Jesus said - “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ “And in the morning, ‘There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times?” Matthew 16:2, 3
We are in process of crossing a historical threshold in the history of the United States of America. We are in the midst of going from one room in the Spirit to the next in God’s dealings with the nations. God’s plumbline has been dropped into the midst of the nations to see what character of building materials we have been using. Evaluation time has come. As we round the corner to the strategic, pivotal year 2000, the cracks in our personal, family, church and nation will show forth to determine if our present foundation needs jack hammered, torn up and repoured, or if they are solid enough for God’s Last Days House to be built upon.
A time of pressure is upon us. These will be“days of hardship and days of hope”. Times of shock and quaking change are imminent! For the past five years certain sectors of the body of Christ have been experiencing “times of refreshing”. But the purpose of these times of refreshing are about to be revealed - refreshed to be strengthened for what lies ahead. We have been experiencing a Gentle Awakening; next it will be the Rude Awakening; and then, if the Lord has the fullness of His will accomplished, this will be followed by a Great Awakening.
Discerning the Times
What time is it anyway? What is the prophetic pulse indicating? Recently, at meetings where I speak or have attended, fire alarms go off in the buildings. One night, when I was on the road in California, the fire alarm went off right outside my hotel room long and loud two times in the middle of the night. Once here in Nashville, TN, right at the close of my message, the fire alarm went off in the rented school building. While in Sunderland, England, at the close of the last nights session, the fire alarm went off! What is God trying to say to us?!
Wake Up calls are being sent through the Body of Christ. Storm Warnings are being issued to the church. The voice of the Lord is beginning to rumble, but soon it will begin to thunder! It’s time to build storm cellars of prayer (Psalms 91 and 57) where we will be protected under the shadow of His wings.
A Word of Warning
In April of 1998 the city of Nashville, TN was struck by two tornadoes. It was an alarming and shocking experience with much devastation. The morning after the storms, the voice of the Holy Spirit came to me and said, “If Nashville does not repent, another storm will come.” There was an urgency in the message.
Later in the summer the voice of the Holy Spirit came to me again and described three things that Nashville needed cleansing of that all started with the letter “I”. He spoke to me that there was mixture in the worship - it is called idolatry. Secondly, He spoke to me concerning the historic place of the independent spirit of pride. Thirdly, I heard a strange phrase that stuck with me, increase for capital gain. (My understanding is that this deals with taking the blessings and prosperity of God just for the sake of selfish pursuits.)
Many of us in Nashville, believe that was simply a “Word of Warning” to our city. A dear friend and co-laborer of mine named David Fitzpatrick, has written an entire prophetic interpretation related to the day the storms hit Nashville called The Voice of God on Deaf Ears that you can look at for detail on this matter. Clearly, the Lord is sending warnings ahead of time! Many other regions, cities and nations are receiving similar wake up calls. But will we respond?
Exposing the Enemies Schemes
While God is using pressure to test our foundations, the enemy attempts to toss in his two cents worth and create confusion and muddy the waters. In recent weeks, a demonic “spirit of anxiety” has been unleashed against the saints. When this goes undetected and not cleansed, it brings in it’s bigger brother named “panic attack”. After this is released the door is open to it’s big cousin named “terror”. There is a confrontation with this “spirit of fear” in it’s various forms being waged at this very hour. In these hours, we will need true discernment like never before!
But the Lord has the antidote! Call 911! Yes, I said call 911. Psalms 91:1 promises, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.” The Lord is our defense - call on His name! Let’s agree with Psalms 94:1, 2, “O Lord, God of vengeance; God of vengeance, shine forth! Rise up, O Judge of the earth.”
The prophet Nahum said it this way, “The Lord is slow is anger and great in power, and the Lord will by no means leave the guilty unpunished. In whirlwind and storm is His way, and clouds are the dust beneath His feet.” (1:3) But his admonishment does not stop there, it continues with a promise in verse seven, “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knows those who take refuge in Him.”
Days of Hardship - Days of Hope
Will we be prepared? Whether it is adverse, strange weather patterns, Year 2000 Computer Bug, global economic recession, or the U. S. materialistic Titanic Ship going under, these times of hardship can become great days of hope. Isaiah said, “For behold, darkness will cover the earth, and deep darkness the peoples; but the Lord will rise upon you, and His glory will appear upon you.” (Isaiah 60: 2)
Yes, let’s receive the wake up call and get ready! Let’s put on our gospel shoes and be ready to tell others of the hope that resides within us. Let us overcome anxiety by a revelation of the Father’s great love. Let the Storm Warnings be heard loud and clear. But let us also rejoice - for the Days of Hardship will lead to Days of a Great Awakening!