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The Day the Music Stopped


David, the great psalmist, giant slayer and eventual king of Israel is one of my favorite Bible characters. Jesus must have liked him also; He accepted the title “Son of David.”


David’s ultimate success, in spite of his colossal failures, should bring hope to all of us. The “man after God’s heart” also went after another man’s wife; and the famous giant-killer also caused the death of a loyal soldier - the woman’s husband - in order to cover the affair. It doesn’t get much worse than that. But forgiveness and cleansing are for sinners, not perfect people, and we all qualify. Someone once said, “The only perfect people are in heaven.”


Indeed.


I thank God for His amazing grace. I love to sing the song and, as I do, think often of its writer, John Newton, a former slave-trader. It’s hard for me to imagine a more despicable activity than slave trading. Truth and justice finally broke through the fog of Newton’s deception and, after his conversion, Newton would eventually become a significant voice for the abolition of the slave trade. Later he penned the famous words:


Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,

That saved a wretch like me.

I once was lost, but now I’m found,

Was blind but now I see.


Thank God for His amazing grace - and for the song. Some historians actually believe Newton took the melody of “Amazing Grace” from the singing of slaves aboard one of his ships. Whether true or not, the fact that the song sang more than any other in the history of the world was written by a former slave trader is, like the song itself, amazing. Such an irony. The song could not have carried us to such heights had not the man sank to such depths. When all was said and done, the greatness of his sin was no match for the greatness of God’s grace.


David would one day need - and find - this grace. When He became king, however, David was living a holy life of passion and purity, and decided that his first order of business would be to move the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. God’s presence and glory dwelled over the Ark, and David, lover of God that he was, wanted this presence right next to the palace so he could make regular visits. He also wanted God’s presence to be the focal point of the nation.


“Then David consulted with the captains of thousands and the hundreds, even with every leader. David said to all the assembly of Israel, ‘If it seems good to you, and if it is from the Lord our God, let us send everywhere to our kinsmen who remain in all the land of Israel, also to the priests and Levites who are with them in their cities with pasture lands, that they may meet with us; and let us bring back the Ark of our God to us, for we did not seek it in the days of Saul.’ Then all the assembly said that they would do so, for the thing was right in the eyes of all the people.


“So David assembled all Israel together...to bring the Ark of God from Kiriath-jearim. David and all Israel went up to Kiriath-jearim...to bring up from there the Ark of God, the Lord who is enthroned above the cherubim, where His name is called. They carried the Ark of God on a new cart from the house of Abinadab, and Uzza and Ahio drove the cart“ (1 Chronicles 13: 1-7).


This was quite an undertaking. Samuel’s version of the endeavor says David gathered thirty thousand specially chosen men of Israel to be part of this procession (2 Samuel 6:1). Thirty thousand! He and the entourage were “celebrating before the Lord with all kinds of instruments made of fir wood, and lyres, harps, tambourines, castanets, and cymbals” (v.5). It was a spectacular celebration!


Though David is about to make a serious mistake with the Ark, give him credit. The Ark and the presence of God were important enough to him that He wanted this to be a BIG deal. “After all, this is Yahweh, God Almighty, we’re talking about,” was probably the reasoning. “Nothing is too much or too good for Him. In fact, make a new cart on which to transport it.”


And that’s where the problems started.


Because the Ark was transported on a cart, pulled by oxen, it wasn’t stable. When they hit a rough spot the cart shifted, and it looked like the Ark might fall off. One of the drivers, Uzzah, reached out and touched the Ark in order to steady it.


And the power in it killed him.


The music and dancing stopped, as did the procession. Laughter turned to sorrow, and joy to mourning. A celebration became a funeral. Uncertain of what to do, David put the transporting of the Ark on hold, housing it at the nearby home of Obed-edom for 3 months while he researched what to do next.


The problem, David eventually discovered, was the mode of transportation - the new cart. The Ark wasn’t supposed to be transported in this manner, but rather carried by poles running through rings on the sides of the Ark. This wasn’t easy but it was secure and didn’t have to be touched. And though the process would be much more difficult, priests were supposed to carry the Ark on their shoulders. Their entire process was spelled out clearly in Numbers the fourth chapter.


We are left to wonder what the motivation was behind David’s use of the cart. I believe it very likely boiled down to convenience. Carrying the Ark on shoulders for ten miles would have been hard work. Splinters, sore muscles, chafed shoulders, blisters on the feet - all would have been the painful result. The long hard miles up and down hills through the desert, in the heat - “let’s just let the oxen do it.” David learned the hard way that, contrary to human preference, ignorance isn’t bliss, easy doesn’t do it, and it’s not just the thought that counts.


The three idiomatic expressions from which I took these statements may be witty, but often they’re simply not true. In fact, they can be deadly. David and his followers discovered that it’s more than the thought that counts. Obedience matters. And they learned that experiencing the Lord’s presence and glory wouldn’t be easy or convenient. As my friend Damon Thompson said, “If Christianity was intended to be convenient, it wouldn’t have been built on crosses and martyrs.” God’s presence and glory aren’t stumbled onto by happenstance, nor are they found by the casual seeker. They’re discovered when sought after, with passion and intentionality.


Pray with me:


Father, thank You for Your desire to be with us. We thank You we now have access to You through the shed blood of Jesus, and we can dwell in Your presence as much and as often as we desire. Thank You for Your amazing grace.

We ask You for greater hunger. We ask You to increase our spiritual appetite for You. May we experience Your presence at ever-increasing levels, for doing so increases our longing for more. We want to be like David, people who are passionate for Your heart.

We ask that You please increase the presence of Holy Spirit in our nation. Bring a presence movement to America. We want such hearts for You that no sin or earthly pleasure can crowd You out.

In the Scriptures, You speak of different levels of Your amazing grace. In Acts 4:33 You speak of “great” grace. The Greek word is megas, from which we get the English word mega. I pray for mega grace to come to America. We need Your incredible, mega grace to save our nation. We believe America shall be saved and this grace will be poured out. We thank You for it in the mighty name of Jesus...Amen.

Decree:

We decree that Your grace is sufficient, and is being poured out on America.



Portions of this post were taken from my book, The Pleasure of His Company.


In honor of Black History Month, our dear friend Will Ford, III, tells part of his family’s story.


History Makers


The first time I heard Dutch speak was at a conference in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He shared about the time when he spoke at Christ for the Nations, agreed in prayer with past generations, and learned about the synergy of the ages. He said, “Not only can we agree in prayer with the person next to us, but we can also agree with the prayers of generations behind us. The prayers of Abraham and the other patriarchs are still alive before God’s throne. The same is true of the prayers of those who make up the godly heritage in this nation.”


I wept the entire time he spoke. I was reminded of a cast-iron kettle that has been passed down in my family for generations. It is believed to be more than 200 years old. Christian slaves on my father’s side of the family in Lake Providence, Louisiana, used the kettle for cooking and for washing clothes. But I also learned that they used the kettle for prayer.


A very wicked slave owner owned my ancestors. He would beat his slaves for any minor offense. A story has been passed down about my Great Uncle Willie who went fishing without permission. The master decided to use Uncle Willie as an example. When Willie returned from fishing, he was tied to a tree. His face, chest, and stomach were pressed up against the tree. The slave master then beat Willie with a shredded leather strap that had pieces of rocks, glass, and iron attached to it. When his beating was finally over, his back bled profusely. Family members placed lard on a sheet to keep this bandage from sticking to his skin and wrapped it around his body. In spite of their efforts, however, Willie bled to death because of the inhumane treatment of his master.


This same slave master would also beat my ancestors for praying. Slaves were not allowed to pray on his plantation. He assumed they were praying for freedom, and he didn’t want them even to consider the possibility of hope for this. Ironically, he wanted his slaves to be Christians feeling this made them more committed to him and better workers. In part, this was because of what he taught them. He and other slave masters would pervert the gospel and teach, “If you slaves want to go to Heaven, you better obey your master. That is what this Bible says.” While we now know that is not what Scripture teaches, it was easy to tell this to slaves back then, since it was against the law for slaves to read, or for anyone to teach them to read.


If the slave master heard the slaves praying, he would beat them, but they prayed anyway. In spite of this danger, they would sneak into a barn late at night while everyone else was asleep, making sure their prayer meeting was never seen or heard. As they carefully opened the door, they eased into the barn carrying this black cast-iron kettle. Once inside, they turned the kettle upside down so the opening was on the dirt floor; then they placed four rocks under the rim of the kettle to prop it up and create an opening. They laid on the dirt floor around the kettle, with their mouths close to the opening. The kettle muffled their voices as they prayed through the night.


Revelation 5:8 speaks of “bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints” before the throne of God. Revelation 8:3-5 says that at some future point, no doubt when God determines the time is right, He adds His incense and fire to those prayers and throws them to earth in the form of judgments and power. My family’s kettle literally became a bowl of intercession.


One of my family members, who was present in those prayer meetings, passed down the following information along with the kettle:


“These slaves were not praying for their freedom at all. They didn’t think they would see freedom for themselves, so they prayed for the freedom of their children and their children’s children.”


That absolutely amazes me. They risked their lives to pray for the freedom of their children and the ensuing generations!


One day, freedom did come. While many of those who prayed did not live to see freedom, their prayers were answered for the next generation. The young girl who passed down these stories attended these prayer meetings until slavery was abolished. As a teenager, she was set free from slavery. Can you imagine being the one who freedom fell upon, having for many years listened to others pray for your freedom? I believe this teenage girl saw fit to pass down this kettle because she knew that not only was she standing on the sacrifice of others’ devotion to Christ, but so was everyone in our family born after her. She was careful to preserve and pass on both the kettle and its history. She passed it to her daughter, Harriet Locket, who passed it to Nora Locket, who passed it to William Ford, Sr., who passed it to William Ford, Jr., who gave it to me, William Ford, III.


As Dutch spoke about agreeing in prayer with past generations and the synergy of the ages, he pointed out that many promises made to Abraham and other biblical patriarchs were not fulfilled within their lifetimes. The individuals were helping God make history, but the history they were making would not be complete without the work of future generations. Hebrews 11:39-40 speaks of these heroes of faith: “And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect” (emphasis added).


God sees the generations as being much more connected than we do. He may promise a person something and do it through his or her grandchildren, for in His mind, doing it through a person’s descendants is doing it for or through him or her. And He doesn’t always choose to announce His future timing in advance!


I have begun to see that I am the recipient of answered prayers from centuries ago! This is humbling. But more than that, I also have come to realize that the benefits aren’t supposed to end with me. I have become part of an amazing historical chain - a generational connection - through which benefits are passed on, but so is the calling. I’m reaching back to possess, but I’m also pressing on to propagate and perpetuate the process for today and for the future. I’m connecting with history, and through the connection, I’m making history. I’m a recipient, but hopefully, I also become a resource. I’m the answer to yesterday’s prayers, but I’m also a question: Will I move the link forward? This is what Isaac and Jacob did. They connected with Abraham’s promises to and from God, reaped the benefits, and accepted the responsibility of moving the entire process into the future.


As I began to meditate on these concepts, I thought about the passion God has given me for revival and His heart for young people. It dawned on me that I could agree with the prayers made underneath my family’s kettle by those who had gone before me; not only their prayers but also the prayers of revivalists and abolitionists who risked their lives to set a nation free. I thought, Lord, I can agree with the prayers of our forefathers, for the spiritual freedom of today’s generation and future generations, as well. What an amazing truth that as Christians, we have a powerful legacy of prayer, and unfinished business to intercede for America.


Join me as we pray:


Father, John Quincy Adams said it best when he wrote, “Posterity—you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you make good use of it.” Help us to make good use of what You started in America. Thank You for those who sacrificed yesterday so that we can have freedom today. Thank You for the sacrifice of Your Son, who died and rose again and who ever lives to make intercession for us. We thank You that the same God who broke the power of slavery can break the power of every stronghold in our nation today. Connect us with the past revival power that moves the link forward for future generations. Unite Your Church! Make us repairers of the breach, the restorers of many generations. Teach us to pray. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Decree with me:


We decree that God is breaking the power of strongholds in our nation and WILL send revival!



Today’s post was taken from the book HISTORY MAKERS, written by Will Ford, III.



My staff and I would like to make you aware of an imposter who has cloned my photo pretending to be me, talking with people on YouTube chat and on the Give Him 15 Facebook page. Know that I NEVER chat with anyone (don’t even know how), will never send anyone a private message, or ask that they meet me on google chat. And we NEVER ask for funds on Social Media or YouTube. You will know that it is my correct YouTube channel by the checkmark after my name, showing that this account has been verified to truly be me. We have requested that Facebook also verify us, but they have not yet chosen to do so. Beware of these scammers and please report them.

Stay Informed

Most of you are probably aware by now that the government and social media platforms have now decided to censor we conservatives. Under the guise of national security, free speech is on hold in America. If many on the far Left have their way, this will not be temporary. Having now achieved what they perceive as complete control, they’ve decided to pull out all the stops and silence we “intolerant” Christians and conservatives. I’m sure you see the irony in that.

One is no longer allowed to state that he or she disagrees with the United States government, nor their beliefs that an election may have been contaminated. This is now forbidden. Not only will the media platforms shut you down for doing so but government agencies will call to send you the message you are crossing the line. Don’t think I am guessing about this. If they have their way, the Left will not stop, until they have completely silenced we unruly gun owners and Bible believers.

Some of you may have noticed you are no longer able to share our posts on one of the social media platforms. It seems we have violated some standard of decency; when shared, they are labeled as spam. We will no doubt continue to be disciplined until we learn our lesson and toe their ideological line. We were not surprised by this; frankly, we expected it a little sooner. (Note: If you have been unable and would still like to share the Give Him 15 posts, you may copy the entire post and paste it onto your page. #workaround)

Actually, if you have followed us for the last few months, you will know we have already dialed back our forthrightness somewhat during the past 3 weeks. We have been weighing the cost versus benefits of being as honest as we want to be. Knowing the new standards set by big tech and the government, we are trying to determine whether to speak our positions and beliefs clearly and run the risk of being shut down, or adjust somewhat in order to ensure being able to encourage, inform, and equip you.

We are also, of course, preparing to deliver our messages on other platforms. In fact, I urge you to go to my website (dutchsheets.org) and sign up for my newsletter (right side of front page). I will use that method of communication in case the other platforms are compromised. As Americans, we will find a way to maintain our freedom and liberty; we always do. Our suggestion to you is to become familiar with the other communication platforms - both audio and visual - as quickly as you possibly can.

As soon as Parler is back up and running again, we will leave Twitter completely. For now, we are on YouTube and Rumble for the Give Him 15 and other DSM video posts. I recommend that you make yourself comfortable with the new free-speech platforms Rumble and Parler. We realize this is inconvenient for all of us and until some of these new platforms expand their capabilities, they can be challenging to use. But the effort is necessary. If you want to maintain the ability to communicate freely and hear the truth, it is likely you will have to move away from these mainstream communication networks. Now that they know they can get away with it, they have no intention of tolerating us in the future.

Please pray for God to give believers and conservatives breakthrough very quickly in this tech arena. We cannot afford to be at the mercy of vindictive and controlling people. Pray for creativity, wisdom, financing, and even technological breakthroughs. Pray for such creativity, revelation, understanding, and wisdom to be given, that the liberal platforms will become inferior and second rate very quickly. Freedom of speech must remain free.

And lastly, pray with us for a release of the sweeping revival that is on the way; call it forth every day. This will be a game-changer for everything. When millions of Americans have had powerful encounters with Holy Spirit and He takes up residence within them, their passions and beliefs will change. This will weaken the hold of liberalism, secularism, and socialism; and that is when the full reformation of America to God’s original intent will occur. This is coming.

And it will not be stopped.

Pray with me:

Father, we pray for America today. Thank You for this incredible nation You raised up to be Your voice in the earth, to trumpet the gospel of the Kingdom to all the nations. This is an amazing honor and a destiny and we don’t take it for granted. We pledge to honor this covenant with You. We declare even now that the greatest release of the gospel from this nation in all of history will occur.

Though some would seek to annul this covenant, and others would say it never existed - even some Christians - we know otherwise. Thank You for preserving it. Thank You for making clear to us, through the words on the Liberty Bell and those that were spoken at Cape Henry, that this is Your destiny for America. We thank You now that no force, no movement, no government, no political party, no system will be able to stop this. Your purposes will be accomplished.

Now we call forth the greatest revival ever to come to this land. We pray for it to reach into every part of society, every age group, all cities, and all races. We pray that it will also invade government and rid us of the evil that has defiled it. Purge it, Lord. Expose the wickedness and degeneracy, yet save those who respond to You.

We bind every evil force that will try to stop this, in Jesus’ name...amen.

Decree:

We decree that Your voice will not be silenced in America.

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Batesburg-Leesville, SC 29070

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