Posts Tagged ‘Spirituality’

“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)

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“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!

“One day the Pharisees and Sadducees came to test Jesus, demanding that he show them a miraculous sign from heaven to prove his authority.  He replied, ‘ You know the saying, ‘Red sky at night means fair weather tomorrow; red sky in the morning means foul weather all day.’ You know how to interpret the weather signs in the sky, but you don’t know how to interpret the signs of the times!‘” (Matthew 16:1-3)

“Jesus told them, ‘Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’  They will deceive many.  And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic.  Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately.  Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.  There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.  Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed.  You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers.  And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other.  And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people.  Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold.  But the one who endures to the end will be saved.  And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:4-14)

“Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires.  They will say, ‘What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again?  From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created.’  They deliberately forget that God made the heavens by the word of his command, and he brought the earth out from the water and surrounded it with water.  Then he used the water to destroy the ancient world with a mighty flood.  And by the same word, the present heavens and earth have been stored up for fire.  They are being kept for the day of judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed.  But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day.  The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think.  No, he is being patient for your sake.  He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.  But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief.”  (2 Peter 3:3-10a)

“Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment.  Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what holy and godly lives you should live, looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along.  On that day, he will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames.  But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness.  And so, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to be found living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in his sight.  And remember, the Lord’s patience gives people time to be saved.  This is what our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you with the wisdom God gave him–speaking of these things in all of his letters.  Some of his comments are hard to understand, and those who are ignorant and unstable have twisted his letters to mean something quite different, just as they do with other parts of Scripture.  And this will result in their destruction.” (2 Peter 3:10b-16)

The whole world is in turmoil and news of world-wide happenings (propaganda or otherwise) is instantly broadcasted everywhere, sowing uncertainty, fear, and discord in the hearts of the world’s inhabitants.

Wars, threats of wars, terrorism, persecution, pestilence, apocalyptic weather, earthquakes, and famine are just some of the signs that give testimony to the times we are living in; signs Jesus told us to look for and pay attention to. These signs, just as a red sky in the morning signals foul weather all day, are signs that the end is near.

Many scoff, “Yeah, yeah, there have been wars, terrorism, pestilence, earthquakes and really bad weather and famines and plagues that have wiped out hundreds of millions of people since the very beginning of time.  How is today any different from the rest of Earth’s history?”

From a spiritual perspective, it is interesting to note that the acceleration of one bad event after another and even simultaneous bad events on the world stage are de-sensitizing mankind’s perspective on atrocities and disasters.  The more we hear of horrendous events happening throughout the world, the less we care.  It is too much to process in our minds and our emotions.  The very things that should be bringing us to our knees in prayer before God are instead eliciting a deep desire to distract ourselves.

It is more desirable to distract ourselves and there is no limit to the distractions at hand in these times.  And so, while the world rumbles, apathy reigns.  And when apathy reigns, evil does, too.

And this may be the most important sign of these times.  Jesus told us that “the love of many will grow cold” and this little gem of truth is the separating factor that answers the scoffers.  In our time, on a world-wide scale, mankind is bombarded with incessant bad news and our hearts are growing cold.

As Christians, we are admonished by our Holy Father in Heaven to guard our hearts above all else (Proverbs 4:23), to turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it (Psalm 34:14), fix our thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable; to think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8).  We are, each of us, commanded to share the Gospel with others according to our own abilities given to us by God and above all, to love others, especially our enemies (1 Corinthians chapter 12 and 13).

While we witness the sporadic and violent gasps of this age coming to an end, Christians are the ones chosen by the Most High God to usher in the Day of the Lord, which will make all things new.

Our very lives should be a testimony that we belong not to this dying world, but to Christ.  Let us check ourselves and ask God to search our hearts and correct us while there is still time.  He is being patient with everyone, the lost and saved alike.

The fruit of our lives should be godly living instead of a life tossed to and fro by the desires and selfishness of the flesh, prayer for everyone and everything instead of cold apathy to what we see and hear, love and grace given to all including our enemy, and the bold willingness to share Christ whenever the opportunity knocks.

The Christian life is not for the faint of heart nor the fickle, as it demands more from us than we are capable of on our own.  But the Spirit who lives in us is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.  And through Jesus Christ, who has overcome the world, we look forward to the day of God and hurry it along.

When we hear of our brothers and sisters in Christ being raped, violated, persecuted, imprisoned, mocked and murdered across the world, let us remember that Jesus told us long ago it would happen and that it would escalate exponentially in the last days.  We must not be dismayed.  We must watch and be alert and live the way He told us to.  We must pray and guard our hearts from apathy, understanding that these things are happening just like He said they would.  He is near.

“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.

You must not have any other god but me.” (Exodus 20:3)

In the beginning the Word already existed.  The Word was with God and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with GodGod created everything through him, and nothing was created except through himThe Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” (John 1:1-5)

So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness.  And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.” (John 1:14)

For a child is born to us, a son is given to us.  The government will rest on his shoulders.  And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)

The Savior–yes, the Messiah, the Lord–has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David.” (Luke 2:11)

“For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” (Isaiah 43:3)

“I, yes I, am the Lord, and there is no other Savior.” (Isaiah 43:11)

“I am writing to Titus, my true son in the faith that we share.  May God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior give you grace and peace.” (Titus 1:4)

“Consult together, argue your case.  Get together and decide what to say.  Who made these things known so long ago?  What idol ever told you they would happen?  Was it not I, the Lord?  For there is no other God but me, a righteous God and Savior.  There is none but me.  Let all the world look to me for salvation! For I am God; there is no other.  I have sworn by my own name; I have spoken the truth, and I will never go back on my word: Every knee will bend to me, and every tongue will confess allegiance to me.” (Isaiah 45:21-23)

“You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to.  Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and he was born as a human being.  When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.  Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:5-11)

“That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders.  Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! ‘Peace be with you,’ he said.  As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side.  They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! Again he said, ‘Peace be with you.  As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.’ Then he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.  If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven.  If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.’  One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came.  They told him, ‘We have seen the Lord!’ But he replied, ‘I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.’ Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them.  The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them.  ‘Peace be with you,’ he said.  Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here, and look at my hands.  Put your hand into the wound in my side.  Don’t be faithless any longer.  Believe!’ ‘My Lord and my God!’ Thomas exclaimed.  Then Jesus told him, ‘You believe because you have seen me.  Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.’ (John 20:19-29)

I am the Alpha and the Omega–the beginning and the end,’ says the Lord God.  ‘I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come–the Almighty One.‘”(Revelation 1:8)

“‘Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds.  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.’ Blessed are those who wash their robes.  They will be permitted to enter through the gates of the city and eat the fruit from the tree of life.  Outside the city are the dogs–the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idol worshippers, and all who love to live a lie.  ‘I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this message for the churches.  I am both the source of David and the heir to his throne.  I am the bright morning star.'” (Revelation 22:12-16)

Occasionally, a rare opportunity to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ presents itself without any effort on our part.  Most people dread this because they know there is just enough technicality involved that if they are not well versed in Scripture, an argument may happen at their door where what they profess —that Jesus Christ is God and the Salvation that all the Scriptures pointed to— will be countered by the unbelievers who will use Scripture to try to show how Jesus is not God after all, but a “witness” or a “prophet” or an “angel” or some other “creation”.

It is critically important that we not allow ourselves to be trapped into an argument with these people.  They go from door to door equipped with the exact verses they have memorized to make their case, using the verses out of context and ignoring the plethora of verses that testify that Jesus Christ is God.

It is NOT the Christian’s duty to change these people’s minds.  That is the work of the Lord.

It IS our duty to open the door and share the Gospel of Jesus, thereby planting the seed that the Lord will use to call them home.

We have an obligation to open the door when they knock, as these people are lost; they are deceived, and classically deceived in that they study their Bible but have missed the most important element of all the Scriptures; that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23) and the only worthy sacrifice to redeem us from death is a PERFECT sacrifice, One untouched, unaffected and uninfected by sin.  Only God Himself meets the requirements of this Perfect sacrifice, as every created thing is affected by sin. And we know that Jesus Christ is that perfectly acceptable and worthy sacrifice Who meets this requirement once and for all time (Hebrews 9:14, Hebrews 10:12) and that He willingly gave His life as the atonement for the sins of the whole world, that whosoever believes in Him will have everlasting life.  (John 3:16)

Yes, the wages of sin is death.  The wages of sin is death even if we help the poor and donate all our money and time, fill our lives with good deeds, go out of our way to be kind to all, have a great reputation and lots of people who admire us, love puppies and kittens and never hurt anyone.  None of our good works can save us from death because we are sinners.  Yes, if there is just one instance in our whole life when we lied, stole, used God’s Name in vain, loved something or someone more than we love God, coveted someone else’s belongings, didn’t keep the Sabbath day of rest Holy, didn’t honor our parents or any other Holy command of God, we are guilty of sin.  And the wages of even one sin is death.

There is ONE Way, One Truth, One Life and that is Jesus Christ, Who is the Word and through Whom everything was created.  Jesus was already there in the beginning; He is NOT a creation.  It is Jesus, who became human, made His home among us, fulfilling the prophecies of the Messiah. It is Jesus Who worked mighty miracles, offered His life as a ransom for many, died, was buried, and 3 days later was raised from the dead, thereby conquering the power of death over us forever.  There is no other god or mortal who has done this and there never will be.

All we need to do is believe and we will have salvation in Christ Jesus. Jesus was raised from the dead and given a new eternal body and we who believe in Him will also be raised from the dead and given new eternal bodies.  This is our hope and what we rest in!

Indeed, if Jesus was a mere man or a creation, then he was flawed and as such was, by default, not a worthy sacrifice for the redemption of sin, for only one who is not under the power of sin and death can conquer the power of sin and death. “Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse.” (Romans 8:22)

Only God qualifies in His Perfection for this magnificent undertaking and that is the beauty and majesty of what Jesus Christ did for you and for me.  No creation qualifies for all of creation is under the curse of God due to sin.

Those who don’t get this part of the puzzle are deceived and blinded by the oldest trick in Satan’s book: deception by confusion whereby the victim has every piece of truth EXCEPT for the truth that saves their eternal life.  Their good deeds and kind hearts won’t get them there.  They need a Savior and they have One in Jesus Christ.

As followers of Christ, this is all we need to proclaim when opportunities come our way.  We don’t have to be Bible scholars.  We don’t have to have an arsenal of various scriptures at the ready.  We just have to stand on our testimony that we are saved through Jesus Christ the Savior and that ONLY God can save.  Anything else is a half-truth and half-truths have deceived countless souls to their doom.  We plant that seed into the ears and hearts of our visitors when they bring their religion to our door and let God Almighty do the rest.

Oh Lord, you are a great and awesome God! You always fulfill your covenant and keep your promises of unfailing love to those who love you and obey your commands.  But we have sinned and done wrong.  We have rebelled against you and scorned your commands and regulations.  We have refused to listen to your servants the prophets, who spoke on your authority to our kings and princes and ancestors and to all the people of the land.  Lord, you are in the right; but as you see, our faces are covered with shame.  This is true of all of us, including the people of Judah and Jerusalem and all Israel, scattered near and far, wherever you have driven us because of our disloyalty to you.  O Lord, we and our kings, princes and ancestors are covered with shame because we have sinned against you.  But the Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him.  We have not obeyed the Lord our God, for we have not followed the instructions he gave us through his servants the prophets.  All Israel has disobeyed your instruction and turned away, refusing to listen to your voice.  So now the solemn curses and judgments written in the Law of Moses, the servant of God, have been poured down on us because of our sin.  You have kept your word and done to us and our rulers exactly as you warned.  Never has there been such a disaster as happened in Jerusalem.  Every curse written against us in the Law of Moses has come true.  Yet we have refused to seek mercy from the Lord our God by turning from our sins and recognizing his truth.  Therefore, the Lord has brought up on the disaster he prepared.  The Lord our God was right to do all of these thing, for we did not obey him.  Oh Lord our God, you brought lasting honor to your name by rescuing your people from Egypt in a great display of power.  But we have sinned and are full of wickedness.  In view of all your faithful mercies, Lord, please turn your furious anger away from your city, Jerusalem, your holy mountain.  All the neighboring nations mock Jerusalem and your people because of our sins and the sins of our ancestors.  O our God, hear your servant’s prayer! Listen as I plead.  For your own sake, Lord, smile again on your desolate sanctuary.  O my God, lean down and listen to me.  Open your eyes and see our despair.  See how your city, the city that bears your name, lies in ruins.  We make this plea, not because we deserve help, but because of your mercy.  O Lord, hear.  O Lord, forgive.  O Lord, listen and act! For your own sake, do not delay, O my God, for your people and your city bear your name.  (Daniel 9:4-19)

The Lord’s people cover the whole earth and live in every nation.  We are Israel.  We bear His name.  If we would humble ourselves before the Lord our God, confess our sins to him, pray on behalf of our nation and ask for forgiveness, our nations may yet be forgiven and healed.  Daniel did this for Jerusalem and the Lord heard him and answered!  We can pray it too, as it was so powerful that it is in God’s eternal living Word.  Pray it for your nation when you find yourself burdened with the need to pray for your leaders and people.

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.  The world and all its people belong to him. (Psalm 24:1)

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)

“I tell you the truth, whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.”  (Matthew 18:18-19)

“I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you.  For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.” (Matthew 18:19)

“You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it.  You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them.  Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it.  And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong–you want only what will give you pleasure.” (James 4:2)

“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 them from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

What if we discovered that God will not act independently to implement His will on Earth?  What if we found out that when God gave his children dominion over all the Earth, that truly included ALL things?  What if it was revealed to us that, although we cannot manipulate God to do anything against His will, we as his children, hold the keys to that which IS His will on Earth?  What would we do if we realized that NOT praying actually does hinder God’s work on Earth?

Would we see the power that has been entrusted to us?  Would we embrace the responsibility of being those who PRAY?

If we are in right standing with God, obedient to Him, living our lives with a clear conscience, then rest assured that when we pray we are heard and our prayers accomplish much.

As Watchman Nee writes in his book Let Us Pray, Chapter One ‘What is Prayer?’, “The foremost question to be asked is, Why pray? What is the use of praying? Is not God omniscient as well as omnipotent? Why must He wait till we pray before He commences to work?  Since He knows, why must we tell Him everything (Philippians 4.6)? Being almighty, why does God not work directly?  Why should He need our prayers?  Why is it that only those who ask are given, only those who seek find, and only those who knock enter in (Matthew 7.7)?  Why does God say: ‘Ye have not, because ye ask not’ (James 4.2)?

Upon asking the above questions we must then continue to inquire as follows:  Is prayer contrary to the will of God?  What is the relationship between prayer and righteousness?

We know God never does anything against His own will.  If opening doors is God’s will, why should He wait until we knock before He opens?  Why does He not simply open for us according to His own will without requiring us to knock?  Being omniscient, God knows we need to have doors opened; why, then, must He wait for our knocking before He opens?  If the door is to be opened and if opening doors is in accordance with God’s will, and if furthermore He also knows that we need it to be opened, why does He wait for us to knock?  Why does He not just open the door?  What advantage does our knocking give to God?

Yet we must further ask these questions:  Since God’s will is to open the door and since opening the door is in accord with righteousness, will God nevertheless open the door if we do not knock?  Or would He rather have His will and righteousness delayed without accomplishment in order to wait for our prayers?  Will He really allow His will of opening doors to be restrained by our not knocking?  If so, will not the will of God be limited by us?  Is God really almighty?  If He is almighty, why can He not open the door all by himself–why instead must He wait till we knock?  Is God really able to accomplish His own will? But if He truly is able, then why is His opening of doors (God’s will) governed by our knocking (man’s prayer)?

By asking all these questions we come to realize that prayer is a great mystery. For here we see a principle of God’s working, which is, that God’s people must pray before God himself will rise up and work: His will is only to be realized through the prayers of those who belong to Him: the prayers of the believers are to accomplish His will: God will not fulfill His will alone — He will perform only after His people show their sympathy in prayers.

Such being the case, it can therefore be said that prayer is none other than an act of the believer working together with God.  Prayer is the union of the believer’s thought with the will of God.  The prayer which a believer utters on earth is but the voicing of the Lord’s will in heaven.  Prayer is not the expressing of our wish for God to yield to our petition and fill up our selfish desire.  It is not a forcing of the Lord to change His will and perform what He is unwilling to do.  No, prayer is simply speaking out the will of God through the mouth of the believer.  Before God, the believer asks in prayer for the Lord’s will to be done.

Prayer does not alter that which God has determined.  It never changes anything; it merely achieves what He has already foreordained.  Prayerlessness, though, does effect a change, because God will let many of His resolutions go suspended due to the lack from His people of prayerful cooperation with Him.”

If only the children of God understood the stakes here.  Our enemy Satan does all he can to distract us and discourage us from prayer because it is by prayer that his worldly kingdom is rebuked and forced to submit to the cross of Jesus Christ every day.  If the children of God are silent, Satan’s works abound and he does as he pleases.  It’s just that simple.

Let us ask our Father in heaven for wisdom and discernment concerning prayer.  Let us ask Him every day for guidance from his Holy Spirit, that He will place upon our hearts a burden to pray and that he will make known to us His will so that we can pray for it to be done on earth as it is in heaven.

In light of the enormous responsibility we have been entrusted with by God our Father, let us be sensitive to ALL THINGS as Paul instructed the church in Philippians 4:6-7, “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.”

We approach the throne of God with praise and thanksgiving for Who He is and all he has done and will do.  This proclamation announces to all the heavens that there is one God who is worthy of praise and worship. This act shows all the heavens the rightful place God holds, and it puts Satan in his rightful place as well. We confess our sins with a repentant heart and mind and ask for forgiveness, as this puts us in our rightful place before God as his children and it shames our accusing enemy Satan, who accuses us day and night before our Father in heaven.  The blood of Jesus covers us and answers our enemy Satan.  We announce that we are covered by the blood of our precious Lord and Savior Jesus.  We get to work, interceding for all children of God, and all people everywhere, all political authorities, those who labor in the Gospel, we ask for more laborers to be sent into the fields of the world, we pray for all who are in adversity, for believers who have fallen into sin and for one another. (Ephesians 6:18, 1 Timothy 2:1, Ephesians 6:19-20, Colossians 4:3, Matthew 9:38, Hebrews 13:3, Galatians 6:1, James 5:16).  Then we petition God for our own needs, whatever burdens our heart, as we know he cares deeply for us and delights in the details of our lives.  We ask for guidance from the Holy Spirit in all things.

Know the truth about life in Christ Jesus and be set free.  Are you troubled about the condition of your country, the world, your leaders, your peers and friends, your family?  Does it hurt your heart to watch or hear the news?  Does the wickedness in the world discourage you?  Do the conditions of your own life and world discourage you?  Have you looked on, wondering why God doesn’t rise up and squash evil and wickedness in the land?  Align your will with the will of God and pray. You have no greater responsibility than this.

Our silence enables Satan and his kingdom to thrive and expand.  If he could cut our tongues from our mouths to prevent our prayers, he would.  But it’s just as well if he can silence us through other means, such as distraction, shame, guilt, feelings of unworthiness, discouragement, pride, ignorance or the lie that God will do what He wants anyway, so we need not pray. 

As ambassadors of the Kingdom of God, we fail God miserably and shamefully when we are silent.  Let it not be so. Let us demonstrate our faith by praying.

“And the Lord saw it…and wondered that there was no intercessor…” (Isaiah 59:15,16)

“…Far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you.” (1 Samuel 12:23)

The majority of the content of this post is from Watchman Nee’s “Let Us Pray” and from “The 2959 plan”.

“And he shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High. (Daniel 7:25)

“Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold.”  (Matthew 24:12)

“One day as we were going down to the place of prayer, we met a demon-possessed slave girl.  She was a fortune-teller who earned a lot of money for her masters.  She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, ‘These men are servants of the Most High God, and they have come to tell you how to be saved.”  This went on day after day until Paul got so exasperated that he turned and said to the demon within her, ‘I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And instantly it left her.  (Acts 16:16-18)

“A few days later Felix came back with his wife, Drusilla, who was Jewish.  Sending for Paul, they listened as he told them about faith in Christ Jesus.  As he reasoned with them about righteousness and self-control and the coming day of judgment, Felix became frightened.  ‘Go away for now,’ he replied.  ‘When it is more convenient, I’ll call for you again.’ He also hoped that Paul would bribe him, so he sent for him quite often and talked with him.  After two years went by in this way, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus.  And because Felix wanted to gain favor with the Jewish people, he left Paul in prison.” (Acts 24:24-27)

“Then Delilah pouted, ‘How can you tell me, ‘I love you,’ when you don’t share your secrets with me?  You’ve made fun of me three times now, and you still haven’t told me what makes you so strong!’ She tormented him with her nagging day after day until he was sick to death of it.  Finally Samson shared his secret with her.” (Judges 16:15-17)

The Following Excerpts are from Watchman Nee’s “Let Us Pray”–Chapter 7, The Wearing-Out Tactics Of Satan

Satan has a work, which is attacking the children of God.  His attack may not come suddenly; oftentimes, it comes gradually and slowly.  Daniel 7.25 mentions how Satan shall wear out the saints of the Most High.  Satan has in fact a plan against the saints of the Most High, which is to wear them out.  Hence let us clearly recognize that the work of Satan in the lives of God’s children is frequently not very noticeable, since his work is slowly to wear them down.  What is the meaning of the phrase, “wear out”? It has in it the idea of reducing a little this minute, then reducing a little further the next minute.  Reduce a little today and reduce a little more tomorrow.  Thus the wearing out is almost imperceptible; nevertheless, it is a reducing.  The wearing down is scarcely an activity of which one is conscious, yet the end result is that there is nothing left.  Hence this principle of Satan’s working in the lives of God’s children is to wear them out until they are worn down completely.  He will wear you out a little today and then a little more the next day.  He will make you suffer a small amount now and a little more later.  You may think this to be something insignificant, nevertheless Satan knows that the consequence of such wearing away is to wear the saint out completely.” 

5 Ways Satan Wears Out the Children of God:  THE METHOD OF GRADUALISM

1) “Wearing out the Physical Body — He makes the child of God eat a little less today and sleep a little less tomorrow.  He causes him to feel a little tired today and a little more tired tomorrow. By thus adding a little at a time, a believer’s health can finally become entirely shaken.  Such is the work of Satan.”  See Job 2:7,8 and 2 Corinthians 12:7

2) “Wearing out Man’s Heart — Upon first believing in the Lord you may feel very happy, joyful and peaceful.  But if you are not watchful –being ignorant of what the enemy can do –you will find yourself one day mysteriously uncomfortable.  You feel somewhat restless today, somewhat unhappy tomorrow, and somewhat depressed the day afterLittle by little, your peace is completely lost, your joy totally gone.  This is the way the devil wears you down to a state of fatigue and despair.”

3) “Wearing out the Spiritual LifeHe will take away your prayer life little by little, and cause you to trust God less and less and yourself more and more, a little at a time.  He will make you feel somewhat cleverer than before.  Step by step you are misled to rely more on your own gift, and step by step your heart is enticed away from the Lord.

4) “Wearing out Our Time —  Felix often sent for Paul and communed with him.  After two years of conversation with the powerful and gifted apostle, he was still unsaved.  This is the enemy’s device to wear people out.  Paul is invited to talk without any result; tomorrow he is again invited to talk, with still no result; and the day afterwards he is once more invited to talk, and again, without any result.  Paul was inveigled to engage in “result-less” work for two whole years.”

5) “Wearing out Samson’s Consecration — Samson had failures, but he should not have lost his consecration nor his testimony of separation.  For the loss of consecration means the loss of power, and the loss of testimony signifies the loss of the presence of God.  Samson was a Nazarite, one who was consecrated to God.  Satan knew that the source of this man’s power lay in his consecration.  Hence in order to touch Samson’s lifespring, he must take away his consecration.  How did he do it?  He used the woman Delilah, who ‘pressed [Samson] daily with her words, and urged him, that his soul was vexed unto death.  And he told her all his heart’ (Judges 16.16,17)  Thus did Samson reveal the secret of his power.  And subsequently, he fell into the snare of Satan: he lost his consecration, power, testimony of separation and the presence of God.  Such ‘pressing daily’ is done by the enemy.”

After identifying these 5 ways that Satan wears us out, Watchman Nee says something very interesting.  The Christian’s reaction to the realization that we are daily being worn down by Satan should be a reaction of utter exasperation and anger.

How do we react to people who wear us down and annoy us to the point that we are sick and tired of it and won’t take any more of it?  We experience feelings of detestation and loathing of these people.  But the real enemy behind them is Satan. 

Nee further says the “Children of God should be angry at Satan and should detest him.  By being angry and showing abhorrence they cease experiencing the wearing down of the enemy.  How frequently as you are being worn down by Satan you keep silent, patiently enduring and quietly suffering until you feel so disgusted within yourself and become so angry that you declare: ‘I oppose this, I will not have it!’ Just by saying this, just by being infuriated about it, you are delivered and the wearing out process ends.  God’s children should therefore rise up to repudiate and reprove the enemy.” As the archangel Michael said and as we should say to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you!” (Jude 9)

Lastly, Nee explains, “Whether or not you can resist him depends on how much you detest him….let us realize that if we patiently endure, the work of Satan will most certainly continue; but if we are outraged, he will immediately leave us alone.  Let us understand that all means of resistance are of no avail except we speak out to resist, and then we shall see that Satan is forced to retreat.”

“I resist, I oppose, I do not accept such wearing down.”  May we proclaim that God covers us with the blood of Jesus, which delivers us now and forever.

“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.” (Ephesians 6:13)