I posted this paragraph on Facebook, exactly a year ago and a friend reposted it recently. "I'll make this simple. I believe we are witnessing the beginning of the breakdown of the two-party system and that we have entered a period of growing instability in our nation and the world. No matter where you position yourself on the political spectrum, we must find our security in Jesus and in Jesus alone in the years to come. No government and no political party will have the answers. Let God's revival engulf us in the midst of what is to come." This seems to me to be more applicable with very passing day.
We, God's people, have been granted a window of opportunity in which to shine. I believe the Lord said that this window will last about four years from January, 2017. In the fourth year, new challenges will come. I hesitate to speculate on what form these will take, but I suspect it will involve political turmoil as well as world events and that the effect will be the beginning of increased difficulties for the church, the nation and the world. What we do now as a people of God is therefore crucial and urgent. We must be vigilant, alive and focused on the heart of the Father in Jesus.
In light of this, I am ever more convinced that the dynamic of the kingdom of God as it expresses the Father's heart must be honor given and honor received on a completely unconditional basis for one another, those outside and especially for those we might want to reject or possibly hate. Even Jesus found Himself hindered in His hometown in an atmosphere where honor for Him was lacking. How could we expect human beings like us to do any differently in a similar atmosphere? Both Moses and Peter exhorted us to honor father and mother in order to activate the promise of well-being. God Himself pled in Malachi 1:6, "If then I am a father, where is My honor?" To withhold honor is to withhold love. To withhold love is to deny the kingdom of God on earth and hinder its influence. I think it's time we stop justifying our reasons for withholding honor under any circumstances, whether for political figures, in the church, at work or at home. If we can do that, we'll have the Lord's heart and we will have provided a landing place for God to send true revival.
I'm sometimes taken aback by perceptions people have of me as a leader and of the significance of my ministry. People think I'm a big name. I'm not. People think I'm well known. Not so much actually. People think I pastor a big church. My church isn't large—just maybe middle-sized, although I pastor wonderful people who are huge in the Lord. My books have never been best-sellers. My traveling ministry exists, several trips a year, but is not extensive. As for anointing and gifting, I know a number of other prophetic voices who carry a much stronger gifting than I do and I honor that.
Why do I say this? At this point in my life, I no longer need fame or recognition, and I'm not interested in creating an impression of myself larger than is justified—or at all for that matter. Living up to hype is a dangerous game. These days all I really want is to be in the presence of Jesus, to know Him, to become conformed to His image in the Father's heart, loving Him and loving people, and to be faithful over however little or much the Lord has given me or chooses to in the future, doing or saying whatever He calls me to do or say, regardless of the outcome.
If in doing all that, people call me prophetic or apostolic, so be it. I don't really care. But I do know that in this season of which I'm speaking, this brief window in time when the body of Christ must shine, when we most need solid and reliable prophetic voices to speak into things, who call for holiness and purity of devotion to Jesus, the prophetic movement must undergo a reformation. We seriously need purifying and cleansing. Our overemphasis on giving personal words has led to a multitude of inaccuracies, abuses and faulty focus. Fame and the adulation of the masses have seduced too many away from issuing a prophetic call for holiness and have led into imbalances, delusions and ultimately to disillusionment on the part of too many of the Lord's beloveds. Lack of grounding in Scripture has led to false doctrines and misleading streams of teaching. Lack of essential character, holiness and the Father's heart have led to moral failures and to compromises of integrity in so many areas. The credibility of the prophetic gift and prophetic ministry in general has suffered greatly.
Pray for these things: Holiness. The Father's heart. The kingdom come to earth. A reformation and cleansing in the prophetic movement. Time to shine! The clock is ticking!
R. Loren Sandford is an author, musician and the founder and senior pastor of New Song Church and Ministries in Denver, Colorado. He has a bachelor's degree in music and a master of divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary. In addition to pastoring, Sandford has an international teaching and worship ministry. Married since 1972, he and his wife, Beth, have two daughters and one son. They live in Denver, Colorado.
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