This article was written by Maurice Hamel. His perspective resonated with me, so I asked him if we could share it with our friends at House of Good Hope. I pray this article also speaks to you.
What Does God Expect of Us
During the Coronavirus Shut-down?
In His great mercy, God has allowed this Coronavirus pandemic to get the attention of people throughout the world in a way that we have never experienced. Literally billions have been told to stay indoors in hope of stopping the spread of the disease. Much of the Church seems preoccupied with riding this out, with the expectation that it won’t last forever, and things will soon be back to normal. Few seem to grasp that God is doing something big here, that this is triggering a revival in every nation that has been forced to shut-down. Even fewer seem to grasp that there is work to be done in the hearts of the saints to enable that awakening to reach its full potential.
Instead, there seems to be the perspective that this will bring revival and that God is going to judge the world for its wickedness. But that is not how God’s promise to Solomon in 2 Chronicles 7:13-14 reads:
“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
Consider how God used Jonah to bring revival among the Gentiles in Nineveh. Jonah wanted nothing to do with showing mercy to the enemies of Israel and needed to be disciplined by God, until he got with the program. Being in the belly of the whale was not pleasant experience, but he needed to be persuaded by God to not be arrogant and uncaring for the lost, even the lost who were wicked sinners and enemies to God’s people. Jonah needed to be brought to the place where he humbled himself. Even after preaching the message he was sent to give, he did not intercede on their behalf, but instead chose to be a spectator sitting in the shade waiting for evil to be punished.
There is some Jonah in each of us. Have you considered that we might be in the belly of the whale right now, and it is us whose attention God is trying to get? Yes, He wants to bring a revival, a Great Awakening, but each of us who decide we would rather be spectators, rather than seeing what God is doing and getting to work, will miss out on the eternal reward that He had planned for each of the workers in His field.
When Daniel realized that the 70 years of captivity prophesied in Jeremiah 25:11-12 had been fulfilled, he did not merely start watching the news to see what God was going to do in fulfilment of His promise. He took it upon himself to actively take the matter to God to ask that the promise be fulfilled.
You see, while God is going to accomplish what He has pre-ordained, it is left to each of us to decide whether we are going to participate in His accomplishing that plan. We are his ambassadors on earth, His people, and to some extent that we cannot only partially grasp, He does things through us as His ambassadors here. That is what prayer is about. He wants us to ask. He wants us to participate.
Our ultimate protection is not the vaccination that will be available next year. God is doing something much bigger here; something with eternal value. The Coronavirus pandemic may not be the judgment of God on sinners. It may be the warning to the lost to repent, because something worse is yet to come.
God has a plan and it is good. He is merciful, wanting none to perish. In His mercy, there a revival among the lost throughout the world is occurring. In His good pleasure, we are being allowed to participate.
God has work for us, for as long as He leaves us here. He has a role for us to play in enabling this revival. Yes, it will happen regardless of what we do, but if we participate as a laborer in His field, we will be given a share of the harvest.
There will be different levels of reward given to each of us depending on whether we build with wood, hay and stubble or with gold, silver and precious stones. In heaven there are mansions being prepared for us. Do you want a mansion with a view or a mansion in a trailer park?
Don’t miss out on this opportunity. Rather than being a Jonah sitting in the shade waiting to see what God is going to do, be a Daniel, humble yourself, confess your failings, and pray for His mercy. Ask God to fulfill His promises. Participate.
The portion of 2 Chronicles 7 promise that the story of Jonah shows us is that we must humble ourselves and that we turn from our wicked ways, even if we don’t seem that wicked in comparison to the things that the world is doing. How can we do this? Hebrew 13:20-21 explains it this way: “May the God of peace … make you complete … to do His will, working in you what is good and pleasing in His sight.” Instead of focusing on God’s laws, seek to live the heart and spirit of God. Then you will accomplish the works of God.
Listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying to your heart and make the changes that are necessary. God will accomplish the great things He is trying to achieve through this pandemic. He needs our participation. Going out to share the gospel with other is good, but first do what He has asked you to do, humble yourself, seek His face the turn from your wicked ways.
By Maurice Hamel 5/13/20
TABERNACLE PRAYER: GOLDEN LAMPSTAND
7 Spirits of God – Isaiah 11:2
“And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of WISDOM and UNDERSTANDING, the Spirit of COUNSEL and MIGHT, the Spirit of KNOWLEDGE and the FEAR OF THE LORD……
Spirit of WISDOM…..
2 CHRONICLES 1:10
Now give me WISDOM and KNOWLEDGE that I may go out and come in before this people……
Does not wisdom call? Does not understanding raise her voice? On the heights beside the way, at the crossroads she takes her stand; beside the gates in front of the town, at the entrance of the portals she cries aloud; “To you, oh men, I call, and my cry is to the children of man. Oh simple ones, learn sense. Hear, for I will speak noble things and from my lips will come what is right, for my mouth will utter truth, wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
….that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory may give you the Spirit of Wisdom…..
As I was reading 2 Chronicles – Solomon’s request to the Lord when he was asked for anything he wished – that request struck me! Of course Solomon’s request pleased the Lord so much. But is there more? The Lord has been leading me for years to ask Him for the Spirit of Wisdom. I once went on a sabbatical several years ago. I spent an entire month doing nothing but sit at the Lord’ feet. All I heard was this: “ASK ME FOR WISDOM”. Through Ephesians 1:17 I saw that wisdom is a Spirit, not part of me or my intellect. For years I used to believe that wisdom was a cultivated discipline of the mind, of our own intelligence. Or at the very least, wisdom was obtained through many years of living. When I prayed about this for a month, the Lord revealed to me that WISDOM is not part of me, never was and never will. WISDOM is spirit, a manifestation of Holy Spirit. We can only get true wisdom through intimate relationship with Holy Spirit. Wisdom is never generated from us! As least not the kind of wisdom I want.
I believe the Lord asks from all of us, “What do you want? What do you truly want?” This is our opportunity, just as it was with Solomon. The Lord sets us up so we can run to Him and ask Him – our Heavenly Daddy – what do we want? Our Heavenly Daddy sets up so we can run to Him and ask for Wisdom.
Lord, You are my Heavenly Daddy. You are my “Papa” And as my “Daddy”, my “Papa”, You ask me what I want? What do I truly want? Lord, I ask You for the Spirit of Wisdom. I need to know which road to take. How can I use what I have to fulfill all that what You placed inside me and cause my heart to burn. That’s what I long and yearn for. Dear Lord, I cannot do anything without Wisdom and Revelation. Give me Your Spirit of Wisdom and Revelations so I can do what You call me to do.
When Paul wrote those words in Ephesians 1:17, was he remembering back to King Solomon’s prayer in 2 Chronicles when he had that encounter with God so many years before? When Paul wrote that prayer to the Ephesians, did he know that this was the heart of God; to ASK GOD for wisdom and revelation? Somehow I believe he did.
Lord, give me the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation. I so want to understand You more! I want to know You more. I want to think only Your thoughts. No more misguided ideas!
WISDOM: Chokmah (Hebrew) This feminine noun originates from Chakam. The word means wisdom, intelligence, insight, judgment. It is always used in the positive sense. Chokmah is used to describe an entire range of human experience: embroidery, metal working, military strategy, diplomacy, shrewdness, prudence, and practical spirituality. Therefore, all wisdom has its source in GOD. HE is all-powerful and all-knowing. Chokmah is personified only to a point. It does not have a separate existence. The figure of wisdom was never regarded as independent of God. It is only one of His attributes. The noun is not a woman, only feminine in gender. True wisdom leads to reverence for the Lord. Therefore skeptics will never, ever find this kind of wisdom and they will never know the true meaning of life.
The Lord, the Beautiful One is sending us to Israel! We are not going to Israel even though we’ve all of us very much want to go. No!! The Lord is SENDING us to Israel!
- Such a difference.
- Such a vast difference.
- Such a vastly great difference!!
I totally believe in and I expect life-changing moments – God encounters! We could go to Israel and it would be a wonderful trip. I love to travel and any trip is a beautiful learning experience that would broaden my horizons. I love learning about different cultures, different lifestyles, why people think and believe the way they do. I love the incredible variety of scenery, high mountain peaks, oceans of water and oceans of plains and fields. I love exploring ancient societies, especially those I read about, and am curious about. I may not know much about it, but I love to see and experience the atmosphere for myself. I can pick up sensations, spirits. I smell the atmosphere and I pick up stuff. I become aware and sensitive to all that goes around me, possibly what went on before.
But this trip to Israel is different. This trip will be vastly different! I expect it to be different. Especially vastly different from the last time I went. Twelve years ago I went with my sister’s church group. That was so beautiful! It was especially dear to me because I was able to experience Israel for the first time with my mother and my sister. This was a time of bonding and a time of healing with my family.
We are going as ministers not as tourists. The Lord has a plan for me, the Lord has a plan for all 4 of us.
The anticipation of our going to Israel is as delicious as the actual trip! The preparations and the plans are so delightful! I feel as though I’m “ascending the mountain toward Jerusalem” as the children of Israel did in ancient times, full of anticipation of entering the gates of the temple! Psalm 84 is so coming alive in me! The very thought of our entering through the gates gives me such a wonderful anticipation! As what Hali Berry says, this thought makes me want to wag myself tail! I am excited! Like a high-energy puppy, I am wiggling all over, jumping up and down with joy and excitement at the thought of going on this trip to Israel!
God is sending me to Israel! God is sending US to Israel! We are not going because we want to. We are going because God is sending us! Something very incredible is going to happen to us while we’re there. Had we ever thought about the preparations we’ve already made by our going through Tabernacle prayer this past year? This may be part of the preparation process for our Israel missions trip. Our using the Tabernacle prayer format sensitizes us to the process of praise, repentance, cleansing, infilling of Holy Spirit, assimilating the Word, all of which leads to pure worship and intercession. The Tabernacle prayer is the Lord’s design: our going to HIS “house” instead of our asking God to come to “our” house.
Now we’re going to His land!
I feel like tiny Frodo in The Lord of the rings, with the ring in his pocket. Frodo risked everything as he, a tiny Hobbit was entrusted to do a mighty huge thing with that ring. He is freeing up, releasing the very atmosphere of a huge demonic darkness as he takes this journey with the ring. Others around him have no clue, no understanding at all about the vastness of his assignment. It was huge! The whole world depended on a small weak little Frodo to complete his assignment or it will fall into further darkness and chaos. Yet the whole world had no clue about Frodo or what he was planning to do.
We four women are traveling from Hartford CT with an assignment to pray for prayer houses, Messianic congregations, churches and Ministries in Israel. We are all middle-aged, insignificant, unmarried women. We all are weak in our own individual ways yet we are assigned to go to Israel now, through of all places, Moscow, Russia! Even with the way we’re going: flying on a Russian airline to Tel Aviv via Moscow – there is a sense of destiny. The whole world might be ignorant of our assignment, but the Lord knows. HE is sending us. He will keep us and he will protect us. Our names will not be on the 6 o’clock news, but we are famous in God’s eyes.
I have a sense there will be a shift in the very atmosphere of the world through our missions trip. We will do things no one may know or even care about, but what we will do will shift the very atmosphere.
We have no clue absolutely no clue at the vast importance of this assignment! We are going for one reason, but there is more that we will make ourselves available to. Something vastly more. Who knows? We may meet that one person, sow into his or her life, and that person would have powerful influence over what’s going to happen in the next generation.
The Lord has magnificent plans for us, we have no idea how magnificent they are! Possibly we may have no idea until we get to heaven.
PREPARATION OF THE HEART
TABERNACLE PRAYER is a preparation process. As we pray through this prayer format, we are becoming prepared to meet with the Great I AM. Through this format we find we have the privilege and high honor of entering into the Courts of Heaven and being graced with an audience with the One Who sits on the Throne. For so long we run into the Outer Courts and either pray out or shout out our prayers and intercessions. But the Holy One invites us in. When we are invited in to meet with the Creator of the Universe, we must allow ourselves to be made ready. Yes, we are infinitely loved by God and the Lord longs to hear our voice. But to truly encounter Abba, we must allow ourselves to be prepared. This is a time-consuming process. It’s not done in one day. Just as yeast has to be worked thoroughly in the dough to make bread to rise, so this process will work Holy Spirit thoroughly through us. The Bridegroom is coming back for His Bride without spot or wrinkle. (Ephesians 5:27, Revelation 21:2)
“For the Bride has made herself ready….” (Revelation 19:7)
So many of us, in our times of prayer and intercession we rush in and out with our petitions and our cries. We may even shout out our passionate prayers from far-off in the distance. Wouldn’t we be much more effective if we had the high honor and privilege to meet with the King of Kings face-to-face?
The LORD wants us and is calling us to prepare ourselves. The Tabernacle is a portrait of Heaven, Tabernacle Prayer is a beautiful picture on how we can be prepared to have an intimate face-to-face audience with the Great I AM.
We can’t run into the Courts of Heaven stinking like the world wearing our filthy rags when we meet face-to-face with the King of the Universe. Yes, we can offer our petitions and prayers whenever and wherever we are. But wouldn’t it be so much more awesome, and so much more effective to have the privilege of being invited in to meet with the Great I AM face-to-face? It is possible. The Curtain has been torn. We can enter in. But in order to be invited into the Throne Room, we must submit ourselves to the preparation process, the “beauty treatments”.
The book of Esther describes how Hadassah had to submit herself to a year-long beauty treatment before she was allowed an audience with the king. She already was very beautiful, because she was one who was hand-picked. She was chosen. Like her, the Lord is attracted to the beauty in us. But that beauty is marred and stained by the filth of this world. As with Esther, the Tabernacle format of prayer can potentially be the beauty treatment process so we can be invited in to meet with the King. But, like Hadassah, we must yield and submit to it. The process can be, and is painful. But what a great high honor to be invited in to have face-to-face audience to the Great I AM, the Creator of the Universe!
The Tabernacle is a model on how we can go through the preparation process so we can gain entrance into the Holy of Holies – the Heavenly Throne Room. Wouldn’t it be so awesome to have the high honor and privilege of going there…..DAILY? Instead of a once in a lifetime encounter?
We must prepare ourselves
We must allow ourselves to be yielded, probed, stinking flesh and sin burned off so we can enter in.
In our house of prayer, as we’ve been practicing this model of prayer this past year, at times I’ve been a little frustrated. Why aren’t we in intercession? Why aren’t we praying for our cities? Our regions? Why aren’t we praying topical crisis and needful prayers? I took this frustration up to the Father and this is what I heard:
“Too many times you and others rush in, dump all your prayers and you rush out. You don’t encounter Me. You don’t sit with Me. Sometimes you don’t want to hear Me, or My response. You must be invited in. Worship, prayer and intercession isn’t something you “do”, it is who you are. You must realize you are called to be a priest and a king (I Peter 2:9, Revelation 1:6), yet you don’t even identify with your role. You don’t even know who you are! When you learn the greatness of the authority you carry, then you speak differently. You will think differently. You will act differently. Allow yourselves to undergo the preparation process”.
We must prepare ourselves as children of the Most High God.
The basic steps of the Tabernacle Prayer model are as follows:
• Praise and Thanksgiving
Decide daily this is your time to encounter the Great I AM. Thank God for all His benefits (Psalm 103:2). Remember all of the Lord’s goodness toward you and offer up sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving.
“You make known to me the Path of Life; in Your Presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore”. Psalm 16:11
ALTAR OF SACRIFICE:
Death to self, death to pride, death to everything who you think you are. Everything has to die within you, every love, every passion, every sin, everything has to go. You must learn to come to a place and grow comfortable with the fact that nothing else matters…..except HIM. Pride must be killed in us…..daily. If not, the Gifts and Anointings given to us will be in danger of being dirtied, perverted in our fleshly pride. We must come to the place where we can say:
“No longer I who live, but CHRIST IN ME, hope of Glory….” (Galatians 2:20)
Allow the Great I AM to probe you, open you up and expose those “hidden closets” and cleanse you from all sin. Allow the Lord to reveal to you all that needs to be removed and allow the Lord to remove them. Lay down your identity and allow the Lord to give you a new identity – HIS identity.
• Fresh Infilling
• New sight
• New vision
This is a place where we come to the realization that we can’t see. All that we’ve seen in the past was through dirty lenses, all distorted. We can’t be filled until we are first emptied. We can’t be dressed in our new identities until we are first stripped bare from our earthly security and our titles. And, as the oil lamps are refilled twice a day, morning and evening, we also must be refilled at least twice a day, morning and evening.
TABLE OF SHOWBREAD
• Assimilating the Word
• Feasting, banqueting on the Word
As the eyes of our spirits are opened and we see through new lenses, the Word comes alive to us and we banquet on it. “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a Light to my path…” Psalm 119:105
ALTAR OF INCENSE
This is the place where we offer up the worship first, then intercession. Or….we can offer up both in the form of “harp & bowl” worship and intercession. As priests of the Most High, we exalt His Name and sing with the angels: “HOLY, HOLY, HOLY IS THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY” (Isaiah 6:3, Revelation 4:8). As we worship, a realization hits us that this is a place where it’s not about “us”, it’s all about HIM, the Great I AM. There is a difference between praise & thanksgiving and true worship. Very rarely do we enter into this place in our church services or even in our worship & prayer meetings. Much of it is because we do not undergo the death, stripping away and cleansing process in the Outer Court. True worship has nothing to do with us…..it’s all about HIM.
True intercession also has nothing to do with us. It’s all about HIM, all about what the Great I AM can do in a broken, fallen world. True intercession is coming to a place where we don’t ask so that “we” can be benefited. We come to a place where it no longer matters if we even see the results of our prayers. We cry out for a broken, fallen world because we now have the Father’s Heart beating within us and we feel His pain. True intercession is praying the Great I AM’s prayers, not our prayers. Never, ever “our” prayers. Even among intercessors, this place is a rare place to come to.
HOLY OF HOLIES
As we worship and cry out with the cries of the Father’s Heart through intercession, we look up and to our amazement, we see the Curtain has been torn! The Curtain that separates us has been ripped from top to bottom! We can now enter in! We do enter in! Finally we can see what it truly means to “be seated with HIM in the Heavenly Realms” (Ephesians 2:6)
Some, very very few intercessors have visited this place regularly. When they do, as they come out they have been dramatically changed.
Some have experienced translations, some have such incredible encounters with the Lord that it boggles our minds!
I have yet to be in that place, am anticipating the time when that Curtain will be ripped for me!