The eyes of the Lord have always been roaming across the whole world, looking for those in whom He can show Himself strong (2 Chr 16:9), and He is still doing that right now. In fact, I believe His eyes are heightened because He is looking intently for a very specific group of people… a group of people who have submitted to His training over difficult times, paid the price to walk in spiritual maturity and now know how to respond in a way that not only glorifies Him but advances His will on the earth.
Globally, so many people are responding in many different ways to the pandemic. Amidst all the noise and craziness, God has not changed His focus. He is still doing what He has always done – keeping His eyes on His people, seeing what they are doing, and knowing whose hearts can display His glory. Because that’s what it’s all about. This is a time that satan has strategically been setting up for generations… but God has not been at all taken by surprise. In fact, He has a far more strategic plan at work, and satan is overplaying his hand. In the same way that if he’d known what was going to happen satan would never have crucified the Lord of glory (1 Cor 2:8), he is going to be crying out in grief when he sees how God is going to turn it all around. Satan is going to wish he’d never so much as thought of the idea, because the advancement of the kingdom of God is going to be so ultimately accelerated by everything that satan has meant for harm.
Holy Spirit clearly said to me: IT IS THE TIME OF TRANSITION. He has been preparing His people (those whose ears have been attuned to His voice in the secret place) for many years, and these ones have known that something BIG is coming, and that it’s going to be the biggest shift, the biggest transition in the history of world since the transition that happened when Jesus was crucified and resurrected. And this, of course, changed everything! Let’s not think at all that this is the beginning of the end – it’s not! THIS IS THE BEGINNING OF THE GLORIOUS SONS OF GOD ARISING, which all creation has been longing for, since the world began!
For all creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. Romans 8:19 (ESV). Or as the NLT translation says for that day ‘when God will reveal who his children really are.’ And both the world and the church are going to very surprised when God does that! Because these are not generally going to be the people you’ve been used to seeing on the platforms. They’re not going to be the recognised ‘leaders’. But they are going to be the ones who God has prepared, trained and appointed… who have been utterly submitted to Him through many trials over a long time.
The sons of God aren’t responding like the world… and they’re not responding like the wider church.
He showed me that there are three groups of people in the world at the moment, and each group is responding very differently to what is happening.
The first group are those who are consumed by fear. Their eyes are fully on the pandemic. They are afraid, constantly checking the news, thinking about it, living it, breathing it, talking about it and totally consumed by it. They are living and breathing fear. This is the world, and if you find yourself in this group yet you attend services, it’s time to get real with God and where your heart is really at, and ENCOUNTER HIM. Faith and fear are at opposite ends of the spectrum. There is no fear in love but perfect love casts out fear (1 Jn 4:18). Fear does not come from our God, nor does it have any part in Him. The ones whose eyes are on fear cannot see anything through eyes of faith.
The second group are those who are walking by faith in the midst of the fear. They see the pandemic but in the midst of it have chosen to step into faith. I have seen this in many instances and through many ministries online… talking about how we have protection in the midst of calamity, encouraging believers to take communion together online, stepping out of the fear realm and into the faith realm by choice. This essentially means that they are seeing the pandemic, but in the midst of it all, they are choosing to turn their eyes to Jesus. Of course, this is a good thing, because it’s our covenant right to step by choice into His kingdom, protection and promises, and so we should. Yet, it’s still not who the eyes of the Lord are looking for, because there still remains divided vision and eyes which can be tempted to look away. A divided heart can be taken by fear, but then step back into faith. It is still looking away.
What I haven’t seen much of, yet I know exists in a remnant much larger than we yet realise, are the third group of people. And they are those whose eyes are so fully on Jesus and what He is doing, they’re not even seeing or thinking about anything else, but the forward movement of Holy Spirit. These are the glorious sons, and the only thing that they are willing to set their eyes on is their glorious God!
Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil. Proverbs 4:25 – 27 (NIV).
This verse actually says that evil is found in turning (looking) to the right or to the left… or anything other than your eyes looking straight ahead and directly before you. The first group of people are turning to the left. The second group of people are turning to the right. But the third group of people are fixing their gaze directly before them and looking straight ahead. These people are giving careful thought to the paths of their feet… they are talking and listening to Holy Spirit about their purpose… the assignments before them… the bigger picture of what Holy Spirit is setting up (and was already doing so well before the virus tried to take the world stage). They are not spending time getting their hearts to stop fearing and start believing – they’re long past that! Being protected, safe, provided for and healed has been settled for them in their hearts long ago. Their only thoughts and words at this time are forward-moving. What is Holy Spirit doing? What is the next step? Where is He taking us as a body? What is the big picture? What is the next step in my assignment?
Yes, these people are aware that God’s strategy is going to counteract the strategy satan has brought upon the earth. They know what’s happening and they’re aware that it will happen amidst the realities of the world. But they won’t give satan the satisfaction of being distracted by it. They see it for what it is – smokescreens and whistles, designed to get the eyes of the people off God, and onto fear. The glorious sons will never fall for that! Yes, they are praying in ways related to the pandemic as Holy Spirit prompts them… and their prayers are faith-filled spirit prayers which are fully aligned with what Holy Spirit is speaking to them from the secret place, not fleshly prayers that many are praying in response to fear. We, the people of God, are not on the back foot – if we are aligned with Holy Spirit, we are on the front foot, and we’re on the winning team. We’re not praying and living in reaction, but in deliberate forward movement.
These people are not fully understood by those – even the Christians – around them. I recently encountered one of these glorious sons in the last week, whose husband said to her, ‘Do you even realise what’s going on in our world?!?!’ Is she ignorant? No! Is she in fear? No! Is she having to turn her heart to come out of fear and back into faith? No – she lives in faith! She lives from the secret place! What is she doing at the moment? Getting the details of her next assignment and taking obedient action on it, knowing that this time is only going to accelerate what God has given her to carry, birth and do. She’s a forward moving, glorious son of God, whose eyes are looking straight ahead.
I can describe many more such people to you. Those who live from the secret place are not afraid… they’re not moved by the pandemic… they aren’t even thinking about it outside of the obvious natural constraints that have to be factored in. They’re thinking about God! They’re listening to the instructions of Holy Spirit! They’re thinking about the transformation of the nations, the strategic picture Holy Spirit is painting for them, and their part to play in it. They are not uncompassionate towards the trauma people are going through, but they know that the best way to end the trauma is to keep their eyes on God, hear what He is saying and do what He is doing. Holy Spirit has positioned His people perfectly and they’re about to shine!
So today, I would encourage you to go directly to the Lord about this, and ask Him to show you which group of people you are aligning with. And if you don’t like where you find yourself, ask Him for the strength, wisdom and knowledge to transition in your heart to where you know you should be. But you won’t find that wisdom, strength and knowledge on a streamed service or a facebook post… you will ONLY find it in the intimacy of the secret place with Him.
So go into the secret place in your heart with Him today. Ask Him to show you what His strategic plans are… ask Him what your forward moving assignment is… ask Him to show you the glorious sons arising… ask Him to show you great and unsearchable things you do not know… When you discover how glorious it all is, you won’t have any problem keeping your gaze fixed wholly and solely on HIM.
By Ainsley Shepherd