We are in a time of shift. A shift in power. A shift in spiritual operations. A shift in position, placement and promotions.
I hear The LORD speaking about gates, doors, locks and keys.
On August 14, 2022, I heard The LORD say that many people would be removed from their positions because they, like Shebna in The Bible, had not been good stewards of those positions.
The LORD said that this transition of power would not be the same as in times past when positions were traded or exchanged from one corrupt person to the next, but this would be a time when God would establish an entirely new type of leadership.
He told me to study the differences between Shebna and Eliakim, as found in Isaiah 22:15-25.
The Judgment on Shebna
“Thus says The LORD God of hosts: “Go, proceed to this steward, to Shebna, who is over the house, and say: ‘What have you here, and whom have you here, that you have hewn a sepulcher here, as he who hews himself a sepulcher on high, who carves a tomb for himself in a rock?
Indeed, The LORD will throw you away violently, O mighty man, and will surely seize you.
He will surely turn violently and toss you like a ball into a large country; there you shall die, and there your glorious chariots shall be the shame of your master’s house.
So I will drive you out of your office, and from your position he will pull you down. Then it shall be in that day, that I will call My servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah; I will clothe him with your robe and strengthen him with your belt; I will commit your responsibility into his hand.
He shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah.
The key of the house of David I will lay on his shoulder; so he shall open, and no one shall shut; and he shall shut, and no one shall open. I will fasten him as a peg in a secure place, and he will become a glorious throne to his father’s house.
They will hang on him all the glory of his father’s house, the offspring and the posterity, all vessels of small quantity, from the cups to all the pitchers. In that day,’ says The LORD of hosts, ‘the peg that is fastened in the secure place will be removed and be cut down and fall, and the burden that was on it will be cut off; for The LORD has spoken.””
Shebna(h), (also possible variation is an abbreviation of Shebaniah) was a financial officer in King Hezekiah’s court. One translation of his name means 1) to be high or eminent, 2) to beautify, and 3) to be in an abode, a place of abiding or dwelling.
Another translation offers additional details, explaining that Biblical names often were a ‘bouquet of meanings” due to the fact that there were slight differences between Hebrew and Aramaic script; therefore, the entire spectrum of names often contained multiple meanings.
In this case, the name Shebna also means 1) a seat of beauty, 2) captured, and 3) please let return. (see Abirim Publications’ Biblical Name Vault)
Shebna represents those that have been given the opportunity to hold a trusted position of governing over others, but have not shown to have the quality of character that would benefit those under their care.
Ungodly stewards will now lose their seats of authority because they have shown corruption in their actions and have not esteemed The LORD.
Their pride has caused them to exalt themselves in a form of idolatry.
I believe God is not only speaking to political leaders, but also addressing those that have not been good stewards of what they have been entrusted with, including things such as relationships, resources, positions, properties and other things.
God requires an account and the books are open. Ungodly stewards will soon discover the false sense of security they have put their trust in cannot protect them from the sudden, unexpected turn of events that will create a reversal in circumstances.
They will experience shame as a result of being removed from their positions and being stripped of their authority.
While they go into captivity, they will yearn to recover their losses and return to their positions, and they will watch as others take the place they once held in high esteem.
Thus, the plea for intervention to let them return to their position is understood by the meaning of ‘if you please.’
The verb that means “rest or cease activity” as another descriptive part of Shebna’s name means to halt the path or trajectory someone has been on and coerce them to go somewhere else. In other words, it constitutes the removal of someone and forcing them to move somewhere else.
The slight variations in the spelling of Shebna(h)’s name may seem inconsequential, but in the context of the Bible, many people were known by either a variation of spelling or names.
“This often occurs when a person undergoes a significant change of identity or character that changes the narrative of their life. It speaks of a sudden change of destiny, a real ‘head turner.’
In a positive sense, this can also be viewed as one of the ways God brings about a person’s restoration.” (See Abirim Publlications Name Meaning: Shebna)
Those that are ready for their next step into promotion will experience the sudden turning of events that releases restoration.
The Rise of the Eliakims
Shebna(h) was deposed. Eliakim was called. This is a time when those who are called by God will come into positions they have been prepared for; it will be a strategic move by the hand of God.
When God interrupts and disrupts leadership, it forces organizations, churches, ministries, and the political and cultural landscape to go into transition.
Transition generally causes a sense of instability in the midst of change, but in Isaiah 22:20 we see that the transition of power was completed in the space of the same day, or a very short window of time.
God’s choice for leadership is seen in Eliakim, who would bring a sense of comfort and stability in unstable times, and being securely established as a peg in a firm place by the hand of God, would not be easily moved.
Others would cling to him because Eliakim was to be ‘like a Christ,’ or represent the fatherly authority, sacrificial love, care and affection towards the people under his care.
Eliakim was a father to the city of Jerusalem. The inhabitants of the city were viewed as those in his own household.
A Time of Resurrection
In Hebrew, the name Eliakim means “God rises,” “God sets up,” or “God takes a stand.”
The portion of his name (kim) is actually translated from “qum” and means to rise up. It means to get up from a sitting position.
As in, get ready, it is time to move! It is time to act! It may also indicate the start of a journey, or paying attention.
This same verb was used in Numbers 23:18 when God addressed Balam and Balak, who both were unwilling to hear and listen to God!
It can also indicate one who takes a stand against an adversary. It can mean God taking a stand or giving his people the power to take a stand.
This verb, qum, is also mentioned in Mark 5:41 when Jesus said to the little girl who had died, Talitha qum, which translated means “Damsel, arise.” This verb which means “to rise” is full of resurrection power!
I tell each one of you today, rise up! Be filled with the resurrection, overcoming, power of God. You ARE an overcomer in Christ.
You are filled with the same spirit that raised Christ from the dead. Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.
You may feel that you are at your wits end with some of the things you are dealing with, but remember that it’s when you reach the dead end where you have no place left to go — no solutions or means to figure out how to find the solution to your problem — it’s in your surrender and posture of humility when God shows up with your deliverance.
You can‘t worry your way out of a problem. You have to prophesy your way to the other side! Use the authority God gave you and declare His word!
When Moses came to the edge of the Red Sea he was at a dead end with trouble on all sides. God told him, “Stop crying and lift up your rod!”
God told Him to speak to the problem. Tell your problem how big your God is and declare what His word says — Your deliverer will appear!
A Time of Deliverance
This verb represents deliverance. A time when God releases His Spirit to help us overcome that which has been set as an adversary against us.
“I AM The LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that you should not be their slaves;I have broken the bands of your yoke and made you walk upright.” Leviticus 26:13.
Also, another reference is from the Book of Judges when Gideon was called to deliver the Israelites from the oppression of the Midianites.
“And so it was, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream and its interpretation, he worshiped. He returned to the camp of Israel and said, “Arise, for The LORD has delivered the camp of Midian into your hand!” Judges 7:15.
A Time When God Establishes and Sets in Place; A Time of Receiving Keys and Opening Doors
This name, Eliakim, means God will establish. He would bring glory to the Father’s name. Eliakim was the steward with the key of authority that gave him an audience with the king.
A Time of Exercising Authority, Binding and Loosing
The key was an emblem of power; of opening and shutting doors which determined who would be allowed or disallowed to possess positions.
This is another reference to ‘binding and loosing’ as we find in the New Testament. (See Matthew 16:19, Matthew 18:18-20 and Matthew 12:29).
Jesus rebuked those that ‘shut up the kingdom of heaven’ through misrepresentation of The Gospel and refused to enter The Kingdom themselves.
Just as Shebna had his keys taken from him and given to Eliakim, God will take what belongs to those that have misused what they’ve had and it will be given to those that will use what God gives them for kingdom purposes, to bring Glory to The King.
Shebna was only concerned about bringing glory to himself God also took away the keys of wicked tenants from those with a religious, critical, fault finding spirit and abused others and gave them to His disciples.
The LORD told Peter he would build his Church upon the revelation of who He was as the Son of God.
This revelation was the new model of The Kingdom of God. God wants to restore HIS VISION in us that allows us to build HIS KINGDOM in the earth, and it will take many different forms.
A Time to Build
It’s time to build. Before God can build, He will often tear down. God wants to build His Kingdom inside of us but He won’t build upon error.
He can only build upon revelation of the truth, who He really is. That is why He comes to each one of us and asks us, “WHO DO YOU SAY I AM?”
He can’t build upon fear, insecurity, worry and doubt. He can’t build upon lies that tell us He can’t be trusted, or He doesn’t want the best for us.
It’s time to really come to a place of surrender, and ask Him to reveal any lies in our belief system that hinders His ability to build His Kingdom in us.
Religious spirits must be evicted. This means deliverance! God does not build on corruption. Religious spirits can be deceiving, but there is a sense of rigidity, legalism, critical and fault-finding spirits that bring people under condemnation, control and religious witchcraft. It lacks love and compassion towards others and is not an authentic representation of the heart of God.
It’s an old wineskin that cannot hold the new wine. Old wineskins are inflexible and resistant to change.
It is a time to examine our level of commitment to purity and surrender those things we know we should not make excuses for, the things that hinder our spiritual growth.
Why do we shortchange ourselves? That is an area where we deny The LORDship of Christ and excuse ourselves from obedience.
That is not okay with God and we can’t afford to keep living in our old identity. That stubborn refusal to give up some old habit is a refusal to grow up in The LORD.
Many people hold on to old behaviors because there is something in them that still hurts. Some of the old behaviors are tied to false forms of comfort that we attempt to justify in order to mask emotional pain. It’s time to get to the root of the pain and ask The Holy Spirit to reveal the truth so that you can be healed.
Once you are healed the old behaviors are easier to overcome. The bottom line is, people overcome WHEN THEY WANT TO.
If you are struggling, ask The LORD to give you the WANT TO so you can overcome what has been stunting your spiritual and emotional growth. He will!
If we are not willing to be emptied of our flesh how can we receive that of the Spirit? My husband, Norm, spoke a few weeks ago on making room for The LORD.
We must let go of some things because we can’t receive more of His Spirit if our hearts and our hands are already full.
If we are full of excuses then we have not made room to receive. We must stop trying to live in an old identity.
If we are crucified with Christ then there are certain habits and behaviors that must die, because it’s representative of a person that was buried with Christ on the cross.
We are no longer that person! There are some doors that people will not have access to because they refuse to grow up in The LORD and discipline their flesh.
Just as you would not give a child the keys to heavy machinery or a vehicle they were not mature enough to handle properly, so it is in the Spirit.
God does not let us go through certain doors if we have not proven we are ready and spiritually prepared. This involves the development of character, integrity and purity in a person’s life.
A Time to Possess Keys and Harvest Souls
The word ‘key’ in Hebrew is the word ‘pathach,’ which means ‘to open, or an opening.’ Keys back in Biblical days were often very large, bent and curved, resembling a reaper’s hook. (Reaper’s hooks were used to harvest wheat and other crops.)
It is the time of harvest and God wants us to possess the keys that will help us harvest souls and bring them into The Kingdom!
The steward carried the keys of the house, or the entire household, with him and they were prominently displayed on his shoulder as a sign of honor and importance.
The key of Isaiah 22:22 was not only a sign of power and authority, it was also a sign that the individual was trustworthy and knowledgeable, meaning the person had wisdom, experience and knowledge pertinent to understanding the solutions of certain problems.
It is only through intimacy with The LORD that we find keys to unlock the mysteries of the human soul.
Sometimes these keys are our testimonies of how God met us in a time of need. It may be a story that releases hope and assurance to someone else.
God wants to give His people words of knowledge that will help deliver and heal others. Some of the keys take the form of prophetic words that release encouragement and stability in these difficult times.
Joseph had the key of dream interpretation that brought him before pharaoh. Joseph, because of the gift inside of him, possessed the wisdom to solve the problem at hand.
His God-given gift was the key that opened the door and gave him an audience with a king. That gift also opened the door to his promotion.
“A man’s gift opens doors for him, and brings him before great men.” Proverbs 18:16.
Many of God’s solutions to perplexing situations are the keys that will open the heart of others. Every heart and every problem is a potential door because ‘doors’ are in people.
When we find what touches their needs, the door of their heart will open. We then have an opportunity to connect them to Jesus, who loves them and wants to touch the issues of their lives.
But, without this intimate relationship with The LORD, we shall find we stand empty handed without the keys that will open the doors to people’s lives. Many of the keys are only given to us as we seek The LORD.
The lover of our soul stands just outside the door of our hearts, knocking and waiting for us to grant Him entrance. Even when we are unmindful of Him, He is thinking about us.
The conviction of The Holy Spirit to spend time in the secret place is like the gentle tapping on the door, waiting for us to respond, but only we can open the door from the inside.
No one else can be sent to open the door for us. No false key will open the lock. Revelation 3:20 also reminds us that our beloved, Christ, stands at the door of our heart and knocks, waiting for us to invite Him in.
“Now pay attention; I am standing at the door and knocking. If any of you hear My voice and open the door, I will come in to visit with you and to share a meal at your table, and you will be with Me.” Revelation 3:20 The Voice.
A Time to Seek The LORD
There are times when He may seem to withdraw from us. All of us, myself included, struggle with busyness, distractions, apathy and things that pull us away from spending quality time with The LORD.
In Song of Solomon, the Shulamite hesitated to open the door until her beloved turned away and left. In Song of Solomon 5:4-5, the scripture says,
“My beloved put his hand by the latch of the door, and my heart yearned for him. I arose to open for my beloved, and my hands dripped with myrrh, my fingers with liquid myrrh on the handles of the lock.”
In ancient times, there was a hole by the lock of the door where a hand could be inserted with the key that opened the door.
There was a hollow bolt and pins that could be moved by hand, but it required a soft lard or wax to fill the pin pockets so that they would not fall back into place, and then the door could be opened.
This hollow space above the lock was also used as a hole where women could look out and speak with men without being publicly exposed, so they could maintain a sense of propriety..
It was where lovers could meet, speak, and even touch fingertips, but only the one on the inside could open the door.
The one on the outside of the door could not easily gain admittance. No false key would open the door.
When the conviction of God’s word is not enough to evoke a proper response, there are times when He will, by the finger of God, which is called His Spirit, move the obstacle that prevents Him from having access to our heart.
So great is His love for us! I speak this not to bring anyone under condemnation. Instead, let this serve as a gentle reminder that the lover of our souls promises to never leave us or forsake us, but he patiently waits for us to awake from our slumber and run to open the door and welcome Him in.
Even if it seems that He has hidden Himself, it is not as a punishment, but a lover’s game of ‘hide-n-seek’ until he appears and draws us to himself.
He longs to embrace us and rekindle the love and passion for His Presence!
A Time of Awakening
We are in an interesting season. There are many things going on in the spiritual and natural realm. It is a time when God is awakening many who have been in a spiritual slumber and been somewhat apathetic towards Him.
He is shifting the spiritual and political climate, exposing wickedness, and removing evil and corrupt people from positions of power.
Those that are unfit like Shebna, or the Haman who conspired against God’s people shall be removed. Do not fear the things to come. Do not believe the lies of mainstream media or even other Christians who promote fear and doomsday messages.
This is a time of reversal and restoration, even if it looks the opposite for a while. God will watch over us. We will see more and more of a shift of power over the next several months and going into the next year.
It will be a wake up call to get right with The LORD like many have never known. This is a time to speak boldly for The LORD to encourage others to turn to and put their trust in The LORD.
It is a time of harvesting souls, and for some, it may be the last time they are given an opportunity to hear and respond to the offer of salvation.
On August 26th, we entered the month of Elul on the Hebrew calendar, which is the last month on the Jewish yearly cycle before going into the Jewish New Year known as Rosh Hashana. (See Elul | Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis, Inc..)
This month is intended to be a month of inner reflection, forgiveness and making amends with others, so that people can enter into the New Year with a ‘clean slate.’
God gives us this time of reflection so that we can correct our ways before the books of the previous year are closed.
In Jewish tradition, it states that once an opportunity for repentance is closed at the end of Sukkot, the books and judgments are sealed.
The ending of the Hebrew year falls on September 25th-27th 2022.
This is a time when we should all petition God in prayers of repentance and draw closer to Him whether we are of Jewish heritage or not.
God honors times and seasons on the Hebrew calendar. The first ten days of the year begins with Rosh Hashana and ends with Yom Kippur.
It is known as the days of repentance, or the Days of Awe. It was named the days of awe because it was a time of assurance, with people knowing they were in right relationship with God and experiencing His closeness more and more.
It became a time pregnant with expectancy and anticipation of heavenly encounters.
A Time of Spiritual Encounters
The month of Elul is also known as the month when ‘the king is in the field.’
A king lived in a palace and ordinarily would not be easily accessible to others. But, during the month of Elul, the king would leave the palace and make himself available to the citizens of His monarchy.
The king made himself available to His people because He takes personal interest in us! The month of Elul is known as an appointed time when it becomes easier to meet with Jesus and access His presence.
It is a time to return to God in heartfelt reflection, offering repentance, seeking forgiveness from God and others to whom we may need to make amends so that we may experience His mercy and restoration.
It is a time to joyfully welcome Him into our heart and our home, enjoying sweet fellowship with Him!
The LORD is fighting for us. We are His people and the apple of His eye.
Part of our seeking should be just loving Him, but the other part is drawing near to ask Him for keys, solutions, and strategies.
We belong to our beloved and He belongs to us.
Jesus yearns to connect with us and answer the questions of our heart. Behold, He stands at the door and is knocking!
~ Laura Gagnon
Laura Gagnon is a woman who has been blessed with the gift of understanding God’s restorative work through her own personal experience. Through her insights and revelation, God has led her to influence many individuals into a restored relationship with Jesus Christ. She is a woman who stands on the promises of God, encouraging others in an elevated expectation of the miraculous and declares the gift of His life. Laura is the author of Healing the Heart of a Woman and writes for her blog, Beyond the Barriers.