Recovery or Division - You Decide
by Jon & Jolene Hamill
October 15, 2005
Recently, we have been sharing a call from the Lord to "Fall Forward" this season in worship and repentance. Many prophetic voices in the body of Christ have also been trumpeting this call: that the decisions made during this season are extremely significant in determining our future and that if we don't fall forward, we could fall backward with significant -- and perhaps long-term -- repercussions.
Last week, the Lord gave Jolene and I a very sobering picture related to falling forward or backward. Through this revelatory walk, the Lord showed us that in this season, many will choose either division or recovery. Before I share with you this warning, let me make it clear that it's totally God's heart to propel us into a season of recovery.
The definition of recovery paints a significant picture of what the Lord wants to give. Recovery is "the act of regaining something or saving something that is lost or in danger of becoming lost."
In legal matters, recovery is "compensation of a right obtained as a result of the formal judgment or decree entered by a judge." Beloved, our Righteous Judge longs to position us to receive the legal compensation of what the enemy has stolen from us! The formal judgment has already been made by the Father when His Son was slain for our sin.
How do we position ourselves? In the vulnerability of repentance and supplication is how -- falling forward.
In rowing terms, recovery is "the part of the stroke when the blade of the oar is out of the water, and the rower is getting in position to take the next stroke." Maybe you've felt that the pace of your journey has slowed. That may actually be a sign of recovery! Christ the Breaker is positioning you for a mighty thrust forward. Lean into Him -- in rowing terms, He's about to take the next stroke!
The Two Sticks
A few weeks ago, helping to lead a Solemn Assembly in our home church, I felt led to bring a personal memorial the Lord had given Jolene years ago. The memorial didn't look like much -- just two sticks in a red vase.
But what those two sticks represented to Jolene, and to us, was huge. Years before we met, while Jolene was walking in the woods, Holy Spirit drew her to these sticks. The Lord then gave her the Ezekiel 37 passage where, after the winds of awakening had blown a dead army to life, the Lord told the prophet to take two sticks in his hand.
"And you, son of man, take for yourself one stick and write on it, 'For Judah and for the sons of Israel, his companions'; then take another stick and write on it, 'For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim and all the house of Israel, his companions.' Then join them for yourself one to another into one stick, that they may become one in your hand." -- Ezekiel 37:16-17
By the joining of these two sticks, God prophesied the joining again of Israel to Judah. He promised to recover a divided kingdom from the perpetuation of consequences due to their idolatry, abortion, and other sins (see Ezekiel 37:22-23).
North joined to South. Supernatural stewardship -- the Joseph anointing -- joined to prophetic praise. Worship joined to intercession. Bridegroom joined to bride. . . and a divided land recovered its covenant heritage as one Nation under God.
Reconciliation and reconstitution, deliverance from division, and two sticks joined together -- that's what this meant to the Lord and to us. What an object lesson for prayer!
So when we accidentally left the sticks in the sanctuary after the Assembly, we were confident they would be safe. You don't have to be prophetically inclined to figure out what happened next. When we finally returned to the church to retrieve our covenant memorial, our worst fears were realized. In the process of cleaning the sanctuary, the sticks were thrown out. Only the vase was kept.
Through this journey the Lord gave us a pertinent warning to share with the broader body of Christ. But before we discuss the implications on a larger scale -- my own carelessness should be the first issue addressed. The sticks, usually kept in our home prayer room, were missing for more than a week. Yet, I didn't even notice their absence!
A Warning Sign
We endured a long night after discovering the sticks had been thrown out. Jolene wept because the sticks she had so long held to her heart in prayer -- for her personally, for our family, our church, our nation -- were gone. I was weeping because I feared the loss of these sticks was a warning sign that the broader body of Christ was facing an attack of division and that the very blessings the Lord had entrusted as weapons against this attack had been discarded.
Jolene initially felt different about the warning and shared a kind, but firm, suggestion not to jump to conclusions. Then morning came. Her Year through the Bible reading Sunday morning happened to be full of scriptures on warning signs from the Lord -- prophetic expressions communicating God's warnings to His people.
Here's the warning: in this season, the enemy has been releasing targeted assaults to bring division in the body of Christ. A primary tactic of the enemy is to persuade God's people to discard precious gifts He gave in previous seasons of our walk.
Satan wants to abort your promise by negating your heritage. Worse, he wants you to make this choice! Whether your gift is a ministry call, an inheritance, a marriage, a best friend, or a baby in the womb. . . do not let the enemy persuade you to sabotage the covenant blessing Jesus has entrusted to you. You are ultimately betraying Him.
Beloved, this warning is for ministry leaders especially. Where are the two sticks in your midst? Remember that they are more valuable than the vase. In other words, make sure not to undervalue, discard, or betray the covenant relationships and promises God has given you. Watch compromise and negligence from self-pity. Remember that a victim mentality will validate compromise, and many times, it results in sabotage.
Dig, Son... Dig!
After receiving the warning Sunday morning, Jolene and I walked somberly into the sanctuary . Usually, I'm enthusiastic to share revelations from the Lord with my friends at church; but this time, I was desperately trying to avoid conversation (except to ask if anybody had seen two sticks)!
Someone suggested that we look for them in the bags of trash that filled the dumpster behind our church. Maybe the garbage collector hadn't come yet. . .
A recovery effort was immediately underway. Digging through the trash that fine Sunday morning, amidst the kleenex tissues, wires, boxes, and soda cans, we actually found the two sticks!!!
Recovering Covenant Heritage
Please don't turn from this picture. To recover your covenant heritage, you might have to plow through some hard places. David did. In Psalm 132, he lamented searching through faraway fields to recover the Ark of the Covenant. Imagine the Ark out of sight, laying in a field!
In this season of threshing, the Lord is also wanting to launch a massive recovery effort. I cannot emphasize enough that the Lord has entered His repentant body into a season of recovery of covenant inheritance. Your sticks may be in the trash or even in a faraway field. Ask the Lord to guide you in a strategy of recovery. Do not avoid the hard places or the hard questions. It can make the difference between division and recovery.
When the prophet Elisha was asked to help recover an axe-head, he responded to his friends with a question God is asking His body in this season. "Where did it fall?" An honest answer is the first step to recovery.
It's interesting that the prophet then threw a stick into the water, and the axe-head floated back to the top. I feel, prophetically, that the Lord is recovering His sticks now in order to simultaneously recover the axe-heads of power that have fallen in previous seasons. As division is conquered, and covenant heritage restored, look for the re-emergence of 'power tools,' building tools, harvesting tools, and weapons of war -- previously lost to the body of Christ.
By Jon & Jolene Hamill
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