Over these past months (and years for some), many in the body of Christ have experienced warfare, unrelenting trials and intense suffering.
I've seen in the spirit the white flag of surrender. I've heard the cries, "No more!" I've seen the tears soaking pillows day and night, and the utter depths of despair and sorrow His remnant church has been going through. They are asking, "Lord when? When will You come to rescue us from this pit? When will healing come? When will provision come?"
My heart has been breaking for all His children crying out. The Lord highlighted this passage to me as to reflect what His bride may be experiencing.
"But know this, your sadness will turn into joy when you see Me again! Just like a woman giving birth experiences intense labor pains in delivering her baby, yet after the child is born she quickly forgets what she went through because of the overwhelming joy of knowing that a new baby has been born into the world. So will you also pass through a time of intense sorrow when I am taken from you, but you will see Me again!" (John 16:20b-22a, TPT).
I perceive we are at the beginning of birth pangs, and the birthing will happen swiftly. Let me explain what God has been speaking to me through some circumstances I've been going through.
A couple weeks ago, out of the blue, I began to experience some intense pain in my right side, radiating to my back. The first night it radiated through my entire midsection. I was also experiencing lightheaded, dizzy spells and almost fainting. It was an unbearable pain! I even said, "This must be what childbirth feels like." Something in my spirit told me to radically change my diet to almost all raw, only healthy fat; no gluten, lean protein and lots of water. I felt such an urgency and commitment that it was a matter of life or death.
These past months have been about radical changes in the way we do things. Through my change in diet, I sensed the Lord showing me that we must choose Him to be our only "bread" who brings life (John 6). Obedience to whatever He asks is a matter of life and death. The path He has taken us on has been filled with many detours, road blocks and threatening situations.
A Rushing Flood of Healing
My husband and I had a retreat scheduled at the Brook at Bethpage in Southern Missouri. I wasn't sure I wanted to go because of the pain I was experiencing, but I felt the Lord leading us to go anyway.
On our way down, our directions took us off the main highway and down many country roads so that it seemed as if we were in extreme wilderness. We had to detour because of recent heavy rains, so the path there was long. We came to another roadblock with water running over the road, but it was shallow enough to cross.
When we arrived at the retreat center, there was another bridge with water flowing pretty high over it. We knew it was the only way in. Water was rushing on the other side of the bridge, so it was quite intimidating. I threw up a prayer asking for grace to cross, and over we went.
On the second day at the retreat, we were sitting by the brook. It was peaceful, tranquil and yet full of life. The Lord spoke to me and said, "I am coming like a rushing flood washing over you, bringing refreshing and healing over My body. It will be powerful, yet gentle."
That night, the rains began and by morning, we were flooded in. The owner of the property said the water bridge that we drove over the day before was now a raging river. The water had come out of his banks and was about 100 feet over the land. The road the property owner came on to tell us this was flooded, and he had a high-sitting truck that barely made it through. That night we lost power.
The Final Sweep
"Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' says the Lord of hosts" (Zech. 4:6b, MEV).
We have stepped into a new season, and it is only by His Spirit that we will know the way to walk in it.
Later in our week at the retreat, I had a vision. I saw Jesus sweeping a porch. He said, "final sweep," and then He put the broom up, grabbed my hand and we stepped off the porch. With this vision, I sensed that the Lord was showing me He is making one final sweep to wipe away anything not of Him.
After this vision, immediately I heard that once my new eyeglasses came in, I would see "20/20 vision." Then, clear as day, I heard Him say, "Signed, sealed and delivered." At that very moment, my doorbell rang, and I looked up. It was the UPS man dropping off a package. When I opened the door, I found my new eyeglasses.
Glory Revealed Through You!
After pondering and praying into all of these events the past few weeks, I have a strong sense that the Lord is about to reveal His glory through us. One thing that stood out in this season is that when He speaks, it will happen immediately. I believe what we ask for in prayer will manifest instantly, just as I saw with the flood and the word "final sweep."
These verses jumped off the pages at me during the last two days, bringing such confirmation and understanding of this new season.
"Father, the time has come. Unveil the glorious splendor of Your Son, so that I will magnify Your glory!" ... "I have glorified You on the earth by faithfully doing everything You told me to do" ... "And now at last they know that everything I have is a gift from You." ... "And My glory is revealed through their surrendered lives." (verse 21), "...So that the world will recognize that You sent Me" (John 17:1-10, 21 TPT).
All the trials, all the suffering, everything you have endured has been used to bring you to a place of a completely surrendered life. You have surrendered all for what was done on the cross. You have been faithful in all the Lord has asked of you.
"And everything I've taught you is so that the peace which is in Me will be in you and will give you great confidence as you rest in Me" (John 16:33a).
The time has come for the Lord's glory to be revealed through you. His desire is to reach the status quo, the hurting, broken and lost. It is through you, His surrendered vessel, that His power and glory is revealed, and He can now use you mightily. You are His chosen servant. There will be no doubt that the Lord has done all He has promised in your life. The promises fulfilled will bless you for your obedience, but also so that the world will take notice. The lost will be found!
Do not look back. Do not look for God in the way you are used to. The Lord says, "You will see Me in a new way! 20/20 vision!"
Michele Cole and her husband Ken have been called to build Sonlit Fields Retreat Ministry and Equipping Hub, a place for refreshing, renewing and restoring. They are awaiting God's provision to step into the fullness. The retreat portion of their ministry is to provide a safe place for pastors, missionaries and others in ministry to come and be refreshed and encouraged in private cabins. Their passion is to minister to a lost and hurting world, to be a fivefold equipping center for the saints to be trained to do the same. Their passion is to pour out God's love in a mighty way to bring many souls into the kingdom, discipled and sent into their purpose, call and destiny.
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