God’s Word for NOW


In Isaiah chapter 54 the prophet is speaking directly to Israel.  But I have discovered that many of the prophetic directions that were given specifically to Israel by anointed men of God, have a broader application to the Church today.  I am convinced that the message Isaiah spoke to his people in his day is also relevant and applicable to the Body of Christ today…. And particularly to this local body of believers.  We are, of course, not national Israel, but we are Spiritual Israel.  Because we have been “grafted into” (Romans 11) that spiritual nation by and through the New Birth. 

1 ¶  Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD.

2 Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes;

3 For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.

4 Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.

5 For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.

Now listen to what the prophet said.   He said “sing”… He said “enlarge”… He said “fear not”… I am convinced that these words of encouragement or meant for us right here at Lott Road.   Now let’s look at a passage of scripture in the Book of Joel chapter 2: 

23  Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.

24 And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil.

25 And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.

26 And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed.

27 And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed.

In the second sermon that Simon Peter preached which is found in the third chapter of the Book of Acts he made this statement:

Ac 3:19  Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;

Notice this special prophetic promise… “When the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord…”

I believe this is being fulfilled today.  We are entering into a special Time of Refreshing and this refreshing is coming from the Presence of the Lord.  This “movement” (if that’s a good word) is being born out of the Outpouring of the Holy Spirit which is always marked by the overwhelming Presence of the Lord. 

God is doing a wondrous thing in this hour… this time of refreshing.  We are on the cusp of the greatest spiritual awakening in the entire history of the church.  There is a sound of “rushing” among the mulberry trees… there is a quickening and an “awareness” in our spirit that we are living in a very special time and we are moving into a very special “place” in God’s Grand Plan for man.  There is a “feeling” that we are entering into a place we have never been.   It’s going to be a great place for a great purpose to fulfill what we have been born and called to accomplish. 

I was in a meeting recently with a group of preachers and pastors.  One of them told of a word he had received from the Lord.  God does give words to us.  He does bring revelation to us.  He does speak to us today.   This preacher said, “I am convinced that the reason all these multimillion dollar sports arenas are being built is not so that we can enjoy great sporting events…you know football and baseball and soccer…  but I believe these great indoor arenas that will seat thousands of sports fans are being built for the Kingdom of God.  They are going to be filled with folks seeking God… they will become large churches and locations where we can preach to thousands and tens of thousands of spiritually hungry people…” 

And do you know, I agree with him. There is a time coming and coming very soon that we will need facilities this large to take care of the crowds that are going to rush in to hear the Gospel.  You will be seeing on television those thousands and thousands in one place in one accord lifting their hands and clapping their hands and worshipping and praising God.  Hallelujah. 

This is an exciting day.  These are the days of refreshing and renewal and revival.  And we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg… in regards to what God is doing on every continent and in every nation and on the islands of the sea… among every race and creed and ethnic group… and this supernatural move of the Holy Spirit is happening today. 

God has not excluded us.  God has not excluded you.  God has not excluded the church.  We are all a part of what God is doing.  You were conceived in your mother’s womb and you were brought forth in this hour that you might stand for God today in this crucial time.  You are not  a “nobody” you are a “somebody.”  A Somebody God has planned to occupy this place for Him. He planned this for you before He laid the foundation of the world.  He has ordained that you might be alive and well and a witness to the awesome Move of God that will usher in the Visible Kingdom of God at the end of this Age.  

“Who knows but that you are come into the Kingdom for such a time as this?”   This was spoken by Mordicah to Queen Esther regarding her role in approaching the King and asking him to spare the Jews from annihilation. 

Es 4:14  For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?

And God has seared this phrase in my heart regarding this hour.  Who knows but that you and I have been brought into the Kingdom of God for such a time as this….?  A time when God will send a refreshing and a revival and a renewal that will impact the world with the Gospel of Christ.  Who knows but that this church has been established and kept and raised up to enhance and enlarge this great move of God that is shaking planet earth? 

I believe He has.  And I am determined to do what He requires of me in order that the masses might be reached… hallelujah.  If   the scales on our eyes could be lifted so that we might see into the realm of the Spirit… like it was in the days when the prophet Elisha prayed that his servant might see what was really happening around them when they were surrounded by the enemy… listen

17  And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.

Saints, I am telling you the place around us is filled with horses and chariots of fire… angels and ministering spirits… heavenly beings sent to help us and encourage us and protect us so that we might be instrumental in producing the Will of God in earth and especially here on the Gulf Coast… during this great season of Outpouring.  Open your eyes and see.  Behold the armies of God and the chariots of fire…  We are not alone.  You are not alone.   God has sent us helpers and we will not fail in the Call on us and the Commission He has given us. 

We will touch the world with the Word… and it will issue forth from this place so that the Greatness of Almighty God might be seen.    He is an Expert in making a Lot out of a little. 

 Folks, we don’t have to worry about the sweet by and by… we are living in the sweet now and now.  God is arising and His enemies are being scattered.  satan’s power has been broken and the captives are being set free.  This is the Holy Ghost Holocaust that will precede the holocaust of the Great Tribulation.  Across this world today, behind the scenes, behind closed doors, in little church buildings, in homes, in prayer groups, in open fields, believers are gathering together as the Body of Christ and they are worshipping and praising God and experiencing Him in fresh new ways and with fresh new power. 

God is supernaturally preparing the Church for Something Special.  Some are telling me… “I just don’t understand what is going on… I don’t know what to think or what to do…”  God spoke to us several months back and reminded us that He was going to shake everything that could be shaken and move everything that could be moved and jolt everything that could be jolted. 

And He also reminded us that this was being done so that those things remaining could become the bedrock and the foundation upon which He could build His End Time Church.  And I believe “this is that.”  There is a shaking.  But there is also a “coming together.”  Just like Ezekiel saw in his vision about the bones.  Bone is coming to bone. 

There is a great connection taking place.  And life is coming out of the graveyard.  Where there has been death, there is now life.    Where there were “dead bodies” (dead churches) now they are living and breathing Holy Ghost air. The tomb has become a womb.  Hallelujah.  Churches that were once weak and anemic are now rising and taking on new energy and new hope and new power.  Don’t worry about what’s happening… just trust God.  Don’t try to “figure it out” because you can’t.  Just trust God.  What is happening is good.  It is necessary.   And it is a part of God’s Plan for today. 

Everything we are going through is for the glory of God.  It is designed to exalt Him and Reveal His Nature and His Character.  It is happening to show us that God is good.  That He does not do bad things.  And that He is not the cause of sickness and disease and He does not employ accidents and tragedies and catastrophes to “teach us something” or in order to “discipline us” because we have done something bad.   

God is showing us new things.  He is revealing new facets of His Glory.  He is opening our understanding and moving us out of dead doctrines and lifeless traditions into a new and glorious place.  A place where we can enjoy church instead of endure it.  A place where church is fun and exciting and refreshing.  A place where we are not duty bound and judged by our performance…. But where we understand His Grace and His Mercy and His Love. 

God told His people through the prophet Joel that He was going to restore that which had been taken away… that  which the enemy had stolen.  He told them that they were going to eat in plenty and be satisfied and that they were going to praise the Name of the Lord.  Then, He said they were never going to be ashamed again.  Folks, this is restoration and it is a part of this Great Outpouring on this generation. 

I believe that God is going to restore that which dead religion has taken away and that which lifeless traditions have wasted. He is going to bring His Church into a place where it will never be ashamed again.  We have had a “church” that was magnificent in its structure but powerless in its message.  With its tall steeples and stained glass windows and pipe organs and padded pews…. The robed choirs and orchestrated services… the highly trained but spiritually dead clergy…  these have created a hunger for something real.  Something genuine.  Something meaningful.  Something Supernatural.  And it’s happening in this hour.   And it’s good.  God is restoring life and health and strength to His Body.  We have experienced the “former rain” but now we are in the season for the “latter rain” and the latter rain is watering our soil and germinating the Seed of the Word and we are coming into a time of an abundant harvest. 

The day is far spent and the night is at hand.  I want to us to realize and know what God is telling us to do.

First, we are to sing and rejoice.  

 1 ¶  Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD.  Isaiah 54

In the past we have been barren and fruitless. The days of barrenness are ending.   We are going to give birth to myriads of Spiritual Children.    It has been such a burden to see what little we have been able to accomplish regarding expanding the Kingdom of God.  The cry of my heart has been and still is for more “children” … that we might bring forth multitudes of “new babies” into the Kingdom.  That we might reach the lost.  That we might see multitudes brought into the Kingdom of God.  But God is saying to us that it is now time to rejoice and  break forth into singing;  we are to cry aloud because we who have been barren are going to have more “babies” than those who have been “married” a long time. 

In other words, God is going to take us into the Delivery Room and we are going to have many children.  The days of reproach and desolation are over.  This day marks the beginning of a New Thing God will perform in our midst. 

Hear me carefully.  Murmuring lips will be stopped.  Criticism will cease.  Griping and complaining will be no more.  Those who continuously find fault with what God is doing will be left desolate.  They will not succeed if they ignore or speak against what God is doing in this place in this hour.   God is not pleased with those who demean and put down what He is doing.  And so I issue to you this word of warning…. Stop your criticism…. Refrain your tongue from backbiting… behave yourselves, Christians!   Stop your misbehaving!   Do not argue with what God is doing. 

The  time is coming when the Presence of God… when the Overwhelming Presence of God will fall in the midst of His people and those of us who minister will have to stand in silence and refuse to open our mouths because the Presence of God  will be so real and so strong….  just as it was in the days when Solomon dedicated the Temple….  We will discover that God can and will do His work without a man or a minister or a preacher or a teacher…. He will do it sovereignly…. He will do His work without the arm of flesh.  He can do anything He wants to do because He is God and the devil can’t do anything about it.   God doesn’t need us.  We need God. 

Secondly, we are to expand our vision…

2  Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes;  Isa 54

I know that we are a small congregation.  I realize that we do not have ample assets.  It is true we are limited financially.  But in spite of this, we are being called to expand our vision. It is necessary that we prepare for the increase.  We must look beyond the four walls of this brick building to the needs of a hurting, dying world.  The world is our parish.  The fields are white and ready for harvest.  We are responsible for more than these seven acres on the side of Lott Road… we are commanded to take the Gospel to the Nations of the earth. 

We are to “spare not” which means we are to spare nothing in our quest to obey God and fulfill His Call upon us.  Whatever it takes.  Whatever it takes.  Whatever it takes.  No sacrifice is too great or too costly.  No price is too high… God has called and we must go.  Sell our houses if necessary.  Sell our lands if necessary.  Empty our bank accounts if necessary.  Spend all we have if necessary.  No price is too high and no sacrifice is too great. 

“But what about my retirement?”  “But what about my old age?”  “What about that house down by the lake I want to have?”  “What about that boat I want buy?”  “What about the new clothes I want to buy…?”  Well, are you planning living on earth forever?  Or do you have some plans for making it to heaven?   Where is your heart?  Jesus said that where your heart is, is where your treasure will be.  Just what is important to you? 

Who said we need to retire anyway?  I had rather burn out than rust out, hadn’t you?  I am confessing that when I am  85 I’ll still be taking mountains for God.  How about you? 

To expand our vision also means to expand our “tent”… we must get ready for the harvest by building bigger buildings and acquiring more adequate facilities.  We are to lengthen our cords and strengthen our stakes.  God is telling me to get ready for the increase.  The masses are coming.  I can hear the footsteps of a multitude as they rush in our direction and they will be looking for a place to serve and be served when they get here.   

“Lengthen and strengthen” means don’t try to figure out how you are going fulfill God’s Call on your life, but rather launch out in faith and trust God. 

Thirdly, we are not to give in to fear.

4  Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.  Isa 54

Usually the very first thing anybody will say when a challenge is given to their faith is,  “but I’m afraid…”      “I’m afraid we can’t make it financially…”  “I’m afraid we can’t do it, we don’t have enough people..”  “I’m afraid if we start we will fail…”  “I’m afraid of what people will say about me….”  “I’m afraid….”  Don’t ever tell me you are afraid.  Never say you are afraid.  Do away with fear.  Understand that God has not given you a spirit of fear but of love and power and a sound mind.  Fear is of the devil.  Fear is faith in reverse.  Fear activates the devil  just as faith activates the Word.  Fear has torment.  Fear will keep you from stepping out and simply trusting God.  Fear will rob you and beat you up and steal from you.  Fear will paralyze you and render you helpless.  Fear will open the door to all kinds of devils and demons.  Fear will hinder the harvest and restrain the move of the Holy Spirit.  Don’t be afraid. 

We will never have to be ashamed if we follow God.  We will never be confused if we follow God.  We will never be immature if we sincerely follow God.   And we can forget our reproach if we follow God.  We will never be without a Helpmeet if we follow God.  This is what God is speaking to us.  We will not fail.

We will not be ashamed.

We will not be confused. 

We will not be confounded.

We will forget our past failures and press on in faith and believe God.

And God will always be our Helpmeet….we will never be forgotten or forsaken.   

If God be for us and with us who can be against us? 

5 For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.  Isa 54

This is God’s Message for this church.   In this awesome day of Great Spiritual Outpouring we must come into the fullness of what Jesus has for us.   We have heard from prophets and teachers sent our way… we have heard through the prophetic gifts of the Holy Spirit… God has revealed His Will for this ministry… for this church.   He has spoken His Word to us and NOW we must:

Sing and rejoice…. We are going to have a bunch of babies!

Expand our vision to reach the world and our facilities to reach Mobile…

Resist fear in all its form…

Know that God is with us and for us…. Therefore we cannot fail!

Isaiah 54

1 ¶  Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD.

2 Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes;

3 For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.

This is a very unique and exclusive season for us.  We are living in the small sliver of time for which we were created.  God has some awesome plans for you and for me.  It is imperative that we hear and heed what God is saying.  I am ready, are you?  Will you come and “go with me to the other side?”  Great blessing awaits us.  Great challenges are before us.   A Great Harvest is at our door. 

Let us run with the vision.

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