The Best of God in the Worst of Times

Why are young Americans still dying in a war that our leaders do not seem to want to win?  What will the open sewers of TV, video games, music and movies flood on our children next? How can anyone survive and raise kids in a hell of decaying crack houses and in the crossfire of gang massacres?  How do Pastors keep the doors of their church open when attendance and giving has dwindled to almost nothing?  When will God pierce the darkness and send true national revival?” 

These are only a handful of questions that eat away at believers in America.  Stress and fear are howling constantly at our doors. It does not matter where you live!  It touches you even if you are miles from any ghetto or war zone.  How do you face this?  What is the best move you can make right now in this hell we call modern life?  

Matthew 24:21-22 says, 21For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.”  This is one of the scariest predictions that Jesus ever made.  What is even more chilling is how much it seems that we are in that very time that Jesus predicted!

Modern problems are now supernatural. To hold a family together today requires supernatural help.  To keep one’s sanity in the dizzying pace of today demands an emotional foundation that is superhuman.  Some even suspect that their problems are so deep that they have run off the map of the Bible.

Hold on a moment. Believe it or not this can be the greatest time of your life.  Despite all the bad news and the threatening conditions you can do things now that you never thought were possible. This is no hollow boast. My bold confession is based on a spiritual law in Isaiah 60: 1-5.   

Isaiah 60:1-5, “1 Arise, shine; For your light has come!  And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you. 2 For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the LORD will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you. 3 The Gentiles shall come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising. 4 “ Lift up your eyes all around, and see: They all gather together, they come to you; Your sons shall come from afar, And your daughters shall be nursed at your side. 5 Then you shall see and become radiant, And your heart shall swell with joy; Because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you, The wealth of the Gentiles shall come to you.” 

 When evil does its worst, God will do His best. When Pharaoh raged Moses appeared. When Goliath roared David came forth.  When the world seemed hopelessly locked in the grip of Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel leveled him with prophetic authority. Ruth and Boaz, the greatest love story of the Old Testament came in the darkness of the time of the Judges. Isaac obtained a hundredfold harvest in the midst of a grinding drought.  When the New Testament Church seemed doomed, their chief persecutor, Saul of Tarsus became Paul the Apostle.

God will make grace, power and miracles available at this time in history that were never available before.  It is His law to surpass the evil of each generation with goodness.  If you want to know what the heart of this letter is, it is all about enforcement.  God wants you to enforce Heaven over 2011.

Here is the formula, it is a fresh revelation of Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

Step one:  Inner victory (trust in the Lord with all your heart).  There is nothing more important to those you love and to you in this New Year than your inner victory.”  Think about it.  If your emotions are under a wicked siege, if your body aches, if your mind spins in a whirlpool of stress and confusion, what good can you be for God or anyone else?  You must totally, completely and utterly trust God.  You cannot win without this inner victory.

Conversely, you cannot lose if you have inner victory.  The military has two words for inner victory:  Morale and Entrenchment.  The first refers to the unshakable confidence armies’ gain from specific elements.  First they must have a general they trust, then weapons and supplies that are superior, training that is excellent and a battle plan that is effective. 

This is why Christian morale is the highest morale possible.  It comes from Heaven.  Our General is Jesus Christ.  Our weapons are mighty through God. Holy Spirit coaching is the best training in the universe! The plan of God cannot be defeated!  The best news of the universe is that the one who loves you the most is also the one who has the most power.

Entrenchment is when an army digs in and becomes impossible to defeat.  Sun Tzu said, “The warriors of old first placed themselves beyond the possibility of defeat and then waited for an opportunity to attack.”  Good armies take the high ground.  They secure themselves against traitors and spies.  They get into a position of strength that is so clear that they know, even before the battle begins, that their enemy cannot defeat them.  Entrenchment is automatic in the life of a committed believer… that is why Paul calls us “More than Conquerors through Him who loved us.” 

Before you enforce Heaven over your situation, you must enforce it over your soul.  Heaven within must be more real than the hell around you.  You will not be poor, sick or defeated.  You will see the power of God revealed in all of the threats and lies.

Step two: Make no small plans but big ones based on the voice of God (lean not on your own understanding):  As you survey the landscape around you it is hard to imagine abundance and breakthrough in a time of such anger and shortages.  It is very tempting to make small plans and devise doable goals that are shrouded in fear.  Let’s make it simple.  There is something that our tired flesh wants to do and then there is the vision that God believes you can do.

Our flesh hates to be stretched or challenged, this is why we usually only have only as much victory as we think we need to get by.  This is not enough victory or more accurately, it is not true victory.      1 John 5:4 says, “Whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world— our faith.”

The real threat is that you would be deceived into small plans when you are supposed to have big ones.  We always enlarge the threat of failure and diminish the damage of not trying.  Regret is the real cancer of life.  When you look back on your life, you hardly ever regret trying something that was seemingly impossible.  What brings us pain are those memories of lost opportunity and the gnawing feeling of what might have been if we had just tried one more time.

Heaven wants expression.  Our heart must not just mouth the words, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” our life must match it with plans that are born from prayer and we must act on those plans with fierce boldness!

3. Do not waste energy figuring out how to do it but follow the voice of God step by step (in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths) 

 Paul once asked the Galatians a poignant question, “Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?”-Galatians 3:3.  You are under attack by the devil.  Why is that?  It is because you gave your life to Jesus and you belong to the army of light!  So if you have supernatural problems created by a supernatural decision how can you expect to solve it with natural wisdom?  You began this journey in the Spirit and that is precisely how you must finish it!

All you need now is guidance. Guidance is automatic after the first two steps are obeyed.  “He will direct your paths.”  You will know what you need to know when you need to know it.  This is the year that you will see strange and wonderful guidance. When you obey, it will unlock the resources you need.  You will watch many human endeavors fail but your project will thrive. You will see many around you succumb to disaster while you are mysteriously protected! 

The sum of the whole matter is that the Heaven within you wants to come out and dominate the hell all around you.  Anchor your soul in an unshakable trust in God.  Embrace a life of rich vision.  Take the steps that the Holy Spirit gives you to take… one by one.  Watch a supernatural life unfold right before your eyes!

The Best of God in the Worst of Times

Why are young Americans still dying in a war that our leaders do not seem to want to win?  What will the open sewers of TV, video games, music and movies flood on our children next? How can anyone survive and raise kids in a hell of decaying crack houses and in the crossfire of gang massacres?  How do Pastors keep the doors of their church open when attendance and giving has dwindled to almost nothing?  When will God pierce the darkness and send true national revival?” 

These are only a handful of questions that eat away at believers in America.  Stress and fear are howling constantly at our doors. It does not matter where you live!  It touches you even if you are miles from any ghetto or war zone.  How do you face this?  What is the best move you can make right now in this hell we call modern life?  

Matthew 24:21-22 says, 21For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.”  This is one of the scariest predictions that Jesus ever made.  What is even more chilling is how much it seems that we are in that very time that Jesus predicted!

Modern problems are now supernatural. To hold a family together today requires supernatural help.  To keep one’s sanity in the dizzying pace of today demands an emotional foundation that is superhuman.  Some even suspect that their problems are so deep that they have run off the map of the Bible.

Hold on a moment. Believe it or not this can be the greatest time of your life.  Despite all the bad news and the threatening conditions you can do things now that you never thought were possible. This is no hollow boast. My bold confession is based on a spiritual law in Isaiah 60: 1-5.   

Isaiah 60:1-5, “1 Arise, shine; For your light has come!  And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you. 2 For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the LORD will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you. 3 The Gentiles shall come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising. 4 “ Lift up your eyes all around, and see: They all gather together, they come to you; Your sons shall come from afar, And your daughters shall be nursed at your side. 5 Then you shall see and become radiant, And your heart shall swell with joy; Because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you, The wealth of the Gentiles shall come to you.” 

 

When evil does its worst, God will do His best. When Pharaoh raged Moses appeared. When Goliath roared David came forth.  When the world seemed hopelessly locked in the grip of Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel leveled him with prophetic authority. Ruth and Boaz, the greatest love story of the Old Testament came in the darkness of the time of the Judges. Isaac obtained a hundredfold harvest in the midst of a grinding drought.  When the New Testament Church seemed doomed, their chief persecutor, Saul of Tarsus became Paul the Apostle.

God will make grace, power and miracles available at this time in history that were never available before.  It is His law to surpass the evil of each generation with goodness.  If you want to know what the heart of this letter is, it is all about enforcement.  God wants you to enforce Heaven over 2011.

Here is the formula, it is a fresh revelation of Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

Step one:  Inner victory (trust in the Lord with all your heart).  There is nothing more important to those you love and to you in this New Year than your inner victory.”  Think about it.  If your emotions are under a wicked siege, if your body aches, if your mind spins in a whirlpool of stress and confusion, what good can you be for God or anyone else?  You must totally, completely and utterly trust God.  You cannot win without this inner victory.

Conversely, you cannot lose if you have inner victory.  The military has two words for inner victory:  Morale and Entrenchment.  The first refers to the unshakable confidence armies’ gain from specific elements.  First they must have a general they trust, then weapons and supplies that are superior, training that is excellent and a battle plan that is effective. 

This is why Christian morale is the highest morale possible.  It comes from Heaven.  Our General is Jesus Christ.  Our weapons are mighty through God. Holy Spirit coaching is the best training in the universe! The plan of God cannot be defeated!  The best news of the universe is that the one who loves you the most is also the one who has the most power.

Entrenchment is when an army digs in and becomes impossible to defeat.  Sun Tzu said, “The warriors of old first placed themselves beyond the possibility of defeat and then waited for an opportunity to attack.”  Good armies take the high ground.  They secure themselves against traitors and spies.  They get into a position of strength that is so clear that they know, even before the battle begins, that their enemy cannot defeat them.  Entrenchment is automatic in the life of a committed believer… that is why Paul calls us “More than Conquerors through Him who loved us.” 

Before you enforce Heaven over your situation, you must enforce it over your soul.  Heaven within must be more real than the hell around you.  You will not be poor, sick or defeated.  You will see the power of God revealed in all of the threats and lies.

Step two: Make no small plans but big ones based on the voice of God (lean not on your own understanding):  As you survey the landscape around you it is hard to imagine abundance and breakthrough in a time of such anger and shortages.  It is very tempting to make small plans and devise doable goals that are shrouded in fear.  Let’s make it simple.  There is something that our tired flesh wants to do and then there is the vision that God believes you can do.

Our flesh hates to be stretched or challenged, this is why we usually only have only as much victory as we think we need to get by.  This is not enough victory or more accurately, it is not true victory.      1 John 5:4 says, “Whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world— our faith.”

The real threat is that you would be deceived into small plans when you are supposed to have big ones.  We always enlarge the threat of failure and diminish the damage of not trying.  Regret is the real cancer of life.  When you look back on your life, you hardly ever regret trying something that was seemingly impossible.  What brings us pain are those memories of lost opportunity and the gnawing feeling of what might have been if we had just tried one more time.

Heaven wants expression.  Our heart must not just mouth the words, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” our life must match it with plans that are born from prayer and we must act on those plans with fierce boldness!

3. Do not waste energy figuring out how to do it but follow the voice of God step by step (in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths) 

 Paul once asked the Galatians a poignant question, “Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?”-Galatians 3:3.  You are under attack by the devil.  Why is that?  It is because you gave your life to Jesus and you belong to the army of light!  So if you have supernatural problems created by a supernatural decision how can you expect to solve it with natural wisdom?  You began this journey in the Spirit and that is precisely how you must finish it!

All you need now is guidance. Guidance is automatic after the first two steps are obeyed.  “He will direct your paths.”  You will know what you need to know when you need to know it.  This is the year that you will see strange and wonderful guidance. When you obey, it will unlock the resources you need.  You will watch many human endeavors fail but your project will thrive. You will see many around you succumb to disaster while you are mysteriously protected! 

The sum of the whole matter is that the Heaven within you wants to come out and dominate the hell all around you.  Anchor your soul in an unshakable trust in God.  Embrace a life of rich vision.  Take the steps that the Holy Spirit gives you to take… one by one.  Watch a supernatural life unfold right before your eyes!

One thought on “The Best of God in the Worst of Times

  1. Well said!!! A powerful message, exploding with truth and conviction. Thank you.
    I use to attend meetings at the Oakland Audtiorium in the late 70’s. It was wonderful. My husband died of Luekemia and I moved north after a couple of years. It was great to hear Mario minister again at Living Word Family Church.

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