This summer of 2020 has been like no other year most of us have known. First, the COVID 19 pandemic, and then, starting in our hometown of Minneapolis, the rise of Black Lives Matter and the whole issue of systemic racism, with protests that have included vandalism and lawlessness. In light of all this, one wonders, “Where are we headed as a nation, or even as the world?”
Over the last few months, I have observed the words and prophecies that have been given concerning the times we live in and the days to come. The words have been all over the map. Some people have prophesied the COVID 19 pandemic would be shortlived, and we would be back to normal quickly. Not so!
Mike Evens recently told the story of a meeting with David Wilkerson in 1986, where David told him, “I see a plague coming on the world, and the bars and churches and government will shut down. The plague will hit New York City and shake it like it has never been shaken. The plague is going to force prayerless believers into radical prayer and into their Bibles and repentance will be the cry from the man of God in the pulpit. And out of it will come a third Great Awakening that will sweep America and the world”(charismanews.com).
Some prophets saw the events of 2020 as the beginning of judgment. Others have proclaimed that this was not from God, but rather totally from the devil. And there were others that saw it as both. So take your pick.
I don’t claim to be a prophet, but like many others, I have my own ideas on what it is all about. There is a scripture that I feel is a picture of what is happening at this moment in history.
For your light has come!
And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.
For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth,
And deep darkness the people;
But the Lord will arise over you,
And His glory will be seen upon you.
I know this passage of scripture was a glowing prophetic promise for the restoration of Israel at the time when they were in captivity. But I believe it is a Rhema word for God’s people today, that is two-fold.
THE BAD NEWS – THE WORLD WILL BECOME DARKER
The world, as we know it, will become darker. Lawlessness (see Matthew 24:12 and 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12) will increase. There are those who are not just interested in racial justice, police brutality, or systematic racism. Instead, they want to use today’s crisis to completely change America and even the world. If necessary, they will use lawlessness to accomplish this.
Darkness that involves individual sin and corporate rebellion and corruption will increase in the coming days. The riots that have occurred in response to the death of George Floyd ended in lawlessness, looting, and the destruction of buildings. In Minneapolis alone, possibly 500 million dollars of damage was done to neighborhood business and property (startribune.com). Sadly, there was no attempt to prevent this lawlessness, in either Minneapolis or other cities like Seattle, Washington, or Portland, Oregon. This lawlessness could increase in future days.
THE GOOD NEWS – BUT THE LORD WILL RISE
In the midst of the darkness, the Lord will rise, and His glory will be seen on His people. This could be the beginning of a great new wave of the Spirit in America and beyond.
A good friend of mine and colleague in ministry Pastor Ian Peters of Global Apostolic Alliance, shared with a me a prophetic word that he had received, “On Saturday, June 20th, I sat down with my morning cup of coffee and felt the Lord speak a sentence to me, ‘I believe it was a prophetic call to consider what is happening to our nation (indeed the entire world) right now.’ Here it is:
- What if: The darkness we are experiencing is not the darkness of the tomb but the darkness of the womb?
- What if: The pain we are going through is not the crushing of death but the pangs of labor?
- What if: The sound we are hearing is not the rage of a generation but the cry of deep calling to deep?
- What if: The fire that is burning is not to destroy but to refine?
- What if: The burden we are sensing is not the weight of hopelessness for the future but the weight of His glory obliterating the darkness with which we have become so familiar?
- What if: The hunger and thirst we are experiencing is not about a famine but a deep desire to taste and see His righteousness and goodness?
- What if: The emotions we are feeling are not apprehension for the future but anticipation for a brighter tomorrow?
- What if: The gatherings are not to protest a social or cultural wrong but a desire for unity to come together as one body in Him'”
REVIVAL ON A PLATTER OF RUIN
Back in 1998, Bill Bright of Campus Crusade for Christ called a meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. The meeting was for the purpose of bringing together American Evangelical Leadership to consider the moral crisis in the country. The meeting involved about sixty people, and in the course of the day, a prophetic word was given by Bill McCartney of Promise Keepers. It included these words, ‘There is a hurricane coming. The church can see the winds even now, but the church is not prepared . . . there is a revival coming, but it will not be revival as it has come before. Will the church prepare? This revival will be served upon a platter of ruin.‘ (emphasis mine) (Quote summarized from a report of the meeting from Linda Rios Brook of Lakeland Foundation).
That word was given over twenty years ago, but it speaks to us today! Revival on a platter of ruin! In other words, in the midst of darkness, the light and glory of God will be seen. Revival is on its way.
How do we need to respond to such words? In one word . . . prepare!
Recently, a word from a friend of mine was passed on to me. Over a period of three days, the Lord spoke to her in three different ways about preparing, including the story of the Ten Virgins, where five of the virgins, having oil, were prepared. I have since read or heard other similar words illustrated from the way God prepared for the coming of the Lord in the ministry of John the Baptist, who was ‘to prepare the way of the Lord.’
Before God does something, He always prepares.
HOW DO WE PREPARE?
Like John the Baptist, it starts with repentance. There is a need to get right with God, beginning with our personal sins. We also need to recognize the state of the church today is not as it should be as a spiritual force in the world. The church today is not ready.
God is sending a fresh new revival into our midst that calls for us to repent, then believe, and rise up in faith. I believe that God is going to pour out His Spirit on all flesh. Truly, ‘The best is yet to be!’
Beyond that, we need to realize what is happening today is all part of the steps leading up to the return of Christ. The time just before the coming of the Lord is a time of great victory for God’s people. But also a time when the battle of good and evil will be at its height!
Let us keep our eyes on Jesus and see beyond the events of today to the glorious victory coming our way with the return of Jesus Christ.