A few weeks ago I wrote about peace. In it I was sharing about what it means to actually seek peace, and that we actually need to believe it is coming to the earth before we starting grabbing at it.
One of our favorite spiritual teachers, Francis Frangipane, recently had a word for the body that I think was very timely on the issue of peace and I wanted to tag it here. (“Accepting the Reality of the War Mode” by Francis Frangipane. You have to scroll down a bit.) In it he describes how a lot of our search for peace is rooted in fear, and that is actually what the enemy hopes for. By causing fear in us, we cower without actually knowing what kind of battle the Lord is doing. There has been in the last 3 years an unprecedented release of fear on earth though the means of terrorism. God has allowed this so that we might learn to grow in faith and also to stand courageously in our daily lives against the very real demons of terror.
A lot of people in the body are writing about this right now, and there are many confusing political issues. But the body should not be confused. In the spirit, there is war happening right now. I will be among the first to say I am not the type that loves spiritual warfare, but it is almost a daily reality in my life now. We have to understand the seasons and times of heaven. Just as on earth, in heaven there are seasons of peace and seasons of war. Yes, there will be one day when peace covers the earth but there are many events to come before that wonderful day comes. I do believe that we are actually being out of line with heaven when we suggest that we should be making peace, not war. Our desire for peace is quite soulish and lacks understanding of what our Commander is doing right now.
This is not to suggest that natural war is a good thing. I hate even thinking about it. I am making a difference between natural war and spiritual war, but when heaven is warring, you can bet things will be stirred up on earth. But even if America had not chosen to go to war there would still be a spiritual battle, and that is the vital one in which all of the church should be engaged. And it does include praying for our troops and government leaders as He leads us to. It also includes praying for our enemies.
there are seasons in heaven
We are called to increasingly align ourselves with the motions of Spirit. By living in the Spirit we discover that there are heavenly seasons. There are seasons for grieving, and there are seasons for rejoicing. Many times in Scripture, nations were chastised for living out of season. One example is Moab, a nation that was judged so severely that almost all of its rivers dried up and livestock destroyed. Over and over the prophets warned the Moab refugees to flee, find refuge in Israel, but instead many continued to wail and grieve in their high places. This was out of alignment with what God was doing with them, and caused more to die than was necessary. Although there was obviously sadness in their hearts, the Father was wanting to them to flee and not sit around in grief. In our lives, Derek and I fiercely protect our Sunday as a Sabbath day. We started doing this because we felt God wanted to teach us about rest. Whenever we have tried to work on Sunday, or do anything that consumes our energy, it always feels as if it consumes twice the amount of energy it would have on any other day. Same goes for the days of the week when He has directed us to work. There are days that we always do “business stuff.” We have learned that usually we have extra energy to get a lot of tasks done on that day, and whenever we don’t we get really restless and incomplete-feeling. The point is, Sundays are not for Wednesday’s activities and vice versa.
We must learn how discern and live according to God’s seasons. They come from the Spirit, from heaven, and not from our souls. At least in our prayers this is a time on earth when God’s people should be joining the aggressive battle against the enemy to bring fear against God’s precious people. We cannot ignore that fear has exists, and not only has it grown, it has infected even whole nations. We may remember that several months back, Madrid was severely bombed by Islamic terrorists. At the time Spain was joined with the alliance fighting in Iraq. The bombing happened just a few short days before the Spanish national elections. The Spanish response to this act was to vote a new and kind of President, who immediately pulled all Spanish troops out of Iraq. I do not know what Spain’s responsibility was to the war, but I do know that they succeeded in allowing fear to vote their new government and its policies in. Fear is a silencer and a coffin, and it is truly very sad that fear controlled their actions to such a great degree, because they are such a beautiful, vibrant and fertile nation.
Derek and I travel a lot, and I have flown across the American continent and back and forth to Europe and England over 30 times in the last four years. We have noticed an increasing fear in many of the airlines’ services. While some of this has to do with the economic pressures on the airlines, much of it has to do with fear. The food has gotten more paltry; we have flown across America in terribly small two-seated squished jetliners; there is an increased anxiety in airport and airplane employees to the point of being severely distracting; and the tensions between nations have clearly grown in some places to paranoia. All this is hard to watch, because flying is such a pleasure. However, against this backdrop we almost immediately recognize other believers because you can see the light on them a mile away. Even though many believers struggle from fear, there is a noticeable levity in the atmosphere around people of God. This is because the Spirit of God has the only weapon against fear.
Will we respond by criticizing our government, or by praying?