The Lord’s Rembrancers

“Remembrancers”.  This is an old biblical word not currently in use but is found in the 1885 edition of the Revised Version of the Bible.  I love this word because it conveys such power.  This word is used in Is. 62:6 which states “I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night; ye that are the Lord’s remembrancers, keep not silence, and give Him no rest, till He establish, and till He make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.”   Intercessors, the watchmen the Lord sets on the wall of the city, are His “remembrancers”.  They remind Him of His promises as they intercede on behalf of the city. 

As you read this verse of scripture, you sense the Lord’s pleasure in the work of the remebrancers.  They are the Lord’s remembrancers!  He has called them to the ministry of intercession and has uniquely enabled them with an inclination toward persevering faith which results in their continuously reminding God of the promises He has made.   They are also those who walk closely with God, attending to His every word so that they can remember, repeat and release them in the place of prayer.  The Lord loves the work of His remembrancers because it gives Him the opportunity to prove that He is not a man that He should lie nor the son of man that He should repent.  Rather, He will do all He says He will do.  The work of remebrancers opens the opportunity for God to demonstrate His faithfulness and the fact that His ear is attentive to our cry.  I praise God for His remembrancers positioned here in San Antonio.  Where would we be without them? 

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The Church that Changes a City!

There is no question the Lord has made many great and powerful promises to the city of San Antonio and, it is His settled desire to fulfill every one of them.  He wants to come with revival fire upon His Church and transforming power upon the city.  The first – revival – must precede the second – transformation – because God has determined that He will cause His will to be done in the city in partnership with His people.

For years many have worked and prayed to see revival come to San Antonio but, we have not yet seen the full move of God we have longed for.  Is there something we have not prayed?  Is there something we have not done?  Luke 12:48 provides an answer to these important questions.  “For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required.”   (Lk. 12:48 )   This is a truth spoken to us by our Lord Jesus Christ, but we often fail to take to heart the depth of truth in these words.  Unfortunately, the fact that our salvation is freely received has caused many to look upon the entirety of our salvation as a free-ride to the fulfillment of all our earthly desires by a loving God.  Yes, our God loves us – so deeply that He gave His only begotten Son to die for the sins we committed against Him – yet, He requires from us a life wholly given back to Him in return.  To whom much is given, much will be required!

Jesus gave us great promises in the area of prayer by which His promises to the city would be fulfilled.    The saints of old who did great things for God knew this truth.  Rees Howells, the great intercessor, with the interceding students in his bible college, is credited with saving England from the destruction of German bomber planes in WW II, through the power of prayer.   Andrew Murray, the great missionary to Africa wrote, “Christ actually meant prayer to be the great power by which His Church should do its work, and the neglect of prayer is the great reason the Church has not the greatest power over the masses …” Our God actually expects us to rule and reign with Him first through the power of prayer. 

Jesus said, “… whatever you ask in My Name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”  (Jn. 14:13)  There are no qualifiers in this promise.  He said “whatever” we ask in His name He will do.  This is a powerful promise to us!  It is the equivalent of a blank check that we can write and cash in the spirit realm and see the force of its power manifested in the earth.  But we must remember, to whom much is given, much will be required!  All authority in heaven and earth has been given to Him and He said we may ask anything in His name and He will do it.  (Jn. 14:14)  What a gift to us but surely this promise of power and authority comes with a standard.  The standard is entire consecration! 

The church that changes a city is the church that is entirely consecrated to God!  We must be those who have decided that there is nothing in this world that is more important than God!  Nothing takes first place in our hearts and minds before Him.  We die to the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life – and we die to ourselves, daily picking up our cross following Him.  We present our bodies to Him as a living sacrifice that we may do His good, acceptable and perfect will!  There is no other way!  We must be entirely consecrated to our God to be entrusted to wield the power in prayer that He has readily given.

Surely this is part of the call of God to the pursuit of answered prayer found in 2 Chron. 7:14.  “If My people who are called by My Name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”  This verse of scripture is quoted so often that is is almost trivialized but, there is great truth here.  True prayer is an act of humility but here, God says we must humble ourselves AND pray, not humble ourselves TO pray.  He says, we must turn from wicked ways.  We must repent from overlooking, disobeying and offending God.  We must stop living the way we have lived, whether directly sinful or in lukewarm casual Christianity and begin to intentionally live for God!  We must seek His face, beholding Him, as in a mirror, for then we will become like Him and be empowered to pray according to the dictates of His heart.  THEN, He will hear from heaven, forgive our sins and heal our land.  Surely this is part of the picture of a life of entire consecration!

This is the life led by the great intercessor Rees Howells.  He, like Jesus, obeyed all He heard the Father told him to do.  He lived a life of intercession, as did Jesus, and as a result, God did great things through that man of faith and prayer!  This is what God is calling us to in this hour!  We must be different from the world that we seek to change!  We must reflect the standard of Christ who was entirely consecrated to God the Father!  We are called to bring glory to the Father even as Jesus brought glory to the Father!

Even before the beginning of this year, the Lord began saying that there is going to be another great outpouring of His spirit.  He said that He is pouring out new wine upon His Church and, we know that with it comes the mandate that we become new wineskins.  May our entire consecration cause us to be the new wineskin into whom God can pour His spirit!  May we cast down every thought and imagination that exalts itself against the knowledge of God and prepare ourselves to be serve Him mightily!

I am expecting a great revival and awakening to take place in San Antonio of the kind I recently read defined as “… a divine outpouring of God’s Spirit upon a collective people over a large geographical area that produces multiple conversions, deeper levels of conviction, hatred of sin, comprehensive repentance, corporate consecration, complete resignation, delight in God’s law, and greater heights of love to God.  This is due to a resplendent unveiling of God, His glory, His attributes, and His love made manifest in Christ crucified.  The cumulative result of an awakening is an all-consuming love for God, for His Son, for His Spirit, for His glory, for His church, for the spread of the gospel, and for the unconverted, that they might share in the same joy and happiness of being united to Christ through faith, that God’s glory might fill the earth as the waters cover the sea.”

May we consecrate ourselves to God and be ready to change the city for His glory!!  

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True Fellowship!

Something is happening!  All across the city the Body of Christ in San Antonio is coming together.  Pastors and Ministry Leaders have put their hands to the plow and are working together for the glory of God.  This wonderful answer to years of prayer is taking place in various areas and over various issues.  Denominational lines, once never encroached, are now being crossed as pastors and ministry leaders find power, wisdom and fellowship in together combating the powers of darkness which seek to rule and reign in San Antonio.

Now, churches and ministries are sharing building space together.  On the West side of the city, one pastor has moved his church into a ministry’s building so that the church youth can be blessed by the ministry’s work amongst youth.  On the Northwest side of the city, Catholic and Protestant ministries have joined forces to raise a united voice of prayer for the stability of marriages in the city, combating years of high divorce rates in Bexar County.  Several pregnancy care centers in the city have joined forces and are now working together to save the lives of the most vulnerable – unborn children threatened with death through abortion.  A convoy of hope is taking shape as numerous churches and ministries work together to demonstrate the compassion of God’s heart to the whole city! Something is happening and this is only some of it! 

This is a picture of true fellowship; sharing in a common purpose and in a common life.  This is the fellowship to which we are called in Christ Jesus. Can it be that revival is on the near horizon in San Antonio?  The Psalmist declared:

“Behold, how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!  It is like the precious oil upon the head           running down the beard, the beard of Aaron, running down on the edges of his garments.  It is like the dew of Hermon, descending upon the mountains of Zion; for there the Lord commanded the blessing – even life forevermore.”  (Ps. 133)  

Life forevermore sounds like salvation and salvation to a city sounds like revival! 

In this New Year, 2014, let us pray like never before for a move of God in San Antonio, Texas!  Let us pray that the Lord rends the heavens and comes down upon the city, commanding His blessing of life forevermore!  Let us rejoice in the breaking down of man-made walls which have separated God’s people who He has called to be “one new man” in Christ Jesus.  (Eph. 2:15)  Let us rejoice in the true fellowship taking place in and by the “City Church.”  Once we come together, speaking the same thing and working together – there is nothing we cannot accomplish. 

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Revival NOW!!

Many have heard the saying, “If you don’t know your history, you are bound to repeat it.”  This of course is a warning against future folly but perhaps there is a new saying that we need to assert today.  “If you know your history, you can be encouraged to repeat it.”  I am specifically talking about revival history.  Both sayings encourage learning from the past; one against error and one in preparation for blessing. 

Our usual thoughts of past revivals focus on powerful prayer meetings and churches filled with people crying out to God.  We think of the many souls saved, lives changed and the long lasting results impacting society through the love-compelled actions of believers.  Those believers established ministries, hospitals, organizations and did works of service which changed whole communities and nations.  Our nation’s Ivy League colleges were started out of revival in New England. Ongoing revival in those universities produced student mission movements with young people crossing the globe preaching salvation.  Slavery was abolished in the United States and England because of the tireless work of men and women impacted by God’s revival power.  Education, labor, industry, government and politics all have been transformed because revival fire burned in the hearts of God’s people.

One aspect of the Church’s rich revival history which should encourage us today is the fact that revival always broke out in the midst of deep darkness and increasing sin in society.  Before the 1734 revival in New England under Jonathan Edwards, few church-goers sought a relationship with Almighty God. Before the 1859 Welsh revival church attendance was minimal and people didn’t fear the Lord.  Before the 1965 Jesus People Revival in California, the spirit of rebellion was rampant and drugs, sex and rock & roll ruled the day.  Before every revival people were self-centered, doing what seemed right in their own eyes.  Wondrously, revival comes revealing itself as the only answer to overcome encroaching darkness.  It is God’s answer!  He is light and in Him is no darkness!  When He comes, darkness flees.  When He comes, eyes are opened, people see their sin and deep need for God!  

In our times, laws are being passed and court decisions rendered reflecting a total disregard for the words of scripture.  There is no fear of God, no recognition that the Bible is God’s word and that it is truth.  Some people are living self-absorbed lives and others are worshipping ‘mother earth’.  Even worse, the messages of some of today’s preachers twist the scriptures calling good evil and evil good.  We see churches crowded but many in the crowds live lives that reflect no intimate knowledge of God or desire to please Him. 

Our city, which has great promise and destiny in God, is no different.  We are blessed with many in San Antonio who truly love the Lord and want to see His Kingdom rule manifested in the life of the city.  However, we cannot organize our way around the problems of our day!  Nothing we endeavor to do by the arm of the flesh can be compared a sovereign move of God!  Revival is just that, a sovereign move of God!  We must recognize our weakness and deficiencies and again fall upon the rock of our salvation crying out for His mercy, grace, power and deliverance.  Surely, revival fire will fall and we will be empowered by the Holy Spirit to live a life of overcoming faith and victory.  It will be for us like it was for the prophet Elijah.  When we earnestly seek Him and our sacrificed lives are the offering, revival fire will fall.  Then the opposition will cry out; He alone is God!   

Revival fire will fall first upon the people of God consuming the sacrifice of our poured out lives. He answers by fire to burn up the dross in our lives and to set us aflame with fiery passion for Him and His ways.  He answers our desperate cries because a broken heart and contrite spirit He will not despise.  (See Ps. 51:17)  This is the way of God; judgment always begins at the house of God.  Then, it moves from the house of God and impacts society through us.

God knows the times and the seasons!  He sends revival because the times demand it.  He sends revival because the people of God become unbearably desperate for Him and His kingdom rule.  Desperation causes us to cry out in urgent prayer and fasting; He answers!  God longs to come to our city with revival power but the pursuit of revival is not casual.  It requires that we truly seek first the kingdom of God – His rule in every aspect of our lives. 

What can we expect when He comes with revival fire?  The church is unified, as in the Moravian revival of 1727; vast sections of society are changed as in England in the wake of the Wesleyan revival of 1700’s; rebellious, drug using, sex crazed young people come alight as in California revival of 1965.  Revival is the only answer for the problems and challenges of our day!  Instead of allowing today’s darkness to defeat us, let’s learn our revival history and be encouraged by it.  We must steadfastly believe that our God is the God of revival.  He is the same yesterday, today and forever.  He always desires for men to be saved! He is looking for a Church which is vibrantly alive through the power of His Spirit.  Revival is the answer.  Come Lord Jesus by Your power; stir us in Your mercy to cry out for Revival NOW!

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The Seeds of Revival

Most often we think of revival on a global or societal level when the power of God came down and many people came to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.  We read the stories where people by the hundreds and thousands gave their lives to God and we yearn for such days in our city.

A closer look at the revivals of history show that while these things did in fact take place, our emphasis is in the wrong place.  Revival is first for the church.  The people of God must first get right with God; we must be revived from dead religion, sin and lackluster living.  Even that statement is too broad.  The first thing is that we must each individually ask ourselves “Am I right with God?”  “Is there any place of sin in my life which I need to own up to and confess before Him, asking for His forgiveness”?   “Am I lukewarm and backslidden – out of active communion with God?” These are the seeds of revival.

Revival always began with a consciousness of sin.  By the power of the Holy Spirit, each believer was confronted which the blatant reality of how short they had fallen from the glory of God. We must each take stock of our own lives before God recognizing that He sees all things and nothing is hidden from His sight.  In revivals of history, the conviction of the Holy Spirit gripped the hearts of God’s people so that their hearts were pricked.  They knew no peace or relief until they came into the presence of God with a broken and contrite heart and confessed their sins to Him.

This is exactly what King David did when he was confronted with his sin of adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of Uriah, her husband.  He was cut to the quick and he sought the face of God in deep contrition as recorded in Ps. 51.  He cried out to God:

“For I acknowledge my transgressions,
And my sin is always before me.
Against You, You only, have I sinned,
And done this evil in Your sight—
That You may be found just when You speak,
And blameless when You judge.”

David cried out, my sin is always before me.  He could no longer dismiss it nor justify it as he had while committing it.  Now, he could not escape the fact that he had sinned and because God is righteous, He had sinned against God.

Let us today put first things first and take stock of our lives before God that we may cry out “let revival begin in me!”

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Time to Shine

San Antonio at night w lights

Every notable God wrought revival in history began in prayer and produced long-lasting impact and transformation.  The move of God could not be contained in the location where it began.  It moved far and wide and touched multitudes. Souls were saved and lives were transformed, schools and universities were established, businesses and industries were changed, worldwide missions movements developed, governmental leaders were raised up and so much more.  San Antonio is destined for a move of God that will transform the city and impact the nation.

It’s time for revival!  It’s time for San Antonio to shine with the light of the glory of God!  Let us cry out for the spirit of intercession and travail to come upon the church.  Let us cry out to the Lord for a sweeping move of God to come upon the body of Christ and with it the spirit of transformation that will impact society.

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