“Come Closer…” in 2017

by Pastor Jacquie Kirkwood
     Well, 2016 was truly an emotional and roller coaster year for the body of Christ in America. Assaults on religious liberty in the United States reached a never-before-seen fevered pitch. In politics, the media daily heralded their assertion of an unassailable lead in the Presidential campaign for a candidate who was obviously no friend of the church. In one speech, she said that Christians were simply going to have to give up some of their hard and fast positions on social issues like abortion and homosexuality and stop being purveyors of “hate”.
     Christians and Christian leaders were rightly ALARMED at the rhetoric being espoused and called for prayer and a mobilization of the church, as a unified voting block to step in and potect our future freedom to share the gospel unimpeded. The body of Christ rose up, got engaged in the battle of a looming blow against Christianity, and helped to carry the day. The lesson for the church is that we have the power of great influence on our culture for the cause of Christ and we can halt the advancement of the devil’s agenda when we arise from our complacency and slumber and ACT!
      The challenge now is to not return to a posture of apathy, saying in our hearts, “okay, that’s handled now…crisis averted”, and return to our distraction driven, entertainment motivated lifestyle, and sabotage the forward progress we have fought for. We won a battle. We have not won the war.
     I have been hearing the prophets say for years, “A revival is coming.” To be honest, after serving the Lord in ministry for thirty-three years, I’m tired of hearing about it. The prayer and intercession has been going up for years, as the hungry have cried out to the Lord for a move of His Spirit. Many times He has said through His servants that this move of God will not be like any other we have seen. And, yet we still wait and wait and wait for it to come like a Holy Ghost storm from heaven, and manifest like it did at Azuza Street or in Pensacola. IT IS NOT COMING THAT WAY! Because this is not a revival that will be led by any one man or woman or any one group.
     This revival is about the end time glorious church. This is about individual believers choosing to walk in the glory of God, manifesting the nature and the character of Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit. We are not waiting on God to send this revival from heaven, for heaven resides within us. We carry the power of an outpouring of God on the inside of us every single day. We can have revival any time we choose. Revival is in the power and in the hand of every individual believer, for this is a “Believer’s Revival”. We are not waiting on God. God is waiting on us.
     We have wanted the resurrection power (glory) of Jesus Christ, without the cross; without the crucifixion of the flesh. We shun taking up our cross and following Him. We want abundant life, the comforts and the benefits of Christianity without becoming “like Christ”. We are spoiled children who chaffe against being held accountable to the word of God and resist growing up. When Jesus ministered healing and deliverance, He was releasing the Kingdom of God from within Himself, because He lived submitted to and in agreement with His Father’s Kingdom. When His power was manifested, the Bible says, “the Kingdom of God had come nigh unto them”. The scripture also says that the Kingdom of God is “righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost”. (Rom. 14:17)
     I have sought the Lord greatly concerning this, because I see how deep the world has plunged itself into darkness and how desperately the world needs the rising up and manifestation of the glorious church. The world needs the church to be the church. In my prayer time I have cried out to the Lord for more of Him, more of His anointing and power in my life…about “going to the next level”.
     One day, in prayer, He spoke to me so clearly….. “If you want more of Me……come closer.”
     The simplicity of this statement floored me. I just sat in His presence almost dumbfounded. For the next several days, I meditated on what “coming closer to God” might really mean. I’m a worshipper. I spend time at the piano every day worshipping my Lord, entering into His presence and enjoying His company. What more is there, I wondered?  After several days of meditating and seeking, I heard His voice again….
     “Coming closer to Me means making choices to step ever deeper into Me, which will bring you ever deeper into My Light. To come deeper and deeper into My light will, by necessesity, cause you to step ever further away from and out of the darkness. I am calling you to greater sanctification. If you want more of Me, you are going to have to give up more of the world.
     Then, He reproved me strongly, with His word in James 4:4. (NASB) “You adultresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore, whoever wishes to be a friend of the world, makes himself an enemy of God.” I was imediately cut to the core of my heart. God have mercy on the body of Christ, for as the subtle and crafty darkness of the devil’s kingdome has crept into our culture, instead of responding in true righteousness and holding fast to the light of God, we have allowed ourselves to be seduced and have chosen compromise, so as to cater to our flesh.
     There are movies and TV shows we simply should not be watching, Saints! There is language flowing out of our mouths that is an abomination to God. There is sexual immorality that should never be condoned in the church of Jesus Christ. There is willingness to stretch the truth or tell half-truths (Lie) and cheat to get ahead or get what we want. Like lying to a store about when you actually bought something, so that you can get that refund you  want. Gossiping about and slandering our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, either because of pride, or because we are harboring unforgiveness and offenses we have not delt with. Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep my commandments”. We obviously do not love Him, for over and over again, we choose our flesh and what we want over coming close to Him and letting Him make us like Him. We stand in church, shouting Hallelujah and singing songs of praise, all the while knowing our lives are not consecrated unto Him. We are hypocrites who futilely cry out for revival, while not allowing revival to begin with us.
     Not me……not anymore. I want His glory. I want to see light overpower darkness in our culture. I want to see souls saved because they are inspired by the Jesus that they see in the church. I want to be used of Him to move in healings and miracles, that the hurting may know His love. I want to press ever deeper into the light, so that I may get closer and closer to Him. I am going to hold myself to a higher standard in 2017. In 2017, I am going to reach to come closer and closer to Father God. How about you?