The Covenantal Blessing

24 Feb

Kathryn Hauser’s Reflection for 2 Lent on 24 February 2013
The Covenantal Blessing
I lifted my head and bowed my heart as I swallowed the Tylenol and said a prayer of healing for my sore throat, stuffy head, and flu symptoms. Last Sunday (17 Feb 13) I had pulled out the lectionary lessons for 2 Lent 2013 to see what God had to say. Right off the bat there it was:
Genesis 15:1 After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, “Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.”
Do not be afraid? I was feeling peaceful. What was I supposed to be afraid of? Sweetness visited Sunday evening for about four hours. I got a lovely spiritual “bath” of beautiful, yummy, rest-filled grace. The grace flowed and swirled like a warm Jacuzzi. In the middle of this “grace bath” Logic said coldly, “This is a holy experience. There will be ‘hell to pay.’” Gee, thanks so much, Logic, for your cheery input. I gave Logic a gentle shove and relaxed again into this “grace bath.”
But wouldn’t you know, there was some truth to what Logic “said.” My right headlight went out, my right front brake started squealing madly, the idiot light for my daytime running lights disappeared after a few dying flickers, and now I have Dad’s cold virus. But God said, “Do not be afraid. I am your shield.” I set my (congested) mind like flint (Isa 50:7) as best I could and brought my concerns to the Lord towing a box of Kleenex tissues in hand. I said, “Lord? Just as Abram was childless and his servant Eliezer of Damascus was his heir and this was of grave concern to him, [for without children, how could Abram fulfill God’s promises?] so You, God, have given me scant “offspring” (that I’m aware of) regarding readership of my life’s work, so I don’t know who is my “heir” through discipleship, or how it is possible that my “reward shall be very great.” I do trust You, Lord. I’m just letting You know that the scales are not balanced right now and haven’t been for a very, very long time. I’m not complaining, mind You, and I still trust You even with a congested head, but I need a little help here! This is a RELATIONSHIP. Faith is necessary in this relationship. When does faith start getting abused because of neglect from the community? You promised to keep Your covenantal relationship with us humans.
Genesis 15:6 And [she] believed the LORD; and the LORD reckoned it to [her] as righteousness.
As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon me, a deep and terrifying darkness descended upon me (v 12).
Genesis 15:17 When the sun had gone down and it was dark, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces.
If the fire pot represents the Word of God and the flaming torch represents the Holy Spirit passing through the “pieces” of all the various people, churches, ministries, and bodies I have tried to reach, then I believe it is true that the LORD is giving us back the covenant He first made with Abram. (v 18) The actual land may look different, but the covenant remains the same, for God keeps His Word.
Herod had wanted to destroy the covenant (just as every dictator wants to do that.) The Pharisees “saw” it and tried to warn Jesus. (Lk 13:31) But Jesus wouldn’t get distracted from His mission.
Luke 13:32 He said to them, “Go and tell that fox for me, ‘Listen, I am casting out demons and performing cures today and tomorrow, and on the third day I finish my work.
I looked at this and “knew” that for all of us the “fox” was not a human “Herod” but a spirit. In this dance between the Church-as-Body and me, we are closing in on the third major cycle of these purification darkness sweeps. And the Church really was left to herself as Jesus said:
Luke 13:35 See, your house is left to you. And I tell you, you will not see Me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.'”
Following St Paul’s example (Ph 3:17) I stood firm in the Lord (Ph 4:1) and trusted in God’s promise.
Philippians 3:21 He will transform the body of our humiliation that it may be conformed to the body of His glory, by the power that also enables Him to make all things subject to Himself.
“What is glory?” I asked. Prophet Garris Elkins answered that question. He wrote on Thursday:
“During the Last Supper recorded in John’s Gospel, Jesus began to pray right in the middle of dinner. It would be like one of us having dinner at a friend’s house and we simply began praying at the table. Everyone watched and listened as Jesus prayed to the Father.
“I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in Me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as You and I are One – as You are in Me, Father, and I am in You. And may they be in us so that the world will believe You sent Me.” John 17:20-21 …
“Carry His Glory in Oneness
“Jesus continued His prayer in verse 22-23: “I have given them the glory You gave Me, so they may be one as we are One. I am in them and You are in Me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that You sent Me and that You love them as much as You love Me. Father, I want these whom You have given Me to be with Me where I am. Then they can see all the glory You gave Me because You loved Me even before the world began!”
“Jesus gave the first disciples His glory to accomplish the task of oneness. The glory is where the miracles take place. Signs, wonders and miracles fall into this world surrounded by the glory of God. Glory is the substance of God’s presence. The word for glory in the original language is a word that describes weight. There is a substance and weight to God’s glory. The early disciples would carry this glory in their oneness with each other as they walked the streets of the cities in the Middle East. This glory surrounded their lives and released the supernatural works of God while they continued to walk in oneness with each other.
“We are waiting for revival to come. Some are looking for the next move of God to fall so they can join in. I find nothing wrong with any of those desires, but the greater reality is we already possess the key for revival and that key is oneness. I believe where groups of Believers make the hard choice to live in oneness with each other, those places will become ground zero for a move of God ushering in the immense harvest of souls God has planned.”
I, too, believe that oneness will become our ground zero. I also looked to St Paul who directed us to listen to our apostles (1 Cor 13:28) and when Chuck Pierce and his team prophesied from the Lord last weekend, it felt like Jesus Himself was speaking directly to me. So naturally, I joined in on the conversation, since I can’t seem to keep my mouth (or pen, actually) silent.
From Chuck’s Newsletter dated: Saturday, February 16, 2013
Dear Praying Friends:
During our weekend, the Spirit of Prophecy fell, and Barbara Wentroble, Keith Pierce and I began to prophesy:
“I am mantling you with a Jehu spirit [ ] in this hour. I’m going to cause that Jehu spirit to rise up in you and overturn what has stopped the prophetic voice in days past; I’m going to give you the power and the anointing to break the power of that.
[Break that conniving “Herod” spirit into dust, I say! “Herod” and “Jezebel” are in cahoots!]
I am resurrecting that gift that is in you, which was shut down and pushed aside.
“This is the hour that I come and I cause a fresh new river of My anointing to flow through you. Reach out and receive a new mantle. Let the Jehu spirit come upon you to stop all the tactics of Jezebel. I say her day is over. This is the day I’m calling the prophets to arise.
[Yeah! Come “Sons of Issachar”! Come all who speak the Truth in love. Come merciful servants of the Lord. The representatives of the Church-as-Institution are brave and greatly loved and are still hamstrung by their own institutions. They need the prophets but so far no one has stepped forward.]
“I am the Ancient of Days, and I’m recreating a momentum for your life. I am slowing you down
[oh, hence the cold virus…]
so I can accelerate you in days ahead. For the enemy has attempted to wear you down.
[That’s for sure!]
The enemy has attempted to change laws and change times to begin to stop you from accomplishing My will. The enemy has attempted to trap you by getting you out of My timing. But the Ancient of Days is now rising over you to reset your pace ahead.
[Lord, I understand a trap was set. I know this in my being. The timing has felt off, but I also know that You said this would happen and it has:
Daniel 12:7 The man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, lifted his right hand and his left hand toward heaven, and I heard him swear by Him who lives forever, saying, “It will be for a time, times and half a time. When the power of the holy people has been finally broken, all these things will be completed.”
Daniel 7:25 He [a king] will speak against the Most High and oppress his holy people and try to change the set times and the laws. The holy people will be delivered into his hands for a time, times and half a time.
Revelation 12:14 The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach.
This dragging on of time has felt like forever being on the receiving end of it! I am certain that if obedience to Your Word and Spirit had been acted upon in the appropriate course of the divine Flow, then the times wouldn’t have dragged on so, and Your Word still would have been fulfilled. Thank You, Lord, for cutting them short, because truly they are too much to bear (Mt 24:22); especially when obedience from all [!] parties is not practiced, even though it is preached. (Mt 23:2-3)]
“Stand with Me and travail for the 21-day period that I tell you. And when you do that your pace for the future will be re-ordered.
[Ok, Lord. I’m at Your service. I know the spiritual midwife stance all too well: Luke 13:34]
“He is coming as the Ancient of Days, and because He is the Ancient of Days, there is an ancient key that He carries.
[The key of obedience to You LORD.]
And in the carrying of this key you have seen the enemy take his place between you and the promise at this level.
[This is true. And Matthew 23:2-3 has been fulfilled:
Matthew 23:2 “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.
I must add that even though this verse has been fulfilled, it has also been redeemed, as one faithful soul really did practice what he preached and showed mercy in breaking the ice of the Grand Silence. The pressure point now is that there are two general camps in the Church-as-Body: the Prophets and the Church. The Church has seen and tasted of the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. (Ps 27:13) The school of prophets still seems to be waiting and observing. And observing. And waiting some more… A leader in the camp of the prophets continues to extol suffering as the mark of a disciple of Christ. And this is true for a time. But when observation becomes avoidance which becomes neglect which causes the Suffering…Suffering…Suffering? God? Aren’t we called to celebrate Your finished work on the Cross and apply it to our own lives as we celebrate Life in You?]
“Press in, press in, press in and contend with the enemy because even over the next 21 days I will give you the strategy to contend with the one who has set himself to contend with you.
[Strategy? I have ideas, but with whom would I share them? The prophets have not engaged one-on-one with me and both sides (priests and prophets) must come together. Lord, if You don’t mind, I’ll keep with my calling directives which You gave me: 1) worship God, and 2) share the journey. If there’s a strategy in there then show us all, ok, God? Strategy is not one of my strong points. But maybe someone can help me learn to think along those lines, if that’s what You want. I’m not saying strategy is not there, I’m just saying that I can’t see it without Your help, Lord.]
And then as you have pressed the 21 days, I will hand you the key of the Ancient of Days, and then I will contend with the one that has contended with you!
[I believe the key of the Ancient of Days is the key of the results of obedience. Be merciful, Lord!]
“Many hearts have been wearied and many, many minds have grown cold in My thinking process. But I am resetting heartbeats,
[Yeah!]
and I’m opening up what’s been closed down.
[Yeah!]
I’m restoring and I’m causing you to walk in a time that escaped you in one season.
[Lord, would You help us to listen to each other and take action based on what You tell us, so that there won’t be another escapee?]
If you will set your pace with Me, the next 7 years I will produce greatly for you and My storehouses will be made full.”
[So, Lord, now we come full circle to what You told Abram and also to me:
Genesis 15:1 After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, “Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.”
Therefore, I, Kathryn, say to the Church-as-Bride with great love: ‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.’ (Lk 13:35)]
Blessings,
Chuck D. Pierce
Glory of Zion International Ministries”
[Yes, glory be to Zion!
I sing it out: ‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.’ (Lk 13:35) This IS the covenantal blessing.]
Prayer: Lord, help us to bless; to bless You and each other. Clear and cleanse our hearts and minds so that we focus completely on You in this covenantal relationship that we have. Realign the times in sync with You. Help us to press into You. You are our shield. Help us to walk in oneness with You and each other, just as You prayed for us in John 17. May we glorify You, Jesus, and not ourselves. Bring us into unity in and by the Holy Spirit as You lead us, Lord Jesus, our Great Commander. Amen.

2 Lent 24 February 2013 Gospel: Luke 13:31-35 and Luke 9:28-43a
Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18
15:1 After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, “Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.”

15:2 But Abram said, “O Lord GOD, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?”

15:3 And Abram said, “You have given me no offspring, and so a slave born in my house is to be my heir.”

15:4 But the word of the LORD came to him, “This man shall not be your heir; no one but your very own issue shall be your heir.”

15:5 He brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your descendants be.”

15:6 And he believed the LORD; and the LORD reckoned it to him as righteousness.

15:7 Then he said to him, “I am the LORD who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess.”

15:8 But he said, “O Lord GOD, how am I to know that I shall possess it?”

15:9 He said to him, “Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.”

15:10 He brought him all these and cut them in two, laying each half over against the other; but he did not cut the birds in two.

15:11 And when birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.

15:12 As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram, and a deep and terrifying darkness descended upon him.

15:17 When the sun had gone down and it was dark, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces.

15:18 On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates….”

Psalm 27
27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

27:2 When evildoers assail me to devour my flesh– my adversaries and foes– they shall stumble and fall.

27:3 Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war rise up against me, yet I will be confident.

27:4 One thing I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple.

27:5 For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will set me high on a rock.

27:6 Now my head is lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the LORD.

27:7 Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud, be gracious to me and answer me!

27:8 “Come,” my heart says, “seek his face!” Your face, LORD, do I seek.

27:9 Do not hide your face from me. Do not turn your servant away in anger, you who have been my help. Do not cast me off, do not forsake me, O God of my salvation!

27:10 If my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will take me up.

27:11 Teach me your way, O LORD, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies.

27:12 Do not give me up to the will of my adversaries, for false witnesses have risen against me, and they are breathing out violence.

27:13 I believe that I shall see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.

27:14 Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!

Philippians 3:17-4:1
3:17 Brothers and sisters, join in imitating me, and observe those who live according to the example you have in us.

3:18 For many live as enemies of the cross of Christ; I have often told you of them, and now I tell you even with tears.

3:19 Their end is destruction; their god is the belly; and their glory is in their shame; their minds are set on earthly things.

3:20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

3:21 He will transform the body of our humiliation that it may be conformed to the body of his glory, by the power that also enables him to make all things subject to himself.

4:1 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved.

Luke 13:31-35
13:31 At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, “Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.”

13:32 He said to them, “Go and tell that fox for me, ‘Listen, I am casting out demons and performing cures today and tomorrow, and on the third day I finish my work.

13:33 Yet today, tomorrow, and the next day I must be on my way, because it is impossible for a prophet to be killed outside of Jerusalem.’

13:34 Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!

13:35 See, your house is left to you. And I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.'”

Luke 9:28-36, (37-43a)
9:28 Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray.

9:29 And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white.

9:30 Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him.

9:31 They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.

9:32 Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him.

9:33 Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah” — not knowing what he said.

9:34 While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud.

9:35 Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!”

9:36 When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and in those days told no one any of the things they had seen.

9:37 On the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, a great crowd met him.

9:38 Just then a man from the crowd shouted, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son; he is my only child.

9:39 Suddenly a spirit seizes him, and all at once he shrieks. It convulses him until he foams at the mouth; it mauls him and will scarcely leave him.

9:40 I begged your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.”

9:41 Jesus answered, “You faithless and perverse generation, how much longer must I be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here.”

9:42 While he was coming, the demon dashed him to the ground in convulsions. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, healed the boy, and gave him back to his father.

9:43a And all were astounded at the greatness of God.

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