3 STEPS TO DEFEAT TODAY’S EVIL AND STRESS

Mass murder, debauchery, and the stress of nations, press us daily.  We can feel the crushing weight of inadequacy.  Can we stay sane?  Is the moral situation so far gone that we tuck our faith 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 hitting us every day?

Not only can we apply it, we are expressly called—and uniquely equipped—to express this might.  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.

With just a few simple words, Jesus revealed the vast superiority of our victory compared to all world religions.   He said, “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.

The religions of the world teach escape.  They deem the world 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 total subjugation of infidels.

For Jesus to pray for His flock to stay in the culture 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 get 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 fighting in their little sector. They are being hard-pressed, and things are going against them. If, for one moment, they think it’s just their fight they will soon be defeated. But when they remember they are only a part of a great and mighty army, and directing it, is the Captain, their Leader, immediately the situation is transformed. In other words, we have got to realize God is involved in it with us. We are only here because of God.

The 3 steps I am about to declare bring victory of the present evil and stress.  They hit me when I saw two groups of people—hundreds of years apart, in totally different situations—take the identical 3 steps to victory.

One was a prophecy by Daniel in in 600 BC and the other happened in 31 AD.  The first is Daniel describing how the Maccabean revolt would win in 167 BC.  The second is the people in the land of Gennesaret welcoming 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, 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, were strong, and carried out exploits.  The second group did the 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 to do a secret work in you?  Are you saying yes?

I believe Jesus is using this message from me to you to draw you into special closeness to 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 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.

  1. 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, 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 headlines—stronger than threats—stronger than anything unfolding on the earth.

  1. Accept your mission: You have a mission, you have an ordained exploit. It is ironic that the real cure for today’s fear and stress is to think big, and take on massive vision.  Fresh vision always chases away depression.

Opposition and persecution do not mean we hide, in fact we are to become bolder. Look at what the disciples did at Iconium:  Acts 14: 2 “But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brethren. 3 Therefore they stayed there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who was bearing witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.”   They were opposed, therefore they stayed and saw greater miracles.

An exploit that summons up all your talent and every drop of your courage is comfort food for the Spirit-empowered believer.

The bottom line:  We are so subjective, and 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 always looking inwards and pitying ourselves and being sorry for ourselves, and looking for something to help us. Get rid of that outlook, forget yourself for a moment; the battle is the Lord’s!   You can know Him. You can become strong.  You will do amazing things.

Join us for our special Christmas Dinner in San Francisco.  Saturday December 9th at 7 PM at the Waterfront Marriott SFO

Click here to buy tickets at half price    https://mariomurillo.org/christmas-dinner/

C

 

 

 

 

Revival or Civil War?

Trump is being investigated.  They claim he colluded with the Russians.  They claim he rigged an election.  Here is the hair pulling part of this:  We now know—without an investigation—Hillary did both of those things.

Revival or Civil War?

By Mario Murillo

After months of digging, the special prosecutor has turned up nothing linking Trump to any Russian, to any rigging, to any…anything.   Yet, investigators continue to claim they are about to find something.

Meanwhile, a gigantic something—the mastodon in the room—is ignored.  They simply refuse to investigate Hillary Clinton.  Hillary is so smug, that to this hour, she continues to accuse Trump collusion and rigging.

What has possessed the political elite to alter reality?  What mental defect has gripped the fake new media that they can do this without any pang of conscience?  How can they disregard the destruction they are heaping on America?  The focus of this blog is not Hillary but how the treatment of this situation highlights our moral disaster.  The Bible tells us how we got to this point.

Jesus said, “they strain at a gnat and swallow a camel.”  But another Bible verse hits even closer to home.  Isaiah 5:20 “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”

I bring up Hillary because she is symptomatic of what is killing the American soul.  It is a madness that is bringing us to the brink of civil war.  Indeed, Isaiah was warning those who call evil good and good evil of something very perilous: After you sin long enough, God judges you with a mind that reverses right and wrong, good and evil and yes, sanity and insanity.

You need to read all of Isaiah Chapter 5.  It is an eerie parallel to America right now.  Matthew Henry said about Isaiah 5, “In this chapter the prophet, in God’s name, shows the people of God their transgressions, even the house of Jacob their sins, and the judgments which were likely to be brought upon them for their sins…Covetousness, and greediness of worldly wealth, which shall be punished with famine (v. 8-10) 2. Rioting, revelling, and drunkenness (v. 11v. 12v. 22v. 23), which shall be punished with captivity and all the miseries that attend it (v. 13-17). Presumption in sin, and defying the justice of God (v. 18v. 19). Confounding the distinctions between virtue and vice, and so undermining the principles of religion (v. 20). Self-conceit (v. 21). Perverting justice, for which, and the other instances of reigning wickedness among them, a great and general desolation in threatened, which should lay all waste (v. 24v. 25), and which should be effected by a foreign invasion.”

I am convinced that America is down to 2 options:  Revival or Civil war.  Yes, you heard me right.  Millions of Americans staunchly support Trump—though they have been beaten into silence they are fervent in their commitment to our president.

They see injustice not only directed at Trump, but at their faith, their values, freedoms and their loved ones.  They understand political correctness to be the cancer of our times.

They see a small, vocal, activist cadre controlling most of what we see and hear.  They see free speech fading—they see morals vanishing—they see tyranny as Antifa is declaring violent warfare on American citizens.

With all my might, in this explosive hour, I am compelling everyone who will listen that revival is something that should be uniting every Christian.  The urgency of national repentance cannot be over stated—neither can the power of God.

What I am trying to say, in this blog, is that the mindset, that reverses light and darkness, good and evil has overtaken us because of our wickedness.

If we do not harness the anger of millions fed up with all of the perversion of truth—if we do not channel it into a moral awakening—it will lead to civil disruption on a scale too terrible to describe.

Let us drop all of our foolish distractions and provoke fervent prayer—church gatherings full of fire and love, pulpits peopled by preachers who thunder unvarnished truth and let the chips fall where they may.

Time is almost up.  A fuse is about to be lit.  God help us to light the right one.

THE ANSWER TO FEAR: BURN IT OUT!

Closing the altars, ordering people to tone it down, and focusing on recovery programs brought a crowd.  However, what if that crowd leaves with no power to face our toxic culture?

By Mario Murillo

Right now we are awash in advisory sermons. The titles are similar and predictable: “How to handle fear, uncertainty, finances, relationships, marriage, and children.”   We are drowning in whiteboards, blackboards, statistics, PowerPoint presentations, props, and illustrations.

The problem is, with all the anger, division, loud perversion and persecution, teachers find their instructive messages woefully inadequate.  What happened?  The answer is…life.   Life happened and it is gripping believers with fear.  This is a new kind of fear coming from the screaming villains, who now have an out-sized influence.

Happy face sermons do not give power over a time like this.   What is happening now runs off the over-optimistic maps drawn in pulpits. Tragedies can uproot neat formulas like a palm tree in a hurricane.   Hip theories will collapse like a brick house in an earthquake.

Every honest Pastor can report causalities in their church.  Many who were once vibrant soldiers, today languish in a shadow existence.  They are out of church, disconnected from their former passion and sick in body and soul.  The ongoing political debate and demonstrations have only added to the crisis. The conflicting opinions of church leaders leave the army of God baffled and vulnerable.

Leaders have brought a lot of this on themselves.  The culture changed dramatically in the last few months.  The American pulpit has not.

Why are we surprised that modern believers suddenly need more?  The power that could answer a thousand questions and extinguish a myriad of personality ills has been ushered out of church.

Closing the altars, ordering people to tone it down, and focusing on recovery programs indeed brought in a crowd.  However, what is the end game if the crowd leaves as weak as they came—and in some cases weaker—without power to face our culture?

Paul’s cure was simple: an undeniable encounter with the fire of God…”that your faith should not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. -1 Corinthians 2: 5.

The answer to fear today is to burn it out!  Just for shock value, I’ll use this phrase…perfect love casts out fear but so does perfect fear.  No doubt many will think it is crazy to take a wonderful verse like 1 John 4:18 “perfect love casts out fear” and mess it up.  But I am not messing it up I am fulfilling it!

PERFECT FEAR DOES CAST OUT FEAR!  We have downplayed and even banned something that Christians desperately need.

Go back with me to 758 B.C.  Isaiah the prophet enters the Temple in fear for his life.  The tide of public opinion has turned against him.  The death of his friend and protector King Uzziah has put the finishing touch on 5 years of ministry that was just treading water.  His despair is now complete. He is enters the Temple looking for comfort from God.

He kneels in prayer, resting his elbows on the altar seeking solace from the storm. Instead, the building starts quaking, knocking his elbows so that he is now punching himself in the face.

He looks up and sees Seraphim:  Angels of fire, fire that burns hotter and brighter than any sun. They tower over him from each end of the altar.

Their voices roar, vibrate, boom and dislodge the mighty beams of the Temple!  “HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, IS THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY.  THE WHOLE EARTH IS FILLED WITH HIS GLORY!”  Back and forth, again and again, they blast this mighty proclamation until Isaiah could not bear the fright!

The mighty God Himself stands before Isaiah unfurling the indescribable train of His Glory!  The prophet convulses beneath weight of glory.  From his bone marrow came an all-consuming cry… “WOE IS ME!”

Isaiah

The startling effect of the Glory of God—a wonder working fear—overrules human fear.   No threat matters now.   This demonstration of Glory conquered his suffering.   Isn’t this exactly what Paul meant?: “For I consider 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.   Of course Paul is speaking of the final GLORY…but it is a part of our birthright to have earthly collisions of glory: “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all.”-1 Corinthians 12: 7   An overarching, fear destroying encounter is the legacy of every child of God.  “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all

The twelve disciples were gripped by fear of the storm.  But when Jesus rebuked the storm their fear of drowning was replaced with an awestruck wonder.  They exclaimed: “what manner of man is this that even the wind and the sea obey Him!?”

We are told that General Patton won battles because his men were more afraid of him than the Germans.   Again, ours is not a negative fear but the  holy awe born from the manifestation of God’s glory.

This truth reinforces the fact that “Perfect love casts out Fear”  because love disciplines, love gives us what we need… and what we need today is a subtle pat on the head.   We need a fear-killing encounter!  Solomon said in Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”

raw bravery

 

Why are we blocking people from experiencing the fire of God?  Why would we keep this miracle from people?   I am talking about fire—fire that keeps them from the evil one—fire that forges a reverence, and turns them into your best soldiers

We should have made room and time for people to be filled to prevailing levels of the Holy Spirit and fire.  If we had, we would not be nursing hordes of Christians on life support. We would have an unstoppable army!

There is still time to reverse course.  If you have never been drenched by God then obey Him and seek to be overcome by His Glory.  If you have received in the past now is the time for FRESH FIRE!

The Final Word: Kirsten Powers, Isaiah the Prophet, and the Glory of God.

final word

The outstanding feature of Kirsten Powers’ testimony is that she experienced the fear of the Lord.   She said, “I was more traumatized by Jesus visiting me I tried to write off the experience as misfiring synapses that but I couldn’t shake it when I returned to New York a few days later and I suddenly felt God everywhere and it was terrifying more important it was unwelcome it felt like an invasion I started to fear I was going crazy”

The layers of intellectualism, and the objections to the FAITH that modern preachers insist must be addressed were answered by fire.  Instantly, her doubts were consumed by the Glory of Christ that appeared to her.

We have all heard the verse in the Bible that says perfect love casts out fear.  However, love is not the only thing that casts out fear.  As a matter of fact, the best killer of most fears IS A GREATER FEAR.

Once, as a young preacher I sat on a jet writing out my bills. I was vexed by my shortage of finances.  I blurted out a misguided prayer.  I said, “How am I supposed to believe You for vast sums to win the lost if I am fearful over basic bills? Lord, deliver me from this fear of finances.”

Moments later, the Captain came on the intercom and announced that “we have just lost engine number three.”  I was instantly delivered of my fear of finances.

This is exactly what happened to Isaiah.  Isaiah is in the temple to seek comfort for the death of his first cousin King Uzziah. We know that they were close because Isaiah wrote the King’s life story.  Second Chronicles 26:22 says, “Now the rest of the acts of Uzziah, from first to last, the prophet Isaiah, son of famous wrote.”

kirsten-powers-headshot-3a-300

Uzziah was a righteous King who welcomed the prophets and obeyed their counsel. After 51 great years of leading his people under the grace of God, Uzziah forgot about God he became proud and arrogant.

One day, Uzziah entered the temple to light a candle on the altar of incense. This was a gross violation of God’s law. As a result leprosy broke out on his forehead.  He was banished until he died a slow and horrible death.

During those five years, Isaiah lived in the shadow of past glory.  He must have regretted the years he wasted. The standing invitations to Royal events, rubbing shoulders with the intelligentsia, cast a spell on his judgment.  Isaiah is devastated by his failure to speak and act for God.  Now he fears the future.

Then Isaiah saw something that should have killed him instantly.  6:1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. 2 Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3And one cried to another and said:“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;  The whole earth is full of His glory!” 4 And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke.”

There was the mighty, awesome God flanked by two of the most dreadful beings in heaven: the Seraphim; towering beings of pure fire whose voices caused violent earthquakes.

Isaiah’s old fear is vaporized before this holy awesome ultimate godly fear.  Soon his sin is purged and a legendary Prophet is commissioned. This is what I yearn for my brothers and sisters in the ministry.

The story of Isaiah is our story.  We are at the end of our human wisdom in a nation hell-bent on destroying herself.

The most disturbing thing about Kirsten Powers’ conversion maybe this:  God sidestepped us to save a soul by His own power.   He is not consulting us for advice and He will replace vessels to do His work, His way.

Leprosy has indeed broken out on the forehead of the seeker model. It cannot speak to the sin of our government, to the villainy of the entertainment industry or to the works of Satan that are devastating the public.  It worked for a while but Uzziah is now dead.

We must return to the Temple.  We must fall of God’s mercy and await the Glory and the fire.  Let us reinstate the Holy Spirit as the commanding officer of our endeavor.  Seek Him whose strategies will not fail.  Be endued with power that will not dissipate.