I’d like to share a vision that the Lord gave me on a recent visit to the beach. First of all, that morning, I suddenly had a thought drop into my head of how a coach trains an athlete or a number of athletes before a big event, but when the day of the event comes, the coach no longer does any coaching, apart from some last-minute instructions which are usually recaps of previous training tips. He then moves to the sidelines of the track and the athletes take their positions in the starting blocks.
The coach’s responsibility from that moment on is to cheer the runners on, as they run the race in the lane that is set before them, and I had the sense that for me, and for many others who have had encouragement or Prophetic ministries or teaching ministries, the time of coaching for this present group is coming to an end very, very soon and the time of the event is at hand. The athletes, or those whom one has been encouraging and sharing with prophetically, have all been in training under the tutelage of the Holy Spirit, sometimes receiving input from me as directed by the Lord (and of course, others are also encouraging the remnant), and it has helped in training and in making them spiritually fit for the race that they have to run, and for the end time appointment that they are about to take up.
However, now the time is coming, and is, in fact, here, when the coaches will stand alongside the track and watch as those they have trained run the race that is set before them at full speed – with great shouts of encouragement and with pride in their hearts at the amazing performance of these athletes.
So, with that in mind from the early morning when I woke up, I went down to the beach to have a walk. And I bent over to scratch amongst the tiny little pieces of broken shell and very small, smooth pebbles that had been washed up by the waves coming in at high tide the night before, I had a vision. I saw a racetrack and the runners in the starting blocks. There were row upon row upon row of spectators that had come to watch the running of this very important race; this was a very important event. A scripture dropped into my mind, Hebrews 11:1. ‘Surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us throw aside every weight and the sin that so easily besets us and let us run With perseverance the race that is set before us’.
I had the sense that the spectators I saw standing row upon row around the edges of the track were the great cloud of witnesses that had come to watch the running of this very important kingdom race in these end times. As I looked at the runners in the starting blocks, they were very focused, very intently looking ahead at the lane that was set before them, understanding the parameters and dimensions and the blueprint of the lane in which they each had to run. But they were very tense and every muscle was pulled tight and you could see the adrenaline pumping through their systems, even though they had not started the race yet.
And as I looked at this whole scene, I heard a sound coming from the very back of the rows of all the spectators comprising this crowd of witnesses. And it was the words of an ancient chorus – ‘Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of the earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace’. And as that back row of witnesses finished singing that short verse, the row in front of them began to join them in singing it again. As they came to the end; ‘in the light of His glory and grace’, the row in front of them, closer to the race track, joined in. Over and over, the same simple words resounded, and so it became this absolute crescendo of worship in the beautiful words of this old, old song. It makes me want to weep again even now as I think of it, because as I heard that song being sung, I began to weep because the presence and atmosphere of Heaven just washed over me and I could feel it very powerfully all around me as I watched that vision unfold. It was as if a veil between heaven and earth had been removed and the two had become one arena of praise and worship to the King of Kings. And as the runners waiting in the starting blocks became aware of the sound that was being sung over them by the cloud of witnesses, they looked up. That heavenly sound wave washed over them and filled the atmosphere around them and they lifted their faces and looked up into the heavens to see Jesus, as Stephen saw him standing at God’s right hand to receive him.
As they did so, as their eyes looked deep into the eyes of Jesus , every bit of strain and every bit of stress and tension just melted out of their whole frames. Their shoulders that had previously been hunched up and very tense, relaxed. Their jaws that had been clenched, released. You just saw all fear and worry flow out of their beings and peace entering their whole bodies and souls. As the words of that chorus and the presence of Heaven just flooded that scene, they set their faces like flint toward the face of Jesus, their Bridegroom, as He stood waiting to receive them on completion of their individual races. They would be able to say, like Paul, “I have run the race, I have fought the fight, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the victor’s crown of righteousness”.
As I was bent over, just weeping at what I was witnessing, just so overcome with emotion at the scene, the Lord said to me, “You have been listening to the song of the crushed ones”. And that made me weep even more, because I knew that the great cloud of witnesses had paid such an incredible price to be standing where they were in the gallery, watching this final leg of the race of Kingdom purposes. They have been the fore-runners that had gone before, tortured and killed in various horrible ways for refusing to deny their faith. And everything they did in laying down their lives was purchasing the last great harvest which we would have the privilege to bring in.
There are many in the starting blocks and they’ve done all the prescribed training they can do. They followed all the advice and encouragement of the coaches to whom they’ve been assigned. And they’ve done everything humanly speaking that they can do in preparation. Yet, there is a sense of tension and a sense of great stress as the darkness is very rapidly filling the earth now. They’re stressed, worried they will not be able to complete the race – “what about these lockdowns? How am I going to do what the coach told me to do when I’m isolated and delegated to my house and I can’t go outside my front door? I still don’t have the finance. I don’t know how to run this race. I can see the parameters, I even know some of the details of the blueprint, but I don’t know how I’m going to accomplish this good work that God has prepared beforehand for me to walk in…”
The Lord is saying, “Turn your eyes upon Me. Look full in My face. Let the things that are happening in the world grow strangely dim.” He will equip you with everything you need to fulfill your mandate. He will be right on time, down to the millisecond. In the race that is set before you to run, He will work with you, confirming the words that you speak with signs and wonders; He will provide for you. He determines the set boundaries and seasons of your habitation and you will not stay one day longer than He has determined in the place where you are presently residing (if He’s going to move you geographically). Remember the Israelites were slaves in Egypt for 430 years. On the exact date that the time period that’d been prophesied many years before – on the exact day that time period finished, Almighty God took His children out of Egypt. He is still a promise keeper. What He has spoken, He will perform. God sent angels to thrust Lot and his family out of Sodom before it was destroyed. He waited until they were outside the city before judgement fell. Trust your Father to watch over you.
So, be encouraged today. May your ears and eyes be opened to hear the song of the cloud of witnesses cheering you on. May you be empowered by their words and wrapped in the atmosphere of Heaven as you launch forth into the appointed lane of your Kingdom purpose. Don’t be worried if you separated from everybody that you normally stand with spiritually, don’t be worried that you’re going to be left alone and fret about how you will stand and wonder how you will manage to not lose your faith. If you end up running your race alone for a season, note that God has positioned the cloud of witnesses to sing over you. Know that God has positioned the cloud of witnesses to coach you and cheer you on to the finish line -and you will receive exactly what you need in the form of directions; specific council, wisdom, strategy and information. The Spirit of the Living God will equip you at the moment you need it to operate in Kingdom power and might. Remember my recent message where the Lord said, “Run… and Receive”. You are supplied en-route with all the power and light you need.
Fix your eyes upon Jesus and all that is going on around you will pale in the light of His face. Focus on your finish line. God is on His throne and He will be glorified in the earth. He will be glorified in and through you.
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