Thursday, March 30, 2006

How big is your God

Upon your walls, O my city, the Lord has set watchmen; all the day and all the night they shall never be silent. You, who put the Lord in remembrance, take no rest and give Him no rest until He establishes my city and makes it a praise in all the earth’.

What about spiritual oppression over nations?

How do we approach great battles like Apartheid, Human basic rights violation in many countries and so on? Do we just see them as political phenomenon, or are we really aware of the fact that beyond the visible is an invisible world with precise rules and structure. And that most of the mentioned above are owned by spirits?

How do we shatter the power of the spirit beyond such issues like War in Iraqi?
Through yielded rights and humble servanthood.

We can rebuke the devil all the day long and still be powerless unless we apply Faith and Obedience to a God-directed strategy

If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves, pray, seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and forgive their sin and will heal their land (2 Chronicle 7:14)

All over the world, praying Christians are agreeing about the nature of the battle for individual cities. For example, the prayer warriors of London believe they are battling a spirit of unrighteous trade that has influenced the world for hundreds of years through that great city.

Today, apart from Hong Kong, Singapore, still-surviving Luxembourg and a few others, the world consists of entities we call nations, and nations often have several world – class cities within their borders. In fact a nation is a geo – political alliance among its cities. Cities are where the national myth is largely enshrined. The land between is relatively empty and serves only to sustain the life of the city. A nation is the sum of its cities

As we dream of discipline nations, we need to understand their urban makeup. The gospel must transform the spiritual, philosophical and physical life of a country’s cities. If it does anything else we have failed to win the battle.

To effectively penetrate the cities, the nation with the gospel, we must understand some truths of spiritual warfare.

* Satan’s kingdom is a limited hierarchy of evil spirits

* High ranking, supernatural personalities, referred to as principalities and powers in Ephesians 6, seek to dominate geographic area such as a city, with all its people and subcultures.

* We as believers are taught by God’s Word to treat such beings with respect, but ‘to take captivity captive’ – to tear down the rule and authority of evil one

* God’s power is strategically applied by discernment of the unseen realm.

* We must overcome the enemy before employing other methods of ministry among men and women.

In a given battle for a person, a family, a church or a city, discerning the nature of the enemy’s lie is half the battle. Only after his deception is exposed can we exercise the authority of the Scripture to thwart his schemes. Jesus resisted the devil this way during his time of temptation in the wilderness.

Whole countries are kept in darkness by satanic lies that have become cornerstones of a particular culture.

Isaiah 60 says that the people of the earth sit in gross darkness. Can you imagine walking into a darkened room filled with people who have spent their entire lives sitting there watching the TV images flickering in front of them, thinking that is all there is to reality ? Imagine flipping the light switch on and asking everyone to examine the mundane equipment responsible for the illusion. Satan is a projectionist, an illusionist, a deceiver, the father of lies. The Bible says that one day we will look upon him in amazement saying, ‘Is this the one that made the nations tremble ?’(Isaiah 14:16). He will be seen in reality as being small and impotent.

How can you contribute to victory in the battle for your city or nation ? Begin by identifying the spiritual opposition and its unique manifestations

1. Look at your city’s secular history. Ask yourself the question why is your city here? Is it just the project of geography and commerce or does God have a redemptive purpose in mind ? Jonas was surprised at the way God looked at Nineveh. You too, may be surprised when you discover what is oppressing people today. Psalm 115:16 says, ‘The heaven belongs to the Lord, but he has given the earth to all mankind.’ In other Words, this is our planet and the only authority that Satan has stolen is man’s authority. He initialy gain this authority when at some point in history, human beings believe his lies and are seduced into allegiance to his plan.

2. Look at your city’s Christian history. Research the life of God’s people in your city, particularly during time of revival. During time of revival the supernatural realm is seen with great clarity, and often records are kept which contain important insights. Ours is a covenant- keeping God keeping God, and you may be amazed at the promises received by past generations – your spiritual forefathers engaged in the same battle. It is an important spiritual principle of humility to acknowledge and honour those who have gone before. It also inspires our faith. Because of God’s covenant with David, Josiah’s generation lived in a time of revival rather than judgment.

3. Identify your city prophets, intercessors and spiritual elders. In every city there is what I call a hidden eldership – a group of saints that you will not find listed in any book. It consists of God’s circle of mature believers who ‘stand in the gap’ until victory comes. Isaiah 62:6 says ‘Upon your walls, O Jerusalem, I have set watchmen; all the day and all the night they shall never be silent. You, who put the Lord in remembrance, take no rest and give Him no rest until He establishes Jerusalem and makes it a praise in all the earth’. Some of these watchmen are obvious such as veteran pastors. Other may be intercessors in obscurity or prophetic people with a premonition. If there is a common theme among those who are sensitive to the Spirit’s guidance, you’re on to something. God always confirm a strategy through several witnesses, and this is particularly important when dealing with demonic forces.

4. Study your city demographics. It is amazing to me how ignorant we often are of the basic realities around us. Where do the people live? How many are in poverty? Why are they in poverty? Are there subcultures, ethnic groups, changes in the economy, an aging population – what’s really going on? Spiritual warfare doesn’t operate in a vacuum. Jeremiah 29:7 says ‘Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare.’ This is an exhortation to Jews in Babylon who, like some modern believers, had a tendency to dream of a distant Jerusalem instead of recognizing the task at hand, Instead of seeing the spiritual Jerusalem of all those of the cities of this nation God wants to set free. Couldn’t these words apply to Casablanca, Marrakech, Tangier, Fes, Mohamedia, Tetouan, Essaouira, Kenitra, … where there are so many human which can’t distinguish their right hand from the left one and a lot of animals ? Be grateful for your city. Study its potential, and you will receive the insight you need. ‘Upon your walls, O Casablanca, the Lord has set watchmen; all the day and all the night they shall never be silent. You, who put the Lord in remembrance, take no rest and give Him no rest until He establishes Casablanca and makes it a praise in all the earth’.

Once we know what we are up against what should we do?

1. Begin with worship. Everything born of God goes through a very natural process. Worship is like an act of love that is followed by conception, gestation, travail and birth. So always begin with worship. So always begin with worship. It is in the place of thanksgiving and praise that God conceives within us his mind and heart for our city.

2. Wait on the Lord for insight. Don’t rely on finite reasoning or human cunning; what worked at Jericho didn’t work at Ai. Learn to listen to God with child-like dependency, and he will guide you into victory. The scripture are full of exhortations about waiting on God. Psalm 40:1 says, ‘I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined unto me and heard my cry.’ We are promised that God will speak if we seek him. ‘My sheep hear my voice and they follow me’ (John 10:27).

3. Identify with those you want to reach. When Nehemiah prayed for the restoration of Jerusalem, he didn’t pray for the city as though he were not a part of it. He said, ‘I and this people have sinned’ (Neh 1:6). Ezra went even further when he said, ‘O my God, I am ashamed and embarrassed to lift up my face to thee, my God, for our iniquities have risen above our heads, and our guilt has grown even to the heavens’ (Ezra 9:6). Both were righteous men. You too, may e a righteous man who is not involved with our city vices. But we can all identify with the root of any given sin. Take for example the shedding of innocent blood in the act of abortion. You may never have participated in an abortion, but all of us have been guilty of the root sins – lust, the love of comfort, the love of money, rejection, unbelief. These common struggle can help us identify honestly with the sins of our city when we ask for God’s mercy.

4. Minister in the opposite spirit. Is the enemy tempting you to be stingy or greedy? Come against it with exuberant generosity. Overcome pride with humility, lust with purity, fear with faith. Paul said ‘I can do all things through him who strengthens me’ (Phil 4:13)

Travail in prayer until God’s purposes are birthed. That which is conceived by God eventually comes to birth. Just as the contractions of the uterus herald the beginning of labor, there are times when our souls are stirred by God’s Spirit to seasons of intense prayers. Anyone who earnestly seeks God experiences such travail, but when the united Christians of a city are at this stage, it signals impending revival.

How do you perceive God? How big is He? The size of your God is revealed by your plans and expectations. His objectives are plain enough. Envision this, for example: God’s heart for the city becomes your heart. You and your team-mates begin a city prayer movement. There is a revival in the local churches, followed by an awakening among non-Christians, reformation of society (change in laws and times), and new expression of world mission. Is your God big enough for that? He waits for people who will see him as he is and then follow him to victory.
I seek among them a man who bricks up a wall, which is held with the breach in front of me in favour of the country, so that I do not destroy it; but I do not find any. (Ezekiel 22:30)

Is my God big enough in my eyes so that I could answer to him? And say ‘Here I am Lord, send me’.

I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: Who will I send, and who will walk for us? I answered: Here I am, send me. (Esaie 6:8)


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