This was taken on my hike on Bug Spring trail on Mt. Lemon last Saturday.
Lou Engle: “If this dream is true, what if all the dreams are true?!? What if God intends to bring them all to pass?”
From Matt Lockett, Director of JHOP DC and Bound4LIFE (full article here):
In the earliest days of JHOP DC, my family lived with Lou Engle and a large team of intercessors on a rented farm just outside Washington, DC. During that time one of our team had a profound dream. In it she stood in a long hallway lined with courtrooms. The voice of the Lord spoke in the dream and said, “Either you deal with Roe v. Wade in your courts, or I’ll deal with it in mine.” At the end of the hallway was a large courtroom called Appomattox Court House.
We have always interpreted that dream in the most serious way due to the fact that Appomattox represents the end of the Civil War. Because of the innocent bloodshed of African slaves, this nation was swept into a conflict that cost us the lives of 600,000 people.
Since the beginning, we have prayed for the courts of America and for abortion to end. Day after day we have stood in front of the Supreme Court as a prophetic witness, and we have asked God to do what has seemed impossible to others. In early 2012, Lou Engle called and said, “We have to go pray at Appomattox Court House.” He flew into town, and I drove us several hours to the site in rural Virginia where General Lee surrendered to the Union Army under General Grant. We prayed for President Obama, the nation, and for the ending of innocent bloodshed from abortion. As we were leaving we stopped off in the small gift shop there. We stepped up to a small book shelf, and Lou picked up the first book that caught his eye. He randomly opened the book and let out a surprised “Woah!” The first page he had opened the book to was titled “The Battle of Lockett’s Farm.”
I was stunned to literally see my name on the page of history. It told the detailed story that, as Lee was in retreat after abandoning Richmond and Petersburg, his army reached an area called Sayler’s Creek on April 6, 1865. The last major engagement between the armies commanded by Lee and Grant occurred on a property known as Lockett’s Farm. That directly led to the surrender three days later at nearby Appomattox Court House.
After many years of renting I felt led by the Lord around that same time to begin searching for property in the DC area that could serve as a home and missions base for JHOP DC. We have been here since 2004, but it has always been a challenge because of the high cost of living in this metropolitan area. In my search, a unique 12,000 square foot property unexpectedly presented itself. No sooner had I found it, the property was removed from the market and put into foreclosure and litigation. I grieved the loss, but in the meantime I decided to prayer walk the property in faith believing that God has an inheritance for our community in this city.
Fast forward to Christmas 2012 when my older brother came to visit me. He has spent the past several years researching and documenting our family tree history, and he has made more progress than any other family member before. He told me how he had recently been able to trace the Lockett family all the way back to England in the 1500’s. He said we came to America not as Pilgrims but as settlers through Virginia. That reminded me of the story about Lockett’s Farm, and I began to tell him of the Civil War history that I had stumbled upon. He interrupted me and asked, “That’s not that place down by Sayler’s Creek is it?” “That’s precisely the place,” I responded. “I just found the documentation on that place two weeks ago. THAT WAS OUR FAMILY.”
I have been utterly stunned by this development. The Civil War ended on my family’s property. Honestly, I have been unsure of exactly what to do with that information, but I’m sure you would agree with me that it’s profound and significant given the calling that God has given me. I have brought this before our JHOP DC team for several months asking, “What are we to make of this?” The consensus had been, “We need to get another farm because God wants to end the bloodshed there.”
In preparation for the Hilltop Conference 2013, our team did a 21-day fast ending on April 9 coinciding with the end of the Civil War (and incidentally the beginning of the Azusa Street Revival). On the FIRST DAY of the fast I was startled to discover that the property that I had been prayer walking had been put back on the market for sale as a bank-owned foreclosure. Having no money to purchase anything like that, I began to write posts on social media describing it and some of the prophetic swirl. On the SECOND DAY of the fast I was contacted by a benefactor who had been captured by the vision. They offered to put up all the money required to purchase the property. We made a cash offer, and the bank accepted. We close on this property on Friday, May 24. That just happens to be my 42nd birthday, and this 12,000 square foot property has a whopping 42 rooms!
We feel that this is a major turning point for us–both JHOP DC and Bound4LIFE. The sense among many leaders is that God is providing an inheritance in the land as a deposit of His divine purposes. For years I have read Jeremiah 32:6–12 knowing that at some point there must be a “buying of the field.” We see this transition as God moving our mandate out of tents and into bricks and mortar. This is when God takes the blueprints of two dimensional dreams and turns them into three dimensional reality.
I’ve really like seeing how Nick Vujicic is unashamedly going for God. His joy is both wonderful and contagious and I hope more will support him as we do.
UPDATE: The AP ran a story on Nick this morning (5/24). Check it out: Foreign preacher takes rare turn on Vietnam stage
When God commands us, does He actually expect us to obey Him? Or does He command us knowing full well that we won’t really do a very good job at it?
Is the point of His commands then to show us how much we fall short and need His grace? Or is the point that He actually thinks we can obey?
And if we do try to obey, how good do we need to be? Is 90% to 95% obedience good enough? Or does He expect 100% obedience?
If He has already totally forgiven our lack of obedience, then what is the point in trying? Are we simply to try to please Him out of love with some measure of obedience, or is all our works and efforts pointless, or even worse a hindrance to our relationship with Him?
Should we expect to be convicted of our sin? Or should we expect only love and acceptance knowing He has forgiven every sin?
If we are to obey Him, are we all to obey at the same level and to the same degree, or is He leading each of us on our own path where we learn what obedience He expects from us one step at a time?
Well, consider the woman caught in adultery (John 8) who Jesus told, “go and sin no more”. Jesus doesn’t ignore or excuse her sin. He clearly indicates that she has sinned, but in His love and grace He forgives her, and then just as clearly, He voices His expectation that she should not sin again.
Jesus wasn’t saying, “hey, try not to do that again, but if you do, don’t worry, it’s no big deal”. Neither was He saying, “Now that I forgave you I suspect you’ll want to express your love for me, so here’s what I’d like you to do”. No, He simply commands her not to sin.
Or consider the story of the Passover, where applying the blood of the lamb caused the angel of death to pass over a house and not bring death. Interestingly, the Israelites were also commanded to remove all leaven from their house. Applying the blood saved the household from death, but failure to remove leaven (a symbol of sin) was cause to be “cut off from Israel”. I’m thinking that if we want to be part of God’s kingdom, then we need to obey his commands and remove the leaven from our lives, whether we feel like it or not.
The key here would be knowing you have leaven in your life but doing nothing about it, i.e., deliberately ignoring sin.
In the parable of the prodigal son, the Father runs out to accept His wayward son back into His household, but certainly He does not do this with the expectation that His household will now become a household of sin. Rather, in His righteousness, He expects the son to live a new life free from the leaven of sin.
I remember listening to Sergio Scataglini, who struck me as an incredibly good pastor, who talked about how in the midst of revival God came to him and showed him that 98% holiness was not good enough. Wow! As hard as it is for our minds to get around that, it seems God actually wants 100% holiness from us. You can read about this in his book: The Fire of His Holiness.
Also, I recently heard Michael Brown interview David Ravenhill on his radio program (here). And this led me to some good articles on the grace subject by David Ravenhill here and here. David Ravenhill also has a book out on the subject: The god of Grace (is not the grace of God). Finally, here is an excellent video interview where he discusses another book of his Blood Bought: