Saturday, February 15, 2003

Edifier du Jour-Isaiah 22:20-23(NASB)
20 "Then it will come about in that day, That I will summon My servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, 21 And I will clothe him with your tunic And tie your sash securely about him. I will entrust him with your authority, And he will become a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. 22 "Then I will set the key of the house of David on his shoulder, When he opens no one will shut, When he shuts no one will open. 23 "I will drive him like a peg in a firm place, And he will become a throne of glory to his father's house.
I spent last night listening to what I would charitably describe as a pair of prophecy geeks; we were at a region-wide prayer-for-statewide-revival meeting at an AoG church in Winter Haven. About 1000 people were there. One of those prophecy geeks, a guy name Dutch Sheets (I'm not making this up), was our main speaker last night. He was dwelling upon Isaiah 22:22, from this link, that's his verse of the hour. Don't worry, I'm not about to become part of that prophecy geek underground, but that verse triggered a vision (how much of God and how much of Mark was behind it is a good question) that clarified quite a few things, but not in a way that Dutch planned. Our missions week at the Lakeland Vineyard a few weeks ago had the slogan "Windows of Opportunity Become Doors of Possibility," creating the equally catchy and cloying acronym "Woo-b-dop." That metaphor seemed a bit lame, to be honest, until I rested upon Sheets' use of this verse to talk about opening doors that no one else could open. That vision/thought I had last night regards the coming war with Iraq. It needs to happen, for this isn't about destroying weapons of mass destruction but deploying weapons of mass revival. It has been hard for Christians of any stripe to have a solid missionary effort in Muslim countries; a US-led coalition should set up a open, religiously pluralistic, regime in Iraq that will result in millions (I wanted to hedge my bets and say thousands, but I'm saying millions, this vision's got me thinking big) of Iraqi Muslims coming to the Lord and many existing ethnically Christian Iraqis drawing to Jesus like never before. The Islamic world makes up the big chunk of what mission-geeks call the "10-40 window," a window that was hard to crack due to the deep-seated grip that Islam has on those cultures. This war is going to allow that window of opportunity to be a door of possibility, the first of many currently Islamic countries to be shepherded away from Islam and towards Jesus. It sounds a bit messianic (Mr. Jones and Mr. Karr will likely say something to that effect), but I feel the God might just be using the US and the Bush administration to open up doors that couldn't be opened before. I felt that many people in that crowd last night will wind up heading for Iraq to do ministry there, even though the theme of the evening was "Transformation Florida" It's important that we have a regime change in Iraq. From a secular Anglospherian standpoint, it will provide, if we play our cards right, a democratic, pluralistic Iraq that can be a model for other currently Islamic countries. From a spiritual standpoint, the Gospel isn't going to be easily spread with Saddam in charge. Neither can happen if we go the Blix route of painfully slow disarmament. This is both about destroying weapons of mass destruction and deploying weapons of mass revival; not going to war might, if things play out just as the diplomats hope (fat chance), do the first but is even less unlikely to do the second. This won't be pretty. For what it's worth, the other prophecy geek speaking last night, Chuck Pierce, has been envisioning a seven year war that started on 9-11. Grab the appropriate number of grains of salt, but that rings true geopolitically, giving us 5.5 years left of the Anglosphere struggling with Islam. Everyone and his uncle will be praying for the troops; pray for the Iraqi people that their country and their spirits be transformed by a new government. Pray for the other currently Islamic countries and a people that need Jesus as much as we do and don't know it yet. Pray for the Anglospherian Christians who will have ministry opportunities in the years to come as the currently Islamic countries to be ready when that time comes.

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