Welcome Back To The War

The Holy Spirit has burned a message into my soul that I cannot contain. I want this message to get into the hands of as many people as possible—people who are on the verge of spiritual shipwreck.  I have never felt as great an urgency to open my heart to you.

Millions have left the church.  Many who were on fire for God, even those who were effective vessels, have fallen and have abandoned their faith in Jesus.  A famous Christian singer announced that he is now an atheist.  Is that shocking? The real shock is that the church is not shocked, because this kind of recanting of faith has now become common.

Millions have left the church.  This is the reality that Christian leaders do not want to talk about.  However, facts do not go away.  And the facts are these: an entire generation has virtually discarded the faith of their parents.

Perhaps you also were among those who were wounded on the battlefield, but did not get up again.  The reasons are as varied as are the people themselves.  It may have been an abusive church.  It may have been an old habit that raged its way back into control.  It may have been a divorce, a false teaching that weakened you, or the gravitational weight of the unbelief and skepticism of this age.

The most common cause is sudden tragedy.  Something horrendous happened that ran you off of your theological map.  You felt that you had no choice but to abandon your faith.  You may be angry with God.  You are not alone.  There are millions in this condition.

Let me be frank, I believe that God is turning your heart back to Him.  And He is also doing this on a massive scale with others.

He has done it before.  Just prior to the fire falling on Mount Carmel, Elijah prayed these words, “Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You are the Lord God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again.” (1 Kings 18:37)

The Lord is doing this not only because He loves you, but because He wants to spare America.

“And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.” (Malachi 4:6)

You are likely a casualty of the lukewarm American church.  Widespread compromise has left her unprotected.  The active ingredient has been left out of preaching—and that ingredient is surrender.  And that is the reason that the power of God to stand against tragedy and evil has never kicked in.

The voice of the Holy Spirit is intensifying as He calls to those who are the fallen, the wounded, and the forgotten.  His wooing is loving and hopeful, but it never disguises the truth.

And the truth is that, in America, entire churches are backslidden!  And it is not unprecedented.  Look at these verses: 15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” (Revelation 3:15-20)

Okay. So you may have been caught in the cultural crossfire of the compromised church, or the toxic churcheven the false churchbut why should you lose your soul just to get back at false ministers and sick churches?

This is about you and Jesus.  This is about a destiny that God still keeps for you.  There is one thing that Satan does not want you to remember—it is the one thing that can break the chains of lies and heartbreak.

What Satan does not want you to think about is this: if you brush away the cobwebs of church politics, hypocrites, and unexpected tragedy, you will have to admit that the best days of your life were when you walked with God in fervent commitment.  Those were the days of peace and joy. 

The best days were the days before anybody and anything came between you and Jesus.  You prayed and sensed that no matter what, everything would come out all right.  Even those things that you still had questions about became unimportant, because of your total trust in the character and faithfulness of God!

You have never, before or since, felt anything like His sweet presence.  Those were the best days, and those days can come again.  Jesus is knocking and wants to have dinner with you alone.  “I will sup with him,” Jesus promised.

I admit I am calling forth a divine desperation to come over you.  I want you to break, I want you to yearn to come back home—to return to your best life, your only life.

There is an army rising up, composed of people that Satan thought he had, but is about to lose on a grand scale.

Won’t you turn back to Jesus, and reclaim your first love? Do your first works over again. Then, He will say to you, “Welcome back to the war!”

BREAK THE HEAVINESS

The constant barrage of terrifying headlines and mainstreaming of perversion vexes the child of God.  These verses from Second Peter have never been more relevant than now: “and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked 8 (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)— 9 then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment…” 2 Peter 2:7-9

Angry debates, violent rioting, filth paraded in the streets, Christian leaders renouncing their faith, persecution, and constant bad news can drain the sanity from our souls.

Not only this, but we are forced to keep all our enormous frustrations inside of us. While stupidity and wickedness get a megaphone—wisdom and righteousness get duct tape over their mouths.

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

These are the times Jesus warned us of—and that He 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! Both the liberals and the feminists have incredible bias for Islam and sheer hatred for Christ and Christianity. It is mind-bending.  It makes zero sense.  Yet that is exactly the kind of irrational hatred our Lord predicted. It is weariness to believers who share their faith openly.

Then Jesus said, “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.” (Luke 21:34)

The dumbest thing anyone ever said to me was, “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 co-worker rages at you for no reason. Money evaporates.  Your health fails.  Loved ones abandon God.  Someone makes an irrational defense for wickedness. 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 take a look at the things that are not the soldier’s responsibility:  The training he needs; the weapons he uses; the food and shelter he requires; the assignments he receives—these, and a host of other things, are not his responsibility.

“What soldier ever serves at his own expense?” (1 Cor. 9:7) “…No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.” (2 Tim. 2:4)

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 has 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 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.  But, 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 where Jesus speaks about conditions in the last days:  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.

newspaper headlines

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 was 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 hands and let Him replenish our peace and our 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, Who has been sent to aid us.   We have access to power, strategy, and wisdom.  All of this, and more, will direct our fighting.

Is someone mad at Jesus, and are they taking it out on you?  What an honor!  What an opportunity!  Whenever 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 will know why your trials were worth it all.  The first time you hear Jesus say, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” you won’t remember the suffering, the trials, or the battles.

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

Hallelujah!  –

Your Power

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!  

 

 

 

 

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!”