Articles

What the Lord is Saying, June 9, 2009
 

 

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

From time to time the Lord will impress on my heart a message to release to
the Body of Christ in our sphere of influence. Since the beginning of this
month the Lord has been stirring something that in the past day or two I
have finally gotten some clarity on.

It began last Monday when I asked the Lord where I should read in the
Scriptures. I felt impressed to read the book of Haggai, which begins like
this: "In the second year of King Darius, in the sixth month, on the first
day of the month, the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet." Since
last Monday was June 1st, I immediately put up my spiritual antennas to hear
what the Lord might want to say. (I know our calendar is not the same as
the Jewish calendar, but God can still speak to us this way. In fact, He
can speak however He wants. My prayer is that we will have ears to hear
what the Spirit is saying).

Although I didn't get any revelation on Monday or for that matter the next
couple of days, Renaid and I did have a wonderful time of prayer together on
Thursday morning last week. It was at that time the Lord dropped something
in my heart through an image or vision of something that occurred centuries
ago in America's history. Most of us can probably remember from school
about Paul Revere's ride, warning people that "the British are coming; the
British are coming!"

I sensed strongly that the Lord wants this message to begin going forth:
"Jesus is coming! Jesus is coming! Jesus is coming!" I began by releasing
this word on Friday and Saturday of our watch last weekend at House of His
Presence.

On Thursday of this week, I was overwhelmed again by the Spirit of Lord when
I opened my Bible and my eyes fell on these words, ". I am ready to perform
My word" (Jeremiah 1:12-NKJV). As I meditated on these words, this thought
came to me: "God is ready, but are we?"

As I shared these words with Renaid, she told me that on Wednesday one of
the intercessors from House of His Presence had again gotten a word from the
Lord that "we're not ready" for what He wants to come and do in our city.
The first time this word came forth I was not happy about it, but now it was
confirming what I sensed the Lord speaking to me.

I began to pray and ask the Lord about what we, the Body of Christ in
Pittsburgh, needs to do to get ready for what He has planned, purposed, and
prophesied for our city. I believe the Lord has shown me several things
that need to happen. Some of these are matters of prayer, but some things
will need to be done after prayer.

First, we need to stop saying, "It's NOT time." Haggai 1:2 - "Thus speaks
the Lord of hosts, saying: 'This people says, "The time has not come, the
time that the Lord's house should be built."'" If God is saying, "It's
time", then we must first and foremost come into agreement with Him.

Second, we need to continue, or perhaps for some get started, with
preparations for God's outpouring. I was reminded of a story that I heard
about a farm community that was experiencing a drought. After some time had
gone by, the folks in the town decided to meet at church for a special
service to pray for rain. A little girl came with her umbrella. Upon
seeing this, someone asked her why she had an umbrella. Her response was,
"We're praying for rain, aren't we?" Oh that we had faith like a child. We
need to believe that God is going to do what He has said. In asking Him to
send revival, we are not trying to get Him to do something He is opposed or
disinclined to do. God has already revealed, through multiple prophetic
words, what His desire and plan is for Pittsburgh.

Third, we need to learn to recognize what God is doing even when it's in
infant form. In Luke 2, the baby Jesus is brought to the temple for
dedication. Simeon, who had been promised by the Lord that he would live to
see the Christ, takes the Baby in his arms and declares, "My eyes have seen
Your salvation." We often tell people about the Mississippi River. Most of
us are probably familiar with the river as it is when it passes St. Louis
and New Orleans. But at its headwater in Minnesota, where it bubbles up and
is only ankle deep (sound familiar to Ezek 47?), it is still the
Mississippi. In many ways, what God intends to do has already begun. Let
us not despise the day of small beginnings.

Fourth, I believe the Lord is saying that we need to look at "the big
picture". In Haggai, God's people were so caught up in taking care of their
own houses (churches/ministries), that they were missing what God was saying
about His house (The church/Kingdom/city). Twice in the next few verses,
God says, "Consider your ways!" Jeremiah 29:7 instructs us to seek the
welfare or peace (shalom) of our city, for in its blessing is our blessing.
If Pittsburgh as a whole is blessed, we as individuals will be blessed. We
need to be sure that we are not so focused on our little world that we miss
the benefit of working together with others in the Body of Christ. Let us
remember, there is a commanded blessing in unity (see Psalm 133).

Fifth, I believe the Lord would have us reprioritize some of our activities.
Is it possible that some of us would be too busy to maintain revival when it
becomes full-blown? I once asked the Lord why a visitation of His Spirit
had not been embraced in a particular place. One of the things He said to
me was, "People were too busy maintaining the status quo." There are only
so many hours in day, days in a week, and weeks in a month. If we truly
want "the new", we will have to let go of "the old".

Finally, we need to give God our preconceived ideas what revival will look
like in our city. Wherever God has moved in the past, there have been some
similarities but also major differences. If God comes in a form other than
what we are expecting, will we recognize it's Him? (Remember the two on the
road to Emmaus). What if God begins using people we wouldn't choose? What
if He begins moving in a place other than ours? I once read the following
and it stuck with me: "Great things can be accomplished in the Kingdom if
nobody cares who gets the credit."

As I said at the beginning, I believe the Lord is ready to do what He has
promised. As much as possible, we need to get ready. Perhaps He will come,
ready or not. But if there are things we need to do, by all means let us
begin doing them. I'll leave you with the following words from Ezekiel
12:21-28:

And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 22"Son of man, what is this
proverb that you people have about the land of Israel, which says, 'The days
are prolonged, and every vision fails'? 23Tell them therefore, 'Thus says
the Lord GOD: "I will lay this proverb to rest, and they shall no more use
it as a proverb in Israel." But say to them, "The days are at hand, and the
fulfillment of every vision. 24For no more shall there be any false vision
or flattering divination within the house of Israel. 25For I am the Lord. I
speak, and the word which I speak will come to pass; it will no more be
postponed; for in your days, O rebellious house, I will say the word and
perform it," says the Lord GOD.'" 26Again the word of the Lord came to me,
saying, 27"Son of man, look, the house of Israel is saying, 'The vision
that he sees is for many days from now, and he prophesies of times far off.'
28Therefore say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "None of My words will be
postponed any more, but the word which I speak will be done," says the Lord
GOD.'

Jesus is coming! Jesus is coming! Jesus is coming!

God bless you with grace and anticipation,

Ray Almgren


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