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When we got home from Uganda in December, we had many plans for the new year ahead. There were a couple of surprises that the Lord had for us—a couple of family emergencies and COVID. Through this all we began to fast and pray to see and hear what this change was about. We heard that He had a new thing for us, but that we needed to shift from the old and prepare for a new season of ministry.
· Releasing our missionaries so they could prosper in areas to which they were called
· Evaluating our teachings and preparing them for online capability and researching methods for online ministry
· Changing things in the office to be more financially efficient--accountant, duplicator, mail machine had to be cut back or gone
“And Jonathan said to the young man that bare his armor, Come, and let us go over unto the garrison of these uncircumcised: it may be that the Lord will work for us: for there is no restraint to the Lord to save by many or by few.” 1 Sam 14-KJV
Whenever I feel like something is too big for me, the Lord brings to mind that I am merely the glove on his hand and that often will use small things to bring great glory to his name. Niger is one of those God adventures that will be forever burned into my mind.
Often in scripture, when the Lord moves in a fresh way it requires working differently. One of the first things He asked us to do was begin reaching out to the neighborhood by opening up a time and ministry on our porch.
The Lord also began to redirect the ministry. We were to change from being a traditional mission agency to becoming more of a rapid response team. That meant we had to release our missionaries so both we and they would be more effective in the coming move of God.
“And the Lord said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh; lo, he cometh forth to the water; and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Let my people go, that they may serve me.” Ex 8:9-KJV
There are three basic things Satan uses to steal, kill, or destroy the work of the Lord in and through people: infirmity, poverty, and religion.
He uses fear as a weapon to capture people and accomplish the “big three.” We have certainly seen that with the world-wide pandemic. All over the world churches, schools and businesses have been closed down or restricted. Governments have shut down travel and kept people in their homes. In many places, we have seen these “protective measures” being used to for political purposes to maintain power, control groups, and manipulate economic structures. Satan orchestrates these things to especially target Christian churches and the work of the Gospel.
“Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.” Isa 43:19-KJV
June 6th is the anniversary of the D Day invasion of Europe in WWII. It was an event that changed the course of the war. Armies of allied nations had to wait until the time was right to launch the campaign. When the word came, they were ready. Armies with different cultures and languages came together to fight a common foe. The task was beyond what they could imagine. Each army had a role to play with specific assignments from the commander. Old ways of fighting had to change to meet the challenge of the future. The world had to stop and reset for war.
“When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the Levitical priests carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it. Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before.” Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.” Joshua 3:3-5 –NIV
God used the “captivity” of the people of Israel in Egypt to expand them from a clan to a nation. He used signs and wonders to judge the enemy's demonic forces. The people “experienced” the first Passover deliverance which was a prophetic picture of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. The Lord used the journey to the Promised Land to prepare them to take back their inheritance. The first generation failed to enter into the land. Though they had seen all the Lord had done, they didn’t believe the Lord would deliver them from the giants that occupied their land.
Passover is over. We stand on the other side of our deliverance (some of us are more “delivered” than others from the quarantine) and ask, “What's next?”
We have been told by media that things will not be the same and that this is the new normal. They want to tell us what “normal” should be. They want to plan and tell us what to expect in our future. But God’s plans and purposes will prevail (Prov 19:21).
Suddenly my purchase of a huge package of toilet paper several months ago doesn’t look so silly. Ken asked me how many years it would last us. But there I was at Costco and price was too good to pass up. My motive was not prepping but frugalness.
We are sheltered in this time of isolation from most of everything around us. In the quietness, the old song, “O the blood of Jesus,” came to mind. So I began to search the scriptures on the blood of Jesus. God covered Adam and Eve with skins showing innocent blood was shed to cover them.-Gen 3:21 He confirmed his covenant with Abraham with a blood sacrifice.-Gen 15:8-17