God is Calling for a Corporate Esther

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An unusual people are arising!

God is calling for a Corporate Esther. A Corporate Esther can change a nation through touching God’s heart. The story of Esther maps a profound path leading to national justice and the unraveling of a sinister plot against the Jewish people. It is a prophetic template for our day.

A Diabolical Plan

The story of Esther unfolds at a dire moment. In her obedience and humility, Esther plots a strategic course activating the administrative rule of heaven. Today, there is an emerging army of believers collectively giving themselves to a similar strategy. More than victory, they will experience the immense beauty of their glorious God. They are a ‘Corporate Esther’.

Our story evolves in a moment when the very existence of the Jews was being threatened by a diabolical plan. Envy has once again focused the enemies of God toward the cause of annihilating His people. Central to the narrative is Haman, a man with murderous ambition. He is not acting alone, being merely the present host through which Satan’s demonic intent is galvanizing. Strangely enough this story has played out more than once in history. Still the outcome serves the purpose of God in astounding ways.

The threat hanging over the Jews is a spiritual one, as their adversary is the same as ours today. Like the Jews of that era, the Church is surrounded by sinister plans for it’s destruction. What we need is divine favour and action from heaven. Let’s pay more careful attention to Esther’s strategy.

The first stage, when she is alerted to the plot, is to immediately call for a fast. Despite her position in the palace, she knew the fires of persecution would eventually engulf her. Similarly there can be no illusion of ease for any part of the Church today, no matter where we are. As the Jews then, we are currently facing an existential threat calling for our demise. While it may not be at our doorstep, no one is safe. Esther acted – as must we!

Divine Strategy

It is not clear how Esther came to the conclusion, but she knew what she must do. Without invitation, she presents herself before the king on penalty of death (Esther 4:11). Apparently marriage was not a guarantee of intimacy as access to the king was strictly controlled. Yet, she comes dressed in her royal robes. At this point the king extends his golden sceptre offering her seemingly everything she wanted.

“And the king said to her, ‘What do you wish, Queen Esther? What is your request? It shall be given to you—up to half the kingdom!’” – Esther 5:3

Despite the offer she did not present her petition. She made no plea nor hint at her dilemma. Rather, she engaged the king in a series of events in order to fully open his heart. Diverting her focus away from her plight she plunged headlong to instead meet his need.

At the banquet the king again extended favour to Esther. It is the second time an offer was made. Again she deflects, preferring to simply ask both the king and Haman to attend yet another festivity the next day. What Esther was doing is not only brilliant, it was part of an already establish Biblical pattern. She was following a template revealing a key requirement for God’s kingdom order.

Governmental Order

The core principal involves a question of order. By ‘order’ we mean ‘who will be put first?’ If you read carefully the words of Jesus you can find this message distinctly in His words.

Consider this:

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?”– Matthew 6:25

“For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” – Matthew 6:32-33

What is He saying? Despite what might be your need, ‘seek me first!’ The solution for our needs is found in the command saying, ’seek first the kingdom of God’ (6:33). More than a statement, it is a precept for the release of the heart of God toward us. Jesus is giving us the antidote for a literal landslide of His blessing. The pursuit of God is the key to everything within Him. Esther was doing the same thing with her king. Rather than focus on her need she paid attention to his. Let’s return to our story.

Kingdom Administration

Something mysterious happens between the first and second banquet. Her obedience awoke the wheels of heavenly justice, unlocking a magical move behind the scenes. Then God disturbed the king’s sleep; the machinery of heaven was fully engaged. One can only imagine the furious traffic of angelic beings, hastening to do His bidding. In the natural, unable to rest, the king had the book of records read before him, where he was reminded of the debt owed to a Jewish man Mordecai – Esther’s cousin. This event became a turning point. Suddenly the plan to destroy the Jews began to unravel. We should know the story from here.

When the final banquet unfolded and Esther poured out her heart, she had the full attention of the king. She could have presented her petition on day one, or during the 1st banquet. After all she was offered a request up to half of the kingdom on two occasions. However, Esther was not content with the low hanging fruit of answered petitions, instead she chose to touch the king’s heart. Likewise a Corporate Esther is not preoccupied with need but with Him. A corporate Esther reaches for the heart of God.

The Mature Church

A lesser woman would have stumbled awkwardly grabbing the very first opportunity to voice her request. Similarly an immature church is impatiently preoccupied with her own needs. Yet, according to Jesus we are called ‘to seek God and His righteousness’ at which point, ‘all these things will be added unto us’. This priority uncovers the right order of the Kingdom. It is a door which when opened will release the full majesty of our God. As the sun soaks the earth in its life giving energy, the unfurled heart of God will bless the earth.

A people who know this will bathe God in the wine of love and adore Him ceaselessly, until He is fully satiated. When we do this, His heart opens and the full measure of His goodness begins to pour out. Then He will make streams in the desert; the impossible is suddenly not only made possible, even unavoidable.

Unlocking More

It has always been the intent of God is to unlock His goodness on us, a truth reflected in the message at Christ’s birth… ‘peace and goodwill to men’. After all He can ‘open His hand and satisfy the need of every living thing’ (Psalm 145:16). Even in nations where tyranny rules His arm is not too short to save. What is needed is a high level administration of the Kingdom of God. Then, with the Corporate Esther doing what it can, directing the minds and hearts of men is virtually automatic. After all…

“The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.” – Proverbs 21:1

We are entering a day when the people of God will be that collective Esther. They will rise to bless the heart of God in a way that sees Him pour Himself out on the earth. The Corporate Esther’s posture unlocks a level of heaven’s atmosphere able to shift nations and governments into serving His desire. Kings and princes will be awakened in the night as divine order to comes to scenarios far removed from our reach. This is the power of a Corporate Esther.

‘Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things… all these things… all these things, will be added to us.’

— Marc Brisbois

Inseparable Bond

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I was stuck! Reeeeeally stuck! I didn’t even know such a thing was possible!

I had put my hand into our freezer (above our fridge) and somehow managed to get all four fingers stuck to the bottom of the freezer! The second my fingers made contact with the bottom of the freezer, I knew I was in big trouble! Instantly they were stuck in such an intense way that I knew there was no possibility of me pulling them back up, without serious damage. The pain escalated rapidly. I couldn’t reach anything with my free hand, so there in an awkward, painful position, I began to yell for my husband, Alex. Fortunately, he was home, and after awhile of yelling, he heard me through a few closed doors and came running. Imagine his perplexed and shocked look when he saw me with one hand stuck to the inside of our freezer! Immediately he grabbed some water and poured it on top of my hand. But this did not have the results we were hoping for. Instead of freeing my trapped fingers, the instant the water made contact with the freezer, it froze, forming a wall of ice around my already freezing fingers! We knew that normally water will melt the ice that is stuck to your skin, freeing your skin. But my fingers were not stuck to ice, so there was nothing to melt. They were stuck directly to the source – the bottom base of the freezer itself. Alex tried pouring a variety of temperatures of water over my hand, while I yelped in pain, trying to pry my fingers up. This process went on for what seemed like ages, as we simultaneously cried out to God for me to be released from the relentless grip of the freezer!

The whole incident sounds so crazy and almost unbelievable as I write about it, and yet the pain and look of my fingers even until now, remind me of how real it was. Finally, I was able to slowly find release. Not for any logical reason or anything profound that we finally did, but I think simply because God heard our cry! All four fingers suffered from severe frostbite! Now, the on-going joke (which isn’t very funny to me quite yet) is that a Canadian girl from the land of snow, managed to get frostbite in the hot, tropical land of Malaysia! For the next several days, all four of my fingers were extremely swollen, excruciatingly painful even while on extra strength painkillers, and could not be bent at all. Some parts had gone completely numb, while certain other parts had hypersensitive nerves, so that even the slight touch of my bed sheets at night would jolt me awake in unbearable pain.

Later that same day we picked up our dear friend, David Demian from the airport and headed up the mountains to have a retreat. The next morning, as I stumbled out of our room after a sleepless, painful night, David was the first person I saw. He greeted me, asking how my hand was doing and then said, “I hate saying this to someone who is in a lot of pain, but what happened to your fingers is very prophetic.” This certainly got my attention!

David went on to explain to me. 1 Corinthians 6:17 is the key verse for the “40-Day Yielding” that many of us across the globe are of going through right now. It says, “He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.” David explained that the Greek word used in this verse for “joined” is “kollao”. This word does not refer to a weak or casual joining, but rather to glue together, fasten firmly together, in such a way that the two become inseparable. And if the two actually do manage to be torn apart, there will be severe damage. Wow! This is exactly what had happened to me in that relentless freezer!

The Bible chose the word “kollao” to describe us being joined to the Lord. This means that when I am joined to the Lord to this extent, if I try to separate, I will take a piece of Him and He will take a piece of me. There is no way to have a clean separation. So, to protect the things that are glued together, it’s better to leave them together. Because if you separate them they will rip apart and none of them will be functional any more – which was exactly the case with my fingers! Although I finally managed to separate from the freezer, my fingers could not function properly and the damage caused was so severe that eventually each finger developed a huge blister and now the old, damaged skin is all peeling off.

Sadly, some people do eventually rip themselves away from the Lord or to people within the body that they have been joined to. And then, similarly to my fingers, they walk around with parts of their hearts completely numb and other parts hypersensitive to everyone around them, always misunderstanding people’s words, actions and motives and constantly overreacting.

So what had happened to my fingers was indeed extremely prophetic! I had experienced in the natural exactly what we were talking about in the spiritual. As we are going through this “40-day Yielding,” the Lord is wanting to glue (kollao) us together with Himself, so that we cannot go anywhere without Him anymore. So that we cannot departmentalize Him in our lives. So that when we go to our work, He’s there. When we go to our house, He’s there. When we spend time with our kids, He’s there. In our business, He is there. At school, He’s there. Because we are totally joined to Him. We are one with Him.

Throughout the past year, I’ve been consciously pressing in and praying for my heart and whole being to be aligned with the Lord. This is great, and I will continue to do so. But now I see that being joined with Him is even far greater. Alignment can come and go. But when I’m actually joined with Him in the way that 1 Corinthians 6:17 is talking about, it will be impossible for me to come out of alignment with Him, because we are actually one. Jesus says that just as He and the Father are one, He wants us to be one with Him. So let’s continue to yield to Him and walk more and more in the reality of this powerful verse – so that we would be joined with our Lord in an inseparable way, so much so that we would become fully one with Him.

— Marilyn Ongkili

Celebrating the Life of a True Father

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Dear Global Family,

I received some very sad news this morning – one of my spiritual fathers, David Mainse, went to be with the Lord at the age of 81.

David Mainse was a true father, not only to me, but to the whole nation of Canada. As a visionary, he saw the potential of television in its early days and began, at the age of 26, his first TV broadcast in a small TV station in rural Ontario. By 1977, he was broadcasting daily across the country. In 1981, he started a broadcasting school and in 1992 he opened the Crossroads Centre, a state of the art TV facility. All were a testimony to his passion to see excellence in the ministry to which God had called him.

I met David Mainse when he attended the very first gathering in Whistler, in 1995, and brought TV cameras to film some of what was happening. At that time, I was virtually unknown in Canada, other than as one who traveled with Pastor Bob Birch, another of my spiritual fathers. So, imagine my surprise, when David Mainse told me that God had asked him to serve me and the vision God had given me for Canada in any way that he could. That statement tells you more about the heart of David Mainse than almost anything else I could share. He was a humble, obedient servant of the Lord, who always sought for ways to encourage and promote others with the gifts and resources God had given him to steward. The Watchmen family and I were among the many who benefitted from his kind and generous spirit.

It was at this same gathering that we discovered something very divine about our connection. David’s father had been a missionary to Egypt. When I asked him where, he named a tiny, little city that I knew only too well – it was the home town of my maternal grandfather. As we continued to talk, we were amazed to realize that my grandfather had served as an elder in the church that David Mainse’s father had founded! In a way that only God could orchestrate, David’s father had sowed into Egypt and my family’s destiny, and God then brought an Egyptian, influenced by his father’s ministry, to help David Mainse fulfill a passion of his life – to see the destiny of Canada redeemed.

When God spoke to me in 1997 about the root issue of anti-Semitism in the nation of Canada, and the need to call the church in Canada to repentance, David Mainse was one of the first leaders with whom I tested this revelation. I will never forget how he looked at me, with tears in his eyes, and said, “David, I believe you have put your finger on the root issue of this nation”. A few months later, he hosted a leadership gathering in Burlington, at the Crossroads Centre, so that I could share the vision with more leaders in Eastern Canada. He also made opportunities for me, more times that I can count, to be interviewed on 100 Huntley Street, to share the vision and call to gather in Winnipeg on the Canada Day weekend in 1999. He purchased 4 hours of live broadcast time on Global TV, on Canada Day, July 1st, so that thousands of believers across the nation, who could not come to Winnipeg, could still be part of the national repentance. He had such a heart to use TV to bring the body of Christ together.

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The next year, when the Lord led us to bring the survivors of the St Louis to Canada, I was concerned about having TV cameras in the meeting, but David insisted on filming the dinner and doing interviews with the survivors. It is because of his foresight that we have a record to share with the generations of the amazing things the Lord did – during those days in Ottawa and of so many other key moments in our journey. Moments like the Journey of Hope in 2001, during which he aired two, live via satellite, 100 Huntley Street broadcasts back in Canada from the Mount Of Olives – one from the Jewish side and one from the Arab side. David insisted on doing both because he had a great love for both the Jewish and Arab people.

David also carried a passion for French Canada and had even studied French. He and the Crossroads family were key in many steps of our journey of reconciliation between the French and English, including Charlottetown, the La Danse Tour, and the “wedding” of the French and English in Quebec City in 2005. He traveled with us on the La Danse tour and arranged to have video reports sent to 100 Huntley Street, so that each day, viewers could follow along and take part of the tour.

David also deeply loved the First Peoples of Canada and was greatly admired and respected by them. His passion is clearly captured in The Gatekeepers video where he sat with First Nations leaders Kenny Blacksmith and Lynda Prince, and spoke about God’s rich destiny for all the First Peoples as spiritual gatekeepers of our land.

The last gathering that he attended was a global gathering in Israel in November 2014. Although he already had plans to lead a tour group from Canada to Israel with his wife Norma Jean, something he did so many times throughout his life, he changed those plans to arrive early and be with us in this seminal global gathering. His presence there was yet another display of his heart to always honour and bless others by lending his support, wise counsel and father’s heart to bless the body, nationally and globally.

On July 1st, 2017, on the occasion of Canada’s 150 Anniversary of Confederation, David and Norma Jean Mainse, as a spiritual parents in Canada, were the first to sign the Dominion Declaration.  This was a declaration of Christ’s dominion over Canada, and the Church’s response to stand in unity under Christ’s headship.

As the church in this nation, we have lost an irreplaceable treasure – a true statesman and ambassador for Christ who was a model of integrity and faith throughout his life. David was so recognized, not only by believers, but by Prime Ministers and business and media leaders as well. But for Ruth and I, the loss is so much deeper. We have lost a father who loved us, believed in us, supported us, protected us, and prayed for us and under whose care we always felt safe. But even while our hearts are filled with grief, we cannot help but also rejoice knowing without a doubt that David is now enjoying the only reward he ever truly desired, to see his beloved Saviour Jesus, face-to-face and enter fully into His presence.

We ask that you would pray for the Mainse family, David’s wife of 59 years, Norma Jean, and his 4 children and 16 grandchildren in this time of grieving. If you would like to send your condolences, or find out more about his funeral or how to send a gift in his memory, his family has set up a website at https://www.davidmainse.com with more information.

Jesus, we thank you with all our hearts for the gift that David Mainse was to our Watchmen family and the whole body of Christ in Canada and beyond. We know Your heart is so full of joy that David has entered into his well-deserved rest with You and that this parting is only for a little while. One day we will see You as He sees you and in that we find comfort even as we grieve his passing.

With all my love,
David

Is There Room for the Young People at the Table?

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One of my highlights at the Chinese Homecoming in Hong Kong (July 13-16, 2016) was the night when the young people were released to share their hearts. Their transparency, boldness and passion for the Lord moved me deeply and excited me for what lies ahead!

The night the Homecoming Gathering ended, 14 of us decided to venture out into Hong Kong for a special authentic dinner together. We had some local friends who graciously made the arrangements, calling ahead to make reservations at the restaurant and helping us divide up into several taxis for the journey there. When we arrived, the waiting room overflowed out of the restaurant onto the sidewalk, where about 25 other hungry people eagerly waited for an available table. This was obviously a good sign that we were about to enjoy some popular, delicious food!

A half an hour after our reservation time, we were finally ushered into the restaurant to our table. In spite of the fact that our table was only the right size for 12 people, we managed to get all 14 of us seated around it.

To our surprise and joy, just as our first dish arrived, up walked five young people that we knew who had also been at the gathering.

A natural response from us older ones who were already seated at the table could have been to tell them how great it is to see them and how special it is that we ended up at the same restaurant, but then apologize that there are already two more people at our table than its normal capacity and tell them that we hope another table opens up for them soon.

That was not at all our response this time though! Without even thinking about it for a second, we all excitedly said, “Come and join us!” Although it was obvious that they wanted to, they hesitated as they said, “But there’s not enough room for us, is there?” All 14 of us, without exception, and without a moment of hesitation said, “Yes, for sure there’s room for you!” We immediately began to shift our chairs even tighter together. In fact, each chair was now tight up against the ones on either side of it. With that level of squeezing we could fit in a couple more chairs, but still not quite enough. Since every square inch counted and we were determined to fit these five young people in, we even traded in a couple of chairs for some less bulky stools. One of the fathers even positioned his chair slightly back from the table and tilted it at an angle just to make a couple more inches of space.

After much wiggling around and shifting things into a snug, tight position, we were thrilled to now have nineteenpeople squeezed around a 12-seater table! We now had two generations and seven nations represented around our table! The fact that we were so tight that we could barely use our chopsticks without poking our neighbour in the eye was completely irrelevant, as the laughter and joy of all being together thrilled each one of us – young and old alike!

This experience reminded me of Lynn Green’s article titled, “Is it too Late for Hagar and Ishmael to Return to the Table?” But in this case, I felt the Lord is asking us, “Is there room for the young people at the table?” That night in a literal sense, our answer in a heart beat was, “YES, for sure!” So now the question is – Spiritually speaking, is there room for the young people at the table?

In the past we could have taken one glance at the table and concluded that it’s obviously way too full already. Also in the past, the young people would have likely preferred to be on their own, at a separate table where they could have their own topics, own jokes and own time of connecting. But in this season young people across the globe are expressing a deep longing in their hearts to be with the older generations – to journey together, worship together, grow together, lead together, dream together…and fulfil each others dreams together.

What a beautiful picture of how the Lord is drawing the generations to walk together in a new, deeper level. We are seeing the reality of Malachi 4:6 – “He will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers”.

Unknowingly that night, us older ones had gone ahead and prepared the way for the younger ones, so when they arrived they did not have to wait in line. The younger ones were able to skip all the waiting and walk right in and start enjoying the great meal with us, and at the end of the meal their bill was fully covered. If our hearts are willing, it can be the same spiritually speaking. If we as the older generations are willing to welcome the younger generation, then they need not struggle through some of the things we’ve had to, but rather can jump in and join us right where we’re at.

Similarly to the way that the younger generation is clearly longing to walk closer with the older generation, in this season the longing of the older generation is to welcome and embrace them. But, to see this happen, it will take more than just willing hearts. This will require some wiggling around, squeezing together and readjusting our positioning, even changing our comfortable chairs to less comfortable ones, in order to make room for them. We cannot sit like we have in the past or there will not be room for them at our “table” – in our programs, in our ministries, in places of leadership…

My heart’s cry, along with many others is, “YES, Lord, there IS room for the young people at our table!” And along with that cry is the practical cry – “Lord, show us how to practically and spiritually do the shifting, squeezing, wiggling around, adjusting our positions and even chairs in order to see this happen!”

— Marilyn Ongkili