We have some dear friends and family who are facing incredibly hard things right now. Incredibly hard things. In addition to being close and in this fight with them, here we are leading a prayer ministry, one focused on freedom and identifying and overcoming things of the enemy. So, we are often asked if there’s anything we are sensing, any advice we would have, any insight.
Disclaimer: I’m not suggesting that what follows is THE answer. I’m confident that many of you have the gift of discerning things right now that I am not and have not and that I will continue to learn great things from. Please keep sharing what you sense the Lord showing you! It is so helpful! I understand that what the Lord is helping me see may only be one particular vantage point. And nothing of what follows will be brand new. So, please hear my heart and receive this as it is intended.
My focus when praying, listening, and seeking the Lord about the hard things my friends and family are facing has not been directed toward one particular enemy presence or tactic, that if we grasp the hand of the Lord and with Him strike this one thing down, all will be well. I think this is widely felt and understood, but I don’t see one enemy, I sense a widespread launch of every kind of warfare you could imagine – psychological, relational, physical, emotional, tangible, intangible, and so on. This isn’t new, but it sure seems to have increased. Which doesn’t come as a surprise. It’s widespread, affecting everyone and everything on a grand scale and at the same time, sometimes horribly personal.
I don’t get the sense that it is one demonic entity, but more like chemical warfare on a massive scale that is both cosmic-level and incredibly local. Sure, there could be one particular thing influencing this one particular issue. But my eyes in prayer haven’t zoomed in, they’ve zoomed out. I tend to want to go for high ground and look out over the field for patterns, weak spots, and to find the head of the snake.
Along with this, I have this vision in my head of how someone is to fight. Both on the field in battle and at the high ground. This won’t be the magic bullet that we long for. But it has been and will continue to be maddening and devastating to our enemy. We need a relentless and persistent love and grace for one another, all the while relentless and persistent in the prayer closet. And the focus and force in the prayer closet seems to be wrapped up in the lesson of the fig tree.
“As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. And Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.” And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Mark 11:20-24
Our students in Immersed are currently reading The Authority of the Believer by John MacMillan, and as I keep praying, asking the Lord for help for my friends and family, help for Colin and me, asking for divine insight and courage and strategy, I am drawn to this passage from MacMillan’s book.
“So when mountains rise in their way, the Lord commands His disciples to speak unto them and bid them depart into the sea. He gives no instruction to pray, although that is understood. There is essentially the same charge as was given to Moses: ‘You have asked Me to work; I have granted your request, but I choose to do the work through you; speak to the obstacle before you in My name, and it will obey.’ As we obediently speak to the mountain before us, there may seem to be no immediate response. But as day by day we maintain the attitude of authority, knowing that we are commissioned to use the name of our Lord, there will come a trembling and a shaking and removing, and the mountain will slide from its base and disappear into the sea of forgetfulness.” (MacMillan, p. 54)
This is the encouragement I wanted to share with you:
Relentlessly love those around you. Even and especially when it is hard. And we receive all that we need to accomplish that by remembering that we are relentlessly loved by our God. And when you are facing those incredibly hard things, may that relentless and divine Love get very, very practical as it fuels, saturates, then pours out of all the next steps you are working on taking.
All the while, we are relentless and persistent in prayer and intercession as we speak to the mountains before us and tell them to move. And not just move, but sink as they are thrown into the sea. Even if we see no immediate response, we keep telling it to move.
We PUSH in prayer. The Lord has fashioned me to be a bulldozer in prayer. Pray – Until – Something - Happens.
“God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns. The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” Psalm 46:5-7
All that can be wearying. I know. Which is why I love that God built us to live in community. If you feel weary in this battle, keep going, and at the same time, let those of us who have some renewed strength hold up your arms.
What the enemy means for evil, God will weaponize. What you face and learn in this trial can most certainly be used to one day bring others into freedom. May it increase the force of your PUSH.
I’m praying, and others are, too. Let’s do this.