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ENCOUNTERING CHRIST IN CRISIS | Pt.3

ENCOUNTERING CHRIST IN CRISIS | Pt.3

In the previous articles we began to discuss the crisis that the Apostle Peter found himself in when He betrayed the Lord, stumbled in his calling, and went back to what was familiar to him (which was tending nets with his friends down by the sea). We discussed how important it is to recognize the different “ways” that God comes to you, even during a time of crisis. Israel was in crisis at the time of Christ’s first coming, and his coming could not ultimately help them as a nation at that time because they could not discern Jehovah in that “way” in which he came.


We also talked about how leadership is a gift that enables people to lead others for the good or the bad, and that fruitfulness (or lack thereof) can be a sign to you from the Lord concerning your call. We’re not to take the fact that others are following us as a sign that we’re going in the right direction, and we’re to pay careful attention to the fluctuations of fruitfulness in our lives. Peter found himself fishing and catching nothing, even though He was toiling through the night and was an experienced fisherman. The moment Jesus showed up and Peter began to obey the Master’s simple commands again, immediately his nets were full. This was in fact a sign to Peter from the Lord concerning his divine destiny. The Lord through this moment of fruitfulness was calling to Peter saying, “Peter, get back on the right path. Take up your ministry mantle again and begin to feed my sheep once more!”.


Have you found yourself in a moment of crisis? Has your income dried up when you’ve gone back to the familiar in your time of stumbling? It could be a sign to you that there’s no going back; that you are to renew your relationship with the Lord, renew your faith, forgive yourself for whatever failure has happened, and begin to put your hand to plow again concerning what you have been put on this earth to do! In today’s article we will continue walking through the scripture together in John the twenty-first chapter and see what else the Lord has to show us from this amazing story!


LOOK FOR THE MANTLE TO BE RESTORED


(Jn.21:7)

“Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment (for he had removed it), and plunged into the sea.”


Very simply put, the disciple “whom Jesus loved” was the first to recognize the Lord, even though everyone was looking at him with their natural eyes. The disciple whom the Lord loved was John, the writer of this gospel, and He was both the one that put his head on the Lord’s heart at the last supper (Jn.13:23), and the one who received the revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ as He was caught up into the heavenly realm on the Isle of Patmos. His revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ became the Omega revelation, the last crowning achievement for the greatest book ever written, the Holy Bible. Those who are nearest to the Lord's heart will have the eyes of their heart open to see, and those whose eyes are open to see will recognize the Lord first before anyone else when He walks into a room. Recognizing the presence of Jesus quickly is one the most important spiritual skills you can master in the faith. Those who learn to quickly recognize the movements of the Master will never miss out on any good thing.


In scripture, and still in the church today, it is often the prophets who lead with their revelatory gifting. John was an apostle of the Lamb, but He was similar to the spiritual make-up of both Barnabas & Silas. He often found himself being used strongly in the prophetic, in aide to other apostles like Peter, who was a chief apostle among the original twelve. John recognized the Lord prophetically, with the eyes of his heart being opened to discern the risen Lord, and Peter “heard” the revelation that John released in that moment. When Peter heard it He too saw it, and immediately put on his outer garment (which he had taken off) and took the plunge to follow the Lord. This represents that in this moment, with this fresh revelation of the Lord, through this fresh encounter with the Lord, Peter’s apostolic mantle was restored. This is what is signified by him putting on that garment again, which he had taken off. Peter laid aside his ministry mantle for a season because of his shame and confusion, but the Lord came and blessed him and revealed himself to Peter again in his crisis, and it effectively restored his mantle and restored him to the ministry.


After Peter was re-mantled, He immediately jumped in the water, fully immersed in the waters, and followed the Lord. This represents that once the power returns, once you feel the weight of his glory clothing you again for service, do not delay, not even for a moment. Take the plunge in faith. Fully run for the Lord in the thing you’ve been empowered to do, and do not look back. Jesus is calling you! Do not delay!


ACCELERATION IN THE GLORY


(Jn.21:8-10)

8 “But the other disciples came in the little boat (for they were not far from land, but about two hundred cubits), dragging the net with fish.

9 Then, as soon as they had come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid on it, and bread.

10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish which you have just caught.”


The obvious question here is where Jesus did get the fish? The rest of disciples came with the net carrying the fish they had just caught after being obedient to the Lord, but there is no record of Peter bringing any of those fish to the shore. So once again I ask the question, where did Jesus get the fish? There is a revelation here concerning the blessings which come when we fully align with God’s plan for our lives.


When asked of the Lord why we persist in our disobedience to his word and his call on our lives we often have very noble explanations. We say things in our hearts like, “Well Lord, I’ve got to put food on the table. I have to do this job”. Or we say, “Lord, no one is knocking on my door to give me all the opportunity in the world to do what I feel you’ve called me to do, so I’m just going to stay right where I’m at until you move”. Doesn’t our disobedience sound so noble and rational at times? The truth is (like the late Evangelist Steve Hill used to say when He was in revival at Brownsville all those years ago) God can’t steer a parked car. Get the car moving and God will steer you. That is to say that you have to take the first step in faith always. Once you take the first step you will find God moving on your behalf, opening doors, leading you in the way you should go every time. He who nobly stays in disobedience in order to “pay the bills” will, ironically, often find himself having a more difficult time paying the bills then He would have if He would have just stepped out and obeyed God.


The revelation of Jesus’ own fish on the fire as Peter and the rest of the disciples came to shore is the revelation of the Lord adding his own fruitfulness to yours when you decide to “fully” obey the Lord. It’s the revelation of acceleration and multiplication which comes out of the glory realm upon your life once you get back on course and decide to fully follow and obey the Lord.


This scene here is the old testament equivalent of when the Lord gave to the children of Israel houses they did not build, vineyards they did not plant, and wells they did not dig (Deut.6:11). God had already blessed them as they took the plunge into the Red Sea to follow God to the mountain of God, and ultimately into the promised land. They left weighted down with the wealth of Egypt (Ex.12:36). This is likened unto the net that the disciple could barely drag to the shore in (Jn.21:8) after Peter took the plunge. Once the children of Israel got to the Promised Land they had bountiful blessings just waiting for them, fully built, fully planted, and fully dug. In the same way the disciples had fish which was already cooked waiting for them when they got to the shore with their fish. This is the acceleration of blessing which will come into your life when you get back on track, respond in obedience to the Lord in your crisis, and choose to fully follow God again!


God will not only restore your ministry, but you’ll find yourself inheriting things, receiving levels of blessing and influence that you never had before, and there they will be just waiting for you, prepared by the Master ready for you to step into. God won’t just restore your business but you'll have a new level of power, influence, and a new order of clientele just waiting for you! Why is this? Because those who sow in tears shall reap in joy (Ps.126:5). Little did you know that your crisis was actually a time of critical sowing into your destiny, into your calling, into your future concerning the spirit realm. Because you “failed forward” and responded to the Lord when He visited you to get you back on track, now you are reaping where you have not sowed before (Matt.25:26)! This is what it means to colabor with the Lord in your true calling and your true destiny! You reap not only your portion but the Lord’s portion! God puts his very own acceleration on your vocation which causes you to accelerate into supernatural harvesting which is not available to the average man laboring in his own strength, laboring in his own efforts! What a God we serve!


Tomorrow we will continue this study!


In His Service,

Stephen Powell

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