Stripped, Restored and Prepared for Glory

I apologize for the lateness of the letter this month.  As you know, we just completed the Throne Zone Charlotte.  All I can say is, “WOW”!  The power of God swept through the church and countless lives were changed by the presence of God. 

We thank Pastor Marvin & Shelley Tennant and their congregation at the Christian Assembly Worship Center in Lancaster, SC for being wonderful hosts for this gathering.  Pastor Marvin went to such great lengths to making us feel welcome into their house, and gave us full liberty to flow as the Holy Spirit leads.  Thank you Pastor Marvin & Shelley!

Our conference theme was, “The Restoration of All Things:  All things made New”.  The Lord gave me a powerful word on Saturday night before our time of impartation, and I would like to take just a moment to cover the highlights of this message as I believe it is a timely word for you today.  It is titled, “Stripped, Restored and Prepared for Glory”.

There are many that are going through some of the toughest times they have ever experienced.  It seems that as soon as they overcome one challenge, they are faced with another obstacle.  Pressure abounds on every side and the warfare has not relented but seemingly has intensified.  It is as if the heat has been turned up.

Perhaps you have faced these challenges.  Maybe you have been dealing with a health issue that you just cannot overcome.  Perhaps you are undergoing financial duress that has almost pushed you into panic attacks, or maybe has caused your blood pressure to become elevated.  You may be facing a situation with a family member or friend that seems to be doing everything other than listening to your council in their lives.  It seems that the more you talk with them to encourage them, the further they go from the truth.

Friend, the battle you are in may not be warfare from Satan, but it may be that God is using some of these circumstances to strip away some things in your life.  Now, I do not mean things like sin or disobedience.  Rather I mean sometimes we allow things to surround us to safeguard us much like the husk protects the ear of corn.  There are several layers that guard and protect the development and well being of the corn.  According to Joel 2:25, God sent the locust and the cankerworm to destroy and strip away from the land.  As many times as I have heard sermons on this scripture, I had never seen the part where God said,  “…this great army which I sent among you.”  When I came across that part of the scripture, the Lord spoke to my heart that He sent the locust and cankerworm to eat away the husk, the protective layers that surround and protect the corn.  But my question was simply, “WHY?”

I believe the Lord showed me that we have allowed our blessings to put us into a comfort zone to such a degree that we unknowingly put up protective walls not even allowing the Holy Spirit access to certain portions of our lives.  We put up walls for self preservation.  We allow our career and our financial blessings to define us.  All the while God continues to say, “I am not looking to your successful career, nor am I looking at your large 401K that you have accumulated.  But rather, I am looking for the fruit in your life that I can serve within MY Kingdom as I desire.  Therefore, He allows the stripping away of the things we think He is looking for in order to expose the one thing that He desires in your life.

The stalk is good, the roots are fine.  The soil is nicely fertilized.  The Lord is looking for corn, not husks.  Not silk.  Only corn that He can use.  However He desires.  Remember, that corn will never be used in His Kingdom if it remains hidden behind the husks.

If you continue to read, you will find encouragement because God didn’t want to just rip everything away from you because He had nothing better to do.  He didn’t allow things to happen to your finances because He gets a kick out of your struggle.  Rather, He knows that when the heat is turned up, we will shift our focus off of our securities and posture our hearts and faces toward Him.  And when we do, we can re-read this passage to hear, “I will restore to you the years”.

Friend, I don’t care how long you have been in this battle of having things stripped away from you.  I don’t know the extent of what has been stripped from you, but I do know that God promised in His word that HE WILL RESTORE THE YEARS THAT HAVE BEEN STOLEN FROM YOU. 

I am reminded of Job.  Job lost his children, his houses, his servants his animals- everything but his nagging wife and disbelieving friends (LOL!).   However, when you read the last part of Job’s life, you discover everything that was taken from him was restored to him…better than before.  His new children were more beautiful and obedient than the ones he lost.  He had more servants and sheep and cattle than he had before.

When you submit to the stripping of God, you can expect to live in the RESTORAION OF GOD!

Before there can be a restoration, there must be a stripping away.  Before there can be a miracle, there must be a problem.  Before there is a testimony, there is first a testing.  And beloved, this is where God has you.  You are being set up for DIVINE RESTORATION!

It is not about getting your money back, your job back, or any other great lyric from a country song.  It is about the restoration of God.  And this restoration is not the end in all.  Rather, it is only part two of this three step process of preparation.

“PREPARATION FOR WHAT?” you might ask.

Joel 2:28 shares what this process is all about.

“And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh…”

When is this outpouring of God’s Spirit going to happen? 

AFTERWARD!

After what!

After this time of stripping away, and the time of restoration!

Before God releases and entrusts you with His Glory, He is going to make sure that you can handle it.  You see, if things are not in proper alignment within our lives, the Glory would kill us.  But God doesn’t want it to kill us.  He wants us prepared to walk in the weightiness of His power and Glory.

YOU MUST NOT GIVE UP NOW!!!!!!!

Realize that where you and I are right now in this moment in time is merely a season that is preparing us for the end-time revival and dispensation of God’s Glory being released upon the earth.

God wants you to be a Carrier of His Glory.  But before you can carry His Glory, you have to be cleansed and prepared.  Just like the priest had to prepare for his annual visit behind the veil, God wants us to prepare ourselves when He draws us into His secret place to download all that is in His heart for your life and mine.

Don’t give up.  Submit yourself unto God a living sacrifice.  Holy and acceptable- not conformed but transformed by His power and glory at work in your life!  Friend this is not the end for you, it is merely the beginning.

Great things are in store for you, but you must not give up!  Stand, and having done all to stand…….STAND!

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