The Times They are a Changing
by JoAnn McFatter
ob Dylan said it well…and nobody really listened much to him, either. The times, they are a changin.’ It’s simply a musical phrase that has been going around in my head for some time now so I thought I would look up the words of the song. Sometimes it’s a Bible verse that keeps coming to me over and over, but sometimes it’s just a line from a song, such as this. I know to pray about it and ask the Lord what He’s trying to say.
When I peer into it and consider the matter with God, He will expand on what He is drawing my attention to. The message in Dylan’s song is as applicable today as when he wrote it a generation ago, but the song itself (though interesting to revisit) is not what I am wanting to highlight here.
I believe it has to do with the “shift” that has been prophesied over and over by many a prophetic voice that is now upon us. Not that it really took a prophet to declare that as of late, but there were those who were prophesying the shaking in years past when we had no obvious reason to think in those terms. So here we sit with much to ponder in our own lives, even to the extent of re-evaluating the standard at which we have lived our lives up to this point.
The attachments we have had to this world’s economic system, mindsets, etc. have truly influenced us by way of what “makes sense” to the mind of man much more than we who have been born of the Spirit should have allowed.
“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.’ ” – John 3:5-8
He made the distinction between the flesh/mind of man and the Spirit/mind of Christ over and over in scripture. I researched vs. 8 a bit because it has always intrigued me. What I found was reference to the wind as something that we can hear and see the result of yet are not able to explain where it comes from or where it is going. It’s a mystery, as is the rebirth of man by the Spirit. We see the result – the new man – but we can’t really explain how it happens. Oh, that this were the testimony of our lives! Unfortunately, we have so mixed the mind of Christ with the things we have hung on to from the mind of man that it’s hard to even sort it out anymore.
Someone recently mentioned that we, as the church, have become a thermometer that reads the climate of the culture as opposed to a thermostat that SETS the climate of things. I even remember Bill Gothard giving a teaching 30 years ago showing how the pendulum of the church was shifting as the pendulum of our culture was shifting. Always staying a certain distance from the world’s pendulum but, none the less, moving along with it. I don’t believe this to only apply to morality, but to our way of thinking as well. We hold to the ways of the flesh as we hold to the mind of man.
I am not trying to throw criticism, but simply trying to suggest that we have GOT to get back to looking at the pattern laid out to us in the scriptures….to come up higher in our thinking. The times ARE truly changing as the Kingdom of God is being made manifest on the earth. We will be lost if we are trying to navigate by the mind of man through it all. Having lost the fullness of our miraculous rebirth as we are born of the Spirit as a new creation in Christ, we are stuck in the mentality of sins that we battle because we have not had a revelation of Christ crucified once and for all to take care of the very nature of sin. We need the renewed ability to have our eyes and ears opened with hearts of understanding to the mind of Christ as we put on the Lord Jesus Christ!
And do this, knowing the time that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfull its lusts. – Romans 13: 11-14
My point is not even this. What I urge us to press into is the revelation of what happened when Christ gave His life freely on the Cross, shedding His Blood as the final act of sacrifice for sin! The whole lump and sum of it! The very nature of sin that would even allow us to be pulled into the sins that have beset us has been lost as we have so focused on individual sins that we have lost the revelation of the real beauty of the mystery. That Christ freed us from the very nature of sin itself – and, yes, it must be a revelation.
We have become so concerned with the sins that we have forgotten, or perhaps never even come into the illumination of the Blood of Christ washing over our sin nature so that we would not even be pulled back into the mentality of struggling with sins. What I think we have missed is the fact that the curse was broken and we no longer live under the curse that was given to Adam and Eve. It’s more miraculous than we ever believed what this Christ of ours has done on our behalf! As that revelation is granted us, we can then step into the place that we need to be walking at this time in history. All of scripture has led up to this point in time that we, as the manifest sons of God, are to be walking above all of the things that we struggle with. Let us look to the Light as we are in the Light and the Light is in us! Christ in us the hope of glory!
As we move into this position of revelation that He has granted us we will begin to walk in the mind of Christ to hear the voice of the Spirit. As the voice of the Lord comes to us to show us how to navigate through this hour that we have embarked upon we will have ears that hear because we are walking by and in His Spirit and not in the mind of man.
And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. – Romans 5: 24-25
Instead, we seem to still be suckling on milk as babes rather than eating of the meat of the Word to build up our spirit man in wisdom and understanding, able to determine what the leading of the Holy Spirit is.
For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. – Hebrew 5: 12-14
The visitations, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the voice of authority, and much more that will be given in this hour by God will not be given to those of us who are still struggling with the milk. The veil between heaven and earth is truly at it’s breaking point. The invitation is there for whosoever will – He is not a respecter of persons as He has declared by His own mouth. BUT He loves us too much to release to us what we are not prepared to walk in. Many are called, few are chosen not out of punishment, but out of His mercy and love toward us to not give us more than we can handle.
I pray that this is not taken as a rebuke, but rather a call to come up higher. That is how I have heard it from the Lord and I hope that I have portrayed it as such, even in the frankness and reality of where we are at. We are called to sooooooo much more than we are living in. Perhaps that is because of the mindsets that we have allowed ourselves to adapt as we have compromised with the mind and ways of man. I have said this before but I cannot emphasize enough that it is a time to ask for a revelation of the Cross and the Blood of Jesus Christ so that we might truly come into the authority and discernment we have been called to walk in. Revelation that the curse is broken and we no longer are subject to it must be ours if we are to move in the signs and wonders that He has saved for the very last. He has saved you to be born in this hour intentionally because you have been chosen as one who has the potential to walk this out. Allow yourself to be realigned, or perhaps even for the first time aligned, with the mind of Christ and just who we are in Him as He dwells in us.