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Sun 31st January 2016 – Kobus Swart
Zeph. 1:12; Matt. 13:52; Gen. 26:18-25, 32-33;
Acts 2; Eccl. 3:10-11, 15 (Message); (Matt. 13:52);
(Matt. 22:11); Jonah 1 – 4; (Matt. 12:39);
(Luke 23:39-43); (Heb. 10:13); (Ps. 110:1);
Eph. 3:10; Rev. 21:5
Migration: To move from one region or habitat to another according to the seasons. As in nature, for example, birds migrate from one country to another as seasons change. Migration is to protect the next generation. If they do not migrate they will die in that season that has passed.
Migration can apply to many positions which can also include spiritual, economic and political spheres.
Beware of being stagnant! It will come about at that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps and I will punish the men who are stagnant in spirit. Who will say in their hearts the Lord will not do good or evil (Zeph. 1:12). The word ‘stagnant’ usually applies to water. Water that is not flowing is stagnant and has a very unpleasant smell. We have to keep moving as the seasons change. That has become the problem in the Church. We get stuck in a season. Even when the cloud has moved on we try and re-activate that which used to work before. In order to prevent history from repeating itself we must study history (referring to Church history). Avoid patterns without His presence! Jesus was never stuck in any particular pattern. He never performed two miracles the same way. Each one was uniquely different and original.
However we must not throw out the baby with the bath water. As the seasons progress and change there are certain things that will remain unchangeable. Certain truths will remain. Therefore every scribe who has become a disciple of the kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household, who brings out of his treasure (not his junk box!) things both old and new (Matt. 13:52). God is always building line upon line and precept upon precept. Follow that thin line of faith that goes from one generation to another.
Let’s look at this principle in the life of Isaac: Then Isaac reopened the wells that had been dug in the time of his father Abraham (generational change) which the Philistines had stopped up after Abraham died and he gave them the same names which his father had given them. But when Isaac’s servant dug in the valley and found a well of flowing water (Gen 12:18-19). The Philistines had closed this well, Isaac came and he reopened the well. He found flowing water. Regardless of the fact that somebody came and closed the well there was still flowing water there. The herdsman of Gerar quarrelled with the herdsman of Isaac saying the water is ours (Gen 12:20). They have taken illegal ownership. Isaac gave the well a new name ‘Esek’ meaning contention or disputes (like church politics). They dug another well and quarrelled over it too. He gave it another name ‘Sitnah’ meaning ‘enmity’(Gen 26:21). Isaac was progressing to something more important. It was not just about recovering old truths or opening old wells. He moved away from there and dug another well and they did not quarrel over it so he named it Rehoboth (meaning a place of enlargement or flourishing). For now the Lord Has made room for us and we will be fruitful in the land (Gen. 26:22). Then he went up to Beersheba and the Lord appeared to Him and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham do not fear for I am with you. I will bless you and multiply your descendants for the sake of my servant Abraham. He build an altar there and called upon the name of the Lord and pitched his tent there and there Isaac’s servant dug a well (Gen. 26:24-25). That same day Isaac’s servants came and told him about the well they had dug and said to him “we have found water”. And he called it Shibah (verse 32-33). Therefore the name of the city is Beersheba. Water is symbolic of the word. New well, new anointing! ‘Shibah’ means seven. Beersheba means a well of seven – completeness and fullness. They found the well called “seven”. My heart’s cry is that we will not stop on this journey, but we will continue on this migration until we found the fullness of the well with the final anointing to bring all things together.
Notice the following: In Acts 2 we find the birthing of the first New Testament Church. All this gifts were functioning. Open wells! Then after several hundred years the “wells” of flowing water were closed up, and 1000 years ‘Dark Ages’ followed.
Then as the period of the Reformation followed, gradually the “wells” were opened up, usually initiated by prayer and revivals. Then the different denominations formed each time as a move of God became the movement of man (today there are more than 40,000 denominations…!)
That is why the migration of serious believers should continue until the Full Stature of Christ is unveiled!
The thrust toward the final migration
In every living being, including you and me, there is eternity. This causes an ongoing quest for higher fulfilment. What pushes people to leap and take chances? God placed eternity in the heart of every man. There is an appointed time or season for everything. There is a time for every event under heaven (Eccl. 1:1). He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has set eternity in the heart of every man (Eccl. 1:11). Whatever was is. Whatever will be is. That is how it always is with God (Eccl. 3:15 – Message Bible). In man’s quest something is stirring on the inside; something is frustrated by the limitations. The more you walk with God, the more you search the Scriptures, the more this awareness becomes alive in you. “Lord, there must be more than this!”
Unfortunately the enemy is quick to offer a shortcut. The book of Jonah is typically what happens to us. God gave Jonah a mandate; he was commissioned to go to Nineveh. A work God wanted to do through him. Jonah ran from the presence of the Lord, got on a boat and ran in the other direction. The place ‘Tarsish’ is seen as an idealised port or far off place; ‘an ideal harbour or a distant paradise’. Here is Jonah on his way to a distant paradise. That is what people are looking for all the time. People are looking for gold, a holiday, a nice time and they will give it spiritual names. God does have “paradise” in His mind and in His heart for you and me, but there is a way to get there. There is no easy way, no short cut. How did Jonah finally go in the right direction? He jumped ship after God sent the storm and winds and the threat of being drowned. He jumped into the water. God sent a fish to swallow him. For three days and three nights Jonah was praying in the belly of the fish. Every line of his prayer was a quotation from the Book of Psalms.
When the Scribes and Pharisees came to Jesus wanting a sign, Jesus answered, “This evil generation wants only signs. There is only one sign and that is the sign of Jonah” (Matt. 12:39). Three days and three nights Jonah spent in the belly of the fish. Jesus spent three days and three nights in the depths of the earth, where He made proclamation to the spirits in prison (1 Pet. 3:19). His death opened the way for you and me to paradise (the Kingdom). Those were His words when He was on the cross with a robber on either side. The one was sarcastic voice of Satan, the other felt remorse and repented, which was actually the voice of the first Adam, including all of humanity. And Jesus turned to Him and said: ‘Today you will be with me in paradise’ (Luke 23:39-43). It collapsed all of history from the first Adam in the Garden of Eden to the last Adam which is Jesus.
There is a quest and a desire in all of our hearts to break out of this time-space bubble, this confinement. We know there is something else, but we have all these offers from the world on how to find happiness and riches. Look at the history of the Church how they were digging and digging and the enemy came and they were de-railed. Paradise (Garden of Eden) was not a geographical location on this planet as it has never been found. Paradise refers to a place of intimate fellowship with God.
My challenge to you is jump off the boat if you are on the wrong boat pursuing a wrong direction! What it means is to die to self-will. Appropriate the truth that we have died with Christ.
The biggest, most challenging migration that awaits us is to break out of this mind-set of being trapped in time and in space. Whatever was, is. Whatever will be, is. That is how it always is with God (Eccl. 3:15-Message). Let your heart respond to this.
Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father. He is in rest waiting until His enemies become the footstool under His feet (Heb. 10:13/Ps. 110:1). We as believers must do that; it is our mandate to execute the finished work. God wants to demonstrate His manifold wisdom to principalities and powers through the church (Eph. 3:10). Where is the Church? They are pursuing a dream, some kind of ideal paradise somewhere. Let us not go the wrong way but rather appropriate what Jesus said on the cross to you and me “Today you will be with me in paradise”. Behold I make all things new (Rev. 21:5).