“I will praise You with my whole heart; Before the gods I will sing praises to You. I will worship toward Your holy temple, And praise Your name For Your lovingkindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word above all Your name. In the day when I cried out, You answered me, And made me bold with strength in my soul. All the kings of the earth shall praise You, O Lord, When they hear the words of Your mouth. Yes, they shall sing of the ways of the Lord, For great is the glory of the Lord. Though the Lord is on high, Yet He regards the lowly; But the proud He knows from afar. Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch out Your hand Against the wrath of my enemies, And Your right hand will save me. The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever; Do not forsake the works of Your hands.”
Psalms 138:1-8 NKJV
As we draw closer to the times to come, which will culminate in the return of the Lord Jesus, it will be certain the there will be opposition to the people of God. Those who walk in the Spirit and not the flesh, will be an offense to those who are caught up in pursuits of self. The mere presence of those who walk in the Spirit will be like the acrid smell of death, so repulsive that those fleshly will lurk about like their father the devil, looking for opportunities to pounce.
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
I Peter 5:8-11 NKJV
I have suffered such opposition recently, but thanks be to God, He is faithful. I am mindful that the Lord desires to save, even those in opposition, especially those who have dared tread upon the hallowed grounds of the house of God, with no reverence for the context in which they act.
The Lord reminded me of this early AM. I had awakened to see to the human needs of an aging body, and I could not get back to sleep. The evil one had filled my mind with lurid and evil thoughts, not worthy of a mind being transformed by a holy God.
I cried out to God for help, as I have experienced many such attacks from the evil one. He answered in a way that I could not ever imagine.
Out of there blue, a sister in Christ sent me a message, a lifeline, telling me that she was praying for me. The timing was perfect, as is such when a loving God knows that His child is in crisis, and sends another to help. In that moment I was reminded that my God, the Creator of the Universe is on my side.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”
Jeremiah 29:11-13 NKJV
Then, as if to add further emphasis, the Lord laid before me, this morning, Psalm one hundred thirty eight. He reminded me that when I call on Him, He hears my cries, for He knows that He is everything to me, for I literally have nothing but Him.
I tell you the truth, I am in love with the Lord Jesus. He loved one so unloveable, at a time when I was on the bottom of the world. Recently I tried attending a Sunday school class at my church. I get excited talking about Jesus and His word, I love Him so. I found myself dominating the discussion, talking about my Lord, and all the wonders He has shown me through His word, in the isolation brought on by my health issues.
Along the way there have been battles. The presence of the Lord in me has made me a bright shining light, not of my own glory but His. Inevitably there are those who are drawn to that light, some for good and some for evil. I have several times, dealt with people who have become obsessed with me. Over the last few years, I have found myself dealing with that very pressure in my local church.
I have to admit that I am clueless as to the cause, for I tend to make my world small, opting to sit on the front row, minding my own business. But, somehow, those who desire to connect, either positively or negatively, find me, and seek to intertwine with me, as if to force me into their affairs. I am the last person one should do that to, for it only causes me to pull within myself and move away.
Upon this writing, I am very close to leaving my church of which I am charter member. But still the enemy is relentless. The cold of winter is making the decision easier.
I will not divulge names, for my hope is that they “come to Jesus”, and find the joy that I have found. The reminds me that we are not just dealing with people, but with are supernatural forces, probing for voids that can be exploited, thus turning the unsuspecting into missiles of flesh and blood. I pray for those who have been led astray daily.
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 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. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”
Ephesians 6:10-13 NKJV
Brothers and sisters, I share these things as a cautionary tale, for many of us are going to face spiritual warfare of one type or another, and the evil one is going to use those nearest us, either in proximity, or via our emotions. We must be aware and prayerful, knowing that our God is faithful and fully aware. We must also be about praying for each other, for this is need of the saints.
There is also great warning, for as the Lord is for His people, He is against their enemies and He hates when those who disregard the Lord seek to harm those who are HIs. The Lord Jesus is taking stock, moment by moment, and is aware of the nature of everyones heart. Do not focus on what people think, but what the Lord knows.
As always, we have been put on mission, to go a make disciples, and there is coming a time when the Lord will ordain trials and persecution to clarify His church, much like the heat of the stove clarifies butter.
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