‘You Have Your Choice’ – Intercessors for America

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It can often be agonizing to wait on God’s promises, but we know that He uses those times of waiting to refine us and prepare us for what is to come.

From Give Him 15. “In the same region, there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock at night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood near them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. And so the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army of angels praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among people with whom He is pleased”’ (Luke 2:8-14 NASB).

What a night. What a glorious visitation. What an amazing promise. What a choir. What a cute baby.

What a long wait.

Do you want state prayer alerts?

I can’t help but wonder how these shepherds felt while waiting 3 decades — 30 years! — before seeing any fulfillment of what they heard that night. No healings, no miracles, no demons cast out, no sermons on the Mount, no walks across water … nada, nothing. If they had further visitations along the way for encouragement, we’re not told of them. It was bright lights, an angelic choir (“at least we thought we heard angels”), a baby in a feeding trough, and then back to the normal, mundane life of tending sheep on a cold, lonely hillside … wondering about that night.

It almost seems cruel that God tells folks of what He’s going to do, and conveniently “forgets” to tell them it won’t take place for several years — 15 (for Joseph), 20 (David), 25 (Abraham), 45 (Caleb). He doesn’t actually forget, of course. He is using the wait as His refining furnace. It was said of Joseph that he was put in chains and shackles, and “Until the time that his word came to pass, The word of the Lord refined him” (Psalm 105:19 NASB).

The Hebrew word for “refine” is tsâraph,(1) a word meaning to fuse metal, to smelt in order to refine or purge metal (goldsmith), to test. God uses our wait for the promise to prepare us for the promise. I certainly don’t believe God made Joseph’s chains and shackles – He didn’t put in the hearts of his brothers to sin by selling Joseph into slavery or motivate Potiphar’s wife to lust after him. But He wasn’t about to waste Joseph’s pain; as He always is willing to do, God made it serve him. Nevertheless, God DID tell Joseph of His great plans for him years in advance of them occurring.

One of the “metals” that waiting refines in us is the gold of perseverance. It brings the dross of impatience, personal ambition, presumption, pride, fear, lack of trust, and probably a few more impurities to the surface for removal. God’s plan is 24 karats. 

It has been a little over 30 years since Holy Spirit gave me my first open vision; it was regarding the coming great awakening. While teaching a class on prayer, I suddenly began seeing not what was before me physically, but a spiritual vision. I saw thousands of young people in a stadium passionately worshiping and praying. As they left the stadium, I saw another scene: they arrived back in their hometowns as balls of fire, and the fire of revival sprang up. As I prayed into this, the Holy Spirit said He was showing me what was coming, that He would send another great awakening, and it would begin with the young generation.

A month later, Ceci and I attended our first National Day of Prayer in Washington, D.C. Upon arrival, I was told of a unique event taking place all that week called a Biblethon.

A canopy tent and a small PA system were set up on the Capitol lawn. Individuals signed up for 15-minute slots, and the entire Bible – Genesis through Revelation – was broadcast/read over the Capitol and nation 24/7 for the entire week. Those participating didn’t choose the passages they read; each one had to start where the last person stopped. When the entire Bible was finished, they started again in Genesis. 

When I arrived in DC, a friend told me of this Biblethon and said, “I knew you would want to do this and the slots were almost gone, so I signed you up.”

“Yes! That’s awesome,” I replied.

“All they had left was through the night, so I signed you up at 2:00 AM tomorrow night,” he said with a smile.

Instantly, I heard Holy Spirit say, “I’m going to confirm what I said to you after the vision – that another great awakening will occur, and that it will begin with the young people – through the passage of Scripture you read in the Biblethon.”

I told no one. And my response to Holy Spirit was, “Sir, I could hear/see the concept of ‘revival’ in ANY 15-minute reading of Scripture, ANY: holiness, righteousness, love, You judging evil, a healing, a person You used, etc. – I could find it everywhere. I trust You, but I don’t trust myself with this. I’m not trying to manipulate You or force You to conform to my thinking, but the ONLY way I would know for sure that a passage was confirming this word – because of what You’ve been speaking to me in my “quiet times” – would be if I got to read either the book of Haggai or Habakkuk.”

Now, Haggai is 2 chapters long, Habakkuk is 3. There are 1189 chapters in the Bible. I knew the odds were extremely minimal that the readers would have arrived at one of these books just when it was my turn to read. But that’s what I told the Lord.

When I arrived at the Biblethon tent the next night, a few minutes early as instructed, they were nowhere near Haggai or Habakkuk. Someone was reading from the gospels. I didn’t want the Lord to feel badly about not having them at the place I requested, so I assured Him it was okay, and that I still believed the word. 

A couple of minutes before my slotted time, the lady in charge walked up to me, telling me I was next. Then her expression changed; she looked at me strangely and departed from protocol, saying, “Mr. Sheets, you have your choice; you can read either the book of Haggai or Habakkuk.”

I was stunned!

God was saying, “Not only can I arrange it so you can read one of those 2 books, I can do better than that. You said ‘Haggai or Habakkuk.’ Okay, take your choice, son: Haggai or Habakkuk.”

That, my friend, is how much He wanted me—and wants you—to know He is going to send this great awakening beginning with the young ones. It has begun; it will intensify. Yes, it’s been a long wait. And just as with Joseph, David, and many others, He has used the wait to refine. But it will be worth the wait – like the shepherds, I’ll see the fulfillment of the word.

Let’s pray, then I think I’ll go read Habakkuk.

Pray with me:

Father, in Habakkuk, You said to “Write down the vision…So that one who reads it may run. For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hurries toward the goal, and it will not fail. Though it delays, wait for it” (Habakkuk 2:2-3). Like the shepherds who waited 30 years for Jesus to explode on the scene, we have waited 30 years for this great awakening. We believe it has begun. Now we ask for the fire to explode all over this nation.

Cause Your fire to consume the strongholds and plans of the enemy. As wax melts before the fire, consume Your enemies (Psalm 68:2). Come as You spoke of in Malachi, “For behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be chaff; and the day that is coming will set them ablaze,” says the Lord of armies, “so that it will leave them neither root nor branches” (Malachi 4:1 NASB).

And Lord, help us to be ready for the fire of revival. We pray that no traditions of men, preconceived ideas, or wrong expectations will hold us back. Blow the lid off. Rock the boat. Stretch our wineskins and challenge our paradigms. Give us new wine, fresh wind, and an abundance of rain. We ask for the greatest, biggest, most far-reaching revival in history. Outdo Yourself, Holy Spirit. In Yeshua’s name! Amen.

Our decree:

We declare that the wait has refined us, and we are ready for the revival!

Share your prayers for revival below!

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