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As I began to pray about this, I was led to read Mark 11:12The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then he said to the tree, "May no one ever eat fruit from you again." And his disciples heard him say it.
In this Scripture, Jesus shares a parable that illustrates a divine hunger. Jesus is hungry for the fruit of our lives—the offerings of those whose desire is to feed the heart of God. Jesus longs for the fullness of what was promised to Him by the Father 64 THE THRONE ROOM COMPANY in Heaven.
When you evaluate the hunger of most believers, it is centered around an ambition to see their promises and their desires fulfilled by God. A religious spirit has taught us that God has placed desires in us, and we should serve those desires.
People are looking for God to reward them according to their desires, and you know what? He is! I believe this is why there is barrenness in the Church.
But when you look at God's hunger, you understand that we are Jesus' inheritance. We are first and foremost His reward. This is another way to see how people in the Church have a wrong value system. We are His reward before He is ours!
Looking Out for the Interests of Others
Paul tells us about a man who had a unique mindset:
It is amazing to me that the apostle Paul found such a mindset to be rare among believers. It seemed that everyone was looking out for his or her own concerns and importance. Even then, the Church was full of unfruitful fig trees.
Doesn't this sound like the Church today? We try to distinguish ourselves, but those whom Heaven honors are the ones who take a genuine interest in the needs of others who are Jesus' inheritance (Philippians 2:1-4).
river of God (Ezekiel 47 and Revelation 22).
God's eternal river flows from the altar below Jesus' throne in Heaven. It streams all the way to Earth. On either side of this river are large trees that are in season every month of the year, yielding twelve crops. These trees are covered with leaves that are full of virtue and that offer healing for the nations.
This river is a metaphor for the destiny of Jesus. As the river flows into this world, God's Kingdom pours out. Jesus' destiny began to flow as a river from Heaven when He sacrificed everything on the altar of the cross. This river is symbolic of His dominion and inheritance springing forth around the Earth. It is both a literal river of God's presence and also a representation for us of His Kingdom age.
The trees on either side of this river represent people who are planted to bring forth Jesus' destiny. Their roots are nurtured by the water of Jesus' virtues.
Many Christians who have fruit on this level are not seen by those in the world. They remain hidden. Sadly many Christians or organizations serve with the desire to be given their reward in this life, not the one to come. But those who are planted and watered by the river of God experience supernatural fruitfulness and growth. This is what we are called to as sons and daughters of God.
After Jesus cursed the fig tree in Mark 11, Scripture records that He went into the temple in Jerusalem. There He overturned the tables of money changers and halted the flow of money and
merchandise through the temple courts. He asked:
People had turned the temple into a marketplace, which reflected their human agenda to merchandise the Kingdom of God. Jesus indicated that this was the work of the master thief himself—Satan! Instead, Jesus called Israel back to her primary purpose—to be a house of prayer. He called her to live supernaturally, intimately connected to God's eternal purposes— and not conforming to earthly patterns and lesser purposes.
Jesus continually models how to serve the destiny of One who is greater. He did not come to serve Himself but to serve His Father. He provides the example of true sacrifice. And then Jesus modeled it as a servant—laying down His rights as a Son.
So why did Jesus curse the fig tree in Mark 11? Why didn't He just command it to bear fruit? I believe He cursed the fig tree because causing it to bear fruit would not resolve the greater problem. This tree was not planted by the river. It did not have the capacity to be always in season. It was not of Him.
Just as the fig tree was cursed, so the temple was a cursed, fruitless institution. Jesus actually cursed the temple practices;
out of mercy He also re-focused them as well. As always, when Jesus judges, it is with the hope of calling us higher.
Unfortunately, much of what happens in the name of God today is like that barren fig tree. It may appear to be full of green leaves—looking full of life and healthiness—but it is not full of fruit. As a result, Jesus has no choice but to curse what does not bear the fruit He hungers for.
In the coming years, we will see a landslide of failing religious activity in both well-known and unknown churches.
Their activity will flicker and fade away, because it does not serve Christ's destiny.
As the disciples were walking down the road, they observed the fig tree that Jesus had cursed. Peter noticed the tree had simply shriveled up and died. Recognizing the disciples'
amazement, Jesus challenged them:
Jesus was speaking about the fruit that results from the authority of those who serve Him. They would do unimaginable things. But the fruit would evidence a life of prayer and a faith focused solely on God.
In addition, if we understand that the fig tree represents religious structures not planted by the river, then we see that life planted in Jesus' destiny will produce astounding fruit.
For example, if you are praying for something that lines up with the calling of Jesus, it will be done. If you pray against something that is trying to stand in God's way and you believe that Jesus is worthy to inherit all of His reward, then what you pray will also be done. Whatever we ask for with this kind of passion for Jesus cannot be denied to us, or Him! If asked in faith, it will be given completely, because it is for His sake.
1. What are your priorities in life and ministry?
2. What does unity in Christ look like to you?
3. What is the goal God has set for us?
4. What is God hungry for? What nourishment can you give Him?
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THE PROPHET ISAIAH FORETOLD OF A COMINGGLORY to be revealed to humanity. Thus we are the gatekeepers of God's promise. Our role is to prepare the way for the Lord Jesus to receive His eternal reward. If we understand our role, we can walk in full spiritual authority on the Earth, despite any opposing power.
The prophet Elijah was empowered to face evil, despite the fact that other prophets backed off in fear for their lives. On behalf of his beloved Lord, Elijah stood alone to face one of the world's worst manifestations of the spirit of Jezebel. Instead of being overcome by his human weakness, Elijah trusted in the living God!
Focused on God Hundreds of years later, John the Baptist carried the spirit of Elijah, following in Elijah's footsteps. Despite the religious spirit operating in his generation, John cried out for repentance. Even though he was one of the most charismatic voices of his time, John knew his role in eternity.
John didn't get sidetracked by fame. Rather, he exercised his ability to lay down everything. This attitude distinguished him from others. John was so focused on serving Jesus that he lived unselfishly. He did not try to become a successful voice among the people, even though he had one of the most powerful, charismatic speaking abilities given to a human. He remained focused on God.
Later Jesus said of John the Baptist: "He was the most powerful prophet to ever live." John didn't vie to outperform other prophets through his prophetic utterances. There is no record of miracles or healings that he performed. Yet John's ability to lay down everything and make a way for Jesus to enter into His destiny distinguished his life for eternity.
In Heaven, I believe that John has a primary role in serving God, because he laid no claim to own an earthly ministry calling.
John gained nothing on Earth. Rather, he humbly laid down his life as an offering, with the prayer that Jesus would receive His YOUR SAVIOR COMES 71
A Forerunner Spirit We can perceive and grab hold of a radical passion modeled by John's life. John was a forerunner heralding a new age.
Therefore, when we see people who are sick, and who are a part of Jesus' reward, we need not ask ourselves whether we have the gift of healing before we try to heal them. In faith we can pray for them to be delivered, because they belong to Him!
We need not wonder whether we have the gift of prophecy in order to proclaim God's heart upon the Earth. We need to boldly make prophetic declarations that release God's full inheritance to Jesus, without waiting for others to do it. If we are consumed with the desire to furnish Jesus with His inheritance, then we will become the vessels of honor that deliver it to Him.
As we grasp this understanding, we will no longer look for our place in the Body of Christ, or ask what kind of gifting we have. We will do whatever we can to give Jesus what belongs to Him, at any cost.
I have seen a quiet, small woman roar the word of the Lord powerfully when gripped by this reality. Passion is not determined by a person's nature or personality type; it's a measure of the degree God's divine nature has been imparted to us, so that we can call upon His name and accomplish His desire.
When we begin to abandon our understanding of who we are to gain a greater understanding of who He is, then our lives cry out to Him: "You are worthy!" Then, and only then is Jesus able to receive His due. For this to occur, like John the Baptist, we must decrease so that God might increase.
When many begin to walk with this forerunner spirit, or with a John-the-Baptist heart, the promise in Joel 2 will begin to be released upon the world. A token of this promise was experienced by the disciples gathered in the upper room on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2). Their lives were changed forever.
72 THE THRONE ROOM COMPANY God's Bondservants In the last days, the Earth will witness an unprecedented movement of God's Spirit that will be released through the lives of Christians who have turned their hearts fully to knowing and being known by Jesus. They will be His bondservants. God will be able to move through these people for one reason alone: Their hearts will so totally belong to eternity that God's Spirit will flow powerfully through them, allowing them to do signs and wonders and perform healings that will be astounding.
These bondservants will have a love for God that mirrors
God's love for them:
God's goal in this end-time outpouring of His Spirit is for the entire world to be redeemed. This is what God promised Jesus if He would pay the price for it. God will not fall short of giving Jesus everything that belongs to Him. Therefore, He will empower us with the Spirit, which he gave Elijah and John the Baptist, if we will only appropriate the fullness of living for Him.
Do you realize that God wants to save an entire generation as His Son's reward? It's not just the accumulation of many generations. God wants an entire generation of the world to cry out to Him with the longing to have His glory pass before us, so that we would fellowship with Him in the way He desires!
What would happen if the Body of Christ in this age began to cry out together, making their worship a house of prayer for the desire of God to be fulfilled? I believe that billions of people would be saved in a single generation! Then Jesus would step off YOUR SAVIOR COMES 73
1. What inspires you about the life of Elijah?
2. What inspires you about the life of John the Baptist?
3. What inspires you about the life of Jesus?
4. Who is Jesus to you? Is that intimacy with Him growing?
5. What would happen if the Body of Christ began to cry out together for God's desire to be fulfilled? How can you help that process?
GOD IS LOOKING FOR A QUALIFIED HEART FORETERNITY. Humanity as well as our demonic foe will confuse us by suggesting a million things we must do to become qualified—to be really used by God or to be worthy of His love.
But God Himself is looking for just one thing—our passionate desire for Him.
In Scripture we find a desperate father who petitions Jesus on behalf of his only son (Luke 9:38-40). The son is demonized, and evil spirits regularly threaten his survival. When the disciples had failed to deliver his son from evil, the man's faith was probably shaken.
So he implores Jesus: "If you can help do anything, have compassion and help us" (Mark 9:22b).
Picking up on the doubting words of the father, Jesus responded with a merciful rebuke: "If I can?" repeated Jesus (Mark 9:23). "Everything is possible for him who believes!" The deciding issue was not Jesus' power but the man's faith.
Jesus' reply must have powerfully provoked this father's heart.
He cried out tearfully, "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!" (Mark 9:24). The father asks Jesus to remove all doubt and grant him unwavering faith. And the son was healed.