(Excerpt taken from ‘Rouse the Warriors’ by Steve Uppal, available online e.g. Eden.co.uk or at your local Christian bookshop.)
Chapter 1 – The Trumpet Call
A number of years ago, I was invited to preach in a church. During the worship time, the Lord spoke to me through a vision. I could see a very large open space, filled with many people. I knew that the people were believers and represented the Church. They were all involved in various different activities. Some were worshipping the Lord; some were talking to each other; some were standing, some sitting, some isolated and others in groups. There was no real order or purpose to this group of believers; everybody was doing their own thing.
My attention was then drawn to an angel on a hillside overlooking the mass of people. The angel had in his hand a long, straight trumpet. I saw the angel lift the trumpet to his mouth and begin to blow. A strong, loud sound came from the trumpet; it sounded like an alarm, a wake-up call.
There were mixed responses to the trumpet call. Some Christians were so engrossed in what they were doing that they didn’t even lift their heads. There were others who looked, looked around and then went back to what they were doing before. But there were believers who heard the sound, and responded to it by stopping what they were doing and giving their attention fully to this sound from heaven.
Those that had stood to attention stood strong, facing the angel; they were alert, focused and ready for action. For these surrendered Christians, the sound from the trumpet went through them, imparting strength and causing them to grow in stature.
A Powerful Army
Then, still in the vision, the Lord spoke to me that He was raising a powerful end-time army. I was to be one of many across the earth who have been called to blow a trumpet and rouse this army to attention and action. The Holy Spirit said that if people would respond by opening up their hearts to this message, then the sound of the words would go through them, making them strong and increasing their stature.
The greatest army the world has ever seen is being assembled, made up of men, women and children, people from every tribe, tongue and nation. The educated and uneducated, poor and rich are all responding to the trumpet call. The army is being assembled on every continent of our planet. It is an army greater than our world has ever seen, more powerful than any historical or present-day army. They will be a mighty force for the kingdom of God in these last days.
This army is not armed with physical weapons such as knives, guns or heavy artillery. Their enemy is not an enemy of flesh and blood, or a particular nation on earth. They are armed with spiritual weapons fighting a spiritual enemy.
Though the battle is spiritual, the results will be seen clearly in the natural realm. Lives will be changed as individuals encounter Christ. Marriages will be restored, families put back together again and churches will find their rightful, God-given place in our society. No longer will they be apologetic, passive survivors but, instead, radical Kingdom Advancers in their cities, nations and the world. Communities too will be transformed as the army begins its advance.
The world is becoming darker and more evil, but this army will become stronger and its light brighter. It will be a beacon of hope to the lost, and will save many from the dominion of darkness into the kingdom of light. The world has not seen anything like this army before. Some laugh at the Church in its present condition, but the day is coming when they will laugh no more. They will see the Church as a strong force of hope and life in our world. When there is instability and fear all around, they will see stability and safety in the body of Christ.
Prepare for war!
‘Proclaim this among the nations: Prepare for war! Rouse the warriors!
Let all the fighting men draw near and attack. Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears.
Let the weakling say, “I am strong!” Come quickly, all you nations from every side, and assemble there.
Bring down your warriors, Lord!’
…We must begin to prepare for war. The trumpet has sounded to rouse the Warriors and wake them from their slumber. Believers and churches must be stirred and woken out of complacency, apathy, blindness, passivity and distraction. They must be brought into a place of being fully awake and ready for action.
It is time to arise from sleep to alertness, from laziness to action, from apathy to expectancy, from hurt to healing, from mediocrity to excellence, from self-pity to gratitude, from failure to success. It is time to leave the past in the past, and take hold of today and the future. It is time to move from a worldly culture to devotion to the kingdom culture, from doubt to faith, from fear to boldness, from limitation to enlargement and from uncertainty to confidence.
Let all the fighting men draw near and attack
…It is time for a spiritual fight; you were not just called to defend and hold on to ground, but to attack and advance. Expel the enemy and establish the kingdom of God…
Beat your ploughshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears
This passage from Joel talks about turning the tools of farming (maintenance and survival) into weapons of warfare (advancement and invasion). Many have been good at surviving and keeping things at an acceptable level, but have not taken any ground or affected their world for Jesus.
We are not called to keep things at an acceptable level, and simply coast through life. Maintenance is good for a season, but you cannot live there or you will die there. We have been maintaining in prayer, vision, planning, evangelism, and even in our personal lives and walk with God. It is time to move out of maintaining to advancing, from surviving to invading.
God has not called you only to hold the fort but to go out from the fort and push the enemy back and take more ground. We should take back what the enemy has stolen, and establish the kingdom of God. Advance!
It will take courage, boldness, faith and a pioneering spirit to advance, but this generation of Warriors have those qualities, and will advance and pioneer a new way. Though this may be new to us, it is not a new thing. The early disciples lived this way. They were not settlers but pioneers. They were not people-pleasers but God-pleasers. They were not building their own kingdoms but the kingdom of God. They were not serving themselves but serving Jesus.
They turned the world upside down in a few short years, advancing the kingdom and destroying the works of the enemy!
Come quickly, all you nations…and assemble there
‘And do this, understanding the present time: the hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armour of light.’ (Romans 13:11-12)
We must wake up from our slumber and realise the urgency of the hour in which we are alive…
The trumpet has sounded… The call has gone out… The Holy Spirit is speaking to you. Will you join this end-time army of Warriors? You now have a responsibility to respond to the challenge of this chapter. Maintain or advance? Survive or invade new ground? Live for the temporal or live for eternity? The choice is yours.
(You can watch Steve explain this vision in his television series entitled ‘CHURCH AWAKE!’ – CLICK HERE TO VIEW – Best viewed in Google Chrome rather than Internet Explorer.)