Draw your water for the siege! Fortify your strongholds!
Go into the clay and tread the mortar! Make strong the brick kiln!
A message for God’s workers regardless of position, from pastors, teachers, deacons, administration, missionaries, musicians, etcetera…this evening as Rod led the 2020 Fortify Palawan team in a time of prayer, the Holy Spirit brought me to this verse. My initial thought was that I would speak this singular verse to the team. But I could not muster myself, to get up, and by the time I did, it was too late, P Rod begun the last minute reminders for the team for the next two days, had I missed my moment? 02/25/2020
Yet the Lord allowed this verse to stay with me, He wants me to consider the truths encapsulated in this part of scripture. At first, the word ‘fortify’ stood out as it is the theme of the missions ministry. I searched and found the word six times (NKJV). In a way, it reminded me of the parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25.
Though this part in Nahum was a warning for the Assyrians of Nineveh to ‘prepare’ for the siege expected from the Lord, it may very well be a warning likewise for the body of Jesus Christ, His church against the apostasy that was, is, is to come.
Breaking it down, thus the Lord’s revelation to me:
The siege is the Field God’s workers scatter seeds on; plow in; and reap from. It is a picture of the battle a missionary faces, which is all part of the ‘job description.’ Paul gives Timothy the reminder that he is a soldier, enlisted by the Lord, there are dangers from without and within the church. Hosea 10:12 spoke of fallow ground as does Christ when He gave us the parable of the sower with the four kinds of soil.
The water we get to draw from is that which is given by the Holy Spirit… ‘out of him will flow rivers of Living Water’ (John 4:14; 7:37,38) The battle begins by drawing water, so we are not weakened/dehydrated/thirsty spiritually, we are called to ask Him to fill us with His water to allow us to stand fast against the onslaught perpetrated by the enemy (Ephesians 6:13-20). Therefore, be filled with His Word, being in prayer in the Word.
Fortify strongholds…the church…the body of Christ…in the ESV, strengthen your forts, the assembly of believers. The call is to not neglect coming together so that we build each other up in the Word in word and in deed.
The Bible is full of warnings/reminders against apostasy, Paul spoke of it, Jude was passionate about warning the church of certain men who creep in; the old testament reminded the nation of Israel through Moses, Joshua, Samuel, Elijah, and the prophets…don’t go far from the Lord!
Go into the clay…(the people that make up the church, teach the Word wholly) strengthen it, tread…clay needs to be molded according to the Potter, mortar is “a mixture of lime with cement, sand, and water, used in building to bond bricks or stones.”
Isaiah 64:8; Jeremiah 18:6, spoke of the clay being in the Potters hand; then in the NT, Paul reminds us that you are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works…Ephesians 2:10…which is why his call to us in Romans 12:1,2 to present ourselves a living sacrifice, not because of us but because of Him Who called us.
Make strong… as we go through the siege, the Lord Jesus tells us that in this world, we will have tribulation…but we are to strengthen one another because He has overcome the world… we are to encourage one another…1Thess 5:11; Hebrews 12:12; 1Peter 5:10; Revelation 3:2 we are called to fortify each other and ourselves…in the Word, in prayer asking as we ought…2 Timothy 3:16,17
The picture we have is that of man made of clay strengthened by the three-fold elements of water, straw, and baking through heat under the sun.
This is the church of Jesus Christ being built up, Peter uses an Old Testament reference of you and me as living stones; the other is that the Lord is molding us to the image of His Son (Jeremiah 18:4; Romans 8:29, 9:21), done by those elements mentioned…a picture of the Triune Godhead working on a vessel honoring God, God’s masterpiece(Poiema)… are you surrendered?
- This message was written was written two and a half years ago, during the last Fortify conference. Its message resonates true to this day. The Lord continues to build His church in Palawan!
- “Therefore, Pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into HIS harvest.” Matt 9:38