“Before I formed you in the belly,
I knew you."
#eshetchayil #ishchayil #chayil #kingdomorientation #kingdomidentity
Trained from my earliest youth to always look for God’s Purpose, even in the midst of chaos and calamity, I earnestly sought the Lord for a different perspective during this quarantine-shutin! While I do not believe in anyway that God is the source of the Covid 19 or cause of the pandemic, I believe that He is a God who turns what the enemy means for evil into good. I know that He is a God who can bring something beautiful out of something awful and horrific. This writing is in no way aimed at diminishing the devastating impacts associated with this virus. We ourselves continue to personally grieve the severe suffering and loss of so many people we know and love, under the worst circumstances. This traumatic pandemic has led to historic unemployment numbers, bankruptcy and more. When the entire world was basically stopped in its tracks, a great global shut-in was in effect. I couldn’t help but lean in to God, through my pain, in an effort to answer these reverberating questions: “Lord, where are You in this?" "What are You after?” With all conveniences and distractions removed, I could see an emphasis on faith and family. I came to view this quarantine, among other things, as a time of true REPENTANCE and REALIGNMENT which would usher in a REVIVAL, one like we had never seen in the history of the church. Like many others, one scripture I’ve marinated in during this global shut-in has been 2 Chronicles 7:14, which emphasizes the 3 Rs stated above, the last of which is a result of God’s great power!
Further, I believed the repentance that God was after was one beyond the surface shortcomings that we commonly confess. No, this was something different, worthy of the removal of everything that society thought it couldn’t live without, restaurants, libraries, movie theaters, shopping malls, and even church buildings. This was a repentance from a much deeper level of confession, where the words were too difficult to utter. This repentance would result in transformation, a complete change of heart, attitude, intentions, perspectives and even trajectory. Having spent time in the presence of the Lord, we would emerge from this quarantine brand new! If so, this would be the beauty in such an ugly experience.
Then came May 25, 2020. As I watched the dreadful video of the senseless murder of George Floyd, a murder which took place in broad daylight, right before the eyes of several witnesses, and later the world, I wept. In fact I wept for days, as I thought of other recent acts of injustice and killings. It could have easily been any one of our three African American young adult sons. These actions begged the question, "What kind of nation would allow this?" It is a nation in desperate need of TRUE repentance!
What we witnessed in that video was not an isolated event, but rather the exposing of the systemic devaluing of the lives of African Americans, pervasive racism, and the intensified hatred for people of color. The cover had been completely ripped off! It was exposed and we saw it, clearly! Witnessing that murder caused many to “see” for the first time, what has been the reality of so many for so long.
One renown white preacher/teacher quickly posted a prayer of repentance for “hatred, bigotry, violence and the shedding of innocent blood,” saying repeatedly, “Forgive us, for we have sinned!” I have fellowshipped with diverse ministries all of my life, but I had NEVER heard this before! When I read his prayer of repentance I wept even more. I thought to myself, THAT’S IT! This is TRUE repentance, where the thought is not on the many things one has done well or right. Its the repentance that requires the removing of the mask to reveal and confess the long-standing, generational, institutionalized evils, in this case, oppressive structured racism, that has existed for 100s of years. How fitting it would be for this level of repentance to begin in the Body of Christ, the Church!
May this spirit of TRUE repentance flow throughout the Church, our nation, and the world! May we collectively prophesy to the breath, the breath of freedom, commanding it to breathe into these dry bones, so that they may live! May the rushing wind of Pentecost blow over our nation, so that we may breathe! Father may Your righteous justice prevail and Your powerful presence heal our land! Finally Lord, I ask that You bless all of those frontline heroes, who daily risk their lives for the well-being of others. In the Mighty Name of Jesus I pray! Amen!
“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” James 5:16 NLT
Becoming Who He Knew: Ish Chayil & Eshet Chayil (Vol 2) is a tool of divine activation, written to ignite the warrior in every Kingdom son and daughter! It calls for a commitment to one's specific journey, a series of consistent transformations resulting in improved versions of self, in alignment with God's will. It provokes the deliberate embrace of one's Kingdom Orientation, as well as the intentional cultivation of the Kingdom Identity of the same.
This book echoes the Kingdom Demand for response and action! It sounds a divine alarm for warriors, as kingdom ambassadors, to extend the ministry of Jesus Christ by canceling darkness with His powerful light. It demands urgent participation from activated chayil agents, in God's global "Let There Be Light Campaign," by the explosive release of their powerful deposits, at home, at school, in the community, city, nation and throughout the world.
Foreword by Bishop Donald Hilliard, Jr.
Endorsement by Apostle Arlie Jones
The words “Cancel Fear This Year” have resounded in my spirit throughout 2019! This mandate prompted my consistent refusal to live in fear or defeat. Although ignited to rise above obstacles and motivated to live victoriously, I was also aware that the Lord was preparing me in advance for contrary situations that would dictate a completely different behavior! After marinating in the book of Judges, I felt compelled to write this entry about another Old Testament valiant man’s (ish chayil) personal struggle with fear.
Israel’s Kingdom Identity was born out of their covenant instituted by YHWH on Mt. Sinai in Exodus, “I will be your God, and you will be my people!” They were not to worship any other gods, and God would be directly involved in the details of their existence, daily. They would worship Him alone, with their whole spirit, soul, mind and body. In turn, He would provide for, protect and bless them. They would also exemplify the intimacy the Creator God desired with every other person.
Judges 6 opens with Israel having broken covenant with YHWH, resulting in their devastating predicament with the Midianites, who would destroy their crops, livestock and all their property. The Bible says, “They left no sustenance in Israel,” indicating that even Israel’s future was in jeopardy. In great misery, the Israelites made for themselves mountain dens or caves to hide in.
Living in stark fear was inconsistent with Israel’s Kingdom Identity as described above. Instead of living in the peace and prosperity YHWH’s covenant provided, they were dominated by the dictates of fear! Instead of being God’s covenant example they were relying on their own measly efforts for survival! Greatly impoverished, they cried to the Lord for help!
Whenever God’s people cry for help, God sends a deliverer, however this time, He first sends a prophet exclaiming why all this had happened, and reminds them of how God rescued them from Egyptian bondage.
The Angel of the Lord sat under an oak tree. Gideon was beating out wheat (dry) in the winepress (wet), to hide it from the Midianites. Notice the resulting dysfunction and impact of living in fear, as Gideon is now in the habit of performing a dry activity in a very wet place. The Angel said, “The Lord is with you mighty warrior (ish chayil)!” Didn’t the Angel see Gideon hiding? If so, why would the Angel call this scaredy cat a “man of valor?”
Fear consistently disrupts our alignment with divine purpose, while the Lord consistently works to remind us of who we really are (Kingdom Identity).
Gideon’s altered perception due to life’s circumstances causes him to attempt to convince the Angel that God is no longer around, and that he is not, in any way, a deliverer. Yet, the Lord repeatedly comforts, and declares His divine plan and presence. Gideon then seeks proof through fleecing.
Bad times and negative experiences are incapable of altering the will of God! God meant what He said!
First on the King’s agenda is family! Gideon is charged with the dangerous task of destroying idol worship at home. He was to build God an altar and worship there. In essence, Gideon was to restore the honor of his father’s house, leading to his new name, Jerubbaal (let Baal contend against him).
While the enemy hordes gathered, “The Spirit of the Lord took possession of Gideon; and he sounded the trumpet, and his fellow warriors were called out by tribes to follow him” (6:34). The Hebrew says it this way: “The Spirit of the Lord clothed Himself with, put on, dressed Himself with, or wore Gideon; and he sounded the trumpet…” Can you imagine God putting Gideon on like we would put on a jacket or shirt? Here's the thing! Though Gideon would be present in this great battle, it would be GOD'S BATTLE! God put Gideon on and would fight through him! This narrative concludes with Israel’s deliverance, as a result of GOD'S POWER THROUGH Gideon.
So we defy the bondage of fear and defeat! We cancel the harassment of Fear with the TRUTH that the Lord fights for us! We gain the victory through His divinely activated power! In THIS instance, we refuse to be self-sufficient! May we never forget the Power-Source!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we commit to your service as vessels of deliverance, and to the restoration of Your honor in both our natural and spiritual families! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
canceler of darkness