This prophetic word concerns the entire church. I believe it is something that we should apply individually and then corporate as the body of Christ.
If you haven’t already noticed we are moving. When I say “we” I’m referring to the body of Christ. We will never be the same again. We’ve left the old address. Those who try to go back to the old will feel like a thirsty man roaming the desert seeing that mirage on the horizon that looks like water only to get to it and realize it wasn’t water after all.
(1 Samuel 4:19-21) “Now his daughter-in-law, Phinehas’ wife, was with child, due to be delivered; and when she heard the news that the ark of God was captured, and that her father-in-law and her husband were dead, she bowed herself and gave birth, for her labor pains came upon her. And about the time of her death the women who stood by her said to her, “Do not fear, for you have borne a son.” But she did not answer, nor did she regard it. Then she named the child Ichabod, saying, “The glory has departed from Israel!” because the ark of God had been captured and because of her father-in-law and her husband. And she said, “The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured.”
Back then it was the ark of the covenant that carried the glory of God and because it was not with the Israelites, the glory had left the camp.
There’s nothing worse than being involved with a ministry or a church where the glory of God does not reside. When God’s presence moves on from something and we are still there trying to make it work, it is the most tedious, striving, toilsome feeling in the world. It becomes a lot of doing with very little fruit. Many of our churches and ministries were already in this boat for years now but God used the coronavirus to hit the reset button on all of us so when we go back we can clearly see and ask ourselves the question…Is God’s glory here?
A dream which sparked this word and here it is…
I dreamt that I was moving house. I packed and I was all ready to go. When the moving truck showed up what was packed and loaded on the truck was only the patio furniture. I moved only what was on the porch/the outside furniture. The externals. When I got to the new place I unpacked the patio furniture into the new location but I had none of the contents of the inside of the house. I then realized I needed to move that too so I went back to the old house and packed everything moving it all to the new house. Once I unpacked the contents into the new house I realized that the patio furniture didn’t really fit anymore so I needed to get new patio furniture and get rid of the old ones.
The interpretation of the dream… The house can be personal ministry or the church, which is why this dream has 2 applications first to you personally and then to the church on a whole. If you are a pastor or ministry leader or if you are a part of a ministry you need to pay attention to what’s happening with the move. The transition that God has us in right now.
First, God has left the old house. Ichabod. He has moved to a new location. This could be physical but more importantly it is spiritual. He is calling us to follow Him into the new. I followed Him but the move that occurred was an external one. What could be seen on the outside – the patio/porch is seen from the outside of the house. It’s a superficial move that people can see. The problem is what needed to be moved was the internal stuff as well. That is the most important. What is inside a man is more important than what you see happening on the outside of a man. If we do things based on lip service but the heart hasn’t moved or changed, there is no change. No real move occurred.
I moved the outside furniture and then realized that I needed to move the inside afterwards. This is good because at some point I get that what I thought was real change wasn’t. So I go back to move the inside. Once I get it into the new house I see that the patio/externals no longer reflect what is on the inside of the house, therefore I need to buy new patio furniture to now match what is on the inside. Once the real change occurs (the real move) you are going to find that how you present yourself is different. Because you are different. You’re going to look different to others.
The world is going to notice the new church
Because we are going to look different on the outside and when they step inside they are going to see that we are different.
You need to ask yourself the question, what has God asked me to do? To change? To build? Was I obedient in doing it? If yes, did I do this wholeheartedly or is this something superficial? Partial change not fully changing. If you are building something is it according to God’s specifications? You need to ask Him exactly how He wants it done.
(Psalm 127:1) “Unless the Lord builds the house, They labor in vain who build it;”
Corporate Application (For Pastors/Ministry leaders):
Churches are now reopening. Did you move? Something had to change on the inside of your church or ministry which will then spark a new messaging on
the outside. If you go back to how it was in the past very shortly you are going to start losing people because the discerning will pick up very quickly. Ichabod. Everything changed. The shift has already occurred. How we used to minister has changed. People have different needs right now. It’s time for a corporate church fast with all the leaders to hear what God is saying about the new direction. The changes that need to take place.
Moses received very specific instructions on how to build the ark of the covenant (Exodus 37). That only came from the time he spent in the presence of the Lord waiting upon the Lord for the instructions. If you build it exactly the way He tells you to build it then He will be there. The same thing happened with the details of building the temple. He gave David specific instructions which he passed to his son Solomon (1 Chronicles 28). God is building His houses the same way today, via specific instructions. If we do it exactly the way that He says, there He will be.
If you are building a new ministry or church you must get the instructions from God on what you should do. Don’t watch what others are doing. This is a new move of God. That means what you will build will not look like anything in the past.
Likewise, if we build something superficial that looks good from the outside eventually people are going to want to enter in. You can’t live on the patio forever! At that point, they are going to find out the house is empty. There’s nothing there. No substance.
I know it’s a heavy word but this is what the Lord is saying right now. Be discerning. Make sure the move is a real move. The world is thirsty and they need REAL water, not a mirage. If no real change occurred they are going to go elsewhere. They are over the cotton candy/patio furniture churches. They want real substance. Food in order to sustain them through these times we are living in.
The last thing I want you to know is that the glory of God first dwells within you. You are the carrier – the modern day ark of the covenant is you. If you are a born again believer in Christ and you have the Holy Spirit then the glory is first within you. Like attracts like. The Spirit of God is attracted to what looks like Him. Be sensitive in these days not the quench the spirit of God with your speech and your actions.
Love and Purity. Love people and keep your heart and mind pure.
Father God, I ask that you show me what needs to change within me. Where do I need to move? What do I need to move? I want my life to be a direct reflection of what You are building in me. I want to reflect on the outside a real move or changed done by You on the inside. Give me clear instructions on how to do that. I pray the grace of the Holy Spirit and empowerment to bring about this real change. Give me the grace that I need to fight against the schemes of the enemy. When there is hatred I choose love. Keep my mind and heart pure no matter how hard the enemy fights to corrupt me. Help me be mindful of what I allow to enter my eyes and ears. Keep me on track towards the destiny and purpose you have for me in 2020, in Jesus name, Amen.
God does not want to leave anyone in the dark. If you ask Him for the plan He will show it to you. But we have to humble ourselves and acknowledge that the we need to move where He’s moving. We need to stay in step with God. How do we do that? Get into the habit of getting into the secret place daily. Intimacy.
(Isaiah 42:9) “Everything I prophesied has come true, and now I will prophesy again. I will tell you the future before it happens.”
He wants to show you but you need to make the time to sit and hear from Him.
Corporate Prayer (For church/ministry leaders):
Father God, I ask You show me how You would like us to structure this new place where You are taking us. What needs to change? What are You not happy with that I am doing? Show me if I am in step with You. I pray that You give me eyes to see and ears to hear what it is that I am suppose to do. I pray you give me keen discernment so that I will know for sure when I have Your blueprint for the church/ministry. I bind the spirit of fear and intimidation from affecting my mind and heart into believing it cannot be done. I wholeheartely accept the change that You are bringing to my church/ministry. I ask that all the leaders and volunteers come in agreement with the plan You will give. Give them individual revelation. Work on their hearts even now. Send the people to help where we need the help. Send finances, resources and tools to help build according to Your specifications. I trust You. It is Your church/ministry. I never have to be afraid that you will bring to failure what is Yours. I pray that you keep me humble, pure in my heart and mind and motives and that You give me the grace and love I need to minister to Your people, in Jesus name, amen.
And in the words of Mary the mother of Jesus “Whatever He tells you to do, do it”.
I know you have probably read this scripture many times but read it now.
(Isaiah 43:19) “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”