New Wine for New Wineskins March 2010

By , March 3, 2010 11:07 am

Let the Weak Speak

Let the Weak SpeakPart 19 – Caleb – Following the Cloud (2)

Remember – the purpose of this series is to release the potential that is within us to build successful ministries, kingdom businesses, and to be world changers who really make a difference in this world.  That will always involve change but we don’t need to panic because all of the change God requires from us is by way of exchange.  And so we simply come to the place of exchange – the Throne of Grace – where we have the opportunity to trade our weakness for his strength!

We are no longer wearing ourselves out chasing signs and wonders – we are signs and wonders and so we are destined to be the most exciting thing that is going on wherever we are!

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.

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.’”

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

As stated earlier, we need to fully grasp that it doesn’t matter how many signs and wonders you see or experience because until you believe that YOU ARE a sign and a wonder you will never possess the land that is your inheritance!

Since the restoration of the full gospel and the beginning of the pentecostal and charismatic movements there have been countless signs and wonders witnessed and yet the church has still failed to fully appropriate the fullness of their inheritance in taking the land!  The reason is simple!  God’s people remain stuck in who they have been instead of standing up in who they now are!

LET THE WEAK SAY, “I AM STRONG!”

Remember when Elijah went on the run from Jezebel.  He had just witnessed an incredible sign and wonder but he started saying to God, “I have been…”  That exposed one thing – he had become a ‘has-been’!  Who you have been will not take you very far – it is who you are NOW that is important!

The awesome thing is that even though Caleb (and Joshua) shared the same history as the rest of the people, Caleb had a different spirit!  He wasn’t going to remain a slave to his history when he believed that he had been set free to fulfil his destiny!

Tragically, out of a whole generation of God’s people who had been supernaturally delivered from bondage only two made it in to all that God had planned for them.  The rest perished in the wilderness because of unbelief.

Numbers 26: 65 (NIV)

65 For the LORD had told those Israelites they would surely die in the desert, and not one of them was left except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.

Numbers 32: 11 – 12 (NIV)

11 ‘Because they have not followed me wholeheartedly, not one of the men twenty years old or more who came up out of Egypt will see the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob- 12 not one except Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua son of Nun, for they followed the LORD wholeheartedly.’

Remember what happened after the other ten spies died.  The people decided that they would try and go up after all.  You would have thought that Caleb and Joshua would have been a part of that but they weren’t interested because they knew where their ability came from.  Faith accesses the supernatural ability of God’s grace but faith only becomes active in response to what God says.  The people who had rejected what God said TODAY tried to take the same word into TOMORROW but that won’t work!

Deuteronomy 1: 34 – 45

34 When the LORD heard what you said, he was angry and took this oath: 35 “Not one of these evil people will ever see the good land that I swore to give to your ancestors, 36 except Caleb, son of Jephunneh. He will see it, and I will give the land that he set his feet on to him and his descendants, because he wholeheartedly followed the LORD.” 37 The LORD became angry with me because of you. He said, “You won’t go there either. 38 But your assistant Joshua, son of Nun, will go there. Encourage him, because he will help Israel take possession of the land. 39 Although you thought the little children would be captured in war, your children, who are still too young to know the difference between good and evil, will enter that land. I will give it to them, and they will take possession of it. 40 Turn around, go back into the desert, and follow the road that goes to the Red Sea.” 41 You responded, “We have sinned against the LORD. We’ll go and fight, as the LORD our God commanded us to do.” Each of you armed yourself for war, thinking you could easily invade the mountain region. 42 But the LORD said to me, “Tell them, ‘Don’t go and fight, because I won’t be with you. You will be defeated by your enemies.'” 43 I told you, but you wouldn’t listen. You defied the LORD’s command and invaded the mountain region. 44 The Amorites who lived there came out and attacked you and chased you like a swarm of bees. They defeated you, chasing you from Seir all the way to Hormah. 45 When you came back, you cried to the LORD, but the LORD didn’t listen to you or hear you.

Don’t ever presume that having disobeyed the word of God to you TODAY that the opportunity for obedience will still exist TOMORROW!  God only deals with us in TODAY!  TODAY if you hear his voice – TODAY is the day of salvation!  If you obey it TODAY then you can take it into the next TODAY and the next TODAY and the next TODAY, etc, etc, but if you disobey it TODAY then TOMORROW is often too late!

Don’t go into battle with yesterday’s disobeyed rhema – you might find that it has reverted to logos!  In the natural you don’t try and live indefinitely on the food you ate yesterday – so why do we try and do that spiritually?  Jesus said that we don’t just live by the natural food we consume every day but by the rhema that God speaks afresh to us every day.

Listen to this!

Joshua 14: 6 – 14

6 Then the people of Judah came to Joshua at Gilgal. Caleb, son of Jephunneh and grandson of Kenaz, said to him, “You know what the LORD said to Moses, the man of God, at Kadesh Barnea about you and me. 7 I was 40 years old when the LORD’s servant Moses sent me from Kadesh Barnea to explore the land. I reported to him exactly what I thought. 8 But my companions discouraged the people. However, I was completely loyal to the LORD my God. 9 On that day Moses swore this oath: ‘The land your feet walked on will be a permanent inheritance for you and your descendants because you were completely loyal to the LORD my God.’ 10 “So look at me. The LORD has kept me alive as he promised. It’s been 45 years since Israel wandered in the desert when the LORD made this promise to Moses. So now look at me today. I’m 85 years old. 11 I’m still as fit to go to war now as I was when Moses sent me out. 12 Now give me this mountain region which the LORD spoke of that day. You heard that the people of Anak are still there and that they have large, fortified cities. If the LORD is with me, I can force them out, as he promised.” 13 So Joshua blessed Caleb, son of Jephunneh, and gave him Hebron as his inheritance. 14 Hebron is still the inheritance of Caleb, son of Jephunneh and grandson of Kenaz, because Caleb was completely loyal to the LORD God of Israel.

Caleb waited 45 years for the fulfilment of God’s promise in his life but faith and patience canceled  out the waiting time! He was as fresh and ready to receive the fulfilment of the promise of God after 45 years as he was on the day he first believed it!   He kept his vision “charged up” by walking it out every day!  There wasn’t a day that he let it out of his sight!

Caleb became the inspiration for the next generation!  He became a sign and a wonder and the most exciting thing that was going on!  Who do you think the young people preferred to be around and to listen to?  The old murmuring, grumbling, complaining crowd or Caleb who couldn’t stop talking about the promised land and his mountain?

Are you a follower of the crowd?  Do you tend to go with the majority?  Or are you a follower of the cloud with a fresh testimony of God’s goodness and faithfulness as you walk out his word every day as a sign and a wonder and the most exciting thing that is going on?

LET THE WEAK SAY, “I AM STRONG!”

Let’s understand – the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire were not a cute, fluffy stick of candy floss and the flickering little flame of a church candle.  These were manifestations of Almighty God’s presence every day!

Exodus 13: 21 – 22

21 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night. 22 He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day or the pillar of fire by night from before the people.

cloud anan – the nimbus or thundercloud – cumulonimbus – tall, towering clouds bringing showers and thunder

firepur – literally “lightning”

When God is on the scene there is going to a demonstration of power!

When you are a dedicated follower of the cloud and recognise your complete dependence upon the fire of God’s presence you will see things that others don’t see. When others are wandering around in the rituals of religious observance and moaning about how dead and dry things are you will be dreaming big dreams because you know that the presence of God is with you and so there has to be a demonstration of his power and a manifestation of his glory!

Remember what happened at Pentecost!

Acts 2: 1 – 4

1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Are you wishing that you could revisit that day or that something like this could happen again – or do you believe that God showed up that day and never left?  Do you have a different spirit like Caleb’s that can resist the pressure of your peer’s unbelief and recognise that you have more in common with the next generation and their opportunity to enter in?

Do you believe, speak, and act as though the GLORY IS HERE when everyone else around you is praying for revival?  If you do then you will be a sign and a wonder! Are you acting as though God is here instead of waiting for him to show up? If you are then you will be the most exciting thing that is going on wherever you are!  You will speak positive words of faith when everyone else is doing another wilderness circuit.

You will be talking about taking your mountain when others are still tripping over their molehills!

Several years ago I had a dream in which there was a constant stream of young people coming into the church.  They were walking past me getting down on their knees and on their faces in worship.  They were there because God was there!

I believe with all my heart that we are here to prepare the way for the next generation – to cross over to where they are in their generation and let them know that GOD IS HERE!  God is where they are – his manifest presence – his glory is here!

Caleb had a different spirit – a willing spirit – a pioneering spirit!  Pioneers are the source of the next generation’s blessing!

Joshua 15: 13 – 19

13 Joshua gave Caleb, son of Jephunneh, a share of land among the people of Judah as the LORD had told them. It was Kiriath Arba (now called Hebron). Arba was the father of Anak. 14 Caleb forced out Sheshai, Ahiman, and Talmai, three descendants of Anak from Hebron. 15 From there he marched against the people living in Debir. (In the past Debir was called Kiriath Sepher.) 16 Caleb said, “I will give my daughter Achsah as a wife to anyone who attacks Kiriath Sepher and captures it.” 17 Then Othniel, son of Caleb’s brother Kenaz, captured it. So Caleb gave him his daughter Achsah as a wife. 18 When she came to Othniel, she persuaded him to ask her father for a field. When she got down from her donkey, Caleb asked her, “What do you want?” 19 She answered, “Give me a blessing. Since you’ve given me some dry land, also give me some springs.” So Caleb gave her the upper and lower springs.

Are you willing to resist the pressure to get stuck in your own generation or do you have the vision to cross over to the other side and repackage the message, the method, and the mantle to get involved with the next generation?

LET THE WEAK SAY, “I AM STRONG!”

IT IS TIME to pull down all the strongholds of “same old same old” tradition and unbelief !

Are you a follower of the crowd or a follower of the cloud?

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