The Church in the Credit Crunch
I believe the church has an unbelievable moment opening before her with the sliding economic situations in the West. I do not want to state too much presumptively, but I must write what I feel prophetically the Lord is saying about this season.
For a while I have seen a kind of ‘Daniel season’ coming upon us but I did not necessarily know how much it would manifest corporately, or whether it was just for me or our church in London.
Well now, hopefully, I see it a little clearer. Perhaps you can guess what I mean by a Daniel season. It is a time when things seem on the whole pretty bleak, and yet a remnant are raised up to have favor with men and those in authority in order to bring about restoration and change. Daniel was an incredibly godly man (one of my absolute favourites in the Old Testament) and yet he was honoured with incredible position in the Babylonian empire. I find him comparable also to Joseph and Esther. When he and his friends received persecution for their godliness, they were delivered and then actually raised to have greater esteem than before! Both their intercession and the administration of their roles in a godly fashion influenced Babylon heavily with the leaven of the kingdom and ultimately led to great spiritual breakthrough which triggered the movements of Israel to return to the land and fulfill the Lord’s many promises of restoration throughout the prophetic Scriptures.
How much do we, the church, need to understand the book of Daniel and how it pertains to us today! Surely the rearing head of Babylon in the book of Revelation ought to remind us that though the empire may no longer exist in the natural, it very much rules the world’s way of thinking. At some point, she is going to crumble, and those in the world who depended on a Babylonian mindset for life will weep over her.
There is a Scripture I have been chewing over quite a bit of late which I believe SO pertains to this season that we are in:
“For thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land. I will shake all the nations; and they will come with the wealth of all nations, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘The silver is Mine and the gold is Mine,’ declares the Lord of hosts. ‘The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘and in this place I will give peace,’ declares the Lord of hosts.” (Haggai 2:6-9)
Is this ‘the shaking’? I would be too narrow minded to say THIS IS IT! But it is a part of it I am sure, we are certainly of the kingdom that cannot be shaken, therefore let us have grace and gratitude whereby we may serve God acceptably (Heb 12:28). Because the world of course does not serve acceptably, except to the spirit of mammon and of Babylon, in extortion and injustice. True enough we the church are warned of the problems of mammon and the danger of worshipping riches in the book of Matthew, but in the book of Luke we are exhorted to be wise stewards of that which has been entrusted to us financially (16:1-13). Surely the Lord wants more than just for us to be individually responsible with making sure we tithe and give to charity. What if we too might be raised into positions of authority as Daniels of this age, to administrate wealth justly and through that to express the Lord’s heart? Just as with so many sacrifices in the Bible, so there is a resurrection, I believe, for our attitude to money; for once we have put away the desire for us to be rich in this age, recognising that the true treasure is that which is to be stored up in heaven, and that mammon is a god to be despised, THEN we can be entrusted with more because the Lord knows that we personally have no desire for it but that we do know how to handle it effectively and justly.
Our church is presently considering ways of financially supporting the community of London that we have direct contact with, as the credit crunch really crunches. I was so pleased when I heard this because we, the people of heavenly citizenship and heavenly focus, ought to be absolutely able to do this in all faith that Yahweh Jireh can provide abundantly in order that the world may witness that there is a God whose dwelling place is with men in the church. No glory comes to us. We do not keep any riches for ourselves (if our desires are right of course and we are accountable). Simply all the glory goes to Him and every help to the world as a witness that ours is the Everlasting God whose supply does not run out.
I was blessed also when I received a personal gift I was very much in need of, of quite considerable sum. For one it was an answer to prayer, but for another I knew that those who gave it were really sowing in faith, rather than just giving out of their surplus. It is a testimony to me more than of just a prayer-answering God, but that His people are starting to be equipped in the area of faith for what is about to be brought to our door – the ability to give generously, hilariously, and sometimes beyond our ability because of the wonderful provision of the God we serve.
This is not the prosperity gospel. This is simply a prophetic evaluation which I humbly submit to you, praying that the Lord will bring to light all that is truth and do away with anything unnecessary.
Scriptures (for reading/meditation along these lines): Genesis 41; Esther; Daniel 1, 7, 12; Haggai 2; Matthew 13:24-43; Luke 16:1-13; Hebrews 12; Revelation 18.