This morning the Lord woke me up before my alarm clock with a phrase ‘destructive storms’ which I found in psalm 57. What a perfect verse for these days we are facing! And note the tune which David instructs it to be sung to:
Psa 57:1 To the Chief Musician; [set to the tune of] “Do Not Destroy.” A record of memorable thoughts of David when he fled from Saul in the cave. BE MERCIFUL and gracious to me, O God, be merciful and gracious to me, for my soul takes refuge and finds shelter and confidence in You; yes, in the shadow of Your wings will I take refuge and be confident until calamities and destructive storms are passed. Psa 57:2 I will cry to God Most High, Who performs on my behalf and rewards me [Who brings to pass His purposes for me and surely completes them]!
There is no other place to find true refuge. The shelters of man can be destroyed by wind, water or earthquake. All that man has erected crumbles in the face of the power of the disasters unfolding day after day on this earth we live in. But what we must remember is that these are birth pangs and the intensity and close succession of them indicate that the crowning of the Head is at the door. One of the names which the Feast of Trumpets is known by is ‘The Crowning of the King’ and we are 2 weeks away from this date. So as David says, we must not only take refuge in Him alone but we must be CONFIDENT in Him. We must cry to Him Who brings to pass His purposes for us and surely completes them. Yes natural calamities are occurring like dominoes falling, but they are occurring to the hoof beat of the King of Glory riding in.
Psa 24:7 Lift up your heads, O you gates; and be lifted up, you age-abiding doors, that the King of glory may come in. Psa 24:8 Who is the King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.
As winds roar and the earth shakes, we have to see with our spiritual eyes beyond the natural realm to what is occurring in the spiritual realm. The ancient gates of the nations are being shaken and the King of Glory, mighty in battle, is coming in to reap the final harvest of souls along with His co-laborers, the Bondslave Bride.
I am always amazed at the ways of the Lord. Before I read the news this morning, I took communion and asked Him where He wanted me to read and He said, “Read Haggai again”. I was a bit nonplussed because I had studied it thoroughly at the beginning of Elul when I did my message ‘Repentance and Resurrection Power’. The Spirit highlighted certain verses which, when I read about the Mexico earthquake after my quiet time, were a startling confirmation of what He is saying right now:
Hag 2:5 According to the promise that I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt, so My Spirit stands and abides in the midst of you; fear not. Hag 2:6 For thus says the Lord of hosts: Yet once more, in a little while, I will shake and make tremble the [starry] heavens, the earth, the sea, and the dry land; Hag 2:7 And I will shake all nations and the desire and the precious things of all nations shall come in, and I will fill this house with splendor, says the Lord of hosts.
Saints, don’t be afraid. He is in the midst of you just as He promised and you are not going to face anything that is coming without His stable shielding presence. Yes, He is shaking the heavens, the earth, the sea and the dry land but He has definite purpose in it. He is shaking both the natural realm and all the nations in order to cause the precious things worldwide to come in – and just what are those precious things? They are the souls of men, women and children! You may have been praying for years for the harvest to come in; for your unsaved loved ones to come to the Lord. Well, now, right in the midst of the shakings, is the time when the things that formally made them feel secure are removed and their hearts are open to hear Truth. Have understanding of the times, precious saints. Seize the opportunity to speak boldly of the only place to find safe refuge. Tell them of the Rock of Ages Who is an unshakable foundation in the midst of earthquake, hurricane or flood:
Psa 46:1 GOD IS our Refuge and Strength [mighty and impenetrable to temptation], a very present and well-proved help in trouble. Psa 46:2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains be shaken into the midst of the seas, Psa 46:3 Though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling and tumult. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!
Now is not the time to cower in fear and act like those who have no god but themselves. Now is the time to arise and shine with the glory of the Lord upon you as the peoples come to the brightness of your rising amidst the dense darkness that is upon the nations. Now is the time to be a lighthouse for the tossing boats of lost humanity. You have already died and your life is hidden with Christ in God (Col 3:3) so there is no need to fear the loss of your own life. You are in the shadow of His wings. There is no safer place to be. You are part of the heavenly city which has been built by no human hand. Therefore the gale-force winds of earth cannot remove you from this position. You have within your earthen vessel the Spirit of the Living God Whose urgent purpose it is at this very hour to reap the harvest fields which stand white before your eyes. Waste no opportunity each day to speak of God’s saving power and the power of the Blood. The souls of men are ripe for Kingdom harvest.
You may have pictured yourself bringing people to the Lord in sunny meadows while birds sang overhead but God chose you to be here in this hour of world history. He has positioned you with geographical precision to take part in a harvest that will rival every other through Church ages. Snatch souls from the clutches of satan amidst the chaos unfolding as men endeavour to secure their temporal security. Let the love of the Bridegroom blaze in your heart as He hones your outlook to His laser-sharp focus. As the kingdoms of this world shake and fall, step in amongst the debris and retrieve the precious things of the earth; the souls which are already paid for with such an incredible price. Entrust your wellbeing to Him who is unable to fail you and work while day is still here; while the last rays of light illuminate what is truly of real value before your eyes. He is with you. Be still and know; quieten your pounding heart and recognise that HE IS GOD and all is unfolding as ordained so that He alone is exalted in the earth!
Psa 46:6 The nations raged, the kingdoms tottered and were moved; He uttered His voice, the earth melted. Psa 46:7 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our Refuge (our Fortress and High Tower). Selah Psa 46:8 Come, behold the works of the Lord, Who has wrought desolations and wonders in the earth. Psa 46:10 Let be and be still, and know (recognize and understand) that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations! I will be exalted in the earth!
I noticed something significant as I reread Haggai this morning. God said He will be doing two things at once in the day of shaking:
Hag 2:21 …I will shake the heavens and the earth; Hag 2:22 and I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the nations…
Hag 2:23 In that day, says the LORD of hosts, will I take you, O Zerubbabel, My servant, the son of Shealtiel, says the LORD, and will make you as a signet; for I have chosen you, says the LORD of hosts.’
‘In that day…’, at the same time as the shaking and the overthrowing of the kingdoms of men, in the midst of destroying the strength of kingdoms of the earth, God is taking those He has chosen and enduing them with the same authority a king’s signet ring carries. He is not only shaking; He is taking and making! (someone should write a rap song about this!) In these unsettling times, people need someone who speaks with authority, not like the countless scribes who record the natural happenings for the media daily. People need someone who has understanding of the times to speak so they can receive understanding and know what to do! In one report I read concerning hurricane Irma’s approach, my heart was moved by what the simple fisherman said:
Haiti’s northern coast was on hurricane alert, although in the town of Cap-Haitien residents appeared mostly unaware of the impending storm. “It’s thanks to word of mouth that we always learn about these things,” said Josue Rosse, as he crouched next to a tree trunk that he was digging out to make a boat. “We live on the edge of the sea but no one in authority has come to tell us what’s what.”
Did you hear that? “No one in authority has come to tell us what’s what!” Precious Bride of Christ, people everywhere are perishing for lack of knowledge and now it is urgent that someone who walks in authority comes and gives them understanding of the times. It’s not time to talk sport or indulge in vain or foolish talk. The power of life and death is in your tongue. Make the most of the time. Buy up every opportunity to swing the conversation towards the day of the Lord. Weighty words spoken in love, carrying authority and light to those who cannot see where they are going are what are needed now. Die to your own reputation before men and be bold. Souls are at stake.
On Tuesday a 16 year old young man called Zander died while surfing the waves accompanying Irma’s arrival. When I first read about this, I thought to myself, “How foolish!” but this morning I am seeing more clearly. This is actually a prophetic sign. Zander comes from the name Alexander, which means ‘defender of men, warrior’. Yes, Beloved, you will have to lay down your life for the cause of the Kingdom; to ride the spiritual wave with the original Defender of Men in this season. Your life is never going to be the same. Just as a pregnant woman’s life changes radically once the birth is complete. God has purposed to bring something forth in and through you right in the midst of what is unfolding on the world scene. He is looking for radical laid-down warriors who are willing to climb onboard without fear.
Irma’s winds are so powerful that they were setting off earthquake monitors and that was the day before the Mexico earthquake! While everyone in Mexico watched the progress of Irma decimating island after island. They had no knowledge that disaster was about to strike right under their own feet! Someone showed a small child a picture of the location on the map where this magnitude 8.1 earthquake occurred. Immediately the child said, “That looks like a shofar!” Out of the mouths of babes! And the earthquake occurred right at the position the mouth would blow on a shofar! The Lord is uttering His voice. He is sounding the warning shofar that the Day of the Lord is at hand and using the country of Mexico with its shofar shape to do it. Who will interpret His message to the countless number who stand at the brink of a Christ-less eternity? The quake even rocked Mexico City’s landmark Angel of Independence monument. The message is simple – this is not the time for prideful independence from God! Repent and return to the Lord in these days because everything that can be shaken WILL be shaken. Only what cannot be shaken will remain. It is no use trusting in anything that the pride of man has built. Only the Eternal God is a safe refuge for our souls. Listen to what Isaiah tells us will unfold:
Isa 2:10 Enter into the rock and hide yourself in the dust from before the terror of the Lord and from the glory of His majesty. Isa 2:11 The proud looks of man shall be brought low, and the haughtiness of men shall be humbled; and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. Isa 2:12 For there shall be a day of the Lord of hosts against all who are proud and haughty and against all who are lifted up–and they shall be brought low …Isa 2:17 Then the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be brought low; and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. Isa 2:18 And the idols shall utterly pass away (be abolished). Isa 2:19 Then shall [the stricken, deprived of all in which they had trusted] go into the caves of the rocks and into the holes of the earth from before the terror and dread of the Lord and from before the glory of His majesty, when He arises to shake mightily and terribly the earth.
And most of all, daily, moment by moment while the birthpangs continue, anchor your mind on Him, Bride of Christ, as you bring in the harvest of precious souls:
Isa 26:3 You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You. Isa 26:4 So trust in the Lord forever; for the Lord God is an everlasting Rock [the Rock of Ages].