In October of 2017, the President stated, “This may be the calm before the storm.” His words sent media scurrying to decipher the meaning, but the message may have been more prophecy than mystery.
Presently, we are engaged in a storm of supernatural proportions.
Several years ago, the Lord spoke to me in an unusual way. I shared the word with our prayer leader and two days later, we marveled at the extraordinary confirmation God provided.
Recently, He brought this word back to my mind and as I read through it, I realized it contained wisdom for the storm we face, today.
It began on a Wednesday evening during prayer meeting. Austin Texas was in the middle of a drought, the second in the less than four years since we had moved here. We had seen brief periods of relief, only to be thrust back into the heat and oppression of diminishing lakes and parched earth. Fire risk was high, water was polluted with bacteria, and danger levels were severe.
I felt the Holy Spirit prompting me to pray for “Showers of Blessing,” but my plea soon turned to, “Lord, I repent for choosing mercy drops over the showers of blessing we need.” Each time I prayed, the intercession grew stronger, “No more mercy drops, Father. Send us the showers we need.” In my spirit, I saw the many times He had answered our prayer, only to watch us return to the complacency and deficiency of abundance.
His weariness was palpable. Attempts to seek Him only because of our discomfort were coming to an end. The prayer He longed to answer was for the downpour of His Spirit in our hearts.
Thursday dawned heavy with clouds and hope though temperatures reached some of the highest levels we had experienced to date. Occasionally, the sun would break through. It was windy, but no precipitation fell, and forecasts reported the probability of rainfall was slim. Though scattered storms appeared further north, they were not expected to reach us.
Later, while driving home, I noted the clouds were beginning to dissipate as the sun became more prominent in the breaks. My hopes fell, and I prayed, “Please Lord, no more clouds without water. Please send the rain.”
Immediately, I heard, “What you see is My church. Clouds without water. False advertisement. False hope. Facades that lead the hungry to come in expecting and leave discouraged. Frustrated by a form of godliness without power, thirsty souls seek other fountains to drink from.”
I was stumped, confused, and unsure of how to pray. Both in the spiritual and natural realms the need was great. Suddenly, whether it came from despair or faith, I can’t say, but I cried out…
“Lord, send us rain, even if it has to come through the storm!”
No sooner had the words left my mouth than my spirit was quickened. I realized this was one of those “God prayers,” the ones He initiates just so He can answer. He responded, “Watch!”
I had no idea what was about to unfold, only an anticipation that I was going to witness something extraordinary.
The skies were blue and cloudless when I arrived home. The sun had begun its late afternoon descent and the sunset promised to be stunning. I turned on the television and a notice of severe storm warnings flashed across the screen. Simultaneously, the light on our answering machine was blinking, so I checked the message. Immediately, an unidentified man’s voice said, in the kind of dramatic tone one might use in a theatrical rendition of a horror play…
“A storm’s approaching.”
That was all. Just those three words. My youngest daughter, Charity, thought the voice sounded like our youth pastor except that he had never called the house phone before. Still, it added to the mystery of the moment. We later discovered her intuition was correct, though he had been speaking to his wife and did not realize he was being recorded.
We joined our neighbors gathering outside and followed their gaze to see a huge line of dark, ominous clouds rolling toward us from the north.
In awe, I considered the approaching storm, the voice on the recorder, and the moment in the car when I had cried out to the Lord.
Whatever was coming must hold a message I would not easily forget.
Ironically, this was one of the most beautiful atmospheres I’ve ever beheld. There was a striking contrast between the peaceful sunset and the broiling darkness. One side was filled with imminent danger and alarming uncertainties while not a wisp floated in the other. The clouds I had seen earlier had either assimilated into the storm or dissipated in advance of it.
My mind rushed to my middle daughter who had gathered with other singles for a weekly service of prayer and Bible study on Mt. Bonnell, the highest point in our city, near the downtown area.
The storm was headed toward Austin’s center and was predicted to hit that area within the hour. Forecasters warned of high winds, tornadoes, hail, and lightning. The streets were thick with citizens returning home from work as news anchors pleaded with travelers to seek shelter.
At this point, singles who lived north of the meeting would have no choice but to drive through the storm to reach home.
We sent texts and calls to Caren, leaving frantic voice mails with no response. Finally, we received a text stating that the leaders had told them to turn their phones off. They were aware of the storm and would warn the singles if there was anything to be concerned about.
Except, critical alerts were being announced and no warning had been given.
Four years earlier, just 2 ½ months after moving to Austin, we lost Caren’s dad and my husband of 31-years. One of his rules was the importance of remaining connected to each other at all times. Consequently, she disobeyed the unreasonable orders by turning her sound down while leaving her phone on and our warning reached her.
She promised that as soon as she found a way, she would head home, but worried about becoming a target to be scolded, humiliated, or worse because she had not followed instructions.
Charity and I prayed until she walked in the door. Her drive was directly in the path of a tornado and heavy hail. It was a hazardous trek, but she arrived just as the force of the storm hit our subdivision.
She was safe and we were together.
Throughout the night, we were glued to local networks. One weatherman reported that because we were in a D-4 Drought the severe dryness of the area and extreme heat in the atmosphere were causing sudden, dangerous storms called “Super Cell Thunderstorms.” He said the rain would bring some relief but not enough. “Most of the rainfall is falling in areas where the drought has already officially ended, but at least all areas are getting some rain.” He joked, “This is a case of the rich getting richer…”
There were numerous reports of: “car accidents, fires sparked by the exceptional amount of lightning strikes, downed power lines, broken windows, rain inside homes, hail damage, tornadoes, planes flipped over at municipal airports… etc.” One reporter commented, “The dark clouds eclipsed the setting sun and brought darkness early.” Another newscaster, reporting from the baseball game at U.T. said, “Who thought when they came to the park, they’d need an ark?”
The next morning, the Holy Spirit revealed the message in the storm.
Sometimes, especially in seasons of severe drought, rain can only reach us through the storm.
Drought is caused by High Pressure systems that can lead to excessive heat waves, hazardous fog, and dangerous tropical cyclones. 2 Corinthians 10:4&5, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God…”
Satan desires to eclipse the sun, and bring an early darkness to our nation, but God’s Ark will always be our refuge.
Mt. Bonnell represented the state and condition of the Church.
“Let us think for you.”
Strongholds of control and appeasement have created drought by cutting believers off from the knowledge of God. Therefore, a storm is required to break this principality of wickedness that sits in high places. Rainless clouds fill our pulpits, teaching podiums, and worship thrones, but they will either assimilate or dissipate because God is coming in the storm!
The Church was never meant to become religious because religion uses arrogance, oppression, control, and manipulation to keep the business running smoothly. We are not authoritarians, the privileged few who neither wash the feet of the broken nor serve the widows, the fatherless, and the strangers.
Caren was both fatherless and a stranger, desperately seeking God. Instead, she encountered hypercritical, hypocritical novices posing as leaders and using gossip, slander, and dishonor as tactics of intimidation to control their “students” and create the “appearance” of godliness.
The age gap between student and teacher averaged less than 5 years. Apprentices who clung to misplaced authority, blind obedience, and rules without love.
“Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch,” Matthew 15:14.
Jezebel operates through intimidation, domination, and manipulation, which are the three prongs of witchcraft. Attempting to control the life of another is sorcery. Jezebel uses potential leaders, gifted, but without wisdom, to twist and pervert their promise because...
“Pride goes before destruction,” Proverbs 16:18.
Grace is only available to the humble, James 4:6, and premature exaltation leads to humiliation.
In their defense, they were only practicing what they had been taught. Blind obedience to religious masters was their ladder to promotion. Seminary’s, Bible Colleges, student programs, and church leaders thought for them, advancing titles of prominence rather than personal accountability, death to Self, and surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Students always emulate their lords.
Once they are “over” others who are “under” them, those who don’t bow to their “authority” are punished. A novice knows no other way to lead.
How I wish this were an exaggeration, but it is a story repeated in churches all over the nation. The government of Jezebel leads to embezzlement, sexual immorality, exploitation, physical harm, and every manner of sin pride hides in the hearts of those who lord it over others.
Students who survive their time in youth and singles groups that operate by Jezebel’s authority, struggle with a lifetime of traumas such as a wounded spirit, hatred for God, disillusionment, cynicism, mistrust, addictions, acting out, and other deep seated grievances caused by being dominated, indoctrinated, and controlled.
Sometimes it takes a storm to bring us down from our lofty place…
The storm reveals things that have been hidden, especially what lies beneath the surface.
The storm crushes the haughty, but blessing awaits the humble.
The storm uncovers the plans of the enemy, exposing his strategies and schemes.
The storm unveils strongholds, compromises, and areas where the enemy has set up altars of influence, high places in our lives, our churches, and our nation.
The storm dislodges principalities, principles of thought and ungodly agreements that defy the Word of God. Power lines are downed.
The storm breaks and uproots unrighteous soul ties, ungodly systems, and evil networks.
We are presently experiencing both a geopolitical and biological tempest that reminds me of that night. Darkness has exploded in one crisis after another. The nation is captive to fear even while political leaders watch it burn. Businesses are looted and homes are destroyed. Churches have been closed. People have died, while others are scarred for life.
The storm has exposed the drought created by the arrogance of our high places and God is calling us to return to our First Love.
As the Holy Spirit spoke to me, I wrote, “Don’t mourn the loss of the old trees, systems, old ways of doing things. I am making way for a new work, the planting of the Lord.”
Two days after I delivered this word, the long, magnificent branch of an impressive 200-year-old tree towering over the parking lot of the church, came crashing down on the cars beneath. It was a deceptively sunny day, but wind speeds were high.
The storm had softened the earth and after 200 years of weathering tempests, an unseen blast of wind brought this extraordinary Oak down. Ironically, the youngest trees survived while many of the oldest, the most majestic, were uprooted.
Immediately, efforts were initiated to save what remained of the tree, but it was soon discovered that though it looked healthy on the outside, it had long since been dead on the inside.
The storm uproots and exposes, but the Holy Spirit will remove our masks, tearing down our facades, and revealing the truth we’ve long denied.
We may look beautiful on the outside, but without Christ as the Head, we are clouds without water, seeker friendly congregations concealing our pretense behind lovely sanctuaries, celebrity singers, and pious veneers.
God’s storms are instruments of humiliation or humility and great beauty can be found in the aftermath.
When God comes in the storm, He awakens the slumbering and stirs a fresh hunger in weary hearts.
The canyons of Central Texas were greener.
The sky was bluer.
The wind was cooler.
The air was cleaner.
There was far less damage than originally assumed.
Every area of drought received much-needed rain.
It was as close to a picture-perfect day as I’ve ever witnessed.
Like that remarkable night, God is speaking through the storm that is raging in our nation, but only those who have ears, will hear what He is saying.
The damage we see is only the precision of much needed surgery. God is awakening, revealing, uncovering, exposing, dislodging, breaking, and uprooting our idols. He is tearing down old systems and making way for Trees of Wisdom, Oaks of righteousness, Isaiah 61:3.
Everyone will be touched, no one left unchanged by the storm. Those who heed God’s voice will be strengthened. Established. Families will run to the Ark, coming together in Christ.
Those who don’t will be removed.
Sometimes, a storm is the only way to end a drought.
May God bless our nation with the rain of revival even if it must come through the storm.
"Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other," Psalm 5:10. [KJ21] The Passion Translation says, "Your mercy and Your truth have married each other..."
Some 40 years ago, I heard an old-time gospel preacher use this scripture to explain a critical fact about the human condition. Like us, he explained, the disciples had different perspectives from which they viewed the world. Understanding that, when it came time to create "teams" Jesus sent them out, two by two, establishing their partnership on that very diversity.
Currently, the Enneagram is the popular manifestation of identifying this uniqueness, also known as, Basic Personality Types, or Temperaments. Taking this into consideration helps us understand why the disciple with a mercy perspective always walked with the brother who saw everything in the black and white of truth, because mercy can soothe the wounds truth reveals. Similarly, righteousness walked with peace. In the natural, these temperaments would be at odds with one another, like oil and water, or fingers on a chalkboard, but in the spiritual, they are "iron sharpening iron." Righteousness turns peace into a peacemaker rather than a peacekeeper. Just as peace keeps righteousness from slipping into the swamp of condemnation.
Even in the same family, we are born with different ways of perceiving the same events. We emerge from the womb wearing a God-given pair of glasses so to speak. Psalm 139, He "weaves us together in our mother's womb" and every detail perfectly suits us for His purpose. Some are truth oriented and some mercy. Peacemakers calm storms of chaos, while righteousness stirs up storms of repentance, reminding us that “sin is a reproach to any nation,” Proverbs 14:34. Even those who don’t know Christ view the world through a predisposed lens. As differences go, these partialities often lead to unrest, offense, and deception because in the natural, we cannot see through another person’s lens. Conversely God gave us these distinctive predilections, not to divide us, but so that we would recognize our need for each other. More importantly, so we would recognize our need for Him, for His Lordship over our lives. For the simple fact is that only His perspective is perfect and only through the adjustment He makes to our lens will we be we able to see clearly.
As in everything He does, God expects us to recognize how desperately we need one another. If we stubbornly rely on the way "I" see things, we will be unbalanced, unhinged, and easily led into deception. Hence the reason He sent His disciples out, two by two, each one carrying a different perception, a different emotional response to crisis, and a different revelation of Who God is.
Sometimes, the very message we need to hear is the one that exposes the inequity in our perspective.
I was born with a strong justice or "truth" perspective, an outlook, I’ve discovered, that has a way of pushing people away rather than drawing them to me. Years ago, a prophet told me that I came from a spiritual lineage that included "Joan of Arc." I laughed. That is until last summer when my girls were studying the Enneagram and exclaimed, "Mom! You're a 1!" A 1 is identified as a "Perfectionist" or "Reformer." Here's the first thing that pops up on Google about a 1: "Ones… [have] an emphasis on personal integrity and self-control. Their attention goes toward seeing and correcting what is wrong and doing the right thing. They are known for their honesty, dependability and common sense." Sounds impressive until you read the rest of the chapter. The study emphasizes the good, while unmasking the bad and ugly secrets you have tried so hard to hide. Eventually, you are convinced that the latter outweighs the former, but it is the same story for everyone. Clearly none of us see the world through a balanced, straightforward, or perfected lens. I was still processing the results when the girls added this little treat, "Guess what historical figure was a 1?" Yep! You guessed it! Joan of Arc.
Interestingly, my whole life began to make sense, especially in light of this Psalm. In the early 80's, I had a supernatural encounter in which God called me to stand against abortion. Only now do I realize that He was actually activating my natural calling. Because it was a heavenly activation, however, it came with a caveat, a warning that I must go in a spirit and attitude of mercy. "Mercy and truth are met together." To accomplish that, He broke my heart and gave me a new perspective toward abortionists and the women who obtain abortions. As I stepped out to obey, I began to encounter some of the most vicious spirits on earth and yet, I could not hold back the tears, or the flood of compassion that rose in my soul. It was then that I knew that a supernatural work had occurred within me.
On the other hand, my firstborn daughter was born with a strong mercy lens. Her kindness and hospitality are well known by everyone who meets her. However, early in her life, the Lord warned me that unless certain spiritual truths were planted deep within her soul, the day would come when mercy would lead her into compromise; a concession that could be deadly to her spiritual health. Today, we often talk about how those truths have kept her from falling into the trap of twisted mercy. Satan did come and set her up for a lifetime of disappointment, but truth preserved her.
The message on my heart is simply that God will never allow us to have everything, know everything, or be everything to the world around us. He made us to be leaners, to walk on perpetual crutches so to speak. He made us to need one another. Just as Aaron and Hur were necessary to hold up Moses' arms so we are necessary to one another.
Our differences are our saving grace.
I believe that the greatest outcome of this chaotic season would be the union of leaning into the diversity our Father created. Learning to trust the knowledge of God that can only be observed through the earthen vessel of a brother's lens. In this union, Charismatics would recognize how much they need their Baptist brothers and vice versa. Races would rejoice in their differences, finding purpose in their identity. In this union, diversities of gifts, insights, and spiritual revelations would flow without restraint. The Ekklesia would be edified, strengthened, and unhindered in her task to cover the nations with the gospel. Most notably, in this union, Jesus Christ would be glorified; His Name lifted high above the earth. His Bride leaning, trusting, and honoring the unique expression of Christ within each other. She would be purified. Her gifts flowing, like sweet-smelling oil, slipping out into the streets and neighborhoods, influencing governments, changing atmospheres, and permeating the world with the smell of His fragrance.
In this union, His people would be, finally and completely, ONE.
This was a message delivered at HOTHOP Austin in early 2019.
2019: 5:52 AM, the Lord woke me up with this word:
“I know who the world thinks I am, but who do you say I Am?”
I looked up Isaiah 55:2, “Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength? Why pay for food that does you no good? Listen to me, and you will eat what is good. You will enjoy the finest food.”
This morning, 3-19-2020, the Lord reminded me of this word. Last year, when I first delivered it at the Sunday Morning meeting, I said that I believed it was a prophetic word and God might be speaking about something that was still to come. Still, I came home and put it away… until today. As I read back through it, I realized that it was, indeed, a word of instruction and promise for this present moment we are in.
How ironic it is that for the first time in decades, we are struggling to find the food that sustains our bodies. I believe that God is reminding us that we have not been eating the food that He provides.
There is a marvelous message in the time that was on the clock that morning, 5:52 or 5-5-2, and the question I heard the Holy Spirit ask as He awakened me.
This is what I believe He was saying.
Biblical meaning of the Number 55 is “Grace upon Grace”
Few would doubt that the Hand of God is being revealed in a visible way all over the world, but why? I believe that He is inviting us, His children, to turn from the sin of believing that we are strong without His manifest presence in our midst. We have gone our own way.
The Bible meaning of repent is, “The act of changing one’s mind.” In other words, “To turn.”
God’s Hand is always an invitation to turn.
To sum it up, in the first two numbers, we have grace upon grace, the Hand of God, and an invitation to an action, “To turn.” But what does the “2” tell us?
The Biblical Meaning of the Number 2 is “Differences.”
Differences that are submitted to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, will always reflect the Oneness of God. God hates division but Loves differences. He created our differences. In context of scripture, our differences are meant to be displayed as prisms of Light in a unified setting.
Which is why, what the world thinks of God is directly related to what we believe about Him and how we act on that belief.
“All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all,” Isaiah 53:6.
Division represents Satan’s agenda for our differences.
The number 2 signifies a divided heart. Two gods. We have two eyes, but if their focus is divided, we are blind. The division among God’s people today testifies that we are all going our own way, which translates to the world, “which group is going God’s way?” We have built edifices of division, creating our own doctrines, our own methods of worship, denominational idiosyncrasies, and we have isolated ourselves from the differences that Christ anointed to serve His body.
Unity is not control. Unity isn’t forcing everyone to believe the same thing or punishing those who have a different revelation. Unity is the found in the blood of Jesus Christ and His death and resurrection as the Only Begotten Son of God. There is only One Way to God and only One Way to be unified and that is by the power and witness of the Holy Spirit Who lives in all those who are called according to His purpose.
When His Spirit bears witness that you are my brother, then no matter how I feel about our differences, we are not divided.
Isaiah 5:2, “He plowed the land, cleared its stones, and planted it with the best vines. In the middle he built a watchtower and carved a winepress in the nearby rocks. Then he waited for a harvest of sweet grapes, but the grapes that grew were bitter.”
Isaiah 5:2 is a picture of grace spurned. The humility necessary to receive God’s grace was rejected. There was no turning and the crop failed. We have been in a season of grace, a time of plowing, planting, and waiting, but our divisions have spoiled the vines and produced bitter fruit.
The true church, God’s Ekklesia, will be known as a place where differences prosper and division dies. “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another,” John 13:35.
Not only will the House of God be known as a place where Love thrives, but His Temple, us, our personal, intimate relationships will be famous for Loving one another. We will no longer be peacekeepers, but peacemakers. We will be known as those who bring heaven into the divisions, the brokenness, and the devastation sin produces.
Our mouths will speak Truth and the Love of God expressed through us will set captives free.
In the expressions presented by His separate and individual Temples differences will become the prisms that reveal Christ’s Love to the world.
2 Kings 21:1-7, “Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned 55 years in Jerusalem... And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, after the abominations of the nations whom the Lord cast out before the children of Israel…”
Abominations – Strong’s Concordance #08441 – Tow ebah meaning – A disgusting thing.
A divided heart is disgusting in God’s eyes. He hates the mixing of the holy and profane. Yet, we have had hearts divided by doctrines, opinions, and loyalty to denominations and men for too long.
As in Isaiah 5:2, grace covered us until it harvesttime. But it has come, and the fruit is spoiled.
Manasseh was King of Judah, which means, “praise.” We have enjoyed a season of unprecedented praise and yet, amidst the melodic sound of our worship, division, strife, and bitterness has flourished.
Our soul is divided. We can lead the praise team or be on the praise team; we can preach, teach, evangelize, and prophesy and still be following the desires, thoughts, opinions, impulses, and cravings of another lord: our undead Self.
Whatever lord (Lord) a leader worships, that lord (Lord) is the one ministering to the hearts of the congregation.
Many years ago, Doug Stringer stood at the front of a once powerful church, historic for revival. He said, “God has only one fire. It burns in revival or judgment, depending on what He finds when He comes.” Several months later, as the morning worship service was just getting underway, I heard the Lord say, “Run!” The sound was so urgent, I left my seat at the front and ran down the aisle, past the people, and into the foyer. There was my husband, standing with his assistant, and I asked, “What is it?” “I don’t know,” he replied. “God won’t let us go in, yet.” Over the next few moments, the doors opened 4 different times and 4 different leaders and intercessors came out.
The worship service could be heard in the background. The sound was beautiful, but the spirit was foul. The team was made up of varying degrees of protected sin.
One of the intercessors went to the bathroom to pray and the others congregated around Johnnie and me. I asked one of the leaders, “What did the Lord say to you?” She replied, “I heard Him say, ‘Swine on the Altar.”
A few minutes later, the pastor noticed that his entire front row of leaders were missing and demanded that we return. Obediently, we went back in. It was time to send the children to their class and one of the associate pastor’s called them up to the platform. His short message was on “illusions.” His prop was a small bowl he had taken from his office. Each of the leaders who had fled that morning were aware of this bowl. We had seen it many times. A small pig perched atop the lid in the center, appearing to be a handle one could grip. Instead, when we reached out to touch the pig, there was nothing there. It was an illusion projected from inside the bowl.
As he spoke about things not always being as they appear to be, the pastor passed the bowl around to each child and asked them to touch the pig. Afterward, he asked two ushers to pass the bowl throughout the congregation, insisting that everyone touch the pig. My friend, who had received the word from the Lord, looked at me and said, “Don’t touch the pig!” Of course, I wasn’t about to.
A divided heart cannot hear God’s voice when He speaks.
For decades, He has been speaking through His prophets, but we have allowed our doctrines, our judgments of the messenger, and our differences to determine whether we receive or reject the word. Our ears are not tuned to the sound of His voice, Proverbs 4:20.
The day God said that swine was on the altar of our worship only a few were tuned to hear Him. When flesh feels comfortable in God’s house, it is a clear sign that God is not.
Less than two short years, later, the building that once housed great revivals, became a church for those who practice sexual perversion and unrestricted sin.
The leaders followed the impulses and desires of a divided heart, Luke 16:13, and the fruit was disgusting in God’s eyes.
Proverbs 25:26, “When a lover of God gives in and compromises with wickedness, it can be compared to contaminating a stream with sewage.”
Proverbs 21:16, “When you forsake the ways of wisdom, you will wander into the realm of dark spirits.”
2 Chronicles 33:10-13, “And the Lord spoke to Manasseh and to his people, but they would not listen. Therefore, the Lord brought upon them the captains of the army of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh in chains and bound him with fetters and carried him to Babylon. And when he was in affliction, he sought the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers and prayed to Him and He was entreated by him and He heard his supplication and brought him back to Jerusalem to his kingdom.
Then Manasseh knew that the Lord, He was God.”
God has always known what the world thinks of Him. Afflictions do not come to ravage their hearts, but to turn us from our unrighteous ways.
We have used His grace to produce bitter fruit.
Which brings me to the reason God woke me up this morning. Like Manasseh, God is asking us, “Who do you say that I Am?”
The great irony of Manasseh’s story is repentance. Even in a time of judgment God’s grace was within reach, but it was only accessible through turning.
Manasseh took away the foreign gods and idols out of the House of the Lord. He tore down all the altars he had built on the mountain and in Jerusalem and cast them out of the city. He repaired the altar, sacrificed peace offerings, thank offerings, and commanded the people of Judah to serve the Lord God of Israel.
Manasseh turned… and the people followed.
And Manasseh reigned 55 years.
55: Grace upon Grace. The most wicked king in all of Israel’s history received a double portion of God’s grace!!
I do not care how wicked our nation is today, God is not judging them for their wickedness. An eternity without Him is more judgment than any earthly dilemma we could ever face.
Instead, God wants to pour out a double portion of His grace, IF we, His people, will repent. If we will turn.
“…but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,” Romans 5:20. Here we see 5 and 2 together again. Grace and division. Man’s divided heart always leads to abomination and disgrace, but God’s amazing grace can still restore the standard.
Isaiah 30:5, “This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: ‘Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved…”
Humility is key to receiving grace, James 4:6.
Micah 6:8, “He has shown you, O man, (2) what is good. What does the Lord require of you, but to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?”
If we want to carry His presence in the public place, we must spend time with Him in the Secret Place. Psalm 18:11 tells us that “He made darkness His secret place…”
Psalm 66:12, “You let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but You brought us into abundance.”
Fear and darkness may gather around us but those who abide in the secret place of the Most High will find rest and grace to help in time of need. They will come forth singing a new song.
Because darkness is the place where intimacy erupts into pregnancy and pregnancy gives birth to the impossible. What you believe about God in this season of quarantine, will determine how you emerge and how you emerge will determine what the world sees.
We are living in the time of Mannaseh, again. We have far surpassed the magnitude of innocent blood shed in his day. Yet, God has extended His grace to us… Grace upon Grace.
If we will turn from our divisions and seek His face.
He will hear and the world will believe.