The Lord’s Call to Rising above the Distractions – A Word by Steve Porter
In a recent vision, I saw a huge war room abuzz with chatter as the enemy and his minions were deeply focused on strategic planning. They were deep in urgent, rapid-fire discussion as they pored over potential plans of attack and tried to decide on the most effective covert tactics. Their agenda was crucial to their success to distract, deter and sidetrack the goals of God’s people. They were brainstorming secret plans to derail the destiny of God’s Bride, plans that lay flat on a giant conference table. It was an hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute plan to distract those in the church. And this was not any ordinary plan; no, this was a master plan to dull the senses, to throw us off our game by wasting and deterring times of prayer, meditation and time in the secret place.
Watching this scene I noticed how the enemy was openly, flagrantly working to steal time away from those in the church. Have you noticed how it’s grown difficult to concentrate your attention toward the secret place and focus on God’s good plan? Rather than leaving you alone to soak in the secret place, the enemy is trying to turn your focus toward the to-do list for the day so you will ignore the call of the Spirit to press in. Instead of allowing you to meditate uninterrupted on the Word, he throws fiery darts of fatigue, doubt, and confusion or haunts you with the thought of past failures, tossing in unexpected expenses, relational challenges, illness, and pressure from all sides. And, of course, he would rather we focus on news, news, news, most of which is negative, so that it steals our peace and rest. Fears for the future sidetrack us and entertainment sings a swan song of appeal to arrest our attention from the Holy One.
Then I marveled as I saw His glorious Bride rise above the distractions in prayer, declaring and decreeing the pushing back of the enemy, bringing him to his knees in confusion and terrible dread. In fact, he had an emotional meltdown, a fierce and frightening screeching tantrum, because his usual ploys were no longer effective. I saw a Bride more in love with God and His presence, choosing to be shut in with God, losing interest in the things of Earth that were growing strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace. I literally saw televisions being shut off all over the land and the family altar and daily communion being restored in many homes across the world, where families were fasting and praying together.
The enemy and all his minions were infuriated as never before, but there was nothing they could do. A wall of protection had been erected around God’s people where the devil had no access. The regal angelic guards stood at attention, protecting the plans of the beloved. The enemy’s evil mission was shattered because God’s people learned to be obedient to God softly knocking on the door of their hearts. They cared more about what the Lord felt than what anyone else thought. They were growing ever bolder and fearless, knowing God had already won this battle, and they could suddenly see their destiny more clearly.
I sense a burning message to the church from deep within as I write this. I hear the call for the church to draw near—to find a place of refuge in His presence, to refuse the enemy a single iota of space to distract or deter the saints at work from going about their Father’s business. In fact, this is the beginning of a very busy season, and it will take an act of will and great focus to keep our eyes on the prize, growing more like Christ, listening and obeying His vital leading in this crucial moment in history.
“Behold I stand at the door and knock…”
Beloved, God is calling out to those who desire to go deeper into His presence. This call is the yearning of the Bridegroom, wooing His bride to come aside into a much higher level of communion. Can you hear it? I hear Him tenderly calling your name and asking you to draw near.
The Bridegroom stands and waits, gently knocking, hoping His Bride is awake with an ear to hear His invitation to come. What a gentleman He is. He stands patiently and politely knocks, just loud enough to get our attention. His eyes are filled with adoration, and His anticipation builds—will we answer the door? He knocks because He has a special place in His heart for His beloved Bride, and He wants to share His good plans with us.
The “knocking on the door” is a prophetic picture of a love-struck Bridegroom, Jesus calling out to His Bride. He is asking her to come away with Him, calling her to a special place where He pours out His tender love and affection—in the secret place, the resting place of His presence, a walk in the garden, the Holy of Holies, the very courts of the Lord. The knocks of God are meant to get our attention; will we hear them? Will our ears be tuned to hear Him knocking when He bids us come or will we be too busy with our own plans or too distracted to notice? Will we allow the enemy and his minions to distract and rob us of precious time lying at the beautiful feet of Jesus in awe, giving Him our special attention?
I sense the Lord calling His church to awaken to the deeper things of God, calling her out of slumber to shake off the lukewarm Laodicean spirit that keeps us from entering the very chambers of the King. This is the spirit that inspires apathy and boredom so that we’re unable to stir up interest, let alone passion for the One who died on a cruel cross in our place. The Lord wants a body, a church within the church, a people within a people that will be sensitive enough to hear Him knocking and run into the chambers of intimacy and rest there. It is there that we will bask in His love, transformed into His image if we are willing. But it comes at a price; we must be at attention, never letting down our guard lest the enemy derails our purpose.
If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:
If we are willing—that’s the key phrase here. We have a choice to make. Are we going to go about business as usual and leave the Lord knocking outside the door? Will we fail to be ready when He comes to take us to the marriage supper of the Lamb? Or will we set aside all earthly things, filling our lamps with oil like the wise virgins of Matthew 25? The choice is ours alone. But now is the time to decide and set our faces like flint, ready at a moment’s notice for that’s all it will take to either win or lose this battle.
“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.” Revelation 3:20
Revelation 3:20 is a living word to the church! The Lord is standing right outside the door of our hearts, trying to gain our attention. He wants us to rise above the distractions and diversions that surround us and focus on the goal. It’s time to choose to rise up when we hear Him knocking, discerning His voice from the confusion around us, and press in, soaking in His presence, waiting for His direction. Will we hear and respond to His knocking and respond accordingly? It’s truly now or never.