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Last week, I found a new gear. After months of trolling in compound low with humanity’s horde, passively waiting for the next wave of developments over Covid, something snapped. My inner Schulammite walked out of the wings and abruptly commandeered the Prophetic action. Enter Nellie.

No, I’m not Schizophrenic. I’m simply, jokingly, referring to my ruthless, Spirit-filled inner alter-ego, who tramples Nice Christian Girl Syndrome to help me regain my rightful place among the Lionesses of Judah. When all that cold-blooded, inflexible Teutonic DNA God endowed me with gets redeemed and actually starts flowing in the right direction, it’s a beautiful thing.

So, why Nellie, and not simply Crystal? Well, because unfortunately, her appearances on the scene are rarer than they ought to be. That level of convicted, focused audacity doesn’t yet entirely dominate the landscape of my life, so the bells and whistles still go off when Nellie shows up. Then, for one glorious, uninhibited moment all the religious trappings, social programming and political correctness melts away and I’m running solely on the impetus of the Holy Spirit. Nellie knows how to cut through the crap and lay bare priorities. She is a sincere, straightforward creature who doesn’t suffer fools, fake feelings or bow to ritual niceties. Nellie has one mandate and one only: stayin' close to Jesus. When Nellie runs the prayer meeting, trust me, things move.

I take my inspiration for woman I want to be from the story of the Schulammite woman (2 Kings 4:8-37). Here’s a woman, whom, significantly, the Scripture describes as great. Her distinction was based on understanding what was truly important and the sacrifice required to get it. She defied convention. She honored what God honored. Despite her bitter childlessness, she lived larger than her life, seizing a unique advantage of her circumstances to partner with the prophet. She was rewarded big-time for her magnanimity.

Not to leave the men out - remember Jehu? Just keep reading in 2 Kings 9 and you’ll find a story made-to-measure for our current lock-down. Stuck in the garrison after war with Syria, the troops are sequestered, twiddling their thumbs in Ramoth-gilead. Jehu, a leader lounging with the rest of the captains, is suddenly visited by a prophet. Without warning, he is anointed king over Israel, and charged with executing vengeance against the house of Ahab. After months of inactivity, the galvanized warrior seizes his moment, his mandated authority, and his battered chariot. No hesitation whatsoever as he departs in a plume of dust! Maybe, we could use a little of that anointing.

And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. Matthew 11:12

Ok, there’s a bit of confusion. We’re supposed to enter heaven like a little child, but then seize it like a warrior? A touch contradictory; no wonder we hesitate. But, “To everything there is a season”, and we’ve come to the turning point. Now, get off the ash-heap and start directing divine resources. Our directive from the mouth of Jesus, to “Go into all the world”, “preach the Gospel” and "make disciples” did not contain the disclaimer “unless there’s a pandemic”! Now that we’ve had a few months to adjust and assess the situation, the clout and insight to act has arrived.

These days, when there is such a massive log-jam in the Spirit, I summon my inner Nellie to the throne room. I pick a topic currently frustrating me (ministry, family, finances, world affairs, etc), arm myself with a battery of relevant scriptures, and go at it for about an hour with fervent praise, petition and intercession. By faith, I'm releasing words which reshape creation. So far, I haven't seen significant breakthrough, but the relief it affords to release the burden is considerable. Instead of stewing in the angst and anxiety, use it as a sword.

With every tribulation, there is a silver lining – a unique advantage for advancement and re-calibration. Strongholds have opened up that were not accessible before. Hearts are seeking, where wisdom was previously scorned. Priorities are shifting. Exploits in righteousness are for the taking. Are you sitting on the motherlode of opportunity? You better find your inner Nellie, your valiant Jehu, and get with it.

Little by little, the Spirit is teaching me freedom. I’m getting a little more comfortable with Nellie’s brash unconventionality. I think I found my chariot of fire.

Awake, awake! Put on your strength, O Zion; Put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city! For the uncircumcised and the unclean Shall no longer come to you. Shake yourself from the dust, arise; Sit down, O Jerusalem! Loose yourself from the bonds of your neck, O captive daughter of Zion! Isaiah 52:1-2

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