Beginning in 2017, through much prayer and much time spent in God’s word, God began revealing that a season of harvest was upon the North Highland community. Throughout all of 2018 our church has been praying and fasting with one heart and one mind asking God to send revival, bringing about a Harvest of Righteousness. We have been praying for revival to first begin in our individual lives, then flow into our families, then into our church, and then into our community. This year has been like no other time in the life of our church. Our desire for prayer and fasting has not come from ourselves, but rather it has come from a heavenly desire that God has seen fit in His grace to pour out over our church. His Word has truly become a light to our path as we have sought His direction on how to pray and how to fast. Never before have I seen God speak so clearly through His word and never before have my eyes been so open to see the true state of our brokenness as individuals, as families, as a church, and as a community. Amidst all the brokenness, I have found myself grappling with the present realities of our lives and the promises of God. How does one see such spiritual deafness, confusion, and devastation and still trust that the promises of God are “yes and amen”? This week has been particularly more challenging than others. As I have been wrestling with these thoughts, the Lord continues to bring to mind Romans 4:19-21. This passage of scripture speaks directly to this struggle. Speaking of Abraham the passage states,
“Without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb; yet, with respect to the promises of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God has promised, He was able to perform.”
The word contemplate means – to look thoughtfully for a long time; to think profoundly and at length; to meditate on. In other words, Abraham did not ignore the condition of his body or the condition of Sarah’s body. He did not try to “sweep” reality under the rug. He did not question whether or not He had really heard from God. He did not give excuses for God just in case the promise wasn’t fulfilled. He didn’t do any of that. Instead, Abraham looked at their brokenness and their weakness and he thought deeply about it. He reflected and he meditated on it. And after he was finished contemplating the brokenness of their condition, he then contemplated the promises and the greatness of His God and then and there (in the midst of the deadness and brokenness) he gave glory to God. Abraham was able to do this because He was fully assured that what God had promised, He was indeed able to perform.
During this last year of prayer and fasting there have been so many times when I have not wanted to see the brokenness. I have not wanted to see the reality of where I am as an individual, and the reality of where we are as families, a church, and a community. But God would not allow it. As I have continued to pray and fast the Lord has continued to demand that I contemplate the brokenness and contemplate the reality of our condition. As I have been obedient to contemplate the harsh reality of our condition, He has seen fit through His grace to create in me an intense desire to see His glory have authority over that reality. I can say 14 years into this journey, despite the odds being very stacked against us, and despite the fact that we are a rejected people in the eyes of the world, and despite the fact that we are indeed lost, confused, devastated, and disoriented, I will not waver in unbelief! I will however, with respect to the promises of God, grow stronger in my faith, giving glory to God every step of the way, and I will be fully assured that what God has promised, He will indeed perform. So this week I did something I have never done before. I wrote down every single promise that God has given our family over the years concerning what He plans to do in the North Highland community. After I wrote them down, I laid them on the ground, got on my knees in my living room, and declared God to be able! I gave glory to God in the middle of my house, in the middle of a community that is filled with brokenness and devastation. I want to do another thing for the very first time – I want to share all of those promises publicly with each of you. I have shared a few of them here and there over the years, but today it’s time to declare them all publicly! I share them so that when God does perform what He has promised, we can all rejoice in the fact that: God is real; God (still) answers prayer; and God is trustworthy – what He says, He will do.
I will cleanse. I will rebuild. I will restore. I will fortify. I will replant.
I will give my Spirit. I will glorify Myself. I will meet your every need.
I will glorify My church. I will be for you. I will make you an everlasting pride.
I will make you a joy from generation to generation. You will no longer be forsaken.
I will make peace and righteousness reign over you. I will remove all violence.
I will build walls of Salvation. I will build gates of praise. I will be your everlasting Light.
I will be your glory. I will make you ALL righteous. I will plant the righteous in the land.
I will make you a mighty people. I will cause darkness to flee. I will answer when you call.
I will dispel your gloom. I will guide you. I will satisfy you. I will give you strength.
I will make you a well-watered garden. I will bring a HARVEST of righteousness.
I will rebuild your ruins. I will raise up your age-old foundations.
I will repair the breach. I will restore your streets.
I will bring it to pass. I have spoken. I will do it.
(Promises from Ezekiel 36, Isaiah 58 and 60)
“Yet with respect to the promises of God, we (the people of God) will not waver in unbelief, but we will grow strong in faith, and give GLORY to God. Being fully assured that what God has promised, He will perform!”