- Revival / Unity
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- Greg Austin
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(The following excerpt is from a description of the book Getting Divinely Positioned for the Next Move of God by Karen Mack Barber, and is included for illustrative purposes.)
“The book seeks to encourage believers to pursue a higher level of holiness, righteousness and blessedness. How? It will only come by getting divinely positioned for the next move of God. This move requires preparation, positioning, and proficiency. How is readiness assessed? Readiness is measured through a series of tests. The good news is, although we will have tests, our blessing has already been predetermined, prearranged, and freely given to us as Sons/Daughters of the Most High God. The blessing is fixed and settled. However, the blessing is on the other side of our tests. Therefore, this book shows believers how to line up or position themselves to become Kingdom Minded, possess a Kingdom Agenda, and walk in Kingdom Order. This book is truly a must read for those seeking a higher level of maturity in God.”
Current prophetic declarations of a coming “move of God” vary in their scope and anticipated purposes, but among these voices a common theme is that of “positioning” oneself so as to not miss what God will shortly accomplish in the earth and among His people. The subtle message is, “Be careful. If you’re not in exactly the right place at the right time, you’ll miss what God is doing.”
Such might be the case if God were not God; but He is God and He is fully capable of including all His people in whatever He will do in the earth and among His people. The God Who numbers the hairs of our heads, and cares for sparrows, places more value upon His children than upon on all of creation.
Through a variety of messengers, we’re offered elaborate, mystical formulae in order to be rightly positioned for God’s next event. According to some prophetic voices, only the few, the specially anointed, the truly spiritual among us, will be alerted to respond and qualified to be properly positioned. This is perhaps because according to some, only special “leaders” and not “followers” are qualified to move to the head of the queue leading to God’s special anointings and revelations.
I have a loud objection both to the smug assertion that there are spiritual “haves” and “have-nots” in the Kingdom of God, and to the suggestion that for most of us in the Body of Christ, the knowledge of how to position ourselves to “catch” God is unknowable and beyond our ability to grasp.
Many of the myriad claims regarding “positioning” are subjective rather than objective analyses and directions. Before one can position himself, he must possess some knowledge of what he is positioning himself for. It is to the spiritual elite that this knowledge is given and entrusted, according to these spiritual-sounding voices.
Watch a baseball outfielder when a pitch is driven into the outfield to that player’s general area of the playing field. The outfielder anticipates the direction, trajectory, height and distance of the ball and positions himself as near to where he has determined the ball will fall to the ground in order to make a catch. In baseball terminology, this is called “getting under” the ball.
I have known wonderfully talented outfielders in the years I played baseball. They possessed innate intuition combined with lightening speed to intercept a fly ball, to the grief of many hitters. I’ve also known those who were not so naturally gifted. In the world of sports, the talented play while the inept are cut from team rosters.
If we use the same metaphor in spiritual matters, we are being told how to position ourselves to catch or to receive the next “ball” or “move” that God sends to the earth. But God does not use only All Star outfielders in His movements in the earth. Indeed, He specializes in using the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence.
Positioning oneself is not an altogether wrong concept for inclusion in what God is doing. Certainly, if God is moving, if He is about to move, His people ought to prepare for His coming and His moving. John the Baptist encouraged such positioning, and came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
Of critical note is that all of John’s appeals are simple, straightforward and clear: Repent of your sin. Straighten out the crooked ways and the crookedness of the heart.
The “getting ready” for the coming of Messiah involved repentance and a “course change” in one’s life; easily understandable concepts in ancient Israel to religious expert and commoner alike.
Of course, in reality, few truly heeded John’s admonitions, since John’s gospel informs us, He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.
Israel largely rejected Yeshua, as it does today. Yet there were those who listened with their hearts and who received John’s inspired message of both warning and fulfillment. These were they who “positioned themselves for the coming move of God.”
What is troubling today is the teaching emanating from multiple sources within the charismatic, Pentecostal, prophetic and apostolic realms that suggest not merely that believers ought to once again position themselves for a “next move” of God, but that the means of this “positioning” is complex, mystical, and understood by only a select few “leaders” across the Body of Christ, and further that those who will be qualified to position themselves are somehow different, above and set apart from the common, lowly follower of Jesus.
Such teaching flies full in the face of the truth of God’s word and character. He reveals that “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son so that whosoever believed on His Name should not perish but have everlasting life.”
Of note here is the word “whosoever.” It was a word not clearly understood by Jesus’ first disciples, even when He led them into Samaria where He would meet a sinful Samaritan woman drawing water at Jacob’s well.
God shocked pious Jews when He revealed that He is no respecter of persons.In this passage in Acts, Peter, and soon the entire church, would sort out God’s will and heart with respect to Gentile inclusion in the Family of God.
Gentiles were looked upon by Jews as “lesser” and as unclean.
Consider these brief excerpts from Alfred Edersheim’s The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah: “To put the general feeling in the words of Tacitus, the Jews kept close together, and were ever most liberal to one another; but they were filled with bitter hatred of all others. They would neither eat nor sleep with strangers; and the first thing which they taught their proselytes was to despise the gods, to renounce their own country, and to rend the bonds which had bound them to parents, children or kindred.” To begin with, every Gentile child, so soon as born, was to be regarded as unclean. Those [Gentiles] who actually worshipped mountains, hills, bushes, etc, idolaters, should be cut down with the sword. But as it was impossible to exterminate heathenism, Rabbinic legislation kept certain definite objects in view.
The Gentiles should, as far as possible, be altogether avoided, except in cases of necessity or for the sake of business. They and theirs were defiled; their houses unclean, as containing idols or things dedicated to idols. Their feasts and their joyous occasions were polluted by idolatry. You could not leave the room if a Gentile was in it because he might, carelessly or on purpose, defile the wine or food on the table, or the oil and wheat in the cupboard.
Suffice it to say that all Gentiles were understood to be far less members of the human race than were Jews; yet the revelation God gave to Peter atop Simon’s home in Caesarea was that God Himself called the Gentiles clean, and that they should be accepted among the people of God and followers of Jesus.
My purpose in highlighting this truth is that so much of the “positioning yourself” community acts, whether knowingly or unwittingly, with an exclusivism that is not embodied in the nature of God. The implication that there are “special” people among us, that a “select few” may receive revelation from heaven to lead Christ’s church is simply unbiblical, and is an affront both to every precious soul that has been redeemed by the blood of Christ, and an offense to God Himself.
This erroneous teaching is built upon the false foundation of a “clergy-laity” division. It proceeds from a desire to exert and to maintain control over others, to lord it over. This imperious presumption emanates from an arrogant spirit that needs to have the preeminence.
There is room among creation for only One to have the preeminence,even Jesus Christ, the One who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
Which leaves us with the questions,
- Will there be a ‘next move’ of God?
- If so, must I position myself accordingly, or risk missing God’s move?
- And if I should “position myself” to receive, what does that entail?
First of all, it is sheer pompous speculation for any man to imagine or to suggest, without the direct communication of God Himself that there either will or will not be another “move of God” in the earth.
I’ve lived long enough now to have experienced several “moves of God.” Some were deeper than others. Some were brief but powerful, while others remain in the sphere of the speculative.
I’ve heard grandiose prophetic declarations warning the church of impending “comings” and “movings” of God that never materialized. After all, the best among us sees through a glass darkly; we “know in part” and not in whole.
As I reflect on my own 40-year journey with Christ, I must admit that my typical experience with a move of God has included surprise, being overtaken by Him rather than my anticipating - “positioning” myself to “catch” Him.
I don’t believe that God is nearly as elusive as some would have us believe. I don’t think God has any problem in communicating clearly with His creation. I don’t think we need supercomputers or specially anointed people to explain God’s intentions to us.
I don’t believe that God speaks in broken, fragmented sentences and incomplete prose. If Moses had no difficulty knowing with Whom he was speaking and Whom he was hearing, those of us living with a New Covenant ought to have less difficulty.
I think that His sheep hear His voice, and He knows them, and they follow Him.
I think that some folks need to be seen as vital to the Body of Christ, and that vitality is construed to the extent that “we,” the “commoners” of the church, the lovable but unimportant majority, need the specially gifted and wonderfully anointed in order to experience God.
Do not misunderstand my heart here: if there will be a “next move of God,” and I have no reason to believe there will not be, I want to be positioned, in the right place, with the right orientation, the proper posture to receive all that God has for us to receive.
My understanding of “positioning,” however, is one that is much clearer, simple to the point of childishness and easily understandable, even by poor, dumb sheep like me.
A long time ago there was a man in Israel who saw, anticipated a coming move of God. As he positioned himself to receive, his words concerning Jesus were simply, He must increase, but I must decrease.
May this be our “positioning” in preparation for God’s future plans. May we, like John find ourselves fading from view, as He appears.
 1 Corinthians 1:27-29
 Mark 1:4
 Mark 1:3
 John 1:23
 John 1:11,12
 John 3:16
 Acts 10:34
 Alfred Eidersheim, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, Volume I., Chapter 7. Hendrickson Publishers; Updated edition (July, 1993).
 Colossians 1:18
 Philippians 2:6-8
 1 Corinthians 13:12
 John 10:27
 John 3:30