BE-Attitudes (3 of 3)

In Matthew 23, we find that the last public sermon Jesus preached was not a message regarding salvation and invitation. By contrast, He spoke of condemnation and denunciation against the religious hierarchy of the day. Jesus didn’t hold back, calling the Pharisees names like “fools” and “blind guides,” while powerfully pointing out their brand of hypocrisy. These authoritative teachers of their day failed to follow their own precepts.

Jesus’ last sermon was in stark contrast to His first. His earthly ministry began by pronouncing eight blessings that came in the form of the Beatitudes. Each of these stand as a measure in stark contrast to what Jesus saw in the Pharisees.

Looking at the various attitudes over the next few days, we see there is a clear right vs wrong and there’s little room for question regarding which attitude we are to have.

  1. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Matthew 5:8 (KJV)

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Matthew 23:25, 26 (KJV)

*A pure heart doesn’t block vision. If your desire is to see God, then start with getting a pure heart. Read Psalm 51 as it’s a great example dealing with the heart. Don’t be like the blind Pharisees.

  1. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Matthew 5:9 (KJV)

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Matthew 23:27, 28 (KJV)

*At the same time the Pharisees claimed to be men of peace, they secretly plotted the murder of the Prince of Peace. Notice it doesn’t say there that the peacekeepers are blessed; it is those that will make peace. That means in the most difficult of circumstances you need to find a way to make peace.

  1. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness; sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:10 (KJV)

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Matthew 23:29–35 (KJV)

*Jesus said, “Blessed are the persecuted and woe to the persecutors.” The Pharisees stated “If they had been alive in our day, we wouldn’t have killed the prophets.” But their claim was inaccurate, at the very moment they told Jesus this, they sought to execute Him, the One whom the prophets spoke. We must be careful that we aren’t just hearers of the Word, but that we actually practice what is preached. Live it out, regardless of the cost! Don’t ever go along with the crowd; instead, choose to follow after His righteousness. If you hunger for it, you’ll be filled with it. Therefore the Kingdom is yours.

 

 

BE-Attitudes (2 of 3)

BE-Attitudes

In Matthew 23, we find that the last public sermon Jesus preached was not a message regarding salvation and invitation. By contrast, He spoke of condemnation and denunciation against the religious hierarchy of the day. Jesus didn’t hold back, calling the Pharisees names like “fools” and “blind guides,” while powerfully pointing out their brand of hypocrisy. These authoritative teachers of their day failed to follow their own precepts.

Jesus’ last sermon was in stark contrast to His first. His earthly ministry began by pronouncing eight blessings that came in the form of the Beatitudes. Each of these stand as a measure in stark contrast to what Jesus saw in the Pharisees.

Looking at the various attitudes over the next few days, we see there is a clear right vs wrong and there’s little room for question regarding which attitude we are to have.

  1. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Matthew 5:6 (KJV)

Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty. Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift? Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon. And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein. And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon. Matthew 23:16–22 (KJV)

*Blessed are those who want for integrity, truth, and simplicity. The Pharisees weren’t hungering after righteousness; they desperately wanted power and control, manipulating the Word to fit their modes of operation. We, as the people of God, must hunger and thirst after righteousness. We cannot have revival while we hunger after our own will.

  1. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Matthew 5:7 (KJV)

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. Matthew 23:23, 24 (KJV)

*According to Leviticus 11, the largest unclean animal was a camel and the smallest was a gnat. Jesus said the Pharisees picked gnats out of their soup but missed the big camel swimming around. They had everything in order and the details down to the smallest one. They even tithed on their seeds of cumin (can you imagine counting those out to get to a tenth?) but missed the much larger, more important issues. What about the issues of love, mercy, and righteousness? They didn’t hunger after those. If you want to obtain mercy, love, and righteousness, then you must extend them.

to be continued…

BE-ATTITUDES (1 of 3)

In Matthew 23, we find that the last public sermon Jesus preached was not a message regarding salvation and invitation. By contrast, He spoke of condemnation and denunciation against the religious hierarchy of the day. Jesus didn’t hold back, calling the Pharisees names like “fools” and “blind guides,” while powerfully pointing out their brand of hypocrisy. These authoritative teachers of their day failed to follow their own precepts.

Jesus’ last sermon was in stark contrast to His first. His earthly ministry began by pronouncing eight blessings that came in the form of the Beatitudes. Each of these stand as a measure in stark contrast to what Jesus saw in the Pharisees.

Looking at the various attitudes over the next few days, we see there is a clear right vs wrong and there’s little room for question regarding which attitude we are to have.

  1. Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew5:3 (KJV)

But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. Matthew 23:13 (KJV)

*Jesus said the kingdom of heaven belongs to the poor in spirit, the Pharisees were proud in spirit. “I thank You, God, that I am not as other men,” they prayed (see Luke 18:11). We must be careful that our attitude or spirit doesn’t prevent us from inheriting the kingdom of God, nor should it prevent others.

  1. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:4

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. Matthew 23:14 (KJV)

*Jesus promised that the mourners will be comforted. The Pharisees, however, manipulated those who mourned. We shouldn’t take advantage of people who are in crisis, or manipulate it to our advantage. Instead, we are to mourn, with those who mourn, and comfort those that need comforting.

  1. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Matthew 5:5 (KJV)

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. Matthew 23:15 (KJV)

*The meek were to inherit the earth. The Pharisees, on the other hand, were trying to convert the earth to their legalistic, hypocritical, religious system. They were recruiting into a system where you could teach it, but not have to follow it. Instead, Jesus said the meek, those that had power under control, were to inherit the earth. We must use the power and the authority that God has given to us, in a manner that is acceptable to God.

Passionate Prayers

Passionate Pray-er’s

Most children who have wandered away have had an encounter with Jesus. One does not forget an encounter with Jesus. The distance for each to return is the same, no matter how steeped in sin we feel they are. It will matter little how far away one is from Christ when He returns, the result will be the same.

Jesus stated in the book of Revelation how little he cared for to the church at Laodicea, that He would that they were neither hot nor cold, but rather lukewarm, and for their lukewarmness they would be spewed out of his mouth (Rev 3:14-22)

Today there is a stirring, a reviving, and a renewing of the cry of parents for their children. We need a change in our cities and our nation, but that begins with the restoration of the family. It is about our sons and daughters. It is breaking the chains and demonic strongholds off of our children.

We must have persistent, passionate, and bold prayers for the vision we have received. The vision that includes the return of that which has been taken or that which was promised to us. The Bible overflows with these precious promises. His word will accomplish what it is intended to accomplish. J​ eremiah 1:11-12

It’s high time that we band together, in a unified force, and reclaim what is rightfully ours and promised by God.
What brings our victory? God didn’t use sleek marketing or celebrities or TV programs to accomplish His vision.

Instead this battle is won in the trenches of our prayer rooms, prayer closets, and our obedience to the Holy Spirit. It is a battle against an enemy who seems to have entrenched himself, deep in the hearts of our children.
There is no defense against prayer.

Joshua faced a similar battle over the future generations and the promises of God. He arrived at Jericho, a well-fortified city, that seemed to have a defense for every area of attack. In Joshua 6:12 and 15, we read: 12A​ndJoshuaroseearlyinthemorning,andtheprieststookupthearkoftheLord.1​5B​utitcametopasson the seventh day that they rose early, about the dawning of the day, and marched around the city seven times in the same manner. On that day only they marched around the city seven times. They had the promise and the instruction, so they arose early in the morning.

Let’s take back the break of day and bombard the enemy and the heavens with prayers early. The enemy has no defense against prayer.

Be Strong

Conversations with God are always interesting. We speak to God within the realm of prayer, but the communication found in Joshua 1 is a little different.

Consider a statement you’ve most likely heard before: In our weakness, He is made strong. So, take a moment to visualize God saying the same words to you as He said to Moses’ assistant.

The Lord commanded Joshua to “Be strong” three times. If God Himself is telling you to be strong, you better believe that you’re going to need strength for a difficult, arduous, and long journey. Whatever is coming your way is far from smooth-sailing. Joshua wasn’t just told to be strong then left to his own devices. God didn’t walk off and leave him in his trial. Instead, Joshua found His strength in the promises God had made. God told Joshua, I have given you the land. God didn’t say, I​ will g​ive you the land. It was already said and done. That is exactly why you can be strong in the fight. You will not find strength in yourself, so stop looking.

Our strength comes as it did with Joshua; the Lord your God is with you and He has already finished it.

Is it possible that the circumstance you face right now could be a test; a test revealing how strong you can be? Could it be that God has allowed this in your life so that you discover Who truly gives you the strength?

BE STRONG, you can do all things through Christ who will give you the strength. Now do like Joshua did, and grab hold of those promises because they are yours!

Impact

One of the greatest stories of impact is the story of missionary John Geddie. Geddie was called to the islands of Aneitum. When Geddie first reached Aneiteum, there were two Samoan teachers, Simeona and Pita, on the island but there was not a single native convert. The people of Aneiteum, like those throughout the New Hebrides, looked like savages.The people also acted like savages. The female sex was very degraded. The wife was practically the slave of her husband and to her lot fell the drudgery and hard labor. The practice of killing unwanted babies was common. When a man died, his wife was immediately strangled so that her spirit might accompany his to the next world, and any children too young to take care of themselves suffered the same fate as the mother. If there was a grown son, he was expected to perform the act of strangulation.The revolting practice of cannibalism was prevalent on all the islands. The natives confessed that they considered human flesh the most savory of foods. It was considered proper to eat all enemies killed or taken in war. It was a common occurrence for chiefs to kill some of their own subjects to provide a cannibal feast, if the bodies of enemies were not readily obtainable. The missionary knew a man who killed and ate his own child! The people were steeped in moral degradation. Licentiousness was rife, revenge was considered a sacred duty, forgiveness was a word not to be found in the language and the spectacle of a happy heathen family, bound together by ties of love, was unknown. And their religious beliefs were not calculated to elevate them. Their deities included idols and spirits called Natmasses. Their sacred men were invested with remarkable powers, such as producing thunder and lightning, causing hurricanes and inducing disease. “Can we indeed expect anything good from the poor heathen,” wrote the missionary, “when their deities are supposed to be such as themselves, or, rather, are conceived as having attained to a more gigantic stature in every form of vice than man can possibly reach?”What was the force that compelled John Geddie to live in circumstances so desolating and that sustained him amid scenes so harrowing? And what was the message with which he expected to touch and transform a people so debased? In one of his home letters he wrote: “The love of Christ sustains us and constrains us. My heart pants to tell this miserable people the wonders of redeeming love.” And when the day arrived on which he was able to preach to the natives for the first time, what was the momentous theme of his message? “I thank God,” he wrote in his Journal, “that I have been spared to see this day when, for the first time, I can tell perishing sinners of the Saviour’s love.” Again he said: “If ever we win these benighted islanders, we must draw them with cords of love. I know of no power that is adequate to transform their lives except that which transformed my own life, namely, the power of the living Christ who ‘loved us and washed us from our sins in his own blood.'”

Geddie was on a mission, a mission that would impact this island with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He had been impacted by the love of God, and in turn wanted to make an impact, with the love of God. John Geddie was unremitting in his endeavors to win the Aneiteumese. There were many obstacles, many trials, many distractions. Yet, he wouldn’t be stopped until there was a lasting impact of the Love of God. Not long after he settled on Aneiteum, Geddie wrote in his Journal, February 9, 1849: “In the darkness, degradation, pollution and misery that surrounds me, I will look forward in the vision of faith to the time when some of these poor islanders will unite in the triumphant song of ransomed souls, ‘Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood.'”

This was the text that captivated his heart.
This was the text that animated his labors.
This was the text that irradiated all his days.

When, after twenty-four years of missionary work, he answered his Lord’s final call and left the earthly scene, December 14, l872, a monument, prepared in Sydney, was placed behind the pulpit of the church in Anelcauhat where John Geddie had preached. On it was the following inscription:

“In memory of John Geddie, D.D., born in Scotland, 1815, minister in Prince Edward Island seven years, Missionary sent from Nova Scotia to Aneiteum for twenty-four years. When he landed in 1848, there were no Christians here, and when he left in 1872 there were no heathen.”

 

That’s making an impact! Arrived to an island, where not a single person, knew Christ. Upon leaving there was not a single heathen. May we be so impacted by the love of God, that we make a lasting impact with the Love of God!

Need Encouragement?

Have you ever needed encouragement? Yet, at the moment you needed that encouragement, you were alone. Isn’t that how it consistently works? About the time you need something it’s gone, you just missed the opportunity or you cannot find it?
When you need encouragement, it rarely happens just before you’re headed to a place, person, or event that will give you that encouragement. For instance, a depressing event will happen just after a church service but not before it. We rationalize that if it happened before the service, God would have so many opportunities to rescue or encourage you. Instead, the event happened just as you left the safety net of corporate prayer or folks that always have just the right words to offer in times of struggle. Well, it could be a week before you get back to church. Yet, you still need encouragement. What should you do?
David in I Samuel 30 found himself in a similar circumstance. He has just avoided a terrible battle and upon his return to his hometown with his boys, they find their city burning. Not only was it burning, but their families, possessions, and homes were gone! Everything was taken or destroyed! Now that’s a man that needs some encouragement. Just somebody/anybody around to give a good word of encouragement. One would think that the fellas that know David best and in whom David had made tremendous investments would be the first ones to rally with words of encouragement. No, these guys were upset and angry at David. Now not only was David discouraged, he was afraid for his life. He was facing betrayal, fearing that these men would now stone him to death! David’s situation escalated from bad to “It cannot get any worse”!

Let’s modernize this story: You are scrolling through Facebook and David’s post reads as follows:  “I am feeling ‘Discouraged’. I thought my day was bad enough when I managed to avoid a real war today, but I arrived home to find my wife and children abducted and our family home burned to the ground. Location formerly Ziglag, getting out of Dodge…
Then under that status all the comments are harsh words of blame, and accusations that it’s all David’s fault. Not a single person kind enough or willing to encourage David.
David did what you’ll have to do in many of life’s’ most difficult and discouraging moments. While most of us will never encounter all that David encountered, we do face genuine feelings of discouragement and we must do what David did no matter how large or how small the battle. He encouraged himself. You must do the same.
Often the crowd you run with will not see you through the trial. You’re going to have to find a place in God and encourage yourself.

Let’s look at what David did exactly.


First he encouraged himself in the Lord (1 Samuel 30:6)

When  don’t have anywhere to turn and there is no one around, encourage yourself with His word and words concerning you.
That word that you’ve hid in your heart, that’s the word, you’ll need to turn to.

Secondly, David inquired of the Lord (1 Samuel 30:7,8). He talked with God, prayed, about the situation. We can also inquire of God through worship and praise. Prayer is simply communicating with God and then listen for His voice.

Thirdly, David Engaged with the Lord (1 Samuel 30:9,10). After prayer and praise, we see pursuit. To many people after they pray and praise, they say, Lord, bring me good things in my life, but God you bring them. God likes people that will take a step of faith and He will bless you as you go! When you take that step, and pursue after the desire of your heart, God will be with you and will fight for you! The scripture declares to not be weary in well doing, for in due season you’ll reap if you faint not! Did you catch that you’re doing, you’re pursuing after and you’ll reap it, if you faint not?

Lastly, David is inspired by the Lord  (1 Samuel 30:23-25) David insisted that the men who guarded the supplies were as important as those on the front line . God inspired David, and changed the entire dynamics of his army!

Once you begin to encourage yourself, get into a place where you can talk with God, and then help God by helping yourself. No doubt, as you’re talking with God and pursuing a solution, you’ll have a God inspired idea. That idea will change the dynamics of the issue that brought the discouragement in the beginning.

Remember that David, after pursuing, recovered everything that was taken from him, which is what caused the discouragement in his life. May you likewise recover it all, and be encouraged

We’re in a War

 

To win this war, we must pray effective prayers. The most effective prayers are prayers that are biblical prayers. We should pray according to the word of God.

James, upon telling us to pray effectual and fervent prayers, gives Elijah as the model of prayer.

Elijah upon entering the court of Ahab stood squarely upon the word of God. He was standing on Deuteronomy 11:16-17. Elijah knew as we should that God’s word will stand forever. If God said it, then it will happen.

James further told us that Elijah prayed earnestly. Meaning that when Elijah prayed he was bowed before the Lord. He humbled himself in the sight of God. In the many battles that we face, the only answer will be effective and fervent prayers. We will overcome through the power of effective praying and humbling ourselves under God’s mighty hand. (1 Peter 5:6)

 

Overcoming Sanballat

One of the greatest restoration and revival movements that you can read about is the story of Nehemiah rebuilding Jerusalem.

Nehemiah set out to rebuild, revive, and restore His city. As Nehemiah begins the process of rebuilding the walls of the city of Jerusalem. His adversaries mounted a campaign to distract, Nehemiah from his mission.

The reason for the attacks or distractions is that enemies of Jerusalem and the people of God didn’t want there to be any protection for them. A wall would mean a major shift in political power and a shift in commerce.

The main distractor was Sanballat. Sanballat enjoyed Jerusalem remaining in  the status quo. He enjoyed the city being in disrepair. He had a vested interest in Jerusalem remaining weak and indefensible.

His first mode of attack was that of ridiculing and mocking those that were rebuilding the wall. I’ve experienced this greatly in my first six years of pastoring. It is very easy for those that enjoy the status quo to sit back and jeer those that have a passion or a mission to rebuild the places of God. Those that distract, oppose, mock, and ridicule have a vested interest in the people and places of God remaining defenseless. They like our cities in disrepair, weak, and without order.

Nehemiah built the wall, in spite of the distractions and ridiculing of Sanballat.  Once Sanballat realized that the ridiculing and mocking wasn’t working. He adjusted his plan of attack. He changed to fear, entrapment, and political maneuvering. Sanballat did all that he could do to keep the wall from advancing and becoming complete.

No doubt, God has given you a mission, a passion, to see your family, church, or city changed through revival and restoration. As you embark on the noble cause. Be prepared for your very own Sanballat.

Sanballat will ridicule you, mock, and belittle you and the work that you are doing. When that doesn’t work, the attack will shift. Fear, entrapment, and political maneuvering will begin. However, like Nehemiah you also can finish the mission. You can rebuild your family, your church, and your city.

Nehemiah was able to overcome the distractions and rebuild the wall.

  1. He understood that with a great vision, there would be distractions and distractors.
  2. He never stepped away from the mission to deal with the distractions!
  3. He trusted that God would protect him.
  4. He kept the main thing the main thing. He never lost sight that his passion was to build the wall, not deal with Sanballat.

When Nehemiah was ridiculed and jeered, He relied on God. (Nehemiah 4:4-5). When there was resistance to the mission, Nehemiah made sure that he was aware of any attack that might come against them. He headed them off at the pass. He remained watchful, vigilant, but the work continued. (Nehemiah 4:7-9). When there was rumor and speculation, Nehemiah reassured the people, He told them “remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren…” (Nehemiah 4:11-14). Nehemiah also reinforced any weak areas in the mission. (Nehemiah 4:13). He made sure that any area of the mission that appeared weak, would be reinforced and strengthened.

In spite of all the attacks Nehemiah refused to quit (Nehemiah 4:15). One of the greatest pieces of advice I’ve heard, as a pastor, was to never resign on a Monday. Most often Mondays can be some the most emotionally tough days for a pastor. You’ve spent your Sunday rebuilding walls, reviving, and restoring. And then your personal Sanballat enters in and begins to ridicule all that was accomplished. You feel like it’s worthless. You’re ready to give in and give up. Don’t quit, don’t give up. Persistence is the ultimate gauge of leadership. Outlast your critics. Refuse to quit and give up. Now,  go and renew and strengthen the people again.  The quickest way to stop a great work is to stop a great leader. Don’t let a Sanballat stop you!

Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses. (Nehemiah 4:14)

 

 

Nehemiah 4:1-23 & 6:1-19

Power Praying for Our Children

We often will say we need to change our cities and our nation. I say that the cities, states, and nations will change when families are restored back to God.

This is about our sons and daughters. It is about breaking chains, holds and demonic strongholds off of our children.

Most of which, at one time, have had an encounter; an experience with Christ. However, they have walked away.

Some have walked further away than others, at least in our mind. I remind us today that the distance is the same between them all and Christ. Regardless of how steeped in sin we feel they are, their distance to return is the same as the one that we believe to be closer.

It will matter little how far away one is from Christ when He returns, the result will be the same.

However, the distance back to Christ is the same for everyone.

For that reason, I believe there is a stirring, a reviving and a renewing of the cry of parents for their children.

It is a clarion call for our children to return home, to come back to the Father.

You must have persistent, passionate and bold prayers for the vision that you have received; of the return of that which has been taken or that which has been promised to you.

The bible is filled with precious promises about the return of children.

I think it’s high time that we band together, in a unified force and start reclaiming what is rightfully ours and promised by God. We have been given authority, we should use it.

I perused the bible, and I noted that each time that God commanded his people to take something it never happened through a slick track, a television program, or sleek marketing.

Those items are needed but it is not what impresses nor is what brings victory.

Instead this battle is won in the trenches of our prayer rooms, prayer closets, and our obedience to the Holy Spirit.

This battle is against an enemy who seems to have entrenched himself, deep in the hearts of our children. It may seem that the child is fortified and the battle is hard. Our eyes see that there are defenses to every way of attack.

There is no defense against prayer.

Joshua faced a similar battle – it wasn’t over a child necessarily, yet it was over the future generations and the promises of God. He arrived at Jericho a well-fortified city that seemed to have a defense for every area of attack.

In reading the text again of the battle plan for Jericho, I noticed something in Joshua 6:12,15.

12 And Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the Lord.

15 But it came to pass on the seventh day that they rose early, about the dawning of the day, and marched around the city seven times in the same manner. On that day only they marched around the city seven times.

They had the promise and the instruction and they arose early in the morning.

I believe one of the foundational points to taking back what is ours is to get an early start. Bombard the enemy and the heavens with prayers early.

There is no defense against prayer.

Heartfelt, impassioned prayer and consistent intercessory prayer, begins to tear down the strong holds and dissolve the power of sin’s hold on their lives.  Prayer makes the people of God more sensitive to the Holy Spirit. This allows for us to see the pathway that God is leading us down and to walk through doors that God is opening for us, to shine the light of Jesus into the darkness.

People of prayer are people of love and people in darkness need the light to lead them, in love, to Jesus.  We shouldn’t shine the light to blind them or spotlight how in darkness they are. Instead use the light to guide them, not hurt them.

That is how the Holy Spirit brought us; not through harshness but through gentleness.

I hear a clarion call for parents, believers and prayer warriors to bind together.  For our children that are wandering, those that are lost, wounded, hurt, deprived, and needing a fresh encounter with Jesus.

We need not join together and be in misery and mope or pray disheartening prayers. We need to join together and pray as they did in Acts 4:23-31. When they prayed the place was shaking, they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the Word of God with boldness.

Without an encounter with Jesus Christ, our children are doomed to destruction.

Here is what God told Joshua…

Joshua 6:17

17 Now the city shall be doomed by the Lord to destruction, it and all who are in it. Only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all who are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent.

Now we live in a time that people are waiting for the sudden destruction, before we will pray.

Destruction is happening not from the outside suddenly, but from the inside gradually.

Disease runs rampant; sickness, infection, and pain are all around us.

Death comes through countless doors; suicide, murder, and abortion.

Despair abounds, there is a growing sense of hopelessness as people’s aspirations and dreams melt before them.

Disillusionment is deepening as children see their homes break apart and relationships crumble around them.

Disappointment devastates people. Businesses going under, contracts and agreements violated, and friendships dissolving.

Dishonesty, deceit, divorce, dismay, destruction; it’s all around them. Yet, in the pews, prayer closets and prayer rooms HOPE is rising.

The Lord is calling His people to march around their cities, their inheritance, with their prayers, in so doing we will see the walls come crumbling down.

Hell has been building walls of destruction all around them, but the church is going to see, through the power of prayer, those walls come crumbling down.

God is able to shatter the walls and make them fall down flat. God is able to disperse the demonic powers and send an invasion of the Holy Spirit into the areas of despair and destruction.

God is prepared to rescue the Rahab’s… Rahab wandered in her sin, because no one told her of the Love of God.

Rahab is a prophetic study. This harlot from Jericho is an example of the hungry soul, that’s searching for a different reality.

Rahab = Hebrew root word meaning “wide space, roomy.”

It speaks to the empty hearts, wide open to whatever life can throw at them, and whatever the enemy will do to them.

However, her heart was also open to whatever LIFE, could be brought to her. Though she was a prostitute, when the spies came, she acknowledged that their God was greater than any other.

She was indoctrinated in a pagan culture, trapped in her own sins. Yet, she was open to the fact that there was someone, who was better than anything that she had ever known, the Living God.

Her openness, spared her life, not only did it spare her life; it also caused her to be related to Jesus.

How many of our children, if prayers are lifted, and walls come down, would respond to the Living God, and not only live, but become related to Jesus.

John 1:12 – But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

Further Study References: Proverbs 22:6, Acts 16:31, Psalm 115:14, Psalm 112:1-2, Proverbs 14:11, Proverbs 20:7, Isaiah 49:25, Proverbs 11:21, Jeremiah 31:16-17, Psalm 25:12-13, Isaiah 61:8-9, Psalm 128:3, Isaiah 54:13-15, Psalm 36:7-9, Isaiah 44:3-5, Psalm 102:28, Deuteronomy 7:13, Deuteronomy 30:19-20, Psalm 127:3-5, Hebrews 1:14, Joel 2:28-29, Acts 2:14-18, 2 Corinthians 1:20, Isaiah 55:11-13, John 1:12, Romans 8:14