Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Let Incense Arise, Part 1: Some of the “why’s” behind the “what” of the House of Prayer – Global Incense Movement & the Great Commission

As many of you know, last September I moved to International House of Prayer in Kansas City. I already was thoroughly convinced that prayer and the prayer movement was a great thing. My mindset: prayer = good, more prayer = better, therefore, unceasing prayer = BEST! I came to IHOPKC with the mentality that the prayer movement was a great step to my “greater calling” in God, such as preaching on a stage, world evangelization, etc. It was a means to an end for me. But, over the past year, the Lord began to teach me that prayer/the prayer movement is not a means to another end, the global prayer movement is actually the end in itself.

The first question we have to ask ourselves in approaching how we are to partner with The Lord in this generation is, “Are we living in a transitional generation?” Because if we are living in the generation that the Lord returns and transitions how God relates to His people, our missiology (meaning the way we do and approach missions) has to look different than other generations. We can no longer just do good to our neighbor or help fulfill the Great Commission (which we still absolutely need to do), we are actually preparing the planet for Jesus to return. So if that is indeed the case, we have to see what Jesus has already said a great deal in His Word about what the earth will look like when He returns and THAT is what we then need to build towards in our missiology. This is what some like to call Eschatological Missiology. 

Did you know that we are the first generation that is actually capable of fulfilling the Great Commission? Missions organizations have actually mapped out where every people group is located, the language that they speak, the percentage reached with the Gospel, and the resources available to reach them. There are still 2.9 billion people (4,083 people groups) who are considered unreached with the Gospel, most of them residing within the 10/40 Window, but we are the first generation that actually has the ability to reach them all, if only there are ones that will say “yes” to both going and funding this great & bloody exploit. The finish line of the Great Commission is in sight. (See Joshua Project for more information)

Throughout Scripture there are 89 chapters in the Gospels that focus on the First Coming of Jesus but over 150 chapters that focus on His Second Coming and what the earth will look like when He returns. If the Holy Spirit inspired the writers of the Bible to focus so much on His Second Coming, we too should be well equipped in understanding what is said about that upcoming day. In these passages we see that not only does Jesus return after the Gospel is taken to every tribe, tongue, and nation (Matthew 28:18-20), but in a few end-time passages we actually see that Jesus returns to them all singing Him back.

Malachi 1:11 states, "’For from the rising of the sun even to its setting, My name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense is going to be offered to My name, and a grain offering that is pure; for My name will be great among the nations,’ says the LORD of hosts.”

Isaiah 24:14-16, “They raise their voices, they shout for joy;
They cry out from the west concerning the majesty of the Lord. Therefore glorify the Lord in the east,
The name of the Lord, the God of Israel,
In the coastlands of the sea. From the ends of the earth we hear songs, ‘Glory to the Righteous One,’”

And Isaiah 42:10-12, “Sing to the Lord a new song,
Sing His praise from the end of the earth!
You who go down to the sea, and all that is in it.
You islands, and those who dwell on them. Let the wilderness and its cities lift up their voices,
The settlements where Kedar inhabits.
Let the inhabitants of Sela sing aloud,
Let them shout for joy from the tops of the mountains. Let them give glory to the Lord
And declare His praise in the coastlands.”

Another thing we see in Revelation 22:17 is that Jesus returns to a global cry, where “The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come!’” The Church of Jesus Christ will be in complete unity with what the Spirit is saying, and crying out in their Bridal identity for their Bridegroom to finally return to them. How is this going to happen? Intimacy with Jesus in the house of prayer. We can see in the prophets and even from the lips of Jesus Himself that He is a Bridegroom and He will come to rule & reign with a Bride, one that is made ready and equally yoked to Jesus, a suitable partner.

This truly was my own testimony: A girl dying from her sins, radically saved by the Lord, thrown into a prayer room, and discipled into her Bridal identity by falling in love with the Bridegroom in the “house of prayer”. I fully believe that it is the most strategic discipleship tool in these last days. When the Great Harvest comes in, who is going to disciple all of those people in such a short amount of time to be “made ready” for Jesus? The nations will be discipled by Jesus in the Global House of Prayer!

The End Days Church will be a Global incense movement singing and welcoming back their King. I love the story of Mary of Bethany, who in her love and complete abandonment to Jesus, pours out her entire flask of costly perfume anointing His feet. Her extravagant sacrifice was a pleasing fragrance to our Lord who said in Matthew 26:13, “wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her.” Jesus will return to a Mary of Bethany witness from every tribe, tongue, and nation that will pour out their love on Him and let the incense of our prayers arise night and day to His Throne. We see the convergence of the missions and prayer & worship movement coming to a crescendo in these last days to give Jesus His full inheritance from our hearts and the nations of the earth.

Oh Jesus, how long have you awaited that day, the day of the gladness of His heart? Let us partner with the desire in Your heart, that you would receive the joy set before You and come dwell with Your Bride on the earth!

For more on this subject, you can listen to this great message by IHOPU Professor, Samuel Clough http://samuelclough.com/587/introduction-to-eschatological-missiology