BLOWING THE TRUMPET
BLOWING THE TRUMPET Copyright Š 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright 8 973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
God knows all about us. God cares about us. God desires to bring us to total joy and has the power to do so. But He insists we ask, and keep on asking, for what it is we need and want.
BLOWING THE TRUMPET
When you go into battle in your own land against an enemy who is oppressing you, sound a blast on the trumpets. Then you will be remembered by the LORD your God and rescued from your enemies. (Numbers 10:9)
God knows all about us. God cares about us. God desires to bring us to total joy and has the power to do so. But He insists we ask, and keep on asking, for what it is we need and want.
The verse above illustrates God's insistence that we remind Him of our needs.
Think of it! Israel was God's chosen nation, having been brought out of Egypt by a miracle. The Presence of God was in the Tabernacle of the Congregation. The cloud went before them by day and the fire by night.
They were being fed with manna. They had seen the exercise of Divine wrath on Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. The elders of Israel had eaten at the Lord's banqueting table on top of Mount Sinai. God had given them His holy covenant, the Ten Commandments, plus a number of other statutes and ordinances.
And then God says: "Sound a blast on the trumpets. Then you will be remembered by the LORD your God and rescued from your enemies." Did God not care whether or not they won their battles?
"You will be remembered before the Lord you God"!
Does God have such a limited memory that He cannot remember from one moment to the next what He is doing?
Obviously God does not have a limited memory. So we must look for some other explanation. The only other explanation we know of is that God wants us to remind Him of our needs and desires. We must blow the trumpet of prayer continually.
The following parable gives us further insight and amplifies the need for persistent, determined prayer.
And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth. And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. (Luke 11:5-10)
"Because of his importunity (shamelessness; boldness; persistence) he will rise and give him as many as he needeth."
God is in bed with His children. If you want more of the Holy Spirit so you can nourish friends who come to you in your journey, you have to be persistent and bold. A passive attitude toward God will not obtain that which you need and desire.
Perhaps God wants to see how serious we are!
It has been said if we ask twice for the same thing we do not have faith. This does not seem to be what the Lord taught.
Blow the trumpet! Ask! Seek! Knock!
What is there about God that requires such bold effort on our part?
I cannot answer this question. But the Bible is clear that we get what we want from God when we go after it with all our might.
But what about "Thy will be done"?
We always are to pray Thy will be done. Some are saying today this is a weak prayer and shows a lack of faith. This is not at all true. We don't want an answer that is not God's will, do we?
When believers think if they pray Thy will be done they are not showing faith, it is because they do not know the difference between God and faith. They are trying to use faith as a metaphysical principle rather than as a means of drawing close to Christ.
We always are to pray "Thy will be done." This is the strongest of all prayers.
The point is, we do not pray "Thy will be done" in a lethargic, passive spirit of inevitability. We blow the trumpet! We keep on asking! We keep on seeking! We keep on knocking?
You cannot steer a ship until it is in motion. If you set out to sail east, and God wants you to go west, He will turn you around if you keep on praying. But if you stay in the dock until you hear a voice telling you what to do you probably will never go anywhere.
Pray with all your strength! Then, if you are open to the Lord and He knows that what you are praying for is not the best for you, He will work on your personality until you are praying the right prayer.
But if you do not ask fervently you will get nowhere.
We have not because we ask not. Nothing is accomplished when we are double-minded. We have to make up our mind what we want and then begin to blow the trumpet of prayer.
Sometimes people become discouraged because it seems God never answers their prayers. They become angry and draw away from God, as did Cain.
Jesus Christ told us we can ask what we want and it shall be done for us. God said this. It absolutely is true and unchanging.
But what if our prayers are not being answered? It is because God is telling us we need to seek Him until we discover the problem. Some changes have to be made in our life. God will show us what these changes are, just as He would have shown Cain if Cain had not turned away from God and blamed his brother.
Perhaps Cain already was envious of his younger brother. If Cain was of a humble, teachable spirit he would have asked the Lord to show him why his offering was not acceptable, and to help him do better the next time. A humble, teachable spirit is highly esteemed by the Lord.
Sometimes we are not praying for what we actually desire, although we are not aware this is the case. No matter what form our prayers take, we actually are seeking love, joy, and peace. Every thing, relationship, and circumstance is nothing more than a means of obtaining love, joy, and peace.
When God notices that what we are praying for will not bring us love, joy, and peace, He works with us until we are praying for that which will bring us love, joy, and peace. God always is seeking our good.
There are occasions when God is answering prayer but we do not recognize the answer because it is different from what we expected.
God did not command us to play a violin but to blow a trumpet.
Sometimes the believers stress that a church service should be quiet, reverent, soft organ music in the background - similar to a funeral parlor.
They do not want the pastor to raise his voice. They do not want loud music. They do not want demands made on them. We all should sit with hands folded while the pastor drones on and on, covering a topic of great interest to himself, proving from the commentaries that once we are saved we never can be lost.
This is not what an assembly of fervent disciples should be like. Such a quiet, reverent attitude is suited more to the dead than to the living.
How about the pastor joyfully making stern demands on us until we are convicted of our worldliness, lusts, and selfish ambitions?
How about vigorous music including drums, trumpets, cymbals, guitars, organs, and everything else that can make a joyful sound?
How about young people marching around the church carrying the great banners portraying the rampant Lion of Judah?
What about dances that portray the worship songs being sung?
What about the entire congregation on their feet giving triumphant glory to the God of Israel?
What about heralding the return of the King of kings and Lord of lords?
If we want God to pay attention to us we must act like we care whether or not He answers us.
Every Sunday morning the high praises of God must greet us when we enter the sanctuary. The young people should be at the forefront with their flags, banners, tambourines, and dancing.
Last Sunday morning a person was heard to say, "This is like a Jewish wedding."
My response was, "It is a Jewish wedding."
We have much pageantry in our assembling.
Twenty-five years ago when Audrey and I first came to Mount Zion, there were only a few young people and children, and they sat on the back row and endured the proceedings.
Then the Lord impressed on us the need for pageantry. The young people and children took to this freely. A few of the older people were offended but the majority made the adjustment.
Now we have an expressive worship team, consisting mostly of young people with adult guidance, that on occasion has gone to other assemblies to teach young people about using flags and banners during the worship service. Needless to say, now the children and young people are in the front rows.
Ordinarily little children are not moved during times of worship. But they take readily to flags, tambourines, and dancing, from the age of two on up.
The trumpets must be blown! The high praises must resound! The cymbals must clash! Then the Glory of God will fill the house of the Lord.
We are passing now from the Jewish feast of Pentecost to the next celebration, the blowing of trumpets. We are announcing the coming of the King.
Trumpets have special significance during war. So do tambourines.
Notice the following passage:
Every stroke the LORD lays on them with his punishing rod will be to the music of tambourines and harps, as he fights them in battle with the blows of his arm. (Isaiah 30:32)
The above verse reflects the importance of music in spiritual battle.
I can remember the old days when "Sweet Hour of Prayer" was the song of the hour. Such hymns were vital in their time.
New hymns and choruses are being composed by the new generation. They tell of the coming of the Kingdom of God, of spiritual warfare. They are not as "sweet" as some of the Charismatic choruses. They are rugged and to the point. Be prepared for these because it is the Spirit of God who is speaking to the churches.
The generation of young people who are in the churches at this time are being prepared for the age of moral horrors we are approaching. They need a strong word and strong worship. They must have the high praises of God and the two-edged swords if they are to be more than conquerors in Christ.
May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double-edged sword in their hands, To inflict vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples, To bind their kings with fetters, their nobles with shackles of iron, To carry out the sentence written against them. This is the glory of all his saints. Praise the LORD. (Psalms 149:6-9)
It is time for the maturing of the wheat and the tares. In the future, God will be facing Satan; Christ will be facing Antichrist; the Holy Spirit will be facing the False Prophet. Obviously our traditional church services are not strong enough to produce saints who can live victoriously in Christ throughout such a titanic struggle.
When the waves of darkness roll over us we are to pray and not faint.
Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. (Luke 18:1)
No matter how dark the hour becomes, we are to blow the trumpet of prayer. Then God will hear and deliver us from all our enemies and afflictions.
We have to pray fervently to find the will of God.
God hides Himself. Have you found this to be true?
Truly you are a God who hides himself, O God and Savior of Israel. (Isaiah 45:15)
We do not find Him until we seek Him with all our heart.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13)
We can tell we have found the will of God when the answer brings peace and joy; when it is according to the Scripture; and when the outward circumstances are in agreement. When we find ourselves going through day after day of hardness, dread, and gloominess we need to look up to the Lord to determine if He is suggesting we change something we are doing, or if we should just be patient until the answer comes.
I think we often limit the Holy One of Israel. We do not bring all of our desires and needs to Him because we think He is unable or unwilling to do what we want or need.
But the Lord has given us truly extravagant promises.
Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. (John 16:24)
If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. (John 15:7)
"Ask whatever you wish"!
We need to think, from time to time, about how great God is.
Science describes for us the virtually unlimited expanse of outer space and the incredible masses found therein. Although we may state there are so many galaxies containing so many stars, we cannot grasp the enormity of the heavenly bodies.
Yet, the Lord God spoke all of this into existence.
Scientists tell us the present universe began in one place with a "big bang" and is now expanding outward at great speed. The amount of energy required for such an explosion is simply not comprehensible.
The heavens declare the glory of God. The heavens tell us God is greater than any prayer request we can utter; any problem we have that needs to be solved.
Abraham was concerned because he had no heir.
After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: "Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward." But Abram said, "O Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?" And Abram said, "You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir." (Genesis 15:1-3)
Notice that Abraham did not plead with God at this point. He merely expressed his concern.
Notice also that Abraham was in a place where he could hear from God.
Sometimes believers spend most of their time ignoring God. Then when they need something they expect God to jump. They are not living the life of faith. The just shall live by faith means the righteous live in continual contact with the Lord. They walk with God, as did Enoch.
Then, when they have a need, they express that need and God says, "Here am I."
"The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." The closer we are walking to the Lord the more effective our prayers are.
Abraham was walking with God. He expressed his concern about not having a son.
When God answered, He went far beyond anything that Abraham could have asked or even imagined.
Let us realize when we express our desires and needs to the Lord He is well able to answer to an extent we cannot even imagine.
The point is, God wants us to pray, pray, pray without ceasing. God wants every detail of our life to be held before Him in prayer. We have not because we ask not. Anything we can do apart from Christ's help is loss for Christ and for us.
Blowing the trumpet in prayer has a lot to do with our faith.
Faith is our enduring trust and belief in the goodness, power, and faithfulness of God. Under the new covenant, faith expresses itself in a daily interaction with the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, and in stern obedience to God, the result being a new righteous creation in the image of Christ. If we do not have an enduring belief and trust in God's goodness, power, and faithfulness we do not have faith no matter what our doctrinal position may be.
Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.
Every time we find a promise in the Bible we are to believe it. Then we are to take it to the Lord to make certain the specific promise is operating in our life.
Every promise in the Bible is for us, but we have to believe and we have to ask.
Many people go without the blessings they could have because they talk themselves out of it. "I am not worthy." "It is not for today." "God has more to do than to worry about my problems." "Perhaps it is God's will that I am sick, so I won't pray." "My needs and problems are so great I don't think there is much God can do about them." "God is interested only in my basic needs so I will not trouble Him with my desires."
On and on our excuses go, and so we do not receive what we could have had.
One time, when we were living in New York, Audrey fixed a fine breakfast for my father, who was about to return to Arizona.
When my father got up in the morning he said, "I told you all I wanted was coffee." He would not eat any of the eggs and toast she had fixed for him.
Audrey retreated to the bedroom for a good cry.
The Lord reminded her that He had purchased healing for her at a great price. Audrey needed healing for a congenital thyroid condition but had not asked.
At the next opportunity, Audrey was prayed for. She was healed instantly, and the condition has never returned.
Healing is on the table. Salvation is on the table. Wisdom is on the table. Strength is on the table. The gifts of the Spirit are on the table. The solution to every problem we have is on the table. The things we desire are on the table.
The balconies of Heaven are filled with presents of every description, waiting for someone to care enough to ask for them.
Will we eat? Will we ask? Do we care enough to keep on asking; keep on seeking; keep on knocking?
Sometimes our prayers are not answered for years. But know this: no prayer we make in Jesus' name is ignored. God hears our request and then determines what kind of answer would be that which we truly desire, not what merely is superficial and misleading. The moment we ask, the machinery is set in motion.
We may ask for paradise. Well, Adam and Eve had Paradise but they could not keep it. Perhaps when we ask for our paradise, God begins to work on us so when He gives us the desire of our heart we will profit from it and be able to maintain it.
God is good. He always is seeking our good. But He insists we ask, and ask, and ask.
Many times God meets our needs without our asking, just as we often meet the needs of our children before they ask - especially if we realize the child may become ill or otherwise suffer unless we supply the necessary assistance.
If our child asks for a toy, and keeps on asking, eventually he will get the toy if we can afford it, and if it will not be dangerous for him or her to have.
But if he asks once, and then shows little or no additional interest, we may figure it was just a whim.
So it is with God. God wants to know what it is we truly desire.
Our life in America is so colorful, with so many opportunities in every direction, and so many interesting things to do, see, and experience, that we may not spend the time seeking the Lord that we should.
One reason God demands that we blow the trumpet of prayer is so our attention will be turned toward Him. He does not enjoy being ignored. God understands that if we do not spend our time seeking His face we are going to be seduced by Satan into some harmful situation.
During the age of moral horrors we are approaching, we will have to know how to move forward on our knees, one moment at a time. We will have to pray fervently to keep from being deceived; to be able to resist the passions of the flesh; and to maintain our very sanity.
God and Christ are much greater in power and wisdom than is true of Satan. We need to understand this. We need to realize no matter how impossible our situation, Christ is well able to deliver us and put our feet on a rock.
Our day is a time of preparation. We need to practice now calling on the Lord for help in every decision w An hour is coming during which it will be difficult to pray, or even think straight. e make. We need to pray repeatedly at the present time until prayer becomes a reflex, an automatic reaction to every pressure and every perplexity.
We never are to yield to terror, dread, worry, anxiety, or apprehension. We are to drive all of these from our home by the authority and power of Christ. We are to pray mightily, blowing the trumpet, until God comes down and fills our home with His presence. We need to tell God that He and His holy angels are always welcome in our house. We must do this every day.
We need to pray continually that all of our property and everything on it will be holy to the Lord.
The problem in America in the present hour is the bondage of materialism. We are consumers. We are told constantly that the more money and things we have the better off we are. This is of Satan, his intention being that we will ignore the Lord and His plan of salvation.
Things may change in the future. Satan and his demons may become much more apparent, perhaps in some instances actually becoming visible. In that instance we need to know how to blow the trumpet of prayer so we can stand in the day of darkness and trouble. We must understand no devil can harm us if we are walking with the Lord. No enemy can press past the angel of the Lord. In order for Satan to harm us he must seduce us away from God's protection by leading us into sinful behavior.
The "watchmen on the wall" are telling us that America is going to suffer from Divine judgment in the not too distant future. We must learn how to pray so we can stand, and help others to stand, in that hour.
We can take passages of Scripture, such as the thirty-fourth and ninety-first Psalms, and read them aloud to the Lord, claiming them for ourselves. God will hear and make His Word true in our circumstances.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. (Psalms 34:4)
The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. (Psalms 34:7)
A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all; (Psalms 34:19)
If you make the Most High your dwellingeven the LORD, who is my refugethen no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. (Psalms 91:9,10)
"Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name." (Psalms 91:14)
We are to memorize such passages and have them ready. In the hour of great darkness we can recite them before the Lord. Then God will honor His Word by coming down and delivering us.
Notice what David said in the hour of darkness:
He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the LORD was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me. (Psalms 18:16-19)
You can stand on these passages in times of darkness and spiritual oppression. God is always there, waiting for you to blow the trumpet.
God is always ready to honor His Word. He is waiting for us to cry out to Him. Then He will remember us and bring us into a large place of deliverance.
Now is the time to learn how to blow the trumpet of prayer. If we waste our days on the tinsel and foolishness of the American way of life we may find that we do not have the faith to stand in peace and joy when the period of darkness arrives.
But if we will prepare ourselves now by calling on the Lord each day, letting Him know about all of our needs and desires, then, no matter how bleak the future may prove to be, we will be prepared to call on the Lord, knowing He will do exceedingly above all we can ask or think.