these things and accept them as just the way things are or we can choose to walk with God and exchange anger and depression for the peace of God and the joy of the LORD which is our strength!

LET THE WEAK SAY, “I AM STRONG!”

Some of us possibly grew up in an environment where we were continually criticised or put down and told that we would never amount to anything.  We can go on believing these cruel lies or we can choose to walk with God and exchange the put-downs and the criticism for God’s good, acceptable, and perfect will for our lives where his plans for us are always for good and never for evil.

LET THE WEAK SAY, “I AM STRONG!”

Some folks have been told that no-one from their family has ever achieved anything worthwhile or ever lived in anything else but poverty and failure.  We can allow that generational curse to continue or we can choose to walk with God and exchange failure and poverty for success and prosperity!

LET THE WEAK SAY, “I AM STRONG!”

Maybe everyone in your family who ever went into business ended up bankrupt.  We can let that stop us from launching a kingdom business by faith or we can choose to walk with God and exchange the curse of bankruptcy for the power to get wealth!

LET THE WEAK SAY, “I AM STRONG!”

For some people the curse of divorce and unfaithfulness has blighted every generation.  We can either shy away from any kind of commitment, enter marriage expecting the inevitable breakdown, or we can choose to walk with God and exchange devastation and adultery for the lifelong covenant of a God-centred marriage.

LET THE WEAK SAY, “I AM STRONG!”

Come to the place of Divine exchange – walk with God!

Enoch walked so closely with God that he got to see the end from the beginning!  God always shares his heart with those who choose to walk with him!

Amos 3: 7

7 Surely the Lord GOD does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.

Remember – God never does anything unless he says something first!  Listen to what Enoch prophesied!

Jude 14 – 16

14 Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these (wicked) men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, 15 to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”
16 These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage.

Enoch could have allowed the weakness in his genes to limit him but he chose to walk with God and so he exchanged the weakness of his heritage for a strong relationship with God!

Are we going to allow either excessive pride or crushing shame regarding our heritage to limit our potential to be everything that God has planned and destined for us to be or are we willing to exchange our natural heritage for the spiritual heritage left to us by our heavenly Father and all those who have walked the way before us by faith!

Listen to how David puts it!  

Psalm 16

1 Preserve me, O God, for in You I put my trust.
2 O my soul, you have said to the LORD,
         “You are my Lord,
         My goodness is nothing apart from You.”
3 As for the saints who are on the earth,
         “They are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight.”
4 Their sorrows shall be multiplied who hasten after another god;
         Their drink offerings of blood I will not offer,
         Nor take up their names on my lips.
5 O LORD, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup;
         You maintain my lot.
6 The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
         Yes, I have a good inheritance.
7 I will bless the LORD who has given me counsel;
         My heart also instructs me in the night seasons.
8 I have set the LORD always before me;
         Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.
9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices;
         My flesh also will rest in hope.
10 For You will not leave my soul in Sheol (the grave),
         Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
11 You will show me the path of life;
         In Your presence is fullness of joy;
         At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Those of us who were born into Christian homes and raised by parents who were believers can give thanks and look back and honour them for our upbringing but we should never place our trust
in that or allow ourselves to be limited by the faith of our parents!  And if you weren’t brought up in a Christian home with believing parents that in no way limits your potential now!  David doesn’t thank God here for the counsel of Jesse – who, after all, didn’t always recognise the potential in his youngest son – but for the counsel he had received direct from the LORD himself.  Enoch went where no one had ever gone before and experienced a relationship with God that no one else had ever experienced and saw things that no one else had seen.

We can do the same!  I believe that Enoch prophetically saw multiplied thousands of people who pressed into God just like he did and who are going to be taken just as he was taken without tasting death and who will return with the Lord Jesus Christ at his coming to judge and to rule the nations.

Remember what Paul told the Corinthians.

1 Corinthians 1: 26 – 31

26 For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence. 30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— 31 that, as it is written,  “He who glories, let him glory in the LORD.”

We can allow our inherited weaknesses to limit and control us or we can do what Enoch did and press into our walk with God!

Are you ready to walk the walk?  Are you knocking on heaven’s door?

IT IS TIME TO LET THE WEAK SPEAK!  LET THE WEAK SAY, “I AM STRONG!”

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