“Pray My Strength In The Lord”

This is a phrase I heard a lot growing up! Most often, I would hear it escape the lips of that mother in the Church who became exasperated with the younger folk in her life, whether it be her own children or others who might need her correction, tending or oversight.

As a young person, we knew that when Mother Johnson would say, “Pray my strength in the Lord” it did us all well to know that someone had most certainly irritated her to the point that she might very well take her oversized purse and flog any one of us young people over the head in her frustration!

Yale University recently published a study on the anger, irritability, and aggression in kids and worked to develop long term evaluation and treatment plans for children who have behavioral challenges.

In my day, medical science was not so advanced. We did not have a laundry list of psychological and psychiatric evaluations that included an array of mental health conditions such as ADHD, DSM-V, ODD, CD, DMDD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, just to name a few.

Today, we live in a world filled with abbreviations for conditions and hyphenations for identities. In a very real sense, the world has lost who we were to the pursuit of attempting discover a new “you”… and me! While the western world is drowning in the chaotic silliness of “woke” and “wrecked,” of “red” and “blue,” time has measured the increased gallop and quickening gait of the Apocalyptic crew.

While we’re fiddling in the west and watching our proverbial Rome burn, few have noticed what has happened by America’s abrupt withdrawal from Afghanistan. When we bolted from the region, Iran and Russia were poised to fill the empty void, and oh’ how swiftly they rushed in to permeate the vacuum.

Today, the Mullah’s, the Ayatollahs, the Supreme Leader, and the Presidents of Russia and China have united in league. The forces of which John saw then, have united now in their aim to take over the world by conquering the last bastion of freedom in the middle east as well destroy what’s left of the west.

If you are not aware of John’s writings in The Revelation, then perhaps it would do you well to read Revelation 16. In chapter sixteen, there is a specific moment in which God instructs the Seven Angels to go their ways (their predetermined courses) and pour out the “vials of the wrath of God” upon the earth. Notice, these are not unnamed, unidentified vials. Each are specific. Each vial makes up a different dimension of God’s wrath.

The first vial contains a “noisome and grievous sore upon those who take the mark of the beast, and upon those who worshipped his image” (vs. 2). The second vial contains the blood of death and turns the waters of the sea into blood and every living soul dies in the sea (vs. 3). The third vial also contains the blood of death that brings “death to the rivers and fountains of waters, and they became blood” (vs. 4). The “fourth Angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire” (vs. 8). The “fifth Angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his (the beast’s) kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain” (vs. 10). The sixth Angel poured out his vial upon the river Euphrates; and the water of the Euphrates river dried up, that the way of kings of the east might be prepared (vs. 12).

Seven Angels. Seven Vials. One God…and His unequalled, unparalleled, unsurpassed holy wrath. Each vial carried by a distinct Angel dispenses the wrath of God to amplify this New Exodus reality. In the book of Exodus, Moses delivers a ministerial call with the accompaniment of Angels and plagues. The first vial brings sores on those who worship the beast compared to the Exodus 9 account of “Moses sprinkling ashes of the furnace until boils broke out with inflammation” (Exod. 9:9). The second and third vials turn water into blood mirroring the plague of the Exodus 7 account in which “Moses stretched forth his rod and touched the water source of Egypt and the river Nile turned to blood. And all the fish in the river died and did stink, and the Egyptians loathed to drink water” (Exod. 7:18). The fourth vial brought a scorching of men with fire for their impenitence which parallels Pharaoh’s obstinacy in Exodus 7:13. (Also see Exod. 7:22; 8:15, 19, 32; 9:7, 12, 34-35; 10:1, 20; 11:9-10;14:4, 8, 17). The fifth vial plunges the kingdom of the beast into darkness which compares to the Exodus narrative in which “Moses stretches forth his hand toward heaven, and there was a thick darkness which was felt over the Egyptians” Exod. 10:21-23. The sixth vial being poured out shifts in scope, it dries up the Euphrates river which represents the removal of that which keeps in check a foreign invasion. In this case, the invasion is demonic (v. 14), in that these frog like demons gather the leaders of the world together for their destruction.

Two things leap to the fore when looking at the sixth vial. First, the drying of the Euphrates requires the kings of the east to join in a confederation for the sole purpose of defeating the armies of the True God in Mount Megiddo. The second thing that leaps to the fore, is the release of a specific kind of demonic spirit, those like frogs. While there are over five thousand different species of known frogs, all of them are classified as short bodied, tailless amphibians, which are cold-blooded vertebrates. Frogs have backbones, but they have no neck. I find this interesting as well as very telling — these last day spirits have no ability, nor the capacity to turn back, to repenting, to be remorseful. You see, these frog like spirits have no sense of conviction toward a repentant posture, but grow harder and more calloused by the moment. These spirits represent the unrepentant Pharaoh’s who are gods to themselves and reprobates to the God of Israel.

The kings of the east are being assembled now, and each of them are under the influence of a non-negotiating, unrepentant, audacious, arrogant, spirit that is assigned to gather the enemies of God for their own destruction. So, if you thought that America suddenly vanishing overnight from Afghanistan is exclusively that of a political fumble, or an act of ineptitude by a naïve administration, think again. On the contrary, it might very well be that kingdoms, governments, nations, presidents, and politburo’s are acting under the orders of the Euphrates frogs.

Personally, I must admit that I’ve grown weary with the increasing idiocy of a biblically illiterate western church culture. I’m so weary, I’ve said to those who intercede for me: “Pray my strength in the Lord.”

There are far too many “believers” who have, for years, prated around talking emphatically about their devotion to Christianity, to Jesus, to their customs and orthodoxy, only to have a pandemic prove the veracity of said convictions and reveal the heart of their true worship. Time and circumstance have proven those who have centered their faith in political opinion rather than the infallible Word of God. Time has pulled back the curtains on the fidelity of their faith — whether it be tried and proven gold, or tried and proven fraudulent. Sadly, we see far too many people who thought themselves to be saved and anchored in Jesus, flee from their once revered places of faith to put their trust in a ‘truth’ that is borne in the opinions of their favorite pundits and prognosticators. Rather than standing on the Rock and leaning into His never-failing, always abounding Gospel, too many people have fallen, having become the spoils of little foxes and whispering kings. Is it any wonder then, that Paul provoked the Roman Christians to consider the power of the Gospel and its ability to save and keep us, when he said: “How shall they hear without a preacher?”

It is the poor inept Christian who willfully trades his/her loyalty in Jesus for the pitiful, moth-eaten, rust-covered thrones of earthly kings. What is a king of earth if he can be taken by a Euphrates frog? What is the pauper that should find refuge in the words of an apostate heart? Oh’ beloved of God, remember, he is a man who knows no return; a man who will never see the value of an appraisal or the beauty of an altar of repentance! His neck is hardened, his face is like stone; though he has a skeletal vertebrate, he will never, ever turn. This miserly king of earth is bound for a hades of endless torment and blackened night, where weeping will never cease and the relief of dying will never be in sight.

Dear one, do not give your worship to the parties of men or the prating kings of earth, but rely exclusively on the only Savior given to all men – Jesus the Christ!

When we place our trust in Him, our loyalty for His love will beckon His grace from above, and we will be saved thoroughly from within… “out of our innermost being with flowing wells of living water.”

Paul asked appropriately, “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” Romans 10:14

So, I join the old chorus of mothers from long ago, and simply ask you to Pray my strength in the Lord!

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