The Mercy Seat - A Prophetic Story by Nathan Shaw
I was flooded with a multitude of emotions. Loneliness engulfed me and an intense inner conflict and confusion churned within me. Each thought, each emotion, each feeling strived to push me toward paths that were hopeless and destructive. I could see the paths that surrounded me. Each had a name written on it: Suicide and death, relationships and sex, perversion and pleasure, religion and spirituality, success and achievement. The paths beckoned me to heed their call and leave behind the aching emptiness that I felt. They pleaded and cajoled until I could barely resist. Logic and reason about which path I should take left me.
I had been crying out to God for some time concerning the state of my nation, pleading with Him to intervene and asking Him to give me His heart of intercession and mercy. I was frustrated with my barrenness in intercession. God had given me some success in ministry but it had barely touched the surface of the vast need. I was doing all I could to minister to broken lives and heal the woundedness of those around me, but compared to the great need of the whole nation anything I could do seemed like a drop in the bucket. Over time the intercession had became more and more intense.
I had gone once again to the secret place of prayer. Oh the beauty of His love and the warmth of His tenderness. I had no greater desire than to dwell in this place. After fellowshipping with God for some time my heart was burdened once again with intercession for my nation.
That's when the loneliness had engulfed me. God had put me in touch with the heart of my nation and I could feel every pull and path Satan was using to bring about the destruction of those made in God's image. Each of the paths around me seemed to be personified. As I turned to each one it would plead with me to follow and come. I turned to the path marked suicide and death and for a brief moment felt it was the only alternative to get out of this hell. I cried out to God for His help.
The pathways that surrounded me disappeared and I found myself looking at a multitude of people moving to and fro. Some looked purposeful. They seemed to know where they were going. Some just followed wherever there was a crowd. Still others just milled about aimlessly. The multitude was made up of people from every different walk of life. It ranged from newborn babies in their mothers arms to the very elderly ready to pass from this life to the next.
My focus was drawn to a couple of young children clinging to each other for support, searching for someone to help them. They were frightened and confused. Mostly they were completely ignored. Frequently someone would collide with them, only to move on as if they weren't even there. My heart went out to them. They looked so lost and lonely. I wanted to help them, but realised I wasn't a part of the scene. I was seeing them in a vision. I prayed that God would cause someone to reach out and help them.
The more I looked at them the more the Lord revealed to me. I saw them cowering in the corner of a room as a woman yelled and screamed at her husband. The man hit the woman and sent her reeling across the room. The two children were shocked and terrified, fearing that they would be the next victim of their father's violence. They desperately wanted him to recognise them, affirm them and be their Dad, but because of his anger and emotional distance they were unable to open their hearts to him. Instead the tender shoots of their developing lives withered and died. I looked into their hearts and saw who they were called to be. I saw the destiny and the reality of the dreams God had placed within them. Fear had so gripped their hearts that they were no longer able to be themselves. They were no longer able to be real. I felt the despair in their hearts. Grief overwhelmed me.
"Lord, have mercy and cause what has been destroyed to live again. Open the eyes of this father and mother to see what they are doing to their children."
As I looked at the father I saw into his heart. I understood that he too had been the victim of violence and abuse. I could see him socialising with his friends. Behind the veneer of camaraderie were feelings of fear and insecurity, the need for acceptance and a place to belong. Abandonment and loneliness ripped at his heart. Although outwardly he was in control, inwardly there was great turmoil. He was frightened to let anyone see what was going on inside his heart in case he was rejected. Alcohol and pretence had become the tools to sedate his wounded heart as his true self became drowned and forgotten.
As if taking a step back I once again noticed the whole multitude. This time my eyes were drawn to a great throng of teenagers. They moved in mass, but not in any clear direction. Every now and then there would be a distraction, followed by a period of confusion, until finally they all started moving in a different direction. They seemed to be looking for something but never quite finding it. After watching this for a time I began to hear music. It came first from one direction and then another. They followed whichever direction the music came from. The music seemed to be a universal language that the young people could understand. Each song carried a message. I listened for some time and realized these young people were being mesmerised and pulled toward the same paths of destruction that I had just encountered. Each song promised something, something to live for, something to satisfy the deepest yearnings of the heart, something to fill the void which was pictured and mirrored on their faces. As I kept looking at the throng of teenagers I began to notice three distinct groups.
First there were those who gave themselves with reckless abandon to the pursuit of whatever looked good, felt good and promised to deliver. The second and largest group were simply swept along by the direction and movement of the crowd. They looked confused and disorientated. The third group was relatively small and largely unnoticed by the first two groups but it was growing rapidly. These young people had become acutely aware of the false promises that were being presented to them and had gone beyond disorientation to disillusionment. One by one they were making their way out of the crowd to kill themselves. The reality of this was more than I could bear, particularly as I was able to see the destiny and call of God on each victim of suicide. Among them were apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, musicians, artists, innovators, pioneers, managers, motivators, encouragers, helpers, every conceivable destiny. I could see that the magnitude of the gifts and callings God had placed on this generation was greater than any previous generation.
"Lord, do something, anything, save the lives of these ones whom You have chosen to preach the good news of Your kingdom to all nations."
As the scene faded from my eyes, I heard the cries and screams of the unborn children whose lives were being terminated through abortion. Amidst the agonising and tormenting cries of the unborn I could hear the voice of the Lord, declaring over and over again, "For such a time as this. For such a time as this. I destined these for such a time as this." Overcome with anguish I cried out,
"Lord, forgive us for the blood of the unborn crying out to you from our nation. Truly the bloodguilt of this land is great, convict us of our sin that we may repent."
Then the fear and guilt of the many women who had aborted their children overwhelmed me. I could feel their pain, their remorse, their agony, their guilt, their shame, the accusations and despair. My heart broke for these women as I felt God's mercy and love for them. The yearning of His heart to see them released and healed from the emotional trauma and guilt of what they had done was so great, I could hardly bear it.
"Lord, set these women free and make them jealous guardians of life. Lord, they have carried the guilt of this sin alone."
I knew in my heart we were all guilty of following the idols of convenience and comfort that had led to the destruction of the unborn.
I was acutely aware of how destruction and death had permeated every sphere of society. Before me flashed the scene of the father hitting his wife, the children cowering in the corner, the teenagers and young adults trying to find some meaning in life but ending in despair and suicide, the silent screams of the unborn, and the guilt and abandonment of the women who had been robbed of their destiny to nurture and bring forth life. The cry of adult men and women, children, teenagers, the unborn and the childless merged and came together with the cry of hopelessness and despair coming from the nations of the earth. I was overcome with the reality of wars, of poverty, of untold misery, of the loneliness of those orphaned through death, war and divorce, of conflict within families, regions and nations, brother against brother, and sister against sister. Truly the nations of the earth were wet with blood. The weight of this revelation caused my heart to cry out over and over, "God, is there no hope? Is there no hope? Is there no hope?"
Suddenly I was caught up to a scene of indescribable beauty, majesty and glory. I saw before me the throne of God. It was beyond comprehension. I watched as people from every nation came before the throne in intercession. This was a completely different crowd from those I had seen earlier. I could see them kneeling and crying out on earth as they simultaneously came before the throne in heaven. Each was gripped with the heart of the Father and cried out for mercy for their nation and the nations of the earth. Before the throne were multitudes of clay jars, beautiful vessels of mercy containing precious oil. These intercessors were fellowshipping with God. But then as if moved by some unseen cue they would arise. With fierce determination they would take hold of one of the vessels and throw it violently over a city, region or nation. The vessels would hit the earth and smash, causing the perfumed oil to release its fragrance and healing, and as darkness continued to cover the earth, whole regions were bathed in glorious light and revival on a level which had never been witnessed before. Coming before the throne in intercession were both young and old, men and women of every nationality and race. Never before had I seen such determination, purpose and resolve.
"Lord, call forth Your end-time champions who will come before Your throne to receive mercy in time of need. Give us grace to carry out the task You have given us. Abba Father, we need You. Let Your great mercy and love be made known across the nations of the earth. Wash us with Your tears and cleanse us with Your words of love."
© Nathan Shaw.
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