Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Statewide Call to Pray! Day Thirteen!

Therefore, behold, I will allure her, will bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfort to her. I will give her her vineyards from there, and the Valley of Achor as a door of hope; she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, as in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.  “And it shall be, in that day,” says the LORD,  “That you will call Me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer call Me ‘My Master,’  for I will take from her mouth the names of the Baals, and they shall be remembered by their name no more. In that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, with the birds of the air, and with the creeping things of the ground.  Bow and sword of battle I will shatter from the earth, to make them lie down safely. “ I will betroth you to Me forever; yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and justice, in lovingkindness and mercy; I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, and you shall know the LORD." (Hosea 2:14-20)

He will allure us into the wilderness.  Why?  The Lord drew (or drove) His people into the wilderness to establish covenant with them, to draw them near to Himself, to speak to them, to test them, to protect them, to equip them and to "fine tune" them for His kingdom.

They all have been there: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Israel, David, Elijah, Paul, John and obviously Jesus. All those He calls at some point will be in the wilderness.  As a matter of fact, I personally believe that in one sense we never leave the wilderness.  We oftentimes go from one to another.  For instance, the people of Israel were in a wilderness of captivity in Egypt where God was forming them as a people.  They left Egypt to go into a wilderness to be drawn into God's presence and to receive His revelation.  They left that wilderness to enter one of discipline because of their issues of disobedience and rebellion.  They left that wilderness to go into a time of warfare and victory as they entered the promised land.

We often picture the wilderness in the worst light.  It's a desert.  There is no life and no sustenance for life.  It is either extremely cold or extremely hot.  It is full of danger from the elements and beasts.  In our concept of wilderness - God has abandoned us.  But as Elijah discovered, as well as all the rest, the wilderness was the very abiding place of God.  In that place He could draw His people unto Himself.  He allured them as a groom does his bride.

Don't fear or despise these days of wilderness that lie ahead.  Everything around us may seem lifeless and empty, but the Lord will reveal His fullness to us.  And He will remove evil from us.  He will destroy the chaff and tares that seek our destruction.  He will prepare us anew for the destiny that lies ahead us.  Remember - He is our God who tabernacles (dwells) with us in the wilderness.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Statewide Call to Pray! Day Twelve!

Yesterday in the blog, Ken Bryan wrote: “I was gently reminded that it was after Jesus endured the testing that He stepped into His destiny, the reason for His being.  Like Jesus we are poised to step into a new phase of ministry on the other side of this time of testing.  We are walking toward history over the next 40 days.”

As we gathered Monday night in El Dorado, Arkansas with the Arkansas Apostolic Prayer Network, Chuck Pierce was ministering.  As he spoke about knowing God's timing for breakthrough, he began to share the transition in Jesus’ life from Nazareth to the Wilderness and back to Nazareth.

Jesus grew up in Nazareth.  He was known as Joseph’s son.  Everyone knew Mary as well as his brothers and sisters. But Jesus left his home to journey to the Jordan to meet John.  He was baptized.  He was revealed as God’s Son.  He was sent by the Spirit into the wilderness.

When He left the wilderness and returned to Nazareth, they did not recognize Him.  They were familiar with the other Jesus, but not the One now anointed into His destiny. After the wilderness, Nazareth could no longer recognize Jesus and they had no faith to receive His miracles.  The old atmosphere was resistant to the new.  What’s the point?


We are in such a season.  We are presently walking through a wilderness.  All other resources are literally "drying up" and we are being tested at each turn.  Will we (as a state and nation) trust God?  Will we bow our knee to Him and Him alone? How will we respond? And as we walk through this time with the Lord, do we realize that we will appear different to the world around us?

On April 21, we finished our state assignment to revisit the significant sites of Texas’ War of Independence.  There at San Jacinto, the Lord spoke the following word: (It is also recorded in the blog: The Task is Finished)

The enemy established his laws and times but today, I the Lord, have lined up this land with my laws and times. This State and Nation is now aligned with me. My kingdom is coming but it won’t be coming to a landscape that you recognize.  Everything is changing, but it is changing in accordance with My will and My kingdom.  Say goodbye to the lifestyles, the times, and the locations that you have grown accustomed to – My kingdom is coming forth.  It will not look like the kingdoms of the earth.  You have passed over.  You have crossed over and this will change all things.  All things will shift. Do not fear or be dismayed for things will change in the days to come but I am changing them. Let go of your old times, locations and memories for I am bringing my kingdom to the state and nation. The State will look different, but it is good, for it is the look of My kingdom. I am this day declaring victory, victory, victory!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Statewide Call to Pray! Day Eleven!

Today's blog is by Ken Bryan of Waskom, Texas.

After reading yesterday's blog I was struck by the time frame we have before us, 40 days until “The Response” on August 6th.  The 40 days captured my attention and I was drawn to the baptism of Jesus and his 40 days of testing that followed.  My team was conducting a meeting in Carenco, Louisiana this past week end and two words came forth, both related to the time we are entering.  The first word given by one of the team members was that we were entering a time of testing that for some of us could start immediately.  As I closed the meeting Sunday I challenged the group with this word, “Do you trust God”? 

With my focus back on Jesus I come to the revelation that we also are entering a wilderness time.  As we monitor the drought map of Texas and the southern portion of this nation we are facing becoming a desert if the rains don’t come.  We look at the fires scorching the country and cry out to heaven, “Lord, let it rain, open the floodgates of heaven”.  Then we have flooding in North Dakota and the Los Alamos reactor being threatened by fire.  The list grows daily of hopeless situations in this country.  “Do you trust God?” 
 
We are being tested and the tests will continue.  Jesus didn’t know all that he was facing as he came out of the baptismal waters and started His wilderness experience.  He had to trust the Father.

I was talking to Tom yesterday morning and made this comment to him: "God declared He was well pleased with His beloved Son prior to the first day of testing beginning."  As I was sharing this I had the revelation that God the Father is well pleased with us prior to the test we will soon be facing.  If He can be pleased with us now, knowing what we are facing, how much better will it be for us when we step out on the other side of our testing after these 40 days.
 
I was gently reminded that it was after Jesus endured the testing that He stepped into His destiny - the reason for His being.  Like Jesus we are poised to step into a new phase of ministry on the other side of this time of testing.

We are walking toward history over the next 40 days.  The governor of Texas has issued a Clarion call for a sacred assembly.  This is historical in today’s political climate.  Governor Perry, the political leader of the state, has entered a time of testing.  What will the outcome be for his political career?  If the governor can lay his career on the line for the sake of the Kingdom, how much more will the Father expect of us called to ministry?  
 
You will be tested. You can trust God

Ken Bryan
Kenshire Ministries, TXAPN Executive Council

kenshire@eastex.net

Watch for more tomorrow!  Our God reigns.  Lord, release Your rain!

Monday, June 27, 2011

A Statewide Call to Pray! Day Ten!

Yesterday at Prince of Peace Church in Arlington, Mike Massa was our guest preacher. It's not always possible to pin down a beginning point of a revelation that the Lord has brought into life, but this one is not hard at all.  In 1990, my wife Kay and I were attending a worship conference at Shady Grove Church in Grand Prairie.  These conferences were always amazing but this particular year I heard a message that I can remember in detail.  The title of the teaching was "What Do You Do When God is Mad?" and it was taught by Mike Massa.  That message literally shifted me and birthed my later teaching on the Return of the Priest

While listening to Mike teach last Friday in Dallas, the Lord prompted me to invite him to preach at Prince of Peace, for he had a word for us.  Yes he did!  Later this week you can download it at www.pophop.org by going to Sunday Messages.  It is a message for all of us!  In the message he concentrated momentarily on the world "daily" in the Lord's Prayer.  "Give us today our daily bread."  It was a short but profound word for this season. In the prayer we ask the Lord to give us today (that's right now) our daily bread.  The Greek word for daily bread is epiousios and usually means the bread that suffices for each day.  Mike shared that in one commentary it was rendered "give us the bread that comes down from heaven that is good for tomorrow."  Most of the time we eat bread to be filled ONLY for today, but this bread or nourishment will fill us for tomorrow's work or journey!

This lines up with the revelation the Lord is giving us in this hour.  Yesterday in my blog I reminded you of the story of Elijah as the Lord divinely fed him before his forty day journey to the mountain of God. "And the angel of the LORD came back the second time, and touched him, and said, 'Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you.' So he arose, and ate and drank; and he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights as far as Horeb, the mountain of God" (1 Kings 19:7-8).


Lord, give us today our daily bread so that we will have your daily nourishment for the 40 day journey to August 6 and our gathering in Reliant Stadium. Lord, You are the bread of life for Texas and the nation in this hour.  We place our trust in You and You alone!  You are the One who reigns and You are the giver of rain!  Bless the Lord, Texas. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Statewide Call to Pray! Day Nine!

Yesterday, Kay and I attended the School of Intercession at Convergence Church in Fort Worth.  Laurraine Huffman, an executive council member with TXAPN from El Paso spoke.  She shared her experiences in prayer over the last few decades and how the Lord has used her faithfully as His instrument in bringing His kingdom to light in El Paso and surrounding region.  One comment she made really hit close to home.

She shared the times when "all the prayers" seemed to avail nothing!  Pray! Pray! Pray! Nothing! Depression, tiredness and "a quitting attitude" would set in.  But God would always come through.  The Lord would divinely step in and give her an key appointment with an other intercessor, pastor or city leader. The only way you can lose is if you quit! We must keep listening, obeying and walking.  God is unraveling His plan and sometimes we see it and sometimes we don't.  We simply trust and obey.

Tuesday I shared a portion of 1 Kings 19 when Elijah faced the same scenario:

But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, “It is enough! Now, LORD, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!” Then as he lay and slept under a broom tree, suddenly an angel touched him, and said to him, “Arise and eat.” Then he looked, and there by his head was a cake baked on coals, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank, and lay down again. And the angel of the LORD came back the second time, and touched him, and said, “Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you.”

We are in that same position.  As we enter Day Nine of prayers we must not be swayed by the scenes around us. We still are in drought.  The river is still rising. The political realm is wavering out of control.  Our prayers and declarations are availing nothing.  WRONG! There is another "rain" passage we need to grasp.


   “ For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven,
      And do not return there,
      But water the earth,
      And make it bring forth and bud,
      That it may give seed to the sower
      And bread to the eater,
      So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
      It shall not return to Me void,
      But it shall accomplish what I please,
      And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it." (Isaiah 55:10-11)


We shall see the kingdom of God prosper in our midst.  Press on!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Statewide Call to Pray! Day Eight

A few days ago, Ken Bryan, TXAPN Executive Council Member from Waskom wrote me and stated that our call to statewide prayer was to continue until The Response on August 6 in Reliant Stadium, Houston.  I immediately had confirmation in my heart.  The Lord had been revealing to me a similar instruction.

As I started this call to prayer in response to the Lord, He had prompted me to read the story of Elijah in 1 Kings 18.  He instructed me to call for seven days of prayer!

After Ken called I had an interesting scenario unfold before me from the story in 1 Kings 19.


And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, also how he had executed all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.” And when he saw that, he arose and ran for his life, and went to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, “It is enough! Now, LORD, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!” Then as he lay and slept under a broom tree, suddenly an angel touched him, and said to him, “Arise and eat.” Then he looked, and there by his head was a cake baked on coals, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank, and lay down again. And the angel of the LORD came back the second time, and touched him, and said, “Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you.” So he arose, and ate and drank; and he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights as far as Horeb, the mountain of God. And there he went into a cave, and spent the night in that place; and behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” So he said, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.” (1 Kings 19:1-10)

Elijah was threatened with death by Jezebel (the principality of Baal) and ran for his life to Beersheba, which is a one day journey if you walk or run. The text declares that he went one more day into the wilderness.  In a state of depression he rests under a broom tree.  He is divinely nourished.  On the next day he starts a 40 day trek to the mountain of God. That is 42 days.

At the mountain of God, Elijah will have a mighty revelation and assignment from God which will direct Israel's coming history.

Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?" And he said, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God of hosts; because the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.” Then the LORD said to him: “Go, return on your way to the Wilderness of Damascus; and when you arrive, anoint Hazael as king over Syria. Also you shall anoint Jehu the son of Nimshi as king over Israel. And Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel Meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place. It shall be that whoever escapes the sword of Hazael, Jehu will kill; and whoever escapes the sword of Jehu, Elisha will kill. Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.” (1 Kings 19:11-18)

We will pray and watch for these next 42 days which will bring us to August 6 (God's timing is always amazing) and The Response at Reliant Stadium in Houston.  We will stand before our God in repentance, prayer and worship.  I expect Him to move upon our nation!

Friday, June 24, 2011

A Statewide Call to Pray! Day Seven!

Then it came to pass the seventh time, that he said, “There is a cloud, as small as a man’s hand, rising out of the sea!” So he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot, and go down before the rain stops you.’” (1 Kings 18:44)

It's day seven.  There is a cloud appearing in the sky.  Our Lord is moving in our midst.  We must expect the unexpected.  

This morning I was reading one of those tragic and disturbing portions of Scripture.  It describes famine, siege and cannibalism.  Hopelessness is reigning in Israel (Samaria). (See 2 Kings 6:24-31)

But notice the response the prophet Elisha declares!

Then Elisha said, “Hear the word of the LORD. Thus says the LORD: ‘Tomorrow about this time a seah of fine flour shall be sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley for a shekel, at the gate of Samaria.’” (2 Kings 7:1)

In response to Elisha, an officer responds.

So an officer on whose hand the king leaned answered the man of God and said, “Look, if the LORD would make windows in heaven, could this thing be?”(2 Kings 7:2a)

In the midst of our drought, famine, floods, tornadoes, failing economy, abortion, border issues and perversion - could this thing be?  Could God open the heavens and release His blessings?  Can He halt the waters from crossing their boundaries?  Can He cause rain to fall from dry skies?  Can He align the nations with His heart and release peace and blessing?  Can He turn the head of a king to do righteousness and justice?

YES!  Look to the heavens.  Seek the hand of God.  Pray persistently to witness Him move in our midst.  Do not let doubt arise.  Let us be among those who witness His power in our day! 

Elisha answered the officer: And he said, “In fact, you shall see it with your eyes, but you shall not eat of it.” (2 Kings 7:2b)  As you read on, the officer was trampled at the city gate as people flooded out the gates to gather the surplus of an army that had been dispersed by God's hand!

What is our response?

P.S.  I encourage you to go to these sites to join in persistent pray as we call the Lord to move upon our state and nation.


Watch for tomorrow!  The call to pray continues!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Statewide Call to Pray! Day Six!

Rain! Wonderful rain! I love hearing the comments of people enjoying the rain.  The smell. The coolness. The sound! Especially in a drought season, rain is most pleasurable.  Many parts of Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana experienced rain the last two days. But many portions did not!  The drought is still in place!

I was reminded twice this morning in my daily Bible reading of persistence.  In 2 Kings 4:8-37, we read the story of Elisha raising the Shunammite's son from the dead.  Not only was the woman persistent in seeking the prophet and only the prophet, but Elisha was persistent in working with the child until the child sneezed "seven" times and opened his eyes.  In 2 Kings 5:1-19, Naaman, commander of the army of Syria, with protest, washes himself "seven" times in the Jordan before he witnessed healing from leprosy.

When this call to pray began, it was prompted by the words from 1 Kings 18:41-46 where Elijah exhorts his servant to check the weather "seven" times before a small cloud appears.  Reread my blog: A Statewide Call to Prayer Let me share some observations. 

Rain is a beautiful gift that our Lord pours out upon the land.  It replenishes.  It causes growth.  It nurtures and strengthens.  It cleanses.  It fills up.  But rain is also a witness or testimony of the spiritual condition of the land and the people who dwell on the land.

From now on if you listen obediently to the commandments that I am commanding you today, love God, your God, and serve him with everything you have within you, he'll take charge of sending the rain at the right time, both autumn and spring rains, so that you'll be able to harvest your grain, your grapes, your olives. He'll make sure there's plenty of grass for your animals. You'll have plenty to eat. But be vigilant, lest you be seduced away and end up serving and worshiping other gods and God erupts in anger and shuts down Heaven so there's no rain and nothing grows in the fields, and in no time at all you're starved out—not a trace of you left on the good land that God is giving you. (Deuteronomy 11:13-17, The Message)

And when it doesn't rain - well - people do crazy things to get it restarted.  I saw a news report this morning of actor Tom Hanks doing a rain dance with a weather reporter.  We have witnessed "seeding of the clouds."  In Biblical times, the people turned to the perverted fertility gods (Baal, Astheroth, etc) and committed lewd acts to appease them.  The practices have not stopped.  I would encourage you to listen to presentation by Dr. John Benefiel entitled "Binding the Strongman."

It comes down to this: when we need rain, we can either dance around like fools and seek the favor of the gods OR we can humbly bow our knees before the Lord and Creator of the Universe.  Jesus is the Lord and giver of life.  He has redeemed us from the grave.  He is only redeemer of the land when it is scorched and dead.  Let's seek His face!  Texas - let's bow the knee before our only Maker, Redeemer and Sustainer.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Statewide Call to Pray! Day Five!

On February 5, 2008 the Lord woke me at 1:47 AM and said: "I am marking off each county (in Texas) for revival.  I AM the God of the flood, of the wind and of fire."  Later that morning at Glory of Zion prayers Chuck Pierce added that "each hill (county) needed to discover the enemy that the Lord wanted to remove from that that region so as to release revival fire."  When my wife Kay and I were ordained on June 7 at the Pentecost Conference (Glory of Zion in Denton), Chuck Pierce placed at our feet the 254 stakes that will be used to Stake the Counties.  We are decreeing that God will fan revival throughout our entire and into the surrounding states.
 
The Lord helped us identify key intercessory leaders/pastors/believers in each of the 254 counties of Texas.  Each county determined "the key enemy" of that county (hill).  We than carried out a synchronized "staking" of each county during Rosh Hashanah of 2008.

This Monday on conference call with the executive council of Texas as well as state leaders from Louisiana, Kansas and Oklahoma, the Lord impressed on us that we need to call forth the testimony that was planted into every county via those stakes.  We need to bring to remembrance the worship, repentance and declarations of fire and revival that were spoken as we pounded those stakes into the soil.

What makes this particularly significant is the timing.  God redeems time.  Chuck Pierce received a revelation from the Lord in May of 2008, which he was told by the Lord would come into redemption and fulfillment three years later in 2011.  This is that! You can read his letter regarding this revelation by going to this link:  Chuck's Word   The Lord is moving us through fire into revival fire.  He is lining up Texas and the South Central States (Louisiana, Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas and New Mexico) with His kingdom.

On this fifth day of a call to prayer I am asking us to call forth those promises.  Did you help drive in one of those stakes?  Are you a city or county leader in the state?  Are you a citizen of Texas and of God's kingdom?  Take deliberate time today to call forth those promises of fire and revival.  Unless the Lord leads you to specifically revisit the staked sites, you do not need to go out to each location.  Those stakes "remember" the worship and testimony spoken over them.  Call it forth!

Thank you Lord for rains that covered large portions of Texas last night.  The Lord reigns!  The Lord rains!



Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Statewide Call to Pray! Day Four

It's day four.  Rains have moved through North Texas the last couple of days.  I know Abilene had big storms.  Houston had rain last night and so did we - one and a half inches.  Praise the Lord!  Our prayers are answered.

Yes and no.  Yes, we received rain but 90% or more of Texas did not.  Yes, it rained but you will recall that prayer for rain was not the burden the Lord placed on my heart.  Reread Day Two. Last night (or early this morning) I was going through some warfare issues with the enemy and I was watching the radar for the coming storms.

At that moment the Lord recalled to memory words that I had written in my first book, Return of the Priests.
God wants us to stand before Him as priests.  The priesthood is a call initiated and defined by God.  Priesthood is an invitation, based on our covenant relationship of faith, into an intimate fellowship with God. The priesthood is carried out – not in the framework of a religious system – but in everyday lives. The priesthood includes all people called, claimed and redeemed by God's sovereign will and grace through Jesus Christ. The priesthood is expressed through our lives by an authority we are given by God to serve in His kingdom in response to our intimate relationship with Him.  
"The priesthood is expressed through our lives by an authority we are given by God to serve in His kingdom in response to our intimate relationship with Him."  We are a kingdom of priests.  We are a royal priesthood.  And those are not just words spoken in order to make us feel good or important.  They define our call in this hour as the Lord shifts our State and Nation into a kingdom mindset.  It is no longer business as usual.  


He is exhorting us to go to the threshing floor.  He is threshing away the chaff - the old mindsets, systems and religious traditions.  As I declared to one of our TXAPN council members this morning - "He is messing with us."  We must be diligent and deliberate in seeking His face.  We must persistently bend our knee in repentance and humility.  We must stand in His authority and proclaim His kingdom as we hear His voice and obey.

It shall come about, if you listen obediently to my commandments which I am commanding you today, to love the LORD your God and to serve Him with all your heart and all your soul, that He will give the rain for your land in its season, the early and late rain, that you may gather in your grain and your new wine and your oil. He will give grass in your fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied. Deuteronomy 11:13-15 (NASB)


In my second book, Keeper of the Keys, I wrote this prayer of declaration:

            Father, we lift up Your name.  You are mighty to deliver and to save. Lord, thank You for calling us Your gates.  We take our place as your ambassadors, priests, servants and kings, allowing You to move through us. We want all the focus off of us and on You. We want no credit.  We desire for You to receive all the glory. Open our ears to hear You.  Open our eyes to see You.  Open up our hearts to perceive Your ways.
            Lord, at Your command and desire, we open up our gates and invite the King of Glory to come in.  And at Your word we also decree Your promises.  Our decrees which are based on Your promises will prevail against and destroy the works of the enemy.
            We decree Your kingdom come and Your will be done.
            We decree that the power and kingdom of God will penetrate and dispel the darkness that surrounds us.
            We decree the transformation of our lives and the lives of our family.
            We decree the restoration and rebuilding of our homes, businesses, cities and nation.
            We decree the release of healing and deliverance into the lives of people.
            We decree the salvation of God to be released over the region in which we live!            
Lord, wherever You come, let Your light, salvation and revelation be released into that place.  Let Your kingdom come and Your will be done in Jesus’ name.  Amen.



And Lord - let it rain!
 
 

 

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Statewide Call to Pray! Day Three

It is probably the most quoted verse over the last several years but there is most likely no more important season than now to embrace it fully!

Then the LORD appeared to Solomon at night and said to him, “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice. If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:12-14 (NASB)

Yesterday, in response to A Statewide Call to Prayer - Day One, Kim Ulmer, one of TXAPN Regional Council Members from the Heart of Texas, wrote:

This really resonates, Tom.  Back in mid-April, I asked the Lord what was up with all the fires in Texas?  He gave me a visual of the prophecy spoken over Texas last year (in 2009) at Connect the Glory (go to the 2009 Report to Texas) about Texas being a fire-brand state.  He told me, "Texas is a fire-brand state.  People love those words, Kim.  It appeals to their sensual nature.  Few understand what that means.  For to be a fire-brand state means that you must first walk through the fire.  Texas is walking through that fire, now.  I am separating that which is not of Me.  There is that which proclaims to be of Me, but which is not.  Dross from the wheat.  It is time."  

The Lord continued to speak:

"Press into Me.  The ride won't be comfortable for it is the time of the great shaking.  The line in the sand is widening, and it is deep.   No one can stand in the middle.  All must choose which side they will stand.  It is the time of the Separation.  My own must come out of the world.  Many who profess to be Mine will fall away, for their roots are not deep.  But I say to you, press in!  Press in!  Am I not faithful?  Does not My word say that if My people who are called by My Name will humble themselves and turn from their wicked ways, will I not hear their cry and heal their land?  But it takes a bended knee.  For I will not heed the cries of the exalted, those who steep themselves in pride, those who refuse to put away their idols.  I will not listen to them.  But those whose hearts are like children, those who keep their eyes upon Me, I will cover with My wings.  they will soar like eagles, and the enemy will not prevail against them.  They will trample on scorpions and snakes; they will tear down principalities and strongholds.  They will raise altars of praise to Me; they will exalt My Name, and I will show My favored ones My Glory."


Amen and amen.  Let us bow the knee.  Let us raise up altars of praise to our Lord and King.  The Lord reigns.  Burn us with Your holy fire. Open the floodgates of heaven, Lord, and let it rain!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Statewide Call to Pray! Day Two

Consider your ways!

Now therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts, “Consider your ways! You have sown much, but harvest little; you eat, but there is not enough to be satisfied; you drink, but there is not enough to become drunk; you put on clothing, but no one is warm enough; and he who earns, earns wages to put into a purse with holes.” Thus says the LORD of hosts, “Consider your ways! Go up to the mountains, bring wood and rebuild the temple, that I may be pleased with it and be glorified,” says the LORD. (Haggai 1:5-8) 


The returned exiles were more concerned about building their own homes.  The land was desolate and everyone was concerned about their own welfare.  And not only was the land desolate - the house of the Lord was not being built.  In the context of Haggai the house was a physical building that was not being built.  In our context, the Lord is seeking the establishment of His kingdom and the manifestation of His reign in and through Texas.

Consider your ways!  Haggai continues... 

“You look for much, but behold, it comes to little; when you bring it home, I blow it away. Why?” declares the LORD of hosts, “Because of My house which lies desolate, while each of you runs to his own house. Therefore, because of you the sky has withheld its dew and the earth has withheld its produce. I called for a drought on the land, on the mountains, on the grain, on the new wine, on the oil, on what the ground produces, on men, on cattle, and on all the labor of your hands.” Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the LORD their God and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the LORD their God had sent him. And the people showed reverence for the LORD. (Haggai 1:9-12, emphasis mine) 

Our response?  Yes, let's pray for rain, but more importantly let's bow our knee before the Lord and declare, "Lord, forgive us of our sins and use us to bring forth Your kingdom."  Let the temple of the Lord's presence be established in Texas and the Nation as we (living stones) are built upon the foundation of Jesus Christ. 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Statewide Call to Pray! Day One

Let's make this perfectly clear from day one - this is not about praying for rain!  It is about our sole reliance on our Lord!

Once again the Lord drew my attention to Elijah in 1 Kings 19 and to Peter in Acts 12.  Elijah has just experienced one of the most awesome demonstrations of God's power in pagan-riddled Israel and he is now running for fear from Jezebel.  Peter has been at the center of the unleashing of God's Spirit on the newborn church.  He has experienced God's manifested power over sickness, death and demons, yet he is chained up for certain execution.

The Lord has revealed His plans to use us for the unfolding of His kingdom in these last days.  We have witnessed the working of His mighty hand.  We have received awesome revelation of His purposes.  Yes, Lord - Your kingdom come and Your will be done, BUT YET we are ravaged by drought, barrenness, tornadoes and floods.  Perversion and death seem to have the upper hand.

BUT GOD!

Out of depression, fear and impending death - Elijah is assigned the task of anointing the next generation.  Surrounded by numerous guards, chains and impending death - Peter is divinely released to lead the newborn church.  Regardless of the circumstances that surround us - drought, barrenness, perversion or death - God will bring forth His kingdom.  Along with the other states of this nation, I know that the Lord has a specific portion for Texas.  He needs us and has appointed us to take the lead, BUT it cannot not be in our strength.  It is a season for Texas to quit boasting and to lead the nation in bending our knees before Him.  Texas is a great state but let our greatness be defined by our humility and our willingness to worship, serve and rely only on the Lord.

At that moment - I believe we will witness the Lord reign and the Lord's rain!

Friday, June 17, 2011

A Statewide Call to Pray!

This morning (June 17) I awoke in Abilene, Texas.  On the drive to Abilene it was not hard to miss the extreme drought that has latched on to our land.  As I was meditating on my daily Bible reading, the two texts that caused my spirit to leap were 1 Kings 18:1-46 (especially verses 42-46) and Psalm 135:6-7. Both of them spoke of the rain that the Lord causes to fall upon the earth.  The first text refers to the end of the drought during the time of Elijah.  After the powerful and supernatural defeat of the Baal prophets on Mount Carmel, Elijah bows before the Lord and sends his servant seven times to check the status of the weather.  On the seventh visit the servant reports the formation of a small cloud.  Elijah urgently declares their departure ahead of the coming drought-ending downpour.

In Psalm 135, the psalmist rejoices in the Lord.  He praises the Lord for His greatness.  He acknowledges that the Lord alone is One who opens the heavenly storehouses in order to bring lightning and rain!

My next statement is going to sound silly. We need to ask the Lord of heaven and earth to send forth the rain. 

We have been.  People, believers and unbelievers, have been longing for rain.  Our Governor has called a day of prayer several weeks ago to deal wit the drought and the spreading wildfires.

SO NOW WHAT! Seven times Elijah sent His servant to check for rain.  All day the Lord has been strongly impressing on me that we need to set aside the next seven days (June 18-24) to call out for rain on a concerted state-wide level.  The Lord has allowed us to raise up a network of intercessors throughout the state that numbers in the thousands.  I AM ASKING that you send this call unto everyone you know within the state and starting tomorrow (June 18) we will set our eyes on the Lord and watch the clouds for His rain.


A few days ago I wrote the following to our statewide council for TXAPN: "The drought remains our biggest and most significant concern regarding Texas and the region.  I know that all of us have been praying and seeking the Lord on His wisdom regarding it.  The only impression (but a strong one) that I am getting was confirmed at the Pentecost Gathering in Corinth, Texas (Global Spheres).  The Lord has us in an intended season of barrenness in order to bring us to complete reliance on Him.  He will bring forth in kingdom life."

In response, the Jimmy and Martha Dusek (TXAPN Regional Leaders from San Angelo) wrote: "I just wanted to add that God has been speaking to me also about the drought, and I have heard things very similar to what you have mentioned. God has said that His purposes were being fulfilled and when that was done it would rain. He also said He was dealing with hardness of hearts in the region and causing men and women to turn to Him in surrender. I really believe that circumstances are being shifted in the Spiritual atmosphere over our region of Texas through this drought.
"

I agree. Let us rely on the Lord.  Let us set our eyes on Him.  Let us confess that He is our own source in barren, drought-filled times.  Get on your knees Texas.  I believe that we have exposed the Baal prophets and systems, but we still struggle at giving total reliance of our lives into God's hands.


For the next seven days I will send out a reminder to pray.  PASS IT ON!

Adventures with Papa

Over the years of our marriage, my wife Kay has always thanked me for all the traveling adventures we've been on.  She fondly calls me "Park Ranger."  As our kids grew up, they often were skeptical about our trips.  Well, this weekend we successfully moved into the next generation.

We had promised our TXAPN Council Member from Johnson City - Cody Haynes and his wife Rene'e that we would come to Abilene, Texas this week to watch their daughter Shelbi participate in the Texas High School Rodeo Finals.  Shelbi was participating in three events: Barrel Racing, Goat Roping and Pole Bending.  We were able to make it last night in order to watch her race in the Pole Bending.

video

Well, we took grandson TJ with us.  And we had a great adventure. The proof is in the pictures!







Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Courageous Governor - A Call to Pray!


Over a year ago I had the privilege of meeting with Governor Rick Perry of Texas.  We had a personal conversation with him in his office.  As a coordinator of prayer throughout the State of Texas, it was especially meaningful that we were able to sit down with the governmental leader of our state and to discuss issues pertinent to our state's future.


At the end of the conversation, Governor Perry invited us (Bob Long of Rally Call Ministries, my wife Kay and I) to pray for him.  As I prayed I felt (and spoke) that Governor Perry would be leading Texas in the next season and it would especially manifest with a spirit of humility.  This meeting happened a few months before he began his campaign for another term as Governor, which he eventually won.

But I knew in my heart that it was a bigger role of leadership than Governor.  Rumors are flying about whether he will run for President in 2012.  I don't know.  But I do know that a decision he made a few weeks ago caused my heart to leap as I remembered the words I spoke over him.  He made a brave and courageous decision to call our state and nation to a day of solemn fasting and prayer.

Governor Perry wrote:
Fellow Americans,

Right now, America is in crisis: we have been besieged by financial debt, terrorism, and a multitude of natural disasters. As a nation, we must come together and call upon Jesus to guide us through unprecedented struggles, and thank Him for the blessings of freedom we so richly enjoy.

Some problems are beyond our power to solve, and according to the Book of Joel, Chapter 2, this historic hour demands a historic response. Therefore, on August 6, thousands will gather to pray for a historic breakthrough for our country and a renewed sense of moral purpose.

I sincerely hope you'll join me in Houston on August 6th and take your place in Reliant Stadium with praying people asking God's forgiveness, wisdom and provision for our state and nation. There is hope for America. It lies in heaven, and we will find it on our knees.
Sincerely,

Governor Perry
This is the leadership he is demonstrating.  This is historic!  Words can not express my gratefulness to a governmental leader, especially a governor, who is willing to be so bold and courageous in troubling times as to say: "We must bow our knees before the Lord and pray." Thank you Governor Perry.  He is already taking heat and hits from those opposed to such a venture -- BUT GOD will honor both him and Texas as we honor Him and call on His name.  Join us August 6 in Houston at The Response!  Let us fast, pray and bend our knees before our Lord.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

What Are We Hearing?

Wow!  I'm not sure this has ever happened before.  As of last week, I've been in formal ordained ministry for 33 years.  And today, on Sunday morning - I'm sitting alone in my home.  Kay is in Guatemala with our daughter Amy.  We held our weekend worship with Prince of Peace Church on Friday night.  And here I sit.

I felt compelled to watch the recorded session of Dr. Peter Wagner from the Passover Gathering which was held in April in Denton. I had ordered it on Thursday and almost miraculously it arrived yesterday. The message was another in a series of confirming revelations the Lord has been setting into my heart. And now as I sit quietly with the Lord, He is reviewing what He has revealed to me. Over the last few months my journey has been defined by "God getting my attention."  Whether through travel, a hectic schedule, a full house of family, vivid dreams or yes, even a bout with "Montezuma's revenge," Jesus has been hard after me.  He has shown me several things.

Let me first share two thoughts:  This is not meant to be an extensive or elaborate blog but a summary of what the Lord is continuing to reveal to me and unravel in me. Second, these are not exclusively new to me.  They are revelations that the Lord is making to His body.  Others are seeing and hearing the same thing. The Lord is trying to get our attention! Regarding these thoughts, you might say, "Tom, these are basic. Everyone knows this."  My answer is, "Yes, they are and no they don't."

First and Most Important - Jesus is the true plumb line!  As the building as built, it is extremely important (essential) that everything be lined up and square. And Jesus is the ONLY plumb line! Everything is measured by and through Him!

Second, it is one thing to be lined up with Jesus, it is quite another to hear His voice and obey Him.  Some would say that "their" programs, lives and ministries are lined up with Jesus (they can show you proof via their numbers and success), but are we hearing His voice?  One of my most important purchases this last month was a tuning fork.  The sound (voice) of the tuning fork brings everything and everyone into perfect pitch.
 
Next, through a vivid dream in which I witnessed someone removing a cross from our worship center wall to paint a beautiful but inappropriate mural, the Lord exhorted me - it is always about Christ and Him crucified. The heart of His work in us is redemption through the power of His blood.  We will not pass into our future, our gifts, or our destiny except through His blood. The life is in His blood (Leviticus 17).

Fourth, we must understand our boundaries - the divine time and location that the Lord has appointed for you! Several years ago, through a vision, I saw a map.  It was a map of the United States.  It showed all the borders of the states.  As I was looking at the map, the Lord brought another map over it.  It was transparent – so I could see the first map – but this map showed different borders.  I could still see the other borders but it was obvious that the Lord was speaking to me regarding a kingdom mindset. Meditate on Acts 17:26-28. Listen to my message on Boundaries.

The importance of the threshing process.  Starting last fall via a message by Apostle Jay Swallow and confirmed by words in Oklahoma via Prophet Chuck Pierce, the Lord has placed us in a threshing floor. As wheat - our destiny is not complete until we have passed through the threshing floor.  The threshing floor is a place and process of revelation, judgment, worship, transition, separation and empowering by God's Spirit.

Finally, if we are not properly aligned - personally, family, church and kingdom - then we are scattered.  And proper Biblical alignment for our work in God's kingdom is apostolic. I can not express the importance, blessing, authority and joy of being in covenant alignment.  I personally align with Chuck Pierce and John Benefiel.  My covenant and apostolic alignment include Global Spheres, Heartland Apostolic Prayer Network, United States Reformation Network and my own apostolic oversight of Texas Apostolic Prayer Network and Prince of Peace Church.  As I just heard from Dr. Wagner, when you are apostolically aligned, the anointing starts flowing through you. A spiritual transaction takes place in the invisible world. Holy Spirit finds open doors for imparting wisdom and revelation into your life. The whole church or ministry benefit.  

Your whole life benefits as you line up with the true plumb line - Jesus Christ - the Apostle and High Priest of our confession.  Are you hearing Him?