As I began to ponder with the Lord about the upcoming year, I realized he had been giving me hints all year long about what 2017 was going to hold for the Body of Christ. I had been given several key points that almost became a life message. It is these points that I believe the Lord is going to cause to come about in 2017.
I believe the theme for many in 2017 will be a year of restructuring how we do life, ministry, family and many other areas. I believe specifically the first 3 months of the year are key in this process to prepare us for great shift to come in the second and third quarters of the year.
I sense that if we will begin to embrace these "restructurings" we will begin to see a move of God take place in the Church like never before.
Apostolic and Prophetic Shift
There has been much teaching and revelation on the apostolic and prophetic released as of late. The shift I believe that is taking place is a return to simplicity of what it means to be apostolic and prophetic.
To be apostolic, in the purist sense, is to walk in a place of governance and authority. Understanding that while we are not all called to the office of the Apostle, we are all called to be apostolic in nature. We are to govern our metron of influence. We shift into our authority and then release it to those around us.
Then, to be prophetic is simply to hear and obey. Prophets are waking up in this hour to their true form—a mouthpiece of love, redemption and exhortation. That being said, I believe that in this hour, prophets are also waking up to the holiness and discipline of the Father. All true prophecy is coupled with correction through love—we are all being conformed into the image of Christ. As we are being conformed, the prophetic comes in handy to exhort us or pull us up to the higher place. This is legitimate sonship. (Photo via Elijah List Shopper, Arise and Shine by Donna Smallenberg)
An Internal Shift
We are not governed by external influence or circumstance. We are governed by the Kingdom within. The fulfillment of Jesus' promised Comforter, the Holy Ghost, was to wake us up to the internal reality of the Kingdom. In this hour, the Church must begin to be governed by this internal truth. When the Church begins to be governed by what is inside of them then they will begin to see greater authority over the circumstances on the outside of them.
"Rivers of living will flow from within," (John 7:38). When you encounter a river, it is very difficult to stop its path; so should it be with the Believer. Whenever a circumstance, whether human or demonic, meets the Believer it should not be able to stop them.
The river of God flowing from the inside of you should create your reality. Regardless of facts, we are governed by the internal truth. I believe that the Church is arising to it's a truest form in this season – an unstoppable river!
Restructuring the Ranks
The Lord spoke to me and said, "Too often My Church misses the purpose of their fellowship. It is time they remember that they are in a war and that they each have a part to play." Earlier in the year, I had open vision of wells of revival being opened across the continent of North America. They were birthed in prayer.
When we each realize that we have a part to play we will move past the "fellowship mentality" into a "wartime mentality" and begin to accomplish more for the Kingdom than we ever thought possible. There are real lives at stake. Don't jump ship because you're tired or offended.
From Church to Kingdom - Ready for a Shift?
One of the greatest restructurings taking place is living from a Kingdom mentality. Church has, for too long, been personality based. I love what John Wimber used to say, "Everybody gets to play." In the Kingdom, we all have a part. The Church mentality of yesteryear has hindered much of the work of the Kingdom. This is not to say that God is doing away with the local church by any means. I believe God is and will continue to use the local church (I'm a local church pastor). But I do believe that HOW we "DO" Church is about to shift in big way.
When the Church lives for and from a Kingdom mentality we will never stop advancing. We realize that we can't just love His face and hate His Body. We become one!
There's a New Sound
I recently had to trade out our church sound board. For months I hadn't been happy with our sound in the sanctuary but I was hesitant to switch things up again. (It was my bright idea to switch in the first time.) However, when we finally got it switched again, I couldn't believe the difference it made.
Too often the Church uses the wrong equipment for the job. We have the right tool but it's either out of date or it doesn't meet the requirements of the job. Our Christianese and Evangelical Latin is not going to reach the millennials, the broke, the busted and disgusted. We have got to ask the Lord for the sound of the hour. I believe He is releasing it, all we must do is "tune the dial." Sound releases breakthrough!
"Because You love Me…" Prayers
Jesus didn't pray weak, whiny prayers. He prayed from the place of identity. When He stood before the crowd outside of Lazarus' tomb, He prayed this, "Father I thank You that You hear Me. I knew that You always hear Me, but said this for a benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe You sent Me." (John 11:42)
Jesus knew He was loved, and pleased the Lord. When we pray from that place of identity and authority, we see things shift. Jesus prayed the way He did so that those around Him would believe. He said at one point in His ministry, "If I don't do the works of the Father, you don't have to believe a word I say." (Jacob's translation.)
I believe the Father is looking for us to say the same thing and it starts with how we pray. We pray from the place of authority, knowing we are loved and bringing His will through us into the situation.
A New Strength Through QUICK Obedience
Many have been weary in the last season and I believe it is because they have found themselves over-committed and "under-obedient." I sense the Lord issuing a challenge to the Church to be quick to obey Him and slow to say yes to others. I have felt the hand of the Lord hinder my ability to commit to things as quickly. (Photo via Pixabay)
Much of the wear and tear you have experienced in the last year is from doing things that were good but God never asked you to do. As you begin to slow down and only do what the Father is asking you to do, you are going to find a joy that you have been lacking. What does the Bible say? The joy of the Lord is your strength (see Nehemiah 8:10). Many will find a newness of strength and vitality that you have felt missing for a long time.
"It's not about me, it's about those after me." One of the greatest tactics of the enemy is to steal revival from the next generation. We must begin to live for the next generation. We must be willing to leave a spiritual inheritance that the next generation can carry on and birth as well.
I believe that if we will begin to instill true relationship with the presence and person of God in our own lives, we will become undeniably attractive to the next generation. They need less preaching and more presence; you can't stay in sin in the presence of God. Man's words fail but His presence never does. I desire revival more than anything it seems, but I understand that if I don't raise up the next generation to hunger after Him then any revival I have will amount to nothing IF it ends with me.
From Natural to Supernatural to Natural
I heard the Lord clearly say, "Stop calling what is natural from Me, supernatural for you! You're creating a distance in reality for yourself."
I believe the Church is going to begin to have an outbreak of what is natural for the Father. It is natural to have encounters with the Lord, to have limbs grow back, to be transported to another country by His hand.
As we seek Him, all of this is possible but we must stop putting it out of our reach and truly believe that it is natural to have all of this.
To sum it up, I truly believe we are on the precipice of the greatest time in the Kingdom; but to receive all of it we must make room for it. Get ready to see what the Lord is going to do through you in 2017 as you restructure to host the presence in a powerful way! (To Subscribe to the Elijah List go here.)
For the Kingdom,
Jacob Biswell, author of Encountered, is a highly sought after speaker both nationally and internationally. He speaks at conferences, churches, and other events activating and empowering people to enter their destiny, grab hold of their dreams, and receive their healing. Jacob flows with the Holy Spirit to wreak havoc on the kingdom of darkness and strengthen God's people. Jacob has not only traveled extensively on his own, but he has served several ministries, including Dr. James Maloney. Jacob is also Senior Pastor of Living Word in Bryan, Texas. Most importantly, He is husband to Anna Katheryn and dad to Eden Grace.
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Jacob Biswell's Itinerary:
Note: Events are subject to change at the ministry's discretion. We suggest you always check first with the event contact listed here and/or directly visit their website for latest updates on each event.
February 28-March 7, 2017
Belize with Ryan LeStrange