The Beauty of God's Strategiesby Elzabeth on August 30, 2016
The Beauty of God's Strategies
- Anton Bosch's Article
- God Gives Us Battle Strategies
- Prayer Strategies: Schools, Teachers & Public Servants
- God's Plan: Readily Available
- The Goal
Written by: Elizabeth
Oath of God Ministries
The real purpose of this article is to bring various prayer strategies to the reader's attention which illustrate how believers can pray for Christ's salvation over their respective communities to include school teachers, students, policemen and public school officials. These strategies will also open the door for believers to pray for God's supernatural protection over each public servant given the violence in our society. These same strategies are brought forth in subsequent paragraphs.
On December 14, 2012 in Newtown CT at Sandy Hook Elementary School, 20 children and 6 faculty and staff members were killed by Adam Lanza. Could advance prayer have prevented this massacre? Are you confident that this will never happen in your local town? Are you sure there will never be a shooting against your local police force? Have you noticed any great outpouring of the Holy Spirit in your local high school? I will place these critical questions on the front burner while I take a slightly different direction to discuss God's heavenly strategies.
Anton Bosch's Article
The article written by Anton Bosch, titled "Why is a Large Segment of the Church Powerless", was distributed by the Glory of God on Cape Cod on May 31st.
It is a beautifully written article. Bosch succinctly describes the vast majority of churches today as being mostly powerless. Bosch carefully points to the systemic problems within the 21st century western church as he writes, "One of the very real reasons the believer and the church are powerless is our disobedience and sin. God will simply not anoint our disobedience, laziness and sin." Bosch lists various examples of this "general disobedience" which he believes are fairly common among churches throughout America.
There is a genuine sincerity and humility to the author’s opinions as he indicates a real desire to see a more powerful move of God within his own church. This by itself lends legitimacy to his words as well as his warnings.
God Gives Us Battle Strategies: Regaining Territory
Bosch quotes Ironside as saying, “The church has gotten so far away from what she should be and there is so much strife, division, worldliness, and carnality that the Lord no longer delights in lavishing His gifts as freely as He did in the beginning." It is my humble opinion, however, that the consequences of our sin go much deeper than just our Heavenly Father withholding the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Simply put, the church is powerless because God doesn't go before us in battle. We refuse to step onto His chosen battlefields where His power delights in moving before us and where His miracles manifest around us even amidst the smoke of battle. We refuse because we do so in disobedience which is typically an arm's length from our laziness. God desires victory for His people but we must be willing to suit-up and show-up for battle. "The Lord your God who goes before you will Himself fight for you, just as He did for you in Egypt before your eyes", (Duet 1:30) is still true for us today. God always has a unique battle strategy in bringing His people to victory. There were many instances in both Old and New Testament scripture where the conditions were far worse than what we are experiencing today - yet the Lord brought His people to victory using the most unimaginable heavenly strategies
God, however, doesn't provide a spiritual strategy for those unwilling to seek it, too busy to follow it or in disobedience eschew it altogether. Therefore, He withdraws both His glory and His power to where the spiritual gifts are simply not required. Subsequently the battlefield is taken over by the enemy and the territory is completely lost. The losses are often immeasurable and generational in nature affecting both the personal lives of believers, the Body of Christ and our nation as a whole. The oft-repeated adage, "As the church goes - so goes the nation" continues to unfold before our eyes.
King David when fighting the Philistines had to be both obedient and fearlessly faithful in following God's battle instructions as outlined in 2 Samuel 5:23-24. It was a matter of life and death as well as the survival of a nation. "Therefore David inquired of the LORD, and He said, “You shall not go up; circle around behind them, and come upon them in front of the mulberry trees. “And it shall be, when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees, then you shall advance quickly. For then the LORD will go out before you to strike the camp of the Philistines.” David's personal relationship with God not only allowed him to receive God's instructions with clarity but it also gave him the advantage of hearing the sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees which we assume was the heavenly host moving before David's army. The Lord's strategy in this case allowed King David to both regain and stabilize a sizable amount of territory.
With regard to the heavenly realm, we should also be encouraged by Elisha's words to his servant who viewed with great trepidation the surrounding Syrian army, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” (2 Kings 6:16) Elisha then prayed and said, "LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” (2 Kings 6:17) Pursuant to this revelation, Elisha asked God to blind the approaching Syrians where he cunningly led them into Samaria and subsequently asked God to open their eyes once they arrived. Rather than destroy the Syrian captives Elisha requested they be fed and released "So the bands of Syrian raiders came no more into the land of Israel." (2nd King 5:23) By way of God's heavenly strategies and a prophet's composure in completing them - Israel was provided a period of rest from the Syrian invaders.
Sometimes Christians believe that the problems in today's society are beyond remedy or repair whereby we begin to sound like the people of Judah when they cried out to Nehemiah in despair, “The strength of the laborers is failing, and there is so much rubbish that we are not able to build the wall.” (Neh 4:10) Fatigued by both the pursuing enemy and the daunting task before them, they began to doubt God's willingness or ability to both help and deliver them. Yet God had a simple strategy to protect His people as they labored to rebuild the wall. Nehemiah positioned the men according to their families across the various parts of the wall with spears, swords and bows in hand. We can also take heart knowing that Nehemiah's encouragement to Judah is still true for us today,“Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses.” (Neh 4:14)
Despite the downward spiraling conditions surrounding us today - we must still realize that God has a plan to bring His children to victory. We can remain spectators and fail miserably or we can listen for His still small voice and remain obedient to His instructions. Let us be encouraged knowing full well that "If God is for us, who can be against us? (Rom 8:31)
Prayer Strategies: Schools, Teachers & Public Servants
Our elementary schools and colleges undergo violence of the worst degree - yet we don't pray for them as a preventative measure. It is presumptuous of any church leader to assume that a massacre could not occur in his own hometown. Therefore, it makes more sense to dedicate specific prayer time for our schools rather than attend grievous funeral services. Let us remember that Christian children have also gone to their deaths in the onslaught of massacres over the past several decades.
We have an opportunity to pray for tea chers by name as well as other public servants for salvation, protection, wisdom, and divine guidance. Prayer walks can also take place which provide added protection to these public properties. Churches should also be praying in the same capacity for their local colleges and universities. To view the effective tools of praying more specifically for our public schools - click here. To receive the guidelines - click here.
Separately, everyone should consider lifting up their local police officers in prayer to prevent future shootings and fatalities. To receive the guidelines - click here. Churches can also invite their public officials to speak during prayer meetings to discuss which prayer points are important to them.
The 21st century western world church has also become dangerously selfish regarding the persecution of the brethren in distant lands. "Remember the prisoners as if chained with them—those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also." (Hebrews 3:13) One way of bringing the Body of Christ to repentance in today's 21st century western church is by consciously acknowledging the suffering of others in contrast to our own shallow complaints and superfluous goals. The persecution of our brethren should both humble and encourage us. The names of families and individuals are easily available through various Christian organizations. If your daughter was being persecuted in a distant land - would you not request urgent prayer? We should not forget them. To receive the guidelines - click here.
Church leaders should also realize the obvious need to begin praying very specifically for their own church's protection. This is wisdom and common sense as the violence will increase.
God's Plan: Readily Available
Sharing a common witness in Christ Jesus and praying together is preciously beautiful in God's eyes and I believe the onset of something much greater to follow. Yet individually the different denominations should also work together to remove the rubble at their local walls in an effort to rebuild their communities. Churches across America have become insulated and selfish. Although prayer is very critical - it must of necessity produce some God driven action to follow. Nehemiah had a sword in one hand and a shovel in the other while he prayed continually for God's protection, guidance and victory. There was a corporate and harmonious effort among the people of Judah in rebuilding the wall. No person worked alone.
As we continue to pray for a revival, we must also ask God for a battleground strategy to deal with the breaches in the wall and the rubble that surrounds it. God will simply not hand-deliver a revival because we ordered it like pizza. There is always a spiritual strategy in God's heart to combat darkness. God's plans, however, will remain unknown to our mindset and thought process unless we inquire of Him and listen to His voice in His Written Word as well as the Holy Spirit's voice to our hearts.
His strategies have always been available. Strife and division among the denominations have caused His strategies to be hidden from the flesh which is hard-pressed to ever hear from God. Those who did hear from our Lord were abandoned in the fields by others to labor alone whereby they became exhausted and discouraged while the institutional mindset marched to it's own humdrum beat.
Despite current societal conditions, we should still be found occupying the gates of the enemy with sword in hand. Jesus's words also assure us of the same in Matthew 16:18. "And on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it". This is clearly a picture of the His church advancing forward whereby we take an offensive position not a defensive one.
Additionally, we should be cultivating earth according to kingdom principles whereby we have dominion over the devices of the enemy which is our demonstration and testimony of being born-again, discipled and dedicated to prayer both corporately and individually. We should be the head and not the tail whereby the banner of Christ's righteousness is found pitched in the center of every cultural arena. As the royal priesthood, we should be found rebuilding the ruined cities, hauling away the rubble at the wall and speaking peace as we arrive to help today's desolated generations.
Receiving our Salvation in Christ Jesus is the most unfathomable gift we can ever receive. Yet each believer must still "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure." (Phl 2:12) Our obedience carried by our secured faith in Christ Jesus according to His Word is our lifetime sanctification which helps to bring God's work in us to completion.
Worsening conditions should not be our excuse for either inactivity or retreat. Instead they should be the very reason and catalyst for why God is calling us to His divine appointment where His heavenly strategies become operative and work in tandem with our obedience.