Posts Tagged ‘Fear of God’


Scarlet Cord Memorial of Rahab

The book of Joshua is a Mighty Book of Faith in God and His ability. An insignificant people face insurmountable obstacles and enemies and all they have is a willingness to believe and obey an unseen God! That is the very essence of faith, for faith is at its strongest when we are at our weakest. The Power of God is never wasted on trifling matters. He delights in answering the call of people facing impossible situations.

Joshua Sends Spies to JerichoIn Chapter 2 we find Joshua sending a couple of young men to spy out the city of Jericho. I ask, why, Joshua? Remember the last time spies were sent out? Didn’t God tell you to be Strong and of Good Courage, for you would overtake the land? This is the mystery of a life aligned with the Holy Spirit’s purpose. When you align yourself with the Holy Spirit, He will lead you do things which make no sense to a rational thinking man.

Surely you have made decisions that at the time seemed stupid or even irrational, yet God used that decision and the events that resulted to dramatically impact your life and the lives of those around you. I remember one particularly irrational decision I made:

After my brothers had voted me out of Tompkins Industries in 1988, I had gone to work for Kenneth R Johnson Co. It was a very difficult 2 years financially because I had taken a 40% cut in pay and with no savings tried to keep my wife and six children fed and clothed. In the meantime I built up the hydraulic adapter business for KR Johnson from $20,000 a year to over 1.5 million dollars a year in little over 18 months. The owner was an old oil man with a bank and real estate holdings. This was kind of a sideline for him. He offered to sell the company I had built up for him for no money down but with a note of $1,000,000. But there were a lot of strings attached. At first I was chomping at the bit because it would mean a lot of good things for my young family. I could realize the rewards of my labors. But it also meant that I would really be butting heads with my two brothers. It also meant that the family would not be restored. We were all set to close the next day and I just had a feeling like none I had ever had before. I can’t explain it, but it was very gut wrenching. I am one to honor my word, but I told Lydia that I just could not go through with it. So I called John and told him I was not going through with the purchase and was quitting my job.

Boy you should have heard the fur fly. I experienced more grief from that decision and added to the grief caused by my brothers I should have taken my life. Before I had a little debt and a little income. Now I had a lot of debt and no income.  Plus a teenage driver. God used that moving of His Spirit to affect my family’s inheritance. It worked to the saving of my family, because that combined with my grandmother’s death got my brothers back together. It brought my parents back into my children’s lives.

In God’s Inheritance that He wants us to claim, our FAMILY is always in view. So many families are falling apart because of putting fleshly pride and possessions ahead of the family. Yet God wants our families, all of them. I could have made the business work, but God would have brought leanness to my soul because my family would have been destroyed.

In sending the two spies to Jericho, God saved an entire family! Are you working to toward the salvation of your family? Have you let selfish ambition, pride, possessions get in the way of your love for your family, your concern for their souls, for God’s work in their life? You are losing your inheritance. Gaining inheritance will always involve faith to follow God’s leadership. He will never, never lead you to put money, possessions, reputation, fleshly rights before your parents, your siblings, your wife, your children, your extended family. God has the inheritance of a Godly heritage in view and claiming that inheritance will always involve death to self and following God by faith. Faith in Him doing the impossible.

We Now Meet A Young Woman Named Rahab.

Meet Rahab the ProstituteJoshua 2:1-7 (NKJV) Now Joshua the son of Nun sent out two men from Acacia Grove to spy secretly, saying, “Go, view the land, especially Jericho.” So they went, and came to the house of a harlot named Rahab, and lodged there. And it was told the king of Jericho, saying, “Behold, men have come here tonight from the children of Israel to search out the country.” So the king of Jericho sent to Rahab, saying, “Bring out the men who have come to you, who have entered your house, for they have come to search out all the country.” Then the woman took the two men and hid them. So she said, “Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they were from. And it happened as the gate was being shut, when it was dark, that the men went out. Where the men went I do not know; pursue them quickly, for you may overtake them.” (But she had brought them up to the roof and hidden them with the stalks of flax, which she had laid in order on the roof.) Then the men pursued them by the road to the Jordan, to the fords. And as soon as those who pursued them had gone out, they shut the gate.

Rahab is not your typical gal. She is a harlot, a prostitute. There is no disguising what Rahab did. Both the language here and in the New Testament indicates she was a whore. Now you can speculate why these young men went into her place, but I think the language and Rahab’s statements indicate it was the easiest place to hide without being too conspicuous. Obviously these men looked like out of towners to be so easily discovered. So they sought sleep in a place that normally would not look too suspicious. They were not there very long before the King’s soldiers came knocking, looking for them. Obviously their lives were in danger.

This Prostitute, Rahab, Lied.

Rahab LiedNow I’m not condoning lying. God says lying lips are an abomination to Him. In her defense, she knew not God’s Laws, and was merely doing what she thought was best to spare the lives of the two young men. Does God excuse small sin to prevent a greater sin? I don’t believe so, as sin is sin. But the greatest evil that God hates is when we go our own way. Rahab was not going her own way when she lied. Something was happening in her heart, and that led her to protect the lives of the two young God-Followers.

We See Two God Events Taking Place In Her Heart.

We hear a phrase quite often nowadays. It’s a God Thing. I just used a God Event. I could have said God Thing and you all probably would have said, sure I understand. A God thing-that’s when something happens that only God could have done or manipulated. Something happens in your life causing you to do this or take this job or etc and you look back and say “That was a God Thing”. I just want to offer you a caution. God is at work every day of our life. He doesn’t’ just do God Things now and then. In fact, He wants us to every day say, wow God, thanks, wow God, you are so awesome. The flat tire, the sunset, the storm, the person who smiled at us, the person who cut us off, all of it is a God Thing!

Paul prayed that we would know the Love of Jesus Christ that surpasses our knowledge, that we might be filled with the fullness of God! If you are filled with the fullness of God everything is a God Thing! This is what the Hebrews were bringing into Canaan. They were bringing the Fullness of God into a God Empty Land. And Whenever GOD EMPTY People Encounter GOD FILLED people, God wants to see happen what happened in the life of RAHAB.

1. Rahab FEARED the GOD of the Hebrews.

Rahab Feared God of the HebrewsJoshua 2:8-11 (NKJV) Now before they lay down, she came up to them on the roof, and said to the men: “I know that the Lord has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you, for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.

In an age before CNN, the news still traveled fairly quickly and accurately. The people of Jericho had heard about the Jewish Nation, how they had crossed the Red Sea on dry ground. They had heard about the destruction of Pharaoh’s Army. They had heard about the destruction of two mighty Kings, Sihon and Og. They heard how they had killed everyone, and left no survivors, not even children.

  • Deuteronomy 2:24-25 (NKJV) “‘Rise, take your journey, and cross over the River Arnon. Look, I have given into your hand Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his land. Begin to possess it, and engage him in battle. This day I will begin to put the dread and fear of you upon the nations under the whole heaven, who shall hear the report of you, and shall tremble and be in anguish because of you.’
  • Deuteronomy 2:31-34 (NKJV) And the Lord said to me, ‘See, I have begun to give Sihon and his land over to you. Begin to possess it, that you may inherit his land.’ Then Sihon and all his people came out against us to fight at Jahaz. And the Lord our God delivered him over to us; so we defeated him, his sons, and all his people. We took all his cities at that time, and we utterly destroyed the men, women, and little ones of every city; we left none remaining.
  • Deuteronomy 11:25 (NKJV) No man shall be able to stand against you; the Lord your God will put the dread of you and the fear of you upon all the land where you tread, just as He has said to you.

Listen to her fears:

  • We are afraid because of you.
  • All the inhabitants are faint-hearted.
  • Our hearts melted;
  • Their courage vanished.

She concluded in her heart that the Lord God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath. To Rahab, He who is invisible suddenly became visible because of the presence of the Jews.

Fear Should Open Our Eyes to See God!

Fear Opens the Eyes to See GodMen do different things in response to fear. Some run away, some give up and commit suicide, some relish the fear and channel it into a fight. Rahab allowed the fear of her heart to open her eyes to see God! FEAR SHOULD OPEN OUR EYES TO SEE GOD! When Sennacherib threatened to invade Judah and King Hezekiah with his considerably larger army, Hezekiah allowed his fears to open his eyes to the power of God. Listen to his prayer in 2 Kings 19:14:

2 Kings 19:14-19 (NKJV) And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord, and spread it before the Lord. Then Hezekiah prayed before the Lord, and said: “O Lord God of Israel, the One who dwells between the cherubim, You are God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. Incline Your ear, O Lord, and hear; open Your eyes, O Lord, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God. Truly, Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands, and have cast their gods into the fire; for they were not gods, but the work of men’s hands–wood and stone. Therefore they destroyed them. Now therefore, O Lord our God, I pray, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the Lord God, You alone.”

What fears do you face? What foes are at your doorstep? If you trust in Jesus as your Savior, allow them to open your eyes to almighty God. Allow your fears to drive you to trust in God and God alone. Perfect love casts out fear. Rahab is about to meet perfect love – the love represented by the scarlet cord.

2. Rahab’s FEAR led her to FAITH in the God of the Hebrews.

Joshua 2:12-21 (NKJV) [Now therefore, I beg you, swear to me by the Lord, since I have shown you kindness, that you also will show kindness to my father’s house, and give me a true token, and spare my father, my mother, my brothers, my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death.” So the men answered her, “Our lives for yours, if none of you tell this business of ours. And it shall be, when the Lord has given us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with you.”] Then she let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was on the city wall; she dwelt on the wall. And she said to them, “Get to the mountain, lest the pursuers meet you. Hide there three days, until the pursuers have returned. Afterward you may go your way.” So the men said to her: “We will be blameless of this oath of yours which you have made us swear, unless, when we come into the land, you bind this line of scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and unless you bring your father, your mother, your brothers, and all your father’s household to your own home. So it shall be that whoever goes outside the doors of your house into the street, his blood shall be on his own head, and we will be guiltless. And whoever is with you in the house, his blood shall be on our head if a hand is laid on him. And if you tell this business of ours, then we will be free from your oath which you made us swear.” Then she said, “According to your words, so be it.” And she sent them away, and they departed. And she bound the scarlet cord in the window.

Rahab had Faith in GodShe knew that God would cause the Hebrews to prevail against the mighty city Jericho. Her fear had led her to see the Invisible and she knew He would prevail. She boldly told the young men to promise to save her and her family. She had faith that they could save her family. She had faith that God was powerful enough to protect her! This coming from a prostitute, one whom the world rejected, used and abused, yet she believed there was a God who could love her and her family.

Rahab Fell into the Hebrews 11:6 Principal:

TO PLEASE GOD, WE MUST BELIEVE TWO THINGS: FIRST, THAT HE IS & SECOND, THAT HE IS A REWARDER OF THOSE WHO DILIGENTLY SEEK HIM!

Hebrews 11_6 Without FaithHere was a woman with a bad reputation, with no important status in the world, and all of a sudden the future of Israel is bound up in her faith. With God, there are no special privileges because of who you are, or what you do. We all stand before God with the common ground of faith. There is a little child over there with more faith in God than a wizened old preacher. There is a young teenager with more faith than a dying saint. God does not call good people to follow Him. God does not call perfect people to Him. He calls flawed people, but the one thing we must have to come to God is FAITH! This lowly prostitute became great in the eyes of God because of her faith in Him. That is why she is listed in Hebrews 11.

Hebrews 11:31 (NKJV) By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.

Her fear of Almighty God and her faith in His power to save her led her to choose to protect these two young men rather than give them up to the authorities.

This is why Peter and John told the authorities in Jerusalem: Acts 4:19  But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. Rahab chose to fear God rather than man, and so she protected the two Jewish men. Who do you fear? We have many, many fears in this world. Yet our fears should lead us to faith in the Power of God to KEEP us, and to Work His Perfect Will in our lives.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18

Archeologists have discovered that Jericho at this time was probably at the peak of their prosperity and safety. The walls were the most fortified in Canaan. Water was plentiful from underground springs. Crops were abundant. There was no human way this city could fall and be destroyed. Yet this woman was afraid of the power of God, and that fear led her heart to choose to believe in God rather than the power of her civil government.  Who is your faith in? What is your faith in?

When Fear Produces Faith It Always Encounters the Grace of God

3. Rahab Found the Grace of God

Rahab Found Grace of GodJoshua 6:25 (NKJV) And Joshua spared Rahab the harlot, her father’s household, and all that she had. So she dwells in Israel to this day, because she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.

Fear of the Lord that leads to Faith in His Provision ALWAYS brings one into the Marvelous GRACE of God! Look at what the Grace of God brought into this prostitute’s life:

  • She Found Freedom
  • She Found A New Family (Joshua 6:25; Matt 1:5; Ruth 4:21)
    • She Went From Sinner to Saint
    • She Went From Being the Cursed Of God to Being a Child of God
    • She Went From The Dying In A War To Participating In A Wedding. (Revelation 19:7-9)
  • She Found A New Fame. (Matthew 1:5, Hebrews 11:31)
    • She Went From The House Of Shame To The Bible Hall Of Fame.
    • That Scarlet Cord was a Memorial for the Hebrews to See. To Save.
    • The Scarlet Memorial Begins at the Cross and Runs Past Present & Future

No one lies outside the possibilities of God’s grace!

scarlet cordWhy A Scarlet Cord? Was it something peculiar to her profession? It was obviously something she had on hand. It became the salvation of the two young men, and it became the salvation of Rahab and her entire family. The Scarlet Cord represented the sins of her former life. Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as wool. The Blood of Jesus cleanses the vilest sinner and makes them clean, set apart, and usable for Holy God’s purposes.

Look at What the Grace of God Accomplished

Rahab met a nice Jewish man named Salmon who loved her and accepted her completely, just the way God accepts and loves all those who come to Him through His Son. God blessed her with children. In fact, her oldest boy was Boaz, who gave such grace to Ruth. She was the Great grandmother of Jesse, the father of King David. The Grace of God in Rahab’s life extends to King David, all the way to the birth of Jesus Christ, and all the way to my New Birth! What a testimony of right response to fear!

Matthew 1:5-6 (NKJV) Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David the king. David the king begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah.

  • Hebrews 7:25 (NIV) Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.,

What a heritage because one woman chose to let her fear draw her into the matchless grace of God. That Wonderful grace found root in the heart of her son Boaz, who loved a young poor, widow woman who also feared God.

The Scarlet Memorial is a Memorial to God’s Grace

Scarlet Cord is a MemorialGod’s Holy Spirit was working in the people of Jericho. He was giving them an opportunity to turn to Him. Of the several thousand inhabitants, only one woman along with her family saw a ‘GOD THING’. She is the only one who opened her heart to seek after this Almighty God. The picture of God’s Grace is such that it is able to bring beauty into the ugliest life. Those lives that the world considers most decrepit, most destroyed, most likely to be cast aside are the lives that God can make most valuable, most beautiful. This is not to minimize sin. Yet when we learn of something someone once was, we recoil, we say no way, but there is no sin that the Grace of God cannot conquer. Where sin abounds, grace much more abounds. God was bringing His people into their inheritance, a place of rest. Too many Christians are running around all worried, frustrated, angry, upset, acting as if there is no Almighty God who is working in their lives. Rahab, a sinner in the world, found rest in God because she trusted in the Scarlet Cord.

You say you trust in the Scarlet Memorial of Jesus death on the cross, yet you run around as if there was no resurrection, there was no power of God to conquer sin and Satan and this world. Rahab could say I know this God. He is all Powerful. He will keep me safe. He will save me! No matter the quaking of the walls, no matter the screams of those around me, no matter the fainting hearts of mighty men, I will rest in the power of Jehovah God!

Do You Have a Scarlet Memorial in Your Life?

Do You Have Scarlet Cord MemorialThe Lord is after getting us inwardly resting in HIM. Unrest, anxiety, is ever the ground of defeat. Uncertainty about the Lord brings weakness and defeat; the Lord sets great value on BELIEVING GOD – faith in GOD. In the list of the heroes of faith in Heb. 11, the Holy Spirit records Rahab the harlot, and links her with Abraham in James; she believed God and leapt out of ungodliness into righteousness, because her fear led her to believe God and she put her faith into action. Rahab was the key to Jericho and Jericho is the key to the land. That is the kind of key He uses. He uses the Key of Restful Faith!

Let us Remember the Blood of JesusThe Scarlet Thread runs through the Bible. It is a Memorial to our Savior and His precious blood. How are you responding to the pressures of this life? Is there a Memorial in your life, a Scarlet Cord of the Saviors Blood?

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jason-bourne

Jason Bourne is my kind of hero. He is a man with an awful past, a trained assassin who has lost his memory. I like him because he is like a maniacal energizer bunny, he just keeps on killing and killing. He can kill a man with a bic pen, he can kill a man just by singing “Makes me feel like a woman”. In the Bourne movies, he is after the men who made him what he is, and they are out to kill him. It is but another movie showing how corrupt our government is, and it’s subtle message is to trust no one!

reagan-government-helpRonald Reagan said the most terrifying words in the English language “I’m from the Government & I’m here to help you”. Indeed many in America regard the Federal Government, in fact any government, with scorn and contempt. I confess that my attitude has been wrong on several occasions. But God has issued the Scourne Ultimatum to Christians. (I made the spelling like Bourne)

SCORN: lack of respect accompanied by a feeling of intense dislike. Similar to contempt. To show scorn for the court is to be held in contempt.

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. Psalms 1:1 (KJV)

The Scourne Ultimatum applies to Being Blessed. If you want to have God’s Blessing in your life You must not sit with those who scorn God’s Ways. If we as a Church want God’s blessings on our efforts to grow and reach out and serve, we must not be Scorning God’s Ways nor God’s Government.

Part of the Scourne Ultimatum is that not only do you miss out on God’s Blessing and Power, but you also lose God’s ability to keep you from temptation. Those that scorn authorities reserve special judgment for themselves:

then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries, 2 Peter 2:9-10 (NKJV)

god-over-beltonWell, you say, God isn’t governing Belton (or your city, your country…)! Oh, Yes He Is!

For the kingdom is the LORD’S: and he is the governor among the nations. Psalms 22:28 (KJV)

God is even governing Cass County. He is governing Peculiar, Cleveland, Raymore. God has ordained our civil government, our civil authority.

God’s Directive for Christians is found in Romans 13: 3-7

For rulers are not to be feared by those who do good, but by those who do evil. Would you like to be unafraid of those in authority? Then do what is good, and they will praise you, because they are God’s servants working for your own good. But if you do evil, then be afraid of them, because their power to punish is real. They are God’s servants and carry out God’s punishment on those who do evil. For this reason you must obey the authorities—not just because of God’s punishment, but also as a matter of conscience. That is also why you pay taxes, because the authorities are working for God when they fulfill their duties. Pay, then, what you owe them; pay them your personal and property taxes, and show respect and honor for them all. Romans 13:3-7 (TEV)

Our civil authorities are the ministers of God. The word used is δικονς. The same word we get ‘deacon’ from. Civil Authorities are God’s deacons. We are to give honor and respect to ALL Civil authorities, not just some of them. They are all deacons of God!

burris-confirmedThe impeachment trial for the Governor Blagojevich of Illinois is over. He is out of office. While still Governor he appointed a replacement for now President Barack Obama. The Congress at first said they would never approve the person he appointed. They changed their mind and approved now Senator Burris. Why? You can speculate about why, but they did the honorable thing. They honored the office of Governor that Mr Blagojevich held. He may be a dishonorable person, he was even impeached, but while he was in office, the citizens of Illinois, the United States Senate honored the office that he represented.

Civil Authorities are ordained by God. They are His servants, His deacons. If you give your heart to God and allow His truth to guide your life, then every time you see a policeman, firefighter, councilman, mayor, state legislator, governor, judge, congressman, senator, or any other person in a branch of government, you should find respect and honor welling up in your heart. This is the fear of the Lord residing in your heart. That fear leads you to honor God and those authorities He has ordained. The way most of us encounter civil authority is by those flashing lights in our rear view mirror.

77-impalaI remember driving to Springfield one time near 1980 or 81. We were going to Branson for a little family vacation. We were in a 1978 or 79 Chevy Impala. Big back seat. We had at least four kids then. The baby was up front but the three boys were in the back. It was late at night, the kids were asleep, and one was laying in the back under the window, two were sprawled in the back seat. You looked in our car and it was all kids.

Well, I got caught speeding. The officer came to the window and said his usual, I said I’m sorry that I was speeding and I thanked him for doing his job. He goes back and then comes back. He said. The fine for this ticket would have been 75 or 80 dollars, but I’m just gonna give you a warning. You take that money and spend it on your kids.

I thanked him, and drove away thanking God for His mercy.

Now I have had not so kind encounters with policemen. And I am sure you have too. They have a tough job. You cannot watch TV without seeing and hearing people dishonor policemen, and government officials.

Why should churches and Christians have a good reputation with the city?

1. Honor for Civil Authority is God Directed

Furthermore, he (church leaders) must have a good reputation and be well thought of by those outside [the church], lest he become involved in slander and incur reproach and fall into the devil’s trap. 1 Timothy 3:7 (AMP)

We bring offense to the Gospel by not having a good reputation. The early church in Jerusalem:

but the people (outside the church) held them in high regard and praised and made much of them. Acts 5:13 (AMP)

westboro-protestsWhen we fail to pro-actively honor our civil authorities, we hinder the advancement of the gospel. Our civil authorities are the gatekeepers of our community. If we want those doors open wide to our efforts to preach the Gospel, we must honor the gatekeepers. We must ask ourselves if the Gospel of Christ is aided by protests and controversy. Certainly the actions of Rev. Phelps and Westboro Baptist Church harm the cause of Christ. They consider themselves to be Biblical, but they frame their action in hatred instead of the Grace of God. God says to honor our authorities so that we may live peaceably with all men.

An unbeliever in early Rome wrote: “They pass their days on earth, but they are citizens of heaven. They obey the prescribed laws, and at the same time, they surpass the laws by their lives. (Letter to Diognetus, chapter 5)

Do we compromise the Gospel to honor and reach civil authorities? Definitely Not!

  • John the Baptist was beheaded because he warned Herod of the lawlessness of sleeping with his brother’s wife.
  • The Apostles, Peter and John, respectfully decline to refrain from preaching Jesus Christ, becasue they decided it was more important to obey God rather than man.

And they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” Acts 4:18-20 (NKJV)

Our attitude of Honor is so important in showing our authorities to fear God.

national-prayer-centerPastor Ken Wilde is the Senior Pastor of Capital Christian Center in Boise, Idaho. 22 Weeks out of the year he spends in Washington DC praying for the leaders of our Country. Ken founded the National Prayer Center is an inter-denominational, non-profit organization dedicated to activating, mobilizing and inspiring Christians across America to become involved in the Biblical mandate to pray for our leaders and for national revival in order to heal our land., with over 2000 attendees. The Center is open to members of Congress and their staffs for times of prayer, devotion and spiritual encouragement.

Ken Wilde tells of meeting with a Congressman for the first time. He brought 15 intercessors from a local church along with their pastor. When they were allowed into his office, Ken could tell by the congressman’s body language that he wasn’t sure what they wanted.

He asked what he could do for them. Ken proceeded to tell him they did not want anything, but were only there to thank him for his service to his country and to pray for him.

He said this is a real gift for me. Every day it is an endless stream of people and groups coming in to his office to request money for this or that special interest. He pictures a digital readout on the wall that totals all the money requests each day. “But you have come to give me something today. That has never happened before.

The group prayed for the Congressman, and when they had finished, he asked them if they would pray for his staff as well. When they had finished, he looked at his watch and said, I just had an appointment cancellation, would you like to go over to the Capitol and have a look around? (A Congressman never does this-only interns and staffers.) He led them on a quick ½ hour tour of the Capitol.

Two weeks later Ken received a call from the local Pastor. He was quite frantic. The Congressman had called and told him he was going to come and visit his church with his wife.

Are we to bring the truth to our leaders?

nathan-to-davidWe must speak the truth, but speak it in love. Sometimes God will raise up servants to speak strong words to a civil leader.

  • Nathan to David
  • John the Baptist to Herod

What good does it do when we backbite against our leaders, when we disrespect and dishonor them. What we say in private God will shout from the rooftops on the day of judgment. Speak the truth in your hearts and you will have a heart burning with honor before our leaders. Otherwise your dishonor will poison your spirit and will be manifested before our leaders.

2. Honor for Civil Authority Restores the Fear of God.

scourne-ultimatum-2Peter illustrates the value of the “Scourne Ultimatum”:

Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king. 1 Peter 2:17

Peter says “how can you fear God whom you cannot see, when your don’t honor the leader he has placed his authority upon that you do see?

In America we say: “You will have to earn my respect” The fear of God says: “I see the authority that God has placed upon you, therefore you already have my respect”. We are not to sit in the seat of the scornful, but we are to walk in the fear of the Lord.

  • Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. Psalms 33:8 (KJV)
  • Therefore you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him. Deuteronomy 8:6 (NKJV)
  • The fear of the Lord leads to life, And he who has it will abide in satisfaction; He will not be visited with evil. Proverbs 19:23 (NKJV)

Honoring our civil authorities opens up our community to the Power and Authority of God!

“and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms” Ephesians 3:9-10 (NIV)

God uses the church to display to the hidden authorities of this world His manifild wisdom. In the unseen realm of God’s Kingdom, when the church honor’s God’s Civil authorities, it allows God to display His awesome Power. In so doing, the world, the governors know the Fear of the Lord! If we do not fear our authorities, we demonstrate no fear of the Lord, and our authorities will never fear the Lord. The church, Christians, are to be living testimonies of the Power of God!

Herod Agrippa came into power in 37AD.He helped the Emperor Claudius gain the throne after Caligula was murdered. As a reward he was given Judea nd Samaria. Now his kingdom was as large as his grandfather Herod the Great. Herod Agrippa (I) was the one who persecuted the early church. He killed James. He imprisoned Peter tot kill him. This is the King that Peter wrote we are to honor! The Christians continued to honor Agrippa, even though they feared him and endured horrible persecutions for their faith in Christ. In so doing, the Jews and Herod experienced first hand the “Fear of God”!

The people gave him a great ovation, shouting, “It’s the voice of a god, not of a man!” Instantly, an angel of the Lord struck Herod with a sickness, because he accepted the people’s worship instead of giving the glory to God. So he was consumed with worms and died. Meanwhile, the word of God continued to spread, and there were many new believers. Acts 12:22-24 (NLT)

God had his way with Herod! The people feared God!

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego honored the King but honored God first. In so doing the King saw the power of God, He feared the Power of God, and S,M, & A were promoted in the land. God’s influence was allowed to spread. The whole Country Feared God!

We see a modern day application of this principle in Nigeria:

nigeria-prayerNigeria is the most populated country in Africa, with over 140 million people. There is a strong Christian movement in Nigeria. The Christians there have a strong sense of honor for their civil authorities. There are monthly prayer meetings where 100’s of thousands of believers gather together to pray for the leaders of the country, and for righteousness to reign in their country.

Abacha took over power from the caretaker government of Chief Ernest Shonekan, who was put into place by General Ibrahim Babangida after his annulment of the 12 June 1993 elections (won by Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola) caused a massive popular uproar.

In 1998 in one of those monthly prayer meetings, a well-known Nigerian pastor, Emmanuel Nuhu Kure had a vision in which he saw the clouds part and two huge angels appear with giant swords. God showed him Abacha’s days were now numbered, in fact he prophesied it would happen within three months.. There would be no escaping if he did not repent.

Word got to Abaca about the vision, and he a “peace offering to Kure, a huge sum of money., to hopefully turn the prophecy around. Pastor Kure said the Lord told him “Do not touch it lest his (ABACHA’s) leprosy come upon you. Pastor Kure refused the money and sent word back to repent and turn to the Lord God.

Three months later, during another large prayer meeting, another Pastor, Pastor Adeboye told the gathering to turn to the people around them and wish each other “Happy New Year”. Everyone was puzzled. Pastor Adeboye told them the yoke was broken and there would be dancing in the streets.

Within 24 hours of his proclamation, President Abacha died unexpectedly of a heart attack.

A BBC news report said that “Nigerians celebrated in the streets across the country at the news of his death.

Today the Harvest is truly Plentiful in Nigeria. God’s Power is truly evident:

nigeria-revivalCharisma Magazine, Jan. 30, 2009 — The counting of the completed Decision Cards from last week’s Gospel Crusade is 803,563. So many people heard the Gospel and decided to receive Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. The local churches follow them up immediately. “Gather up the fragments so that nothing be lost”, Jesus said. (John 6,12). NOTHING BE LOST! That is the will of God.

“The original Gospel comes with signs and wonders, and what we witnessed last week was absolutely glorious! Miracles upon miracles. Without the miraculous the Gospel would be an empty shell. But Jesus Christ is the same…TODAY. Miracles identify Him. If signs and wonders come from God alone, then we cannot be showmen. Christian services are not exhibitions of our religious stature. Christ gives us the victory that He won on the Cross. “From the fullness of his grace have we all received” – that is, “out of” his fullness we receive our supply. “We have this treasure (this power) in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us” (2 Corinthians 4:7). That power flows out as it flows in, the overflowing of God through mortal lives. And this is what we witness.

This Gospel Crusade nearly did not happen because of lack of finance, but the God of Miracles performed another of His wonders and made it possible. A very big Thank You to those who helped us so spontaneously. Imagine if we would not have gone! We love you and pray for you.

More than 800,000 people made decisions for Christ during crusades evangelist Reinhard Bonnke hosted last week in Nigeria’s Delta State. Bonnke, founder of Florida-based Christ for All Nations (CFAN), said 85,000 people gathered the first night of the crusade, held in Isokoland Jan. 21-26. CFAN reported that on the final meeting some 425,000 people attended. Those who accepted Christ were directed to a local church for follow up. “The original gospel comes with signs and wonders, and what we witnessed last week was absolutely glorious. Miracles upon miracles,” Bonnke said in a ministry statement. “Without the miraculous the gospel would be an empty shell. But Jesus Christ is the same-today. Miracles identify Him.” Bonnke said there were numerous reports of the blind receiving sight and the lame walking. One man reported that he had been healed of HIV/AIDS.

3. Honor for Civil Authority is God Rewarding

When we honor a prophet, we receive a prophet’s reward. When we honor a civil authority, we receive a civil authorities award. What is that? It is the key to the community. They are the gatekeepers of our towns, cities, states and nations.

John Bevere in “Honor’s Reward” tells of a church in the Midwest that he used to preach at in the late 80’s. One particular church was about 150 and seemed very stagnant. He preached there three or four years in a row. He stopped going, but decided to go a few years later to a conference they were putting on. The letter of invitation indicated there would be over 800. He was curious, and decided to accept the invitation to speak. When he stepped into their new auditorium it was packed with 8-900 people. He said the presence of God was stronger than he had ever experienced before.

After the meeting, he was alone with the Pastor and asked “What Happened” You were stagnant for years. How did the church grow so quickly? I’ve only been gone three years.

“John, I got so tired about my people complaining about paying their taxes and how wrong our civil leaders were, I had to do something about it. So I took it to prayer and God gave me an idea.” He went to city officials and asked about their greatest need. They shared with him that the fire department needed special equipment to enable the fire fighters to see through smoke.

thermal-imaging-cameraMost fire related deaths are due to smoke inhalation, rather than burning. The smoke is so thick that they cannot see someone even a few feet in front of them. Thermal Imaging Cameras (TICs) use infrared technology to help firefighters and rescue workers “see” through smoke, darkness, fog, dense vegetation, fire and walls to find people and fire sources. A common use for TICs is to quickly and easily locate a fire’s origin without causing unnecessary damage. Thermal Imaging Cameras (TICs) were new at that time and quite expensive. It was going to cost the city $25,000 and they did not have the budget for it.

The pastor preached the next Sunday from Romans 13. In love he corrected his congregation for complaining against city officials. He told the people they were God’s servants and that believers could not be blessed by dishonoring civil leaders and cutting corners on their taxes. Once the scriptural foundation was laid, he told of the cities need for the Thermal Imaging Device, and announced a special offering would be taken. It was a good way to honor those whom God had appointed.

The church responded by repenting of their attitude and giving a 25,000 dollar offering. The pastor called the mayor and asked if he could assemble some of the city leaders so the church could honor them with this check to buy the equipment. When the church people got to the meeting, they were surprised to see how many city officials and workers were present to receive this honor.

At the presentation, the pastor read from Romans 13 and shared how his church appreciated the city officials and workers, and they viewed them as ministers of God. He thanked them all. The city officials and firefighters were overwhelmed by the honor and generosity of the church. (We convey honor by money)

A year later the pastor held a new building dedication. Scores of city workers and officials attended. Many were saved and made the decision to attend the church. “That is what blew open the community to us.”

rick-warrenMany evangelical Christians criticized Rick Warren for catering to Obama and McCain when he had them to his church for his one on one interview. But Pastor Warren was only doing what Scriptures tell him to do, honor our leaders, pray for the President. And because he honored the men running for President, when the time came to invoke God’s blessing on our new President, Pastor Rick Warren received the honor. God unlocked the doors of our nation to a man who saw the value of honoring our civil leaders. Now some criticized his prayer, saying it wasn’t bold enough or whatever, but his prayer was before God almighty and was both honoring to our Creator and our new President. That was not the occasion to get on a soapbox and try to put the fear of God into our country.

But listen to how he closed the prayer:

I humbly ask this in the name of the one who changed my life, Yeshua, Isa, Jesus, Jesus (hay-SOOS), who taught us to pray, Our Father who art in heaven hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on Earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

He used the opportunity to honor the one who gave him life, Jesus Christ.

If we dishonor our civil leaders, if we address them like we are better than they, if we try to set them straight so to speak, we are dishonoring God, we are failing to fear God, and we close the door on any opportunity to further honor Jesus Christ.

Look at the life of Billy Graham:

billy-grahamFebruary 2005, Time magazine reported, “He has had the ear of Presidents for five decades, but except for his public disavowal of racial segregation, Billy Graham, 86, has stuck to soul saving and left the political proselytizing to others. He explained his self-imposed separation of church and state in the language of a Gospel preacher: ‘It’s not what I was called to do.’”

Billy Graham never took his eyes from the one who called him to preach, Jesus Christ. He was given the marvelous opportunity to witness for Jesus Christ at the highest levels of government. Former President George Bush said he owes his conversion to Jesus Christ to Billy Graham.

Are You Afraid of God? Are you afraid that one day you will have to face almighty God, Holy God, Righteous God? Are you not sure how you will fare in that meeting? When you revere God to the point of seeing your need for Jesus Christ, you will no longer need to be afraid of God.

satan_fallConcluding thought: When the disciples returned from their special mission to evangelize, they couldn’t wait to tell Jesus about the amazing power they experienced:

“Lord, even the demons obey us when we use your name!” “Yes,” he told them, “I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning! Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you. But don’t rejoice because evil spirits obey you; rejoice because your names are registered in heaven.” Luke 10:17-20 (NLT)

Jesus said it was no big deal to have authority over demons. Likewise, we can say that it is no big deal to be a civil authority, even the President of the United States! After all, Jesus saw Satan being thrown out of heaven like lightning. He is no big deal! What is a BIG DEAL is to have your name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life! When we honor our civil authorities it works to bring the Fear of God into our society. And wherever the Fear of the Lord is, there the Salvation of the Lord is. People will have their names written in the Book of Life! For that WE REJOICE!