Praying for a Spiritual Awakening

World Challenge

Carter Conlon
December 15, 2018

 

God’s Word gives us many examples of the incredible things that happen when God’s people pray. For instance, in the book of Second Kings, the king of Syria surrounded the city where the people of God were. There was such a vast army that Elisha’s servant looked over the wall of the city and asked, “What are we going to do? They are more and mightier than we are!” (see 2 Kings 6:15).

“Elisha prayed, and said, ‘Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see” (2 Kings 6:17). In other words, “Oh, God, would You give vision back to Your people to understand once again that it is not by might nor by power but by Your Spirit?”

“Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. So when the Syrians came down to him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, and said, “Strike this people, I pray, with blindness” (2 Kings 6:17-18). In other words, “Confuse the enemy! Take away their vision, their unity, their strength. Do not let them accomplish their purpose.”

We, too, can pray that in our generation. “Lord, do not let the enemies of righteousness advance any further. Let their agenda drift away from them!”

“And He struck them with [spiritual] blindness according to the word of Elisha. Now Elisha said to them, ‘This is not the way, nor is this the city. Follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom you seek.’ But he led them to Samaria. So it was, when they had come to Samaria, that Elisha said, ‘Lord, open the eyes of these men, that they may see.’ And the Lord opened their eyes, and they saw; and there they were, inside Samaria” (2 Kings 6:18-20).

Not only were God’s people affected by prayer, the enemy was brought to an awareness of God’s power — a moment of conscience. This is what we need to pray for in our generation — a spiritual awakening — a sudden awareness of sin that can come into the heart of any society, any place, any person.

https://worldchallenge.org/devotion/praying-spiritual-awakening

Advertisements

Saturday Scripture

Psalms 117:2

“For his merciful kindness is great toward us:

and the truth of the LORD endureth for ever.

Praise ye the LORD.”

King James Version (KJV)

MARANATHA . . .

“COME, O LORD”

“The Love Of Most Will Grow Cold”…

My soul has been in turmoil the last few days as I have witnessed a lack of kindness, tolerance and solicitude in the world. I say “in the world” because this insensitivity has ranged from my inner circle of friends to the public venue; across the secular internet and within the Body of Christ. It is truly as if people’s hearts are “growing cold”.
But why should I be surprised? Jesus prophesies that this will happen in one of the most revealing chapters in the Bible, Matthew 24. After disclosing the general signs of the end of this age, and before He declares the sign of the “abomination that causes desolation”, Jesus tells us that You can expect to be persecuted, even killed; for you will be hated by all the nations because of your love for me. Then many will stop following me and fall away, and they will betray one another and hate one another. And many lying prophets will arise, deceiving multitudes and leading them away from the path of truth. There will be such an increase of sin and lawlessness that those whose hearts once burned with passion for God and others will grow cold.  But keep your hope to the end and you will experience life and deliverance” (Matthew 24:9-13).

      I believe that this is a passage that is both relevant to the Disciples at that moment, as well as being a prophetic revelation to us in the 21st Century. It is not hard to look around and see how we Christians treat people unlike us; let alone how judgmental and condemning we can be towards fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. With the prevalence of online blogs [this one included], videos, internet ministries, and Christian media conglomerates, it is no wonder that Jesus warned us of the possibility of “lying prophets”. As I have urged from the beginning, anyone reading this blog must never take my word as God’s Truth. I always encourage readers to take what I share and have a discerning spirit about how it lines up with the Truth of God’s Word in the Bible. I am still growing and maturing in my faith, so what I share is what I believe God is revealing to me in my spirit and by His Word … at this time in my journey. I know that I am in a process; am being grown into the image of Christ, so growth and development is a part of the path I’m on. I do not expect everyone to agree with me, but I would hope that we could honor each other as heirs of the covenant of salvation through Jesus Christ.
     But I will tell you that I have received my share of hateful comments from fellow Christians, and have witnessed anything but love from my fellow believers whenever I have written on a subject that does not align with denominational doctrine or accepted tenets of modern Christianity. Furthermore, over the last couple of years I have witnessed a level of ungraciousness, disrespect, and outright cruelty from media outlets who hold themselves up as the bastion of Christian beliefs — and the incivility has been towards other Christians! You have internet sites that run the range from offering diversified Christian resources from a charismatic/Pentecostal belief system to internet sites that hold to the Second London Baptist Confession (1689) and are unabashedly orthodox in their belief system. Needless to say, while reading articles on these sites I have often felt as if I was in the middle of a Pharisees and Saduccees debate — all Law and no Grace!
     Yet I also take note that Jesus tells us the reason hearts that once burned with passion for God and [love for] others have grown cold is that “there will be such an increase of sin and lawlessness”. My spirit discerns that He is not just talking about sin and lawlessness among unbelievers, but this iniquity will also abound in believers, due to the deception of “lying prophets” who lead believers away from the path of truth. 
     It is so easy to see this happening in our culture today. We have prominent and influential Christian singers who don’t know what the Bible says about homosexuality. We have young college athletes who are being castigated over insensitive tweets made as a teenager. And, yes, we even have Supreme Court Justices who are paraded before the public over spurious charges about behavior decades old. And if nothing else, the media frenzy that followed in the wake of these three incidents should tell us that anyone of us is vulnerable to public scrutiny; and whether we sin by not doing something we should have [such as failing to help someone when we have the ability, or the Holy Spirit nudges us], or we sin by doing something we shouldn’t have [such as adultery, molestation, pornography], we can expect to be persecuted in the public square. 
     What happened to compassion and mercy? And how is that to intersect with Truth and the Fear of God? And I’m addressing that question to Christians as much as I am secularists! There are those who want to advocate for loving people who make mistakes, while understating and diminishing the Truth. There are still others who think the Truth should be presented explicitly and uncompromisingly without the appropriate attitude of love. Are either one of these a complete picture of the attitude taken by Jesus? How are we to approach this problem we have in our culture of going too far in one direction? 
    Aren’t we called to love others while standing for God’s Truth and Principles? Can’t we show kindness and mercy while still upholding a moral and Godly belief system? We don’t have to condemn and judge when someone strays from the path; yet, we don’t have to condone every unholy and sinful position in the world, calling it “grace and mercy”. Jesus actually tells us in Matthew 24 that people will stop following Him and fall away; betray one another and hate one another. That’s Believers He’s talking about! We MUST hold fast to our first love and His ways! And we must disciple those who come to faith in Him! We are His representatives in the world, and if we don’t know how to defend God’s Principles and do it in a loving manner, then our hearts will grow cold and we will be unable to exhibit our Hope before the world. It is in this Christmas season that we tell the world our Hope was born. Our hearts are warm with sentimentality and love and peace towards others. May we seek to always keep our hearts this dedicated to God; never wavering from His Truths, but always presenting them in love. Do not be swayed by popular culture, social media, or even Christian websites. Let God’s Word shine a light upon the path you are to take, and the world will be a kinder, gentler place.

1 Peter 3:15    But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as Holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect [reverance, fear]”

https://www.salvationandsurvival.com/2018/12/the-love-of-most-will-grow-cold.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+salvationandsurvival%2FBhMK+%28Salvation+And+Survival%29

Cause Enough for Rejoicing

World Challenge

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)
December 13, 2018

 

Paul says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). Paul is telling us, in essence, “All who follow Jesus are blessed with spiritual blessings in heavenly places, where Christ is.” What an incredible blessing.

Paul wrote this epistle to “the faithful in Christ Jesus” (1:1) — believers who were sure of their salvation. The Ephesians had been well trained in the gospel of Jesus Christ and the hope of eternal life. They knew who they were in Christ and were assured of their heavenly position in him. They fully understood that God had raised Jesus from the dead and set him at the Father’s right hand (1:20); they knew they had been chosen by God from before the foundation of the world (1:4); and they grasped that they had been adopted by Jesus Christ to himself (1:5).

When the Ephesians heard the word of truth, they believed and trusted it. Indeed, they were grounded in the truth that they were made to “sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (2:6). In other words, they had been well trained in sound doctrine and they knew how to enter into the joy of the promises of God. I trust that you are like those Ephesians: faithful, well-taught believers, accepting the victory that comes by faith alone and not by works.

You may not feel like you are in a “heavenly place,” but the moment you placed your trust in Jesus, he came and made his abode in your heart. Paul tells us that God has made us to sit together with Christ so that “He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us” (2:7). He is emphasizing that the effect we will see in our daily lives is God’s loving, warmhearted kindness. Therefore we can wake up shouting, “Hallelujah! God, Christ and the Holy Spirit want to be near me.” That is certainly a cause for rejoicing.

https://worldchallenge.org/devotion/cause-enough-rejoicing