Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Priestly & Prophetic Assignment of the Church in America

There are things that happen in the natural that reveal what is going on in the spiritual realm. Currently, President Trump is building up the U.S. military, which had been downsized over the last several years. There's a valid reason for strengthening the military. When the military of a "good" country is strong, evil is kept in check. If a bully is going to pick a fight, he won't normally choose the biggest kid on the playground to fight with. Strength is a deterrent. In the same way, when the power of God is known, it puts evil in its place.

Public display and acceptance of evil has been increasing rapidly in the United States, especially in the last 20+ years. This is the result of a decrease in the church's knowledge, release, and display of the power of God. In the 1940's and 1950's there was a great healing revival which displayed the power of God, resulting not only in healing, but salvation as well. (See link here). The Jesus Movement of the 1960's and 1970's, along with the Charismatic Movement, brought both "hippies" and many from denominational churches into a born-again, spirit-filled life. The power of God in the church accomplished much for the kingdom, and evil was kept down.

The Decline of Power
During the healing revival, and beyond, we had the Word of Faith Movement which, in spite of the good it did for the body of Christ, eventually led to many who were immature in the faith to distort the message, causing a pursuit of worldly goods, rather than building the kingdom of God. Eventually came the Hyper-Grace Movement, which, once again, takes a vitally important aspect of God and distorts it into a slap in the face of the Lord by not taking a stance against sin. While faith and grace are both important to salvation, healing, and all of the blessings of God, the enemy brought an influence into the church which distorted both. Many in the faith movement who had been "burned" by the message, turned against faith altogether and took the opinion that "whatever will be, will be." They felt their prayers were ineffective, and they turned away from speaking powerful words of faith or prophetic declarations.

The Rise of Idolatry
While this turmoil was going on, Islam and socialism were rising in the United States, and our kids began being indoctrinated in the public schools. As the power of God declined in the church, these weeds were planted, and we're seeing the result of their growth today. Of all the immigrants and refugees who have come to America, none have desired to change the core foundation of beliefs of the U.S. like Islam. Of course, many of these people are pawns of those who will use whatever means they can to take America down, yet, this too is a symptom of what is going on in the church. The church has committed adultery, worshiping idols in place of the one true God, causing a compromise of the Christian faith, and of course the power of God.

What do we do? We stay close to the heart of God, seek Him daily, and take our place as both priests and prophets in His kingdom.

In the days of Joshua, Israel entered the Promised Land after wandering in the wilderness for 40 years. Yet they didn't walk right in without a fight. There were many battles involved in possessing the land. The Lord told them at times to kill all the inhabitants.1 This sounds so cruel, yet it was necessary to keep the nation holy. (I'm not saying to kill anyone, I'm relating this to the spiritual battles of today!) When pulling out weeds that have infiltrated, we need to do a thorough job. This is what has been happening, and needs to continue, in the church. We are beginning to see its effect in the natural realm in our government. Keep praying!

The Priestly Assignment
There are two things we need to do to possess the land God has called us to. First involves a priestly assignment. As a priest, we can intercede and repent on behalf of the church. We can repent of having a form of godliness, but denying the power. We repent of not allowing the power of God to be fully displayed in and through us. Whether its because of fear, unbelief, or complacency, we repent and turn from it. We also repent because of our compromise and failure to surrender our heart completely to the Lord. Putting other things as a higher priority than Him. Being afraid of hurting people's feeling we turned to political correctness, trying to be "nice."

When we function as a priest, repenting on behalf of all, we are interceding. Jesus is the greatest example of an intercessor. He came to take our sin on Him so we could be forgiven and our relationship restored with the Father. He stood in the gap, taking our sin on Him. In the same way, we repent of all of the sins of the church, examining our own heart, but praying on behalf of all. Our prayers will benefit the entire church, and the country.

As we intercede, and repent, on behalf of the church for our foolishness and all of that, we truly turn around ourselves, and ask God for forgiveness. I believe this is why the election went the way it did--God's mercy in response to this kind of intercession. As we intercede, we are cutting the weeds off at the roots. We are pulling them out of the ground and removing them from our midst--as they did when they took possession of the Promised Land.

The Prophetic Assignment
After repentance comes the prophetic. As we prophesy the will and Word of God, by His Spirit, we are planting new seeds into those areas that were infiltrated by weeds. Our intercession removed them, but new, godly growth needs to occur. The barren land needs to be inhabited by the righteous so the enemy does not return even stronger. Those who hear, and believe, our prophetic words can run with this, cultivating the seed, and building the kingdom of God in their region.

After all of this, we must be diligent to maintain the land. Weeding the weeds (intercession), and planting the seeds (prophesying) are to be an ongoing part of maintaining the land. To do this, we must stay in the presence of God, in His Word, surrendering our hearts to Him always. Don't think your part is too small. When you cut off a weed root, it affects the entire plant. You're cutting off the "supply line" to an area, and many will be made free by your diligence to pray. However, don't forget to seek the Lord for the prophetic word, and plant the seeds in this area!

1 For example, Joshua 6:17-27, Joshua 11:10-12

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