I woke up in the middle of the night to an odd word, and the melody to an old 70’s song running through my mind. It was so unusual to wake up at 3:30 in the morning with this word. I knew it had to be from the Lord. The word was “Waterloo.”
Waterloo is commonly understood to mean “a decisive defeat or failure." It is a well known fact that Napoleon Bonaparte, the commanding general of French troops, surrendered to the British, admitting his defeat. It all began on June 18, 1815, when allied forces, consisting of British, Dutch, Belgian and German soldiers, thwarted the attempts of European domination by the French general and emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte. The battle marked the end of the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815), which took the lives of 5 million people. (Time.com) As I researched the significance of this famous battle, what stood out to me is the fact that the French were fighting the British for world dominance. France had been the reigning world superpower up until that point, but when France was out of the way, it paved the way for the U.K. to obtain global power. It also laid the foundations for the U.S. to eventually become the world’s superpower.
Knowing that the Lord is speaking about a “Waterloo” experience causes me to dig deeper on this subject. It is no secret that we all have a common enemy. Satan, of course. He works in a myriad of ways, always trying to plot and scheme against us so that he can get us to admit defeat and surrender. We have a very real threat in enemies both within and without. Those within us, and those outside of us; within the United States as well as threats from foreign nations. Every one of them is fighting for world dominance. The agenda of any enemy will always be to take dominion away from us and bring us into captivity.
Another interesting tidbit worth mentioning is the fact that once a nation was humbled and conquered by a foreign power, the first thing the victor did was to send out ambassadors to effect change in the area of cultural colonization. This is essentially the role of an apostle, but the enemy has his apostles, too. Cultural colonization imposes a culture by force and occupation, displacing and replacing the native culture with the one of the dominant foreign culture. This has always been the way of settling the land and forcing the inhabitants to adopt the beliefs, religion, and culture of those with the stronger military force. They conquered and subdued those within that land, even though many times it was by force. Up to now, American culture has been the prevailing influence as a global power, but if we do not rise up and take back the dominion that God has given us, we too can suffer a humiliating defeat - a Waterloo of epic proportions. Islamic fundamentalism is on the rise and in many people, it’s setting off the alarm bells. ISIS has been testing our boundaries, testing our military force and challenging authority while seemingly little or nothing is done about it. We have a military force that is weakened and unprepared because of current political leadership. Various terrorist organizations have breached important infrastructure firewalls, highly classified information has been made public by whistle blowers, and it just doesn’t stop. The world has been watching as our weaknesses have been laid bare for all to see. It is not difficult to predict what will eventually come as the result of all this. Make no mistakes; our enemies absolutely have an agenda towards world dominance and they are very bold about making it known. Any one of our enemies would love to see America fall so that they could replace us as a global power. The question is, “How will we choose to respond?” That answer will determine our future, and our children’s futures. History always repeats itself. If we fail to learn from the past, we will be forced to learn the same historic lessons. We cannot afford to give away our God-given dominion through casual neglect. God gave ALL mankind the command to exercise dominion and to subdue the earth, but not everyone will exercise what they have been given. The right to rule has been afforded to those who take God seriously. The difference between the enemy and the church as a whole is that foreign enemies fight to win, while the church, for the large part, does not. We've gotten so used to compromise that we embrace sin instead of annihilating it and holding ourselves to a higher standard. I'm not advocating legalism or religiousness, but the church in a collective sense does seem to lack conviction and commitment, and that is why our nation is weak. It's why congregations often display a shallow form of Christianity but lack the power that demonstrates the reality of the kingdom of God. We have to own the fact that we are lukewarm. Do you know what Jesus said about those who were lukewarm? He said he would vomit them out of his mouth! That's serious!
''I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot.'So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth." Rev. 3:16
We can no longer afford to lack passion for the cause of Christ, because this is what has landed us, as a nation of people, in the predicament we're in. The reality is, whoever will not enforce the rule of God’s kingdom will be overcome by those exercising dominion of a different kingdom.
“God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth." Genesis 1:27,28
I am not one that wants to preach judgment over America, and I don’t wish this article to come across with that sort of prevailing thought. I do, however, recognize the dangerous times in which we live. There will always be warnings and if we heed them, we can avert many of the things that God warns us about. The absolute worst thing we could do is to continue in apathy. We cannot afford to display disinterest towards recognizing the opportunity to effect change while the opportunity still exists. We are God’s ambassadors, His ‘sent ones’ to call heaven down to earth with our prayers. We cannot depend upon the government or our military to fight our battles, because at this present moment we have people in powerful positions that are thwarting efforts to put their foot down on the enemy’s neck. We can, however, accomplish that through prayer. We can ask God to intervene and to raise up those that will help take down the enemy no matter where he is hiding. God has proven throughout history that He is capable of winning the war by many or by few. He calls the unsuspecting, the weak, the most unusual sort of people to do mighty acts for Him. Yet, He is looking for a humble people that will recognize their own need for change, and the genuine fruit of repentance that says, “God, change begins with me. I am not You. I am a flawed human being in need of a Savior. I want to know my sins are forgiven and I am in right standing with You, and I’m asking you to help me to walk out this transformation into Your likeness so that I fulfill what I was put on earth to do.” People wonder what their purpose is. It is contained in knowing Christ and in fulfilling His assignments.
A notable characteristic about Napoleon Bonaparte was his pride. He was, without a doubt, a very successful leader. He is still remembered in history as one of the greatest military strategists and leaders that has ever lived. But, like many people and many nations before him, it was pride that put him in the place of needing to be humbled. What is true of nations is often true of individuals. Pride goes before a fall.
“When pride comes, then comes dishonor, But with the humble is wisdom. The integrity of the upright will guide them, But the crookedness of the treacherous will destroy them.…” Prov. 11:2,3
“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Prov. 16:18
We can either come to God willingly or we can find ourselves in need of a Waterloo experience - utter defeat and humiliation as the enemy we give place to grows stronger and overcomes us.
Let’s take this down a notch and make this personal. This word is good for the nation but it’s also good for the individual. The only real choices we have in life is to either choose to serve God, or serve our enemies. Satan works through the lives of those that refuse to submit to the Lord Jesus Christ. This is Biblical truth. With those two choices in mind, we are faced with making a necessary decision. Whom will we serve?
God Almighty is not on the side of wicked oppressors. He is not on the side of injustice, cruelty, murder or deception. He does not give His consent, allegiance or help to treacherous people, and He certainly does not support or endorse anyone that comes only to kill, steal or act as a destroyer because that would be aligning himself with Satan and the kingdom of darkness. God stands adamantly opposed to those that manifest those qualities, and eventually, their pride will usher in their defeat and humiliation. (Look in the end of the Book, the adversaries don't win!!). Doesn't it make sense to do something intentional to place your allegiance with the winning side? That should be a no brainer, right?
Jesus was none of those things. He acted in complete love and humility, offering His life in exchange for the sin of mankind. He shed His blood to redeem mankind from the penalty that our sins deserved. Jesus came to destroy the works of the evil one, and to lovingly rescue those that would identify with the one and only true God of heaven and earth. We are always free to choose. God gave us our own free will and He won’t violate it. He is not like the enemy’s ambassadors that are sent out with the agenda of forcibly making converts and violating people's will under threat of violence and death. God does want to affect cultural change, but He accomplishes it in a much different manner, through love. But, though we are free to make our own choice, we must still bear the consequences of whatever choices we make. We cannot escape that. If we fail to choose Christ, other masters will have dominion over us. The Bible says that we cannot serve two masters. If we try we will either love one and hate the other because they will be adamantly opposed to one another. Doesn’t it make sense that agreeing with what Jesus has already done on the cross is in our best interest? To know that your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life and your sin is forgiven? Doesn’t it make sense that agreeing with the God that is already on your side is the best possible choice? You don’t have to work for it. His love and acceptance are already secure towards those that draw near to Him. The work is already done. All you have to do is choose to believe in your heart and confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus is your God. Then get to know Him better by coming into a personal relationship with Him.
In light of this knowledge, “Waterloo” takes on a whole new meaning. Waterloo was a place of surrender. Maybe you’re feeling drawn to that place right now. There are many things to which one can surrender their mind and will; but, pray that it would be to things that are good and worthy of your loyalty and allegiance. Jesus Christ has already proven that He would do anything for you, because He gave His life for all of mankind.
“What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” Romans 8:31,32
It is a choice to enter into this relationship with the Creator of the Universe (who is your heavenly Father) and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s recognizing that the gospel really is good news, and coming into agreement with God’s word. This is true humility, and humility will save you from falling by pride. It is the heart recognizing there is a need to ask for forgiveness so that the heart and conscience can be cleansed from the guilt stain of sin.
“If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just [true to His own nature and promises], and will forgive our sins and cleanse us continually from all unrighteousness [our wrongdoing, everything not in conformity with His will and purpose].” 1 John 1:9 AMP
We learn to adopt a renewed mindset because our old one was already defeated. Our lives are already defeated without Christ in the center of it. We lose our own self will and gain His loving guidance, wisdom and godly counsel for our lives, and for the benefit of our families. So, we lose the battle with self rule but we win the war. And somewhere in this whole process called life we learn what real love really looks like. And, we learn to love Him back. This is what genuine repentance looks like, and it makes the whole idea of surrender a whole lot more appealing. We recognize that our destiny and purpose are contained in knowing Christ. That's when we can say, "You know, Lord, I can agree with this. I think I'm ready to change the way I think, and the way I live. If you help me live for You, I will do it."
Let’s end this with a prayer, and agree that God will touch people with their own “Waterloo experience.” It’s a place of humble repentance and surrender, bringing defeat to the god of self rule, independence and ultimately, closing the door to the enemy so that God can bring the victory. So, we say defeat to the enemy through our prayer of humility and by the grace of God, we ask for Him to let our enemies not have dominion over us.
Please touch every heart in this nation, my state and the city in which I live. Touch my heart, God. Open the eyes of our hearts to acknowledge that we cannot afford to live without You at the center of our lives. Renew our minds with truth, Lord. Let our hearts be moldable and conformed to Your will. I ask You, Jesus, to forgive my sin, as I accept by faith that You already have, but I confess it to You so that You would cleanse me from unrighteousness and the guilt of my sin. I declare You are Lord, and I reject and refuse all ungodly masters over my life. I willingly come to You and ask that You give me the grace and strength to live a life that honors You. Help me, please, to pray Your will on earth as it is in heaven. I give you permission - in advance of every temptation and struggle that I might encounter - to change my heart, my responses, and my behaviors. Change what comes out of my mouth so that it honors You and keeps me from stumbling. I don't want to grant the enemy a victory out of my own weaknesses or foolishness. I'll yield to you, so You take the wheel! Let every enemy both within me, and outside of me - all that are opposed to the Lordship of Jesus Christ be humbled and defeated, in Jesus name. I ask You to raise up those in our nation and even outside of our nation, that will thwart the enemy’s plans and ungodly agendas. Let every plot and scheme be unraveled so that the enemy suffers humiliating defeat. Give Satan and the kingdom of darkness their Waterloo experience that puts them to an open shame, knowing that once again God has prevailed and they did not. In Jesus name, amen.