February 2008

Paul Keith & Wanda Davis, & JoAnn McFatter

Convinced of Better Things
by Paul Keith Davis

Better things! Throughout the body of Christ many saints have been going through difficult circumstances, trials, and tribulations. This has been to groom and prepare us for “better things” on the horizon.

Over the past several years, the Lord has been faithful to release a prophetic word or insight at the beginning of each year that provides a central theme for that year. I was blessed and encouraged by the Scripture the Lord gave me during our new year’s conference in Alberta, Canada. It was Hebrews 6:9-10 declaring,

But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that accompany salvation, though we are speaking in this way. For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints.

Clearly, there can be multiple applications to this Scripture. Even so, the context in which it was given indicated things will be better in 2008 than they were in 2007. As we have already prophesied, this year should be a year of both completion and new beginnings simultaneously.

There are “better things” that we should be experiencing this year that will only increase in the season ahead. That is not to turn a blind eye to the distressing conditions that exist in our nation and around the world and the clear need for repentance. Instead, it is intended to give hope and expectation to God’s people who have allowed His refining process to run its course and emerge with significant anointing and authority.

Arise and Shine

As difficult times escalate in the world, the Church will be called upon more and more to provide hope and answers that cannot be provided by natural means. After all, our message is “good news!” We have the gospel of good news in the salvation provided by the Lord Jesus and His great sacrifice.

We are the salt of the earth and the light of the nations. Though many judgment prophecies are being circulated, we believe this will be a significant time of advancement and blessing for the righteous and judgment on unrighteousness. That is God’s system of justice!

Justice is defined as the act of determining rights by assigning rewards or punishments. It is the process of finding favor for one party and discipline upon another. The Bible outlines that righteousness and justice are the foundations of His throne. To only prophesy judgment would be to see only one side of the scales of justice.

Moving on to Maturity

Hebrews 6 is a call to maturity. We see a natural progression of growth leading to the outpouring of His Spirit producing two results; the faithful stewardship of God’s anointing that leads to fruitfulness and unrighteous stewardship yielding thorns and thistles. We are persuaded of “better things” for this generation and a fruitful harvest of laborers who will be notably used in the great harvest…we must therefore contend for this reality.

A careful examination of church history reveals many noble ministries that consistently produced good fruit and also others that gave in to the spirit of this world and resulted in failure or disillusionment. Though the preparation process has been intense and painful, the end result will be vessels equipped to carry on the work of ministry and produce things that “accompany salvation.”

Salvation is the single greatest gift God has ever offered humanity. It will take all of eternity to fully comprehend what it means to become a part of Christ and joint heirs with Him. Even so, the Bible also articulates there are many benefits that accompany the salvation experience.

Heaven on Earth

It is wonderful to have the expectation that when our life on this earth ends we have a new beginning with Him in Heaven; but we are also discovering the possibility of bringing a little of Heaven down to earth to manifest His kingdom to a lost generation.

David said it this way in Psalms 103:1-5,

Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases;

Who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; Who satisfies your years with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle.

Among His many benefits we discover healing of the body and soul along with the hope and expectation of natural and spiritual blessings to satisfy our years on this earth. Furthermore, the Lord has promised to be a father to the fatherless; a faithful friend who laid down his life for others; and the One who delegates gifts among mankind.

We are fully expectant of better things for this coming season; things that accompany salvation. We have this expectation not because we are qualified in ourselves but, as the apostle Paul articulates, we are qualified because of what the Lord has provided for us. 2 Corinthians 3:5-6 declares,

Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

The stress and turmoil in the world will continually increase as this present age reaches its completion and the Lord’s Kingdom is prepared to be revealed. The confrontation between light and darkness will also escalate as evil will become greater. Likewise, the children of light must respond to offer hope and salvation through the Lord’s redemptive work.

THE LOST ART OF CREATIVITY
~by JoAnn McFatter

A bit of a play on words, granted, but tragically real is this state of affairs. Unfortunately, we as Christians have let that part of us die or, at the very least, lie dormant and/or suppressed in the recesses of who we are. We’ve forgotten in Who’s Image we are created – the Creator, Himself !

So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.’ Genesis 1:27

Men and women alike are born with genuine creativity in our DNA from the very beginning. Children are very creative, as we have all observed. It takes a few years for us to beat it down into submission, never to be seen again for some of us. Studies have been done with children, following them through their school years and testing them every couple of years. At the beginning age of 2 and 3 they ALL test out creative genius, but by the age of 18 only 1% remains in that category. Again, our Greek minded school system has squeezed our natural, God-given creative tendencies right out of us to cause us to fit a mold that somebody somewhere decided was the norm.

The day we are born from our mother’s womb, we are just 9 months separated from having been with God in the Spirit so that experience is still fresh in us. The memory of it is slowly drawn from us by the ideas and thoughts of an earthly realm that are presented to us by well intentioned people. None the less, the understanding we had is suffocated and the voice of God is smothered. These days creativity truly is a lost art.

I wanted to bring our attention to the influence this has had on our ability to grasp the supernatural, to even have faith for believing. We live in a “need to see it to believe it” society. Sometimes we don’t even believe when we see because we’ve been tricked too many times and we find it difficult to trust. Of course I believe in testing the spirits, as we are told to do in scripture, but that is not what I’m referring to here. In the Christian world we have been told to stay away from fantasy, which I agree with, but we’ve stayed SO far away that we’ve lost our ability to even receive a thought from God in our mind’s eye, our imagination. Imagination does not have to be a bad thing. It can be used for good or evil just as any other ability we have. David says,

I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of mine heart I have willingly offered all these things: and now have I seen with joy thy people, which are present here, to offer willingly unto thee. O Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, our fathers, keep this for ever in the imagination of the thoughts of the heart of thy people, and prepare their heart unto thee. 1 Chron. 29:17-18

Our imagination is engaged in faith for the supernatural. Are we going to believe for that thing we cannot yet see? Are we going to imagine that thing we are pressing into with faith, believing? Our faith causes an image to form in our imagination. We come into agreement with God and He causes our imagination to see what He says is real. It is something yet to be, at least in the physical realm, though in God’s mind it already is. To be or not to be, truly is the question being posed to us by faith, itself! We can agree with what God is telling/showing us, and thereby co-labor with Him to bring it to pass.

When we speak of imagination, we speak of the future as in something we are getting an image of, that has not yet taken shape or form in this physical realm. If it already has, then it is considered knowledge. It’s already a done deal. If it has not occurred, not yet taken shape, it still lies within the imagination. Images that we hope will move from the realm of possibility to the physical reality, having substance, but is still waiting in the future.

Just as knowledge speaks of the past, revelation speaks of the present – the now – something being realized at this moment. Once it is realized it becomes knowledge; the three stages being knowledge, (past), revelation (present), and imagination, (future). But it takes agreeing with the thing as God sees it in our own imagination to believe for a thing. In fact, I think you could say it takes imagination to please God! As bold as this may sound, scripture is telling us just that….

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. ” Hebrews 11:1

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for He who comes to God must believe that He is, and is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. ” Hebrews 11:6

If you hope for something it is not yet seen, so you can only imagine it in your mind as you agree with what the Spirit of God is inspiring you toward. In exercising your faith for it, you will see the substance of it within your mind and spirit before it takes form in the physical realm. You agree with it in the Spirit before it takes place in the natural. We participate in bringing something forth as a co-laborer with God. We help to give it substance in this ‘touch it, feel it’ realm we live in just by coming into agreement with what we are seeing. It happens as we give ourselves to the revelation He is releasing to us.

Yes, God is the only One Who can create on His own, without any assistance, but He has invited us – and it pleases Him, evidently – to have us join with Him in this endeavor. He says,

That which has been is what will be, that which is done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun ” Ecclesiastes 1:9

Anything that has been or will be is already in Him. It’s just that some of it has been given substance, as is the above scripture references, and some of it has not – as of yet. But He tells us it will be…….

Behold, I will do a new thing. Now it shall spring forth. Shall you not know it? …… Isaiah 43:19

He even goes so far as to tell us that we cannot even imagine what is locked up in His heart for us to enter into with Him. It remains only in His understanding, as of yet.

Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those that love Him. I Corinthians 2:9

He has invited us to participate with Him in all of this and is just waiting to release the new to us and through us. Our problem is that we are so prone to taking a God inspired idea or thought, sifting it through our own limited mindsets, and turning it right back into an old familiar thing. It’s the typical, “starting out in the Spirit and ending up in the flesh” syndrome that we so easily fall into. We aren’t opening ourselves, or our imaginations, to His revelation as it comes to us. Instead, we reshape it within OUR understanding, instead of just believing and agreeing with exactly what He has said. If we just let the Word of God permeate our imagination and would come into agreement with THAT, we would see so much more.

God, help us all to open up what is left of our shriveled up imaginations to be filled with the Rhema of Your creative Word! We’ve shied away from it for so long. But we are at the dawning of an age of creativity such as we’ve never seen before, for it will be Holy Spirit driven.

God wants to overshadow us with that God-seed idea. His treasury room in Heaven is FULL, waiting to be accessed by you! Paul Keith Davis has a fantastic teaching on this room in Heaven – he’s seen it with his own eyes! There are so many different things such as books, paintings, inventions, architecture, business strategies, patents, music – the list goes on and on – just waiting for ones who will open their mind and spirits to receive it from Him. The creativity is above all that we have seen or heard up to this point in history. He’s saved the best til last – or maybe it just took us this long to be able to tap into what He has wanted to release all along. Either way, it’s there for us now. It’s a ‘stretch out your tent pegs’ moment in time. Allow your imagination to be filled with the creativity of God that was in us in the very beginning, before we got reprogrammed by man.

That is the invitation to us all – to stand with God and allow Him to hover over us with His Divine Imagination, imparting to and igniting our imagination in order that we might give substance to what is in the mind of God. Even that we might give substance here on earth to something that is in that treasury room in Heaven.

I was talking 10 years ago about the Spirit Renaissance that I saw coming. There are tokens out there of it, such as Akiane the young painter/poet/musician, but I believe there is to be a manifestation of this creativity in the masses, just as it has been spoken of relating to the supernatural. Become one with Him to allow that flow to be released. Your access to it all is through your relationship with Him. He wants to release through you as this last surge of creativity is released upon the earth! Can you just imagine it? Now – imagine yourself right in the middle of it!!