Please note, also, some of the places that are in bold print...
The Cross of Christ was enough for Baltimore and it's enough for YOU, our readers, no matter where on this earth you live!
Really embrace this word for yourselves, AND for Baltimore. Determine to be men and women of prayer!
This is a word of GOOD NEWS to be ENJOYED, so please...ENJOY! (To Subscribe to the Elijah List subscribe here.)
"Russ Walden: Baltimore Is NOT a Broken City. It Is a BREAKTHROUGH City"
In past weeks, there was a police incident here in Baltimore which provoked a statement that Baltimore is a "broken city." The Father is standing up to say that Baltimore is not a broken city, it is a breakthrough city. When man is at his extremity – God's glory is about to break!
We have not just come into a new year, we have come into a new decade. The Father says that this year is the year of "as in Heaven, so on Earth," and that this decade is ordained for God's people as a "Decade of Prayer." God is calling up, out of the prayer rooms of Baltimore, an army of Holy Ghost shock troops who will travail in prayer for this city until God makes it a praise in the earth.
In the city where Francis Scott Key penned the Star-Spangled Banner, the enemy has laid claim and God says, "Enough is enough!"
Public figures and news outlets around the country have trampled the hopes of this city by their remarks from the safety of their desks, but as the stanzas of the Star-Spangled Banner declare to us:
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, now conceals, now discloses? Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines on the stream...
God says that this is not just about a flag, but about the "full glory" of God's hand being seen in this city, and it will once again be the beacon of hope, life, commerce and testimony that it has been in times past and even more!
Whence Cometh Our Help?
How different would Baltimore look today if the energy expended had been in prayer, on our knees, and looking to God?
My late mother, Ruth Walden, often said that we might get to Heaven and look back ashamed that we lived so far below our privileges. My grandmother was a traveling evangelist in the 30s and 40s, and she mentored my father in the things of God. As a young child, I recall my grandmother exhorting my father with the words that I want to encourage Baltimore and specifically this congregation with: "Much prayer, much power. Little prayer, little power."
What social initiatives and the hand of man cannot do, God is bringing to pass in this city's behalf. In Isaiah's day, things were much the same when the prophet declared:
Isaiah 51:1-3 (KJV), "Hearken to Me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged. Look unto Abraham, your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him. For the LORD shall comfort Zion: He will comfort all her waste places; and He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody." (Photo via Unsplash)
The word "comfort" in verse 3 above means to "console, give rest, have compassion." That is what God is all about. Jesus declared in Matthew 11:28-30:
"Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light."
The heart of God is to ease the burden on the city of Baltimore and to bring its citizenry to "yoke easy and burden light." What does this mean? It means that God places no premium upon human suffering. What does this mean for Baltimore? Consider the following verses:
1 Peter 2:24 (KJV), "Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed."
Isaiah 53:3 (KJV), "He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were [our] faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not."
2 Corinthians 8:9 (KJV), "For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes, He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich."
All of the verses are pregnant with the potential to bless Baltimore and the outlying area. Jesus bore our sins that we might be free from sin and its consequences. He took stripes on His body that we might be healed in our bodies. He was despised that we might be honored. He was rejected that we might be accepted. He was acquainted with grief that we might have joy unspeakable and full of glory. He became poor so that we could be richly supplied with all things.
How Do We Enter Into What God Has for Us?
Jesus, in teaching us how to pray, set the parameters of our expectations in Luke 11:2 (KJV):
"And He said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in Heaven, so on Earth."
Ephesians 2:8 says that we are saved by grace through faith. Faith is expressed and released in our behalf through the effectual, fervent prayer of the righteous (James 5:16). Who are the righteous? Our righteousness is not based upon who we are or what we have done or not done. Paul declares how righteousness comes to us in 1 Corinthians 1:30 (KJV):
"But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption."
What does this mean? It means that our righteousness is not a code of conduct or something "arrived at" by our own religious striving. Our righteousness is a person, and His name is Jesus. We are righteous not because of who we are or what we have done; we are righteous because of who Jesus is and what He did on the Cross 2,000 years ago.
All of your actions, rightly or wrongly, in life cannot qualify or disqualify you in the courts of Heaven, because what Jesus did for you 2,000 years ago completely eclipses anything in your life that could cause you to be accepted or rejected by God. The Father isn't looking at your track record or who you are to decide whether or not to answer your prayer, He is looking to the Cross and the Cross is enough. (Photo via Pixabay)
What Are the Benefits of the Righteousness of Christ?
Because you are made righteous by the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross on your behalf, there are blessings and benefits that accrue to you. There is a template of favor and entitlement that God works from to bring you into the finished work of Calvary. What might that be? John, the apostle, frames the answer to this question in 1 John 4:17 (KJV):
"Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world."
God's template for your personal happiness is to cause your life to become the expression of Jesus' prayer instruction to us – "as in Heaven so on Earth." He is working by His Spirit to so render His glory in your life so that you can say, "As He is (in the heavens), so are we in the earth."
How will these things come to pass? Speaking prophetically to us as the Bride of Christ, the Father spoke through the prophet Hosea in Hosea 2:20-23 (KJV):
"I will even betroth thee unto Me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD. And it shall come to pass in that day, I will hear, saith the LORD, I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth; and the earth shall hear the corn, and the wine, and the oil; and they shall hear Jezreel. And I will sow her unto Me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not My people, Thou art My people; and they shall say, Thou art my God."
Baltimore is not a broken city; it is a BREAKTHROUGH CITY. When all seems lost, and the most well intentioned in leadership of this municipality are struggling to address the challenges facing them, I encourage you to remember the words of the prophet Zechariah:
Zechariah 4:6-7 (KJV), "Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it."
When men run out of answers, God steps in and brings a miracle. When men resort to playing the blame game and pointing at each other, God comes into the situation and points to the Cross.
In the late 1700s through the early 1800s, during a time of racial and social tension, a move of the Spirit came to Baltimore resulting in thousands of conversions. The power of God made such an impact that there were reports that the shouts of the people, moved upon by God's Spirit, could be heard from north to south and from east to west within the city boundaries. The noises of the meetings were so pronounced, they came to be called "Shouts" that literally echoed across the entire city. This is the heritage of the Spirit in this city! And in spite of institutional prejudices at the time, it was embraced by all people groups as the Great Awakening swept the city.
Baltimore is not a broken city. It is a breakthrough city. It may look like gross darkness to some, but God says that it will be as morning spread on the mountains. It won't be to the credit of a political initiative; it will be an outpouring of the Spirit of God, as in the past, and surpassing everything that has ever been experienced in this city!
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Father's Heart Ministry
Russ Walden¬†is a prophet and marketplace minister with over 30 years of service in the Kingdom of God. Russ and Kitty founded Father's Heart Ministry in 2007 and since then have prophesied to thousands in 78 countries and all seven continents. In the early 90's he assisted in the oversight of a group of 400 churches before founding an IT business in the Mid-west. Russ and Kitty converted the business to a marketplace ministry model and out of that Father's Heart Ministry was born.
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