A rare 1947 prophesy from Smith Wigglesworth has modern day relevance in 2020.
He accurately predicted the Healing Revivals of the 1950’s, the Charismatic Movement in the 1960’s and the increase of church planting in subsequent decades. Smith then prophesied the rise of an emphasis on the coming together of the Word of God and the Spirit of God which would help usher in the biggest movement of the Holy Spirit the world has ever seen.
With a global pandemic released on the heals of the dawning of a new decade, the‘roaring 20s’ has started more as a ‘lockdown 20s.’ Perhaps better stated, the ‘rest of God 20s’ as Bob Jones prophesied. Many who have been busy traversing the globe, climbing the corporate ladder or running the rat race are suddenly grounded and still.
Where one may have said, “If I had more time, I’d pray more or spend more time in the Scriptures or spend more time with my kids.” Well, now there is time. However, how are we spending our time?
There is an invitation in this season to delve into the Word of God and be
strengthened in our intimate walk with the Spirit. In other words, ‘eat the scroll and buy oil’ (Ezekiel 3:1; Matt. 25:1-13). Two battles are raging on the frontlines today: The battle for truth and the battle for the heart. I Thess. 2:13 states the Word of God is truth. 2 Thess. 2:10 warns of those
in the last days who will perish as they did not have the love of truth. Jesus warned that in the last days many will be deceived (Matt. 24:4-5).
If we do not know and believe the Biblical narrative, we will default to living by the cultural narrative. Truth is not politically correct. One prayer I’ve felt strongly to pray in this hour is “Lord, expose evil, hidden things.” Expose where the enemy has dwelt in darkness and reveal truth. Indeed there has been much uncovering of dark secrets on national levels and inner heart levels and there is more to come. Jesus warned as the end days unfold, the love of many will grow cold (Matt. 24:12).
He also said the opposite is what we are to value most as outlined in the Great Commandment (Matt. 22:37-40). Our hearts can grow cold as we stare at what I call, “the black hole,” meaning what is wrong today such as a pandemic, riots, racial divide, locust invasion or violence in the streets. Yet our hearts will burn hot as we gaze on the beauty of our Lord as David did in Psalm 27:4. May we desire the “One Thing” to be found in the place of Spirit connection even in the midst of trouble.
Jesus warned about another issue which wars against hearts being full of love. It is offense (Matt. 24:10). The spirit of offense has been unleashed today in mass – within families or between races, political parties, generations or denominations. The Greek word for offense is “skandalon” meaning a snare or stumbling block. It denotes a bait stick that was used to trap animals. Offense traps us into anger, jealousy, resentment,
strife and bitterness. Offense is on full display on the news and in homes across the world today. Forgiving, repenting of falling trap to offense and praying for the one who contributed to the hurt are all crucial to getting free. Offense and a burning heart for Jesus are not compatible. Offense will not let go of you, you must let go of it.
If we look at the Word of God as it pertains to what has transpired thus far in 2020 as well as what is yet to come, we can see an unfolding of a Biblical narrative which will ultimately accumulate in the return of Jesus! If we love and devour the Word and walk with the Spirit, we will not miss what is to come.
Five chapter 2’s in Scripture have been highlighted to me in this season.
Psalm 2 – The nations rage, raise their fists at God and seek to break away from His cords (laws / Word). The Lord sits in the heavens and laughs declaring He will set His Son on the hill of Zion and instruction is given to Kiss (receive / embrace) the Son. This has been happening with the nations / governments / schools seeking to be rid of Biblical values. Even many churches could carry on without the Lord showing up with their programs or structures void of power and fire.
Joel 2 – After the plague of locusts of Joel 1 there is a call to repentance, rend the heart, return to the Lord and ‘weep between the porch and the altar; Let them now say, “Spare Your people, O Lord.” This is the first posture to be taken by the church in response to this modern crisis.
Haggai 2:6-9 – Here the Lord indicates He will shake heaven and earth and all nations that they would come to the ‘Desire of All Nations’ and the glory of the latter house will be greater than the former. The Lord is saying He is allowing this shaking that there would be a turning to His Son and there will be more Glory afterwards than we have yet seen. Notice He also speaks of the silver and gold are His – He has the economy in His hands.
Acts 2 – With one accord the 120 were in the upper room praying and contending when the Holy Spirt was poured out. Peter gives the address connecting what is happening to Joel 2 – an outpouring of the Spirit in the last days. It is a time for united prayer, contending with the Lord for the outpouring we know He wants to bring – the Billion soul harvest, a Jesus movement, a great outpouring!
Revelation 2 – This chapter opens with the message to the church of Ephesus who, although they work hard they have left their first love. It is a call to repent, come back to our first love for Jesus or suffer the consequences of a ‘removed lamp stand.’ Much has been said about Mary, the sister of Martha. She broke an alabaster jar and poured it out on Jesus demonstrating her love for Him. Yet Mary also loved His word.
Luke 10:39 – “Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word.” Martha was distracted and wanted Jesus to rebuke Mary and make her help in food preparation. Jesus’ responded, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”
May we not be distracted by the noise or the darkness in our world today. May we not be given to prioritize lesser, although righteous, things. May we be like Mary and love His Word and love Him. May we eat the scroll and buy oil. May we be people of the Word and the Spirit.