ADDING  VALUE  TO  THE  LAND
 
 
When I came home to Lahad Datu after an itinerant ministry  in November 2002, I
contracted typhoid. It turned out to be more than just a physical illness and
plunged me into spiritual warfare. After that experience, I developed a greater
spiritual capacity to hear from the Lord. There was greater clarity and accuracy. 
No wonder the psalmist David exclaimed, "You enlarged me when I was in distress." 
 
After my recovery, I knew I wasn't to travel. I had to stay back in this lowly and 
dusty town  to  continue to pray  for directions for my own ministry and for the
nation. The Lord directed  me to write a series of books, one of  which connected 
me to Art Katz, the 77-year-old Jewish prophet who was here with us. To have this
aged Jewish prophet impact our nation and come (of all places) to Lahad Datu was a
sign to the nation. What sign?  I  echo what  Ps. Jean Lim said, "How awesome. 
Malaysia
is so small yet God has send us this Jewish prophet.”  Yes, God did so because there is hope for or land. (Read GOD’S STRATEGIES BOOK 5 )
 
The recent events of sudden floods, howling winds and uprooted trees  in Shah Alarm
and Subang Jaya are neither accidents nor the wrath of  nature. God was speaking to
our nation.  We have been warned that Malaysia will not be spared from tsunamis and
earthquakes. Are we hearing?  Who can escape when God is shaking the foundations of
the earth? 
 
I am  in Lahad Datu (East Malaysia), a place that is far removed from the epicenter
of earthquakes.  Yet in   6 months, we have had 4 earthquakes less than a thousand
kilometers from us. The last one was so bad, many in town felt the tremors. As I
consistently pray for Malaysia to be spared of God's judgment,  I keep hearing  this
inner voice, " Why should God spare Malaysia? Is Malaysia worth it? Are there people
here in this nation who will add value to the land?" 
 
 
In the days of Israel's impending judgment, God asked this same question. Are there
people who will add value to the  land ? The  land  that has been  so devalued,
defiled and desecrated by sin that it has affected even nature's order  (Jeremiah
2:7, Isaiah 24:5,20)?  In Israel's dark days, God was desperately  looking  for
people whose prayers and living  would form a barricade against His judgment so that
the  land could be spared, but unfortunately He found none. He was looking for
devoted watchmen whose lives would  be the antithesis of all that was going on in
the world, but He found none. There  were many( including prophets and priests )
that devalued the land, but none that would add value to it. Finally and sadly,
God's judgment came, unabated and unhindered, upon the nation.
 
 None?  How could  it be that there were no people to add value to the land?  Just
like it is  today, Israel had  plenty of  religious leaders and  'prophetic
voices,' but none of these were praying men or men whose living was  the antithesis
of how the world was living. Instead of adding value to the land, these spiritually
blind and covetous leaders were leading others into devaluing the land by their
greed, their sensual yearnings, blasphemous assumptions and vain prophecies. In
fact, the religious leaders were the perpetrators.
 
 Israel's  prophets  were  men's (and 'money') prophets, not God's prophets. Many of them, 
like today, had given themselves over to  both  the mercenary and the merchandising (trading and selling)  
spirit.   They were  moved by soul power, a powerful gift of clairvoyance  and  dark wisdom. 
Most of them finally confessed, under God's ultimate judgment and ultimate light, that they did not 
have any prophetic gifts and were 'schooled in lusts in the days of their boyhood' (NEB in Zechariah 13:5). 
As a result they  had no fresh word from the throne room and all they could prophesy was 'peace  and prosperity,' 
something copied from the mouths of  other flesh prophets. They could not see the impending judgment around the corner.
 
God challenged those prophets. If they were truly prophets then let them intercede 
for the land  so that the remaining vessels in the land would  not go into captivity
(Jeremiah 27:18)  Unfortunately the vessels  did go  into Babylonian captivity -  a
sad testimony  and indictment  that  these men were not  God's prophets and that
they had no interceding or prevailing power  before God. 
 
Why did God issue such a challenge to the 'prophets' of Israel? Because the
quintessence of a prophet is intercession. True prophets take intercession seriously
because they can see what God sees, hear what God hears and feel what God feels. 
God gives His prophets this ability to see, hear and feel like He does so that they
will be able to pray and 'make up the hedge' and 'stand in the gap' for the land. A
prophet's job is to bring God to men and bring men to God - he is not to be
entangled in the affairs of this world.  This is why true prophets, like Samuel,
Moses and David, have the ability to avert God's judgment, check ungodly invasions
of the land and keep hostile forces away so that "the vessels of the Lord be not
taken away into captivity."
 
Money prophets cannot pray. 'Flesh' prophets cannot hear from within the veil. 
God had declared that He will not let these flesh prophets get close to Him – a terrible indictment against them. 
To be able to prophesy, write books and make a lot of money, have our calendars full  of  preaching dates, 
or  ‘jet-set’ around the world to  tell  grandiose stories and have an audience ‘eating out of our hands,’ etc. 
but unable to get close to God and prevail in His presence is indeed a terrible form of judgment. ( Ezekiel 44:13)  
This is why so many prophets  have to live on 'borrowed visions' and 'copied prophecies'. 
It is sad that Israel, at the time of her greatest need, had no true or praying prophet who
could add value to their land and to prevail against those dark invading forces. 
 
 God's deep hurt and disappointment were revealed in Ezekiel 22:20 when He said 
that   He could not find someone who was willing, by their prayers and living, to
'make up the hedge' and 'stand in the gap' for that land.  In other words, He was
saying He could not find someone who was willing  to add value to the land so that,
in spite of  its defilement, He would not have to destroy it. 
 
I have chosen to quote all scriptures from the NEW ENGLISH BIBLE because its
translation is precise and updated. The words strike right  into our hearts. 
May you feel the hurt in God's heart and discern the disappointment in His voice
when He says:
 
"I looked for a man among them who could build  up a barricade, who could stand
before me in the breach to defend the land from ruin; but I found no such man.
(therefore) I poured out my judgment upon them and utterly destroyed them in the
fire of my wrath." (Eze.22:30-3NEB)
 
" If they are prophets, and if they have the word of the Lord, let them intercede
with the Lord of Hosts, to grant that the vessels still left in the Lord's house, in
the royal place, and in Jerusalem, may not be carried off to Babylon." (Jeremiah
27:18NEB)
 
God knew that sin will not only desecrate and defile a land, it will also devalue
it. It will cause Him to turn away from it and it will ultimately open the door for
demonic invasion. Look at what God says in these verses:
 
" Earth itself is desecrated by the feet of those who live in it because (i) they
have broken the laws, (ii) disobeyed the statutes and (iii) violated the eternal
covenant." (Isaiah 24:5NEB)
       
"The earth reels to and fro like a drunken man and sways like a watchmen's shelter;
(because) the sins of men weigh heavy upon it." (Isaiah 24:20 NEB)
 
"I brought you into a fruitful land to enjoy its fruit and the goodness of it; but
when you entered upon it, you defiled it (with your sins) and made the home I gave
you loathsome." (Jeremiah2:7)
 
"Your wrong doing has upset nature's order and your sins have kept from you nature's
kindly gifts." (Jeremiah 5:25NEB) 
 
Men's sins upsetting nature's order! Now you know why all of a sudden, nature is
convulsing and spewing up tsunamis everywhere. Why? Because men, by their sins, have
upset nature. Luke 21:32 reads like this in the NEW ENGLISH BIBLE: 
 
 "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."
 
The prophet Samuel lived to add value to his land. He gave himself totally to
serious intercession and focused prayers. The value of his life and intercession
could be found in these recorded verses:
 
"The hand of the Lord was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel."(I Sam.7:13)
          
Isn't this powerful living? Samuel's uncompromising and righteous life was the
'governing power' for his nation. He was able to restrain wicked spirits from
attacking Israel by his perpetual prayers and sacrifices, thus saving thousands from
destruction.   As long as he was alive (and praying) the Philistines (demonic
forces) could not invade Israel.  They might have been menacing,  threatening,
intimidating and they outnumbered Israel, BUT THEY COULD NOT BREAK THROUGH  
into the land because the prayers of Samuel held them back.
 
 Samuel added value to a land that was made valueless by the sins of the people.
What a powerful life - what a way to live! It was a life hidden from the sight of
man but exposed to the principalities and powers - they knew him and feared his
prayers. It was a quiet life on earth but a 'loud' life in the heavens. It was a
life of obscurity but it was a  life with  deep spiritual worth and eternal
validity.
 
Samuel's prayers were powerful because of the life he lived. He lived so powerfully
that at the end of his service, he called on men and God to judge his moral
behavior. He called on men to witness against his outward actions and God to
investigate his inward motives. (I Sam.12:3-4).  His life was greedless and
blameless - how many of us can say this of ourselves? God took this prophet the
moment he was weaned from his mother's breast so that He could 'school' Samuel
Himself before he landed into the hands of men who would most probably have had him
'schooled in lusts in the days of his boyhood.' 
 
This man's life had prevailing power because it was an antithesis to all that was
around him. Prayers are not powerful because of what we say but because of the way
we live. It is important that watchmen and intercessors know that it is not their words nor 
the time sent in prayers that is valuable. The life lived by the one who pray matters the most. 
The devil fled when Jesus quoted  scriptures at him because the devil knew that  
Jesus did not just quote those scriptures, He lived them. The Pharisees and scribes merely taught them. 
They could not defeat the powers of darkness or expose any false values because these inflated 
religious leaders lived in these very things.
 
 Does Malaysia, at this hour of universal darkness and global chaos, have people to
add value to the land? Are there spiritual leaders here whose lives will be the
antithesis of all that is in the world and find glory in the foolishness of the
cross which is actually the wisdom of God?  
 
" God, we need Your ultimate light and your ultimate strength in order to  live the 
life that will be the antithesis of  all that is false and carnal, of all that is in
the world and the church today,  so that we can add value to our land."