It is truly a time to focus–on intimacy with Jesus, and on His redemptive verdict for our land. For these 11 days, lets take full advantage of the covenant access Jesus has secured for us, drawing close to the Lord and standing in His council.
This season, God is rendering His judgment in America in favor of LIFE. We began 2013 by sharing how Jeremiah 20:13 is a key theme. “Sing to the Lord! Give praise to the Lord! He rescues the life of the needy from the hands of evildoers.”
As important as it is to recognize God’s emphasis on Jeremiah 20:13, lets also recognize that God is also proclaiming “JEREMIAH FOR 2013!” The heart of this prophet, and the themes conveyed through his life and message, are being emphasized strongly by the Spirit of God.
Today I want to briefly cover Jeremiah’s admonition to stand in the council of God. Many people consider the “council of the Lord” to be a prophetic experience available only to a few chosen vessels. It is absolutely true that relatively few in the body of Christ have actually experienced a manifestation of the council of God through a prophetic experience.
Warning! Validating Sin and Abuse
However, the primary theme of Jeremiah 23 is a rebuke to prophets for not standing in the council of the Lord! Instead, many chose to compromise their calling through unjust gain, adultery, and outright falsehood to promote themselves in the eyes of men. They even fell pray to idolatry, “prophesying by Baal!”
It is profound how Jeremiah’s prophetic landscape mirrors the Christian landscape of today. Where is a pure fountain? Where is the true prophetic gospel that cleanses our hearts with heaven-saturated truth? Instead, preachers validate the sin and abuse of celebrities in the name of “grace” and “Kingdom influence.” The authentic prophetic witness of the church is rapidly succumbing to this pollution, thereby weakening all who drink from its cup! As Jeremiah noted, “from the prophets of Jerusalem, pollution has gone forth into all the land” (Jer. 23:15).
Unprecedented Invitation–Stand in God’s Council
As the land succumbed to this stream of defilement, God gave the prophets an unprecedented invitation to turn, and receive true Kingdom influence. To stand in the council of God.
“Thus says the Lord of hosts,
“Do not listen to the words of the prophets
who are prophesying to you.
They are leading you into futility;
They speak a vision of their own imagination,
Not from the mouth of the Lord.
“They keep saying to those who despise Me,
‘The Lord has said, “You will have peace”’;
And as for everyone who walks in the
stubbornness of his own heart,
They say, ‘Calamity will not come upon you.’
“BUT WHO HAS STOOD IN THE COUNCIL OF THE LORD,
That he should see and hear His word?
Who has given heed to His word and listened?” (Jer. 23:16-18).
And verse 22:
“BUT IF THEY HAD STOOD IN MY COUNCIL,
Then they would have announced My words to My people,
And would have turned them back from their evil way
And from the evil of their deeds.”
Days of Access
Friends, this is our invitation today, and throughout 2013. God is calling us to focus–to stand in the council of the Lord, and mark and perceive His word. Lets make this a primary concentration these next 11 days. Stand in the council of God!
How do you get there? Ask the Lord to bring you into His council. Set your heart to hunger and thirst for the courts of the Lord, and encounter the living God in manifest intimacy. Come boldly before His throne of grace. Ask God to show you truth.
You might say, I am presumptive to ask for this. No! Again, the prophets were rebuked for not accessing what God had invited them to experience. As Jeremiah 23 clearly conveys, your presumption actually lies in thinking there’s any other solution than the council of God!
In fact, Jeremiah was warned of dire consequences of not standing in God’s council. No council, no anointing on God’s word to affect change, to turn His people. Does that not sound like the scourge of today’s culture?
Lets choose these 11 days to access His council and receive His verdict. Lets make this a clear pursuit for all of 2013 and beyond. Pursue covenant intimacy, truth and power. As in the days of Jeremiah, the Lord is looking for a few authentic voices who will be graced in His council to catalyze change.