Back in 2005, we decided we would have a live Monday night worship
and prayer time on WKCL for twelve weeks. The presence of the Lord was so powerful and a significant percentage of the on-air
prayers were real. You could feel people praying across the city. One listener described how her family just sat still in
their living room after one of the broadcasts because the Holy Spirit had come into their home and they didn't want to move
or lose what had happened. In all honesty, Pastor Carl Wiggins, Sr. nor I had realized the impact of what
had just occurred in probably hundreds, if not thousands of homes across the city. We
were tampering with the power structure of the enemy and my naïveté was abounding. What was to follow was difficult. I can't
even begin to describe everything that was unleashed against both of our familes, especially
the extended parts, but it was unreal and surreal. The assaults were from without and from within and lasted 15 months
for both our families.
For example, one Sunday afternoon,
while Lisa and I rode with a dear family member and prayer partner, it was like other drivers were deliberately volunteering
to get in a car wreck with us; Near misses four times in that one day. And it wasn't our driving that was the culprit here.
It was insane. That Tuesday, that same family member actually ended up getting in a terrible
car wreck, seriously injuring a passenger, her grandmother, who sustained permanent brain damage and later had to be put in
a nursing home for 24 hour care. We missed it. An assignment had been made against her and we just wrote it off as people
independently acting on their own. She should have been covered in more prayer. A terrible
feeling came upon me, another morning, not long after this and immediately called prayer partners to begin praying. Forty
five minutes later, Carl Wiggins Jr. and his two sons were in a terrible car accident with serious injuries to his
youngest son. That they lived was a miracle.
life-threatening events, but there were other things, too many to go into, which touched relationships within our extended
family where the enemy was threatening. It got intense.
For some reason we thought that we could just go into thousands of homes, lead others into His presence and somehow
be without a real counter-attack. This world is spiritual. Everything is spiritual and that fact is
inescapable. The enemy's kingdom rests in the strongholds of pride (prayerlessness) within us all - both the lost and
saved. Neutrality is mere illusion, for Jesus said we are in any moment either for Him or against Him. We're too schiztso
as Christians, just like Peter, who in one moment is speaking for God and the next for Satan.
"This world is spiritual. Everything is spiritual and that fact is inescapable. The enemy's kingdom rests
in the strongholds of pride (prayerlessness) within us all - both the lost and saved."
That prayer broadcast
was like we dared to be free and wiggled our fingers outside bars only to have the evil Warden come with his iron rod and
break our fingers. "Don't you dare!" he screams! Oh, he will allow for jail cell Bible study which focuses on self.
He will will allow for melodramatic preaching from the pulpit, powerless programs, pride in performance, etc. But if we get
real and start seeking where reality (truth) sinks in, that is dangerous to his hold on people's lives. The moment we get
serious about seeking God, the god of this world is swift to reign us in with attacks and offers.
we can't control everything and God mercifully teaches us along the way, but what we often call faith in difficult times is
nothing more than lazy fatalism. We are Satan's prisoners more often than God's obedient liberators. This is our shame.
"We missed it. An assignment had been made
against her and we just wrote it off as people independently acting on their own. She should have been covered in
only answer is the repeated Biblical and historical precedents of mobilizing believers en masse so that the enemy
cannot find any one prideful face to put on a move of God. We cannot organize
revival, but can and should organize prayer meetings; Starting with the gatekeepers over the souls: The Pastors. The
time has come that we surround the enemy for a change with many people who love God. Jesus deserves this. And He's
been planning it for a long time. We're talking specifically about seeking God together and about the divinely destined
souls of Charleston. Thank God for the Bible Belt! Thank God for all the churches! They contain a lot of people who are being
primed in prayer.
"...the headline in our hearts went
from the Cross to being the move of God."
But look how our prideful indifference costs individuals. I've done it. You hear about
somebody on fire for Christ and because it isn't you, you respond at the table, "Praise the Lord and pass the salt please".
It's shameful and stupid. Pride makes us stupid. The enemy isolates any fire through the prideful indifference of our hearts.
An individual catches fire and it may spread to his family, but the enemy then isolates him through the pride of others as
well as his own pride. He gets tired of the rejection and says "Oh well, their not listening! I tried and they just didn't
listen." Then he gives himself license to quit, forgetting the heart of the Lord and the suffering of the Cross".
He never considers that people aren't responding because he is proud too, even though some of what is inside him is pure.
A lot of ex-messengers then take an offer to just go and build their own kingdom in Jesus' name.
costs churches too. A church catches fire, then the strategy works through the prideful indifference of other congregations
and the pride of that one church can be used against itself. As a teen, our church caught fire for nine months. There were
15 youth on fire and another 80 youth that followed that core group and they affected the church in a positive way. We prayed
till the early morning hours, still went to school with strength, witnessed and saw some amazing things. That church was filled
with God's presence for nine months and grew to a membership of over 1200 very quickly, forcing us to go to two services.
"We had fallen prey to the worship
of ourselves in Jesus name. This is actually a form or prayerlessness"
But the headline in our hearts went from the
Cross to being the move of God. And it was nine years later that we looked back and realized we had missed Him. We had fallen
prey to the worship of ourselves in Jesus name. This is actually a form of prayerlessness. I can remember the pastor saying
in the packed services: "This is the place!"
He was dead wrong. The Cross is the place. We suffered the same ole fate of the typical American congregation that was taken
with itself during a move of God. God
didn't intend to contain Himself to the arena of our religious pride. This is about the Person, not His power. He is Love.
Love knows no bounds. He intends Himself for every person and every congregation. We can never utter those words about another
Christian or congregation by saying that we don't need them for whatever reason or season; Even if they reject us in the moment,
because the head cannot say to the foot "I have no need of thee." If they accuse us of being proud, let us quickly
embrace that accusation as Jesus exhorted (Matthew 5:25) and lean on grace, because chances are, they see our arrogance before
we do and no move of God is pure with any humans in the mix. We contaminate God's move, but He is merciful to not cut us off.
Who are we to write anybody else off? The best we can say is that "We miss 'em on this one, but they are His and who
are we to judge?" We must hope that they will join us in the next effort or the following, even if they never get on
our bandwagon. Love is patiently persistent. If God begins a work in our hearts, it is His will for it to spread to others
so that they can become strong and aware of His love. This is where purity is found and grown.
"We can never utter those words about another Christian or congregation by saying that we don't
need them for whatever reason or season"
continually exhort one another to seek Him and Hebrews warns us to not forsake the corporate prayer meeting which is to be
the center of church life. But in American culture, the enemy constantly makes this offer: "Rest in your circumstances.
God has blessed you. You deserve it." And it is so subtle. At first it feels great because the enemy gives relief! He
unsuccessfully offered Jesus the whole, but only has to offer a tiny bit to us. You even make the arguments using Scripture
to give yourself that rest. But this is not the rest of the believer written about in Hebrews for it is not a rest in God.
It is delusional. There is a real part of me that hates to type those words, because they seem so gloomy and depressing, but
Elizabeth Elliott, who has known suffering, makes it clear that true joy and peace comes through obedience and this hard life
is intended by Sovereignty to force His children to see Him, His love and undeserved company and therein lies the rest our
souls so desperately need: At the feet of Rest Himself. He is our living Sabbath.
As a friend said to me last year, "Nobody told us when we were kids that Ring Wraithes (Tolkien) were
hot on our heels, trying to destroy us, but now that we're older and wiser, the battle is hard to ignore." And no, we
don't want to be swallowed in fear of that reality either; But it is real.
not confuse the persistence of the call to seek God with a religious and proud militancy. Yeah, as a human, I'm quite there
at times, but there is also something else you should pay attention to, for it is from the heart of Heaven. This is not militancy,
but urgency and intensity. Yep...I hate it a lot...this part of it. But what can we do? Give up? Quit? Shut up and quit annoying
people? These seeds being planted may grow in hard times and critical moments. Hearts are reading these e-mails. But if you're
a church leader, be sober about what you think your impact really is. Try moving your congregation toward prayer and you'll
find out just how real Satan is and how far we are from God.
died so we would pray. May we be haunted by the Cross until, in surrender, we find It's passion and comfort; Then a move of
God will come. But for now, the word is this: The time to seek Him together has come.