DAY SIX – There is a Changing of the Guard
In my 2017 book “500: Are We Entering a New Era of Glory?”* I outlined my belief that we are entering a major new era, not just a slight season change. We are experiencing a massive fundamental change in God’s purposes, on a scale equivalent to the history shaping arrival of certain great kings and prophets (Noah, Moses, David, even Jesus) and tide-turning momentous changes in nations (The Exile, Roman occupation, the fall of Rome, the Reformation).
My book showed that every one of these key shifts has happened at approximately 500-year intervals, and (the exciting news here…) you are alive 500 years after the Reformation, where the very core of politicised Christianity was shaken until it glowed with faith and power again!
At such seismic moments in history, there is usually a changing of the guard, as new “early-adopter” leaders replace the old, who are promoted and now watch amongst the great cloud of witnesses (Hebrews 12).
Promoted to Glory
From the recent death of Queen Elizabeth II, to the loss of spiritual fathers like Billy Graham, Reinhard Bonnke, Oral Roberts and Colin Urquhart, there is a leadership shift taking place right now. You may not even recognise these names, but these figures, and many others besides, have shaped the Church you enjoy today for good –
– but the leadership of God’s Church is now shifting radically.
Every time we lose a spiritual father or mother, who has long served the church with faithfulness, passion and purpose, we lose something familiar and trusted. They were liked pillars around us.
That makes a Changing of the Guard a slightly scary time.
But we need to remember that these changes are inevitable, godly, biblical and can lead to great advancement. We need to be thankful for all that these reformers, pioneers and pillar-people have brought to us, but we also need to recognise another thing:
New Apostolic and Prophetic Voices are Arising in the Earth!
There is arising in this time new apostolic and prophetic voices, coming with fresh ideas, models and new ways of building biblical communities in the earth. Innovation is exploding out of wilderness wells, frustration and passionate longing for God’s Kingdom to come!
Desert prophets are stirring us to long for new Promised Lands again. Our now, slightly dated models, and our fizzling fire simply isn’t enough. We must keep changing and moving forward to see the long-prophesied waves of global harvest and transformation.
But the new faces and younger leaders have yet to earn our trust. They, by their very nature, sound new, are less experienced, and no doubt some of them will fail at times. This presents us with a dilemma: Our grief wants all the old ways and old faces back, but God’s glory is calling us forward!
Recognise in this time of adjustment:
- Many leadership changes, successions and transitions are taking place.
- Many are finding new tribes to join for the new era.
- Loneliness and disconnectedness is sometimes God calling you to a new family
- Time for new alignments!
- Many are shifting churches, ministries, towns, even countries.
Don’t fear the transitions of tribe, friendship group, geography or leadership. Remember “He has no plans to harm you” (Jeremiah 29:11) – God is just rearranging his chess board people to new places, for greater purpose, greater joy, greater KINGDOM COME!
MEDITATE ON THESE SCRIPTURES
“After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.
“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.” Joshua 1:1-7
“When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?”
“Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied.
“You have asked a difficult thing,” Elijah said, “yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours—otherwise, it will not.”
As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. Elisha saw this and cried out, “My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!” And Elisha saw him no more. Then he took hold of his garment and tore it in two.
Elisha then picked up Elijah’s cloak that had fallen from him and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. He took the cloak that had fallen from Elijah and struck the water with it. “Where now is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” he asked. When he struck the water, it divided to the right and to the left, and he crossed over.
The company of the prophets from Jericho, who were watching, said, “The spirit of Elijah is resting on Elisha.” 1 Kings 2:9-15
500 years after the dawn of the Reformation, Jarrod Cooper asks if we are entering a new Church Age? It would seem, from a study of Biblical and Church history, that every 500 years some great adjustment and development of God’s workings on earth takes place. If this is true then that means we are a generation destined to walk with God at another pivotal turning point in history