Facing Times of Trouble
So we all face times of trouble. Satan comes against us, and we can confront this with fear, trembling and intimidation OR we can know that God is our protector, and trust in Him to deliver us from these troubled-times.
What if our worst fears were right in front of us! I'm imagining someone holding a gun to my head and tormenting my family in front of me. Something like Clock Work Orange, or Charles Manson type situation.
I could sit in fear of the actual physical circumstance in front of me at that time - a gun, torment, pain. But if I called on God and trusted in Him to deliver me from this seemingly horrible situation, I'd expect His angels to show up and strike-down these assailants, or give me physical strength to overcome it. Or perhaps through the Love of Christ, they'd know God and be completely disarmed physically (yet through spiritual power) and submit to His power and Authority.
But what if we could declare the Kingdom of God and victory through the blood of Christ, and God would give us supernatural power to overcome this situation? Here and now! Just like he sent out the disciples with the Holy Spirit - he said they'd face many troubles, but to fear not. He even says to the disciples that they would do greater things than He did here on earth.
- 16 I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves... 28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Fathers care. 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So dont be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. (Matthew 10:16,28).
"So dont be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows"
... ok, one more time:
"So dont be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows"
- 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.(John 14:12)
And... let's emphasis: EVEN GREATER THINGS
So how can this be? He say's we'll will do greater things than Him, and to not be afraid. I know I can't do this on my own. My own flesh fails me constently. However, with Holy Spirit on my side, I can do All things through Christ who strengthens me. I believe that God has given today's disciples supernatural power and we can declare victory over evil in the name of Jesus. So whether I release the Kingdom of God, or a supernatural power is released for me, either way guns would just jam up, bullets wouldn't harm me, and we'd be delivered of this situation.
One thing I can think of now that would be very important for such a horrific confrontation would be to be prepared for battle (both in the physical and spiritual sense). Ideally, I would have had years of preparation in my spirit for such a time - through building my relationship with God with prayer, fellowship and faith - and building up my faith that God would pull me through without a shadow of doubt. He would have taught me through the many smaller troubled situations in preparation for this event. I have noticed one thing about the Saints of past and present: they study the Bible (the Word of God), spending 2 to 4 hrs a day (usually in the morning) preparing for what God has for them that day. God says: "Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4) I'm not saying it is a requirement that you be prepared, but don't you think it would be a good idea? (God does deliver people miraculously without having any prior relationship with Him. They simply have to call on His name to be saved.)
I'm thinking of a few biblical stories that demonstrate this - one is Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego - they had a life time of submitting to the Lord in prayer, exercising both their physical and spiritual. They knew beyond a shadow of doubt that God would deliver them from Nebuchadnezzar's hand, as Nebuchadnezzar put them in a blazing furnace to incinerate them, because they would not bow to the golden image (statue) that he had created. (See Their story in the book of Daniel in the bible). These three men were thrown into the "blazing furnace" and of course God did deliver them! They were completely unharmed by the fire - even their clothes were untouched. God delivered them, and Nebuchadnezzar submitted himself to the Lord God and declared His glory.
The 2nd story which I like even more is that of David and Goliath. Goliath was six cubits and a span tall, 3.2 metres (9 feet, 6 inches) - He WAS A GIANT! This man and the Philistines taunted the Isrealites for 40 days. "Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me . . . I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together": Goliath spoke by the physical power of his own strength to challenge the army of Israel. David who was a shepard boy, couldn't even wear the armor of Saul, since David was not used to this "physical" armor. David was trained by God in the spiritual to rely on God's strength in the physical realm. David tells Saul (King of Isreal) that even though he is a boy of small stature, God has delivered him from the lion and the bear (as he protected his sheep) - God trained him, and David relied completely on God for his deliverance. (Also I'll add that David was undaunted by his own family who belittled him this day, when his oldest brother said: "I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle")
Goliath looks David over and is obviously unimpressed by his physical stature, but fails to realize the "Spiritual Battle" (See Eph 6:10-17) before him. Goliath tries to intimidate David by saying:
'Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?' And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 'Come here,' he said, 'and Ill give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!'
As David stood before Goliath, he showed no fear, and knew that God was with him and would deliver him and the Isrealites. David in this moment declares the Kingdom of God presense to Goliath, and here is where the battle was won: David before Goliath, says:
David said to the Philistine, "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and Ill strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lords, and he will give all of you into our hands."
I believe that David already had victory, and it didn't matter how Goliath died, we was going to die. David's training in the physical also supported David's physical doubts that he could do it (because he had done in many times before). Yet he knew that the Lord Almighty would direct the rock in the sling precisely to it's target - sinking it into the forehead of Goliath - and with ONE shot Goliath fell dead.(See Story of David and Goliath in the bible.)
The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord.
You might be thinking at this point, well Joel that is fine and dandy that we have "stories" like these from the bible, and yet they are just stories (even some say fables) and they don't apply to my situation. I'm a sick with cancer, or I have a wife that is a bi-polar schizophrenic and I can't get along with her at all. Or perhaps you face grave financial troubles (foreclosure, no job, can't pay bills)...etc. Or you were raped, abused, abandoned, made fun of , violated, or just not respected the way you should be. These are all real physical trials that we all undergo. I want you to know that God can and will deliver you - It's a promise from Him! You can not only have deliverance, but you can have complete love, joy and happiness in your life. You can LOVE again. All you have to do is submit to the Lord Jesus Christ and pray for deliverance from your troubles, and you will be set free! Free from the physical battle, because he will free you from the "spiritual" battle. He will strengthen your spirit so you will be an overcommer. You will defeat Satan by the power of God. All the bullets will jam in Satan's gun. The angels of death will fall down and melt away before your very eyes.
Here are some real-life stories that demonstrate God's power of Love to conquer all. (see: Complete Magazine PDF 14 MB or you can download just the article "There is No Fear in Love Loving the Unlovely" by Debbie Roberts )
Also, I'd like to offer up my own testimony, that I'd be happy to talk with in person about. God delivered me from pneumonia (I was caughing up blood with 103 degree temp and He completely healed in 1hr); God delivered me from a bad marriage: I was always wandering in my thought life about other women, and I also had an emotional affair and my wife cheated on me for 2 years of my 23 year marriage - she confessed last year, and we have been delivered and healed of all the pain!; God delivered me from the chains of pride, selfishness, alcohol, and so much more - We are free! Praise Jesus! Every small and not so small victory in my life is preparation for bigger and greater battles that await me. I am to have no fear and trust in Him, and be victorious once more; and may all the glory go to Jesus.
Here is a quote from Blake Healy's book "The Veil" which I thought was very appropriate for this discussion: Fear: the first tactic of the enemy is fear. Fear is faith in the devil. It is believing that God is incapable of protecting and guiding you. The devil has some power, but he has no authority unless you give it to him with your faith.
So where are you now? Are you trained and ready for the battles that confront you? Is God's word written into your heart, and have you submitted to His ways? As you do, He will train you in the physical and spritual realms to be strong and without a shadow of doubt that when you do face the Goliath problems in your life, you will with resolute determination declare God's Kingdom presense, and declare victory over this situation to the Glory of Jesus - and it will be so.
I pray the we may all increase in this area of faith in our lives, and no matter where we are with our walk with Jesus, that we'd turn our eyes to Him, during troubles; and that we'd never yield or cower in fear to Satan. Our God is an awesome God, and his truth reigns.
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.