YOU ARE THE PLANTING OF THE LORD!
Recently as I was seeking the Lord, I heard, “The planting of the Lord.” I read Isaiah 61 and the Spirit of the Lord highlighted portions relevant to the restoration He is doing in the earth and how He wants His people equipped. I encourage you to personalize the scriptures I’m sharing and prophesy them over yourself and into the atmosphere! Verses 1-3 are very familiar to most of us.
“The Spirit of the Lord GOD [is] upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to [them that are] bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.”
What I heard by the Holy Spirit was that in every place of brokenness, desolation, sorrow – every place that we have suffered – the Lord is working to bring redemption and restoration. He does a work in us, building us up by His Word and His Spirit so that we become trees of righteousness – HIS righteousness. Christ Himself is our righteousness (1 Cor. 1:30) and He is the Word (Jn. 1:1-5, 14) being built up in us that we become His planting and that He might be glorified (2 Thess. 1:2). Jesus said He has given us His glory (Jn. 17:22), and everything that the Father has not planted shall be uprooted (Matt. 15:13). He dwells in us and builds us up that He Himself might be glorified in us, to be His image bearers in the earth.
“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of [his] good pleasure.” (Phil. 2:13)
He Himself is at work in us to bring forth the work of redemption and restoration! He draws us to Christ (Jn. 6:44), unveils our eyes and opens our ears so that we can hear by faith and receive Christ, furrows the ground of our hearts so we can in humility receive the engrafted word; then He continues to work the process of sanctification in us with the Word and through our circumstances so that we are holy vessels, carriers and portrayers of His glory.
“And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do [them].” (Ezek. 36:27, KJV)
“But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2Th 2:13-14 NKJV)
Christ, the Word of God, is continually conforming us to His image (Gal. 4:19; Rom. 8:29) through the workings of God). He is the author and the finisher of our faith (Heb. 12:2); He began it and He will complete it (Phil. 1:6). There is, of course, a part we play – faith, yielding to His Spirit, and responding in obedience – but I believe it is all His doing, the process of getting us to the place of wanting to follow Him. He dries up our satisfaction in lesser things, He works circumstances to bring us to the end of ourselves and what we produce by our own efforts. It is His goodness that leads to repentance (Rom. 2:4) – the changing of our minds about Him, His ways, and others, so that we are continually returning to Him until He is truly Lord of all in our lives. He knows who are His, and Jesus said He has not lost any that the Father has given Him (Jn. 6:39).
AGENTS OF RESTORATION
We are in the times of the restoration of all things, and the rest of Isaiah 61 shows us what happens after He plants us and builds us up: we become His agents of restoration!
“They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations. Strangers shall stand and tend your flocks; foreigners shall be your plowmen and vinedressers; but you shall be called the priests of the LORD; they shall speak of you as the ministers of our God; you shall eat the wealth of the nations, and in their glory you shall boast. Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion; instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot; therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion; they shall have everlasting joy. For I the LORD love justice; I hate robbery and wrong; I will faithfully give them their recompense, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them…as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to sprout up before all the nations.” (Isa 61:4-8, 11 ESV)
God is in the business of redemption and restoration and is faithful to His covenant with us! When God restores He doesn’t just return things to how they were before. It is much better! Exodus 22:1 states that if someone stole an ox or sheep, they had to restore five ox or four sheep. After Job lost everything, he was given double (Job 42:10-12). Jesus said that his followers who left houses, brethren, family, or lands for his sake and the gospel’s would receive 100 times more in this life (Mark 10:29,30). Haggai 2:9 tells us that the glory of the latter house will be greater than the former! God multiplies when he restores! Believe He is good and always working redemption and restoration in your life; praise Him in the process!
PRIESTS AND KINGS
Isaiah 61:6 declares we are priests of the Lord, ministers of our God; Revelation 1:6 declares us kings and priests unto God. A priest has access to God and his/her life is to be devoted to God. Kings rule and reign. As priests and kings appointed by the King of Kings, we seek God always and walk in the authority He gave us. One way is to uproot what is not of His Kingdom and plant, or establish, what is of His Kingdom. How? Declare truth over lies, decree what He says; take back what belongs to God; tear down ungodly altars and structures.
“See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.” (Jer. 1:10, KJV)
“Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways.” (Job 22:28 KJV)
What are we speaking? Our words have creative power to shift atmospheres, to bless or curse (Deut. 30:19; James 3:10). Paul tells us in Eph. 4:29 to speak only that which is edifying to others, (that builds them up). We are planting heaven or hell with the words we speak. All have fallen short of His glory; when we recognize this and know that others are created in God’s image and the enemy has wreaked havoc in their lives, we can choose to bless them and speak redemptive purpose. The enemy’s mission is to kill, steal and destroy (Jn. 10:10), to subvert, pervert and destroy all that God has created. What is he doing? God does the opposite! Healing for brokenness, freedom for captivity, release to those bound, beauty for ashes, joy for mourning, praise for heaviness. Perceive with new lenses – ask God for wisdom and knowledge to know what He has placed in others that is dormant and speak life into it!
One of the most powerful verses in the Bible regarding this is Isaiah 51:16, let it prophesy to you!
“And I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou [art] my people.”
It’s time to step into all that He has for us and do the works He has given us to do. What an incredible privilege and honor to co-operate with Him in bringing restoration to the earth and ushering in His Kingdom! He has created you for His glory (Is. 43:7), to show forth His praise (Is. 43:21). To show it forth, not just proclaim it. Lay aside every sin, including unbelief (whatever is not of faith is sin – Rom. 14:23), remove every weight and hindrance of the old nature… it is dead, buried with Christ in baptism; walk in newness of life! There is an abundant supply of the Spirit to help you! Press in and through to the real you! All of creation is waiting in anticipation for the manifestation of the sons and daughters of God. I heard, “No more will My people bring unholy oblations, fruit of their fleshly and soulish sensations. I am building up agents of restoration to show forth My glory and establish Kingdom operation in every tribe, tongue, people and nation.”
“I am convinced that any suffering we endure is less than nothing compared to the magnitude of glory that is about to be unveiled within us. The entire universe is standing on tiptoe, yearning to see the unveiling of God’s glorious sons and daughters!” (Rom. 8:18-19, The Passion Translation)