Why Do We Seek Revival?

WE hear so many praying for revival or awakening but why? Is it because the pastor or leaders want it? Maybe you, like me were part of a major move of God and you desire to see the power of God fall like that again, but in a different way. Maybe you don’t care you are just content where you are. Who is revival for and why does God show up in power and presence?

Maybe we just don’t know what revival is. WE think we have heard it all, seen it all or perhaps we have become complacent. What is it we want from God? Stuff, take care of our needs? He promised to always be with us, to take care of us even when we wander away from Him.

I submit Revival is a person. It’s the Father, Son, Holy Spirit showing up in power. Who needs reviving? Those outside of the church don’t need reviving because the Bible tells us that their ‘spirit man’ is dead. They need to come alive, in Christ. We who are already alive in Christ tend to let the flame or the Spirit life wane, we become complacent. We don’t seek Him like we did, so we need reviving. I submit revival must begin in the House of God as Peter writes in 1 Peter 4:17,  ” for it is time for judgement to begin with the House of God, and if it begins with the house of God what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel.”

Yes, we the people of God must let the Holy Spirit inspect us individually and corporately first. We want to see new souls come into the kingdom of God, and we must be witnesses for Jesus’ but we must take the time to have personal revival everyday, then with our spouses, our children then fellow believers. I believe what is coming is so huge it will not be contained in the four walls of the church.

So, when we say we are praying for revival are we ourselves willing to be instruments for such a purpose? Our we willing to count the cost, pay the price in travail and intercession for a church prepared and for lost souls to not just be saved, but to be true disciples of Christ.? First there is a lot of preparation.  God has not historically poured out of His Spirit on those who are not hungry. Yes, there are many examples of coming to know Jesus and experiencing the power of the Holy Spirit without being preached to or any encounter with a follower of Jesus. But that is the exception not the norm and usually there has been someone praying and interceding behind the scenes.

So I will conclude this writing as it is a prelude of what is to come. Let me leave you with this. In Acts 3:19 Peter says it best, “repent, and turn away, that your sins may be wiped away, in order that seasons (times) of refreshing may come from the Lord’s presence.”

I believe that is what revival is, repentance and continually turning away from sinful nature and towards Jesus and the Father and the Holy Spirit. Repent, turn away and be refreshed from His presence. It’s daily, a lifestyle. But corporately we don’t see it.

Lord it is my prayer  that you would send us refreshing from your presence as we continue to turn away from sinful ways and the worlds ways.

 

Don’t Turn Back In The Day Of Battle

Don’t Turn Back In The Day Of Battle

According to Psalm 78:9, “The sons of Ephraim were archers equipped with bows, Yet they turned back in the day of battle.” Why did they turn back in the day of battle? Verse 10 says it best, “they did not keep the covenant of God and refused to walk in His law.”

What a sad story. We know so much about the children of Israel and their walk with God. We have the Torah or first five books, the histories, the Wisdom Literature and the Prophets to tell the stories of the Children of Israel. So much information is given about God’s dealings with Israel. His promises, covenants, and how He took care of, rescued, and delivered them time and time again. There so many stories and so many analogies we use to compare our lives as believers in Jesus.

We find a sad indictment of the half-tribe of Ephraim in the middle of the Psalms. What’s even sadder is that later the Northern Kingdom of Israel is synonymous with Ephraim and thus all of the idolatry associated with the Northern Kingdom is associated with Ephraim. Right here in this song of Asaph, Ephraim is mentioned in a negative light. What is the day of battle Asaph is speaking of ?

It could very well be any day of battle. There were so many battles in the wilderness and many after they crossed over into the promised land. There was also a battle where the Children of Israel all rose up against the tribe of Benjamin. In that battle all of Israel, including Ephraim, turned and went back and so Benjamin won. (see Judges 20:39)

The focus is not so much on which “day of battle”, but that they turned back. The Hebrew word is haphak- to turn back, change, return, to turn aside, overthrown, to be turned against. Why would they be turned against? They were archers who were equipped with bows.

There is so much teaching and material written and available on the subject of Spiritual Warfare now. In the past 20 or so years the material about this subject as escalated. It has become one of the most highly sought after and purchased categories in Christian publishing. Many more believers are involved in deliverance and warfare as their main role in ministry. Many of theses are also equippers, training the body in these area. I know that there is among all the material some not so good, but my point is that the body is more equipped than ever in Spiritual Warfare.

When I was growing up the term ‘spiritual warfare’ was never mentioned. I am all for it as the Bible mentions much about it. We are told our enemy, Satan, seeks to devour us. Paul talks about our weapons and our battles being spiritual, and wrestling with spiritual powers. Jesus act of death on the cross and resurrection was an act of warfare as He won the victory over Satan. We have to fight because we are left to carry out His kingdom, and also be faithful stewards until He returns.

With the written Word, and all that Jesus accomplished for us and the victory we have in Him why are we not seeing more believers walking in this authority and winning the battle(s)? We have the word of God as an offensive weapon so why are we not on the offensive? There are many reasons but sticking to the text we see in the world today so may are better equipped than ever before but, as the enemy attacks they turn back.

By turn back I mean that they give up or just quit. Don’t say it never happens to you for at some point we are all guilty of just wanting to quit or give up. It gets really hard and that’s what the enemy wants. But most of get back in the war and fight. We go to conferences or seminars to get better equipped and get more tools in our belt, or add to our arsenal of weapons. The enemy rears his ugly head and instead of pulling out of our arsenal we turn back, sit and moan and cry where is God?

God is beside us, in us, all around us, and He is saying “get up child and fight.” We really don’t need all of those books, CD’s, etc, if we would just get in the word, believe it and obey it. Realize we have the victory in Christ. God told the Children of Israel he would send an angel to drive out the enemy before them. He told them He would never leave them. So what was the issue? The same issue we face. Again looking at verse 10 in Psalm 78 we read, “ they did not keep the covenant of God and refused to walk in His law. Verse 11 – They forgot, they forgot God and all that He had done in their midst.

We are too quick to forget and then doubt and the cycle begins. As soon as the enemy shows up we forget what God did for us, we forget what Jesus accomplished. We have short memories.

Let us not be like those in John 6:66 who turned back from following Jesus. They saw they signs and miracles Jesus wrought. The demand placed on them in following Jesus and being in covenant was too much as Jesus asked ‘who can eat my flesh and drink my blood.’?

Are you a follower or believer of Jesus? Have you been in the Word and are you one He has used mightily? Maybe you’ve done some awesome warfare, and fought many battles, yet now the day of battle is bigger and demands more. It’s getting too hard you say. But, you have been equipped for this. This is what it is all about.

Dear fellow believer of Jesus Christ do not I urge you be like the sons Of Ephraim who in the day of battle turned back, because their heart was not with God. Do not allow the enemy to overthrow you. You are equipped, so stand and fight as Paul urges us in Ephesians 6. Dig into your spiritual arsenal and use the Word of God. Fight back, don’t be turned. You can do it but only with the power of the Holy Spirit. Relax and let Him lead you. I pray that we all will fight and not turn back.

The Heart Of God In Worship: Pure Gold

The Heart Of God In Worship: Pure Gold

So much has been written and said about worship in the Christian Church and in the world. As Christians we always want to bring our best before God. That is our desire but so many things compete for worship until when we do get in the word or pray or just really take the time to worship God, we are tired or distracted, and we simply do not give our best.

Recently, I was going through some old sermons of my father’s and came upon what I consider one of those rare jewels. He began his notes with, “Buried in the 14th chapter of 1 Kings is a tragic symbol of Christianity today.” I just love those hidden verses, those ’obscure’ passages that are so often overlooked, yet contain rich meat that we so need to pay heed to.

The story is found in 1 Kings 14: 25-31, and 2 Chron. 12: 9-11. The events unfold as Shishak, king of Egypt comes down and plunders the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the kings house. Solomon had built the magnificent temple and also built for himself a splendid palace. After his death the kingdom of Israel was divided into, with his son Rehoboam ruling the Southern kingdom made up of just the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. Solomon had furnished the house of the Lord with the best. There was gold everywhere.

There were a couple of pieces in the temple made of bronze, but there is a reason and the Lord prescribed it, and we will save that for a later topic. So, all of this gold that Rehoboam’s father had brought in and fashioned for use in the temple of the Lord, plus the furnishings of the kings house were taken away by the king of Egypt.

Egypt is often used to represent the world in Biblical circles. It refers to our life before coming to Christ. Our text mentions that “Shishak took everything, even the shields of gold which Solomon had made.” The word ‘even’ highlights the fact that these shields were special and had a special purpose. The text tells us also that they stayed in the ‘guardroom’ until the king went to worship in the temple. Then they would put them back in the guardroom.

These were not shields for war. No, they had one important task, and that was to surround the king when he went to worship. God loves gold. It is the most precious metal on the earth. It is naturally occuring, meaning it is not man made, but man takes it and fashions it for use as it pleases him. But God had Moses, and later Solomon fashion articles for use in worship made of gold. Pure, shiny brilliant, full of splendor is the gold that God demanded.

But our story has a tragic ending as my father started his message. Rehoboam replaced the shields used in worship with shields made of bronze. Bronze looks good on the outside and sometimes it can actually mimic gold. But, you see bronze is a man made alloy of copper. It is mixed with other metals like aluminum, to come up with what looks good but is actually a man made, weaker, less precious metal.

I know that we are all guilty of allowing the enemy, or circumstances to deprive us opportunities to worship. God demands our gold not our bronze. We need to “put aside every weight that encumbers us” as Paul urged us to. Lay aside the things of the world the are built on wood, hay and stubble. I encourage you to take the time to give King Jesus the best. Don’t allow the Shishaks to come and steal the gold of worship and then just throw our bronze up to the Father of all as if to say, I wonder if He notices?

Times are perilous and the days are getting darker. If we want to see victory and as Paul prays in Ephesians 4 to walk worthy of the calling Christ has for us, we must not let the enemy steal our golden shields of worship nor should we just become complacent and lazy and replace them ourselves with a weaker, less precious metal like bronze.

Let’s come to the place that we want God to only see Himself when we worship, really He should just see His Son in everything we do. Paul often compared the Christian life to a race, and if we are in a race then one final metaphor comes to mind and that is we must go for gold, not silver, to bronze.

Go for The Gold!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Spear of Phineas and God’s Zeal In Intercession

The Spear of Phineas and God’s Zeal in Intercession

Lately, it seemed like we were in a whirlwind in our lives. Busy, busy, busy, trying to do all the things we normally do plus tending to other things and situations that had cropped up all came at once. It seemed like we were having a plague of bad car problems, with no end. I know we have to tend to our vehicles and maintain them but what was happening was very unusual and all at once. After spending a thousand or more dollars on one car on multiple problems we purchased a second vehicle as we had only had one vehicle for almost a year, and felt it was time to purchase a second vehicle.        God had blessed us and were able to pay cash. But, I never made it home with that second vehicle, as it blew out a seal on the transmission and ultimately burned up before I knew what was happening. While we didn’t have to pay for those repairs I felt something was going on in the spirit to try to steal the money God had blessed us with for kingdom work.
So, one morning at about 5 a.m,. I went to the kitchen table where I usually have morning devotions before prayer and intercession. The Lord took me to Psalm 106: 30-31.
“Then Phinehas stood up and interposed, and the plague was stayed. Verse 31
And it was reckoned to him for righteousness for all generations forever.”
Immediately the word interposed stood out to me and so I looked it up as well as I looked back at the passages in Numbers that deal with this story. Phinehas was the son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the high priest of Israel. Numbers chapters 24 and 25 tell us the story of Balaam, Balak of Peor, the Moabites, the Midianites, the sins of the children of Israel, and what Phinehas did.
When Balam couldn’t curse the Children of Israel for Balak he told Balak the way to bring about their downfall was to entice them away, to fornicate with the foreign women and to fall into idolatry. That is exactly what happened as the men of Israel went after the Moabite and Midianite women, and they bowed to their gods and aroused the Lord’s anger. Nos. 25:3
In Numbers 25:7 we read that when Phineas saw it he arose and took a spear or javelin and killed a man from Israel and woman of Midian in the tent, and the plague that had broken out was stopped. Now, I didn’t have a plague of sickness or anything like that or idolatry but the enemy was definitely trying to drain our bank account so we couldn’t finance kingdom work. But I did stand and intercede with the mighty word of God to end the car problem plague. Verse 11 tells us that God said Phinehas was zealous for God’s zeal. WE need to be zealous with God’s zeal to stand and hit the target with our prayers.
The word ‘interpose’ is translated as intercede or pray in other translations. But I believe that word highlights what was taking place. Phineas’ act of thrusting the spear through the idolaters was an act of zeal for God’s righteousness, and holiness. It was true standing in the gap.
It is clear that there are some in the church that have fallen into the doctrine of Balam and have brought in things of the world into homes, businesses, and worst of all the worship services. Sometimes the church doesn’t look any different than the world. Often we bring things into our lives subtly, because the enemy works that way.
We need intercessors to rise up with a fresh holy zeal sent from heaven to stand and ‘interpose’ for those situations where the enemy is robbing our families, churches, ministries, businesses, etc. WE need to thrust the spiritual spear of Phineas into the things that are plaguing us. Use the word of the Lord and hit the target. We need intercession that has God’s heart, and is zealous to see His heart and will performed in all the earth.
It’s not so much a “spiritual spear” as it is the zeal we have and the zeal to be precise and specific in our prayers and petitions. James Goll calls it ‘Target Practice.” It is simply hitting the mark, praying the word and getting specific in bringing the Father’s Heart in our prayer and intercession. It is vitally important that we hit the mark as Phineas with zeal as often the ones we are praying for cannot.

The recent events in the United States, everything from COVID-19 to the elections and in between has one again caused many to call for special prayer. Much of that prayer has focused on the reelection of President Donald Trump. While there have been some voices calling for repentance and citing 1 Chronicles 7:14, there has been little mention of exactly what needs to be repented of.

Intercession requires us to stand in the gap and make up the hedge. If the hedge of protection is broken down then why? Where and how was it broken down. We have to stand in the gap that the enemy has exposed until it is once again closed and built up by God the Father. Understanding what went wrong begins by asking what went wrong with the church, the ‘Bride of Christ.’ How did we get here? The church has become complacent and full of compromise. For many Sunday morning is a time to socialize have have a ‘feel good’ message. When we are never challenged to take up our Christ and suffer as Christ suffered then we carnal lives and become spiritually lazy and full of compromise.

The problem God has now with America is the same problem that He has with the nations. It is the same problem that He had with Israel when the prophets arrived on the scene and prophesied. Godlessness, unfaithful, idolatrous, and wicked were the words that God used to describe Israel and the nations. Israel became unfaithful whenever she compromised and turned to broken cisterns and idolatrous ways.  America used to be the number one nation sending people out to the nations to ‘disciple’ the nations, or what we often call missions. That rank now belongs to South Korea and likewise they are sending missionaries to America. Many nations are coming to America to bring the Gospel.

The irony is that we have been playing church and not living it. It’s tine for zealous intercessors to rise up and stand firmly in the gap as Phineas stood when he interposed. It is time to see this unfaithful generation turn back to God. NO single man or government for that matter can save us. We have a king and we owe Him our loyalty first. We must pray for all of our leaders and our nation as a whole. Revival and Awakening will only come when we allow Jesus to be the KIng that we say He is. That means complete and total submission to His will!

I pray that every one who reads this will take up the task of intercession with the Heart of the Father, with fresh zeal, a zeal like that of Phineas. Amen

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