Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. I love the lights, the sounds, and the atmosphere that surrounds this holy time. It is a time to reflect upon the events of the year, to look forward with expectations of the New Year, and to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
It is a time to remember the proclamations made by a heavenly host long ago, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men." I find myself declaring similar thoughts as this year draws to a close and a new administration is set in place in the United States.
This year has provided opportunities for us to call down peace in many nations of the world. It has been a year filled with increasing war by the radical arm of Islam. Praying for peace is an urgent priority. Peace in places where there is strife. Peace to quiet the strident voices of those who seek justice, but by their actions bring chaos and destruction. Peace where brokenness and hurt reigns. Peace where self-righteousness always seeks “to be right." Peace where man exalts his way over God's way.
Recently I felt drawn to a word on the Elijah List from Doug Addison. As I read, I felt that I must share portions of this word with you. We are the Army of Aglow who has been growing in our intercessory role in the earth for nearly 50 years. I want to encourage you to stand firm in your nations in the midst of end time crises.
Positioned throughout the nations of the world, we recognize the birth pangs that are coming with increased intensity. We see the signs that point us to the Lord’s return. We know that war is in the atmosphere and we know that we have been mantled with Kingdom authority to stand as His people in the earth.
Doug’s word opens by alerting us that we can expect things to pick up at an accelerated pace in September. Knowing this will enable us to stay fresh and current as we lead the way. He said, “God will be making some major alignments and reassignments. The purpose for this is to fill in areas where some Christians have fallen asleep at their posts."
A few weeks ago, I was awakened two separate mornings at exactly the same time…3:11 a.m.!
The first morning, as I was wakened out of a deep sleep, I was immediately aware of the Presence of the Holy Spirit. My first response was to wait quietly, then to worship. As I worshiped, I began to express my love, my appreciation, and my need of Him. I felt a deep sense of peace.
Two mornings later I was awakened again. Out of habit, I touched my cell phone to check the time. You can imagine my surprise when it registered 3:11 a.m. again!
As I asked the Lord what this was about, I felt nudged to look up the meaning of the number 11. The number 11 speaks of disorder and signifies, “the last hour.”
A chill ran through my body, as I considered what the Holy Spirit wanted to say to me and through me. Generally, I always want to encourage others. Yet, I could not mistake what happened.
We are at a momentous yet sobering time in history. From my vantage point in AGLOW I see alignment on many issues, both in heaven and on earth, most particularly about our great friend, Israel.
I first want to announce a timely and important alignment on behalf of Israel: the founding of American Christian Leaders for Israel (ACLI). Sandy Wezowicz, our Israel Education Director and I are privileged to be among the founding members representing 15 Christian organizations. AGLOW is partnering with National Religious Broadcasters, International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, The Christian Broadcasting Network and Family Research Council to name a few.
Our mission is to speak to the American public in a unified voice of truth on behalf of tens of millions of American Christians that we collectively represent. Our message: support Israel and the Jewish people, not only in prayer but in practical efforts.
For example, in March a letter drafted by ACLI and signed by 100 ministry, church and business leaders was sent to President Obama and the leaders of both the House and Senate expressing concerns about negotiations with Iran and asking them to stand with Israel.
It is an extraordinary time to be alive!
It is a time of increased turmoil and spiritual warfare.
It is a time when darkness is becoming darker.
Yet, the promise remains that the light and the glory of heaven will increase and overtake the darkness.
The Invisible War
As we continue to see the rebellious spirit of Anti-Christ arise in the earth, I think of a statement that I read years ago in The Invisible War by Donald Grey Barnhouse.
War has been declared. The great governing cherub had become the malignant enemy. God was neither surprised nor astonished, for He had His perfect plan ready to put into effect. While He had the power to destroy Satan with a breath, He did not do so.....
God neither will, nor can, yield. There must be the unconditional surrender to Him of His universe. Satan can never, under any circumstances, frustrate the grace of God. What God has promised He will perform!
Darkness would come in like a flood, but the promise spoken through the prophet Isaiah remains.
When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him. Isaiah 59:19
Once again we have turned the calendar page over and see a brand new year stretching out before us. Each year brings fresh opportunities and fresh challenges. I’m sharing my heart with you in this letter because I see both as we move into 2015.
As I do prior to each New Year, I spent time with the Lord listening and pondering what might be ahead for us, individually and corporately. Let me share with you some of the insights the Lord gave me for this year, and some of the challenges you and I have an opportunity to meet.
2015…The number 15 means “REST”
In the Bible, we often see that rest comes as a result of deliverance and salvation. We see three specific times when the Israelites were told to rest. They were instructed to “rest from their work” at Passover (Lev. 23:6-7), and at the Feast of Tabernacles (Lev. 23:33-35). But in the Book of Esther, we see another kind of rest: They were given “rest from their enemies” (Purim, Esther 9:22). In addition to rest, they also had their sorrow turned into joy.
Today we live in a key time and place. God has raised us up, as individuals and as a ministry, “for such a time as this.” He is calling us to step into our destiny, knowing we are cloaked in the King’s favor. Just as Esther and her people, the Jews, had enemies who were determined to hinder, harm, and thwart God’s plan—so we, as Aglow International, also have enemies who seek to deter us.
Acts 1:8 states that we are to be witnesses…to the ends of the earth. I think I took that word quite personally this past year.
I started the year by traveling to Europe, Israel, Hong Kong and China. In the middle of the year, I returned to Israel and then on to Central America. I then spent some time traveling in the U.S.; Colorado, California, Michigan, Washington DC, and Milwaukee; then, on to Canada and Britain, returning to the U.S. to be at our U.S. National Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. From there I traveled to Seoul, Korea and on to the Philippines. What a blessing to see firsthand what God is doing in Aglow literally around the world!
We have taken GameChangers to the nations. The power of the Word is moving men and women to a new place in God and the ground in their nations is being softened by their feet as they begin living out the GameChanger realities. Truly, Aglow is a work of God that is changing the world.
Chuck Pierce had a word at Passover this year declaring that the Body of Christ has stepped into a new place of identity. And now, a word has been spoken specifically to us at the 2014 US National Conference that this is the time for us to initiate, to announce, and to speak into the next move of God in the earth. This is governmental positioning.
What an incredibly, full year 2013 has been for Aglow!
As the New Year began, I felt excitement for what lay before us. My excitement was not based on the negative thinking that can come by looking at the earthly kingdom our feet are standing on. It was based on walking with our hearts and minds firmly focused on the reality of the Heavenly Kingdom we represent on earth. My thoughts turned towards Hebrews 13:5, I will never leave you or forsake you. This simple, profound scripture has been true for Aglow since our inception in 1967. The Lord is with us in overwhelming ways.
This year has been a time where the release of God has been even greater, brighter, filled with more light, and exploding with wonder and awe, as He manifests Himself through us. It is what all our preparation has been about. The light in us is increasing and though the darkness around us is also increasing, we are walking into that darkness without fear, casting His Light and His Truth wherever we go.
Recently, I shared with the International Board of Directors and the U.S. National Leadership Team a significant event that occurred during our trip to Israel in May. As has become a highlight of our trips in the last few years, we invited Asher Intrater of Revive Israel, an Apostle and a Messianic Israeli believer, to have dinner with us one evening and to share his heart afterward. What followed was, simply put – astounding! It was the subject of my blog in May, and because of the significance of the event to the ministry and an ensuing email from Asher, I feel compelled to share it with the global Aglow family.
Have you ever wondered why there is so much interest in the world about Israel? How could one tiny nation be of such concern? Why do all the Muslim nations that surround Israel hate her with such passion they want to remove her from the face of the earth? Israel surely is the center of the earth. Though small, her destiny is huge.
Jerusalem is the only city on earth that has been chosen by God as His dwelling place. It is the city to which Jesus will return and it is the place from which He will rule His earthly Kingdom – it is the ultimate seat of government in the universe! The true question being warred over today is, whose god will rule from Jerusalem? As believers in Yeshua, the Word of God makes it clear. We know that Jesus, King of the universe, is the One who will rule from Jerusalem. It is and will always be His seat of government.
How well I remember a statement made to me several years ago, “You are the steward of a great story!” What a story that has unfolded, and continues to unfold, in Aglow International….46 years and counting.
Just this past month, in a brief conversation with Loren Cunningham, Founder of Youth with a Mission, and University of the Nations, he asked how many nations Aglow is currently in. My response of, “nearly 170,” brought a delighted grin to his face and he quickly added, “Don’t forget the rest!” Both Aglow and YWAM were founded in the 1960’s with an apostolic, global calling to make God known in the nations of the world. I honor Loren and YWAM for the impact they have had in the world…even as he honors Aglow and the impact we have had around the globe.
I also honor you, the reader of this letter and a participant in Aglow’s story. We are all privileged to be a part of this incredible story of God’s intentionality in calling Aglow International forth. Truly His favor has been upon us. All glory is His.