Ministry Today – Serving and empowering church leaders

holy-spirit-and-you-istock-petewillbigPsalm 2, perhaps more then any other Bible text, accurately portrays the spirit of our time. Indeed, it also proclaims our correct response to Satan’s bold advance. Although it was quoted by the early church (Acts 4:25-26), God has set its full realization for the end of this age.

"Why are the nations in an uproar, And the peoples devising a vain thing?
The kings of the earth take their stand, And the rulers take counsel together
Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, 'Let us tear their fetters apart
And cast away their cords from us!'" (Psalm 2:1-3, NASB)

Although “the rebellion” reveals itself worldwide in many ways, in America many of our leaders have certainly been counseling together “against the Lord” in their decisions. We see it in the legal protection offered the gay movement and the shelter provided for satanic rock music. Again, our anti-censorship laws, like armor plating, have been established to defend sin against the Lord, shielding the perversity of our entertainment industry. The virulent cry of those in rebellion hammers relentlessly upon the fetters of moral restraint!

This railing against God has not gone unnoticed in heaven. Is the Almighty confounded? Has fear concerning recent developments gripped the Lord’s heart? No. The psalm continues: "He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lord scoffs at them. Then He will speak to them in His anger and terrify them in His fury" (vv. 4-5).

The Lord laughs at the foolishness of those in full revolt who imagine God’s judgments cannot reach them. Why, then, you ask, does the Lord delay His full judgment? In part because the Lord waits for us, His church. While the world shall demand—and receive—the reign of hell, the goal of the praying church shall be for the reign of heaven.

You see, all of God’s prophecies shall be fulfilled—those concerning evil and also those concerning righteousness. The Lord has purposed to have a bride without spot or wrinkle (Eph. 5:27) and a kingdom of wheat without tares (Matt. 13:24-30). The transformation of the church will be fulfilled as surely as every other prophecy occurring before the Lord’s return.

Thus, with great fear and holy trembling, we must review what God has promised concerning us. Let us remember that the Lord is not alone in the heavens. According to His Word, He has “seated us with Him in the heavenly places” (Eph. 2:6). It is time for our identity as Christians to shift. Our nationalities only define our ambassador status; our true citizenship is in heaven (Phil. 3:20). And if God is laughing at the mocking of those in the rebellion, let us also, as His subjects, share His confidence!

Thus He commands us to sit with Him in the completeness of His purpose. He requires us not only to live without fear but also to stand in prayer for these very nations that defy Him.

Listen to another portion of the psalm, for in the very context of worldwide rebellion against the Lord it records the most remarkable discourse: “Ask of Me,” the Father says to the Son, “and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as Your possession” (Ps. 2:8).

When I first came to Christ in 1970, churches in America were deeply divided and rather cold in organized prayer. Today so much has changed. Leaders of denominations are working together, and it is estimated that more than a quarter of a million American churches are moving toward deeper unity and increased prayer for this nation. Jesus has asked the Father for the United States, and in response the prayer movement has been born!

As Christ’s church, we do not deserve a national revival, but Jesus does. As His representatives, in His name and virtue, we ask of the Father for America. More than an expression of faith, our prayer is actually an act of obedience—we are commanded to ask God for the nations.

Therefore, while the perverse strive toward complete rejection of God, even as their mocking words fill the air, the Almighty’s unchangeable promise to His Son (and, by extension, us as Christ’s body) is, “Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations!’’

As violence, New Age religions and witchcraft flourish in our schools, ask God for this nation. While all restraint is removed from the entertainment industry, ask God for this nation. While perversity dresses in normalcy, ask God for America. While abortion remains protected by law, ask God with confidence, with boldness and with faith for our land. Where you see injustice in any form, ask God for His kingdom to manifest on earth.

Verse 4 of the psalm reads, “He who sits in the heavens laughs.” Put away fear and discouragement, and repent of fretting. The more we accept our place in the divine plan, the more we shall laugh at the enemy's plans. The faith that relentlessly asks God, pleases God.

Now, as the fullness of the times unfolds, as the world around us clothes itself in prophetic fulfillments, let us put away unbelief. Let us repent of withdrawal. It is a time to boldly ask of God. As He has promised, He will give the nations as an inheritance to Christ!

Francis Frangipane is the founder of River of Life Ministries in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and has traveled throughout the world ministering to thousands of pastors and intercessors from many backgrounds. His heartfelt prayer is to see established in every city Christlike pastors and intercessors, united before God, revealing the love of Christ to their communities. Since 1985, Frangipane has written 14 books plus a number of study booklets. Over the past decades, he has served on a number of other ministry boards. However, in recent years he has gradually resigned from these various boards. As of June 2009, he has also retired from his position as senior pastor of River of Life Ministries. In his more simplified life, Frangipane is devoting himself to prayer and the ministry of God's Word. This article was excerpted from Frangipane's book The Days of His Presence.

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