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Jesus: Our Only Refuge

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I’ll never forget September 29, 2008.

2008 was the first time doing the fall 10 Days in a public setting and Sept 29 was the first night. The original vision of people resting from work to pray for 10 straight days was actually happening, albeit in a small beginning with about 15 people.

That evening, my brother texted me that the stock-market had lost 777 points that day.  As we prepared to fast, pray, and mourn for 10 Days, the global markets were going into turmoil.

777…it’s hard not to think that the number and timing are significant.  What was God saying through this remarkable coincidence?

God is Judging Babylon

“Babylon refuses to mourn, but my people will mourn before I return.”

That was the phrase I heard in 2004 that led to what is now called 10 Days.  I remember sharing this phrase with someone who had been involved but not heard about the history.  “Wow” they said, “I had no idea about the apocalyptic origin story...”  We all had a good laugh!  God can be cryptic when he speaks (and yes, even apocalyptic).  Often, it’s because He’s playing “Hide and Seek”.  He’s hiding something so that we will seek Him out.

“Babylon refuses to mourn” references Revelation 18, which speaks about God’s judgment of Babylon.  Babylon is described as a city that rules over the entire earth.  It’s a world-wide system including economic and religious elements that wars against God’s people and corrupts the earth with luxury, oppression, and immorality.  It’s a system that’s based on man’s ideas and wisdom apart from and in opposition to God.  It’s also described as systematically oppressing the Saints.  The ironic thing is that this system often oppresses us by enslaving us to it's demands, keeping us from the freedom to worship God as He desires.

I believe the stock market crashing 777 points in 2008 at the start of our first public fall 10 Days was a remarkable initial fulfillment of this word.  As we gathered to mourn the state of the world, the Babylonian system in the world was experiencing judgment.

There’s still time, Don’t Refuse to Mourn…

Thankfully, 2008 was not God’s final judgment on Babylon.  You can think of it more as a shot across the bow or some of the beginning birth pangs.  It was intended as a wake-up call to anyone who has ears to hear.  I’d imagine the Lord saying something like this:  “People of the Earth: the way you’re doing things is not right.  Your focus, your orientation is all wrong.  You’re trusting in your own ability and worshiping created things rather than me.  Turn to me, learn my ways, and we have an incredible future together.  Otherwise, you’ll have your fill of your own ways.”

Some have been answering this call, but sadly, many have ignored it.  They find the very idea that God might be involved in human history laughable and find God’s priorities and standards foolish, even evil.  God continues to call out, to reach out His hand to thick-hearted people offering life, but they have turned to many devices.

Ultimately, those who do not build on Jesus and His words are like the foolish builder in Matthew 7.  They will be swept away when floods, or times of trial and testing come.  We know that before Jesus returns, the earth will experience testing and trial unlike anything that has ever been experienced.  There are some serious times of testing ahead and trusting in God and His words completely is our only protection.  Are we ready?

Are you ready?

We need to be honest with ourselves.  Do we know God?  Are we walking in His ways?  Do we trust Him and depend on Him, or are there other allegiances that are ultimately governing our hearts?  Might there be unseen influences, things we’re not even aware of that are idols?  Where has Babylon set-up a dwelling place in us?

10 Days is an invitation to clear your schedule and make the first thing your first thing for 10 entire Days (Sept 13-23).  It’s a chance to seek God with all your heart and rediscover your Creator and Redeemer, who is also our only Refuge when times of testing come.  10 days is not a magic formula, it’s just an opportunity to take God up on His promise: If we seek Him, we will find Him.

On a Personal Note:

Friends, as I write this I find myself getting emotional, longing for everyone to experience the grace that is ours in Jesus and knowing that many have not grown up in Christ and are being “tossed to and fro” by circumstances, distractions, and opinions about God.  Some have even shipwrecked their faith and become enemies of the gospel.   Here’s my heart, and I believe the heart of the Lord on the matter:

  • God is so incredibly good and He’s inviting us to come and sit down to table with Him this fall.
  • He’s advising us to buy gold refined in the fire, to have our eyes opened.
  • He’s saying that He hasn’t changed, and that those who seek Him will find Him.
  • This 10 Days thing is really His idea; he’s offering us the gift of resting in Him, the only true protection in times of trial (Psalm 91).
  • The longing of His heart is to dwell with his people but many are running after other things.

The cry of my heart is this: Would you join me at the table of the Lord this fall? 
Our only Refuge is in Him!

Yours,
Jonathan Friz
10 Days National Coordinator
www.10days.net