The following is a repost from last year. I feel that this remains a timely word and expresses a strong conviction I have in the work that we do at Ember. Hosea 6 has been on heart this past month. Either before or after you read the article, I want to invite you to take some time, sitting with the Lord in the passage. Read it over a few times and let the Lord speak to your heart. Do any words or phrases stand out to you? Is there any place in your life that comes to mind? How would the Lord want you to respond in this moment?
Come, and let us return to the Lord;
For He has torn, but He will heal us;
He has stricken, but He will bind us up.
2 After two days He will revive us;
On the third day He will raise us up,
That we may live in His sight.
3 Let us know,
Let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord.
His going forth is established as the morning;
He will come to us like the rain,
Like the latter and former rain to the earth.
God's invitation to Partnership in an Urgent Hour
The Lord is extending His hand of mercy to America; I feel His invitation for my city (and the cities across the earth) to turn to Him in repentance, through fasting, weeping, and mourning (Joel 2:12.) He is calling for more than an event, but a change of lifestyle in the lives of individuals and the gathered people of God. It is a call to walk in freedom of the Spirit and the power of Christ’s resurrection. I believe that He is awakening His Church and moving in unpresidented ways across the Globe. We are on the edge of both the greatest revival in history and the greatest shaking. The Lord is inviting the church in cities across the earth to come into alignment with His heart. As the wheat and the tares(righteousness and wickedness) mature together these cities will provide refuge and be epicenters of provision and power. How we respond as individuals in this season will dynamically impact the culture that our children are brought up into.
The Lord’s original design for man was to govern the created order on the earth through fellowship with Him. It is His nature to give the honor of reigning with Him; God has no insecurities or fear of losing power. In Revelation 4 we see that God surrounds Himself with 24 other thrones. He does not need the council of another, but He loves to open His heart and give. At the core of our authority is the indwelling Spirit of God; the very spirit of Christ abiding within our weak frame. The Lord alone gives life and sustains all things; while anything done outside of God brings death because it is disconnected from the source of life. Every day we have the choice to walk in the authority of Christ or walk apart from Him. When I am driving to work and someone cuts me off, I feel anger. In that moment I am given the choice to curse this person in anger or submit to the spirit within me and bless this person. The first is apart from christ which leads to death, while the other is with Christ which brings life. Both choices significantly impacts my heart, the environment around me, and that person. We have been given authority over the earth in spirit and and in the natural; this is why creation groans for the sons of God to be revealed. We were created to walk out authority in fellowship with God, but man has turned from God. Oh praise the Lord that He has come to restore all things in the person of Jesus Christ! He has given Himself to us; now He is accessible to every person, but it is a decision unto choice after choice to walk in obedience and fellowship with Him.
Understanding the desire in God’s heart for partnership with man shapes how we live and how we respond to the world around us. Many in the church have been responding to negative events with accusation and judgment. Though many things pointed out in society are a part of the problem and should be addressed, there is a much more deep rooted issue. I have heard few voices of humility, ownership of sin committed within the family of God, and repentance. We have turned from the ways of God. We have been given authority in christ, but have not submitted fully to Him. The church is full of compromise and sin. The Church in America is blinded by religion. Jesus said of the pharisees that because they say that they see, their sin remains (John 9:40). Predominately we think that if we are doing A,B, & C then we are okay. We feel little need or urgency to stay connected with Jesus daily. We are building economic empires that are driven by money, power, and fame. We have sold our authority to demonic principalities for comfort and momentary pleasure. Jesus’ blood has purchased men for God and Has won the victory; Yet we have a choice. We are stewards of God’s house and we have let the enemy in and have given him our swords rather than resisting and fighting back (2 Corinthians 10:3-5; Ephesians 6:10-18).
Throughout the bible we see God calling out to man to turn to Him in humility and repentance. He is always right there, full of mercy and grace, longing to show compassion towards all who turn to Him. The Lord wants to come alongside and help each one of us walk out of compromise and sin that are in our lives. He has promised that if we walk in His ways, His love and power will be expressed through us to the world around us. (2 Chronicles 7:14; Isaiah 30:15,18-19; Luke 18:7, 9-14; Revelation 2:5-7,16-17, 20-29)
In the book of Joel, Israel was in a critical time. Their choices were culminating to a devastating crisis. The Lord was extending an invitation to turn to Him in repentance and they would see the Lord’s deliverance and historic revival. He was calling for more than an event, He was calling for a change of lifestyle. The events in Joel’s day were a foreshadowing of the timeframe that Jesus will return. The Lord was wanting to equip His church to be victorious in partnership with Him as He overturns the antichrist system and establishes His kingdom on the earth. I’m not sure how close we are to that time, but it is evident that events, both good and bad, are escalating rapidly across the earth. And whether it’s my generation or the next, we are in a critical hour for our nation.
Fasting positions our hearts to receive love from God. It is voluntary weakness, removing momentary comforts, enabling us to more clearly feel our need for God. Jesus said that there are demonic strongholds that can only be overcome through prayer and fasting (Matthew 17:21). I don’t believe He was saying that when you are confronted by a demon then you go fast for a while. I believe He was communicating to His church that it will be necessary to walk out a lifestyle of fasting to bring deliverance to our cities.
Weeping and Mourning is not a call to depression. Paul says that worldly sorrow brings death, but Godly sorrow produces repentance unto life (2Corinthians 7:10). In Matthew 5:1-10 Jesus teaches us that we need to walk in a continual awareness of our poverty of Spirit. Every day we need to be like the branch staying connected with the vine (John 15). We are a new creation, yet we are still in this current body that is dying. We are still tempted every day and need to be connected with His heart (Matthew 26:41). Only the hungry will cry out for food and only those who recognize their need for God will cry out to God. We mourn because we see the fullness of the promise in the age to come and nothing else will satisfy besides the fullness of God’s will on the earth. When we know how good and beautiful Jesus truly is, we are filled with longing to see Him face to face (Matthew 9:15). And when we know God, we perceive that He sees the suffering on the earth and it hurts His heart, this should grip our hearts too. Though we weep and mourn, we are filled with hope and rejoice.
I am excited for what is to come! The Lord is faithful and He is awakening His church in this city, region, nation, and nations of the earth. His word has promised that He will never leave us and that the church will be unified in full agreement with Him. He is a good leader who is our victorious Bridegroom King. Through the darkest hour of human history we will be victorious; walking in unprecedented love (Isaiah 60:1-2; Matthew 13:24-30; Ephesians 4:12-16; Revelation 19:7-8)