PRAYING HIS HEART
Mercy Triumps Over Judgement
Article by Kris Vallotton
It has been said that God does nothing in the affairs of men except they pray. Prayer is the catalyst for worldwide transformation. Prayer incites the angels, restrains darkness, and releases nations into their destiny. Prayer is the key to revival, building bridges between what should be and what will be. The devil also knows the power of prayer and he understands that he can't stop us from praying. But he is the master of deception and he tries to convince us that his destructive schemes are "acts of God" so Believers will not release the arsenal of Heaven against him! Unfortunately, satan has been more successful at deceiving the saints recently than he has for decades. One of the ways he has shrewdly crept into our society is by convincing the Church that it is our responsibility to release the wrath of God against sinners. This authorizes the dethroned prince of darkness to kill, steal and destroy while we stand aside applauding the demise of these ravaged people. To make matters worse, this evil prince frames the Lord of Redemption for his crimes, poisoning the people of His passion, which causes many of them to reject His wedding invitation. Meanwhile, those who have been empowered to police this property, lack discernment and assist these angels of light in their killing spree.
The Remerging Of The Dooms Day Prophets
In the last decade the "Doomsday" prophets seemed to have come out of hibernation. In 1997, my own parents moved out of the San Francisco Bay Area to avoid the wrath of a great earthquake prophesied to strike southern California. This quake was going to destroy Hollywood for its immoral pollution of the media and San Francisco for its homosexual perversion. The word also predicted that northern California would become "ocean front property." My Mom and Dad relocated Bay Area to Lake Tahoe near Nevada, hoping to find a prophetic "no-fly" zone. Just about the time my folks got settled, several prophets began to prophesy about an upcoming international famine. This became known around the world as the "Y2K bug." This bug was going to judge us for making our intellect a god. It was the perfect "God Scheme." The whole plan was to be hidden by our foolish confidence in man's brilliance. It seemed that the Lord had blinded every computer nerd in the world, keeping them from discovering too soon that we would all be starving over the lack of a digit. What a way to go! There would be rioting in the streets; people would be fighting off the temptation to cannibalize their neighbors and children! Businesses and governments would crumble next. Some even predicted this would start the "Mother of all Wars." People streamed in mass to buy generators and guns to protect their food in the "Name of the Lord." Needless to say, these preparations proved to be pointless, and my parents are still driving for hours to reach the ocean. September 11, 2001 will forever be branded in the minds of Americans as a monument to murder. America woke up to the sounds of people screaming, many of them on fire as they exited the black smoke of a man-made hell. Explosions could be heard in the background as buildings crumbled and thousands were trapped in would-be tombs. Weeping and wailing were heard for miles as people wandered aimlessly through the streets looking for their loved ones. Many jumped to their death from these flaming infernos. Deep sadness and fear blanketed the whole earth as the news spread. Everywhere, people were crying out for mercy for those who were still counted among the missing. People were glued to their TV sets, praying, hoping and believing that life would emerge from the rubble.
Although the "Prophets of Doom" had not prophesied this disaster, declarations of darkness began to emerge from what was supposed to be the "House of Hope." Before we could ask ourselves why such a mindless act of horror would be perpetrated on the lives of the many innocent who died that day, numerous Prophets began to proclaim that this terrorist attack was God's judgment for the sins of our nation. Their thesis was God was angry over the abortion, homosexual and pornography issues so he decided to kill a bunch of people to make His point. Can you imagine the grief that beset those who had lost love ones and were now being confronted by an angry God who wanted to kill more people? This attitude reminds me of something Jesus said, "In the last days the love of many will grow cold" (Matthew 24:12).
It seems that many of God's Prophets are slow learners as a whole new wave of prophetic judgments are being released over San Francisco, Northern California and Hollywood again. These judgments are predicated by a huge misunderstanding of New Testament prophetic ministry in the Church today. The Church needs to realize that the crucifixion of Jesus fulfilled the Law and the Prophets! We need to stop doing for the devil what he can't do for himself!
Let's take a look at the goal of New Testament ministry and means of achieving it according to the Apostle Paul. He wrote:
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2Corinthians 5:17-21).
Two things come to light in these passages; number one, New Testament ministry is the "ministry of reconciliation". And number two; the way God reconciles people to Himself is by "not count their trespasses against them!" In the Old Testament the primary role of the Prophet was to decree judgments for national transgressions because sin required judgment under the Law. But in the New Testament, the crucifixion of Christ paid the price that judgment required thereby fulfilling justice and ultimately releasing mercy to millions of sinners who didn't deserve it (people like you and me, for instance).
A Violent Act Of Grace
It never seems to dawn on some Believers that we didn't get into the Kingdom through our works but through His (Christ's). Sinners who discipline themselves into good behavior are still sinners who are in need of a savior. No one can behave their way into Heaven! Trying to get into Heaven through the disciplined behavior is called self-righteousness and it is ugly to God! Jesus said, "The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John; since that time the gospel of the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it (Luke 16:16). The Law said, "you can't come into the Kingdom because you haven't kept all the rules!" The Prophets continued the same theme proclaiming judgments on the world for their (our) wickedness. But then, suddenly, something amazing happen; unrighteous people began turning the Cross of Christ into a battering ram and through a violet act of grace they forced their way into the Kingdom!
Shaking Out The Salt
Jesus told us, "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men (Matthew 5:13). In Jesus' day, they didn't have refrigerators to store their food. Salt was the primary means by which they preserved their meat and poultry. Through this analogy, the Lord is teaching us that the Church is the element in society that preserves the culture from the wrath of God and the destruction of evil forces. A great example of this is Joseph, who released a corporate blessing through his righteous life. His presence in Egypt caused the Israelites and the Egyptians to be spared from a worldwide famine. Jesus also said that when salt becomes tasteless, it is not good for anything except to be walked on by men. In other words, the people of that day would taste the salt and if it was no longer salty, they knew that it would not keep their food from spoiling. It's important to remember that Jesus is not really talking about preserving meat, but describing the Body of Christ. So what does it mean to become tasteless? It implies that we have stopped preserving the world. You can tell when the Church has become tasteless because we begin prophesy against the people we are supposed to be preserving.
Not only is the Church preservation (salt), but we are also revelation (light). In the book of Matthew Jesus said, "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden (Matthew 5:14). What does it mean to be light, and what is it that we are illuminating? We are shedding light on nature of God; how He thinks and acts in the affairs of men. We are the revelation of the Father and His love letter to the world. We re-present Christ to the lost. The world looks to us to understand world events through the eyes of God. When we misrepresent our Heavenly Father, the world gets a warped perspective of God. James and John are a good example of how many misrepresent God. The "Sons of Thunder" wanted to call fire down to consume a city, but Jesus said to them, "You don't know what spirit you are of" (Luke 9:54-55). It is interesting to me that was this was the same John who wrote to the Beloved and exhorted us, "Not to believe every spirit, but to test the spirits to see if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world" (I John 4:1). I imagine that he received the revelation that even Jesus' own apostles could be influenced by hell through his own experience of listening to the wrong spirit. Notice how his exhortation continues in the same chapter: "Beloved, let us love one another . . . There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love" (John 4:18). These verses were written in the context of testing the spirits. In other words, we test the spirits by examining them in light of the virtues of love. When we read love's virtues that are spelled out in the letter to the Corinthians, and understand that fear has no place in love, we find ourselves wondering what spirit is encouraging these judgment prophecies. The greatest tragedy is that the revelation the world receives from these voices causes them to believe that our Father is an angry God who is looking for an opportunity to punish people.
The apostle John laid his head on the chest of Christ and was transformed from an angry, "son of thunder" into John the beloved. It is time for the prophets of God to lay their head on the Masters chest and hear the heart beat of Heaven again. Jesus said, ". . . If the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness" (Matthew 6:23)! If we are the light of the world and we are speaking against the people who are already lost in night, how great is the darkness! In the same way, when we represent God as someone who wants to destroy America because forty millions babies have been aborted in our country, we perpetuate the very problem that we are trying to cure. People are killing their babies because they don't know or understand the love of the Father. Does it make sense that we tell people that God is so angry that we are killing our young that He is going to teach us a lesson by kill a bunch more people? Is our Father so single-dimensional in His being that He only has one response to anything man does wrong?
Can you imagine the negative impact it would have on your daughter if she came to you to tell you that she had an abortion, and in response you flipped out and tried to kill her? If you reacted out of rage, I would suggest that your lack of love is a large part of her decision to have the abortion in the first place. When we reveal God to the world, it is essential that we communicate light, life and love. Love doesn't punish or create fear. I personally don't believe that God is mad at sinners. I do think that He is grieved over the world's destructive behavior. But grief and anger aren't same thing.
Love Requires Free Choice
Every time we see the heartless acts of destruction that deeply wound the heart of God, we must remember the depths of God's desire to share love. The nature of love is that it requires us to be able to choose. If God took away our choice, people could only behave in the way that God programmed them to. Wars would cease, hunger would end and poverty would only be an ancient memory. But the desperate cry of the human heart that beats with passion for a loving relationship with the most beautiful Being in the entire universe would be gone too. Day after day, a loving Creator looks down on a broken planet longing for the day when the object of His affection will walk hand in hand with Him into indescribable beauty in the halls of eternity. In the meantime the destruction continues, not because God is angry with man, but rather because men choose to kill, steal and destroy. This is the fruit of those who have chosen the wrong lover (Satan).
Meanwhile a hateful enemy is stalking a wounded and desperate people. He is seeking to paralyze us with fear, demoralize us with his arrogant boasts of destructive predications and hardness us with hopeless. Yet still, the future belongs to those who pray. Prayer is the bridge between what should be and what will be. The diligent prayer of a righteous people will ultimately determine the destiny of our children. Therefore it is our responsibility to leave to those yet to be born, a world in revival as their inheritance. Hanging in the balance of eternity is the ultimate climax of our Creator - the kingdoms of this world becoming the Kingdom of our God.