I recently had the privilege of hosting my dear friend Paul Wilbur for Here's the Deal podcasts on the Charisma Podcast Network. Learning from this acclaimed musician and worship leader known worldwide for his Messianic worship style was a rich experience.
If you don't know Paul, you probably know his music. Most likely you've sung songs he's provided from 43 years of ministry: " "Lion of Judah"; "In Your Presence; "For Your Name Is Holy"; "Days of Elijah."
Or maybe you're familiar with some of his albums produced during his career: Shalom Jerusalem; Holy Fire; The Watchman; A Night of Extravagant Worship. Those recorded live in Jerusalem are classic.
When a man of God who's traveled internationally 200 days annually for decades celebrates 42 years of covenant marriage, plus honors God for a stable family life, you want to glean from him, especially during this turbulent time.
Days of Elijah
Paul shared how for years he led throngs in singing the exhilarating song, "Days of Elijah" by Irish songwriter Robin Mark. Yet something seemed strange when he sang the verse talking of "great trial" when he knew in his heart it wasn't the case for most of us in America.
"These are the days of Elijah/ declaring the Word of the Lord. ...And though these are days of great trial/ of famine and darkness and sword/ still, we are the voice in the desert crying/ 'Prepare ye the way of the Lord!'"
That's all changed now!
Having experienced the unexpected worldwide pandemic; work, sports, school and entertainment stoppage; economic catastrophe; and explosive nationwide racial riots, almost overnight, the global shaking rattled all of us to the core as we've truly entered into the "great trial." But will it result in national repentance and hopefully the Third Great Awakening for which we desperately long?
Time of Restoration
This Christian artist with extensive experience and a deeply devoted relationship with God, shared how we are living in a time described in Acts 3:21 where God underscores the prophetic "restoration of all things." Drawing from Hebraic roots, Paul explained that this restoration is not going back to what was but going forward to what is to be. We have a kingdom connection for new territory in this unprecedented time.
It wasn't coincidental that the past two Passover experiences have providentially provided a divinely inspired convergence if we "have eyes to see."
I told Paul that days ago I phoned a retired judge from Virginia who is 92 years of age. Frank told me, "Larry, in all my years I have never seen or experienced anything like what's happening today!"
It is not an hour to be silent, uninvolved, cowardly or detached from what's unfolding before our eyes. God has given us a protracted Sabbath to prepare and He's calling us to be "bold as a lion" (Prov. 28:1) in sharing the gospel and in being informed influencers on the issues of our day. It's time for Christians to arise and winsomely bring the Good News in lifestyle evangelism and the Word of the Lord amidst all the chaos and confusion.
His Most Frequently Asked Question
Wherever Paul Wilbur has traveled, he's asked a question: "How do you balance work, ministry, marriage and family life?"
I strongly encourage you to listen to our podcasts as he shares tenderly how his wife of 42 years was brought by God to a place that has enabled them to thrive not merely survive. Paul is emphatic that family is first. Priorities must be established and then evaluated in every season of life.
Prior to his death, Billy Graham was asked, "If you could do it all over again, would you do anything differently?"
"I would refuse to be pressured into speaking so much, and I would spend more time with my family," Graham said. And remember he served in a generation where schools, government and media were basically supportive of Judeo-Christian values.
Listen to the podcast where Paul describes the time his 13-year-old son, Joel, asked him if he could take him out to lunch. He then asked him a question that penetrated Paul's heart.
"Is ministry more important than me?"
Our brother broke into tears, and from that interchange came a defining moment. Paul recalibrated his life, better aligning with the will of God, which brought great peace and stability to their home.
Whatever our calling and station in life, during this God-ordained shutdown it's critical that we seek Him and make whatever reset is necessary to be more fruitful as a faithful child of God. And in this generation where fatherlessness is epidemic, men have a special role.
There simply has to come a turnaround in our permissive culture where abortion is birth control and fornication is rampant (under the guise of "casual sex" and "living together") as guys impregnate multiple, foolish women and leave behind five, 10, 15-plus children, especially in the Black community.
Prophetic Scriptures for America
The home is the breeding ground for a child's future life. The father is God's primary instrument to lead the way as the priest in the home. A curse comes upon the land when men are renegades, reneging on this sacred responsibility.
"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I will reject you from being My priest. And because you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children" (Hos. 4:6).
In this day of cataclysmic change and upheaval, our country is filled with what appears to be God-forgotten children. Not forgotten in the sense that God does not love them anymore, but forgotten in the sense that they seem so far from His intention for their lives. Selfish, ignorant, undisciplined, out-of-control young men are the consequence of absentee fathers and renegade dads.
Recently I watched a cable talk show hosted by an African American woman discussing fatherlessness in the Black community. Her panel of five young black men had 87 children with 50 different women! The moderator quoted stats on fatherless young black men having five times more suicide, 10 times the drug abuse and 20 times the behavioral disorders as the predominantly Black audience groaned.
In the final paragraph of the Old Testament, divine intervention is promised. And it is also pronounced amidst a curse.
"See, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreaded day of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse" (Mal. 4:5-6).
The End of the Age
Here the Bible speaks prophetically about the end of the age. The urgent problem? Families divided; parents and children alienated from each other.
What brings the curse? The divided family situation left unattended and getting worse.
The solution? It is twofold: first, the sending of an Elijah ministry to call for repentance and change; second, fathers responding to the challenge by turning toward their sons and daughters (children then turn toward their fathers, but usually only after the fathers make the first move).
Today the Spirit of God is radically arresting our attention in the midst of multiple crises. The Lord is "seeking for a man" (Is. 59:16; Ezek. 22:30) to lead the way and thereby avert serious judgment.
Is it coincidental or providential that there is a rebirth of the Promise Keepers movement in America today? There will be a simulcast global gathering July 31 - Aug. 1 serving men worldwide. I encourage men everywhere to go to their website and participate in this extraordinary virtual event.
Here's the Deal
Paul Wilbur's powerful prophetic ministry proclaims that we are in a time of restoration for the church to launch a counteroffensive against the forces of darkness assaulting our nation and homes. He's challenging men to arise and spearhead the way by standing in our calling as fearless leaders (single or married). He's calling husbands and fathers to provide loving leadership by putting families as the top priority after their relationship with Christ.
We are living in the days of Elijah. God intends to slay Jezebel and the prophets of Baal as we await the return of Jesus "whom the heavens must receive until the time of restoring what God spoke through all His holy prophets since the world began" (Acts 3:21).
Larry Tomczak is a cultural commentator of 46 yrs, Intercessors for America board member, best-selling author and a public policy adviser with Liberty Counsel. His new, innovative video/book, BULLSEYE, develops informed influencers in 30 days (see www.bullseyechallenge.com). and he has a variety of resources on his website (see www.larrytomczak.com). You can also hear his weekly podcast here.
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