Archive for May, 2012

Faith and Valor

Christians need to recognize the reality of spiritual conflict and warfare. We are born in conflict — against the world, against our carnal desires, and against the devil. If you do not know the nature of your enemy; if you do not know who your foes are, you cannot fight… much less walk in victory. It’s only when you realize what you’re up against that you can be victorious.

Christian Soldiers are Called to War:

The Bible says we must stand against our spiritual enemies as Christian soldiers (2 Tim. 2:4). When God calls you to Kingdom responsibility, you become part of the army of God. You can truthfully sing, “Onward Christian soldiers, marching as to war”, because you are at war and you have a target on your back. You need to remember that if you’re living for Jesus Christ, the powers of darkness are aligned against you. You are on Satan’s hit list!

Get Equipped:

Becoming equipped is more than gaining knowledge or taking a stance. It requires a transformed mind and a well developed character. You must become a  person of faith and valor. Jesus, Himself said that the Kingdom of heaven suffers violence and the violent take it by force (Mt. 11:12). I want to offer four principles to help you be victorious in spiritual warfare as a Christian Soldier.

  • 1st) Learn to Endure Hardship.

“You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” (2 Tim. 2:3)

If you want to be a soldier, you need to get in shape. You can’t go out and fight hand-to-hand combat when you are little more than a fat little baby in Christ. While you’re sitting around in your diapers, the enemy is going to have you for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You need to strengthen your spiritual muscles and gear up for spiritual realities. You need to be able to respond. If you can’t respond in physical combat, you die. It’s as simple as that. Likewise, you must learn to respond in spiritual ways, or you will become spiritually wounded.

A key to strengthening spiritual muscles and enduring hardship is finding strength in the Word of God. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Rom. 10:17). Never forget this: ignorance of the Bible is ignorance of the Lord Jesus Christ. And ignorance of Christ is ignorance of your own defenses. You can’t defend yourself unless you are walking in the Light of God’s Word and the power of the Holy Spirit.

  • 2nd) Be Self-Controlled and Alert.

You must learn to “be self-controlled and alert” for “your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Pet. 5:8).

He is looking for you! There’s no such thing as a sleepy, successful soldier. Sleepy soldiers — soldiers who are not alert — have one thing in common. They’re all dead! God says if you want to succeed in spiritual war, you must be self-controlled and alert. Being self-controlled is a fruit of the Spirit and it offers you the means to know what to do and the strength to do it. Only then will you be able to spiritually discern and resist the enemy’s subtle attacks.

  • 3rd) Build Your Faith in Christ.

 ”For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God” (1 Jn. 5:4-5).

Faith is your victory! Its absolutely critical in spiritual conflict that you walk by faith, because it is an unseen war. Our faith is in the Ultimate Conqueror - Jesus Christ - who admonishes His followers: “Take heart! I have overcome the world” (Jn. 16:33). Christ imparts the capacity to conquer every single day and all we have to do is believe in Him. You need to get up in the morning and say, “Lord Jesus, I believe You have conquered the world! Conquer today through me! I believe in you! Give me the capacity to see as You see. I am a person of faith and valor… remove my doubts and fill me with the boldness of faith that is necessary for victory today.”

  • 4th) Put On Spiritual Armor.

(Eph. 6:11) “Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”

Are you catching this? You can stand against Satan’s schemes and attacks. You can be victorious! Ephesians 6:10-20 speaks of the various pieces of spiritual armor God has provided. Nobody goes out to war in their pajamas; no, you go out with 30 or 40 pounds of equipment. Yet, I see so many immature Christians running around in their spiritual underwear, trying to do warfare against a powerful enemy. And they don’t understand why the flaming arrows of the wicked one are sticking out of their spiritual derrieres.

You must put on the whole armor of God… the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the readiness to preach the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. And Pray… with all kinds of prayers! These are God’s tools for taking spiritual dominion and reigning in all that He has promised.

Note that every piece of armor in Ephesians 6 is for the front of the body. There isn’t a single piece for your backside. Do you know why? Because soldiers do not turn around in the middle of combat, they move forward. The reason many believers are weak and ineffective is that in the midst of battle, they fail to rely upon the armor God has made available in Christ. Fearing the enemy’s threats; they back away from their convictions, because they lack the faith and valor of Spiritual Soldiers. 

Take this to heart, my friend… Jesus Christ is the Exalted One! Its His Name that is above every name and His authority that is established as supreme over all. He is Our King… listen to Him, listen to the Holy Spirit and walk in the love of the Father. You will be strong and do great exploits by His power at work in you! (Dan. 11:32)

Faith Character

Here are just a few of the things that great people of faith have accomplished: They “subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle and turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again. And others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection. Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented- of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth” (Heb. 11:33-38).

Faith in God:

What a powerful reality! What a motivating message! The world has yet to see what we can accomplish through faith in God! You and I are called to trust and access Christ-like character through our faith (Rom. 5:1-2). To develop a “so be it” kind of character that responds to challenges in life… just like Jesus.

  • Temptations require us to know the Word of God and speak, “It is written!” (Mt. 4:4) 
  • Storms and impossibilities require our voice to shift the atmosphere, “Peace be still!” (Mk. 4:39) 
  • Sickness and disease require an anointing that releases heavenly authority, “Arise and walk!” (Lk. 5:24) 

Four times Jesus said, “All things are possible” (Mt. 19:26, Mk. 9:23, Mk. 10:27, Mk. 14:36). With God all things are possible. All things are possible to him that believes. You can go anywhere, be anything, and accomplish anything. It all depends on how much faith you have in God. Remind yourself, ”it is not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord of hosts”  (Zech 4:6).

Character of a Spiritual House:

Faith must be seen as the foundation stone of our spiritual house (Mt. 7:24-27)! What a powerful platform from which to operate! The Bible defines faith as: ”…the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen”  (Heb. 11:1). Seeing is often a hindrance to our vision and can leave us lacking the character to endure what we cannot understand. What we must remember is that our journey reaches far beyond our earthly assignment or personal destination. We are following God in order to leave a legacy for the next generation to step into. The character of a spiritual house is all about the fathers and their vision… Can it be written upon the hearts of those who hear our story?

“But what does it say? The Word is close to you, even in your mouth, and in your heart: that is, the Word of faith, which we preach; That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.” (Rom. 10:8-10)

Christ is Unchanging

 ”Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Heb. 13:8)

Things Change:

I used to believe the world changed from day to day… now it seems like it changes from minute to minute. Because of this, insecurity is a feeling that overwhelms many people. For the Christian, security is not to be found in the world or the events taking place around us. Our security comes from knowing that we belong to Jesus Christ and that He never changes! Though the world may change, I can be assured of one thing. Jesus will be the same today as He was yesterday, and He will be the same tomorrow as He is today.

His Love is Unchanging:

His acceptance of me will not change. And his faithfulness to me will not change. I do not need to worry about tomorrow, because He has tomorrow already in focus (Mt. 6:25-32). Although I cannot calculate the changes around me, His knowledge is without limit and He is undaunted by the surprises that arise.

Love Secures My Trust:

It is important to understand that God’s love is eternal and that Jesus came to Earth to offer salvation based on love alone. Its the love of God which serves as the basis for all His actions toward us. This is why the Apostle John said, “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (visible substitute) for our sins.” (1 Jn. 4:10)

The love that has already been made available and accessible to me through the cross, affirms His consistent grace and power for my future. His faithfulness is unchanging and I can trust Him for everything. I have a testimony of what He has done and what He will do in the future. Nothing should shake my faith, unless I forget His Promises or focus on my looming troubles. 

The Key - I Know Him!

If you are feeling insecure, then it is all about your focus. Are you looking to the world for your security?  If so, you will never find it. Place your trust in Jesus Christ and build a relationship with Him. Your soul will experience all the security it longs for. You will find Him dependable and steadfast. In spite of our changing world Jesus Christ will be the same, forever!

Come to India?

This is a letter received recently from India that I wanted to pass along to our readers. It is just to help you see the impact of RevivalHut Ministry’s web teaching ministry being embraced across the nations. We receive these similar letters at least five times a week and it is our desire to steward the message God has given us. We live in a very unstable world, where many are suffering with issues far beyond our minor financial crisis. I’m not wanting to minimize our struggles, but set them in a context that helps us understand how very wealthy we truly have become. Imagine living on $1.00 a month, a week, a day even… this is the plight of most of the people we are touching everyday in this ministry. A ministry you are helping to make available by your giving and your prayer support. Thank you and may God bless you as you read this request from Pastor Sukumar of India.

Dear Pastor Ron,
I greet you in the most highly exalted name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. God has privileged me to send this e-mail for your kind cooperation for the extension of the Kingdom of God. As God inspires you, please have your involvement in the way God enables you and strengthens your hand. Years are passing very quickly. We know that our dear Lord’s coming is very imminent. We are seeing the signs of His advent, but still there is a lot of Gospel work to do. A number of precious souls are perishing before our eyes without knowing Jesus. Our ambition is to reach every nook and corner of the globe and promote the Gospel to every perishing soul. In this regard I request you to have your involvement here in the land of India. Our prayer is that a way will be open and that our Lord inspires you and enables you.

India’s Enormous Need:

You know that India is a country of idolatry and superstitions. Indians worship more than 35 million gods and goddesses. Out of one billion Indians only 2.4% are Christian. There have been endeavors to root our Christianity from India. We sense that in the coming days the doors for Gospel work in India will be closed and Christianity will not be allowed at all. Before that happens we wish to do as much Gospel work as we can and save as many perishing souls as we can.

My Request:

In this regard I request you very humbly to have your partnership in the Gospel work in India. If it is possible for you please visit India to share the Gospel of the Kingdom with our people. Your heart toward the pastors and leaders will encourage our mission. We believe for a thunder bolt of God’s love and power to be released upon the darkness of our nation. It is the work of the enemy and our desire is to lead many in the Light of Christ’s Salvation.

Looking for Breakthrough:

Your regular prayers are very important to us. Jesus said to Peter in John 21:15-17 “Feed my Lambs”. We believe that it is the will of our Heavenly Father to feed His Lambs. I have looked at your website with great delight to see the teachings there. We have used them and shall continue as the Lord leads. Our ministry reaches the poor, organizes and meets to help orphans and the elderly widows, health care etc. I await your kind reply prayerfully and hopefully.
Thanking you, Brother in the wonderful love of God,
S. Sukumar,
INDIA

Held

  • Psalm 37:23-24 If the Lord delights in a man’s way, He makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with His hand.
  • Psalm 94:18 When I said, “My foot is slipping,” Your love, O Lord, supported me.
  • Psalm 145:14 The Lord upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.
  • Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
  • Philippians 4:11-13 …for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Knowing how to be content is one of the most undiscovered disciplines in the Christian world. More than any other skill or ability I can perfect, more than any passion I can muster and more than any amount of influence I can carry; this one character trait puts my life on solid ground. Yet, being content is not a natural thing for me. I’ve had to learn how to cooperate with God and listen for His footsteps in the cool of the day… and all too often I’ve heard His voice cry “Adam, Adam where are you” (Gen. 3:8-10). 

  I am learning to be held by God.

To be held is to discover the secret place in Christ, where the past is settled and the future is secure. Being held is more than just feeling that all is well. Its knowing, with an inward assurance, that even when storms or problems arise, there is a God who walks with me. Jesus said “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Mt. 11:28-30).

Rest for the Soul:

This is the contentment… the rest for our souls, that every follower of Christ must aim to learn. To be held by God is to delight in the perfect fit of this “yoke” Jesus speaks about. God wants to uphold us by His mighty hand and support us with the power of His love, but we must come up into the yoke for ourselves. Like a life jacket, we must learn how to put it on in rough waters, become familiar with its fit and rely upon it so that it becomes our favorite piece of spiritual clothing.

His Strength Upholds:

I am so amazed at how dependable and constant the Lord is in taking care of His own. Even though I am His child and seek to please Him, He knows that I am weak and imperfect. He says He will “make my steps firm and though I stumble, I will not fall”. “Though” does not mean ”if” but “when”. He knows that I will stumble in my walk with Him. He knows that there will be times when my foot will slip. And yet, in those times when I am weak and falter He does not abandon me, He strengthens me. He stretches forth his hand to catch me and hold me up. He supports me so that I do not fall completely. He bears up under me to keep me upright. He reinforces His love for me and tells me not to be afraid or discouraged. He reminds me that He is my God and encourages me to continue on. He whispers, “Do not give up, I am here to hold you”. Even with all my weaknesses and shortcomings He loves and accepts me.

How awesome is my Lord and Savior! How wonderful is His grace to me! For I am learning that it is far better to be held… than to be strong.

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