I see a runner coming to the beginning of the 4th lap of a race. There is a large ball and chain on the right ankle and it has a name on it. This person has kept on running the race as best as possible through 3 watches or laps of a very dark night and now it is the morning watch. This runner has cried out for the Lord to move in the situation, to bring deliverance of this weight that slows down all progress and impedes the freedom of the runner to run his appointed course. But the Lord says that this ball and chain has built much spiritual muscle and strength in you and this is why I have allowed it to remain for this long season. Now I come to cut it off and you will be released in an instant. From that moment on, you will run faster and more powerfully than ever before and complete your race for My glory. Understand My ways, child. Nothing is without definite purpose; no onslaught allowed unless it works together for your ultimate good. I know the appointed course set before you in this morning watch, each bend and turn, and you will have need of the muscle and stamina you have developed in the night of trial.
This runner represents the Lord’s final relay company; the sons and daughters of the morning watch and each one has had a ball and chain with a unique name on it. For some, it has been ‘sickness’. For others, it is a tailor-made thorn in the flesh or harassing relationship. For yet others, it has been incredible demonic resistance pushing against every step in a forward direction. But just as resistance training is used to build strong and powerful athletes and sportsmen, so too the Spirit has allowed this resistance training to furnish you with all you will need in the season ahead. You will finish strong.
You may feel weak and exhausted now as you come to this 4th lap and your heart may be failing you at the thought of yet another round of exhausting endurance training. You say, “I have struggled to run with men. How will I ever keep up with the horses as they ride forth to battle?” But the Lord says, “No, this season is different. Now I remove the training aids. Now I set aside the ball and chain. Now I release you to run swift and sure with your eyes on the prize. And you will feel the wind of the Spirit in your hair and you will lift your head and run the course with joy, filled with the power of the Spirit. This is what the dark night was all about, my child. This is why I have hidden Myself from you at times – to make you press in further; to make you pursue me relentlessly, to forge in your heart a determination that no resistance could quench as you pursue the Lover of your soul. Against this passion, the enemy has no antidote. Seeing this fire of zeal, his cohorts tremble and flee, for they know the One with eyes like fire and they fear His dread champions.
Do not measure yourself by your performance in the training days when the weight of resistance weighed you down and wearied your soul. In fact, do not measure yourself at all. Measure Me and the power of My might and run like David did towards Goliath.
1Sa 17:45 Then said David to the Philistine, You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the ranks of Israel, Whom you have defied.
From the womb of the morning, my overcomers are released. From the springboard of all the enemy has thrown at them, they leap forward into their tailor-made assignments, with the battle- cry of the Blood of the Lamb upon their lips. Against this, all darkness flees and the gates of hell will not prevail. Take the Kingdom; possess the fullness of the inheritance I have bought for you. Ask of Me and I will give you the nations which lie before you. Run, My warriors, run the race set before you. Cast aside the weight, for I have broken its hold upon you.”
Beloved, take a deep breath and press through. Fix your eyes like a flint on the prize of the upward calling.
Php 3:12 Not that I have now attained [this ideal], or have already been made perfect, but I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of me and made me His own. Php 3:13 I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, Php 3:14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.
Forget the 3 training watches of the night. Press forward to seize eagerly that for which Christ Jesus laid hold of you. There is an upward call sounding forth. Come up higher, see things from the throne’s perspective. Like horses released from their starting gates, the Morning Watch runners are being released from their training season. It is time.