• Staci Sweet

The Cutting Season

During my morning devotional I decided that I would watch Wednesday night’s Bible Study with Bishop Jakes but saw a video in my feed by Dr. Bill Johnson. Dr. Johnson is a spirit-filled, highly anointed bestselling author and the Senior Pastor of Bethel Church in Redding, California. The video was entitled, ‘War-like Prayers.’ And if you know me then you know that those two words always get my attention. While teaching, he said that God’s voice corrects, and the circumstances in which we find ourselves, only get our attention.

For instance, he said that people tend to believe that God used the whale to correct Jonah when in fact, God did not. God spoke to Jonah first. The whale or circumstances therein, only got Jonah’s attention so that he could heed God’s correction. He used the whale as a reference point for the weightiness of God’s voice and made the statement that there’s a reason why God’s Word, which is essentially the same as His voice, is often referred to as a sword. Hebrews 4:12 says,

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

God’s Voice Pierces

When he said that, instantly I saw that God’s voice and the words in which He speaks are both quick and powerful. But not only that, they’re also sharp and piercing. And though it’s easy for us to jump ahead and say that God's word pierces our souls and spirits, we shouldn’t push pass the significance of the piercing of His voice.

God’s voice cuts through any and everything …. any and everyone who may be in our souls and in our spirits. His voice is such that it pierces, cuts, slices through the hardest parts of us; externally, internally, but more importantly, ETERNALLY.

His voice can be analogous to the process of an ear piercing. Though painful, God doesn’t just pierce us and leave but He leaves with a spiritual pair of Holy Ghost earrings that not only help us to hear the voice of His Spirit but to listen for that voice. So often all we want to do is hear because we think we get credit for hearing. It’s kinda like when your child is talking, and you act if you’re paying attention. Though you hear your child, you aren’t actually listening to what he or she may be saying.

We’re in a season now where God wants us to listen for and listen to His Holy Spirit because by doing so we are essentially listening to truth.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

– John 14:6

“…when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth;

for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” – John 16:13

We're so bombarded with fake news, lies, deceptions, and sexual imagery and innuendos, that’s it’s easy to get lost in the fray. But we're now in a time where we're going to have to separate what someone says is their truth, from the truth which will require us immersing ourselves in the truth of God’s Word. And though we’re instructed to hear from God, there also comes a time when we must also LISTEN which will require us powering off all devices, shutting off all sound, putting away all distractions, and focusing only on Him.

God’s Voice Divides

My dear reader, not only does God’s voice pierce but the piercing of His voice divides our souls from our spirits. Division is an interesting word because its defined as, ‘the process of separating.’[1] Division is ‘the way…numbers are combined to make new numbers.’ [2] And though division, especially long division, may be confusing, it, meaning the piercing of God’s voice, also divides, separates, and removes people and situations which may have been in our lives a long time. And while it divides, separates and removes people and situations, it, meaning God’s piercing voice, also simultaneously calls, combines, and adds new people and experiences which will take us to higher heights.

Because all of this is happening simultaneously, it can be confusing. And if we wanted to, we could stay right the midst of confusion. But what we must remember is that God’s Word (i.e. His voice) will separate and remove the confusion that may be occurring; not only in our souls, but in the confusion of what’s happening right before our eyes and will go right into the confusion of what we may be physically and/or financially experiencing. But again, in order for Him to safely and successfully navigate us through it will require us to LISTEN! And not just listen to be listening but listening to execute.

2 Corinthians 5:7 says, “For we walk by faith, not by sight” which lets us know that faith requires two things: listening and walking. We can’t just listen and do nothing because…

What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?...Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

- James 2:14, 17

In other words, whistle while you work! After you’ve taken the time to listen, go do what you heard; even if what you’re doing appears to be not working.

The Sharpness of God’s Voice

Before I conclude this Real Issue (and it was really real) I did want to let you know that God’s voice is sharp. And as such, you have now entered one of the sharpest seasons of your life. This is the season where you will be corrected.

Correction requires sharpness. Not sharp as in harsh, demeaning or discouraging but sharp enough to where you know you’ve been cut, shaped and redesigned by its cutting.

An example of sharpness can be found in Matthew 8 when the storm came. Jesus told the disciples, Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.’ (v. 26) The Lord could have told the disciples, “Aaaaw, y’all scared?!? Don’t worry! I got you!” Nope! Instead He called them out and asked, “Why are you so scary? You should be able to do this for yourself!”

Another example can be found in Matthew 16:23 when the Lord looked Peter right in the face and said, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” (Mt. 16:23) He could have told Peter, “I know you mean well but I have to do this.” Instead He spoke directly to the spirit Peter was yielding to and squared both it and him up. Peter could have been offended, yet he wasn’t, and neither should you. And as such, child of the Most High, just know that God is going to send you a master cutter. And I know that’s not an actual profession, but you get the gist.

God is going to send someone who will cut you sharply and deeply while at the same time affectionately and lovingly.

As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

– Proverbs 27:17

The people God sends (via in-person or virtually) will be men and women of steel. Men and women whose character and integrity have been battle tested and whose faith and experiences have been proven. And though he or she may be quite disciplined, tough and stern, when they cut, they will cut with love. So much so, that’ll you never know you’ve been cut. This is what a master cutter does. This is the pruning in which Jesus spoke of in John 15:1,2 when He said,

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me

that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes,

that it may bear more fruit.” - John 15:1, 2

Only while they’re pruning, cutting, and correcting, you can’t be all up in your feelings, sitting there all attitudinal with your lips poked out. No, you're going to have to fix your face and have to sit there, like a branch, and let God do, through His people, what only God can do.

So many times we require people, including our Pastors and other men and women of God, to speak to us in couched tones. In order for us to receive, we often require that they speak to us gently, sweetly and with certain inflections. But in order for you make it through the confusion that so markedly marks your life, you will have to be pierced, cut, and corrected. Meaning the sharpness or truthful straightforwardness in which the man and woman of steel speaks, may not suit your taste and may be alarming to the immaturity of your flesh but sit yourself down, right there and take it.

It’s sorta like when you tell your child to do something - that you know is good for them - only you know they won’t like it? This is what this is going to feel like, only as an adult child of God, it’s your time to not like what you’re being told and the direct way in which its being presented. But just close your mouth, adult child of the Most High God, and take whatever they say - like a man or woman - because the man and woman of God are only there to help you develop spiritually. I know you’re an adult but spiritually you’re child and this next level of blessing will require SPIRITUAL MATURITY. Notice I didn’t say this level of tests and trials, I said this next level of blessing. And no, I don’t purport to be a prophetess but what is being said is prophetic.

In order for you to receive this next level of blessing, you must mature spiritually. Don’t let your attitude, your adulted-ness, and your inability to take sharpness cause you to miss what has prepared for you.

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

– James 4:10

Sit there, close your mouth, fix your face and take and receive your cutting and correction like the obedient adult child God has called you to be.

Pray this with me: Heavenly Father, please teach me how to both hear and listen to You. Please help me to humble myself so that I can receive the sharpness of Your piercing instruction, and please forgive me when I become attitudinal with Your people and with the process. I will receive and submit to the correction of whomever You decide to use to correct and cut me in this season. In Jesus’ name.

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"division." Merriam-Webster, 2022. Web. 6 May 2022.

Wikipedia contributors. "Division (mathematics)." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 25 Apr. 2022. Web. 6 May. 2022.