Blow the ram's horn in Jerusalem! Announce a time of fasting; call the people together for a solemn meeting. Gather all the people—the elders, the children, and even the babies. Call the bridegroom from his quarters and the bride from her private room. Let the priests, who minister in the Lord's presence, stand and weep between the entry room to the Temple and the altar. Let them pray, "Spare your people, Lord! Don't let your special possession become an object of mockery. Don't let them become a joke for unbelieving foreigners who say, 'Has the God of Israel left them?'" (Joel 2:15-17)
Many believers across the country have just finished a time of fasting and prayer. A time that was set aside to seek the face of God and ask the Lord to align us according to His will. There is no doubt, as I travel the country that a major breakthrough has been won in the Spirit from this time of consecration. Everywhere I go and every minister that I speak with are saying the same thing. Revival is breaking out! Souls are being saved and miracle reports are coming in that is shaking entire cities.
As much as this stirs my heart, I've witnessed these revival fires die out just as fast as they were started. We fail to sustain what God births in us during times of consecration. My question for you today is, when was consecration a seasonal thing? We are to live our lives consecrated, or set apart, to the Lord daily. If we are to see lasting impact of revival fire, we must keep the fire burning.
In Leviticus 6:9 God gives Moses instructions for Aaron and the priests concerning the law of the burnt offering. This offering was a whole sacrifice consumed on the altar. Everything had to be placed upon the altar, and it represented the fullest form of Israel's worship and consecration. The message of the burnt offering is really complete consecration. Paul taught us in Romans that we are to present our bodies as living sacrifices unto God. This is our daily and personal responsibility.
God also revealed to Moses in Leviticus 6:13 that the fire on the altar shall never go out it shall be kept burning at all times. So each morning the priests had to carry out the old ashes of yesterday's fire and place fresh logs to keep it going. We can't live off of yesterday's move of God, but we must daily place new logs on the fire by presenting ourselves before the Lord in daily devotion. God doesn't want seasonal sacrifice, this is a daily responsibility for each believer.
So I'm thankful for the leaders who "sounded the alarm" and called a fast during this difficult time as a nation. I pray that it's not just a fad that we do at the beginning of each year, but rather it sets the tone for our consecration all year long. God knows we desperately need a divine reversal and outpouring of the Holy Spirit in America. However, it will not come until we as the body of Christ turn back to God through prayer and fasting.
The call is still the same. "If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." (2 Chr. 7:14) We have a responsibility to humble ourselves. Humility is best revealed through utter dependence on God through prayer and fasting.
But I want to go back to the verse I began with. "Call the people together for a solemn meeting ..." We must have our personal devotion to the Lord, and we must gather together with our local church for corporate fasting. But America needs to see Solemn Assemblies again! Notice that when Joel calls for these sacred assemblies he says, "Call the bridegroom from his quarters and the bride from her private room". There are literally thousands of believers all across this country praying for revival in their private rooms each day. I believe the prayer movement in America is bigger than we actually think. Prayer networks are popping up all across America. Yet we still lack one important element: Solemn assemblies.
I was in Nashville, Tennessee, for the Call on 07-07-07 for a solemn gathering. I was one of thousands in the crowd at LP Field asking God to forgive us as a nation for our sins and to turn our hearts back to the Lord. It was in those moments where I felt we as the body of Christ were actually making a statement. It was a moment where we began to see the church more unified than ever before.
From that time, I know that more solemn assemblies had taken place and I know many lives were impacted by it. But as I was praying the other day I felt the Lord say that was only the beginning! Those gatherings even as massive as they were, were only "humble rumbles" of what God wants to do in this hour! It's time for a Third Great Awakening! I'm glad our churches are in revival but let's come together for solemn assemblies and let the world know we are serious about turning back to God.
With that being said, I want to make a challenge as a next-gen leader to those in current leadership in the church today that we are in desperate need to mobilize the bride from her private room back to stadiums all across America for solemn assemblies. What if whole states would rally their churches, prayer networks, television ministries, and social media to college stadiums across America? I hope that as you read this you begin to see God's vision in this hour for massive gatherings of believers in all 50 states in America making an appeal to heaven. The call is going forth in this hour and my prayer is this simple challenge could inspire a movement of solemn assemblies in America again.
We have the best of the best media, ministries, gifts, and talents. If we would just drop our agendas and hear the voice of God calling us together to rally the bride from her private room to stadiums across America I believe we can reach the tipping point for the Third Great Awakening in our nation. Now is the time, you are apart of God's call and vision. Please start taking the steps and forming the meetings and let's see God do what only He can do. Don't wait on the big names to make plans, start mobilizing prayer meetings and rallying people until the solemn assembly leaders of the past begin to recognize God's call for solemn assemblies again.
Finally, to those who have lead solemn assembly meetings in the past. I have been praying for you. I know many people have tried to discourage you in this endeavor and the enemy has even lied to you and said, "What's the use?" But hear the cry of David's in this generation, "Is there not a cause?"
We need these solemn assemblies and gatherings of the masses more today than we ever have. Will you step up and come together once again for national repentance. I feel that the church has never been more ready for this moment, now we are waiting on your leadership. Will you answer the call ... again?
Want to know more about the next great move of God? Click here to see Jennifer LeClaire's new book, featuring Dutch Sheets, Reinhard Bonnke, Jonathan Cahn, Billy Graham and others.
Mark Casto Ministries has a clear and precise mission: To engage the culture and transform the mind by declaring the truth of God's word, and calling all men and women into an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ and demonstrating the power of God to rescue a generation. Casto has led Omega Center International in Cleveland, Tennessee, since 2008, and says he has been called to "stir revival" in America.