During the first bout of prayer (following our singing, “Lead Us Back to You”), I saw us as horsemen, mostly on brown horses. We were dressed as cowboys. Most — if not all of us — were dressed in black (black cowboy hats too). We were sent to raid a certain place on behalf of a people and also to free the people. What came to mind were the scenes in the Robin Hood movie where he (Robin) often went to raid the storehouse of the oppressive sheriff (who was enslaved to the Church, and was oppressing the people by levying them heavily and making them poorer by the day). He would raid the storehouse and give back to the poor what was taken from them.
Just as it was a very dangerous job for him, it would be the same for us. We have an advantage, however, which he didn’t have: our starting number. Apart from his Arabian trainer, Robin Hood was a one-man army until the end when he mobilized the people to fight, and this was what precipitated the final victory. I saw us go for the raiding together, as an army armed with swords. I personally saw one of us (I think it was myself) armed in both hands with identical scimitars (which are curved swords of Persian origin) with very long blades. One thing that caught my attention was that because of the ‘cowboy-ish’ dress code, there seemed to be neither male nor female amongst us. There were warnings that came with this assignment:
- The riders/raiders were never to be distracted with trying to control the movement/direction of their horses while on the mission. They were rather to concentrate on being skillful with their scimitars while on their way to venue of the operation. The horses were already programmed to move according to the instructions of the Master who sent them out. These instructions were encoded in the scimitars the raiders were given, and therefore, the more skill each rider had acquired with their scimitar, the less they would have to worry about the horses. Mastering the scimitars was equivalent to mastering the horses as well. These raiders were to learn to be ambidextrous with the swords — perfectly skillful with the sword using both hands.
“Blessed be Adonai , my rock, who trains my hands [not ‘hand’] for war and my fingers for battle.” – Psalm 144:1 [brackets mine].
“I came down from the mountain. The mountain was blazing fire, and the two tablets of the covenant were in my two hands…” – Deuteronomy 9:15
Moses had the two tablets of stone in his two hands. These tablets contained God’s laws/word, which is the Sword of the Spirit. (Ephesians 6 :17)
Another good point to note about these raiders was that they were learning to use the swords while their horses were still heading to the main venue where the operation was to take place. I believe this points to the fact that though we are already receiving training in the fields, just as the Lord has spoken, we are yet to begin the real battle. All these, though they have real consequences, are but our preparation for the main battle – the [end] of this age.
- The raiders must be consciously careful not to despise their trainer.
Robin Hood was trained by a one-handed (seemingly limited) person. With his ‘limitation’, he was much wiser, larger at heart, daring, and willing to harm his flesh in all the ways possible to make himself stronger. He had more skill, and he taught Rob how to shoot faster, more precisely. He made him do heavy tasks just so he became much stronger. [Note: Rob was already a soldier. He had quite some skill and strength already. But in the face of a greater battle to fight, one must be humble to learn more. The 1% you don’t yet know and are unwilling to learn because of pride will be your ultimate undoing in the face of a higher battle that requires more of you, especially when the more that is required is the 1% you despised (because of despising your trainer).
This is a very ardent warning for those of us who might be feeling puffed up because they have had some prior knowledge of God, and also for those who still struggle with things like ‘But I was born again before him!’ HUMILITY is the key to avoiding HUMILIATION at the battlefront! Either way, you will be humbled. You can either choose humility as a priority, or as an eventuality. Sure, the latter is always more painful. With our Pastor for instance, the ‘absent’ hand he has might be that it is not given to him at this time to engage in direct prophetic encounters [at the same level many of his mentees do]. But of course, we all know by reason of use that the wisdom God has given him (via his desire to see God’s will fulfilled in our lives and beyond), is a vital weapon for our surviving even in our prophetic journeys.
A major way to despise him would be to refuse to go on these journeys and encounters, even when it is clear that invitations into such is divine [and he has warned us against this attitude even today]. Of course, he may as well like to go on these journeys himself and receive that which God is offering to His body, but then it may not be altogether appropriate for the trainer to take on the duties he is training the trainees for. His duty is to train! If the commandant left his duty of giving instructions to the foot soldiers to go carry the guns himself, then the defeat of the army would be as sure as the disarray that would come in from a lack of instructions. Another way of despising would be to get intel (prophetic information/revelations) and keep it to yourself. These acts are equal to despising God himself. We all must repent. Or wait to regret. This is when the choices are to be made. There’s no time to come back to this time, really.
- The raiders must not be unarmed with the [false] assurance that the enemy they’re going to face will not only not give up easily, but will also retaliate. That you kicked the strongman out of his house doesn’t mean he will not try to come back for his house. Being assured of this gives you a reason, secondary to the fear of God and the hope we have, to never stop being a soldier. It simply means that there’s no time to ever consider cooling off, no time to ever pull off your armour. There definitely isn’t any time for the folly of testing the depth of the waters of the world with our feet. There simply is NO TIME! This, however, must not be confused with the ungodly fear of being defeated in battle.
This vision of the cowboys brings to mind the word/vision we had some time ago about us being God’s ‘henchmen,’ whom He’s sending out to do ‘dirty’ jobs for Him.
Still on the matter of the Sword:
During the second bout of prayer-in the middle of the message-I heard that we are to make our swords ourselves. How? A scene from ‘Avatar: the Last Airbender’, came to mind. When Sokka went to the foremost sword-master to learn how to use the sword, the Master told him, after a bit of some training with wooden swords, that it was time for him to make his own sword. He went out to look for the material to make his sword. He found a rock-like metal, after the Master had advised him on the kind of metal to choose for the sword. And that was he put into the furnace. Then he poured out the molten material into the cast and waited for it to solidify. Then he hammered it for a long time still, making it flat and very sharp. Then came out a strong, sharp, black blade.
This can be likened to going to search the scripture and after getting revelations from the word, you put it through thorough testing which not only removes the impurities but also breaks it down (molten form) for understanding. The molten form could also mean that whenever you get a new light/understanding of scripture, it should remain free flowing/’flexible’ so that it can easily conform to ‘God’s Cast’ (already established, clear instructions given by God in clear scripture. This is why it is important to test your revelation from scripture with other scriptures). If it fits in the cast, you allow it to cool off and solidify for it to really become a sword. This is why you shouldn’t rush off or be too hasty to spread ‘new’ knowledge. You will either get a weak sword (which would easily be broken by the enemy), or get yourself injured/burnt with red-hot material. You may even go about pouring/spilling the molten material on everyone you come across while trying to brandish your half-made sword [half-baked knowledge]. You give it time, so that what was to be a weapon of war against the enemy does not become a tool of destruction in your hands.
Understanding is complete when you allow the sword go through all these processes. This is why fighting with the sword is always very effective when it’s used from a place of understanding. This matter is similar to the scripture in Psalm 12:6. Whenever the word of God comes to us, it is tried in our lives (the furnace of earth) repeatedly until our understanding of it by becomes pure by reason of use. The words of God always seem to be more powerful coming from someone who has had an experiential knowledge of it. Yes, it’s never only about being equipped with letters from pages of a book! Even after you have allowed the solidification process (after you seemed to have understood), quite some hammering still needs to be done. This is why you keep being tested with necessary trials to see if you will be faithful to what you have understood. It is in this process that your sword becomes increasingly sharper. It is also at this point that people’s swords get broken. It’s better to have your sword broken by God’s testing than that it gets broken in a head-on battle with the enemy (I don’t fully understand that).
Part of the way this plays out is that after having a certain understanding of something for a long while, God can just show you something that makes your previous understanding/knowledge seem faulty. This former understanding does not have to be outrightly erroneous. In fact, it may have been effective in fighting battles all this while. A tangible example is the issue of the lake of fire; the general understanding the church has today of this concept is not totally Scriptural. But its message has successfully brought quite a number of persons into the fold who are still faithfully following God. Coming to a more proper understanding of what the Bible really says of it is like the hammering process that will break a sword.
When God breaks your sword in His testing process, it is to either reforge it [to better fit His purposes] or to license you to make a better one. Our understanding of God’s word must therefore always remain malleable or even breakable (not in the sense of having a shallow understanding of God’s word). This of course is achieved by being humble . You know, the sword may not have to be broken if it was very well malleable. The difference between God breaking your sword and it being broken by the enemy is this: God’s breaking leaves you with a better sword (a better understanding of His Word) while the enemy breaks your sword and batters you with his own. This is how someone with a fragile sword (a shallow and inconsistent understanding of scripture) goes out to argue scripture with one unwitting agent of the enemy, gets beaten hands-down, and begins to doubt a lot of things about their own faith in God. This is how someone who seems to be in love with God’s judgements can easily have their sword broken by the false grace message, for instance. After breaking your sword, the enemy can easily reforge it for you. He mixes in some material not gotten from the Rock, and then you have a sword that is a mixture of error and truth — enough to wreak sufficient havoc.
With God, as you keep maturing and seeing more of His glory with an unveiled face, the rate of breaking will reduce to near-nothing or even zero. Conversely, the enemy will not stop until he has broken every bit of every sword you have ever acquired! You can be sure expect a lot of sword making, reforging, or even breaking in the days ahead, but who will your rather was your instructor/blacksmith? Again, the choice is yours. Choosing humility is choosing well.
- Throughout the time Sokka was making his sword, the Master was there with him. He provided the cast and the hilt for the sword. He was teaching him how to make the sword, and was a correcting him where the need arose. The Master here is the Holy Spirit. He is the Teacher and also the one who supplies the raw material — He wrote the Scriptures (John 14:26, John 16:23, 1 John 2:27, 2 Peter 1: 20-21). As Sokka’s Master was with him in that hot house where the furnace was, so the Spirit is with us when these words are being tried in us, even seven times. He’s our Comforter; our Paraclete. Remember Isaiah 43:2.
The words and promises of the Lord are pure words, Like silver refined in an earthen furnace, purified seven times. Psalms 12:6 AMP
When you pass through water, I will be with you; when you pass through rivers, they will not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire, you will not be scorched — the flame will not burn you. Isaiah 43:2 CJB
Yes, God is the one really equipping us with the Swords. But we must not forget that we always have our homework to do.
The distance between truth and error is processing. And this processing involves humility, patience and yielding to the Holy Spirit. Error can come in at any point, since pride can come in at any point as well.
Wednesday: October 30, 2019