Mass murder, debauchery, and the stress of nations, press us daily. We can feel the crushing weight of inadequacy. Can we stay sane? Is the moral situation so far gone that we tuck our faith and just endure hoping we outlast the madness?
Ephesians 6:10 says, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.’ But, how do we apply all that power and might to this flood of evil and stress that hitting us every day?
Not only can we apply it, we are expressly called—and uniquely equipped—to express this might. The legacy of our faith demands it—the nature of the Holy Spirit—and the Word of God demand it. There is no holding pattern for us. God only leads forward.
With just a few simple words, Jesus revealed the vast superiority of our victory compared to all world religions. He said, “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.” –John 17:15.
The religions of the world teach escape. They deem the world too dangerous for their devotees. Whether it is a Buddhist Monastery or a Muslim Caliphate the message is clear: They can’t coexist with secular culture. They require physical separation, cleansing rituals, strict diets, or total subjugation of infidels.
For Jesus to pray for His flock to stay in the culture are not just fighting words—they are an in-your-face smack down of evil.
While cultural contact withers the faith of false religions, it enhances the Christian—it sharpens their faith, brightens their light, and deepens their authority.
You must get why you are here. You must see the astounding picture of the army you belong to. Our very presence on earth is God’s way of saying victory is available. He keeps us here because we can win.
Think of soldiers in an army fighting in their little sector. They are being hard-pressed, and things are going against them. If, for one moment, they think it’s just their fight they will soon be defeated. But when they remember they are only a part of a great and mighty army, and directing it, is the Captain, their Leader, immediately the situation is transformed. In other words, we have got to realize God is involved in it with us. We are only here because of God.
The 3 steps I am about to declare bring victory of the present evil and stress. They hit me when I saw two groups of people—hundreds of years apart, in totally different situations—take the identical 3 steps to victory.
One was a prophecy by Daniel in in 600 BC and the other happened in 31 AD. The first is Daniel describing how the Maccabean revolt would win in 167 BC. The second is the people in the land of Gennesaret welcoming Jesus. The former liberated Israel, the latter wiped out sickness and disease. Again, they both took the same 3 steps. Here are the scriptures:
Daniel 11: 32 “Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.”
Mark 6: 53-56: “When they had crossed over, they came to the land of Gennesaret and anchored there. And when they came out of the boat, immediately the people recognized Him, ran through that whole surrounding region, and began to carry about on beds those who were sick to wherever they heard He was. Wherever He entered, into villages, cities, or the country, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged Him that they might just touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched Him were made well.”
Here are the 3 key words in both these victories: KNOW, STRONG, CARRY. The first group knew God, were strong, and carried out exploits. The second group did the same 3 things. They recognized (knew Jesus). They ran (showed strength). They carried others who received miracles. (Exploits)
Take these 3 steps to defeat today’s stress and evil:
- Obey God’s pull. He is pulling you to know Him in deep intimacy: Psalm 27:8 says “When You said, “Seek My face,” My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.” What is your reaction to God’s call to do a secret work in you? Are you saying yes?
I believe Jesus is using this message from me to you to draw you into special closeness to Him. If you say yes, special things will begin to happen. You will instantly conquer fear and worry. Isaiah 26: 3 says, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. “
Your faith for mighty things will multiply. Jesus said,” If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” -John 15:7
God not only knew the insanity of today was coming—He took steps to prepare a special relationship, that would produce special powers for His children. We can blame no one but ourselves if we neglect this astonishing invitation.
- Become strong. What did Isaiah say would happen to those who heeded the call to wait on God? “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
Your new-found and deep connection to God the Father, create strength. Note once again the amazing parallel between the phrases, “they shall run and not be weary,” and “they recognized Him and ran.
Touchy feely faith is out. This is the era of strong Christians. Tomorrow belongs to Christians who are stronger than headlines—stronger than threats—stronger than anything unfolding on the earth.
- Accept your mission: You have a mission, you have an ordained exploit. It is ironic that the real cure for today’s fear and stress is to think big, and take on massive vision. Fresh vision always chases away depression.
Opposition and persecution do not mean we hide, in fact we are to become bolder. Look at what the disciples did at Iconium: Acts 14: 2 “But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brethren. 3 Therefore they stayed there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who was bearing witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.” They were opposed, therefore they stayed and saw greater miracles.
An exploit that summons up all your talent and every drop of your courage is comfort food for the Spirit-empowered believer.
The bottom line: We are so subjective, and we live in this unhealthy psychological generation that starts with man and ends with man. Most of our troubles are due to that. We are always looking inwards and pitying ourselves and being sorry for ourselves, and looking for something to help us. Get rid of that outlook, forget yourself for a moment; the battle is the Lord’s! You can know Him. You can become strong. You will do amazing things.
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Thank you Mario, much needed encouragement ?
Yes I agree! This is an awesome message of encouragement.
Thank you Mario!
I needed this!