November 15, 2012
Below is an excellent article by my friend Bill Yount followed by a short article of my own. When we realize the value of our situation, trials and tribulations, and how God uses them to perfect us in His image that reveals His glory, we use them wisely and joyfully for our own advancement. In a time when the church and this nation is going through a transition period, it is important to remember that we stand upon a Kingdom that cannot be shaken. The Lord is now raising up “Freedom Fighters” that will, against all odds, stand against the tide of evil. The greatest power we have on earth is the Lord’s presence, His love and His light. It will take courage in the days ahead to prevail through the times. But then then again, we are not speaking of human courage, but the Spirit of Might that strengthens our inner man as we prevail from the place of victory that has been won in Christ.
Behold the Blessing by Bill Yount
Gabby Douglas who won gold for best gymnastics in the recent Olympics said in an interview. “Hard days are the best, because that’s when champions are made. If you push through the hard days you can get through anything.” She also shared when she looked up at the scoreboard and saw her name in lights with the gold medal; it dawned on her that “all those days of practice when it was difficult and painful and I wanted to quit; it was worth it all.”
The hardest days ahead will be our best days. It’s what will make us champions and bring out God’s almighty strength in us. We would have never heard of David, if there hadn’t been a Goliath. We would never have heard of Moses, if there hadn’t been a Pharaoh. God uses the enemy in our lives to turn things around.
The lion that came out against Samson only brought out God’s anointing in him. He didn’t know what was in him until the lion came against him. The lion brought it out of him. He later ate honey out of that lion’s belly. Glory! These saints discovered that their enemies and trials came with upgrade attachments.
A Champion’s Medals Are His Scars
I have never seen a champion bull rider leave the arena without his face in the dirt, a limp, or wounded in some way. In spite of the glory of the moment every bone in his body cries out with pain and he often requires assistance to get away from the bull and out of the arena.
When you see someone being used by the Lord and you think they are a champion in the Spirit, you don’t know the pain that comes with overcoming their enemy. You can spot true champions from the false. They walk with a limp, and if you look real close, they will have a tear running down their championship face. And to your surprise, they are not confident after all, as their security has just been shaken at the very core of their being at the height of their success. I am learning not be jealous of anyone who seems to be strongly anointed and being used by the Lord. I don’t know how deep the scars go that brought them to this place or the suffering their anointing will cost them in the days ahead.
God’s Delays Are His Appointments
Waiting to become the next king of Israel while stuck with those few sheep probably caused David great frustration at times. The key to David’s kingship was and still is, “Don’t focus on what you are waiting for. Focus on the blessing right where you’re at.” What the Lord wanted to convey to David as well as us today is…”There’s a bear coming to give you an upgrade in the Spirit! And the lion rug you always wanted on the floor of your tent is in the mail. If you miss Me in the waiting, you will miss what you are waiting for!”
In all things behold the blessings.
Blessings, Bill Yount http://www.billyount.com
God’s Process of Promotion by Roy Roden
Promotion in the Kingdom of God does not come by our good works or by our great achievements. Kingdom promotion comes by our faithfulness to walk close to the Lord, our love for Him and the fruit of the Spirit that reveal His nature to others. Especially the fruit of love for love never fails. It is the fear of the Lord that leads to wisdom but the wise will love the Lord, for only love can keep us faithful. The greatest mantle that we can wear is the cloak of humility, which is having a teachable spirit.
When the apostle Paul was challenged by the religious leaders regarding his authority to minster, he did not refer to the great signs and wonders. Nor did he validate his qualifications by the power of the Spirit to cast out demons, raise the dead and heal the sick. But rather Paul refereed to the scars, torture, pain, the perils at sea, prison and seasons of hunger. Rather than state his diplomas and degrees obtained from his religious training as a Pharisee of Pharisees, his Roman citizenship or ordination, he refereed to his trials and tribulations. His qualifications were not based on his great works or achievements, but the scars he bore from suffering. Paul was so badly beaten by the 195 stripes he received from the Jews, that he was marred and disfigured for life. (See 2 Cor. 11:22-30)
In all things Paul teaches us to rejoice with thanksgiving. He didn’t teach us to be thankful for them, but because of them knowing that when he was weak the Lord was strong. He learned to come to the Father to lean in His bosom, the place of rest that enabled him to walk in God’s glory. Paul knew that it was through many trials and tribulations that we must into the Kingdom of God. Thus, Paul choose to live in the power of Christ resurrection, rather than a life of comfort (See 2 Cor. 12:8-10).
He understood the power of the sacrifice of praise as the gateway to the realms of heaven. As a citizen of the Kingdom, he knew the key to the more abundant life in Christ was to live a life of worship with thanksgiving. From the place of intimacy, Paul ministered in the power of the Spirit. Even in prison, bound in chains and in the midst of his pain, he worshipped. In response to his faith, God sent an angel that opened the prison door to set Paul free. Worship moves the heart of God to send angels our behalf to open prison doors and set the captives free.
I have learned that mumbling and grumbling, being critical and complaining prevents God from moving on my behalf. It actually puts my soul in prison because of my own reaction to what God has determined to be my promotion. Over the years God has given me the time to learn the pathway to life, which is that of worship and that of love. I am here today to testify of God’s great grace with the scars to prove it.
The time we have during this season of transition is God’s grace to become the champions we are called to be. There is a major battle that looms ahead. As freedom fighters, we must rise and put on the armor of light that is ours in Christ. If we will l rise and shine today in the light of His presence, the strength that we obtain as we go through every trial and tribulation, will enable us to prevail in the Spirit of God’s might in the days ahead. Even in the darkest of times, His people will shine with the light of His victorious glory. (Is. 60:1-3)
What are you going through today? Is your speech full of God’s grace seasoned with salt that minsters God’s heart to others? (Col 4:6) Whether we are experiencing good times or bad, it is always the right time to offer the sacrifice of praise with thanksgiving – the key to living the overcoming life in Christ is to redeem the time by being filled with the Spirit,
“Redeem the time, because the days are evil… be filled with the Spirit..Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in our hearts to 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)
The glory of it all is that we never fail the test; we just get to take the test again.
Thanks Bill for a great article to remind us of what champions are really made of!
In His heart and love – Ropy Roden