A CONTRITE HEART
A CONTRITE HEART
God is getting ready to do something tremendous. What God has put upon my heart for you is very important to Him in light of the days that we are in. We want to learn how to pray. We want to learn what God is saying, as well as what He requires of us to walk with Him so that our prayers will be effective.
For years, I prayed, I walked, and I sought, but I found it very difficult to teach on prayer. I could preach, exhort, and encourage people to pray. But I did not know how to help people understand why God answered certain prayers that I prayed and why He manifested Himself to me the way that He did. I did not understand it myself; I just thought that it was because I was a prophet. I thought that must be the reason. At last, He began to speak to me about this. He told me the reason He was able to do what He did through me was because of what I was doing. Then He began to remind me about certain things that He had required of me. My obedience in these areas not only paved the way for Him to use me in a greater measure, but it also paved the way for me to know Him in a deeper way. So I would like to teach you a little bit about that. I know it is not going to change your prayer life tomorrow, but it will begin to change your prayer life.
From the time that I got saved until this present hour, I have wanted God Himself; I do not just want experience. Let me explain that. There have been times when He has taken me into the desert. I have spent many months, even years, in that place, crying out to Him and missing Him so much. How I pleaded with Him to come back or to give me understanding as to why I was in the desert. When He finally brought me out, I realized that all the time I was in the desert, I was coming to know Him face to face in a way that I do not know Him when I was not in the desert. I did not know that I was beholding His face in a special way during those times. This interaction was a deep, inner reality that He was breathing into my spirit and heart. He was doing that every single day that I was in the desert. I thought He had hidden His face from me. In reality, deep in my heart, deep in my soul, and deep in my spirit, He was making Himself more real to me than He had ever been.
So when we walk with the Lord, sometimes we misunderstand or misinterpret what He is trying to say to us. Sometimes, I have experiences that I think are about me, but towards the end of the experience, or even later, I find out that He was allowing me to experience something that He was doing in His Church, the nation, or with other people. It is all about learning God. The more we learn Him—the deeper we learn Him—the more effective our prayers become.
Let’s start by turning to Isaiah 57:14. I want to humbly say that you are reading this because God is calling you. He has placed a call on you to draw near. Everything that I am going to say to you is from His heart to help you understand what He is doing, why He is doing it, and what is going to come out of it.
Isaiah 57:14 Amp. And the word of One shall go forth, Cast up, cast up, prepare the way! Take up the stumbling block out of the way [of the spiritual return] of My people.
Now this obviously is talking about Israel in one respect, but it is also talking about you and me. If we want to walk with God or be used by Him, then we must prepare the way. We must take up the stumbling blocks. We must remove the stones that are in the path. We must align our will to His will, even when it is very difficult to do so.
Sometimes when He is calling us higher, we think that He needs to do certain things, and we need to do certain things. But all He really wants us to do right now is wait and allow Him to bring our spirit and heart into agreement with His Spirit and His heart. Most of the time, God’s will and the way that He performs it is going to be absolutely the opposite of what we think it would be. Therefore, we tend to get in His way. Have you ever found out too late that you did that? I have too. He will tell us something to do, and we will jump the gun and think we have to do it right now. And then we do it our way. Wasn’t that what Saul was guilty of? Doing things his way and then wanting the prophet to agree with him so that Israel would stay with him? Learn to wait. He has spoken partial instructions now, but what will He speak next that will alter what we think He has said thus far? If we do not wait for that next instruction, we are going to get ourselves into trouble.
There are times He speaks to me that it feels so imminent, like it is going to happen before the day is over. Then it happens two years later. So you cannot judge the time of fulfillment based on what you are feeling in His first instruction. Now, sometimes, just to keep you confused, He will give the instruction, and He wants you to take the first step. He wants you to do it now so that He can give you the second step as you are walking. That is where sensitivity comes in. That is what is developed in the waiting. Lord, are You saying to do this now? Or are you saying to wait for the next step? What are You saying, Lord? He says:
Isaiah 57:14 Amp. And the word of One shall go forth, Cast up, cast up, prepare the way! Take up the stumbling block out of the way [of the spiritual return] of My people.
There are stumbling blocks in our heart that keep us from knowing how to walk with God. They keep us from knowing how to pray.
Back when I was living in Omaha, Nebraska, I was going to rent a home. The person that offered the place to me was a Christian. She loved the ministry, she respected me, and she was willing to reduce the rent on this lovely home to about half of what she would ask anyone else to pay. The home really was beautiful. I said to her, “I’d love to take the home, but please let me pray and ask the Lord to see if this would be His will.” Well, she kind of huffed a little bit, but she agreed. For three days and three nights, I prayed. I was thinking that He was going to say yes, but suddenly, I began to think, “If You were going to say yes, it wouldn’t take You three days to say it. So now I’m wondering if You’re going to say no. And Lord, if that’s Your will, that’s what I want. So change my heart to align with Your will.” When I awoke the next morning, I knew that we were not supposed to take that house. This was so different from what I had been thinking and feeling for three days, but suddenly I was certain. Without going into details, it turned out to be God’s wisdom intervening to protect us from a very difficult place. Things that would have transpired would not have been good. Praise the Lord.
So God can seem to be speaking to us, and maybe we think that He is saying, “Yes.” However, maybe what He is really saying is, “Be at peace, and wait. You will discover that things are going to happen differently than you think. I am going to upset your plans, but it will all be okay in the end. Just wait.” Be obedient as His will becomes manifest.
While He is doing that, He needs you to take up the stumbling blocks. He needs you to take up the obstructing stones that are scattered in the way of His will. What does that mean? It means repentance. For example, with that house, I had to repent for allowing my heart to settle on something that turned out not to be His will. These things are important to the Lord. These are the kinds of things He wants us to learn in our walk with Him. When we desire something that is not His will, we must repent. We must ask Him to forgive us and to purge our heart of that stumbling block or stone. Or, as the Shulammite said, “Lord, remove the foxes that spoil the vine.” (Song of Solomon 2:15) If you do not pray like this, you will find it forever difficult to hear His will. It does not matter if you have walked with God for twenty, thirty, or forty years. So you learn to pray that God will, first of all, forgive you for wanting something that He does not want. Secondly, that He will reveal the things in your heart that are offensive to Him—the things that are getting in the way from you being able to hear His voice. So prepare your heart by removing the stumbling blocks.
Isaiah 57:15 Amp. For thus says the high and lofty One—He Who inhabits eternity, Whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, but with him also who is of a thoroughly penitent and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the thoroughly penitent [bruised with sorrow for sin].
Herein is the blessing for the humility, particularly when we ask God to forgive us and enter into repentance. There is not much taught in the Church about this issue, is there? People, for whatever reason, kind of jump over this issue of repentance. And yet, it bears the promise of dwelling with the high and lofty One. So why don’t we talk about it? Why don’t we engage in it? Why don’t we ask the Lord to go deep into our hearts—to deal with the things that are in our hearts that we are not even aware of—and bring us to a spirit of contrition? Then our repentance can be a deep repentance.
Nearly thirty years ago, when I was first learning how to pray, I asked the Lord, “What pleases You the most in the heart of one who desires You?” He spoke so clearly to me; it shocked me. He said, “Contrition. I love a contrite heart.” I said, “Lord, You know I’m not very old in You. I don’t know what that means.” He let me experience what it means to walk with Him in a spirit of contrition. That is not something you can do in yourself. It is something that is born of the Spirit of the Lord. The Spirit of the Lord must produce it in you, which He will do in response to your request. “Give me a contrite heart, Lord.” Isn’t that what David prayed? “Give me a contrite heart.” (Psalm 51) If David had God to guide his path, he never would have fallen into the sin with Bathsheba. David knew the importance of a contrite heart, but he forgot it, and it got him in trouble. So when David came back to a place of humbling himself before God, bearing his soul before God, what was his prayer? He went back to what he knew all along: the beauty of a contrite heart. He says to the Lord, “Give me a contrite heart.” God’s goal is to bring every child of God into a place where they are forever, every day, every moment, walking in a spirit of contrition. That does not mean that you are walking around crying all the time. Just the opposite is true. It is a place of quiet peace and joy.
I hope that I can help you to understand this. Humble yourself before God and ask Him to search and search your heart, seeing if there is any wicked way in you. Ask Him to try the reins of your heart. When you begin to pray that prayer, and He convicts you of something, then stop right then—repent and weep. Ask Him to give you contrition over this issue. You are asking the Lord to develop in you a habit of contrition. This contrition is the willingness to repent quickly and honestly before the Lord when He convicts you of something. You may not always cry, but if it is serious enough, and if it takes tears to soften the soil so that He can uproot that habit, you want Him to do that, right? The habit of contrition.
As you develop this habit of contrition, what you then need is for Him to give you a spirit of contrition, wherein your soul is ever subject to God’s desires. You are not going to cry all the time. In fact, you will probably have more joy than you have ever had because your soul is not bound by the things of the world. It will not be bound by the things that you chase after here and there—things that bring you pleasure for a moment and then guilt or dissatisfaction. It will be free from the many other things that we endure when we make mistakes. This spirit of contrition puts you into a place where your heart becomes so tender and so sensitive to the Lord. Then He does not have to shake you to get your attention. He merely blows a very, very quiet and subtle wind over your heart, and He reveals His heart. So when you are walking in a spirit of contrition, you are walking in joy because the self-will has been broken during the seasons of conviction. Another word to describe contrition is a deep, godly humility.
It is very difficult when the Holy Spirit is trying to train us, and we are saying, “Huh? Huh? I don’t want to do that!” Have you ever taken voice lessons or instrument training? It is as if a voice teacher said to you, “No, don’t do it that way.” And you said, “Huh? Why not? I like the way it sounds.” She says to you, “You may like the way it sounds, but it’s not correct.” It is the same way with the Lord. He is trying to teach us something, and we keep fighting or resisting Him, or we give Him an attitude. I know you have never done that, right?! Well, there are those Christians who do have attitudes when God tries to redirect or correct them. When you realize that you have done it again, just simply humble yourself. When you realize that you are murmuring because God is dealing with you, humble yourself. Do it immediately. The more you get into a habit of doing that, the faster He can give you a spirit of contrition. And what does Isaiah 57 say?
Is 57:15 KJV For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
So what is the blessing? If you learn contrition and humility, if you learn to turn at correction and not give God an attitude, and if you learn His way, then His promise is that He will dwell with you and bring you into His dwelling. What more could you ask for or desire?
People say to me, “I want to walk with God like you do.” I think, “You really don’t.” It is very nice when God speaks to you, does wonderful things for you, and so on and so forth, but to go through the discipline that you have to walk through to walk where some people walk with God—it is not easy. It is very difficult at times. To walk with God the way you may want to walk with Him requires separation. Separation from the world. Separation from self. Separation from traditions. Separation from just about everything with which you feel familiar. But I love this about Him: in the process, He teaches you how to love what He loves. He does not just say, “Now go do this.” He teaches you in your spirit and in your heart how to love what He loves. He teaches you how to desire what He desires. The deeper the call, the deeper the separation and training. He is not just training with words and circumstances, and this is the part I love, He trains by changing the deep places in you to love what He loves, to understand what He understands, and to desire what He desires. If you love correction, you will love to walk with Him.
Many years ago, I was ministering in a church. I had just about finished the service when the Lord gave me a word. He said to me, “There’s a pastor here who is engaging in magazines that are contrary to holiness. He has lost his ministry over it because of the things that it has provoked in his soul.” I did not know what to do; I was young in the ministry. Should I just say it out loud? What should I do? So I walked over to the pastor of the church, and I told him what I had received. I asked him, “What should I do? I don’t want to embarrass this man, but God is speaking to him. He wants to restore him and restore his ministry.” The pastor replied, “Every person in this church knows me and knows my heart. There is a pastor in this church—I won’t tell you where he is—but I think he needs that word. I think it’s a word that the whole church needs, so I want you to speak it out.” I did, and the pastor got up out of his seat without me asking. He came up to the altar, and he began to weep and weep and weep. When he was finished, he was delivered. He had tried so hard to keep that sin hidden that it had become a cage. God’s kindness was to have the pastor of the church say to me, “I will back you on this; you need to speak it out for this man’s sake.” He repented so completely that he was delivered, and God restored him to ministry.
We want God to cleanse our hearts. We want Him to reveal those things that hinder our ability to draw near to Him, even if it gets difficult. Even if the things that He speaks touch the deepest part in you, and you really, really, really have a hard time letting that thing go—do not stop. Start praying for the grace for the surgery. Perhaps you have a temper problem, and you have never let God deal with that temper. You will call it anything but anger. You do not want someone touching it, and you do not want the Holy Spirit touching it. I know of a famous evangelist – I heard him say to his television audience, “I told God He could touch anything in my life, but He cannot touch my temper.” God used him mightily, but in the end there was disgrace. Never say no to God. When He starts dealing with an issue, it is because He loves you and wants to bring you close. Let Him have it; let Him deal with it. Weep, repent, and plead with Him to remove that stronghold in your life so that He can use you the way He wants to use you. Then He can draw near in the way He wants to draw near.
Prayer: Father, You have something beautiful that You want to do in this Northwest area, but it is going to take a little bit of work for the intercessors to bring it forth. The time is now. We do not have much time to prepare ourselves to be used. So I ask, Lord, that You will deal with the hearts of the intercessors throughout this entire region. Purify them, Lord. Speak to them in dreams and visions, through Your Word, and by Your Spirit. Help them understand the areas that are hindering and hampering their walk so that they can be used to birth this holy thing that is about to come forth. We give You praise.
I would like to share with you something briefly as a means of encouragement. Please turn with me to Ezekiel, chapter 37. I have actually had the same experience that Ezekiel had, three times. It was a marvelous experience. In one of those experiences, God was talking to me about Israel. In another one of those experiences, He was talking to me about the Church. And yet, a third time, He was talking to me about the intercessors of His body.
Ezekiel 37:1-5 Amp. The hand of the Lord was upon me, and He brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. And He caused me to pass round about among them, and behold, there were very many [human bones] in the open valley or plain, and behold, they were very dry. And He said to me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord God, You know! Again He said to me, Prophesy to these bones and say to them, O you dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath and spirit to enter you, and you shall live
This is about to happen to the intercessors. First of all, we need to realize that God’s army of intercessors is not quite as vibrant as He would like us to be. In fact, we might even in some cases say we are the ones in the valley of dry bones. Some intercessors are tired. Some intercessors are not even praying. So it is obvious that we need God to intervene, correct? It is also obvious that since He is the Lord of His Church, He knows that more than we do. So He is about to do that. Praise the Lord.
Ezekiel 37:5 Amp. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath and spirit to enter you, and you shall live
The life of being an intercessor is not a life where you are constantly trying to protect yourself from the darts and the arrows, although that is how some people feel right now. The enemy has been hitting pretty hard, isn’t that right? But the promise to the intercessor is that “you shall live.” He is going to put His breath in you. You are going to come into a place of awakening, where you are moving not by your own strength or stamina. I saw a vision of it. It was an awesome vision. I saw hundreds of thousands of intercessors suddenly rise up, not out of their graves, but out of a dry and thirsty land. They rose up suddenly, and then they were energized by the Spirit of the Lord. They ran and fought with such majesty; it was amazing. They were praying for America, overturning things for America, so that God’s will could be perfectly performed.
Ezekiel 37:6-7 Amp. And I will lay sinews upon you and bring up flesh upon you and cover you with skin, and I will put breath and spirit in you, and you [dry bones] shall live; and you shall know, understand, and realize that I am the Lord [the Sovereign Ruler, Who calls forth loyalty and obedient service]. So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a [thundering] noise and behold, a shaking and trembling and a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone.
Yesterday, all day long, I was thinking, “I’m going to hear thunder in this region.” Then I was wondering if Seattle even has thunder. I was born and raised in Michigan, and believe me, we have thunderstorms in Michigan. More recently I had the great pleasure of being asked to move to New Orleans, and their thunderstorms are like Michigan—real thunderstorms. But does Seattle even have thunder? I did not know. I thought, “Why don’t I just go on the Internet and see if there is some information about this. ” And apparently, you do have it, but not much. I kept thinking, “I’m going to hear thunder. I’m going to hear thunder in this region.” Then, the Lord spoke.
Ezekiel 37:7 Amp. So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a [thundering] noise and behold, a shaking and trembling and a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone.
I realized God was saying to me, “I’m going to thunder through My intercessors. There is going to be a thundering in this Northwest that is going to bring forth My will.”
Ezekiel 37:8-11 Amp. And I looked and behold, there were sinews upon [the bones] and flesh came upon them and skin covered them over, but there was no breath or spirit in them. Then said He to me, Prophesy to the breath and spirit, son of man, and say to the breath and spirit, Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath and spirit, and breathe upon these slain that they may live. So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath and spirit came into [the bones], and they lived and stood up upon their feet, an exceedingly great host. Then He said to me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, Our bones are dried up and our hope is lost; we are completely cut off.
The intercessors are saying the same thing. They are saying, “What America needs is too much, even for God. Our hope as a nation is lost. What we need in this nation, it is too late to give.” Have you heard anyone say that? I am telling you now, these bones were dead, and God brought them to life and gave them Spirit. What I have shared with you, not only here, but in our Gatherings and on our website, is true.
We may be a nation right now that looks like the valley of dry bones, but I am telling you, through the prayers and intercessions of God’s intercessors, America is going to live. America is going to thrive again. She is not going to thrive the way she was thriving five years ago. It is going to be according to God’s schedule, His scale, and His standard. He is going to return America to a Republic. As impossible as it seems, I am telling you, He is going to do it. He is going to give us a government that will rule this nation under the government of God. As impossible as it seems, He is going to do it. If He can bring these dry bones to life again, then He can bring the dry bones of America to life again. I do not care how improbable or impossible it seems. I do not care what anyone thinks. I know what Jesus has told me. But He needs His intercessors, and He needs you full of faith. He needs the Spirit of life breathed into your hearts. That is why you are going to get the first dose of the coming of the Lord.
Ezekiel 37:12-14 Amp. Therefore prophesy and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, O My people; and I will bring you [back home] to the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord [your Sovereign Ruler], when I have opened your graves and caused you to come up out of your graves, O My people. And I shall put My Spirit in you and you shall live, and I shall place you in your own land. Then you shall know, understand, and realize that I the Lord have spoken it and performed it, says the Lord.
God is saying, “I will perform it. I will perform it.” He is God. He is not man that He can tell a lie. But He needs His intercessors fighting for His will on earth as it is in heaven. He needs you fighting in faith, not in fear. Are things going to get rough? Believe me, life in the valley is not always easy. Things are going to get rough. But the things that are rough cannot shake God’s plans and purposes when He has said, “I am going to do it.”
So I have seen the army of intercessors. In another vision, I saw the army clothed in blazing fire, running across the land, praying and interceding for America. I said, “Lord, who are these?” He said, “These are Joel’s army, and I want you to raise up an army of intercessors.” Well, we do not have to raise up a new army, for heaven’s sakes. We have enough people called to intercession that all we need to do is put a new flame, a new fire, into the hearts of those already called.
This is not the time to grow weary in well-doing. This is the time to believe. This is the time to achieve. This is the time to have vision and understanding. What is God saying, and what does He want to do? Will you be willing to believe the truth, or do you want to continue believing what you see? What is coming is so great; it is so wonderful. It is going to be worth what we are going to have to go through to get it. The only alternative—which I do not think is an alternative any longer—would be to let the Illuminati have its way. The New World Order would put their crown on what they want to do in America, allowing your children to be raised by the Nazis. When I say the Nazis, I mean those who have been raised up under Nazi ideology, whether it is from Europe or America. Believe me; that is the only alternative.
But in Washington DC, the Lord said to me, “I decree, you have averted judgment.” Which judgment? That of the Illuminati’s rule upon this nation. How? Through repentance. If God is ready, then you must be ready. I think He is so wonderful. We were standing as a nation right at the threshold of judgment. In August of 2011, He told me that we must wrest America from the Illuminati while there is still time, and He let me know beyond any shadow of doubt that the window of time left was very small. Then in March of this year, during the Gathering, when He told me that we had succeeded, I just cried and cried. How many people are in this nation? I cannot tell you how many times I would drive down the street, and I would see people in cars, or I would go out to do some errands, and I would see people’s faces. I would see a pregnant mother, and I would think, “Her baby is not going to be raised by Hitler.” I would see little children running and playing, and I would think, “These precious children have been given a chance. They are not going to be raised by Hitler.” God loves America, and He needs a Church that will pray.
In His Love,