Five-Fold Today - Restoration Before Revival - Peace and Joy - The Power Of Discipleship - You Are Incredible - The Lion And The Fire - It Is All Up To You - Be Strong and Of Good Courage
Restoration Before Revival Kriston Couchey
August 12, 2004
Matt.17: 10 Then his disciples asked him, saying, Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first? 11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elijah truly shall come first and restore all things.
Restoration Before Revival
Analogy Of Restoration
The Lord has placed on my heart an analogy I believe reflects His plan for the restoration and revival of His church.
The analogy is one of a Hotel built in the old west during the age of the horse and carriage. Initially the character and structure of the building reflect the age in which the hotel is placed in service. Over time, the original character and structure are barely recognizable as fads and styles from different eras are added on to the point of making the hotel obsolete for modern use, as well as unrecognizable from the age for which it was built.
Finally, the hotel is unprofitable and is ready to be torn down in order to make room for a business that can sustain financially on the property.
The owner makes a decision to restore’ the hotel to the original character and structure of the old west. He begins by determining what is age’ appropriate and removes all portions of the building that do not express the character’ of that age’.
Some foundations were added to the original structure and were laid for later additions. These additions are torn down, and the foundations are broken up and removed. The original foundation is once again the sole support for this structure.
There were walls and rooms added within the structure that make the original openness of the lobby shrunk to a small entryway. These walls are removed and the openness is returned.
The original hotel rooms were later divided into two or three smaller rooms. The purpose for the division was for selfish gain. These dividing walls are removed and the large rooms are once again opened.
Each individual room had added on its own shower and sink. These are removed and the centrally located washroom is rebuilt. All customers must now use the communal toilet and cleaning facilities.
The windows, doors, handles, lights, trim, window treatments, and decorative designs must all be replaced with pieces that reflect only the age for which the building was built.
Once the restoration is complete, the hotel is now reopened for business, and a revival of hotel life and traffic flourishes because of the beauty of the restored edifice.
The Kingdom Age There is an age’ to which the temple of God is being restored. The Kingdom Age’ appropriate character’ traits that reflect the kingdom of God will again be seen in the structure of His house. Restoring this character and structure is the first priority of the Lord. He has brought refreshing to strengthen us for the task of restoring His temple (people). But true revival awaits the restoration of the habitation God desires to indwell.
The Question What is it within our character and the way we structure ourselves that keeps revival’ from happening? Do we assume that what we are building is age’ appropriate? Or do we just keep adding on to the original building preaching and prophesying revival and not seeing it because we ourselves are it´s biggest hindrance. Could this be why the Hotel’ is obsolete and people no longer want to come and find rest? And the ones who were coming are now leaving?
Remodeling Much could be said about what must be torn down and removed. Much could be said about what must replace what is to be removed. Be aware that most "remodeling’ is modeling’ something currently popular but different then the original design.
Restoration is the key that opens the door to revival
Peace and Joy
My words over you are words of life and words of liberty. I desire for you to be free from the oppression of the enemy and I desire for you to walk in My victory in all things. Yes, difficult circumstances may come your way, but they shall not overcome you and they shall not steal your peace or your joy.
The joy that I give to you is not dependent on the circumstances that surround you. My joy will sustain you in all things because My spirit is inside of you as proof that I have not left you and that I will never abandon you. I will help you in all things and take care of you, because I love you dearly. I comfort those who mourn and I turn sadness into gladness. The world cannot do this for you, for the things that bring joy in the world are shallow and do not last. The world's joy and satisfaction are only for a short season, but Mine lasts forever. And I give it to you freely as you look to Me for it. I truly desire that your joy might be full, and I am able to accomplish this for you.
I give the peace that passes all understanding. Do you know why it "passes understanding?" It is because the world cannot understand how you can be in situations that would cause them anxiety and yet you walk in My peace and you do not fear. How is this possible? It is because you know Me and you know that, despite present-day appearances, I will come through for you because I am faithful. You are not dependent on your present circumstances for your comfort of mind, because you know that I am working on your behalf and you know that I will bring My glory into your situation. Your joy is not caused by the things that surround and affect you. This is because you know that I affect all things and that I can turn things in an instant for you, and that I do not hesitate to do this because I take care of My own as they put their trust in Me. And I am faithful to those who trust Me.
Child, My plans for you are very good. Do not be afraid of them. You have been explicitly created for the purpose that I have for you and in doing it you will find a sense of fulfillment and a sense of joy. Do not be afraid of the difficulties that may beset you as you begin to walk down My path. Continue to walk forward, step by step, and I will thrust you into a position of victory. These difficulties will not overcome you, but you will overcome them. Sorrow will not overcome you, but you will overcome it. Fear will not overcome you, but you will overcome it, and you will become confident and bold and you will be at ease in what I have called you to do.
Fear not, little one, My plans for you are plans that will cause you much joy and much delight as you accomplish them with Me. For I love you and I have called you to a good thing. And I will continue to work in your life for your good. You will experience abundance of life and you will experience My victory, for this is what is have called you to.
The Power Of Discipleship
So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law (Gal. 5:16-18).
Each of us is serving someone today. Who are you serving?
We are either serving our sinful nature, influenced by Satan, or our spiritual nature, influenced by the Holy Spirit of God. One produces death; the other produces life.
We must realize that sin is not only doing that which is wrong; it is also doing that which we think is right in our own strength. Being led by God's Holy Spirit is the only way God intended for us to live. If we are not walking in the Spirit, we will gratify the desires of our sinful nature.
The problem of walking in the Spirit is not how to walk, but how to keep walking in the Spirit. It's not hard to tell anyone how to walk in the Spirit. In fact, it can be taught in three simple points:
1. Fully come to terms with, accept, and forever settle in your mind what God says took place on the Cross of Christ regarding you and your old man your old nature is dead and your new nature is in Christ Jesus; you were bought with a price, your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit - who is in you - whom you have received from God, and that you are not your own.
2. Yield to the indwelling life of Jesus Christ who has come to live in you through the Holy Spirit.
3. Expect Him to live His life through you and moment-by-moment walk in the Spirit. This is a both an active choice and a discipline that bears much fruit.
The degree to which you are walking in the Spirit can be measured by the degree in which you manifest the character traits of the Holy Spirit. At the same time, be careful not to confuse your subjective feelings with the Spirit's leading. As a born-again believer, being led by the Holy Spirit involves:
If we rely on our own wisdom, common sense, or emotions we will not make Kingdom of God choices. If we try to follow the Spirit by our own human effort, we will fail. The only way to freedom from evil desires is through our learning to discern His Holy voice, obeying His Word, and being empowered by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9; Ephesians 4:23, 24; Colossians 3:3-8).
We are to live each day controlled and guided by the Holy Spirit.
Fruit of the Spirit
The fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22,23) is the spontaneous work of the Holy Spirit in you - these character traits are found in the very nature of Christ and are the result of Christ being in control of your life. For instance, as hard as you might try, you can´t produce Holy Spirit empowered patience - you are either patient because Christ is in control, or you are not. If not, then the patience you are presenting is a counterfeit expression and will always fall short of God´s intended purpose. To fully develop these character traits, we must: Remain in me [Jesus], and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.’ (John 15:4,5 brackets mine)
If you are a born-again believer, there should be an ever-increasing measure of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control in your life. As a new creation in Christ you will continue to wrestle with your sin nature. You will, however, continue to grow in grace and become more like Jesus. Ultimate perfection and freedom from sin will only come when you finally stand in the presence of the Lord.
Works of the flesh
All Christians have evil desires and they simply cannot be overlooked. There is only one means to realizing true freedom and that is to crucify those desires (Galatians 5:24). Jesus tells us that it is from within, out of our heart, that evil thoughts flow: For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man 'unclean.'" (Mark 7:21-23). This also includes sins such as gossip, jealousy, strife, division, selfish ambition, and hatred. Those who ignore such sins or refuse to deal with them over time reveal that they are not walking in the Spirit.
It is simply incongruous to say you are walking in the power of the Holy Spirit if you practice acts of the sinful nature such as sexual immorality, impurity, lust, hatred, discord, jealousy, anger, selfish ambition, dissension, arrogance, envy, murder, idolatry, witchcraft, drunkenness, wild living, cheating, adultery, homosexuality, greed, stealing, and lying.
Because you are saved, every area of your life physical, mental, emotional, social, home, ministry, and work should show it.
Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit’ (Galatians 5:25).
Live Christ Deliberately!
Director, CORE Discipleship Group Ministries
You Are Incredible
You are incredible beyond words to describe. Why do you think I chose you? It because My destiny for you is to cause you to be an overcomer and to be totally victorious just like Jesus. In order for you to walk successfully in all this, you must submit to the crucified life, just like Jesus. But as you do this, you will also begin to live the resurrected life, just like Jesus. You have My power and My wisdom because I give it through the life-giving connection with Jesus. I have chosen you and have made you to be holy. Yes, you are different and peculiar but this is My design and My desire for you. Now, shine in the darkness in which you find yourself. Let My life and life burst forth.
1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.
The Lion And The Fire
I had a vision that I would like to share with you all. It was a vision of a raging fire that seemed to be out of control. It was a fire that seemed to be consuming everything in sight. It was a fire that one could not see beyond or through, nor did it seem that there was any hope of it getting put out. There was a real sense of hopelessness and doom in the air. There were people crying and screaming everywhere for their loss and for their pain.
Then, in the midst of the fire I saw the head of a lion that seemed to grow as fast as the fire grew. This lion had a large sword attached to it. The lion seemed to be unharmed by any of the flames but yet grew more powerful and larger inside it.
I kept hearing the Lord say that this indeed was the lion of the tribe of Judah coming in the midst of the fire. I heard Him saying the following as the lion showed His head. He said, "I will not allow the fire to keep raging and destroying in your lives. But look here, I am in the midst of the fire, I have not left you alone and powerless to be defeated at the hand of the enemy. But in this season I will arise and I will move in great power and authority. I will bring restoration to that which has been destroyed. I am coming to take back all that belongs to Me and all the territories; yes, even land that belongs to Me. Do not be overwhelmed by the fire that you see and have experienced even in your own lives but know that I will rise up and I will restore and heal and be glorified in all things. My ways and My truth and justice will prevail."
"Abide in Me in this hour like never before, lean on Me for all your strength and hope. For truly then you will see the fire and see the sword but not be frightened or moved by it for you will see Me rising up in its midst, you will see My glory prevail and My healing coming forth. I am your lion of the tribe of Judah and you are My people! Know that I will move and act on your behalf and as you abide in Me."
It Is All Up To You
Come apart from the cares of the world and rejoice for the King of Glory is in your midst. This is not the time to dwell upon all that could weigh you down, but it is the time to forsake the cares of the world. Yes, cast them aside and I will pick them up for you. For I have provided for you your every need.
I have died so that you would be able to live abundantly with Me by your side leading and guiding you into all Truth. Yes, I AM filling you up this day with My grace and truth as you partake of My glory. As you lose yourself in My glory, I AM filling you with all the ammunition that you need to defend yourself against the evil one.
I AM even admonishing you to come apart from the cares of the world and abide in My presence as I fill you with My resurrection power. As you forsake the works of the flesh and abide in Me, I AM taking care of your every need. Abide in Me. Let My words abide in you. Let My faith take you through.
All you need to do is rest in My faithfulness to bring forth the Promised Land in your life. Let Me take you to the other side where My victory reigns and My sovereign will rules.
This is the day and the hour to make a choice of who you will serve. Life and death lies in the power of your choice. Yes, you can choose life in My word, or you can choose to carry your own burdens, your own cares, but they will weigh you down. And you will not have My strength. You need My joy, My peace and My love ruling and reigning in your life, and that only comes as you forsake all and follow Me.
My kingdom consists of love, joy, and My righteousness. Every time you choose to walk in My will, strongholds fall that have been set up to hinder you. The enemy's plan is to hinder you from truly worshiping Me with your life, not only when you bow before Me, but as you choose to be a living sacrifice of praise before Me.
I choose you to be My warriors of Light. I choose you to be My bride and My beloved. I choose to live My life through you. What do you choose? Your future lies this day in your very own decision. Cast off the cares of the world. Pick up your cross and follow Me and walk in My glory. My yoke is easy and My burden is light. Let this be your testimony. They loved not their life unto death. They overcame by the blood of the Lamb, and the enemy was defeated.
Be Strong and Of Good Courage
When will you understand how deeply I long to fulfill the desires of your heart? Do you not know that I am the God who remembers the heritage of yesterday and I know those who stood on the mountain and cried out to me with a loud cry?
My eyes look to and fro upon the earth and I see the nations that truly long for Me and My salvation. I see the hearts of the true worshipers and those who are crying out for Me. I have not looked away but have dispatched My angels to cover the earth and prepare for My glory to fall.
Look to the west and see the redemption of the sin-filled cities as they are transformed into a beacon of light and serve as a notice to the pagan nations. I am coming and I will pour out My Spirit. Prepare the lands for blessing, pour out the oil of repentance and cast out the wickedness. Look to the east and see My honor bestowed on the beloved. As far as the east is from the west, so My love is for the beloved.
Be strong and of good courage for I will cover you with My right hand and pass before you that you may see My glory. In this hour Kings will fall and new Kings will rise up and I will have My purposes fulfilled so we may commune in eternity.
Let the earth cry out for peace and let the sword of truth divide, for I will have excellence in the land. I know all who are Mine and I know your heart so again I say be strong and of good courage for soon we will be together.
The Lord has given us the grace to reconcile the children to their Fathers
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