Thursday, May 31, 2007

No Toleration - Lou Engle

No Toleration

I suspect I’ve got more in common with Jezebel and Ahab than with Elijah. I’m working to build a tolerant, pluralistic society that respects other faith traditions. I’ve devoted ten years of my life to calling the church to repentance and transformation, on account of its homophobia and heterosexism, its narrowness and its prejudice. I don’t have any sympathy for the austere Yahwehism of the prophet Elijah and his quick to kill and “throw to the dogs” invocation of judgment and divine retribution. Elijah would have stoned me without a second thought. Jezebel was an enlightened woman – I reckon she’d give the likes of me a fair go.” Dr. David Bromell Pentecost Sunday Sermon, 1998. Methodist Mission Church, Christchurch.

Behold I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. And he will restore the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers lest I come and smite the land with a curse.” Malachi 4:5-6

Nevertheless, I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel who calls herself a prophetess. She leads and teaches my bondservants astray so that they commit acts of immorality. I gave her time to repent and she does not want to repent of her immorality. Behold I will cast her upon a bed of sickness and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation unless they repent of her deeds. And I will kill her children with the plague and all the churches will know that I AM HE who searches the minds and hearts and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.” Jesus Christ, Ruler of the kings of the earth and Husband of a pure bride, Rev 2:20-23

The dream was so vivid. In it, my young friend dreamt that he was about to be married to a well known seductive entertainer. She knew she had him wrapped around her finger. Her powerful spell of seduction began to take control of him. Suddenly he came to his senses. “I know who you are! You are Jezebel!” he shouted out in the dream. The demonic spell was broken. This dream changed this young man’s life forever. He repented from a love for the world and now stands as a holy testimony for God, even as he works in the midst of Hollywood’s seductive entertainment culture. America as a nation must come to such an awakening as this young man.

As it is in America today, so it was in Israel in the days of King Ahab.

Elijah was determined to turn back the nation to God and his message was for repentance from compromise with the spirit of Jezebel. “How long will you halt between two opinions. If Baal is God serve him, but if God is God, serve Him.” Summed up, Elijah’s revolutionary challenge to his nation was, “NO TOLERATION!” The same command of God can be heard 2000 years later where the spirit of Jezebel is exposed in the Church at Thyatira. Jesus dictates a strongly worded letter to them:

To the angel of the church in Thyatira write: These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze. I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first. Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess…” (Rev 2:18-20)

In the midst of a church tolerating sexual laxity and promoting a casual approach to sin, God says, “I have this against you, you tolerate the woman Jezebel who seduces my bondservants into sexual immorality.”

“..the eternal Word specifically described Himself as “He who searches the minds and hearts” (Rev 2:23), for it is in the inner sanctuary of our private soul-life where tolerance to Jezebel begins. It is here, within us, where tolerance must end… This spirit was sitting in the church in Thyatira when it was exposed by the Holy Spirit nineteen hundred years ago. It still has its favorite seat in church. There are respectable men who love God and who seek to serve Him, yet secretly in their hearts are prisoners of Jezebel. Even now, they are deeply ashamed of their bondage to pornography, and they can barely control their desires for women. Ask them to pray and their spirits are awash with guilt and shame. Their prayers are but the whimpers of Jezebel’s eunuchs.” (The Jezebel Spirit by Francis Frangipane)

We all know the story of Jezebel perched in the window with her make-up on, trying one last time to seduce her way out of judgment. (2 Kings 9:30) Jehu looks up at her in the window and commands her eunuch attendants to throw her down! Hundreds of years later, Jesus said that the eyes are the windows of the soul. If someone were to gaze into your eyes, what would they see? Would they see Jezebel and her seductive compromises enthroned there? “Or would they see the burning One with pure blazing eyes of fire and feet burnished with bronze?” (Judah Smith) This is the New Testament description of Jesus when He comes to confront the sexual compromise in the church.

“I will set no vile thing before my eyes.”(Psalm 101:3) “Death has climbed in through our windows… it has cut off our children from the streets.” (Jeremiah 9:21) Our eye windows are particularly vulnerable in this age of technology. We are flooded with images. Most of us take this for granted as a part of daily life, yet we forget that until little more than a century ago, photographs did not even exist and the only visual images people ever saw were those drawn or painted by artists. This severely limited the amount of visual information a person had to process. It also meant that the tide of pornography as we know it today was unthinkable back then. As a generation that has been born in this climate, we hardly even notice the vile thing it is! I am preaching to myself as well as to those who read. The pastors and leaders of this nation are being called to be the first to repent.

Then he said to me, son of man do you see what the elders of the house of Israel are committing in the dark, each man in the room of his own carved images.” (Ezekiel 8:12) If God were to dig in the dark room of our own imaginations what photographs would he see there?

I urge you, in the fear of God, to examine your “windows.” What have you been watching? Are you irresistibly drawn to those sites on the Internet that are perverse and defiling? Are you addicted to pornography? Have you been seduced by entertainment and computer games? Let me ask you, “What’s in your imaginations?” The spirit of Jezebel works in the imaginations. Don’t say, “Oh, I can handle this.” Listen, if you let that seed get in your heart, it will kill your prophetic fire with its little compromises. Pornography is toleration. Homosexuality and fornication are toleration. Books, magazines and movies that allure our hearts away from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ are all tolerations. Rebellion toward parents and leaders are toleration. Is this struggle going on in your soul? God wants to set us free! Go and see your pastor or someone in leadership today and confess your sins if you are in bondage to these things. Thank God for his mercy for if God counted sin, then who could stand? I boast alone in the great mercies of God. And may God show mercy to this nation.

Jezebel’s worst enemies are the prophets; her worst fear is that the people will embrace repentance. Jezebel hates repentance.” (Jezebel Spirit, By Francis Frangipane)

In a culture saturated with sexual sin, Elijah strides onto the stage of history and confronts Jezebel only to find himself under her very spell. On a 40-day fast he breaks the power of that spell and unleashes a new generation of leaders to end her vile reign. If Elijah is coming again before the great and terrible day of the Lord, then we know that Jezebel is coming as well. The 40-day fast is the mighty weapon to break her spell of addictions, sexual bondage, mental torment, suicidal thoughts, disorders and diseases. What would happen in America and the nations if tens of thousands of fathers and mothers, the Elijahs of today, fasted for 40 days intensely repenting and cleansing themselves of inward toleration of sexual immorality, addiction to entertainment and spiritual apathy? What if these parents prayed for their children for 40 days to break off rebellion and release revelation of the Lord into their hearts? What if a young generation of Elishas fasted for 40 days to be cleansed from lust, TV addictions, pornography, spiritual mediocrity, and rebellion toward their parents believing that a double portion of the Holy Spirit will rest on their lives?

What would happen if tens of thousands would pray Song of Solomon 8:6? “Lord, put your fiery love as a seal over my heart, capture me with your vehement flame of love, a love stronger than the flames of lust. Send this fiery love over a whole generation, a love that many waters cannot overflow.”This is the Lord’s answer! The earth will experience spiritual convulsions, the powers of darkness will tremble and the children of God will break forth with freedom and a great light of spiritual awakening will dawn all over the earth. Lord, right now I release Elijah’s 40-day fast for freedom and deliverance. And may there be a shout in the nations, “No Toleration!”

In Jesus’ name, Amen. Lou Engle

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Measuring the Strength of Love

I just came across Randy Bohlender's posting today on the subject of love called "Measuring the Strength of Love." It ties in with my earlier posting on love and sacrifice. Randy is posting Scriptural readings for each day of the 40 day fast. Read and enjoy.

The Call to Sacrifice

We are coming upon a critical juncture in our Nation: The Call Nashville. This clarion call for a massive prayer and fasting to be mobilized prior to the solemn assembly on 07-07-07 has the potential to bring about a shift. It is the shift of the hearts of men and women coming into alignment with the will of heaven. In essence the shift represents a generation after God’s own heart. Lou Engle is calling forth the young and old to embark upon a forty day fast (May 28-July 7) that will precede this holy convocation. The culmination of this fast will take place in LP Field, a stadium in Nashville.

I believe that this prayer and fasting movement is quite significant. I had a dream in 2005 that speaks of prayer and fasting:

I was playing a real football game in a stadium. At one point, my opponent became stiff, statue-like, without any hint of life before regaining movement. I noticed that his pupils were dilated and I mentioned to him that he needed to see a doctor. It seemed that he was looking far off to the horizons behind me. When I turned around, I saw what looked like a gigantic generator what was being carried by several helicopters in the air. Mayhem broke loose as people became fearful that it was an atomic bomb. I started running up a hill praying for my wife. As I reached the top of the hill I realized that it was not an atomic bomb as people misconstrued. Revelation came to me as I started prophesying: “This [generator] is the atomic power of praying and fasting!” Faith rose in my heart as I made this prophetic declaration.

How can you participate in this?

I believe God is calling the generations to engage this call to prayer and fasting. Although we ourselves have no ability to generate authentic change in of ourselves, we can cooperate with the Holy Spirit to bring forth the Father’s will. A generator is someone who originates or causes or initiates something. What does the Father desire to generate through your life during this 40 days of prayer and fasting? What are the tangible results that you believe God wants to birth through your life? What shift does God want to bring about in your life?

Remember that this call to sacrifice through prayer and fasting is not about us. It is about the ultimate Sacrifice that Jesus Christ gave us – His very own life. We can only sacrifice because God sacrificed His Son – the perfect Lamb of God – on the Cross so that we may have life through Him. Meditate on the following verses:

I John 4:10This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
v. 19 – We love because he first loved us

We must focus on Him during this time of fasting. It isn’t about us or even our “sacrifice” that we make during these forty days of fasting. Our hearts must be steadfast in His Sacrifice. We cannot love God within our own abilities – rather, we must allow the Lord to embed deep within His love for us.

So, if you are participating in this fast, I would like to present a question: What is your motivation? I like what Stephen Arterburn writes in Surprised by God:

We can only love, the Bible tells us, because we were first loved by God. Unfortunately, when we obey God’s call to give ourselves away, it is often because w e feel that we have to, or because we want to portray the image of a good person, or because that is simply what a Christian is supposed to do. This is lifeless, joyless obedience. Unless our obedience springs from knowing God’s deep love for us, we will simply be going through the motions of keeping rules.”

Hmmm…lifeless, joyless obedience…for forty days!?!

I read a story recently in Pleasures Evermore by Sam Storms, a Christian hedonist. In 1972 he married his bride Ann. After a short honeymoon, they returned to Norman, Oklahoma to work and to finish their last year of college. In order to make ends meet, Sam was working as a headwaiter at a local steak restaurant. Prior to getting married, Sam’s Friday night routine after work consisted of playing poker with the other co-workers at the owner’s house until about five or six in the morning. However, since he was married he thought it would be wise to call his bride at 12:00 to let her know that he would be home soon. Finally four hours later Sam was tiptoeing into his apartment when his wife broke the stillness as she shouted “Where have you been?” “Soon” meant to her 30 minutes at the most. She had been frantically driving around town trying to find him because she was worried about him. From that day forth, Sam quit gambling immediately although he enjoyed the thrill immensely. He was motivated to stop because of love. Sam Storm writes – “The joy I felt in feeling her delight in me and my delight in her was worth any sacrifice I might have to make.”

Any sacrifices we make during this forty day fasting must be grounded in love: Affirmed in Christ’s love for us while reciprocating that love back to Him. Our sacrifice(s) for Him should be motivated by love because His sacrifice was “generated” by love for us. If we fail to understand this, it could hinder the overall release of the “atomic power of praying and fasting” during this critical season.

I want to close with the love passage in I Corinthians 13:

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child. I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see buy a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith , hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Go, and fast in love!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

A Time to Be Born...

There are exciting times in life when God seems to bring forth many things at once. Such a time is now as the Lord has directed us to pursue His purposes for our lives in many various avenues. One being is the timing to start a family. Yes, Aneta is pregnant! She is now almost 13 weeks into the pregnancy! We are so excited, and desire to share this good news with those who frequent our blog!

Interestingly we found out on the first day of spring, (March 21) after we had our first TNT (The New Thing) home group meeting in our home. Another couple who have also started a TNT home group for young adults are also expecting! They are about three weeks ahead of us. Our due date is November 26. Overall I am quite excited about becoming a father.

As the Lord leads, please keep us in prayer during this transitional season. Obviously we will be giving birth to our first child. And, at the same time we will be giving birth to a ministry that the Lord has called us to pursue. My contract work for DTRI will be completed at some point this summer. I am hoping to be able to travel within the state of Virginia to minister to the emerging generation in a manner that awakens both the slumbering church and the spiritually dead. The times are urgent. We desperately need to see God do both an igniting work and a sustaining work: In essence we need Him!

We are also presently making plans to attend The Call Nashville on 07-07-07. Although one doesn’t necessarily have to be in attendance to participate in this solemn assembly, I think it is advantageous for those whom the Lord is singling out to attend. Is God calling your to be a part of this gathering? If so, do whatever it takes to be there. I know for many people it won't be "convenient" or easy due to work schedules, finances, and travel - but, if the Lord is calling you to be there, by all means obey the Lord!

My heart burns to see the generations come together to seek God’s face for His mercy for our nation. There really is something that the Lord is birthing in our midst. This isn't the time to hold back. Go for God with all of your might in the grace that He supplies! I’ll write more on this in the days to come.


Brian & Aneta

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Can You Help Me?

My wife and I got away this past weekend to celebrate our 6th year anniversary! We had a fantastic time. Without question the Lord has blessed me with the most amazing woman! I simply LOVE being with her. She is the love and passion of my heart, but she is also my best friend. We were able to stay in a fabulous suite due to the points that we accumulated on our credit card. Then afterwards we went to my parents’ home to celebrate Mother’s Day with a very special gift. You see, my mom loves collectible cows and we have given her a few items over the years for her collection. By far this year was the best one yet! It was a “pooping” cow that had brown jelly beans coming out of its rear! Thanks to Bryan and Holly Sander’s tip, we were able to buy one at Jo-Ann Fabrics. Mom loved it!

On a serious note

I need to find someone who has the ability to do graphic designs. There are two different urgent projects that I have. One is related to my current contract work and would require pretty simple structural layouts that I have developed to help communicate leadership principles. It will be a part of a leadership seminar that DTRI will do on a PowerPoint presentation. It has to be of absolute professional quality. I pretty much have drawn out what I need, but I have no clue how to do these type of things with the computer. I’m willing to negotiate this, but I need it relatively soon.

The second thing would be related to designing a logo for the ministry that God is calling my wife and I to pioneer: Cause2Impact. It will be aimed at equipping the emerging generation to walk in the fullness of their calling and destiny in Christ.

If you know of anyone who is qualified to do either or both, please direct them to me or give me their contact information.

Thank you so much!

For the Cause,

Brian Francis Hume

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Brokenness: Authority in Prayer

Last Monday when I finished praying over the phone with my wife, there was a moment of reverent silence. “Your voice is different,” my wife quietly spoke, “Who are you?” These perplexing words came out of my beloved’s mouth in reference to discerning a level of authority in my prayer life that was previously lacking. If there is someone who should be able to discern such things, it should be our spouses! Presently she is visiting her family in Poland.

God has been gracious to me in this season by extending an invitation to me to grow in this area of my life. As I noted previously, I have been stirred by the Holy Spirit to pray in agreement with Him concerning what He whispered deep within my spirit: Contend for authority in prayer and proclamation. I know that all authority in heaven and on earth has been already given to Christ Jesus and that we have authority by our position in Christ. Yet, how many of us are daily walking in this reality? I need the eyes of my heart to be enlightened so that I can step into this reality. This is why I fervently pray Ephesians 1:17 over myself (and others) consistently: I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, would give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation.

In lieu of the recent National Day of Prayer, it is necessary to be mindful of our current state of reality in regards to prayer. Is our heart in a posture of continual submission to the Lord? Are we pursuing the Lord amidst the difficulties of life or do we find ourselves drowning in a sea of demands, deadlines, and dullness of heart? This is the hour the cry out to God to extend grace towards us. There are two precursors to growing in the reality of our authority in prayer: humility and brokenness. In some ways they are one, but for sake of clarity I am addressing them separately.

There is only one condition necessary for the extension of God’s grace to us: humility. We absolutely must contend for this posture of humility before the Lord. Paul underscored this reality when he wrote “For this reason I kneel before the Father,” (Ephesians 3:14) – hence, humility of heart bows in reverence before the Lord. Humility is God-focused; not a self-awareness at the expense of a God-consciousness. Genuine humility bows low because He is worthy above all else in spite of my unworthiness. It grovels not in self-pity, but it exults in the majesty of His worthiness.

Yet, I am not dismissing the necessity of self-revelation of our own despicableness apart from Christ.

There is definitely something of value when we are willing to allow the Holy Spirit to “properly assess” ourselves. Isaiah was “nuked” when he encountered the awesome glorious splendor of the Lord! (Isaiah 6) In the context of “seeing” Him as He really is, the Prophet was able to accurately gauge his own self-worth. In spite of the terrifying, pervading sense of God’s holiness that consumed him that day, I imagine at the same time it was somewhat gratifying. Terrifying, but gratifying all at once. Let me explain. He was able to judge himself accurately in the Light, and not according to his own pretenses, his own biases, his own failings. Just writing this causes my own heart to desire intensely for more of Him. Isaiah was able to utter possibly the most terrifying, yet liberating words that he had ever said: “Woe to me! I am ruined!” (Isaiah 6:5) The “woe” was birthed out of an accurate revelation of who he was before the awe-inspiring and holy God; it wasn’t coming out of a vicious self-condemning spirit. This Prophet could no longer operate according to his own measuring stick; rather, he was measured by the Lord’s all consuming Holiness and was found wanting. In humility Isaiah was able to see Him in the fullness His glorious splendor; and in brokenness he saw himself as he really was.

Grace was extended. The fiery coal touched the unclean lips of the Prophet. Broken and ruined for anything but His all-consuming glory, the Prophet was commissioned. Broken and commissioned all at once.

Have you encountered the Lord in this place? Have you bowed before the Cross in humility, allowing the reality of Calvary to touch your uncleanness? Is your prayer life hindered by self-absorption? Are you continually aware of your thoughts, feelings, and desires to the detriment of cultivating a greater awareness of God’s Presence in your life? Does your heart yearn for Him more than anything else?

Burning for Him,

Brian Francis Hume