I am away treating some very complicated issues right now. The pandemic has presented many challenges that are confronting us, we may be out of the lockdown, but we are living the aftermath, the economic fallout, education fall out. The housing fallout. I could go on but I think messages must present us a substance of faith so that we can confront the issues before us from a higher place, not trying to make sense with our minds.
Whilst I was led to study Isaiah 63, particularly v10 which they rebelled and grieved the Holy Spirit. The word “rebel” in the Hebrew can cross to mean “bitter”, right there I had an insight, that rebellion has a root, bitterness.
Bitterness sets in when we have unresolved business with God. One thing I learned from Romans 8.28 that the context is a process worked out, in that we process what happens to us happens for us. We may not understand it, but what is happening is producing in us a greater capacity to overcome. We will overcome what is happening to us if we first understand we are redeemed and covered by God’s covenant. In that covenant we are guaranteed to fulfil our God given purpose. Once we lose that notion and think that our circumstances are working against us, look at the words of Paul: “If God be for us, who can be against us?” He cites beings, and circumstances that can happen. This is an absolute foundation to be trusting in our every day life. Without this we come into bitterness.
That bitterness poisons every process God puts at work in us. It also causes us to lose discernment. Causes us to lose the capacity to know God’s mind in any given situation. We become as blind as the Israelites in the desert.
Isaiah 63 verse 10 refers to Numbers 13 and 14. It is obvious that many of the Israelites did not know the implications of God taking them out of Egypt. They did not know they were to become a Royal Priesthood as a nation. Ministering for God to the nations. Yet when they heard it, they accepted it, but when they saw God’s glory on the mountain, the darkness, the trumpet blast from God, (the Jubilee blast) they shrank back, rejected God’s call.
Right now many have been responding to altar calls in the last 20 years, not understanding what God was preparing them for. Right now in 2020 it is a watershed year in which the substance of faith we possess are necessary to navigate the year, navigate the challenges. So if we become bitter in 2020 we will enter rebellion in 2021. We will reject the call God has prepared us for, in entering our “rest” of our spiritual promised land. To enter in, we must expel the iniquity and alien spiritual practices in our promised land.
In Numbers 13 we read the whole congregation lifted up their voice in agreement with the report of 10 negative spies. Spies who saw difficulty, obstacle and impossibility. Faith sees these as opportunities. However we must be clear that this faith is a component of the substance God gives us as He extends covenant to us. We receive His Word, we walk in it by obedience. That way we have a foundation that in experience we see it at work, bringing peace and overcoming every impossibility.
So not only did the congregation weep, they also murmured against the ones God appointed to take them to their promise. Isn’t it a time of rebellion against leaders when difficulty comes? Then they try to appoint their own leaders. Their vision of Egypt is no more one of reality, the slavery, the oppression, rather now it is seen as a good life. God forgives them but excludes them from the Promised Land, and they are led right back to the shores of the Red Sea. They must have seen the skeletons of their former victory…how far they had fallen!
One thing in Isaiah 63 that is striking is that in grieving the Holy Spirit He now becomes their enemy. “Therefore He (the Holy Spirit) was turned to be their enemy, and fought against them…” wow what a situation, not only was now the Holy Spirit their enemy but now was fighting, resisting them. I am convinced for many believers they are blind to the fact there has been a shift, in that now Satan is no longer their enemy, and it has become the Holy Spirit. Can you imagine the Holy Spirit being your enemy? The first thing I am sure would be noticed is the lack of sweet fellowship. Then the lack of peace, the lack of revelation, the lack of provision, the lack of open doors, the lack of freedom. The sense of almighty resistence would be felt.
Once you transition from bitterness to rebellion, you go from Holy Spirit to witchcraft! What did Samuel say to Saul,1 Samuel 15:23, “Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft”. What does this look like in practice? It means continuing our meetings, our devotionals without the Holy Spirit but witchcraft. Rebellion puts us right into the enemy camp.
Why am I writing this way? I am writing because in speaking with believers many are oblivious of the changes taking place, and many are blind to the crises coming this autumn in the USA, in the UK. Many see major conflicts and break down in social order…a breakdown in economic systems. Unless we are first in faith in our in the covenant extended to us, understanding the implications of our call we shall go into bitterness which will transition us to rebellion!
The building blocks are being put in place for a anti God society, but the building blocks for installing Jesus’ throne where He will rule from Jerusalem, from Zion, are being put in place by a people who discern the times and obey the Lord!