Our destiny is not just to be priests, but to be a kingdom of priests. The kingdom is God’s designated government and there is a governmental aspect to man coming into his calling. We are called to govern the earth as priests. This is one reason why we hear that prayer always precedes revival. When we stand before God, take our place, and declare His will in agreement with Him it produces fruit in the earth. It does not always happen in the way we expect and frequently takes longer than we wish, but prayer is a trigger for God’s activity in the earth (Revelation 8:3-5).
The great tragedy is that we frequently pray for revival but once an awakening comes, prayer tends to subside. In reality we are designed to be a people who stand in the place of prayer and minister to God as our primarily calling forever. We fail to do this because we do not understand the full extent of the authority we have been given. Yes, we are in a great conflict with darkness but when we take our place it sets things into motion.
God’s intention is that the earth would be filled with far more than a few prayer meetings for revival. The earth is to be filled with priestly ministry throughout the nations (Malachi 1:11). What will happen in the earth when the people of God do not just pray for revival, but also begin to establish places in the earth where ministry to God never ceases? There are already a number of 24/7 prayer ministries in the earth but this is just the beginning. Revelation 4-5 gives the foundation of 24/7 prayer:
We are designed to enjoy the beauty of God, as a corporate people, day and night. We are called to respond to that beauty day and night. God is going to fill the earth with places of unceasing worship, prayer, and proclamation as a prophetic witness of what is going to come on the earth.
The Bible is clear that human beings have been given great authority and a commission to take dominion over the earth. What we must understand is that man’s dominion only functions correctly when we are functioning in our God ordained calling as priests.
We cannot take a shortcut in God’s redemptive purposes. We cannot recover our place of dominion and authority without first taking our place as priests.
The recovery of man’s priestly calling is the first step to man recovering his governmental calling. Many are trying to take “dominion” without taking dominion in the way that God has called us to do so. We must embrace the priestly call first because our authority flows from the priestly place. This is illustrated in Psalm 2:
6“As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.” 7I will tell of the decree: The Lord said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you. (Psalm 2:6–7 ESV)
The Father offers the Son dominion over the nations, but He tells Him first to “ask.” Before the Son comes into His dominion, He must first function in the fullness of His priestly calling. Jesus must follow this pattern because He is a man. Though all dominion is His as God, as a man He must function as a priest before He can take dominion. This is the pattern for us. Before we take dominion on the earth we must recover the priestly calling.
Many other believers are simply passive accepting whatever happens with no real vision to engage with God to shape history. These believers must also embrace the authority of the priestly call. Instead of silently accepting whatever comes, we are called to speak in agreement with God. This is why Revelation 8 tell us that our prayers serve as the trigger for God’s divine activity and why the angel in Daniel 10 told Daniel His prayers initiated a war in the heavens.
12Then he said to me, “Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words. 13The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days, but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I was left there with the kings of Persia, (Daniel 10:12–13 ESV)
4and the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel. 5Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth, and there were peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake. (Revelation 8:4–5 ESV)
Humans have been given authority over the earth and authority begins with words. This is why priestly ministry begins by declaring the things that are true in the earth. This is why prayer is so powerful. It can and will open up entire regions to experience the power of God.
We live in a generation where 24/7 prayer is spreading rapidly on the earth. In the same way that the emergence of the modern state of Israel is a statement of God’s commitment to bring Israel into her calling, the explosion of night and day prayer in the earth is a statement of God’s commitment to bring man into his priestly calling.
This is the highest form of government if we understand government correctly. Good government is a societal structure that exists to enable a people to pursue the things that are most beautiful. Government exists to give the people a vision about what is good – what is most valuable. Political orators function as priests of our societies. They give their lives to pursue what they feel is more beautiful and most valuable and then think of ways to communicate that to the people and make it glorious in the eyes of the nation. Entire nations can be swept away by this “priestly” ministry.
In the twentieth century, Europe was swept away by the speeches of an Austrian madman, but we have to recognize that he was functioning as a priest. He had a clear vision of what he thought was most “beautiful” and most desirable. His soul was captivated by the vision of an Aryan race and a “Third Reich.” With his soul captivated by this vision, he then called an entire nation to embrace what he had seen in his soul.
The whole world went to war because a single man gave a nation a vision of beauty. This is one of the most graphic examples of a false priesthood. Hitler operated in a priestly call and the results were horrific. However, the effect that he had on the nations is intended to provoke us. What could happen in the nations if a multi-ethnic people across the earth were filled with a vision of what is truly beautiful and began calling the nations to embrace and promote that vision of beauty?
Priestly men with clear visions of what is beautiful can move entire nations towards what they have seen. This has disastrous consequences when men who embrace evil function as priests, but it has glorious effects when righteous men function in their priestly identity.
What we must recognize is that priestliness is governmental. This is why Jesus must function as a priest and an intercessor before He governs the nations. The same holds true for all human beings. Recovering our priestly identity is the first step to recovering our calling to rule.