Lots of Intimidation Lately

Something I’m noticing lately is that there’s some intimidation in the Body of Christ that is trying to dissuade and scare off the Song People.

In our own lives, we’re seeing intimidation cropping up in the areas we’ve felt God has given us as our “promised land.”

I talked a little about this in a Facebook Live video I made early last week. We’re right in the middle of buying a home and anyone who has bought a home knows, the mortgage buying process can be long and stressful.

There have been a few times since we’ve decided to buy the house we want that things have not gone smoothly. One time was when a creditor called about a really old debt they claimed I owed but had actually paid and led me to believe that they were going to send me back to collections. The other was my job not working with the lender to verify my income.

Both of those situations were stressors. Both of those situations were intimidating. Neither one of them came to anything. They were hollow on the inside.

They existed only as intimidators, like weak playground bullies threatening to steal my milk money.

There are several contemporary prophetic voices sounding today that are speaking about intimidation for the people of God. Lana Vawser is one of them. She wrote on June 1 about how this season of our lives is acceleration, not intimidation.   Although I’m not a firm believer is seasons and time tables, I do appreciate Lana’s encouraging voice. I’m definitely more of a believer in Jesus being our number one season, that Jesus is our “season of blessing” today and forever. However, there does seem to be an ebb and flow in our lives.

The Fire Alarm

The other night my wife and I were awoken at 2:00 by our building’s fire alarm. It wasn’t just our smoke detectors going off, it was the large commercial system blaring. We got out of bed, woke up all the kids, and went to the parking lot to wait for the fire fighters to arrive. While we waited for fire rescue, we watched all our neighbors pour out of their homes sleepy-eyed and annoyed at the harsh wake-up call.

There was no fire.

There was no explanation about why the alarms went off.

Within thirty minutes, we were all back in our homes and lights out.

I stayed up a bit to pray, and my wife came out and asked what God was saying.

I prayed about it and I heard the Lord say this: the fire alarm is intimidation. It’s loud, it’s threatening, and it’s scary; however, there’s no fire. There’s no emergency. It’s an empty threat.

Crisis Averted

Graham Cooke, in his book, “Qualities of a Spiritual Warrior,” writes this: “Crisis is a normal event on the road to fulfilling our destiny.” He then goes on to quote 2 Corinthians 6:4 – 10: But as God’s ministers, we commend ourselves in everything:

by great endurance, by afflictions,
by hardship, by difficulties,
by beatings, by imprisonments,
by riots, by labors,
by sleepless nights, by times of hunger,
by purity, by knowledge,
by patience, by kindness,
by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love,
by the message of truth,
by the power of God;
through weapons of righteousness
on the right hand and the left,
through glory and dishonor,
through slander and good report;
as deceivers yet true;
as unknown yet recognized;
as dying and look—we live;
as being disciplined yet not killed;
10 as grieving yet always rejoicing;
as poor yet enriching many;
as having nothing yet possessing everything.

God will allow crisis to come into our lives. It’s not that he’s sadistic or likes to watch us squirm. By no means is he testing our faith to see if we’ll follow him when the going gets rough. Those aren’t true attributes of a loving and kind father. However, when hard times roll around, God will often allow those things to happen in order to do this one thing: discover what’s in his heart for you.

Did you lose your job?

Did you lose your spouse?

Are your friends being unfriendly these days?

Are your dreams in shambles or on the rocks?

Shut off the noise and look at Jesus. What is he saying to you? Where is he leading you? What’s in his heart for you?

Graham Cooke writes, “We win through peace. We overcome by being overjoyed. We overthrow by being overwhelmed. The goodness of God, the sheer beauty of his nature, has so captivated and filled us that the enemy is pushed away and given no room in our lives.”

Rest is our deadliest weapon against the enemy.

We don’t fight or strive against the enemy. The best way to conquer what the enemy is doing is to take a time out and rest.

Doing something foolish like laying on the floor for a while praying in the spirit while all hell is breaking loose around you is a good start. Taking a worship break, have a dance for Jesus party, remember that you are knock down drunk in the spirit.

Everything will work out. You’ll get a word from the Lord for your situation. Things will be better than how they were left.

This is how God treats his Song People. Song People are overjoyed in even the worst circumstance.

Does this mean you don’t get stressed and angry at situations? Not at all! You just don’t stay stressed and angry. You choose, because of grace and the finished work of the cross, to rest and look at Jesus for your warfare and answers.

Don’t be intimidated by the sirens and angry warnings these days. They are hollow. They are shallow. They are lies. Kick back and rest in the Lord and your answers will arrive quickly.

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