I keep hearing the phrase, "Go back to the drawing board. It's time to go back to the drawing board. The blueprint needs to be looked at again."
I believe we are being recommissioned to follow Jesus, to follow on to know Him like never before.
"And He said to them, 'Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men'" (Matt. 4:19).
And then things got rough.
"Come, let us return to the Lord, for He has torn, and He will heal us. He has struck, and He will bind us up. After two days He will revive us. On the third day He will raise us up, that we may live before Him. Let us know, let us press on to know the Lord. His appearance is as sure as the dawn. He will come to us like the rain; like the spring rains He will water the earth" (Hos. 6:1-3).
I said, "Lord, remind me of your strategic plan to save the world."
He said, "Ok, listen carefully: Love God and love people. And don't mess that up! And don't mess that up!"
Those words grip me. I said, "So You mean we need to love one another in the body of Christ more, so the world will know we are Christians by our love?"
He said, "Not quite."
"Then You must mean to love everybody," I responded.
He said, "You're getting closer."
I thought for a moment, and said, "Lord, You wouldn't mean that we should love our government officials, like the Democrat and Republican parties?"
He responded, "You are red hot. You are red hot."
I said, "Why should I love them?
He said, "Because I do. They were on the cross when I died, right beside you. One died for all. Your loving and forgiving will be your protection from a root of bitterness that will destroy you and many." He continued, "I don't see Democrat or a Republican parties. I only see lost men and lost women on both sides. You only see men as trees walking, instead of seeing all men clearly. Love the lost and hate their sin and evil. I came to destroy the works of the devil, not people."
Jesus Calls Matthew
"As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector's station. And He said to him, 'Follow Me.' And he rose and followed Him" (Matt. 9:9). Jesus didn't see a tax collector bleeding people from their money, nor did He see Matthew as part of the Roman Empire. He just saw a man.
One disciple said, "Master, he's different from us."
Jesus said to the disciple, "Get used to different." (This is an adaptation of Scripture taken from The Chosen, but the message remains.)
I believe Jesus was saying, "Get used to the different way I see people than you do and love people you don't."
When God Interrupts Your Prayer Life
While praying in the Spirit recently, it sounded like the Chinese language. I said, "Lord, this is different for me. Why does this sound like Chinese?"
He responded, "Because you are praying for China."
To my surprise I said, "You mean China that's on the news?"
"Yes, you have just stumbled onto My 'most wanted list' where you used to be. China must be saved! I dare you to pray for China and your government in the Spirit."
I believe we need to pray more in the Spirit, for we don't know how to pray. He's about to interrupt our selfish prayer life.
"But you, beloved, build yourselves up in your most holy faith. Pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in the love of God while you are waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, which leads to eternal life" (Jude 1:20-21).
He then showed me many overlooked people in America on His "most wanted list." "My ways are not your ways, and My thoughts are not your thoughts. I came to destroy the works of the evil one with the purpose of saving people."
I will tell you how you can know the names on God's "most wanted list." Just think of the people you don't want to pray for or have given up hope for. The ones you are convinced who will never come to the Lord. But I have news for you. What if Jesus comes to them like He did to Saul? Jesus changed His name to Paul, and Paul wrote most of the New Testament. I believe God wants to do that again.
He then spoke, "Unless you and My people pray for the ones for whom I want to intervene and deliver from the evil one, your anger and bitterness against them will come upon you, and you will be destroyed by the same spirit that controls them. Your wrong spirit and the lack of a right spirit will take you down, for you don't know of what Spirit you are."
"Therefore I exhort first of all that you make supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings for everyone, for kings and for all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceful life in all godliness and honesty, for this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus" (1 Tim. 2:1-5, ESV). The Lord has highlighted the phrase, "that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way." A special peace is promised to those who pray this way for people and governments whether they ever change or not. This may be the missing piece of the puzzle of why many do not have God's peace this hour.
I'm in My Oval Office
In the midst of the mess this past year, I asked the Lord, "Where are You?"
He responded, "I'm in My Oval Office, and you're going to be OK. Just come up higher."
So I came up higher, and I'll tell you how I got there. God's love has lifted me higher than I've ever been lifted before. Remember when He first saved you, when nothing else could help, love lifted you. It still works that way. Loving people unconditionally is the elevator that takes us to the top floor. I have discovered this is how we come up higher: Love God, and love people. It's different up here. I can see clearly now from God's point of view—especially people.
His words still grip me: "And don't mess that up!"
A Recall to Follow Jesus
— Just when it looks like every light on Planet Earth has gone out and the stars have fallen from their sockets, here comes the Son!
— "But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" (Matt. 5:44, NIV). "Loving your enemies is My protection plan for you, so bitterness doesn't kill you."
— Pain is often the beginning of our healing.
Bill Yount has been a member of Bridge of Life Church in Hagerstown, Maryland, for the past 40 years and is in leadership. He faithfully served in prison ministry at Mount Hope Inc. for 23 years and now travels full time, ministering in churches and Aglow circles. He is currently an adviser at large for Aglow International. Bill has authored several prophetic books. His latest book is Handfuls of Purpose. Subscribe to his prophetic emails, and visit Bill's website at billyount.com or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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