This will take about 6 minutes of your precious time, but please stay with me.
In the early days of this worldwide imposed confinement the Lord began to speak to me concerning His burden for the family unit, especially within the church. In His words: “This crisis will either result in strengthened families, or massive divorces. Who will stand in the gap?” This led me to intermittent periods of intercession and fasting for families.
I began to wonder why this seemed to be such a grievous matter to the Lord. There was a palpable sense of urgency in His tone that I could not shake off. He then began to reveal that family units were either going to be arks of His presence thriving when the latter rain begins to flood the earth, or compromised vessels at the mercy of the waves and the giants of the land. As I continued petitioning, I assumed the compromised vessels were those families that do not know the Lord. He gently rebuked me and said that it was a presumptuous attitude and that judgement begins in His house.
The family is the first and oldest human institution to ever exist. It is a prototype of society, a society in miniature if you will. The Lord views family as the most important sphere of influence there is. In fact, it is so dear to Him that He likens the relationship between Christ and the Church as the one between husband and wife. That explains the Enemy’s relentless assault on families from the days of Adam and beyond. Actors and influencers in every realm of society emerge from families. A quick glance at our modern society’s values gives a chilling confirmation that most of society’s problems originate from unresolved issues in the home. It is therefore safe to say that no government program can heal a nation better than the emergence of healthy families. Even then, many government programs go against the sanctity of the family and often promote separation.
I will spare you from the flaws associated with the worldview of the family unit, and deal directly with God’s heart, what is happening in the body of Christ, and a call to action.
Firstly, “God created humankind, in the image of God He created them: male and female He created them.” (Genesis 1:27) In doing so He established the family’s nucleus to be a man and a woman enjoying an exclusive, covenanted, and permanent union. The blurring of these lines (even within the church) has played a significant role in exacerbating the problem.
Secondly, immediately after God formed Adam, we are told He gave him a woman, right...? Well, not so fast. Adam’s body was formed out of the dust of the earth to solve a problem: there was no one to cultivate the ground. (Genesis 2:4-5) You can see that God gave Adam a specific assignment before a woman ever entered his life, and He was living to fulfill that purpose. If you read your Bible slowly, literally, and without bias you will see it. By the way, God placed Adam in a garden called Eden, which speaks of a habitation in which God found pleasure.
Thirdly, God carved a woman suitable to help Adam. Slow down: a helpmate? What for? To be his counterpart in fulfilling what was asked of him by God: cultivate the ground and keep a pleasing abode for Him on the earth. Symbolically that speaks of a calling (or assignment) and making our hearts a pleasing habitation to the Lord (cultivating His presence). Therefore, the original family nucleus (husband and wife) were perhaps primarily joined to fulfill a common mission or commission (From the Latin word “committere”, which means to unite or bring together). They had a common mission (joint calling) before they ever met, developed feelings for one another, and knew each other intimately. Do you begin to see where the train may have gotten off the rails here?
Before you quickly write me off as insensitive, please note that I am coming from a place of brokenness in prayer, fasting, and intercession on behalf of families and Christian families for the past six weeks. I am aware that some of you might have gone through a difficult separation. As a result, I am levelheaded in knowing that perhaps I cannot relate to you on the same level emotionally. However, perhaps I can relate to children who come from divorced families, as I am one of them. It is a painful thing to endure, and no matter how old or strong one may be. Experiencing separation as a couple or a child is a wound that cannot be healed except by the blood of Jesus and the love of the perfect Father.
According to The Barna Research Group and many other sources, divorce rates among Christians are almost identical to Non-Christians. The statistics in the article above and many others were a sobering discovery, and it helped me share the burden of the Lord concerning this issue. I sought Him on what was His desire, and what could be done considering the global challenge we are all facing now. Here is what He said to me: “I desire revivals to breakout from family units. But they need to rediscover their purpose in Me to become arks of My presence, literal Edens on the earth prime for the latter rain. My word brings both grace to those who love me and destruction to those who abhor Me. I desire fathers and mothers within My church to get their homes in order ahead of this glorious outpouring.”
As I kept this matter to myself, I waited for a sign. Then a week ago, I was in two separate casual conversations with friends and within 12 hours I had heard of four couples that were eagerly waiting on the courts to reopen to file for a divorce. The Lord further said to me: “The current crisis exposed roots of bitterness in those families that are not being dealt with accordingly. There are many more. With the lock-downs it became much harder to escape to a male or female concubine, pornography, a job, sport event, etc. However, it is an opportunity to restore and reset My families if they allow me to. In fact, many households in which I am currently invited to are being restored at this hour.”
The number 4 often points to worldwide impact in prophetic symbolism. Since then, I have been having prophetic dreams and heard of many more couples on the brink of divorce this past week that has led me into travail. But instead of speculating on the worst, I believe our focus can be placed on praying and reaching out to those families in our circles that we know may be going through a rough time. Perhaps if we “learn to love” (quoting prophet Bob Jones) them, the Lord may give us favor and authority to stand in the gap. If the Lord desires to use our households as revival fire starters, then perhaps we should humble ourselves and play a role in the restoration of healthy, godly family units for our generation and the next.
Here are nine things that I believe the body of Christ should be fervently praying for, starting with ourselves:
1- Turning the elongated shutdowns into an advantage. Pray that our families will use the extra time, albeit in difficult circumstances, to allow the Lord to expose any root of bitterness and for Holy Spirit to bring deep healing and reconciliation in every area.
2- Purity in marriages and households: if the church is called to be the spiritual gate of righteousness on the earth, we simply cannot complain at what is happening in the world if our own homes lack sexual and moral purity. Pray that the Body of Christ gets a sound biblical view of marriage and for repentance to take place where needed.
3- For those on the brink, that the Holy Spirit brings redemption and restoration.
4- Unity of purpose: pray that couples that came together for the wrong reasons do not find condemnation or shame in this message, rather that they receive it as grace. It is the Lord’s will to restore marriages, reset and (re)commission them. Pray that couples will discover or rediscover each other and (re)discover their common mission on the earth. There is a calling for each family, and that level of transcendence is necessary.
5- The centrality of Christ: pray for husbands and wives to be clothed and filled with a fresh vertical outpouring of agape love that will translate horizontally towards each other.
6- Healing for those who are already divorced or separated, and the blood of Jesus to heal all parties involved.
7- Pray for the arks of His presence arise in this hour. Let family revivals continue to breakout and for the Lord’s Edens to begin to sprout throughout the earth.
8- Discernment: help husbands and wives identify the works of the Enemy, that they may work jointly to overcome their common enemy (Satan), and work as one instead of against each other.
9- The consecrated Bride: Pray for the church to remember its blood and love covenant with Jesus, to put an end to its spiritual adultery, and to return to holy jealously for its Bridegroom.
May Your Spirit fall on every household, and may You bring Your salvation wherever needed, Oh Lord!
With love, prayer and fasting.