Our battles are first won or lost in the secret places of our will in God’s presence, never in full view of the world. The Spirit of God seizes me and I am compelled to get alone with God and fight the battle before Him. Until I do this, I will lose every time. The battle may take one minute or one year, but that will depend on me, not God. However long it takes, I must wrestle with it alone before God, and I must resolve to go through the hell of renunciation or rejection before Him. Nothing has any power over someone who has fought the battle before God and won there.
I should never say, “I will wait until I get into difficult circumstances and then I’ll put God to the test.” Trying to do that will not work. I must first get the issue settled between God and myself in the secret places of my soul, where no one else can interfere. Then I can go ahead, knowing with certainty that the battle is won. Lose it there, and calamity, disaster, and defeat before the world are as sure as the laws of God. The reason the battle is lost is that I fight it first in the external world. Get alone with God, do battle before Him, and settle the matter once and for all.
In dealing with other people, our stance should always be to drive them toward making a decision of their will. That is how surrendering to God begins. Not often, but every once in a while, God brings us to a major turning point— a great crossroads in our life. From that point we either go toward a more and more slow, lazy, and useless Christian life, or we become more and more on fire, giving our utmost for His highest— our best for His glory! ~ Oswald Chambers (M.U. F. H. H. Dec. 27)
This is a good exhortation in Teshuvah – or Repentance – which both simply mean – Returning. Specifically meaning to turn FROM that which is not working, (blessed, commanded) – to that which does work (because it is blessed and commanded)! To us that would mean setting some new habits of righteous living that would take us from our currently frustrated, seemingly doomed, mere existences to a bright world of spiritual success and adventure! We long for it, but seem somehow to have been excluded from it, for reasons we don't entirely grasp! Face it, many believers today live in a state of constant befuddlement, wondering why the principles of the Word of God seem to rarely work in their lives! They wander from day to day, from disaster to disaster, praying, brooding and worrying! In a moment of supernatural clarity here and there we sometimes speak words of faith, but, sadly, more often, we find ourselves what we see in the natural and fretting about it!
Most “Christians” now days are the laughing stock of the world, and the constant material of mocking comedians and the scorn of the intellectuals mostly because they appear to the world like inept “deputies” of a law they don't grasp, without the skill nor authority to uphold any of it – much like “Barney” on the Andy Griffith show, who couldn't be trusted with bullets, lest he shoot himself in the foot! Sadly, we are, by and large, so ignorant of the weapons of our warfare, and the proper use of them, that we have not been given much very authority – by God - lest we wreak havoc on the already groaning earth! Oy! That is a sorry state of things. But it is the unfortunate reality which I observe daily, in my home and others. We are just NOT getting the job done. We are NOT making the progress we all thought we'd be making by now! Part of that is hopefully God's timing – waiting on what we HAVE done right to come to fruition. But also I think we can find a clue to this unfortunate dilemma in Brother Oswald's excellent exhortation, posted above – and that is this - We have not been taught to battle in the secret place, to train with God, before we go forth to battle in the open field! And that is why we have so frequently had our hat, not to mention the other end, handed to us more times than we want to remember!
So I want to propose a challenge to us today - as we all go forth into the bright new year that is beckoning us – let us resolve to change some things! Some things that really matter! Let's don't just make the usual “resolutions” that we have failed in year after year. Let's tune in to what the Spirit is saying to the Churches of these last days and let's listen with a new focus and intent!
Let us remember that - “We CAN do ALL things through the ANOINTED ONE AND HIS ANOINTING who and which strengthens US”! We can exercise HIS fruit of the Spirit known as “Self-Control” in order to make healthier choices in our diet and activities and mental processes! We can receive an anointing that will provide us with the discipline to speak only the TRUTH of God's Word, by FAITH and IN LOVE! We can overcome the world, the flesh – especially our own – and the sorry, overly persistent, obnoxiously determined devil! Because our champion has already defeated him on our behalf, and has left us His Spirit to guide us into our own victory over him!
Our victor - Yeshua the Messiah, also known as Jesus the Christ – which means Salvation (Yeshua = salvation, nothing missing, nothing broken, no lack, all abundance and effectiveness, Peace, etc....) the Anointed One and His Anointing (Christ – Gk., Messiah – Hebrew, The Anointed One and His Anointing – English)! He came, He saw, He conquered! He is coming again! And in the meantime He left behind His Spirit, whose job is to lead us into all the TRUTH! Including the bright promises that the Truth makes concerning us and what we should be able to become and to accomplish on behalf of His Kingdom! But we will have to stop sucking worms and get on with it!
Consider this a call to arms! But before we get our sword and run off into the battle like William Wallace perhaps we had better take it into the presence of God, and spend some time getting it sharpened! Perhaps we'd better receive those instructions which the Spirit was left to give us! Perhaps we'd better get our sorry, lazy, stupid flesh by the neck-hide and make it bow to its maker, and get it out of the way of our redeemed spirit-man! That will mean, of course, that we'll need to reach for the Word more often than we reach for the remote or the refrigerator! And learn to speak what we read there with Authority – a.k.a. - “Anointing”! It will mean that we'll need to show up for training – and NO – I do NOT mean just go to church every time the doors are open! If God leads you to go, then for heaven's sake go! But don't rely on them to make you into the warriors God is looking for, go to celebrate the victories with fellow warriors! The training we need is accomplished by the Spirit of God in the Secret Place of the Most High – by daily diligence! Sorry, but that's the deal, take it or leave it!
He is looking for a few good men and women who will allow Him to transform them into His image, and who will allow Him to use them to do His exploits on the earth – you know – like His Son whom we claim to be following! He is looking for those who are serious enough about this eternal life that they are willing to lay down their temporal lives of ease - which they've become rather attached to – to join forces with those who are willing to actually work a bit to become what He needs! He is looking for believers and receivers – but instead there are too many moochers and whiners! He is looking for His Anointed One to be born in US! To grow up in US! So that He can do exploits again – THROUGH US! As He asked, “When the Son of man returns, will He find faith on the earth?” He is looking for those who will worship Him in Spirit AND in Truth – heart and soul – might and main! Not just hanging on to one or the other by the skin of their fleshly, pitifully religious, teeth!
So the challenge of this new year is this – who will show up for training?! Who will get up earlier for the purpose of reading His Word and hearing His plans for each day?! Who will shake off the apathy, and the pathetic sense of entitlement – that has settled on us all – which are, by the way, insidious spirits of this age that are slowly sapping our strength and wasting our time away – who will shake them off to go running after our champion, to fight His good fight of faith! We won't get the job done by doing the same things we've been doing! It will take change and plenty of it! And it will NOT please our flesh! Is anyone willing to let the flesh get over it and show up for training?!
We were enlisted long ago people – when we supposedly signed on – remember that? So let's not wait until we are dishonorably discharged and court-martialed, as disobedient traitors to the crown, before we take our training seriously! Let's find our King and follow Him! Let's let His task sargent whip us into shape! Let's actually make an effort at becoming who and what we claim to be - “Christians” - which means - “Little Anointed Ones” - and follow THE Anointed ONE to Glory! Let's rally for the last big hurrah before time wraps up and there are no more chances! Let's grasp this new year and ride it to heights we've only imagined! FOR HIS GLORY! The King wills it! As our brother Shaul (Paul) said - “Follow me as I follow the Anointed One”! Come on people! We can do this thing! Let's get ourselves equipped, trained, toned to the bone, and – as we used to say back in the day – greased and ready to kick some.... well, you know! Lol Rally to the call – or prepare to take a fall! I am not planning to fall this year - who is with me!?
Shalom Chavarim! I'll see you at training camp!
L'Chaim, and L'shana Tovah! To Life (worth living) and to a Really GOOD Year!