The Lord woke me up saying, “There is a shift in ministry coming to strengthen the awake rather than awaken the asleep.” Times are changing and so must we. A sleeping giant is arising from its slumber, brushing itself of the filth and debris that had attached itself while in a slumbering state.
If the words you are about to read, ring in your spirit then you have ears to hear and likely your spirit has been awakened. Now the Lord wants to strengthen you for the journey that lies ahead. If you don’t comprehend or care to comprehend what you are about to read, then more than likely your spirit man remains in a slumbering state.
After moving recently to a foreign land and foreign people, I immediately noticed a hunger in the people for the things of God that I had not experienced in America. I questioned God, “Why are the people so hungry here and not back in United States? God proceeded to ask me a question to answer my question as many times He does. “Have you ever been hungry while you were asleep?”
Strange how a question can answer a question but I realized that no one is ever hungry while they sleep. So with that in mind, I began to ponder another question as to why. Why is the church in America asleep and how did it go to sleep? Why and how does anyone go to sleep? They more than likely go to sleep because they are comfortable or in a comfortable place.
I Peter 5:8 commands God’s people to be vigilant and warns of serious consequences if we fail to do so. Could the fruit of life in the “comfort zone” be complacency and slumber? Jesus said in Matthew 8:20, Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head. A hole for a fox and a nest for a bird is a place of safety and security, a “comfort zone”. So Jesus was saying he had no “comfort zone”.
A little over a decade ago, my comfort zone became disturbed when I received an understanding that the times I was living in were going to change. I saw a list of Executive Orders that could be enacted at any time with the stroke of a pen by the President of the United States. These Executive Orders, if and when enacted would suspend or remove any right or freedom of an American citizen.
Executive Orders were created and intended to protect the citizens of the US in case of a national disaster or emergency not remove the rights granted to them. What if those in power decided to take advantage of this Executive “privilege” for those in power to gain more power? I thought physical preparation and a safer location for my “nest” would protect me from this real possibility. In this new found sense of security, I reestablished my “comfort zone” and proceeded to go back to sleep.
Much of the “comfort zone” in America comes from a sense of safety and security for not only their physical lives but property as well and that is based upon a document. This document is called the US Constitution and was drafted for a people who would govern themselves. Their governing of themselves would be a direct result of yielding to their Creator governing them, since it was He who granted the people their rights and freedoms in the first place.
According to our Constitution, the freedoms granted Americans came from God, their Creator, “that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator, with certain unalienable rights, that among them are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” These rights were endowed or gifted by God, their Creator, and are unalienable meaning they are not able to be transferred, sold, or taken by man because they were given by God. So if freedoms and rights are being removed from those to whom they were given, is it possible that the One who gave those gifts in the first place is the One removing them?
I gained a better understanding the actual state of freedom I was living in when I heard the Lord ask me question and followed with an answer. “Do you think you’re free? You live in a “wildlife park”; you just haven’t found the fence yet.” That meant there were fences in place when those words were spoken to me over a decade ago but what has happened since a decade ago. An alarm sounded in the form of a 9-11 wake-up call.
What was the response of America? Let’s have a “war on terror”, borrow lots of money, and keep living the way we always have. We don’t want to even consider that God, who according to Psalm 144:2, was supposed to be the one we trusted in, “my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, in whom I trust.” What was the result of hitting the snooze button? Now the fences have not only become higher but have also become more fortified.
Isn’t it true that we own nothing; that we are just stewards of all we possess and as Solomon stated in Ecclesiastes 5:15, As he came forth of his mother’s womb, naked shall he return to go as he became. So if we are stewards of what we possess and one of those possessions is a result of an endowment or gift, let’s see what happens if we don’t steward properly. According to Matthew chapter 25, the gift given to an unfaithful steward is taken away because it wasn’t used for the purpose it was given.
Have Americans used these unalienable rights for the purpose they were given? Have Americans used their liberties for right or wrong in the eyes from whom they were given? Galatians 5:13 states; For brethren, you have been called unto liberty, only use not liberty (freedom) for an occasion to the flesh (carnally minded ways), but by love serve one another. Then in 2 Corinthians 3:17; Now the Lord is that liberty, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
Therefore there is a connection between the Spirit of the Lord and liberty. If liberty is being removed, is it not possible that what liberty is connected to is being removed as well?
Over the past 50 years, America has been on a mission to remove the God from government where its laws and ways are enacted, to the courtroom where its laws and ways are enforced, and to the classroom where its laws and ways are taught. What was used to as the foundation of all this efforts; a lie and something that doesn’t even exist in the Constitution, a term referred to as “Separation of Church and State.” Now we have come to the end result of all these efforts. The fruit is ripe and about to be picked, a “Godless” nation. Who is to blame, a church and God’s people who fell asleep on their watch.
In America, we have what is called a representative form of government. In other words, the government represents the people through elections by the people. Even appointments made are made by those who are elected. So if there are wicked people who have been placed in power, who do those wicked people represent?
Colossians 3:1 admonishes the believers; If you then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God. Then in Ephesians 2:6; And (God) hath raised us up together in heavenly places with Christ Jesus. God’s people have sought the things below instead of the things above resulting in their heart desiring the things of this world and not the things of God. So that is now where they are seated, seeing things from an earthly perspective instead of a heavenly one.
Now God’s people can’t understand what is happening. Instead of blaming government and the ones who represent them, they should be blaming themselves. The ball has been in their court all along. Their decisions have always had the power to change the course of a nation according to II Chronicles 7:14, if they would humble themselves, repent, and turn from their wicked ways; God would in turn heal their land and restore their nation.
So here’s the million dollar question. Has the window of opportunity to repent already expired and has the Judge made decisions regarding His people and if it hasn’t expired, how close we are to the expiration date. Let’s ask a question another way. If repentance and a change of heart results in a change of ways, what are the change of ways in America today?
Are Americans becoming more lawful or lawless? Are laws being enacted supporting morality or immorality? Are the rights given to American citizens by their Creator being used to do what is right, supporting and defending lawful ways or is even the blessing to defend themselves, their families, and their property being taken away?
These questions are being asked to make an individual think and seek God for answers. The warning signs are everywhere saying “Bridge Out!” but sadly those passing by simply ignore them convinced the signs must be some sort of mistake thinking, “There’s never been a bridge out on this road before.”
The wake-up call is being sounded. The question is now, will you get out of bed, get answers and make changes or will you roll over and hit the snooze button, upset someone even had the gall to make an attempt to disturb your sleep.
God spoke to the people of Israel through a prophet named Haggai saying, “Consider your ways.” Consider how you have acted and what has happened as a result. You plant much but harvest little, you eat but you don’t have enough, you drink but aren’t filled with drink, you clothe yourself but there is none who is warm, he that earns wages, earns wages only to put it into a bag with holes. Again God says, “Consider your ways.”
God was saying wake up. Can’t you see something isn’t right? Here’s why I’m trying to get your attention. My house is in ruins and you don’t care. You are only concerned about your own fine homes. You are more concerned about your business than mine. That is why I am holding back the sky from releasing rain so in your limited harvest; I might get your attention. It was I who called the drought to whither your crops and starve your cattle and ruin everything you have worked so hard to get.
This warning given by God was heeded and true repentance resulted in obedience which is all God is asking from His people in America today. This example was recorded and given to us 2500 years ago as a pattern of a proper response to a warning given by God. If God’s people now who are called by His name would also consider their ways, repent and turn from their wicked ways, the results would be the same, a Godly fear and reverence for Him would come over the people.
Then the Lord would say to his people as He did in Haggai 1:13 now “I am with you.” The next verse states that the Lord stirred up the spirit of the leadership and the remnant of the people. The Hebrew word for “stirred up” meant the Lord “woke up” their spirit. This is the answer and same pattern needed to wake up the slumbering spirit of God’s people today.
If this process is followed as it was in 500 BC with God’s people, then revelation and restoration will follow repentance and obedience. If this is the not the process His people choose, then there is another pattern that will ensue which is found in Ezekiel chapters 8 and 9.
God’s people were warned to turn from their wickedness but didn’t respond to His warning. In chapter 7, God says the end has come and I will shortly pour out my fury upon you and accomplish my anger upon you, and I will judge you according to your ways and recompense you for all your abominations. They thought their sin was hidden because they thought God couldn’t see them in the dark, through closed doors. They said to themselves “God can’t see us, in fact God can’t see at all.”
So what do God’s people say today sitting in dark places feasting their eyes on whatever they please, doing whatever they desire? The same God that saw the “hidden” sins of His people then, sees the “hidden” sins of His people today. If He doesn’t respond in a similar manner today as He did then, He’ll have to apologize to the people of that time.
Once this decision has been made and He determines as He did in Ezekiel 7:2, An end is come, the end is come upon the four corners of the land; a man or woman’s only hope is they have His mark upon their forehead.
Going to church on Sunday or singing in the choir doesn’t give someone the mark. Being a member, sitting as an elder or deacon on the church board, or even being a pastor doesn’t give someone His mark.
How does one know they are marked by God? Ezekiel 9:4 answers that question. Those that were marked were those “that sigh and that cry at all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.” This mark was upon the forehead of only those who had a repentant heart, not those who simply claimed to be His people.
For us to think that claiming to be God’s child will somehow give us protection from any sort of judgment will in reality do just the opposite. God’s people will actually be put first in line to be judged, not exempt from judgment. He expects more from those who know more. In Ezekiel 9:6, God gave orders to those carrying out the judgment “Begin at my sanctuary.”
1 Peter 4:17 states: For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
I Corinthians 11:31 states: For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. Each of us needs to make decisions regarding our own lives and our own walk before the Lord.
Here is a check to begin to examine ourselves and see if we, like those in Ezekiel’s day, are marked by God for protection or for judgment. Does the sin you observe around you grieve you or entice you? Does what grieves God’s eyes, grieve yours? Do things that pass your eyes that you shouldn’t see, cause you to turn your head away or take a second look?
How a man or woman can honestly answer some of these questions will give some indication of whether or not they bear His mark. Everyone will bear a mark, God’s or the enemy of your soul.
Romans 6:16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?
We will all be marked by our master, the one we choose to obey.