In my times of prayer for the body of Christ over recent days, I have felt strongly in the presence of the Lord that new anointed leaders have and are emerging in this season out of the unprecedented global circumstances.
These emerging leaders are genuinely skillful in the areas of their calling, have the heart of revelation and move in apostolic and prophetic truth. They are going to bring the Word of the Lord among the nations and move in a level of accuracy and precision that brings about true transformation. Many existing leaders have also been defined more sharply, with greater clarity, focus, purpose and positioning.
As I was praying into all this, I felt the Lord wanted me to share a word to help these leaders to guard against forms of entrapment that would prevent them from achieving the impact that God intends. No matter what the enemy plans, our God knows what to do to preserve those that are His and is always able to raise up someone to intervene for His purpose and for His people.
A Plan to Entrap Paul
Our focus Scripture is Acts 23, beginning at verse 12. In this passage, we learn that a sizeable group of men conspired and bound themselves with a solemn oath not to eat or drink until they had killed the apostle Paul. These were not unremarkable people, as they actually had significant influence within their community and were able to motivate the chief priests and elders to enable their plot.
Their common hatred for the revealed truth of God had brought them together as a like-minded cabal with a singular wicked intent. Their group outnumbered Paul's, and they were dedicated in their pursuit to annihilate him.
They were not only motivated to do this ungodly deed but also applied their intelligence to come up with a devious plan of entrapment, designed to draw Paul in based on his specific character and calling. They came up with a front for their plan that involved calling Paul to come before the Jewish leaders to explain his case more clearly regarding Jesus and the resurrection.
This was something that Paul was not only good at, as an expert in Scripture and matters of Jewish law, but something which he had a heart to do. Paul's heart's cry was to get them to see the truth as he had seen it when Jesus appeared to him, and to fulfill the mission that God had put into his heart to bring His Word to the nations. On the surface, it would have looked like a good opportunity, but in reality, it was an entrapment.
The Nature of the Entrapment
Paul represents the move of God and the call to fulfill purpose that has come through a revelation of Jesus. He signifies the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the transition into the new things that God is doing. The conspirators represent those who have interests in keeping things the way they have always been, so much so that they are willing to cut down and destroy the new move as it begins to take place through the individuals and groups God has called.
The conspiracies form out of unrepentant, bitter or selfish hearts that have lost closeness and intimacy with God and are now bent on control. They want to dominate the environment in their own interests and cannot see that God has a better plan than the one they have in mind. They grow a cabal by looking for others who are disconnected from God and whose minds are available. They stir up different personal grievances so that the group is bound together by a common sense of offense.
The negative emotions of the group are all directed against the move of God to overwhelm it, and although the individuals in the group may know that what they are doing is not in line with the truth, their personal issues and wounds provoke them to commit to a wrong course of action even at their own cost. They then seek a means to entrap the move of God.
Be aware of the means by which you can be drawn into such an entrapment. This may involve certain unnecessary conversations, financial transactions and so on. The scheming nature of the entrapment is that it uses an understanding of your calling, purpose and passion to lead you into a situation God has not planned for you. It uses familiarity to ensnare you, exploiting your godly motivations. This is a very dangerous position to fall into, as its superficially positive appearance may cause you not to exercise your discernment as you should.
Many of God's people have at one time or another been drawn into a situation that appears to be in line with their gifting and calling only to find themselves being ministerially assassinated by a spirit of jealousy. You have to truly be careful in what you commit to and be discerning as to what masquerades as an open door from God but is, in fact, not.
Press deeper into Him and His Word to gain understanding so that your spiritual senses will not dulled by interactions with those moving in a political spirit, and so that you will not find yourself under any sort of spell that will cause you not to sense an underlying danger.
Apostle Paul Protected
Although the men had plotted to harm Paul and had developed a cunning scheme to carry it out, their plans nonetheless failed. Paul's sister heard of the plot first and informed him before it could engulf him (v. 16). In spite of all such schemes in the past and present, God is raising up pure relationships and voices in strategic places on your behalf to alert you to what is happening, so that the enemy's entrapments will not succeed and God's moves will not be hindered. There is an awakening taking place in the body of Christ right now, and the spells of the cabals that have been cast over the minds of the godly are being broken. You will discern the political spirits that plan to sabotage God's purposes, and the harvest that is planned for your life will be preserved.
The knowledge of Paul's situation soon came to the right ears, and because of his identity as a Roman citizen, a detachment of great military might was assigned to protect him. Because of your identity in Christ and your commitment to His purposes, God will assign the protection to you that you need to fulfill His will.
Psalm 47:9 says that the shields of the earth belong to God. God knows which commanders, kings and authorities to speak to provide a shield to guard your life, anointing and ministry, but these things also need to be prayed through. Be strategic in your walk now so that you don't find yourself entrapped in any way. By building unity with the right people, cultivating the presence of God and continual prayer, you will know where to step and where not to. As each person does their part, the links will come together, and we will take territory for Him in this season.
"Father, You are Lord of the harvest and You know how to intervene to save Your people. You have said in Your Word that you will save them from the fowler's snare and that Your faithfulness will be their shield and rampart. Rebuke every cabal that has banded together against Your anointed ones. Break every spell, expose every plan and scheme of the enemy and preserve all you have called to Your purpose. Instruct Your shields to protect those called by Your name. Give them confidence and assurance and rest in Your perfect peace as You position them for global harvest. Let there be no disruption to Your move, no hindrances or sabotage, but let there be momentum and acceleration as they look to You for the increase. In Jesus' mighty name. Amen."
Rev. Betty King is a world-renowned speaker and prophetess. She is a true embodiment of the Father's love and compassion. Her passion to fulfill God's call has seen her travel to all the continents, moving in the prophetic, touching and transforming many lives and rekindling hope. She is a woman full of love, wisdom, kindness, hope, compassion and grace.
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