New Strategies from Heaven in 2009
From September 2008 through January 2009 God began to speak to me about some strategies that will help us to grow and mature into all that He is calling us to accomplish. I am outlining four of them but I am sure it goes much deeper than this. This is divine time to be alive.
Learn from the past and be strengthened in the present
Looking back at 2008, several major events happened that I believe God wants to use to help us grow and mature spiritually. We had an outpouring from God that got stopped abruptly because of the sin of the man who was leading it. The economy began to take a downturn and we had a shake up in the leadership of the government of the US, to name just a few.
I don’t want to argue about Todd Bentley’s divorce, or President Obama’s support of laws that allow abortion, or anything about the economic bail-out plan in the US. What I would like to do is encourage us all to use ‘spiritual eyes” to see what God is trying to point out in us as individuals and as a Church at large.
When God does something new it is radically different from the old
Isaiah 43:19 tells us to forget the former things and do not dwell on the past because God is doing a new thing. Quite often, when God does something new, those who were involved in previous movements of God will not always recognize it at first. You will see this principle throughout the Bible. When Jesus was born, though people in Israel were waiting for a Messiah but few actually recognized Him when it really happened. Among them were the Magi who came from a distant land following His star and two old prophets Ann and Simeon. After the resurrection of Jesus even those closest to Him did not recognize Jesus as the new covenant came. Mary, Peter, James and John all did not recognize Him at first (John 20-21).
A strong anointing for healing was released during the Florida Outpouring meetings. Not everyone was healed but God did many great miracles nonetheless. It would be foolish to discard it because of one man’s sin. My observation was that a new move of God began and we tried to operate in it in the old familiar ways similar to those of the Healing Revival of the 1950s.
A familiar way of doing ministry for the past 100 years or so is to have one anointed man or woman doing most of the work. Could it be that the new move from God will require a team or an army of ministers doing the work similar to the shift that happened in the Book of Acts? One way to find out is to ask God to continue releasing this healing anointing. Then pray for people and see what happens. I have witnessed a dramatic increase in the number of healings that are happening in meetings and conferences I have been part of since the Florida Outpouring.
Do not be afraid and angry
Another lesson we can learn from the past is that when we face uncertain economic times, we must trust God all the more. Fear really should not be part of who we are as Christians. God is allowing things to be shaken right now and last I checked He is still in control.
Fear causes us to be on the defense. As Christians we need to be on the offense and offset darkness with the light and love of God. It is good to stand up for what we believe. In doing so, we need to be careful that we are not getting angry at people who have different beliefs that we do. I hear Christians complaining and lashing out at one another. I notice that many claim that they are not angry, they are just frustrated. What they are not seeing is that frustration that invokes arguments and speaking against others is very unhealthy. Redemptive frustration happens when we learn to love people even if they curse us (Luke 6:27-28). Always look at the results or the fruit of your frustration. We need to have solutions not just complaints. The biggest solution for all that is happening right now is to pray and encourage one another.
Get into God’s timing from Heaven
Jesus said over 15 times that we must have “eyes that see and ears that hear”. John 5:19 Jesus said, “I only do what I see the father doing”. Notice the words “see” and “do”. Not only do we need to see what God is doing but we also must be “doers of the word as well” (James 1:22).
Knowing God’s intention for a situation allows us to be in agreement with Him. Sometimes it may be opposite than what we think. Notice that Noah built an Ark in a dry season; Joseph advised Pharaoh to store up in a time of prosperity and be a blessing in a time of famine. Not to mention all the spiritual principles that seems to be backwards to our natural thinking. Things like, you must give to receive, the last will be first, if you humble yourself God will lift you up etc.
Over the past decade many of us have lived in a time of prosperity. The benefits with being in sync with God is that we would have known to save money and not spend too much so that we would have money to buy houses and cars that are really cheap in the down time. It is like shopping for your summer clothes in the fall when they are the 70% close out rack and your winter clothes in the summer. That is wisdom and takes discipline to do but it will save you a lot of money.
During the housing boom of the US, God directed my wife and I to move from Los Angeles and buy a small cabin in Moravian Falls, North Carolina (an hour away from a Startbucks Coffee). It did not make sense at the time and the house was too small for us and not our style but we did it. During that time were able reduce our living expenses dramatically but we did not increase our spending or buy new cars. Instead, we did our best to conserve and pay off debt. We did this during the prosperous time.
Then three years later in the middle of the housing bust, God spoke to us to sell our cabin and move back to California. We were able to make a profit from the sales and bought a bigger newer house in California for nearly half price and have money in the bank. We did this in the economic downturn.
Unfortunately, most people spent a lot of money and incurred a lot of debt during the prosperity time and are now holding on to their money and saving it up in the downturn. In reality, if everyone stops spending we can make our economic problem worse. People are losing jobs because of this. We need to develop a life style of earning, giving, saving and spending in moderation.
Getting into sync with God is listening to Him and doing things that may not always seem logical. We must learn to hear his voice!
Develop a positive Kingdom mindset
1 John 4:4 tells us that the Spirit within us is greater than the one in the world around us (paraphrased). Science has discovered that there is a major difference between light and darkness. Light can be measured and it has substance and mass. Darkness however is simply the absence of light. Jesus is Light and Paul encourages us to live as children of Light. (Ephesians 5:8).
Living our lives with a greater measure of God’s love and light is extremely powerful. We then dispel darkness where ever we go. As Christians, we need to understand and regularly practice positive spiritual principles of praying those who curses us, loving those who hate us, giving to those in need, helping the oppressed, being humble as opposed to proud and arrogant, forgiving those that have offended us… the list is actually too long to expound here but you get the picture. Notice that most of these are relationally oriented and direct us how we should relate with others as opposed to just relating to God.
Most Christians love God but when no one is looking, are guilty of mistreating other people. We can change the spiritual atmosphere around us by loving, blessings, and being an encouragement. Here’s the fun part, if you do these things regularly the principle of ‘sowing and reaping’ will eventually kick in. Your life will be overflowing with good things, to the point that you cannot help but to change the world around you. What you sow is what you will reap. If you sow grumbling, doubt, fear, depression, anxiety, and complaining then that is what you will get in return. Developing a positive Kingdom perspective and life style is what will truly change our lives and the lives of many around us.
We need new strategies to bring God’s love to a hurting world. We need something fresh and original ideas in churches, business, education, government, media and all aspects of life.
I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength. Ephesians 1:18-19 NIV.
DOUG ADDISON is the founder of InLight Connection in Santa Maria, California. He travels worldwide helping people transform their lives and discover their purpose. Doug is a stand-up comedian and his training seminars include hearing God, understanding dreams and visions, and experiencing the supernatural.