My heart was deeply moved by the overwhelming response last night to the Purim Watch. Unity was tangible—all in! We are glad to be walking with a company of friends that clearly hear God, understand the times, and respond wholeheartedly.

Because we are facing a crisis that either diplomacy nor military might alone can resolve. We need Heaven’s intervention!

As we approach the Purim Watch, lets remember how the Lord was moving last year at this time. He focused us on exposing and restraining the Usurper. The stakes are higher now than ever, especially internationally. But the good news is Jesus has already granted us a measure of governmental authority and breakthrough over this force!

Lets begin at the beginning—with a vision the Lord gave on January 19 last year, compelling us to deal with the Usurper. It literally set the course for the rest of the year.

Vision: Jesus Tending Our Lampstand
And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse. He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war (Revelation 19:11).

One day in January 2014 I awoke to a vision of Jesus dressed in a deep red robe, holding a menorah. It was flickering, barely burning. And in the vision, the menorah was the only light that illuminated Him.

I was aware that this lampstand first represented Jolene and me. In other words, though He was conveying His work on a broad basis over many regions and people, we needed to take this first as a deeply personal word with personal application.

We were attending “Holy Spirit Over Metro DC,” a key regional conference, when the Lord awakened me. And it’s clear to me that the vision He gave literally conveys Holy Spirit’s work over Metro DC in this hour. He is tending the corporate lampstand of the metro DC region, the light against the darkness, which is in danger of flickering out. 

Jesus cradled the menorah in His hands. He then wept into the menorah, and as His tears and breath fell upon the fire it literally began to blaze.

Friends, this describes our heart and yours! Nothing matters more than the fire of this first-love devotion. Watching the vision, I was so grateful that Jesus Himself was holding our lampstand close and tending it with such affection. All that the lampstand represents—your passion and intimacy with Jesus, your Throne Room access and ministry effectiveness, even regional breakthrough—He is desiring to tend for you and with you. This is really good news!

When the vision ended, Holy Spirit spoke to me a word that at first seemed totally out of context. But I later realized He was exposing an enemy who was trying to quench the fire of our own lampstands, personally and regionally.

USURPER. This enemy reflects a dimension of the Baal principality. And the Lord Jesus invites you to receive His deliverance from the Usurper.

Unusual Confirmation from Matt Sorger
More on this later. But after the early-morning encounter, Jolene and I went to the morning session. Matt Sorger began to minister spontaneously by Holy Spirit to people in the back of the room. My eyes were closed. Soon, Matt began to speak of a flickering flame that suddenly became a massive flame. Opening my eyes, I was surprised to find his piercing smile right in front of us!

Rarely have I had a prophet speak back to me the very encounter I just received. But the Lord was confirming beyond a doubt His passion and labor to cause all our our lamps to shine with brightness. Further, I was aware that Holy Spirit was accomplishing this immediately, in real time.

Exposing the Usurper
In this hour, part of Jesus’ work in your life and mine is cultivating the fire of manifest intimacy with Him again. This must be our top priority. And as part of the fulfillment of this priority, He is judging in your favor. He is bringing us into a new level of deliverance—specifically from the Usurper!

The first aim of the usurper is to usurp your first-love devotion for Jesus Christ. In the face of challenges, you may feel like your prayers have been neutralized, your hope drained, your clarity of direction gone. Don’t give up! God is for you, and He is Faithful. Instead, partner with Jesus to see this enemy restrained and your flame burning bright.

Secondly, the enemy aims to usurp your destiny—your capacity to maximize callings and opportunities given by God’s generous heart. The Usurper is a “political spirit,” a manifestation of Baal who works underground or behind the scenes to undermine and overtake your intimacy with God, your work and authority.

It was this tempter behind King Uzziah’s violation of the separation of power among the branches of government (see Isaiah 6), and it is the force behind much of the violations of covenant in Washington DC and nationally today. Again, it is a manifestation of the Baal principality that God is dealing with in His people and in our covenant land.

God’s Verdict
God’s government always brings a restraint to the enemy’s reign and releases deliverance to His people. As pictured in Revelation 19:11, Jesus is again rendering judgment—and making war. Next in this stream of revelation, the Lord quickened to me that His verdict today is the same He verdict He gave against the Rabshakeh.

Now this story was very vague to me. I knew that in the days of Hezekiah, Sennacherib and his armies were coming against Israel to usurp their government and overtake their land. The Rabshakeh represented King Sennacherib as his ambassador, announcing his decree to the leaders of Jerusalem. At the decree’s release, they were all paralyzed by fear.

But what stunned me was Hezekiah’s prayer. He humbled himself, tearing his garments and clothing himself in sackcloth before entering the temple to seek God’s face. And there he prayed, “Lord, the children have come to term, but there is no strength to deliver.”

Notice the threat of the Usurper is likened to the peril faced by a child at its birth. No strength to deliver!

In the warfare of this season, maybe you feel like Hezekiah. What you hold most precious has come to birth, but there’s not enough strength or resources to complete the work.

The decree of the Lord is good news for you! But for you to receive this verdict, you must position yourself like Hezekiah. Humble yourself. Give voice to your distress.

Restraining the Usurper
(Note: though what follows took place last year, the Lord is clearly prophesying to this year’s Purim Watch as well!)
Prophetic statesman James Goll, a mentor to us, called unexpectedly as we were headed to the conference last year. We asked him for discernment regarding a situation we are praying into, and he immediately saw the number “21.” He then saw a high level spirit contending against an answer from heaven that had already been released from the Throne.

James saw that God was calling us to pray like Daniel, who fasted 21 days until the principality holding back heaven’s answer was restrained.

What was this principality? James didn’t know. But he felt the Lord would show us. And only a day later, I awoke to this revelation from the Lord. The Usurper had been identified.

The Lesson of the Lampstand
Friends, lets continue to wait on God for direction and breakthrough on key issues and circumstances we are facing. Not by might nor power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord! You can see in Zechariah 4 how this is the lesson of the Lampstand.

From an open heaven, Zechariah perceived a new move of God’s Spirit—represented by the lampstand—with oil continually flowing to keep the lampstand burning. He was told to prophesy GRACE! GRACE! To the circumstances that would try to abort this work in the days of small beginnings.

Then the Lord admonished him, Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord.

Many of your directives are actually bigger than you think, because they are tied to breakthrough and deliverance that sets a new course for your life, your sphere, and perhaps even your nation. This is how we advance together this year!