God is looking to do a strategic work in his church in this hour.
I feel like God is saying,
“I am doing something significant in this season. Harvest is coming, and the church must prepare.”

Jesus already said this in scripture…

John 4:35 NKJV
[35] Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!

Now, if that statement was true generations ago when Jesus spoke it, how much more true is it today?

The Lord of the harvest is preparing his church all across the globe, for the things that are just about to take place.

If we desire to be a church that is READY for what’s on the way, we must prepare as well.

No more holding back.
No more drawing back.
No more half in and half out.

We are about to enter into an all or nothing season of history.

Scripture says…

Luke 9:62 NKJV
[62] But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

The church is not unfamiliar with seasons like this, we’ve been through them before.
But in order to make it through and become the people God is directing us to become will require…
Conviction.
Resolve.
Determination.
And the ability to dig our heels into the ground and stick.

Keep praying.
Keep planting.
Keep preparing.

God needs people who will stick.
We should stick through thick and thin, not allowing anything around us to sway us.

One scripture that the Lord brings to my heart concerning this is:

Psalm 16:8 NKJV
[8] I have set the LORD always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.

As we enter into a season where “the things that can be shaken, will be shaken,” we need an anchor for our soul, a solid ground that provides foundation to our life, and for the church, the ONLY foundation is Jesus.

1 Corinthians 3:9-11 NKJV
[9] For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. [10] According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. [11] For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

There is NO OTHER FOUNDATION for us other than Jesus himself. This is why it is vital in this hour that the people of God begin to “SET” the Lord in front of us.

There are SO MANY things that we have the ability to set in front of our eyes.
So many ideas…
So many feelings…
So many attitudes and differences…

But what matters most is that THE LORD is in front of our eyes.

He is the difference maker.
The Lord is the COMPASS of our heart, guiding us in the right direction at each and every step.

As scripture says, “we don’t know what to do, but our EYES ARE ON YOU.”

If God is not at the forefront of your life, if he is not the one in front of your eyes, it’s going to be very difficult to see the right things and to keep your MIND on the right track.

How do we keep our sanity at this moment in history, when things seem to be erupting all around the world?

Here’s the secret…
We set the Lord before us.

How do we keep from going off the deep end in any area of our life?

We set the Lord before us.

If you don’t want to be caught up in the fray…It’s time to get close to Jesus like you’ve never been close to Jesus!

For the church it means that we come to a decision point…

We must ask ourselves, “What kind of church do we really want to be?”

There are churches on every street corner, lifting up every kind of direction imaginable, and in the middle of it all, WE MUST DECIDE, what kind of church we want to be.

I don’t mean this to say that it is ONLY A CORPORATE DECISION for the church as a group.
No.
Every single INDIVIDUAL BELIEVER in this hour must decide in his or her heart, what sort of believer they are going to be.

Why? Because YOU and I are the church, and as it goes with YOU, so it goes with the church.

Are we going to be a church filled with strife, confusion, division, fear, and the ideas of culture, or are we going to be a people who sets the Lord in front of our eyes?

Unless the people of God begin to assess where they are, and decide for themselves WHAT KIND OF CHRISTIAN they are going to be, we may not survive, because the tides will cause you to drift in many different directions.

I, for one, don’t want to float with the tide, or see our church float with the tide, but instead, we fight against the tide.

We swim against the current, back to a place of safety and security in Jesus Christ.

Please understand, any church will only be as close to God, as each of us personally is close to God.

We will only see as much moving of the Spirit as we personally allow in our life.

We will only enjoy as much of the presence of the Lord as we welcome into our midst.

As it goes with YOU, so it goes with the church.

With this in mind, the questions the Lord placed on my heart, go like this:
What does God desire as the emphasis of the church at this moment and time in history?

What is the message that the people of God must embrace at this moment in history?

What is the vision that keeps us connected together and moving together as ONE?

The Lord brought three things to my heart, and although I am going to use the word, “church,” please understand that I am talking about each of us personally.

This is what the Lord has been speaking in my heart:
We must be a praying church.
We must be a prophetic church.
We must be a persevering church.

Let’s talk about becoming a praying church first.
This idea should be a given among believers, but it’s not.
However, Jesus makes it clear to us…

Matthew 21:12-13 NKJV
[12] Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. [13] And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.'”

Then in the book of Mark, Jesus says this same thing with an additional comment…

Mark 11:17 NKJV
[17] Then He taught, saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ “

He is quoting a passage from Isaiah.

Isaiah 56:7 NKJV
[7] Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices Will be accepted on My altar; For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.”
God is calling the church to be a praying church, more now, than at any other moment in history.

There is hope when we pray for our nation.
There is hope when we seek the Lord.
There is hope when we pray to the God of heaven and call on his name.

Not only this, but I firmly believe, GOD IS CALLING PEOPLE TO INTERCESSORY PRAYER like never before.

We are not only to pray for ourselves, but we are to open up our heart to the Leading of the Lord, so that he can move upon us to pray for others.

A praying church will be solid during the midst of chaos and turmoil.
A praying church will be filled with Joy when everyone else is filled with fear.
A praying church is connected to Jesus and all the resources of heaven, while others try to rely on cheap tricks and gimmicks to get by.

WE MUST BECOME A PRAYING CHURCH, which essentially means, YOU AND I MUST BECOME PRAYING PEOPLE.

Secondly, we must become a prophetic church.
Yes, I certainly believe God gives words to people through others, and I certainly believe in the gifts of the Spirit, but this is more of a personal thing that God is placing on my heart to say.

It’s time for the people of God as individual believers to quit running back and forth to every prophet, and begin to seek the word of the Lord for THEMSELVES AND FOR THEIR OWN LIFE.

In other words, a prophetic church is filled with people whom the Lord is SPEAKING TO.

Prophetic churches are filled with people whom God is speaking to and filling their heart with the words and guidance that fulfills their destiny.

  • Prophetic churches are relevant because they release fresh HOPE into the earth.
  • Prophetic churches are relevant because they have the words of life inside of them…they are “LIFE SPEAKING” churches.

Years ago, the Lord spoke something to me as an answer to prayer, and it is relevant to this point.
As a young pastor, I asked the Lord to help me hear his voice for the people while I was on the platform, and the Lord said to me, “if you can hear my voice in private, you’ll be able to hear my voice on the platform.”

I’m saying to you prophetic churches that survive and thrive are going to be filled with people who hear the words of the Lord for their self in private, and if you cannot hear God in the privacy of your secret place with God, don’t think that the Lord is going to move in you with a word for someone else.

Not regarding the word of God in our own heart, and hearing it for ourselves, is a recipe to get off track.

Here’s what the Bible says…

Isaiah 55:10-11 NKJV
[10] “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower And bread to the eater,
[11] So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

The prophetic begins IN YOUR OWN HEART as you hear the word of God for your own life first.

God wants a people who hear his voice PERSONALLY!

We have to allow ourselves to be focused on the WORDS OF HIS MOUTH for ourself FIRST in this hour.
His word will not return void in your life.
His word will accomplish what he pleases in your life.
His word will prosper in your life.
You cannot hear God’s word for others until you can faithfully and joyfully hear God’s word for yourself.

Lastly, I hear the Lord saying we must become a persevering church.

We live in a time of extreme transition right now.
Things are going ONE WAY for the moment, but may be GOING ANOTHER WAY in the next instant.

We don’t know what tomorrow will bring.
Either we are people who allow these extremes to push us away from God, or we are believers who allow our circumstances to push us forward.
I used to read books about church growth.
They all sought to give indicators of death and decay.
Most books taught that a small church means a dying church…I BELIEVE THEY ARE WRONG.

Most “church leadership” teaching will lead us to believe that being tightly knitted together means we are only inwardly focused and thus…dying…I BELIEVE THEY ARE WRONG.

We must persevere in this time of unprecedented uncertainty.
What does that mean?
It means…
No matter how many people show up or listen online with us, we must remember that God is present.

We need to act like Jesus showed up to church.
We need to act like Jesus is in the crowd.
We need to act like Jesus showed up to heal, deliver, and set people free in the house.
Why? Because HE DID SHOW UP!

We ought to show up READY to worship.
We ought to show up READY to pray.
We ought to show up READY for the word.
We ought to show up READY for God’s Spirit to move.
Why? Because Jesus shows up when you show up!

To persevere in this season means that we understand every church is facing issues.
Don’t let the TIMES dictate your response to the Lord, but set him before you and seek him like never before.

To persevere means we focus on:
The truth of God’s Word.
Worshipping the Lord with all our heart.
Hungering and thirsting for God like never before.

Let me tell you a secret as we finish this post…
Those who trust in God’s word WILL OVERCOME.
Those who sincerely worship the Lord will be soaked with his presence.
Those who hunger and thirst WILL BE FILLED.

WHAT KIND OF CHURCH WILL WE BE?

*We will be a church that sees the move of God happen in our community, and in the earth. *
*We are Spirit-Filled, Life Speaking, and Prayer Believing. *
We will see God move in the rural church, the urban church, in the big and in the small, to bring life, hope, and his promises…to the people of God and those far from God.


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Larry Shankle

My heart is for the church that Jesus is building and returning for...the church that the gates of hell will not prevail against.
More than anything, the desire of my heart is to see the greatest revival of the Holy Spirit, salvations, spiritual awakening, and for the miraculous to come back to the church, preparing believers for the return of Jesus.

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