We’ve been in another season of increased seeking of God’s direction for how to proceed as we have entered 2013. 13 in the Bible is connected with apostasy, defilement, corruption, governments of men in rebellion against God, the devil, but it is also a number of revolution and is connected to the fall of Jericho when the children of Israel began to take the Promised Land. Rather than a year of apostasy and rebellion, we pray this year will be turned to one of revolution for good. And the primary revolution we believe He may have alluded to us in 2011 for this year is the Revelation of Jesus Christ; a renewed unveiling (revelation) of the real Jesus.
The Lord is still speaking to us about the coming destruction of Babylon.
“Sharpen the arrows, take up the shields! The Lord has stirred up the kings of the Medes, because his purpose is to destroy Babylon. The Lord will take vengeance, vengeance for his temple.” Jeremiah 51:11
He is still emphasizing over and over that in our present condition our nation has set ourselves in a position of being His enemies and that He Himself is now against us (James 4:4). He has shown us examples from Israel’s history of when He wanted them to know that He was the One fighting against them in order to bring them to repentance. (We pray He is not indicating we are about to witness these same things in our nation b/c we have not yet returned to Him, but from what He’s showing us it sounds as though our nation now has a front row seat to see what it looks like to have God opposed to us.) He has also spoken of judgment against idols and false prophets whose false words/teachings encourage people to remain in their sins (or lead them into sin).
Last year I mentioned that He spoke to us through the story of Gideon about pulling down the “idols” and “altars” to false gods, and rebuilding the altar of the Lord (Judges 6:25-26) and I asked Him how we were supposed to do this. Immediately afterward, our pastor returned from Uganda telling what he’d learned about this very thing through Pastor Joshua Lwere, who later came to the church to share what the Lord has taught him in this regard.
The Lord has continued to confirm this message. He has recently given us passages about King Asa, one of the Kings of Judah whose heart was fully committed to the Lord all of his life (I Kings 15, II Chronicles 15). He too tore down the idols in the land and rebuilt the altar of the Lord during his reign. II Chronicles 7:14 has been a key passage the Lord has given many regarding the need for our nation to humble ourselves, repent of our sins, and seek Him wholeheartedly, that He would heal our land. The name Asa means “physician” or “healer.” I believe the Great Physician (the Lord) is using the life of Asa (“physican,” “healer”) to once again give the prescription for how to heal our land. The message hasn’t changed. The prescription is still repentance from sin (tearing down the “idols” in our own lives, in the church, and in the nation) and returning wholeheartedly to the Lord (rebuilding His “altar,” and returning Him to the throne of our individual lives, the church, and the nation, so that we truly worship and follow Him).
If we keep trying to fight political battles and solve the crises in this nation without first taking care of this issue, it will be to no avail. We will be fighting the symptoms and never getting to the root of the problem, and we will be fighting against the Lord. He is not going to bless “armchair quarterback” rants about what’s going on in Washington while we continue to “dance around our golden calves” ~ occupying ourselves with pleasure-seeking, entertainment, and other “idols” that keep us from wholeheartedly seeking Him and His Kingdom as our first and highest priority. He is looking for the remnant who will follow His prescription for healing the land and will boldly speak out and lead the way for the rest of the nation. He is still saying we must lay down our lives to do so, not loving them (trying to preserve them), but losing them for His cause (Matthew 10; 16:24-26, John 12:24-26; 15:12-14, I John 3:16, Revelation 12:11). When we follow His prescription for eradicating the root of the problem, He will once again fight for us, and no matter how insurmountable the problems seem, He will make a way where there is no way for us to overcome.
Yet, even now, how many have truly recognized the severity and urgency of the situation enough to put aside all that distracts in order to passionately pursue the Lord, diligently pray for our nation, and take the God-inspired action that He directs? Again, the question posed to us is how hot does The Refiner’s fire have to get before we will do so? If the things He’s been showing us are truly about to happen, I believe we will eventually be brought to our knees and will finally be ready to listen and act. But we pray it will not take those things to bring us to that point.
At the same time He has been continuing to give these sobering words concerning the nation, He has also continued repeating the words He gave us last year that He is about to do a NEW THING. He has been continuing to help us in the process of becoming the “new wineskins” He is calling us to be – emptied of self and ready to be wholly filled with Him and what He is about to pour out on His people who have been made ready. (link to parts 1-8 of Longer Version of Prophetic Word for the Church/Nation)
He is still emphasizing the need to crucify the flesh, consecrate ourselves, and seek and follow Him with all our hearts.
Collect your thoughts, yes, unbend yourselves [in submission and see if there is no sense of shame and no consciousness of sin left in you], O shameless nation! [The time for repentance is speeding by like chaff whirled before the wind!] Therefore consider, before God’s decree brings forth [the curse upon you], before the time [to repent] is gone like the drifting chaff, before the fierce anger of the Lord comes upon you—yes, before the day of the wrath of the Lord comes upon you! Seek the Lord [inquire for Him, inquire of Him, and require Him as the foremost necessity of your life], all you humble of the land who have acted in compliance with His revealed will and have kept His commandments; seek righteousness, seek humility [inquire for them, require them as vital]. It may be you will be hidden in the day of the Lord’s anger. Zephaniah 3:1-3 AMP
Again, whatever happens, He wants those who truly belong to and follow Him to know through every fiber of our being that nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:28-39). Though neither silver nor gold will be able to save from the Lord’s hand (Zephaniah 1:18), for those who have intimate relationship with Jesus as Lord and Savior, the Almighty is our gold and is faithful and able to take care of all our needs (Job 22:25). He wants us to remember that He is the same God who supernaturally provided for millions of His people in the wilderness for 40 years. We should have our faith built up through our intimate relationship with Him and His Word to experience His same miraculous power to deliver, protect, provide, and enable us to do continue to do His will to reach the lost.
Though He has spoken to us in terms of tearing down what He built and uprooting what He planted (our nation), we pray we still have time to avert the course we’re on before things get worse. In order for this to happen we must follow the Great Physician’s prescription for healing our land:
The Spirit of God came upon Azariah son of Oded. And he went out to meet Asa and said to him, Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: the Lord is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him [inquiring for and of Him, craving Him as your soul’s first necessity], He will be found by you; but if you [become indifferent and] forsake Him, He will forsake you.Now for a long time Israel was without the true God, without a teaching priest, and without law. But when they in their trouble turned to the Lord, the God of Israel, and [in desperation earnestly] sought Him, He was found by them. And in those times there was no peace to him who went out nor to him who came in, but great and vexing afflictions and disturbances were upon all the inhabitants of the countries. Nation was broke in pieces against nation, and city against city, for God vexed and troubled them with all sorts of adversity. Be strong, therefore, and let not your hands be weak and slack, for your work shall be rewarded.
And when Asa heard these words, the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he took courage and put away the abominable idols from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from the cities which he had taken in the hill country of Ephraim; and he repaired the altar [of burnt offering] of the Lord which was in front of the porch or vestibule [of the house] of the Lord.
And he gathered all Judah and Benjamin and the strangers with them …, for they came over to Asa out of Israel in large numbers when they saw that the Lord his God was with him. … And they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, and to yearn for Him with all their heart’s desire and with all their soul; … They took an oath to the Lord with a loud voice, with shouting, with trumpets, and with cornets. And all Judah rejoiced at the oath, for they had sworn with all their heart and sought Him [yearning for Him] with their whole desire, and He was found by them. And the Lord gave them rest and peace round about. II Chronicles 15:1-9, 12, 14-15 AMP
*After I had finished writing this, during the time I was praying about posting it, this is one of the powerful confirmations the Lord led me to:
Confirmation – A Call to Anguish – David Wilkerson
May we all be people after His own heart, who fully receive and carry out His heart, His passion, and His purpose as our own.
Copyright © Laura Jewell Tyree