We’ve just finished the second day of school and I’m already ready for summer. I’ve got a few months to wait. I really do enjoy sleeping in, hangin’ with my kidlets, spending days at the wave pool soaking in my Jesus books while the kids scream down the water slides. Ahhhhh summer.
But while I’m waiting for the glory to return, I think I’ll be diligently seeking God’s face. I do not know how a girl can make it these days without Jesus. Just in case you might have missed all the drama, let me give you a small and incomplete list of the intensifying evil. War between Hamas and Israel. Rockets just fired into Israel from Syria. Shia Muslims under massacre from ISIS in Iraq. Iraqi Christians under massacre from ISIS in Iraq. Someone holds up a sign behind a CNN reporter in Ferguson, MO reading ‘ISIS is here.’ British rapper is identified as James Foley’s beheader. Iran still on track for developing nuclear weapons. Soon. Ukraine marks defiant national Independence Day, but pro-Russian rebels parade Ukrainian hostages through the streets in their strongholds. Chinese fighter jet does a barrel-roll across the nose of a US Navy surveillance aircraft, exposing that it was armed. Respected financial gurus warn of complete economic collapse. Racial tensions ratcheting up in USA. And finally, the earthquake in beautiful Napa Valley.
Girls. Did anyone else’s hair stand on end when you heard that the epicenter of the quake was in a lovely little town called American Canyon? And that American Canyon is actually the gateway to this nation’s wine country?
When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him. (John 2:9-11 ESV)
I cannot help but notice that the earthquake, the shaking, at the gateway to the wine country here in America, is not coincidental. Biblically, we, in this time, are the ‘good wine,’ according to the passage above (study it. You’ll see the connections). I cannot help but think that God is shaking His Church here in America. “Wake up!” His thunder moves the divides.
As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour. (Matthew 25:5-13 ESV)
If the last days have been going on since Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension, then surely we are living in the last hours of the last days. Jesus is coming back. And I want to be the wise girl and have a lamp full of the oil of the Spirit. The anointing.
As the evil intensifies around us, there are a couple of normal responses we as good southern girls like to employ. One involves denial. The thinking goes something like this: “Wow all those things are horrible and I have no idea how to respond to that and I really don’t want to think about it and I’m going to put it on the back burner til it eventually goes away.” Another thought pattern involves fear, but ends up with a similar response as denial. That thinking goes something like this: “Those ISIS guys are cra-cra and I think they are serious. I am freaking out. Where’s grandma’s bootleg whiskey?”
May I offer another option?
You were made for such a time as this. You. Your family. Your children. You were made for such a time as this. Stay close to The Father. Abide in the Vine. Yes, ISIS does the bidding of our enemy, the dragon of old. As September 11th looms closer, it would not surprise me if their spirit of fear tries to destroy our lives even more. We have weapons, girls. We have authority straight from the King of Kings. One of our weapons right now is praise! Praising The Father, especially under duress, literally changes the atmosphere. It draws the heart of the Father. He literally inhabits the praises of His people. And believe me, you want the God of Israel to come near, so very near.
These times we are marching toward will be the hardest, most difficult we have ever experienced. They will also be the most joyful. The most anointed. The most miraculous. As the third heaven, where The Throne is, moves closer to the first heaven, where we are, it squeezes and compresses down, intensifies the second heaven, where the demonic realm lives. As you see evil intensifying, look up. Look to the North.
Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised in the city of our God! His holy mountain, beautiful in elevation, is the joy of all the earth, Mount Zion, in the far north, the city of the great King. Within her citadels God has made himself known as a fortress. (Psalm 48:1-3 ESV)
His Kingdom Come! His will, His heart, His good desire be done here on earth as it is in heaven!
Let’s pray together. Let’s do some damage to the kingdom of darkness by cultivating the Kingdom of Light!!