Pray For Laborers

“When He saw the crowds, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like a sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest.” Matthew 9:36-38

Living in revival is both exhilarating and tiresome at the same time. It is phenomenal to see God move in salvations, healings and deliverance. When the harassed and helpless, those in despair, are crying out for freedom it draws the compassion of God. It is His church who is equipped with the same compassion and supernatural gifting that brings kingdom transformation in their lives. We at Revive SF live for this kingdom and the transformation of our cities. One of the phenomenal parts of this passage is not that He heals everyone (which He does) but His focus on their need for workers following their heavenly invasion. It is this declaration for intercession of the importance of “sending out workers into His harvest.”

Many times in intercession we see this spiritual warfare for the weary and broken. As we discussed in our series on the Sound of Deliverance there is warfare against the principalities and powers. It is a very legitimate prayer in being the intercessor between the broken and our heavenly father. It is also a very legitimate prayer in being an intercessor against principalities and powers. It is also a very legitimate prayer for “workers into His harvest.”

Intercession is the action of intervening on behalf of another through prayer. Intercession is warfare and is a huge key to revival. What we see in the scripture points us to the will of God. It is His will that none should perish. It is His will for salvation, healing and deliverance. And it is His will for workers. Part of this calling for workers is the call for intercessors. Intercession finds Gods will and promises, and stands in the gap until His will and promises are fulfilled. Intercession can be fueled by the promises of God.

“If you want to see how poplar the church is, attend Sunday morning worship. If you want see how popular the pastor is, attend Sunday evening. If you want to see how popular God is attend a prayer meeting.” Everything By Prayer, Fred Hartley, page 123

CALL FOR THE REMNANT

The Lord spoke to me one morning when I woke up as we were praying whether to make this move to San Francisco. The first part of the word was found in Micah 2:12 “I will surely assemble, O Jacob (REVIVE), all of thee (100%). I will surely gather the REMNANT of Israel (REVIVE); I will put them together as the sheep of Bozrah (San Francisco), as the flock in the midst of their fold: they shall make great noise by reason of the multitude of men”. If you remember the story of Jacob born nearly 1837 years BC he had a twin Esau. Jacob supplanted Esau in his deception of his birthright which he was already promised beforehand. Just like Jacob in many ways we all try to take things in our own hands to retrieve the blessing instead of receive the blessing. Just like Jacob God has a promise on Revive for the city of San Francisco. Jacob has an encounter with God at Bethel. Many years later he then, in this act of grace, survives a wrestling match with God and gets his name changed to Israel. So His name is changed from Deceiver or Supplanter to the ONE WHO PREVAILS WITH GOD. Im not sure if God just likes to wrestle with His children like we humans do but it definitely was an act of grace that he prevailed. The place where he wrestled Jabbok means to EMPTY YOURSELF and was named later Penuel, the FACE OF GOD.

“We find ourselves trying to obtain by works what God has granted us through inheritance” Clint Adams

I relate to Jacob in so many ways and find myself in the position that Jacob did trying to obtain my calling by works and not by inheritance. I believe that you at Revive Church can relate with me also. Just like Jacob, God is gathering together our tribe together in San Francisco and changing our name to Israel, GOD PREVAILS. Bozrah was fertile pasture land in the midst of the Edomites territory or land of Esau. They were an enemy to the Isrealites. So right in the middle of San Francisco we will be given fortified fertile land. So our prayers of intercession is for workers to come forth in the midst of Edom. God will put us together with a sound for the city.

Remember intercessors are driven by the promises of God. Revive, formerly Promised Land Fellowship, has many prophetic promises that declare its “destiny” in the city. From the times of the Golden Gate Outpouring when many were touched by God till now in this season of revival it finds its desire for revival. As I said in the beginning revival is both exhilarating and tiresome. Tiresome without the workers needed to sustain the work of God. Let us be moved into deep intercession for those who God has called for this revival. I pray “Return O’Remnant of Revive to the work that God has given us. There is a season coming when our city will see the face of God. The Lord of the Harvest we call upon you with dreams, visions and encounters for the return of those in our tribe. We intercede with the heart of a warrior for you to come and with the heart of a Father, Welcome Home.”

The Sound of Heaven Touching Earth Series- The Sound of Deliverance

     There were many instances growing up that ignited my belief in the supernatural.  I was raised in a charismatic church so we would see and hear things that were not ordinary.  It was common place at New Covenant Church in Dothan Alabama to hear people speak in tongues or see them fall under the presence of God.  Every once and a while you would hear a testimony of someone who was delivered by the demonic realm or the grips of satan.  In 1982 my Dad became pastor of a charismatic church New Freedom Church in Webb Alabama and what God would do in that town of 500 would shape my grid for the supernatural.

     We would often see salvations as many would come to Jesus and lay down their addictions and sin.  We had a remarkable time of several thousand saved in just a few years.  We would see healings and often my father would lay hands on my fever ridden head as a young child and it would leave immediately.  Sometimes you would hear the story of a barren woman becoming pregnant after the church prayed.  But one of the things that became a staple, especially in my mothers ministry, was what would be called "deliverance".  Now to me deliverance comes in salvation and healing also but this is not what Im talking about.  Deliverance became so well known in our church that at one time people were making appointments all week long from all over the southeastern United States.  This deliverance was from those who were oppressed by the devil in such a way that they had no control.  For me it seems that demonic forces respond when Im around.  Since being in San Francisco there have been a few times on the streets where people oppressed by the devil would "pick" me out.  Jesus came to set "captive free".  Could it be that the demon recognizes the authority upon us?  Could it be that we are the ministers of deliverance to those who are bound?  I say yes to both.

     People find themselves in the bound condition based on three reasons.  One because of what we did or do (sin).  Two, because of what others did to them (hurts).  Three, because of allowing an open door to demonic influence.  Jesus never really tried to deal with all the theological and social implications of "why" but went about doing the works of the Father.  Acts 10:38 "how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him."  Another scripture says "if I drive out demons by the finger of God the kingdom has come upon you".  It is this authority that every believer has been given in the Kingdom.

We see in the scripture that according to Revelations that "satan and his demonic forces" we will call principalities were cast out of heaven and fell to earth.  Jesus said "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven".  Adam and Eve created in the image of God were given authority and power on earth to multiply and subdue.  This authority was relegated to satan by Adams and Eve in the original sin.  Throughout history we see this picture of Gods people moving from bondage to freedom, especially in the Promised Land Adventures.  God has always wanted to bring deliverance to His people.  In Isaiah 60 and 61 we see this prophetic picture of deliverance by Christ.  In one instance in the new testament Christ goes into the temple and reads Isaiah 61 and declares its fulfillment in His coming.  Through Christ perfect life, death on the cross, burial and resurrection He defeats death, hell and the grave.  Somewhere in this I see him kicking open the gates of hell and coming to a showdown with satan.  Not that satan is in hell because that is where he will be one day.  The Son of Man finds satan who knows his time has come and Jesus takes back what was relegated in the garden by man.  After His resurrection he finds the church and says "all authority in heaven and earth I give to you" and declares our power over the forces of satan.  

"When he called His disciples He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease".  In Luke it says, "Then the seventy returned with joy, saying "Lord, even the demons are subject to Your name. And He said to them, "I was satan fall like lightning from heaven.  Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means harm you."  Philippians 2 says "that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth".  Revelations 12 says "they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony".  We have been given authority and power over the works of darkness in San Francisco.  Its our destiny to lead our City into the promised land spiritually and bring freedom to the people.  We are to make the City of San Francisco the City of our God.

How do we do this?  I want to give you two words; Communion and confrontation.  God has called us to be in perfect fellowship with Him.  Spiritual Warfare comes with communion with God.  Our deep communion with Him gives us the anointing that when we confront the works of darkness we do so with power and precision.  Confrontation comes in the form of resistance against the powers of darkness not people.  James says, "Submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you" this is communion and confrontation.

Communion always calls for a separation unto the Lord.  My wife likes double dating but she loves a date with just me.  God is so in love with us that He desires this one on one communion with His beloved.  Its in these times that we see the greatest rest, peace, transformation, equipping and power displayed upon our lives.  So my spiritual warfare begins with communion before confrontation.  I don't commune to confront but in my communion I am given the power to confront.  I believe we can be more efficient and effective in spiritual warfare spending 90% in communion and 10% in confrontation.  We need to increase our communion time with Him.

Confrontation is against the principalities of darkness not people.  2 Corinthian 10 "though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.  For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds....".  My warfare against principalities and powers of darkness is militant but my warfare to the people is Love.  Satan is our enemy not people.  So in my prayer time I may radically bring declaration and confrontation against the powers of darkness with militant demeanor, but in my city among the bound its expressed through love.  

Revive, we need to seek the Lord with all of our hearts and live in such communion with him that as Psalms says we become "the song of deliverance" that He is to the people of San Francisco.  Let the sound of deliverance be a sweet song of freedom as we escort people from Egypt to the promised land.

 

The Sound of Heaven Touching Earth Series- The Symphony of Heaven

I remember in college the first time I attended a symphony.  My chemistry professor Dr. Katz gave us the opportunity to get bonus points, which she said I really needed, if we would attend the symphony which she was playing.  We arrived at the symphony with the attitude you might have to get free points on a chemistry test from a source of great boredom.  The musicians were all warming up at the same time which had a sound of chaos which fed into our restlessness.  As the conductor came to the front of the individual melody of chaos, they shifted to strict form an attention bringing myself to much the same pose.  I remember the first sound that came from this masterpiece written by some great composer such as Mozart or Beethoven that for the life of me I can not remember or probably would not have know at the time, resounded with such precision and beauty that I was captivated to the point of tears.  From this point forward, I sat with anticipation and excitement at every crescendo and solo performance of different instruments as they pulled my very emotions. Dr. Katz was the smartest person I had ever met and even in her peculiar ways I never looked at her the same again.  It was a sound that was more than I had ever heard which brought me to some sort of spiritual experience.

I have been blessed to have parents who were Pastors and open to change.  It was this ability on their part that in the chaos of church life to always listen for the sound or symphony of heaven in the form of revival.  From the glory days of the Laughing Revival with Rodney Howard Browne and some radical South Africans, to the powerful sound of the Toronto Blessing, from Lindel Cooley singing We Will Ride With You at the Brownsville Revival and last but not least the sound of my current tribe with Bill Johnson and the Kingdom Message, we were a part of all of these distinct sounds.

Even in our home town of Webb, Alabama, where there was a population of around 500, we became our own sound that drew many from all over the southeastern United States.  Thousand were drawn to this little town with no traffic lights and only two stores that were competing gas stations directly across from each other.  In just a few years, thousands would give their heart to Jesus, many would be delivered from the grip of satanic powers and other would be healed of cancer and various diseases and ailments.

Now I find myself in the midst of the most unique city I believe in the United States with what I believe looks more like heaven than the hell that has been portrayed all of my life.  It is a beautiful compilation of every tribe and tongue from throughout the world seeking to live in this 7 mile by 7 mile peninsula once thought to be the place of great gold.  I can't help but think of the scripture that the Desire of all nations has come to "The City".  San Francisco has so many unique sounds, some that are pure and some that are defiled, but it seems to be more receptive to the "spirit realm" of any city I have visited.  Could Revive have a sound that shakes a city?  I believe so.  I believe that Revive's significance is on the horizon and the Giants of San Francisco (not the baseball team) will fall at the sound of our praise.

Revelations 4:1 says "After these things I looked and behold a door was standing open in heaven.  And the first voice I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying come up here and I will show you things that must take place after this."  As I read this scripture I became excited like my experience at my first symphony that God is calling us to bring a sound to San Francisco.

1.  Lets position ourselves for an open heaven.

The Bible speaks of an open heaven in many passages in the Old and New Testament.  The Old Testament revealed Jacobs Ladder and this place called Bethel where Heaven touches earth.  It opens up the Radiant One of Ezekiel.  In the New Testament, we see from the very beginning the Holy Spirit descending on Son of Man like a dove and the open heaven with the revelation of the father.  We see the heavens receive the Son of Man after His earthly triumph and the falling of the Holy Spirit on those gathered in the upper room where cloven tongues of fire and a new sound was birthed in tongues.  Saul has this transformation encounter as the heavens open and God reveals himself opening his spiritual eyes to heaven.  Stephen in his very death as he is martyred for the kingdom sees Jesus stand up in heavenly places.  John, the Revelator, has the heavens open and a vision of things that happened and will come are given to ink and paper.  What I have found about revival and open heavens is not profound but it is true...GOD BECOMES MORE REAL TO THOSE HE IS REVEALED.  Will you intercede with me for an open heaven over our beautiful city?  Will you join with me where our spiritual warfare against the dark realm of the enemy is militant but our warfare with the people is love?  Lets become so hungry and desperate that the only thing we desire is for the heavens to open and God to be revealed to San Francisco.

2.  Heaven has a creative, beautiful and life changing sound "like a trumpet speaking to us".

It's creative; the Word spoke the very world into existence.  It was the Word, a sound, that was in the beginning; it was the Word that could calm seas; it was the Word that caused demons to leave; it was the Word that healed every disease; it was the Word that declared "Thy Kingdom Come on earth as it is in heaven.  It was the Holy Spirit that came as the sound of a mighty rushing wind and filled the place with cloven tongues of fire and a new language from heaven.  Our God is a creative and beautiful sound.

3.  Revive has a significant sound for the city of San Francisco and "he will show us what things are to take place next."

He is calling us "up", calling us "higher", calling us to repentance (returning to the penthouse), calling us to the watch tower that Habakuk climbs to see what the Lord is saying.  It's in these high places that as Psalms 42 declares when deep calls unto deep and the sound of His waterfalls, all of His waves have gone over us that we began to be changed into the instruments of Heaven.  The Conductor covers us with His sound and we become in concert and unity with each other and heaven.  The symphony of Heaven only takes place when we are continuously covered by His song.  Our unique personal lives are significant instruments in this symphony of Heaven, a unified sound on earth.  

Let one thing linger in your spirit today and that is this: "We are instruments of heaven created to resound the nature of our Heavenly Father over San Francisco."  It is vital that we contend for an open heaven over our city and that we steward His presence in such a way that He is glorified and our city is saved.