“Who is the wise man that may understand this? And who is he to whom the mouth of the Lord has spoken, that he may declare it, for what the land perisheth and is burned up like a wilderness, that none passeth through? And the Lord saith, Because they have forsaken my law which I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice, neither walked therein; But have walked after the imagination of their own heart, and after Baalim, which their fathers taught them” (Jeremiah 9:12-14).
The above scripture verse reveals hindrances to the move of God and our spiritual development and maturity in God:
Disobedience & Rebellion to the Voice of God: Our well-being is a result of our obedience to God and our true walk with Him. We must come to the place of total obedience to the voice of God, as disobedience and rebellion towards Him causes us to hold to the past and hinders our transition into the new.
“Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Put your burnt offerings unto your sacrifices, and eat flesh. For I spoke not unto your fathers, nor commanded them I the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices; But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and ye shall be my people, and walk ye in the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.” (Jeremiah 7:21-23).
Movement must occur from being effective church leaders towards personal significance and fulfillment as able leaders of the Kingdom. There must be a paradigm shift as we walk in obedience.
The Imagination of our Heart and the Narrow Concept of our Thoughts: Our response to the revelation of God’s word will determine our place in the purpose of God and His present move. The truths, mysteries and revelations that the Father is releasing to us in this present move can be dismissed because they cannot be explained, however God works in an unpredictable way and scripture reminds us that His thoughts are higher than our thoughts and the imagination of our hearts (Isaiah 55:8).
“Now unto Him (God) that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we
ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” (Ephesians 3:20 brackets mine).
We must begin to move beyond the narrow concept of what can be understood with our mind. Our mentality must be shifted into a Kingdom mentality so we can comprehend the fullness of God’s purpose, being careful in our definition and perception of God, His word and revelation, lest we make the word and the move of God vain, calling it profane due to our narrow way of thinking and reasoning.
The Tradition of our Fathers: When our mind becomes stuck, set in experiences, a truth, a revelation or a certain doctrine, we cannot move beyond that; as a result religion and tradition begin to creep in, making the word of God of no effect.
“Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have
delivered: and many such like things do ye.” (Mark 7:13).
Tradition is any religious practice, statement, precept, legend, custom, belief, system or teaching that is handed down from one generation to the other by word of mouth or by practice that replaces the revelation of the Spirit of God. Traditions are developed to replace the word of God and moves of God (what He is doing and where He is). It is easy to lose focus on God and become busy with religious activities and programs thinking that God is in those activities when He is not.
The Pharisees and Sadducees were known agents who promoted traditions (Mark 7:3). In the Church today, the manifestation of a Pharisee and Sadducee spirit is visible when God begins to move the Church forward into a new dimension of spiritual truth and revelation in changing the order and structure of existing revelation in the Body of Christ.
“Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they wash not their hands when they eat bread. But he answered and said unto them, why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition.” (Matthew 15:1-3).
The Pharisee and Sadducee spirit is an in-built character in a passive and traditional Church that claim hold to the voice of the past moves, and reject the present voice and truth of God. As a result the spirit of rebellion is released, manifesting as stubbornness and unwillingness to yield to the present move of God in the earth.
Ignorance & Unbelief: Zeal without knowledge cannot produce the purpose of God. The danger faced in this present move of God is the lack of understanding and accurate perception of the blueprint for building apostolic Kingdom churches. Our effort to build our own kind of house, ministry and Church for God to inhabit, has resulted in unfruitful labour not in accordance with God’s plan.
“God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwells not in temples made with hands: Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed anything.” (Acts 17:24-25).
“Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it:” (Psalm 127:1a).
“See, saith He (God), that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee.” (Hebrews 8:5b brackets mine).
God is moving progressively and continually. Let us move with Him, focus on Him and tune into Him as He brings us into our inheritance. We must posture ourselves and be set apart for the promise.
“And it came to pass after three days, that the officers went through the host; and they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then you shall remove from your place and go after it. Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure: come not near unto it, that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye have not passed this way heretofore. And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify (posture) yourselves: for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.” (Joshua 3:2-5 brackets mine).
“And when the cloud was taken up from the tabernacle, then after that the children of Israel journeyed: and in the place where the cloud abode, there the children of Israel pitched their tents. At the commandment of the LORD the children of Israel journeyed, and at the commandment of the LORD they pitched: as long as the cloud abode upon the tabernacle they rested in their tents.” (Numbers 9:17-18).
The cloud of God is moving and taking us to a new place. We must make the transition and move beyond our present level, order and place into a more accurate position. Moving on with God requires changes. In God, change is a continual process of progression because our God is a progressive God, accordingly He requires that we progress with Him if we are to walk with Him, lest we fall short and remain where He was. He doesn’t stop until there is an ultimate completion of His purpose in the earth. He is eternal and limitless. God is so compounded that the fact is that it is not possible to go on with God and remain where we used to be. The purpose of our progressive walk with God is that He seeks to develop a more intimate relationship with us. The depth of our experience and relationship with God will determine our effectiveness and productivity in His Kingdom.
The Ark of the Covenant represents the Lord and His presence among His people. God’s requirement was that the people become focused on the Ark of the Covenant (The Lord and His presence). They were to remove from their place, and go after it (The Ark of the Covenant – The Lord and His presence); so that they would know the way they must go. As a result of this, the people of God were not to build any permanent abode, because they were required to move when the Lord moved. They had not passed that way before, and He was leading them in a new way. There was always a man on the watch-tower whose eyes are on the cloud with a trumpet in his hand, and when the cloud moved he blew the trumpet to sound the alarm for the people to gather-up and move with the cloud.
We are walking in a new season and a new way in God that has never been walked before by any man. God requires that we focus on Him so that we do not miss the direction of His move. God alone sees the end from the beginning and He alone can show us His ways.
I appreciate the works of great leaders who have lived in past seasons and moves of God, but their books cannot produce the purposes of God for the season in which we are now living. That which they possessed was good for their season and was able to bring them into the grace and dimension in which they operated, but they cannot show us the present ways of God because no one has ever walked this way before.
Among ministers there is a lack of understanding and clarity regarding the purpose of God. The business of the Father cannot be run by the way we think or expect it to be run, however, we need to know the blueprint of God; His mind and His will, so we may carry out His instructions and commands in the exact manner.
I know leaders who have implemented the Cell Group Principle in their churches (learnt from other nations). The program failed. The next option being contemplated is the G12 Leadership Principle (learnt from books, tapes and seminars from South America and the West). The men who received the revelation of the Cell Group and G12 Leadership Principles and implemented these in their churches and nations were right. We need to recognize that every word and revelation given to a man for his Church and nation is different to that which God is revealing to another. When we copy from others, we miss the whole agenda and purpose of God in that which He seeks to do through us in our local assembly and in our nation.
We must understand the building processes of God according to biblical principles and patterns. God does not build ministries alike; it is man’s way to make each one like the other. We cannot build the model of the church of Africa, in Asia or Europe. Each local assembly will have her unique characteristics. In seeking to establish biblical principles and patterns, we should not allow methods to become laws and enforce these on others as a formula.
Tradition develops when focus is lost, when there is no clear accurate word proceeding from heaven for us to understand what God is doing, or wants to do through us in this time and season. A transition has taken place in the Spirit that needs to be recognized. In fact, God has moved and a new day has dawned upon us. The prophetic trumpet is blowing and the apostles are setting the alarm. It is time to move on!
Copyright © 2017 by Israel Onoriobe
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