Who will rise up for Me, who will take a stand?

Nov 1, 2018 | Audio-Visual Presentations, Prayer Focus for the Nations

For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him. (2 Chron. 16:9)

Topsy horribly turvy so many things are today. Instead of leaders who serve their people and look out for their best interests, might and power are the dominant note in so many governments and organisations. I loved this BBC article concerning the CEO of the service retailer, Timpson’s, about how leadership can work!

Even without mentioning Russia’s unparalleled threats to use its nuclear arsenal, we are now faced with the terrible breakdown of leadership in Haiti, and the ugliness of the civil wars in Myanmar, the Sudan, and so many other places. God have mercy on a world in which so many are bowing down in temples of Mammon, and either ignoring any thought of their spiritual life altogether, or picking and mixing different aspects of religious practices and beliefs instead of devoting themselves to the Lord Jesus Christ, who resents the Father’s true path to Himself.

By contrast, both David and Jesus were consumed with ‘zeal for the House of the Lord.’ God’s truth and priorities were their heart’s desire, with the things that matter to Him being the things that mattered most in all the world to them.

Those of us who are reading this will be familiar with that profound sense of identifying ourselves profoundly with the things that that dear to the heart of the Lord. We feel insults against Him as if they were insults against us, just as it hurts intensely when we hear of believers who lapse and fall, or of those who effectively score yet another ‘own goal’ against the Church, bringing no glory to Heaven’s Kingdom.

As I was musing on these things, I was reminded of a powerful song that Martin Charlesworth, one of our flat mates from our Oxford days, wrote back in 1980 at a time when we were seeking the Lord urgently for the nations. We remember him receiving it so clearly in the lounge overlooking St Clements’ Street, where the Lord touched so many lives.

The song begins with an echo of lines from Psalm 94:16, in which the psalmist asks, Who will rise up for me against the wicked? Who will stand for me against the workers of iniquity? As so often in the prophetic Scriptures, the voice of the Lord often interweaves so closely with the voice of the prophet that we are not always entirely sure whether it is the Lord or His mouthpiece who is speaking.

This is at once a powerful lament and a beautiful call from the heart of the Lord to pray for His people to ‘rise up . . .  take courage and do it’ (Ezra 10:4): that is, to take whatever stand He may be asking of them, whether in the physical or the spiritual realms, as we press in to the heart of God in prayer. (cf Ezra 10:4)

It reminds us too that God truly does hear our prayers, feeble though they often seem to us, and He stretches out His hand in response, to move in situations near and far away alike.

Let’s use this song as a prompt to pray for those who are already taking a brave stand for the Lord, for there will always be a cost and sacrifice to make in reaching out to take fresh ground for the Kingdom – especially where that involves challenging party spirit and vested interests.

Thanks to Megan Topper for singing this so beautifully for us, and to David Booth for providing the guitar introduction. Do listen to this piece more than once and take this heart cry from the Lord deeper into your own heart!

For those of you who might like to sing or share this song, here is a link to the words and music score.

Many who have heard this song have been touched by it. One friend wrote in response to it:

My heart
has been tenderised;
Set aflame
it tingles with salt.
He pierces the inmost depths of my heart with His sword
draws me to His side
with His call of love.

I am helpless,
undone by His passion.
He is my desire
and I seek to serve Him Alone,
whom to serve is perfect freedom.

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