The upcoming presidential election has caused many to experience worry and fear as never before. We have seen nothing like this in our lifetime. Politics has never been for the faint of heart, yet the harshness and fierceness of this election is especially noticeable. It is eerily reminiscent of when Isaiah prophesied concerning Damascus, "Alas, the uproar of many peoples who roar like the roaring of the seas, and the rumbling of nations who rush on like the rumbling of mighty waters!" (Isaiah 17:12, NASB). When this level of chaos is seen in a nation, the result is confusion, disruption and upheaval. These are all precursors to an upcoming shift.
The spiritual significance of this election is enormous. The reality is America is in the process of selecting their next Saul. From a providential viewpoint the candidates are irrelevant, just as who wins is irrelevant. King Saul is an example of mankind-selected leadership, and leaders selected by mankind always do what the prophet Samuel warned: Promote their own interests above the welfare of the people.
In the Bible, God's people were cautioned that the king they so badly wanted would take their children for war, tax the best of their income and socialize their possessions by distribution to those of his choosing (1 Samuel 8:10-22, NASB). The United States of America has slowly but surely become the fulfillment of the old prophet's warning. Samuel further admonished them, "Then you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord will not answer you in that day" (1 Samuel 8:18, NASB). This is why words such as corruption, establishment and outsider currently define our government. The corruption that has overtaken our democratic system has resulted in Americans rejecting the system. There is significant parallel in the rejection of the nation's political establishment with the rejection of the nation's religious establishment. The shift that is taking place is much more than a supernatural shift. It is a supernatural paradigm shift.
While the imminent election is a priority among Christians, it should not be the priority. Although both are under siege, prioritizing the White House over the church house makes little eternal sense. The cries of the psalmist are relevant here: "The enemy has damaged everything within Your sanctuary. Your adversaries have roared in the midst of Your meeting place and they have set up their own standards. They have burned Your sanctuary to the ground. They have defiled the dwelling place of Your Name. They said in their heart, 'Let us completely subdue them' as they burned all the meeting places of God in the land. We do not see our standards and there is no longer any prophet among us" (Psalm 74:3-9, NASB).
And yet, in the midst of crisis, we sense the shift has begun.
The Strategy of Satan
Even as people grasp for clarity and stability, an endless flood of perversion and filth is washing across the nation. The prophet Isaiah accurately described the maneuvers of the enemy as a flood. When Satan rushes in, he brings with him a surge of immorality and wickedness. (Isaiah 59:19, KJV). Satan, who knows his time is short, has launched a massive offensive against the foundations of the church and nation. Wave after wave of the enemy's efforts have begun to crack and erode the foundations of both. The resulting picture is one of weakened and confused leadership, all the way from the oval office down to the church office.
The truth is our adversary comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10, KJV). One of the most effective weapons in his arsenal is confusion. Confusion is debilitating. It creates stress and anxiety, disorienting the believer and causing us to lose all sense of direction. Like a never-ending carnival ride, the current election cycle has brought Americans to the brink of nausea. This is because Satan desires to rob God's people of situational awareness, which is their ability to identify and comprehend what is really taking place. The situational awareness of Christians can be extremely powerful because we are supernatural beings. That awareness brings insight—both spiritual and prophetic—and reveals Satan's strategies to God's people.
Satan has historically encountered little resistance when playing puppeteer to governments. Whenever and wherever there are godless men and women whom seek power, money and influence, the great deceiver is present, influencing their thoughts and decisions. He carries the title of devourer with good reason (1 Peter 5:8, KJV). Satan has his sights set upon the White House as much as he has your house or God's house, and he is unleashing a magnitude of confusion few have experienced. The prophets and prayer warriors in this hour know this to be true.
However, God is exposing the tactics of the enemy. Satan's methods of distraction, diversion and destruction are perceptible to all who want to see. The distractions of the current political campaign only serve to draw our eyes from true and eternal goals. These distractions can be anything—or anyone—that diverts our attention, preventing us from giving our full consideration to what is most important. God's people are now living in a nation infested with distractions.
Our common enemy should give rise to the Christian spirit, which in turn should give rise to unity. Unity among the brethren is imperative in this hour. Satan does not want the various camps among Christians to unite, and since he cannot defeat us, he will seek to keep us divided. A divided church is more detrimental to the nation than a divided political party, and Jesus forewarned His people of the enemy's plans to divide (Matthew 12:25, KJV). This division has manifested between believers as anger, hostility and disdain throughout the entire presidential campaign.
Far too often the body of Christ operates as a circular firing squad, viewing those who disagree with one another as targets to be silenced. This is the spiritual equivalent of political partisanship. Partisanship is a demon that has taken up residence in the church provoking prejudice, bias and favoritism among Christians. This was demonstrated in the carnality of the Corinthians when one declared, "I am of Paul" and another, "I am of Apollos"(1 Corinthians 3:4, NASB). A partisan spirit is nothing more than secular elitism and must be cast out of the church. Only when God's children awaken to the fact we are divided can we successfully begin to leverage Satan's devices against him. Satan's opposition can be what will ultimately unify Christians. Apostolic leaders throughout the nation know that God has designed such a countermeasure to turn the tables on our adversary. It is part of the shift.
What Happens Next? Five Signs of the Shift
Recently, while conducting a prophetic summit at a large Bible college, the Lord outlined to me five signs that will indicate the supernatural paradigm shift has begun:
1. Prophets will return from their self-imposed exiles. When Elijah fled into the wilderness resulting from his encounter with Jezebel, he was stripped of his conquest, his confidence and his companionship. Today's prophets have experienced much of the same. Following his refreshing at the Juniper Tree and subsequent commission in the cave, Elijah returned from his exile with a new assignment, new assistance and new affirmation. This same reward awaits modern-day prophets who return to the battlefield. Although the office of the prophet is most mocked, it is also the most needed at this time because the cult of celebrity and personality has sidelined so many preachers. These prophets will be vibrant voices—not hollow echoes—who will demolish golden calves, challenge false prophets and raise up Elishas.
2. The sons and daughters of God will begin to reveal themselves (Romans 8:19, NASB). Christians intuitively are victorious and therefore crave a resurgence of their champion status. There are even now on the horizon a host of believers who are shaking off the control and manipulation of their political taskmasters and beginning to walk in the fullness of their authority. Even as John the Baptist marched forth from the desert to boldly confront political, economic, religious and military strongholds, so shall last days Christians do the same. It is only a matter of time.
3. It is now either all in or all out. True Believers are now in a unique situation. No longer can the followers of Christ be content with some watered-down form of "edited church." The church is paying the price for restraining Pentecost with a straitjacket and placing conditions upon charismata. Christians must locate the field where they buried their gifts and, like the miracle of Lazarus, resurrect them, loose them and let them go. The Holy Spirit cannot use that which is entombed. Those who choose to abandon their talents will answer to the Lord of Hosts.
4. The church will honestly begin preparing for Acts 2.0. If the church will honor the glory of the latter house and the promise of the latter rain, they will move beyond quoting Scripture, into activating Scripture. The steps to revival are recorded in 2 Chronicles 7:14-15 (KJV): "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attentive unto the prayer that is made in this place." The country might be headed to a dark place, but that certainly isn't the fate of the church.
5. Prayer warriors will expand their effectiveness through prayer even as Satan intensifies his resistance. Worry, fear, distraction and confusion will dissolve as a result of prayer. Those who live a life of prayer understand nothing moves on earth unless something first moves in heaven (Matthew 18:18, KJV). Indeed, the only shifts that have ever mattered were those that came from heaven as a result of fervent prayer.
This supernatural paradigm shift will fundamentally change the way the church advances. The ways of thinking and doing things of the past are about to be transformed. The strategies of God are going to shift and the church will respond by moving away from simply maintaining the past and will begin to charge into shaping the future for His glory. Finally, priorities will radically change as believers swap out old political distractions for fresh and new divine assignments.
This is the shift that is coming.
It will be a supernatural shift.
A divine and supernatural paradigm shift.
And you are invited to be part of it.
Shane Philpott is a pastor and speaker who pioneered Christian Fellowship Church in Mason City, Iowa, in 1993. He is also the author of Kathryn Kuhlman: The Radio Chapel Years. Shane and his wife, Lisa, are the parents of six children, four of whom were adopted from China.
For additional information go to www.shanephilpott.org.
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