CITIES OF REFUGE AND THE COMING PERILS
by Chad Taylor
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging...” (Ps 46:1-3).
After extended trips into the Gulf Coast beginning in early September I began to absorb the magnitude and far reaching ramifications of the current and ongoing disasters unfolding from the borders of Florida to Texas. During each trip into “ground zero” the depth of what was taking place sank deeper and deeper into my spirit as I began to get glimpses or “flashes” of prophetic understanding and revelation for America’s future and what it must do to prepare. Floods now deluge New Hampshire, New Jersey and other parts of the Eastern Seaboard, a earthquake sweeps tens of thousands into eternity in the middle east and Hurricane Rita reminds us all that these things are far from normal or to be quickly dismissed or forgotten; we must grasp what is happening now or pay a price into the millions of human casualty. These are only the beginning of the coming perils.
CITIES OF REFUGE AND HOW TO PREPARE FOR THE WORST
When we first entered the city limits of Gulf Port, MS. on Hwy 49 we were struck with the massive army of relief and aid from civilians, military and thousands of other nameless heroes. What was even more astounding was that almost all of the relief effort orbited around the gravity of churches as parking lots were transformed into distribution centers and “mercy camps”. A plethora of denomination and color stood side by side in the overwhelming work to aid hundreds of thousands impacted by the hurricanes. What followed was the greatest displacement of human life since the Civil War and cities never heard of and others famous for football teams and booming economies were transformed overnight into CITIES OF REFUGE. The resulting breakdown though was the time it took to respond once disaster stuck thus the loss of hundreds of lives. Even now many are not responding and continuing life as usual willingly ignoring of the historic events unfolding all around them. Unfortunately these are some of the very places in line like dominos for disaster and destruction.
If you are a church in New Orleans you will never do church the same. The DNA of church has been forever altered not only by 20 feet of flood water but by the epic days that followed. They will never be the same... The greatest blessing that Hurricane Katrina will leave behind her is a church prepared and in position to reach out DAILY and PERPETUALLY to the cities in which they reside. Not only token pot-lucks on Thanksgiving and Christmas but rather meeting the daily needs of the people. The crutch of annual charity has been kicked out from underneath the church in many regions and they are suddenly realizing they are to be the welfare and outreach to their cities daily and perpetually. What you see in the Gulf Coast is really a vivid picture of true revival: streams of people coming in 24 hours a day seven days a week for spiritual and physical aid.
Churches and ministries in areas not impacted by these disasters must study the blueprints of what they left behind and prepare for the worst. This is not a unforeseen prediction it is hard core reality - PREPARE FOR THE WORST NOW. Churches need to begin to pray for their cities in a different light of understanding and begin to open the doors to the people 24 hours-a-day seven days a week. That truly is the blueprint unfurling now in the Gulf Coast as the church begins to function as it did in the 1st Century “adding to the church daily such as should be saved...” We need to become the places of refuge now or run the risk of being under 9 ft. of water or debris from floods, earthquakes and unexplainable disasters. They are coming with more frequency and intensity and no city or state is exempt, but the good news is that it will create the open door we have all prayed for; unprecedented harvest and revival.
WAREHOUSES, BUSES AND DISTRIBUTIONS CENTERS: A DIVINE STRATEGY
This has never been more paramount and critical that the church has what it needs to assist when crisis and tragedy strikes. Are we set up in our churches to accommodate a few hundred people and take care of their daily needs if we had to? Can we transport that many or more out of compromised areas if necessary and get them safely out of harms way? Is our church ready to feed thousands of desperate people if there was a sudden shortage of food and water? Why not? Because we have lived in a state of religious relaxation for a century oblivious to the times of peril that are now upon us. We are completely conditioned to exist in a peaceful state viewing the worlds disasters from the safety of our pews and easy chairs, we are utterly unprepared for what’s coming. We have spent more money and energy creating comfortable havens of religious experience than we have to build facilities to rescue and redeem dying humanity and meet their daily needs, some are about to get a rude awaking unless we act now.
Instead of paving the parking lot put up a aluminum warehouse and begin to take the tithes and offering used for unredeemable things and stock it with food, water and the ability to accommodate entire families. Purchase buses that can transport large bodies of people and the facilities to feed the hungry and displaced. Put in position now teams of intercessors and worship teams that are already praying and standing in the gap covering and protecting. Without this divine defense in place now the margin to respond will widen dramatically. We will be scattered like sheep without a shepherd as so many thousands were in the Gulf Coast without perpetual prayer and worship intact now. Not just prayer and worship but prayer, worship and the mechanics in place to receive our cities. This has been our message for 8 years now as we traveled the length and width of America; get in position for harvest and revival and become a relevant entity in your city. Now we have no choice.
EARTHQUAKES, VOLCANOES AND EPEDIMICS: BREAKING UP THE FALLOW GROUND
The best way to describe the spiritual significance of these current events is this: The breaking up of fallow ground. This chain of natural and supernatural events has forced to the surface critical issues that have kept the church in a state of general inability to face the magnitude of compromise and corruption that has filled her city streets. The social, economic and spiritual ground has been plowed revealing original foundations and divine design. Now it is simply up to us as His ambassadors to fill the vacuum these disasters and uncontrollable events have created and prayerfully excavate the original intent for our regions and cities and rebuild. This of course cannot be done without a continuum of prayer and worship which these historic have set the stage for. Thus our objective and mandate which is now become a reachable reality in New Orleans; 24/7 prayer and worship at ground zero of this epic crossroad: tragedy and history. When these two collide it creates the incredible possibility of revival and reformation.
The Gulf Coast and Hurricane Katrina is only one event in a series of events about to take center stage. One only leads to next like an invisible fuse that has been lit. Already we have witnessed more hurricanes that followed, floods in divers and sundry locations and a number of other strange and devastating events. This is only the beginning. Earthquakes, volcanoes and incurable plagues will compliment and accompany these landmarks but they will create such a spiritual power surge in their wake it will sweep millions into God’s Kingdom quantum leaping us past religious mire and mountains of tradition that would have taken decades to overcome. We can learn from the blueprints of Katrina and pay close attention to what is following so that we can in our own cities and churches prepare for the worst which is truly the best… That is what the women did in Jesus’ final hours; they prepared for His worst which was His death on the cross, and His best, resurrection power and revival. This will again be the outcome if we do not ignore these ensigns and undeniable events unfolding before our very eyes.
HOW YOU CAN HELP RIGHT NOW SET THESE THINGS IN MOTION AND MAINTAIN MOMENTUM
We are one of many that are like spiritual architects creating a blueprint of divine design by our actions and obedience in the Gulf Coast and New Orleans. You can learn dramatic principles and a plan of action by what we are putting into practice and doing at this very moment. We now have a location to stage 24/7 prayer and worship in the city. The tent is up, the sound equipment in place and teams from across the nation and even Canada are coming to pray and praise all day and night in the midst of the largest rebuilding project in America’s history. This is happening right now literally minutes from downtown New Orleans where history was so dramatically captured on television and the printed press. You can be a part if it either in person or by your prayers and commitment to see this come to maturation. Below is a detailed list of what we need right now as we plan for our 5th trip to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast accompanied by teams from 3 states Nov. 4th. Even as I type prayer groups and worshipers are converging on the tent and many have been there for days already and others have come and gone. The teams on the ground who have been a part of the recovery from the beginning are ready to receive them...
1) The need for teams and individuals to commit to a weekend, a week or a day to pray and stand in the gap in New Orleans is paramount. Worship leaders and worshipers as well to lift up a song of David in a city on its knees is urgent. You can contact us about dates and details at firstname.lastname@example.org
2) Financial and monetary support from you is critical relating to our ability to drive into ground zero, stay for any length of time and bring supplies and much needed help. To give online please go to http://www.consumingfire.com/operationrescue.htm
3) WE NEED R.V.’S, CAMPERS, 5TH WHEELS TO ACCOMMODATE THOSE ON THE GROUND 24/7 AND THE TEAMS COMING IN! PLEASE IF YOU HAVE ANY OF THE ABOVE OR WANT TO SPONSOR US IN GETTING ONE PLEASE CONTACT US NOW. IF YOU KNOW OF ANY HOMES IN NEW ORLEANS OR VICINITY THAT ARE LIVABLE PLEASE CONTACT US @ email@example.com OR CALL 229-672-1008.
4) Any sound equipment i.e., a PA system, amplifiers, a portable OUTDOOR STAGE or a outdoor projector and screen to show video please contact us right away. These tools are powerful conduits to expedite this strategy to restore and rebuild New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. I urge you if you have any ideas please don’t hesitate to respond. Your obedience is the hinge of our ongoing success. Email firstname.lastname@example.org OR CALL 229-672-1008.
5) Any vehicle: truck, mini-van, SUV etc. that could be used in New Orleans as transportation for prayer teams while in the city etc. would expedite our efforts a hundred fold. We would need them for 3-6 months.
For more info. Please visit:
Online 24/7 prayer and worship calendar: http://www.localendar.com/public/wittyinvention