IN DEBT to the Believer and the Unbeliever
"Both to Greeks and to barbarians
(to the cultured and the uncultured), both to the wise and to the foolish,
I have an obligation to discharge and a duty to perform and a debt to pay."
Romans 1:14 (Amp

24 March 2011

A New Heart and a New Spirit

"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit
within you; and I will remove the heart of stone
from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you
to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to
observe My ordinances."
Ezekiel 36: 26,27

I heard the Lord speak this to me yesterday and my spirit rejoiced and began to praise Him as my mind immediately went to prodigal sons and daughters, nieces and nephews, wives and husbands, prodigals that He was touching, giving a new heart and bringing home. I knew His Spirit was being poured out in this hour, and the first fruit of the Spirit is love, and "love never fails", so I was rejoicing as I knew the Lord was doing a love-work, and His Spirit of love was drawing the prodigals home, and now He was telling me that He was going to give them a new heart and put a new spirit in them, removing the old stoney heart and giving them a heart of flesh that's pliable and soft and tender to His Word and leading. It was a great word to hear and a real encouragement to me as I thought of one particular prodigal that I had been praying for.

Then it was like the Holy Spirit began to take me deeper into the heart of God and then back into mine, and when He did, I began to see and become painfully aware of my deficiency of love and compassion, the real God kind of love, the kind of love and compassion that loves unconditionally and unreservedly, the kind of love and compassion that loves lavishly and without reservation. I knew that God had given me a gift of faith, a faith that would believe for the miraculous and stand until I saw it in the natural, but I was now hearing in my spirit, "and if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have faith, so as to move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing" (1 Cor:13:2).  And my heart began to sink as I become convicted in my heart and aware of my lack and deficiency and it made me desperate once again and in need of more of His love, more of God's pure love that He loves me and the world with. And I began to pray and ask for this love, for Him to do a new thing in me.

A little later I began to read another chapter of a wonderful book I had started reading by Heidi Baker called "Compelled by Love". It's about her life and ministry to the people and orphans of Mozambique in Africa. It's about living out the Beatitudes and being Jesus' hands and feet to reach a dying world, the pour and suffering in third world countries and even in our own back yards. This particular chapter "Blessed Are Those Who Mourn" went deep into my heart and spirit as the Lord had already tilled the soil of my heart with His life-breathed Word in preparation for this reading. This reading continued to convict me and reveal my deficiency and need for more of God's love, and it spurred me to cry out for more of His love and more yieldedness in my heart. And then I realized that the Word from Ezekiel 36 that the Lord was speaking earlier was not just for the prodigals but it was for me and for the bride of Christ. He was pouring out His Spirit in this hour and was going to give us, His church, new hearts, taking out our old stoney hearts and put in a heart of flesh that's soft, pliable and full of mercy and compassion as He was going to be sending us out into the world to touch and heal and be His heart and hands.

Let me share a segment of this chapter with you to help you see how God was speaking to my heart.
"The Lord is calling for servant lovers who will call in the outcasts, who will go into the dark corners of the world and compel them to come home. And they will come. Who will go and leave their life of comfort and call in the broken? Who will go and be a learner? Who will go among those who are mourning and lay their life down for Jesus? The Lord wants His house full. It is time for us to go to the poor, to the broken, to the homeless, to the dying, and to the lonely and call them in. Thousands and thousands of "sent-out ones" need to go out to the darkest places, to the poorest places, to the forgotten places, because the wedding feast is about to begin. So many still must be called. So many are mourning and need to be comforted by our Father's love.
"Many believers in the church are frustrated because they don't see a harvest. They're discouraged because they see so little fruit being produced; they wonder why. But they keep going to the same people.
In the parable of the great banquet in Luke 14:15-24, the rich didn't want to come. They were busy enjoying their money and possessions and made excuses. The poor can't do these things, and they are eager to come to the banquet when they are invited. God says there are no excuses, but believers keep going to the wealthy and well fed in the world, wondering why they don't respond. There are just as many lost in the first world nations, yet the church is often not equipped to reach them.
"Jesus awakens us to love, but the church itself must wake up! We are not yet ready to go to the banquet at the wedding feast. The Father's house is still not full. We must reach the lost, but first we need to learn how. The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers who carry His heart are few. Our lives must be living incarnations of the love of Christ Jesus if we will ever have an effective ministry.
"What is our motivation for ministry? The Lord is looking for servant lovers--people who are passionate and filled with love for Him, people who desire and are longing for the Bridegroom's return, people who can already taste the feast and know it's about to begin. These people can no longer stand to stay in their comfort zones. They will literally run out and call in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame. And if we will go out and call them--showing the love of God--they will come."

As I read this I felt the conviction of my heart as well as the heart of the Bride, the church, and I began to repent for our lack of love, compassion, sensitivity, and laborers in the field of the poor. I began to pray for more laborers, more hearts that were passionate for the Lord and passionate to be filled with His Spirit. I began to pray that we would come out of our comfort zones and step into the "super" of His natural, to go deeper into His love and let that love move us to say and do things that we would never have said or done before, to really let the Spirit of God that lives on the inside of us flow out of us freely to touch people bring healing to them, spirit, soul and body.

Brothers and sisters, it is time for us to look deep into our hearts, to recognize the hardness and complacency and lack of love that we carry there. We know a measure, but it is not the deep, agape love of the Father, the deep compassionate and sacrificial love of Jesus that would give up all to see the restoration and redemption of the world. God SO loved the world, that He gave His only Son. We need that kind of love, that we would give our very lives for the world, the lost, the poor and the suffering to be touched and healed and brought back to the loving arms of their heavenly Father.

Help us Lord. Do a work in our hearts. Help us to have Your heart like this. Help us to truly feel Your love for the world to the point that it compels us to make a change and be Your hands and feet and heart. Help us to step out of our comfort zone and do what we've never done before, to say what we've never said, go where we've never gone, and be who we've never been. This can only be done by Your Spirit so we ask You to pour out Your Spirit upon us in a greater way. We thank You that as we drink from You and Your Spirit that the river of life in Christ Jesus would begin to flow out of us and out of our bellies.  Let the rivers of living water flow and bring healing to all those that we come in contact with. Give us yielded hearts to go to the nations if that is where You are leading us. Anoint us and use us as the leaves on the trees that stand by the river of life flowing from the throne (Rev 22:1) that are for the healing to the nations. We say "Yes" Lord. We say "Yes".

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