The State of the Church in our Nation
There is little need for the devil and evil men to oppose a man praying for revival unless he is also laboring for reformation. We have been given truth, and we cannot simply do what is right in our own eyes and then expect the Holy Spirit to come down and bless our labors. ~Paul Washer
Do you have any idea how far we are from the level of reformation that God is introducing to the church?
The call to prayer is still rejected and resisted. I just don’t understand it! How is it that we can enter into a prayer room or a fiery church service and slack back, check out, get bored, disengage or do anything else other than tremble in God’s presence? Where is the burning passion that erupts out of us at the slightest mention of the name of Jesus!?
Why does it take a hyped up atmosphere to keep us locked in? Come on church! When I visit vibrant Spirit-filled churches, without exception there are always many people who are casually sitting back on the fringes, mildly interested and ready to leave—all with the ridiculously phenomenal opportunity to erupt in fiery love for Jesus at our disposal! How can this be?
NOTHING should keep us from being on our faces crying out to the Lord! When I was a youth pastor I would lovingly rebuke young people who couldn’t seem to worship in the main church service when old hymns were sung. I’d say something like, “If you engage and disengage in worshiping the one you say you love based on outside influences, you will be manipulated easily by the enemy completely away from a lifestyle of worship to Jesus. You determine when, how and who you worship, not a worship team or an environment! If there’s an old lady on a pipe organ singing ‘I’ll Fly Away’ it should be enough for you to exalt the Lord Most High with tears in your eyes!”
I believe it will take extreme persecution to convince us to start meeting together multiplied hours a week in hard-core intercession—but it shouldn’t have to. Why would we want to do anything else but be with Jesus in prayer? I just don’t get it!
All who have walked with God have viewed prayer as the main business of their lives. -Richard Foster
THE CALL TO THE HOUSE OF PRAYER
I visited an amazing church recently whose primary mandate was to facilitate the house of prayer—yet that mandate wasn’t gaining traction with the general body. In their main service they had a great environment, though even there many were reserved—but in their house of prayer, the most important governmental ministry we have, there were maybe fifteen people there. Fifteen. What?! That prayer room was one of the coolest places I’ve been! It should have been packed with fervent worshipers of Jesus!
Why do people avoid the prayer room? For one, the environment can be uncomfortable for those who weren’t personally invested in engaging with Jesus, and this is the problem with today’s church. There may be no leadership, no direction. Just a worship team filling the room with glory! Just walk in, sit on the floor and burn! Come on! Jesus is in the room!
I’ve said it before—it would do the church great benefit to cancel everything for six months except for prayer! No more Sunday services with worship, teaching, announcements and other ministries. Just pray! Come on church! I’m so disturbed that this sounds radical to most!
One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple. Psalm 27:4
THE INTERNATIONAL HOUSE OF PRAYER
I absolutely love the ministry of Mike Bickle and the International House of Prayer in Kansas City. I’m currently watching their annual onething conference, and there are 30,000 people in that building right now.
I directed one of the four primary internships at IHOPKC, so I have a very good idea of what that culture is like there.
Consider this: if teaching and worship at IHOP were eliminated, would people remain to pray? If the prayer room, which has been going non-stop for over 12 years, didn’t have a worship team playing in there, would the room even be used? If this conference was simply a prayer meeting with nothing else, how many would show up? Not 30,000. Would they even draw 300?
The point I’m trying to make is not that IHOP should eliminate teaching and worship—they absolutely should not. However, the discipline and desire for prayer, even at IHOP, is insufficient to be impactful on its own. This is a problem.
AWAKEN THE CORPSES!
As I write this, I am unusually alert in the spirit—every bone in my body is provoked. God is rocking me, and I feel pathetically incapable of communicating the message that he put within me. It’s a message of awakening to a half-dead people in our nation—people who have a reputation of being alive but are not.
“To the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. Revelation 3:1-2
It’s easy to dismiss such an message when the definition of “being alive” has been so watered down in today’s culture. That passage in Revelation could translate, “You have a reputation of being lively, but you are a corpse.” The accusation is intense: we can be active in our Christian and church involvement, while being dead to the greater reality of passionate consecration to Jesus.
Even our most Spirit-filled churches today are filled with a significant number of corpses! This isn’t an issue of action. It’s an issue of salvation!
We read further what the result will be for those who have a reputation of being lively in the church:
Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you. Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’ Revelation 3:3-6
Now is the time for prophetic messengers to boldly bring attention to this Ichabod situation in our nation! God has called me to spend most of my limited time on the earth doing what is uncomfortable—awakening the sleepers and alerting them of the risks of their slumber. As Paul Washer said, we can’t simply pray for their revival—what would they be revived into? This nation must experience a reformation—and that reformation is unbelievably troublesome and offensive. It’s rare to find even a revival-minded, Spirit-filled Believer who won’t resist the threat of reformation in the church. That message must be released nonetheless.
I believe one of the most devastating movements that has the appearance of being alive but is creating slothful, careless professing Christians is the false-grace movement.
I believe the hyper-grace message could be the end-time deception that will cause millions of people to fall away from God. ~Sid Roth
The fundamental deception in hyper-grace is that all of your future sins are forgiven in advance. ~Dr. Michael Brown
If we don’t sound the alarms on issues like this one, we will be accountable for the blood of those who die in their sleep. If millions are at risk of falling away, how can we not shout truth from the rooftops over and over again?
Since he heard the sound of the trumpet but did not take warning, his blood will be on his own head. If he had taken warning, he would have saved himself. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes the life of one of them, that man will be taken away because of his sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for his blood.' Ezekiel 33:5-6
I’ll admit, thoughts of stepping out of active ministry and focusing on writing books have shot through my mind as I peer over the magnitude of the mission, and the rising resistance to truth in our nation. I find that even the most fiery people have their limits—and agreement can quickly shift to resistance as the call to passionately go higher intensifies. Those feelings of surrender are unusual for me, and I’m sharp enough to know that a reaction like this can’t be uncommon for those with a prophetic calling. It’s already been played out over and over with people like Elijah and Jeremiah. In fact, Elijah’s defeated attitude (which came after a firestorm of a victory!) disqualified him from his office!
And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He said, “I have been very jealous for the LORD, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” And the LORD said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus. And when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael to be king over Syria. And Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint to be king over Israel, and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint to be prophet in your place. And the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael shall Jehu put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha put to death. Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.” 1 Kings 19:13-18
Seven thousand have not bowed—there was a remnant and Elijah wasn’t alone. But, his self-centered approach did him in. Prophets of the Lord—know that you will feel very alone as the true remnant is still scattered and largely unknown, but don’t fall into despair! You have a message to release and a generation to shake!
Check out Jeremiah:
O LORD, you deceived me, and I was deceived; you overpowered me and prevailed. I am ridiculed all day long; everyone mocks me. Whenever I speak, I cry out proclaiming violence and destruction. So the word of the LORD has brought me insult and reproach all day long. But if I say, “I will not mention him or speak any more in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot. I hear many whispering, “Terror on every side! Report him! Let's report him!” All my friends are waiting for me to slip, saying, “Perhaps he will be deceived; then we will prevail over him and take our revenge on him.” But the LORD is with me like a mighty warrior; so my persecutors will stumble and not prevail. They will fail and be thoroughly disgraced; their dishonor will never be forgotten. Jeremiah 20:7-11
The part that’s so difficult is that it makes such perfect sense to be vibrant and burning and alive in Jesus—the message of the prophet is good news! Yet, the truth is rejected at such a large scale level, that the prophet can often throw his arms up in the air and want to give up.
Then it occurred to us that if these Christians were hit with Truth, they would wake up and fight off their oppressors. I fired off a few arrows, as did some of the others. Almost all the arrows hit Christians. However, when the arrows of Truth went into them, they did not wake up or fall down wounded—they became enraged and the demons riding on them grew much larger. ~The Final Quest
That is one of the most powerful and revealing passages in the great book The Final Quest by Rick Joyner.
This is what the prophets are up against!
Churches should have a line outside the door every day with hungry, highly committed people ready to pour in and minister to God! Ministries that emphasize God more than people end up full of the Holy Spirit and devoid of people—and that’s terrifying to most pastors. Are you the type of person who is ready to connect with God? It’s time to step into position.
I am more resolved than ever to facilitate an environment that is wildly uncomfortable to the flesh.
No more excuses. I am calling the most fervent, militaristic soldiers into position, and we are going to equip them as fire-breathing end-time warriors.
I’ve called them “pavement people” in the past. We need people who will simply hit the concrete in a hype-less atmosphere and spend hours in passionate prayer.
It’s simple—the call for pavement people is:
- Pray with wild passion
- Get equipped as end-time messengers
- Move out as teams of carriers of fire into the cities of the earth
- Facilitate the release of prophetic messages around the world
The time is now for messengers to arise!
If you'd like to book me to train in this focus at your church or conference, contact me at www.burton.tv/booking today!