A Tidal Wave - How to prepare for the last days
It is time to seek the Lord by waiting on God. To “Wait on God” means . . . spending significant amounts of time in His presence: seeking Him, praying and praising Him. It means waiting for His instructions as to what you should do or directions of where you should go; waiting for His power to do what you know you need to do; and waiting for His timing of when to move forward in faith.
I was 18 years old. It was the summer between my freshman and sophomore year at Bible College. I was at a youth camp in the San Bernardino Mountains. Jack Hayford was the featured speaker that summer. He offered to meet with “future leaders” in the prayer room and I joined a handful or so of others who came. Jack taught us a song that he had written (He is a prolific song writer and wrote “Majesty.” The song was an almost verbatim (KJV) quote of Psalm 24:4, 5 (Here in NKJV): “Show me Your ways, O LORD; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day.” (I doubt Jack even had that song published. I’ve never heard a church sing it; except mine!). Yet, how many times through the years while waiting in God’s presence I have sung that song! In fact, I would say that if I have a “life song” I believe it would be that song. I was even thinking a couple of days ago (after singing it again in prayer) that I may be the only person in the world who sings that song (unless Jack sings it in His devotional times).
Notice the phrase: “On you I wait all the day." I had a dream in October wherein I was in a church and prophesied: “It is time to seek the Lord!” I know that was a “rhema” for me. Developments in my finances, my family and my ministry have underscored the truth in that dream that it is indeed “time to seek the Lord.” I am embarrassed to say I was slow to obey. But, I started getting so many “spankings” (like the debacle in Newark) that I finally got down to business. I don’t know if I have ever spent as much time “waiting on God” as I have the past few months. Oh, I have cried out to God for power probably more than anyone reading this letter. But, never have I just settled down so much in just “waiting” in His presence and listening to hear His voice and receive His guidance and timing. The earthquake in Japan was a sobering confirmation that this is indeed a time to seek the Lord. David Wilkerson over 30 years ago prophesied that a Great earthquake would hit Japan and then one would hit the West Coast. Bob Jones said this 20 years ago (and added that a terrible tidal wave would also hit Los Angeles).
I recently re-read Luke 21:11, 25: “There will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven . . . “On the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring.” Notice it says, “Great earthquakes.” Do you think it is purely coincidence that the Richter scale designates earthquakes in the 8 to 9 magnitude range as “Great earthquakes?” I don’t think so! Also, I noticed v. 25: “the sea and the waves roaring.” I have read that translators feel that is speaking of the “sea of humanity.” But, after seeing what happened after the earthquake in Indonesia and this recent one in Japan (both caused by shifting tectonic plates in the Pacific “the sea,” with the resultant horrible tidal “waves” roaring into seaside cities, I believe it is more likely this is literal: we can expect more Great Earthquakes and tidal waves in these last days. I know that many believe we will be raptured before many of the horrible events mentioned in Luke 21 such as v. 25 “signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars” or v. 26 “the powers of the heavens will be shaken.” But, I noticed something I had never noticed before. In v. 28, Jesus said (after listing spectacular signs on earth and in heaven) “When these things begin to happen . . . your redemption draws nigh.” Our redemption is not going to draw nigh until we actually see these things happen around us!!
Remember my January newsletter where I mentioned that God has spoken to my heart that 2011 is a year of PREPARATION? I believe this is true for several primary reasons: 1/ Because of coming financial, geo-political, and weather events; God’s people must be “waiting on God” and listening for his directions concerning life-saving preparations: where to live, what to do financially, what things to stockpile (water, food, wood, propane, generators, medicine, weapons, etc.).; 2/ Because of the greatest need in U.S. history for the church to be the church, ready to minister the gospel, healing, deliverance and counsel to a world in “distress and perplexity” (v. 25). We must understand what our ministry responsibility is and be in the dwelling place, the city, the church and the spiritual state we must be in to best fulfill our “last day’s ministry.”
With the urgency of the hour, “It is time to seek the Lord!” We best do this by “waiting on God.”
To “wait on God” means:
1) (WHO) Spending time in His presence seeking Him, praying & praising Him who is the only one you follow and obey: “Without (Gr: apart from) from me you can do nothing (John 15:5). The most important things we can be doing at this time is to make sure that we are abiding in Christ (John 14:4) because we understand that if we are going to survive and go the job done in the coming difficult days, it will only be because of His help and guidance. John 6:63 says, “The Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” We need the Spirit’s help more than ever before at this hour!
The church today is much like Samson. He had seen and experienced much of God’s power, but Delilah deceived him into telling her the secret of his power (his Nazarite’s vow long hair). She then lulled him to sleep to cut off his source of power. The devil has been sneaking up on the church, cutting our hair off (short-circuiting our supply of power) by getting us to sleep in the lap of Delilah (the distractions and pleasures of this world, keeping us from waiting on God). I remind you that when the fateful day came that Samson needed the Spirit’s power to survive the attack of the Philistines, he was powerless! Judges 16:19-21: “Then she lulled him to sleep on her knees, and called for a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his head. Then she began to torment him, and his strength left him. And she said, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" So he awoke from his sleep, and said, "I will go out as before, at other times, and shake myself free!" But he did not know that the Lord had departed from him. Then the Philistines took him and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza. They bound him with bronze fetters, and he became a grinder in the prison.”
What a picture of many in the church today: like Samson they are “Lulled to sleep” (“Awake you who sleep, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.” Eph. 5:14); the enemy has “put out their eyes” (“anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.” Rev. 3:18); many are “tormented” and “bound” (in need of those with the Luke 4:18 anointing); and, most tragically, they “did not know that the Lord had departed from” them. It is not that the Lord has forsaken the church, but that the church has forsaken the place of power, the place of prayer, the pursuit of the Spirit: and thus when they are at last confronted with the final conflict against the powers of darkness (antichrist powers) in an environment of terrible global catastrophe, many will find that they can’t shake the chains of unbelief, carnality and prayerlessness that has plagued their life for so long. They will be like the five foolish virgins who didn’t fill their lamps with oil and thus were not ready for the hour of the Lord’s call (Matt. 25:1-8). You needn’t be among them! You can fill your lamp now!
Samson was backslidden, powerless and nearly hopeless. But, his hair grew back, and he destroyed more of the enemy in his death than in all his life! You may feel backslidden, powerless and nearly hopeless at the frightful scenes that are just before us. But, remember, like Samson, you can let your hair grow (a long process of waiting in His presence) so that you will thus be ready for the Lord’s voice to “call” you to “come” to a new place spiritually, geographically, and in your ministry. You can slay more of your enemies in this final hour than you have in all your life-time of service to the Lord and ministry. This is God’s supernatural ability to “restore the years the locust have eaten” (Joel 2:25). This is His “short (quick KJV) work” that He’ll do in the last days (Rom. 9:28).
I hear some say, “Well, I am just waiting on the Lord.” What they mean is they’re doing nothing but just trusting Him to eventually “take care of it.” This is part of waiting on the Lord; but just a small part. The big part is spending time in His presence to hear from Him. Whether it is healing, deliverance, guidance, provision or simply answered prayer: all happens quickest and surest to those who “wait” (in His presence). Psalm 130:5, 6 makes this clear: “I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, And in His word I do hope. (He hopes that God will speak a word to him) My soul waits for the Lord, More than those who watch for the morning-Yes, more than those who watch for the morning.” For protection, Israel divided the night into four watches. 6-9, 9-12, 12-3, and 3-6 and then appointed “watchmen” to stand on the walls of the city to warn them of impending attacks. Those in the final watch (3AM to 6AM) “watched for the morning.” Can you see them fighting sleep, anxiously watching in the eastern sky for the sun’s warmth and rays indicating their watch was over and their work was done? When we “wait for the Lord” and “in His word hope” there are times we'll need to do so more diligently than those who spend three hours a day at the most difficult time of the day! So, waiting on God is not just doing nothing until He does something! You do something: you pray! Is it time for you to “seek the Lord?”
2) (WHAT) Waiting for His instructions: “Lord, what do you want me to do.” (Acts 9:6) was the first thing Paul asked the Lord after His revelation of Him on the road to Damascus. What you should do: it’s called “Wisdom:” “Blessed is the man who listens to me, Watching daily at my gates, Waiting at the posts of my doors.” (Prov. 8:34). We all need wisdom (Revelation knowledge) when confronted with the enemy, calamity or death. I read the testimony of a woman who was preparing to board a plane, when the Lord spoke to her that the plane was going to crash, so she shouldn’t get on it. Obeying His voice, she refused to board the plane, at a real degree of inconvenience. The plane did crash with many deaths, but she survived. After sharing this testimony in a church, a blustered man came up to her afterwards and glibly asked, “You mean you were the only one on that plane to whom God was speaking to warn?” She wisely responded, “No, but apparently I was the only one who was listening!” I remind you again that 7 times in the book of Revelation, Jesus warned, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches.” Are you listening to what the Spirit is saying to you about preparing for the future? I promise you He’s speaking. But you must be listening for instructions. I’m waiting for His instructions of what to do for my future ministry. Is it time for you to “seek the Lord” concerning yours?
3) (WHERE) Waiting for His directions :
I heard the testimony of a preacher who had gone to a motel to spend time seeking the Lord. After a season of waiting on Him, the Lord clearly spoke to his heart that he was to pastor a church. Thrilled with hearing his voice, he checked out of the motel and rushed home to share the good news with this wife. She was excited too and asked him, “Where are you going to pastor?” He paused. “Oh, I didn’t ask the Lord about that.” (Ha, ha!) So, he had to start at square one again and seek the Lord for direction as to where. God did give directions and a great ministry was birthed. The “where” of the Lord is just as important as the “what” of the Lord.
In 1994, the Lord began to speak to me about “returning to the land of your fathers” from the Scriptures. My dad was born in Oklahoma, so I began to pray about moving there and seriously considering it. When I flew into Tulsa to drive to Missouri for a meeting, I called information for a real estate agent’s phone number. An operator gave me two. The first one I called was a Christian, a Bible College graduate and available. I met her that same afternoon and she showed me some homes. I learned that they were very affordable and within our budget. After even more directions, we sold our home in Victorville, California for almost three times more than we had paid for it; then, moved back to Oklahoma and lived there a year before returning to So. California.
Two things resulted from that move: 1/ We sold our home when it was nearly at the top of the market (before the housing crash) and were able to get out of a massive debt we had incurred; 2/ Our son, Nathan, had birthed in Oklahoma a passion to win the lost and decided to go to Bible college. I can think of little other that happened from that move, but those two things were worth the trouble, believe me. (And I did get important “practice” in obeying God when and where He told me to move!). I’m expecting similar “directions” for our next move; if any. Is God wanting to move you on: to another house, another state, another church, another ministry? You may only discover the revelation of “where to go” if you’re carefully “waiting on God,” listening for His directions. Is it time for you to seek the Lord about a move?
4) (HOW) Waiting for His power to do what you know you need to do: That power comes through the Holy Spirit: “Not by might nor by power but by my Spirit.” (Zech. 4:6). Mary had the revelation of a Savior coming to the world through her yielded vessel. When promised this, immediately, “Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I do not know a man?’ And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you.” (Luke 1:34, 35). Mary believed and “waited” 9 months. The Holy Spirit wants to bring Christ to a dying world through you. He has given you promises in the Word, (to some prophetically!) and to all in your heart. The “power of the Highest will overshadow you” as you Wait on God for power to bring forth your ministry. Mary had 9 months: we too have 9 months left in 2011! One of my greatest crises has been the loss of energy I have had over the last few years: it seems to be getting worse! But, I know that the Lord is going to renew my strength fo rthree reasons:
a) Because I have already received 2 prophecies this year that the Lord is supernaturally giving me strength (one prophesied “heavenly strength”);
b) Because I must have new strength to reap this last day’s final harvest for which the Lord has raised me up (and many of you too);
c) Because I have stood for a number of years upon the glorious promise of Isaiah 40:29-31: “He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary (so this promise is for physical strength not just “spiritual” strength) And the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” (Isa. 40:29-31). Bobbie Brown, (one of my faithful supporters) sent me a note with the following illustration: “Old eagles go through a period of molting, where they lose their old feathers, but then new feathers grow back and they are then able to soar once more.” I am an old eagle. I have been molting “in His presence.” He’s ridding me of “old wings” I have relied on for so many years. He is giving me new wings: new revelation, new deliverance and new anointing! I am going to fly in His strength!
40:29-31 is your promise too, my fellow old, tired buzzards reading this! Getting old is embarrassing: the wrinkles, the graying hair, the limps, the stoops, the diseases, the forgetfulness, the loss of energy and zeal. But, we have another glorious promise in Isa. 49:23: “They shall not be ashamed who wait for Me.” You who fear the embarrassment and humiliation of developing Alzheimer’s or of lacking the strength or health to add your contribution to this last day work, claim with me this glorious promise: If we spend enough time “waiting on Him” we can ultimately be delivered from all the shame, weaknesses and physical infirmities of old age! But, the key again is to “wait” on Him. “God . . . acts for the one who waits for Him.” (Isa. 64:4). The old and young as well can keep striving and trying to get it done in human strength, or they can stop fleshly efforts and “wait patiently” for God to act. Is it time for you to seek the Lord for the power to do the work He is calling you to do?
5) (WHEN) Waiting for His timing: Don’t get ahead of God! Don’t just assume you should move out of Southern California because prophets are prophesying an earthquake. It might not affect where you live much and may be years ahead of us (though I doubt it!). Moses is the finest example in Scripture of moving before it was time to move. He slew an Egyptian because, “He supposed that his brethren would have understood that God would deliver them by his hand, but they did not understand.” (Acts 7:24). He had to flee for his life and “hide” on the backside of the desert for 40 years. It was only then that God appeared to Him and revealed that it was time indeed for his destiny to be fulfilled. Moving your home, your church membership or your ministry before God says move can result in great heartache: just ask Moses! But, you also don’t want to move too late! The people paid no mind to Noah’s preaching until the flood came and took them all away. You don’t want to ho-hum at the warnings of the prophets or just hope they are wrong and you have more time. The Bible shows us what to do: Move with the cloud! The Israelites would camp in one location for a day or for a year or more, until the cloud that covered the Tabernacle would at last move before them guiding their way to their next destination. The wisest counsel is to “Abide in the calling wherein (you are) called” (1 Cor. 7:20).
Stay put until God says to move with the cloud. Don’t be like the Israelites of whom Ps. 106:13 says, “They soon forgot His works; they did not wait for His counsel.” I had written a letter of resignation from my pastorate in Hawaiian Gardens. It was on my desk, ready to send. In my devotional readings that day, I read the above verse. I knew it was a warning from the Lord to “wait for His counsel” to resign the church. I stayed three more years and when I finally did write that letter of resignation, it was in the perfect timing of God as I launched into the evangelistic ministry: a ministry that has lasted nearly 16 years! Here’s a marvelous promise that you will know “His timing” for these last days:
“In returning and rest you shall be saved; “In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.”
But you would not, And you said, “No, for we will flee on horses” . . .
Blessed are all those who wait for Him. . . He will be very gracious to you at the sound of your cry; When He hears it, He will answer you. . .
Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” Whenever you turn to the right hand Or whenever you turn to the left.” (Isa. 30:15-21)
Perhaps the thought of famine, earthquakes, tidal waves and the like bring fear. What can you do? God has given those who “wait on Him” this promise: “You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on you, Because he trusts in you.” (Isa. 26:3). Also, we must understand that this crisis that earth will soon face is, in a great measure, the answer to your prayers for America, your family and friends. Sadly, many will only respond to the Lord as a result of His chastening hand: “Yes, in the way of Your judgments, O LORD, we have waited for You . . . With my soul I have desired You in the night, Yes, by my spirit within me I will seek You early; For when Your judgments are in the earth, The inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.” (Isa. 26:8, 9).
Last day’s judgments will cause many to turn to the Lord, the church and righteousness. You have been praying, “OH God save him, whatever it takes.” This is what it takes! Meanwhile, you need to be able to say as in v. 8, “(I) have waited for You” and “(I have) desired Him in the night” and “with (my) spirit (I am) seeking (Him) early.” Last day signs are signs to the world to get ready for judgment, but they are signs to the church to wait on God for specific instructions. As Isaiah implores in 26:11, 12: “Come, my people, enter your chambers, And shut your doors behind you; Hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment, Until the indignation is past. For behold, the LORD comes out of His place To punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity.” (Isa. 26:11, 12). “Hide yourself” in His presence as you wait on Him.
Perhaps you feel you lack the strength for the demands of the last days. David was well acquainted with tribulation. Listen to what he learned: “I would have lost heart, unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living. Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!” (Ps. 24:13, 14). Again, David testified: “I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me, And heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth-Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, And will trust in the LORD.” (Ps. 40:1-3). As you wait patiently for the Lord, He will deliver you from all your horrible pits and set your feet on a rock. He’ll establish which steps you are to take. He will give you a new song (Not a new chorus you learned at church, but an intimate lover’s dancing song; shared just between you and your intimate: the Lord). Many will see the power and peace you have from spending so much time in His presence. Your face will glow with His glory, even as Moses’ face glowed from His time with the Lord on the Mt. As a result of your last day ministry, many will “trust in the Lord” and get saved, healed and delivered. Study also these promises for those who wait on the Lord (Ps. 37:3-9, 69:2,3; Isa. 25:8, 9; Jer. 14:21, 22; Lam. 3:24-26).
There is indeed a dark hour coming to this planet. But we must not be preoccupied with the gloom; but rather with the glory: because it is in that dark hour that those who wait on God will also shine their brightest: Isaiah 60:1-4 promises:“Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising. "Lift up your eyes all around, and see: They all gather together, they come to you; Your sons shall come from afar, And your daughters shall be nursed at your side (Yes, this is what it takes to get your children and grandchildren saved!).” During the coming “darkness,” we will see the greatest harvest of souls in the history of mankind! Since I was a teenager, I have wanted them to have on my tombstone a portion of what is said in Daniel 12:1-3: "At that time . . . there shall be a time of trouble, Such as never was since there was a nation . . . And at that time your people shall be delivered . . . Those who are wise shall shine Like the brightness of the firmament, And those who turn many to righteousness Like the stars forever and ever.” “Trouble” and “turning many to righteousness:” They are going to team-up in the final hours of time!
Finally, there is a very interesting verse about “waiting” in conjunction with the very last days of time. It is in Daniel 12:11,12: “From the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days.” There are those who will be especially blessed during the closing chapter of time. They’ll survive it, watch it happen and witness God’s grace through it all. They’ll see many turn to the Lord. Who is that blessed group? It will be those “who wait:” wait on God for His salvation (Who); wait for His instructions (what); wait for His direction (where); wait for His power (how); and wait for His timing (when). I want to survive these last days and I want to witness the mighty works of God and lead many to Christ, don’t you? Be one of those who “turn many to righteousness” by waiting on God! Remember my prophecy: It is time to seek the Lord!
3 Trust in the LORD . . . and feed on His faithfulness.
4 Delight yourself also in the LORD,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the LORD,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.
6 He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your justice as the noonday.
7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.
8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath;
Do not fret-it only causes harm.
9 For evildoers shall be cut off; But those who wait on the Lord,
They shall inherit the earth. Ps. 37:3-9
2 I sink in deep mire,
Where there is no standing;
I have come into deep waters,
Where the floods overflow me.
3 I am weary with my crying;
My throat is dry;
My eyes fail while I wait for my God. Ps. 69:2,3
8 He will swallow up death forever,
And the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces;
The rebuke of His people
He will take away from all the earth;
For the LORD has spoken.
9 And it will be said in that day:
“ Behold, this is our God;
We have waited for Him, and He will save us.
This is the LORD;
We have waited for Him;
We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.” Is. 25:8, 9
Jeremiah 14:21-22 (New King James Version)
21 Do not abhor us, for Your name’s sake;
Do not disgrace the throne of Your glory.
Remember, do not break Your covenant with us.
22 Are there any among the idols of the nations that can cause rain?
Or can the heavens give showers?
Are You not He, O LORD our God?
Therefore we will wait for You,
Since You have made all these.
Lamentations 3:24-26 (New King James Version)
24“ The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
“ Therefore I hope in Him!”
25 The LORD is good to those who wait for Him,
To the soul who seeks Him.
26 It is good that one should hope and wait quietly
For the salvation of the LORD.