Dear praying friends,
I have been watching the changing climate in the global arena closely over the last few weeks, as I am sure you have been doing as well. I have delayed sending out this first prayer update of 2022 since so much is happening very quickly and I wanted to see where things may be developing in this first quarter of 2022.
I love the reminder in Lamentations 3:22-23 – Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. Or – as the NRSV translates vs. 22 –
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,[a]
His mercies never come to an end
That’s the promise we need to remember as we ponder the ever-emerging roll-call of global events :-
Although the current day news is anything but pleasant, it does have a huge effect on us depending on how we let it shape our way of thinking and being. While I make no apology for saying we are more than probably in the birth pangs of the end times, we need to remember that global politics as well as these days of emerging from the Covid shutdown, are clearly being shaped by many events that are not catching the Lord by surprise – and which are clearly found explained in Scripture. Thus the importance of sifting what we see and hear through the grid of God’s Word.
For many weeks I have been asking the Lord about these present days and how we should respond since many feel the days are ‘growing short’ (cf. Matthew 24:22) – and the Scripture He has asked me to focus on in this season is Luke 22:47-53. While it refers to the arrest of Jesus prior to Peter’s Denial and then the trial of Jesus – there are 3 brief but powerful points I feel are for us – in such a time as this:-
Judas kissed Jesus – a form of greeting in those days – but also one of close friendship. But it was unholy and full of hidden agendas never mind betrayal. Judas was annoyed that Jesus was not fulfilling his (Judas’) mandate of what a political Messiah should be like – Judas really wanted Jesus to deal with the government and the politics of the day – and instead Judas became the betrayer of the Kingdom of God. He wanted to use flesh and blood and insurrection as a form of demonstrating what he thought the Kingdom of God should look like. As a ministry we have been saying for the last few years that there would be a coming time of Increased lawlessness and entitlement (including on the part of the Church) – that time is here – and we need to know how to respond – not react.
Cutting off the Ear!
In fact, things got worse and the followers of Jesus decided to ‘defend’ Jesus and one of the followers cut off the right ear of the servant of the High Priest after asking the Lord if they should bear arms. Jesus was clear in His response – NO MORE OF THIS! It’s not the way the Kingdom of God does business! It’s not about being conditioned to the standards of a fallen society. Cutting off the ear has much symbolism behind it – including cutting off one’s ability to hear what is really going on and responding instead to the principles of the Word of God. It was also the right ear – and “the right” is usually symbolic of authority in Scripture.
How about our ears? – are we listening to the Lord? Or, is society deafening us to the principles of the Son of Man? We can let our reaction to the times we live in cut off our ability to hear the Lord clearly – but also we can cut off the hearing of others by physically doing something, when in fact it is not modelling the ways of the Kingdom of God. Oh yes, we are called to forcefully lay hold of the Kingdom of Heaven that is now forcefully advancing (cf. Matthew 11:12) – but we use a different type of force for that – one that is not limited to flesh and blood, but instead has much higher and mightier armaments that address the spiritual systems and structures that are the real cause and effect behind what we see in society today.
However – that involves a type of interceding prayer releasing a response from the Heavenlies that is so powerful that it makes even the structures and systems of society shake and tremble since it enlists the army of the Lord! That’s pretty profound when you think about it. It also became a major declaration for the emerging New Testament Church.
What Did Jesus Do? He Restored The Ear!
This is crucial! He did the opposite of what we might have done. (or at least what I might have done!) In fact, He was restoring the ability of humanity to hear (if they are willing)– and in doing so revealed His supernatural ability as the Son of Man to heal and restore the dismembered ear and reveal a much higher way of doing business (cf. Isaiah 55:8-9). This is what Judas had not understood, and what Jesus was now revealing to His followers prior to Peter’s Denial and then the Trial and Crucifixion. This would become an essential teaching and modelling moment for the New Testament Church following the Ascension and Pentecost. Jesus was revealing how we would need to learn to be steadfast in a time of increasing chaos prior to His eventual Return. How essential we also know how to do this since the Lord wants all people to hear His message of invitation and salvation before His Return. But more about this theme on a future Podcast.
Petrie Perspective Podcast – “Steadfast In A Time of Chaos”.
The question is – HOW do we stand fast in somewhat bewildering times such as these? IN WHAT WAYS can we be certain the Lord is also standing fast for and with us?
In this podcast I wanted to share something fundamental and non-negotiable concerning the character and faithfulness of God in times such as this when chaos seems to be looming everywhere. He is Steadfast – and we also need to be steadfast – but on HIS terms following His principles and not letting soulishness reign in our emotions! (Note that The Petrie Perspective Podcast is accessible on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, and on our ministry website – www.partnershipministries.org )
Here is the Kingdom principle – As you will hear on the Podcast, when we resolve to be steadfast in the Lord, He is steadfast for us! That means having our hearts and motives refined and purified on His terms. This is key since those who are steadfast in the Lord are called for the purpose of declaring and revealing and extending the Kingdom of God in their very lifestyle – not just in what they say. This is where faith and action go hand in hand and the muscle of informed prayer releases cause and effect upon the earthly realm in substance and reality.
These are the people of God who understand the power of His Presence and direction in what they go through and that He, the Lord, is higher and has more authority than any storm that challenges us. Those are the people who are steadfast in Him and who experience His steadfastness in their lives and understand the Ways of the Lord in such a time as this – which is far more profound than simply looking for the demonstration of His acts and deeds.
Check out Psalm 103:7 and Hebrews 3:9-11 – Moses knew God’s ways – but the people only wanted His deeds! Knowing His Ways means knowing how He releases His governance on His terms. And these are the people who then experience the power of His Presence resulting in PERFECT PEACE – even in the midst of what they are going through.
The Ways of the Lord
Earlier in 2022 we had the privilege of being hosted by Ellel Africa for a 3-part on-line series on the Ways of the Lord which had participation from 16 nations. The Leadership shared with me afterwards these words – We had such wonderful feedback from people who attended, one lady said to me, this changed my whole view on how I walk with the Lord.
We have now been given the links to these sessions in order that anyone who would like to have further study on this incredible theme of Scripture can take time and view our teaching and sharing
If people want to watch on YouTube
Session 1:Rediscovering The Ways of God S1: https://youtu.be/0M90wmf5k3c
Session 2: Rediscovering The Ways of God S2: https://youtu.be/Zw9cvG_HOng
Session 3: Rediscovering The Ways of God S3: https://youtu.be/zCjGLXszjWA
On a Personal Note
At present – we are working with a number of leaders in nations including Africa, Australia, Belarus and ministries throughout other areas in Europe and North America. We are involved in helping to train up these leaders, intercessors, and the Body of Christ at large in highly challenging days. We all need to learn what a HOLY KISS really involves – and to ensure that our EARS FOR SPIRITUAL HEARING are firmly in place – and that we have all personally allowed the RESTORATION OF OUR HEARING – and that of others which may have been out of relationship – both with Him and with each other.
As Jesus put it so succinctly in Luke 22:52-53… “Am I leading a rebellion that you have come with swords and clubs….but this is your hour when darkness reigns.” His ways are much more powerful – they are higher and eternal. What a profound teaching point for 2022!
We are so grateful for your on-going prayers for us as a ministry, for Marie and me , our family, and our Ministry Board. Your prayers and encouragement and support make it possible for us to keep doing what we feel the Lord has called us to do in such a time as this. There really are battles raging out there! We as a family are not exempt from them and have experienced much concern in specific areas during the last few weeks.
Your prayers for health and healing in all our family members (including our grandchildren) are really needed – and appreciated. Please be relentless on our behalf as the Lord leads you.
Please PRAY that we have real wisdom at our forthcoming Annual General Meeting in March and that we are sensitive to the Lord’s agenda for us as a ministry in the coming days.
Please pray we have wisdom as a ministry in knowing the specific tasks we are called to undertake in this emerging season since there are many battles at hand – and we need to stick to the ones He has assigned to us to address.
PRAYER:- Loving Father – may we all understand what is involved in approaching you with a holy kiss. You do invite us into Your Presence, but may it be on Your terms and with no hidden agenda on our part. We want to be about the business of understanding the strategies and tools of the Kingdom of God for such a time as this – knowing Your Kingdom is one of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (cf. Romans 14:17). Lord, please remind us that this is what gives us access to the unlimited resources You make available for Your people especially in times of relentless challenge. You are the Living God that longs to restore to us what we may need to serve You as fully and responsibly as possible – and to be able to listen to the Counsel and instruction of the Lord. In whatever we may be going through in these restless days, Lord, may we be tenacious in grasping these profound truths at both personal and family levels – as well as in all our collegial circles. May it be Your Kingdom, Lord, that lives and reigns and rules in and through us.
Our love and blessings and deep appreciation for you all,
Alistair and Marie
Rev. Dr. Alistair P. Petrie