An address I gave last night (9/25/16) at the Opening Rally for 40 Days for Life in San Luis Obispo.
INTRODUCTION – One of the most fruit producing, justice establishing, church purifying, darkness piercing and life preserving ministries or movements on the planet today in my opinion is the “40 days for Life” campaign – – – especially when the said campaign is carried out by united, loving, humble, God dependent, Christ centered, Spirit led and Spirit empowered – women, men, young people and children.
My objective tonight is to share a few foundational truths that will enable you and I to be that kind of people as we begin together on Wednesday – the 40 days for life campaign in San Luis Obispo in front of Planned Parenthood on Pismo Street.
And my first foundational truth is this: The abortion industry and all the lies that surround it and fuel it are inspired and empowered and held together by demonic powers. (repeat). And thus the only hope we have of dismantling it is that someone greater than Satan and His demons leads the charge.
I have good news tonight friends. Jesus Christ is far greater than Satan and his demons, and He is glad to lead the charge!
You see, only Jesus Christ can so impact a woman in bondage to sexual immorality – evidenced by the string of men she had given herself to– that the whole city she lived in was impacted by Jesus’s ministry to her, and many believed in Him according to John chapter 4.
Only Jesus Christ can so impact a man in bondage to the love of money and greed and covetousness that when He came face to face with Jesus, he gladly offered to provide restitution to all those he had ripped off. His name was Bacchus.
Only Jesus Christ can so impact a man in bondage to anger and rage and violence and hatred that he fasted for three days after He encountered the risen Christ, and then lived the rest of His life for this One He had so scorned and despised. I’m speaking of course of Saul the rabid persecutor, who became Paul the great apostle.
Only Jesus Christ can capture men and women whose lives and careers for years served to bolster the pro abortion movement; and so turn them around from the inside out that they now are helping to lead the pro life movement that they once despised. Abby Johnson being exhibit A.
Jesus Christ – the risen Son of God – our merciful Savior and the great Lover of our Souls – created and died for every person that works for Planned Parenthood on Pismo Street and every person that walks into their building to get an abortion. His consuming love, mercy and compassion will never allow Him to sit idly by while the kingdom of darkness destroys lives and families inside those walls. His passion for justice will also not allow Him to sit idly by while those in places of power in our nation continue to turn a blind eye to the atrocities against humanity that go on routinely inside the walls of Planned Parenthood clinics around our nation.
So when you and I – starting on Wednesday walk on to that side walk on Pismo Street and begin to pray – – it is imperative that we show up with a God sized view of our great Savior – Our Warrior King – Our hands on – miracle working – mountain removing – angel commanding King of Kings – Jesus Christ. Nothing is too difficult for Him. Nothing is impossible with Him.
The next foundational truth or reality is this: Jesus Christ sees cities as an entity, He loves cities, He has great compassion towards cities, and He will eventually judge cities, starting I believe with the church that He has established within the cities of the earth, …. and He expects us to be salt and light in these cities, so that His judgment can be averted, and as many people as possible can come into His kingdom.
When Jesus began His ministry He appeared to have a strong compulsion to minister to cities (not just individuals) as can be seen in a number of passages in the gospels such as Luke 4:43 where He said, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose.” Matthew tells us in Matthew 11:20 that Jesus “began to denounce the cities in which most of His miracles were done, because they did not repent.” – revealing that He not only had expectations of individuals, but also whole cities. His letters to the churches of specific cities in the early chapters of the book of Revelation reveal His commitment to chastise and correct those churches based on how they fulfilled His expectations for the cities in which He placed them. And by the way, I believe – ultimately when our Risen Lord looks at His church in a given city, He sees one church responding to Him as the Head, not all of the brands and flavors that we tend to focus on like the Los Osos Christian Fellowship or Calvary Chapel SLO or The Mission in SLO.
So why does this matter? Well it matters because if we are going to be effectively and powerfully used by Him, we have to see the whole picture. Planned Parenthood is not an isolated independent organization. It thrives on Pismo Street year after year because the mentality of our general population and even the church allows it to do so. It thrives because the general mentality of our beloved Cal Poly University enables it to do so. It thrives because our various government entities refuse to accept and embrace the truth and reality that healthy families that value and produce healthy children are crucial for the future and health of our society. And one of the greatest enemies of these potential families in our nation is this organization strangely named Planned Parenthood.
Is God wringing His hands over this web of lies that all these entities are mired in? Absolutely not. The history of revivals and awakenings in our nation remind us that darkness is never too dark for His glorious light to expose that darkness and turn it on its head.
Let’s expect the Holy Spirit to show us how to bring radical transformation to this city to such an extent that planned parenthood has no chance to survive.
Of course all of this will not take place if we do not pray. And that leads me to my third and last foundational truth or reality. And that is that:
God delights in and responds to faith filled, persistent and specific asking! Have you ever noticed how many times Jesus commands us to ask in the gospels? It’s as if He is sitting on the edge of His heavenly seat, chomping at the bit to act, to intervene, to invade the kingdom of darkness with His glorious light- – if and when His people will ask Him in faith to do so. Listen to some of these commands:
Matt. 7:7,8 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” (the tense of these verbs in the greek has the idea of continuous, persistent, non stop asking)
Matt. 18:19 “Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.” (if two people persisting in united prayer can accomplish anything, what can thousands as we rally together this coming Wednesday accomplish?)
Matt. 21:22 “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” (Faith – not in my skills and brilliance as an intercessor, not in my prayer rituals, but in the goodness and faithfulness and power of the God I pray to)
Mark 11:24 “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
John 14:13 “Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” One of the ways we bring glory to God is by asking boldly and confidently and persistently and I believe specifically in His name.
John 14:14 “If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”
John 15:7 “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”
John 15:16 “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”
John 16:23 “In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, He will give it to you.”
John 16:24 “Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”
Seems to me the proper response to all these commands is to obey them right now. Would you join with me in believing prayer in the mighty Name of Jesus for the glory of God?