As I was praying at the beginning of this month, I was taken into an encounter where found myself standing in an old, dusty city resembling a place one would have expected to experience in Biblical times.

As I stood, I found myself in what appeared to be the very heart of the city, a place where many market stalls and/or trading areas were functioning and large numbers of people were moving around. From this location, I was able to see too clearly all the way through to the many city gates directly ahead of me. As I looked around, I started to notice that I was continually being bumped and shoved as many people were pushing past me and running all around. As I paid this a little more attention, I realised that this was, in fact, a very frantic scene. I could see that many people were crashing into the stalls and running in and out of the openings of the houses and that many had arms full of goods. I could then suddenly see that this city was actually under siege.

As soon as I recognised this, I shouted out as loud as I could, “SOMEBODY SHUT THE GATES!” As soon as these words left my mouth, I found myself immediately at the gates and could now better see that people were not only coming in through the gates, but where also entering in through large broken down areas of the city walls too. I then looked down and could see that the gates had actually been wedged open by the intruders and that, actually, the city defences had been entirely breached.

I then felt the Lord speak and say; “What you are seeing Daryl, is what many believers are experiencing in their soul.”

I was then taken up, as if in an instant, onto one of the standing turrets at the end of one of the walls and was then able to see that the walls at the front of the city, on either side of the gate, had been broken down. I then instinctively looked at the Lord who I knew was now standing on my right side and said “Lord, but now there’s no place for the watchmen to stand!” As soon as I said this, I knew that the watchmen actually represented a discerning as to what being allowed to come into the city and that this city could not function well again until its breaches were fixed, gates closed and watchman re-established on its walls.

I then heard the Lord speak again and say:
“This is what happens when senses and discernment becomes dulled and desensitized. When there is no longer self-control over temptation, walls begin to weaken and in time can be broken down. The wedge you saw represents a newly established spiritual stronghold, the ground you see will remain occupied until the gates are reclaimed and the breaches again fortified. I then instinctively knew that the fortification of the walls would have to come from a person’s accountability within their local church community and the closing of the gate from their repentance.

I then also knew what was meant by Peter when he stated:
‘Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul.’ (1 Peter 2:11, NIV)

And too remembered the scripture from Proverbs:
“Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.” (Proverbs 25:28, NIV)

Then I saw a change of scene, and saw many people working to start rebuilding the walls of the city. I saw ropes being used to hall stones into place and one man helping another to build what would surely be impossible for one person to build alone. As they pulled the stones back into place on the walls, I saw their arms flex with strength as if they had been trained for this very purpose.

Then the Lord said:
“I am bringing FRESH COURAGE to those who have not felt strong enough to resist temptation. THEIR BREAKTHROUGH IS COMING. The people that you see, resisted similar temptations and can now help others to do the same. They have been made strong through the process of RESISTANCE TRAINING.”

I could see that the people who were building the wall had already been strengthened to do it by building their own walls prior and was shocked to see how quickly the walls were made ready and strong as they began to work TOGETHER.

I strongly believe that the Lord is calling some of us into a new level of walking out VULNERABILITY and ACCOUNTABILITY within COMMUNITY at this time. I also believe that as this process is undertaken, that many believers will experience an incredible INCREASE OF COURAGE, FRESH VISION, RENEWED SPIRITUAL SENSITIVITY and INCREDIBLE FREEDOM as they do!

Daryl Crawford-Marshall
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