This is going to sound really odd, but what if the intimacy we are all craving is found in conflict? I am not saying we should host a create-your-own-conflict party and see how messy everyone can be. I am saying that the conflict is already there, and it is what we do with it that becomes the issue. What if instead of just having an inner healing team that helped people with their issues, we had a CONFLICT RESOLUTION MINISTRY that helped the choir director with their issues with the youth group leader? Or the children’s pastor and the mother? Or the head pastor’s wife and the janitor? What if those places of conflict became the greatest places of intimacy-producing healing? What if instead of walking around pretending to get along, we actually did get along because our relationships, even our conflict, sharpened us, refined us, and made us more like Him? I was connecting with a friend starting a church plant, and I asked him, “What are you going to do with the conflict?” He replied that he knew it would be there, BUT… At this point, I interrupted him and suggested maybe it was time the church did conflict as the main event instead of preaching a good talk but never learning how to walk it out in reality. No one has to tell a church leader about conflict any more than a parent is aware of sibling conflict. In conflict, there are two healthy solutions – allow the pain and discomfort of the present situation to reveal what inside you needs to be healed and aligned with Him OR allow the pain and discomfort of the present situation to make you more like Jesus as you learn to love people who are challenging, messy and wounded. The people who have hurt me the most are the ones God has used to bring greater healing. They aren’t the enemy, the devil is, but as promised, God uses it for good.
Hurt In The Church
We are not called to manage God’s house. We are not managers. When leaders operate like managers, they will treat God’s house like a modern-day business. This breeds a confusing hurt more than anything. God wants His house to be stewarded by mothers and fathers who know His heart for His children. Orphan leadership – when leaders do not know who they are – causes leaders to operate out of the wrong kingdom. When a leader is leading through those orphan places, God often allows someone who has more freedom in that area to walk into their church or join their team. There will be a natural tension between the leader that needs growth and the other person walking in freedom. The leader has two choices. They either exercise their authority through the fire hose of fear, shame, intimidation, and control to shut the person down so that the leader can feel safe and comfortable or go low with God about their lack and need for Him in that area. The choice will either strengthen or weaken the family. It will either bring increased growth or welcome hurt and pain for all parties involved.
Disempowerment is the least ordained tool because you cannot disempower Jesus inside of someone. It is hard to feel confident and significant when you have been disempowered. However, that is not how God sees things. In fact, I believe we will see a day when parents look to their children and learn more about the Kingdom through them. I also believe healthy leaders will see, hear, and value what their flock has to say because they have had the revelation that we have moved so far away from His design.
I have felt the presence of God come over me in a real and tangible way, but never before have I experienced it as strongly as I did when I saw a leader and God gave me a word for them. The weight of His presence was so heavy I could not move my feet to go approach the leader. It took me almost five minutes to get my feet to move. When I got to the leader, I began to prophesy, and I said, “You are going to lead a revolt out of the church…” I stopped as something alarmed my mind, and I was perplexed by my words. He is a leader of the church, and why am I declaring he is going to be leading a revolt? Before my mind could process it, I continued with the prophetic word and said, “You are going to lead a revolt out of the church… and into the arms of Jesus.” Tears came freely for both of us. Jesus is indeed doing a new thing and restoring our hearts back to the first love and real purpose of His House.
God is saying that the first HARVEST is what HE has sown into the lives of His children. Before there is a mass harvest of lost souls INTO the church, there will be a harvest of His children BACK into the church. God so passionately cares for His creation who do not know Him. And He has much to say about those who have come but have been sent away. Decree and declare today that our family – our brothers and sisters – would return back to Him.
This should break our hearts as it does His. A mom lost her parents at a very early age and was walking through her son battling a terminal illness. Her husband left her in the middle of it, and she was left traumatized by debilitating grief. No church leader came to pray for her son or rally around her; instead, she received an official church letter stating she needed to be removed because she had not met the membership requirements of attendance. Picture yourself in her shoes getting the mail that day.
A young man who came from a very troubled home found a youth group where he met Jesus for the first time. He attempted suicide and was released from the hospital weeks later. All he wanted to do was find a ride so he could get back to his group. When he finally arrived, he was greeted by the leader, who told him there was a meeting with the senior leadership and elders, who all decided it was wise for him not to be a part of that group since he was a bad influence on the other children. Picture yourself in his shoes, walking away from the building that day.
This generation is so tired of the prideful leaders who build their own platforms and houses. If the church doesn’t look like a hospital for the wounded, a welcome place for sinners, and a school for those learning, then it is not the gospel of Jesus Christ and mocks the power of His blood to transform orphans into Sons and Daughters. Lord, let our heart break for what breaks Yours. Jesus, shake our churches until they look like You again.
The reason why God is so grieved about abortions is that He specifically wired that human being to be part of the solution to the world around them. They are a unique expression of Him with special gifts and assignments that no one else has. He has plans for them. When someone aborts that life, it grieves the Creator. Every seed and gift are important by His design since the natural realm mimics what is going on in the spiritual realm. I passionately believe one of the reasons why abortion has progressed the way it has in our land is because churches have been performing spiritual abortions on God’s children for years. God knows what He is doing in our lives and gives each of us our destinies – a purpose on earth to partner with what He is doing in the world around us. It takes time to cultivate, and a loving Father makes sure His children know WHO they are (identity) before giving them the revelation of destiny. It is a process that evolves over time, not an instant. God cares deeply about each person, gift, and the role they play. His precious children begin to learn they have something such as the gift of worship, praying, prophesying, leading, teaching, stewarding revelation, praying for the sick, and begin to partner with the calling on their lives. They are immature in their gifts and need mothers and fathers who aren’t afraid of their messy process. Instead, they are met with leaders who run God’s house like a self-imposed royal emperor and dictate who is worthy of participating. They shut down God’s precious ones and shun them away for not getting it right, not fitting their brand, or measuring up to their worldly standard. I believe it is God’s heart to deal with the scores of spiritual abortions the church performs weekly. It is not man’s house. It is not man’s platform. It is not man’s mission. It is GOD’S and God’s alone. God cares deeply about the seeds He places in each of us and wants to see them be birthed and matured through the love and covering of mothers and fathers, not aborted.
There are so many people struggling with the church right now. It can be a very confusing and unusual thing to steward. They love Jesus but have no taste for the church. I am seeing this in adults, young adults, and even children who are saying they don’t want to return. God calls us to come together and not give up the habit of meeting together. Something happens when we become a Body worshiping, connecting, and seeking Him together. Our bodies are wired to be together. I think it is important to realize what is at the root of pulling away from church because it can be a slippery slope if not understood. I saw a picture of a snake shedding its skin. The skin represents the ‘old church’ and the things that are being shed off, but the actual snake is still the church. You know that was a vision from God because I do not speak well of snakes, and it was such an odd animal to use to describe the church, but the shedding of the skin is an unusual process. The skin represents the man-made rules that have entered the house of God, the operating systems that are to serve man, not God, and the impurities that violate the righteousness of God. He is purifying the church by shedding off the old skin to make room for the new skin that is emerging. Let the old skin GO, but do not reject the church. This requires some intentional time with the Father to seek and understand what He is doing.
God spoke to me years ago and said, “The same spirit you are encountering in the church is the same spirit that was in operation in your childhood. The reason it is so painful is that you endured it in childhood but did not overcome it.” It was so true. When my mom passed away, I no longer encountered that spirit with her and never learned how to defeat it. When I was faced with it again in the church, God was teaching me not to endure it, as I did as a little girl, but to rise up and defeat it. While I have no authority over someone else’s free will, I had all of the authority given to me by Jesus to demolish that spirit from operation in my life and coming under it. After God spoke this to me, this is how I responded: I had to first discern that it was a spirit and not me. Then I had to discern what was the spirit in operation. I asked Jesus to give me the strategy to defeat and overcome that spirit. I am intentional about releasing the opposite spirit. Where I wanted God to save me from it, He wanted to teach me my authority in Him.
I had a vision that took my breath away. I saw a BRIDE who was so stunning. At first, I thought it was a mannequin, but I realized she was a living being that was frozen in place. Her dress was the most eloquent thing I ever saw. No lace or accessories, just a solid satin dress. The purity in her simplicity was captivating. The color was so white it was iridescent. As I looked closer, I saw tiny chunks of her dress were missing. It looked like Swiss cheese. How odd. I knew it wasn’t a style of fashion, but that something was really wrong. I heard the Lord say, “Those missing parts are my children who were pushed out, removed, or banned from my Body.”
We spend so much effort climbing mountains to be influencers, yet if we would only spend half as much time going after the ones who are already believers but have been sent away, we would see a resurrection of His Body on earth like never before. While salvation should always be on our hearts, we also need to burn for those who never got a chance to live in the Body on the other side of salvation.
Pray and ask God to show you if there is anyone in your circle who represents the missing pieces of the Bride. Pray them back into the Body.