The Tearing Down
Much of what we built in the past has been torn down. But, the foundation on Christ stands firm, and He will cause us to build again.
“Thus says the LORD: “Behold, what I have built I will break down, and what I have planted I will pluck up, that is, this whole land. And do you seek great things for yourself? Do not seek them; for behold, I will bring adversity on all flesh,” says the LORD. “But I will give your life to you as a prize in all places, wherever you go,” Jeremiah 45:4-5.
Beginning in early July 2015, we began a major cleanup of our church and made practical changes that would simply and fortify our spiritual position. We stopped selling products and cut unnecessary spending.
It took 77 days to get the Church clean and completely in order. We finished with most of what needed to be done by mid September 2015, which was the Feast of Trumpets, the beginning of a new spiritual year.
Then, from October through December we found ourselves in a time of transition and repositioning as we revamped the website and dealt with problems with email accounts and service providers as well as with Internet issues before the new calendar year began on January 1, 2016. These significant changes were signs of the process of tearing down and rebuilding.
“And it shall come to pass, that as I have watched over them to pluck up, to break down, to throw down, to destroy, and to afflict, so I will watch over them to build and to plant, says the LORD,” Jeremiah 31:28.
For much of this year (2016) we fixed and upgraded things that were either broken or outdated in preparation for the new season.
“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus,” Philippians 3:13-14.
We have truly been in a transformational year. We have changed dramatically, and as a result we have been able to hear the voice of the LORD more distinctly than ever before.
Small Straws (August 30, 2016):
Your spiritual foundation was built on Christ and is still solid. What you built in the past according to the dictates of men and religion has been torn down so that you will be ready to build again according to My Spirit, says the LORD.
You are about to begin again, and this new beginning will surpass every other beginning. There will be a tantalizing sense of mystery founded on My hope and promise along with an excitement of expectation of My purposes being fulfilled.
This newness of life will go beyond anything you have imagined or believed.
However, the power of cleansing that you have experienced internally and externally must be maintained.
And, we must be careful how we build on that clean foundation.
“According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it.
For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.
If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward.
If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire,” 1 Corinthians 10:10-15.
This time of beginning again is notable; for us it is a 30-year beginning. We have seen the work of men. We have seen the work of religion. We have experienced division, exploitation and fleshly endeavors. It is now time to see what God will do!
We must build, as led by the Spirit, by the grace of God.
I have been seeing the number 5 in a series of 5 over and over again in these past few weeks, which to me is a sign of God’s multiplied grace in the next phase of rebuilding.
I know that we have all said, at one time or another, “If I had it to do over again…” Well, we are entering a season when we will have opportunities to do things in life differently — things that we deemed to be failures.
“We know a thing or two because we’ve seen a thing or two……”
We are older now and hopefully wiser. We have gained wisdom through our mistakes and failures. We can’t erase old outcomes, but we can take what we’ve learned and do better.
We must leave the past where it is. We can’t change what has happened. We can only move forward from our current position.
(Again…) “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead…” Philippians 3:13.
The Building Up
The process of tearing down has been both natural and spiritual, just as the building up process will be.
In a vision I saw a man building a house with bamboo, and I knew this house would be simple, flexible, and durable.
Bamboo includes some of the fastest-growing plants in the world. Bamboo has a higher compressive strength than wood, brick, or concrete and a tensile strength that rivals steel. Compressive strength resists being pushed together, whereas tensile strength resists being pulled apart.
I believe this vision is a type of who we are becoming in Christ. God is about to cause us to become a better house — simple, flexible, durable.
- Simple: Without a mixture of evil, free from guile, innocent.
- Flexible: Ready and able to change so as to adapt to different circumstances.
- Durable: Rough, resistant, imperishable, indestructible, strong, sturdy.
“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” 1 Corinthians 6:19.
A New Day Is Dawning
We must allow each day to truly become a new day. I was born at 8:26 a.m. Almost every morning, my attention is drawn to the clock at that time, and I deliberately position myself to make the most of the new day, leaving the failures and disappointments of yesterday behind. And, I am suggesting that you do the same. Start with a clean slate!
As each new day begins, it would be good to take a position spiritually to preserve and protect the sanctity of life in the Spirit. Choose to make God your first priority in life.
Sanctity means holiness or sacredness. We are not our own.
“For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s,” 1 Corinthians 6:20.
Here are some things that I believe God has spoken to me for the new season:
- We will see people finally finding their niche who have not known what to do or where they fit.
- God will open their eyes to possibilities both spiritually and naturally.
- Many will no longer see themselves as misfits, but will begin to see how truly unique and special they are in the context of divine destiny.
A few days ago, I had a burst of joy. It came out of nowhere. It was supernatural and delightful. I believe this was a foretaste of a response that will develop as we come out of a dark and tedious past into spiritual light.
In a vision I saw a fork in the road where a traveler would have to choose which way to go, and the LORD said, “You are coming to an intersection in life where you must choose the direction that your life will take.
The choices will be clear, and you will be able to distinguish between the two. One path will draw you ever closer to Me, says the LORD, and the other path will take you further down the road of worldliness and self-interest. Choose wisely.”
We will see more contrast — the light getting lighter and the dark getting darker. The righteous will become more pure and the wicked will become more evil. There will be an ever-widening chasm between the two.
Wherever your focus has been on external things, God wants to do an internal work of reordering your priorities to align with the importance of life in the Spirit.
The year will begin softly without noticeable change, but each day will present opportunities to put God first — to get connected and stay connected. Then, He will direct every, single step.
You have seen what you don’t want. You have seen the work of the enemy against you. You have seen the works of men. You have had plenty of chaos and trouble that tried to destroy the tenderness of your heart towards God. You know what it is like to experience the meanness that protects religious and legalistic attitudes.
Don’t go down that path again. Find the path of love, of peace, of righteous living. Find the way of the Holy Spirit and never deviate from it again. Set your face like flint to seek God, no matter the cost or distraction. This is a year when you can reinvent yourself.
What you simplified and fortified in the last season will become your dwelling place in the next season.
In another vision I saw someone trudging through the sand on a valley floor, a very dry place, on the way to a mountain with snow-covered peaks, and I knew that this person represented those in the Body of Christ who are still in a very dry place spiritually, but moving towards the fresh anointing.
I believe at this point in time we have crossed the desert sands and are positioned for the spiritual ascent to the heights, far above worldliness and carnal living.
“Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it,” Micah 4:1.
I am sure God will continue to unfold and reveal His purpose for us as we begin our ascent.
Let’s go up!
The Bamboo House Audio by Marsha Burns