“If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you,
Then how can you contend with horses?
And if in the land of peace,
In which you trusted, they wearied you,
Then how will you do in the floodplain of the Jordan?” (Jer 12:5)
In 1987 Rick Joyner received the visions from which he wrote “The Harvest”, which was a revelation of an end-time revival of epic proportions – the same outpouring, probably, that was seen in the twentieth century by Smith Wigglesworth and others – in a context of equally epic unrest and socio-political breakdown. When he wrote it he said he wondered if he would even see it in his lifetime; now things are accelerating so quickly in the spiritual realm, while at the same time fault lines are opening up on the Earth- not least in the USA- that he is wondering if they will happen before the year is out.
Whatever credence one gives to the various voices that can be heard on the current prophetic stage, there is no doubt that the battle in Heaven is intensifying as every day brings us closer to the final one. Is the Tribulation just round the corner? No one knows. A recent prophecy from Wendy Alec says that it isn’t yet, but we are experiencing the beginning of the tremblings. Where does The Harvest fit in on this time scale? Do we even need to know? There will be a great harvest; there will be tribulation: how they fit together is God’s business. What we need to know is this: Jesus is calling His church into a place of intimacy where we can hear His voice more clearly, both to advance his purposes and to receive His provision and protection in the specific circumstances that lie ahead.
He is leading the church up a new path, like a mountain track. The old routines no longer apply; he is doing something new and we need to be able to adapt to it. Opposition to God’s purposes will be stronger: whereas we are used to running against men, we will be running against horses. The time of “The Land of Peace” is over, with its easy routines of meetings and ministry times: we are heading into the floodplains of the Jordan where the tide of revival will be sweeping souls into the Kingdom from every direction and in many unlikely contexts.
If we are open to the Holy Spirit we can expect, even now, to find that He is leading us into new things in our lives. Not just Zoom instead of meetings, not just online shopping instead of the supermarket, but new experiences in our walk with God and in our relationships that bring us closer to him. A phrase that has come out of the coronavirus culture is the “New Normal.” God is leading us into a new normal as well, where the culture and the power of the Kingdom of Heaven will prevail. The changes that some of us are experiencing are the beginnings of that shift, the fingerprints of His hand on our lives.
God’s new normal will be a different dimension, a time of the “Greater things;” of Resurrection life. He wants to use us in miraculous ways to demonstrate the kingdom of God to others, and he wants us to have faith for his miraculous ways to bring his kingdom provision to us. This is the environment of the mountain path. And along with intimacy, power, and faith, comes holiness. None of this can be achieved without a fresh anointing from the Holy Spirit.
There is a challenge here for leaders. Just as Ezekiel had his responsibilities as a prophet clearly spelt out (Ezekiel three), our responsibility as leaders is to ensure that everyone in the church is hearing what God is saying. Not everybody will respond, and those who don’t will miss God’s best. But if the cloud is going up the mountain, then everyone has to know. And the challenge for leaders is this: we cannot show people how to follow the cloud unless we are doing it ourselves.