Let's Finish This!
My goal for the Give Him 15 posts is a 4-fold blend:
Generate effective and informed prayer
Speak prophetically into our times
Train and equip you
And lastly, keep you encouraged.
In order to accomplish these goals, the posts have become my primary ministry focus. I try to listen very diligently for Holy Spirit’s guidance in determining what to release, as well as how to present truths to a broad audience.
Sometime back, the Lord put in our hearts a plan to place some of the posts in book form - a series of devotionals. The truth in the teachings is timeless, and truth from God’s Word matures in us as we read it again and again.
The first of the devotionals was related more to the prophetic destiny of America, along with the Ekklesia’s calling to see this restored and accomplished. We have now completed the second book of the eventual trilogy. While still maintaining a prophetic flavor, it is intended more for your personal spiritual growth and development. These are specially chosen teachings we feel will be helpful in expanding your ability to walk with and partner with God. My staff did a great job in compiling these teachings and placing them in a quality hardback book. Today, I am excited to read one of the devotionals from Give Him 15 - An Appeal to Heaven Devotional, Volume 2.
Let’s Finish This! (Day 30)
As the book of Ezra opens, Cyrus, king of Persia, allows a remnant of Israelites to return to Jerusalem for the purpose of rebuilding their Temple. Seventy years prior, God had allowed Israel to be taken into captivity by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, because of their apostasy. Later, they came under the rule of Cyrus when he conquered Babylon. God then moved upon the heart of Cyrus, a pagan and idolatrous king, to permit this return. He even stirred Cyrus’s heart to help the remnant raise the funds needed for rebuilding (Ezra 1:1-4) and returned to them all the vessels and utensils Nebuchadnezzar had plundered from the Temple.
A remnant returned to Jerusalem under Zerubbabel’s leadership and began the work. Ezra tells us:
“When the workers laid the foundation of the Temple of God, the priests in their robes stood up with trumpets, and the Levites, sons of Asaph, with cymbals, to praise God in the tradition of David…All the people boomed out hurrahs, praising God as the foundation of the Temple of God was laid. As many were noisily shouting with joy, many of the older priests, Levites, and family heads who had seen the first Temple, when they saw the foundations of this Temple laid, wept loudly… People couldn’t distinguish the shouting from the weeping. The sound of their voices reverberated for miles around” (Ezra 3:10-13 MSG).
It has always intrigued me that many younger Israelites shouted for joy while some of the older ones wept. We are left to wonder why the older folks wept. Joy? Grieving lost years? Realizing just how far they had to go in rebuilding? One thing is certain: their perspective was different.
There is one more certainty about the celebration that took place that day: it was a bit premature. Satan also had plans for the project. Daniel 7:25 tells us he attempts to alter “times” and “laws.” The Hebrew word used for “time” in this verse means an appointed time;(1) the word for “laws” means, among other things, the decree of a king.(2) God, our King, appoints our times and seasons; He also decrees His good plans and purposes for us, both in His written Word and prophetically. However, this verse tells us satan tries to alter those times and decrees. We know he can’t do so by overpowering or outwitting God; he attempts to do so by attacking us.
Daniel 7:25 also reveals one of the ways satan tries to do so: by “wearing down” the saints. The Hebrew word this is taken from is never used in Scripture to describe physical fatigue, only mental and emotional weariness. Satan attempts to wear us down in our souls, causing us to “grow weary” (literally, “lose heart”) in our efforts (Galatians 6:9). Fear, discouragement, lack of endurance, hope-deferred, and other emotional responses attack our faith; and, if not guarded against, can cause us to lose heart. If this type of weariness occurs, it can alter our God-appointed times and decrees. This strategy succeeded against the remnant sent to rebuild the Temple of God.
Satan’s method in that situation was to work through other people in the region:
“So these people started beating down the morale of the people of Judah, harassing them as they built. They even hired propagandists to sap their resolve. They kept this up for about fifteen years, throughout the lifetime of Cyrus king of Persia and on into the reign of Darius, king of Persia” (Ezra 4:4-5 MSG).
These “propagandists,” or “counselors,” as other translations refer to them, were basically lobbyists, individuals hired and sent to the king with accusations and misinformation. They succeeded in planting concerns in him that once the Israelites rebuilt their temple, they would rebel from his rule and cause great problems in his kingdom. The Israelites, rather than remaining strong and trusting God to help them overcome these accusations, yielded to fear and discouragement. The result? The rebuilding of the Temple stopped for sixteen years! All Israel had produced was a foundation.
During this time, while abandoning God’s house, the Israelites began building their own homes and businesses, justifying it by saying the resistance meant it wasn’t yet God’s appointed time for the Temple to be rebuilt. The existence of opposition, however, should never determine what we believe to be God’s will, nor should it be used to judge whether it is His appointed time to do something. Eventually, God had enough of their complacency and raised up a prophet, Haggai, to deliver His message to them:
“Shortly after that, God said more, and Haggai spoke it: ‘How is it that it’s the “right time” for you to live in your fine new homes while [Mine] is in ruins?’...
“Then God said: ‘Here is what I want you to do: Climb into the hills and cut some timber. Bring it down and rebuild the Temple. Do it just for Me. Honor Me. You’ve had great ambitions for yourselves, but nothing has come of it. The little you have brought to My Temple, I’ve blown away – there was nothing to it. And why?... Because while you’ve run around, caught up with taking care of your own houses, My home is in ruins. That’s why. Because of your stinginess…
“Then the governor, Zerubbabel, and the high priest, Joshua, and all the people with them listened, really listened, to the voice of their God.” (from Haggai 1:1-13 MSG)
When the people responded appropriately to God’s words, He was quick to respond with grace and favor. Turns out those in opposition to God weren’t His problem; He was well able to deal with them. His people were the problem! What God needed was a people of faith who would not succumb to fear, discouragement, or self-centeredness. When they were able to shake off these things, God favored them once again and said, I am with you! Let’s go!
A month later, Haggai encouraged them by prophesying again:
“I’m living and breathing among you right now. Don’t be timid. Don’t hold back…Before you know it, I will shake up sky and earth, ocean and fields, and I’ll shake down all the godless nations. They’ll bring bushels of wealth, and I will fill this Temple with splendor. I own the silver, I own the gold…This Temple is going to end up far better than it started out, a glorious beginning but an even more glorious finish: a place in which I will hand out wholeness and holiness.” (Haggai 2:1-9 MSG)
Like this remnant in Israel, many in the church of America have grown weary in their prayers for revival and the rebuilding of our nation. Lying lobbyists, media opposition, unrighteous laws, intimidating government agencies, elections that didn’t go our way, evil politicians – satan has used these and more, attempting to wear us down. Many have responded just as these Israelites did initially, deciding it must not be time for America’s turnaround. What God needs, however, is for us to persevere in our faith and prayers. We must not allow satan to alter our appointed times and God’s promised recovery by wearing us down. Don’t be intimidated. God will deal with His enemies, just as He did in Haggai’s day. Determine that nothing will stop us – wars, threats, fear, discouragement, setbacks, unbelief – nothing.
Let’s finish this!
Pray with me:
Father, You have begun a good work in our nation. You’ve raised up a remnant determined to birth revival and see America accomplish all You destined for her. We are determined to see righteousness once again in our government, the young generation of Americans come to know You, and worldwide revival – at least a billion souls.
We will not stop with just a foundation, yielding to opposition, fear, confusion, unbelief, discouragement, or selfishness. We will finish this reset! We WILL finish it! Raise up Haggais in our day who carry Your words. Stir the hearts of Your people. We ask for an infusion of strength and hope that all mental fatigue and emotional weariness be broken off the praying church. Send a wind of Holy Spirit to us now, we pray. Stir up believers, including pastors, whose hearts once burned with fire for revival and breakthrough but have now settled for less. Stir up intercessors who have allowed the fire to go out. Awaken us all to Your passion in this hour. May there be a roar of intercession released in this nation and the nations of the earth. We ask You, “Rend the heavens and come down!”
We make these requests in the mighty name of Jesus, Amen.
We declare that God is with us; we will arise and build!
Click on the link below to watch the full video.
“Strong’s Hebrew: 2165. ןמָזְ (zeman) -- appointed time, occasion, season; time.” Bible Hub, https://biblehub.com/hebrew/2165.htm. Accessed 12 May 2023.
“Strong’s Hebrew: 1882. תדָּ (dath) -- decree, law.” Bible Hub, https://biblehub.com/hebrew/1882.htm. Accessed 12 May 2023.