Over the past few years, as prophetic words and signs have come forth in the Body of Christ, I’ve heard many people ask: “How do we respond to these words? How do we respond to bonafide words of the Lord, about day of the Lord judgements?”
God sends prophetic words and confirming signs in order to give believers courage to do the hard work of pressing through the normal resistance that comes with cultivating new lifestyles that are aligned to the Lord’s (Ephesians 5:14-21) leadership.
Mike Bickle and our IHOPKC family have been inviting the Church to build a suitable response to the approaching day of the Lord for more than two decades. In 1982 the Lord spoke to Mike in an open vision in Cairo, Egypt and declared that He was about to engineer a radical shift in the paradigm of the Church. The word He spoke that day: that He was about to release “a new expression and understanding of Christianity” wasn’t to be received as a western cultural novelty. It was to be embraced as a transitional necessity!
When Kathy and I lived in Kansas City we had a small, dedicated shelter in the basement of our home where we laid up needed provision for the inevitable tornado. Several times over the years, the sirens sounded and we made our trek down the stairs and into our concrete bunker; listening, praying, secure, well-supplied…
The House of Prayer reality is more than “storm-protection”, but because it equips the saints with the vital dynamics of first-commandment love, tender Holy Spirit connectedness and crisis wisdom from the Lord, etc., it IS certain, and strong storm-protection. The House of Prayer reality IS a solid way to prepare your spirit for the winds of the day of the Lord that have already begun to blow through our culture.
Beloved. The winds are only going to increase.
In the day when the winds are threatening to destabilize your own house, you do not want to a.) be asleep (Ephesians 5:6-14), b.) have to do something that is abnormal to your lifestyle (Matthew 24:37-44), c.) be incapacitated from helping others who are looking for refuge in the storm (Jude 1:17-25), d.) not intimately know Him. (Matthew 25:12)
How then do we prepare ourselves for the day of the Lord? Here’s my seven-fold exhortation:
1. IMMEDIATELY (TODAY) BEGIN TO REESTABLISH YOUR PRIORITIES, AND YOUR FAMILY’S PRIORITIES. Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, while it is said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts…” (Hebrews 3:12-15)
2. FIND A CORPORATE GATHERING PLACE WHERE YOU CAN ROUTINELY SIT BEFORE THE LORD IN WORSHIP, PRAY/READ/DIALOGUE WITH THE SPIRIT OF GOD OVER THE WORD OF GOD. They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. (Acts 2:42)
3. ASK THE HOLY SPIRIT TO INCREASE YOUR HUNGER FOR JESUS AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS. The good news is Jesus Himself is so MUCH greater than our dullness and distractions. And He Himself is the exhilarating Reality that the Holy Spirit is patiently leading us to. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. (Matthew 5:6)
4. ASK THE HOLY SPIRIT TO “REVEAL THE SON!” AND FILL YOUR HEART WITH REVELATIONS OF THE RESURRECTED, JEWISH GOD/MAN. We pray – that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.(Ephesians 1:17-23) Aside: This prayer has been prayed hundreds of thousands of times, perhaps more than any other prayer in the 20 year history of the House of Prayer in Kansas City (and elsewhere). It’s no surprise that within these verses resides the keys to the nuclear fuel that will empower the Church to stand with Him in the day of the Lord.
5. PURSUE THIS INTIMATE ENGAGEMENT AND WORSHIP-FILLED DIALOGUE WITH THE SPIRIT UNTIL YOUR JOY IS JESUS, AND YOU REVEL IN JESUS WHEREVER YOU GO! Abide in My love. (John 15:9)
6. REGULARLY/DAILY ENGAGE GOD IN THE ACTIVITY OF WORSHIPFUL INTERCESSION TOGETHER WITH OTHERS. Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. (Ephesians 5:15-21)
7. ENCOURAGE OTHERS INTO THIS SAME DIVINE DIALOGUE. But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they were saying to you, “In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.” These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. And have mercy on some, who are doubting; save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh. Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 1:17-25)
THIS is how wise bridesmaids buy oil. (Matthew 25:6) THIS is how a Church breaks out of it’s poverty and buys “gold refined in the fire from Him.” (Revelation 3:18)
In Joshua, we see a picture of how a person prepares himself to faithfully follow God through tumultuous transition into great promise. Along with Moses, Joshua was led out of generations of bondage, through a miraculous exodus. But Joshua’s heart was filled with more than signs and wonders. On the day that God called Joshua and his nation to enter into the land, his heart was filled with confidence to declare: “We can go in. Even though there are great giants in our path, I’ve seen the Lord. And He is more than capable to bring us into what He’s promised.”
Where did Joshua’s confidence come from? Why did he not shrink back in fear like the others? Joshua’s secret is found in Exodus 33. This humble hero of the faith spent his days and nights in the wilderness strengthening his spirit in the Lord’s tent of meeting. Joshua prepared himself for God’s great military victory by cultivating a lifestyle of doing Psalm 27:1-5. The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple. For in the time of trouble… He shall set me high upon a rock.
Beloved, we’re about to go through the most tumultuous era in human history in order to receive the greatest promise in human history. Today the Holy Spirit is preparing the Bride of Christ worldwide for our Bridegroom’s physical return and a transition into a new age when we literally live under His glorious, earthly leadership.
One day soon, billions of people will hear the cry: “Behold the Bridegroom! Let’s go OUT to meet Him!” (Matthew 25:6) Today, it’s so vital that those who have ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church, prioritize our many activities in order to heed the cry: “Behold the Bridegroom! Let’s go IN to meet with Him!” (Exodus 33:11)
JSB • June, 2019