I try to steer clear of social and political commentary, most of the time, and particularly when I’m writing my posts. I’m not sure if this is a wise decision (so as not to mix personal opinions with the Word) or if it’s motivated out of fear (don’t want to offend anyone). I probably teeter-totter in both directions. I’m also not a big fan of the “news”, so I’m not particularly well-informed most of the time.
But, I will say that our current culture and recent events give me much reason to pause. Though I delight in the Lord and sense His blessing in my life personally, I fear that we as a nation/culture/world are consistently moving further away from Him. Some would quickly step up to their soap box to tell us all the reasons why “those people” are sending us (proverbially) “to hell in a handbasket”. But, whose fault is it, really?
To put it differently: Whose world is this? Who should be setting the cultural norms? Where does lasting change come from? Who will have the final say? (Note: the answers to these questions are not all the same.)
The following Scripture passages pretty much tell the story and answer these questions. I’ll let you read and absorb, then I’ll try to put them together. Please DO read them, this is my “weekly Word” post after all; you’ll get a good dose of the Word here!
Psalm 24:1 The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it
Isaiah 9:6-7 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.
Psalm 102:25-27 In the beginning You laid the foundations of the earth,
and the heavens are the work of Your hands.
They will perish, but You remain; they will all wear out like a garment.
Like clothing You will change them
and they will be discarded.
But You remain the same, and Your years will never end.
Daniel 2:20-22 “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever;
wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them.
He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.
He reveals deep and hidden things;
he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him.
Revelation 1:5-6 To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, 6and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.
Revelation 5:8,10 golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. . .You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”
Revelation 8:3-4 Another angel . . .was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the throne. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel’s hand.
Matthew 6:9-10 “This, then, is how you should pray:
” ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name,
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.
Revelation 22:17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!”
Here’s the story:
The earth, all of it, and all of the people in it belong to the LORD (Yahweh, the “I AM”). He has given the governmental authority to His Son Jesus. Jesus’ Kingdom is ever-expanding and ever-increasing on the earth. He’s not losing ground and He has never lost control. He is in the process of fully establishing His Kingdom, and in the End, it will be upon the Earth. Everything else is subject to change, but He will not. In fact, He will be the One to change the things that are not right.
However, He won’t rule this Earth alone. He has joined Himself to man. When He became a man, he made the eternal statement about His desire for God and man (us) to be in eternal partnership with Him. His desire is that we would partner with Him in bringing His Kingdom to earth – and how? Through (corporate) PRAYER (if this sounds familiar, you probably read this other post).
But, even more than that, if we look into the prophetic picture that God gave the apostle John in Revelation, we see the unfolding of the End Time drama. Many people are afraid of this book, though at the same time, more people than ever are convinced that we are living in the End Times. Beloved, this should not be! God has given us the script for what’s coming down, we can’t ignore it and hope it will all “pan out” in the end (we actually did a chapter by chapter study on the book of Revelation if you’re interested)!
What I find stunning as the events of the book of Revelation unfold, is what precedes some of the most dramatic moments of God establishing His righteousness: the prayers of the saints. One of the main catalysts that releases God’s power and reign on the Earth is His people partnering with Him in intercession! This is our role as “kingdom and priests”. As priests, we stand before God on behalf of man (intercession), and we stand before man on behalf of God (preaching/witnessing). As kings, we have the authority of The King to execute His decrees (His Word) and we do it in prayer! The increase of His government on the Earth (Isaiah 9) comes as more and more people submit to His Lordship AND partner with Him in the place of prayer.
Another thing that startles me as I look at the picture of God’s activity in the end-times, is this: the only Church we see is the praying Church. The people that reign with Him in that day are those who have learned NOW how to partner with Him in prayer. There is no other group pictured except those who have offered up incense of prayer in the past, and eternally continue to do so. This is the identity of those who overcome and who truly are “with Him” in the end.
And, when it truly all shakes out, we will all be of one heart, as the “bride” (Jesus’ eternal companion), in harmony with His Spirit, crying out (prayer), “Come Lord Jesus!”, and then, HE WILL COME!!
Oh, the majesty, the mystery and glory of prayer!