Will anything wake up the sleeping masses to what is happening in their midst? Can anything lift the fog of distraction from those who don’t see that we and our leaders are on a path of destruction comparable to the days of the Third Reich? Even with the world as it is – beheadings by terrorists now a normal part of the news and our liberties being incrementally sucked away from us – it seems most people, including many believers, are content to remain in a tractor beam of entertainment and activity and the daily dribble of the world.
I’m convinced nothing in the scope of human efforts is going to snap us out of the delusion that life as we know it will just continue. The voice of reason and truth is a tiny minority among political pundits and media outlets, and wherever it seeks to be heard it is ridiculed, blasted, and shut down by the majority.
A passage in scripture has been resonating and I believe it’s from the Lord for those who are awake, to seize hold of and pray into in these times:
“Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia.” This scripture is found in 2 Chronicles 36:22 as well as Ezra 1:1, and tells of how God used a Gentile king to rebuild His temple, even though His people were in exile for their faithlessness.
In Isaiah God calls Cyrus “His anointed.” He says of Cyrus, “I have given you a title of honor though you have not known Me” (Isaiah 45:1,4). Why would God do that? We see in the rest of the passage that it is for the sake of His people Israel, with whom He has a covenant.
There are other instances in which God stirred people’s spirits, both among His people and also their enemies:
The Lord has put on my heart to pray that He would stir the spirits of other “Cyruses” around the world for the sake of His people – that is, that He would use even unbelievers in places of authority and influence to bring about His kingdom purposes. We can pray this for those in authority over persecuted Christians around the world, as well as for judges, sheriffs, governors, justices, educators, journalists, and legislators in the United States.
It is amazing that God would stir the spirit of someone who otherwise would be a natural enemy of His people and who does not have the Holy Spirit. It is easy to think, “Well, God is going to do what He’s going to do” and get passive and lazy in regards to the world in which we live. This is an absolute wrong mentality for the church and negates completely the need to pray in the way Jesus commanded us to in Matthew 6:5-13. Throughout human history, there is a clear and steady thread of God using a remnant of His people to accomplish His purposes.
“So the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and worked on the house of the Lord of hosts, their God” (Haggai 1:14). This passage speaks of three types of people God stirred at once –a political leader, a religious leader, and His own faithful remnant.
We too can pray into these three groups represented – that God would stir the spirit of leaders, that He’d stir the spirit of church leadership, and that He would stir the kingdom-minded among His people. Let us press in to pray while it is still day!