I started this article when I was in Uganda sitting in a room at night contemplating why I was there. It could have started writing it anywhere in my travels but this trip was Uganda and South Africa. It is now a couple weeks that I have been home and I have not wanted to finish this article. I feel a bit overwhelmed with the Lord at present. He is way more than what we can imagine. This trip changed me some and I am seeing things differently, but still walking with the same basic message. I am in the midst of a change going on inside that causes me to be a somewhat emotional at times. People I met on this trip were astounded at the very thought of a relationship with Jesus that I was sharing and revealing through the Word. I was sharing with one group of pastors in Uganda about Jn.17:3, and how tradition robs the church of Jesus’ presence and power. I related to them about how going back to the Word and relationship/intimacy with God increases the effectiveness of the Gospel and releases the power of God amongst the believers. They were so hungry and ready for truth! They were looking for something that would “change” the lives of their people! When I shared about Mt.20:25-28 (AMP) and their position in the body it actually set them free from having to “be someone” and released them to serve – and not have to be “lords”. The Gospel must be real!
I sit in Uganda, watching a little baby crawl across the dirt crying. She is hungry, and there is not much for her. The mother is a widow, who because she is a widow has lost all her rights basically. She has had her home taken away and all of her ability to raise, feed, and get an education for her children. What did she do to get this treatment of ridicule and desertion – lost her husband. That is it. Suffering and death are always knocking at the door.
A middle class family here; electricity is only on at night, during the day when they are up there is none. All cooking and cleaning and washing has to be done by hand with water from buckets filled while the water was running. The day is spent doing work without the amenities and luxuries of little things like electricity and running water. The family exists on occasional work that the husband gets and the hard work of his wife washing others’ clothes by hand. They eat one good meal a day of rice and beans with some vegetables. They say that once a month they get some chicken and maybe once a year a bit of beef.
I cannot change their conditions. I cannot make it better for them. I cannot fix their lives or their country. Why am I here? What can I say that will be something more than placating words of no meaning. I am here to share Jesus, to bring hope, to show them a loving God. So do I teach them that if they receive Jesus everything will be fine? How about if I teach them the “prosperity message” that says God will make them wealthy, wise and prosperous in all things – if they give to a ministry or me.? How about if I teach them about heaven and hell and show them that they are bound for hell if they do not receive Jesus as savior by saying “the sinners prayer”? I could teach them how to pray some religious sounding prayers filled with memorized scriptures that will make me feel better; or I could bring them Jesus!
What does Jesus want to do? What am I to do? What do I have to offer them and what does Jesus have to offer? Whatever is done must bring real results and not be empty promises from some outsider!
For the most part, this country is said to be Christian. Statistics say 85% are. But what does this mean? How can such poverty and despair be in a place said to be strong in Christ? I found in my last several trips to Africa that there is a lot of “Christian religion” but very little of Christ found in the people’s daily living. Here there are nightly witchcraft gatherings and sacrifice of humans on alters. There is almost as much violence here in Africa as in the USA, and yet they say they are “Christian” in the midst of this darkness. With all they have been taught and experienced with missionaries and evangelists in the past. The Gospel of Jesus must be real, simple and bring change that can’t be accomplished by human effort. It must bring the Kingdom to bear on earth!
There are 3 things we should all know about God; He is love, He never gives up, does not know the word quit – He is a finisher! Another thing that is important for us to understand is that He has to work with our choices (His love is real, and real love cannot dictate responses nor decisions made as a result of His or our actions with or toward someone).
The word quit is huge in me as I was good at it. Today people tell me because I cannot let things just be, (I am not satisfied with what I see when the Word says there is more), that I am “driven”. I do not feel driven, nor do I feel duress about any task I begin, I simply must finish (continue until I see or feel that what I started is complete). It is a part of me, it is a part of who I am. I don’t loose sleep over things very often but when I begin a task I will not quit until it is completed and the garbage is cleaned up after the project. I do not know the word quit anymore. As a young man I knew it well, it was what I did in two marriages, so many jobs, and other things like friendships, etc. I was a quitter. Then Jesus got hold of me and in my third marriage (to incredible Lady Dana my wife of 39 years) I prayed a prayer, “teach me and help me to love Dana the way she needs to be loved, not the way I want to love her, but the way she needs to be loved.” Now truth be known I have not done that well – but I will never quit. “Quit” died the day I released that prayer from my lips. It has, through the years, grown to the point that I am not sure I could say, “I quit”, I give up, and will accept failure. God says that when a righteous man falls 7 times he gets up 8. In other words quit is not a part of God’s plan nor does He want us to accept it. That is why I never relinquish pursuing a closer relationship with Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit. Intimacy is a place of understanding and acceptance, yet a place which is all about causing people to be all they can be – because we love them. It is the same with God and us, Jesus is always wanting us to discover who we really are and our unlimited potential – to be like Him!
We do not need to teach people to pray, Holy Spirit will do that. We need to teach them to know the Father and His son Jesus, to hear from the Lord and trust, then obey because He cares and is God Almighty!
The trip I went on to South Africa and what I had perceived was going to happen there, did not happen. I didn’t do any intimacy/discipleship trainings. I did participate in one seminar about end times, (the blood moons, signs of the times, what would John the Baptist say to the Church today, etc). But mostly I spent time with families and people. There were a lot of interactive moments with a variety of people. I got to practice my discipleship and intimacy through talking and praying with people, living with them. Jesus took me away from what I normally do and put me in unique situations. I actually ministered in a traditional church and spoke on the prophetic, which is something I have refused to do for many years. I am pretty sure that what I spoke about the prophetic would not be accepted in most traditional churches here in the US. The reality of the role of the prophet in the church today is going to change. We are going to see prophets raised up who will be like John the Baptist, Elisha, Amos, Elijah and others. Accountability is coming to the church!The last place I visited on my trip to Africa was Cape Town. I expected to meet with a small group of people and train them in intimacy and discipleship. What happened was quite different. I ended up meeting with four South African Christ followers and traveling the width and length of the Cape Town area. The days I spent there was about both four people and their families. The training that I believe that I was to do was done while we traveled all over the area where the coming great move of God has been prophesied to start in Africa. This journey started on the morning after the blood moon. I think that’s quite significant because the blood moon ended at dawn and the feast of tabernacles ended also on that day or during the four days of travel we did. During the 4 days of travel and prayer that the five of us went on, each day built up on the one before. On the first day we went to a Moravian Village and God asked us to open up an ancient gate established by the Moravians. The gate was one of righteousness and anointing. Through compromise and neglect this Moravian Village had become ineffective and the Christianity brought there years ago was producing nothing of value. Each year there’s a group of people that meet at this village, but it has very little to do with the presence of God. So on day one we opened up a gate of righteousness and restored an ancient path. (I also had an interesting interaction with a couple of angels but we will leave that for another time).
On day two, we went to a village that had been started by European church reformers. These people have left Europe because of their battle with traditional church during the reformation in Europe. They refused to do the traditions of the church and wanted to go back to the basics of Christianity. This stand cost many of them their lives, inheritances and families. They moved to South Africa Cape Town area to be able to walk freely with Jesus. The second day was about reformation and the cost. It was a place where the five of us declared that we would live for Jesus and not compromise. We would not bow to the traditions of men no matter the cost.The third day, we went to the very southern tip of Africa. Through the years, these men told me, multitudes of people had come to pray for Africa. Prayer groups from all over the world come to the very southern point of Africa and declare a fire of God to spread from there north across Africa. While we were there everywhere I looked were little groups of people praying. I asked one group what they were praying for? Their reply was for a fire to spread across Africa. As we stood at the southernmost tip of Africa and prayed for the fire of God to fall and move north across Africa, Father revealed that there was a gate at this place. There is a lighthouse at the southern tip and God showed us that this gate was to be the place the light came from that would spread across Africa then the world. As we were praying there was one section of boardwalk that leads to the southern tip of Africa Monument that had a gate on it to keep people from walking there. The boards have been freshly oiled and they did not want the people tracking the oil around. One of these prayer groups walked up to this Barrier gate and just opened it. The whole group walked on this new freshly oiled wood pathway. We laughed because we thought we were supposed to open the gate and God showed us that it was just normal believers who were going to open the gate and then through them the light of the Gospel and fire of God would be released to go north through Africa. So the third day was about light and fire in the common believer.The fourth day was a day where everything came together. It was the day of vision, anointing and of going. That day we traveled to what is called the end of the earth. It is the southwest most point of Africa and it is where the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean meet. We also went to the top of table Mountain in Cape Town. On this high mountain we declared calling and anointing over each other. Then we took a drive to the end of the earth. As I look at each one of these four days I realize that God had performed a very incredible prophetic act. He took five believers and had them take a prayer journey of; declaring ancient paths and gates open, repentance from tradition and to the Word – reformation, bringing light/fire and new paths to Africa, anointing, then commissioning and commitment to go to the end of the earth with the Gospel. Certainly a part of each day was, No Compromise!
The shortest of these four journeys was 12 hours and longest 14. We didn’t have a real agenda at any point, we simply prayed and obeyed. At the beginning we knew we would make 4 journeys, but It was as we went that God revealed his plan. We really had no idea what He was doing. It was amazing, interesting and a trust thing for all of us.. Just nine months before this trip Three of us that were on this adventure was in Egypt. Gary, Tony and I had went on a different sort of prayer journey there. The trip to Egypt was about shutting gates and doors. Egypt has brought a lot of spiritual pollution into Africa and has stood against the Gospel in many ways through the ages. In Egypt we took a three-day prayer journey during the winter solstice. Each day was significant and built up on the last. They were about body, soul, and spirit. The first day we went to Alexandria (read on Alexandra’s history) and there we closed the gate that had to do with the flesh, Roman and Greek fleshly lust and desire for knowledge and wisdom, man’s kind not God’s. The second day we went to Port Siad. There we closed the gates that had to do with soul power; commercialism, man’s strategies and greed. The third day we went to the area of the Sphinx (Sphinx is a female mythical monster that killed people who could not give her the answer she wanted from them). We learned from the tour guides and guards (priest guards of the temples there) of this area that it really wasn’t a tourist attraction but that most of the activity at the Sphinx took place at night. It is a place that every religion (with the exception of Christianity) gathers at night and performs religious services or practices. They told me that Satanists, witches, sorcerers, Muslims, Buddhists, Voodoo priests and many other religious groups pay very good money to go in to the Sphinx area at night to do chants and ceremonies. It is said to be the throne of satan by some of the guards and guides. At this place we closed the gate of spiritual evil on many of satan’s plans and practices. In these two journeys, first evil gates were closed and then God’s gates were opened. We must first stand up against the wiles of the enemy and then open heaven’s gates to bring the truth to bear fruit to God’s Kingdom on the earth.
My conclusion is this; God is doing something a little different. God wants us to come back to the place of intimacy and discipleship, seeking and saving lost and destroying the works of the devil. In each of these trips and places we did not just do prayer. I wasn’t just a part of the team that went around and prayed over places. In the midst of these journeys there was also discipleship and trainings going on; hearing God’s voice, walking out intimacy, and how to raise up disciples in each place. (I’m not much on just a prayer. Prayer has to come to a place where it affects individuals and leaves them changed, closer to God). I don’t see anywhere in the New Testament any prayer for any city or area that did not end up dealing with an individual or individuals of the area whom satan worked through, changing them and releasing God’s presence and power in them or others. I don’t want to ever become so super spiritual that I forget that Jesus always dealt with people. Demons that control areas work through people, businesses and shrine priests. If Christianity is going to change these areas then we need to train people to hear God, follow him and tear down the enemy strongholds in people, and then plant disciples. Without planting disciples where we go and pray we will not take the ground. The enemy will just come back seven times stronger and the case of the people will be worse than when we went.
In the church, we will never understand the grace, presence and power of God until we also understand the judgment of God as being a part of His Great Love. Grace without judgment is not grace; it has no meaning, no plumb line to evaluate grace from. Judgment without grace and mercy is not love. So I believe God is coming one more time to his church, and will bring the reality of his love and who He is alive. We must reach each tribe, kindred and tongue for Jesus. He must be planted in each and every group and area of the earth in a real way.
In Father’s hand, neil