Contending for the Soul of a Generation
In Part 1, I pointed out the prophetic implications of Satan’s physical assault on the womb. Every generation in which God has made a significant transition in furthering His redemptive plan, the enemy has countered by demonically influencing the governments of this world to release a decree of death over our children. In the generation of Moses, the king of Egypt commanded the midwives to kill every male child (Ex. 1:16). In the generation of Jesus’ first coming, king Herod commanded that all the male children who were two years and under in the region around Bethlehem to be killed (Matt. 2:16). As a Christian, I know God’s purposes are far higher than America, but still, I believe it is no coincidence that just over forty years ago our nation’s supreme court ruled in favor of granting the right of a woman to choose to abort their child. I believe this is another prophetic implication of the end-time hour we are living in. In Part 2, I highlighted that Satan’s strategy is not only to keep physical babies from being born, but spiritual babies from being born again. He is not only assaulting the womb of expectant mothers but the womb of Jesus’ Bride, the church! We are facing a midwife crisis in the church! Now instead of trying to defend what we have out of fear, my charge is that we contend offensively for every soul in faith. In this article, I want to challenge, encourage and equip the body of Christ with right thinking about how to do this. If you are a born again Christian, then you are commissioned by Jesus Himself to make disciples as members of His church, whether you are raising natural children or spiritual children or both, you have a “midwife” responsibility that you cannot afford to forsake.
But the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the male children live. (Ex. 1:17, ESV)
Ultimately, God is the deliverer through Christ Jesus who bore the iniquity of us all that we might be born again into new life. He is the One who knew us before the womb, who gives life at conception, who delicately forms us, and who also delivers us into His kingdom. He alone is the Savior of His people. Yet, in the midst of God’s supernatural involvement, He calls for our participation. God doesn’t just make babies appear into existence at the flick of His finger (sorry ladies), but He sovereignly entrusts them into our hands and places them within His own created process. He lets us sow the seed and water the plant, but He gives the increase. So what does this mean? Though God is the author and perfecter of faith, He is looking for spiritual midwives who will labor with His Spirit to help birth and raise those who will be apart of His kingdom. This does not mean that we are the Savior, but it does mean that God has uniquely given us a part to play in the process of bringing souls into His kingdom. In the story of the Exodus, there were certain midwives who feared God, therefore, they resisted the decree of death by standing in the gap on behalf of the newborns. If it wasn’t for these midwives, namely a Levite mother known as Jochebed and her daughter Miriam, we may not have had a Moses.
My conviction is that the reason we aren’t seeing lasting deliverance in the church is because we have abandoned the role of the midwife due to wrongly placed fear. A new order of government is arising who doesn’t know Joseph—who represents the faith of our forefathers and the wisdom of God. Taskmasters are being set in place to put more pressure on the church than ever before. It is becoming increasingly more of a risk to take a stand for God’s Word, for righteousness, for justice, and for the gospel of Jesus Christ; therefore, no one is standing in the gap. What am I saying? Our midwives (churches) don’t fear God anymore, so churches in America are largely forsaking natural birthing methods. We want the instant positive results of having children, but we don’t want the increased responsibility of the process. We want kids because we want recognition, but we don’t want the added pressure of raising them in righteousness. We fear Pharaoh’s decree more than we believe God’s promise. Now our children are growing up in a church culture where the most important activity of our faith is not prayer but self-preservation. It’s no longer about hearing and obeying God, but it has become about keeping our reputation in tact. Our spiritual babies (new Christians), who were taught that after making a decision for Christ and receiving their hell insurance that the pinnacle of discipleship was church attendance, are now spiritually dead in the womb of too many churches. I fear that most churches today don’t really want genuine spiritual babies because babies can be disruptive, inconvenient, challenging, and they require a lot of attention and resources. Speaking as a parent myself, there is not much room for selfishness when you have a young child. What churches seem to really want are pacified tithers who are content with a microwaved sermon once-a-week and who never produce anything that might make anyone feel uncomfortable about their own complacent, half-hearted and un-biblical expression of Christianity (Amos 2:11-12). Because of this fear-of-man-based mindset, our churches have become more like graveyards instead of birthing centers, where we are surrounded by bodies but void of new life. We are whitewashed tombs full of dead man’s bones. O hear me body of Christ, turn your attention to the womb again! Contend for the soul of this next generation!
I love that Jesus called us His sheep because sheep require a lot of help for survival. Like a baby, they are completely dependent on the one who is caring for them. I know that there is no way I would have survived without God’s help, still I attribute much of my spiritual maturity today to the many “midwives” that He used to help birth and raise me. I am still far from being fully grown, but my point is that the Lord has always chosen to use people to grow people through the supernatural aid of His Spirit. So where are the midwives who fear God today? Are we so selfish, hard and bitter that we cannot smell the stench of death among us? If God desires that none should perish, then why don’t we care? If He calls us friends, then why does He have to cry alone? Why does all of heaven rejoice when one sinner repents while a church gets angry because it didn’t happen in their building? We desperately need to reconnect to the heart of the Father in this hour.
Strategy for a Midwife Crisis
God’s strategy for bringing healthy deliverance has always consisted of partnership with midwives. I want to point out three activities connected to the midwife role of the church that must be restored, the first being intercession, the second being evangelism, and the third being discipleship. Just as a baby goes through the process of being conceived, birthed and weened, so it is in the spirit. Intercession is where we plead on behalf of man that God would birth souls into His kingdom. Intercession is God’s grand strategy whereby He reconciles weak and frail sinners to Himself, so that we can partner with Him in releasing His power in the earth. Intercession humbles us, unites us and teaches us to trust in His ways. Christ Himself became intercession for us as He hung between heaven and earth, and now He lives to make intercession for us. We are now invited into this intercessory position as the church of the firstborn to partner with our Elder Brother in prayer, to help carry, protect and birth newborns into His kingdom. By prioritizing intercession, which in simple terms is prayer for other people, places or situations, we are coming into agreement with God’s plan of redemption. Christians now have the authority in Christ to bind, loose, ask and receive, as we speak His word in agreement with His will. A midwife church, who is God’s greatest instrument for birthing souls into His kingdom, will be a praying church who groans by the Spirit in intercession. Every Christian community needs a Christ-centered, faith-filled, bible-rooted, Spirit-led culture of intercession at its core.
The other side of intercession is evangelism, where we plead with man on behalf of God to be born again. After we talk to God about people, we actually need to talk to people about God! Now, not everyone is especially gifted as an intercessor or evangelist, but we are all called to intercede and evangelize to some degree. We don’t all need a microphone to do the work of evangelism, we just need to have been marked by the flame of the gospel. If you’ve been lit on fire by the truth, then you are qualified to spread the flame. If you’ve been delivered, then you are licensed by the Spirit to deliver. Regardless of the day we live in, the proclamation of the gospel still has power, especially when it comes out of the mouths of a praying people who are living in agreement with God’s Word. My charge is that the church would not stop doing the work of an evangelist in America. Keep preaching, keep teaching, keep sharing and speaking about the unadulterated gospel of Jesus Christ. In concert with intercessory prayer meetings—works of justice, mercy, evangelism and missions must boldly come forth.
The last activity is discipleship where we then labor to raise these newborn Christians by helping them understand the gospel, teaching them to obey the commandments of Christ, and equipping them how to eat on their own. As a father, I have found that babies really do begin their lives being completely dependent on their caretakers. It is so important to diligently and tenderly care for them in these early stages, but it is equally important to begin to teach them how to survive on their own as they grow. We cannot spoon feed babes in Christ forever, but we must put forth the necessary time and energy to teach them how to take care of themselves and others. We must prepare them as if they were going to be thrusted into a spiritual war-zone like Daniel and the three Hebrew boys were. Will our disciples bow with the crowd at the sound of Babylonian trumpets or will they have the roots necessary to stand firmly against the sway of the evil one? There is a war going on in the womb of the church, and we can’t afford to be casual anymore.
So God dealt well with the midwives. And the people multiplied and grew very strong. And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families. (Ex. 1:20-21, ESV)
Churches who have a midwife mindset will consequently multiply and grow very strong, not necessarily in number, but in fruitfulness and depth. They will actually look, act and speak like a Godly family that loves one another. They will not only appear to be successful from the outside, but because they genuinely fear God and seek to live faithfully before His eyes, they will be eternally successful. Sarah, Hannah and Mary are just a few other biblical examples of women who represent a people who helped birth something real that caused nations to rage against the Lord (Ps. 2; Rev. 12). In the midst of great trouble and deception, I am confident that loyal midwives will help bring forth a fresh generation of genuine revivalists who will look like Jesus, act like Jesus and plunder hell like Jesus. Resistance will increase, but the church will multiply and grow very strong. O that we would daily hear the sound of life in our churches again, the sound of newborn Christians populating the kingdom of our God!
A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted because they are no more. (Matt. 2:18; Jer. 31:15)
Thus says the LORD: “Keep your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears, for there is reward for your work, declares the LORD, and they shall come back from the land of the enemy. There is hope for your future, declared the LORD…” (Jer. 31:16-17)
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. (Ps. 127:4)
Overview of Key Strategies to Help Us Win the War in the Womb:
- Ask for a restoration of the fear of the Lord (Prov. 2:1-5; Eph. 1:16-17)
- Become a people of intercession (Isa. 62:6-7; Ezek. 22:30; Acts 4:23-33; 12:5)
- Do the work of an evangelist (Acts 1:8; 1 Pet. 3:15)
- Be intentional about making disciples (Matt. 28:18-19)