The theme for our conference is Awake! Be Astounded.  It is just the first day and we are already astounded.

Each morning most of us are awakened, summoned out of a place of sweet slumber by the annoying sound of the alarm clock.  How I hate that sound.  In fact, many times, once I have set the alarm clock, I kind of set an inward clock and I wake up before that shrill, awful sound of the alarm clock.  It is so jarring.  But, as we know, an alarm is a signal.  It is a loud noise, a sound, that warns or alerts us it is time.  It is a device that signals it is time to wake up.  Time is important in the morning.  Especially if you are not a morning person and I don’t really do mornings very well.  People who wake up in a cheery mood sort of annoy me.  Talk to me around noon and we will do just fine.  Anything before that is a little iffy and I am trusting that my co-workers will remain silent.  But time, moments are crucial.  In the mornings I like to move slowly, how about you?  But most of us don’t have the luxury of slow.  I like to linger over a cup of tea.  But the day lies before us.  Appointments to keep, schedules, kids to get off to school, family needs, meetings to attend.  Moments are important.  Moments can tick away almost unnoticed.  They are just so regular.  But moments possess our future.  Destiny can be determined in a moment.  Successes or failures, victories or losses can be determined in a moment.  Life and death can happen in a moment.  Life hangs on moments.  Moments count.

History sometimes appears to be changed in a moment.  Remember the words of former president Reagan, “Mr. Gorbachov, tear down this wall.”  Those words initiated the beginning of the end of the cold war.

Churchill.  Famous remarks from one of his speeches, “Never give in, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.  Never yield to force.  Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.  Words spoken by the leader of a nation.  Spoken during World War II, while Great Britain was experiencing nightly bombings.  The words of a leader can make a difference.

President Bush, following 9/11 said, “I will not forget the wound to our country and those who inflicted it.  I will not yield, I will not rest, I will not relent in waging this struggle for freedom and security for the American people.”  Then later, speaking at the UN, he said, “This threat cannot be ignored.  This threat cannot be appeased.  Civilization itself, the civilization we have shared, is threatened.”  And the war on terrorism began.

Esther’s response only took a moment.  “I will go to the King and if I perish, I perish.”  And it turned the circumstances of a people and a nation.  It happened in a moment.

David.  “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine, this one who comes to defy the armies of the living God?  He got right to the heart of the issue.  What will be done for the one who takes away the reproach from Israel?  And it says David ran quickly to the battle line.  In a moment.

Deborah, an apostolic leader in her day, had watched the Canaanites oppress the people of Israel over the years and the moment came when she said, “Arise, it is time for war.”  Time, moments, seasons.

Ecclesiastes 3 says, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:  A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck;  time to break down, and a time to build up; a time of war and a time of peace.”  Today our nation, indeed the world, stands at a perilous crossroads. Time.  Moments in history have been gathering much like storm clouds, and with that a pressure has been building in the atmosphere that is palatable.

Last year, at our conference, I spoke about birth pangs.  The list of symptoms, signs that Jesus gave us to watch for.  Birth pangs indicate to a woman how close she is to the actual birth.  The greater the frequency, and intensity of the pains, the closer she knows she is to the big event.  Similarly, He has given us signs to watch for and He said watch for the frequency.  Be aware of the intensity, because it will indicate the closeness of My coming.  The sound of a heavenly alarm is ringing, causing us to stir, to be awakened, to be fully alert to the dawning of a different day, a different time, a different season.

Graham spoke today about the fact that we can be people who live from the past to the present, or we can be a people who live from the present to the future.  He is speaking to us.  God, by His Spirit, is speaking to us and He is saying let go of the past.  I want you to live from the present into the future.

Our conference last year was Seasons in God, Establishing a New Day, and the scripture was taken from Isaiah 43:  Behold, I do a new thing.  Graham said a time of acceleration is upon us.  Do you sense it?  We have talked about being in major shift.  We have talked about being positioned for the days ahead.  God is calling us.  He is calling us past what we have known.  He is calling us away from our past history to make present and future history.  He is calling us beyond ourselves.  It is a time of divine acceleration.

So, behold I do a new thing.  Now, say “now,” it shall spring forth.  You know with the new comes pressure.  Anytime you approach change, incredible pressure and tension begins to build.  Without pressure, everything reverts to form.  It is the same old, same old.  But it is the pressure that builds within us.  It is the pressure that builds in our ministry that beckons us to press us out of the known and the comfortable, into a place where we have not walked before.  But it is the place of our destiny; it is the place of our future.  It is the place God has equipped and designed us for.  We must move with Him in this season of divine acceleration.

In one of Graham’s books, he said the church, the world, is in a state of profound change.  I shared with you a scripture last year from 2 peter 3 speaking about scoffers.  But scoffers say, where is the promise of His coming?

Since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were.  But we are very aware, as is the world, that nothing continues as it has been.  It is a different day.  A different season.  Different pressures.  Storm clouds have been gathering.  There is a shift.  It is a time of divine acceleration.  God’s timetable has moved far beyond where it was even ten years ago.

Isaiah 22 speaks about a day of trouble and treading down.  It was a day of perplexity.  A time of trouble in Jerusalem and God was calling for weeping and mourning, for baldness and girding with sackcloth, but instead there was joy and gladness, eating meat and drinking wine.  Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.  They were unaware of the seriousness of the times in which they lived, even as many are today.

A few years ago I brought a message related to the decades, and I began with the 1950s.  And I showed the parallel activity between what the enemy was beginning to bring forth in the earth, and then how God, by His Spirit, was raising up a standard against what the enemy was doing.  And I talked about the fact that it was at that time in the mid-50s up the late 1950s, that radicals and intellectuals began to voice their thoughts, their philosophies across this nation, and ultimately it began to move around the nations of the world.  Their message was “God is dead.”  Liberal thinking, casting aside constraints – if it feels good, do it.  There is no higher power to answer to.  God is dead.  But God began to raise up a messenger with a very simple, direct message to counter what the enemy was speaking.  The messenger’s name was Billy Graham.  The word says when the enemy comes in like a flood, I will raise up a standard against it.

I spoke about the 1960s.  We began to see the fruit of the countercultural revolution, drugs, free sex, acid rock.  There was a striking at the moral moorings of our nation.  But running parallel to what the enemy was doing, God began to move by His Spirit across the face of the earth.  Many refer to it as the charismatic renewal.  And at that time, something else began to emerge out of that move of the Spirit.  Women began to gather together.  It was in 1967 that this ministry was brought forth, the same year that we saw the reunification of the city of Jerusalem.

The enemy was at work, but God was raising a standard against his activity.  I believe that the seeds of the prayer movement were birthed when God began to gather women together, because it is within our very nature to give birth, but also to war.

Something began in the 1950s that never reversed itself.  I believe it was the beginning of the end.  There was a liberal mindedness.  Seeds of anti-God, and anti-Christ, and anti-Christian that we have seen grow and mushroom to the present day.  Anti-Semitism has been on the increase.  The voice of Hollywood, the Michael Moores, the Bill Mayers, the different ones that speak out in such a strong way, but God is still at work, running parallel, running counter to the voices that would be lifted up to be exalted above the Most High.  God set something in motion that is continuing to be played out today.  It is growing.  It is gaining in strength and power.  He has not been caught short nor has He been surprised by the enemy.  His hand is not shortened that it cannot save.  He is ready; heaven has been preparing for war.

Today, after Graham’s message this afternoon, Jervae Brooks, who oversees our fellowships outside the United States, said, “Oh are you going to tell them about the acceleration of activity overseas, just since the month of May of this year?”  You will remember last year at our conference, we spoke about Operation 222.  Now there are different opinions about the number of nations in the world, but one of the resources that we have checked out says there are 222.  Aglow is in 155, so that means there were 67 nations yet to be reached. And so we began to pick up the burden to call in those 67 nations.  Let me give you an update.  We have now 16 of those nations that have some type of Aglow activity that has begun.  This is just since May.  Divine acceleration.  Of the 16 nations, 2 are in the Middle East.  8 are in Africa.  Clap longer so I can have a drink.  2 are in Asia, 3 are in Europe and 1 is in the South Pacific.  9 of these 16 nations are predominantly Muslim; in fact, 6 are 99 to 100 percent Muslim.  That is astounding.  God is not nervous, He is on the move.  2 of the 16 nations are predominantly Buddhist.  One of them has no religion listed at all.  That is the nation of Greenland.  4 are listed as mostly Christian or Protestant or Catholic.  Nations like Cape Verde, etc.  Jervae said words that describe these nations are “dark nations”.  You know, we have often said we have gotten into the easy places so far, and now we are heading into nations that are very difficult to penetrate.  They seem difficult to us, but obviously they are not difficult to God.  So, dark nations, hidden nations, forgotten places, Buddhist nations, Muslim nations, war torn nations.  Like Afghanistan, Bosnia, Liberia, Somalia.  Through the prayers of Aglow women, God is working to affect the lives of women in some of the darkest nations of the world.  Nations where the women are the most helpless, the most faceless, the most in need of God’s love.   It is through your prayers, it is through your giving.  God is on the move.

Again, quoting Graham, the cutting edge of the church, and I will say the cutting edge of Aglow, has been moved forward.  God is bringing us into a new dimension.  He is taking us in His hand and establishing what He desires and purposes.  Isaiah 46:10 says, “I have declared the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel and my purpose will stand, and I will do all of My good pleasure.”  You can take it to the bank, He is going to get it done.

There is a progressive revelation taking place.  He speaks here in Isaiah 46 that He has declared the end from the beginning, from ancient times things that have not yet been done.  So as we move towards the culmination of time, we are seeing a progressive revelation and understanding unfold before us.  A new season, say “new season”; a new season of Holy Spirit activity is upon us.  We cannot get stuck in the past.  There is a whole new brooding of the Spirit over Aglow; a whole new coming of God on behalf of the women of the world.  I was thinking of the scripture in Isaiah 32 and thinking of the women of the world and what God has called us to.  Calling us to awaken them, that they, too, might be astonished and astounded by the God who is reaching out to love them, to rescue them, to deliver them, and to make them whole.  To give them value and significance, and open their eyes to the significant place He has purposed for them.  In Isaiah 32 it says, rise up you women who are at ease, and I am not referring to them, I am referring to us, rise up.  Don’t be at ease.  Be awakened.  Be alert.  Be fully aware of what I am doing in this hour.  Participate with me.  Cooperate with me in this season of divine acceleration.  Rise up.  If you are at ease, rise up.  Hear my voice, oh complacent daughters.  And this scripture goes on to talk about the fact that in a year and some days, you will be troubled.  The vintage will fail.  He was saying to them, disaster is coming.  Wake up, don’t be complacent.  Be awake, be alive, be alert, be astounded at what I am about to do in the earth.  For every eye will see me, and every eye will know who is the Lord and who is the King.

We hear about the apostolic reformation.  What does it mean?  What does it mean to Aglow?  Last year, God did some astounding things in our midst, and there was an alignment that took place that I believe has been the reason for the ongoing movement and outpouring of His Spirit.  But someone said, it may have been Barbara but I can’t recall exactly who said this, but I love this statement: What God is really doing in this hour is restoring the apostolic nature of Christianity.  He is restoring the apostolic nature of the church.  He is calling us forth in an apostolic way to make Himself known.  He is calling us to ride through the nations of the world.  This apostolic move is not a current fad.  The world is in crises and God is raising up an army of people.  He is equipping us.  He has readied His war machine for this hour.  Are you out there?  You are it.  He is raising the church to a new level of authority; to a new level of power that He has ordained for us from the beginning.

Psalm 8:2.  I have a new interpretation.  David is speaking about the excellency of the name of the Lord.  He said, “You have set your glory above the heavens.”  Then it goes on to say, “Out of the mouths of babes” (out of the mouths of Aglow babes) you have ordained strength because of your enemies, that you may silence the enemy and the avenger.”  Then he goes on to say, “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon, the stars, that you have ordained, what is man that you are mindful of him? and the son of man, that you would visit him?  You have made him a little lower than the angels, and you have crowned him (you have crowned her) with glory and honor.” This was God’s purpose for you from the beginning.  Glory and honor for His name sake.

Storm clouds are gathering.  Many are saying we have entered the third world war.  It is not a time for business as usual.  There is a sense of urgency in my own spirit, a knowing that the hour is late, that the birth pangs are upon us.  President Bush said, “You can’t win a war if you don’t believe or see that you are in one”.  And most recently he said, “Everyone has a stake in this war”.

Ephesians 1:  Paul is praying for the church and he is praying that the eyes of our understanding would be enlightened; that we would see clearly and have an understanding, a clear understanding, clear vision, clear ability to see into the unseen world.  To see principalities and powers that are at work, and the spirits that are driving human behavior, the spirits that are driving the course of events taking place in the world today.  He is saying, let “the eyes of your understanding be enlightened; that you may know (say “know”) what is the hope of His calling…”  “And what is the exceeding greatness of His power towards us.”  He wants us to know and walk in that understanding, even as Graham was speaking so beautifully to us today.  The hidden places where we have been.  All the questions in our minds.  What sometimes feels like God’s silence.  Trying to find our way in our personal lives and in our lives of the ministry.  Hidden places; silent places.  But it is in those places that He is expanding, allowing pressure to come, to break us out into our destiny, to enlarge us so that we can move into the thing God has purposed and destined us for.

I was struck by the fact of how many came forward this morning.  I felt like the Lord said to me, “So many just here at this conference, have felt like they are in that hidden place”.  I can identify.  I feel like I am just coming out the other side of a place that I have been in.  But I felt like the Lord said, “Even as individuals have felt hidden, so has the ministry been hidden.  But it is a day that I am bringing you forth”.

Nine-eleven was a devastating blow; a wake up call.  Not just to America, but to the world.  When did the threat begin?  Most would say on 9/11, September 11 of the year 2001.

  • But the answer is 1979; 22 years prior to September 11, with the Iran embassy hostage situation.
  • In 1980, in Beruit, Lebanon, the US embassy compound was attacked.  And the same year the Marine Corp headquarters was attacked with 2401 killed.
  • Again in 1983, there was an attack on the US Embassy in Kuwait.
  • In 1985, bombs exploded in a restaurant frequented by US soldiers in Madrid.
  • In 1985, the Achille Lauro ship was high jacked, and an American in a wheel chair was executed.
  • In 1986, TWA Flight 840 was brought down.
  • In 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 to New York was bombed over Lockerbie, Scotland.
  • In 1993, the first New York World Trade Center attack.
  • In 1995, a car bomb exploded at a US military complex in Saudi Arabia.
  • In 1996, Saudi Arabian Khobar Towers and a US Air Force barracks were attacked.
  • In 1998, the US Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya was bombed.  In 1998, again, the US Embassy in Tanzania.
  • In the year 2000 in Yemen, the USS Cole was bombed.
  • In 2001, the New York World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

These attacks happened during the administrations of Presidents Carter, Reagan, Bush #1, Clinton and Bush #2. There were no provocations by these presidents.  During the period from 1981 to 2001, there were over 7500 terrorist attacks, worldwide.

I recently returned from a time in Europe.  Europe could very well be heading into a very difficult time, and I want to give you some statistics related to Europe.  I was very conscious, as I was preparing this message that was so stirring in my heart, we have a mandate.  We have three mandates.  The second one being our call to the Muslim people.  And as we have said so frequently, we are called to love them, to win them, to reach out, but at the same time, we cannot be unaware of the spirit behind the system.  Because it does embody the greatest spirit of anti-Christ in the earth today, we cannot afford to just use politically correct language; we must be aware of what is taking place.

The Muslim population in the European union ranges from 12 million to 20 million, which means there are more Muslims in Europe than there are Norwegians, Swedes, Danes, Greeks, Czechs, and Hungarians combined.  In Great Britain, Muslims now outnumber Roman Catholics and constitutes the second largest religious community in the nation.  London has over 600,000 Muslims and over 1800 Mosques.

In France, the Muslim population numbers some 6 – 8 million and France reportedly has 1200 mosques, funded almost without exception by foreign money and led by Islams imported from other countries.

The Netherlands, with a population of 16 million, is currently home to a million Muslims and Dutch legislators now want the government to begin to investigate activities in the mosque, which often incite anti-Western sentiment and violence.  As I said, trying to be politically correct and avoid verbalizing what is actually taking place, can be fatal.  There is no way to win the war, if you don’t clearly recognize and articulate what it is you are fighting. 
It is not a people, it is a spirit behind the system that is driving human behavior.  There is a violent clash of two kingdoms taking place, and in that sense, we are at war with an enemy who has set himself against the most high God.  It is an anti-Christ spirit that is arising with a new dimension of power, pressure and authority such as we have never seen.  As I have said, we have always said we love the people, but we cannot be unaware of the spirit behind the system.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Admiral Yamamoto said, “It seems like all we have done is awakened a sleeping giant.”  Well, there is another sleeping giant.  A present day sleeping giant that is being awakened in this hour.

Women.  God’s secret agents.  God is about to raise women up in a new and a different way.  He is about to shake an enemy who doesn’t know he is about to be shaken, called the weaker sex.  God has been preparing His war machine to counter the onslaught of the enemy.  We were not raised up just to hold nice meetings.  In fact, (you can clap) someone said to me, someone from the board said to me, you know, it is almost like that is our out front face, but underneath there is a purpose and a destiny and a reality to what God has been doing in this ministry and in the women of the world.  Equipping, empowering, awakening, astonishing, alerting us to this hour where we stand, and I believe in a very real way, we are a significant part of the war machine he has been readying.

War is a central theme of God’s activity.  In Exodus, God went to war to free His people.  He said, I have seen, I have observed and I am coming down to deliver them.  It is no different today.  He watches; He observes; He knows; He is aware.  Exodus 3:20 says, “I will stretch out My hand, and smite Egypt with all of My wonders…: and after that he will let you go.”  We read about blood, hail, plagues, death.  He said to Moses, I will send you to Pharaoh, I will send you to that opposing spirit, that oppressing spirit.  Pharaoh’s response was, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey His voice?  I really don’t know this Lord, neither will I let Israel go.”  Pharaoh was about to find out who the Lord was.  And any enemy of God in the earth today, any opposing spirit to what He is about to do in the earth, will find themselves knowing who this God is.

The Israelites were at the Red Sea, the enemy was at their back, the word of the Lord to them was, “I will fight for you”.  In Exodus 15:3 it says, “The Lord is a man of war: the Lord is His name.  Your right hand, Oh Lord, was glorious in power; your right hand, oh God, dashed the enemy in pieces.  And in the greatness of your excellence, You overthrew those who rose up against you.  The enemy had said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will draw my sword, but you blew on them and they sank like lead.”

Exodus 17, speaking of Amalek, who came against God’s people right as they’d come across the Red Sea and they’d attack them from the rear.  All the weary ones, the stragglers, and God being a man of war, he said, The Lord has sworn He will have war with Amalek from generation to generation to generation. He is a man of war and He means business.

Joshua warred to get into the promise land, and isn’t it interesting that as God was speaking to Joshua, He said I will give you rest and I will give you the land.  It seems like an oxymoron; I will give you rest, but you are going to have an enemy to overcome.  That is exactly what Graham was saying to us today.  In the hidden places where we have been, the places of confusion, the places of grief, the place of whatever, there has been an expanding, there has been a development of faith, there has been a strength coming forth that we could not even perceive.  But as we are moving through that place in the wilderness, we are coming out the other side with a strength that is not our own.  Solid.  In a position of rest we know who He is.  And we can stand face to face, nose to nose with the enemy because His presence goes before us.

Deborah went to war.  Gideon went to war.  King David was a warrior.  Elijah warred against the prophets of Baal.  Jesus said I didn’t come to bring peace but a sword.

Revelations says, a white horse, speaks of a white horse, and He who sat on him was called faithful and true, and in righteousness He judges and He makes war.  Who is making the war?  It isn’t the enemy.  God is making the war.  God is in control.  Last year, at our conference, as I mentioned, we had a major breakthrough.  An alignment in the Spirit realm took place that was huge.  We publically received anew the three mandates over this ministry:  the reconciliation of the church, male and female, the image of God, which will cause the church to come into her destiny in an ability to fulfill her destiny, because the genders have been reconciled and come together in the way God designed and purposed.  The mandate to Islam and the word about the thread that He will give us into our hands a thread that will begin to unravel.

He is a man of war.  Yes, He is a man of peace.  Yes, it is a gospel of peace.  Yes, it is a gospel of love, but He is calling us, in this hour, to pick up the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit.  When we publically received those three mandates anew, we stepped into war.  Are you with me?

Did you watch the trilogy, the Lord of the Rings?  There is a quote that Diane fink made me aware of; it is from The Two Towers; is that the second one? I don’t know.  Okay, thanks.  The King of Rohan is counseled to go out and face the enemy head on.  The King’s response is, I will not bring further death to my people, I will not risk open war.  But Aragorn says, open war is upon you whether you would risk it or not.  It is here.

We have said, and it has kind of made us feel good, that Aglow has been called “for such a time as this”.  It isn’t just a nice saying.  We have been called.  We enlisted.  We said, “I am here”.  It is time to gird up the loins of our mind.  It is time for us, as leaders, as givers, as prayer warriors, maybe as people on the fringe, wondering about, “what is this ministry of Aglow all about?” It is time to decide if you are in or you are out.  Let’s hear it.  It is time to decide, are you in or are you out?  Are you for us or are you against us?  Are you with us – are you with God in this hour, for what He is calling this ministry to?  He is teaching our hands to make war.

Paul said, arms yourselves, and the first piece of armor is the belt of truth.  He said, you are to get a solid grip, know the truth, let the truth bring you in to the current dimension of what I am doing.  Get a solid grip on the battle that is raging before you.  Get a solid grip on the battle that is raging in your life, personally; what we have been called to as a ministry.  Even the battles that you are fighting in your personal life, it is not just a personal battle.  It is not that you are just fighting for your own victory.  You are fighting for multitude.  You must come through the valley of darkness, the place of the wilderness.  You must come through.  If the enemy wins the battle in your life personally, what does he do corporately?

But God is a man of war, and He is well able to bring you from this place into the place of your destiny, personally, and our destiny, corporately; we will ride with Him.

Micah said, “Do not gloat over me, my enemy, for when I fall, I will arise; and when I sit in darkness, (or hiddeness) the Lord will be a light to me”.

2 Chronicles 20, and I am coming to the end.  This is a scripture we know well.  The enemy was coming to battle against Jehoshaphat.  So some came and told Jehoshaphat there is a great multitude coming against you from beyond the sea.  Jehoshaphat feared and set himself to seek the Lord.  Is that what you have been doing? He proclaimed a fast throughout all of Judah.  He said: “Oh Lord God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven, and do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations, and in Your hand is there not power and might, so that no one is able to stand against You?”  For we have no power against this great multitude; we have no power against this anti-Christ spirit that is arising in the earth.

We have no power against this that is coming against us, nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.  Don’t be afraid; don’t be dismayed because of this great multitude. The spirit of the Lord is saying, the battle is not yours; it is God’s.  You will, (yeah, you can clap).  You will not need to fight in this battle.  Position yourselves.  Position yourselves.  That is what you have to do.  Stand.  I am not telling you to stand, I am saying, because I have just a couple more thoughts, but He is saying to us, position yourselves.

You know, as I was preparing this message and it was just kind of churning within me, I had come home from Europe a little early, and during this period of time immediately following my return home, and realizing the tactics of the enemy and the oppressiveness and the blatant frontal attack of the enemy, I am so aware as I know you are, it is a different day, it is a different season.  The battle has shifted.  There is acceleration in both realms.  I said, God what are Your strategies for this hour?  People are tired.  They have been in the battle.  They have fought a good fight.  And yet, things are accelerating.  What are You saying?  What are You doing?  What is the strategy for this hour?

What I sensed the Lord saying is similar to what Graham was saying this morning; there is a place of surety, a place of rest.  A place of standing that I believe is coming because of greater and greater understanding and revelation about some very foundational things.  The all sufficiency of the cross.  The all sufficiency of the blood of Jesus.  Things that we have known, things that we sing about, things that we celebrate, things we embrace.

But when God said to Joshua, I am giving you rest, however, you have this land before you that you will take; don’t be afraid, don’t be dismayed, you will walk in a place of strength and rest that will amaze you.  That is the kind of authority the enemy fears.  That is where God is bringing His people.  He wants us to know the greatness of His power towards us.  He said, position yourself, I will fight for you.  Don’t fear, don’t be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you.  God is in control.  Turn to your neighbor and say, “He is in control.  He is in control of everything.”  The word says, God rules over all the kingdoms of the nations, so that no one is able to withstand Him.  There isn’t a power strong enough or able enough to stand against Him.  He rules over it all.  Say “all”.  It says there is no authority, say “no authority”, there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.  He is in control of everything.  He has set the boundaries of the battle.  He has set the timing of the battle.  He is in control of everything.  There is no authority, no rulership, no leadership, no prime minister, president, king or leader or terrorist that is outside His control.

Daniel says that the living may know that the most high rules in the kingdom of man, and He gives it to whomever He will, and sets over it, the lowest of men.  So, behind the visible rulers of the world, the invisible God of the universe rules.

Colossians 1:16 says, “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers.  All things were created through Him and for Him.  And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.”  He is in control.

In John, pilot said to Jesus, “Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release you?”  Jesus said, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it has been given you from heaven.”

John 3 says, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven.”

Revelation 13:5, speaking of the beast, says that he will speak great things in blasphemy and it will continue for 42 months.  How can He say 42 months, because He knows at the end of 42 months, He will remove the power that that man was able to speak forth with.  He is in control.  He is in control of the war.  He is in control of the world.  He set the boundaries of the war.  He declares that he will rule.  He declares what will be.

In Ezekiel 38, speaking of Gog, He said, “I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, and lead you out, with all of your army…”  “You will come up against My people Israel like a cloud to cover the land, and it will be in the latter days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me, when I am hallowed in you, O Gog, before their eyes.  He is in control.

In Exodus 9, speaking of Pharaoh, he says, “But for this purpose I have raise you up, that I may exalt myself in you and through you, that I may show my power in you, and that My name will be declared in all the earth.”

Psalm 21, says “Your hand will find all Your enemies; Your right hand will find those who hate You.  They have devised a plot which they are not able to perform.  Therefore You will make them turn their back; You will make ready Your arrows on Your string toward their faces.  Be exalted, Oh Lord, in Your own strength!  We will sing praise and praise Your power and glory and honor to you.”

Psalm 97 says, “The mountains melt like wax at the presence of the Lord.”

Moses, My presence goes before you.  Joshua, as I was with Moses, I will be with you.  My presence defines My people, and the world will see through My people, who I am, what kind of power I have, from the great to the small.

The world is facing an enemy that they are unaware of, but God is speaking to His people in this hour, that it is time for war.  It is time to rise up with your shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit.  It is a season, a time of divine acceleration, and moments count.

Speaking of the battle of Iwo Jima, with this I will close, it was one of the bloodiest, ugliest, battles in the history of war.  The enemy had studied the victory at Normandy, and they were prepared for this invasion. So they had transformed the little island into a little fortress maze of tunnels, bunkers, and caverns to conceal some 22,000 soldiers.  The young marines landed on Iwo Jima, and they were forced to drive out the enemy inch by inch.  They battled an enemy they could not see, while being exposed to every sort of weaponry. They caught fire coming from all directions:  mortars, machine guns, mines, grenades.  Survivors reported that they never saw one living enemy soldier in all the days of combat.  What does that sound like?  Spiritual warfare.  Military analysts thought the battle would be won in 72 hours, but it took 36 days and cost many, many lives.  More metals were awarded because of this battle than any other battle in US history.

We are in a war.  The hour is late, and you are needed.  Your whole heart, your whole being, is needed for this battle.  And all of the glory that God intended for you, and for Himself; He purposed you for glory.  He purposed to do awesome things through your life.  He wants you to fully live in the story that He is telling. It is a story that began in Genesis, and will end in Revelation.

I believe that we are in a time of being unveiled.  That God is bringing forth not only this ministry, but I believe He is bringing forth the church in an awesome way.  It is a time when we must fight apathy, comfort, and smallness of vision.  It is a time to rise up and face the giant that is facing us.  And I love what Graham said today.  He said, “When you see a giant before you, you are not looking at defeat, the giant is.”  He said, “It is not a time to be ladylike.  He has made you equal to, and able for the task that is before you.”  He said, “You are defined by the size and the strength of the opposition standing against you.  Now, you think about the fact that we are speaking about an anti-Christ spirit that is rising in authority and power, that God has made you equal to the size and the strength of this enemy that is arising in the earth.”

I think of something Eleanor Roosevelt said.  “You don’t know the strength of a tea bag until it is in hot water.  Nor do you know the strength of a woman until she is in hot water.”  Women, we are in hot water.

Something really struck me during the time of the debates and the campaigning that took place, and I don’t speak this in relation to a candidate, but just the thought.  Something written in the Wall Street Journal about after school programs, and no child left behind, and all the kinds of things that have always seemed very important, and they are important, but this particular journalist said, “It is almost not inconsequential, but it almost unperceivable that that is what we are focused on, when there is a war that is raging and many in America, many in the nations of the world, don’t even perceive the nature of the war that is before us.”  We see it by the eyes of the spirit.

We know it because of what God has spoken, but we are also very aware that He is calling us in this hour to rise up and ride with Him through the nations of the war in this season of divine acceleration.   He is saying, will you ride with me?  Do you know you have been called for such a time as this?  Are you aware, women of Aglow, of the significance of what I have prepared you for and the significance of the hour in which you live?

Let’s stand to our feet.

Is the team still here, Ruth, because I would like to close by singing “We Will Rise”.  I know the hour is late, but we need to affirm, we need to say yes, we need to step in.  We need to join forces and join hands, and say once again, “we will ride”.  Let’s just lift our hands.

Lord Jesus, this is Aglow appearing for duty.  Lord, by your Spirit, shake off, remove from us, any apathy, lethargy; any desire just for comfort.  And Lord, bring us in to that place of moving forward with you in this hour to face the enemy that is arising in the earth today.  We will ride.

To receive the continuing impartation of God’s purposes for the Aglow ministry in this “new season,” Don’t miss the 2005 Worldwide Conference at Opryland in Nashville, Tennessee November 17 – 20, 2005, where we will experience.....

His Defining Presence

See you there!