Faith is not limited by distance. Living by faith must be blind to geographic distance and physical obstacles to fulfillment of that faith. We see this illustrated as Joshua and the nation of Israel were about to cross the Jordan River and enter the promised land. Joshua ordered the priests to go first and the nation would follow. Joshua 3:16 says ‘Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan River and their feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam…..’ Note that the priests, following Joshua’s directive, put their feet in the water at the edge of the river. Something started to happen to the river, but it did not where the priests had entered. The river started to back up at Adam, a town about 15 miles upstream. A supernatural dam was created pushing back the water ‘in a heap’ far from the feet of the priests, far from the point of their faith. The river water at the priest’s feet must have continued to move on past until all the water contained in those 15 miles of river bed passed on by and went downstream. When the water had passed by a pathway across the Jordan emerged and the people crossed over. This was a supernatural manifestation of faith.
I wonder what was going through the minds of the priests as the water continued to flow as they stood in the river. Did they notice it was diminishing in volume? Did they begin to question Joshua’s directive? Did they think ‘how long must I stand here to see the hand of God move’? Scripture does not reflect their thoughts only their actions. Whatever their thoughts were we only know that their act of faith caused a supernatural reaction 15 miles away that opened the way for Israel into the Promised Land.
Our acts of faith are not limited by geographic distance or physical barriers. Many leaders choose to go by what we see. If we don’t see what we desire immediately in front of us, we may question if it is going to happen. Our natural eyes may not be an accurate reflection of what God is doing or what is happening in the Spirit realm as a result of our faith.
Today you are acting by faith in some area of your life and ministry. Your feet are in the water on the edge of the Jordan, but the water is still flowing and remains an obstacle to moving forward. Faint not! Do not lose heart! Stand there…..wait for that supernatural event that will hold back the water in the distance. God is moving in faraway places bringing fulfillment to your faith. Stay focused and stay in the water. Somewhere faraway the water is being pushed ‘in a heap’ on your behalf!!
Corrective re-alignment is a blessing of grace. The New Covenant declares believers in Jesus are holy and pure in God’s sight. Col. 2:21, 22 says ‘Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now He has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation.’ Wow! Your spiritual position in Christ is holy and free from any blemish or accusation that could diminish who you are in Christ. It is our perfectly aligned spiritual position in grace, halleluiah!
Before you accepted Christ, you believed you were an enemy of God because of your behavior. Your behavior did not line up with God’s perfect standard of righteousness. Therefore you were not holy and had numerous blemishes on your record. You were not aligned with standard of the law (10 commandments and its regulations). You were vulnerable to accusation from the enemy, the devil. He would say ‘you are not good enough’ and he would be correct. You were not good enough to stand before the Father based upon the law. But now, because you have been reconciled back to the Father through your faith and belief in Jesus, you are aligned, (i.e. your spirit-man is reconciled) as holy, blemish free and resistant to any accusation from the devil about your righteousness, holiness and purity before the Father. What an awesome testimony of grace and goodness through Jesus to position us in good stead with the Father!
From this sure foundation leaders often ask ‘so what do we do about overt evil behavior or patterns of resisting Godly authority in the church? Are we to ignore it?’ How should leaders handle this issue in light of this (and many similar scriptures) that gives a clear picture of our righteous relationship with God? The answer is ‘We handle it the same way Paul did’. He offered an individual corrective re-alignment, when necessary, to maintain the integrity and protection of the church body. The flesh nature and the demonic will cooperate with each other in the church. This will require occasional corrective re-alignment for the common good. It is a blessing of grace. Church leaders, as delegated overseers of the people entrusted to them, carry responsibility for the overall well-being of those people (1 Peter 5:2, 3). Paul told Timothy, the pastor of the church in Ephesus, he should ‘correct, rebuke and encourage with great patience and careful instruction’ (2 Tim. 4:2). Correcting a believer does not in any way accuse, blemish, or threaten that person’s righteous alignment with the Father. It brings into alignment that which will wear and cause deterioration in the body unless corrected. It is a blessing of grace….they don’t deserve the blessing, but they get to participate. Leaders who are well grounded in grace will do so with great patience and care. The Father instituted Godly authority in the church to maintain alignment and authority within His kingdom. Therefore you do so as responsible leaders in that kingdom.
The anointing is the power and authority to accomplish something within the Kingdom of God. Jesus declared the essence of new covenant anointing soon after His 40 day wilderness experience upon the threshold of His ministry. He stood up in the temple and read Isaiah 61 saying, ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor’ (Luke 4:18, 19). The new covenant anointing and favor and all of its manifestations rest upon this declaration of the Messiah. He said ‘today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing’. It is here!
Many people in the Body of Christ seek some special anointing and favor from other people believing they don’t have enough or simply don’t have it at all. They believe that the anointing of Jesus is not sufficient. They believe that some man or woman can add to it. They seek ‘the man of God’ to get their anointing. Yet Col.1:27 says God has made known to us ‘the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.’ Christ in you is the anointing and favor spoken of by Jesus. It is that anointing to preach the good news gospel of undeserved favor and blessing through what Jesus accomplished for us. We may need to come into agreement with that anointing. We may need to open ourselves to release it as we minister to those around us. We may need to speak more boldly because of our confidence in that anointing, but……..it is already in YOU!!!! Christ is in YOU!!
One of the great travesties in the church is a belief that Jesus in us is not enough. A few years ago I was in Kenya, East Africa ministering with Deborah. One of our African friends spoke of spirit-filled pastors and evangelists going to witch doctors to get more anointing and prophetic words! Yes, I said spirit-filled!!!! There was also a prophet in Kenya who was selling ‘special anointing oil’ that, when purchased and used, would supposedly bring forth all kinds of anointing and manifestations. Needless to say, many paid the price to get that oil because they did not believe that what Jesus spoke in Luke 4 resided on the inside of them to provide what they were seeking. These are overt examples of people believing ‘Jesus is not enough’.
Most of us in the west cringe upon hearing this, yet the west has its own subtle, yet parallel phenomenon. We will send money in response to emotional appeals from TV personalities to obtain a ‘double anointing’ of our bank accounts, divine healing for our body and salvation for our children because we don’t believe that the anointing described by Jesus resides in us. We think there is something special about the person appealing, something more special than Jesus. We will read and forward emails that promise a special blessing or anointing if it is sent to 10 more people. We will seek out ‘prophets’ to give us a special word or blessing because the logos and rhema word of God is not enough. Ouch!!!! Yes, whether it’s Africa or America if we don’t believe we have the anointing and blessing of Jesus Christ in us, we will seek it and it’s manifestation through outside means. As leaders in the Body of Christ, we must embrace the truth spoken by Jesus in Luke 4 and verified and supported throughout the New Testament. Jesus in us is the anointing to do and declare all things that are of the Kingdom of God. We renew our minds to what Jesus said, come into agreement with what He has deposited in us by faith. It is the new covenant way of manifesting His Kingdom on earth.