summarized: The White Elephant | The Power of the Hedge x Dr. Matthew Stevenson (7/7)

When God is bringing you out of sin in your flesh, there’s going to be a long period of time where you will struggle against it. You will have to have extremes on the boundaries you set, especially if you’re surrounded by people who are undecided. Wear the ash and sackcloth

Just a recap: the highest call of the human heart is to be like the son of God. If Jesus didn’t want something, neither should we. God’s vision for our lives isn’t to make us better people, it’s to make us like Him. If your highest goal is to be better, it’s too low. Your highest goal needs to be to change until you are transfigured in His image. If you’re going to make any progress, you have to make sure that you have a secure hedge around your life.

Anything that makes you feel shame is internalized. Internal things are invisible, and you usually don’t want to talk about them. When the time comes to externalize your problems, a war starts between what you need to do and what you want to do. Realize that these problems are only strong when they are internal, when you try to deal with them yourself. The devil works overtime to make you paranoid about people talking about your business, but people are going to talk about you regardless of what you’re doing. What they say is out of your control. Release your insecurity and find security in God. Don’t let Satan exhaust you; externalize your struggles and give them to God. Bringing His light to situations lets you see them from a different perspective. When you internalize things, you have the final say about what they are and approach them with your own, lacking expertise.

The hedge is not internal. It is God’s external resources for internal attack. A person without a hedge has no network with which to externalize what they’re working through. When people cringe at the thought of being honest, it’s because they’ve found safety in lying. Lying is a form of hatred, because to love is to be honest. Value honesty over deception. In honesty, there is no such thing as right or wrong. It’s honesty. 

“Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.”

Job 1:10 KJV

Satan knew God had put a hedge around Job, his things, and his family. In agricultural terms, a hedge is a network of things that grow together to obscure what’s behind them. Because of God’s hedge, Satan knew he couldn’t attack Job. Satan doesn’t see your anointing, your talents, or your looks; he had all that. He looks to see if you’re effectively hedged. Don’t confuse consolidation with protection. A stronghold is an inappropriate, ineffective hedge that will just wall you in. Your hedge should not have what you have, want what wants you dead, or represent or speak up for what you say you need to get away from. A hedge should not agree with you manifesting the traits of your lower self. That’s a stronghold will hold you hostage. 

A hedge is a provision from God, and it needs to represent His interests. It cannot and will not represent the interest of hell. In Ezekiel, He talks about those that would go up and make up the hedges, those that would intercede. Friendship and intercessory traits are inseparable. When you become a friend, you become an intercessor, an interrupter, an intervener. If you cannot do these things, you’re only a companion. Don’t hold people from their deliverance, and don’t let them hold you. If what they say doesn’t align with what God says, they want you dead. There is no “we’ll get it right tomorrow”; your friends should push to better you today. Lust does not want to hold hands with you; it wants your victory, your purpose, your life. It wants you dead. There’s nothing cute about being held back, being held away from God. Without Him, destruction is guaranteed. Don’t waste time apologizing for leaving in a hurry; you’re running for your life.

“Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the LORD.”

Ezekiel 13:5 KJV

God is looking for someone to go up in the gaps and complete the hedge. Intercession is about more than just praying; you must be available to bridge gaps and meet needs. A hedge is necessary, because without one, it will be difficult to externalize what you’ve internalized. If you harbor shame, it will seem safer to internalize things. If you judge you, you’ll be scared that your external team will judge you. Understand that an anointed hedge will not judge you. Once you’re no longer ashamed about something, it cannot be held against you. You have to be able to tell on your old self. You can’t crucify something safely and completely if you’re still holding onto it. You can’t claim to be struggling against something you dwell in. A struggle is like a tug of war; you have to be pulling yourself away from evil. Your language has to be right if you want to be free.

All weeds grow in the dark. Don’t let Satan develop an internal root system in you. We can clip and grow what’s on top, but we can’t deal with what’s never visible. Cycles are a sign of a root system. Don’t just deal with things above the dirt. You have to go under what everyone sees and make visible what no one sees to deal with the fruit that’s being broken up in your life. 

If you and your hedge can go to the club together, that’s not your hedge. If they don’t oppose the direction of your destruction, they’re not your hedge. If you can only relate to the people you understand, you won’t get anywhere in life. You have to learn to open up to people that don’t have the same journey as you. Prioritize friending up, not sideways. Understanding should not be the foundation of a relationship, because when the understanding isn’t present, the relationship will fall apart. You won’t always agree, but if the limit of your love is based on how much you do agree, problems will arise. 

“He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him.”

Ecclesiastes 10:8 KJV

Realize if you’re on the seducing end of things. Are you the one pursuing people for sexual sin? Do you applause it? Do you send the pictures, the texts? The Bible says whoever digs the pit will fall into it. Adam severed the first hedge because he let Eve distract his conversation with God. This created an entryway for him to be bitten, or more literally, for him to bite something. Whatever the serpent said to Adam through Eve bit something in Adam. Adam did what was done to him.

How quality is your network? Do you trust the people around you with your deliverance? Do you have to hide your decision to be delivered because they’re going to be uncomfortable with it? Do you have to play the middle ground because they’re not decided? Do you have to postpone your deliverance for the sake of company? Don’t miss God and His peace for the sake of popularity. If you’re going to be delivered, you will experience loneliness. Be patient and do what you know you need to do until anointed friendships manifest. There are people that are anointed for you.

Everything God does, He does in a hedge. Put yourself at the center of a cross; it has a point that’s up, points that are across, and a point that’s down. It forms a type of circle. Have these three dimensions of accountability.

  • Have an inner circle that can see through you with your permission, people you can say yes or no sir/ma’am to. That’s accountability to authority. You need people that will be able to see what you’re willingly externalizing. How can you have authority if you don’t know what it means to be under it? In a Kingdom, there is protocol. You can’t love the Man at the top and hate the people He put over you.
  • Have a circle that’s where you are. That’s peer accountability. It looks different from accountability on the authoritative level. Some problems need to be addressed and fixed between friends.
  • Have a circle that reaches out far enough to reach those below you. That’s accountability to the people you lead and serve. David said against Thee and Thee only have I sinned, but your sin can affect others. There are people who look up to you as a Christian; don’t open sinful things up to them.  

Is your inner circle anointed? If you have a problem with having an anointed inner circle, are you as decided as you think? You don’t need a cheer squad. You don’t want people who’ll get angry just because you’re angry. A real friend doesn’t have to be mad at what, or who, you’re mad at; that’s a dysfunctional view of loyalty. You shouldn’t be upset about your friends being okay with people you don’t like, because God is madly in love with people you can’t stand. We have to grow up. People won’t have time to keep up with you if they’re running after God. Run with them! It is uncomfortable, but it’s necessary to make anointed connections and covenants. The supernatural won’t feel natural. Take that step.

Appointing your accountability is important. You can choose who’s around you. Find out who you’re compatible with, and be honest with them about who you are from the beginning. You need people that will have enough love to see through your bad sides. If someone’s going to be in your hedge, you have to license them to tell you the truth about yourself, even if you don’t want to hear it. Don’t try to make solitary confinement anointed because you’re dysfunctional. The devil seems to hit hardest when you’re alone; it’s his strategy to divide and conquer. 

If you start acting strange, who in your squad knows how you should be? Is your whole squad strange? If so, there’s an issue. Somebody should want to be free. Realize the power in relationships; having the wrong friends will hold you back. You need a team, because people will have different anointings for different things. You need a preacher friend to nurse you and say “it’s okay, but you gotta get that together”. You need a prophet friend to catch you on stuff before you know the stuff is there. You need a teacher friend stump you who’ll sign you up for seminars whether you want to go or not, who’ll have irrefutable research and statistics behind their philosophies. What you have should be worth keeping. You need proper boundaries, because they keep you alive. You don’t keep your seatbelt on because it’s cute. You need something to hold you in. 

“But some Jews arrived there from Antioch and Iconium; and having persuaded the people and won them over, they stoned Paul and [afterward] dragged him out of the town, thinking that he was dead. But the disciples formed a circle about him, and he got up and went back into the town; and on the morrow he went on with Barnabas to Derbe.”

Acts 14:19-20 AMPC

People got mad about Paul doing miracles. Crowds of people, people he may not have known. There will be people that partner with Hell’s program in your life. Don’t let them throw disruptive stones at you, stones like “you’re too deep””why you always at church?””they control what you think”. Though Paul was stoned, the disciples formed a circle, a hedge, around him. Those who stoned him thought he was dead, but what he had been through had not affected him. Your circle can heal you, deliver you, focus you, ground you. Let your circle be your life source from God. Let them defibrillate you with the Word.  You need people that can say, “don’t die here, get up, there are more things to do. They devil came for you, but get up”. When the bell rings, who’s in your corner? Who’s gonna give you water, bandage you up?  Who’s gonna send you back in the ring? Even after Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, the angels came and ministered to Him. The devil had no choice but to stay away. What Satan wants to do to you, he wants to do while nobody’s watching.

If you are uncomfortable with all eyes being on you, you can’t go from glory to glory. You will have success surveillance. There is bad success that distracts you from God and keeps you from your deliverance.

“This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success.”

Joshua 1:8 AMPC

Don’t backslide and think you’re still getting blessed. The devil wants you to think that you don’t need God to be promoted in life. If things start working for you even though you’re in rebellion, understand that they’re just temporary blessings to keep you distracted until you’ve distanced yourself enough from God to be broken. Don’t be distracted by what the devil shows you when you’re on top of the mountain. 

Friendship is a real ministry. You’re not ready to be a good friend until you’re ready to be inconvenienced. How can you be friends with someone Satan used to kill you? Distancing yourself from the people who were, or are, on your sinful path is not personal. Know that someone wants to do the same things with their life as you do with yours before you allow them to stay by you when you’re vulnerable. You should trust them to strengthen you when you don’t want to obey God, when you don’t wanted to be anointed. Don’t lose momentum by mismanaging a moment. Realize who the devil can use as a doorway to get to you and love them from a distance.

You’ve been hurt before, you’ll be hurt again. Don’t let that stop you from fixing a prematurely broken hedge. The Bible says faithful are the wounds of a friend. It’s better to be hurt by accident by someone who’s trying to do right by you than to be hurt on purpose by  someone who’s acting as a doorway for the devil. Find people you can be friends with when the anointing lifts. Your humanity needs a friend. You need friends that can hear, understand, and rebuke you. Friends that can hold you accountable to what God says about your future. 

Author: Iyaniwura Olarewaju

† | naija | nj | Cornell

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