Do you have a friend whom you love so dearly that even their phone call at midnight does not offend you? Whose number you keep "starred" on the list in your phone, so that at any time, day or night, you may be available to them?
Only a few friends and family of mine make that cut! These are the ones whose lives are the most important to me; whose voices I want to hear at any time, in any condition. There is nothing they could say that would make me love them less, and I choose to give my life to them because of that love.
Ironically, the closest friend I have on my list does not own a phone! He is what you might call "old school;" someone who prefers heart to heart conversations over text messages or phone calls. You probably have a few friends like that, too!
This friend doesn't call my cell phone, but I hear from him at midnight more often than I hear from all of my other friends combined. Some of you who are close to me already know who this friend is!
Jesus says in Luke 11:5-8:
"Suppose one of you has a friend, and goes to him at midnight and says to him, 'Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him.
...and from inside he answers and says, 'Do not bother me; the door has already been shut and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.'
I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, YET BECAUSE OF HIS PERSISTENCE HE WILL GET UP AND GIVE HIM AS MUCH AS HE NEEDS."
Until recently, I never read Jesus's parable as anything other than that: it is a call to be merciful to my friends in need - even when it seems inconvenient.
Over the past few weeks, however, the Lord began waking me up repeatedly at midnight to pray. My nighttimes are devoted to Him anyway, but several "midnight hour" awakenings led me to believe there was a deeper message behind His persistence.
THIS IS THE MIDNIGHT HOUR FOR THE CHURCH!
I hear the Lord saying that the midnight hour for the church is upon us. It is time to wake up from our slumber and arise to the sound of His call! Jesus is asking, seeking, and knocking at the doors of our hearts. Many of us consider Him our Friend, but refuse to get up and provide what the Lord needs in this time!
Dear ones, Jesus has other friends who are weary from their journeys and need the bread of life you possess. The three loaves in Luke's story speak of the resurrection life of Christ. That sustaining life abides in you, but must be shared during this time of harvest!
Many in the church, like the Shulamite in Song of Songs, have said to Jesus, "Don't bother me. I can't give You anything." They've shut the doors and turned off their phones, choosing lives of comfort instead of inconvenience. Because of this, the Lord has had to become more persistent.
As we have sown, so we have reaped. The Lord our Friend has allowed the worldwide crises of this hour to "shut the door" on all that has separated us from HIM, until ALL that we hear is the sound of His voice! In His mercy, He is again asking the church to give Him ALL that He needs, just as He gave ALL of Himself for her.
WHAT DOES HE NEED?
The Lord doesn't need anything from us in order to exist Himself. But a misapplication of this truth has led the church to believe that He needs nothing at all, which is untrue.
In fact, the plan of God is to work in partnership with His disciples to reach the ends of the earth and bring in the end-time harvest. (Matthew 28:18-20.)
God has, in a sense, limited Himself in order to include us in this great ingathering of souls! He needs us to participate, and we are told that the full measure of souls must come in before God will avenge Himself on our enemies. (See Revelation 6:11.)
It is midnight now: a dark hour for the world before the dawning of a new day and a new awakening. Jesus has come to His friends to ask if we will help Him provide for friends we do not yet know: weary travelers who are just now finding their way to His doorstep.
The number of new believers coming in is staggering, and requires that those close to Jesus assist in feeding the masses. Will you open your heart to Him, even if it is an inconvenient time?
I heard, this week, of an evangelist who is using Zoom to reach thousands of new believers in Myanmar. For the price of a Zoom program on his computer (under $100), he has - in a time of worldwide crisis - already seen 40,000 people saved! I urge you to consider "inconveniencing" yourself just a bit in order to reach a harvest that is already here!
The three barley loaves Jesus speaks of in Luke remind us immediately of the coarse loaves of bread common to everyday believers like Gideon. (See Judges 7.) They remind us of the biblical barley harvest, which occurred in the time of firstfruits. Friends, now we are already seeing the "firstfruits" of a great supernatural harvest, and releasing the bread you have in your house will be a sign to the enemy of his impending judgment!
I urge you to be like the little boy who offered his barley loaves and fish to Jesus so that Christ could multiply them and bless the masses.
Be like Gideon, who interpreted the dream of a barley loaf in the enemy's camp as a sign of God's great deliverance!
Be the friend Jesus needs at this midnight hour, who will gladly wake up and provide whatever He asks for - not because He is so persistent, but because you already loved Him enough to answer Him the first time.
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A severe hearing loss from childhood caused Deborah Perkins to develop what she now calls her secret weapon: tuning in to God's voice. A Wellesley College graduate and an award-winning writer, Deborah is now a wife and mother of 3 boys. Deborah has devoted over 25 years to professional and lay Christian ministry in New England and beyond. Her passion is inspiring people to cultivate greater intimacy with God.