April 8, 2010
There is a battle raging in the region. This battle is not taking place at the gates of our enemies, but at the gates of our heart. There is a war being waged for the heart of men and for the soul of our nation and the church. It is a battle for dominion between the Kingdom of God and that of Satan. Every Christian is engaged in this battle. The arena for the battle is taking place in our daily lives and the weapons being launched by the adversary at Christians is intense manifold temptations and compromise.
Whether it is old temptations or new, because darkness is increasing upon the earth the increase of evil is being felt by all. The real battle however is to keep the fire in our hearts burning for the Lord and to remain steadfast in the faith. It is because of the intense battle where Satan is ratcheting up his pressure, that many are experiencing a weariness and heaviness that are leaving them exhausted. (See 1 Peter 1:6)
While some may want to take the battle to the gates of the enemy, the real battle now is to strive to enter into God’s rest. As a friend of mine recently shared, they are being prompted by the Lord to put their car in park. Vehicles often prophetically represent ministry. It is not the time to launch out but to enter into God’s rest, which means to draw closer to the Lord where our life and spiritual vitality is renewed.
To rest in God requires patience. While faith has been a popular subject in recent decades, the other ingredient that is needed is patience, which is often overlooked. The apostle Paul exhorts us to be “imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promise (He. 6:12). True faith therefore cannot be separated from patience. True faith also sees God’s hand in everything; regardless of how much time it takes or how bad things may seem. Faith knows that “all things work together for the good to them that love God and are called according to His purpose (Ro. 8:28). If we want to inherit the promise, we must see His purpose and become a part of His plan to walk with Him hand in hand.
The Lord is moving relentlessly in the lives of Christians to pave the way for an unprecedented outpouring of the Spirit. The character of Christians is being anointed with His divine nature that will enable them to become carriers of His glory. The coming movement will come in waves, each one getting bigger until the wave crest as a Tsunami. These waves will be carried forward by God’s people that are properly positioned in Christ. For those that are not prepared, these waves will overcome them.
A move of God is on the horizon. We are on the verge of a tipping point, the place where a major advance will take place. In order to preempt the coming move of God, Satan is working overtime to distract, disrupt and destroy as many lives as possible.
The Present Shaking
As the numerous earthquakes taking place upon the earth are prophetically declaring, in the spiritual realm there is a whole lot of shaking going on! God is shaking everything that can be shaken. Naturally, most Christians agree that there needs to be a major shaking in order to free the world from its grips of evil. However as the scripture reveal, judgment must first begin at the house of the Lord. Before the world can be judged, the church must be made pure so that she will not be judged with the world.
Whose voice then shook the earth: but now He has promised, saying, yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also the heavens. (27) And this word, yet once more signifies the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain (He. 12:26-27).
God in His mercy is shaking everything that can be shaken. All that we have placed our trust in is being shaken but the Kingdom of God will endure forever. Jesus is the Rock that we build our lives upon. When all that is shaken can be shaken, the bride of Christ will be ablaze with the brightness of the glory of the Lord.
The Refiners Fire
God is allowing the Church to go through the refiner’s fire that will consume all the hay, wood and stubble in order to reveal His divine nature and character. All that is not of the Lord will be consumed by fire. The same outpouring that will come in waves to bring revival and renewal is also the refiners fire that will cause a cleansing “For who shall stand when He appears: for He is like a refiners fire”(Mal. 3:20).
Satan feeds on the carnal nature and soul of men. Thus when he loses dominion in men he looses his influence over them. When Christians take on the divine nature of Christ and His love, they walk in the dominion of Christ where there is true Kingdom authority for “greater is He that is in you, than He that is in the world.”
If Christians are not filled with His love and life, they will be ruled by their impulses, habits and fleshly desires. Others will be ruled by their soul – their emotions, feelings and understanding. Thus, the tendency even for the most trained theologian, ordained minister, or the spiritually gifted, is to rule by the same means in which they are ruled. The Lord has not called us to walk in the soul realm to be ruled by our intellect or impulses, but to walk in the Spirit as Sons of God, “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are the Sons of God.” (Romans 8:14).
Have you wondered why you are facing these temptations and tribulations? It is the fire that tries your faith that brings you closer to the Lord and to teach you the power of God and that of praise with thanksgiving. As Peter declared, let us rejoice in this season that the trial of your faith that is more precious than gold, “though tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor unto the glory and the appearing of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:7).
It is especially during these trials and tribulations that we need to redeem the time and be filled with the Holy Spirit, speaking to ourselves in Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, making melody in our hearts unto the Lord, “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ “(See Eph. 5:16-20).
In other words, rejoice and be glad and praise God for the work He is doing in your life. Thanksgiving is the language of faith that release God to work on your behalf. As tough as trials may be, in time you will walk in His presence with a greater grace and authority. Worship is the means by which we enter into the Lords presence to receive the joy of the Lord that is our strength. He is our fortress and our refuge.
The Army of the Lord
In the midst of this fire will emerge a living army led by the King of Glory! How each one responds to this present work will determine their rank and position in the Lord’s Kingdom Force. Many are called but few are chosen. Those that are chosen are those that respond to the preparation process that is required in order to fulfill the call. Because one has been called does not mean that they have been commissioned. It is the interval between the call and being commissioned that we learn disciple, obedience and submission, to serve others with the Father’s heart in His love.
It is God’s divine nature, such as His peace that crushes Satan under our feet and it is the joy of the Lord that is our strength. The greatest weapon to be unleashed on earth from the arsenal of heaven is the Father’s love. These are some of the weapons that are mighty in God to the pulling down of strongholds. It is not our theology, traditions or church authority that defeats our adversary, but the Spirit of the Lord, for “It is not by might nor by power but by My Spirit says the Lord of Host.”
While spiritual gifts are given to men, the divine nature of the Lord and the fruits of the Spirit are forged into the character of men. Both the spiritual gifts and the fruits of the Spirit are being matured in a believer’s life in order to bear more fruit. There is coming an outpouring where the body of Christ will minster healing and restoration to those that come in from the harvest. You are being prepared for such a time as this!
Darkness is now increasing upon the earth. What we are now experiencing are but skirmishes to prepare us for the days to come. We are in the boot camp of the Lord. Every victory won and every trial that we overcome becomes our victory in Christ! We then own it! There cannot be a victory without a battle. It is by overcoming our trials and tribulations that we obtain the victory and thus the authority and power over the adversary. You are called as a victorious warrior of destiny.
Every battle that is won gives you the authority to walk in Kingdom power with the authority to set others free. Every place where you have been wounded and healed you are empowered to heal others. In every trial and tribulation, every circumstance and situation, where you have loved those that have persecuted you and said all manner of evil against you falsely for His name sake, empowers you with the greatest gift and power of all – the Father’s heart that reveals His love.
It is through these challenges that the power of God works in the life of a believer that works by faith to overcome the world. It is in the midst of extreme adversity that the glory of God shines even brighter to a lost and dying world. To accomplish this, the Lord is establishing Kingdom authority by purging the church of her carnality, false spiritual authority and mans theology. He is empowering the Church to reveal His Kingdom authority in power and demonstration through its ordinary members. The glory of the Lord is about to rise as the noon day sun upon the Church.
Some Present Battle Symptoms
Many Christians are faced with the same battles they have previously overcome. The reason for this I believe is as follows. First, the darkness that now covers the earth (Isaiah 60:2) is increasing rapidly. Because of the increased evil any carnal issue in our lives that still has a root is being exposed. The Church is facing great temptations. And thus we must remain strong in the Lord. For example, if we have overcome lust but we still entertain those things that are not pure, just and true, then we are allowing the old man that was once dead to rise again. (Philippians 4:8)
What we entertain becomes a part of us. If we indulge in entertainment that is unholy, full of adultery and violent where our senses are stimulated by special effects, we are simply feeding the flesh. Those that are hungry for the supernatural will often gravitate toward the spiritual even if it’s demonic. People are drawn to the supernatural because we are created by God in His image as supernatural beings. If we will draw near to God we will find that “at His right hand, there are pleasures for evermore” (Ps. 15:11).
If the church does not operate in the supernatural, its members will gravitate to where it is being revealed. This is why Harry Potter and other supernatural films are so popular. The root of compromise however is a lack of self discipline and control that is robbing many of their true inheritance that is theirs in Christ. If we want to walk in the Spirit, we must tend to the things of the Spirit by setting our affections on things above, not beneath. Then we will find a supernatural fulfillment in Christ. (See Col.3:1-3)
Many Christians are feeling very tired and weak. One of the reasons for this is that we can get so busy that our intimacy with God suffers which causes our spiritual immunity system to weaken. Satan’s strategy is to wear out the saints with issues. This weakens our resistance to temptation that we once overcame when our fellowship with Christ was our primary focus in life. But if you will “Walk in the Spirit, you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh (Galatians 5:16).
Many Christians have found a new life in Christ when they were purged by the truth that set them free. Embracing their new found liberty they are being tempted by the adversary to cause them to fall from grace. Satan is merely attempting to regain the territory he has lost by increasing his attacks in scope and intensity.
The Main Thing
Our sole call is that of a dynamic relationship with God, to abide in His presence and fellowship with the Father. God’s priority is that of Sonship. When or work ethic and serving others become our primary objective, we can easily eclipse our view of Christ with activities. The level of fellowship that we develop with the Father determines the level that we are used by the Spirit and our victory as overcomers in Christ. Thus, the level of fellowship with our Heavenly Father must excel the level of our works. There is a vast difference between what is important and what is vital. What is important to us affects our quality of life, while that which is vital determines our spiritual life in Christ. Once again, I leave you with the admonition to,
Arise and shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. (2) For, behold the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people, but the Lord shall rise upon you and His glory shall be seen upon you (Isaiah 60:1-2).
In His heart and love,