Greetings, precious Saints.
This message is really for the forerunners: those who know that they're ahead of the rest of the Body, breaking through the way and experiencing things that the Body has not yet walked into, and making a way where there was no way for the rest of the Body to pass through. So really, I'm talking to the Tip of the Spear this morning, but what I'm saying will apply to the rest of the Body of Christ in a short period of time, because the direction that the tip of the spear goes, the rest of the head of the spear follows. Remember, I've spoken many times about the tip of the spear passing through heavenly frequencies and hearing words and sounds and messages before the time that the rest of the Body hears them. This is in order for them to be equipped and prepared to lead the way and show the Body where to go.
So, for the last two weeks, ever since I started speaking about the oil and the wine first fruits offering, the Lord has been emphasizing pressing & pressure. In every single time I've spent with the Lord, He's been speaking to me about the pressure and the pressing and the narrow place that the tip of the spear is in at this time. And I kept getting this picture of a strait of water between two high, jagged, rocky cliffs. If any of you have seen a picture of a strait - have a look on a map of the world or search the word ‘strait’, and you will come up with pictures of a very narrow passage from one body of water to another, and it's usually accompanied by very high and treacherous rocks and land masses on either side. I really had a sense that the Spirit was emphasizing the words ‘dire straits’.
Now, if we consider the scenario of a ship having to pass through a narrow strait of water in order to reach the next point in its charted journey, we know that the only way for the ship to pass safely through to the other side (without crashing into the rocks on either side) is to put its rudder in a straight position and keep it there for the entire journey through the narrow, dangerous place. Now, precious remnant, If we lift our heads and look into the spiritual realm, we can see a narrow strait directly ahead of us. We can see that we're going to be going through dire straits. The phrase ‘dire straits’ means ‘very difficult circumstances, a very pressurized, dangerous place, where one wrong move can result in shipwreck and destruction’. And we know from what we see unfolding on the world scene that for Believers there are dire straits up ahead, as the new world order is being rolled out. But for the Tip of the Spear Company; the forerunners, they are beginning to navigate dire straits in their own circumstances. Already, they feel extreme pressure in the spirit from every side and the way forward looks very narrow and very dangerous. So, if you are part of this forerunner company, you probably have a sense in your spirit of great alertness. You may not be sleeping much. The Spirit may be waking you up in the night to pray in tongues, showing you things to pray. You may be very aware of the enemy poised on either side of you, wanting you to make one wrong move and end up in dire straits & destruction. Now, James 4 speaks of the tongue as being a rudder.
‘Behold, also the ships being so great and driven by fierce winds, yet they are turned about with a very small rudder where the impulse of him steering desires.’
I believe that the Lord is issuing a warning that in the stormy wind that is about to hit, we are to align our tongues to His plumb line of truth and bind them there. If He has given promises from the Word concerning our future, which lies in the large body of water on the other side of the strait, then we are to keep on speaking aloud and believing this word of promise, no matter how narrow or how difficult the journey through the strait is.
Paul speaks of a time when he felt pressed on every side:
2 Corinthians 1:8 ‘For brothers, we would not have you ignorant of our trouble, which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, so much so that we despaired even of life. But we had the sentence of death in ourselves so that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead’.
So, here we see Paul describing himself in such trouble and circumstances that their own strength was not meet for it, that they felt powerless and unable to help themselves. And they felt even that there was a sentence of death over them and that they were not going to be able to escape - such were the dire straits they were in! But he says in verse nine, the reason that they were allowed to be brought into this place was so that they should not trust in their own strength, in their own ability, in their own wisdom and their own understanding, but in God who raises the dead. In other words, they had to put themselves so fully in God's hand in the dire straits they were in, that even should their enemies achieve their goal of killing them, that the resurrection power of God would raise them up.
And that may be also in your circumstances, where God has given you a promise, whether you are believing to build an endtime refuge and have been waiting upon God for finance, and He's even given you blueprints and plans - but yet the finance has not come. You may know that God is taking you into something for Kingdom purposes, and yet the way is just getting narrower and narrower and harder and harder. And you look ahead in the spirit and you think, “Dear Lord, I don't think I have the strength or the power to get through this dire strait I see straight ahead. I do not even know how to come into the place where I walk in the fullness of the manifestation of Your promises to me.” Beloved, the reason why God allows the dire strait and the very narrow passageway through to the next chapter is because He wants us to place our faith so fully in His resurrection power that even death should have no sting for us. He's wanting to deliver us completely of fear.
Now, we are going into a time when we must place our trust completely in God, our Father, no matter whether we always understand what is happening around us. It's time for the faith and the trust of a little child who will sit upon his Father's lap with His big, strong arms around him and know total peace - no matter the intensity of the lashing winds and the lightning strikes overhead, no matter how big and looming those sharp, jagged rocks are on either side of you as you move slowly through the strait. You've got to have complete faith and trust in the character and the nature and the unchanging Word of our Father God.
This is why the Lord is stressing the importance of lashing the rudder of our tongues to the rock solid Word and allowing ourselves to speak nothing contrary during our passage through the strait. If we deviate from the plumb line of His promise to us and we begin to speak other thoughts and act upon those thoughts because we are looking at the sharp, jagged rocks; because we are feeling the pressure of the enemy on either side as they utter foul threats, we will find ourselves veering off course. And because the strait is so narrow, there is no room for error in navigational calculations. We must trust Him no matter what readings our natural senses are giving us! To chart our course using the readings of our eyes and ears at this time is to invite disaster. We have yielded our whole heart lives to Christ. He is the Captain of our ships and we must line up with His spoken word over us in order to traverse safely through this very difficult, narrow place and the stormy weather that is raging as we pass through it.
There is a description of the people of God being in straits in one Samuel 13. It contains a very strong warning for those of us entering the straight ahead of us. The Philistines had gathered to fight the Israelites, and the sight of the enemy arrayed against them made them panic.
1 Samuel 13:6 ‘When the men of Israel saw that they were in a strait, for the people were distressed, then the people did hide themselves in caves and in thickets and in rocks and in high places and in pits...’
They were doing everything they could to get away from the enemy. And King Saul was waiting for Samuel to come, and he did not arrive within a week. So Saul decided to take things into his own hands and offered up the burnt offering himself. Now that is a complete transgression of the spiritual order of God, because a king was not allowed to offer up the burnt offering. Only the Prophet could do it. 1 Samuel 13:11 says this:
‘Samuel said, ‘What have you done?’ and Saul said, ‘Because I saw that the people were scattered from me and you did not come in the days appointed and the Philistines gathered themselves at Michmash, and I said, The Philistines will come down to me now to Gilgal and I have not made supplication to the Lord and I forced myself and offered a burnt offering’. And Samuel said to Saul, ‘You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you, for now the Lord would have established Your Kingdom in Israel forever, but now Your Kingdom shall not stand. The Lord sought Him a man after His own heart, and the Lord has appointed him to be leader over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.’
Notice that Saul's rash choice during this time of dire straits caused him to lose his kingdom. He did things God had not appointed him to do because he leaned on his natural understanding and got into a total panic. His natural senses were feeding him panic readings, and he responded in the flesh. And sadly, he did not realize that the narrow strait he was passing through led either to the fullness of his destiny or his demise.
Jesus himself also spoke of passing through a strait in Luke 13:24. He says:
‘Strive to enter in at the narrow gate…’
Now, in the King James version, it says, ‘Strive to enter in at the strait gate’. What is that telling us? That's telling us that it's not going to be easy to go through the narrow or the strait gate, it's going to look difficult. It's going to look like there is danger to yourself personally to choose that gate. It's going to look like it's not wise at the time you passing through to go through the narrow gate. But Jesus says:
‘I say to you, many will seek to enter in and will not be able. And once the master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. He will answer and say, I do not know you. Where are you from? And then you will begin to say, we ate and drank in Your presence and You've talked in our streets.’
“Come on, Jesus, you know us…. Let us in!”
‘But He shall say, I tell you, I do not know you, or from where you are, depart from Me, all you workers of unrighteousness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you will see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the Kingdom of God and yourselves being thrust out’.
So we see here, Beloved, that these dire straits and this narrow gate that the bondslave remnant of God is passing through now - and the rest of the Body will be required to pass through in a very short time, is one that decides whether the Lord recognizes and accepts you, or whether He says, “depart from Me. I do not know where you come from. Beloved of God. Be aware of the season we are in when you are pressed on every side”. What terrifying words to hear! Do not be tempted to come up with your own solution to the crisis at hand. Do not trust the feedback of your five senses. They will push you to lean on your own understanding and to make choices that will cause you to deviate from the prescribed safe path through the strait.
The only way you will navigate the strait is by being hidden in Christ and declaring and decreeing the promise of God to you, and by resting and trusting in the Rock of Ages. Be hidden in Christ. The temptation in times that we are facing is to DO something, because the danger of destruction seems to be looming over you, like the rocky ledges of the cliffs on either side of the strait. But God wants you to rest and trust and listen to His still small voice, rather than the shouts of your sense of self-preservation. If you are resting and trusting, you can put one foot in front of the other as His word shines light on your path. But do not say, “I can't go through this narrow way. I'm going to choose another path. There must be another way around this. I'm going to do something. I don't want to be destroyed. I'm going to do this, this and this...” Trust Him. TRUST HIM. Don't trust your five senses. Trust the still small Voice deep in your heart. And lash your tongue to the Word of God. It is unshakeable.
There is another passage that speaks of the danger of choosing your own plan of action. It's in Isaiah 30: 15
‘For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, in returning and rest, shall you be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength. And you would not. But you said no, for we will flee upon horses, therefore shall you flee, and we will ride upon the swift, therefore shall they that pursue you be swift. 1000 shall flee at the rebuke of one and at the rebuke of five shall you flee, till you be left as a beacon on the top of a mountain and as an ensign on a hill. And therefore, will the Lord wait that He may be gracious to you, and therefore, will He be exalted, that He may have mercy upon you. For the Lord is a God of judgment, and blessed are all they that wait for Him.’
Now, that does not mean that you do nothing. If you're resting and trusting in the Lord and He wakes you up in the morning watch, and He says to you, “Today, I want you to do this, this and this, get in your car, go here and you will not be returning,” then you are to obey, but you are never to take instructions from the spirit of fear or the voice of panic, because they will surely lead you to destruction. To trust in the strength of man and the wisdom of man at this time is not a good thing. Because only God lives outside of time and He knows every detail of what is ahead. In fact, He is already there! Everyone else in the Body of Christ sees and part and understands in part. But Jesus said He would send us the Spirit of Truth that would lead us into all truth, that He would take that which is Christ's and give it to us; that He would repeat the words He'd heard from the Father, and he would show us the things that are to come.
Now, there's some saints who are saying that they've been in a narrow place for some time already and that the Lord has likened it to experiencing the birth pangs and being propelled down the birth canal to one's destiny. The birth canal is surely a narrow passageway. And the question is, “surely it's not about to become even narrower?” What I believe the Lord would have me say to you is - Yes, you have been making progress down the narrow passageway towards the full light of a new day. And the pressure you have experienced have been the birth pangs of a new season approaching. However, you are about to experience the journey through the opening of the birth canal, so to speak. (We're talking about the cervix). So, it's a very short distance, relatively speaking, considering the long way you have come, but it is the point of greatest resistance and there is intense pressure upon your mind. However, it is the gateway to the large, open place that He has promised to bring you into.
It is the point at which you need to die to your own understanding and your own wisdom, and rest and trust Him to bring to pass His promises for you and surely complete them - even when they look utterly impossible at this time. It is the place of being pressed beyond measure and trusting in God who raises the dead! You know, when a baby's head passes through the last gateway of birth, the head bones of the baby get compressed and overlap one another. God designed them not to be completely sealed and fused in place, but those four partial domes of the skull are not completely joined in order that they may slightly overlap and become smaller in order to be able to pass through the aptly named ‘ring of fire’ into the place of full birth. And that's why babies’ heads often look kind of squashed when they're born. But that is such a amazing prophetic picture of your mind sets and your understandings being pressed and adjusting to the size of the place God is bringing you through. If you have rigid mindsets about how everything is going to work out, you're not going to get through that place. You are going to die in the birth canal. It is a narrow strait which will birth you into the fullness of all you have only you have seen only with the eye of faith and there is no other way through, so be flexible and yield your narrow understanding to His wisdom. It is the time of the crowning of the head; the place of breaking through. And Isaiah 66 says to us, he does not bring to the point of birth and not bring forth. He who brings to the point of birth does not close the womb.
So don't look at the size of the cliffs. Don't look at the strength of the stormy wind. Don't listen to the bragging and the threats of the enemy arrayed on either side of those cliffs. Lash your rudder to the plumb line of His promises and confidently continue to declare in the face of the storm every promise He has ever given you. It's at this time of the crowning of the head, of passing through the dire strait that we rediscover the unbelievably beautiful and trustworthy character of our Father. You know, Jesus, the Son of God, knew the character of His father - and that is why He was willing to come and to die, because He trusted the word of His Father that He would be resurrected from the dead. And it's only when you know the character of someone that you can completely put your trust in them. So, this is a period we're going to go through of discovering the incredible faithfulness of God. I don't know where this verse is, but it says that ‘the eyes of the Lord are upon those who fear Him, who hope in His mercy, to deliver them from death and to keep them alive in famine’.
2 Corinthians 4:7 ‘We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the exceeding greatness of the power may be of God and not of ourselves. We are pressed on every side, yet not straitened. We are perplexed, but not unto despair, pursued, but not forsaken, smitten down, yet not destroyed. Always bearing about in the body the dying of Jesus, that the life also of Jesus may be manifested in our body’.
And verse 13 says, ‘We have the same spirit of faith according as it is written. I believed, and therefore have I spoken. We also believe, and therefore we speak’…
Speak His promised word to yourself. Declare to others who bring bad weather reports to you the word of life that is planted in your heart. Let the atmosphere resound with the sound of His spoken word, which cannot return void. And thus rightly aligned, let the ship of your life cut through those churning waters, until you are safely in full view of all that He has whispered to your heart.
Now I just want to discuss with you the actual word that is translated ‘strait’ in the Bible. You find it in Lamentations 1:3, where it says, ‘Judah is gone into captivity because of affliction and because of great bondage. She dwells among the heathen and finds no rest. All her persecutors overtook her between the straits…’
and that word ‘straits’ is ‘metsar’, which means ‘something tight, or, figuratively, distress, pain, straits’. And it comes from a root word, which means .the stomach of a cow.. That's quite interesting because a cow chews the cud. In other words, that piece of cud experiences being coughed up and swallowed and digested a bit more, coughed up, chewed a bit more. In other words, there's repetitive pressure and trouble; there is distress. This is what a dire strait is like. It's just one thing after the other after the other. And that word metsar (It's Strong's H4712, if you want to look it up) is also found in Psalm 116:3, where it says, ‘The sorrows of death come encompassed me about and the pains of hell got hold of me. I found trouble and sorrow’. And it's that word they've translated ‘pains’ that is the same word as ‘straits’. So, we see it's describing a very difficult time.
And for those who are experiencing that very difficult strait at this time, I want to say to you, God is going to bring you through it. The same God you surrendered your life to is going to bring you through it. We also find that word ‘strait’ translated as ‘distress’ in Psalm 118:5,. And here we see the perfect description of God bringing you through that narrow waterway to the other side.
‘I called upon the Lord in my distress, and the Lord answered me, and He brought me forth into a large place’
… into a place where you can breathe, into an open place. So that is a very apt description of passing through a dire strait - out of my distress. I called upon the Lord and the Lord answered me and He brought me forth into a large place.
Ps 118:6 ‘the Lord is on my side. I will not fear. What can man do to me? The Lord is on my side and takes my part. He is among those who help me. Therefore, I will see my desire established upon those who hate me. It is better to trust and take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust and take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in princes. All the surrounding tribes compass me about, but in the name of the Lord, I will cut them off. They surrounded me on every side, but in the name of the Lord, I will cut them off. They swarmed about me like bees. They blaze up and are extinguished like a fire of thorns. And in the name of the Lord, I will cut them off. You, my adversary, thrust solely at me that I might fall, but the Lord helped me. The Lord is my strength and my song, and He has become my salvation. The voice of rejoicing is in the tents and the private dwellings of the righteous, and the right hand of the Lord does valiantly and achieves strength. I shall not die, but live and declare the works of the Lord.
Know that the Lord is fighting for you. When you commit yourself into the Lord's hand, the whole of your life and the whole weight of your circumstances, God takes that seriously, and His unchanging, faithful character goes to work to bring you through it. And He's fighting for you. The strong right hand of the Lord will bring you through this. So do not succumb to fear. Do not entertain panic. Do not follow the large flock of sheep running around in circles, saying, “What's going to happen to us? What's going to happen to us?” We are of a different kingdom. Our Father is upon the throne of the universe, and He is supremely and utterly faithful - and the dire straits that you see yourself going through ahead (or even if you're already passing through them) will become an occasion for you to shout from the rooftops your experience of His incredible faithfulness and beautiful character.
May the Lord give you His peace. Made the peace of God mount guard over your heart and your mind as you trust in Him. Amen and amen. And now unto Him, who is able to keep you from falling and to present you faultless before the Father, to the only wise God, our Father be glory and majesty and power and dominion from this time forth and forever. Amen.