“And I will be to her a wall of fire all around, declares the LORD, and I will be the glory in her midst” Zechariah 2:5 (ESV)
A city without walls is unprotected, undefended, and vulnerable to the enemy. Proverbs tells us, “A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls” (25:28). Today, our cities may not have physical walls around them, but they definitely can have and actually need spiritual walls!
A question came up recently; “Is the enemy not afraid of the Church in Athens?” As we prayed at Contending for Revival, one of the prophetic intercessors had a picture of the enemy looking over the miniscule walls of Athens to see it unguarded and empty. So, we fervently prayed into that picture! Is this a warning, that we are not as protected from an attack as we may think we are? The Church is responsible for the condition of our city. Sure, the non-churched have played a part in our city going the way of the world, but that’s who they are! Sadly, so is much of the Church in our nation, let alone our city! Is God’s presence a fire wall of protection for local churches in our city? Or have we been lulled asleep in a day of attack?
Over the past few years the number of pastors praying together in Athens has diminished. Covid, elections, offense, you name it, this unity has been attacked! I strongly encourage pastors to come back and pray together once again. Pastors PLEASE come back together and do whatever it takes to pray with and for each other. Oh, that every offense and every wall that divides us would be demolished! The Apostle Paul exhorts us to do whatever it takes to maintain the unity of the Spirit (Ephesians 4:3)! Let’s do it!!!
Another area that has weakened the Church in Athens (and across our nation) is in the tithe! Malachi asks, “are we robbing God (Malachi 3:8-12)?” When we, whether individually or a corporate body, don’t tithe we literally open ourselves up to the devil and curses. Yes, curses are real! But when we do tithe God will rebuke the devourer on our behalf. And He will pour out such blessing that we won’t be able to contain it! Much of the Church does not tithe, so there is no wonder the enemy ravishes them nor do they see the blessing of God in their lives! God wants to bless, even abundantly, but giving generously and tithing is a clear requirement!
Another area that has significantly weakened the church is witchcraft and doctrines of demons having kept in! Occult is being taught in some churches, as well as blindly celebrating pagan holidays such as Easter with egg hunts, bunnies and all. Though the world calls it Easter, it is actually Resurrection Sunday. And that is not just semantics. Our words matter! And much preaching has been compromised with a ‘woke’ gospel. Children are being taught a compromised gospel, especially when we don’t teach clearly about gender, sin and the cross.
Yes, the enemy is looking for soft spots in our city, especially within the Church. Evil spirits are invading our city because much of the Church has chosen independence, that is to stand alone. And our tendency to be offended, or to compromise His word continues to weaken us.
Nevertheless, the few who are awakened are enough! It’s always been the few who make the difference. David, Jonathon, Gideon!!! Though we may look weak, the Lord is preparing an ambush against the enemy through the few who pursue Him wholeheartedly!
Ask the Lord for a greater grace for you to pursue Him wholeheartedly. Tell Him you will seek and obey Him even if you are the only one! Pray that pastors would be once again be drawn to stand and pray together! Ask specifically that your pastor would be moved to pray with other pastors on a regular basis. Pray that the Word of God would be wielded as a sword (Ephesians 6:17) in our city with a fresh confidence, authority and accuracy. Pray that the Word of God would separate bone & marrow, spirit & soul (Hebrews 4:12), and accomplish all that God desires (Isaiah 55:11). Ask God to stir His people to be generous, even extravagant in their giving (Luke 6:38). Ask God to watch over our city (Psalm 127:1).