Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Ministry Update - January 2011

I HAVE NOW COME!

As Joshua and his army approached Jericho, a surprising visitor met him on the road. This warrior confronted Joshua with a drawn sword. He was armed and ready to fight. Joshua asked, '"Are you for us or for our enemies?'

'Neither,' he replied, 'but as commander of the army of the LORD I have now come'" (Josh. 5:13-14). His answer was a vivid reminder that the Lord does not represent or fight for any Kingdom but His own. This will never change.

The warrior's declaration "I have now come" also reminds me of a story I heard several years ago. There was a pastor who constantly prayed, "Lord, send revival; send revival." But nothing changed. He grew more desperate, "Lord, send revival; send revival." But still no answer. Finally, as he continued to cry out, the Lord spoke something so simple yet so profound, "I don't send revival, I come!"

For God to come, we must consider what happened before Joshua's encounter. God had just renewed His covenant with His people at Gilgal. Through forming an altar and reinstituting circumcision, the Children of Israel had reestablished their love commitment to the Lord. As they did, the Lord declared, "Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you" (Josh. 5:9). This declaration revealed that the Hebrews had finally disengaged from the world's system. They also celebrated the Passover to remember the Lord's faithfulness. They were now armed for battle and anxious to fulfill their God-given mandate to take the land.

I have hungered for a culture-changing move of God since experiencing it in 1972. At times, this burden has overwhelmed and consumed me. I know it is God's desire to come to us. I know He has come to other parts of the world. I know what brought the Lord to Joshua and Children of Israel applies to us today. We may think we have been waiting for Him but actually, He has been waiting for us. Waiting for our whole hearts. Waiting for us to let go of this world. Waiting for us to submit to His ways of doing His work.

NEW MINISTRY OPPORTUNITY

Recently, in one of our prayer meetings, I had an unusual impression. I sensed the need to contact the local police department and offer my services as a chaplain. It seemed farfetched so I put it off - until the next prayer meeting. Then again the impression came. I became more certain I needed to follow through but still avoided any action for several days.

Finally, I dropped by the city hall to ask where the police department was located. Ironically, they said they no longer had a police department but had contracted the nearby community to handle their police duties. After some consideration, I decided to go to the neighboring police department and asked to speak to the chief.

She came out and I briefly explained my offer. To my surprise, she suggested I contact the sheriff's department for the entire county. That was neither what I expected to hear nor what I was seeking to do. However, after a few days, I decided to contact the sheriff's department and left a message for the deputy sheriff. Since I didn't get an immediate response, I concluded that the whole effort was not going to bear fruit anytime soon.

However, not long after, I did receive a call from the deputy sheriff. She had heard my message and asked to meet with me as soon as possible. I soon discovered that the county's chaplaincy program had been recently discontinued and they were anxious to reinstitute it. Ironically, I could not have contacted them at a better time. Since the initial meeting with the deputy sheriff and captain of the county jail, I have met with the sheriff and municipal police chiefs of several communities in the county. So far, everything seems open for an expanded B.U.D. involvement in the county.

I shared this development with some local pastors. They were surprised and said they have tried to work with the sheriff's department for years without success. We were praying to have an impact in our community but never expected God would open doors for us to have an influence on the entire county!

COMING SOON: THE CLASH OF KINGDOMS

After some anxious delays, The Clash of Kingdoms will finally be released in a few weeks. We are so excited about getting it in the hands of people who hunger for a culture-changing move of God. I believe He is speaking today with fresh passion and clear direction. I also believe we are on the threshold of an unprecedented demonstration of His power and love. Already God is calling out and preparing modern-day Elijahs and John the Baptists to prepare the way of our coming King.

I am convinced we must reevaluate our current Christian culture and traditions. We must let go of mindsets and lifestyles that more reflect the kingdom of this world than the Kingdom of our God. We cannot continue to do church the way we have done it in the past and expect different results.

If we seek His face and are open to His ways, then He will give us fresh insights to His plans and our role in them. If we submit to His agenda, no amount of spiritual darkness or physical challenges can stop us. We were destined to fly with Him and the wind is starting to blow.