And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and you shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (Acts 1:7-8)
THERE ARE INEVITABLY TIMES IN EVERY BELIEVERS’ LIFE WHEN THE MISSION OF THE GREAT COMMISSION BECOMES CLOUDED BY CIRCUMSTANCES, SITUATIONS, DIFFICULTIES, AND CHALLENGES. WE KNOW THAT JESUS SAID THAT IN THIS WORLD YOU WILL HAVE TRIBULATION, BUT BE OF GOOD COURAGE, I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD (John 16:33).
…BUT MAYBE YOUR SITUATION IS NOT OUTWARD, BUT INWARD. MAYBE YOU HAVE FELT LIKE PETER WHO DENIED JESUS, OR EVEN FELT LIKE A JUDAS WHO BETRAYED JESUS.
…OR MAYBE YOU HAVE FELT LIKE PAUL SITTING IN A PRISON CELL WHILE THE BELIEVERS AROUND YOU SEEM TO BE DOING MUCH BETTER THAN YOUR CURRENT CIRCUMSTANCES SAY.
…OR LIKE ELIJAH, WHO RAN FROM JEZEBEL AFTER SLAYING 400 PROPHETS OF BAAL.
WE HAVE ALL FACED DIFFICULT CHALLENGES, AND SOMETIMES THERE ARE NO WORDS TO DESCRIBE EXACTLY WHAT YOU MAY BE FACING, OR HOW YOU MAY HAVE GOTTEN INTO THAT SITUATION, OR HOW YOU ARE COMING OUT,
BUT GOD IS FAITHFUL…
THROUGH THIS SHORT POST, MAY WE ALL AS CHRIST’S BELIEVERS AND FOLLOWERS ALL COME TO KNOW THAT GOD’S GREAT LOVE WILL PREVAIL IN OUR LIVES; AND JUST AS IMPORTANTLY HOW WE CAN GAIN THE SPIRITUAL MOMENTUM THAT CHANGES ENTIRE NATIONS AND GENERATIONS FOR JESUS CHRIST – TO PREPARE A GLORIOUS BRIDE WHO IS READY FOR JESUS CHRIST.
#1: STAY FOCUSED ON THE GREAT COMMISSION & WORK OF GOD…
WE SHOULD ALWAYS KEEP IN MIND THAT THE ENEMY WILL ATTEMPT TO USE ANY SITUATION HE CAN TO KEEP US FROM BEING FRUITFUL IN AND FOR GOD’S KINGDOM.
Matthew 13:22- 23
22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
#2: KEEP ON THE FULL ARMOUR OF GOD…
THE FULL ARMOUR IS CRITICAL FOR THE BODY OF CHRIST. WHEN OUR ARMOUR STAYS FRESH, WE CAN THWART OFF ANY SPIRITUAL ATTACK OF THE ENEMY. IF OUR ARMOUR BECOMES WEAK, THROUGH THE LACK OF PRAYER AND WORD AND WE BECOME ENGROSSED IN OTHER THINGS (EVEN GODLY THINGS), THEN WE WILL BE VULNERABLE WHEN WE SHOULD BE STRONG.
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
21 But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things: 22 Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts. 23 Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.
#3: REMAIN SOBER MINDED…
MANY TIMES THE ENEMY WILL TRY TO DIVERT YOUR ATTENTION WHEN YOUR SPIRITUAL STRENGTH HAS BEEN DEPLETED, YOUR ENERGY LEVELS LOW, YOUR FOCUS WAYNEING, AND YOUR DESIRE TO FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT HAS ALL BUT DIMINISHED.
1 PETER 5:8-9
8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
#4: CONTINUE BEING TRANSFORMED INTO CHRIST’S IMAGE
12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
#5: REMEMBER GOD IS FAITHFUL…
GOD IS A GOD OF GRACE. THIS MEANS HIS ABILITY IN YOU TO OVERCOME IS GREATER THAN THE ENEMY’S ABILITY TO THWART YOUR DESTINY.
1 PETER 5:10-11
10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
GOD’S GRACE IS SUFFICIENT, EVEN IN OUR TIMES OF WEAKNESS.
2 Corinthians 12:1-10
1 I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. 2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. 3 And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— 4 was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell. 5 I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. 6 Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, 7 or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
#6: KEEP DREAMING – BIG…
GOD HAS GIVEN US AN ETERNAL WORK THAT IS BIGGER THAN ANY OF US CAN ENVISION. IT REQUIRES PATIENCE, DILIGENT FOCUS, OBEDIENCE AND A TENACITY TO SEE THE THINGS OF THE SPIRIT COME TO FULL FRUITION IN OUR LIVES AND MINISTRY.
1 I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint. 2 Then the Lord replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. 3 For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay. “See, the enemy is puffed up; his desires are not upright— but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness—
Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keeps the law, happy is he.
#7: LOOK AT THE ETERNAL…
IT CAN FRUSTRATING TO LOOK AT THE NATURAL CIRCUMSTANCES. THINGS MAY BE MOVING IN A DIFFERENT DIRECTION THAN WE ANTICIPATE. YET, WHEN WE SEE THROUGH THE EYES OF THE SPIRIT’S CALL, WE SEE THE ETERNAL THINGS THAT WAITING TO BE REVEALED.
2 Corinthians 4
1 Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. 2 Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. 15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
#8: BE BOLD AND VERY COURAGEOUS…
GOD AND THE PEOPLE GOD HAS GIVEN TO US ARE COUNTING ON US. THE PEOPLE OF THE LAND WHO NEED TO BE SAVED ARE ALSO WAITING IN THE BALANCE. ETERNITY IS BECKONING. THE CALL OF GOD IS ADVANCING. THE MINISTRY OF THE SPIRIT IS GROWING. MULTITUDES ARE IN THE VALLEY OF DECISION. WE TAKE UP OUR CROSS DAILY TO FOLLOW JESUS. WE ARE RUNNING OUR RACE THAT IS SET BEFORE US. WE STRIVE TO ENTER THE NARROW GATE. WE STRIVE TO FILL THE GATES OF HEAVEN WITH SOULS WHO KNOW, FOLLOW, AND SERVE THE LORD JESUS CHRIST!
1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. 3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. 5 No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.
7 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips;meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
10 So Joshua ordered the officers of the people: 11 “Go through the camp and tell the people, ‘Get your provisions ready. Three days from now you will cross the Jordan here to go in and take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you for your own.’”
12 But to the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh, Joshua said,13 “Remember the command that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you after he said, ‘The Lord your God will give you rest by giving you this land.’ 14 Your wives,your children and your livestock may stay in the land that Moses gave you east of the Jordan, but all your fighting men, ready for battle, must cross over ahead of your fellow Israelites. You are to help them 15 until the Lord gives them rest, as he has done for you, and until they too have taken possession of the land the Lord your God is giving them. After that, you may go back and occupy your own land, which Moses the servant of the Lord gave you east of the Jordan toward the sunrise.”
16 Then they answered Joshua, “Whatever you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. 17 Just as we fully obeyed Moses, so we will obey you. Only may the Lord your God be with you as he was with Moses. 18 Whoever rebels against your word and does not obey it, whatever you may command them, will be put to death. Only be strong and courageous!”
#9: REMEMBER – A CROWN IN COMING!
ALWAYS KEEP IN MIND THAT OUR LIGHT AFFLICTION IS JUST FOR A MOMENT. THERE IS A GREAT REWARD COMING.
2 Timothy 4:1-17
4 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge:2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
1 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends! 2 I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord.3 Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life. 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.