On January 9 of this year, I was in Tulsa Oklahoma for a prayer conference that I felt I was supposed to attend. During one of the sessions, I began to hear the Lord speak to my heart concerning some things that would take place. When God gives you a heads up, it’s not so you can begin to wonder and fear, but rather to prepare and by faith solidify in your heart the victory and triumph that will be lived in and had.
What I thought was interesting is as the Lord began to show me these things concerning the church, He brought to my remembrance scriptures that brought comfort and courage despite what had been seen. No matter what, I want you to know that God is ever working in the background for your good and benefit. He did not send His Son to die on the cross simply to give you a home after you die but rather to reinstate you to the place of glory that He intended from the beginning. It is all good news for the church, for we overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony.
Here is what the Lord spoke to me, “The harassment of the church will increase. A little here and a little there but it will increase and be politically justified. The church will be seen as a hindrance to the plan of those that are in positions of political power. They will see the church as a threat (which by the way is a good thing-Dustin) to the agenda. Freedoms will be slowly restricted by legislation with goals to ultimately be removed. It’s all about control.”
The Lord then took me to Acts 12:1-3, “Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church. Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword. (I want to add here that some political actions and population responses are the results of demonic influence.) And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded forth to seize Peter also. Now it was during the Days of Unleavened Bread.”
This is where the Lord began to take me to several verses to show me the needed response of the church concerning this warning. The Lord said, “But God’s hand will also be stretched out and will not be shortened, it will reach over His church and bring protection, safety, and guidance; divine providence.”
Jeremiah 32:17 says, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard (difficult) for You.”
Numbers 11:23 reads, “And the Lord said to Moses, ‘Has the Lord’s arm been shortened? Now you shall see whether what I say will happen to you or not.’”
Matthew 16:18-19 declares, “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
The Lord concluded with this encouragement, “Satan will not restrain or hold back the church in this time. Keys have been given of authority, the name of Jesus, the ability of the Holy Spirit to break the hold of the enemy and bring freedom to My people and total liberty to the captive.” Remember, we are not the problem, instead we are the solution to the chaos and oppression that is in the world. On December 4, 2020, the Lord also said to me, “I will build My church, so allow the theme of liberty to be used as lives are brought from dark to light. With such operation My glory will manifest, and the miraculous will be seen.”
When the pressure and persecution are evident, our response is simple. Pray, Praise, and Preach/Proclaim the goodness of God in the land of the living.
I want to leave you with the world’s action and the church’s expected response seen in scripture.
The world: Acts 4:29, “Now, Lord, look on their threats…”
The church: Acts 4:30-31, “By stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of your holy Servant Jesus. And when they had prayed, the place where they had assembled together was shaken…”
The world: Acts 8:1, “At that time a great persecution arose…”
The church: Acts 8:4, “Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.”
The world: Acts 12:1, “Herod stretched out his hand to harass some from the church…”
The church: Acts 12:5, “…but constant prayer was offered to God for him (Peter) by the church.”
The result of the prayer, praise, and proclaiming/preaching of the word of God brought divine intervention and deliverance. Even Saul who brought havoc to the church was radically saved bringing great spiritual awaking and momentum to the body of Christ. Folks, no matter what, we win in the end!