(Ryan LeStrange) I was preaching in Perry, Florida when I heard the tragic news about the attack in Orlando that left 50 dead and even more injured. My heart was heavy as I pondered the tremendous loss of life and the evil plans of the enemy to strike such fear in people’s hearts in this hour.
At the time of this writing, I am in Panama City Beach taking some down time. I have been praying over the state of Florida and for America, making an appeal to heaven. Florida has a long and rich history of revival. My own spiritual father, Dr. Norvel Hayes, enjoyed some of his greatest exploits in ministry in the State of Florida. There have been numerous moves of revival in this state. I have always regarded Florida as both a revival and a forerunner state. The forerunner spirit is a brave pioneering spirit that goes out ahead, plowing open the ground and releasing the glory.
As I was staring out at the emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico, my heart was pondering the reasons for the tragedy in this state that’s demanding the world’s attention. I personally know so many powerful ministers in the State of Florida who are laboring for awakening and mobilizing the Bride for prayer and intimacy.
Suddenly, I heard the Lord whisper, “It is Florida’s Ziklag moment.”
What is a Ziklag moment? It is the moment of intense struggle and attack. David was one of the most powerful forerunners in the Bible, yet he was struck to his very core at Ziklag. We find the story in 1 Samuel 30:1-8:
Now when David and his men came to Ziklag on the third day, the Amalekites had raided the south as far as Ziklag. They had struck Ziklag and burned it with fire. They had taken as captives all the women who were there. They did not kill anyone, but carried them off and went on their way.
David and his men came to the city, and they found it burned with fire, and their wives, their sons, and their daughters taken captive. So David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept until they had no strength in them to weep. Now David’s two wives were taken captive, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite.
David was greatly distressed, for the people talked of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in spirit, each over his sons and daughters. But David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.
And David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelek, “Please bring the ephod to me.” So Abiathar brought the ephod to David. David inquired at the Lord, saying, “Should I pursue after this raiding party? Will I overtake them?”
And He answered him, “Pursue them, for you will surely overtake them and will surely recover all.”
David and his men came to Ziklag and found it burned with fire, their wives and families taken captive. These powerful warriors suddenly discovered that all they loved and held dear was gone! Their enemies had successfully executed a secret mission and had taken their loved ones. It was the worst possible outcome. They were hit and decimated on every level!
Examining the meaning of the word “Ziklag” reveals some powerful parallels between the horrendous circumstances of David’s men and our own lives today. Looking at various opinions and root words associated with “Ziklag,” a clear picture emerges. Ziklag represents a place of pressure and distress where what is on the inside begins to flow out.
David was doing what God had asked him to do as a forerunner yet the forces of evil met him with great strength. Florida is arising to take her place as a forerunner in the nation, giving birth to houses of prayer, powerful prophetic ministries and places of awakening. I am convinced that Florida will see many more wonderful outpourings of the Holy Spirit within her borders. This evil attack is an attack on the forerunner. The goal is to release fear and division.
It was at Ziklag, in the midst of battle, that David’s own men turned against him. The enemy always works in times of crisis to release strife and division. He wants to abort unity and intensify the attack.
David’s victory in Ziklag began with two powerful steps. First, he asked for the ephod, his priestly garment! He reclaimed his identity and refused to waiver off of how the Father defined him.
In this moment Florida must embrace its prophetic identity and destiny as a forerunner state. It must cling to the words of the Lord and make war with the prophetic utterances. Secondly, David enquired of the Lord as to the next step.
When the word of the Lord came forth, David received his marching orders and led the call to battle. It is imperative that Florida hears and heeds the prophetic words over the territory. Florida is a state that is alive with prophetic ministry and vibrant proclamation.
In this Ziklag moment it is time to tune in, listen and follow the prophetic leading. There is a great emphasis on rich, powerful prophetic ministry in the state and in the nation. The spiritual leaders and voices of awakening in the state of Florida and in the nation must wrap themselves in the ephod of identity and arise!
My prayer for Florida is that God pours out His healing balm and that the state grabs hold of its forerunner identity, refusing to let go. That the prophets and prophetic voices release the word of the Lord (not opinions or political debates) over the state. That the presence of a spiritual enemy is recognized and conquered in the spirit, and that tremendous healing balm is poured out in this Forerunner State!
May God continue to pour out His presence and let His hand be mighty upon Florida and the nations—there is work to be done, prayers to be prayed, revivals to be birthed and exploits to enjoy. Ziklag shall not define the people of God, only His voice, His word and His plans. Cry aloud prophets—-pray with passion intercessors—-and keep pioneering forerunners.
Ryan LeStrange started in ministry after training and serving under his spiritual father Dr. Norvel Hayes. Ryan and his wife, Joy, lead Impact International Ministries based in Bristol, Virginia, which consists of several local churches and revival ministries. Through Ryan LeStrange Ministries, he travels the globe preaching, igniting revival and moving in the power of God. Ryan can be seen weekly on his television program, Power 4 Today, airing around the world on GodTV. He is the founder and apostle of Impact International Apostolic Fellowship, networking and fathering ministers around the world. Ryan has authored several books releasing an apostolic and prophetic perspective to the body of Christ. Please visit ryanlestrange.com.