Posts Tagged ‘Spiritual Warfare’

“When Jesus returned to Capernaum, a Roman officer came and pleaded with him, “Lord, my young servant lies in bed, paralyzed and in terrible pain.” Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.”  But the officer said, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come into my home.  Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed.  I know this because I am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my soldiers.  I only need to say, ‘Go,’ and they go, or ‘Come,’ and they come.  And if I say to my slaves, ‘Do this,’ they do it.”  When Jesus heard this, he was amazed.  Turning to those who were following him, he said, “I tell you the truth, I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel!  And I tell you this, that many Gentiles will come from all over the world-from east and west-and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the feast in the Kingdom of Heaven. But many Israelites-those for whom the Kingdom was prepared-will be thrown into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”  Then Jesus said to the Roman officer, ‘Go back home.  Because you believed, it has happened.”  And the young servant was healed that same hour.” (Matthew 8:5-13)

“Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages of that area, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom.  And he healed every kind of disease and illness.  When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.  He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few.  So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.” (Matthew 9:35-38)

Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for.  Keep on seeking, and you will find.  Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks, receives.  Everyone who seeks, finds.  And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8)

“If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others on the hills and go out to search for the one that is lost?  And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he will rejoice over it more than over the ninety-nine that didn’t wander away! In the same way, it is not my heavenly Father’s will that even one of these little ones should perish.” (Matthew 18:12-14).

According to research done by The Joshua Project, there are over 6,550 people groups on earth who have not heard the Good News about eternal life through our Savior and Messiah Jesus Christ.  Want to know who they are and where they are?  Click here (But first count the cost of having access to this knowledge, as you will instantly realize your responsibility to intercede for these people through continuous prayer): http://public.imb.org/globalresearch/Pages/ResearchData.aspx

Let us pray to the Lord of the harvest to send workers to his fields to share the truth of eternal life through Jesus Christ to the remaining people who have never even heard of Him.  Like the Roman officer, let our faith put events into motion in the heavens.  When we pray for the Lord to send workers into these fields, we must understand the power behind our prayers.  We know the will of God on this issue (that ALL would hear), so we know our prayers match His will.  And we know that our prayers are the vehicles through which He accomplishes his purposes on earth.  We are called upon by the Most High God to use our voice on behalf of the lost, to lift them up in faith, that God would reveal himself to them so that they may be saved.

Scrolling through the list of the unreached, we see that many of these people groups have less than 100 people; they are completely remote and tribal.  They live on remote islands, at the top of unchartered mountains, in unexplored parts of jungles, and wild habitats.  God loves them all and wants them in His family.

These are our future brothers and sisters; our future family.  We cannot let them down by failing to pray for them while they are lost.  We see that hundreds of thousands of these people are lost because they are physically deaf and cannot hear the Word of God.  Most are also illiterate, so how can they be reached?  God will reach them through our prayers.  In response to our prayers, God will say ‘Go,’ and His workers will GO!  God will say ‘Do this,’ and his servants will do it.  The Roman officer in God’s Word understood very clearly how it works.  Do we?

Here is an example of how we can pray for them:

Dear Father in Heaven, thank you for the gift of life and for saving me and bringing me into your family through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.  Somehow you made sure that I heard about Christ and you prepared my heart to believe in Him.  Lord, I know that it is your will that all would hear of the free gift you offer through your royal Son Jesus Christ and that none would perish.  In response to your love and for saving me, I long for all to experience what I have with you.  Today I lift up these unreached people groups [HERE, SPECIFICALLY NAME PEOPLE GROUPS IN THE LIST], that you would send your workers into their fields to proclaim the Good News about the Kingdom and Jesus Christ to them.  I pray for their salvation, that they may live in the House of the Lord forever.  May they praise your Holy Name and bring your Name great honor and glory through their praise and by living holy lives in honor of Christ Jesus.  May they acknowledge their sins, confess them to you, repent of them wholeheartedly, and follow Christ Jesus’s example in every way.  May they fellowship with each other to grow in their faith, pray for each other, and may they have access to the Word of God.  Lord, I also ask for your protection over them as they grow with you, that the enemy cannot come to kill, steal, and destroy the relationship they have with you.  Give their hearts good soil which receives your Word and causes it to grow deep roots that can never be uprooted by any force contrary to your will.  May your Holy Spirit do His work in their lives wherever they are and may your Kingdom come!

And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all peoples will hear it, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14)

But if you refuse to serve the LORD, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15)

“Because of God’s grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder.  Now others are building on it.  But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful.  For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have–Jesus Christ.  Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials–gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw.  But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done.  The fire will show if a person’s work has any value.  If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward.  But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss.  The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.”  (1 Corinthians 3:10-15)

“Then Jesus left Capernaum and went down to the region of Judea and into the area east of the Jordan River.  Once again crowds gathered around him, and as usual he was teaching them.  Some Pharisees came and tried to trap him with this question, ‘Should a man be allowed to divorce his wife?’  Jesus answered them with a question: ‘What did Moses say in the law about divorce?’  ‘Well, he permitted it,’ they replied.  ‘He said a man can give his wife a written notice of divorce and send her away.’  But Jesus responded,He wrote this commandment only as a concession to your hard hearts.  But ‘God made them male and female’ from the beginning of creation.  This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.’  Later, when he was alone with his disciples in the house, they brought up the subject again.  He told them, ‘Whoever divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery against her.  And if a woman divorces her husband and marries someone else, she commits adultery.” (Mark 10:1-12)

What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter.  What sorrow for those who are wise in their own eyes and think themselves so clever.”  (Isaiah 5:20-21)

“You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times.  For people will love only themselves and their money.  They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred.  They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control.  They will be cruel and hate what is good.  They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God.  They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly.  Stay away from people like that!” (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

Do to others as you would like them to do to you.” (Luke 6:31)

“One day Jesus said to his disciples, ‘There will always be temptations to sin, but what sorrow awaits the person who does the tempting!” (Luke 17:1)

Last week was a historical week in both the world and for God, as the one nation on Earth that the whole world recognizes as a Christian nation made homosexual marriage legal in all 50 states via a Supreme Court ruling that required literally a majority of 5 votes.  5 people is all it took to pass this “law” and trump the 14 states left in America who were holding on to God’s definition of marriage, which was, is and will always be, the uniting of one man and one woman in a sacred union before God that makes the two of them one.  Therefore, the sexual union of any other variety of participants does not meet the requirements needed to fulfill the definition of sacred marriage before God.

One oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms bonded together makes water; no other combination of elements makes water.  Combining other elements together may make a variety of liquids, but calling any of those liquids “water” does not make it so.  For the Christian, one man and one woman bonded together in a sacred union before God makes marriage.  Calling any other union “marriage” does not make it so; it insults God, our Father, and the Author of marriage.

The spiritual implications of the Supreme Court’s ruling on homosexual “marriage” are enormous, as marriage, to God, is an earthly shadow representation of the Lord’s Heavenly, Holy and perfect order in the spiritual realm.  God created and defined marriage.  The Lord will not be mocked on this matter.  Any Christian who celebrates the “equality in marriage” law that was passed last week in America is deceived.  

The deception threatens the relationship with God of all Christians, not just gay Christians.  A straight Christian does not struggle with homosexual issues, but because of blurred lines on the definition of marriage now, as time passes, more and more straight Christians will find themselves on the slippery slope of not identifying homosexual unions as sin; they are in danger of encouraging and celebrating these unions, which defy the Holy and eternal ways of our Lord.  And if they encourage and celebrate it, they are tempting gay Christians.

I am not addressing the world, but the Church, the followers of Jesus Christ.

The world has always twisted the holy ways and laws of God, for it is completely enslaved to Satan who works incessantly to pervert and flip upside down anything that is sacred.  The world has its ways of doing things like “worship”, “love” and “marriage”, but they are not God’s ways and never have been.  That is nothing new.  The world has a secular version of every sacred thing of God.

No, the world is not the problem.

The Church is the problem.  The watered-down, lukewarm, deceived Church who loves to mingle with and flirt with and prostitute herself to the world; the fickle Church with wandering and batting eyes, who says with her mouth that she loves the Lord while she caresses the world.

If we want to know how this behavior makes God feel, we need only read the Book of Isaiah.

To gay Christians, no, your orientation is not a choice.  You had no say in that matter and your struggles are real, not imagined.  Your desire to experience love, to give it and to receive it, is real.  Your desire to express your love sexually with someone is real.  You do not fit the promiscuous stereotype of wild, perverted sexual immorality.  You just want and need to be loved, to have someone you call your own, to have someone to do life exclusively with. And to do these things with someone of the opposite sex is as foreign to you as doing these things with a person of the same-sex would be to a heterosexual person.  The idea is strange and repulsive.

And yet, when you pursue worldly love like this, you end up hiding from God.  Your conscience weighs on you.  You know you have chosen an idol (worldly love) over God and every day that you wake up and choose that idol, you reject God’s ways and His plan for your life.  Your relationship with God suffers.  You do things to try to nurture your relationship with God; go to church, volunteer, study your Bible, but the void and the shame remain.  God did not create you gay, so you cannot reconcile your desires and behavior with His holiness, and this creates a seeming impossibility for you.

If you are experiencing this, understand that the worldly love you want and need so badly is dominating your thoughts; your flesh is tormenting you and bullying you.  2 Corinthians 10:5 states that, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”  We do this through the renewing of our minds through God’s Holy Living Word.

You did not choose your sexual orientation, you were born into it, just like everyone on earth is born into sin.  But if you actively pursue the desires of your flesh in this matter, your conscience will convict you.  If you override your conscience for the sake of having a romantic relationship, you may actually succeed in hardening your heart about it so that your conscience does not bother you anymore.  That IS your choice.

But know that everything will be subjected to the refining fires of God’s judgment and anything done apart from Him will be burned up.  We are born naked into this world and we leave this world just as naked when we die.  You cannot take your worldly love with you; it ends when you die.  And, your ‘love’, having been done outside of the holiness of God’s will, it will be burned up on judgment day.  You will have nothing to show for all your time spent in your ‘marriage’.

So what? Are you supposed to just not have anyone to love?  Are you supposed to go through life alone while everyone else you know has someone to experience life with, to marry, to raise a family with, to grow old with?

If you are asking yourself these questions and you think you are hopelessly alone, you are wrong and really quite a bit self-absorbed.  Beware of pity as it is one of Satan’s most effective tools to destroy people with.  There are straight people all over the world asking the same questions.

But any of us who look further into the future than THIS DAY, hoping for this and that, are in danger of temptation and being deceived.  

We are to be grateful for this day we’ve been given.  We are to focus on our Lord, Jesus Christ.  We are to be one with Him.  We are to follow Him.  We are to follow in His ways and obey His commands.  We are to live quiet, productive lives, serving others, spreading the Good News of salvation in Christ Jesus BY THE WAY WE LIVE.  

Choose today whom you will serve.  And when you make that choice, stop complaining that life is not fair and that you got ripped off.  Christians suffer for Christ as Christ suffered for us.  If your suffering is in the form of ‘loneliness’ because you choose Christ over worldly love, accept your lot cheerfully.  Other Christians are suffering in prison, are living in fear of being ‘outed’ for their Christianity, are being rejected and persecuted by their own families, are being driven from their homes and hunted like animals.  Other Christians are being beheaded and mutilated because they choose Christ over their own lives.  And as we rush faster and faster to the end, all Christians everywhere will suffer.  Suffer your lot joyfully for Christ! Separate yourself from the world while there is still time.

Choose each day whom you will serve and be grateful for this day, the present day.  Be focused on the present day and live it with the Lord if He is the One you choose.

Then you will enjoy His love, His friendship, His companionship, His provision for your every need.  And yes, your “need” for worldly love will take its rightful and proper place in submission to your relationship with Christ.

Straight Christians, please understand that gay Christians carry an enormous burden, as the need to find a partner in life is a basic human instinct and an overwhelming one.  Extend some grace.  Have mercy.  Gay Christians do not fit in anywhere.  They go through life knowing their very existence does not fit the way things are supposed to be and this knowledge alone has driven countless precious people to take their own life.  Jesus’ command to treat others as you would have them treat you applies to straight Christians in a major way in this matter and you will answer for how you treat them and for every idle word you speak to them or about them.  Take heed and do it fearfully and humbly, as the Lord Jesus Christ LOVES them very much.

Never forget that Satan’s endgame is to kill, steal and destroy.  It is his deepest desire to rob every one of us of our eternal inheritance as God’s children.  He covets everything that has been designated to us in God’s love, especially our eternal life.  If he can confuse us as to the ways of the Lord so that we accept the lie over the truth, he will succeed in robbing us of our eternal future.  We must always stay on guard and be alert to everything that is happening so that we can rightly discern the truth in all things.

Lord Jesus, please come soon.  And in all things, may Your will be done.

“Lord, hear my prayer!  Listen to my plea! Don’t turn away from me in my time of distress.  Bend down to listen, and answer me quickly when I call to you.  For my days disappear like smoke, and my bones burn like red-hot coals.  My heart is sick, withered like grass, and I have lost my appetite. Because of my groaning, I am reduced to skin and bones.  I am like an owl in the desert, like a little owl in a far-off wilderness.  I like awake, lonely as a solitary bird on the roof.” (Psalm 102:1-7)

But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” (Luke 5:16)

“But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem.  He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God.” (Daniel 6:10)

But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private.  Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.”  (Matthew 6:6)

Then Jesus said, ‘Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.’ He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat.” (Mark 6:31-32)

The Holy Scriptures share with us a valuable habit of our Lord Jesus Christ: He often withdrew into solitude.

The importance of the fact that He “often withdrew” into solitude should not be lost on the Christian; we should take note that in order to withdraw into solitude, Christ did not live in solitude.  He lived an engaged life with others, interacting with them, socializing with them.  He placed an importance on His time with people and spent the majority of His time serving them, teaching them, healing them, speaking with them, eating and drinking with them and surrounding Himself with them.  Because of this, He needed to rest and re-energize and did so by retreating to “lonely places”, “the wilderness”, “to solitary places”, to be alone with God.

Scripture greatly encourages time alone with God, giving example after example of righteous people deliberately and purposefully withdrawing into “places” of isolation for their time alone with God.  In those places, they are able to rest, relax their soul, their mind and their body.  It is in these places, in private, that they find their spiritual oasis they dip into for renewal.

Solitude is a place of reflection.  Reflection cannot successfully happen apart from solitude.

Scripture shows us that Jesus withdrew into solitary places to be alone when He received news about the death of John the Baptist and after performing the miracle of feeding 5,000 people (Matthew 14), when He was in distress just before His crucifixion (Luke 22), and before making the major decision of which disciples He would choose as His apostles.  Jesus was often even “alone” with his disciples, so we see that group solitude also has its benefits.

So the Christian is called to be a social creature.  We are not to live our lives in isolation, for what fruit do we bear there?  How can we fulfill our calling to spread the Good News of Christ Jesus if we are not interacting with others?  Our very lives should be as lamps set up to light the darkness; we should not put our lit lamps under baskets, as Jesus illustrated so eloquently in His parable: “No one lights a lamp and then hides it or puts it under a basket.  Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where its light can be seen by all who enter the house.” (Luke 11:33)

Discernment is required here to achieve balance. The calling to be social is not a calling to be a busybody.  We are not called to fill our days with so much activity and toiling that we lose our focus and become distracted and fatigued.  Some of us are extroverts; some are introverts or ambiverts.  We are not all called to approach the mission of spreading the Gospel the same way. But we ARE all called to approach the mission with deliberate purpose and thought.

If any of us are living our lives in a state of isolation, void of human contact, we should take heed.  Technology advances are actively making it so easy to get through a day without any real human contact.  Posting and scrolling through social media and “liking” and commenting on posts is no replacement for looking into someone’s eyes or hearing their voice as you communicate with them.  Sadly, studies are showing that, with the advances of social media and other technologies that eliminate the need to have real contact with others, people are feeling more isolated and lonely than ever before has been recorded.

Depression rates are skyrocketing and apathy is rampant.  Technology is perpetuating desensitization on a global scale and the human being, while able to instantly connect with any information about anything we want to know, is left more humanly disconnected than ever.

Contrary to solitude, which is healthy in moderate doses, loneliness is an emotion, a state of mind and feeling of isolation that is destructive.  Loneliness is not of God; is the result of being away from His loving Presence. Throughout the Psalms, we see time and again how David pleaded with God to be near to him and to never remove His Presence from him.  How lonely and desperate are the Psalms David wrote while anguishing and begging for God to close the distance between them.  That is loneliness.  Fellowship with God, hearing, reading, thinking on His Holy Word in a solitary place is the remedy to a lonely, anguishing, exhausted soul.

God promises that He is always with us, so if we are in fellowship with Him, we do not experience prolonged bouts of loneliness.  He is the ultimate company and friend.  He is the antithesis of loneliness.  He may send us into the wilderness for refinement or discipline, but He is always with us.

People are hurting and lost; many are losing their sensitivity to the preciousness of life, goodness and righteousness.  The burden is on the Christian to be the light in the darkness and the way we do that is to interact in a real way with others; make time for them and be purposeful in the time we spend with them.  Then we can withdraw as needed for our alone time in solitude, just as Jesus did.  There we will always find refreshment from the living waters of God’s Word and His Presence.  Find the balance.  Leverage the benefits of solitude in our lives.  “Come out” of the world and take refuge in the rest that is found in solitude.  Then we are able to shine the light of the Lamp that is inside of us so we can illuminate the darkness around.

Solitude is not necessarily a “weapon of warfare” in the great spiritual battle, but it is a private room in the fortress and stronghold we withdraw into to rest and be renewed.  If we are not properly rested, if we are not regularly renewed, we run a high risk of being too fatigued and exhausted to stand firm in our daily battles.  Be social, spread the Good News of Christ with wisdom and discernment as opportunities present themselves.  Then slip away ‘to a quiet place and rest awhile.’

 

 

“The end of the world is coming soon.  Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers.  Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.  Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.”  (1 Peter 4:7-9)

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.  Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil.  He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.  Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith.  Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.  In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus.  So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.  All power to him forever! Amen.” (1 Peter 5:7-11)

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.  Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.  His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom.  All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom. Praise him forever!” (Psalm 111:10)

“Fear of the Lord is a life-giving fountain; it offers escape from the snares of death.” (Proverbs 14:27)

“Fear of the Lord leads to life, bringing security and protection from harm.” (Proverbs 19:23)

Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul.  Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28)

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.  Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” (John 12:24-25)

Alex Jones is the head of an independent news and media outlet in America called Info Wars” at http://www.infowars.com.  He is committed to reporting stories that the mainstream media does not report on and, as such, he has uncovered the truth about many events over the years.  His focus is largely on the shadow agenda of the one-world government elitists and because of this he often gets mocked.  Even the American President has taken his mocking stabs at Alex Jones, attempting to attack his credibility.

In the video, Alex Jones shares with his viewers that he senses that something horrible is happening or has already happened and it’s just a matter of short time before the world is impacted.  He senses ominous tension in the air and has asked many if they feel or sense something similar.  They all have.  No one can quite identify what is wrong, but it is enough to cause them anxiety and worry about the unknown that they are not usually susceptible to.  Understanding that we are spirits living in physical bodies, of course we would discern that something is amiss, especially if we are Christians and in constant fellowship with the Holy Spirit Who know all.  However, the Holy Spirit does not give us a spirit of fear, anxiety or worry, as these are not godly attributes.  But if we are spiritually alert and watchful, we all sense that the end is near and the world is speeding towards it.

Scriptures tell us that a world government will happen and that events in the last days will usher it in.  There are so many events happening at this time that we do not really know which events are occurring naturally and which ones are orchestrated to push the world along, but the details do not matter.  Everything is leading us to the return of Christ Jesus and Christians should be alert, watching the times, staying faithful in everything we do and praying at all times about everything.

Instead of worrying and living in fear, like the rest of the world is doing, we should be quietly making sure our lamps are full of oil; we should be prudent in every way, confidently taking care of our business and trusting that the Lord God Almighty is with us.  We should be ever conscientious of how fragile we are, how temporary life is, how temporary our belongings are, how limited our time is and how naked we truly are.  Having our minds right about our place in life puts everything that is happening on Earth into the proper perspective.  It helps us not to cherish the things and our lives in this world.  Jesus told us not to love our lives here; to not try to hang on to our lives, but rather to hate our lives in this world.   He did not use the word “hate” in the sense that we usually understand it; he was not taking the view of those who are depressed, hopeless or hateful.  He was highlighting that anything done apart from him is futile and will not withstand the refining fires of God’s judgment anyway.  We are to live in Him.  We are to bear fruit in Him.  We are to follow Him.  Our lives revolve around Him.  And if we are focused on Him as we should be, our attitude towards the things of this world is that none of it matters much.  We are pilgrims passing through, stewards of the Kingdom of God, voices in the wilderness. We have been given one job: to love others and spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ with whatever time we are given on Earth.

Let the foolish try to harness control and power.  Let them waste their lives on Earth trying to enslave, manipulate and maneuver for domination.  Let them build monuments to themselves and steal from those who are weaker than they are.  Let them hoard all the riches they can.  They are wicked.  Their story has been told thousands of times through history.  An eternity of weeping and gnashing of teeth awaits them.  Their lives will come to nothing.  They will be forgotten and no one will think of them anymore.  All their scheming and effort and sleepless nights will amount to nothing but eternal misery.  Pray for them, that they are able to escape their own wickedness by turning to God and repenting before they are out of time.  

Indeed, we know that evil is real on Earth.  The devil is just like the foolish people of Earth and we already know how his story ends. As we watch, we watch with the understanding that we live in the last days.  Be surprised at nothing. Let no evil overwhelm you. Hearts will wax cold and that coldness will even turn children against their parents, brother against brother, neighbor against neighbor, and this will be world-wide.  But, let no evil event send you into hiding.  Christians are called to light our lamps and place them where they can be seen at all times, by everyone.  We are to be the ones that love when no one else will love.  Yes, something wicked this way comes.  But we are not to fear it.  We fear only The Lord God Almighty who has already conquered death through His Son Jesus Christ.

Just as the rich rule over the poor, so the borrower is slave to the lender.” (Proverbs 22:7)

Owe nothing to anyone–except for your obligation to love one another.” (Romans 13:8a)

Do not charge interest on the loans you make to a fellow Israelite, whether you loan money, or food, or anything else.  You may charge interest to foreigners, but you may not charge interest to Israelites, so that the Lord your God may bless you in everything you do in the land you are about to enter and occupy.” (Deuteronomy 23:19-20)

“Remember this–a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop.  But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop.  You must each decide in your heart how much to give.  And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure.  ‘For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.’ And God will generously provide all you need.  Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.  As the Scriptures say, ‘They share freely and give generously to the poor.  Their good deeds will be remembered forever.’  For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat.  In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you.” (2 Corinthians 9:6-10)

Our age is the age of entitlement and instant gratification, evidenced by debt.  How rarely we take the time to save our money for something we want.  For the sake of having things we want right now, but cannot afford, we willingly put forth our wrists and ankles for the shackles of debt to bind us as slaves.  We may not realize this, but financial debt is also spiritual bondage.  How can we contribute to the Kingdom of God if everything we have to our name and the money we work so hard for is not even enough to cover our debts?

God’s people are forbidden from charging each other usury (interest) on debts, yet in the world, and especially in the West, each day is ‘business as usual’.  It has never been easier than it is today to merely swipe a credit card in exchange for anything we want to have right now, but the exchange is a trap from hell, meant to enslave us and take away the joy of sowing into the Kingdom of God and advancing His Kingdom as we’ve been commanded to do.  Debt, quite simply, robs the Kingdom of God.

In these end times, Christians must stay alert and watch.  We must lead quiet lives in dignity and righteousness, owing nothing to anyone, except the debt of love.  We are to lead the world by example, staying on the narrow path and not mingling our ways with the world’s ways.

Indeed, the whole world is falling apart because of debt; whole countries are bankrupt, their people suffering unimaginable hardships because of the destruction caused by debt.

In the West, the clock is ticking, especially in America, where the government is in debt over $18 trillion, a number that the human mind cannot really even fathom.  The people of America, no matter now long they work cannot pay this debt, ever.  America is bankrupt and the storm on the horizon when that debt is called in is going to shake the whole world to its core in a most apocalyptic way.

Let the people of God, those called by His Mighty Name, not be a part of this demonic system of debt.  If any of us are in debt, now is the time to take it to the Lord in prayer for His help, stop spending money on things we do not need and get our necks out from under the slave master’s boot of debt.

We must be aggressive and eager to escape the shackles of debt, the way we would aggressively try to find a way to escape the trap of a psychotic captor who we knew intended to kill us.  The slave master is Satan.  We are free in Christ Jesus, Who freed us.  Let us live truly free in Christ Jesus during our brief life on Earth, not as slaves; not as helpless captives.

“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.  Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil.  Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.  Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness.  For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.  In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.  Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion.  Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” (Ephesians 6:10-18)

“I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people.  Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.  Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.” (1 Timothy 2:1-2)

“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!  In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven.  For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.  If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that?  Even corrupt tax collectors do that much.  If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different form anyone else?  Even pagans do that.  But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:43-48)

A very popular “Christian” website publishes pictures and stories of the current Islamic “Crusades” happening in the Middle East and Africa.  The author is supposedly a convert to Christianity from Islam, having weighed the ways of Islam against his own moral compass and deciding that Christianity is superior.

As such, he calls his readers to take up arms to wage “Militant Christianity” and cites history’s many examples of Christians taking up physical arms, swords, and such to physically fight against zealous and extremist Muslims and purge them from the earth, since they are wicked and spiritually inferior to Christianity.

He writes about the “Us Versus Them” stance that Christians must take and he says the root of the spread of Islam throughout the world is the Church’s lukewarmness.  Essentially, he says, if the Church was strong, Islam would be a non-issue. But where Islam is strong, it is evidence that the Church is weak.  He says, if the Church is strong, then Islam will be weak.  But what kind of “strength” is he referring to?  He equates spiritual lukewarmness to physical battle-ready weakness and spiritual zealousness with a Christian’s willingness to physically battle flesh and blood wickedness.

A quick read of his standpoint and theory makes sense to the emotionally charged mind.  It’s a very human stance; one that every religion and nation has taken at some point.  He says his call for Christians to take up their “sword” is backed even by New Testament Scripture and he says that Jesus calls on Christians to do this. Whatever he found in Christianity that he considers “Superior” to Islam, he has yet held fast to the extreme Islam principle of killing the “enemy”.  Sadly, a skimming of the hundreds of comments on his website from fellow “Christians” shows that even those who wish to be zealous for God are lost and worldly in their reasoning, as they unfortunately agree with him.

But this is the age-old trick that makes Satan so powerful.  Present 90% truth, mixed with 10% falsehood, and those without the power of discernment in their spirit will believe that all of it is 100% truth.  The best liars that have ever existed have followed the evil one’s lead on this and it is most common in religion and politics, where the average person is fed just enough truth to believe everything that is being said.  CHRISTIANS, BEWARE OF THIS AND PRAY TO GOD ALMIGHTY THAT HE WILL GIVE YOU A DISCERNING SPIRIT THAT CORRECTLY DIVIDES TRUTH FROM LIE.

The old saying, ‘The road to hell is paved with good intentions,” has never been so real as it is in matters of spiritual warfare.

What did Jesus Christ tell us to do about our enemies?  He told us to love them.  Indeed, He commands us to LOVE our enemies and to pray for them.  The “sword” our Lord speaks of is the Sword of the Spirit of God (The Word Of God), which we wield in prayer and obedience.  We protect ourselves by putting on the Armor of God, spiritual armor.

It is true that the mainstream Church, especially in the West, is lukewarm and dull; being subjugated more and more each day to liberal agendas and philosophies that are popular in culture but completely contradictory to Scripture.  The Word of God has instructed us that this is a sign that the end is near.  

The answer is not to take up arms and take part in the new Crusades of violence and hatred that is spreading across the globe, but to live righteously and to pray.

The battle is the Lord’s. We are called to pray. The Lord will purge evil and wickedness according to His perfect will on Earth, as it is not His will for evil to be in the Earth.  But, we are called to pray for it!  Prayer is the vessel that carries the will of God.  The lukewarm, dull Church is failing in this regard because they are not praying for God’s Will or His intervention in the Earth as they should.

The Lord raises up kings and authorities and armies as we see time and again throughout Scripture.  He uses people according to His good pleasure to accomplish His Holy Will. But Christians, who have been handed the keys to the Kingdom in Christ Jesus, must exercise our authority by praying and living righteous lives; demonstrating that we are citizens not of this world, but of the Kingdom of God.

Our lives should be living testimonies of the glory of God and his Supreme Authority over all creation.  Our lives should be conducted in a way that cannot be criticized: “Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you.  Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.” (Philippians 2:14-15)

“Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ.” (Philippians 1:27a)

We harvest what we plant.

The Christian does not plant hatred and violence, but love and righteousness. This is what separates us from the world and makes us stand out as citizens of the Kingdom of God.  Things that concern us, make us worry, make us feel helpless and scared, make us feel unprotected and fragile, or make us feel that we’re at the mercy of evil and wickedness, are the very things we must take to the throne of God Almighty in the Name of Jesus Christ who conquered death and has promised us eternal life.

We must live zealously, yes!  Zealous living for God is one of worship, right living, obedience and prayer.  This kind of zealousness is a sacrifice that greatly pleases the Lord and demonstrates that we belong to Him and are under His supervision and provision for our lives.  When we live this way, we show that we have a King we belong to and we trust Him in every way and in every situation.  If our dying breath is at the hands of a Muslim or any other persecutor, then so be it, as this world is not our permanent residence anyway.  We are guaranteed that we will leave this place behind, whether comfortably or violently.

The goal, therefore, is not to kill whoever does not believe in our God.  The goal is to present them with the Good News of Salvation through Jesus Christ so that they may believe and be saved from the second death, that is the spiritual death.  Many of us may find that this is our last action on earth; and what a glorious action that would be.

If we are ever tempted in any way to react to troubles the way the rest of the world does, the devil is nearby, guaranteed. Stay alert and pray!

“This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.” (2 Chronicles 20:15b)

“In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.” (Judges 21:25)

“Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the court secretary, ‘I have found the Book of the Law in the Lords Temple!‘ Then Hilkiah gave the scroll to Shaphan, and he read it.  Shaphan went to the king and reported, ‘Your officials have turned over the money collected at the Temple of the Lord to the workers and supervisors at the Temple.’  Shaphan also told the king, ‘Hilkiah the priest has given me a scroll.’  So Shaphan read it to the king. When the king heard what was written in the Book of the Law, he tore his clothes in despair.  Then he gave these orders to Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Acbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the court secretary, and Asaiah the king’s personal adviser: ‘Go to the Temple and speak to the Lord for me and for the people and for all Judah.  Inquire about the words written in this scroll that has been found.  For the Lord’s great anger is burning against us because our ancestors have not obeyed the words in this scroll.  We have not been doing everything it says we must do.’  So Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Acbor, Shaphan, and Asaiah went to the New Quarter of Jerusalem to consult with the prophet Huldah.  She was the wife of Shallum son of Tikvah, son of Harhas, the keeper of the Temple wardrobe.  She sad to them, ‘The Lord, the God of Israel, has spoken!  Go back and tell the man who sent you, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am going to bring disaster on this city and its people.  All the words written in the scroll that the king of Judah has read will come true.  For my people have abandoned me and offered sacrifices to pagan gods, and I am very angry with them for everything they have done.  My anger will burn against this place, and it will not be quenched.  But go to the king of Judah who sent you to seek the Lord and tell him: ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says concerning the message you have just heard: You were sorry and humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I said against this city and its people–that this land would be cursed and become desolate.  You tore your clothing in despair and wept before me in repentance. And I have indeed heard you, says the Lord.  So I will not send the promised disaster until after you have died and been buried in peace.  You will not see the disaster I am going to bring on this city.'” So they took her message to back to the king.” (2 Kings 22:8-20)

You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times.  For people will love only themselves and their money.  They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful.  They will consider nothing sacred.  They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control.  They will be cruel and hate what is good.  They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God.  They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly.  Stay away from people like that!” (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

“I solemnly urge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who will someday judge the living and the dead when he appears to set up his Kingdom: Preach the word of God.  Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not.  Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching.  For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching.  They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them what their itching ears want to hear.  They will reject the truth and chase after myths.  But you should keep a clear mind in every situation.  Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord.  Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you.”  (2 Timothy 4:1-5)

The “day” has officially come when, world-wide, good is called evil and evil is called good, dark is called light and light is called dark, bitter is called sweet and sweet is called bitter (Isaiah 5:20).  These days are the days when the Holy ways of God are turned upside down and those who faithfully follow His ways are mocked, punished and persecuted.

If any of us is lucky enough to own a Bible, but we neglect the truth and power contained within its pages; if our Bible is ornamental or a space holder on a bookshelf, collecting dust, sitting silent, then we are like the people of ancient times who, having no king and no one to share the Book of the Law with them, did what seemed right in their own eyes. We have no supreme guidance or direction and no foundation of truth from which to address any moral question.  The ancients did what seemed best to them, but when they found the Book of the Law of God and learned what was truly right, they panicked and tore their clothes in despair for how wrong they really were.

The Holy Scriptures of God renew our mind with truth every time we read or hear them.  The Word is life-giving.  It guides us. It directs us.  It gives us wisdom and discernment.  It shows us right from wrong and even shares examples from people’s lives as they did right/wrong and the blessings/consequences that resulted from their decisions.  It protects us and shows us the best way for our life.  Knowing the Word of God and obeying it brings peace and prosperity to the land, our communities, our families.  Where God is honored, we find His presence.  Where He is dishonored, we find His judgment, for the world and everything in it belongs to Him.

But we live in the days when the Word of God is intentionally stifled and contradicted world-wide.  The creation mocks and defies the Creator.  Those who believe the Bible are mocked as being naive and child-like. Our values, likewise, are openly scorned by the world.  In many parts of the world, we are targets of hatred and violence.  In the West, the freedom to believe and worship the Lord is fast disappearing, as our very existence offends the emerging groups of people who love to celebrate their own ways in contradiction to the Holy ways of God.

The ways of the world are aggressively promoted in every avenue of communication available.  If we do not know the Word of God, we can easily be deceived and confused into accepting evil as good and in danger ourselves of calling good ‘evil’.  

God stays His hand of judgment on the repentant, but how can we repent when we do not know the truth?  In a world where seemingly everything is becoming permissible, where evil is called good and is celebrated and encouraged, who is repenting of sin and desiring righteous living? How do we know what living a righteous life even looks like?

Attending church is not enough, for how do we know if our trusted church leaders are teaching us the truth unless we are spending time alone with God by reading His Holy Word?  He warns us many times throughout Scripture that false teachers are everywhere and that we must stay alert so as not to be deceived.

As servants of the Most High God, we have been called to stand on the Truth at all times and in every situation in Christ Jesus.  In order to do this, we must first know the Truth.  And to know the truth, we must dust off our Bible and spend time renewing our minds and our souls with the precious truth contained within its pages.  This is the only way to fight against the wiles of our enemy, who works day and night to separate us from our Lord and the truth.

Let us cling to the Word of God as we would cling to our most precious possession.  Let us cling to it as the world tries to wrestle it from us; as the world makes us suffer for it. These are the last days; the days of the Great Falling Away where popular opinion persuades the masses to abandon their values in favor of the latest societal trends.

When our Lord returns, how many faithful will He find?  Very few.

But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies!  Do good to those who hate you.  Bless those who curse you.  Pray for those who hurt you.  If someone slaps you on the cheek, offer the other cheek also.  If someone demands your coat, of your shirt also.  Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back.  Do to others as you would like them to do to you.  If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that?  Even sinners love those who love them!  And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit?  Even sinners do that much!  And if you lend money only to those who can replay you, why should you get credit?  Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return.  Love your enemies!  Do good to them.  Lend to them without expecting to be repaid.  Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked.  You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.” (Luke 6:27-36)

“Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love?  Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?  (As the Scriptures say, ‘For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.’) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.” (Romans 8:35-37)

“When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of all who had been martyred for the word of God and for being faithful in their testimony.  They shouted to the Lord and said, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you judge the people who belong to this world and avenge our blood for what they have done to us?”  Then a white robe was given to each of them.  And they were told to rest a little longer until the full number of their brothers and sisters–their fellow servants of Jesus who were martyred–had joined them.”  (Revelation 6:9-11)

Are Christians to take up arms to pursue battle with our enemies?  In a world brimming with violence and hatred, this question has been much debated among Christians.

How can victory be ours if we are being slaughtered?  How can victory be ours if we are being raped, persecuted, tortured, humiliated and oppressed?  Aren’t these things evidence of being conquered, not victorious?

It certainly appeared to the Jewish leaders and, really, all of Satan’s kingdom, as Jesus was dying upon the cross, that they had won; that they had killed their enemy and won the war.  

Had they known that their violent schemes and actions were only fulfilling the purpose of God and His plan to save humanity from the wages of sin (death), they would have never crucified Jesus.  “Yet, when I am among mature believers, I do speak with words of wisdom, but not the kind of wisdom that belongs to this world, or to the rulers of this world, who are soon forgotten.  No, the wisdom we speak of is the mystery of God–his plan that was previously hidden, even though he made it for our ultimate glory before the world began, which none of the rulers of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.  That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him’. (1 Corinthians 2:6-9)

In retrospect, we see that God’s hidden plan was hinted at by what happened to Joseph in the oldest book of the Bible, Genesis.  Joseph’s own brothers, out of jealousy and hatred, sold Joseph into slavery, hoping he would be worked to death as a slave.  But their wicked plan only led to countless lives being saved, including their own, because God was with Joseph.  “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good.  He brought me to this position so I would save the lives of many people.  No, don’t be afraid.  I will continue to take care of you and your children.’ So he reassured them by speaking kindly to them.” (Genesis 50:20-21)  Note that Joseph, upon having power over his persecutors, did not return evil for evil.  No, this whole story is but a shadow glimpse into what Christ would later do for all humanity.

When a crowd arrived in the Garden of Gethsemane to arrest Jesus, Peter attacked a servant of the Jewish high priest and cut the man’s ear off.  Jesus stepped forward immediately and healed the wound.  He did this knowing that the servant was there to arrest him and lead him to his death (Matthew 26:47-55).   There was a two-fold purpose in this: first, that the actions of the men who were arresting Jesus would soon lead to Jesus fulfilling his destiny on the cross, thereby conquering Satan’s kingdom, and second, that the story of Jesus would not be tarnished by any actions of violence.

Nowhere in the Gospels or the entire New Testament do we have even one single instance of a Christian acting violently in any way.  When Peter tried, he was rebuked by his Master, who instantly righted the wrong.

Violence is of this world.  Violence is not of the kingdom of God.

Christians are in this world, but we are not of this world; we are of our Father in Heaven.  We are simply visitors passing through, sharing with as many as we can the story of the Son of God and His saving grace.  We are merely traveling through on an eternal train, picking up as many passengers as we can from this wasteland to take them home.

We don’t know where our last stop on Earth will be, only our Father knows.  Our last stop may be as an old person, simply fading away in the comfort of our bed.  Our last stop may be suddenly, unexpected, untimely; it may be after much suffering in our bodies.  Our last stop may be tragically, on a highway or by a freak accident.  Our last stop may be at the brutal whims of those who are acting out the violent ways of their religion or lack of religion and we may therefore take our place with the countless others who have been given white robes washed in the blood of the Lamb, martyrs.

No matter the nature of our death, we are guaranteed we will all die.  And if it’s at the hands of another because of our testimony of Jesus Christ, then our life and death has assisted the grand purpose of God and our death brings glory to God. Indeed, so many of the very ones who have oppressed, persecuted and murdered Christians have themselves been saved in the aftermath of their horrendous deeds.  The grace of God is at work in everything.  We need only to surrender our lives to Him.

Those who love their life in this world will lose it.  Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity.” (John 12:25)  We are not called to seek to preserve our lives on this Earth.  Yes, we are to treat our bodies as the Holy Temple of God and care for them, but we are not to love ourselves so much as to place our lives ahead of or above God’s purpose.  We do not seek risk to ourselves, but if it comes to us, we are to face it boldly and righteously as Jesus would.  In all things, we are to follow Jesus.

And Jesus died for His enemies.  He loved them.

How does the Christian, then, battle wickedness and evil?  We battle by living righteous lives and by prayer.  Jesus led by example and we simply follow Him and pray that God’s Kingdom come soon!

“I will sing of your love and justice, Lord.  I will praise you with songs.  I will be careful to live a blameless life–when will you come to help me?  I will lead a life of integrity in my own homeI will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar.  I hate all who deal crookedly; I will have nothing to do with them.  I will reject perverse ideas and stay away from every evil.  I will not tolerate people who slander their neighbors.  I will not endure conceit and pride.  I will search for faithful people to be my companions.  Only those who are above reproach will be allowed to serve me.  I will not allow deceivers to serve in my house, and liars will not stay in my presence.  My daily task will be to ferret out the wicked and free the city of the Lord from their grip.” (Psalm 101)

Everyone must submit to governing authorities.  For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.  So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished.  For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong.  Would you like to live without fear of the authorities?  Do what is right and they will honor you.  The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good.  But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you.  They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong.  So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience.  Pay your taxes, too, for these same reasons.  For government workers need to be paid.  They are serving God in what they do.  Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honor to those who are in authority.” (Romans 13:1-7)

Some Pharisees and teachers of religious law now arrived from Jerusalem to see Jesus.  They asked him, ‘Why do your disciples disobey our age-old tradition?  For they ignore our tradition of ceremonial hand washing before they eat.’ Jesus replied, ‘And why do you, by your traditions, violate the direct commandments of God?  For instance, God says, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and ‘Anyone who speaks disrespectfully of father and mother must be put to death.’ But you say it is all right for people to say to their parents, ‘Sorry, I can’t help you.  For I have vowed to give to God what I would have given to you.’ In this way, you say they don’t need to honor their parents.  And so you cancel the word of God for the sake of your own tradition.  You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote, ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.  Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’ Then Jesus called to the crowd to come and hear. ‘Listen,’ he said, ‘and try to understand.  It’s not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth.’ Then the disciples came to him and asked, ‘Do you realize you offended the Pharisees  by what you just said?’ Jesus replied, ‘Every plant not planted by my heavenly Father will be uprooted, so ignore them.  They are blind guides leading the blind, and if one blind person guides another, they will both fall into a ditch.'” (Matthew 15:1-14)

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people.  Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.  Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.  This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:1-4)

Praise the name of God forever and ever, for he has all wisdom and power.  He controls the course of world events; he removes kings and sets up other kings.  He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars.  He reveals deep and mysterious things and knows what lies hidden in darkness, though he is surrounded by light.  I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors, for you have given me wisdom and strength.  You have told me what we asked of you and revealed to us what the king demanded.” (Daniel 2:20-23)

King David spelled out what the attributes of a godly leader are:

–One who is careful to lead a blameless life.

–One who leads a life of integrity, not just in the public eye, but at home.

–One who refuses to look at anything vile and vulgar.

–One who hates crooked dealings and has nothing to do with them.

–One who rejects perverse ideas and stays away from every evil.

–One who does not tolerate people who slander their neighbors.

–One who will not endure conceit and pride.

–One who searches for faithful people to be his/her companions.

–One who places in their cabinets and entourage only those who are above reproach.

–One who will not allow deceivers to serve in his/her house, and who does not allow liars to stay in his/her presence.

–One whose daily task it is to ferret out the wicked and free the city/country from their grip.

Sound too good to be true?  In today’s world of politics, where the name of the game seems to be achieving power at any cost, finding a leader or candidate for leader with godly attributes often seems as likely as finding a unicorn.

And yet, we are to pray for exactly this so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives, marked by godliness and dignity.  God is in control of who is in authority over us.  And we know that His will is accomplished through our prayers.

So are we bringing the world’s leaders before the Holy Throne of God Almighty as party of our daily prayers, thanking Him for them, interceding on their behalf, asking God to accomplish His will in them and through them, asking God to give them wisdom and discernment in governing?  We must pray for them and ask the Holy Spirit to guide us in our prayers for them.

It is not God’s will that corruption, lawlessness, greed, power-lust, deception, slander, oppression of any kind, persecution, crooked dealings such as bribery, embezzlement, fraud and blackmail would run rampant throughout the earth’s high places of authority. 

It is not God’s will that the spiritually blind would lead their people by the masses straight into a spiritual ditch, and yet, everywhere we look this is what is happening. Sound and righteous laws are being over-ridden or re-written to fit the new modern age of iniquitous immorality.  Those who attempt to stand up for righteousness are labeled as intolerant and, in many cases, ‘terrorists’.  We live in an age where good is called ‘evil’ and evil is called ‘good’.

It is the responsibility of the Christian to come before our Father in heaven and intercede for all people everywhere, especially kings and all who are in authority.  We should be praying not just for our presidents/prime ministers and their immediate teams, but also for judges, government officials, police, military authorities, teachers, corporate leaders, ministers/preachers, and those who labor in the Gospel, that they all would carry out God’s will this day.

Only the silence of God’s people, who have been entrusted with the enormous responsibility to pray His will, allows such evil and wickedness to run rampant and unchecked, for God’s will is centered on justice and righteousness in every way, from the greatest to the least among us all.

Let us live our personal lives with integrity and a clear conscience in all things, thereby shining our lives as living testimonies to Christ Jesus.  And let us retreat into our quiet rooms of prayer every day to be alone with God, praising Him, thanking Him, bringing all of our cares and concerns to Him and interceding for all people everywhere, especially our leaders, that they may govern and lead us in righteousness.

“Then I heard a loud voice shouting across the heavens, ‘It has come at last–salvation and power and the Kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ.  For the accuser of our brothers and sisters has been thrown down to earth–the one who accuses them before our God day and night.  And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony.  And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die.  Therefore, rejoice, O heavens!  And you who live in the heavens, rejoice!  But terror will come on the earth and the sea, for the devil has come down to you in great anger, knowing that he has little time.'” (Revelation 12:10-12)

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” (Psalm 139:23-24)

‘You are the salt of the earth.  But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again?  It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.  You are the light of the world–like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.  No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket.  Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.'” (Matthew 5:13-16)

“Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. My eyes will be open and my ears attentive to every prayer made in this place. For I have chosen this Temple and set it apart to be holy–a place where my name will be honored forever.  I will always watch over it, for it is dear to my heart.” (2 Chronicles 7:14-16)

“Through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard the precious truth that has been entrusted to you.” (2 Timothy 1:14)

“I have the same hope in God that these men have, that he will raise both the righteous and the unrighteous.  Because of this, I always try to maintain a clear conscience before God and all people.” (Acts 24:15-16)

The Holy Scriptures tell us that in the last days there will be a “great falling away” and that people’s hearts will “wax cold”.  These are Scriptures about so-called “Christians” who are morally and spiritually indifferent. We are wise to take note and take stock of our own lives if we call ourselves Christians.

David prayed to God to search his heart, all the nooks and crannies, and hidden places inside him and bring forth anything that offended Him so that David could address his shortcomings with God and walk in righteousness.  David was eager to repent of anything that grieved the Lord and to live in right standing with God.

When God says “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways”, this is directed at His people, not the world-at-large. He is expectantly waiting for us to turn to Him and repent of our sins and live righteous lives.

This may be a terrifying expectation for many of us. There may be frightful consequences awaiting us if we repent of sinful things we are doing and instead choose the path of righteousness.  We may be in over our heads in sin, making one poor judgment decision after another, having followed our hearts and “what seemed right” into messes we cannot fathom being free from without paying such a price in consequences that our knees buckle at the thought.

Yet our conscience convicts us no matter where we run and hide.  We may lie to the people in our lives and we may lie to ourselves in an attempt to justify what we do, but our conscience haunts us.  Yes, we are grieving the Holy Spirit of God who lives within us and He is trying to get our attention so that we can address this thing before it is too late.

Immediately upon being convicted of our sins, we have a decision to make.  The longer we postpone doing the right thing, the harder it becomes to do the right thing.  But living in denial does not make the consequences of our sins go away.  Sooner or later, we will face them.

Below are 5 unfortunate realities of the unrepentant “Christian”:

1) What is done in the dark will be brought to light.  Try as we might to keep our sins hidden, all the heavens see what we are doing.  Even if God and the host of the heavens wanted to avert their eyes and ears to our sins, Scripture tells us the devil accuses us before God day and night. Satan is actively before the throne of God, airing all of our “dirty laundry”.  We are in the spotlight, whether we know it or not.  In the spiritual battles of our lives, when we are unrepentant, we lose; even worse, we dishonor God, for our enemy proudly points out the fact that we choose to continue our life of sin over our Lord who gave His life to buy our freedom.

2) Sin is what separates us from God.  Christ Jesus conquered sin and death once and for all for the very purpose of reconciling us, reuniting us, with God.  Confessing and repenting of our sins is our testimony that Christ Jesus is the Lord of our lives and that we live freely in Christ, not in slavery to sin and death.   If we are “saved” from the power of sin and death, our lives bear the proof of this. Our very lives are the evidence.  Living unrepentant, sinful lives is the evidence that we are separated from God, not united to Him.

3) The prayers of an unrepentant “Christian” are not effective.  Part of our daily prayers must be that we ask God to forgive us of our sins.  We have this amazing privilege through the power of the blood that Christ Jesus shed for us; the power through which God forgives us so that we can approach Him without shame.  Yet, a condition for receiving forgiveness is that we do not continue doing that which we are asking forgiveness for.  And if we do not have forgiveness from God, how do we have His ear when we pray?  We do not.  Deep down we know this and it keeps us from praying anyway because we cannot boldly approach the throne of God while we choose sin over righteousness.

4) The unrepentant “Christian” is the salt that lost its flavor; the lamp put under a basket.  If Christians are called to be “the salt of the earth” (being the preserving presence in the earth) by our righteous lives and our prayers, what does it mean if we are not living righteously or praying?  If the Christian is called to light the darkness of the world, what does it mean if we are instead living in the spiritual shadows?  It means there is no evidence that we are even saved.  For a saved soul is a repentant soul; a saved soul is one that actively seeks right standing with God, that walks toward the light and in the light, not in darkness.  There is no such thing as an unrepentant Christian.

5) There are always consequences for our sins.  For every action, there is a reaction.  If the fear of the consequences of our sins is keeping us from repenting and doing the right thing, we are living in denial; we are hoping that if we can somehow stay hidden, we will not have to pay the consequences for our actions.  However, delaying the inevitable most often just makes the situation worse. David was wise when it was time for him to face major consequences for his sins.  He said, “I am in a desperate situation!  But let me fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is very great.  Do not let me fall into human hands.” (1 Chronicles 21:13)  Yes, no matter what our sins are or the consequences we face, when we repent, God is on our side and He is merciful.  The world is not merciful. Do we want to face the consequences doled out by God or do we want to face the consequences doled out by the world?  Either way, there are always consequences.

May we fear the Lord more than we would ever fear any earthly consequences of our sins.  May we approach Him in humility, confess our sins and REPENT while there is still time. May our lives be the lives of overcomers, servants of the Most High God, representing His Holy Kingdom in every way.  May we be faithful to the end and may it never be said of us that our hearts waxed cold or that we were part of the “great falling away”.  May it never be said that we were lukewarm, following our hearts wherever the wind blew us. May we never hear the words, “I never knew you” from the Lord Jesus Christ.