ABSALOM SPIRIT

One of the things I was hearing as I was awakening today was, “Spirit of Absalom”. I heard it clearly.

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I was aware of some of what it meant, and having spent yesterday’s preaching in GVC talking about the battles of moving into a new season, I am reflecting on how this spirit works to attempt to bring division and fragmentation to churches [and organisations and workplaces], and I think it’s especially so, as God is about to move in fresh outpouring, and the shift emerges.

Absalom was David’s son, but he became inwardly bitter and jealous where he felt he had been overlooked, and he used his position in the king’s family combined with his good looks and likeableness (natural and spiritual giftings), to undermine the rightful rule of his father via stealth. He went out of his way to recruit people to his cause so that he could influence the direction of the palace in the way he wanted, and in his case overthrow his father’s rule.

This kind of behaviour is very common in the world we live in, and I believe, undermines many churches in their Divine Mandate; their unique “raison d’être”. We are all potentially prey to it. Yet it often becomes the operating ground of a spirit that is intent on division and destruction, and which seeks to derail new things that God is doing. It may promote a soulish attachment to things that belonged to a past-season, or to a particular style of doing things, but which are no longer relevant in the main scheme of where God is moving now. Or it focuses on a pet-area of life in a previous church which an individual has carried with them into a new situation, and which they want to see happening again. It will raise a discontentment or dissatisfaction with something in a church or organisation – what isn’t happening and ‘should be’ – and it will look for those who ‘agree’. It may be true that ‘so and so’ is not happening, but it may also be true that God hasn’t asked the appointed leader(s) to do this ‘so and so’ but to focus on something else. The point is, it appeals to ‘soul’ rather than the true spiritual. Gossip, a party spirit, and subtle (or not so subtle) forms of attempted manipulation ensue. At its heart is an authority-wound that has led to pride and mistrust, and ultimately rebellion and lawlessness. As we move forward may we truly have grace to flush it out of our hearts and lifestyles.

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This is such a crucial issue in remaining on track as we come closer to the return of Jesus. He Himself warned that in the last days lawlessness will abound and the result will be a cooling off of genuine love. We cannot afford cold-love. We cannot afford lawlessness. The Kingdom of God operates with precise order and authority, which is rooted in perfect love. This is the only Kingdom the Holy Spirit will promote and release. I pray we can all align more with Him in His assignment.

We can see the working of this spirit in Judas Iscariot, who most likely was offended in some way with the direction Jesus’s ministry had taken, AND who had heart issues of greed that were not dealt with, even in the intimate Presence of Jesus. Both Absalom and Judas ended up hanging from trees, which indicates that they were cursed in this which they pursued.

The origin of ‘Absalom behaviour’ is seen in Lucifer himself, who became obsessed with his own gifting, image, and wisdom – not realising they were given to him to function effectively within strict parameters of ministry. These same three are potential stumbling blocks for us all:

  1. My giftings and skills. I can be deceived by ‘how good I am’ or ‘how good other people say I am’ and pride subtly slithers into my heart.
  2. My image, or looks. We step over into ‘how did I perform?’ We become too aware of what we look like, rather than what HE is looking like through us – or of being equally content – and with no change of behaviour – when we are not ‘performing’ or are unnoticed.
  3. My wisdom. If I have a particular understanding or revelation, it’s because God lovingly gave it to me. It’s not so I can show it off, or use it to compete with another. Humanly, we love to parade our revelations. I’ve done that myself before now! But it leads to pride, and living for the approval of men. Any ‘wisdom’ that ceases to walk in honour, godly submission, and true humility, isn’t actually wisdom, but foolishness. James says, it is sourced in the flesh, the world, and the demonic.

If you are a leader in pastoral care or mercy ministry for a group of people, or in some kind of music ministry, especially beware of this spirit. It wants to take you out. If you’ve been offended by a senior leader as well, be doubly aware! Deal with the heart issues. Forgiveness, humility, and patient honour are the keys. You have to go ‘down’ in order to go ‘up’.

If you are a senior leader, take stock of anywhere you have not listened to or followed-through on promises to others who are serving with you. If you can, humbly address the issues now, and remove what you are able to of the landing ground for this spirit. Repent and seek reconcilliation. However, you should never ultimately compromise the divine mandate you have been given on account of someone else’s (soulish) preferences. Ultimately, you’re the one who has to give account to the One Who has commissioned you.

All of us, let’s continually go to God for more healing of our hearts, and more of His softening and renewing Presence. Let’s learn to repent and to forgive really quickly, as a lifestyle. Let’s not allow any bitter roots to take up ground in our lives. Let’s walk securely knowing we are loved and beloved by the Father. We have no need to perform but can live at rest in that love.

Wes


There is a helpful  list of “eight signs you are under the influence of an Absalom spirit” by John Burton.
Also, the late and dear John Paul Jackson talked about this spirit to Joni Lamb on Daystar TV.
It’s really worth checking them out and reflecting on them – and repenting, and renouncing these traits, anywhere we find them. May you blessed as you wholly follow the Lamb.
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BATTLE OF SEASONS

I believe we are in a seriously challenging season-change. What we see in the natural world right now – a kind-of battle between winter and spring as to which remains – is a reflection of something much deeper and far more powerful which is going on globally in the spiritual realm.

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At times of pressure – or unclear season change – where we can’t see what is yet to happen, it is easy to make Esau-type decisions. We react emotionally out of our limited grasp on what is going on, and we sacrifice the important for the unimportant; the long-term for the short-term pain relief; our birthright for [what we perceive are our] current ‘rights’.

Things to come are often shrouded by mist. Some of the methods of perception which we learned in a previous season, don’t seem to work the same. Our past experiences don’t provide enough wisdom for the next stage. It’s a Joshua 3 situation. The waters are in flood and threaten to sweep us away. Friends and family are trudging through mud. There’s a lot of noise, and a lot of fear around. And the promises of the new look like they are about to drown.

But God says He has earmarked this very time and place as a crossing-over point! And He says that we haven’t been this way before, so we can’t expect to rely on our experiences so far. Instead we must position ourselves so that we can see where He is moving and what He is doing next.

Our experience of the outward shifts are often dependent on corresponding inward shifts. Our mindsets have to change. Our stubbornness has to go to the cross. Our, “I did it my way” – which is lawlessness – and causes love to grow cold – has to yield to HIS way, which actually might be coming to us wrapped up in “someone else’s way”. We go lower, to go higher. We stop for the one. We bless and give even if it hurts to do so. We ‘bind the sacrifice with cords to the altar’ so that it – I – can’t get off. Ultimately the fire will come.

In House of Prayer today we prayed that we wouldn’t make decisions now which would take us out of line, down the line. I so need this myself.

So much has yet to break open. Season shifts sound great when you prophesy them, but as they work out in you it can be a different story! Let’s ask for grace to stay in a place of steadfastness. Like the watchman, keep your eyes on the glimmers of morning sunrise. God hasn’t forgotten you, but He’s going deeper in your heart, so that you can carry more of Him in the season ahead. He fully intends your crossing over – your shift – your season change.

Wes

TESTS WILL COME FOR TRANSITIONING 

As you seek to transition to new seasons in God, be aware of the ‘tests’ that the Father will send your way. Those tests are designed to bring out what is truly in your heart, and to measure the credibility gap between what you pray and preach, and what you actually do. Those tests will also probe the level you will trust God and the levels where you will interfere with or seek to control what He is doing. He tested the Israelite nation as they gathered at what to them were bitter waters. He tested them as they stood opposite the crossing point into the Promised Land. Their responses and choices affected who crossed over, and how long the transition season would actually last.

Last week in the amazing prayer guide from the European Evangelical Alliance, we read and prayed again over the most intimate of Jesus’s parables depicting the Father, as He knew Him. I was stirred again as I reflected on His incredible love and embrace.

It’s true to say that as the father’s younger son appeared on the horizon, everyone back home began to be tested. Customs and traditions would handle the situation one way; the Father, a totally different way. There was a test on everyone’s heart. Hence the father ran, as the guide pointed out, and in doing so made a loud declaration to the community that he was ok with this son returning home, and he wasn’t going to reject him, as customs said he should. We assume, thankfully, that the community accepted the father’s lead, because enough of them turned up for the welcome home party to make a noise of celebration that could be heard in the fields outside.The older son’s heart was tested too. And sadly he failed the test. I so realise how often there is a part of the older son in me; how easily I make judgements on others, and how difficult I can sometimes find it to be with those who don’t line up with a lifestyle I am personally comfortable with. But the Father, I know, is calling me – and all of us – to enter in to what He is like.

I believe that only as we do, will we pass the tests. This next season in God is, I believe, going to see a move of God amongst people groups and sectors of society that for the most part have so far been rare in our churches up to now. The responses we have to the ‘test cases’ will determine whether or not we are able to transition to the next season, or not. They will test whether God is able to continue bringing the cutting edge of revival and what He is about, into existing churches and movements, or whether He will have to start new ones that are more open to His broken bride and sons.

I pray for us in GVC having completed this past “week of prayer for the lost sons” that we will be irreversibly marked by what we have read and what we have prayed, and that as Father seeks to take us forward in reaching the lost and broken we will pass the tests He sends our way embracing those He has loved, called, and honoured in their journeys, first in a trickle, and then in a rush! Wes