July 6, 2008
" In returning and rest will you be saved; In quietness and confidence
will be your strength." (Is 30:15)
|INTRODUCTION TO WEEK TWENTY-SIX|
INTRODUCTION TO WEEK TWENTY-SIX
This week, we continue to press in during WEEK TWENTY-SIX of our 40 Weeks of Prayer and Fasting, to offer prayers of repentance for the sin in the church, the sin in the nation, and the blessing of Israel.
We now address these areas:
1. SIN IN THE CHURCH: THE AHAB SPIRIT (Part Two)
2. SIN IN THE NATION: HOMOSEXUAL ISSUES
3. PRAYERS FOR ISRAEL: THE RED HEIFER
|SIN IN THE CHURCH: THE AHAB SPIRIT (II)|
REPENTANCE FOR SIN IN THE CHURCH:
THE AHAB SPIRIT (II)
"Ahab" means "Father's brother." He is the husband and co-conspirator of Jezebel. He partners with and is in covenant with this spirit of Jezebel. In order to have a Jezebel, you must have an Ahab; and in order to have an Ahab, you must have a Jezebel.
AHAB IS THE SPIRIT OF APATHY, ONE THAT REFUSES TO "RISE UP" AND TAKE THE AUTHORITY DUE HIM.
AN ENEMY OF THE PROPHETS
Key verse: I KIngs 21:20:
"Ahab said to Elijah, 'So you have found me, my enemy!'
'I have found you,' he answered, "because you have sold yourself to do evil in the eyes of the LORD."
This spirit is an enemy of prophets and willingly gives its power away to Jezebel. He knew his evil deed was exposed. This spirit fears Jezebel more than it fears the God of Israel. Rather than being responsible for their own decision-making, they would prefer to sit behind an evil authority figure.
AN ENEMY OF THE TRUTH
This same passage of Scripture shows the intent of Ahab to DO EVIL, rather than to do good; to obey the LIE rather than to obey the TRUTH.
Jesus further described this spirit in John 8:44 -- "You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies."
ONE WHO CAN BE BOUGHT OUT
Again, referring to I Kings 21:20: The prophet Elijah directly addresses Ahab, stating: 'I have found you,' he answered, "because you have sold yourself to do evil in the eyes of the LORD." Perhaps it is more profitable to "tickle the ears of men" than to preach the narrow way of the Gospel, bringing conviction of sin, which leads to salvation.
In I Kings 21: 21-29, Scripture records the decrees made by the LORD against Ahab, through His prophet Elijah, because "He acted very abominably in following idols." The judgment fell, too, because ". . . Ahab who sold himself to do evil in the sight of the LORD, because Jezebel his wife incited him."
A SPIRIT THAT AFFECTS DESCENDANTS
When faced with the horror of his deeds, Ahab finally repented:
27 It came about when Ahab heard these words, that he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and fasted, and he lay in sackcloth and went about despondently.
28 Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying,
29 "Do you see how Ahab has humbled himself before Me? Because he has humbled himself before Me, I will not bring the evil in his days, but I will bring the evil upon his house in his son's days."
The fulfillment of this word came through the life of Ahab's son, Ahaziah, recorded in
2 Kings 22:51- 51.
51Ahaziah the son of Ahab became king over Israel in Samaria in the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and he reigned two years over Israel.
52He did evil in the sight of the LORD and walked in the way of his father and in the way of his mother and in the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who caused Israel to sin.
53 So he served Baal and worshiped him and provoked the LORD God of Israel to anger, according to all that his father had done.
[Taken from: Curing the Dominant Mind by Obeying a Sovereign God, by Pastor Regina Brent; Extended Hands Ministry. email@example.com]
PRAYER OF REPENTANCE:
"Father God, we thank You for drawing our attention to the hidden player behind Jezebel, which is Ahab. We come to You, asking forgiveness for allowing the spirits of compromise, cowardice and covetousness to enter our lives, our homes, the church, and our nation. Please forgive us, Lord, and please teach us Your ways of holiness, righteousness, and sanctification. We ask this in Your Name, Amen."
· "Come now, let us reason together,"
says the LORD.
"Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool." (Isaiah 1:18)
|SINS OF THE NATION: HOMOSEXUAL ISSUES (I)|
REPENTANCE FOR THE SINS OF THE NATION:
HOMOSEXUAL ISSUES: WEEK ONE
HOMOSEXUALITY: AN OVERVIEW
Homosexual behavior is an attempt to fulfill normal needs for love, acceptance, and identity through sexual intimacy with someone of the same sex. Although the factors that contribute to the development of sexual orientation are complex and subtle, our experience suggests that one of the deepest roots of homosexuality is a break in early relational bonds. This relational breakdown can stunt the development of the individual's ability to healthily connect with others throughout life.
The security of a child depends on the three-way bond of mother to child, father to child, and the bond between the parents. Any break in these bonds can produce insecurity in the child and thus a lack of that sense of belonging and affirmation which is so vital in the development of gender identity.
JESUS CHRIST: THE WAY OF ESCAPE
Homosexuality is clearly a two-fold condition. A fallen world imposes wounds, fears, identity confusion, and alienation; people react with sinful choices in an attempt to restore what has been broken and gain consolation in the midst of pain and need. Yet the goal remains unreached; the promise of real, lasting fulfillment proves to be all too elusive.
Jesus Christ is the alternative. He addresses the problem-humanity limited to self-and provides the way through which we can find fulfillment in God and His people. By releasing us from the dictates of the past, Jesus frees us to live as new creatures. The Holy Spirit carries on that process of change in our lives. His grace is sufficient, for His strength is made perfect in weakness. He provides the mooring point for a new identity-the center out of which a true sense of well being can be enjoyed. As we draw close to Him, we are enabled to reflect His image in our humanity more and more fully.
A Prayer for those who have been ensnared by homosexuality:
"Father God, we repent that we have not had Your heart for these lost and hurting souls. We thank You, Lord, that You have come to set the captives free, and to heal the broken-hearted. We ask Your help to be able to intercede for these men and women, and to be Your witness in their lives, as You give us opportunity to do so. We ask this in Jesus' Name, amen."
"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." (Gen. 1:27)
(Next week: Praying for families of homosexual men and women.)
|PRAYERS FOR ISRAEL: THE RED HEIFER|
PRAYERS FOR ISRAEL:
THE RED HEIFER
Shabbat's Torah portion includes the instructions concerning the red heifer (Numbers 19), the essence of which is that all priests who approach the Lord God of Israel must be clean from all defilement. This is another awesome reason to praise God for what He has done in positioning us in His Son - so that we can approach Him with boldness.
- Thank You for cleansing us and making us new creations in Messiah Yeshua.
- "Behold, there came a leper and worshipped Him, saying, Lord, if You want, You can make me clean. And Yeshua . . . touched him, saying, I will; be clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed." (Matthew 8:2-3)
- "Now you are clean through the word which I [Yeshua] have spoken unto you." (John 15:3)
- We praise You precious Lamb of God for You have conquered and shall reign on the earth.
- "Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife has made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints." (Revelation 19:7-8; see also verse 14)
(Source: Intercessors for Israel)
Friday Prayer Alert
4 July 2008
|ON JULY 4TH: ISRAELIS PRAY FOR AMERICA|
ON JULY 4TH: ISRAELIS PRAY FOR AMERICA
Today is America's Independence Day. Although she has been a mixed blessing to Israel, nevertheless, she is still the best friend Israel has.
- Abba, we thank You for all the good America has done to help Israel survive.
- Lord, we ask that You would raise up godly leaders for America - in both the political and religious realms.
- Father, strip the America Church of that blasphemous doctrine - replacement theology.
- Lord, we see so much shaking and judgment on the US - both financially and in natural disasters. Help Your Church connect the dots between what is happening and the Bush administration being the first America government to come out in public support for the creation of a Palestinian State on Your land (Joel 3:1-2; Zechariah 2:8).
- Shake up and remove the anti-Israel spirit from the US State Department.
- Put a stop to the American manipulation of Israel's government - especially seen through US Secretary of State Rice's dealing with us.
- Have mercy on America and overrule in the next US presidential elections.
(Source: Intercessors for Israel)
Friday Prayer Alert
4 July 2008
|A Closing Thought . . .|
HOW TO KEEP FROM BEING DECEIVED:
by Derek Prince
Four Safeguards - Protection from Deception
This week: MAKE AND KEEP THE CROSS CENTRAL
Over the past three weeks, we have studied three of the four safeguards that Derek Prince cites to protect us from deception:
1. HUMBLE OURSELVES BEFORE THE LORD
2. RECEIVE THE LOVE OF THE TRUTH
3. CULTIVATE THE FEAR OF THE LORD
To view this teaching in its entirety, go here.
Now, the fourth and the final safeguard is: make and keep the cross central. I looked at the example of Paul in 1 Corinthians 2:1-5:
And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony [or the mystery] of God. [You have to bear in mind that in that culture the highest achievement was oratory. If you were anything, you were an excellent speaker. Otherwise you were probably despised. So Paul, when he says. "I laid aside excellent speech," in a sense was saying, "I'm not bowing to this culture."] For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling.
I pointed out in a previous meeting that God's strength is made perfect in weakness. When we have all the strength we need of our own, we no longer need God's strength. God has to bring us to the place where we do not have strength. I have seen this in my own experience in ministry continually. If God is going to use me in any significant way, He has to bring me to the place where I know I cannot do it; to the place where I know I am totally dependent upon Him, that I am weak. Then His strength is made perfect in my weakness.
Let me say something else in this connection: I have discovered that the opportunities to serve God seldom suit our convenience. Generally speaking, if God gives you an opportunity to serve Him, it will be inconvenient in some way. That is to test the sincerity of your motives.
But if we want God's strength manifested in our lives, in our ministry, in our congregations, we have to cultivate the fear of the Lord. We have to cultivate a sense of dependence, an acknowledgment of our total dependence upon God.
This is very personal, but every time before I preach I tell God, "I know I don't have the ability. I'm totally dependent upon You. If You don't anoint me, if You don't inspire me, if You don't strengthen me, I cannot do it." Every now and then, I may stand up to preach and forget to do that. Then mentally, in my mind, while I am preaching, I say, "Lord, please remember, I'm dependent upon You. I cannot do it in my own strength."
Then Paul goes on to say:
And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
The key to releasing the power of the Holy Spirit is to be focused on the cross. There is a hymn that says,
When I survey the wondrous cross On which the Prince of Glory died My richest gain I count but loss And pour contempt on all my pride.
When we really see the cross, we have nothing to boast of.
It is interesting that the original version of that hymn, which was written by an Englishman, was:
When I survey the wondrous cross Where the young Prince of Glory died.
The writer was pointing out that Jesus was cut off in His prime. He died in His very best age.
I believe one of our greatest needs is to focus on the cross. I have seen people become very ambitious, striving for success, wanting to build a large church or ministry. Sometimes they succeed, but unless the whole message is focused on the cross, they have only wood, hay and straw.
I am reminded of a well-known English preacher of a previous generation, Charles Spurgeon, a Baptist. He was continually emphasizing to his students the importance of focusing on the cross. One day he said something like this: "To preach the principles of the Christian life and make no mention of the cross is like a drill sergeant giving orders to a squad of soldiers who have no feet. They can hear his orders and understand him, but they lack the ability to carry them out. Remember, it is only through the cross that we get the ability to do what God tells us to do."
[Next week: Part Two]
|Hymn of the Week|
WHEN I SURVEY THE WONDROUS CROSS
"May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ." (Galatians 6:14)
Words: Isaac Watts, 1707
Music: Lowell Mason, 1824
Charles Wesley reportedly said he would give up all his other hymns
to have written this one.
When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.
See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e'er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
His dying crimson, like a robe,
Spreads o'er His body on the tree;
Then I am dead to all the globe,
And all the globe is dead to me.
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.
To Christ, who won for sinners grace
By bitter grief and anguish sore,
Be praise from all the ransomed race
Forever and forevermore.
|Who We Are|
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