Grab the Baton
God keeps His word. Joshua 1:6 states: “Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them” (italics mine). Holy Spirit reminded Joshua of the promise He had made to Abraham and other forefathers. When we go through times of transition, it is imperative that we remember what God has spoken in the past. This will give us comfort, direction, and promises to which we can anchor.
Paul told Timothy to wage a good warfare through the prophecies (plural) that had been spoken over him: “This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight” (1 Timothy 1:18 NASB). During the difficult time Timothy was experiencing, Paul told him to recall what had been spoken over him prophetically, using those words as a weapon with which to fight discouragement and demonic attacks.
God’s words contain power and life. Not just the Scriptures, but any word spoken by Holy Spirit. Of course, prophecy must be judged in the light of Scripture and with seasoned leaders’ discernment (1 Corinthians 14:29), but when it is deemed as truly originating from Holy Spirit, it can and should be used for strategy, encouragement and as a sword of the Spirit. Paul told Timothy to use the prophecies over him as weapons. He also reminded Timothy of the spiritual gifts given to him through prophetic ministry. “Use them!” he commanded (1 Timothy 4:14; 2 Timothy 1:6).
When we face opposition to the cause of Christ, and to the assignments He gives us, it is critical that we listen to Holy Spirit. This is why I pay attention to dreams, visions and prophecies once I have judged them as originating from Him. This brings encouragement and success (Ezra 5:2: 6:14; 2 Chronicles 20:20). I also honor what He has said to others in past generations. Some of what Holy Spirit does through us is because of promises He made to them (Hebrews 11:39-40). We in America today, are warring for what Holy Spirit began centuries ago. God told Joshua the same thing: what I’m about to give you is the fulfillment of a promise I made generations ago.
This served to bring Joshua an important perspective: What was about to occur wasn’t only about them; it was also about Abraham and other people before them. When God blesses us with favor or success, we often think it is simply to bless us or reward our faithfulness. Much of the time, however, it is because of others’ faithfulness.
And though not mentioned in this passage, the land they were about to possess was about future generations also. As outlandish as it may sound, it was even about us today! God was not only rewarding Joshua’s generation, He was also furthering the redemptive purposes of history.
If you read my posts daily, you will recall that I have recently mentioned four ladies, ranging in age from 69 to 94, who are warring with a prophetic dream, as Paul instructed Joshua and Timothy to do. They are traveling I-40 from the east coast of our nation to the west coast, just as the dream stated. This journey was made in the dream - and now by them - to honor and build on what previous generations accomplished for Christ. In the dream, Holy Spirit said He was going to reopen the well of revival fire released in the Azusa Street revival, under the leadership of William Seymour. I have shared some of their reports; here is another report from these ladies:
“Friday, October 22, 2021, we arrived at Bonnie Brae House in Los Angeles, CA, at 10:00 A.M. (PST). God had a parking space reserved for us right in front of the house.
“Two gentlemen aided us in parking and then gave us the history of the house. One man took our picture in front of the ‘Bonnie Brae House’ sign.
“The other man said, in Spanish, that many people come from around the world to pray there--some even pray all day and all night.
“Jean was able to talk to the men in Spanish. The house is kept in very good condition.
“We prayed at the gate leading up to the steps and on the front porch of the house. We thanked God for those who had gone before us with hearts hungry for more of God.
“God answered their prayers for more of Himself, and that answer was the catalyst for the great Azusa Street revival.
“May our hearts burn with the same fire to know God in a deeper, higher, more intimate way. May all who go there be touched by the anointing and presence of God.
“We then drove the short distance to Azusa Street in Los Angeles, CA, and arrived at 10:30 A.M. (PST).
“Once again, God had a parking spot reserved for us. We put money in the parking meter and walked across the street to the historical site.
“At the entrance to an alley, situated between buildings, is a marker on a pole which states: ‘Site of the Azusa St. Revival from 1906 to 1931. Cradle of the Worldwide Pentecostal Movement’
“Although now it only appears to be a graffiti-scarred alley, the presence of God is still there. May the anointing of God touch the hearts of all who seek Him.
“We declared that the Azusa Street well of revival is, indeed, re-opened and gushing fire and water upon all who will receive it...that God is getting ready to pour out His Spirit in a measure never before seen.
“Lord, saturate us anew! Let the fire of God and the water of Holy Spirit flow out from us, igniting fires wherever we go!
“God truly went before us, providing for every need of our mission across America on I-40 and to Azusa Street.”
It pleases God’s heart when we honor those who have gone before us. He is proud of His kids, past and present. When those of us alive and running redemption’s race today acknowledge that the baton was given to us by faithful brothers and sisters, Abba beams. He demands humility, and He rewards honor by releasing the synergy of the ages.
I was mocked a few years ago by ignorant believers for praying at the grave of Charles Finney. I believe the name they used to describe me (and others) was “grave sucker,” their description of what they thought I was attempting: pull up and receive some of Finney’s anointing. Though I did ask God to give us many more evangelists with successful exploits like Finney’s, I did not ask for his mantle or anointing. Nor did I try to converse with him. I did honor his memory, however, just as I do at the graves of family members on occasion. I thanked God for leaders like Finney and Father Nash, his intercessor. I thanked Him for what they accomplished, for the Second Great Awakening they helped fuel, and asked God to do it again. I’ve done the same at the graves of other leaders, and no doubt will again. Honor...it’s a big deal.
Someone - not just Christ - paid a huge price for the blessings you enjoy. Be grateful, grab the baton, and run.
Pray with me:
Thank You, Father, for our brothers and sisters who have gone before us. Thank You for the price they paid, the blood they shed and sacrifices they made. Thank You for the privilege of continuing their great legacy. Thank You for the blessing of being used to fulfill promises You made to them. What a great family You have, Abba!
And we thank You for the prophecies, dreams and promises You have given to us. We war with them, just as You instructed Timothy to do. We war with Your promise that You will one day return to lead a glorious church, not a weak and tarnished one (Ephesians 5:27). We war with the promise that this church will be one the gates of hell cannot prevail against (Matthew 16). We war with Your promise that the leaders of earth who take counsel together against Christ and His authority will fail (Psalm 2).
We thank You for an engaged prayer army today on the earth. They are conducting many assignments, some similar to these four ladies. Prayer journeys are taking place everywhere: people are walking and praying; driving and praying; old wells of revival are being visited. Honor is being given and faith is being released for another outpouring of the same revival fire. We thank You for this. Continue to stir us, Holy Spirit - You are such a great leader!
We pray all of this in Christ’s name, amen.
We decree that the destiny God spoke to the forefathers of this nation will be accomplished!
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