Beloved, have you been amazed that the Lord is changing your heart toward your family recently? If so, you may be a recipient of His outpouring of the spirit of Elijah.
I saw in the spirit that, for two years now, the Lord has been progressively delivering His people from a spirit of performance and striving.
The first year of the process was the hardest.
In that year, the saints resisted, convinced that the only way to survive was to claw and soldier through. The pressures mounted up as the addiction to striving and performance fought hard against the Lord's invitation to rest and refocus on what's really important.
If that describes you, you learned a lot during the first year—but it took you that whole year to rest and lay some things down in order to pick up better things.
At the end of that year, when you began resting, then and only then could the Lord deposit in your heart what He wanted to give you all along: the spirit of Elijah.
The spirit of Elijah is the manifestation of God's Holy Spirit in which He turns the hearts of the children to the fathers (and mothers), and the hearts of the mothers and fathers to the children. As it says in Malachi 4:5-6:
"See, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreaded day of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse."
When you began laying down busywork in order to focus on what's really important, the Lord began to give you His spirit of Elijah.
You could tell that something was different in you because you began noticing a willingness to put your family first, a turning of your heart toward your family. You weren't where you wanted to be yet, but you knew the Lord was working in your heart.
Over the last year, He has softened your heart toward your family and given you His own love for them. His work has reached the point where many have actually thought within themselves—and meant it—This person [in my family] is my best friend.
Many have also thought, I'd rather be with my family than with any other people in the world, when they were accustomed to taking their family for granted and putting them in the proverbial back seat of life in the past.
You have noticed the Lord's tremendous work in your heart; you've marveled in wonder at it.
The things that have been so important to you for decades are suddenly falling away: people's expectations, dreams of outward success, a longing for external rewards, an internal need to prove yourself and your worth to others and a desire for popularity.
All these things used to bring you fulfillment, but they don't really matter to you anymore.
In fact, you have even surprised yourself by realizing lately that if some of your external dreams don't happen, you will be OK because you have willingly and purposely sacrificed them in order to have more important benefits for your family, children and legacy.
This shocks you, but the rest this has brought your mind has been the most shocking of all.
Already you are seeing your relationships blossom because of these changes. Even recently, I saw many people shocked by how rapidly their relationships with their children are changing for the better as they are putting family time and family bonding ahead of work, striving and success.
God is wrecking your heart for your family.
I also saw that many have held secret feelings of shame and inferiority because they didn't have the family relationships they desired, but they didn't know what to do about it.
The whole time, however, striving and performing have occupied their entire horizon, squeezing out the family relationships they so desired. Yet, they never knew this was the reason. They never sensed the dichotomy of striving on the gerbil wheel of success while also trying to succeed in their family. The two things are not possible to have at once; a gerbil wheel requires constant attention in order to keep it going.
I saw that the Father is offering His spirit of Elijah to every person, no matter where you are in the process.
It is His will to bring every person and every family into a broad place—a place where your marriage, family and home become the safe and loving shelter for both you and your children as Father always meant them to be. However, in order to receive this, you must be willing to rest.
Performance is exhausting; it takes all your energy to maintain it. This is why the Father has been curing and delivering His people of performance-based thinking for two years now. He has allowed His people to become tired, so they can see the futility of their striving.
I saw Father's hand open in invitation. He is inviting you to rest if you will.
The choice is yours, but everything you desire is behind the door of rest:
The family relationships you yearn for are hidden in your rest.
The provision you yearn for is hidden in your rest as well—not in a cessation of work, but in a cessation of striving.
The ability to focus only on your priorities and live for the glory of God is wrapped up in your willingness to rest.
Will you rest?
Father God is extending His hand out to you. He is expanding your ability to focus on your family, but sacrifices will be required:
Everything that looks like striving will have to go.
Everything that smells like performance will have to be left behind.
Everything that looks like a gerbil wheel, smells like a gerbil wheel and spins like a gerbil wheel will have to be eschewed in order to receive the fullness of the spirit of Elijah.
The Father is expanding your capacity to be a father or mother after His own heart.
He is anointing you to just be, and to be in conjunction with the people you love the most. He is turning your heart toward home, toward family, toward peace. He is turning your heart toward your children and toward your parents and family. He is bringing margin into your life.
Or He is attempting to.
But scaling your business has to take a back seat to His peace.
Achieving hallmarks and milestones that other people say you should achieve so you can show your worth will have to go. Walking on other people's pre-determined and pre-prescribed paths of success will have to go.
And you will have to be willing to rest and walk in peace.
You will have to lay back in Father's arms and trust Him: Trust Him to provide, and trust Him to see your dreams come true.
You will actually feel release as you relinquish your dreams and demands to the Father—telling Him that you still believe Him, but you are going to focus your energy on resting, trusting and caring for what matters most to Him while He does the striving toward the impossible for you.
The spirit of Elijah is turning your heart toward what matters. Will you yield to Him today?
Jamie Rohrbaugh is an author, speaker and presence-seeker whose heart is for the local church. Called to intercession and prophetic ministry, her passion is to see sons and daughters transformed by the love of Abba Father. Jamie blogs for a global readership at fromhispresence.com, where she writes about prayer, personal revival and the supernatural lifestyle, and she has written for various ministry outlets. She holds a master's degree in biblical studies from Berea Seminary and is a grateful member of the Redbud Writers Guild. Jamie serves as a domestic missionary in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
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