Rather than focussing on the natural at what we see, we need to focus on the spiritual at what we carry. When looking at the account of Jesus stepping off the boat after the storm at sea, into a region that was filled with demonic activity, he used one word to deal with the situation: ‘Go!’. Immediately, the demons obeyed, leaving the men and entering the pigs.
And when he came to the other side, to the country of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men met him, coming out of the tombs, so fierce that no one could pass that way. And behold, they cried out, “What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?” Now a herd of many pigs was feeding at some distance from them. And the demons begged him, saying, “If you cast us out, send us away into the herd of pigs.” And he said to them, “Go.” So they came out and went into the pigs, and behold, the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned in the waters. The herdsmen fled, and going into the city they told everything, especially what had happened to the demon-possessed men. And behold, all the city came out to meet Jesus, and when they saw him, they begged him to leave their region. (Matthew 8:28-34)
Sometimes all hell breaks loose around us. Our natural tendency is to respond in the soul realm, feeling hurt and attacked, trying to figure out what had just happened. The enemy targets our hearts with arrows to harm and wound. However, the Lord is calling us to see into the spiritual realm so we can respond accordingly.
We have entered a time of incredible threshing. The Lord is separating the wheat from the chaff. There is a great cutting away of that which is old and dirty. The old wineskins are being separated from the new. We see a manifestation of the glory of the Lord upon those who walk in truth, and a manifestation of deep darkness on those who oppose it, even unknowingly. It is truly the fulfilment of Isaiah 60:1,2:
Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you.
More and more, we will find ourselves treated ‘unkindly’, however, it’s not about us. It’s about what we carry! We carry the life and light of the glory of the Lord, causing the darkness to tremble and shake around us. Those reactions we interpret as rude and hostile, are really demonic manifestations at the presence and power of Christ in us.
The Lord is calling us to invade earth and take territory for Him. Jesus wasn’t intimidated by the evil stronghold in that region, but instead, cast it out. The enemy is intimidating the world through speaking lies and stirring fear. However, he is the one who is panicked and filled with terror, acting aggressively and cruelly, as in the days of the birth of Christ and Moses, Esther, Daniel, David and many more.
This Goliath is shouting out at us, for the demons in him knows that we carry the power of Christ. At every possible opportunity, he is working through people, systems, and situations, to intimidate and harm us.
The threshing is separating people, institutions, businesses, churches, and systems. As painful as it is, we need to keep our eyes on Christ, and let Him do the work He is doing. As the early disciples were required to get up and follow Christ, abandoning all, so He is calling, ‘Come and follow Me’.
He is laying the axe to the root of trees so that what is fruitful will remain, and what is not, will be burned. The new wineskins will hold the new wine, the old wineskins will be obsolete. As the disciples were called out to follow Christ and walk in a new way they had never gone before, so we are called. Only those who hear and obey, surrender and submit to Christ in all things, going where He goes and doing what He asks, will inherit the blessing and reward He is handing out at this time of harvest.
Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. Bear fruit in keeping with repentance (Matthew 3:7-10)
It’s all about territory. We are called to release the atmosphere of Heaven wherever we are, and influence those around us with what we carry, rather than being intimidated and influenced by what we encounter. Let’s not loose any time by focussing on the natural, taking on wounds that are really attacks and reactions to the power and glory of Christ in us.
Take territory for Christ in your daily walk. See all the hindrances and obstacles as opportunities for conquest, and be ready to set the captives free wherever you go. Those who oppose you are being confronted with God’s power. The demons are going crazy inside of them!
The Lord is judging the wicked and all who stand in agreement with them. However, He is extending mercy to those who cry out to Him, repenting from their sins. Our prayers have the power to extend mercy to those who are facing a sure judgment. Standing in the gap for them, allows the Holy Spirit room and time to convict them from their sin, giving them a chance to repent before judgment comes.
Our greatest victory is won when we contend for the salvation of those who hate us. Pull every arrow out of your heart that have caused a wounding, releasing every wound to Christ. Let Him heal and restore you, and show you a new picture. See through the eyes of the Spirit, take territory back where it’s been stolen, and walk in the victory that Christ has already won.
This is your time of freedom and joy. It is your time of double-portion and honour restored. The old is no more, the new has come. It is a new day, and you are the new wineskins that hold the new wine. Remain leaning into Christ, your Beloved, who will strengthen and keep you, making His Face to shine upon you always. He is the giver of good gifts, giving rewards and blessings, lavishly and bountifully, to those who love Him with all their hearts.
It is the time of the harvest. We are the workers, sent out to heal the brokenhearted and set the captives free. In spite of every opposition and hindrance, we will break through the obstacles to bring Heaven down to earth, possessing the nations for the King of kings! We will not be held back by what we encounter, but will invade, causing the enemy to scatter by the presence and power of our God in us.
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord ’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.
They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations. Strangers shall stand and tend your flocks; foreigners shall be your plowmen and vinedressers; but you shall be called the priests of the Lord; they shall speak of you as the ministers of our God; you shall eat the wealth of the nations, and in their glory you shall boast. Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion; instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot; therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion; they shall have everlasting joy.