If there is one message that comes consistently through most of the prophetic utterances of recent months, it is this: God is moving in a new way – he is opening up the Kingdom Age upon this earth, releasing new change, doing new things, and breaking bondages.
These prophecies, and recent events around the world, are an exciting confirmation that our God is truly the master creator, that He has not finished (and never will finish) creating, that man was made and called to work with Him, and that He has not taken His hand off the wheel – although there are times when, in our limited perception, He seems to have forsaken us.
These prophecies are also a vindication of many years of prayer by spirit-filled intercessors world wide. Why should that be?
We need to remember our beginnings: that God created us to manage His creation, to walk with Him in the cool of the day to strategize, and plan, and fellowship. Making a huge investment in man, He also limited Himself by arranging our relationship so that the exercise of His power on earth needs the acquiescence (ie prayers) of His people to fully release it. If you doubt me on this, Dutch Sheets’ excellent book “Intercessory Prayer” is regarded by many as the best guide and explanation out there, as to why intercession is so important.
As an example, check out 1 Kings 18 where God used His prophet Elijah to deal with the wicked king Ahab:
“And it came to pass after many days, that the word of the Lord came to Elijah in the third year, saying, Go, show yourself to Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth.
And Elijah went to show himself to Ahab. And there was a sore famine in Samaria.” (1 Kings 18:1-2) We know from James 5:17-18 that this drought and famine had been brought on 3 years previously by Elijah’s prayers at God’s request. The story continues:
“And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said to him, Is that you, the one who troubles Israel?
And he answered, I haven’t troubled Israel; but you, and your father’s house have, in that you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and you have followed the idols of Baal.
Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel to mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel’s table.” (1 Kings 18:17-19)
There follows a test of strength between Elijah and the 450 prophets of Baal, to prove whether Baal or Jehovah is the true god. This is a must read at 1 Kings 18:20-40, and it culminates in the total defeat of Baal and the vindication of Jehovah.
So the people are overcome, and turn from their wicked ways. Now comes the illustration of intercessory prayer to restore rain upon the land:
“And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees, [the birthing position]
And said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, There is nothing. And he said, Go again – seven times [seven is God’s number of perfection and completion].
And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there arises a little cloud out of the sea, like a man’s hand. And he said, Go up, say to Ahab, Prepare your chariot, and go down before the rain stops you.
And it came to pass in the meanwhile, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel.
And the hand of the Lord was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.” (1 Kings 42-46)
Why would God limit Himself to needing man’s prayers in this way? For one big reason – He wanted that relationship, that fellowship, that companionship – and He wanted it freely given by beings with a choice. He did not want to work with a bunch of robots and He didn’t want to rule the world like a despot – and if we imagine ourselves in His situation, we can most certainly buy into that. It is a beautiful plan.
God has a vision of what He wants in eternity, and it includes man – a redeemed man – working alongside and fellowshipping with Him, and it has taken the sacrifice of Jesus to make that possible.
So we need to remember that it is not God, but man, who delays the fulfillment of this great partnership.
In the Book of Revelation, John wrote:
“ And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.” (Revelation 21:5)
This is God’s promise for the future – the end times future. But I believe it also has relevance right now, when He is getting ready to pour out His spirit on the earth and we can expect renewal, restoration and change in many things, including the churches – and great revivals.
We need to be open-minded enough to accept change, and the new ways God is revealing Himself to people on this earth, because THAT is changing radically. We also need to press forward with intercessory prayer to enable the fulfillment of God’s plans for renewal at this present time.
Go, prayer warriors, go!!