In a new article he wrote for The Elijah List published Friday, internationally recognized author, teacher and conference speaker Dutch Sheets explained how the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States was part of God's mercy.
And, he added, mercy is our new currency.
Sheets wrote a friend recently had a vision of Protestant Reformation leader John Knox as well as the number 313. In searching the number, he found it to mean "new birth" or "new beginning." The 313th day of the year in 2016 also was Nov. 8—the day of the general election.
He said the final interpretation of the vision was that, in answer to the prayers of the church, a great awakening and reformation—a "new birth"—will begin for America on Nov. 8.
"I certainly don't see President-elect Trump as fathering this movement, but I do see him as an agent of change who, in some ways, will prepare the way ... a forerunner of sorts," he wrote. "I also believe the mercies of God spared us from Mrs. Clinton and her incredibly liberal ideologies—a leadership which would have moved us farther away from the turnaround we so desperately need. I shudder when I think about the 30-40 year tenure of the liberal Supreme Court she had planned to appoint. America may never have recovered from such devastation."
Sheets says he uses the word "mercy" deliberately to describe the elections because of three "profound" occurrences he says caused that word to become his primary appeal to heaven. The first was nearly one year ago:
"Firstly, in February while praying at the White House, two friends and I had an angelic visitation. In response to our prayers and decrees, the angel simply said, 'Mercy, mercy, mercy, mercy, mercy, mercy.' Yes, six times."
The second was a few weeks later:
"An intercessor shared a dream she had received from the Lord regarding me. 'In the dream,' she related, 'You kept declaring, 'I have tapped into a root of mercy.'"
The third came about just before the election:
"Then, two weeks before the 2016 presidential election, a trusted pastor and friend had a vision while watching our Appeal to Heaven conference online. As we prayed crying out for mercy, he began to see coins raining down all around me. Eventually, I was ankle-deep in silver coins. When he looked at them closely, they all had the word 'Mercy' over their various pictures.
"One coin in particular had George Washington on the front, with the word 'Mercy' over him; the other side had the American flag pictured with the words 'New Glory' over it. As you know, a nickname for our flag is 'Old Glory.'
"There is 'new glory' coming to 'Old Glory.' Then my friend heard the words, 'Mercy is our new currency.'"
Sheets continued, writing about that particular theme:
Mercy is undeserved kindness. In Scripture it is linked to covenant—God's covenantal faithfulness and kindness. We are told that His mercies are new each morning (Lam. 3:22-23), and they also triumph over judgment (James 2:13).
Merry Christmas, America, you just experienced incredible mercy.
The question now becomes, "Will we waste this precious gift, or 'spend' it wisely?" The tendency of the church is to pray (sometimes fervently) during an election, then return to our prayer-less ways afterwards. A Christian senator once called me out on this, saying, "The church prays us into office; then we're on our own!" He actually went on to say, "I can tell when the church is praying and when it isn't." Ouch!
If we, the body of Christ, don't continue to pray fervently for awakening, reformation and the empowering of those we voted into office, the mercy we received will be squandered.
Heb. 4:16 tells us where we find mercy: " Let us then come with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." The word "time" in this verse is the Greek word kairos, which means "strategic or opportune time," not chronological time.
We must, at this strategic and opportune time in history, continue to cry out for mercy. We must also pray for our leaders, especially Mr. Trump, who is at best a baby Christian. We must ask for wisdom, revelation, humility and boldness. Only an appropriate blend of these spiritual gifts and virtues will bring him success.
Let us become a John Knox-type company of reforming intercessors: "Give us America or we die!" Let's steward America's new birth like we would a newborn baby. And may we spend our new currency wisely until new glory from heaven permeates our land.
Continue praying for America, friends and those God has set into office. May His mercy and new glory come to us.
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