Despite it having been a season of loss, it’s a season to press through open doors—not just stand still or draw back. The Lord has a plan to take your loss and restore it to better than before. Will you trust Him in this?

It’s been a somewhat quieter season for me personally, as I haven’t written a major article in probably four months—the longest stretch I can remember. There are a number of reasons for this and unexpected things that have occurred, but it also has to be like I get specific direction to release an article—I can’t just write an article any old time just because I have some revelation or content. It’s like sometimes I have to become the word—if I walk it out first before writing it, I can bring the word with more authority. At least, that’s what I hope will be the case here.

Something “New New New New New!”

Several weeks ago I heard the Lord say, “It’s a day of new beginnings.” This got my attention because just that day I’d taken delivery of a new truck. Upon hearing this I began to realize there were indeed a number of things that were new in my life at that point, but apparently we were just getting started. Shortly after this my laptop died, our AC died (it turns out our whole HVAC system needs to be replaced), our hot water heater died, followed next by our refrigerator. During this time period we even experienced an unexpected death in the family, and another devastating loss that’s too personal in nature to disclose. My husband at one point said he was starting to feel like Job!

Of course, the enemy (Satan) at times seems to attack with a vengeance (Luke 4:13), but I began to recognize God’s hand somewhere in this. I hadn’t wanted a new truck originally and actually resisted at first, but there were a number of things that happened—including a dream in which my truck was totaled although I was okay—that confirmed to us this was the Lord’s direction.

And guess what? It actually love my new truck! With the current lack of inventory and shortage of microchips it proved to be a challenge to find, but after broadening my search the perfect truck “popped up” on someone’s incoming shipment inventory that had all the things I wanted. And I hadn’t realized how much technology had advanced in the seven years since my last new truck, and it’s really made my life easier.

The same with the laptop. My old one was ten years old and wasn’t able to be repaired, and I hadn’t realized how slow and hard to work with it had become until I got the new one. And quite unexpectedly in the process I also ended up getting a larger desktop monitor and an upgraded office space—which I really needed but would not have done otherwise. This is a pattern I’m noticing, which I’ll come back to in a minute.

About a year ago I kept hearing the Lord say, “I’m planning to do a NEW thing; the old ways won’t work anymore!” Little did I realize that the old ways literally were not going to work anymore! Every time I turn around there’s something else new, even if it’s not of my own choosing.

If you recognize yourself in this pattern, I encourage you to trust Him. As I heard the Lord say recently, He is doing something “New new new new new!

Greater Obedience—Greater Favor and Glory

When discussing with my husband the direction we felt we were getting to replace my truck in June, I mentioned that I felt the Lord was not messing around in this season—I’d sensed a new level of seriousness concerning the need for obedience. As believers it’s like the Lord has taken us through a season of testing and consecration—and brought us out “leaner and meaner.”

Let me say a couple of things about the importance of obedience before I move on, so that you don’t misunderstand. I like to tell people, “Obedience earns you nothing, but the lack of it can cost you everything.” (Think of Moses, or Saul.) Obedience is not a substitute for faith—it’s not synonymous—they are not interchangeable. And yet, if we love Him we will obey Him (John 15:10, 14). Plus, just a thought—if God can’t trust you to obey Him, maybe He won’t give you the best, most coveted assignments!

The most consistent theme I hear among the prophetic voices is that there’s a greater level of glory coming than we’ve ever seen, and I’m personally hearing new things about the favor and glory of the Lord—things I’ve never heard before. But my sense is that this greater favor and glory comes with a price. You’re about to see the glory and favor of the Lord displayed as never before, but here’s the “fine print”—obedience is also more important than it’s ever been before.

Raw Power—At A Price

The story of the Man of God in 1 Kings 13 has come repeatedly to my attention lately. If you’re not familiar with this story you might want to read the whole chapter, but basically the Man of God cried out against the altar and prophesied something king Jeroboam didn’t like. When the king attempted to have the Man of God arrested, the Lord withered his hand. The king then said, “… ‘Please entreat the favor of the Lord your God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored to me’… “ (vs. 6, NKJV). And the Man of God did, and it was.

You might know the end of the story. The Man of God ended up disobeying part of the word of the Lord to him on his way back home—he was told not to “’… eat bread, nor drink water, nor return by the same way [he] came’” (vs. 9, NKJV). But he disobeyed and it cost him his life. He was given raw power—but at a price.

Something I’ve noticed is that sometimes prophets and prophetic people can be held to different standards than anyone else, and it’s difficult to explain. Try telling someone you’ve gotten direction to buy a new vehicle, move to a different location, or to not eat or drink anything and return a different way home! It’s not something most people can understand—but you know, when you know, what you know—you know?

All this to say that along with greater responsibility comes greater accountability. Maybe not in the extreme sense seen in 1 Kings 13, but it’s still true nonetheless. That’s the season I sense we’re entering into—raw power—but at a price.

Better Than Before

Remember how I said earlier I’d sensed a pattern? Here’s what I’m hearing. It’s been a season of loss—but I’ve seen the Lord just as quickly restoring it. Not in every area yet mind you, but enough to realize that God is up to something. Sometimes something has to die before it can be replaced—like my laptop for example—but it could also be a dream or a vision or a way you thought your life or ministry should look like or be. But the good news is that if God is in the picture, that loss can bring forth much fruit (John 12:24).

There’s a Scripture I want to leave you with, but it’s important to understand the context. This was spoken during the darkest days of Judah’s history—the seventy-year period of Babylonian captivity. There had been monumental loss. Jerusalem had fallen in 587 B.C. Down came the walls, the Davidic line, the throne, even the temple came down—the place where the Shekinah glory dwell.

And into this situation came the word of the Lord to the land of Israel through Ezekiel: “I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bear young; I will make you inhabited as in former times, and do better for you than at your beginnings. Then you shall know that I am the Lord” (Ezek. 36:11, NKJV).

Be encouraged. Despite it having been a season of loss, it’s a season to press through open doors—not just stand still or draw back. The Lord has a plan to take your loss and restore it to better than before. Will you trust Him in this?

Posted on Charisma Magazine, Part 1 and Part 2.

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