LIFTING THE NATION
Men and women who live rightly before God can 'lift' their cities and nations by their verbal invocations of blessings. The Malaysian church must certainly attain the place where she will, in clarity and accuracy, be able to, make invocations into the nation to lift her up above
"By the blessing of the upright, the city is exalted."
Demonic Influence and Harassment
Take for example, the 'family' man who kidnapped his own seven-year-old brother-in-law for money. The young victim boarded his car unsuspectingly because this criminal was a family member. He had, in fact, stayed with the young boy's family for many years. The older man drugged the little boy, then put a plastic bag over his head to suffocate him. When he became unconscious, he stuffed his body into a suitcase and then dumped him into the river. Then he coolly accompanied his in-laws to the police station to report that the little boy was missing!
Then there was the sixteen-year-old teenager who was raped by a boy who was actually a family friend. Can't we trust family friends? When the boy got onto her motorcycle, he put a knife to her throat and directed her to a shed. When he tried to rape her, the plucky lass fought back. He hit her violently on the head with a machete and almost severed her finger. As the girl fell semi-unconscious, he wrapped her with a mat and then piled wood on top of her and started a fire. He wanted to destroy all evidence. The girl was smart. Even though she was in excruciating pain, she 'played dead.' The moment the boy left the scene, she rushed out of the burning shed and went for help.
These violent cases of rape and murder were not committed by strangers or psychotic criminals but by family friends and trusted relatives. These culprits transgressed against all laws because they wanted to fulfill their own lusts. They were willing to kill relatives and friends in order to satisfy their own inflamed passions, and demons were there to help them fulfill their inordinate desires.
Two years ago, when a 10-year-old girl was gang raped (by security guards in their guard house), even a secular newspaper columnist could discern the cause of such evil. He commented that these "sick felons and evil twisted minds are haunted by demons." He was definitely 'spot on,' and I totally agree with him.
Spiritual Cohesion and Integration
Yes, men's basest and vilest appetites with their follies, anomalies, propensities and madness cannot be restrained without God. He has already forewarned us that men can never be satisfied without Him. Isaiah prophesied that a man without God "shall snatch on the right hand, and be hungry; and he shall eat on the left hand and they shall not be satisfied: they shall eat every man the flesh of his own arm" (Isaiah 9:19-20). To lack satisfaction is a form of judgment in itself.
Sick and Loathsome Appetites
Amnon, the first-born of David was a good example. Inflamed with passion for Tamar, his beautiful half-sister, he could not wait to have her. He became so vexed with the object of his 'love' and desire that he could not even eat and sleep. Amnon's inflamed 'animal' desire drove him into raping Tamar. Alas, a noble prince was reduced to a ruthless rapist, devoid of all self-respect, dignity and compassion; and of all people, he mercilessly attacked his own sister. After that initial brutal attack to gratify his own inordinate desires, he loathed her (2 Samuel 13).
King Solomon had everything he wanted and had spent his life in all conceivable excesses and pursuits, but his final confession was that the things which he once delighted in had now brought him 'vexation and weariness.' He confessed that they were all 'vanity.' Why? Because without the presence and the reality of God, men cannot even enjoy the good things that they have. The wisest king became the most foolish by allowing beautiful but ungodly women to lure him away from God. His cry in the book of Ecclesiastes is pathetic and it is no wonder that in his writings he concluded that of all created things, the manipulative woman is the most evil (Ecclesiastes 7:26)!
God's Presence is the Restraining Order
Amidst this rising flood of violent and abnormal crimes that are fuelled by man's vile and unchecked appetites and demonic influence, we have other dangers too - the looming threats from earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes and 'untreatable' sicknesses and diseases. Our enemies and the spirit of death are indeed spread out to the right and to the left of us. They are in front and behind us. Like Moses and the children of Israel, we seem to be sandwiched between the Red Sea and the armies of Pharaoh! What hope do we have in the days ahead when the armies, the navies, scientists, doctors, moral counsellors, gifted politicians and police will have no control over the prevailing evil?
Nature Affected by Men's Sins
"The earth reels to and fro like a drunken man and sways like a watchmen's shelter; the sins of men weigh heavy upon it" (Isaiah 24:20 NEB, emphasis mine).
"Your wrong doing has upset nature's order and your sins have kept from you kindly gifts" (Jeremiah 5:25 NEB).
Men's sins upsetting nature's order! Now you know why all of a sudden, nature is convulsing and spewing up tsunamis. Why? Because men and women, by their sins and uncontrollable lusts, have upset nature. Luke tells us in 21:25-26 that part of God's end-time judgment will be the onslaught of tsunamis:
"On earth nations will stand helpless, not knowing which way to turn from the roar and surge of the sea (tsunamis), men will faint with terror at the thought of all that is coming upon the world" (Luke 21:25-26 NEB, emphasis mine).
How can we stop the ravages of sin, which in turn have upset nature's order? How can we stop the influence and infiltration of demons upon human behaviour? How can we stop God's judgments from coming upon our nation? Can our country be lifted up above this coming ugly physical and spiritual flood or will we be beaten down by its merciless waves and billows and be drowned in its swirling dark waters?
The Different Types of 'Floods'
Two weeks ago, CNN reported that there was an earthquake in Tonga and that New Zealand, Hawaii and Fuji were put on 'high alert' for a possible tsunami. Thank God it did not happen. Last week the media's top story and headlines read: 'EARTHQUAKE IN JAVA,' with nearly 6,000 people killed. A few days later, the headlines were: 'LANDSLIDE TRAGEDY' in our own nation (Klang, Malaysia.) Besides these disturbing physical tragedies of tsunamis, earthquakes, incurable diseases, famines, landslides etc. which have taken away so many human lives, we also have other tragedies that are more evil, subtle and intangible.
Spiritual and Moral Flood
The article said that 40% of men in England feed on pornography. Does this frighten you? It frightens me, because I know that soon, this ungodly evil in Europe will spread to our nation. Sin will multiply and mushroom if it is not resisted and stopped. It frightens me because England is supposed to be the land of the enlightened, the noble, the refined and the civilized - the place where we Asians choose to send our children for education and refinement. Besides the alarming spread of pornography, England is also 'deluged' with unnatural sex as school children in England are taught oral sex for gratification in order to curb unwanted pregnancies.
How has this country stooped so low, with 40% of its population feeding on porn, and young children being taught unnatural sex? Among this 40%, many are Christians, including clergymen, men who are supposedly spiritual and holy. Unfortunately, they do not call pornography sin - they call it the 'alternative lifestyle' and also the 'new world culture' (Please read GOD'S STRATEGIES FOR THE ENDTIMES Books 4 and 5, for more details.)
Men and women are not satisfied and are constantly inventing new ways and means to gratify themselves, including abnormal and inhuman ways. Human beings have outdone animals because animals do only the natural but men have gone beyond that. Men are not satisfied and gratified because God is not satisfied with them. When we do not bring delight to God, we will in return, be given no satisfaction ourselves. This is why we have to invent new and abnormal ways to be gratified.
Indulging in the Abnormal
Oh God, hold back these flood waters; forbid their entry into our land! We stand on Your promise that when the enemy comes in like a flood, You will lift up a standard against them. We prophesy Your standard against these floods and command them to retreat from Malaysia! Yes, there is hope for us even though so many within the church have already caved in to these 'floods of Egypt' and drowned. Our hope is in God who promises that He Himself will raise up a standard against the 'flood waters' of the enemy. This is what Isaiah prophesied in Isaiah 59:19b:
"When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of God shall lift up a standard against him."
Compare the nature of God and the nature of the devil. Compare the ways in which they work. While the devil tries to 'flood' us with the intention to drown and kill us, God comes to lift us up. The devil's nature is to flood and drown us, but God's nature is always to lift us up.
When the enemy tries to flood us, God will come to our aid by lifting us up. Why then did God allow all these 'floods'? Because this is the only way to test our 'substantiality' and to expose our true foundation. The story Jesus told in Matthew 7 is interesting. Do you know He was talking about us? The two houses, the one built on the sand and the one built on rocky foundation looked exactly the same on the outside - they were both grand and posh-looking. In fact, most people may prefer the house that is built on sand because it requires less time to build and it will definitely cost less. If the storm and the flood had not come, nothing would be revealed. Unfortunately, (or fortunately?) the floods came and the foundation and the nature of the two houses were exposed.
The house with the cheap 'sandy' foundation collapsed because it could not stand the strain and the powerful insurgent forces of the flood waters. This beautiful, posh, 'expensive-looking' house just caved in; it tumbled. Yes, it was demolished, finished, wrecked and ruined by the storm and the floods. Cheap foundations and building materials are not good enough for physical houses. Can they be good enough for our spiritual lives? God knew that the flood waters would come, especially in the end times. This is why He commanded us to go on this special powerful diet of daily Manna. We are to feed on Jesus and let His life infuse ours, while dying to our own lives. Yes, daily we are to let the cross rebuke our own selfish living. If our lives are an infusion of the life of Jesus and we are HIS WORKMANSHIP then we will hold up against the storm and floods. Jesus has promised and declared that the gates of hell cannot prevail against the church that He builds.
"I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18).
Jesus is telling us that if our lives are fused into His, then they have a divine guardianship and element which are impregnable. The very fact that we fall under this flood of satanic invasion and collapse into moral, mental and spiritual ruin tells us that we have not allowed Jesus to do the spiritual building into our lives. Modern day Christianity is hardly 'a building of the Lord.' Instead it is an infusion of church entertainment, 'copied sermons,' and endless activities with no eternal validity. This is why thousands of Christians, including clergymen and spiritual leaders, have caved in under the flood waters of pornography, extra-marital affairs, inordinate affections and sexual uncleanness.
While God allows 'floods' to test us, the devil uses them to ruin us. The nature of God and the nature of the devil are clearly stated by the prophet Isaiah in 59:19. Floods, whether physical, moral or spiritual are terrifying. They are overwhelming, engulfing, vehement and uncontrollable. They hurl down everything in their path. Its rapid, violent and sweeping nature breaks all barriers. Yes, floods devastate. Floods destroy and annihilate. Floods obliterate and exterminate...and this is the nature of the devil. He wants to flood us. The apostle John saw his work in Revelation 12:15.
"The serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood."
Floods Come to Everyone
Spurgeon's Wise Diagnosis
The wise Spurgeon replied, "Lady, have you ever thought that these thoughts which brought on such feelings are NOT EVEN YOUR OWN? You have merely opened yourself to the evil one and have allowed him to 'flood' you without any resistance and he had even deceived you into thinking these thoughts and feelings are your own." Whereupon the lady broke down and asked for prayers. She was instantly restored.
It is hard to fight the enemy when you do not know how he works and operates. Remember he operates by 'floods' - meaning his penetration is sudden, overwhelming and deadly. But when we are hidden within that ARK, we can always rise above those floods. Yes, recognize the devil's workings. He will always, in his hatred, 'flood' us, while God in His love, will lift us up. God does this because this is His nature. He always wants to lift us up above the floods. The apostle John saw in his vision what the prophet Isaiah prophesied about God doing the 'lifting up.'
"And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly (be lifted up) into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished" (Rev. 12:14, words in brackets mine).
The devil sends the flood but God lifted the woman (the church) by giving her two wings to fly above the flood. Two wings to fly above the flood! How interesting. Just when the devil thinks we have no way out and that he can finish and annihilate us by the vicious flood, God gives the church two wings to fly above it! With those God-given wings, this woman (church) was able to soar high above the satanic flood and she hid in a God-given place to be nourished by God Himself. Yes, when we have a knowledge of God's nature, we will also have the knowledge about how we can lift up our nation or our town above all floods, whether they are tangible or intangible.
God is Always King Above the 'Floods'
'Hide me now under Your wings
What powerful lyrics. May we always be reminded that God is indeed KING OVER AND ABOVE THE FLOOD, however bad the flood may be. All biblical heroes had experienced being flooded. God allowed the floods to test them. When the prophet Jeremiah complained of the adversities (the floods in his life) that he had to go through, God asked him, 'If in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan' (Jeremiah 12:5b)?
Men of God will be Subjected to Floods
One moment these men were enjoying a pleasant ride with Jesus in the boat, the next moment, the floods broke through - suddenly. They could not deny that they were not in danger. The facts and the feelings of their predicament were all there - howling winds, violent waves, darkened skies, turbulent swirling waters, raging sea and an uncontrollable boat. We are sinking! The evidence is all there! The wind, the water and the waves were beating against that little boat and it could go to pieces any moment. How can we believe that we will survive such a threat when there is absolutely no evidence that we will? We are going down! Fear is tangible. They screamed. They panicked. Burly and experienced fishermen and possibly great swimmers and seasoned men of the sea became frightened. Where does that leave you and me?
When Jesus is in the Boat, it will Never Sink
Yes, Jesus has proven that He is indeed King over the floods and the storm. King David who had often been 'flooded' himself proclaimed that God is always above the flood. He gave us a deeper revelation when he said that God actually establishes the earth upon (above) the floods:
"The Lord sitteth upon (above) the flood; yea, the Lord sitteth King forever" (Psalm 29:10).
"He hath founded it (the earth) upon the seas, and established it upon the floods" (Psalm 24:2).
God can Build upon the Floods!
When floods become so overwhelming that there is absolutely no way out, God knows how to make a way through the threatening flood. It happened to the nation of Israel when God parted the Red Sea to make a pathway for them. Moses and David declared:
"He turned the sea into dry land: they went through the flood on foot; There did we rejoice in him" (Psalm 66:6).
End Times Characterized by 'Floods'
"and the end thereof shall be with a flood and unto the end of the war desolations are determined" (Daniel 9:26b).
"The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves; the Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea" (Psalms 93:3-4).
The floods have indeed lifted up their voices, both the tangible and the intangible floods. Many western countries, especially Europe, may be untouched by a physical tsunami, but they have definitely succumbed to those intangible waters - the soul-damning 'new world culture' of paedophilism, pornography, abnormal and perverted sex and same-sex marriages. Which is more dangerous? Tsunamis and physical floods or the moral 'flood' of filth that is now called the 'new-world' culture and 'alternative lifestyle'? While physical floods destroy only physical lives (not the soul which lives on eternally) the moral and mental 'floods of Egypt' (Jeremiah 46:8) which God had often warned His people against, destroy both the physical body and the soul.
The Intangible 'Floods of Egypt'
"Who is this that cometh up as a flood, whose waters are moved as the rivers? Egypt riseth up like a flood, and his waters are moved like the rivers; and he saith I will go up and will cover the earth; I will destroy the city and the inhabitants thereof" (Jeremiah 46:7-8).
These 'Egyptian floods' have indeed gone on a 'destroying spree' and are trying to cover the earth. If you do not build up a strong prayer force within yourself, your church and your nation, what makes you think you can prevail against these "Egyptian floods' that have so many ' faces and facets'? They often come with such a spirit of benevolence, a mask of goodwill and 'spirituality' that we often mistakenly see them as coming 'from God.' But then we realize we have been robbed of our desire for God, of the simplicity, purity and power of the apostolic lifestyle; instead, we have been lured into sensuality, to physical lusts for 'bigger barns' and a deep psychic attraction for money etc. and we wake up, like Samson, to realize that God was not there. The prophet Amos, in his days, saw the devastating flood of Egypt drowning many (Amos 8;8, 9:5).
Rising Up to Play or to Pray?
If we rise up and pray, we realize that God is indeed King over the flood. Lashing winds, violent rain, shrieking thunder and intensified floods can come but the house will not give way. It will remain erect, regal, unshaken, unbendable and distinct because it was built on the Rock and that Rock will never give way to any flood. Are you built on that Rock? If so, then soar with Him above the flood and take your rest.
I. By verbally and consistently invoking God's blessings or favour upon our land.
"By the blessing (the verbal invocation) of the upright, the city
The actual meaning of the above verse can be read as:
"The city can be lifted up (exalted) by the verbal invocation (blessing) of those who live rightly (the upright) before God."
I. By Verbally and Consistently Invoking
Verbal Invocations - Beyond Praying
Jesus Invoked Curses and Blessings
Jesus knew He could penetrate spiritual dimensions to rebuke principalities and powers behind life-threatening events. Remember how He rebuked the raging sea and brought it to a calm? He just opened His mouth and verbally invoked peace upon it. He did not pray, He merely declared prophetically, "Peace and stillness!" Instantly peace and stillness came to the distraught sea. He taught His disciples to verbally and prophetically invoke declarations to hindering mountains by saying, "Be ye removed and be cast into the sea."
Verbal Invocations are Possible only when Prayer Life is Substantial
Elisha, his disciple, upon assuming his prophetic mantle, simply invoked the name of God, asking Him to show Himself. Then He smote the waters of Jordan with his mantle and the waters parted! He went on to heal a poisoned stream by simply saying, "I have healed you!" When a group of disrespectful youths jeered at him and made fun of his bald head, he invoked a curse upon them and instantly two bears appeared and mauled them to death (2 Kings 2:23-24)! These two men were men 'who stood before God,' meaning they were men who knew how to prevail in the spirit of prayers. Verbal prophetic invocations are only possible when we live a substantial prayer life. Verbal invocations means believing that what you have prayed in private, you can now bring to pass in public by calling them into existence through the invocations that come out of your mouth.
The church in Malaysia must learn to go beyond praying. We must attain the place where we can rise to make accurate, verbal and prophetic invocations into the nation so that the nation will be lifted up above the COMING FLOOD, whether they are physical and tangible tsunamis and earthquakes or moral and spiritual floods of demonic invasion into our minds or value systems. We must learn to LIFT UP OUR NATION against all satanic attacks by invoking God's blessings into our land. We must also learn to invoke curses upon the powers of darkness for encroaching upon our nation to stir up devastation and death.
An Example of an Invocation of Blessing and Curse
We invoke God's blessings and righteousness upon our government and upon all the ministers and officials in the land. Let the fear of God overtake them so that they will do justice and righteousness because God's hand is heavy upon them.
We invoke God's influence upon them as they sit to make laws and rules for this nation. We bless them with divine wisdom and strength. The powers of darkness will not influence them for we bind their powers in Jesus' Name."
Daily, I drove to the piece of land and prayed that God would change his mind. One hot afternoon, I felt impressed to get out of my car. I stood in the middle of that piece of land to make this invocation. With an old umbrella held high over my head to shield me from the blazing afternoon sun, and encompassed by waist-high weeds, I stood in the middle of that land to declare: "This is SOL land! God has given it to us! You will not build your house here for you will change your mind as God moves your heart to sell it to us." Two weeks later, the owner who had told me he would not sell his land as it was set aside to build his family home, came to me to say he had changed his mind and he was now willing to sell us the land. He bought another piece of land near the church. Today, the office, the chapel and the ten rooms for SOL are built upon this piece of land!
I remember how the Lord led me to walk all over the school grounds to make invocations of blessings such as, "Nations will converge here. This is the ground that will give strategic people from different nations the breakthrough they require. This is the place that will cause many to break into their spiritual destiny and be accurately positioned." All these have come to pass as SOL has been visited by many who come from different nations of the world.
Another experience I had with 'post-prayer invocation' had to do with the WORLD CUP SOCCER eight years ago. Many in the nations of the world do not know that the world of football is actually a world of witchcraft, prostitution, lies and gambling. Thousands of young innocent girls are forced into prostitution to satisfy the sexual desires of footballers and their fans. World Cup Soccer is actually a global avenue for satanic expression. On the surface it is only a global sport, (the greatest show on earth?) but underneath, it is plain 'rot' and wickedness. Let me share a paragraph from what I wrote in the article entitled 'The Truth About World Cup Soccer.'
"Eight years ago, as I watched how the media glorified this sport and the footballers, my spirit became deeply grieved. The grief climaxed into raw shock when I saw a picture of a footballer being 'deified' by his fans in his nation. They framed his photo, lit candles and put flowers in front of him and made obeisance to him. I went into my office, drew the blinds and dropped on my knees to pray against this act of idolatry. After some time of groaning in the spirit, I suddenly proclaimed and made this verbal invocation:
"This year the French will win. Brazil will lose. Brazil and this star footballer will never take the glory from Jesus because this year they will fall and be shamed. Brazil will have 'zero' goals and the French will have three. I now render this footballer powerless on
Do you know that was exactly what happened? The accuracy in which the prayer was answered was awesome. When God's Spirit moves through us or when He Himself makes a hit, there will be no missed targets. The world was shocked over the results of World cup 1988."
Watchmen and intercessors must learn to go beyond praying. We must know how to make 'post-prayer' verbal invocations to bless the nation and to curse the works of darkness. God tells us that the verbal prophetic invocations of the upright will bring blessings to the nation by LIFTING IT HIGH ABOVE all satanic floods and assaults. Do you remember how the ARK WAS LIFTED UP ABOVE THE FLOOD WATERS in the days of Noah when millions perished? This word, "lifted up" used in Genesis 7:17 is the same word used here in Proverbs 11:11. God is telling us that as the Ark was lifted high above the floods that destroyed millions in Noah's days, the verbal invocations of blessings which come after much prayers will also lift up our nation high above all those satanic floods, be they physical or spiritual, tangible or intangible.
"The flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up upon the earth" (Gen 7:17).
Yes, while nations are flooded by both physical danger, mental filth and spiritual attacks, God in His word is telling us that we in Malaysia can keep our city or nation above all these if only we will boldly make verbal invocations to bless our nation or city. Our verbal and vocal invocations released in faith into the spiritual realm can restrain demonic influences from pulling down the nation. Our spoken words can beat down demons and intensify the works of angels and activate events in the heavenly realm.
Patrolling Our Nation by Invocations of Curses and Blessings
The word 'curse' can mean two things: either a profane railing or to be abandoned to God's punishment and not 'have His favour.' When we bind or curse the powers of the enemies, the meaning is: 'to let them be abandoned to God's punishment and not have God's favour.' We do not mean 'to rail against the principalities and powers.' It is praying prophetically and apostolically with passion, accuracy and authority as the Lord directs and leads. And this should be done corporately.
Our enemies are invisible. Who can fight them except God, who has chosen to move through His saints by using their mouths in prayers and in divine prophetic utterances. Did not Jesus tell His disciples that what they bound on earth would be bound in heaven? The utterances of invocations by those who are joined to the Lord and joined with one another are indeed powerful. It is sad that God's saints have lost this power. We neglect to meet daily (just 2 or 3 coming together) in corporate prayers so that we can unleash this power to govern the spirit realm.
The early church met daily for corporate prayers with the objective of unleashing their God-given power into the spirit realm to activate God's movements on earth. Heaven responded with divine movements on earth when Peter, Paul and Silas were in jail. Angels came to loose them. Earthquakes took place. The same happened to Cornelius and to Philip. Angels were again involved. Daily corporate prayers must return to the Malaysian Church if we want to see divine and supernatural movements descending upon our nation.
Yes, daily corporate prayers for the nation are needed. Daily corporate prayers to lift up the nation are needed, not daily selfish manipulative prayers of invocations to bless ourselves with better jobs, better houses, more money and more influence. No. No.
Utterances of God-led invocations are powerful and like the sweet anointing oil which God commanded Moses to make in the Old Testament, they are not for private and personal use. They were solely used for God and His glory. Like the fragrant incense (incense symbolizes prayers) these prayers of invocation are to be used for God and never for selfish gain.
II. By Living an Upright Life Which is Antithetical to the Worldly System
Notice the word of God says that these verbal invocations of blessings must come from those who are living right before God. Our living before God is important because so many of us can live 'so right' before men but 'so wrong' before God. Often times, men's uprightness is not God's uprightness because we can be 'so right' on the outside and yet 'so wrong' on the inside. Right outward actions do not always mean we are inwardly right. (The Mafia usually donates huge sums of money to orphanages and welfare homes after they have gone on a rampage of murders.)
What is right living before God? Perhaps the lives of the prophet Samuel and the apostle Paul may help us. Samuel was the greatest praying prophet of Israel, one whose speaking was so powerful that God did not allow his words 'to fall to the ground.' Samuel was a man who could govern his nation and lift it up above the 'floods' and assaults of the Philistines not only by his prayers but also by the life he lived. The scriptures pay a powerful tribute to him by stating, "So the Philistines were subdued and they came no more into the coast of Israel; and the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel" (1 Sam 7:13). In other words, as long as Samuel was alive, Israel's enemies could not break into the land because Samuel, by his consistent prayers and upright living, kept them out! How powerfully the son of Hannah lived his life.
Just what type of life did Samuel live? Let's hear his own testimony at the close of his 'retirement.' This is what he testified about himself:
"Witness against me before the Lord, and before his anointed: whose ox have I taken? Or whose ass have I taken? Or whom have I defrauded. Whom have I oppressed? Or of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind mine eyes therewith? And I will restore it you" (1 Sam 12:3).
Having a Good 'History' in God
How many of God's prophets live like Samuel today? There seems to be more 'Balaam' prophets than 'Samuel' prophets in this present church age. From the days of his youth till old age, Samuel had no plans to advance himself at the expense of those under his authority. He did not have the lust to multiply his earthly possessions by abusing his prophetic office. He did not succumb to the psychic attraction of money and neither did he lust to see his properties increase and grow. This was why, like the great apostolic builder Nehemiah, he refused to take bribes or 'gifts of appreciation' from the hands of people because he knew these things could blind or cover one's eyes.
Fruits of Your Life -Your Standing Monument
Unlike today's prophets, Samuel had no 'ministry lusts,' or a personal agenda to extend his sphere of influence. He did not 'jet-set' for ministerial or reputation purposes. He went only when he was 'on call by God,' with a God-given message. He simply did what God wanted him to do - judge Israel. He hid himself in Rama so he could pray and minister to God and to hear from Him for the nation. He lived a 'poured-out' life, a spiritual principle which he wanted the nation to emulate when he introduced the act and the novelty of 'pouring water before God' at Mizpeh (I Samuel 7:5).
Inward Motives and Outward Actions
We can see that it was not only Samuel's prayers, but also his living that had pleased God and made an impact into his nation by keeping away the powers of darkness. After rebuking Israel for their waywardness, Samuel then invoked God to do something out of the ordinary, something so great that it would act as a distinct sign that all that he had preached was right. He invoked God to send thunder and rain at the time of harvest! Thunder and rain do not fall in harvest time because that will endanger the harvest and destroy it. But at Samuel's invocation, both thunder and rain fell! The people were terrified and cried out to Samuel to intercede for them. How wonderful when such prophets rise up in Malaysia and in the nations of the earth. But first, we need men and women who will be 'schooled by God.'
Another man who could call God as the witness to the way he had lived his life was the apostle Paul. As he bade goodbye to the Ephesian elders, he said," I have coveted no man's silver, or gold or apparel." More than once Paul confessed that he had a 'good conscience,' a conscience void of personal rebuke, disrespect and accusations before God and men. This is powerful living and is so very needed in our fight against the powers of darkness (Acts 23:1, 24:16). We can escape external voices but we cannot escape from the voice of our own conscience. Remember how Paul invoked a curse upon Elymas in Acts 13:11 by simply saying: 'Thou shalt be blind!" and immediately blindness fell on him.
Fear of Men is 'Doing Unrighteousness.'
So it is today. Many 'successful' and powerful leaders before men have walked unrighteously before God because they fear men; they fear losing men's favour, monetary blessings and ministry opportunities. Like King Zedekiah, they may have great spiritual position but they certainly do not have kingly behaviour. King Zedekiah was a moral coward - he rejected the direct word of God and preferred men's support (Jeremiah 38:19).
Paul has No Speaking Invitations!
What happened by the river side? He was 'accurately positioned and supernaturally aligned' to bring salvation to Lydia. Lydia opened the 'gospel door' into Europe! How powerful are the ways of God in a man's life when that man lives true to Him! Just look at the humble beginnings of great things - the 'gospel door' into Europe was opened when a great apostle was willing to come to the river side (under a scorching sun?) to speak to only a few women!
Deep Buried 'Unconscious' Sins
"Among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God" (John 12:42-43).
How can you believe (deepen your relationship with Me?) which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only?" (John 5:44)
Paul did the uncommon things because he was an apostle. The apostolic lifestyle is always an uncommon lifestyle. John the Baptist did the same thing. He did not go to men but men came to him...from everywhere. It was the same for Samuel. Unlike the prophets of today, who love to 'jet-set' around the world, he just hid himself and prayed. But when he appeared to speak, people seemed to run away from him for fear that he might bring God's judgment. They did not 'flock' to him for good and well-favoured personal prophecies.
To be right before God and to be right before men are two different matters. What then can we learn from the lives of these few great uncommon men whose prayer lives and verbal invocations are so powerful? The four things that characterize the lives of Samuel, Elijah, Elisha and Paul are (i) their good 'history' in God (ii) the fixity of their character (iii) the freedom from greed (iv) the freedom from the fear of men. But then, this type of living is not only the antithetical to the order of the world but also to the order of the present church system.
Yes, if we want to lift our nation above all demonic floods and assaults, we have to live in a manner that is antithetical to the present church system. We have to become uncommon. We have to move back to daily corporate prayers together, not the once-a-week prayer meeting. Pastors should cancel all church activities that have no eternal validity so that the people can pray and focus on God again. We must forget about being 'the fastest growing church in town' because when we focus on God, many who are not willing to do so will leave. May we desire to offer to God some good wholesome apples rather than a thousand barrels of rotten and unwholesome ones.
The church must open its door for daily corporate prayers and God's people must make daily invocations of blessings upon the nation in order to 'hedge' the nation and to patrol and police the spirit realm.
Momentum is defined as 'a moving force that keeps gaining power as it advances forward.' Genuine prayer will gain spiritual momentum because prayer is a spiritual activity ordered by God and energized by the power of the Holy Spirit. Its momentum should culminate in powerful verbal invocations of either curses or blessings. We should invoke curses upon the powers of darkness to destroy them and to stop them from hindering the works of God and ravishing our nation, and we should invoke blessings upon our nation by consistently lifting her above the flood waters of the enemy and to advance the will and purposes of God and His glory in our land. Yes, when the world has no power to restrain the onslaughts of evil and to patrol or police the world, those who pray will have the answer. The power of control is given to them through consistent prayers and the verbal invocations they make.
All true spiritual activity with its roots in God's word and that which is energized by God Himself will gain momentum. Prayer is one such activity. God Himself commands us to pray and when we live in prayers daily, He will energize us and see to it that our prayers will gain spiritual momentum to accomplish things that are naturally impossible. Remember, it is the accumulative nature of prayers that truly counts before God. Prayer is never a feeling for His presence; it is your faithfulness to do what He has commanded.
Jesus said this so plainly in Matthew 18:18, "Verily I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." This is powerful. Unfortunately, we often do not use this delegated absolute authority. If, however, what we invoke does not come to pass it is because we have invoked amiss by missing the mind, power and purpose of the Holy Spirit. It could also be that the momentum has not been built up by a strong prayer life with upright living.
Great Warriors Build Momentum
Joshua was another warrior who knew how to build momentum. He was so energized by God's Spirit that led to the slaughter of his enemies that he did not want to stop even when night fell. He knew the power of momentum and the importance to carry on the work even though the time was not convenient. So he continued to kill his enemies even though the sun was setting. Instead of stopping to rest for the night, he invoked the sun to stand still! "Yes, sun! Do not set until I have completed what I have started!"
At his invocation, the sun stood still! The heavenly elements heeded the voice of a man who knew how to carry on a spiritual activity which was ordered and activated by the power of God! The Bible says that there was no such miracle before and after it - that a man could be so caught up with the momentum of accomplishing God's will, that he made an invocation forbidding the sun to set!
The soldiers that King Amaziah had sent back turned to the cities of Judah and went on a 'killing spree,' because the momentum to fight had been built into them. They were prepared for war, their spirits were all geared up and their inward momentum to fight was mounting...advancing...and suddenly they were told, "Do not fight, go home, no war! Drop your weapons." They could not stop! So instead of stilling the inward momentum, they released it and turned to the cities of Judah to plunder those places to dust (2 Chro. 25:5-13). Godly momentum is truly violent against the powers of darkness. May we all possess such a momentum by first building a consistent prayer life. The occasional desire to shout in prayer is important - it is the release of the momentum that has been built up within you after many sessions of prayers.
Elijah's public act of bravado at Mount Carmel was definitely the climax of something that he had built up in his private prayers. What made him so bold as to challenge the prophets of Baal in public and to call fire down from heaven? He had spent time in God's presence to build up a spiritual momentum. He described himself as a man who 'stood before God,' meaning, he was often in His presence for communication and communion. His powerful prayer life had built up the momentum for a daring 'showdown' between his God and the gods of Jezebel. These men were unstoppable because they were energized by God and motivated by their pure desire to exhibit His glory. Their exploits were possible because they knew how to build up prayer momentum.
Building Momentum with a Faithful Group
Jesus knows a prayer meeting will not draw two or three hundred people unless something drastic has happened in the nation or unless there is a powerful move of God as there was in the early church. Crowds will usually not gather for genuine prayers and sincere waiting in the presence of God, but they will gather for a football match, a celebration, for entertainment, etc. Who are those who will consistently come together to pray with accuracy and clarity? Jesus knows it is often the faithful two or three. This is why He promises these faithful few that He will join them whenever they gather to pray.
We must look for faithful people who will come together once, two or three times a week to pray with us in order to build a spiritual momentum that will move us into releasing powerful invocations into the nation. God's people must pray with clarity and accuracy. We will not find a crowd wiling to do this in a local church, but we will find the faithful two or three. Well, this is normal. These faithful two or three will be your key to form the nucleus that will birth great things into your church and the nation! Work with them. Do not look for an excited and shallow crowd who is here today and is gone tomorrow.
If we have to beg, rebuke, coax, trick, reward people to come and pray, then we might as well not do it because these are dead prayers coming from equally dead people. They will not hit the mark but will instead stifle the momentum in the prayer meetings and bring in a spirit of heaviness. So it is always better to meet with a few faithful ones and pray consistently to build up the momentum which will bring about a breakthrough in the spirit realm.
There were so many books I wanted to write but I ended up writing this one because of the pressing needs of this nation. What I read daily in the newspapers and hear through the media greatly disturb my spirit man. I see great demonic 'floods' heading towards our way. Oh, how we need to lift Malaysia up above all of these coming physical, moral and spiritual floods. The church in this land needs to intensify her prayer life by living an upright life and by consistently making invocations of blessings upon her to exalt her above the raging assaults of the enemy. We also need to make invocations of curses against the powers of darkness that threaten to tear down the nation.
God will only fully inhabit a place after it has been lifted up. The prophet Zechariah said, "Jerusalem shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place" (Zech 14:10) while the prophet Isaiah announced, "It shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted (lifted up) above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it" (Isaiah 2:2).
God will first lift up the place, whether it be a country, city or town, then only will He inhabit or indwell it because this is His nature - He is distinct. When the prophet Isaiah saw God, the first thing he noticed about God was that He was "high and lifted up." It means God is distinct, excellently imposing, so magnificent that no one can come close to Him by comparison.
If we are His seed and His people, we should also have this splendour and distinction - lifted high above the standard of the world. God can only lift up the Church and the nation provided we allow Him to first lift us up spiritually. Once we have attained the spiritual heights, all other things will fall into place as God's presence will indwell us. Our morals, value system, our finances, our relationships with people, our mannerisms, etc. will be 'enlightened' by God. So let us allow God to exalt us and let us not be like Lot, the pathetic and carnal nephew of Abraham. Lot was a man whom God wanted to exalt but unfortunately he did not have that calibre of character to rise. When the angel of the Lord told him to climb up that great mountain to escape the pollution below, he rejected the offer and instead chose to dwell on the plain and to hide in a cave (Gen 19:17-18).
The reason why Lot landed up in Sodom and Gomorrah was because he was a man who loved the comforts of the lowly 'plains.' He did not like the challenges of discipline, of 'working out,' of commitment in 'mountain-climbing.' He chose Sodom and Gomorrah because the sight of these plains was beautiful but unfortunately they were also polluted, dangerous, full of demons and they were objects of God's wrath and judgment (Gen 13:10-13). How different he was from Moses, who at 80 years old, still climbed up the mountain in search of God's presence. How different he was from Caleb, who at 85 still asked for a mountain full of hostile enemies because he knew he could defeat them and possess the mountain for God's glory.
May you, dear reader, as the Malaysian Church rise up and climb those spiritual heights! May you run to the mountains and make your dwelling there among the heights. Stop dwelling on the lowly and polluted plains, the plains of carnal and sensual activities that have no eternal validity. Yes, mount the heights of prayers and wait on the Lord like the men and women of apostolic days. Irrespective of who you are (a teacher, housewife, businessman, doctor) you too can move in spiritual accuracy and clarity.
You must not stay on the lowly plains because these flattened plains are haunted by the spirit of death. When the floods come, these lowly and 'well-watered' plains will be the first places that will be devastated by the floods! Yes, in times of floods, when the plains are overwhelmed, people run to the mountains for refuge and shelter. But as the people of a very distinct God, why don't we make our permanent dwelling on the mountain top, among the heights, where we will be safe and sheltered from floods at all times?
Hear the voice of the Bridegroom, "COME AWAY, MY BELOVED AND LOOK FROM THE TOP" (Song of Solomon 4:8, paraphrased)! How can we look from the top if we are not at the top? How can we be at the top if we refuse to cut loose all familiar strings, hooks, ropes, entanglements, etc and go all the way with Him?
This book is for free downloading in our school website. Please get your friends in different nations to read so that they too may stand in the gap for their nations. My final prayer: may you live in such a way that you will be counted worthy to rise above all manner of floods that will come.