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Psalm 24:7 Lift up your heads, you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.

At a recent pre-service prayer time at LOC, I had a vision of large gates at the entrance of a castle. Suddenly, water started pouring over the massive towers that enveloped the entrance. I started to realize these ancient gates are a symbol for God’s people (us) who have been following him for thousands of years. His presence wants to come with might and force in our lives now – today!

How is this able to happen?

1. Believe – We must believe that Jesus is a supernatural God who wants to come to us in a real and powerful way. John 7:38 “Whosoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them." Living water is powerful and active. It washes away sin, debris from this world, and constantly refreshes and purifies us to be the people God created us to be. It’s time to let go of all unbelief, lift up our heads, and believe the King of Glory wants to come in!

2. Overcome Fear and Step In– Living for God always involves risks! Some will dip their little toe in and because it feels unfamiliar or because it didn’t feel or happen this way in the church they grew up in, they run off in fear. On the other end of the spectrum, some will dive right in and encounter His presence. These people will see darkness leave their life and will encounter the greatness of God. They will have no fear and experience a great freedom, while adjusting their lives to help others have these encounters as well.

Ezekiel 47:1-12 God gives Ezekiel a vision of water flowing from the temple. Ezekiel was lead through the water; first ankle deep, then knee deep, and finally deep enough to swim in. He saw the river entering the dead sea. As it entered, dead things started to become alive. Trees were growing with plenty of fruit and leaves with medicinal qualities for healing. Ezekiel needed to enter in and continually go deeper and deeper into the water to see all these miraculous things! He never allowed fear or unfamiliarity to stop him from seeing all the vision God had for him.

At Life Outreach Church, we are seeing more and more people come and desiring the presence of God to come into their lives. They are fearlessly going in deeper and deeper. Darkness is being pushed back and the life and lordship of Jesus Christ is ever increasing. We have been hearing testimonies such as:

• Lost passion and zeal for God is increasing and being restored.
• Where God seemed distanced to some at times, he now seems close. People are hearing His voice and sensing His presence more than they ever have.
• Boldness is increasing! Some are praying for healing of unbelievers outside of the church walls. These people are being healed and coming to the knowledge of the love and goodness of God!

Dead things are coming alive at Life Outreach Church. All glory goes to Jesus – the “KING OF GLORY!” We must understand how much the king wants to come into our lives to help us and as a result, more and more people will come to know the Lord. Put aside fear and unbelief and let His presence flood in like a river – bringing more and more life, freedom, and healing! ‘Lift up your heads – you ancient gates, and let the King of Glory come in!’

Hab.2:14 For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.

"Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people" (Isaiah 57:14).

There are typically five obstacles that God's people experience that prevent them from entering God’s presence, and keep them from being fruitful:

1. Anger and resentment towards people who have hurt us (that is, the effects of others' sins on us).
2. Guilt and shame (the effects of our own sin)
3. Unexpressed emotions (or close-heartedness) often related to our psychological defenses and unhealed wounds frozen in our past.
4. Lies we believe about God, ourselves, other people. Our lack of love, joy, and peace is directly associated with lies we believe, either that the Liar (that's right, Satan) puts into our paths, or lies that we arrive at independent of God's light and counsel, which we develop on our own by leaning on our own understanding instead of trusting God (see Proverbs 3:5,6). Jesus said "The truth shall set you free" (John 8:31)
5. Pride “In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek him” (Psalm 10:4). Therefore, humility is essential to seeking the Lord.

As we begin to lay down these obstacles with the help if the lord, we can enter His presence more freely. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you what is holding you back from His presence. The great promise to those who seek the Lord is that he will be found. “If you seek him, he will be found by you” (1 Chronicles 28:9). And when he is found, there is great reward. “Whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).

God himself is our greatest reward. And when we have him, we have everything. Then, we will be free to live out our purpose with confidence, strength, and joy. Therefore, “Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!”

In order for the body of Christ to grow and be fruitlful, the rule of God must be the foundation in each of our lives and in our churches. Wikipedia defines ‘Lord’ as someone who has authority, control, or power over others. Also, to be a ruler, master, and chief. However, many believers have accepted Jesus only as their Savior, but what about as their Lord? For example, Israel was under the rule of a pagan empire for most of her existence, but God wanted to vindicate His people by establishing His rule. In order for God’s kingdom to be fully established, all other kingdoms must be fully dethroned. This includes the ‘Kingdom of Self’. The Bible says in Luke 9:23 ‘If anyone come after me, He must DENY Himself, take up the cross (daily), and follow me.’ This is Jesus Christ telling us to constantly dethrone the kingdom of self.
When is the kingdom of God coming? Now! It’s already here. However, it isn’t always evident in our lives because self rules and this prevents His rule and reign from being fully established.
How to dethrone the ‘Kingdom Of Self’:

Surrender – Change Our focus James 4:7 “Submit yourselves to God, resist the devil and He will flee.”
In order to surrender to God, we must resist the devil. The devil is not just a person or figure, but also represents what the devil has built. Satan’s kingdom is carnal, worldly, earthly, & temporal. Therefore, submitting ourselves to God means focusing on the eternal and resisting temporary concerns or distractions. Prayer is a great way to focus on the eternal.

Repentance and Belief – The rule of God being established is preceded by repentant and believing hearts. We must address unbelief as sin and allow the Holy Spirit to uproot it from our hearts.
Mark 1:14-15 ‘ Jesus said, ‘The kingdom of God is at hand, repent and believe the good news.’ Hebrews 3:12 ‘Take heed brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.’

Kingdom of God Requires Action
Once we receive Jesus as our Lord and savior and allow the rule of God in our lives, there is reciprocating action that follows. John 14:12 ‘I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works that I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.’

We will only be able to see these ‘greater works’ once the kingdom of self has been fully dethroned. This generation is crying out for a loving God that brings freedom and restoration. Let’s be a people who allow God to rule our lives and demonstrate this to others. As others see the life and rule of God inside of us, it will impact them to seek the living God for themselves. Then, we will not only see salvation, healing, and restoration, but even the 'greater works' that Jesus promised us.

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