As I write this, at 11:30 PM on August 26th, 2020, Hurricane Laura is barreling towards the Gulf Coast of the United States. Since the end of last year, the Lord began speaking to my heart that terrible times were coming to the United States. At first, when these thoughts would come during my prayer time, I would repent and ask God to forgive me for being so negative and focusing on the evil in the world.
After a while, I couldn’t shake off the Holy Spirit’s warnings. I started to write them down and share them with a select few friends. As I began to share, I saw that others were experiencing similar urges from the Lord that we were to ready ourselves for a spiritual battle. One of my friends, in the middle of an intense personal battle, began fasting mid January. She said the Lord showed her that we were on a boat in a storm, but that the Lord was with us and he is our anchor.
The call kept coming as more and more people joined in with fasting and praying through January and February. In March, on the 14th, our women’s ministry held it’s Overcomer Conference by the skin of our teeth- right before the shut down. And the rest is history. During this time of lockdown, we have all lived to see the idols of the world fall. But, what have the believers done? What have we sought to worship? Have we sought the Father, instead of idols? Have we longed to know his heart? Do we want to bring him glory? Do we want to know him? We are his children, adopted by the blood of his Son Jesus, yet we have gone astray.
God is speaking. This is not a weird coincidence. The Lord is allowing 2020 to truly bring us the 2020 vision correction we need- if we will submit to it. Perhaps our prayer should be, “Lord, give me 2020 vision, that I may see myself the way you see me, not the way I think I should view myself.”
In this passage in Revelation, Jesus speaks to the Church in Pergamum. This church does not quite get the straight A report card that Smyrna received earlier in the chapter. This is a stirring passage, because Jesus gives Pergamum a compliment – big compliments- then he brings equally scathing corrections. How could a church have it so right and so wrong at the same exact time?
To the Church in Pergamum
Revelation2:12 “To the angel of the church in Pergamum write:
These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword. 13I know where you live—where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, not even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city—where Satan lives.
14Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: There are some among you who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin so that they ate food sacrificed to idols and committed sexual immorality. 15Likewise, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans.16Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
17Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.
Good points– the believers from Pergamum did not deny Christ, even in the face of Satan himself. Their friend Antipas was killed for his faith in Pergamum. These people were battle-hardened and ready to die for Jesus.
Problems- There were SOME- not all- who held to the teaching of Balaam. You can read the story of Balaam in Numbers 22. Balaam was known as a prophet. Balak, a king, wanted to pay Balaam to put a curse on the Israelites. He tried, but God wouldn’t let him. When this wouldn’t work, according to Numbers 31, Balaam counseled Midian to overthrow Israel through sin. Numbers 31 says that Balaam told the women of Midian to entice the Israelite men to sin sexually so that God himself would destroy the Israelites. Why would Balak need a curse to destroy Israel, when Israel would just as easily invoke the wrath of God through participating in sexual sin?
So, in Revelation 2, the church of Pergamum is in danger of coming under judgement, due to their participation and encouragement of sexual sin. How interesting is this? Jesus himself says that he will come and fight against the Christians in error in Pergamum with the sword of his own mouth! Why do Christians continue to freely participate in sexual sin and think that there is not any sin? Why do we say that sexual sin is just a preference or a choice?
These are the types of things that can and will bring the judgement of the Lord on a group of people or a nation. I honestly would never ever want Jesus to fight against me with the sword of his mouth. His sword is my strength and my weapon against the enemy. He doesn’t want to use it against his own people.
I love verse 17. There is a reward for overcoming! Let us pray that God teaches us the difference between right and wrong. Let us pray that we can be overcomers!
Prayer- There are 11 prayer points today. if you spend 2 minutes on each one, you will spend 22 minutes in prayer.
- Father, in Jesus name, I worship you and humbly bow before you. I ask, Lord God, that you will be exalted in my life.
- Your kingdom come, Lord. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Teach me to do your will, Lord. Bring forth your heavenly army to fight the enemy Satan and to guard and protect your people. Bring about your kingdom in our hearts today and forever more. I love you, Lord. You are my God. You are my savior. You are love!
3. Teach me to obey you, Lord. I don’t want to be deceived. Reveal to me any and all lies I am believing. I give you my mind and heart. I ask that you speak to me through your Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation that I can know your will. I want to walk in purity with you, Lord. deliver me from evil. Deliver me from deception.
4. Teach me to hear your voice, Oh Lord. I want to be led by you. It says in Romans that as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. I want to be led by you, Oh Lord! I want to hear you. Tune my ear to hear from you. Speak to my heart, Lord.
5. Show me how to prepare for the times we are living in. I need you to show me how to spiritually and physically prepare. I need to listen to you and not to people. People will fail me, but you will never fail me. I need to trust in your supernatural protection and provision, but I also need to trust in your guidance. I believe you will lead me and guide me. I believe you will speak to me. I am your child.
6. Lord, I thank you for your forgiveness. I don’t deserve it, but you give it freely, because you are love and you are good. I repent from all sexual sin in my life. I ask for a cleansing from it all. I know my body is a temple of the Holy Spirit and you live in me. I do not want anything in my life to displease you. I am yours. Cleanse me and I will be clean. Wash me and I will be whiter than snow.
7. Forgive me for approving of all kinds of sexual sin and things that this society believes about sex. Lord, help me to seek you out in knowing right from wrong, so I am not deceived.
8. Break the power of deception over my life, in Jesus’ name. Fill me with truth.
9. Bless my children, Oh Lord. Bless my family. I claim my children for you. Our family belongs to you. I am establishing a new heritage in Christ. I pray that you teach me how to lead this family. Teach me how to be a mother and a wife whose life is centered in you.
10. Raise up the church of Jesus Christ, Lord. Help us to stand for you. Help us to stand for truth. I love you, Lord. I ask that you will raise up the individuals to stand for truth. Raise up a remnant of believers, Lord.
11. Lord, I pray for you to strengthen the church, as the nation is going through trials. I pray that we will follow you. Raise up and protect your pastors and leaders, Oh Lord. May your church rise up in power to bring the gospel to the ends of the earth.