God of Hope Who Keeps His Promises
In recent encounters, I find myself seated at the Counsel Table of the Lord with various leaders from the Body of Christ. The Lord begins to share His heart regarding the challenges and the advancement in 2011. He speaks of the hope-filled 2012 that He is walking us into. In this place He reveals His face as the Promise Keeper to me, proclaiming that this is the face, the part of His nature that He desires to reveal to the Body of Christ in 2012. He stands at His table, calling us to press through to engage Him as God, to believe in Him again as the God of all life, to believe both His heart and His strength to accomplish the hope-filled promises that He has spoken over our lives this year.
Looking Back at 2011 TogetherHe begins to tenderly look back at 2011 with us, speaking about how 2011 was a year of great challenge. It was a year of transition where arrows to the mind and perplexities created a high level of exhaustion in us all. It was a year of transition that required unique hope. Isaiah 58:11 speaks of this transition of unique hope and divine guidance in the midst of perplexities.
Isaiah 58:11 The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.
We felt this across the Body of Christ. We felt sun scorched, like burnt living stones in many ways, but despite our experience of challenge and perplexity, the Lord reassured us that there was GREAT ADVANCEMENT in 2011!
The Deeper Revealing of the Promise Keeper Face of GodWhen we look deeper at this Promise Keeper face of God that He is making known to us in 2012, we see that it is a face of patriarchal love. This is not a face that is stern or harsh or full of expectations we can never fulfill. This is the face of patriarchal love that we see in Luke 15 where the father loves the son more than the wounds of his own soul. The Luke 15 father loves his son so much that he doesn't just receive him back, he doesn't greet him with eyes of disappointment or words of correction, when he sees him "far off" he runs to embrace him and meets him with eyes of love. This is the heart and face of the Promise Keeper God.
An Inheritance of HopeAs the Patriarchal God of Hope, He gives us an inheritance of hope and promises over our lives, and however we treat them and Him, He will remain the love-filled Luke 15 father in our lives. We can know that despite all failings and weakness, if we return to Him, He will always run to receive us back into His arms with eyes full, not of disappointment, but of love for us. The Promise Keeper has bound Himself to us in FAITH, HOPE, and LOVE above all else, and He has the strength to keep His hope-filled promises even when our strength fails. It is not our strength that secures the promises...it is HIS!
He is the Promise and the Promise KeeperIn Proverbs 13:12 it says, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life." When we truly see His face as the Promise Keeper, the deep love in His eyes as He proclaims and keeps His hope-filled promises, then we will have our tree of life. The Promise Keeper Himself is our hope, our promise, and our great reward.
Receiving Our InheritanceWhen we are secured in His love, when we are fixed on His face, then we will not easily give away our inheritance for convenience or the day's bread like Esau did. We will be like the 2 Kings 4 woman who pursued the return of her inheritance, her son, from God through the prophet Elijah. She believed in the God of the trump card, the God who – when it seems like all the aces are stacked up against us – steps in with the trump card, the thing we can't see, and takes the day for us. When we know this face of God we will, like Abraham, receive our inheritance through faith. Abraham knew God as the Promise Keeper, so much so that he believed God would keep His promise, even if it meant resurrecting that promise, his son, from the dead. Abraham knew the face and heart of the Promise Keeper, Himself, the Promise Keeper who would later give everything in His own Son, to keep His promises to those He loved.
Wise Counsel from the Lord for 2012The Promise Keeper God now speaks wise counsel to us, showing us how we might walk this out in 2012. He speaks of "double adoration" – where we focus on His face as the Promise Keeper, and on His heart as the Patriarchal God of Hope. He speaks of "acceleration by association," where we walk into the promises together. He speaks of 2012 as a year of communities of hope, healthy hope centers where people are encouraged by living close to one another in true community.
"You can have a mandate, but not an agenda in 2012," He says. In 2012 we are not to operate out of a Nimrod spirit, which extends our own platform and agenda. The Lord says, "My way is not the CEO way where you build more and more divisions and try to control it while building your own name vs. My name."
In John 7:18 it says, "He who speaks of himself seeks his own glory..." In 2012 we are to build not upon who we are but upon who Jesus really is, and we are to focus on building other people's houses this year. This year there will be kings that help other kings, giving preference to the vision of another. It is the Jonathan and David spirit coming alive on the Earth. The Lord also says, regarding disagreements over doctrines, "Don't worry about it, it will all be clear very soon," meaning who's right and who's not. As we put aside our differences and come together at the table of the Lord, we will be strengthened and there will be a revamping of the seven mountains and arenas of influence in society.
The Promise of Isaiah 58:12In 2012 we will see the Isaiah 58:12 ancient ruins, which is the knowledge of God, restored. He has shown me that the ancient ruins of Isaiah 58:12 are God, not that He has been ruined, but rather that our perceptions of Him have been ruined. The word "ruins" literally means "drought." We have been in a sun-scorched land without the true knowledge of Him. God wants to remove the drought, to clear away these ruins of the misunderstanding of His nature that create doubt and unbelief.
This Isaiah 58:12 "rebuilding the ancient ruins" is rebuilding the knowledge of God on another level, where adoration is established. The Hope Reformation is a restoration and rebuilding of the true knowledge of God in our day. In 2012 He is revealing Himself again as the Promise Keeper with the heart of the Patriarchal father of Luke 15; for when we truly know that we are a son or daughter, we will not become a slave to anything. The Promise Keeper face of God and the other faces of God that have been forgotten through the generations WILL BE RESTORED once again.
The Age of RestorationThe Body of Christ coming to know His Promise Keeper face will usher in an age of restoration where there will be houses like Bethel, houses of God where the gates of Heaven are open and you can see into other dimensions. There will be a restoration of lost inheritances in this time. The "poorest of the poor" will be remembered. The oppressed of Leviticus 26:12-13 will be set free in every way. Part of this transition to freedom is the new hope-filled operating system based in rest that He has given us for 2012. In this, He is showing us how to enter into His promises in rest vs. striving.
Advancing Through the Door of Hope TogetherIn 2012 we will advance through the "door of hope" together! We will raise up the "age old foundations" as we decree hope together, for to decree is literally to "raise up!" We will remember the hopes and promises fulfilled in 2011, both in Him as our "great reward," and in our lives! We will remember all the faces of Himself that He has revealed to us again and again, of His face as the Builder, Supplier, Redeemer, and Wise God in our lives! We will remember that we have encountered Him again and again as the Patriarchal God of Hope who sees a long way out for us and who speaks hope over our lives as a Patriarchal Father, who teaches us how to live, not as orphans, but as sons and daughters every day! As we remember these things together, we are raising up the "age old foundations." Rising up to decree these hopes and promises together is bringing forth the commanded blessings for 2012!
The Call: Decreeing His Heart of Hope TogetherThe Lord is calling us to stop and appreciate this season that He is taking us into in 2012. He is calling us to stop and focus on His face, the face of the Promise Keeper. He has been underestimated and misperceived and He wants us to take time to see what He is doing instead of what He isn't doing. We do this by remembering the hopes and promises that He has already fulfilled in our lives. We do this by stepping forth together to decree the hope that is to come for us in 2012: the promises of Isaiah 58:12, the building of healthy hope centers across the Earth, and the transformation of the seven mountains of influence in society. From a place of rest, take time, with us, to pray as we enter into this new season. See that He is the Promise Keeper and Patriarchal Father of Luke 15 and decree the promises yet to be fulfilled as you look into His heart.
Deeper Waters Ministry
About Bob Hartley: Bob Hartley is the founder of Hartley Institute/Deeper Waters Ministry in Kansas City, Missouri. Bob served as a pastor at Metro Christian Fellowship with Mike Bickle before entering the marketplace in 1983, with a vision to see the marketplace redeemed and cities established that value and love the person of Jesus. He is also the Chief Executive Officer of the Hartley Group, a "Hope Center" for the marketplace, consisting of Hartley's Executive Cleaning, Swift Chemicals & Supply, Prize Properties and H&H Management in Kansas City, Missouri. Bob is a frequent speaker to youth, churches, businesses and national leaders throughout America and the world. His quest has been to bring the Kingdom of God into every arena of life and give spiritual tools and equipping to those seeking to know and love God in the midst of their everyday lives. Currently, Bob resides in Kansas City with his wife and four children.