Hearing and seeing Him accurately in this season will make sure that there are no unnecessary casualties of spiritual warfare this year, and that the Church is powerfully positioned to shift the nations. My prayer for you as you read this is that the Lord will open your eyes and ears to what is ahead, so that you will lead and influence well, and make the right decisions with conviction.
The reign of King Josiah
The books of Chronicles and of Kings contain valuable lessons and instructions that apply to decision-making and leadership in every season. In certain seasons, however, there are particular aspects and accounts within them which are key to leading and navigating well in that season. I believe that the account of King Josiah’s reign in 2 Chronicles 34 and 35 is key for this season.
Josiah was a godly king who walked in the ways of King David (2 Chronicles 34:2). He purged the nation of idolatry, rebuilt the house of the Lord and renewed Israel’s covenant with God. He restored the structures of faith and worship, and led the nation to observe the Passover in a manner that had not been seen since the days of the prophet Samuel (2 Chronicles 35:18). From his own possessions he provided thirty thousand sheep and goats and three thousand cattle for the people to celebrate the Passover, inspiring the leaders and officials of the nation to sacrifice likewise and the priests and Levites to serve in an unprecedented way for his time.
His achievements were remarkable, and through his sacrifice he lifted the land out of idolatry and apathy and into obedience, worship and devotion. There is much in Josiah’s life that provides a pattern for today, highlighting the power of godly leadership to bring about transformation, restoration and revival for a nation.
However, there is more. Even after all he had done and despite the transformation he had brought to the nation, Josiah somehow soon became a casualty of war, dying unnecessarily on a battlefield with no gain for himself or his people (2 Chronicles 35:22-24).
Understanding all of this, and what it caused to happen afterwards is key for this season.
Choosing the right fight
2 Chronicles tells us that after Josiah had set the temple of God in order, he marched out to fight with Neco, the king of Egypt. Neco, however, was not interested in fighting with Josiah, and said to him clearly by the inspiration of God “It is not you that I am attacking at this time, but the house with which I am at war” (2 Chronicles 35:20-22). While it was true that there had been a history between Israel and Egypt, and that there had been many times at which Israel and Egypt were opposed to one another, now was not one of those times. And this being so, God spoke to Josiah even through Neco, the king of a heathen nation, to let him know that this was the case.
Josiah, despite all that was great about him, did not discern and did not listen. He knew that he had conquered idols that had plagued Judah and Israel for years, that he had restored the temple of God from its ruins, and that he had brought about a restoration of the Passover that no king before him had matched. He had conquered certain strongholds of Israel’s past, and now he felt emboldened to take on Egypt, one of Israel’s ancient foes. He wanted to see Egypt crushed, and moreover, he wanted to be personally involved in making it happen.
Josiah’s failure to listen to God was disastrous, first for him and then for the nation that he had laboured to restore. He disguised himself, went onto the battlefield and was soon wounded fatally by archers. After his death, the people of the nation took his son Jehoahaz to be king, but his reign lasted only three months before the king of Egypt came to Jerusalem, dethroned him and chose another new king. Once Josiah was gone, first Egypt and then Babylon plundered Jerusalem’s wealth and a new line of kings, chosen by their enemies led the nation back into disobedience and idolatry.
Josiah’s mistake was in not discerning what the Lord was using to bring about the next degree of deliverance and breakthough for the nation. Through his obedience, Josiah had overcome powers of darkness within the nation. God had now set in motion a series of events to break the powers of darkness in the surrounding nations, but Josiah didn’t need to be personally involved. God was going to turn the strength of those nations against each other to break them, and Josiah only needed to watch and see what the Lord would do. Instead, he put himself in the crossfire and died. He lost his life and Judah lost the godly leadership that it needed.
Josiah was not the first one in Scripture to make this kind of mistake. Lot, not discerning where he was, pitched his tents near Sodom (Genesis 13:12). When the kings of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboyim and Bela rebelled against the king of Elam and his allies (Genesis 14), Lot was caught in the crossfire and kidnapped along with all his people and his possessions. Like Josiah, Lot was wrongly positioned in the middle of a fight which he didn’t need to be a part of.
Nonetheless, there are those in Scripture who were able to recognise what God was doing and get it right. In 2 Chronicles 20, when the Moabites and Ammonites came to make war against Judah, king Jehoshaphat was told through the Spirit of God “the battle is not yours, but God’s…you will not have to fight this battle” (2 Chronicles 20:15, 17). The next day, the armies that had gathered against him turned on one another and destroyed each other without Judah having to get involved. Likewise, when God sent Gideon against the Midianites, He caused the Midianites to turn their own swords on each other and they were defeated (Judges 7:22).
In 2022, the Body of Christ needs to learn from these Scriptural lessons and be positioned for what God is about to, so that leadership will be effective and so that there are no unnecessary casualties. Let me explain.
The clashing of world powers
Over the last two or three years, the world has struggled with unprecedented issues and the familiar structures of faith and worship have been under attack in many ways. Like Josiah, brave and godly leaders have stood up and reinstituted godly patterns, sacrificing of themselves to strengthen and build the Church. They have spoken life and healing to many, reinstituting the principles of Passover and marking the doors of the Church once again with the blood of the Lamb in intercession and prayer so that the spirit of death passes over. Many have drawn closer to God, and as the world emerges from these challenges, they are prepared to take on new fights and battles.
However, to be in the prophetic means to discern the unseen, and more has been going on in the world than many have realised. It is not only the godly that have made sacrifices and set things in order. Even the demonic principalities and powers have recognised the unusual nature of the times, and they too have been strengthening themselves and their peoples through sacrifices and preparations. The level of sacrifice all around means that there are serious levels of spiritual power waiting to be exercised, and in 2022, these forces will be seeking the rewards of their sacrifices. There is a clash of powers coming. The kings, giants and superpowers of modern times are heading into a time of war and contention, and an unprecedented power struggle.
What is key for us to recognise is that the intentions of these forces, of the world and of darkness, are against each other at this moment and are not all against the Church. According to Scriptures such as those we have just studied, there are times when the forces of the world and of the enemy devour each other, and this is the means by which God brings about the breakthroughs needed for His will to be done in the nations.
Put simply, the powers are going to fight among themselves, and we don’t need to be caught in the crossfire. Rather than fighting unwarranted fights and incurring unnecessary casualties of war, now is the time for the Church to humble itself under the hand of God and prepare to be the governing power that the world will need when the dust settles.
Governmental anointings and alignments
True biblical rulership comes through the golden oil of God’s anointing. This means partnering with God to follow His will and being led by His Holy Spirit. This level of leadership requires God’s people to see the means that God is using to fight for His Church and for His purpose, and to not, like Josiah, make decisions based on human ambitions and ideas. As the Body of Christ, the government of God should be on our shoulder, meaning we carry his decrees and build according to His patterns, even where they don’t suit the stories we want to write for ourselves.
There are some fights that belong to the Church and God gives her the victory where this is so. There are other fights where the forces of the enemy will turn on themselves and there is no need to be involved. When leaders discern the right fights to be in, they won’t be unnecessarily wounded, and the Church will have the sustained leadership it needs to continue on a path of revival and transformation. King Josiah’s death left a gap in leadership that was filled with a person of the people’s choosing, and this created a weakness in the government because the one appointed was not God’s chosen. No revival starts or is sustained by popularity. It begins and continues with recognition of and devotion to the will of God. The place of government cannot be a fan club.
Therefore, in this window of preparation that we have, there must be a realignment to the voice of God rather than the voice of popular opinion. Those who are gatekeepers and forerunners must know and flow in the mind and emotions of Christ, and not be deterred or swayed by the emotions and agendas of the people.
Unity must also be lifted to another level, because the oil flows whether there is a dwelling together in such unity. While we all belong to Jesus, it is true that there are certain people who are skillful in what they do and will be lifted up because of God’s purpose and what they are called to achieve. There can be no place for the envy, jealousy or competition that has hindered such ones in the past. It is also true that there will be some cultures and people groups that carry particular mandates and are able to excel in a given season, because of their foundations in specific aspects of biblical relationship and character such as loyalty, consistency and humility. There can be no place for racism or prejudice in this season, and we need to be careful not to judge or contend with others because we want the blessings that come with their callings or anointings. If you cannot unify then you may miss your place and timing in this window.
It’s time to crouch
God will take his prepared and unified Church to bring about a powerful shift in the nations. Chosen men and women will be sent into selected territories and will connect with the right people to bring about vital changes. Because the world powers will have been busy violently contending against each other, it will seem to them as though these people have appeared from nowhere. When Elijah appeared in Israel it seemed to king Ahab as if he had appeared from nowhere, but the reality is that Elijah had long been anointed with God’s golden oil and prepared in a place out of sight.
Some of you reading this now are among those called to be sent. As you meditate in this word of the Lord, shift yourself mentally and emotionally and realise that things have changed. Come out of your entanglements and the situations where you have felt the need to contend for popularity. Creation is waiting for the sons of God to manifest.
Discern God’s voice and which fights are yours and which are not. When you have found the clear voice of God then it is time to crouch and birth the next move of God, just as Elijah crouched after the victory on Mount Carmel and prayed until the rain came. Raise up people around you that will press in and crouch with you, and that will watch with you until the breakthrough comes. Retain the ones that will keep pressing in with you until the good report comes, because they have heard as you’ve heard. Don’t keep the ones that are quick to believe a negative report. Look for the ones that God is raising up, not the ones that are simply popular with the people.
Prepare now, while the world powers clash. The time is coming when the dust will settle and you will be caused to appear before the nations to bring about the long-awaited change and transformation.
May God be your strength, life and peace this year, and give you the discernment you need for destiny and victory!
Rev Betty King
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