In 2009 I had a life changing encounter when I visited Bethel Church in Redding, CA. The fire of God hit my heart as I worshipped and I saw a vision of a powerful move of God that would bring the Body of Christ back to her first love. In this vision I witnessed the fire of God sweep through churches and begin to burn at the very foundations. I heard the shrieks of religion as it was exposed by the perfect love of the Father. This love was unlike any love I had yet known and I began to hunger after it.
I saw the movement that would come out of the ashes of religion; a renaissance that would reveal the God of love to the world through fiery passionate lovers of God. I wept as I heard a sound of worship that would come as a soundtrack to this revival of love – a sound that would capture the secular and influence the arts. It was pure and honest, raw, undignified, and was birthed by the hidden ones in the wilderness that would someday emerge for their moment.
The Armor Just Doesn't Fit
Recently God showed me a vision of armor that looked really dated and worn. My thought was, "This won't really protect me or be very comfortable." Then I was led to 1 Samuel 17 where David put on armor to fight Goliath, but it was too big for him and he wasn't used to fighting in it.
David represented something new that God had anointed in place of disobedience or man's choice. The armor of religion just didn't fit David, and it was actually a burden in battle rather than a strength.
I believe the Father has been calling out to His Church and saying, "That old thing won't fit you. Let Me show you who you really are."
In that same way God is saying that we can't do life the same old ways we have been doing it. The armor is old, some of the ways are old and worn, and He is breathing fresh upon the Bride. Many people have been trying to make their previous mold fit over and over, and when it hasn't they have gotten into condemnation over it, thinking there must be something wrong with them.
But what if God was overhauling you and anointing you for a new assignment? What if this transition season was your awakening season? What used to work may not anymore, so surrender and let His work be completed in you!
Are We Ready?
God is doing a new thing in us, but are we ready?
Song of Songs reveals God's heart for the Bride in this season as she is coming out of bondage and into wholeness.
Song of Songs 8:14 (TPT) shares this powerful revelation from the mouth of the shulamite (the bride): "Until the new day fully dawns, run on ahead like the graceful gazelle and skip like the young stag, over the mountains of separation, go on ahead to the mountain of spices, I'll come away another time."
In this passage the bride says to the bridegroom that the timing is just not right for her. Instead of going with him to the mountain of spices (intimacy), she would rather dwell in the mountains of separation.
But I believe something has changed! We are ready, there has been a cry of longing coming from the bride, and we are returning to our first love. The Lord is beckoning us to come to Him and to stand watch and protect this love.
In Song of Songs 2:15 it says, "You must catch the troubling foxes, those sly little foxes which hinder our relationship. For they raid our budding vineyard of love to ruin what I've planted within you. Will you catch them and remove them for me? We will do it together."
Deep intimate connection with the King has always been the place we have been called to occupy.
The continuous theme of these past seven years for us has been the story of Esther. What the Holy Spirit recently revealed to me through the book of Esther was that she also lived in a time of transition. The book of Esther begins by describing the end of Queen Vashti's reign. This queen was the full package of what a queen should be by outside appearances; even her name means "beautiful" but she was removed from her position because she "refused to come into the courts of the King."
On the hand, Esther means "hidden". Esther went through a purification and refining process to be ready for the King, and that has been the season the Church has been in – refining and purifying in preparation for the bridegroom.
One didn't have a heart for the King, the other lived only for the King.
Love has truly been stirred in the Church. We have realized we have been far away from His fiery gaze and are making our way back into His inner courts where we were always designed to dwell.
There is a remnant emerging with an Esther anointing that have been through the process and the preparation for one thing – to lead the people of God out of religious oppression and back to her rightful place – intimately united with the King.
Many people that have been hidden in this season of transition have been marked and anointed as Esthers to restore the Church to her first love.
No you haven't been taken out. Your preparation may have been long, but now it's time to step forward and lead the people of God into freedom.
You were born for such a time as this!
Nate Johnston is a revivalist and worshipper who has a heart to see sons and daughters unleashed into passionate friendship with God and an effective supernatural lifestyle. Through his ministry "Everyday Revivalists," he teaches on intimacy and hearing God's voice which was birthed from a hunger for authentic, real, and powerful relationship with Jesus. Christy Johnston was born and raised in Australia. After living the majority of her life plagued with insecurity and fear, she came to learn the power of her identity in Christ. She now lives with the mandate to breathe fresh hope and life into Gods sons and daughters through her passion of writing, uncovering the truths of living in Grace and freedom through our identity in Christ. Nate and Christy have two daughters, Charlotte and Sophie, and currently live on the Gold Coast in Australia.