A HEART CONDITION TO CONNECT GENERATIONS
Sunday 05 March 2017 – Shane Egypt
Gen. 22:7; (Isa. 28:10); (Isa. 66:2, 4); Haggai 1:4-6; 1 Sam. 22:1-2; Deut. 11:18; Deut. 6:7; Gen. 35:6-7; Judges 2:10; Judges 17:6; 2 Tim. 2:1-2; Gen. 49: 22-25; Deut. 33: 16-17; Judges 1:22; 2 Kings 23:8; 2 Cor. 10:5; (2 Chr. 18); (2 Cor. 10:5); Ezek.37:1-4; Mal. 4:1-6; Job 18:16; John 15:5; John 10:41; Heb. 5:8
God says to Abraham to offer his only son. Abraham prepares everything. While on his way what must have gone through the heart of this father when God asked him to offer his only son? I wonder what went through the heart of the father when the child asked, “Now everything is prepared but where is the offering?” All Abraham could say was that God would provide (Gen. 22:7). God went all the way when He offered His Son, He did not hold back in order to reconcile us. That picture once again shows me the heart of God for His people. God works precept upon precept, line upon line. There is always a new level in God, for us individually, for a local household, for the Church at large.
There is so much evidence that the world is off-course and needs correction. Change is necessary to bring it back in alignment to God’s will. We see across the world that extreme decisions are made in order to break away from the traditional way of doing things. Unfortunately people are looking in all the wrong places. Clearly this is also evident for the Church at large. We have heard that we need to discern the voice of God from the many voices out there when it seems God is silent. This is the stage that is set for God to manifest Himself and for us to see and to believe for that next level. A pre-requisite that God looks at for us to be agents of change and be part of His unfolding plan is ‘the heart’. But to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word (Isaiah 66:2).
Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your panelled houses while this house lies desolate? Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts, Consider your ways! You have sown much, but harvest little; you eat, but there is not enough to be satisfied; you drink, but there is not enough to become drunk; you put on clothing, but no one is warm enough; and he who earns, earns wages to put into a purse with holes (Haggai 1:4-6). A devastating picture! This is normally the time God intervenes and announce a new level of function for His people, even for us individually. He always provides for the grace capacity to function on this new level.
Here is a specific situation in the house of Caleb finding themselves in the midst of change. Samuel is dead and the anointed one is in the wilderness. We see a massive shift of change for the people of God. They reject the rule of God; Israel succumbs to foreign voices and they are moving in the permissive will of God. This was not the heart of God for His people. The people’s request was to have a king. The old is on its way out the new is on the increase; however the new is not visible yet. You find the anointed has taken flight now in the cave of Adullam and this is what the word of the Lord says, Everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him; and he became captain over them. Now there were about four hundred men with him (1 Sam. 22:1-2). In all these difficult situations and circumstances in the wilderness you find a man with the heart of David. You study his circumstances; his heart comes to the fore. There is the house of Caleb, David helped and protected that house and it was a house in wealth. David is in the wilderness and had a request to this house but this house displayed such arrogance and said, “Who are you?” The head of this house, named Nabel, missed the next level in God for his life by what he had displayed.
What should be carried through to the next generation so that history does not repeat itself? In the house of Caleb his future generation does not walk in that same heart before God.
Jacob goes to the land of Luz. He builds an altar there and calls the place El Bethel, the house of God. God revealed Himself there where he had an encounter. There his name was changed from Jacob to Israel (Gen. 35:6-7). However as generations passed we look again at the place Bethel. This place had a fundamental weakness and its weakness was its entrance. Should the gate of the city not be the best guarded? We see the context of the book of Judges, the generations have gathered to their fathers and there arose another generation who did not know the Lord nor of the work He has done for Israel (Judges 2:10). There was no king and every man was doing what was right in his own eyes (Judges 17:6).
The house of Joseph during the times of David grew strong. You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also (2 Tim. 2:1-2). What was carried through from generation to generation? In the midst of this change period you find there is a house of Joseph. In these times of difficulty there was a house that still walked and carried that which has been deposited in them. There was a blessing spoken over Joseph by Jacob (Gen. 49:22-25).
A blessing was also spoken by Moses on the house of Joseph (Deut. 33:16-17). Why did they triumph in those times? What was part of their make-up that they were able to triumph? Likewise the house of Joseph went up against Bethel, and the Lord was with them (Judges 1:22). When we study the word of God regarding the patriarch Joseph in these difficult times, what was in his heart? This was carried over to the hearts of generations in the future. The word of God says he broke down the high places of the gate at the entrance of the city (2 Kings 23:8). Paul says we are destroying speculation and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God (2 Cor. 10:5).
Four hundred prophets prophesied at the entrance of the city of Samaria, only prophesying what the king wanted to hear. There was only one prophet that prophesied the word of the Lord to the king (2 Chron. 18). With this heart condition that is pleasing to God we, as a house, will be able to bring alignment at the entrance of the city.
In the valley of dry bones, a place of impossibility, we release proclamations and prophecies (Ezekiel 37:1-4). If the dry impossibilities hear the word of the Lord prophesied by people who have the heart of God, things will change. We are at the entrance of the city and we are prophesying as we have aligned our hearts with the heart of God. We speak a word only from the Lord.
Behold I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before this day and he will restore the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to the fathers that I will not come and smite the land with a curse (Mal. 1:5-6). This is prophesied about the coming of John the Baptist. John’s commissioning was to come in the power and the spirit of Elijah. John did not perform any sign or miracle (John 10:41). That means the spirit and power of Elijah must have meant something else, because we see how Elijah operated in signs and wonders. We need a heart condition of submission to God. The earth right now is waiting for another demonstration. It is waiting for a manifestation. Creation is in travail. We need an intervention from God. God will work powerfully but this power will be in the power and spirit of Elijah. Those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. It happens in us and it will happen through us as God finds hearts fully handed over to Him, fully surrendered, admitting His Lordship over their lives. Here are areas we will have to surrender. Sometimes there are areas in our lives that are really feeble and powerless. It is not easy to acknowledge this. We need to realize our ingenuity, skills and talents are not going to be enough. We cannot do it in our own strength. We need a heart contrite before Him, ready for the next level in God. We need to stop living by our own will and surrender our will to Him. Surrender in the time of your suffering. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered (Hebr. 5:8). Let us walk faithfully before God; filled with His Spirit, obedient to His will surrendered to His power and watch His plan unfolds for our good.