Jesus said: “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times?” (Matt. 16: 2-3).
We are in the process of crossing a historical threshold in the history of the United States. We are going from one "room" in the Spirit to the next in God’s dealings with the nations. God’s plumbline has been dropped into the midst of the nations to see what character of building materials we have been using. Evaluation time has come. As we round the corner to the strategic, pivitol year 2000, the cracks in our personal lives, families, churches and nation will show forth to determine if our current foundations needs to be jack-hammered, torn up and repoured, or if they are solid enough for God’s last days house to be built upon.
A time of pressure is on us. These will be days of hardship and days of hope. Although certain sectors of the body of Christ have been experiencing times of refreshing, the purpose of these times have been for strengthening against what lies ahead. We have been experiencing a Gentle Awakening; next it will be the Rude Awakening; and then, if the fullness of the Lord's will is accomplished, a Great Awakening will follow.
Discerning the Times
What time is it, anyway? What is the prophetic pulse indicating? Recently, at meetings where I have spoken or attended, fire alarms have gone off in the buildings. One night, when I was on the road in California, the fire alarm went off right outside my hotel room long and loud two times in the middle of the night. Once here in Nashville, Tenn., right at the close of my message, the fire alarm went off in the rented school building. While in Sunderland, England, at the close of the last night's session, the fire alarm went off. What is God trying to say?
Wake-up calls are being sent through the body of Christ. Storm warnings are being issued to the church. The voice of the Lord is beginning to rumble, but soon it will begin to thunder! It’s time to build storm cellars of prayer (see Psalm 91, Psalm 57) where we will be protected under the shadow of His wings.
Exposing the Enemy's Schemes
While God is using pressure to test our foundations, the enemy attempts to toss in his two cents' worth and create confusion and muddy the waters. In recent weeks, a demonic “spirit of anxiety” has been unleashed against the saints. When this goes undetected and not cleansed, it brings in it’s bigger brother named “panic attack.” After this is released, the door is open to its big cousin named terror. There is a confrontation with this spirit of fear in its various forms being waged at this very hour. In these hours, we will need true discernment like never before.
But the Lord has the antidote! Call 911! Yes, I said, "Call 911." Psalm 91:1 promises, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.” The Lord is our defense—call on His name! Let’s agree with Psalm 94: 1-2: “O Lord, God of vengeance; God of vengeance, shine forth! Rise up, O Judge of the earth.”
The prophet Nahum said it this way, “The Lord is slow in anger and great in power, and the Lord will by no means leave the guilty unpunished. In whirlwind and storm is His way, and clouds are the dust beneath His feet” (1:3). But his admonishment does not stop there. It continues with a promise in verse 7, “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knows those who take refuge in Him.”
Days of Hardship, Days of Hope
Will we be prepared? Whether it is adverse, strange weather patterns, global economic recession, or America's materialistic Titanic going under, these times of hardship can become great days of hope. Isaiah said, “For behold, darkness will cover the earth, and deep darkness the peoples; but the Lord will rise upon you, and His glory will appear upon you” (Is. 60: 2).
Yes, let’s receive the wake-up call and get ready! Let’s put on our gospel shoes and be ready to tell others of the hope that resides within us. Let us overcome anxiety by a revelation of the Father’s great love. Let the storm warnings be heard loud and clear. But let us also rejoice—for the days of hardship will lead to days of a great awakening.
About the author: James W. Goll is the co-founder of Encounters Network, director of PrayerStorm, and coordinates Encounters Alliance, a coalition of leaders. He has shared Jesus in more than 40 nations worldwide teaching and imparting the power of intercession, prophetic ministry and life in the Spirit. He is the author of numerous books including PrayerStorm, Angelic Encounters, Prophetic Intercessor and The Seer.
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