|Communiqué - April 02, 2000|
The Prophets of old anticipated this time...
We are living in exciting times! Never before in the history of the Church has there been so much activity, anticipation and excitement as at present. The Prophets of old anticipated this time and we read in 1 Peter 1:10;
"Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you."
We are certainly living in the time of God's Grace where we see that "where sin abounded, grace did much more abound" (Romans 5:20).
Presently we are pressing even further into the calling and the will of God for our lives. One of the challenges that the Lord has placed before us is to trust Him for the transformation of our city.
Recently we watched a video called "Transformations" by George Otis Jr. In this video he tells of four cities in the world that have been transformed by the Power of God. Whole cities and communities coming to salvation.
Crime in these cities is shown to come to a stop, with prisons closing down. Drug lords are arrested and alcohol and drug abuse is virtually non-existent. George Otis Jr. says that the video does not even tell the whole story of what God is doing. He says that there are at least another 36 cities in the world that are experiencing the same kind of transformation and revival.
This video is recommended to anyone serious enough about God and serious enough about revival and transformation. Any believer that wants to renew their vision and passion for the work of the Lord in the earth should see this outstanding video.
For information about this video or to place an order, click HERE...
Relaying the Foundations
Foundation Scriptures: Isaiah 28:9-13; Ephesians 2:20; Ephesians 4:11; Isaiah 61:1-4; Hebrews 11:8-10; Luke 3:4-5; Hebrews 12:6-13.
I find in recent times many Believers giving in and succumbing to the pressures of life. Many even fall back to the point of committing sins previously committed when unsaved.
Speaking to Leaders during my travels I hear them say they cannot understand what is wrong with some of their people. Men and women who, having been Christians for many years fall back into sins they were previously set free from.
Annika and I have counseled and prayed. We've instructed hurting Believers to pray more and seek the Face of God. We've given all kinds of counsel, but more often than not, this seems to have aggravated their problems more than anything else.
Prayer and Word study is Important
Please don't misunderstand me here. I am not saying prayer and Word study, etc. is wrong, or does not help. I am saying at times it appears not to have the desired result.
I spoke to the Lord about this and He told me to change my approach. He further explained that this kind of problem comes about when a proper foundation has not been laid in a believer's life.
According to the Word, the function of the Five-fold ministry is to equip the saints for the work of the ministry. Too often leaders fail to lay a proper foundation in the lives of new converts.
The converse is also true. Often new believers don't submit to their leaders and are therefore not trained and disciplined or discipled properly.
Lay proper Foundations
Luke 6:46-49 says when a foundation is not laid properly, storms and floods can easily destroy a house. Jesus says those who act in faith on His words will survive the storm.
Many believers in the world today think because they've heard the Word, they have faith. Not realizing that practical application of the Word in every day life is what matters most, they often come close to making shipwreck of their faith as well as their Christian testimony. (see 1 Timothy 1:19 as well as Luke 8:5-15).
Isaiah 28:9-12 tells us that God teaches us precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little and there a little. This speaks of repetition. It speaks of a continuous hearing and obeying. We all know the saying that "repetition is the mother of all learning."
An example from my own life
After leaving school, I trained in the South African Air Force as a Fighter Pilot. Had I known beforehand what was in store for me, I would have thought twice about joining, especially as a Military Pilot.
To make a long story very short, however, I was trained using the principle outlined in Isaiah 28:9-12. The training was literally drilled into us. We repeated the same flight exercises and emergency procedures over and over and over.
Flight Instructors mercilessly let us do the same procedures over and over again. When we thought we had had enough, it seemed that they had only warmed up!
Why did they do this? It was so that flying would become first nature to us. Notice I did not say second nature, I said first nature.
The principle for Victory
This basic principle has brought me through many a trial in my Christian life unscathed. This principle underlies all mentoring and discipling. What am I saying?
The moment my life started to go haywire, I did not have to think about the next step, I reacted to the situation almost instinctively in line with the Word of God. Most of us don't react this way, however. Why?
Simply because our spiritual "joints" are still out of place and have never been corrected. We have not been properly equipped for the task ahead of us. The foundation has not been laid properly. (Also see Word Study HERE...)
We have been the way Hebrews 5:12-14 explains;
"For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."
Notice carefully what it says here. By reason of use our senses should be exercised to discern both good and evil. How many Christians after many years still struggle to know the will of God for their lives? We meet many of them almost on a daily basis.
Why have the foundations in so many lives not been laid properly? There is no easy answer to this, but it suffices to say the following:
"What we have at times called love and concern for the new believer has in fact been plain over-protection."
New Believers must be Disicipled and Disciplined
Read Hebrews 12:6-13 again. It is clear that true love would administer training and discipline, even when there is pain involved. Those of us who have come to some level of maturity in Christ know, without a shadow of a doubt, that "there is no gain without pain." (Also see 1 Peter 1:6-9).
Another aspect of "foundation laying" is found in the first few verses of Hebrews 6. Verse one gives us the most important requirements for the laying of a good foundation; repentance and faith.
Here I would like to simply share a few thoughts on repentance seeing that we are all pretty well acquainted with the principles of faith.
Repentance - a change of Heart
In its essence, repentance means to have a change of heart (attitude) and mind.
Repentance consists of a true sense of one's own guilt and sinfulness, an apprehension of God's mercy in Christ, an actual hatred of sin (Ps. 119: 28; Job 42:5, 6; 2 Cor. 7:10) and turning from it to God, and a persistent endeavour after a holy life in a walking with God in the way of his commandments.
Romans 12:1-2 gives a good explanation of true repentance. We see here that you and I are transformed by giving our lives (and hearts) fully over to God, and then to be transformed through the renewing of our minds.
The word "renew" in this verse means "to renovate". "Renovate" means to make new or like new by extensive repair or alteration.
Imagine an old lounge suite being renovated. Usually to do a proper job of renovation, the suite is pulled completely apart, so that one eventually only sees just the bare frame sitting there.
It is only then, after the frame has been carefully inspected, and possibly structurally strengthened, that the padding and covers, new cushions and material are replaced.
Labour to enter His rest
This sounds like a lot of work, doesn't it? Well, no-one ever said it was easy to be a Christian. It is important for us to walk in the rest of God (Hebrews 4:11), but this verse tells us that there is a labour involved in entering into that rest.
Every believer must strive to come to the place where they will not give up under any circumstances. If necessary, the old foundations must be ripped up and replaced.
Christian leaders must of necessity be intimately involved in this relaying of the foundations. We must encourage every believer to reach the stage where they will stop at nothing but the best that God has for them.
This comes only through right handling of the Word of Righteousness, which in turn only comes through constant practice!
Prepare the way of the Lord
Luke 3:4-5 says there must be a "straightening" of the paths to prepare the way of the Lord (in our hearts). To straighten the paths, fill up the valleys, and the bringing low of the mountains sounds to me like the relaying of the foundations of our hearts and lives (also see Hosea 10:12).
The way of the Lord must be prepared in our hearts. He must become our foundation! If needs be we must dig deep until we find the Rock who is our only Foundation! (Luke 6:46-49).
Pray with me now:
"Heavenly Father, I thank you that Jesus came to prepare Your way in my life and relay Your foundations. I ask you to forgive me for every area in my life where I have not allowed Your Spirit to break up the fallow ground. Open my eyes so I can see these fallow areas of my life, so the foundation of Your Son, the Rock, can be laid down properly. Anoint me now to help others who do not have proper foundations.
I ask this in the Name of Your Son Jesus. Amen!!!"
May you walk in His ways and experience His presence.
Yours in His Love and Anointing
Jan van Rooyen
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