Preparing for War
"Christians are ultimately happy, despite how dark things get, because they know Christ is returning." Billy Graham
Oh it was good to be home!
Janice and I just returned from a misadventure in Oregon. Everything we had planned ended up not working, but God was in the "not working" by working for us, even when we couldn't see it, and, it ended up to our advantage.
Things in the kingdom don’t always go smooth, or completely carefree. I know this is a shock for some, but even though ultimately everything works for our good in the end (see Romans 8:28), sometimes things get to go through a rough patch.
Sunday when I spoke to you, I was thinking that, I’ve never in my lifetime seen a greater onslaught against the Church of Jesus in the United States.
Paul writes in the book with Asians chapter 6, “having done all to stand.” This is what we’re are doing in this season of really intense spiritual warfare. I say spiritual, because our battle is this; "Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV) For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places."
Whenever I enter into a season of spiritual warfare, I like to remind myself a few things:
My brother is never my enemy, even when he acts like it. This quote is attributable to my late pastor, John Wimber, the founder of the Vineyard Churches. It is axiomatic and always true. Sometimes, well meaning believers and I are at odds over a situation or issue, but I never want to take umbrage. I mean, I might be shocked and need to think it through some and talk it through in prayer and with Janice, but in the end, my brother is never my enemy. If you think that I haven't been at the short end of gossip or attacked for a position, or even had people not like me just because I entered a room, you would be wrong. All of that and more have happened, yet my brother, even when he came after me, is not my enemy. Only the enemy is the enemy and the nature of our enmity with him is always spiritual. Graham Cooke, knowing that our fight is never with people, says that he only takes enemies on days that don't end in "y".
We always outnumber the enemy, on every front. "Me and Jesus are a majority!" Although this is poor English, it is nonetheless true. God always comes out in victory, no matter how long it takes. The bent of history will always come out in His favor. He is, after all, the Lord of history. But, there is also a majority of spiritual beings on our side. In Satan's fall from heaven, he took a third of the angels, which means, (and I am checking my math here...), yep, two thirds of the angels are on God's side. Those are overwhelming numbers!
My effort does not assure victory, but my rest does. If I move into a place where I think that because of my effort and piety that a victory is assured, then I have lost before I have begun. The position for the believer in warfare is one of rest. He "spreads a table before me in the presence of my enemies." (Psalm 23). We are at table while he is at war! The Psalmist also proclaims many times, "Let God arise and let His enemies be scattered!" (Psalm 68:1) It is God who fights for us. "1 Samuel 17:47 (NKJV)Then all this assembly shall know that the LORD does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the LORD's, and He will give you into our hands."
Though it does not depend on my efforts, very often it does depend on my perseverance. "Eleazar, one of the three mighty men … with David when they taunted the Philistines gathered at Pas Dammim for battle…. He stood his ground and struck down the Philistines till his hand grew tired and froze to the sword. The LORD brought about a great victory that day. The troops returned to Eleazar, but only to strip the dead. (2 Sam. 23:9–10) Eleazar was someone that understood fighting to the end, of persevering. We used to joke in southern California that if it ever rained, people thought they were in spiritual warfare and wouldn't come to church. Have you ever thought why you have gone through trials? Why hard times have come? Have you made it through? Did you take inventory afterwards? What did you gain? James says that we should lead with joy into trials, knowing that, "James 1:3-4 (NKJV) knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." God has taken you through trials so that you would come out on the other side equipped for even more kingdom responsibility and service. Don't ask to get out of trials, ask to go through them! Remember, the greatest resistance is at the point of breakthrough.
Worship and thanksgiving in the midst of the season of warfare is the pathway to breakthrough. Psalm 18:34-36 in the Passion Translation says this, "You’ve trained me with the weapons of warfare-worship; now I’ll descend into battle with power to chase and conquer my foes. You empower me for victory with your wrap-around presence. Your power within makes me strong to subdue, and by stooping down in gentleness you strengthened me and made me great! You’ve set me free from captivity and now I’m standing complete, ready to fight some more!" For blessing about how God fights, read that whole chapter in the Passion Translation. Even the Lord's prayer has within it warfare and worship. Zephaniah 2:11 (NKJV) says, "The LORD will be awesome to them, For He will reduce to nothing all the gods of the earth; People shall worship Him, Each one from his place, Indeed all the shores of the nations." Worship is the beginning and end of all things. Even missions and evangelism won't last, but worship is our state, our call, and our warfare from beginning to end.
The end of the matter is we must prepare in this season for there is a little bit of time left to do so. Those that are ready for this season will find a refining prosperity of soul on the back end of it. As I said Sunday, I expect this to be the Church's (and by extension, Fusion's) finest hour! We were made for such a time as this!
Here are some prayer points for the next weeks and months:
Health to return to the nations. The truth about the COVID virus, its origins, and how leaders have been using it for control to be exposed.
Wisdom for the larger leaders of the church.
God to restore just scales, fair proceedings and legislative justice.
For God to not only uphold the Texas law, but also to bless the upcoming challenge to Roe V. Wade in a case pending from the state of Mississippi. Repent for the spirit of death that is over our land.
For our leaders and everyone in authority. Blessings and wisdom couple with godly counsel for them.
For the exposure and the breaking of a satanic agenda for our nation that combines Islam, humanism, socialism and communism. For the idol of humanism, power and money to fall.
For a great awakening among the nations of the earth, including a billion soul harvest! For God to revive His church and change the nations. Psalms 2:8 - (NKJV) Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession.
Just For Fun:
Part One of John Wimber's Series on Spiritual Warfare - Audio (You have to go there....)
Derek Prince - follow the link