As I have stated this week, all of our DSM staff work remotely, with the exception of the product department, and do so from 4 states. This has worked well, both for them and the ministry. Since we are rarely together, we have a week-long retreat each year to build camaraderie and necessary team dynamics. This is that week.
I have asked five leaders, all of whom carry God’s heart for America, to share this week’s GH15 posts for me. They have all been OUTSTANDING! Today’s post is by Dave Kubal, President and CEO of Intercessors For America, without question, the tip of the spear for the prayer movement in America. This year IFA celebrates 50 YEARS of leading the charge in prayer!
I have chosen to end the week with Dave’s post because it is one of the most encouraging teachings/reports I’ve heard in recent years. It clearly demonstrates that in spite of America’s (and the world’s) challenges, Christ is prevailing and will continue to do so! Dave’s book, Inspired Prayers, is devoted to praying Scripture promises that motivated our founding fathers. It is a treasure. As always, at the end of today’s post, we provide a link through which you can connect with Dave and IFA. Enjoy…and BE ENCOURAGED!
The Increase of His Government
“For to us a child is born, to us, a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace, there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this” (Isaiah 9:6–7; NIV).
These verses, most famous for being read during the Christmas season, have always intrigued me. Of course, we understand that God gave us His Son in the form of a child. But what about this: The government will be on His shoulders, and the greatness of His government and peace will have no end? How could this be? Is this true? Is this happening today?
It seems we are watching the powers of darkness increase daily. We have battled in the heavenlies for our great nation, a nation which has received countless prophetic words. Yet it seems to have a more corrupt government than ever. Does Jesus really know what He is doing??
I want to suggest to you that when we take a long-term, historical view of Jesus’ government, we can only conclude that His government has increased and that there will be no end of His rule.
The first increase of Jesus’ government is the historical growth of His rule over personal lives. The book of Acts tells us that the very first group of believers who placed themselves under Jesus’ rule, under His government, numbered about 120. This small band of believers hid from the public eye until the Holy Spirit fell upon them at Pentecost. That day, Peter preached, and the number of people under Jesus’ government grew to about 3,000. Signs, wonders, and persecution followed; Saul was converted, and the Gospel spread from Jerusalem to Judea and then to all parts of the world.
From those early days of the New Testament believers, decade after decade, century after century, more and more hearts embrace the lordship of Jesus over their lives. There were maybe 200,000 by A.D. 200, and by the end of the fifth century, there were about 10 million converted hearts. Pew Research estimates that in the early 1900s, the global population of Christ followers was about 600 million, and now, after just 100 more years, the number has grown to nearly 3 billion. One-third of the global population practices Christianity today. Interestingly, the fastest-growing stream of Christianity is Pentecostalism. There is no doubt the increase of Christ’s government over the lives of individuals is never ending and always on the rise.
The second piece of undeniable evidence that His government is increasing involves the civil arena. There is something unique about the model for civil government found in the Scriptures: God is the one who grants us personal rights, and God is the one who makes laws. This is first seen in Exodus 18 when Moses sets up the first representative republic based upon the moral code of the law.
This truth about the nature of personal rights, personal freedoms, and law has been at odds with dictators, kings, and autocrats throughout history. And yet, over the centuries, people have yearned and fought for the freedom that God has hardwired into us. At the beginning of the second millennium, the idea that we all have rights began taking hold through documents like the Magna Carta, philosophers such as Augustine, and legal scholars. These ideas stirred and fueled the God-given desire in people to be free — especially the freedom to worship and freedom to speak their minds.
As recently as the 18th century, no country could be meaningfully characterized as a democracy. The entire world population was under the rule of closed autocracies. No group of people in the world enjoyed the privilege of choosing or electing their rulers.
Then, coming out of the First Great Awakening, when millions came under the personal government of Jesus, a God-given vision of government emerged. A small group of people were inspired by God to form a nation with the understanding that our Creator has made all of us with equal rights, and that among those rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The framers of the American Constitution understood that the most powerful government would derive its power only from the free consent of the governed.
For the first time in the history of the world, a government recognized that it is God, who gives us our rights, and that the only moral government is one whose leaders are put in position by willing and free civilians. The desires to be free and to be governed freely are written upon every human’s heart.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1; NIV).
Since the birth of America, we have been modeling for the world how the human desire for freedom affects government. According to Our World in Data, in the past 300 years, the percentage of people with the freedom and privilege to elect their leaders has gone from 0% to 85%! Our founding fathers put in place a nation whose freedoms were so compelling that the entire world was changed. There are certainly variations of free elections, but the point remains: “[T]he increase of his government” is not ending; it is only increasing further.
The freedoms that the United States has put in place will affect humanity forever. The God-given desire to be free has fueled the expansion of Jesus’ civil government for centuries, and that will now only increase as the American experiment has demonstrated what this freedom could look like.
Here’s the point:
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of His government and peace, there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over His kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this” (Isaiah 9:6–7; NIV).
There is undoubted, uncontroversial evidence that Jesus’ government has increased over time: from a hiding handful of scared disciples, to now one-third of today’s global population, 2.8 billion believers; from literally zero civil governments aligning with the God-given desire for personal freedom, to now over 80% of global governments. Of His greatness, there will be no end.
At the end of the passage, Isaiah prophesies: The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this. This is a fascinating verse and requires its own treatment, but the word “zeal” (qinah, in Hebrew) is used only a few times in the Hebrew text. Every time the “zeal of the Lord” phrase is used, there is an absolute, 100% certainty that what is promised will occur. In some instances, we find the phrases “with great fury” and “by consuming fire.” The bottom line in the entire passage is this: As we battle for God’s will for our nation, we have His zeal behind us and in front of us, aiding our efforts. Our nation’s opportunity to be blessed by God requires the Church of Jesus Christ to stand up in this day and declare His government, to look to Him, who is the Prince of Peace, and to pursue His justice and His righteousness as individuals and as a nation.
Pray with me:
Lord, You have written the principles of good government upon our hearts. You have hardwired all of creation to desire freedom. As we watch the powers of darkness attempting to limit our religious freedoms and our freedom of speech in the U.S., we ask You to cause Your church to rise up in this day. Lord, cause Your Body to realize that You have a plan for government, that You desire a good government, and that Your government is based in true justice and righteousness.
Thank You for placing within us an inextinguishable desire to be free. Thank You for the ability to look back over the centuries and see Your mighty hand move as Your government increases.
The responsibility of government rest upon the shoulders of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the INCREASE of His government. We declare that the ZEAL of the Lord ALMIGHTY will accomplish this.
Click on the link below to watch the full video.
Today’s post was contributed by our friend Dave Kubal. Dave is the President and CEO of Intercessors For America, a ministry that provides daily resources for believers to pray for our nation and their state. He was with Fellowship for Christian Athletes for many years, raising up leaders in the athletic world. Dave authored Inspired Prayers, a book devoted to praying Scripture promises that motivated our founding fathers. He has a Master of Divinity from Asbury Seminary. You can find Dave at IFApray.org.