On Wednesday March 12th, Chris and I started our Trek to Airdrie, Alberta. We flew out of Ottawa International Airport at 6am EST. With one stopover in Toronto, we landed at our destination half an hour early. Flight was smooth and uneventful. Weather in Airdrie was mild and sunny. In fact, the sun was out everyday for our entire stay.
Our trip to Vernon was amazing. The drive through the mountains was breathtaking. What a beautiful country we live in. The highlight in Vernon was the people we met from Community Bible Church(CBC). We felt welcome and well cared for. Rob’s surprise was a commissioning of sorts from the elders at CBC. We met for dinner at the church on Saturday followed by a time of sharing. Rob shared about the start of NHOP and Chris shared about our call to NHOP.
Rob was pastoring CBC when he felt the prompting to make the journey from Calgary to Ottawa. Many of his brothers from this church walked with him during this pioneering endeavour. CBC released him with financial support to initiate the work at National House of Prayer.
For Rob and Fran, this was the start of NHOP. It was the sending by CBC that helped them to spearhead this venture. Rob felt it was important for Chris and myself to also be launched with blessing from this same original starting point. I see it as a prophetic act of passing the mantle. I do want to say here that the passing of the mantle in no way removes Rob and Fran from the equation. While the plan is for Chris and I to become new directors replacing them here in Ottawa, we have never felt this to be a diminishing of their presence with NHOP. But rather we see an increase for them. God is doing something different and we think bigger in this new season building on the foundation that they have so diligently laboured.
When we started the drive back, we realized that we were driving along the same highway that Rob walked in 2001. We drove the NHOP van back to Ottawa. Here was another parallel in regards to the beginning of National House of Prayer. I felt like Joshua as he was given command to take the people across the Jordan. This was confirmed in my daily reading for that day. Deuteronomy 9 starts with “Hear, O Israel: you are to cross over the Jordan today, to go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than you, cities great and fortified up to heaven, a people great and tall, the sons of Anakim,”
The sons of Anakim were the giants that the 10 spies were so afraid of. The giants in our land are not people. Nor are they political parties. Rather they are ideologies that exalt themselves higher than the knowledge of God.
“For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,”
2 Corinthians 10:4, 5 ESV
What is crucial is that the knowledge of God must be distinct and apparent. More than ever, I see the importance of the Word of God. It is our plumbline of truth. It has become my blueprint for prayer. Everything gets measured by the truth of the Word. It is called the Sword of the Spirit. This is the only sword that will be effective in taking down giants. In order to wield this sword with precision and accuracy, it must become a part of who we are.
The Word brings us to a knowledge of Him. As we learn to pray His heart through His Word, we change. We begin to see through His eyes. Our hearts break with the things that break His. This is when we begin to see beyond our own lives, homes and churches. We are compelled to move outside of our comfort zone into actions of love.
Isaiah 61 becomes real.
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn;”
Isaiah 61: 1,2
Then verses 3 and 4 happen.
“that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified. They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations.”
To me this sounds like ideologies changing. The first 2 verses talk about "me" full of the knowledge of Him. Verses 3 and 4 are about those who were broken and bound but were changed through His love. Now they too are full of the knowledge of Him. We must all in unity strive to be the "me" in Isaiah 61: 1,2. Jesus then becomes magnified through us. When Jesus is magnified, strongholds are destroyed and giants will fall.