Pastors, Has the Enemy Come In Like a Flood?

WRR mudslideWhen the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him. — Is. 59:19 (KJV)

I had the privilege of interceding over a pastors’ conference at Wind River Ranch in Estes Park, Colorado during the rain and flooding of early September.

When I arrived at the ranch on Monday prior to the arrival of the pastors and their wives, Father directed me to intercede several times up and down the main road that ran through ranch. Father continued to have me do this daily. By Thursday morning the road was becoming a steadily moving stream. By Thursday afternoon, the road I had walked became a raging river and the first mudslide roared down the mountain into the ranch.

As the ranch staff, pastors and their wives used shovels, a tractor, and a bulldozer to shore up the land on either side of the road to prevent further erosion and more extensive flooding, Father had me continue to intercede on whatever dry land I could find, praying His promises found in Isaiah 59:19 and 1 Kings 18:37.

Thursday night at 11:15 PM a second mud/landslide of a three-to-four foot wall of water and thousands of pine trees raced down the mountainside. The roads and land sustained a great deal of damage, yet none of the 70 staff and guests were injured nor were the ranch’s buildings or cabins damaged.

As I think back on what God accomplished in our midst, I wonder how many of us are praying for, looking for and expectantly anticipating God to raise up a standard against the Enemy when he comes in like a flood.

Is the Enemy coming against your church body with a flood of spiritual warfare and attack?

If so, then it is possible that the Enemy has established a stronghold or a series of strongholds that can be dealt with through a 40-day prayer focus.

Crossing the Finish Line In a Season of Ministry [Called series]

Finish LineIn a race, the finish line is clearly marked. How you end the race is clear: cross the finish line. Crossing the finish line in a season of ministry is less clear for it is a journey of faith.

Often our finish in a season of ministry will not seem victorious to others or maybe even to ourselves. In finishing a season of ministry, the thing that matters most is this: being in step with God. “What God originates, He orchestrates.”

God shapes a season of ministry to accomplish His purposes and plans. The end of that season will often appear or even feel far from a flourishing finish in the human sense. Seek  to have one focus: to keep your eyes on Jesus, follow His lead, and obey and please Him. Know that as you seek to do so, the Enemy will seek to  try make you feel as if you:

  • Failed
  • Stopped short
  • Floundered
  • Didn’t cut it

When these attacks come, take comfort in the promise of Isaiah 55:8-9:

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.” “For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” (NLT)

As you finish, make the words of Paul your mark of vision in your heart and mind: I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. – 2 Timothy 4:7 (ESV)

For in each season of ministry, Father gives us a fight to fight, a race to finish, and a faith to keep.

It matters not whether others approve or understand why God’s moving you on. You live for an audience of One (Gal 1:10). No matter how short or how long the season of ministry you’re in is, may you fight the good fight, finish the race, and keep the faith.

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10 ways to Keep Going When You’re Taking Spiritual Ground [Called Series]

knight kneelingYou know you’re committed when you don’t turn back when the spiritual backlash comes with fiendish ferocity while you’re taking spiritual ground.

Some years ago, I was teaching at a Christian school. During one of the daily staff devotional times, I heard the Enemy menacingly say in my ear five times,

“I will silence you.”

What followed in the next year was the most ugly betrayal and fiercest personal and spiritual attack I have experienced in my Christian walk of 30+ years. Several times I was tempted to give in and be silent.

Being a part of taking spiritual ground is a sure way to experience fierce spiritual attack to the point that you will be tempted to be silent. A common way spiritual attack will come is through personal attacks from people who know and love us, often who are dear Christian brothers and sisters.

If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it;
if a foe were rising against me, I could hide.

But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend, with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship at the house of God, as we walked about among the worshipers. – Psalm 55:12-14 (NIV)

As He was taking spiritual ground, Jesus experienced the fierce spiritual attack. Judas, one of His beloved disciples, who had co-labored by His side day in, day out for three years betrayed him (Luke 22:1-5, 47-53). People who He had taught, healed, and loved turned back and no longer followed Him (John 6:60-70).

So how do you continue on when you’re experiencing the inevitable spiritual attack that comes with taking spiritual ground?

  • Surround yourself with truth
  • Receive support from your foxhole friends
  • Battle with praise
  • Focus your gaze on what is unseen (2 Cor 4:16-18)
  • Pray Scripture
  • Let the Healer bandage your battle wounds
  • Fix your eyes on what God has called you to (Does Your Calling Consume You?)
  • Remember those who have battled before you (Heb 12:1-3)
  • Fight from victory not for victory – The Invisible War, Chip Ingram
  • Give grace when others don’t understand or minimize what you’re going through

Read More: Finishing (Adventures in Faith series)

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Do You Long to Experience More of Jesus? [Called Series]

abounding explorationMore of Jesus . . . we long to experience more of Him as we grow closer to Him. Jesus longs for you to experience more of Himself too.

Yet often when Jesus leads us into an experience of more of Himself we hold back.

If more of Jesus is truly what we are longing for it will involve the:

  • Stretching of our faith
  • Deepening of our prayer life
  • Strengthening of our willingness to obey His voice at a moment’s notice
  • Developing a daily practice of going to places and into situations that He is inviting us to join Him in

In our longing, Jesus’ offer to us is often that of Jeremiah 33:3

Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. (Also see Colossians 2:1-3)

In answer to our longing, Jesus invitation to our hearts is often that of Isaiah 50:4-5 (ESV)

The Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary. Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught. 

The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious; I turned not backward.

And yet in both Jesus’ offer and invitation to our longing, sadly we do turn backward and go no further.

In my work as a prophetic intercessor, partnering and interacting with ministry leaders, I have the privilege of interacting with many mature believers who have long ago committed their lives to serving and following Jesus wholeheartedly and unwaveringly.

Again and again through conversation, I have heard their heart cry of longing to experience Jesus in a deeper way.

In talking with one of my mentors and friends, a pastor of 30+ years, he described this tug-of-war of the heart as:

All I know Angela is that if you’re crazy, then I must be just as crazy as you. We all long for more of God and biblical Christianity, and then when Father reveals Himself and speaks, we question and doubt.

It is in our questions and doubts that we have the opportunity to go forward in faith or backward into our comfort zone.

Jesus always has and always will challenged His dearly Beloved children’s comfort zones.

What comfort zone is Jesus confronting in your life?

What comfortable beliefs is Jesus challenging in your heart?

Like the father of the son with a demonic spirit, do you need to cry:

Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24)

Is Jesus reassuring your heart as He did with Jairus, one of the rulers of the synagogue whose daughter was dying:

Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”

Jesus longs for you to experience more of Himself and His hand is reaching out for you to take hold and join Him in an adventure that will transform your heart and life to the point that you will never be the same.

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When Father Waits

waitingWe often talk about how we’re waiting on God, but how often do you think about God waiting for you?

Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you.

For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. – Isaiah 30:18 (ESV)

As a prophetic intercessor, I have many opportunities to witness firsthand Father waiting for His children to:

  • Receive His healing in their lives
  • Be freed from the spiritual oppression that has a stranglehold on their life
  • Accept His plan, obey His leading and follow His calling upon their life
  • Walk in the newness of life as they walk away from patterns of dysfunction, death, and decay in how they once lived (Romans 6:16-18)

 Is God waiting for you?

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Does Your Calling Compel You to Live with Urgency? [Called Series]

sunset of decisionAt the end of the day, what are you living for? What compels you? What drives you?

Does your calling compel you to live with urgency?

I lived the first 32 years of my life with a substantial amount of spiritual oppression. In 2007, Father miraculously set me free from this oppression.

I am compelled to live every day with an urgency to be a part of Father’s work of bringing freedom to His dearly Beloved sons and daughters who also live with a high degree of spiritual oppression.

I grew up in Asia where my parents were missionaries until I was eight years old. Upon our return to the United States I thought my experiences of recurring nightmares of being strangled by a demonic presence, uncontrollable shaking, and hearing driven voices telling me to do things were just part of the spiritual attack that comes along with being a follower of Christ. When these attacks would occur, I would rebuke the Enemy “in the name of Jesus” and eventually the attacks would subside.

In 2003, I started going through a series of 3 four-hour prayer sessions with the Omaha Vineyard intercessory prayer team. As they prayed over me, it became evident that I was dealing with a substantial amount of spiritual oppression that stemmed from the time my family spent in Asia.

I struggled with why God had allowed me to live with a substantial amount of spiritual oppression for 32 years. In the process of Father freeing me from this spiritual oppression, He showed me how many of His dearly Beloved sons and daughters live with a substantial amount of spiritual oppression. Specifically, how many pastors and ministry leaders are silently struggling with a great deal of spiritual oppression that is often masked as:

  • heavy depression
  • weighty and unexplainable emotional struggle
  • repetitive and persisting spiritual attacks
  • unexplainable delays in personal and spiritual progress

Are you a pastor or ministry leader who is dealing with the above?

Prayerfully consider if spiritual oppression is a hidden reason behind these things (Mark 4:22). Consider a 40 Day Prayer Focus.

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When the Opposition Is Stacked Against You

on the ground of conflictOpposition is:

  • emotionally wearing
  • disheartening
  • strength taking
  • courage attacking
  • progress slowing

Jesus knew our lives would be filled with both opposition and trouble and He told us “take heart” in the midst of it.

“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33 (NIV)

When the opposition is stacked against you how should you respond?

According to how Father leads you . . .

  • To go through as He told the Israelites to go through the Red Sea
  • To turn around and go in the other direction
  • To wait for another time to continue on in this way
  • To stop, be done, and move on

How will you know?

. . . by listening to His voice. (Isaiah 48:17, Isaiah 30:21)

Knowing all the while that no opposition is greater than His mighty outstretched hand. Any opposition allowed into your life is allowed through His nail pierced hand.

So as you stand in the midst of the opposition that is stacked against you, take heart.

Strengthen the feeble hands,
steady the knees that give way;

say to those with fearful hearts,
“Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come,
he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution
he will come to save you.”

Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
and the ears of the deaf unstopped.

Then will the lame leap like a deer,
and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
and streams in the desert.

The burning sand will become a pool,
the thirsty ground bubbling springs.
In the haunts where jackals once lay,
grass and reeds and papyrus will grow. – Isaiah 35:3-7

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