The Power in Being Glorified
As the Lord has called you as a minister of the five-fold ministry, you will be required to lay aside the desires of the flesh to follow after the Spirit of God. Anyone who has been there can give a testimony of from hardship to glory! Yet no matter which way you look at it, there is no other way to grow in His power and anointing than by submitting that ever persistent flesh to the power of the cross!
Join me on this journey as I point to the beginning and lead you from the depths of death through to the power of being glorified!
Who is Called to Death?
I want to begin by clarifying that not every believer is called to the same level of death. As ministers of the five-fold ministry we tend to expect the same level of commitment and death from everyone else, that we have been called to face.
Every individual is responsible for their calling and not every believer is able to take up the call to one of the five fold ministry offices. So it is not necessary for them to face the same level of death, as do the five fold ministers, because they will not be required to carry the same authority and responsibility as one in such an office. So before we continue, let it be clear in your mind, exactly who death to the flesh is for and to what level it is required.
The Lord Jesus calls all to follow Him in His death and resurrection. As a sinner is called to salvation, they experience their first death and resurrection as they lay down their old life to take up their new one. For many this is the first and last time they experience death to the flesh and if they have no desire to push forward and move in the fullness of the call the Lord has for them, they will not be required to face further death and resurrection.
However if you have committed your life to the work of the Lord and asked that He step in and shape you for the call, you can be sure that death to the flesh will be a frequent occurrence in your life.
If you know the Holy Spirit, you will know He is a gentleman and that He never imposes His will. He will only work on you if you give Him the license to do so. To look at a person who you know needs to die to his flesh and say: "The Lord will show them! He will crunch them and they will see that they need to change!" is not valid at all. Why would the Lord bring pressure to bear on them to bring change if they never asked for it?
Everything we receive and function in, in our Christian walk is done by faith. And so unless you have asked in faith for the Holy Spirit to shape you, He will not step in and do so.
Not All Called To The Same Level
So in that light - not all Christians are called to the same level of death to the flesh. And so as ministers we need to be patient and not expect the same understanding from others who have not received the revelation for themselves. Realize that each person is responsible for their own calling before the Lord and that all we can do is prepare their hearts to receive that revelation from their own spirits. That is indeed what our calling is after all isn't it? To exhort and equip the saints for the edification of the body.
Death is by no means an easy process, and yet when you get to that place of submission you wonder why you waited so long to arrive there! There is a great victory in laying your life down and not all of it is sacrifice and pain. Paul says that we are to rejoice in our time of testing, because we know that we will reach a promotion and a blessing in the end. So when you look at your life and see the areas you know need to be brought to the cross, look rather through the cross and on to the glory that follows it.
For death is by no means the end! It is just the beginning and a path to great glory!
Death To The Flesh vs Death Of A Vision
There are two distinct differences between death to the flesh and death of a vision. It is vital to understand and identify the differences, because in one case you have a choice - in the other you do not. Death to the flesh is designed to remove the dross in your life to bring out the gold. Death of a vision occurs when we add our own ambitions to a vision the Lord has given us. While our minds are transformed and renewed by the Word - a vision that has been tainted with sin cannot be restored.
Death Of A Vision
When the Lord has given you a vision and desire, He gives it in the purity of His will and design. Yet as you add your own ideas and speculations, you begin to chip away at that original vision until it becomes nothing like God intended. To separate God's vision from your own design would be like trying to take the thorns out of a rosebush. Sure you could do it - but in the process, the roses would die also. The best recourse is to destroy the entire vision and to begin again.
Now you cannot expect a vision that has been brought to death to resurrect with the same likeness. The reason being that the original vision was given for a specific time and season. As you have moved on, that season has changed and so the Lord has had to orchestrate a new vision.
He is so faithful and will design a vision that will keep up with your progress and spiritual change also. When you first received that vision you were no where near where you are now - spiritually speaking. In fact, what looked so spectacular 10 years ago looks quite insignificant now next to your growth.
Letting go of the old can be quite painful, but ever so necessary to moving on and up into a greater anointing and vision. A vision the Lord has brought to death cannot by choice be resurrected! Why? Because what will be resurrected will look nothing like the former! You cannot resurrect what you do not have a clear view on.
Letting God Do His Job
If we look at an example in the Old Testament, we will see how the Lord took Joseph through many deaths. First he was sold into slavery and then put into prison! Yet the Lord also resurrected Joseph and seated him as second command over all Egypt.
I can guarantee that as Joseph sat in prison that the last place he figured he would land would be on the throne! In fact when he beseeched the baker and butler to appeal to the King for his freedom, his greatest hope was to just get out of that hellhole! Had he been responsible for his own resurrection, he would never have attained to the position the Lord had in mind for him.
As we look at the disciples in the New Testament I never cease to be amused and amazed, at how the Lord destroyed and resurrected their vision of the Kingdom that was to come. Jesus came to bring the good news of the coming Kingdom! Yet the disciples had a very limited view of what was to come and imagined that the Lord Jesus had come to overthrow the government.
Even Peter confronted the Lord as He spoke of His imminent death. What a preposterous thought it was to Peter - to imagine this Savior would die at the hands of ungodly men, instead of leading the rebellion he felt was just around the corner. In fact even after Jesus revealed Himself to them after His resurrection they asked him in ignorance: Is this the time you will restore the Kingdom Lord? How limited our human minds can be at times.
I think many misunderstand the betrayal of Judas also. His was a political move to force Jesus into using His authority and power to overthrow the government. I bet he had in mind that if this Savior would not make the first move - then he would help Him along. Only it was too late when he realized his error and he paid the ultimate price for adding his own views and designs to Gods original pattern.
I can only imagine the death each disciple faced as Jesus was strung to that cross! Yet it did not stay that way and the Lord in His mercy and power seated Jesus in heavenly places giving Him power over every name in earth, under earth and in the heavens!
How magnificent is our God! Not one of the disciples could have perceived such an imaginable thought: That mere man could contain in Himself the power and Spirit of God. Yet the Father in His own time brought about a resurrection to that vision and so the first New Testament church was birthed on the day of Pentecost!
So do not limit the Lord in your thinking. Allow Him to resurrect your vision in His own time and in His own way. Then when He does you will be amazed at what He had in mind for you all along.
There are some things that we have to rest in and simply accept in our Christian walk. The rest of faith is one of these. Your works and efforts will not 'twist the Lord's arm' to resurrect your vision. He foresees your progress and your maturity and will orchestrate a vision to match.
The resurrection of a vision is best left in the Lord's hand. And I figure that seeing as though He has a record of doing a good job in design (just take a look at creation) perhaps He is able to create and bring into being a vision and ministry that will suit you!
Death to the Flesh
Paul gives us a bit of an explanation of our walk and the various processes of death we face in the following passage:
2 Corinthians 1:9-10 Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, 10 who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us
Through Adam death reigned through one - but through the Lord Jesus we find a new life! Paul went on to state:
1 Corinthians 15:31 I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.
Paul called himself the scum of the earth and rightfully so. He was daily subjected to the pressures and opposition from the world and fellow believers. There was no place in him for the works of the flesh to operate. For the minute he exalted himself through the mighty revelation he had - he was given by Satan a thorn in the flesh to buffet him! He did not have a moment to allow his flesh to rise up and it was quickly brought back into humility.
So daily he gave over any bitterness, jealousy, strife, vainglory and pride to wear the mantle of humility. This was a daily process of giving up the mantle of recognition to wear a dowdy mantle of humility. For Paul knew that in His humility the Lord would raise and vindicate him. How right He was when He said:
2 Corinthians 12:9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
The Dying of the Lord Jesus
However there is a distinction between applying the cross to your life willingly daily and then the process of death we have come to know in the destruction of the flesh. When it comes to the works of the flesh (See Romans 8) these are issues you will be required to die to daily. They are a part of your natural flesh and will not leave you until as Paul says in 2 Corinthians 1:10 ... in whom we trust that He will still deliver us... Your flesh will always have the tendency to sin and so we battle it finding we do those things we know we ought not to do!
However in bringing death to sinful templates (habits) Paul calls it "the dying of the Lord Jesus."
2 Corinthians 4:10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death is working in us, but life in you.
This is a process by which your old templates are brought to light so that they might be transformed into the life giving force of the Holy Spirit. Once a template has been dealt with in you - it is dealt with for once and for all. You cannot reshape it and when the Lord does a job, He does it well.
So we can be transformed by the renewing of our minds as the Holy Spirit reveals and so delivers us continually from our past sinful templates. This is the process that we are going to address in the rest of this chapter and as you journey through each point with me, I want you to identify and then apply each principle as I address it.
I will move on now and cover some basic points you need to remember when facing death to the flesh. We will discuss some principles and some suggestions on how to pass to resurrection quicker.
Crucifixion is Done TO You!
The first principle you need to keep in mind when facing the cross is that you cannot crucify yourself! I have often been used of the Lord to bring His chisel on those who are called to ministry office to expose the flaw and bring out the beauty hidden within. There have been those who have responded with. "I do not need you to expose the flaws, I go to the Lord Jesus and He shows me what areas need dealing with in my life - I certainly do not need to you point them out thank you very much!"
This is the first misunderstanding when facing death to the flesh. It is not possible to nail your own hands and feet to the cross. Jesus knew He had to die on the cross - but it was the soldiers that were used to nail Him there. He knew the work that needed to be completed, but even the Son of Man had to submit to the hands of another to bring Him to that place of death.
There have been times in my personal life where the Holy Spirit revealed issues that needed dealings. I was aware of the sin and I was aware of the need for change. I even came to the Lord and laid them before Him on the altar. Little did I know that this was just the beginning of the process! Just knowing that your sin exists is not enough to bring it to death. You need to come to the place where you are not only convicted about it, but also where it is brought into submission and you release it.
Every person who walks this earth is aware of their failures and those things that need to be addressed in their lives. Yet being aware of your sin is just one step. Dealing with it is another. Like Jesus, you need to come to the place of pressure where you can cry out "Into your hands I commit my spirit" and you can truly deal a deathblow to that area of your flesh.
So how does this come about? If you cannot come to death purely by conviction, then how will your flesh be brought to death? It is very simple really. That area of your flesh is going to be put under extreme pressure. If you have a problem with impatience - that impatience will be tested beyond its limit. If you have a problem with anger - that anger will be exposed more than it ever was before. If you have a problem with jealousy, then you are going to face situations that will expose and stir it up.
It is only when you can come to the place where you are so overwhelmed that you just want to give it up, that you will find your victory. Only when that sin is 'put in your face' until you are so sick of it and feel so useless to deal with it, that death can begin and the Lord can step in and pull it out of you. True death is not in overcoming your sin, but rather in coming to the place where you realize that you cannot deal with it yourself. That no matter how hard you try - you cannot work a way in the flesh to bring about that change you require.
Knowing His Grace
For this is indeed a true revelation of the grace of God that says: Even in our sin He saved us by grace and that not by our works of righteousness!
Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit
Is this not the very death you faced at salvation? A realization that you were a sinner in need of a Savior. Yet it is so like man to try and bring himself to perfection through His own works. The Lord will not allow you to bring your flesh under control. In fact you in your flesh cannot bring your flesh under control and for this reason such extensive pressure it put on you to bring that area to death.
For as long as you are trying to overcome your sin and your template in your own mind and effort, you will remain in the bondage of it. This is the true meaning of grace and yet we keep getting away from it, thinking that in our sinful state and in our own carnal flesh we can do a work that only the Lord in His mercy can complete.
The sooner you can come to the realization that you cannot deal with the issues at hand, the sooner the Holy Spirit can step in and bring about the change that is required within you.
The only way you will come to this realization is by being subjected to the pressures of life and the pressures others will bring to bear on you. So if your boss begins giving you a hard time or your spouse begins 'picking on you' see the Lord's hand in it to bring your flesh to death so He can work.
Through this process the sinful template in question will be brought into submission. It will be restricted and squashed. You will be forced to submit and so your area of weakness will face the ultimate stress. Then to add insult to injury, you will be required to submit to that pressure and give in to those demands. You will be required to let that feeling, emotion or habit go so that you can move on.
If you have a need to be in control and have a problem with submitting to authority, you will likely be forced into situations where you are forced to submit. Your victory will be in submitting and letting that need for dominance go. Only when that intense pressure comes upon you, will you actually have the ability to let that sinful template go.
There is no victory in letting go when you are in a restful situation. Anyone can do what is required of them when they feel like doing it. The real test is letting go of that issue when you are under duress and are being forced to do it. It is much like childbirth. It is easy to talk of the birth. It is easy to reconcile yourself to the fact of the imminent birth. But until you face those labor pains, you will never truly know what it means to bring a new life into the earth.
So is it with death. Not until you have faced that labor and pain will you truly come to letting that flesh go and not until then will you also appreciate the new life that will follow after as you are resurrected and glorified!
Submitting To The Chisel In Others
However there are those who fear the pressure and would rather hide behind the Lord and their own revelation. Much of the death you will face will lie in the fact that you did not receive the revelation for yourself. The most difficult part is to accept that the Lord had to use another to deal with the sin in your life.
It is never easy to submit yourself to the chisel and it is never easy to admit that you require that chisel from someone who perhaps you do not even like. I very much doubt Jesus enjoyed being nailed to the cross by common soldiers! Here stood the King of Kings and the Lord of all creation - at the mercy of commoners!
How humiliating for Him. In Him was found no sin or imperfection. If there was ever a man who could hear from the Father it was Jesus. If there was ever a man who could receive for Himself, it was Jesus. Yet even Jesus had to submit to their chisels and their nails.
This is the commitment He calls you to also and as you have committed your life to Him, you too will be required to submit to that death. You will not find death in the comfort of your home. You will not find it in the rest of your comfort zone. You, like Jesus, will find death at Golgotha away from your comfort and away from your rest. You will find death in unfamiliar territory and you will find it in the hands of some whom will wield the chisel brutally.
If the Lord has brought a man or woman of God to mentor you, then you should be grateful for the correction they offer. For it is better to receive the chisel from a friend than from the world. A friend will continue to love you, but the world is ruthless. Solomon knew this principle well when he wrote:
Proverbs 27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
Death at the Hands of Your Enemies
Jesus received death at the hand of His enemies and so you will also find death in the hand of your enemies. Often the Lord will use those who you have disliked. He will use those who oppose and restrict you. It has nothing to do with their righteousness or their condition in Christ - it has only to do with what the Lord would accomplish within you.
You will note in the Old Testament how the Lord used pagan nations to discipline and correct Israel. He even went as far as calling gentile kings his "sons" raised up to complete His plan against the nation of Israel. Through all the trial and oppression Israel faced, they received a Savior who would set them free and so as you submit to the discipline of your circumstance will you find deliverance in your oppression.
Facing Death Alone
Just as Jesus stood upon the cross, all his disciples having fled, so you will also face death alone. I believe that the most trying time of death is where you feel that the Lord Himself has left you! No one understands your struggle and neither do they care to understand either.
Even for the Son of Man, was this time unbearable. In fact it broke His heart and resulted in His death. Being estranged from those around you and even from the Lord is the most difficult stage in death, but yet it is also reassuring to know that you are reaching the end.
When you get to the place where you are left alone to face this struggle, know that now is the time to give up your spirit and to remain limp upon the cross. This by far is the most painful deathblow, but yet also the most effective. If there was any struggle left in you, this time of isolation is sure to take you through to the end.
The Grave: From Death to Resurrection.
I want to clarify that the Lord does not inflict you with pain and suffering but rather exposes you to difficult circumstances that you might overcome them! He tests you expecting you to pass with flying colors. It is the enemy who tests you that you might fail.
2 Types of testing
The Greek words used in scripture for these two types of testing are:
When the Lord brings you to a place to expose a sinful template - He expects you to overcome and have victory over it. It is difficult at times to assess which is of the Lord and which is of the enemy! Let me explain it for you this way, using an illustration from my dad.
There was this kid who kept on being bullied at school by a kid twice his size. No matter how he tried to escape the 'punishment' of this bully, he inevitably ended coming home bruised and grazed, having been picked on. He used every natural resource he had to overcome - but yet still failed. To train his son to overcome this bully, the father took his child under his wings. He pulled him aside and taught him how to fight back. He tested and instructed his son on the best techniques.
Very soon the child was ready and fit enough to face that bully. As the father and son were walking down the street one day the bully came into view! The father knowing his son was ready for this confrontation hid behind the bushes and allowed his son to face the bully alone.
The child was afraid at first, but he faced that bully head-on. At first he floundered trying to defend himself with what he knew before. But after a few knocks realized it was time to apply what his dad had taught him! He used what his father had taught him and overcame that bully in no uncertain terms.
When the ordeal was over, the father came out of hiding with a huge grin on his face! The child ran to him and asked: "Daddy why didn't you protect me when the bully came? Why did you make me face it alone?"
The answer came: "My child if I never left you to face that bully alone, you would never have known that you had it in you to overcome him. But now you know and never again will you be brought low. Instead you will walk the victor - no go and use what you have gained for the defense of others!"
The Lord is just like this when we face death and testing. He will take you aside and train you, but there will come a time where you need to apply what you have learned. The Lord will allow you to face that bully and the [Dokimazo] test is on! As the bully (Satan) approaches, he has a different thought in mind and will seek to aim at your every weakness. He will throw every [Peirazo] test he has at you! But as you apply the principles the Lord has taught you WILL rise up victorious.
So this is the pattern you will follow in approaching the cross. The Lord will lead you to face the dross in your life. However the enemy will pull out every failure and weakness he can to cripple you. When you come to the place of realizing you cannot overcome your natural weaknesses, you let it go in death. Once death to the flesh has been accomplished, you will use that spiritual strength and training the Lord has given you. This is the beginning of resurrection for you!
As you keep the above illustration in mind, I want to lead you from the cross through to resurrection. A vital phase in the process includes a time in the grave. Many overlook this vital part of the death process and yet had Jesus not faced this time, He would not have risen with the keys of the Kingdom in hand!
Right about the time you come to defeat in the natural you are likely to come to a place where you feel totally numb. It is here that you are to remain in the grave for a season. It is a time of regrouping and consolidation of the events that have just occurred.
As can be expected, you feel like a dead corpse. People can stick needles into you and you would not budge. Your mother in law could cast the most horrendous insult at you and for the first time in your life, you might actually catch the humor in it.
It is here that the "old" you is left behind. Much like a butterfly hiding within the chrysalis. Totally unaware of the world outside of that self-made grave, it undergoes a metamorphosis. Allow the process to complete itself and do not try to venture out into the "real world" until that time of consolidation is complete. It is here that you come to a total rest in the Lord for the very first time. All striving has ceased and in fact, you do not even feel like doing anything spiritual.
My advice to you during this phase may sound totally unspiritual, but it certainly helps. That advice is to go out and watch a movie. Go for a picnic, spend time with your family or read a book. In fact do anything that will take your mind off ministry and the pressures of life.
There is no greater rest than the rest of faith in death. For it is here you realize that despite your efforts and failures the Lord will choose to lift you up.
The Master Surgeon
As your emotions and mind are put on hold it is during this phase that the Holy Spirit will work on you and bring the change to that template that was challenged. Only when the mind is out the way can He work on it. For just as a surgeon numbs the body to heal it through surgery, so the Lord will numb your soul to change and heal it.
Allow His hand to work and do not try to understand it. For as Paul says:
1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
This is not something you can perceive with your natural mind and only after you have resurrected and your spirit is brought back to life will you perceive and understand. So allow your soulish man to be "put to sleep" for a season, so that the Lord might effectively change and work on those areas He has just addressed.
Don't Make A Glutton Of It!
While Jesus remained in the grave for 3 days and in that time completed his metamorphosis, some ministers feel they have to make a glutton of the grave! When you cannot even bare to be around yourself, then this would be a good indication that it is time to rise up. Because if you are sick of facing yourself in the mirror, trust me when I say that those around you are pretty sick of the stinking corpse you are carrying around as well!
While the grave has its time, it is the shortest period of the death process and once you have had your time of rest and consolidation, it is time to shift into resurrection mode. Now is the time to the principles the Lord taught you at the beginning of this process.
Resurrection: Leaving The Dead Body Behind
As the Lord has brought you to death and you have had your time in the grave, there are those who do not seem to move past this point. Have you ever been through a season where it seems you are brought to the same death over and over again? Where you cry out to the Lord: "Lord, but I thought I died to this! Why am I facing it again?"
There is a very simple explanation to this - you never left the dead body behind! Perhaps the Lord dealt with an issue in your life and you made it through death. You truly did yield up your spirit and had your time in the grave. You managed to crawl out of the grave and get moving again - only to face the exact process right around the corner!
Many overlook the power of resurrection and do not realize that it is at this point that the old is truly left behind and restored with the new. It takes more than dying to break the old patterns in your life - it means being raised up in new life! Resurrection simply means to be returned to your original state. In other words, the Lord takes you right back to when your templates were still in the making and rejuvenates that template in His order and according to His Word.
By applying the principles He has taught you, to overcome your problems, you begin forming a new habit pattern in your life, which now replaces the old. It is not enough to just die to the old - it needs to be replaced with the new! It is not enough to sacrifice your sinful habits to the altar, it is necessary to replace them with new habits. So as the Lord trained you by His hand, you are to take that training and teaching and apply it now to your life.
Pushing Through And Giving Birth!
This by far is the most practical phase of the death process and where you are encouraged to rise up and choose to claim all that the Lord has for you. Jesus rose up victorious having overcome the power of death and hell. And so you too will rise from death in victory!
Use the principles the Lord has taught you to overcome the enemy in your life for once and for all. Wage war on Satan and take back all he has stolen for you. NOW is the time for you to push forward and as you do, that butterfly will begin to emerge from its hiding place.
As you 'push' this baby into the world through active labor and application, you will see for the first time a new strength and victory rise up in you. It is at this exact period that you use your lessons to overcome the enemy! You give him an uppercut and a lower-cut and one in the belly. Trust me when I say that your Heavenly Father is standing proudly watching you overcome.
For the first time you will be aware of the authority that has been in you all along. With the flesh out of the way, your spirit will be stirred to life. The power within you will now be released in a new purity, without the taint of that aspect of flesh restricting it.
Promotion Through Death
Have you ever experienced this scenario in your spiritual life: You go to church, a seminar or conference and you are chosen out of the others to be prophesied over! The word is incredible. The Lord says that He is going to lift you up and promote you. He says that He is going to use you for the extension of His Kingdom. He says that what you have been desiring all along is about to come to pass. You might even receive an impartation, only to go home and face trial after trial from that moment on!
In training the students in our training schools, we are often led to impart to them various "symbols" that indicate that the Lord is ready to train them for office. Among other symbols, for the Prophetic School, the Holy Spirit will move upon us to impart the prophetic key to a student.
For the teaching, a golden sword. For the apostolic, the sword of David for the Davidic apostle and the Moses staff for the Mosaic apostle. These are simply symbols the Lord gives to us to indicate that this student is ready to move into training for such office.
Now I have seen it time and time again, how we will impart such a promotion to a student and thus release them into training for that office, only to see them spiral down into a period of death and trial.
Ever been there? Where your promotion looks more like a demotion? If so, then you are right on track! As you face death to those areas that would hinder your ministry and the anointing within, the time for resurrection will come for you to finally rise up into that position of promotion.
This is indeed the work of resurrection in your life. When you rise up into the newness of life, as a butterfly you leave the chrysalis behind and spread your wings ready to fly. What was a worm, emerges as a beautiful butterfly. What was once a gift emerges as a ministry. What was once a ministry rises in promotion to office.
Have you been facing a tough time of death and trials lately? Perhaps the Lord has given you some tremendous promises, but right now they seem more a fantasy than a reality. Have you come to the place where that dream of ministry has begun to die and fade away? Then it is high time you rise up in resurrection! The Lord brought to death all that was of you and now He will resurrect you in His power and release you into the promise and pattern He designed just for you.
Loser To Leader
If you look at Peter in the inner courts as Jesus was being beaten by the soldiers, you see a man falling apart. You see a man too weak to even stand up for what he believed. You see a man broken by his failure. He hid himself and wept at failing his Savior by denying Him.
If ever Peter was dealt a deathblow to his natural strength and firm convictions it was then! He was always so quick to speak out and say how things should be. He was so quick to compete and lead in his natural strength. I think all of us can identify with him as he failed at a time when that strength was needed the most!
Ever been there? Ever been at the place when your natural strengths and abilities came falling around your ankles? Ever been in the position when your foot is more often in your mouth, than holding your leg to the floor? Where you mean to say one thing and say another? Find offense and then to end it off you make a fool out of yourself. Then comes the rejection and isolation. Oh I could go on and on, but this chapter is not designed to discourage you. We are talking about resurrection.
Let's look at another image then. The day of Pentecost. Here stands a man empowered by the spirit of God. Just hours prior he was hiding from the authorities, now he is standing boldly proclaiming the truth! Not only is he proclaiming the gospel he has the audacity to proclaim: This man Jesus whom YOU crucified! I see a very different Peter standing in front of the crowds than I saw hiding in shame as the Lord was crucified.
This is such a display of the grace and power of our God. That He could take a loser and promote him to leader of His New Testament Church. To take an uneducated fisherman and transform him so that it is said of him: "They stood in awe at the words he spoke, for they saw that they were uneducated fishermen." It was seen that they had been with Jesus! To take a coward hiding from the authorities and put in him the power to make the lame walk. To take a fool and make him into a leader.
Perhaps for some time you have been feeling more the fool than the leader. Today as the Holy Spirit moves on you, realize it is time to reach out now and rise up out of the grave. Put aside the wallowing and put aside the grave clothes. A new garment awaits you and it is the garment of promotion. Jesus was raised in glory, as will you. He was raised in a body healed and restored, as will you.
Walking The Road Of Promotion
As you find new life in resurrection, realize that this is just the beginning. Next you will be required to walk on this road of promotion and to practically live out the authority and responsibility placed on you.
Had Jesus not been glorified, His death would have been in vain. For it was in His presenting His blood on the altar that stands as a covenant before the Father. It was His being seated at the right hand of the Father that gave us authority over things in the earth, in the heavens and under the earth! It was after His being glorified that gave us the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
That we might do greater things than He did. That we might be empowered and fired up to complete the task ahead of us. To be clothed in the mantle is one thing, to walk it out is another.
Glorification: Walking In Revival
We have had a good look at how the death has been crucified and no doubt you could identify in your own life times of pressure where you were confronted with issues, that perhaps you did not want to face.
But yet the Holy Spirit ever works to woo and shape us into vessels that are fit for His use! Perhaps you have been going through a time of death in the last few months and you are beyond weary. I know that there have been moments in my own life where the deaths seem to be more frequent than the resurrections and the grave has become a very intimate friend. Not by choice, but rather by just plain weariness. You fear rising up into resurrection because you know that just beyond the next corner is yet another issue that awaits crucifixion.
If you are called to the work of the Lord, then by now you are nodding your head vigorously with many stories and struggles flooding your memory. Well I have some good news for you. There is a way to bypass these endless loops of death and struggle. I am by no means saying that you will never face death to the flesh again, but I do have a message of hope that says: You may walk in the resurrection power of Jesus Christ, every day of your life!
We discussed earlier those issues that seem to be brought up time and time again in your life. Have you ever been faced with a fleshly weakness that will just not die! Perhaps you have a need for acceptance, perhaps you have a fear of man. Perhaps you have a fear of failure. So you have brought these issues to the cross time and time again. You have faced the pressure, confronted the templates involved and even had victory over these issues!
Yet a few months down the line you find yourself facing the exact same fear or template yet again! You cry out to the Lord asking why you cannot seem to get over this. You know you died, you know you gave it up. There is a simple answer to this...you forgot to yield! Paul says it better than I ever could in:
Romans 6:13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
Do you understand the fullness of this awesome promise? This means that as you have given your flesh to the cross and been revived with new life in resurrection, that the issue you sacrificed is truly dead! For you are alive from the dead! Your flesh, those things that caused you hindrance have been taken to the grave! However it is up to you to leave it there.
Now this is where we all tend to fail. We sacrifice the flesh and allow the Holy Spirit to rid us of those taints of sin. Yet at the first sign of pressure or temptation from the enemy, we go and haul that filth right back from the grave and so reverse the effects of the death. Yet Paul says here that sin SHALL NOT have dominion over you any longer! How do you ensure that this is the case? It is simple... you yield to the Spirit instead of those temptations.
The scriptures say that after the Israelites passed through the Jordan river and into the promised land, they were tested to see if their hearts were right before God. The Jordan is a lovely illustration of death and the destruction of Jericho - resurrection. But they were tested! We all know how Achan failed that test and so he and his family were destroyed for their disobedience (for taking into the camp of the accursed things) See: Joshua7:1
So will the enemy seek to sift you as wheat after you have resurrected in new life? He will try to see if you mean business. He will try to find out if that weakness you claim to have overcome is truly overcome. Why? Because if he can still find in you that weakness, he will know that this is a stronghold he can continue to pull time and time again and so discourage you from the work the Lord has for you.
So even now as you read this, you need to make a decision in your heart. Will you choose to yield to the Spirit of God that says: Old things have passed away and behold all things have been made new? Or will you give into the temptation of the enemy and pull from the grave the rotting corpse of your sin that Jesus died to remove from your life?
Yielding to the Spirit
The decision all lies in you yielding to the Spirit of God rather than to your flesh. When you know that an issue has truly been given to the Lord and dealt with, when the enemy comes with his lies and accusation, it is up to you to choose the spirit over your own mind and emotions.
The soul is our control tower between our bodies and our spirits. It is here that your will lies and as you are faced with a pressure and a lies from the enemy. He will say: "The Lord didn't really heal you of that hurt, the Lord didn't really deal with that template" It is up to you to say: "Get thee behind me satan for the word of God that says: James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
When the Lord does a work He does it well! Do not let the enemy make you think that the work has been undone! Do not let him lie to you and say that the Lord missed a spot! For our Father gives good gifts and when He makes a promise that says ALL things have passed away, He did not mean "some things" or "the things I felt like taking away" He said "ALL" things! If the Lord says He has healed the past, then it is surely healed. If He had told you that He has dealt with an old template, then He has surely done so, or His word would be a lie.
Death Versus Works Of The Flesh
Now Paul said something very interesting in:
1 Corinthians 15:31 I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.
He said He died daily. Paul must have been a glutton for punishment! What did he mean he died daily? "You mean to tell me that he went through this entire process of death and resurrection EVERY day!" No, that is not what he was saying at all, thank the Lord! He was speaking here of our choice to yield to the spirit versus the flesh.
The death we have been speaking of is dealing with sinful templates and habits formed from childhood. Now these templates will differ from person to person and so what may be a death for you will have no effect on your brother or sister. Yet there is something we are faced with every day, and that is the seed of sin in our corruptible bodies.
Paul calls it "works of the flesh" these are sinful habits that are already in us from the day we are born. You do not need to teach a child to sin! Just give them the opportunity for mischief and they will automatically take you up on that offer! They have within them the seed of sin, the works of the flesh. Such works are bitterness, lust, anger, pride, jealousy, strife and vainglory. Daily we need to put these upon the cross, so that we might not fall into temptation. Here again Paul encourages us in:
Galatians 5:24-25 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Yield yourself to the Spirit right now and allow the Lord to remove the struggles you cannot overcome in yourself. You will always fail and you will always be bringing to the altar those temptations you fell into, but the key is to choose to walk in the Spirit, leaving the dross behind you and entering into His promise of grace!
Knowing Your Authority
You see the enemy will try his ploys where he can. And if he can get you to give him license in your life, he will certainly take that opportunity! It is now up to you to yield yourself to the Spirit of God and to stand on the Word that says: "All grace abounds to me for every good work." As well as "I am strengthened through Jesus who is greater than any temptation or any sin I could ever commit!"
This is the walk of faith you are required to step out on. You might argue "But, I failed! I fell right back into the old habits. The old feelings came back, the old habits came back, I thought I died to this!" So whom are you going to believe? Your feelings? Or the Word of God that has redeemed you from every curse of sin?
This is where you need to know your authority in the Lord and in the Word. You have dealt with the sin in your life. You have been faced with and overcome the templates that have been exposed. Now is the time to stand firmly in your authority as one who has been seated at the right hand of the Father!
The most powerful truth of our salvation is not only that Jesus died, but that He ascended to the Father! It was when He ascended that He was placed at the right hand of the Father. It was when He showed His blood upon the altar in Heaven that His name was made above every name in heaven, upon earth and under the earth!
And so is it the same for you. When you have risen up and are seated at the right hand of the Father, will be when you truly have victory over your situation. So how do we do that?
Romans 8:17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
Having passed through death as the Lord passed through death, and then having passed into resurrection as He was resurrected we are Glorified with Him also! What a glorious promise! We do not need to be bound in the sins of our templates! We no longer need to be bound by sinful habits and by hurts from the past. This is a promise given to us by our loving heavenly Father and it is the very promise you must stand upon against the enemy!
How could I say it any clearer than this:
Ephesians 2:5-6 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus
From Yielding to Wielding
You are even now seated in heavenly places with Christ. It is time to lift your eyes above the temptation of the enemy and to see the Lord and all His glory and to know that His crown has been put upon your head and that His mantle has been placed on your shoulders!
You have risen into promotion and the greatest power that lies in being glorified in Christ is to now wield that authority He has placed within you! First you yielded yourself to the Spirit, having overcome the works and temptation of satan, but now as you look upon the wiles of the enemy a righteous anger begins to rise up in your belly. Now is the time, servant of God, to WIELD the new authority and anointing given you to lash out and destroy every work of darkness.
This is the very reason the Lord has raised you up in new life. This is the very reason He has placed you in ministry: To use the power and authority vested in you to set free others who are in bondage! Now is the time to take your eyes of your own need and the time to use your position to the extension of the Kingdom of God.
Can you remember how you were faced with the bully and overcame Him using what your daddy taught you? Well now is the time to take those principles, having been tried by the fire of experience and death, and time to wield them with the anointing power of the Holy Spirit! This can only be accomplished when you are seated in heavenly places. A King may only wield his scepter when He sits upon His throne.
So now as the Lord has resurrected and promoted you, raise the scepter and the sword He has given you to carry out the task at hand. This is the final stage in the death process and it truly shakes of the shackles of your past forever.
Walking Out Your Salvation In Fear And Trembling
Is this not the ultimate goal for facing the cross? To be glorified and to carry out the task given you by Christ, in fear and trembling? How humbling to be called in our weakness to do a task so great. I thank the Father that He calls us to do those things He is capable of and not those things we are capable of. For if we had to stand in our own ability, we would surely fail and all would see the masks we wear.
But we do not stand in our own authority and we do not stand in our own abilities as servants of God. No, we stand in the ability of Jesus and the finished work of Calvary.
We stand in what He has wrought in us through many times of death and resurrection. We stand in the power of His grace and we stand in the unending strength of His love to complete the task ahead. So if you have been facing a time of testing and have been forced to look at your weakness, realize that the power and authority of the Lord is being vested in you, in a very practical way.
Learn to submit that flesh to the cross, learn to let it go and then learn to rise up in resurrection power. Yet more important than all of these is to stand in that new authority and to wield that authority for the extension of His Kingdom.
For when that butterfly finally emerges from the chrysalis sporting its new wings, he does not stand there unmoving! The very concept of going through death and being given those wings is to use them to fly! It is not enough to just resurrect! It is not enough to just break from the chrysalis. It is not enough to just give birth to that spiritual baby. No! You must also be glorified!
Spread those wings and fly, cut that umbilical cord and set that baby on its feet. Death has its purpose and so does resurrection. But both are useless without the power of being glorified! That butterfly may be beautiful in its resurrected state, but until it heads for the sunshine, it remains hidden and is keeping its potential hidden. Until the umbilical cord is cut from that baby, you will never get to see it grow.
As you have gone through trial and travail in preparation for the call, you must realize that being glorified is your goal and in fact the very reason the Lord called you to this entire process. So stand tall now in who you are in Christ. Realize what He has put in you and what He has wrought in you. For He has and still is making you into something beautiful.
Preparing The Gem
As I end off now the Lord shows me a gem. It is a ruby and it is tarnished. I see Him take that gem to a grinding wheel. As grinds it, it makes a terrible screeching sound. The gem gets hot and it strains underneath the pressure. Every now and again I see the Lord take it off the wheel and inspect it closely. Then He applies it again to the grinding wheel to an area that was overlooked.
Soon enough He inspects it again and it is gleaming. I see a smile of satisfaction come across His face as He holds it to the light. It gleams in the sun and the transformation from dirty rock to glorious gem is completed.
But the process is not over yet. I see Him take this gem to a crown. I see many other gems on this crown. So as He sets to apply this ruby to this crown, I see a place in the crown's molding that has left an exact place for this gem. In fact, it fits perfectly! I see the Lord fitting that ruby to the crown using molten gold to fix it to place. Once again the gold is hot and the gem is put under pressure as it is made to conform to the design destined for it.
Soon the process is complete and the Lord raises the crown to the light. It is breathtaking! I then see the Lord Jesus standing in all His glory! He holds a scepter in His hand and a mantle of purple on His shoulders. His expression is unflinching and His eyes are firm. He raises the crown to His head and faces the world. He shines with brilliance and the entire world beholds His glory!
Child of God, you are that gem. You have been perfected for His use. And as you are fitted to His crown, He will face the world through you and He will shine! You may be finding the grinding unbearable and you might find the heat of the pressure unbearable at times. But as Jesus holds you to the light and you gleam with His anointing, there comes the pleasure knowing that you clothe Him with the glory placed within you. You are His face to this world and you are His beauty.
This indeed is the power in being glorified, and indeed the magnificent promise that we have been chosen by His grace and enabled by His blood. I end off with a powerful promise and indeed the summary of this teaching.
But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth. Exodus 9:16
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