New Wine for New Wineskins April 2021

By , April 1, 2021 7:10 am

High Five (Part 1)

As I was reading through Joshua recently the following verses caught my attention.
Joshua 9: 1 – 2
1 And it came to pass when all the kings who were on this side of the Jordan, in the hills and in the lowland and in all the coasts of the Great Sea toward Lebanon the Hittite, the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite heard about it, 2 that they gathered together to fight with Joshua and Israel with one accord.
With one accord here means with one mouth and so all of the adversaries were of one mouth.
Right now the church of Jesus Christ appears to have many adversaries and they are gathered together with one mouth, and the words of their mouth are limiting and intimidating and controlling.
Let me clarify something before we go any further. The word of God is clear that we have only one adversary whose sole purpose is to steal, kill, destroy. The word of God is also clear that there are those who are taken captive to do his will and so there are clearly no winners among people where the devil is concerned because he hates everyone including those who serve him. That is why we must be aware that our warfare is with demonic principalities and not human personalities.
But as the children of God we too have one mouth – one mouth that has been designed by our Creator, our Father in heaven, to proclaim his praises and to declare his word.
Psalm 149: 6
6 Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand
When we take the praises of God and the word of God in our mouths we can defeat every enemy.
The Lord gave me a prophetic word last year that is like a fire in my bones. I’m a bit like Jeremiah.
Jeremiah 20: 9
9 Then I said, I will not make mention of Him, nor speak anymore in His name. But His word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, and I could not.
The word I am referring to is:
This ain’t no lockdown. This is a siege. It began with a backdown and it will end in a shakedown if there is no showdown.
A siege is defined as a military operation in which enemy forces surround a city, town or building, cutting off essential supplies, with the aim of compelling the surrender of those inside. A siege is an ancient military strategy that has been an effective means of defeating an enemy for thousands of years.
We have been subjected for months now to a barrage of information coupled with new legislation and enforceable restrictions to limit our freedom. We have also been bombarded with endless propaganda that promotes science as our saviour and seeks to compel us to surrender to the receipt of a so-called vaccine that is presented as the key to a new freedom that is increasingly elusive and which is being continually redefined.
Any alternative voices are immediately labeled and condemned as spreading mis-information, dis-information, and conspiracy theories, etc and are quickly silenced and cancelled from all of the main social media platforms. Many highly qualified and experienced individuals are also treated as pariahs in professional disciplines where they were once celebrated as soon as they dare to question or contradict the popular narrative.

Personally I have always wanted to be a law-abiding member of the community who brings a positive contribution to society. However, I also recognise that I am first and foremost a citizen of the kingdom of heaven and therefore my primary allegiance is to the laws according to which that kingdom operates and functions.
1 Peter 2: 9
9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light 
In regards to the current longstanding restrictions and limitations on corporate worship gatherings there is a clear Scriptural command that for me supersedes the demands of human government and which also has a built-in element that increases its relevance to this timeframe and leaves us without excuse in ignoring its injunction.
Hebrews 10: 23 – 25 (AMP)
23 Let us seize and hold tightly the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is reliable and trustworthy and faithful [to His word]; 24 and let us consider [thoughtfully] how we may encourage one another to love and to do good deeds, 25 not forsaking our meeting together [as believers for worship and instruction], as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more [faithfully] as you see the day [of Christ¿s return] approaching.
There is unambiguous counsel here against failing to assemble together as the local church and a clear prophetic insight that there will be a definite attempt by the enemy to restrict our gatherings as we get closer to the end of the age.
Why is it important to gather together? Because it is how the church is designed to function and it is where we get our supplies from – where we are encouraged, emboldened, and equipped.
Ephesians 4: 11 – 12
11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying [building up] of the body of Christ 
This is usually referred to as the five-fold ministry and it is designed to function within the corporate gathering of the local church.
I have titled this series “Give Him Five” because it is our responsibility to host his presence in his church in accordance with his directions.
When the church is told that it cannot gather and then the supposed concession is made that there can be smaller gatherings but without corporate praise there is a serious weakening of the church as it limits our experience of the manifest presence of God who inhabits the praises of his people.
Also, as we lift up and exalt the name of our Lord and our God and extol his power and ability our faith is strengthened and our trust in him is reinforced as our Saviour, our Healer, and our Deliverer.
When these elements of our spiritual life are missing in the context in which they are designed to be most effective a weakened and locked down church becomes more susceptible to the false narrative presented by those enforcing the siege.
Why not give him five right now – raise one hand in appreciation of the five-fold ministry and raise the other hand in praise.
I love some of the new and fresh praise and worship songs that are popular in the church right now but sometimes you have to go into the treasure chest of golden oldies to bring an expression of what is stirring in your spirit.
There is an incredibly powerful and anointed song that has encouraged us and empowered us to keep moving through some of the stuff we have had to face over the years.
I press towards the mark for the prize of my high calling
I press towards the mark of God 
I press towards the mark for the prize of my high calling
And I go forward with God
And I don’t go low but I go high
And I don’t go low but I go high
I go forward today with God
I don’t hold back but I run my race
I go forward today with God
I don’t hold back but I run my race
Nothing can hold me back 
Nothing can keep me bound
Cos I’m going on with God
Into my promised land
Nothing can hold me back
Nothing can keep me bound
Cos I’m going on with God
Into my promised land
And I don’t go low
But I go high….
I love that declaration. I don’t go low, but I go high. Aren’t you glad that the call of God is a high calling, a call to come up higher. Aren’t you glad that the law of sin and death has been superseded by the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus? We are no longer bound by low living. We can go high and stay high.
Prophetic proclamation through praise is powerful. It sets the course of our lives. I don’t go low, I go high.
Give him five, give him a high five.
One of the definitions of one of the Hebrew words for praise – halal – is to rave.
There is something built into us that wants to rave.
Rave is defined as enthusiastic praise, lavish praise, a rapturous reception, tribute, plaudits, acclaim. The opposite of rave is criticism.
The enemy of our souls has exploited that natural inclination that is designed to have a spiritual manifestation. You just have to watch people at sports events or discos or music concerts or events, and then watch people in church. There has been a disconnect somewhere.
halal – to shine, to make a show, to boast, to be clamorously foolish, to rave, to celebrate.
Do you know that there has been a spate of illegal raves in different parts of the UK during lockdown, some with over 500 people in attendance. Just recently thousands of Glasgow Rangers fans spilled out onto the streets of their city to celebrate their team winning the Scottish league Title for the first time in ten years. And yet the church has mainly complied with all of the restrictions in direct contravention of the Lord’s directive.
Many raves last for the whole night with non-stop electronic dance music and so it is deemed necessary by a lot of  folks to stay high on drugs like ecstasy in order to last the pace. In the world people think they need to be high on alcohol or drugs in order to enjoy themselves.
We are supposed to be high. We were created to be high all the time but alcohol and drugs are the counterfeit – the word of God and the Holy Spirit are the real thing. I’ve heard people say that you can’t be up all the time but that is a lie according to the word of God. He gives us the oil of joy for mourning and the garments of praise for the spirit of heaviness.
We need to take our daily fix and to be filled daily with the Holy Spirit. If you want to stay high and keep raving and praising the Lord then you need to take the right stuff.
Say I don’t go low, I go high.
In this year of the local church it is time to think differently about a high five from now on.
Give him five, give him a high five.
Romans 5: 1 – 5 (Amplified Bible)
5 Therefore, since we are justified (acquitted, declared righteous, and given a right standing with God) through faith, let us [grasp the fact that we] have [the peace of reconciliation to hold and to enjoy] peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).
2 Through Him also we have [our] access (entrance, introduction) by faith into this grace (state of God¿s favour) in which we [firmly and safely] stand. And let us rejoice and exult in our hope of experiencing and enjoying the glory of God.
3 Moreover [let us also be full of joy now!] let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance.
4 And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity). And character [of this sort] produces [the habit of] joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation.
5 Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God¿s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us.
Having been (past tense). We have (present tense).
We have peace with God. The Greek word translated peace is eirene which comes from a primary verb meaning to join. 1 Corinthians 6: 17 tells us: “He that is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.
Eirene means prosperity – whole life prosperity for spirit, soul, and body. It means oneness with God – as he is so are we in this world. It means rest – Jesus said, “I will give you rest….”
It’s the foundation for what I call THE IMMUTABLES.
We are no longer sinners trying to get righteous – we are now the righteousness of God with power and authority in Jesus’ name to resist sin.
Say I don’t go low but I go high, and give him five – give him a high five.
We are no longer the sick trying to get healed – we are now the healed with power and authority in Jesus’ name to resist sickness.
 Say I don’t go low but I go high, and give him five – give him a high five.
We are no longer the oppressed trying to get delivered – we are now the delivered with power and authority in Jesus’ name to resist oppression and depression.
 Say I don’t go low but I go high, and give him five – give him a high five.
Some people will think you have gone raving mad. Tell them they are right, that you are raving because you are high on God’s word and you refuse to stop praising him.
Remember what Jesus said to the paralysed man who was brought to him by his four friends.
Mark 2: 2 – 5, 9 – 12
2 And again He entered Capernaum after some days, and 
it was heard that He was in the house. 2 Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them. 3 Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. 4 And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, ¿Son, your sins are forgiven you.¿
This statement attracted criticism from the religious leaders who were present. So Jesus replied:
9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, “Your sins are forgiven you,” or to say, “Arise, take up your bed and walk”? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins He said to the paralytic, 11 “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” 12 Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”
Faith doesn’t look for an open door. Faith creates an open door. Faith sees a door where others see a roof. Faith removes the lid – the place of limitation – the means of lockdown. Faith hears yes when others hear no. Faith knows that all of the promises of God are yes and amen in Christ Jesus. Faith is attached to life – it is the gateway to the life we were created and destined to live. Remember Jesus said that he has come so that we can have an enjoy a superabundant life where all of the limits are off.
Faith believes that God said he has opened a door that no one can shut – it just may not always look like a door. Faith believes that all obstacles to life as God intends it to be lived have been removed.
Jesus told the leper (Luke 17) who came back to glorify God that his faith had made him whole.
Faith accesses grace. How do you supercharge your faith? You hear what the word of God says about grace. The grace in which we stand. Standing is our warfare strategy.
We don’t wrestle on the ground – we stand and we resist every attempt of the enemy to wrestle us into a place of submission to his will.
We don’t go low – we stay high.
We continually rejoice – we rave – because our hope and our expectation is always to see God’s glory. We glory in trials and tests because they produce perseverance and stickability – don’t-quitability. Character is formed in us – the character of God.  We are restored to his image – conformed to the image of his Son. The God of hope who never gives up.
I asked the Lord the other day what I have been doing through my daily work as I’ve traveled up and down and all across our island for the past couple of years. He told me I have been spying out the land. And I can tell you what I have seen. Our island, in common with  the rest of the world is full of people who are without God and without hope. But we have the hope that never disappoints because it is charged with the revelation of God’s unconditional love that is expressed in his unmerited favour.
The grace in which we stand. The grace which is accessed by faith, faith that is activated by hearing God’s word. Faith that believes that we have been declared righteous just as though we had never sinned and that we have peace with God.
Faith that believes that we have the fullness of salvation, healing, and deliverance – that we have whole life prosperity.
Say I don’t go low but I go high and give him five – give him a high five.
Are you ready to rave?
Psalm 95: 1 – 3
1 Oh come, let us sing to the Lord!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
2 Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
3 For the Lord is the great God,
and the great King above all gods.
todah – from the verb yadah which means to give thanks, to praise. The root of yadah is yad (hand), and so to thank or praise God is to lift or extend our hands in thanks to him – to give him 5, to give him a high 5.
We are in the midst of a trial and so we can’t be like Israel in the day of trial in the wilderness and harden our heart against God’s word to us today.
We need to stay high and give him 5, give him a high 5.
Say I don’t go low, but I go high.
This is no time to back down. The best way to avoid a shakedown is to have a showdown with the enemy, and the best strategy for a kingdom showdown is a hoedown – a party, a rave because the enemy can¿t maintain a siege against a praising and proclaiming people.
Are you ready to rave? Give him five, give him a high five.
Don’t grieve the Holy Spirit by going astray like someone who doesn’t know his ways. Allow him to establish you in his rest, the rest of faith that finds peace in doing what he says.
I press towards the mark for the prize of my high calling
I press towards the mark of God 
I press towards the mark for the prize of my high calling
And I go forward with God
And I don’t go low but I go high
And I don’t go low but I go high
I go forward today with God
I don’t hold back but I run my race
I go forward today with God
I don’t hold back but I run my race
Nothing can hold me back 
Nothing can keep me bound
Cos I’m going on with God
Into my promised land
Nothing can hold me back
Nothing can keep me bound
Cos I’m going on with God
Into my promised land
And I don’t go low….But I go high¿.
Say I don’t go low, but I go high. Give him five, give him a high five.
More next time….


Leave a Reply

Panorama Theme by Themocracy