As we have entered into the beginning of the new calendar year, it has become clear that God wants to open the windows of heaven and pour blessings upon us, His people, this season. It would seem that we, as the Body of Christ, have come to a tipping point, a critical mass that God has brought us to so we can literally move into a mighty move of the Holy Spirit. I recently read this little nugget by Dr. Joseph Howell and think it sums up clearly where we are in the Kingdom:
“Suffering caused by unconsciousness continues to mount until critical mass of pain is eventually reached. This critical mass can also be attained quickly by experiencing huge sudden loss. Pain and loss are, at their apex, the person’s “wake-up call” to consciousness. Why is it that extremes of loss and pain must occur before we are stirred out of our suffering and unconsciousness? The answer to this question is simply that the critical mass of pain and loss collapses the reason to live. The life’s frame of reference, its set of givens and its raison d’etre (the most important reason or purpose for someone or something's existence), are no longer there. It is only then that the person searches for relief and for a way to continue living. It is then that the person can be receptive to the fact that the ego cannot change the reality of pain and loss. The person must now learn to see things in a new way. This new way is found as the awareness of reality is heightened. This is consciousness. Once the new awareness is experienced, one finds it difficult to return to his previous state of awareness because that brings too much suffering.”
This further revelation by Dutch Sheets expands upon what critical mass looks like in heaven: “Revelation 5:8 tells us this, "...When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, having each one a harp, and golden bowls full of incense which are the prayers of the saints."
Revelation 8:3-5 continues, "And another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer; and much incense was given to him, that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before God out of the angel’s hand. And the angel took the censer; and he filled it with the fire of the altar and threw it to the earth; and there followed peals of thunder and sounds and flashes of lightning and an earthquake." According to these verses, either when He knows it is the right time to do something or when enough prayer has accumulated to get the job done, He (God) releases power. He takes the bowl and mixes it with fire from the altar. There are bowls in heaven in which our prayers are stored. Not one bowl for all of them but "bowls."
We don’t know how many but I think it very likely that each of us has our own bowl in heaven. I don’t know if it’s literal or symbolic. It doesn’t matter. The principle is still the same. God has something in which He stores our prayers for use at the proper time. Recently, I believe the Lord showed me what sometimes happens when we come to Him with a need, asking Him to accomplish what He says in His Word. In answer to our requests, He sends His angels to get our bowls of prayer to mix with the fire of the altar.
When we don’t discern that God is moving on our behalf, and are still functioning at the carnal level and we believe, that somehow, some way, we are orchestrating all of the events of our lives, we fall neatly into the category of natural mindedness. It is at the apex of this tipping point that critical mass begins to build, and change occurs as our thinking becomes transformed to spiritual mindedness by the renewing of our minds.
God's desire is for us to not be conformed to the ways of the world, or, if you will, to the limitations of our five senses. For many of us, even as believers, our hope and expectations are limited to, and by, what we see, hear, feel, taste, and smell. God wants to take us beyond our five senses so we are positioned to overcome a limited mindset. Limiting ourselves to believing that we can only have what we see, hear, feel, taste or touch negates our understanding and interaction with the spiritual realm that is very much alive in and around us. Romans 12:2 reminds us, “Do not be conformed to the world (a limited natural life) but be transformed (open your mind to the spiritual realm) by the renewing of your mind….”
The word conformed is a Greek word and means to fashion oneself according to, or to form oneself to another’s pattern. The greek word for conform (syschematizo),as used here, is a derivative of the word schema, which comprises everything in a person which strikes the senses: figure, bearing, discourse, actions, manner of life, etc. When we conform to the world, we attempt to outwardly model what we see or perceive to be the lifestyle of those who walk in darkness. It is a funny thing that we who bear the light and who are called to be different would then disguise our light to blend in and look like those who are ignorant of the hope that lies within us. Yet, the Word clearly teaches that we are not to buy into the syschematizos, or schemes of the enemy, which are designed to keep us blinded to the spiritual world. Rather, our minds are to be renewed and restored back to God’s original design. In other words, we are to renew our minds to our Creator’s original design for us before the fall of Adam, and therefore, mankind. Prior to the Fall, man lived with spiritual mindedness and was open, connected, and in constant communication with God, sharing sweet fellowship while walking in the cool of the garden. Renewal and restoration is literally getting back to the spiritual mindedness that you and I are created and designed to have. You may ask, “Why is that important?” Romans 8:6 lays it out for us, “The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.”
Isn't that interesting? Do you know how many people live this life in the earth, who are spiritually dead and completely unaware that they have a purpose and that God has a plan for their life? Without His Presence we drift through life, sometimes successfully, but without any awareness of God's Presence, much less His purpose and plan. Drifting completely negates the Holy Spirit's availability and access to God. Romans 8:6 admonishes us to be aware that to be carnally minded, or natural minded (guided only by our five senses), is spiritual death. To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. To live every day knowing we have a purpose and plan, even when negative things happen in our lives, has to be appealing to anyone who lives led only by their senses.When we know that God is working ALL THINGS TOGETHER for our good our minds cannot help but be relieved, renewed, and restored.
Romans 8:26-36 enlightens us to God’s plan, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness, we do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that all things work together for those that love God and are called according to his purpose.” When we live with spiritual awareness and are mindful of God’s purposes we are not stuck in difficult circumstances or problems because we know that God has a plan. It is vitally important to allow God to renew our minds and bring us back to the place of spiritual mindedness so we are not moved by every trial and test that life throws our way.
When we begin to see God for who He is then we can see ourselves as we are originally designed to function. As we reach our critical mass and individual tipping points we begin to recognize that God’s intentionality removes all limitations that confine us to our natural senses. We have a very real and active spiritual life that is connected to the Kingdom of God and all the promises, purposes, and plans that God has for our lives.
I pray all fear, shame, doubt and unbelief is driven far away from our minds, and in this season God continues to develop a spiritual mindset and revelation that we have been co-created with Christ and that we are not living our lives separated from God. We are co-laboring with Christ because the Cross has made us compatible with God so that we could live a life continuously connected to the heavenly realm while here on earth. I bless you with a renewed mind and a supernaturally restored mindset to walk with God in new and creative ways as God opens the windows of heaven and pours blessings upon us in this new season.
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