This is the fifth in a prophetic series titled, “Youth Revival”. The first preceded any knowledge of the coming of IWT. Those written since have come out of pray in relation to my attendance at different IWT related meetings, this one from the prayer meeting at YWAM on the morning of Thursday 26th October 2006.
As we prayed for an increase of the number of churches (tripling) committed to IWT, I asked the Lord directly why to date such a low percentage (58 churches would be around 10%) of the churches in Perth were involved. Here I believe is the answer. It is couched in terms of “key leaders” and is written for the purpose of focused prayer upon those spiritual strongholds trying to hold back the work of God’s kingdom in relation to IWT.
“After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go. Jesus said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest….if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him. But if not, it will return to you….The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. 22 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” (Luke 10:1- 2, 17, 20 -22)
1. Jesus is coming by his personal presence (“where he himself was about to go”) and he is sending labourers out into a ripe harvest field (vv. 1- 2): he is coming to Perth with IWT and the ripe harvest field relates especially to children and youth.
2. The labourers are few: this relates to the current urgent need for more involvements in IWT e.g. Local Link
3. Prayer is commanded for more labourers (“pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest”): this is what is being done today, in the Prayer Wall etc. This is a pleasing thing to the Lord.
4. Where the presence of Jesus is recognised the number of labourers multiplies, the “son of peace” joins in the labour (v.6) : these are those who commit to the ongoing work of IWT and beyond. The main thing is not to focus on church numbers but the presence of Jesus.
5. An authority is released in those commissioned by Jesus, even over demonic powers (“even the demons are subject to us in your name”v.17): this is foretaste of what Jesus promised Peter he would do (“I will build my church and the gates of death will not prevail against it” Matt 16:18). This is the sort of spiritual authority that he is seeking to release in Perth through IWT. However it is being blocked in a specific way.
6. Jesus expounds to the disciples what the heavenly Father is doing, the content of his discernment is two fold:
- The Father hides – “Father…you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding”(v.21) This is the majority of the current church leaders in relation to what God is trying to do through IWT. These are those who think they already know the things of the Father, in practice they operate as if they were spiritual fathers, but they are not. In fact, there are amongst them many who are false fathers. They are unable to discern the difference between true spiritual fathering of the sheep and a misplaced adulthood. The natural relates to the spiritual (1 Cor 15:46), just as there are many adults who are not parents, there are many in leadership in the church that think they are in a position of parenting but are only adult in relation to dependent children. They, and most of the sheep, do not know the difference. This robs the sheep of true (fatherly) shepherds. This absence of true shepherding is exactly what the Lord wants to protect those who are his incoming lambs (i.e. converts through IWT) from. (See John 21:15 “feed my lambs”; Isa 40:11 “He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.”) This is a very serious matter from the heart of the Father and he will not renege from it. He will not release these lambs to false or confused fathers, the strength they exert upon the lambs is a hard and pain causing strength (Ezek 34).
- The Father reveals – “Father…and revealed them to babes” (v.21) this relates to a new leadership and the “key leaders” of the new thing that God is doing. You, i.e. IWT leadership need to hear this from the Lord, the “key leaders” do NOT look like what you expect, they look like babes. (In fact, they look like Joel McGill’s baby daughter with keys in her hands, “to such as these belongs the kingdom of heaven” Matt 19:14; “a little child shall lead them” Isa 11:6; remember that it was the children who recognised the King when he entered the city, “And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read,“‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise’?”” Matt 21:16)
Ultimately this about the wisdom of the work of the cross, in his death and dereliction “why have you forsaken me” (Mark 15:34) Jesus does not present as a “strong adult leader” but as the smallest and most dependent of children. He manifests no self confidence = false fatherhood whatsoever. He refuses to project an image of strength that would in any way displace God’s Fatherhood. It is this spirit of total God – dependence = true sonship that God is seeking to release through the church in this city, and IWT is a vehicle in relation to it.
The key prayer disposition that will break the spiritual stronghold that is blocking greater church involvement is to pray in the reverse spirit to the projected “adult strength” of much of the contemporary confused church leadership. They think that they know what the Father is doing, but they do not (Luke 23:34).
I believe that intercession should ask the Lord to pour out upon the city a spirit of dependent childhood that is not self- confident. This includes not self – confident in prayer. It is supremely conscious of its own weakness (Compare Jesus in Gethsemane, “weakness, fear and much trembling” 1 Cor 2:3etc.)
This means that we enter more fully into the spirit of God’s “holy child”, Jesus (Acts 4:27, 30) in cross – like dependence upon our Father.
The Lord is passing the church of the city through a sieve, those who come through, who are not great/proud/confident in their own eyes, will be “key leaders” in the day of his power (“Your people will offer themselves freely on the day of your power, in holy garments; from the womb of the morning, the dew of your youth will be yours.” Ps 110:3 ). Those who are not like children will not be able to know the way of the Lord, they will lose their way in relation to the new thing.
If you assume, that is if the IWT/city/regional leadership assume that you “know how to do this thing” you will not see anything like the fullness of God’s favour, his “gracious and pleasing will” (Luke 10:21). I know you do sincerely desire to see these things, but the Lord is asking for more, more submission, more depth, more…