Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?” “Neither,” he replied. “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord have for his servant?” The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.
Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy hill. Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming. It is close at hand—a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness. Like dawn spreading across the mountains a large and mighty army comes, such as never was of old nor ever will be in ages to come.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the whole armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waste, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
It is the established opinion of most evangelical scholars that the Mighty Warrior with the drawn sword discovered by Joshua was none other than the Son of God, the Eternal Word, the King of kings, our Lord Jesus Christ in His preincarnate manifestation. As Commander-in-chief of the heavenly invisible armies, He had come to authorize Joshua’s weak earthly army for the battle of Jericho. Our Lord made it clear that taking Jericho would require His supernatural power and Joshua’s army would be under divine direction.
Spiritual warfare in these last days, even as it was under the Old Covenant, is by the power of the Holy Spirit: “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord Almighty” (Zechariah 4:6).
Following the Pentecostal outpouring the apostles turned the world right side up and laid out the course for building a redeemed order of the human race with the powerful Gospel of Christ. Men and women who have moved things for God ever since have been individuals who have humbled themselves, died out to self, and earnestly sought the Holy Spirit’s fullness. Filled with the Spirit, Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Knox, and other reformers led the Reformation. Relying totally on the Holy Spirit, John Wesley and George Whitefield saw mighty spiritual awakenings in Europe in the eighteenth century. In the power of the Spirit God used Jonathan Edwards, Francis Asbury, David Brainerd, Jeremy Lanphier, and Charles Finney to reawaken America’s spiritual life. Filled with the Spirit, D. L. Moody, A. B. Simpson and others have been mightily used of God to awaken hundreds of thousands of believers to true spiritual revival. The Azusa Street awakening in Southern California in 1904 was led by Spirit-filled men and women. Billy Graham and all of his team members, in their more than 70 years of world influence for Christ, have been men and women of the Spirit, and only eternity will reveal the hundreds of thousands, yea millions, who have found Christ and been made spiritually alive.
Our great need in these early decades of the twenty-first century is Spirit-filled men and women, old and young, known and unknown, who will pray the price for the fullness of the Spirit and take up their crosses and obey God in ministry of the Gospel. Whatever their gifts, capacities, education, callings, and open doors, above all they must be filled with the Spirit.
The hour is late. The times are evil. The Church is weak. But “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” He has never done anything in the past that He can’t still do today, given Spirit-anointed servants.
Let us be reminded that Jesus made it clear that the way to Pentecost would be a route of prayer. He commanded the eleven apostles, and other believers, to go back into Jerusalem and begin a prayer meeting! Had they not obeyed, there would have been no Holy Spirit filling them. Without prevailing prayer there would have been no Church. When we let up in prayer, we soon grieve, quench, and disobey the Holy Spirit and we are left to powerlessly operate in our own strength. Yes, we still have our gifts, talents, and education. But without the Spirit, these only magnify the flesh and play into Satan’s schemes to defeat the penetration of the Gospel and to make a mockery of revival efforts.
I appreciate my brother Lou Engle, and I agree with his statement: “Millions of believers must seek God with all their hearts in fasting and prayer before He will intervene to save America.” Lou is calling thousands of prayer leaders together in Los Angeles on April 9 and 10 for prayer and fasting and a sense of direction for anointed praying in all of our communities. I ask our Journal readers and supporters to uphold Shirley and me and the thousands of others who will attend that this gathering will count for God and deepen our burden, clarify our vision, and bring the outpouring of God’s Spirit on all of us. There has to be a prayer revival before there can be a national awakening. John Wesley knew the truth of his statement when he said, “God does nothing except by prayer!”
Revival praying begins with believers responding to the Spirit’s conviction for their sins of disobedience, prayerlessness, selfishness, unbelief, lust, greed, pride, idolatry, and indifference. Repentance, or turning from our wicked ways, will determine whether are not there will be a genuine awakening.
Revival is the Oil of the Spirit pouring forth to heal our hardened, diseased hearts, refill our flickering lamps, and anoint our weak ministries.
Revival is the Waters of the Spirit breaking forth on the church in abundance—down pouring, infilling, and outflowing.
Revival is the Dove of the Spirit descending with purity, peace, and unity upon frustrated spirits, anguished minds, and divided hearts.
Revival is the Mantle of the Spirit clothing the saints with power to worship, forgive, love, and share their faith with joy and gladness.
Revival is the Love of the Spirit washing over the hearts of the body of Christ, edifying one another, and causing the mouths of the unsaved to water and want desperately the same forgiveness, fellowship, and assurance of eternal life.
The Spirit’s most urgent call at this late hour is the call to repentance that must lead to a hunger for a fresh filling of the Spirit—a rekindling of His fires, a renewing of our freedom in prayer. It will have to be sacrificial praying— burdened, burning, tearful, fasting. It will have to be believing prayer—knowing, expecting, waiting, tarrying, persistent, prevailing.
Will any kind of revival short of the magnitude that rocked Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost awaken our paralyzed churches and sweep our communities into the Kingdom of God?
The same obedience to Jesus’ command to the 120 believers to go back into Jerusalem and pray will have to be the response of multitudes of believers in all areas of our country today if we see the great awakening so desperately needed. Anything less can never prepare the Church for the Second coming of Christ and save this nation from the coming judgments of God.
Time is running out. We the people of God must make up our minds about a commitment to prevailing prayer.
LET US PRAY
O God, multiply the great numbers of your people everywhere who will submit to your cleansing, and who will beg for the baptism with the Holy Spirit and fire, and will then linger daily in the secret place to prevail with you to open the heavens and release the outpouring of the Spirit to spread like a prairie fire from state to state reviving your people and sweeping thousands into the Kingdom of God! Help us gather in union of faith and passion to agree that we shall not cease our praying until you rend the Heavens—until you open the heavens and let the fire fall; until you release the winds of the Spirit to breathe new life into your people; and until you break the dam and allow Your glory to cover the land even as the waters cover the sea!