“That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving...” Psalm 26:7
Vol. 20, No. 8 August 2011
Today the pull of the world is bringing down many believers. We are instructed in Corinthians 6:17 to “come out from them, separate, or sever yourselves from the unclean.” In other words, cut yourself off from participating with them. We have to live in this world, but we don’t have to be a part of the world. This may sound harsh and unkind, but God knows what it takes to have Him in our lives.
Sometimes we wonder where God went because we can’t feel Him the way we used to. I believe it is the pull of the world getting us to go their way and compromise. Everything today is about compromise. And little by little, the Lord just backs off from guiding and leading us step by step.
I can’t live that way. I have to have the Lord’s guidance and direction because I don’t have a clue what to do most of the time. It makes for a pretty lonely existence at times, but then it gives us the favor of God and His Presence, which is worth more than anything this world has to offer.
So stay with those of like precious faith and relate to those who are pure of heart and are living according to the standard of Christ.
Jud 1:21 “Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”
Conflict of the Ages
Psa 2:10-12 (KJV) “Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. (11) Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. (12) Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.”
The conflict of the ages has commenced: -- Good against evil, Christ against antichrist, The Holy Spirit against the False Prophet, God against Satan.
Here is what we must understand: Christians, both in the spirit realm and on the earth, are responsible before God to assist in the final defeat of Satan. As long as we are following the Lamb and obeying the Spirit of God, Satan cannot penetrate the authority of the blood of Christ. But we must be living a true testimony of the will, the way and the eternal purpose of God in Christ.
We must deny ourselves, love not our own life to the point of death, offer our body a living sacrifice, take up our cross and follow Jesus step by step throughout all that we endeavor to do.
Remember, the great commission is not to get people saved; it is not to make mere converts. It is to make disciples, to challenge people to rise up and live a life worthy of the calling by turning away from worldliness to seek the Lord Jesus Christ at all times. THE CHARGE IS TO MAKE DISCIPLES, DISCIPLES, DISCIPLES!
The Lord tells us to pray. We wait and maintain until He tells us to go. Until we do this, we cannot say we have “salt” in ourselves so that we can hear God correctly. Without the salt, our hearts are hardened. But if we are willing to wait and choose to obey God rather than our carnal inclinations, God will give us tremendous victories.
This conflict of the ages is beginning with much tension and many conflicts. It is not fought in one instant battle – but over a period of time. Satan does fight back. He never surrenders instantly.
The actual battle is fought in the spirit realm. It is the invisible but true battle of substance and power. Satan continues to stand before the Christian Church, seeking to devour the child, Christ, as He is being formed in the saints.
Rev 12:4 (KJV) “And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.”
Devour = to consume by eating a little at a time. He does not kill us, but wants to eat us up. Satan is swallowing up that which is seeking to come forth in the church. Satan is using every device possible to keep believers distracted from the real issue --- the bringing forth of Christ.
The enemy is keeping us too busy to attend to the forming of Christ in us. Many are not attending to their Master’s call. They will not take the time to listen to His call. He is knocking, but we are not opening the door to Him. He wants to dine with us. He is nourished by our adoration; we are nourished by His body and blood.
If the Son, which is the Kingdom of God, is to be formed in us, then we are going to have to keep our involvement in the world to a minimum and concentrate on that which the Holy Spirit desires to create in us.
One of the most painful times we have come to endure is the travail of the church. This travail brings forth the Kingdom of God that puts an end to all sin in our life.
Mat 24:7-8 (KJV) “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. (8) All these [are] the beginning of birth pains.”
Mic 5:3 (KJV) “Therefore will he give them up (Israel), until the time [that] she which travaileth hath brought forth: then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel.”
This battle of the ages is going to produce much bloodshed. This generation has turned its back on God; and as a result, the chastening hand of God is going to be severe so that we are not totally defeated.
The ones who are continually going to prayer hear the sounds of war and the sounds of hell beating the drums of attack.
Although the spirit realm is the real world, our present existence is in the valley of the shadow of death, temporarily while we are tested to see where we will fit in this battle. When we experience desperate times of grief and pain, remember that we are only in a shadow land at the present time. The real world is invisible to us. THAT IS WHERE THE TRUE BATTLE IS TAKING PLACE.
We must be true to the Lord no matter what. We must be determined to be disciplined no matter what. There is no purgatory to make amends for our actions. We must accept the fire of God, allowing it to burn away all that is worldly, lustful and self-seeking. If we call upon the Lord in the day of battle, we shall be saved.
I believe many are experiencing labor pains today. Many question whether they want to go through this process of cleansing and transformation, but listen to the words of the Lord:
Isa 66:9 (KJV) “Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the LORD: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut [the womb]? saith thy God.”
We may be in some confusion and dismay now, but we can rejoice. God has declared that He will not close up the womb. He will bring to deliverance. He will bring forth Christ in your life if you will serve the Lord diligently. Christ will finish what He has begun in you, so you can be confident and rejoice.
(Galatians 4:19) Listen to me my little children, stop wavering between the religious and the spiritual. The only answer for you is to gain Christ – let Him be formed in you. LET CHRIST BE FORMED IN YOU.
God’s answer to your concerns or problems or doubts is to have Christ formed in you; for once this transformation is complete, the very Throne of God Almighty will be set up in you, and you will prevail against all the work of Satan and darkness.
God is going to roar out of Zion, out of the Church. The enemy is going to be utterly confounded and dismayed: Joe 3:14-16 (KJV) “Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD [is] near in the valley of decision. (15) The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. (16) The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD [will be] the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.”
Ours is a day of decision. The time has passed for us to remain lukewarm. Either we will be active for Christ or we will automatically default to Satan. There is no middle ground.
All disobedience shall be removed from the Presence of God. Sin shall be driven from His saints. Jesus Christ shall be installed as King in the hearts of the overcomers and become Lord of ALL. Then nature shall break forth into singing. The travail will be over. The Kingdom of God will come forth.
So what are we here for? God wants you and me to be part of the remnant who will be able to bring deliverance to those who call upon Christ for help. If we are to help one another, we must first get our own house in order before the Lord. THAT IS YOUR PURPOSE FOR TODAY!
Are you willing to lay down your own life that the will of Christ may be performed? If you continue to be caught up in the folly of the American culture and do not spend time in prayer, reading the Bible, assembling with the Saints, denying yourself, and carrying your cross after the Lord, there is no Divine protection over you or your household.
All that there is is NOW. The conflict of the ages is upon us. How are you going to respond?
Our Prayer: Eph 1:17-23 (KJV) “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: (18) The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, (19) And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, (20) Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, (21) Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: (22) And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, (23) Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.”
. . . My calling as a pastor
Pastor’s Journal 2010
Aug.3: “I can do nothing without Him. But all things are possible to them that believe.”
Aug. 6: “I am with you.”
Aug.7: “Be thou my strong habitation whereunto I may continually resort; thou hast given commandment to save me, for thou art my rock and my fortress. (Psm. 71:3)”
Aug. 9: “ I will honor those who honor Me!”
Aug. 10: “Beware of the teaching of the Pharisees. (Mat.16:6) There are many false teachers today affecting the body of Christ.” Aug.13: “There is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end thereof is the way of death” ( Prov.14:12).
Aug. 14: “ Let us not be weary in well doing, for in due season, we shall reap, if we faint not. And as we have the opportunity, let us do good to all, especially those of the household of faith.”
Aug. 21: “The one who seeks Him will receive blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of His salvation. So lift up your heads and the King of Glory will enter in.”
Aug.24: “This is a time of victory. The Lord is going before you and the God of Israel is your rear guard. My servant will act wisely and be lifted up. How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who proclaim good news, who say, “My God reigns.”
Aug. 26: “Return, you prisoners who have hope. Today I declare that I will restore double to you” (Zech.9:12).
Trust in the Lord
In all of our lives there are times when we say that we trust in the Lord, but there also come times in our of our lives when we must show that we trust in the Lord. Those times require actions that prove how much we truly believe.
Pro 3:1-12 (KJV) “My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: (2) For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. (3) Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: (4) So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man. (5) Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (6) In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (7) Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. (8) It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones. (9) Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: (10) So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine. (11) My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: (12) For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.”
So many people can remember who God is to them, but at the same time forget who they are supposed to be to God. It is amazing how often people cover their compromises with the statement, “God understands.” Yes, God does understand, but people don’t understand or they would not compromise.
Isa 40:29-31 (KJV) “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. (30) Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: (31) 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.”
The Lord tells us to trust in Him, and to wait upon Him because He knows what is best for every situation in our lives. He sees every time we are ready to make hasty decisions that can position us in unrecoverable downward spirals. Therefore, we must caution ourselves and wait upon the Lord so that we will have the strength to overcome those things, such as worrying, complaining, and striving, that fuel the fires of compromise.
Heb 12:11-15 (KJV) “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. (12) Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; (13) And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. (14) Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: (15) Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled…”
God’s chastening is for our good, so we need not get angry when the Lord tries to deliver by means of His chastening. In fact, we should be grateful in knowing that God cares so much for us as to attend to such matters on our behalf.
Jon 2:1-2 (KJV) “Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish's belly, (2) And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.”
It took a lot of chastening before Jonah really trusted in the Lord, but God was faithful to deliver and save him. God is the same God today for us as He was to Jonah back then. We can trust in God’s faithfulness, knowing that no matter how bad things seem to be in life, we are not alone; we can trust in the Lord; and we can praise Him in all things.
Hab 3:17-19 (KJV) “Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: (18) Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. (19) The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places…”
"I want the presence of God Himself,
or I don't want anything at all to do with religion…
I want all that God has or I don't want any."
- A.W. Tozer
Next course from Christian Life Educators Network - Richmond Center:
The Confidence Factor by Dr. Keith E. Johnson
This course explores, explains and demonstrates the many factors that contribute to an individual’s confidence level. It discusses the factors that help build or destroy confidence in a way that makes it possible for the student to put specific practices in place to help maximize his life’s potential.
September 8-10, 2011