Tag: prayer

God Isn’t A Republican

IMG_4196
Well, the election is only about five weeks away. You can expect to hear and see all kinds of political ads spouting wonderful words about this candidate and the next.

I’m already getting tired of them.

But do you know what bothers me more than the political ads? The followers of Christ who act as though the Republicans are saints and the Democrats are sinners.

And yes, there are those who believe just the opposite.

This may come as a shock to some, but God doesn’t belong to any political party. And He doesn’t need any government official’s approval or cooperation in order to fulfill His plans and purposes. God isn’t limited by man’s puny thinking or exorbitant pride.

He’s had to deal with them all.

I have a hunch that some will dislike this next statement, but here goes.

This nation’s future does not depend on who’s sitting in an office somewhere. Whether it’s the local city hall or the Oval Office, no one man or woman can turn a nation to, or away from, God.

It’s true; high profile people, people with a lot of governmental authority, can influence many. DO influence many.

But let’s not leave God out of the equation.

This nation will rise or fall according to how the people relate to the true Kingdom of God.

When the time comes when God is not only ignored, but intentionally mocked and even blasphemed, you can rename the nation “Ichabod”.

When the populace calls evil good, and good evil, it matters not who sits in the Commander’s chair. The descent will be rapid.

When convenience, pleasure, greed, and selfishness are predominant in our homes, don’t expect a new legislator to bring about revival. As the home is, so goes the nation.

When the church is more concerned with a candidate’s voting record than seeking the face of God on behalf of that candidate, it’s time to shut the church’s doors.

Political ads are entertaining at best. But many people put their trust in the words of the one who says, “I’m Honest John, the Politician, and I approve this ad.”

What about trusting the One Who said, “Heaven and Earth will pass away, but every word of God will be fulfilled”?

And, “He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

And finally, “The sentence is by the decree of the watchers, the decision by the word of the holy ones, to the end that the living may know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will and sets over it the lowliest of men.’” (Daniel 4:17 ESV)

This election season, besides voting “early and often” with your ballot in hand, how about voting in the prayer closet? Vote for God’s kingdom to come; His will to be done in Earth AS IT IS in Heaven.

And folks, I have a strong feeling God approves this message.

Revival Characteristics (Part One)

Great_Awakening

Every spiritual awakening, revival, or whatever you’d like to call it, has certain visible characteristics. These are the results of people coming face to face with their idol, and their God. I’ll mention three distinguishing characteristics that will be demonstrated before and during a spiritual awakening.

Altars are rebuilt

Places sanctified for prayer and worship – OPEN PORTALS FOR GOD’S POWER

Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” And there he built an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him. And he moved from there to the mountain east of Bethel, and he pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; there he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord… Genesis 12:7-9 NKJV

Abram (Abraham) built altars to the Lord. They were used in worship, and in memorializing, or helping them and their offspring, remember what God had done and what he had promised to do.

Jacob, Abram’s grandson, built an altar at the same place his grandfather had many years prior.

Then God said to Jacob, “Arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there; and make an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you fled from the face of Esau your brother.” (see Genesis 28)

…And they journeyed, and the terror of God was upon the cities that were all around them, and they did not pursue the sons of Jacob. So Jacob came to Luz (that is, Bethel), which is in the land of Canaan… And he built an altar there and called the place El Bethel, because there God appeared to him when he fled from the face of his brother. Genesis 35:1-7 NKJV

God is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He is God to each generation, not just God to the past. He is wanting to do great things in and through each generation, whether it’s the Boomers or the Millennials. But each generation must build upon the altars of their godly forefathers. Or, and probably more accurately, rebuild the altars that have fallen into disrepair due primarily to neglect.

The “old-time prayer meetings” are such altars. Every move of God begins with God and man, Heaven and Earth, meeting together in fervent prayer. Today’s no different.

The prayers of the upright are God’s delight (Proverbs 15).

Pray For The Nation’s Rulers

20140707-221300-79980683.jpg

In my last couple of posts I mentioned those who were “Drunk with Power”. The posts are, I believe, prophetic words of warning to this nation and those in charge.

I also mentioned our need to pray. This post is the “how to”, even when we don’t want to.

Yes, there’s something you and I can do, MUST DO, for our nation to have even a prayer of surviving the coming shaking.

It’s also something every person in every nation should do for their country.

Pray for their leaders.

“But what should we pray?”, you may ask.

In God’s word there are plenty of scriptures pertaining to leaders; kings, etc. God inspired people to write these particular words down so we could know his plans and purposes for governments and their leaders.

God tells us to be subject to governing authorities, and to pray for the leaders so they will be subject to their higher authority, i.e. God.

Please read the following scriptures…

“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.” (Romans 13:1-7 ESV)

Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.

“Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust.” (1 Peter 2:13-18 ESV)

“Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.” (Titus 3:1-3 ESV)

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.” (1 Timothy 2:1-6 ESV)

The following verses are from the Psalms and Proverbs. They speak of kings and rulers, and their relationship to God and their people. Using the scriptures, I will highlight some points to use in praying for our leaders.

“Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying, “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.” He who sits in the heavens laughs;
the Lord holds them in derision. Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying, “As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.”

“I will tell of the decree: The Lord said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”

“Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.” (Psalm 2:1-12 ESV)

Pray – for the united council between kings and rulers. That their council will be united with God and his kingdom plans. If not, for their council to be confused and aborted, and in the end, defeated.

Pray – for the rulers to hunger for righteousness and godliness. That they would desire to see their land blessed by the presence of God.

Pray – that the leaders will approve of God’s description of right and wrong.

Pray – leaders will support what and who God supports; which includes Israel.

“Nations will fear the name of the Lord, and all the kings of the earth will fear your glory.” (Psalm 102:15 ESV)

“All the kings of the earth shall give you thanks, O Lord, for they have heard the words of your mouth, and they shall sing of the ways of the Lord, for great is the glory of the Lord. For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly, but the haughty he knows from afar.” (Psalm 138:4-6 ESV)

Pray – for the fear of God to prevail over the nations, and the nations leaders.

Pray – that each government will be established in humility and brokenness before God.

“Let the godly exult in glory; let them sing for joy on their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their throats and two-edged swords in their hands, to execute vengeance on the nations and punishments on the peoples, to bind their kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron, to execute on them the judgment written! This is honor for all his godly ones. Praise the Lord!” (Psalm 149:5-9 ESV)

Pray – for kings and rulers who are ruling in an ungodly manner, that their actions will be bound and rendered ineffective. For them to either repent or be removed. For it is God who places them into positions of power, or removes them.

“By me kings reign, and rulers decree what is just; by me princes rule, and nobles, all who govern justly.” (Proverbs 8:15-16 ESV)

Pray – that they be filled with God’s wisdom, God’s insight and revelation. For them to rule righteously.

“Wisdom rests in the heart of a man of understanding, but it makes itself known even in the midst of fools. Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people. A servant who deals wisely has the king’s favor, but his wrath falls on one who acts shamefully.” (Proverbs 14:33-35 ESV)

Pray – for rulers to call right – right, and wrong – wrong.

“It is an abomination to kings to do evil, for the throne is established by righteousness. Righteous lips are the delight of a king, and he loves him who speaks what is right. A king’s wrath is a messenger of death, and a wise man will appease it. In the light of a king’s face there is life, and his favor is like the clouds that bring the spring rain.” (Proverbs 16:12-15 ESV)

Pray – that the fear of the Lord will be the force which drives the terror of the king.

“The terror of a king is like the growling of a lion; whoever provokes him to anger forfeits his life.” (Proverbs 20:2 ESV)

“A king who sits on the throne of judgment winnows all evil with his eyes.” (Proverbs 20:8 ESV)

“Steadfast love and faithfulness preserve the king, and by steadfast love his throne is upheld.” (Proverbs 20:28 ESV)

Pray – for the office, the throne, of the king or president, to be preserved with steadfast love and faithfulness.

“The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will.” (Proverbs 21:1 ESV)

“He who loves purity of heart, and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend.” (Proverbs 22:11 ESV)

Pray – that leaders throughout the nations will live purity of heart. For them to recognize people with pure hearts, and that they would promote those people to positions of authority and influence.

“My son, fear the Lord and the king, and do not join with those who do otherwise, for disaster will arise suddenly from them, and who knows the ruin that will come from them both.” (Proverbs 24:21-22 ESV)

Pray – that the heart of the king and the heart of God beat as one.

“It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out. As the heavens for height, and the earth for depth, so the heart of kings is unsearchable. Take away the dross from the silver, and the smith has material for a vessel; take away the wicked from the presence of the king, and his throne will be established in righteousness.” (Proverbs 25:2-5 ESV)

Pray – for each leader to greatly desire truth. That they would search for truth, and surround themselves with people so like minded.

“By justice a king builds up the land, but he who exacts gifts tears it down.” (Proverbs 29:4 ESV)

“If a king faithfully judges the poor, his throne will be established forever.” (Proverbs 29:14 ESV)

“It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, or for rulers to take strong drink, lest they drink and forget what has been decreed and pervert the rights of all the afflicted.” (Proverbs 31:4-5 ESV)

Pray – that kings, rulers, and presidents will not be drunk with power, or anything that causes them to fail in judging and governing according to God’s precepts and statutes.

What you and I accomplish through faith and prayer can only be measured by the one who calls and empowers us to pray. As we speak God’s word over our leaders, the Holy Spirit energizes our prayers and enables us to believe for the exceedingly, abundant answers only he is capable of.

Let’s believe God together.

Needed: Revival In America

20140613-000020-20806.jpg

Where will the next Great Awakening begin? Will it be somewhere in America?

With every true revival, a great shaking of religious tradition occurs. Is it possible that the American Church will witness such a degree of shaking? Will the epicenter of the Holy Spirit induced shaking be a large denomination, or a small church no one but God pays any attention to?

Will it begin in the hallowed sanctuary filled with worshippers shouting praises to God? Or might it be ignited in the dimly lit bedroom of a faithful prayer warrior?

What will be the reaction of those whose traditions are challenged? Almost everyone agrees things must change; that the religious traditions and dogmas need an overhaul. But not everyone agrees which ideas, or whose ideas, need to take the hit.

It’s like, “Yes, God needs to change THOSE people! When THOSE people get in line with God’s word this nation will witness a great outpouring of God’s Spirit.”

Really?

I wonder what would happen if the Church slowed down its activities and programs enough to take time to seek the God of revival. The God who has promised to “once more shake the heavens and the earth. The God who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we can ask or even think. Yes, the same God who said, “Ask of me, and I will give the nations as your inheritance.”

If it’s true that God does nothing in the earth except as an answer to prayer, why must we be so busy with everything but prayer?

Here are some quotes by a man of prayer whom God used to shake his nation, and the world, almost three hundred years ago. His name? John Wesley.

“I have so much to do that I spend several hours in prayer before I am able to do it.”

“It seems God is limited by our prayer life – that He can do nothing for humanity unless someone asks Him.”

“God does nothing but in answer to prayer; and even they who have been converted to God without praying for it themselves, (which is exceeding rare,) were not without the prayers of others. Every new victory which a soul gains is the effect of a new prayer.”

“Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen; such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven on earth. God does nothing but in answer to prayer.”

As I look at my life, and as the Spirit of God shines his searchlight into the depths of my heart, I must admit I’ve been busy with many good things, but have neglected the most important thing. I’ve witnessed his touch on my life, and I’ve seen him touch others through my life, but he’s telling me there’s much more that he wants to accomplish through me.

And you.

Revival in America? The Spirit is saying that we have not because we ask not. Or we ask that we may build a big congregation, earn a bigger salary, or gain a larger platform. In other words, we ask so we can spend it on our passions (James 4).

God will have the final say. He will bring revival to America. He will answer the prayers of those who have only one passion. Him.

Those who don’t share such a simple passion, will find themselves and their beliefs shaken to the core.

I believe the Spirit of God is admonishing the church to cut the busyness and get down to business.

It’s now or it’s never. For us.

We’ll either be involved with his holiness and power or we will find ourselves becoming irritated with and jealous of those he has chosen to anoint.

When will the next, possibly the last, Great Awakening occur? May the fires and shakings begin now!

Where will they start? How about with you and I?

If God is going to use someone’s prayers, he might as well use ours.

The Message For This Moment

20130901-210226.jpg“I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity – the man Christ Jesus. He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time.” (1 Timothy 2:1-6 NLT)

An interesting passage, wouldn’t you agree?

Paul told Timothy, and the rest of us, to pray for all people. Ask God to help all people, give yourself to helping bear the burdens of all people through intercession, and give thanks for all people. And, pray that way for kings and those in authority. Pray what way? The same way we’re to pray for all people; nothing less.

See, this is what pleases God, Who wants everyone to be saved.

Notice something else. Paul wrote about how Jesus gave His life to purchase freedom for everyone. It’s the message God has given to this world at just the right time.

Okay, let’s tie the two things together. Pray for all people, because God wants freedom for everyone. Giving yourself to God and others through prayer, will help bring freedom for all people. This is the way God says we can lay down our life for someone else: by praying, interceding, and thanking God: for all people!

This is the message for our time: pray for all men. Ask God to help our president and congress. Help bear their burden through prayer, as Jesus did and does as the Divine Intercessor. Give thanks for our leaders and believe God to give them the ability to make the right decisions to accomplish His plans and purposes.

“But because Jesus lives forever, his priesthood lasts forever. Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.” (Hebrews 7:24-25 NLT)

If He forever lives to see lives changed and His Father’s will fulfilled, wouldn’t that be our calling, our purpose, as well?

God’s message for this moment: give your life for someone else’s freedom, through prayer. It’s what our nation, our world, needs.

IGNITE!

20130722-141035.jpg

“Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!
It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard,
on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes!
It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion! For there the Lord has commanded the blessing, life forevermore.” (Psalm 133:1-3 ESV)

“…let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:28-29 ESV)

“And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.” (Acts 4:31 ESV)

“Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your presence – as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil – to make your name known to your adversaries, and that the nations might tremble at your presence! When you did awesome things that we did not look for, you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence. From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him.” (Isaiah 64:1-4 ESV)

“And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.” (Revelation 5:9-14 ESV)

“I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.” (1 Corinthians 1:10 ESV)

“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit – just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call – one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4:1-6 ESV)

The above scriptures describe the purpose of the upcoming worship and prayer service called “IGNITE!”

People from the Des Moines, Iowa vicinity, as well as those from around the state, are gathering on July 28th, 6pm, to:

Unite as one under the banner of Jesus Christ.

Pray together for the city, state, and each other.

Worship together in spirit and in truth.

Believe God for a mighty breakthrough; the heavenly release of God’s revival spirit.

Declare, with one voice, the Lordship of Jesus Christ over our city and state.

Reconcile, through repentance and obedience to Jesus’ command to love one another, every kindred, tribe, ethnicity, culture and race.

Expect God’s Spirit and Anointing to cover His Body, allowing us the ability to do His good works; minister compassion, comfort the afflicted, heal the sick, preach deliverance to the captives, and witness multitudes receive access to the Kingdom of God!

Please join us for this momentous occasion! Unite with us as we declare, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, in Des Moines, in Iowa, just like it’s done in Heaven!”

Amen!

Service location is the New Life Center, 1057 23rd Street, Des Moines, IA. In the Drake University vicinity.

Many People In This City

20130419-164033.jpg“One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision and told him, “Don’t be afraid! Speak out! Don’t be silent! For I am with you, and no one will attack and harm you, for many people in this city belong to me.” So Paul stayed there for the next year and a half, teaching the word of God.” (Acts 18:9-11)

The above scriptures refer to when the Apostle Paul and his team were ministering in Corinth. It seems as though Paul had considered leaving the city. Up until the night of the Lord’s visitation, things had been pretty rough for the ministry team. Sure, they’d had witnessed people become believers, but ministry had been difficult.

In fact, Paul even had to work a secular job for awhile.

Just think of the type of people Paul was preaching to: “Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people – none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”(1 Corinthians 6:9-11 NLT)

People involved in sexual sins, idolatry, adulterers, prostitution, homosexuality, stealing, greed, etc.; these are people he ministered to.

Sounds an awful lot like today’s society, eh?

Your “average” church goer has no clue the difficulties a minister has to face. “What difficulties? Good night, Irene, the preacher only works one day a week! And that’s only for a few hours. Difficulties, right. What’s so difficult about speaking?”

If it’s so easy, why doesn’t everyone do it?

Just talking to individuals or a congregation isn’t difficult. Giving a generic speech won’t draw the threat of attacks. Lofty, high-minded words won’t challenge the powers of darkness!

But when a man or woman of God determines to set aside the “stage show”, the theatrics, and the “motivational homilies” for a reliance upon Heaven’s Word with the anointing of the Holy Spirit…

…all hell can break loose.

And though the battle blazes around this kind of preacher, this kind of message, this is the way people are set free. This is what delivers them from the power of darkness, from the kingdom of hatred and death.

“Some of you were once like that…”

Most everyone knows some preacher who got involved in some kind of sin, thus disqualifying them, at least for a season, from “ministry.” Boy, howdy; do I know about that! And everyone is quick to point out the character flaws leading to the “fall”.

I’m not making excuses for anyone. I’m simply trying to make 2 points.

1. Preachers, ministers, leaders, need extra prayer covering. They need support, not idolized for their speaking or sermonizing ability.

2. Preachers, etc,,must rely upon the Spirit of God, the protection of God, and the unadulterated Word of God. They must not put their faith in people’s response, or lack of response, tithes and offerings…anything other than what will give them the spiritual strength to deal with a spiritual enemy.

Ministry is difficult, but eternally necessary. And it isn’t just a preacher’s responsibility to bring people into the Kingdom; it’s every believer’s call.

There’s no other way to reach the “many people in this city” belonging to Jesus!

“When I first came to you, dear brothers and sisters, I didn’t use lofty words and impressive wisdom to tell you God’s secret plan. For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified. I came to you in weakness – timid and trembling. And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:1-5 NLT)

YOU

You

I have found life to be very interesting, haven’t you?

Strolling through life, enjoying each new day, thankful for your family, friends, job, ministry…

When all of a sudden a bomb explodes – not a literal bomb, but a situation, a threat, a fear; something unexpected, rocking your calm, peaceful world.

Years ago there was a guy, a king, name Jehoshaphat (love the name!); King in a land called Judah.

Good dude. Nice.

The Lord considered him to be a good dude as well. “…good things are found in you…and you’ve prepared your heart to seek the Lord”, are the words the prophet of God told him.

What a word to receive from the Lord! It’s like hearing Him say, “well, done, thou good and faithful servant.”

Or maybe it’s like having the Publishers’ Clearing House people knock on your door with one of their HUGE checks! If that happened to me I’d probably be up all night, every night for a week. I mean, think what could be done with all that money!

Having the assurance of God’s approval, His favor, is FAR more valuable than ALL the money in the world! But even that won’t stop trouble from coming at you; or keep a “bomb” from exploding near you.

Shortly after Jehoshaphat received the prophet’s word from God, someone else approached him with a different kind of word (2 Chronicles 20). The word went something like this: “Jehoshaphat, you’d better brace yourself! At least three nations, consisting of several hundred thousand troops, are marching against YOU at this very moment! YOU had better get ready.”

It’s a story that is fairly well known, and it ends with the good guys winning, and the bad guys killing each other. Good stuff.

But there’s one thing I want you to see. Jehoshaphat’s prayer. Here it is: 2 Chronicles 20:5-12 (I have highlighted certain words for greater clarification)

“Then Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord, before the new court, and said: “O Lord God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven, and do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations, and in Your hand is there not power and might, so that no one is able to withstand You? Are You not our God, who drove out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel, and gave it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever? And they dwell in it, and have built You a sanctuary in it for Your name, saying, ‘If disaster comes upon us — sword, judgment, pestilence, or famine — we will stand before this temple and in Your presence (for Your name is in this temple), and cry out to You in our affliction, and You will hear and save.’ And now, here are the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir — whom You would not let Israel invade when they came out of the land of Egypt, but they turned from them and did not destroy them — here they are, rewarding us by coming to throw us out of Your possession which You have given us to inherit.

O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.”

YOU. Jehoshaphat knew exactly where to look. He was told, “King, the enemy is coming for YOU.” So King Jehoshaphat figured, “if the enemy is coming for “YOU”, then let them come and meet “YOU”.

The King moved the attack’s focal point from himself to where it belonged. GOD!

If we are in Him, abiding under the shadow of the Almighty God, we are in a place beyond the enemy’s reach.

If we’ll stay in there, and not let the enemy draw us out.

It’s not that we’re beyond attacks, beyond threats, beyond trouble or major problems. But we must remember our place of refuge.

For the enemy to reach you, he must first go through “YOU”.

I hope I am getting this point across to YOU. To help, I’ll close with scriptures using the words “You Are”. Let the words help YOU see just where your help lies.

When trouble comes, the bomb explodes, and YOU feel like caving in – remember:

the YOU Who is for YOU…

O Lord God…

You are the helper of the fatherless
You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup
You are my Lord
You are holy
You are with me

You are the God of my salvation
You are the God who does wonders
You are my strength
You are my God
You are my King

You are my rock and my fortress
You are my help and my deliverer
You are my hiding place
You are my hope
You are my trust

You are more awesome than Your holy places
You are He who took me out of my mother’s womb
You are my strong refuge
You are glorified
You are good

You are more glorious and excellent than the mountains of prey
You are the same, and Your years will have no end
You are the God of my strength
You are there
You are near

You are fairer than the sons of men
You are the glory of their strength
You are from everlasting
You are very great
You are my praise

You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek
You are clothed with honor and majesty
You are exalted far above all gods
You are my portion
You are my shield

You are great, and do wondrous things
You are great in counsel and mighty in work
You are the Lord our God
You are our Father
You are God

You alone are God

Forgive me, I have sinned

20121201-222813.jpg

Forgive me, for I have sinned.

I’ve been as guilty as the next person. As a matter of fact, I have just plain out and out sinned! “Oh no, brother, what have you done? Have you become trapped in pornography, or started smoking? Maybe you’ve started drinking again…”

No, something more serious than that, I’m afraid.

You see, I am someone who has talked about others, made them the butt end of jokes, and have helped sow discord when I, as a follower of Jesus, should have been sowing unity. I have secretly, and not so secretly, wanted certain people to fail because I don’t agree with their philosophy. I have spoken disparaging words against them and have failed to follow the words of Jesus completely by not praying for them.

You may say, “how could you act so bad?” “I thought you were a Christian!” “And you had the nerve to write a book about the power of encouragement!”

I’m sorry that I have let each one of you down. I let The Lord down, as well.

Most importantly I let President Obama down, along with his staff. Just because I don’t like his policies is no excuse for not praying and believing God for him. When I was a pastor I’m sure the congregation didn’t agree with all my opinions and decisions yet I expected them to pray for me anyway. No difference.

Joseph had a tough life, the children of Israel had it rough as well. Sometimes there were good rulers and sometimes the rulers were rotten. Daniel is an interesting study, as he said to the heathen king, “O king, live forever!” The early church had horrible persecution yet Paul told them to pray for their leaders.

I repent of my Obama jokes, posts, etc. My choice, now, is to be part of God’s solution rather than part of the problem. God HATES those who sow discord, and speaking ill of leadership is sowing discord.

The election is over! That doesn’t mean we just give in to every policy that our leaders come up with, but it does mean we do what God said in His Word. Pray. Believe God can change a heart, change a nation. Speak life, unity, peace, righteousness over our leaders and nation. We cannot speak ill and ugly of someone we carry regularly to God in prayer.

Righteousness exalts a nation. Prayer prepares the way for righteousness. May we be one nation under God.

%d bloggers like this: