In our Christian walk there are many things that come to challenge us. There are life issues, family issues, health issues, church issues, national issues and when the final assessment is made what we often overlook is the fact that there are also faith issues.
It's not that you do not have faith as God has dealt to every one of us the measure of faith, but it's whether we have allowed the Lord to increase our faith through the hearing and application of the Word of God.
Often, in our walk with God as basic as the principle of faith is we at times overlook the fact that it is a target that the enemy is after. Often the problems we have as husbands and wives, in our families, in our bodies through sickness and in our local church are specific attacks that are after our faith.
It's clear that the main objective of satan is three-fold and that is to steal, kill and destroy but what we overlook is that "You specifically are the one he's after.
To disqualify you through the reasoning's of your mind and causing you to give in to the lusts of your flesh is the main reason you are on satan's hit list of priorities.
You've told your family, friends and co-workers that you are saved, serving the King of Kings and fellowshipping at this great church, and further that you told them that your God has your back and with Whom, "Nothing is impossible.
God has made it clear that our battle is not against flesh and blood, but principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world and spiritual wickedness in heavenly places. To fight these invisible yet very formidable entities in the natural leads to frustration and living our Christian lives below the standard that God desires for you to live.
Our fight being spiritual takes each of us as God's children utilizing spiritual armaments of war that will thwart the plans of the enemy and allow us to continue advancing the Kingdom of God within our sphere of influence.
This spiritual weaponry includes praying, fasting, reading the Word of God consistently, fellowshipping with the Saints of the Most High God and one thing we often overlook¦ constant obedience to the Word of God.
Therefore properly using the shield of faith in the midst of battle becomes the greatest strategy we can use besides obeying God each and every day.
With this said, my desire is to come alongside Pastor Don and Cynthia and reinforce the faith that has been instilled in your heart through the teachings you have been receiving here at Living Word Chapel.
It's no secret that Believers are being attacked in every area imaginable. The prophetic Word that Paul told Timothy has found a lodging place in our generation whereas he said in the Last Days there were going to be perilous times.
What is not readily seen is that many of the perilous times will come because of the actions of the people.
Second Timothy 3:1
But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
These perilous times are sometimes defined as "Hard to deal with and hard to bear. The open door to these times is people who will be selfish and love only themselves, love their money as well as allow the spirit of these other vices to pervade their lives.
We must be careful and make certain that we are not among the people that want only our desires fulfilled and do not care about the greater Kingdom that we represent through our local church.
Now, as Paul was again telling his son Timothy of his thoughts and prayers he was offering to God on his behalf, in First Timothy he also makes reference of the fact that there is a part that Timothy has to play in seeing the fulfillment of the purpose for which he was called manifested.
First Timothy 1:6
"Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
Kenneth Wuest translates these verses as,
"¦I am reminding you to keep constantly blazing the gift of God which is in you through the imposition of my hands, for God did not give to us a spirit of fearfulness but of power and of a divine and self-sacrificial love and of a sound mind.
As God has given us many gifts, it's hard to determine which gift we should focus on. We have gifts of the Spirit or spiritual gifts; Gifts of grace; the gift of salvation and the gift of the Holy Ghost among others.
However, it's evident here that Paul was referencing the gift that was imparted to Timothy when he separated him to ministry and with that separation came an enabling that would sustain him in any temptation, test or trial he would face.
Therefore, he was actually saying, "When it comes to ministering out of the anointing that was placed on your life, you have no excuse for failing.
This precept or actual account is also a principle that we can use to move our lives where God wants them to be.
We are to be reminded of this as we go through the tests and trials that we will inevitably come out of. To be reminded means that I want "To cause you to think about or remember something.
You need to be reminded every once in a while that God has brought you out of the dark place you were in and translated you into the Kingdom of the Son the He loves¦ and has done so for a "reason. This reason or purpose is why you have such opposition.
But, as you stir into flames the fire¦ one translation¦ the embers that are dying out¦ you will see that a renewed fight, a renewed faith and a renewed hope will rise up in you and will cause you to re-focus on the mandate that God has placed before you.
God has called you as a warrior and is determined to have an army that will not flinch when the enemy comes in like a flood.
God is determined to have people in this Last Day that will be focused on His mandate and will stop at nothing to see His purposes prevail.
God is determined to have people that will not walk in fear, anxiety, torment, worry, apprehension and trepidation.
The vision that you have is tied to the greater vision that God has given your pastor. As you remain close to him and the vision God gave you find that there is a greater spiritual covering that will enhance your vision as well as allow you to see the fulfillment of it quicker than you would doing it apart from the anointing that God placed on his life.
What you do either enhances his vision or retracts from it. What you do either makes him look good or look bad in the eyes of others.
What you do also does these same things for you¦ enhances your vision or retracts from it and makes you look good or bad in the eyes of others.
I've heard some Christians say, "I don't care what other people think, it's only about me and God. But the reality is God does care how we represent Him before the world.
We are to be in the world but not of the world and the mandate that God gave leaders to have a good report with those who are not in the Kingdom.
First Timothy 3:7
Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
Although this makes reference to bishops, this principle is true for all of us. We must be conscious of how we conduct ourselves before those who are in the world.
We cannot influence them into the Kingdom if we are not proper Kingdom representatives.
This goes beyond whether we are living in sin in whatever form we recognize sin to be.
This speaks of allowing God's character to be fully formed in us which is first of all a command and not an option;
second it is something that we are to be not what we hope to be
- and thirdly it is progressive for each of us meaning we will arrive at the place of maturity at different stages in our walk with God.
Being reminded, I want you to remember some of the things that God told you in His Word that are covenant promises.
God is not slack in fulfilling His promises to you as we may consider what being slack is. He will do what He promised you that He would. We must set a standard for our lives that we will not be sidetracked and forfeit the will plan and purpose of God through unbelief and disobedience.
There's too much at stake. Not only is your future at stake, but the future of your children and grandchildren. God has raised you up in this hour to be the anchor for your family and family line no matter what you may see in the natural.
Be reminded of the fact that you are heaven bound
Be reminded of the fact that you are filled with the very power of God through His Spirit that dwells in you
Be reminded of the fact that you are victorious over whatever comes your way
Be reminded of the fact that you are the head and not the tail
Be reminded of the fact that you are healed by the stripes of Jesus
Be reminded of the fact that you are blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places
Be reminded of the fact that you have the mind of Christ
Be reminded of the fact that God said He would never leave you or forsake you
Be reminded of the fact that you are wise, have great understanding and filled with the knowledge of God
Be reminded of the fact that You belong to God and no man can snatch you out of the Father's hand
Be reminded of the fact that God always causes you to triumph in Christ Jesus!
- Be reminded¦ ________________ You fill in the blank! What did God promise you?
I'm here to remind you of these things as I know that through faith and patience you will reap what God has promised¦ But it's through the patience that we exercise that often the discouragement and questioning comes in. God has promised and He will bring it to pass.
Always remember: II Corinthians 4
7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. 8 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed”10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
God will not fail you!