26. Get them ready

‘Purposing Change’ Meditations: 26. Get them ready

Acts 12:8 Then the angel said to him, “Put on your clothes and sandals.”

Yesterday we said imagine your loved one etc. as a prisoner (which is what they are). Then we wondered how much of a prisoner we might be ourselves and I concluded suggesting it was time to get ready for God is on the move.

Now step back into Acts 12 and Peter in prison. I believe the Lord wants us to grab hold of some spiritual realities as we think about this story some more. Having woken him up, the angel told Peter to get dressed. He will need clothes on outside. This is seeing your loved one in their new state, getting ready to leave their prison.  You are preparing them in the spiritual realities for what is to come.

In your Spirit now go back to Zech 3:1-5 where the scruffy Joshua is being reclothed. Now imagine your loved one etc. standing before the Lord in the best of clothes. See them being touched by the fire of God (Isa 6:6,7) and being transformed into a man or woman of God with a task (Eph 2:10). THIS is what is on the Lord’s heart for them. Now pray it! OK, you just read it, but now we need to really seek to take it in. See the different stages:

Stage 1: We come to believe this is possible, that the God who opened prison doors for Peter can open the doors of belief for me and the prison doors for my loved one, prodigal etc. We need to declare that truth out loud and thank Him for it.

Stage 2: We start praying, for this is a spiritual event, this ‘being born again’ and it may only come after a spiritual battle in the heavenlies when you have prayed and prayed, shouted victory and thanked God for it.

Stage 3: We start doing something. For Peter it was getting dressed ready to leave the prison. For you – and sorry about changing the analogy – it is preparing the road, asking the Lord to show you obstacles in the relationship you have with your loved one and the wisdom to remove them, to show you the holes in your relationship and the wisdom to know how to fill them. This is going beyond prayer although prayer is involved; it is purposefully seeking to make the way more possible for your loved one to travel on it to faith or, to see it the other way round, to make it easier for the Lord to come to them and be accepted by them.

We have previously considered the ‘changing perceptions’ strategy, which may include food or any other means of blessing them. These are all things that help them ‘get dressed’ ready to change and leave the prison. We considered the ‘Come and See’ strategy, yes, another way of getting them ready, getting them dressed. They may not be the things that actually cause the change – for that will only be the Holy Spirit – but they can be things that help bring preparatory changes in them. Only God can open the doors, but we can help them ‘get dressed’ to get ready.

Now the picture in Zech 3 of Joshua being given new, clean clothes, says something else. He is coming from a place of failure, he is scruffy looking and is being accused by Satan because of his failings that his ‘filthy clothes’ speak of. But the big issue is that God wants to reclothe him and give him a fresh purpose in life, He has things for him to do and He knows Joshua will be responsive and thus be up to it. God doesn’t focus on your loved one’s past so much as their future. Only He knows what is possible. Can you look beyond the present person you know, the person whose failings and foibles you know all about, and ask the Lord to give you a glimpse of the person they yet can be? I am praying for a prodigal someone who seems successful in life but not yet in the kingdom. I have seen something of what I sense the Lord wants to help them become, and it’s wonderful and it motivates me even more to pray daily for them. Ask Him to do that for you. 

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