Wednesday, July 31, 2013

“Accelerating Through Walls of Pain and Sorrow” by Garris Elkins

This week we were in a time of corporate prayer at Living Waters Church in Medford, Oregon.  Our worship pastor, Andy Southmayd, was leading us in a moment of unscripted and spontaneous worship.  Andy began to sing the words, “Break down the walls”. He sang these words over and over.  Something was being released by God’s Spirit into our gathering.

As we sang the words, “Break down the walls”, I began to see an image.  It was of the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.  These salt flats are made up of miles and miles of flat, powdery salt from a long-evaporated lake.  The salt flats are so flat and obstacle-free that they have become the single most significant place on earth from which to attempt land speed records.  These salt flats are free from the debris that could cause a catastrophic event if even a rock the size of a pebble were to be in the way of a jet car running at 700 miles per hour.

As we continued to worship and sing words about walls breaking down, I saw a believer, someone who represents all of us, sitting in the seat of a jet-powered vehicle.  As I watched, the ignition of the jet engine took place and the vehicle began to accelerate, moving towards a record-breaking event.  All of the natural surroundings blurred as the speed continued to increase.

As the driver began to focus on the distant horizon, a wall constructed in the roadway began to appear. It would be impossible to swerve out of its way.  The brakes could not stop the vehicle in time.  Collision was imminent.

From a distance the wall had words written on it – words like, “Abuse”, “Wound”, “Violation”, “Hurt” and “Betrayal”.  As this event unfolded, the Lord spoke and said to the driver, “Speak to the wall and say, ‘I forgive and let go.’”

There wasn’t anytime for human reasoning or justification.  A crash was imminent. There was no time to figure out who was wrong.  There was no time to attach blame.  This was all taking place in that split-second moment between when the driver first saw the wall and a collision was about to take place.

The supernaturally accelerating vehicle continued to gain speed while the driver was still speaking to the wall.  As the last word came out of his mouth the vehicle struck the wall and instead of destroying the driver and the vehicle, as would happen in a natural event, the vehicle accelerated even more as it passed through the wall that had now become a wall of vapor and dust.

The event was not over.  The driver saw another wall with other names on it describing hurtful events from past seasons of life.  Again, the driver cried out, “I forgive and let go”, and this wall also exploded on impact and the acceleration increased again.  This wall crashing and acceleration continued to take place until all the walls had been destroyed and the driver and vehicle continued to move at even higher levels of supernaturally accelerated speed.

I sense this is a picture of what God is doing in His people in this season. We are in a time of supernatural acceleration.  We have entered the equivalent of a supernatural salt flat. The only obstacles in our way are those we choose to allow to remain. Things are about to happen so fast that much of what we have known in the past will become a blurred backdrop to the new work God has planned. These fast approaching walls of past wounds will not allow us time to rationalize or strategize our way out of an imminent collision.

There are two collisions approaching the people of God - collisions that can destroy us because we hang onto an offense or collisions that we will accelerate through into new dimensions of life and revelation because we chose to humble ourselves before God and His people in acts of repentance and forgiveness.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

“New Names for a New Season” by Garris Elkins

For the last few weeks the Lord has been speaking to me and saying that He is releasing new names for a new season. As I waited and listened to the Lord, He began to share His heart for His Church.

You are about to experience a name change. This will not be a change of your given name, but a name change in the Spirit. I am making this change so you will come into this new season fully defined for the work I am about to accomplish.

You will also carry with you new names to pronounce upon those who feel lost in hopelessness and disillusionment. When you speak these new names new seasons will be released. Rise up and begin to speak these new names and watch what I am about to do.

Some of you have allowed natural definitions to define and limit My work in your life. Make an exchange with Me.  Give Me the old names attached to defeat and a dreamless life and I will give you new names filled with hope and the promise of a future.

In this day, I am doing a name change among my people. As your receive these new names you will carry them into new territory. Rise up prophets and begin to prophesy new names to My people. 

         Where fatalism has stolen a future prophesy the name, “Hopeful One.”

         Where dreamers have stopped dreaming call them a “Dreamer of God.”

         Where people feel disconnected call them the “Redeemed of the Lord.”

         Where someone has been forsaken, declare the name, “Beloved.”

Just as My word entered the void and formless mass at Creation, so will your words spoken in My name accomplish the same creative effect when released into those who hear these words.  The unconnected elements in their lives will begin to form a new season when they assemble around My word.

Begin to rejoice like new parents naming a child yet to be born. Prepare to believe and dream again.  Begin to live in the expectation of greater things. I have given you a new name for a new season to do a new work.”  

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

“An Apology to Mr. and Mrs. Iscariot” by Garris Elkins

When I read the story of Judas Iscariot betraying Jesus, I find myself wanting to distance myself from him.  Maybe my need to keep my distance is because I have found him living in me from time-to-time when I have betrayed the things that God holds dear. This distancing helps me perpetuate the illusion that if I just stay away from all things Judas that I won’t “catch” what Judas had.

I have come to realize, as we distance ourselves from the Judas-like people in our lives, that we are also distancing ourselves from the families who called Judas their son, brother, cousin and grandson – all the way down the family line.

Up until the moment John Wilkes Booth shot President Lincoln while he sat in Ford’s Theater, Booth was just another safe and familiar family name.  Everything changed for the descendants of Lee Harvey Oswald when he assassinated President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas. Up until the moment when Oswald fired his bullets from the window of the book depository, Oswald was also just another family name. The actions of a single person can have devastating effects on an entire family line and the perception of their name.

Whenever an individual pulls the trigger on a negative response to life, and that response deals death by their words or actions, the weight of that decision is laid upon the surviving family members.  After the event, whenever the name of the perpetrator is mentioned in public, the family image is filtered through the painful events of the one who did the deed.

I try to image what the Iscariot family must have felt when their son betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. “Judas, what were you thinking?  We did not raise you that way!”  Even the biblical record tries to distinguish Judas Iscariot from the other people in that culture who bore the same name – “Judas, not Judas Iscariot, but the other disciple with that name.” John 14:22

Maybe today we need to look around the fringes of our culture and find a contemporary version of the Iscariot family who are living in the shadows of shame over the actions of one of their loved ones.  It would be just like Jesus to have us approach them and say, “Mr. and Mrs. Iscariot, please forgive me for not coming earlier. I was afraid that if I were seen with you that part of my brokenness that has betrayed others would be exposed.  I am sorry.  It was not your fault.  Please forgive me.”