“I Am Changing the Landscape”

 “I AM CHANGING THE LANDSCAPE”

Prophetic Word – Mar. 28, 2020

 

Delivered by Pastor Jim Sanderbeck

I was awakened from my sleep at 6:30 AM this morning by the sound of rain, low thunder, a BRIGHT flash of lightening and then a long low rumbling of more thunder.  Immediately, the Lord spoke to me and said I am changing the landscape.”  He then said “when I lift this curse off of the land, you will see that I have brought the mountains low (which He identified as obstacles that have been in our paths, hard circumstances we have had to face, and difficult people and situations that have thwarted our efforts) and the valley’s up (which He identified as disappointments, discouragements, depressors, and grieving’s).”  That was the end of the prophetic release and the prophetic flow ceased.

I immediately went into my recollections of the Word that speaks of mountains and valleys being leveled and raised.  There are numerous ones in Scripture from the Books of Isaiah, Luke, Psalms and Ezekiel.  [I ultimately read them all but I really had to go no further than Isaiah to get the full impact and implications of what God was telling me/us today.  I’ll share that and those references further below.]

Personally, the sounds and flash indicated to me that the Lord was right then moving the spiritual atmosphere in such a way that our life experience as Believers is about to change from what was operational before the COVID-19 pandemic to a new operational “landscape” after the pandemic lifts.  I believe He was indicating that this would be a visible and experiential adjustment that will be “felt.”  That, as Holy Spirit empowered witnesses in the earth, there will be a much different open plain now in our circumstances, our witness in the planet, our personal and corporate situations, our health and our provision (notice I’m saying provision—not just finances).  This smooth plain will give us less resistance in our witness and greater acceptance in our communities than ever before.  I believe we will walk in the “double” portion spoken of in the Word.  I believe our walk will have greater influence and receive greater favor in the arenas in which we have been assigned. (I.e. business, profession, relationships, marketplace, etc.).  In all things, the signal light will have turned green for anyone bold enough to step into it.

Hear is the Word and the spirit of what God was revealing through Isaiah the Prophet:

Isaiah 40: 1-5, 9-11, 22-31; 41: 1-13 (NASB)  [I will highlight “keys” to interpret and meditate upon.]

Isa 40:1  “Comfort, O comfort My people,” says your God.

Isa 40:2  “Speak kindly to Jerusalem; And call out to her, that her warfare has ended, That her iniquity has been removed, That she has received of the LORD’S hand Double for all her sins.”

Isa 40:3  A voice is calling, “Clear the way for the LORD in the wilderness; Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God.

Isa 40:4  “Let every valley be lifted up, And every mountain and hill be made low; And let the rough ground become a plain, And the rugged terrain a broad valley;

Isa 40:5  Then the glory of the LORD will be revealed, And all flesh will see it together; For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

Isa 40:9  Get yourself up on a high mountain, O Zion, bearer of good news, Lift up your voice mightily, O Jerusalem, bearer of good news; Lift it up, do not fear. Say to the cities of Judah, “Here is your God!”

Isa 40:10  Behold, the Lord GOD will come with might, With His arm ruling for Him. Behold, His reward is with Him And His recompense before Him.

Isa 40:11  Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, In His arm He will gather the lambs And carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes.

Isa 40:22  It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.

Isa 40:23  He it is who reduces rulers to nothing, Who makes the judges of the earth meaningless.

Isa 40:24  Scarcely have they been planted, Scarcely have they been sown, Scarcely has their stock taken root in the earth, But He merely blows on them, and they wither, And the storm carries them away like stubble.

Isa 40:25  “To whom then will you liken Me That I would be his equal?” says the Holy One.

Isa 40:26  Lift up your eyes on high And see who has created these stars, The One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, Not one of them is missing.

Isa 40:27  Why do you say, O Jacob, and assert, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD, And the justice due me escapes the notice of my God”? 

Isa 40:28  Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth Does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable.

Isa 40:29  He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power.

Isa 40:30  Though youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly,

Isa 40:31  Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.

Isa 41:1  “Coastlands, listen to Me in silence, And let the peoples gain new strength; Let them come forward, then let them speak; Let us come together for judgment.

Isa 41:2  “Who has aroused one from the east Whom He calls in righteousness to His feet? He delivers up nations before him And subdues kings. He makes them like dust with his sword, As the wind-driven chaff with his bow.

Isa 41:3  “He pursues them, passing on in safety, By a way he had not been traversing with his feet.

Isa 41:4  “Who has performed and accomplished it, Calling forth the generations from the beginning? ‘I, the LORD, am the first, and with the last. I am He.'”

Isa 41:5  The coastlands have seen and are afraid; The ends of the earth tremble; They have drawn near and have come.

Isa 41:6  Each one helps his neighbor And says to his brother, “Be strong!” 

Isa 41:7  So the craftsman encourages the smelter, And he who smooths metal with the hammer encourages him who beats the anvil, Saying of the soldering, “It is good”; And he fastens it with nails, So that it will not totter.

Isa 41:8  “But you, Israel, My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, Descendant of Abraham My friend,

Isa 41:9  You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, And called from its remotest parts And said to you, ‘You are My servant, I have chosen you and not rejected you.

Isa 41:10  ‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

Isa 41:11  “Behold, all those who are angered at you will be shamed and dishonored; Those who contend with you will be as nothing and will perish.

Isa 41:12  “You will seek those who quarrel with you, but will not find them, Those who war with you will be as nothing and non-existent. 

Isa 41:13  “For I am the LORD your God, who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.’

Additional References:

  • Isaiah 2:12; 26:5, 29:4 (and surrounding verses)
  • Luke 3:4-6
  • Psalms 107:39
  • Ezekiel 17:24

The Lord has spoken here a very encouraging prophesy.  In this hour, may it be that he who has ears, let him hear and he who has eyes let him see.  We are about to experience God lift this pandemic as a sign that the landscape surrounding you has been changed.  He is building His present day Ekklesia now.  The former things are behind us.  Wait on His initiatives and then with courage and boldness move forward.  He promises to favor you, sustain you, strengthen you, and empower you to be His witness right where He has you planted.  Praise God!  Rejoice!  Experience the reformation God is releasing to you.

SELAH!

AMEN!

SO BE IT!

THE CHANGING FACE OF THE CHURCH; REFORMATION IS ON THE HORIZON

If you haven’t noticed, the world is not beating a path to the doors of our churches—especially here in the United States. The number of churches closing their doors and consolidating is staggering. Income is declining and pastors are being forced to find personal income streams in order to meet their personal or family needs. Volunteerism is down in the church and many responsibilities are now being combined or eliminated. The number of people giving up on regular church attendance or being involved with church program life is dropping tremendously. Don’t get me wrong. I believe in the church. I love the church. Jesus died for the church. It’s just that I believe that the church is going to look different, act different and be different. This new church reformation will change the world. Some churches are catching on to what God is building and they are “reforming” in ways to come into agreement with what the Holy Spirit is doing today.

Around the world, in many different cultures, the “church” is growing in places religious leaders can barely imagine. People are being saved, healed, delivered and changed. This emerging church doesn’t look at all like it has looked here in the United States over the past several generations, but it is definitely making its presence known. And, where it is manifesting, earthly governments and others still estranged from God are trying their best to control that which is not controllable. Why? Two Reasons:
1. Because we are in a new season in God. The transition from what I call the Institutional Age of the Church is giving way to the Kingdom Age of the Church. All 5 office gifts to the church (apostle, prophet, pastor, teacher, evangelist: Eph. 4:11-12 have now been restored and activated, and the equipping of the saints to full maturity in Christ is under way. This is a good thing!
2. In this new season of the Kingdom Age of the Church, God is going to do the building by the power of the Holy Spirit. It is not going to be built on the wisdom and knowledge of man. It will do things that to the carnal mind seem foolish. The church is reforming, and it is going to be reformed in the model taught and exampled by Jesus Himself and the first generation of believers under the leadership of the Apostles. The church Jesus called to “go ye therefore” is beginning to awaken.

Men have done their best to grow the church. Men have done their best to control the church. But, Scripture clearly tells us building the church is not going to come by the hands of men. Ps 127:1 says “Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman keeps awake in vain.” (NASB) Matt 16:18 Jesus speaking says, “…and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven”;…”(NASB) Finally, Rev 11:15 declares “…there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.” (NASB)

What Jesus envisioned for the church was not a building or a program or an event. The Gospel of the Kingdom that Jesus preached was a people, moving in the power of God, loving, evangelizing, and teaching those who would receive. A people who lived life only for the glory of God by loving intentionally, meeting felt needs, sharing from what they had, and living Jesus’ prayers of “Let thy Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven, and Father as you and I are one, let them be one.

The word translated in Scripture as church 79 times is “Ekklesia.” It means “a called out assembly and in the vernacular of today and terms of what we are seeing today, this “called out assembly” would be defined as those believers who are called out of the world and into His marvelous light to demonstrate the powers of the Kingdom of God in a way that will impact and change the kingdoms (or cultures) of this world. 1st Corinthians gives us the clearest picture of what the Ekklesia honored. Their gatherings and outreaches included 1.)fellowship, 2.)praise and worship, 3.)honoring Jesus command of communion, and 4.)equipping of the believers to exercise their spiritual gifts as empowered by the Holy Spirit. In approximately 70 years, without the conveniences of computers, internet, telephones or television, the Ekklesia touched the entire known world of that time period.

In closing, let me summarize by saying the church of this new season will be characterized by intentional love, fellowship, small group gatherings with occasional times of coming together, prayer, evangelization, and equipping of the saints. It is not going to be centered on a building, protocols and processes, programs, events, legal requirements and traditions. It is going to be centered on Jesus, and giving glory and honor to God who has given us life so we can be in an operational covenant relationship with him and one another. Father, let thy Kingdom come and let your church reflect your glory.

Change-Agent Leadership In The Kingdom Age Of The Church

I am greatly moved by God in this season to focus in on leadership and our leadership assignments.  I’d like to share with you for a season of time about leadership because I truly believe that there has been a mantle passed to us and a baton handed to us for the running of a final lap.  As I look back at all the things I longed to see and experience in my life, I realize I desired all of that in order to be able to recognize those things I so desired when they appeared.  Now, as I look around my world, I realize as we enter into this season in God that “this is that” for which I longed.

As an AIM leader of a ministry, of a small group, or of individuals, you need know how important your leadership role is in advancing the culture of the Kingdom of God—locally and beyond.  Experience has taught me that advancement is always based on the leader.  Advancement turns on leadership and therefore advancement is directly proportional to what that leader does and how that leader leads.

The assignment on Jesus’ life was to bring the Kingdom of God upon the earth.  In the 4 Gospels and in The Acts of the Apostles, there is more teaching about the Kingdom of God than any other subject.  Jesus came to change earthly culture (which had become immersed in religion and filled with oppression and pain) to heavenly culture (which is immersed in relationships and filled with freedom and wholeness).  He accomplished his mission by his representation of Father God (“if you have seen me you have seen the Father”), his teaching (They were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as the scribes”) and his lifestyle (“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me”).  Jesus was a Change-Agent leader who passionately lived to fulfill his assignment.

  • Because of Jesus the Christ, we know salvation saves people, the Holy Spirit fills people, and the Kingdom changes people.

Do you as a leader burn with passion for God’s presence?  Do you model worship, praise and prayer before your family, constituents and community?  Are you actively engaged daily with what the Holy Spirit is revealing to you about the world around you?  As you lead, what is it about your assignment that gives you traction?

Advancing the Kingdom of God is going to take a new breed of leader.  As leaders in AIM, we have been given a cutting-edge challenge to watch God’s movement in the earth and then prepare to lead our constituents accordingly into growth and understanding.  Change-agent leadership is a leadership style that is based on the Word of God and is exemplified by many tremendous Biblical characters).  This change-agent leadership style is interlaced with the movement and instruction of the Holy Spirit and touches people right where they are found.  I hope the forth-coming blogs are an encouragement to every one of you who leads in this hour and who are such an integral part of Antioch International Ministries.