I have been hearing many reports from other ministries and friends that are finding themselves in a deep struggle as of late. They feel caught up in struggles both economically, spiritually and personally right now. I have noticed in my own life over this time period—a measure of straining, testing and breakthrough in personal and spiritual issues. It has been very exhausting for many people and some have even left the ministry or are beginning to "fold up their tents," so to speak, and retire. It has become increasingly hard for certain individuals and ministries to function in a prosperous way or find a sustainable measure of breakthrough.
This brought me to prayer and the Word of God where I found myself reading, pondering, arguing, laughing, and eventually getting a prophetic download from the Holy Spirit. I was searching and asking, "Lord, what is going on here? Why are things so tough right now? What is the major issue? What are You after?"
The Holy Spirit said one phrase to me that I believe unlocks a strategic view for the Church as well as myself in this season. The Spirit said, "This is the two-fold season of Jacob." The moment the Holy Spirit spoke those words to me I felt something mighty hit my spirit! The Holy Spirit said the two-fold seasons of Jacob are the seasons of "Wrestling" and of "Jacobs Ladder." The Holy Spirit took me to two very specific Scriptures in the Word concerning Jacob in Genesis 28:12 and 32:24-31.
Jacob's Dream at Bethel:
"Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to Heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it."—Genesis 28:12
Jacob Wrestles With God:
"So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob's hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man.
"Then the man said, 'Let me go, for it is daybreak.' But Jacob replied, 'I will not let you go unless you bless me.' The man asked him, 'What is your name?' 'Jacob,' he answered. Then the man said, 'Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome.'
"Jacob said, 'Please tell me your name.' But he replied, 'Why do you ask my name?' Then he blessed him there.
"So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, 'It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.' The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip."—Genesis 32:24-31
We think it is the enemy that is slowing us down when really it is the Lord testing and building our character! It is the Lord Himself trying to do a good work within us and making our faith as pure gold! I felt the Holy Spirit say, "Don't stop wrestling with God!" People are giving up on this journey of God which is producing character, both personally and corporately, due to a major misunderstanding of what God is doing. We are going to miss this great work of producing "wisdom and perseverance" if we dismiss this testing as demonic oppression.
The enemy has a plan to destroy the Church and this now move of God. Now is the time that this generation must learn to decipher between "what is oppression" and "what is testing of character." The Lord is going to give us wisdom from the Holy Spirit so we don't lose momentum on this journey to major breakthrough! This generation is being given a specific opportunity for openness and authenticity before the uncreated God of the universe!
This generation is wrestling with God, and in this process God Himself is training us to wrestle. God is teaching us to be strong and have endurance, perseverance and steadfastness. This generation will receive a "reversal of seasons." Just as Jacob first had the dream of Jacob's Ladder and later wrestled with God, this generation will wrestle with God and receive breakthrough which will open Jacobs's ladder.
The breakthrough that is coming is literally the Heavens being opened! Angels ascending and descending! God is dedicated through intimacy and diligence in prayer to bring large-scale breakthrough in personal lives, churches and regions.
As we say, "Yes" to God producing character in us, we will come into agreement with where He is taking us. God is looking for a generation that will be a container for the times. God is looking for a generation that will allow the old wineskin to be broken. A generation that will rise in a confident relationship with the Father and stand in strength!
After his wrestling match with the Angel of the Lord, Jacob walked with a limp. The Holy Spirit says, "That is what I am looking for. I am looking for a Church and a new generation that will come out leaning on her Beloved. I am looking for a Church and a generation that will walk differently."
People could look at Jacob after that point and tell that he walked differently after his Heavenly "contending encounter." That is what God is after in this now move of God—a generation that is motivated by intimacy and a desire to walk it out differently. God wants a generation that longs to see God face to face!
"So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, 'It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.' The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip."—Genesis 32:30-31
Jacob's Ladder Brings Breakthrough
Jacob's Ladder is the season of an open Heaven. During this season the Lord is going to be opening the Heavens in a mighty way and that literally is the breakthrough. The breaking is Heaven and it's self-responding to the diligence of prayer and the steadfastness of God's people. This is a time when those who have been tested and tried and found full of love and faith will be "accelerated" in the Body of Christ.
There is a generation that the spirit of religion has tried to abort! This spirit of religion is standing in the midst of the Church and saying to a new generation, "You don't belong here." And the Holy Spirit is looking for a people and a generation that will stand up in the Church and say, "Get out!" to this spirit of religion. God desires a generation that will fight for the birth of this movement!
The place at which Jacob stopped for the night and had his Heavenly encounter was in reality Mount Moriah, the future home of the Temple in Jerusalem. The ladder therefore signifies the "bridge" between Heaven and Earth, as prayers and sacrifices offered in the Holy Temple provided a connection between God and the Jewish people. Moreover, the ladder alludes to the giving of the Torah as another connection between Heaven and Earth.
God is going to pour out His Spirit in geographic regions and Churches. The Lord is looking for a place to call "home." The Lord is saying, "Who will build a house for Me, and where can I find rest?" The Holy Spirit is saying that if a people set themselves aside to do things differently and co labor with the Lord, He will build a bridge between Heaven and Earth!
In the Gospel of John 1:51, there is a clear reference to Jacob's dream in Genesis 28:12, and it points towards Jesus Christ who is called with his title of Son of Man: "And He said to him, '"Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see Heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.'"
Luke and Grace Holter are currently leaders with Fairmont Christian Center in Houston, Texas. Luke moved to Houston to work with the homeless and to be obedient to a direction from the Lord. Bringing with him eight years of experience in leadership and life coaching, as well as a unique set of giftings, Luke's passion is to connect people's hearts and give language to take on their destiny. As an expert in real life issues, Luke and his wife Grace are Apostolic Prophetic Leaders, and College Pastors. Luke is an author as well as being certified through the AACC (Association of Christian Counselors) as a Biblical Counselor. Luke is currently writing a book "Disarming the Monster", which will be available in early 2011. The book is about overcoming spiritual abuse and rejection through the power of relationship and forgiveness. Luke and his team have also started a prophetic etiquette school called "Prophetic Etiquette 101."