I would consider Summit 2018 to be a moment of reckoning for us, a kairos moment where God told us to ‘level up’, as Pastor Yvette called it. How many of you know that the next ‘level up’ comes when you are prepared? Like a video game, you have to be ready to level up or you’re going to die in the next level! You need to gather weapons or cash or people, all in preparation for the next level, and I believe it’s time for us to get ready to ‘level up’. We need to get ready because in this new level everything will be different.
Incredibly, I’ve talked to people in the ministry who have not been reading their Bibles. Not just missing a few days, I’m talking like a year or more. Daily reading and prayer are not part of their lifestyle. They are missing a vital component to staying close to the heartbeat of God and having a sense of what is to come. They are clueless.
“Behold, the former things have come to pass, And new things I declare, Before they spring forth I tell you of them.” (Isaiah 43:9)
A number of us started sensing a shift was coming even before Summit because we were staying close to the Spirit of God and He was preparing us for Summit. Now we’re seeing a new outpouring of God’s glory on our ministry, things are being exposed and changed, because God wants us to ‘level up’ as a ministry. To some, this restructuring comes as a complete shock to the normal flow of things, but God always has our best in mind, and if our leaders stay close to Him and listen to His heartbeat, there will always be seasons to ‘level up’.
As leaders, our character is so key to seeing a breakthrough. We must lay down personal agendas in favor of what God is saying. And we need to keep doing it, day in, month in, year in and out.
After a succession of kings who did not do what was right, Hezekiah came along and “did what was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father David had done.” (II Chronicles 29:2)
Hezekiah was a different sort of king, and his reign ushered a positive and extensive revolution, a reversal of direction for the entire nation. As he gave himself wholeheartedly to the Lord, he led the entire kingdom to do so as well. This is what we are talking about: God wants to do something in us that He has never done before.
“In the first year of (Hezekiah’s) reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of the house of the Lord and repaired them.” (II Chronicles 29:3) He was preparing himself.
Immediately he began to fix the house of the Lord. This was the temple that Solomon built, the place where the glory of God would rest. In the New Testament, we are God’s temple, and we need to work on ourselves, our character, first. Often, that’s how God signals a restructuring, because He begins to point out those things we’ve begun to neglect in our lives, such as our daily prayer and Bible reading. It seems such a small thing to start with when the whole kingdom needs a revolution, but Hezekiah started with the doors in the very first month of his reign. “And Hezekiah said to them: ‘Hear me, Levites! Now sanctify yourselves, sanctify the house of the Lord God of your fathers, and carry out the rubbish from the holy place.’” (II Chronicles 29:5)
There was RUBBISH in the holy place! So either they were using the holy place as a storage room, or they were actually putting their garbage in there!!! The Holy Place! What’s in your heart? What’s coming out of your heart, is it smelly sometimes? Maybe it needs a good clean-out.
“Then the priests went into the inner part of the house of the Lord to cleanse it, and brought out all the debris that they found in the temple of the Lord to the court of the house of the Lord.” Sixteen days later they went to King Hezekiah and said, “We have cleansed all the house of the Lord.” (II Chronicles 29:16-18)
Hezekiah wanted to see a change in Israel. Maybe he didn’t sense that it was the Lord wanting to bring change, but he himself wanted to see the glory of God restored to Israel, and as soon as he was able, he began instituting change. He wanted God to move.
“They brought seven bulls, seven rams, seven lambs, and seven male goats for a sin offering for the kingdom, for the sanctuary, and for Judah. Then he commanded the priests, the sons of Aaron, to offer them on the altar of the Lord.” (II Chronicles 29:21)
Remember the tens of thousands of animals that Solomon sacrificed to the Lord when they first dedicated this temple? Here Hezekiah wants to restore the temple worship with a couple dozen animals. Scoff-able except that not many priests were prepared to take part in these sacrifices, they had not sanctified themselves. Not a lot of leaders were ready to lead! But God saw Hezekiah’s heart and received the sacrifice. And as more priests got themselves ready, the more they were able to sacrifice, and more sacrifices began pouring in, and the momentum built.
“Then Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced that God had prepared the people since the events took place so suddenly.” (II Chronicles 29:36) These suddenlies happen only when we prepare our hearts beforehand. It’s not about feeling ready, but about working toward being ready.
Then Hezekiah did something amazing!! He sent letters to Israel, the ‘other’ nation, to join him and his kingdom in restoring Passover! They hadn’t done Passover since the days of Samuel before David was king! And Hezekiah’s desire was to bring the others into unity so they could all experience a tremendous revolution together.
“So they resolved to make a proclamation throughout all Israel that they should come to keep the Passover to the Lord God of Israel at Jerusalem since they had not done it for a long time in the prescribed manner. Then the runners went throughout all Israel and Judah with the letters from the king and his leaders: “Children of Israel, return to the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel; then He will return to the remnant of you who have escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria. So the runners passed from city to city through all the country, but they laughed at them and mocked them. Nevertheless, some of them humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem. Also, the hand of God was on Judah to give them singleness of heart to obey the command of the king and the leaders, at the word of the Lord.” (II Chronicles 30:5-6,10-12)
Some people are not going to recognize when the hand of God is on them, or that a shift is beginning to take place, they don’t see the momentum building! They like things the way they are and will not respond to us when we encourage change. Nevertheless, we know.
We see. It’s time to ‘level up’. We want to see God’s glory poured out among the nations, and we may not have noticed the rubbish piling up all around us, even in us, in our ministry, as people have gone about their daily lives.
So God’s people held the first Passover in hundreds of years. It was a bit of a mess because there still weren’t enough leaders ready to take part, and the people were not properly sanctified, but God was there anyway, and He was so blessed by what was taking place.
“So the children of Israel who were present at Jerusalem kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with great gladness; and the Levites and the priests praised the Lord day by day, singing to the Lord, accompanied by loud instruments. And Hezekiah gave encouragement to all the Levites who taught the good knowledge of the Lord; and they ate throughout the feast seven days, offering peace offerings and making confession to the Lord God of their fathers. Then the whole assembly agreed to keep the feast another seven days, and they did it gladly. For Hezekiah king of Judah gave to the assembly a thousand bulls and seven thousand sheep, and the leaders gave to the assembly a thousand bulls and ten thousand sheep, and a great number of priests sanctified themselves. The whole assembly of Judah rejoiced, also the priests and Levites, all the assembly that came from Israel, the sojourners who came from the land of Israel, and those who dwelt in Judah. So there was great joy in Jerusalem, for, since the time of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel, there had been nothing like this in Jerusalem. Then the priests, the Levites, arose and blessed the people, and their voice was heard; and their prayer came up to His holy dwelling place, to heaven.” (II Chronicles 30:21-27)
I think some of us have been feeling, in our lives, our ministry, and our nations, that we’re coming up against a wall in terms of blessing, or increase or whatever, but I don’t think it’s a wall, I think it’s a ceiling! We’ve gotten all we can out of the previous breakthrough! It’s time to break through again!! It’s time to level up!
by Lee-Anne Treetippayapitak