by Gary DeVeau - reprinted from the Christian Life-Times
Gusts of wind blew bringing cool air down from the Canadian Rockies. There, near the Old Man River, we stood upon the Porcupine Hills as our hearts pounded with many emotions. Numbering somewhere around 55, we were comprised of intercessors and spiritual mappers from Canada, England, South Africa and the United States. We had encircled an even smaller group of men and women from the North Peigan Tribe of the Blackfoot Nation. At another time in history this may have looked like the makings of a substantial confrontation but on this day it was a time of reconciliation and healing. We had joined hands and walked backwards, enlarging our circle around these First Nation people with each successive step, metaphorically demonstrating Isaiah 54:2. "Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes" One of the major injustices conspired against these people was the reduction of their once immense territory to a few square miles of Indian reserve. God, through His prophets, was promising to restore all the years that the locusts had eaten (Joel 2:25).
Why, you may ask, was I invited by the Sentinel Group to the foothills of the Canadian Rockies and how could this possibly lead to a spiritual transformation on Long Island?
Let me take a moment to back up and I'll try to explain. Many of us have viewed the Transformation video, by George Otis Jr. and The Sentinel Group, and we have seen how informed intercession can radically transform a community. The video focused on the communities of Cali, Colombia; Kiambu, Kenya; Hemet, California and Almolonga, Guatemala. It categorically demonstrates how informed intercession coupled with humility and repentance can increase church attendance, lower crime rates, transform governments and even increase the productivity of an area. As Christians we know about the power of prayer and we should know that we "wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places". (Ephesians 6:12) Yet, all too often we look to flesh and blood solutions to solve problems that have deep roots in spiritual soil. Now, I'm all for putting "feet" on my faith, but, with an Ephesians 6 kind of understanding, I want to know "why things are the way they truly are" so that I might pray and act with greater effectiveness. This is where the need for accurate "spiritual mapping" comes in.
George Otis Jr. coined the phrase "spiritual mapping" only a decade, or so, ago. It's practice, however, can be seen throughout the Old and New Testaments. God shows us time and again that to succeed in battle, or in evangelism, we need good tactical information to successfully beat our opponent. Our opponent Satan, the enemy of our souls, has had much time to lay down traps and snares to hinder God's purpose for our community. It takes diligent research and godly discernment to uncover prevailing bondages and root bondages that hinder the reception of the Gospel in an area. Sometimes these root bondages, like Abel's blood declaring Cain's guilt, cry out from the land demanding God's justice. Only through our informed intercession can we cry out for God's mercy and, through Jesus' blood, reconcile once and for all the judgements upon the land and allow those once in darkness to clearly hear the Gospel. Sometimes the root sins of an area are very old; in fact, sometimes they're downright ancient.
This brings us back to The Sentinel Group hosting The Ancient Pathways Consultation in Brocket, Alberta, Canada at the Peigan Indian Reserve. During our stay we worshiped and fellowshipped with Pastor Manfred North Peigan and the dear brethren of Church On The Rock, Peigan Nation.
There were precious times of exchanging gifts with the Chief and members of the tribe; relationships made with like-minded ministries; and all those hours gleaning from one another's experiences. Our ministry, Isaiah 54 Ministries, had been spiritually mapping Long Island and networking with other mappers for some time now. This, coupled with a whole lot of "God works in mysterious ways", is why I was invited to participate, share and learn with this small group of dedicated spiritual pioneers.
We were an eclectic band of spiritual private investigators, conscripted by God and looking for clues as to why our communities were resistant to the Gospel. Our capable host, George Otis Jr., has literally written the book on spiritual mapping and informed intercession. Although relatively new vernacular phrases, both topics have now become subjects of study at several major Christian colleges and seminaries. The number one reason for the surge of interest into this discipline is the authenticated proof that it works. There are case histories of recent city transformations, and those areas that are in process of transformation, throughout the world. What God has initiated, through the Sentinel Group, is a plan for transformation of entire regions. If the "spiritual climate" of a region is changed it welcomes the Spirit of God into the area and citywide transformation is inevitable. Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. (Zechariah 4:6b)
One such place where God is being made welcome is the continent of Africa. Elizabeth Jordaan and Regina Viljoen made their way to Alberta by way of their native South Africa in order to share how the Ancient Pathways project was effecting their region. They've learned that massive attack or head-on type warfare does not win the battle. Only humbleness of heart and repentance will bring about lasting victories. Their team set out to establish a "highway of holiness" across the original paths first traveled into the continent. Repenting for that which was offensive to God and reaffirming godly covenants made along the way. The trail led them from South Africa, up the eastern coast and through Ethiopia to Egypt. We were privileged to view filmed footage of their journey, which will later be used in the sequel to the Transformation video. This African Ancient Pathways initiative is a 'works in progress' and the results of the work are only now starting to come in. One exciting story, which was shared at the Alberta consultation, was about a cult temple they had prayed over. After the team broke all curses pertaining to said temple; lightning struck the temple site. One of the cult's priests tried to "re-posses" the temple and he too was hit by lightning before he could begin his rites upon this altar of offence.
When spiritually mapping an area, we learned that not all altars built by previous inhabitants are offensive to God. We must discern if they are altars of offence or altars of honor. Recent finds have shown that some First Nations people brought with them the worship of the one true God, an obvious link to our common ancestor Noah's piety. Unfortunately, as people groups ran into various ordeals; drought, disease, etc., their imaginations created multiply deities to cope with their trauma. Satan was only all too happy to animate their imaginations with his demonic forces. It's important to know when and how the people's genuine seeking after God was corrupted, if informed intercession is going to make a lasting change and bring true transformation.
One example of discerning aboriginal worship practices occurred recently in Hawaii. Rev. Daniel Kikawa, after completing the Hawaiian Islands Spiritual Warfare Project, shared with us on his group's findings. It seems that the original settlers to the islands brought with them, from the Middle East via Asia, a form of worship that acknowledged that there was only one true God. What was even more curious was the fact that their name for Him was very much akin to the name of Yahweh. It was discovered that the oldest temple on the island was first dedicated to Him and later, following the island's conquest, was desecrated by human sacrifices. The complete story can be found in Daniel's book, "Perpetuated in Righteousness". Because of this, and other revelatory information, their statewide interdenominational project could continue the process of repentance and reconciliation that is leading to transformation.
Area transformation relies on spiritual mapping much the same way a doctor uses a x-ray to diagnose why the patient feels the way they do. Intercession without spiritual mapping is likened to playing "spiritual warfare piņata", you have this massive "bat" of prayer but, being blindfolded, your success is limited at best. Usually you burnout before obtaining your prize. It does not take profound spiritual insight to see that this burnout has occurred on Long Island more times than we care too mention. Many years ago it was prophesized that this island would be called "The Lord's Island". We can not continue with the status quo "church as usual" if we hope to effectively reach the inhabitants of our island with the life changing Gospel of Jesus Christ and bring about true spiritual transformation.
There is now a Long Island spiritual mapping initiative called Long Island S.H.O.R.E. (Spiritual History, Observation & Research Enterprise). Working directly with and under the guidelines of The Sentinel Group, we are networking mappers who are compiling spiritual intelligence necessary for more effective intercession. After the information is organized into usable data, it is given to participating pastors, churches and intercessory groups. Statewide we are networked with spiritual mapping and intercessory groups like N.Y. City Intercessors, CityNet, L.I. Intercessors and I.N.N.S. On a national level, the information is shared with The Sentinel Group and is used in the Ancient Pathways, North Atlantic Corridor Project. This is a major undertaking, requiring many volunteers, adequate financial support and the covering of much prayer. We need volunteers to research their individual areas. Teams are ideally comprised of three major components; the archival unit (historic research), mobile unit (physical observation) and the intercessory unit (spiritual discernment). We are also needful of good contacts throughout the New England area to help coordinate the northeast mapping initiative.
We are available to help you get a mapping project started in your area, teach on Informed Intercession & Spiritual Mapping and connect you with others in your area who are in need of additional team members. Give us a call and we can also get you a copy of the Transformation Video, Daniel Kikawa's book (Perpetuated in Righteousness) or any other materials needed to effectively go about transforming your community for God.
Ancient Pathways Explained
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by Isaiah 54 Ministries
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