Do these three things

These are the ugliest days in America. They are designed to trap the child of God with anger, depression, despair and exhaustion. Satan wants to destroy your sleep. He is fiercely pursuing your peace. He even wants to use your love for God against you.

We have entered a season in American life that is the worst that Christians have ever known.  There are forces crashing against our spirit that are unheard of by prior generations.Satan wants you angry, depressed and exhausted. He wants it for a different reason that you know. He is using fake news, political correctness, and the insane behavior of people around you to crush your spirit.

It is ironic, but it is the core of God’s people—the remnant who hold to their convictions who are under the greatest attack. They are encountering withering lies of the devil and attacks that seem to come from every direction.

They are suffering from isolation: Since they are not at home in the compromised church they feel isolated and even punished for dropping out of the shallowness.

They are also under attack at their jobs where their stand against immoral living makes them a target of outright hostility and false accusations of being judgmental or hateful.

They are the special target of Satan for a reason that is hidden. They are marked by evil to be attacked more viciously than the lukewarm believer.

A verse I’ve read for decades just woke me up to the reason for the attack on you. It explains that Satan feverishly labors to crush the spirit of those God has chosen. Jesus said, “”Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap. -Luke 21:34

In this message, I will show you three things to do that will make you able to conquer all you feelings and emotions. You are here for a big reason. Satan wants you trapped so that you miss the day of His power. The harvest you were promised—the revival you have yearned for—the outpouring you have expected.  But God has more than provided for this attack.

Lucifer knows your role and wants you trapped by emotions and yes addictions! It is shocking to many on fire Christians that Satan would use their broken spirit to try to trap them in drugs and alcohol. They are shocked to be reeling under this temptation after years of fiery dedication to Christ.

It’s a trap! The devil wants you out of commission on the day of His power…but now, we will rip the mask off this attack and we will defuse the bomb that is threatening your emotions. It is time for a special last day’s miracle in your spirit!

It is time for supernatural emotions! The three things I will ask you to do are tied to one single victorious and defiant declaration…

This declaration will–if you let it ignite in your soul–not only save your life but give you power you never imagined.  It will make all of the difference in the world to your health physically and mentally.  There is one declaration that will pave the way for you to conquer anything that the future holds.

What is the declaration—roaring out of our spirit—that would give us the upper hand over all of the insanity of this time?

THE END TIMES ARE NOT HAPPENING TO ME.  I AM HAPPENING TO THE END TIMES.

You are declaring that you are happening to the end times when you do these things:

1. Become catalytic. A catalyst is any substance that changes what is around it without itself being changed or consumed. The hellish events of today cannot change you or consume you.

Now look at God.  He gives special grace for these last days.  Grace is not just favor.  It is not just forgiveness.  It is the combined power of the resurrection and the righteousness of Jesus Himself.

We hear 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 exploits.”  We hear that verse quoted quite often but we may be failing to see the real good news in that promise and its direct bearing on what you are going through right now.

Because you know God you are protected from the corruption of this time.  Because you know God you will be stronger than these times.   Because you know God you will not merely survive these times, you will exploit them.

2.Declare God’s power over your physical health. He will restore your energy, He will oversee your immune system.  He will guard your heart so that your resistance to disease will be awesome.  Obamacare cannot begin to match the benefits of what Christ offers you now.

Psalm 103: 1 “Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! 2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: 3 Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, 4 Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies, 5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”

Isaiah 40: 31 “But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.”

James 5:14 “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.”

You do not have to dread long lines at an emergency room when you claim Christ as your doctor and the guardian of your health!

3. Let supernatural emotions remove your fear of bad news, headlines and threats.

It is time for the people who quote, “Greater is He who is in me than he that is in the world, to also confess “greater is He who is in me than what is happening in the world.”

Psalm 112:7-8 “He will not be afraid of evil tidings; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.”

God wants to give us supernatural emotions.  Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.”

John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

God wants you to walk in the knowledge of His supernatural protection.  John 17:15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.

Luke 10:19 “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

What shall we say to these terrible, evil, stressful things?  We shall say: THE END TIMES ARE NOT HAPPENING TO ME. I AM HAPPENING TO THE END TIMES!

Is this an arrogant boast or worse a delusional boast?   Absolutely not.  You must take your position in the heavenlies. When the anointed of God take their proper stand in the heavenlies, the circumstances of the last days must bend to their destiny…and their emotions to the joy of the Lord.

Strong medicine

There is a widespread spirit of heaviness on God’s people.  It is a crushing weight of care.  It is battle-fatigue from the constant shelling of bad news.   The media barks, “We interrupt this bad news to give you more bad news.”

Hearing the angry debates—seeing the rioting in the streets and Islamic terror attacks drains sanity from souls.

Not only this, we have to hold in enormous frustration: stupidity and wickedness get a megaphone—wisdom and righteousness get duct tape over their mouth.

These are the times that rob inner peace—that bring intense restlessness—that rinse the color and enjoyment from our life.

These are the times Jesus warned us of and gave us direction for.

First He said, “And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But not a hair of your head shall be lost. By your patience possess your souls.” – Luke 21: 17-19

Talk about mindless hate! The liberal, and feminist bias toward Islam and hatred for Christ is mind-bending.  It makes zero sense.  Yet that is exactly the kind of irrational hatred our Lord predicted. It is a weariness to believers who openly share their faith.

Then He said: Luke 21: 34 “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth.”

The dumbest thing anyone ever said to me: “when you come to Jesus your problems are over.”  I never had problems until I met Jesus!  I kept wondering why am I being attacked?  Why am I being shot at from all directions?  Why do I meet stiff resistance every time I try to do something meaningful for Jesus?

Does this sound familiar? You walk through life, minding your own business and wham!  A coworker rages at you for no reason. Money evaporates.  Your health fails.  Loved ones abandon God.  A confluence of demonic attacks falls on you.  Life has never felt so cruel and unfair.

At the apex of one of these attacks something happened to me.  A terrifying thought became a glorious thought:  SOMEBODY IS MAD AT JESUS AND THEY ARE TAKING IT OUT ON ME!  Suddenly, I felt qualified to fight back. And I felt profoundly honored.

Think about it!  A soldier does not go to war because he has a personal grudge against the enemy.  He didn’t declare war—his nation did.  He is not responsible for the battle plan—the military is.  He is not paying his own way to the war—his government is.

Let’s rehearse the things that are not the soldier’s responsibility.  The training he needs—the weapons he needs—the food and shelter he needs—the assignment he needs…these and a host of other things are not his responsibility.

The soldier does not create the organized army.  He does not carry the weight of how the war will be won.

If he sits in the foxhole feeling alone and unfairly attacked it is because he forgotten who he is and why he is being attacked.  He has taken the battle into his own hands!

But when he remembers that he was recruited—when he recalls that he is not alone but a part of a victorious army and all he is called to do is obey orders—it changes everything!

When we take the attack personally we lose hope.  When we say, “The battle is not mine, it’s God’s,” we cannot be defeated.  Let’s stay out of things that do not concern us.  Let’s keep our conflict in the hands of God.  We must discern when we are operating in our own strength and by our own wits.

Remembering your attacks are not personal is plainly seen in these verses:  Luke 21: 12 “But before all this occurs, there will be a time of special persecution, and you will be dragged into synagogues and prisons and before kings and governors for my name’s sake. 13 But as a result, the Messiah will be widely known and honored.  14 Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer; 15 for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist.

When they were arrested it felt personal. When they were dragged to court it felt personal.  But when they were asked to speak it became God’s battle and Christ is glorified!  He gave them the words and the courage to speak.  He even told them not to prepare words beforehand.  That means that we are not to devise ways of fighting back.  It means we will get what we need when we need it.

Paul experienced the same thing: “Philippians 1:12 But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel…”

Right now we have a presidential election that embodies everything that is wrong with our nation.  It is a hair-pulling, maddening, terrifying and draining moment for believers. We must put the battle back in God’s hand and let Him replenish our peace and joy.

Never forget! We have the best message humanity has ever heard, and the best book ever written.   We have the best captain in the universe!  We have the all-powerful Holy Spirit sent to aid us.   We have access to power, strategy and wisdom.  All of this and more can direct our fighting.

Someone is mad at Jesus and they are taking it out on you?  What an honor!  What an opportunity!  When Satan comes at you let Jesus come at him!

The first time an angel stares at you in heaven with wonder and admiration for your service to Christ…you’ll know why your trials are worth it all.  The first time you hear “well done” from Jesus you won’t remember the trials.  No wonder Paul said, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”-Romans 8:18

 

 

 

 

TO THE DISCOURAGED PASTOR

 

You held on to your integrity.  When the trendy shortcuts to having a big church were offered to you—the Holy Spirit told you to stay out. Somehow, you never had a stomach for big screens, skinny jeans, and fog machines. Silly you! You wanted to keep singing some of the old songs—songs about the Blood!

The devil tried to make you feel like a fool. You poured blood, sweat and tears into a community for years. Along comes a slick marketer who creates a buzz. Overnight, they get a crowd.  The enemy attacked you and said, “they are blessed, and you are not!”

Let me be so bold as to appropriate Psalm 73 to describe the emotions you faced:

Psalm 73:2 “But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled; My steps had nearly slipped.3 For I was envious of the boastful, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.”  The evil one said, “if you had left out the negative verses like they do—if you’d finish in 12 minutes—if tell people to quit raising their hands—if you”…well you know the spiel.

Suddenly envy tries to grip you and these words from Psalm 73 fit your turmoil and temptation:

Psalm 73: 2 “But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled; My steps had nearly slipped. 3 For I was envious of the boastful, When I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 4 For there are no pangs in their death, but their strength is firm. 5 They are not in trouble as other men, nor are they plagued like other men. 6 Therefore pride serves as their necklace; Violence covers them like a garment. 7 Their eyes bulge with abundance; They have more than heart could wish.”

But these are the words that apply most: “13 “surely, I have cleansed my heart in vain, And washed my hands in innocence. 14 For all day long I have been plagued, And chastened every morning.”  The devil said “what have you got to show for all your diligence and integrity? All your prayers, all your faithful preaching of the Word of God no longer works. You have stayed pure for no reason.”

Then people you’ve known for years turned on you. Like the Israelites who begged for a king—prominent people in your congregation told you they want the bells and whistles of modern church marketing.  “We want to be like all the other churches.” When you wouldn’t change, they left and took their tithe with them.

It all became too much.  You and your family’s heart were broken. Still you did not say your feelings out loud. Verse 15 says “If I had said, “I will speak thus,” Behold, I would have been untrue to the generation of Your children.” You thought about the young pastors coming up. They can’t hear us saying the Word of God no longer works!

It has all become too painful! How you can try so hard for so little result while those who cheapen the message boom. Here is the Word of the Lord beloved pastor: 16 “When I thought how to understand this, It was too painful for me—17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God; Then I understood their end. 18 Surely You set them in slippery places; You cast them down to destruction.”

Hold on man and woman of God! America is changing! A nightmare of anxiety and emptiness is changing appetites!  When a nation gorges on sin they begin to yearn for purity and cleansing.  Nothing can protect the sin sick soul from disgust, nausea, and the unholy hangover.

A convicted heart can reach the point where a slick church concert, outfitted with lights and fog, or a canned motivational spiel, can repulse them, just as much as the sin they are trying to escape.

A soul soaked in the sludge of our time, can yearn to collapse at a simple wooden altar, sob deep tears of remorse, and welcome the warm hand of a true pastor on their shoulder.

In fact, at this moment, heaven is releasing power for miracles, words of prophetic might, and great resources to do the work of God.  Those who have kept their integrity–and  labored in obscurity not seeing results—will receive great power and multiplication.

Americans will want to come in from the storm. They won’t feel safe in a shallow church. In a hurricane you don’t rush to the flimsy building. Many man-made worship centers will collapse like a house of cards. They are the slippery place that God said. They will be too easily damaged by the coming storm.

Daniel refused to change…even when they threatened his life. When magicians and false seers were all the rage—Daniel held his convictions. Then King Nebuchadnezzar has a nightmare and loses his appetite for half-baked entertainment.  Now he desperately needs an answer…and so will America.

The most attractive force on earth is about to flood your church building: THE PRESENCE OF GOD! It not only attracts better than entertainment…it does something infinitely more valuable—it brings people in for the right reason! They will be disciples! They will not be fickle looky-looks…the kind that leave as soon as they find something more interesting.

The same preaching that the devil mocks today will be the right preaching in the coming hour! Don’t change! The way you pray, the way you love people, the way you raise holy hands and worship the Lord now…everything they make fun of now will be perfect for the coming harvest!

Hold on! Hold tight to every promise God gave you! Tell the devil he is a liar! Confess to your people, “God has His hour of power and it is even at the door!”