Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Run with Horses

Are Things Going to Get Better or Worse?  

In all four Gospels Jesus warns about the signs of the times and the incredible distress that will come on the earth at the conclusion of the age.  Consider a few descriptions from Jesus in Matthew 24, "nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom.  And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places."  Then He adds "Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake."   Because of such overwhelming statements, many people have such a fear of the end times that they don't even want to think about it.

However, on the other hand, God declares that of the increase of His government and His peace, there will be no end (Isaiah 9:7).  God further declares great anointing coming on His people, such that we will shine as lights and His glory will be seen on us (Isaiah 60:1-3).  Therefore, the end time sounds much like the passage of Psalm 23, "He prepares a table for me in the presence of my enemies."  Jesus explained that "a servant is not greater than his master.  If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you." (John 15:20)  Therefore, just as Jesus turned Satan's greatest attack into glorious victory, His Spirit in us will provide the strength and power, the love and peace, to overcome all the plans of the enemy.  He will (always) lead us in triumph.

Perhaps the famous introduction by Dickens, in A Tale of Two Cities, is an appropriate description,
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."  Clearly the Holy Spirit is preparing the Bride of Christ, convicting of sin and establishing righteousness, and calling us into an "Abba, Father" relationship that is so real and unshakeable, that nothing can separate us from the love of God the Spirit has poured into our hearts.  All who loved God through the ages longed to see what we and hear what we hear in these days.  It also follows that the enemy, the accuser of the brethren who tested Job, will likewise test us.  Yet Scripture states we are not ignorant of his designs.  Therefore, it is not a little thing to build ourselves up in the Holy Spirit and be so prepared that we know "God is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day (2 Timothy 2:1:12).  

How does the enemy attack?  First of all, consider the "why" that Jesus revealed, that Satan is a liar, and that he comes to "steal, kill and destroy."  In the parable of the sower, the enemy stole the "Word" from those who didn't understand or receive it.  Secondly, those who weren't well established in knowing Jesus Christ fell when there was persecution or conflict arising from holding God's truth.  Thirdly, those who held on to the world, loving the things of the flesh such as pride, immorality, money, and selfishness more than God, fell because these "weeds" choked the Word.  Is this not a clear trumpet calling us to seek a solid revelation of Jesus through His Word, to choose that which pleases God over what satisfies our fleshy desires, and to look upon Him who rewards forever so that we can stand the temporary sufferings of persecution.

Prophet Stanley Frodsham, friend of Smith Wigglesworth and author of his biography, prophesied in 1965 five years before he died, that God would empower His people with great glory and holiness in the last days.  However, he suggested that many would fall because we would be tempted, just like Jesus, with being offered the kingdoms of this world, and secondly, with severe rejection and persecutions.  He strongly calls for believers to let the Lord lead them into a walk of holiness where there will be great glory and "unspeakable joy."  (This prophecy entitled "Preparing for the Coming Glory Amid Tribulations, Persecutions" can be read in in its entirety on the Charisma Magazine website, charismamag.com)

Obviously, according to Paul's instruction to Timothy, all those who live godly lives will have tribulations.  Jesus said they are sure to come.  However, we need to learn how to "count it joy" and have "peace" and "glory in tribulations" (James 1:2-4, Romans 5:1-5) so God can grow us up.  He does not waste things, but uses all for our good.  God is faithful and He waits for us to choose to obey His Word so He can do it.

Stop, repent from being lukewarm, because now, before things get worse, is the time to seek God seriously. Ask the Holy Spirit to build you up in the truth of the Word and to form in you His character.  Quit complaining, but instead, be thankful and let Him work in and through you.  God told Jeremiah, “If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, then how can you contend with horses?" Let God work in you now so when the day comes, you can run with horses.

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