World conditions are intensifying. As we look around we see news flashes of violence, disasters, doom, gloom and despair. Others and ourselves are being bombarded with sickness, tragic family or friend loss, financial stress, and mental pressures. We feel like we are living in a battle zone that's never ending.
Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3:1 "But know this that in the last days perilous times will come." Listen up children of God, we are living in the final days, before Jesus returns. We are facing dangerous, unpredictable, high risk times. Some of you may be asking, how can we persevere?
Let me reassure you that there are conquering strategies for every believer. The basis to being an overcomer is found in the Bible. This is a time we can not afford to live with the notion that everything will resolve itself and settle down. The devil knows that his time is nearly ending and he's unleashing all that he has to kill, steal and destroy. (John 10:10) This is the moment that we, born again, spirit filled, sword wielding Christians rise up to the occasion. Fear, dread and defeat will try to overpower you. Don't let it! Ps. 138:7 says, "Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revived 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..."
Peace, comfort and victory comes from trusting in the Lord. He IS the 'All Sufficient, El Shadday'! Experiencing His sustaining strength requires that we must run to Him first in all situations! We have to make His Word the place we go for security, assurance, and direction! Then no evil will conquer us nor any disease come near. The following scripture is one that is our anchor for safety in troubled times. It's time to realize that His deliverance will come in our time of need, when we trust, believe and rely upon Who He is! The problem with most people, is that they don't call upon the Lord in the midst of difficulty. It's much easier to try to figure it out on our own or depend on another method to alleviate our distress. Let this scripture resonate within your heart and spirit becoming the stability for faith in God's safety and deliverance!
Ps. 91 Those who live in the shelter of the Most HighThis I declare about the
In the next few weeks we will be talking about how to live, be skilled, and persevere during perilous times! It's time to arise from lethargy, put on the armor of God, engage active faith, fight the good fight of faith, lay aside fear, discouragement and defeat to become the victor in Christ you are called to be! If you need prayer of agreement, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, we are here for you!
When we were small children, we used to take our parents clothes and shoes to play dress up. It was so much fun, putting on those dresses, high heels, and jewelry. Some of us even got to wear grandma's hat. It was a time to pretend that we were grown up. What made 'dress up' so delightful? Perhaps it was the idea of becoming something we weren't. Putting on the armor of God is similar. We are dressed up like God. This is where we are strong IN HIM and in HIS power.
Ephesians 6:10-18 says, " "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. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparations of the gospel of peace; above all taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end, with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.
Last week we talked about three pieces of the armor, the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness and the shoes of peace. As we look at the Shield of Faith, we see that we are able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. The wicked one is the devil and any evil spirit associated with him launches 'fiery darts'. Having watched movies that show medieval armies flinging fiery arrows into the sky towards their enemy, we see that they hit with full force causing all kinds of destruction and death. The flaming arrows the devil tries to send are meant to disarm our faith. Heb. 11:1 says, "Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen." The Phillips translation gives the meaning of that verse as this: "Now faith is the assurance that what we hope for will come about and the certainty that what we cannot see exists." Our faith, that is fully convinced in what God says in His Word, extinguishes any doubt or fear, just like a shield douses fiery arrows. When we stand firm and fixed on the promises, even when we can't see the victory yet, we are more than over comers.
You and I know that the devil attacks us in the mental arena. Thoughts of defeat, discouragement and disparage come daily. To put on the Helmet of Salvation is likened to the renewing of our mind to the Word of God. Rom. 12:2 "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the , that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will God." When our mind has been transformed, covered or permeated, to think like God, we are able to take all arguments, reasonings and theories that are contrary and cast them down. (2 Cor. 10:5) Thus protecting our mind from disillusions and lies from the enemy.
The last piece of the armor would be the Sword of the Spirit. And Eph. 6:17 says it is "the Word of God". Heb. 4:12 says, "For the of God quick, and , and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." One of the best ways to counter attack the devil, is to use the Word of God, Just like Jesus did, when He went into the wilderness. Jesus said, "Man shall not live , but every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God." Mat. 4:4 The spoken Word is powerful in that it's like a two-edged sword, God spoke it first, then you speak it, cutting away fears and doubts. This establishes your faith and what you believe, because "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks".
Rick Renner likens Eph. 6:18, "praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end, with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints." to another piece of armor, called the Lance. This type of prayer, praying in the Spirit, is similar to a Lance in that it's a 'long distance' weapon. We can be in one place and throw it far. Praying in the Spirit allows us to pray with the Spirit's wisdom for people in other places. Rom. 8:26-27 "Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searches the hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because he makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God." Enabling this weapon is powerful in the fact that it can work even when we're not present.
Putting on the armor of God is very important in our every day life. As we apply the Word of God continually in all circumstances and situations we will become proficient at standing in faith. Our trust in God's Word empowers us to be more than over comers. So we encourage you take time to study about the armor and how to apply in your life. Email us at email@example.com to share your testimonies on using the Word to overcome! We look forward to hearing from you.
If you've ever run a race, climbed a mountain or achieved something you thought you could never do, that's Victory! Above all the voices of the world, over any terrible difficulty, regardless of pressures or hardships, there is a way to OVERCOME! Going through tough situations and succeeding is victory. Facing any kind of problem is hard. Often we feel alone, helpless and overwhelmed. It would be so great if life were simple or easy and we didn't have to face adversity, sickness, pain, or heartache. But Jesus said in, John 16:33b "....In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
Located in the New Testament there is a story of an overcomer. A particular man named Bartimaeus was blind sat on the side of the road begging for money. Bartimaeus must have heard of the mighty works and healing power of Jesus. One specific day, as he was sitting begging by the road, word came that Jesus was coming. As the crowd neared, he began to cry with a loud voice for Jesus. Although the people around hushed him, he cried all the more louder. His faith was forceful in the fact that he wasn't going to allow anyone or anything stand in the way of receiving his healing! Jesus hearing his cry, stopped and called him forth. So Bartimaeus stood up, threw off his garment and moved towards the Lord. Jesus asked him what He could do for him, to which Bartimaeus replied, "...that I may receive my sight." Jesus said, "Go your way, your faith has made you well." And immediately he was healed! (Mark 10:46-52)
Bartimaeus didn't wait for someone else to do something for him, he took action!
1) He cried out to Jesus, the healer. Whatever your situation, your help is in the Lord. 1 John 5:14-15 "And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he hears us: And if we know that he hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him." Knowing that God hears your cries assures your faith of an answer. Take time right now to ask in prayer for your help.
2) He threw off his garment and stood up. Bartimaeus had a cloak that identified him as a blind man. His action to remove it demonstrated his faith to receive healing. It was when he cast it off and rose up to walk toward Jesus that confirmed he was ready to receive. 2 Cor. 10:4-5 says, "(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;" The nature, characteristic, and opinions of the world cloud our mind as a cloak of deception. It is necessary that we take all those reasonings, arguments, or thoughts that are contrary to the Word and throw them down. This kind of faith disarms those weapons and readies us to receive our miracle. Your promise is in the Word of God, whether it's financial, healing or a sound mind you can receive it today!
In order to over come, it takes actions of faith. We must get up even when the circumstance is raging against us; Take this opportunity, right now to lay aside pity from ourselves and from others. Begin right now to not only see yourself delivered from your problem, but SAY "I'm free from it" Make a daily practice of reading and speaking God's promises over your life. As you confirm the Word through confession, your agreement will begin to change the circumstances. It won't be long before the Victory is yours! Faith in action Overcomes!
We live in an unsettling world. Thinking about the people you know, probably everyone is faced with some sort of difficulty, ourself included. We, personally, know of people fighting for their life in a hospital, some that are strained in their relationships, and others stressed because of work, finances or life choices. The issues at hand are real, day to day battles and struggles. Everyone deals with problems! The real test is HOW! Many cannot cope and thus experience breakdowns, emotionally and physically.
Ephesians 6:12 (ERV) says, "Our fight is not against people on earth. We are fighting against the rulers and authorities and the powers of this world’s darkness. We are fighting the spiritual powers of evil in the heavenly places." Understand that we are engaged in a spiritual battle, and behind most problems are satanic forces that are sent to kill, steal and destroy our lives, our hope and our faith!
In Luke 10:18-19 (ERV) "Jesus said to them, I saw Satan falling like lightning from the sky. He is the enemy, but know that I have given you more power than he has. I have given you power to crush his snakes and scorpions under your feet. Nothing will hurt you." Just like a policeman, who has authorization over wrong doers, as a believer in Christ, we also have dominion over satan's attacks. The problem is most people don't take their authority! People often view the situations at hand as if it was meant to be and resolve to accept them.
Regardless of the challenges you face, financial, physical, or mental, there IS hope. Heb. 4:12 says, "For the is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword...." When we pray about our circumstance, often a scripture will drop into our spirit. We could say that the Spirit of God is revealing the Word on our problem. As that scripture rolls around in our heart, it can become so intense that we sense the need to verbalize it. When we speak it, it has then become the two-edged sword. First it came from God's mouth, then from ours. That's when it is powerful, going into the spiritual realm and changing the situation! (Mark 11:24)
Today we want to bring some inspiration into your life to help you to achieve victory. Whatever you battle, identify the spirit behind it, take your authority with God's Word, believe and receive. Be sure to realize, although we live in the world, we do not war according to it. Our weapons in the spirit are not carnal, but they are mighty in God. You can pull down every stronghold, cast down every reasoning and all things that try to elevate themselves against the knowledge of God and His Word. It means we must take captive our thoughts and opinions that do not line up with His Word and make them inoperative! Only the Word is powerful enough to gain control in life! Use IT! (2 Cor. 10:3-6)
Public figures have a great influence in the lives of people from every walk of life. Whether it's a sports star, political leader or an entertainer, the decisions they make, often affect others. How they handle the stress of living can be encouraging or disheartening. Of course the news of tragic events in the lives of these popular prominent individuals wounds the spirit of many. Just because one is in the limelight doesn't insure a carefree, happy life. Just like most of us, they also face emotional and physical problems. The only difference is, the world is emphatically watching them and the only resources they draw from is the world.
Every one faces trouble in one way or another. There is not one person, rich or poor, male or female, notable or unknown, that isn't challenged with some type of difficulty. Jesus said in, John 16:33 ".....In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]" The contrast between the world and a Christian, is faith in God. However, not every Christian knows how to exercise their faith to trust the Lord God. Many are still daily dealing with ailments, poverty, stress, addiction, depression and oppression, to only name a few.
The key to overcoming these hard times requires complete dependence upon God. Proverbs 3: 5-6 "Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In ALL your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths." Yet, human nature tries to figure it all on our own and sometimes ask God for help when we are desperate! Trusting in the Lord, demands the giving of our full attention to Him in EVERY situation! Pressure conditions arise daily, questions haunt us of how to prevail over them. For some, desperation and fear set in. 2 Corinthians 12:9 Paul wrote, "But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!"
Paul discovered that when he praised the Lord in the midst of his troubles, the strength and power of Christ reigned over him, thus equipping him to prevail! By realizing that we are not contending with natural forces, but spiritual forces of 'principalities, powers, rulers of darkness of this age, and spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places', we can better equip ourself for victory! We endure by the power of the Holy Spirit through our belief in God's Word. It's knowing that whatever we face is subject to the Word of God. Declaring the Truth, with the authority in Christ, the problem must bow it's knee.
An overcomer is one who diligently, faithfully resists the power or temptations of the devil and the world. Regardless of fear they remain determined to have confidence in God and His Word despite what it looks like or what others say! We want to inspire you to be constant in your faith in God. Don't allow anything to hinder you from obtaining victory! "For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world-- our faith." (1 John 5:4)
Pastors Michael & Ginny Gulotta
Pro. 11:25 "The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself."