Mass murder, debauchery, and the stress of nations—these things press on us daily. We can feel the crushing weight of inadequacy. We ask: Can we stay sane? Is the moral situation so far gone that we must withdraw into our ‘faith cocoons’ and just endure, hoping we outlast the madness?
Ephesians 6:10 says, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.’ But, how do we apply all that power and might to this flood of evil and stress that is bombarding us every day?
Not only can we apply it, we are expressly called—and uniquely equipped—to express the power of God. The legacy of our faith demands it. The nature of the Holy Spirit—and the Word of God demand it. There is no holding-pattern for us. God only leads forward.
The religions of the world teach escape. They deem the world to be too dangerous for their devotees. Whether it is a Buddhist Monastery or a Muslim Caliphate, the message is clear: They can’t coexist with secular culture. They require physical separation, cleansing rituals, strict diets, or the total subjugation of infidels.
With just a few simple words, Jesus revealed the vast superiority of our victory compared to all the religions of the world. He prayed to the Father, “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.” (John 17:15)
Supernatural peace can quell the deep frustration from hearing the insane ideas and words of politicians.
When Jesus prayed that prayer, He was praying for us, His flock, to remain in the culture. We are to be warriors. We are to be salt and light. These are not just fighting words—they are an in-your-face smack down of evil.
While cultural contact withers the faith of false religions, it enhances the Christian—it sharpens their faith, brightens their light, and deepens their authority.
You must understand why you are here. You must see the astounding picture of the army you belong to. Our very presence on earth is God’s way of saying, victory is available. He keeps us here because we can win!
Think of soldiers in an army who are only aware of the battle they are fighting in their own little sector. They are being hard-pressed, and things are going against them. If, for one moment, they think it is just their fight, they will soon be defeated. But when they remember they are only a part of a great and mighty army, and that the Captain, their Leader, the God of the Armies of Heaven is directing it, immediately the situation is transformed. In other words, we have got to realize God is involved in this battle with us. We are only here because of God.
The 3 steps I am about to declare will bring victory over the present evil and stress. They hit me, when I saw two groups of people. They were hundreds of years apart and in totally different circumstances, but they took these identical 3 steps to victory.
One was a prophecy by Daniel around 600 B.C. The other, occurred in 31 AD.
In his prophecy, Daniel described how the Maccabean revolt would triumph in 167 BC. The second instance happened when the people in the land of Gennesaret welcomed Jesus. The former liberated Israel—the latter wiped out sickness and disease. Again, they both took the same 3 steps. Here are the scriptures:
Daniel 11:32 “Those who do wickedly against the covenant, he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong and carry out great exploits.”
Mark 6:53-56: “When they had crossed over (the Sea of Galilee), they came to the land of Gennesaret and anchored there. And when they came out of the boat, immediately the people recognized Him, ran through that whole surrounding region, and began to carry about on beds those who were sick to wherever they heard He was. Wherever He entered, into villages, cities, or the country, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged Him that they might just touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched Him were made well.”
Here are the 3 key words in both these victories: KNOW, STRONG, CARRY. The first group knew God. They were strong. And they carried out exploits. The second group did those same 3 things. They recognized (knew Jesus). They ran (showed strength). They carried others who received miracles (exploits).
Take these 3 steps to defeat today’s stress and evil:
1. Obey God’s pull. He is pulling you to know Him in deep intimacy: Psalm 27:8 says “When You said, “Seek My face,” My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.” What is your reaction to God’s call? He wants to do a secret work in you. Are you saying, “Yes”?
I believe Jesus is using this message from me to draw you into special closeness with Him. If you say, “Yes,” special things will begin to happen. You will instantly conquer fear and worry. Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. “
Your faith for mighty things will multiply. Jesus said,” If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” (John 15:7)
God not only knew that the insanity of today was coming—He took steps to prepare a special relationship that would produce special powers for His children. We can blame no one but ourselves if we neglect this astonishing invitation.
2. Become strong. What did Isaiah say would happen to those who heeded the call to wait on God? “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
Your new-found and deep connection to God the Father will create strength. Note once again, the amazing parallel between the phrases, “they shall run and not be weary,” and “they recognized Him and ran.”
‘Touchy-feely’ faith is out. This is the era of strong Christians. Tomorrow belongs to Christians who are stronger than any headline—stronger than threats—stronger than anything unfolding on the earth.
3. Accept your mission: You have a mission, you have an ordained exploit. It is ironic that the true cure for today’s fear and stress is: to think big and take on massive vision. Fresh vision always chases away depression.
An exploit that summons up all your talent and every drop of your courage and combines it with His limitless resources, is comfort food for the Spirit-empowered believer.
The bottom line: We are subjective creatures. We live in this unhealthy psychological generation that starts with man and ends with man. Most of our troubles are due to that. We are full of self-pity. We are always looking inward and feeling sorry for ourselves. We are always looking for something to help us. Get rid of those things! Forget about yourself for a moment, and realize that the battle belongs to the Lord!
You can know Him. You can become strong. And you will accomplish amazing things in Him!