10 Days (Sept 29-Oct 9) is an annual prayer meeting, and frankly (as a regular participant) it's a bit of a long one :).
What’s the value of such extended times of prayer? How do they fit within a Biblical framework and worldview? And why would God be looking for such unusual (at least to us) prayer at this time?
Over the past two weeks, we’ve looked at “The Cry that brings Deliverance” as a way of understanding the value of consecrated seasons of prayer like 10 Days, understanding how God governs the world and the significant role that we as His people have to play in His economy [God’s way of doing things].
In the first week, we looked at “the Cry” as a Biblical theme found throughout Scripture and history
Oppression, bad circumstance, or persecution (something bad) happens provoking a response from human beings
The pain provokes a Cry out to God for deliverance from His people
God hears and brings deliverance to the oppressed and reciprocal judgment on the oppressors
Last week, we examined the Exodus as a pre-eminent example of this Biblical concept.
Israel’s Cry because of oppression moved God to respond with both deliverance for Israel and reciprocal (proportionate, corresponding) judgment on Israel
God also used this situation to reveal more of His Glory and His name than ever before
God used the Cry and this deliverance to advance His covenant agenda to the next phase—leading Israel into the promised land
The climax was a “marriage” to His people where God dwelt in their midst in the Tabernacle (Exodus 40).
The Cry that Brings Deliverance: Deliver us from Global Babylon
Today, we’ll look at where we are headed next as the people of God. While we don’t need to be delivered from literal slavery in a literal Egypt, as it turns out, we have much bigger problems than Israel, more insidious oppression, and a much greater deliverance that’s needed.
From Exodus to Revelation
As many students of Scripture have noted, Revelation is an “Exodus” story, one that is yet to unfold. To put it another way, we are currently in the position of Israel in Egypt, oppressed by this current age, but positioned (knowingly or unknowingly) for a great deliverance and a great transition from this present age to the age to come.
The story of the Exodus is referenced throughout Revelation. The patterns are the same in both books:
In Exodus, God moves in response to the Cry of His people and sends plagues on Egypt to bring about judgment and a great deliverance, advancing the Covenant and resulting in a divine marriage (Ex. 40).
In Revelation, God moves on behalf of His Son, the Lamb who was slain (Rev. 5:6), the prayer and worship of the saints (Rev. 5:8), the cries of the martyrs (Rev. 6:9-11), to bring about judgment on His enemies (Rev. 6,) and deliverance for his people from “every nation, tribe, people, and language” (Rev. 7:9-17), advancing His covenant and resulting in a divine marriage (Rev. 19-21).
This next Exodus will not be localized in Egypt, it will be a global event. The end result will be a total answer to the prayer Jesus taught us to pray, “Thy Kingdom Come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. Afterwards, it will be said, “The Kingdoms of this world have become the Kingdom of our God, and of His Christ”. The deliverance will not only be from slavery to human masters, but from slavery to death, decay, futility, and all the affects of the fall. Our new Freedom will not be merely political, but the freedom to be fully human in the likeness of the resurrected Jesus Christ, with incorruptible, glorious bodies, fully renewed minds, and fully united to God and one another by the Holy Spirit.
Remember the main theme of these teachings: We are not passive observers in this second Exodus. Instead, our voice, our testimony, and our Cry are keys to unlocking the entire thing!
As with the Exodus, God will bring deliverance for His people in response to our Cry!
Positive and Negative Pressure
The pressures that provoke this cry from God’s people are both exogenous, external, negative pressure, like what we see in the Exodus, but also internal, positive desires provoked by the Holy Spirit.
Exogenous Pressure: The Cry from God’s people will come forth from a combination of factors including suffering, oppression, persecution, martyrdom, the growing sinfulness of the world as well as sorrow over the ongoing death and corruption of the world which will not end until the Lord returns.
Internal Pressure (Desire): The Cry from God’s people will also come forth because of the Spirit’s work in us, which produces desire to see the Glory of God, a hunger and thirst for righteousness, agreement with God in His purposes, and an increasing longing for the Lord’s Return.
Together, compelled by inner and outer forces reaching a historical climax, there will be a Cry from God’s people:
For Deliverance from great affliction and persecution and from the slavery of death, corruption, and this evil age
For the manifest glory of God to be revealed (“May the Lamb receive the reward of His suffering”)
From the Bride to the Bridegroom, a cry of anxious lovesickness and longing for full union
From Suffering, Groans and Slavery to Glory, Redemption, and Freedom!
With the Exodus and Revelation fresh in our minds, let’s read this famous passage about the Cry that is currently ascending to the throne from the created order and especially from us as “co-heirs” with Christ who are now on the earth.
Romans 8: 18-26: 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, [i]in hope 21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. 23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. 24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.26 In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;
The internal dynamic described in Romans 8:18-26 will reach a climax as the Lord returns. Right now, we are experiencing the “beginnings of birth pangs”, but a great birth is coming, a birth that will result in the total redemption of every aspect of Creation and the full revelation of who we are in Christ!
Conclusion: When God first gave me the vision of 10 Days, it was with this Phrase: “Babylon refuses to mourn, but My people will mourn before I return.” Hopefully, after this exposition, we can see how that seemingly cryptic phrase makes sense in the context of Scripture.
Babylon [Pharaoh, Egypt] refuses to mourn [to repent of injustice and cry-out] but God’s people will mourn [enter into the Cry] before the Lord returns. This mourning—this cry in God’s economy [God’s way of operating] is what releases divine deliverance from the injustice and futility of this age, reveals the glory of God, and brings about the divine marriage between the King of Kings and His Holy People!
This fall during 10 Days, let’s agree with God’s plans and purposes and lend our voices to this great, global Cry.
Come Lord Jesus!
We are Going to Seek the Lord: Won't You Join us? Are you feeling drawn to join in 10 Days (Sept. 29-Oct. 9) this year? Over 50 cities have registered this year. We also have resources and coaches available to help serve you in uniting believers for city-wide worship, fasting, and repentance.
Reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let's seek the Lord together!