THE Glaring Omission of a Generation

THE GLARING OMISSION of a generation of American evangelicalism is precisely the one thing Jesus demands we have if we follow Him.

Its absence has permitted scholars and leaders to sit in judgment of the scriptures…

Its absence has enticed millions to embrace LGBTQ…

Its absence has defrauded generations from engaging their destiny on missions fields…

Its absence has allowed the Church in our culture to pursue, sell and endorse endless fantasy, wealth and consumerism without restraint…

Its absence has confused the world’s understanding of the gospel as we do battle over political matters…

Its absence has corrupted the Church’s vision of power and greatness…

Its absence has given our children and our children’s children open license to bottomless carnality…

Its absence has allowed us to live in, and even celebrate enmity, unforgiveness, “raca” and malice…

With it present in our lives…

…it obliterates our rebellion,

…it purges our sinful hearts, 

…it buries our falsehood, 

…it defines wholeheartedness, 

…it propels us to the lost,

…it enables us to turn enemies into brothers,

and it empowers us to manifest first-commandment love, and the breathing Presence of Jesus in our worlds.

In 40+ years within American evangelicalism, I’ve never had a class or attended a conference or break-out-session that had it as its emphasis.

You’re hard pressed to find a leader who has published a single book on the topic in the 80’s, 90’s, 00’s, 10’s.

Singers and musicians are the ones among us who most often reference this necessity…

…but we almost never (can’t think of one instance) when a pastor/leader/teacher has explicitly explained, detailed, taught about the topic in a practical and Biblical way.

It’s an omission that’s especially peculiar to the wealthiest, most free, rights conscious, mutually affirming Christian church in the history of the world.

It’s not included in the material that we give and teach to new believers…

…even though its the most ubiquitous way that Jesus bids individuals, groups and leaders into relationship with Himself.

Its also what Jesus calls “satanic” when His disciples attempt to live in His Kingdom without it.

When I look at the way the American Church justifies celebrating celebrities while ignoring foreign missionaries; touting war and hostility while allowing peacemakers to sit quietly in the corner; creates wholesale theologies that tackle Jesus’ call to racial compassion and contrition; and even champion political candidates with an antiChrist spirit, I don’t wonder why. (I really don’t.) We’re the trees of seeds that have been planted for as long as most of us have been believers in Jesus of Nazareth. We have no grid for what has not been planted, valued, encouraged, and cultivated in us…

And in an hour when the judgments of the Lord are upon us, unless we develop a paradigm where the “it” becomes the norm instead of an exception millions of our American sisters and brothers will suffer real shipwreck of faith.

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JSB • December 2, 2022

Being a Prophetic People: Learning Righteousness in an Hour of Judgment

“When Your judgments are on the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.” (Isaiah 26:9)

The people of God were always meant to be a “prophetic people”.

We were called to interact with the Word-speaking God through the events of our lives for the purposes of discovering a.) the intimate, redemptive nature of our God, and b.) our great need to be intimately redeemed to God.

When God reveals Himself into human circumstances; through great blessings, war, plagues, rewards and even supernatural punishment Isaiah 26:9 states, “…the inhabitants of the world LEARN RIGHTEOUSNESS”; that is, we learn how God wants us to relate to Himself. We learn that God’s heart is much more personal, and His ways much more powerful, and we learn the very opposite about ourselves. We learn that we are much more content to relate to God from a distance, and we learn that we vastly overestimate our ability to successfully live within a fallen world.

At the core of every prophetic event in our world, from the blessing of Isaac to Abraham and Sarah, to Babylon, to the restoration of the nation of Israel, to 9-11, this is the root lesson that God intends for His people to receive: “A.) I Am trustworthy. I want you to come close to Me so that I may extend My faithful leadership over you. B.) Your hearts and your laws, and your customs, and your economics and your politics and your wisdom are not capable of navigating the evil and the threats that are in your world apart from being deeply dependent upon Me.”

When the Philistines were vexing the Children of Israel and they began to cry out for a king, YHWH spoke judgment through the prophet Samuel. The Lord said to Samuel, ‘It is not you that they have rejected, but it is Me that they have rejected as their king.'” (1 Samuel 8:7) In that moment both people and prophet learned a.) how deeply the Lord desired to personally administrate the affairs of His people, and b.) they learned how profoundly bent the covenant people of God were toward rebellion and independence.

When the prophet Jeremiah relentlessly issued the Lord’s messages of restoration year after year after year to the obstinate house of Judah Jeremiah learned a.) the long-suffering, grieving nature of the heart of the redeeming God, and b.) he learned just how hard-hearted the peoples’ attitudes were toward God’s tender and far-reaching mercy.

When the crowd on Pilate’s portico screamed “Crucify Him!” while appealing to the Roman governor to release a violent insurrectionist instead of their own long-promised Messiah, we all learned just how a.) meek and devoted to our salvation our God is, and b.) how hostile, self-reliant and deluded humanity can become.

We, the household of God, were always meant to be a “prophetic people”. We have a perpetual need to be reminded a.) how passionately our God longs to live with us in scandalous friendship, and b.) how grossly we miscalculate our ability to captain our own souls.

I say all this because for the last several years the Lord has been escalating the prophetic events in our American evangelical culture. I know it’s not popular to state this but 911 was a wake up call from God to a slumbering American Church. He even numbered the day, beloved! He was alerting us to the fact that a.) He wanted to be the center of our economic and military might and b.) we had become profoundly proud in our self-power to chart our own course in the world. Billy Graham, at the National Memorial service days after the catastrophe summed up the prophetic lesson in one phrase: “We have ALWAYS needed God!”

Cut to 2016. Our nation, and more importantly, the household of God (1 Peter 4:17) was about to enter into yet another level of prophetic judgment from the Lord. In an hour when social darkness was ravaging the land, would we elect a woman who was focused on endorsing unrighteousness and duplicity? Or would we campaign for a man who’s entire life had been a testament to the opposite of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount? The choice seemed impossible. Millions of Christian leaders and believers haggled over the axiomatic, Biblical thing to do, as if we could attain circumspection without engaging the prophetic Voice of the Lord Himself. We chose to operate by principle, not prophecy, and in the end 82% of the people of God elected a Saul.

In the days before the 2016 election, several quiet prophetic voices in our nation heard the Lord weeping to us: ‘It is not you that they have rejected, but it is Me that they have rejected as their king.'” (1 Samuel 8:7)

The Lord had been calling His household to transcend the wisdom of the nations, and to a.) invite Him to intimately administrate and reign over our incarnational and intercessory assignment to America. Instead, like restless Israel we b.) chose our champion, who would fight for all the liberty that we said we could handle rightly. And in so doing, we dreadfully miscalculated our aptitude to achieve the Lord’s definition of greatness.

Six short years later the Church and our nation are much more divided, alienated from truth, and explosive in our dialogue with one another. We are no closer to greatness. We do not have the harvest. And we are adrift from the Presence of the Lord.

In the fall of 2019, our little House of Prayer in the mountains of Arizona began to hear the Lord calling His people to “seek His Face” (Psalm 27:8); one on One; where we could see a.) the degree to which our God wanted to be our Present Help in the time of trouble, and b.) where we could discover how genuinely impoverished and unprepared our ways were. We weren’t the only ones. Other believers and Houses of Prayer around the world were hearing the same summons: “Seek My Face!”

The Lord led a handful of us to give Him 100% of our focus – for 180 days – from a time of darkness and blindness, into a new hour of righteous light and prophetic vision. Through this 6 month season He led us through the prophetic lesson: A.) I am a faithful and trustworthy leader and I want you close to Me. B.) You don’t have the ability you think you have to guide yourselves through the calamity and tribulation that has now come upon you.

Now, a scant three years later – and as I look around at the Body of Christ, I lament that we not only have not given ourselves to learning the A’s and B’s of righteousness, I marvel that we (the covenant people of God) can look back over the last 36 months and ascribe no prophetic significance to the season at all!

Rather than see the hand of the Lord in our events, we are hell-bent and content to credit plagues, riots, signs and stolen elections to nebulous and nefarious forces, an attribution and pursuit that teaches us a.) nothing new about Who our redeeming God is, (in fact it diminishes His intimate power in our lives), and b.) calls for no new understanding and appropriation of the nature of our weakness and vulnerability in the world. It’s as if we’ve had our eyes plucked out and dine on delicacies while the people languish in unrighteous captivity.

Our family has given ourselves to seeing much evil and conspiracy, and little eternal and even less contrition in the events of the last three years. With this in mind, it’s vital that we ask ourselves several remedial questions:

  1. What did we learn about the zeal of the Lord as He brought 195 nations to a complete standstill in one Passover week in 2020? What did we learn about our own ability to handle a world-wide plague?
  2. What did we learn about the nature of our God when both President and prophets falsely predicted the end of the plague at Easter, and then Pentecost, and then once the warm weather came? What did we learn about our own hearts to throw off forces that were out of our control?
  3. What did we learn about the justice and compassion of our God for the marginalized and the poor in our nation as millions rose up in lament, anger, protest and violence over the inhumane treatment of numerous black individuals in our culture? What did we learn about our own self-justifying nature?
  4. What did we learn about God’s jealousy to be honored in our political activity when He suddenly struck down the very first evangelical leader who openly and resoundingly endorsed our former President? What did we learn about how quickly we can be raised up, and brought low under the hand of God?
  5. What did we learn about God’s truthfulness and integrity when thousands upon thousands of evangelical leaders incorrectly predicted that our former President would be reelected (many promising in “a landslide”) in 2020? What did we learn about the willingness of our hearts to be deceived and to operate with no accountability?
  6. What did we learn about the redemptive ways of our God as we gathered on the steps of our capital to protest an election that our champion had lost? What did we learn about our own rebellious hearts?
  7. What did we learn about our God’s gentleness when millions of us refused to mask and/or be vaccinated against a disease that was killing our weakest neighbors? What did we learn about our own self-determined liberties?
  8. What did we learn about our God’s attitude toward generational sin when thousands of Native American children’s graves were unearthed? What did we learn about our own theology of self-justification and American principle of “manifest destiny”?
  9. What did we learn about God’s fervor to reverse decades of unrighteous laws, when Roe vs. Wade was overturned? What did we learn about a people who give themselves to unceasing prayer and justice in the land?
  10. What did we learn about the steadfast reliability of God when “the red-wave” failed to materialize earlier this month? What have we learned about our incessant desire to run to false-prophets for salvation and consolation in an hour when we desperately want relief from the pressure of God’s judgments upon us as a people?

These questions aren’t ancillary to our walk with God. They tackle the brass-tacks of what we really believe, and where and how we place our faith in a real God Who earnestly wants to govern us through real threat and danger. These are questions that the Lord has eagerly wanted us to bring to Him in His tent of meeting. In many cases He’s prearranged the pressures precisely so we would come into His Presence and inquire in His temple. (Psalm 27:4)

He’s not relenting. He’s promised His Son a Bride without unrighteous spots, wrinkles or blemishes. (Ephesians 5) He’s promised His Son that when He returns His Bride will look and act and think and speak like Him. (1 John 3) If we don’t learn righteousness under the aforementioned conditions, He’s committed to having us satisfied in righteousness through more arduous conditions.

Rest assured. The more arduous conditions are about to come upon us – in order to teach us two things: A. The strong, glorious and redemptive character of Who our God is, and B. the great great need we have to live in vibrant righteousness under His Wings.

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JSB • November 27, 2022

POSTSCRIPT: In the few days that have followed the original publishing of this article the Lord has released yet another level of judgment upon the Church in our nation. The issue has been brewing for years. The headlines of this past week, and our many comments and opinions on the subject tell us the Lord is inviting us into dialogue. The issue centers around our heart-attitude toward the Jewish people. Will we embrace the Father’s heart for covenant Israel? Or will we put our own self first, protect our idol and allow 1930’s Germany to come to our nation – into our churches? Have we really learned the lesson of our fathers? Or will we, join the spirit of the age and exalt ourselves in our own eyes?

We are in the process of being weighed, beloved. It’s a real judgment with real reward, and real consequence. It’s fraught with deception and temptation to alienate. As in the previous judgments in recent years there’s one road home. It’s the road taken by those who choose to be broken in an hour of self-exaltation; who see the wisdom of embracing contrition, and trust that repentance is what will (continue to) lead us deeper into the heart of our King.

The Great Danger in Being ANTI…

If the devil can get us to fill our hearts with malice, accusation and hatred by aiming it at some unspecified, nefarious globalist “other”, he wins – twice. Not only are we not to curse the “enemy other”, the “other” may not even exist!

If my heart is filled with bitterness, anger and denigration aimed at my conspiracy theorist sister or brother, the devil gets two points again. Not only is my heart out of sync with the heart of Jesus, it’s also disconnected from my sister and brother.

The Lord is calling His people to “Come up here, through the open door” (Revelation 4:1); to “keep seeking the things that are above” (Colossians 3:1). This is THE essential way in this hour, beloved. Through the open door is where we’ll find (Matthew 25) “OIL”. Through the open door is where our (Revelation 3) “GOLD is REFINED IN THE FIRE”.

Without cultivating a spirit that primarily looks up to Him; to His beauty; to His sufficiency; to His love; we will find a million reasons (the enemy of our soul will actually GIVE us 8-billion reasons) why we should hate, denigrate, accuse and even murder our neighbors, sisters and brothers; those we see on earth during the hour of tribulation. Guarantee it.

My friends Tom and Samantha Stolz write:

“Taking a stand against an antichrist spirit doesn’t automatically mean you are standing with Christ…”

“Fighting Putin, fighting inflation, fighting your political (and politicized church) opponent, fighting murder, fighting sexual sin… Will eventually turn into fighting Jesus. Fighting people… any people… Will turn into fighting Jesus. Satan hates people and Jesus is their savior. We are supposed to fight the devil and his hold on OUR hearts.”

Samantha also quotes Francis Frangipane: “Time after time, the scriptural command is to pray for, not against; to pray mercifully, not vindictively. God’s call is for prayer moved by compassion, not condemnation. Indeed, at its very essence, the nature of intercession is to appeal to God for forgiveness, and then redemption, to come to sinful people.”

Simply put: If I have more protest in my heart than prayer – I’m sunk. (Jesus CAN salvage “sunk”, but it still takes a lot of work.)

I SO need to bring my upside-down heart up into His throne room, where I can see Him clearly, have His light examine my dark and deluded ways; where I can be coaxed into letting go of my incessant need to accuse and self-defend – all so He can fill me with His divine love… fresh. supernatural. love.

Humility • Contrition • Repentance • Fear of the Lord – unto love.

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JSB • November 25, 2022

POST-SCRIPT: Yesterday, I learned that a pastor/friend has turned from his rigid nationalist ways to embracing a spirit of repentance and the presence of the Lord. My honest-to-God first raw response was, bitterness, self-promotion and more criticism… Hey. I’m just being honest. It was such a naked exposure of my ugly heart.

It occurred to me, if we’re praying in a prophetic spirit of Jesus the Redeemer, we’re ALL going to confront the Jonah in ourselves – otherwise, what’s the point? We’re praying into futility?? Daily, I have to confront the reality that there is SO MUCH critic in me who is more invested in BEING SEEN AS “right”, than a friend of the Bridegroom who rejoices when the Lord redeems the ones He loves. The truth of the matter is (just like Jonah – no less than Ninevah) MY HEART needs to be redeemed from the sin-bondage of criticism, condemnation and alienation…

This morning He’s bringing my heart into His throne room for a one on One.

God! Judgments!

When the judgments of the Lord are on the earth, humanity is divided into four categories:
1. Those who don’t know God and don’t know anything about the need for His judgments.
2. Those who may or may not believe in God, and become instruments of His judgment upon the earth.
3. Those who believe in God, but don’t believe they’ve done anything to warrant God’s judgment.
4. Those who believe in God and yield themselves to God through His judgments.

The prophet Isaiah tells us, When the judgments of the Lord are upon the earth, the inhabitants of the earth learn righteousness. (Isaiah 26:9) This means that when the judgments of the Lord are upon us as a people, the pressure that they exert upon our relationships, our social structures and our individual hearts will press us into dialoguing with the Lord so we learn what He values, and what He is calling us to do. To esteem wha the Lord esteems and to be who the Lord is calling us to be – this is what righteous living looks like.

It is only the fourth category of humanity who “learns the ways of the Lord” through the judgments.

THIS, above all else, is the category that we want to be in.

The Consequences of Having No Theology of the Judgments of the Lord

From month to month and crisis to crisis, it has become painfully obvious that our American evangelical family does not believe the judgments of the Lord are upon us. Most of us are in the third category, and not the fourth.

The consequences of this misinterpretation of our circumstances are massive. We, the richest, most free, most self-determined, and mutually affirming Church in the history of humanity, are attempting to navigate “the time of tribulation” (Psalm 27:5) in our own strengths of superior human rhetoric; defensiveness; self-justification; carnal definitions of glory, greatness and power; enlightened concepts of rights and liberties; superior “secret” knowledge etc. Living devoid of a Biblical theology for the judgments of God, the wrath of God, and the fear of the Lord, we are in fact living blind, naked, and impoverished to His ways, and therefore wretched and miserable in relating to Him and others.

This is disastrous. 

Evidence of the disaster is all around us. Increasing hostility between ourselves and the lost. Amplified animosity between individuals and factions within the Body of Christ herself. No consensual “Word” from the Lord. Compounding deceit, delusional narratives and false prophecies. We choose to live in echo-chambers of pretense rather than engage in honest, substantive dialogue with God and each other. And we, the spiritual offspring of those “who turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6) see little evidence of victory over darkness, illness and unrighteousness in our own culture.

The most alarming outcome from having no paradigm for the judgments of the Lord is that regardless of how vividly the Lord bids us to “seek His Face” (Psalm 27:8), we insist (often without guise of pretense) we are operating just fine without a.) humbling ourselves, b.) “inquiring in His temple” (Psalm 27:4), and c.) allowing the Spirit of God to bring us to life-giving repentance. Consequently we operate without a baseline posture of contrition and faith-filled meekness toward our God, and each other.

Beloved. We will gain no ground for His Kingdom from this posture. Neither do we sufficiently prepare the Body of Christ for His glorious return.

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JSB • November 24, 2022

DANGER: Conspiracy Theories Ahead

WHY DOES GOD WARN HIS PEOPLE AGAINST EMBRACING CONSPIRACY THEORIES?

From COVID’s nefarious development, 
to motivations for racial sensitivity, 
to masks and vaccines, 
to rigged elections etc., 
conspiracy theories are 
corrupting authentic, grace-filled, Spirit-filled lives in God, 
short-circuiting the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit,
demeaning the depth of His reaching, redemptive mercy, 
AND defaming the character of God Himself.

I believe far too little is being said about the dangerous spirit that is attached to the hydra of conspiracy theories that currently plague our evangelical fellowship.

Conspiracy theories are not new. They exist in every culture, and in every generation. 

The European Journal of Social Psychology defines a conspiracy theory this way: “An explanatory belief about a group of actors that collude in secret to reach malevolent goals – usually prejudiced against a specified sub-group within the culture.” (EJSP, 2007)

Over the last 3 years, conspiracy theories have exploded in our American culture. This is one of the ways that we can know that the judgments of the Lord have fallen upon us as a people. 

Furthermore, as the time of our Lord’s return draws near, conspiracy theories will only become more popular – and tempting to embrace. (Luke 17:23; Matthew 24:23-25; 2 Timothy 3:1-9; 4:4)

The Word of God explicitly admonishes disciples of Jesus to have nothing to do with these fables, myths and speculations. (1 Timothy 1:4; 4:7; Titus 1:14)

The intense social pressures caused by the judgments of the Lord actually stimulate the development of conspiracy theories. The conspiracy theories offer individuals an alarming narrative that encourages them to rise up and maintain control of their destabilized culture – usually in the form of protest or hostility. 

At the same time, and most importantly, the conspiracy story-lines also effectively provide a people-group with an excuse to NOT humble themselves before the Lord Who is bidding them to address heart-issues that are out of line with Jesus’ Kingdom.

This is the reason why the prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel, unanimously denounce conspiracy theories. They are counter-narratives that encourage the people to walk independent of the wholesale claim that the Lord has upon their lives.

“Do not walk in the way of the people, and do not say, ‘A conspiracy,’ concerning all that this people call a conspiracy, nor be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled. The Lord of hosts, Him you shall hallow; let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread. He will be for you, as a sanctuary.” (Isaiah 8:11-14)
(See also Jeremiah 11:9 and Ezekiel 22:25)

Here are 6 tell-tale signs of a Conspiracy Theory:

The unsettling truth is, EVERY SINGLE ONE of these marks distinguish conspiracy theories that are currently circulating within our American Evangelical family in 2022.

O beloved, these imaginations are far far below our glorious calling!

“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” (Colossians 3:1-2)

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy; let your mind dwell on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)

“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15-16)

(Let us be) obedient in all things… lest Satan take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.” (2 Corinthians 2:9, 11)

Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord… And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us…” (Ephesians 5:6-10, 2)

6 GOOD QUESTIONS FOLLOWERS OF JESUS NEED TO ASK ABOUT A CONSPIRACY THEORY:

1. WHICH of our ENEMIES is specifically perpetrating this evil? How is the Holy Spirit calling me/us to think about, pray for, and love this enemy?

2. Before God, WHAT REAL EVIDENCE do I/we have that this CHARGE is warranted? Is the evidence great enough to overcome our Holy God’s many warnings against MALICE, HATRED and UNFORGIVENESS?

3. Is this report stirring me to more bitterness and MALICIOUS ACCUSATION than thanksgiving and MERCY-FILLED INTERCESSION?

4. How might the pursuit of this narrative be DRAWING US AWAY from our primary zeal and pursuit of EXALTING the glory of JESUS? How is JESUS being MAGNIFIED through the sharing of this narrative?

5. Is this REPORT calling the Body of Christ to HUMILITY and REPENTANCE before God Who allowed the evil to be perpetrated against us, or is it deterring us from crying out to the Lord in our crisis? Where do we see/experience the Body of Christ responding to this crisis by coming to the threshing floor of the Lord?

6. How is this REPORT stimulating me, and the Body of Christ to BEAR OUR CROSS in meekness, compassion and incarnational redemption for the sake of the gospel? Can I imagine JESUS spending this much energy spreading this report?

FINAL NOTE: One of the chief considerations for a believer in the time of trouble is to guard him/herself from the many temptations to feast from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, rather than cultivate love-filled faith in the Lord and His protection and mercy. If we have more zeal for “inside information about evil” than we do zeal to seek “revelation and exaltation of the glory of our King” our spirits are out-of-whack.

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JSB • November 22, 2022

Instructions from Jesus On How to Treat an “Enemy”

“And when you see your ‘enemy’ a long way off, do as My Father I would do. Wait at the door with a basin and a towel. When he comes in, wash his feet the way I would. If you have no water, use tears of tenderness at the reconciliation that I have affected. Feed your brother. Eat with your brother. Clothe your brother. Soothe the wounds of your brother. Recognize how miserable he is. Enter into the mutual wretchedness of having been estranged from deep love.”

“Your culture has taught you to ‘love your friend and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do much good to those who hate you, and pray for those who show you spite and even persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:43-45)

“THIS is the way you break a curse. This is the way you break the curse that is upon YOU.” – Jesus

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JSB • November 18, 2022

• Our family and nation has no greater need in this hour than for us to lay aside our 1000 reasons why we SHOULDN’T DO THIS and selflessly bear this dynamic as our daily cross…

“Therefore be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:38)

• Crazy thought for the day: Could THIS be one of the chief outcomes that the Lord had in mind as He’s brought us into intensified judgment??? “For when Your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness (the way the King would act). (Isaiah 26:9)

• Apply this where you will… The “battles” and “culture war” we’re fighting will not be won in the flesh. The strongholds won’t come down until we embrace the conviction that leads us to be in the valley of weeping on behalf of the ones who are estranged from the Father. When the Lord turns hearts they will need to find “family” who aren’t shaming them, but are filled with foot-washing love, humility, contrition, repentance in the fear of the Lord. Unless we incarnate this spirit of holy hospitality we only succeed in further brandishing the curse, and offering prodigals no home of reconciliation, and no joy in returning. (Isaiah 51:10)

• This is the prayer of those who wait for the redeemed in the valley of Baca: 9 Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord! Awake as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Are You not the arm that cut Rahab apart, and wounded the serpent? 10 Are You not the One who dried up the sea, the waters of the great deep; that made the depths of the sea a road for the redeemed to cross over? 11 So the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness; sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” (Isaiah 51:9-11)

• O, that we would BE a habitation where “the evil” could come in and be redeemed.

• Forgive us, Father! We’ve not represented Your heart. We have not acted as “Your sons”. We’ve been – I’VE BEEN – the “older brother” – again and again and again and…

• Paul tells us in Romans 12:21, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Honest question: Where in our communities/culture do we see evil being overcome by good???

If neither we evangelicals, nor the MAGA, nor the deep-state, nor the socialists, nor the anarchists are willing to employ Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, what hope do we have of seeing ANY evil overcome by good???

TRUTH BE TOLD, if we were going to be honest and strict, Biblical literalists NONE of US would EVER have anything to do with ANY of us! Hahaha. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with these ones! (1 Timothy 3:2-5)

A Word for 2023

In prayer (again) this morning, I believe I’m hearing the Lord speaking about 2023. I’ll be honest. This is not a message that my flesh wants to hear. Neither is it one that I can say that I entirely believe – yet. This is why we pray… :o)

Watch for the streams in the wilderness. Look and see what I can do with tears. Join yourselves with those who, in this hour of rebellion and witchcraft, know how to give themselves to weeping.

“Blessed are those who pass through the Valley of Baca; they make it a spring; the rain also covers it with pools.” (Psalm 84:6)

Soon, I will begin to turn the mountains of MAGA into the valleys of BACA. Come up here. Learn how to weep as a kinsman redeemer (Leviticus 25:25-26) through the open door of Revelation 4. The exaltation of millions will be turned to mourning, and I will visit the lowlands with both early and latter rains. This is a year of great consecration from you to Me… I Myself will act on My behalf and I will cause many who have walked contrary to My constitution to wholly surrender themselves to Me.

“So rejoice, O sons of Zion! And BE GLAD IN THE LORD YOUR GOD; for He has given you the early rain for your vindication. And He has poured down for you the rain; the early and the latter rain as before.” (Joel 2:23)

Again. Learn the wisdom of weeping. Be a kinsman redeemer through the open door of Revelation 4. BE GLAD IN THE LORD YOUR GOD! And wholly consecrate yourselves to Me.

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JSB • November 15-17, 2022