Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Stand Ready

Ephesians 6:13
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Depending on the translation of the Bible you read it says to "stand against", "withstand", "done all to stand", "stand". Paul is trying to create a picture here. Imagine old style Roman warfare, where there are two opposing forces on separate ends of the battlefield. Every soldier is lined up in place standing. They are ready for the conflict to begin at a moment's notice. It is a picture of being in the midst of the battle and not losing your strength but to endure to the end. So knowing that you are capable of standing and can endure; STAND now.

All of this is done in preparation long before the "day of evil". If we aren't prepared to fight we will loose the battle every time. A reason, I believe, so many Christians walk around beat down and have the faith like soggy fries is because they only begin to "stand" when the enemy has already started to attack. So they run defeated.

"Stand your ground" is a determination not to back down. There is no second guesses. The soldier is all in. You've probably heard this before, "If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything." You can not deceive a person or quickly defeat a person who has an understanding.

This is our understanding:

Romans 8:37-39
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels not demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

You are to stand, prepared to fight. Nothing has the ability to overcome you unless you are not ready.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Don't Just Sit There, FIGHT

Ephesians 6:10-12
Finally, be strong in the Lord in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Notice all these phrases:

Be strong. Be spiritually powerful, tough, resilient in the Lord. Be empowered through your union with God. Draw strength from Him.

Put on. This is a command to commit to action. It is something that we must do. We're never told to take off.

Full armor of God. Every time it is mentioned it is the full or whole armor. Without putting on the full armor of God we won't be fully equipped for battle.

Here are some of the devil's schemes:  pride - lies - fear - discouragement - anger - complaining - gossip - regret - greed - self-pity - laziness - unfaithfulness - worry - anxiety; just to name a few.

Too long have we just got comfortable in our church pews and comfortable building churches that we forgot that we're meant to cause a righteous ruckus with holy indignation that hates mediocrity and self-absorption. We go to church not for our sake but to give the enemy a break.

Our battle isn't with the theology of another. Our battle isn't with an atheist, a homosexual, or a satanist. It is with the one who is behind all of it playing the puppeteer. Our battle is with:

The rulers. A person (in this case a spirit) exercising dominion.

The authorities. The power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience.

The powers. The capability of doing or accomplishing something.

The forces. The capacity or active power to cause change.

This is not as cartoonist portray it as the fat angel and seductive devil on our shoulders. There is a spiritual battle that we are fighting. There is no spectating. Let me say this there are no innocent bystanders. I don't believe there is a demon behind every rock but I do believe that we have overlooked the reality of the conflict. We have become disengaged from the warfare we are called to fight in.

We are soldiers who fight the good fight.
We are soldiers who don't get caught in the nonsense.
We are soldiers who raze hell.

Don't just sit around in church, pick a fight.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Don't Drink the Kool-Aid

Harold Camping has gotten a lot of attention lately. In case you have no idea what I'm talking about Harold Camping "prophesied" that the rapture would occur May 21st, 2011 at 5:59 PM. Since I am posting this at 11:50ish AM on May 25, 2011 you can logically assume that the rapture didn't take place.

This isn't about refuting some persons prophecy. This is a legitimate plea from my heart to all who may read this not to get caught up in the mockery of Harold Camping. This man has done more damage to undermine the truth that Jesus is going to be returning to take His bride (the church) to heaven than anyone in my lifetime. The mockery that even I have made (my Facebook status: It's May 22nd and we're all still here...AWWKWARRRRRD) about Harold Camping's prediction has cast a dim light on that truth.

2 Peter 3:3-18 tells of the End Times and mentions two types of ignorance.

The first is mentioned in verses 3 & 4. They are people who scoff at His coming. Their statement is "Where is this 'coming' He promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation." These type of people don't even realize how ridiculous that argument is. In a message entitled Live For the Moment, Francis Chan says :

It's like saying, "Ok really, I'm going to die? I've never died. I've never experienced this so why would you say I'm going to die someday. Everyday I wake up. Every single day I wake up and you're going to tell me one day I'm not going to?" That's just like these scoffers argument "Come on the earth is going to end. It's never ended." Duh, it only ends once.
Verse 5-7 says that these people don't get that God did create the world at one point and that this same God will cause it to end at a point.

The second type of ignorance, the kind that plagues Harold Camping, distorts the truth because they are "ignorant and unstable" (vs 16). They do things for their name to be in lights and line their pockets with the wealth of others. They lead many people away from the truth because of their lies and cause callousness in the hearts of others to the real truth.

The first type of fool really just poisons his own mind with his declaration of disbelief. The second however, poisons others.

How easy it is to fall away and be deceived if we don't search scripture ourselves. How sad it is for those who listen to the prophecies of mankind and forsake God's own Word.

DON'T DRINK THE KOOL-AID. Read God's Word to find out God's plan. And most importantly "make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with Him." (vs 14)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Raze Hell


     1. to demolish completely (town, building, etc);
     2. level (esp in the phrase:  Raze to the ground).
     3. to delete, erase

I'm going to reference an old blog of mine:  Who In Hell Are You (if you want to read it fully click on the link).

Matthew 16:18
And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

This verse is not a defensive scripture for the church. This verse isn't referring to the church being under siege by the enemy. Using this scripture as such is foolish and completely counterproductive to the true meaning of the church. This verse is about the church, or the True Christians, being on the offensive taking the battle to Hades. Look at this verse. The gates only belonged to the stronghold of that city. Gates don't fight a battle. They withstand the battle. True Christians take action in breaking down the strongholds of the enemy.

You can't raze something unless you battle against it. The principle for us is that in order for us to live right we must be prepared to fight. To be battle ready. Hell has dominated community after community and the church has idly watched from a distance rather than taking the battle to the enemy.

Forgive what I am about to say, but Christians "pray" about stuff too much. I don't need to pray about witnessing to my neighbor; I should just do it. I don't need to pray about whether or not I should serve somewhere in my local church or in the community; I should just serve. I don't need to pray to God for boldness and strength; He promised that to us already.

~ [sidenote] I can't tell you how many people I know that have asked for prayer to be bold in witnessing and when the time comes to act boldly they run away. What good is their prayer if they don't allow God to use them through it? ~

AW Tozer said, "If God gives you a watch, are you honoring Him more by asking Him what time it is or by simply consulting the watch?"

God has declared some things to us and we now have to stand on them and take the fight to the enemy.

You are a conqueror. (Romans 8:37)
You are victorious. (Psalm 18:35)
You are an overcomer. (1 John 4:4)
You are equipped. (Hebrews 13:20-21)

Don't back down from the fight, start it!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Speak the Truth

Speak the truth without deceit
Speak the truth and there won't be defeat.
Speak the truth to each face
Yet don't forget that truth never trumps grace.

Monday, May 9, 2011

2 Ways 2 Look at Life

There are 2 ways to look at life; through our history or through His glory.

I've been:
     Cussed at
          Cheated on
               Beat upon
                    Lied about
                         Thrown out
                              Torn down
                                   Shirked at
                                        Spit upon
                                             Broke down
                                                  Stolen from
                                                       Slapped about
                                                            Trampled on
                                                                 Pushed around
                                                                      Hated on

Because of Jesus I've also been:
     Raised up
          Gifted to
               Anointed by
                    Heir of
                         Set free
                              Brought near
                                   Sent out
                                        Inspired by
                                             Made good
                                                  Prayed for
                                                       Filled up
                                                            United with
                                                                 Loved by
                                                                      Shown grace

Luke 22:31-32 (personalized)
[Billy, Billy,] Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I (Jesus) have prayed for you, [Billy], that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.

Whatever may come your way, big or small, don't let that thing rob you of how God wants you to look at life. The life that He's purposed and the life that He has destined to do greater things.

Friday, May 6, 2011

What's The Point

For the last ten to fifteen years, I would say, there has been a tremendous focus from the church to "Love Thy Neighbor". I happen to be a firm believer in the idea that the world doesn't care how much you know until it knows how much you care. Also, that you have to earn the right to speak into a persons life.With these core thoughts compassion ministries are being birthed.

Specially in America you can see compassion ministries popping up everywhere now. If you Googled those words approximately 2.8 million sites would be listed. They are all meant for a great purpose; to put an end to the suffering of people at home and abroad. Which I think strums at the heart strings of God.

When these ministries go out to do their good without bringing along with them the good news of the gospel they are just doing charity work.

What's the point if we save a person from hell on earth but don't try to save them from hell for eternity?

We do great in the church to love God. We're doing better at showing love in our communities. The problem is that we're not mixing the two. There has to be this melting pot of our inward devotion to God that resounds while I show compassion to my neighbor.

We have to do more than pass out water bottles that say "Jesus is the Living Water" if we really want to show Christ in our efforts. I think Paul stated it best:

1 Corinthians 9:19-23
Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.