Oil and Fire

While praying at the court a couple weeks ago, I had a vision.  In it, I saw several angels lowering down a giant pink water balloon from Heaven.  It was slightly wider than the distance between the two flag poles.  When it was lowered down from the sky, the edges of the balloon touched the eagles on the tops of the poles, popping the balloon.  Inside the balloon was not water, but glistening oil, pure and untarnished.  It completely soaked the court building, filling every crevice, saturating the stone.  Then, like long wispy tufts of light, streaks of fire began to rain down.  Slowly but brilliantly, the oil caught fire.  Fire was also coming from the bodies of us who were praying, and a kind of reverse fire waterfall was created as the oil dripping down the steps was lit up from the base.  The fire didn’t burn high and scorching, but it remained, everything lit with the continually burning flame.

Here is the revelation I received from the picture: oil is the key to sustained revival.  The oil represents intimacy and relationship with God.  Oil is a gift from God that we can bring into every situation.  We have received it.  We are the ones who have treasured it, and we have the authority to expose it to the atmosphere around us.

People talk about being “on fire for God.”  But what happens when we burn out?  Oil, intimacy, is what keeps us burning.  In the place of prayer, worship and encounter, sometimes we can literally reach up and catch the fire of God.  But how do we carry that fire into the dark?  We must light our oil lamps and carry the light of God into those places.  That fire will shine brightly, and if the oil keeps pouring in, the fire will burn for eternity.

“Command the people of Israel to bring you pure oil from beaten olives for the lamp, that a light may be kept burning regularly.”–Leviticus 24:2

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Mourning

As I prayed this morning in front of the Supreme Court, I saw the flags at half mast.  They really stood out to me, waving in the wind, the red stripes symbolizing the blood shed on the battlefield for our freedom.  We as a nation are mourning the loss of six of our citizens, brothers and sisters of many.  Their blood was shed needlessly and heinously by a deranged man.  Contrary to what some say, his thoughts weren’t created all on his own.  The ideologies of this fallen world, doctrines of demons and powers of darkness combined in such a way as to make a murderer.  That evil man is just as much to be pitied as to be blamed.  Can we still love him, our public enemy?

As I saw the flags at half-mast, I received a hopeful thought: some day soon, when our nation receives the conviction of spirit needed to see its error, we will mourn the loss of our unborn.  On this day, 8 days before the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I dared to imagine a time of mourning called on by our President, 38 days for a lost generation.  Dream with me and see the soft heart of America, weeping over her millions of murdered children who had no chance at life.  Can we forgive ourselves and each other for what we’ve done?

“The Word gave life to everything that was created,
and his life brought light to everyone.
The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness can never extinguish it.”–John 1:4-5

A Great Hope

Last week, I engaged in an exchange of words about abortion on a certain blog site.  Someone left an interesting comment:

“Honestly a baby can ruin someone’s life due to expenses alone. what hope does that leave the mother, or the baby?”

As a Christian, I guess I forget sometimes that the world doesn’t know Jesus.  I was praying at the court last night, and this issue of hope came to the forefront of my mind.

Really, what hope does the world think it has?  Maybe it’s just to live a fully happy life, or perhaps it’s to improve society or standards of living for future generations.  Ultimately, it all comes down to money.  Money can definitely buy superficial happiness.  It offers a full stomach, a pleasant living space and an entertained mind.  With enough money, you can even buy power and influence, and good things can be accomplished.  This is the false hope of the world.

To appease the false god Money, sacrifices must be made.  A prominent one is the human sacrifice of abortion; the murder of innocent lives keeps false hope alive.  Some people may have convinced themselves otherwise, but most know in their heart that abortion is wrong.  Why do you think great leaders want to make abortions “rare”?  They simply want to offer the least sacrifice necessary to achieve the desired result: the god Money being satisfied.

We who believe in Jesus have a great hope.  It is a hope placed in our hearts by the love of God.  It is Christ in us, the hope of glory, the promise of everlasting life!  It doesn’t matter if we’re poor or rich, educated or illiterate.  God loves us all with a furious love just as we are, and we will live forever.  All we have to do is believe.  Yes, God has prepared works for us to do, and we will accomplish them with joy.  But first, above everything else, we must believe that He loves us.  That is where hope comes from; His love is the most powerful love in the universe.  It conquers sin and death and produces eternal life and joy.

May we proclaim the hope of eternal life to a hopeless and dying world.

“And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”–Romans 5:5

Women Are Not Incubators

I’ve been reading a few pro-choice blogs lately, and that phrase, “women are not incubators,” really struck me when I read it.  I think that phrase really sums up the feeling of pro-choice women as to the perceived attitude of the anti-abortion side toward them: that they care more for the fetus than they do for the woman herself.

Is this true?  I’m sure most pro-life activists would deny the charge, but what do their actions say?  Do they truly love their enemies as Jesus commanded them?

Yesterday, I read a comment on a story that really saddened me.  A pro-choice commentator was sickened by the story of a man who had offered to adopt a young woman’s baby if she would carry it to term.  When the woman chose to abort, the man ended up having to go to grief counseling because he had loved that child as if it were his own.

That’s where the “incubator” thing came in.  For me, my heart breaks for every person involved in that evil situation, but for the commentator, she could only focus on the lack of respect the man showed the woman herself.  How dare he treat her only like an incubator of his adopt-o-spawn?  Didn’t he know that she was a woman, a real human being with rights to make choices?

I’ve prayed about this issue.  I’ve meditated on it.  I’ve wondered, what would the field look like if we as pro-life people really loved the women dealing with the abortion issue?  I know we do love them, to an extent.  There are myriad Crisis Pregnancy Centers around the nation that exist for this very reason, not to coerce or brainwash, but to love.

Here’s my question: how far will we Christians go to love?  Jesus told us to “love one another as I have loved you.”  That’s a whole lot.  Seriously, I can barely start to imagine how deeply God loves us.  So how deeply should we love?  Crazy thought: would someone marry a single woman to save both her and child?  Give their entire earthly life to truly love a woman with her heart set on murder?  Maybe not marry, but still give his whole paycheck for the rest of his life to save not one, but two.

Women are not incubators.  They’re mothers, human beings designed and loved by our Father God.  We should, by the Holy Spirit, treat them as such.

“Treat older women as you would your mother, and treat younger women with all purity as you would your own sisters.”–1 Timothy 5:2

Rebellion, Protest and the Divine Right of Kings

Living in DC, most all the local buzz is about politics.  It’s a little strange for me, because I was never really that interested in politics.  I tended to ignore it most of the time.  This was my philosophy: God controls politics anyway(Romans 13:1-7), so why worry about it?

Some protesters got arrested a couple days ago in the hallway outside Nancy Pelosi’s office.  They had been tearing pages from the new health care bill, throwing crumpled pieces through the doorway while shouting things like “You’re going to Hell!”  Embarrassing things like that serve to strengthen my philosophy to just stay out of it.

But still, I pray.  The Bible says to pray, so that’s what I do.  I pray in public places, and I pray in the closet.  I’m really not certain how effective the public prayer is.  After all, Jesus discouraged it.  It can seem like a protest, and I don’t want to be a rebel(1 Sam. 15:23).

What I do know is that God uses our leaders for His purposes.  Here is a prayer I spoke silently in front of the Supreme Court the other day: “Lord, just as you used your servant Nebuchadnezzar to judge the Daughter of Zion, use these nine Supreme Court justices to judge the Daughter of Washington with all righteousness.”

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.”—1 Timothy 2:1-2

Babies Deserve To Die

Yeah.  I said it.  It’s true.  This revelation came to me some time ago; I think it was while I was praying for the ending of abortion.  Maybe I was at a Bound4Life event.  I don’t know.  Regardless, I truly believe it.

Of course, I still believe that abortion is wrong.  A fetus is a human life, no question.  I believe that life starts at conception.  Abortions should not happen, ever.  And I’m sickened by the fact that taxpayer dollars are now funding abortions.  These are my convictions.

I believe, however, that many anti-abortion rights people start with the wrong premise.  They assume that those “cute little innocent babies” deserve to live.  Biblically, that’s a wrong assumption.  In fact, according to the Word, we all deserve death. That any of us are alive at all is a miracle from Heaven.  If fetuses are human, and I believe they are, then they deserve death just as much as you do.

The Bible commands us to love one another.  This is love: a friend, instead of taking a girl to an abortion clinic, offers to adopt the child; a boyfriend, instead of abandoning his girl and unborn child, provides for his new family; two parents, faced with a pregnant daughter, forgive her; a woman, choosing life for her child in the face of impossible circumstances.

No human law will ever force us to love each other.  We need to find that love for ourselves.  We find it by accepting God’s love for us.  Jesus died for the people who whipped him, mocked him, spit on him, killed him.  He had mercy on us.  Can’t we have mercy on the unborn?  Please.  Let’s do it together.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”–John 13:34