RESTORING YOUR S H I E L D O F FAITH

This well-written book brought e to ! new le"el o# #!ith !n$ belie# th!t I h!$ not w!lke$ in %re"iousl&' Re!$ing these (on(e%ts is r!ther like e!ting s%iritu!l )he!ties' For those o# &ou who h!"e h!$ so e serious (h!llenges to &our #!ith o# l!te* Restoring Your Shield of Faith is #or &ou+

PRAISE FOR

, IND Y - A ,O .S
A U T H O R , T H E V O IC E
OF

GOD

It/s re !rk!ble how ,hu(k 0ier(e !n$ Robert Hei$ler !lw!&s hit the bull/s-e&e' Restoring Your Shield of Faith i %!rts (l!ssi( te!(hing !bout #oun$!tion!l %rin(i%les* &et it un#ol$s these truths in ! #resh !n$ rele"!nt w!&' )e !ll nee$ to he!r this ess!ge' .oth o# these en h!"e #!(e$ "er& tough s%iritu!l b!ttles !n$ h!"e le!rne$ #irsth!n$ how to li#t high their shiel$s o# #!ith' Re!$ their stories* so!k in their te!(hing* !n$ be(o e better e1ui%%e$ to #!(e the ene & !n$ enter ! new $i ension o# &our w!lk with Go$'
D R ' D U T , H S H EE T S
A U T H O R , I NT ER CE SS OR Y P RA YE R

Restoring Your Shield of Faith (h!llenges our l!(k o# #!ith when trouble or !$"ersit& (o es our w!&' ,hu(k 0ier(e !n$ Robert Hei$ler (!re#ull& un#ol$ ! t!%estr& o# bibli(!l truths to hel% us !(t in #!ith to re(ei"e the %ro ises o# Go$' Re!$ this book !n$ &our #!ith will ignite !s ine $i$+

A L I, E S 2 IT H
EXECUTIVE

DIRECTOR, U.S. PRAYER CENTER

Do &ou w!nt to li"e Go$/s #ull $estin& #or &our li#e3 It will onl& h!%%en i# &ou li"e ! li#e o# "ibr!nt #!ith' Restoring Your Shield of Faith is ! book th!t will hel% &ou begin ! new 4ourne& !n$ sust!in the #!ith th!t &ou nee$ to o"e #orw!r$'

,' 0 ET ER ) A G NE R
CHANCELLOR, WAGNER LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE

In to$!&/s worl$ o# (h!os !n$ (on#usion* ,hristi!ns nee$ ! new le"el o# #!ith' 2!n& %eo%le h!"e be(o e $is(our!ge$* #!(e$ #e!rs the& ne"er en(ountere$ be#ore or lost ho%e' Restoring Your Shield of Faith gi"es ! %r!(ti(!l ro!$ !% #or reg!ining ! %ower#ul le"el o# #!ith th!t se(ures the "i(tor&' I highl& re(o en$ this book to hel% !n&one shi#t into ! new %l!(e !n$ obt!in the %ro ises o# the Lor$ #or their li#e'

. A R .A R A ) E NT R O . L E
FOUNDER,
INTERNATIONAL

BREAKTHROUGH MINISTRIES
Y O U AR E AN O I N T E D

AUTHOR

,

P RO PH ET I C

I NT ER CE SS I O N A N D

PUBLISHED

BY

REGAL

BOOKS U

FROM GOSPEL LIGHT VENTURA, CALIFORNIA, PRINTED IN THE U.S.A.

.S.A.

Reg!l .ooks is ! inistr& o# Gos%el Light* !n e"!ngeli(!l ,hristi!n %ublisher $e$i(!te$ to ser"ing the lo(!l (hur(h' )e belie"e Go$/s "ision #or Gos%el Light is to %ro"i$e (hur(h le!$ers with bibli(!l* user-#rien$l& !teri!ls th!t will hel% the e"!ngeli5e* $is(i%le !n$ inister to (hil$ren* &outh !n$ #! ilies' It is our %r!&er th!t this Reg!l book will hel% &ou $is(o"er bibli(!l truth #or &our own li#e !n$ hel% &ou eet the nee$s o# others' 2!& Go$ ri(hl& bless &ou' For a free catalog of resources from Regal Books/Gospel Light, please call your Christian supplier or contact us at 6788-9-GOS0EL or www'reg!lbooks'(o '

All S(ri%ture 1uot!tions* unless otherwise in$i(!te$* !re t!ken #ro the N !"#S(ri%ture t!ken #ro the Ne$ ing !ames "ersion% ,o%&right : 6;<;* 6;78* 6;7= b& Tho !s Nelson* In(' Use$ b& %er ission' AH rights reser"e$' Other "ersions use$ !re A20-S(ri%ture t!ken #ro THE A20LIFIED .I.LE* Ol$ Test! ent (o%&right : 6;>?* 6;7< b& the @on$er"!n ,or%or!tion' The A %li#ie$ New Test! ent (o%&right : 6;?7* 6;7< b& The Lo(k !n Foun$!tion' Use$ b& %er ission' !"# ing !ames "ersion% Authori5e$ Aing -! es Bersion' N&SB#S(ri%ture t!ken #ro the Ne$ &merican Standard Bi'le, : 6;>8* 6;>=* 6;>C* 6;>7* 6;<6* 6;<=* 6;<C* 6;<?* 6;<< b& The Lo(k !n Foun$!tion' Use$ b& %er ission' NIBDS(ri%ture t!ken #ro the (oly Bi'le, Ne$ )nternational "ersion*% ,o%&right : 6;<C* 6;<7* 6;79 b& Intern!tion!l .ible So(iet&' Use$ b& %er ission o# @on$er"!n 0ublishing House' All rights reser"e$' NRS"#The S(ri%ture 1uot!tions (ont!ine$ herein !re #ro the Ne$ Re+ised Standard "ersion Bi'le, (o%&right 6;7;* b& the Di"ision o# ,hristi!n E$u(!tion o# the N!tion!l ,oun(il o# the ,hur(hes o# ,hrist in the U'S'A' Use$ b& %er ission' All rights reser"e$' T-.-S(ri%ture t!ken #ro ,he !erusalem Bi'le, (o%&right : 6;>> b& D!rton* Lone !n !n$ To$$* Lt$' An$ Double$!& !n$ ,o %!n&* In(' All rights reser"e$' : =889 ,hu(k D' 0ier(e !n$ Robert Hei$ler All rights reser"e$' E$ite$ b& Ste"en L!wson Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data 0ier(e* ,hu(k D'* 6;?CRestoring &our shiel$ o# #!ith E ,hu(k D' 0ier(e !n$ Robert Hei$ler' %' ( ' In(lu$es bibliogr!%hi(!l re#eren(es !n$ in$eF IS.N 8-7C8<-C=>C-= 6' S%iritu!l w!r#!re' =' ,hristi!n li#e' C' F!ith' I Hei$ler Robert D'* 6;97- II' Title' .B9?8;'?'0?? =88C =C?/'9-$(== 6 = C 9 ? > < 7 ; 68 66 6= 6C 69 6? E 8; 87 8< 8> 8? 89 8C Rights #or %ublishing this book in other l!ngu!ges !re (ontr!(te$ b& Gos%el Light )orl$wi$e the intern!tion!l non%ro#it inistr& o# Gos%el Light' Gos%el Light )orl$wi$e !lso %ro"i$es %ublish ing !n$ te(hni(!l !ssist!n(e to intern!tion!l %ublishers $e$i(!te$ to %ro$u(ing Sun$!& S(hool !n$ "!(!tion .ible S(hool (urri(ul! !n$ books in the l!ngu!ges o# the worl$' For !$$ition!l in#or !- tion* "isit www'gos%ellightworl$wi$e'orgG write to Gos%el Light )orl$wi$e* 0'O' .oF C7<?* Ventura, ,A ;C88>G or sen$ !n e- !il to in#oHgos%elIighrworl$wi$e'org'

=88C8=6C7?

D

E D I C A T I O N

This book is $e$i(!te$ to !ll o# those who in the i$st o# b!ttle h!"e r!ise$ high their shiel$s o# #!ith' )e s%e(i#i(!ll& w!nt to !(knowle$ge !ll o# our %erson!l inter(essors !n$ #rien$s who h!$ their shiel$s u% on our beh!l# !s we %re%!re$ this book'

,ONTENTS
Prologue................................................................................................9 ,he ,estudo Chapter 1.............................................................................................13 !esus, -ur Shield Chapter 2.............................................................................................27 .hat Faith )s Chapter 3.............................................................................................3 Blessings and Benefits Chapter !............................................................................................. 1 /nemies of Faith Chapter ............................................................................................."1 ,he 0o$er of -ur .ords Chapter ".............................................................................................7 0assing the ,est Chapter 7.............................................................................................91 Bursting 0ast Blockades Chapter #...........................................................................................111 ,he .hole &rmor of God Chapter 9...........................................................................................121 From .eakness to 0erfection Chapter 1$.........................................................................................131 1o+ing )nto a Ne$ 2imension

Put on the full armor of God, ... with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, t a k e u% t h e s h i e l d o f f a i t h , with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
E 0 H E S I A N S > I 6 C - 6 > *

N)",

E 2 0 H A S I S A D D E D

PROLOGUE

%&' %'(%)D*
Through the e!rl& orning ist Se"erus 2!Fi us (oul$ see b!rb!ri!n w!rriors ! !ssing !t the #!r en$ o# the "!lle&' For siF onths these ene & (o b!t!nts h!$ been r!i$ing w!gons th!t tr!"ele$ !long Ro !n tr!$e routes in the region' Se"erus !n$ his (ohort o# >88 Ro !n sol$iers h!$ been $is%!t(he$ to (le!r the out' Se"erus/s en knew their 4obs well* but going into b!ttle w!s ne"er t!ken lightl&' Tension #ille$ the !ir !s the& 1uietl& !n$ e##i(ientl& $onne$ their !r or' The &oungest o# the (ohort* B!lentinus* "isibl& tre ble$ !s he !$4uste$ the str!%s on his !r or' Not &et out o# his teens* he w!s !bout to t!ste b!ttle #or the #irst ti e' )hen Se"erus !%%ro!(he$* B!lentinus sn!%%e$ to !ttention' Se"erus (!re#ull& (he(ke$ the &oung or$ere$* J0i(k u% &our e1ui% ent+J !n/s !r or !n$ then

The &oung re(ruit knelt !n$ %i(ke$ u% his swor$ !n$ his l!rge re(t!ngul!r shiel$' The b!ttle shiel$ hel$ Se"erus/s !ttention' It w!s Ro e/s se(ret we!%on !n$ the ke& to !n& b!ttle#iel$ "i(tories' A !5ingl& light* it w!s nonetheless #ir enough !n$ l!rge enough to gi"e ! sol$ier !l ost (o %lete %rote(tion' A ner"ous B!lentinus stoo$ to !ttention* hol$ing his shiel$ (losel& b& his si$eDit w!s !l ost !s t!ll !s he w!s' JYoung B!lentinus* &ou !re now ! Ro !n sol$ier*J Se"erus !nnoun(e$' JYou !re %!rt o# the best-tr!ine$* best-e1ui%%e$ #ighting #or(e the worl$ h!s e"er seen'J The (o !n$er %ut his h!n$ on the &oung !n/s shoul$er

68

0ROLOGUE

!n$ so#tene$ his tone* JYou were sent here to #!(e this b!rb!ri!n hor$e' .ut re e ber this* &ou were not sent here to $ie' You were sent here to win+ Aee% &our shiel$ u% !n$ &ou will $o well'J As the &oung !n/s e&es brightene$* Se"erus s ile$ slightl&* JStrength !n$ honor* B!lentinus'J JStrength !n$ honor* sir'J A(ross the "!lle& the b!rb!ri!n w!rlor$ w!s %re%!ring his en #or b!ttle !lso' His (! % w!s 1uite ! (ontr!st to the one Se"erus r!n' It reeke$ o# unw!she$ bo$ies !n$ s%oile$ #oo$' The en were %oorl& tr!ine$* ill e1ui%%e$ !n$ sh!gg& in !%%e!r!n(e' Howe"er* their sten(h !n$ %!int-stre!ke$ #!(es h!$ stru(k terror into the he!rts o# !n& ! #oe' The b!rb!ri!n hor$e w!s $i"i$e$ into two grou%s' On the #ront lines were <88 w!rriors' Ar e$ with swor$s* l!n(es !n$ !Fes* the& ille$ !bout* l!ughing !n$ bo!sting o# their %rowess' E!(h see e$ e!ger to %ro"e th!t he w!s stronger !n$ lou$er th!n the others' The se(on$ #l!nk (onsiste$ o# =88 !r(hers* their !rrows ti%%e$ with bl!(k %it(h* whi(h woul$ be $e!$l& to their ene ies' The w!rlor$ w!s %rou$ o# his en' The& h!$ seen !n& b!ttles !n$ h!$ !lw!&s been "i(torious' .ut the& h!$ ne"er #ought the Ro !ns' The o ent the soun$ o# ! tru %et e(hoe$ !(ross the "!lle& the b!rb!ri!ns s!w the Ro !ns #or ing long lines !n$ r!nks' Soon the !ir w!s #ille$ with !n o inous soun$* like low-%it(he$ thun$er' It w!s the ru ble o# !r(hing #eet !n$ Ro !n swor$s rh&th i(!ll& sl!%%ing the e$ge o# l!rge re(t!ngul!r shiel$s' The b!rb!ri!n hor$es were not inti i$!te$' E!ger to t!ste bloo$* the& beg!n to (urse !n$ t!unt the !%%ro!(hing Ro !ns' Fin!ll& the w!rlor$ g!"e the sign!l' The #irst w!"e o# ene & w!rriors let out ! b!ttle (r&* li#te$ their we!%ons high o"er their he!$s !n$ s%rinte$ !(ross the n!rrowing stri% o# l!n$ th!t se%!r!te$ the two #or(es' To the horror o# the w!rlor$* the Ro !ns res%on$e$ with ! t!(ti( th!t he h!$ ne"er be#ore seen' As the #irst w!"e o# b!rb!ri!ns !%%ro!(he$* the Ro !n sol$iersD !r(hing shoul$er to shoul$erDlinke$ their shiel$s together to #or !n

THE TESTUDO

66

i %enetr!ble w!ll' The b!rb!ri!ns #oun$ the sel"es rushing he!$long tow!r$ ! soli$ !ss th!t w!s o"ing ineFor!bl& tow!r$ the ' )hen the ene ies (l!she$* the b!rb!ri!n we!%ons h!r lessl& (l!nke$ !g!inst the Ro !n shiel$s' The w!rlor$ (oul$ not belie"e his e&esI His br!"e w!rriors were 1ui(kl& i %!le$ on Ro !n swor$s th!t were thrust through n!rrow slits between the shiel$s' The b!rb!ri!n le!$er sign!le$ ! se(on$ w!"e o# !tt!(k but s!w this #or(e eet the s! e #!teI $!she$ !g!inst the o"ing #ortress o# the Ro !n !r &' A thir$ w!"e w!s 4ust !s r!%i$l& re%ulse$' A #ew Ro !n sol$iers #ell* but the& were inst!ntl& re%l!(e$ b& others who o"e$ u% #ro the re!r' As the Ro !n w!ll o# shiel$s (ontinue$ to !$"!n(e on the b!rb!ri!ns* the w!rlor$ shrieke$ in !nger !n$ g!"e ! sign!l to his !r(hers' 0it(h-ti%%e$ !rrows were $i%%e$ in #ire%ots' At the w!rlor$/s neFt sign!l* the !ir !bo"e the Ro !n #or(es w!s #ille$ with ! stor o# #l! ing !rrows' .ut on(e !g!in the Ro !ns were %re%!re$' )hile the #rontline sol$iers ke%t their shiel$s (losel& linke$* the sol$iers behin$ the li#te$ their shiel$s o"erhe!$* #itting the together in ! #or !tion the Ro !ns (!lle$ the testudo KtortoiseL' The Ro !n line h!$ been tr!ns#or e$ into ! roo#e$ stronghol$+ Their linke$ shiel$s 1ui(kl& eFtinguishe$ the #l! ing !rrows !n$ !llowe$ the sol$iers to (ontinue their !$"!n(e' The b!rb!ri!n w!rlor$ h!$ no #or !l e$u(!tion* but he w!s no #ool' He knew his #or(es were $e#e!te$* so the& 1ui(kl& retre!te$' As the b!rb!ri!ns #le$ !(ross the "!lle& !n$ out o# sight* Se"erus knew th!t be(!use o# their shiel$s* !nother b!ttle h!$ been won' -ust !s the #in!l (lou$s o# $ust were settling* Se"erus (!ught sight o# B!lentinus' The &oung !n* who h!$ been so ner"ous be#ore the b!ttle beg!n* now stoo$ t!ll* %rou$ !n$ "i(torious' JStrength !n$ honor* sir*J the Ro !n sol$ier s!i$ to his (o !n$er' JStrength !n$ honor* B!lentinus*J Se"erus be! e$ to the (hil$ who* b& trusting in the strength o# his shiel$* on this $!& !n$ in this b!ttle h!$ be(o e ! !n'

S()/L2

-F

F&),(

.ords and music 'y Ron Block Recorded 'y Grammy &$ard3$inner &lison rauss So eti es I/ b!ttle we!r& I #orget to use & shiel$ The !rrows %ier(e & !r or An$ I stu ble in the #iel$ A shiel$ won/t $o u(h goo$ i# it/s h!ngin/ b& &our si$e Aee% the shiel$ o# #!ith be#ore &ou i# &ou w!nt to st!& !li"e I/ll think & li#e is o"er .ut the Lor$ he (o es to e He he!ls & woun$e$ s%irit An$ he sets e on & #eet A shiel$ won/t $o u(h goo$ i# it/s h!ngin/ b& &our si$e Aee% the shiel$ o# #!ith be#ore &ou i# &ou w!nt to st!& !li"e So eti es &ou/re b!ttle we!r& .ut the w!r/s !lre!$& won Aee% &our he!$ !n$ hol$ &our shiel$ high /Til &our $!&s o# li#e !re $one A shiel$ won/t $o u(h goo$ i# it/s h!ngin/ b& &our si$e Aee% the shiel$ o# #!ith be#ore &ou i# &ou w!nt to st!& !li"e Aee% the shiel$ o# #!ith be#ore &ou i# &ou w!nt to st!& !li"e

JShiel$ o# F!ithJ written b& Ron .lo(k : 6;;= 2OONLIGHT ,ANYON 0U.LISHING K.2ILEA$ inistere$ b& .UG All Rights Reser"e$' Use$ .& 0er ission'

CHA

P T E R

1

6

-ESUS* OUR SHIELD

)hen we be(o e ,hristi!ns* we !re born onto ! b!ttle-#iel$' Our (hoi(e is not whether we w!nt to enter into ! (on#li(tG r!ther* w!r h!s !lre!$& been $e(l!re$ !g!inst us' Our onl& (hoi(e is whether we w!nt to be tr! %le$ b& the ene & or le!rn to #ight !n$ win' At issue in this b!ttle !re the %ro ises o# Go$' 0eter s!i$ th!t Go$ h!s gi"en us His %re(ious !n$ !gni#i(ent !ssur!n(es !n$ th!t through the we (!n be(o e %!rt!kers o# His $i"ine n!ture Ksee = 0et' 6I9L' Go$ h!s gi"en us %ro ises th!t rel!te to e"er& !re! o# li#e' He h!s %ro ise$ us !bun$!nt %ro"ision* he!ling !n$ !n& other blessings'

%&' +,%%L' +'-./(
Go$ gu!r!ntees u(h to %eo%le who %ut their trust in Hi ' Howe"er* when we o%en our .ible !n$ begin to (l!i these %ro ises* we $is(o"er the b!ttle+ )hen we s!& JI w!nt to (o e into ! new %l!(e in the Lor$+ I w!nt to o"e #orw!r$ to obt!in the %ro ises+J S!t!nDour ene & in this b!ttleDwill tr& to sto% us' S!t!n/s go!l is to #righten !n$ $is(our!ge us* to (!use us to turn b!(k !n$ not %ress on' O#ten when we st!rt o"ing #orw!r$* we !lso st!rt seeing things go wrong in our li"es' So eti es S!t!n unle!shes one gre!t* o"erwhel ing !tt!(k' For eF! %le* 4ust when we begin to trust the Lor$ #or our #in!n(es* !n uneF%e(te$ bill !rri"es in the !il' )e o%en the en"elo%e !n$ !l ost #!int+ All o# our #!ith w!shes $own the $r!in' I# it is not ! bill* then it !& be !

69

,HA0TER 6

%rolonge$ illness or so e other setb!(k th!t i %e$es our %rogress' So eti es ! stor o# !$"ersit& (o es u%on us' )e st!rt to t!ke huge ste%s #orw!r$ !n$ w!lk (loser to the Lor$ th!n e"er be#ore* when su$$enl& we !re b!rr!ge$ b& (!l! ities' )e #igure th!t the !tt!(k ust be s%iritu!l* be(!use wh!t h!s sl! e$ into us is #!r be&on$ ! nor !l run o# b!$ lu(k+ A #rien$ o# Robert Hei$ler $es(ribe$ these stor s o# !$"ersit& this w!&I JYou (!n !lw!&s tell when it is S!t!n* be(!use he !lw!&s o"er%l!&s his h!n$'J6 Su(h !tt!(ks !& !##e(t our he!lth' )hen -ohn Di(kson le#t his (!reer in the se(ul!r worl$ to be(o e ! #ull-ti e worshi% le!$er in the (hur(h I !tten$ KGlor& o# @ion Outre!(hL* it see e$ !s i# the ene & resiste$ hi on e"er& si$e' The $!& he (! e on st!##* two o# his ki$s (! e $own with (hi(ken %oF* one $e"elo%e$ %inke&e !n$ his wi#e got si(k+ His #! il& w!s in su(h tur oil th!t #or two weeks* t!king (!re o# the took u% !ll o# his ti e' -ust when -ohn/s #! il& beg!n to re(o"er* his own b!(k went out' He w!s #l!t on his b!(k !n$ gone #or !nother two weeks' So eti es ! stor o# !$"ersit& see s to blow h!r$ on our #in!n(es' )hen %!stor Robert Hei$ler beg!n to shi#t Glor& o# @ion Outre!(h* ! tr!$ition!l .ible (hur(h* tow!r$ the new !%ostoli( o"e ent Ke %h!si5ing gi#ts !n$ the bibli(!l %ositions o# !uthorit&* in(lu$ing !%ostles* %ro%hets* et('L* !$"erse win$s beg!n to blow' )e entere$ ! %h!se when Go$ w!s est!blishing so e !4or new inistries through the (hur(h' In the i$st o# this (ru(i!l ti e* ! w!"e o# !$"ersit& (r!she$ $own u%on Robert/s #! il&' First* their hot w!ter he!ter s%r!ng ! le!k !n$ the #loo$ o# w!ter ruine$ their (!r%et' The& h!$ to get the (!r%et and the hot w!ter he!ter re%l!(e$' As the& were working to get these !((o %lishe$* the !ltern!tor on their (!r went out !n$ ter ites in"!$e$ their house' Then the ther ost!t in their (!r !l#un(tione$* (!using it to o"erhe!t' The #uel %u % w!s neFt to go $own* le!"ing Robert !n$ his #! il& str!n$e$' In ! threeweek %erio$ this stor o# !$"ersit& not onl& (onsu e$ u(h o# their ti e !n$ !ttention* but it !lso resulte$ in ore th!n MC*888 in re%!ir bills' T!lk !bout $istr!(ting* hin$ering #or(es+

-ESUS* OUR SHIELD

6?

SATAN
.A,A'

,O2ES )ITH A STOR2

OF ADBERSITY TO INTI2IDATE US AND TRY TO 2AAE US TURN

%he 'ne0y 1ho ,ttac2s 2ost ,hristi!ns who tr& to !$"!n(e !long the %!th to whi(h Go$ h!s (!lle$ the h!"e eF%erien(e$ s%iritu!l !tt!(ks' S!t!n (o es with ! stor o# !$"ersit& to inti i$!te us !n$ tr& to !ke us turn b!(k' )e will t!ke ! (loser look !t this in (h!%ter 9* but let/s be(o e #! ili!r with the $i!boli(!l s(he es o# the ene & #ro the st!rt' The !%ostle 0!ul $es(ribe$ s%iritu!l w!r#!re in the book o# E%hesi!nsI JT!ke u% the shiel$ o# #!ith* with whi(h &ou (!n eFtinguish !ll the #l! ing !rrows o# the e"il oneJ K>I6>* N)"4% The %eo%le o# E%hesus eF%erien(e$ the gre!test re"i"!l the ,hur(h in th!t $!& h!$ seen' How $i$ 0!ul get belie"ers to ! %l!(e o# #!ith to eF%erien(e this3 As $es(ribe$ in the book o# E%hesi!ns* #irst he %r!&e$ th!t the& woul$ h!"e resting u%on the wh!t I (!ll ! s%irit o# wis$o !n$ re"el!tion' He then hel%e$ re"e!l e!(h belie"er/s i$entit& in ,hrist' He en(our!ge$ the to be roote$ !n$ groun$e$ in lo"e' He !$ onishe$ the to %ut o## !ll i$ol!tr& !n$ to %ut on ,hrist' JTo %ut on ,hristJ e!ns not onl& to r!ise Hi u% !s ! o$el but !lso to in"ite His Hol& S%irit to li"e within !n$ work through us' 0!ul !$e this (le!r to the ,hristi!ns o# his $!&' The !%ostle !lso stresse$ the i %ort!n(e o# the !s(ension* or go"ern ent* K(hur(h le!$ershi%L gi#ts th!t woul$ bring belie"ers into ! unit& o# #!ith' He then en(our!ge$ e bers o# the E!rl& ,hur(h to get !ll o# their e!rthl& !##!irs in or$er' He re"e!le$ th!t un$erst!n$ing %ro%er !lign ent !n$ !uthorit& w!s eFtre el& i %ort!nt' There w!s ! (le!r or$er !n$ %rogression in wh!t 0!ul t!ught' A#ter l!&ing out the initi!l ste%s* the !%ostle s!i$* JThere#ore %ut on the #ull !r or o# Go$J KE%h' >I6C* NIBL' It w!s the shiel$ th!t woul$ 1uen(h e"er& #l! ing !rrow th!t woul$ (o e !g!inst the Dlikewise* it is the shiel$ th!t will %rote(t us'

6>

,HA0TER 6

3o0an (hiel4s %hat Protect As 0!ul s!w the kin$ o# !tt!(k S!t!n unle!she$ !g!inst Go$/s %eo%le* he %er(ei"e$ th!t the s%iritu!l w!r#!re o# ,hristi!ns is !n!logous to the %h&si(!l w!r#!re o# the Ro !n !r &' As illustr!te$ in the %rologue o# this book* in !n(ient w!r#!re it w!s (o on #or !r ies to use ! stor o# !rrows to terri#& their ene ies' I# we were sol$iers !n$ thous!n$s o# #l! ing !rrows beg!n to strike !ll !roun$ us* the nu ber one thing in our in$ woul$ be* )5+e got to get out of here6 So eti es th!t is how we #eel when S!t!n !tt!(ks us' The Ro !n !r & h!$ ! %ie(e o# !r or th!t %ro"i$e$ ! soli$ $e#ense !g!inst this kin$ o# !tt!(k' In !n& (!ses it w!s the se(ret we!%on th!t brought the !r & "i(tor&' This %ie(e o# !r or w!s the b!ttle shiel$' As I $es(ribe$ in the %rologue* this shiel$ w!s not like the roun$ et!l $is(s we o#ten see in o"ies' The Ro !n b!ttle shiel$ w!s ! l!rge re(t!ngul!r $e#ense o# et!l th!t (o"ere$ the entire length o# ! !n/s bo$&' Ro !n sol$iers woul$ line u% shoul$er to shoul$er with their shiel$s hel$ in #ront o# the !n$ o"e !(ross the b!ttle#iel$ like !n !r ore$ t!nk' )hen the !%ostle 0!ul thought !bout our struggle !g!inst S!t!n* he re!li5e$ th!t Go$ h!s gi"en us ! shiel$ like th!t' It is ! shiel$ o# #!ith' )hen 0!ul $es(ribe$ our shiel$* he use$ the wor$ #or the Ro !n b!ttle shiel$' The wor$ is thureos, and it e!ns ! $oorsh!%e$ shiel$ Kthe Greek wor$ #or $oor is thura4%7 The thureos w!s ! l!rge re(t!ngul!r shiel$ !bout #i"e #eet high !n$ three #eet wi$e' It w!s !lso (!lle$ ! (!stle shiel$' In other wor$s* it w!s ! %ort!ble #ortress' I #oun$ it interesting to stu$& how this shiel$ w!s !$e' The thureos w!s "er& l!rgeG there#ore* i# it h!$ been !$e o# soli$ woo$ or et!l* it woul$ h!"e been $i##i(ult to (!rr&' To (onstru(t ! thureos the Ro !ns beg!n with ! woo$en #r! ework' O"er th!t #r! ework the& #!stene$ se"en l!&ers o# tough le!ther #ro the skin o# ! bull or ! (!l#* until the shiel$ w!s #our or #i"e in(hes thi(k* !n$ then n!ile$ the se(urel& in %l!(e' As the sol$iers got re!$& to go into b!ttle* the& $i%%e$ the shiel$ in ! ne!rb& ri"er to s!tur!te it with

-ESUS* OUR SHIELD

6<

w!ter so it woul$ not onl& sto% !n !rrow* but it woul$ !lso 1uen(h the #ire'C *ur (hiel4 1ho .s /a0e4 5esus As I stu$ie$ the Ro !n shiel$* Go$ beg!n to gi"e e ! re"el!tion' -ust think !bout how this shiel$ w!s (onstru(te$' The skin o# ! bull or (!l# w!s stret(he$ out o"er ! woo$en #r! e' In the Ol$ Test! ent* the !ni !l re1uire$ #or ! sin o##ering w!s ! bull or ! (!l#' The skin o# the bull or (!l# is ! s& bol o# ! sacrifice #or sin' A single l!&er o# le!ther w!s not su##i(ient #or the Ro !n shiel$ to be e##e(ti"e' The shiel$ !ker built u% se"en l!&ers o# !ni !l skin to %ro"i$e the necessary %rote(tion' Se"en is the nu ber o# %er#e(tion' This %ro"i$es ! %i(ture o# ! perfect s!(ri#i(e' The %er#e(t s!(ri#i(e w!s stret(he$ out !n$ n!ile$ to ! woo$en #r! ework' Its %ur%ose w!s to t!ke u%on itsel# !ll o# the !rrows inten$e$ #or the sol$ier'

GOD HAS GIBEN US A SHIELD AND HIS NA2E IS -ESUS+
Look !t wh!t this shiel$ re%resents' Go$ h!s %ro"i$e$ ! %er#e(t s!(ri#i(e #or sin through His Son* -esus' This %er#e(t s!(ri#i(e w!s stret(he$ out !n$ n!ile$ to ! woo$en cross% (is purpose $as to recei+e upon (imself all the afflictions Satan intended for us6 Go$ w!nts us to know th!t (e has gi+en us a shield and (is name is !esus6 -esus (! e to be our shiel$' He (! e to t!ke u%on Hi sel# e"er& !rrow th!t S!t!n inten$e$ #or us'
• !esus took our guilt% Go$ (!use$ the guilt o# us !ll to #!ll on

His Son Ksee Is!' ?CI>L' -esus took our guilt so th!t we (!n h!"e His righteousness' we!knesses u%on Hi sel# so th!t we (!n be he!le$ Ksee Is!' ?CI9-?L' s!kes he be(! e %oor* so th!t &ou through his %o"ert&

• (e took our infirmities% He bore our si(knesses !n$ our

• (e took our po+erty% JThough he w!s ri(h* &et #or &our

67

,HA0TER 6 ight be(o e ri(hJ K= ,or' 7I;* NIBL' -esus took our %o"ert& so th!t we (!n h!"e His !bun$!n(e'
• (e took our curse% He be(! e ! (urse #or us* so th!t the

blessing o# Abr!h! woul$ (o e on the Gentiles b& #!ith' Ksee G!l' CI6C-69L' -esus took the (urse so th!t we (!n h!"e the blessing'

)hen -esus hung on the (ross* He inter%ose$ Hi sel# between us !n$ our ene &' It w!s His will th!t !ll the e"il S!t!n inten$s #or us woul$ (o e u%on Hi inste!$' )e nee$ to re!li5e th!t when !n !rrow o# the ene & strikes us* it is ! "iol!tion o# the will o# Go$' -esus w!nts those !rrows to (o e on (im, so we $o not h!"e to be!r the ' -esus (! e to be our shiel$* but we $on/t eF%erien(e His %rote(tion unless we !(ti"!te our shiel$ b& #!ith' In #!(t* this is true o# e"er&thing -esus $i$ #or usDwithout #!ith we (!nnot eF%erien(e $eli"er!n(e* restor!tion or !n&thing else He w!nts #or us' This is true o# s!l"!tion' Think !bout thisI How in the worl$ $i$ -esus $ie #or3 All o# the ' How !n& %eo%le in the worl$ !lre!$& h!"e s!l"!tion %ur(h!se$ #or the 3 E"er&bo$&+ I# so eone eFists #or who -esus h!s not already %ur(h!se$ s!l"!tion* He woul$ nee$ to $ie !g!in in or$er #or th!t %erson to be s!"e$' He/s not going to $o th!t be(!use He $oes not nee$ to' )hen -esus went to the (ross* He %!i$ it !ll* #or e"er&one' He h!s !lre!$& %ur(h!se$ s!l"!tion #or e"er& %erson who h!s e"er been born !n$ e"er&one who e"er will be born' There is ! (!t(h* howe"er* Onl& those who eFer(ise faith )ill !(tu!ll& obt!in !n$ eF%erien(e wh!t He h!s !lre!$& %ur(h!se$ #or the ' In the s! e w!&* -esus %ur(h!se$ %rote(tion #or e"er& belie"er' He hung on the (ross !s our shiel$ to t!ke !ll the !rrows o# the ene & u%on Hi sel#' .ut onl& when we h!"e #!ith is our shiel$ !(ti"!te$' To %ut it !nother w!&* onl& when we h!"e #!ith $o we eF%erien(e the %rote(tion -esus h!s !lre!$& %ur(h!se$ #or us' The re !in$er o# this book is %re$i(!te$ on the !ssu %tion !n& %eo%le

-ESUS* OUR SHIELD

6;

th!t we !re belie"ers in ,hrist* #or without t!king th!t #irst ste% o# #!ith* we (!n ne"er r!ise our shiel$ o# #!ith'

OUR SHIELD GOES U0
How $o we !(ti"!te our shiel$ or #!ith3 )e trigger it b& st!n$ing on Go$/s )or$' As belie"ers* we n!tur!ll& shoul$ seek to $o this in e"er& !re! o# li#e' As we le!rn to $o this* we will see th!t when the b!ttles (o e* we !re re!$&' For eF! %le* we ight (o e un$er !tt!(k #in!n(i!ll&' The #l! ing !rrows o# the ene & #!ll on e"er& si$e' )e be(o e o"erwhel e$ b& our nee$' How $o we li#t u% our shiel$ !n$ (o e un$er Go$/s %rote(tion3 Pro0ises %hat -o4 6eeps The #irst ste%I )e nee$ to know wh!t Go$ h!s %ro ise$' Too !n& ,hristi!ns $on/t know Go$/s %ro ises' So e h!"e been tol$ it is Go$/s will #or us to li"e in %o"ert&' I# we belie"e th!t l!(k o# %ro"ision is wh!t Go$ w!nts* then we will ne"er h!"e #!ith to o"er(o e ! #in!n(i!l setb!(k' In #!(t* we will %rob!bl& be(o e irres%onsible* whi(h will !ke the %roble worse r!ther th!n i %ro"e it' )e nee$ to know Go$/s will' )here $o we #in$ Go$/s will3 It is re"e!le$ in the .ible' To bolster our trust in Go$ #or our #in!n(es* we (!n re!$ %!ss!ges th!t $es(ribe Go$/s will #or us to %ros%er' 0s!l =CI6 is one o# those "erses' It re!$s* JThe LORD is & she%her$G I sh!ll not w!nt'J This "erse is "er& (le!r' Go$ s!&s His st!n$!r$ is th!t we be short o# nothing th!t we nee$' E"er&bo$& lo"es to re(ite 0s!l =C' )e sing !bout it* t!lk !bout it* utter it !t #uner!ls !n$ %ut it on w!ll %l!1ues' 0s!l =C !kes us #eel goo$ when we re!$ it* but there is not one ,hristi!n in ! hun$re$ who belie"es this %ro ise is trueDb& Jbelie"eJ I e!n !%%l&ing it in our li#e !n$ eF%e(ting it to h!%%en' A lot o# ,hristi!ns (l!i to belie"e the .ible but !ke sill& (o ents su(h !s JI $on/t belie"e in th!t %ros%erit& stu##'J )h!t h!%%ene$ to 0s!l =C3 I# Go$/s )or$ s!&s the Lor$ is our she%her$* then He is our she%her$ !n$ we will h!"e no l!(k'

=8

,HA0TER 6

Let/s look !t two other %!ss!ges' 0s!l C9I; KA)L %ro ises us* JThose who #e!r hi nothing'J l!(k

.E,AUSE -ESUS IS OUR SUN AND SHIELD* HE )ILL NOT )ITHHOLD ANY GOOD THING FRO2 US'
0s!l 79I66 KA)L eF%!n$s u%on the %ro iseI JThe LORD Go$ is ! sun !n$ shiel$G ' ' ' no goo$ thing $oes he withhol$ #ro those whose w!lk is bl! eless'J Go$ w!nts us to know th!t He is our sun Kour %ro"i$erL !n$ our shiel$ Kour %rote(torL' .e(!use He is our sun !n$ shiel$* He will not withhol$ !n& goo$ thing #ro us' Th!t/s the %ro ise o# Go$/s )or$' I# we w!lk with Go$ !n$ !$here to His st!n$!r$* then His will #or our li"es is th!t we l!(k no goo$ thing' H!"ing enough is su%%ose$ to be the nor * not the ir!(ulous eF(e%tion' Yet !n& ,hristi!ns li"e (ontinu!ll& in %o"ert& !n$ nee$' !n& (!ses it/s be(!use )h& is this3 There !re !n& re!sons* but in too we !re $illing to li+e in %o"ert&'

)h!t $o we $o when the !il !n (o es to our $oor to $eli"er ! %!(k!ge !n$ we re!li5e th!t he h!s $eli"ere$ it to the wrong !$$ress3 )e s!&* JI (!n/t t!ke th!t' It/s not ine'J Yet when S!t!n (o es to our $oor to $eli"er %o"ert& to us* wh!t $o we ten$ to s!&3 JOh &es* th!nk &ou' I/ll t!ke th!t+J Th!t is not the right !nswer' -esus w!nts us to look the $e"il in the e&e !n$ s!&* JThis %o"ert& isn/t ine+ -esus took & %o"ert&+ You/re $eli"ering this to the wrong %erson+J The )or$ $e(l!res* JYou know the gr!(e o# our Lor$ -esus ,hrist* th!t though he w!s ri(h* &et #or &our s!kes he be(! e %oor* so th!t &ou through his %o"ert& ight be(o e ri(hJ K= ,or'

-ESUS* OUR SHIELD 7I;* NIBL' , 7ista2e %hat Pro0otes Po8erty

=6

In the #ourth (entur&* the ,hur(h !$e one o# the biggest ist!kes in histor&' Un$er the in#luen(e o# the Ro !n e %eror ,onst!ntine* the ,hur(h bought into Greek %hiloso%h& !n$ %!g!nis ' 0!rt o# wh!t ,hristi!ns o# th!t $!& !llowe$ the sel"es to get iFe$ u% with w!s the i$e! th!t e"er&thing !teri!l is e"il !n$ e"er&thing s%iritu!l is goo$' Th!t is not bibli(!l' The ,hur(h !((e%te$ the %!g!n i$e! th!t i# we w!nt to be hol&* we h!"e to renoun(e e"er&thing !teri!l' In th!t $!&* one o# the three "ows en who w!nte$ to ser"e Go$ were re1uire$ to t!ke w!s ! "ow o# %o"ert& Kthe other two were obe$ien(e !n$ (h!stit&L' The ,hur(h beg!n to te!(h th!t -esus set !n eF! %le o# %o"ert& #or us to #ollow' The re!soning went like thisI -esus w!s hol& !n$ He li"e$ in %o"ert&* so i# we w!nt to be hol&* we shoul$ li"e in %o"ert& !lso' Th!t is not wh!t the .ible te!(hes+ The .ible shows us th!t He be(! e %oor* so th!t we ight be(o e ri(h' -esus $i$ not su##er %o"ert& to be our eF! %le' -esus su##ere$ %o"ert& to be our $eli"erer' He took our %o"ert& u%on Hi sel# so th!t we (!n !"oi$ it' The .ible te!(hes in no un(ert!in ter s th!t %o"ert& is ! (urse* !n$ the F!ther $oes not w!nt His (hil$ren w!lking un$er ! (urse' There is ! lot o# (r!5& thinking in the ,hur(h !bout this+ Let e !ke this (le!r' 0o"ert& $oes not !ke us hol&' 2ost o# the hol& en in the .ible were not %oor' Abr!h! w!s ri(h' A%!rt #ro one brie# %erio$ o# !$"ersit&* -ob li"e$ his li#e in in(re$ible !bun$!n(e' D!"i$ w!s ! king who en4o&e$ tre en$ous we!lth' 0!ul h!$ tre en$ous su((ess !s ! (hur(h %l!nter' He st!rte$ !n& (hur(hes !n$ s!w !n& o# the grow to thous!n$s o# e bers' All !long he bo!ste$ th!t he h!$ !ll o# the su%%lies he nee$e$' Is %ros%erit& $e !n$ing th!t Go$ gi"e us ! sto(k- !rket win$#!ll* ! house in 2!ui or ! LeFus SUB3 No' Go$ !& gr!nt us one or !ll o# these ite s* but the en$less !((u ul!tion o# %ossessions 4ust #or the s!ke o# !((u ul!ting %ossessions is not

==

,HA0TER 6

wh!t the .ible %ro ises' I# we onl& go #or the gol$* then !teri!l g!in will (o !n$ our !ttention !n$ e"entu!ll& $is%l!(e -esus !s our go$' )hen we w!lk in #!ith* our #o(us ust be on -esus* not on s%e(i#i( ri(hes' Re!$ the "erses !g!in' The& %ro ise th!t when we w!lk in #!ith* we will l!(k nothing' Th!t e!ns we shoul$ not be li"ing in %o"ert&' Verses %hat )n8eil the Curse 0o"ert& is ! (urse' )e (!n #in$ the $et!ils in the Ol$ Test! ent' Deuterono & =7I6-69 $es(ribes the blessings o# Go$' Go$/s blessings in(lu$e things su(h !s su((ess* %ros%erit& !n$ Go$/s blessing the work o# our h!n$s' In Deuterono & =7I6?-9> we re!$ ! $es(ri%tion o# the (urses' The (urses in(lu$e si(kness* in#ir it&* o%%ression !n$ %o"ert&' Deuterono & =7I97 su s u% the (urse o# %o"ert& !s being hunger* thirst* n!ke$ness* l!(k o# e"er&thing goo$* !n$ o%%ression b& our ene ies' Th!t is tot!l !n$ (o %lete %o"ert&+ Re e ber* we !re using #in!n(i!l setb!(ks !s !n eF! %le o# when !n$ how to r!ise our shiel$s o# #!ith' The #irst ste% is to know the %ro ise o# Go$ in th!t !re!' Now we h!"e ! better un$erst!n$ing o# wh!t Go$ $esires !n$ we !re re!$& to li#t the shiel$' , 3esponse %hat Defeats *ur 'ne0y )hen !n uneF%e(te$ bill (o es in the !il* when e"er&thing in the house bre!ks !t on(e* when we h!"e e$i(!l eF%enses our insur!n(e will not (o"er* S!t!n (!n twist it !ll into ! #in!n(i!l (!t!stro%he' )e (!nnot let th!t h!%%en' )e ust r!ise our shiel$ o# #!ith !n$ bre!k the %ower o# hunger* thirst* n!ke$ness* l!(k o# e"er&thing goo$* !n$ o%%ression b& our ene &' These (on$itions o# %o"ert& $o not !ke us hol&' )hen the& kno(k !t our $oor* we ust o"e #ro the (urse into Go$/s blessing' Re e ber th!t when -esus hung on the (ross* He #ull& bore the %o"ert& (urse #or us' Ye!rs !go I he!r$ .ible te!(her Derek 0rin(e gi"e ! ess!ge on this' He %ointe$ out th!t when -esus w!s (ru(i#ie$* He w!s hungr&+ He h!$n/t e!ten #or =9 hours' So e o# His l!st wor$s #ro the (ross were JI thirst+J K-ohn 6;I=7L' An$ -esus hung on the (ross !bsolutel& n!ke$+ The& h!$ t!ken #ro Hi e"er&thing He owne$' He su##ere$ l!(k o# e"er&thing !n$ w!s t!unte$ !n$ o%%resse$ b& His ene ies' The

-ESUS* OUR SHIELD

=C

tot!lit& o# the %o"ert& (urse (! e !n$ reste$ u%on Hi ' He took on Hi sel# the (urse th!t w!s inten$e$ #or us' -esus hung on the (ross !s our shiel$+ He took our %o"ert& so th!t we (!n h!"e His %ro"ision' .e(!use -esus took our %o"ert&* we (!n (l!i His %ro ise* J2& Go$ will eet !ll o# &our nee$s !((or$ing to his glorious ri(hes in ,hrist -esusJ K0hil' 9I6;* NIBL' The %ri(e h!s been %!i$* but we ust !(ti"!te our shiel$ o# #!ith' -ust !s there will be %eo%le who go to hell* e"en though -esus %ur(h!se$ their #orgi"eness* so there !re ,hristi!ns who li"e in %o"ert&* e"en though -esus %ur(h!se$ their %ro"ision'

OUR FAITH )ORAS
In this book we will le!rn how to begin w!lking with our shiel$ o# #!ith in %l!(e' I en(our!ge &ou to begin b& !king so e $e(l!r!tions o# #!ith' 6' I$enti#& the !rrows S!t!n is sen$ing to kee% &ou #ro !$"!n(ing' Ask &oursel#* .hat things has Satan placed in my life to keep me from mo+ing for$ard in the Lord8 Anow th!t these !tt!(ks !re $esigne$ to kee% &ou #ro growing in the Lor$ !n$ #ro #ul#illing &our $estin&' .& #!ith* th!nk Go$ th!t -esus took u%on Hi sel# !ll o# the e"il S!t!n inten$e$ #or &ou' =' .& #!ith* $e(l!re Go$/s blessing !s &our %ortion' ,o e into !gree ent with Go$ th!t be(!use He is &our she%her$* &ou sh!ll not l!(k !n&thing He h!s inten$e$ #or &ou' De(l!re th!t He took &our si(kness !n$ in#ir it& so th!t &ou (oul$ w!lk in he!lth' 0r!ise Hi th!t He took u%on Hi sel# the (urse so th!t &ou (!n inherit the blessing' Th!nk Hi th!t He $oes not w!nt &ou to li"e !s ! ere !n or wo !n but !s ! %erson e %owere$ b& Go$' C' .& #!ith* (hoose to re4e(t $is(our!ge ent !n$ #e!r' Ask Go$ to begin to re"e!l His str!teg& to o"er(o e wh!te"er S!t!n will bring to &our #ront $oor' Th!nk Hi th!t He h!s ! w!& #or &ou to bre!k through' 9' Fin!ll&* b& #!ith* set &our e&es on the go!l !n$ begin to o"e #orw!r$' Don/t be hin$ere$ b& the !rrows' Set &our he!rt in %osition to o"e #orw!r$' Anow th!t &ou h!"e !

=9

,HA0TER 6 big shiel$' T!ke hol$ o# it with both h!n$s !n$ hol$ it u% in (on#i$en(e' Fin$ &our %l!(e in Go$/s !r & !n$ st!n$ shoul$er to shoul$er with others who !re o"ing #orw!r$ in the Lor$'

T!ke &our st!n$ in #!ith+ De(l!re "i(tor&+ De(l!re th!t the .o$& o# ,hrist is o"ing #orw!r$+ De(l!re th!t e"er& !rrow is being 1uen(he$+ Th!nk the Lor$ -esus ,hrist #or h!nging on the (ross #or &ou' The (ross h!s be(o e ! $oor #or &ou' It h!s o%ene$ the w!& #or &our etern!l $estin&' Th!nk Hi th!t His $e!th on the (ross h!s #or e$ ! shiel$ on &our beh!l#'

/otes
6' 0!t -!rr!r$* %erson!l (o uni(!tion to Robert Hei$ler* 6;7C'

-ESUS* OUR SHIELD

=?

=' -! es Strong* ,he Ne$ Strong5s /9hausti+e Concordance of the Bi'le KN!sh"ille* TNI Tho !s Nelson 0ublishers* 6;79L* re#' nos' =C<? KthureosL !n$ =C<9 Kthur!L' C' A!thleen 0!rker* JS%iritu!l )!r#!reI Str!tegies #or S%iritu!l .!ttles*J Spiritual Sur+i+al, 6;;;-=88C' htt%IEEwww's%iritu!lsur"i"!l'orgE"iewE 3%!geIDN<?> K!((esse$ Se%te ber =;* =88CL'

CHA

P T E R

2

=

)HAT FAITH IS

0eter s!&s our #!ith is ore %re(ious th!n gol$ Ksee 6 0et' 6I<L' In #!(t* #!ith is the (entr!l (on(e%t o# ,hristi!nit&' )e (!n be (!lle$ ,hristi!ns onl& i# we h!"e #!ith' There#ore* i# we !re going to be !ble to un$erst!n$ wh!t our shiel$ o# #!ith is !n$ how to r!ise it* then we ust better un$erst!n$ #!ith itsel#'

%&' .7P*3%,/C'

*9

9,.%&

F!ith is rel!te$ to e"er& %!rt o# our ,hristi!n li"es' By faith we re(ei"e s!l"!tion Ksee E%h' =I7-;L' Our eF%erien(es o# s!n(ti#i(!tion Ksee A(ts =>I67L* %uri#i(!tion Ksee &cts :;<=4, >ustification Ksee Ro ' 9I?G ;<:4 !n$ !$o%tion Ksee G!l' CI=>G ,ol' CI=9L !re !ll $e%en$ent u%on our #!ith' F!ith w!s one o# the !in thrusts o# -esus/ inistr&' In the Gos%els* we (ontinu!ll& #in$ st!te ents su(h !s JYour faith h!s he!le$ &ou'J In -esus/ ho etown* He (oul$ not $o ight& ir!(les be(!use the %eo%le there l!(ke$ #!ith' He w!sn/t %owerless to $o so* but the !t os%here in th!t %l!(e %re"ente$ our Lor$ #ro eFhibiting the %ower o# #!ith' Howe"er* whene"er He #oun$ en !n$ wo en o# #!ith* He rele!se$ His %ower* !n$ ir!(les took %l!(e' Go$ !ssures us that if $e 'elie+e, then nothing is i %ossible* !n$ He withhol$s nothing' The .ible te!(hes th!t i# we can get in #!ith !n$ stay in #!ith* e"er&thing else will (o e Ksee 2!tt' 7I6CG 6?I=7G 2!rk ;I=CL' I $on/t (!re wh!t nee$s we #!(e in our li#e* i# we (!n o"e into ! %osition o# #!ith !n$ st!& there* we will* w!lk in "i(tor& on ! $!&to-$!& b!sis'

=7

,HA0TER =

The Greek wor$ #or #!ith is pistis% It e!ns to h!"e trust or (on#i$en(e' )hen we w!lk in #!ithG we !re trusting !n$ showing (on#i$en(e in Go$ in the i$st o# our situ!tion' -esus/ (!ll to Jh!"e #!ith in Go$J K2!rk ::<774 w!s !n eFhort!tion to enter into ! trusting (o it ent to the F!ther in the i$st o# wh!te"er we ight& #!(e' )hen -esus s!i$* JYour #!ith h!s !$e &ou whole*J He w!s te!(hing th!t confidence in or allegiance to Go$ rele!ses Go$/s wholeness into our li"es'

FAITH

IS

THE OF

DYNA2I, OUR S0IRIT

INTERA,TION

2AN )ITH GOD'

F!ith is not st!ti(' It is the $&n! i( inter!(tion o# our s%irit !n with Go$' )e h!"e e!(h been gi"en ! e!sure o# #!ith through the he!ring o# the )or$ Ksee Ro ' 68I6<L' As we w!lk with the Lor$* we !re eFhorte$ to in(re!se our #!ith through li"ing our #!ith Ksee Ro ' 6I6<L' Go$ w!nts us to %ut on #!ith Ksee 6 Thess' ?I7L* to grow in #!ith Ksee = ,or' 68I6?L !n$ to h!"e ! ste!$#!st #!ith Ksee 6 ,or' 6?I?7L th!t be(o es ! strong #!ith Ksee Ro ' 9I6;-=8L' F!ith is ! #ruit o# the Hol& S%irit Ksee G!l' ?I==L' There is !lso ! s%iritu!l gi#t o# #!ith Ksee 6 ,or' 6=I7-;L' In ti es o# nee$* the Hol& S%irit (!n rele!se to us ! gre!ter e!sure o# #!ith' Howe"er* unless our shiel$ o# #!ith is in %l!(e* we (!nnot see !ll o# these $i ensions o# #!ith !(ti"!te$' Now #!ith is the !ssur!n(e Kthe (on#ir !tion* the title $ee$L o# the things OweP ho%e #or* being the %roo# o# things OweP $o not see !n$ the (on"i(tion o# their re!lit& O#!ith %er(ei"ing !s re!l #!(t wh!t is not re"e!le$ to the sensesP KHeb' 66I6* &104% )h!t !n in(re$ible st!te ent+ In the i$st o# to$!&/s tu ultuous worl$* #!ith be(o es the ost i %ort!nt issue' It is "it!l th!t we un$erst!n$ this !s%e(t o# our s%iritu!l li"es* &et there is so u(h (on#usion o"er it' Berse = o# Hebrews 66* whi(h is o#ten (!lle$ the #!ith (h!%ter* hol$s ! ke&I JFor b& O#!ithP the el$ers obt!ine$ ! goo$ testi on&'J These s!ints obt!ine$ ! goo$ re%ut!tion be(!use the& !(ti"el& eF%resse$ their rel!tionshi%

)HAT FAITH IS

=;

with ! hol& Go$' Their %erson!l holiness is not wh!t the& !re known #or in histor&G the& !re known be(!use the& truste$ in* relie$ or !n$ inter!(te$ with the Go$ o# the uni"erse' The el$ers used their #!ith' )e ust gr!s% this (on(e%t i# we !re to r!ise our shiel$ o# #!ith' )e ust know the s! e Go$ th!t these witnesses knew' )e (!nnot h!"e !n e##e(ti"e #!ith without un$erst!n$ing the $e$i(!tion !n$ rel!tionshi% th!t those who h!"e gone be#ore us $is%l!&e$' The& show us how we (!n be "i(torious in the i$st o#* !n$ in s%ite o#* the (ir(u st!n(es th!t surroun$ us' The Lor$ is the ost trustworth& %erson we will e"er eet' For our #!ith to h!"e subst!n(e* or re!li5!tion* we ust h!"e ! rel!tionshi% with Hi ' The wor$*Jsubst!n(eJ e!ns Jto st!n$ un$er'J6 -! es 9I< re!$s* JThere#ore* sub it to Go$' Resist the $e"il !n$ he will #lee #ro &ou'J The wor$ Jsub issionJ !lso e!ns to st!n$ un$er' There#ore* #or our #!ith to be re!li5e$ in ! tu ultuous worl$* we ust be #ull& sub itte$ in rel!tionshi% to Go$' R' T' Aen$!ll gi"es won$er#ul insight into this !s%e(t o# #!ithI F!ith is th!t whi(h kee%s us looking be&on$ wh!t we (!n see with our n!tur!l senses* with su(h (on#i$en(e th!t we know we sh!ll not be $is!%%ointe$' F!ith looks be&on$ onesel#* ne"er within onesel#' F!ith !lw!&s le!$s us outsi$e oursel"es' )h&3 .e(!use #!ith %er(ei"es its ob4e(tDGo$' The !in insight the writer/s st!te ent (on"e&s* howe"er* is wh!t #!ith is not% It is the Je"i$en(e o# things not seen'J The Greek is pragmaton elegchos ou 'lepomenon#liter!ll&* J%ersu!sion o# the works not seen'J One is (on"in(e$ th!t one will see the G one is trul& %ersu!$e$ th!t one will see the ' .ut one $oes not see the !t the o ent' There#ore* #!ith is not seeing the t!ngible' I# one sees now wh!t one %re"iousl& h!$ been w!iting #or* it (e!ses to be (!lle$ #!ith' Until wh!t so eone w!s w!iting #or liter!ll& !%%e!rs* su(h w!iting is gr!(e$ with the title faith%7

THE O00OSITE
There !re

OF

FAITH

!n& wor$s th!t (on"e& the i$e! o# #!ith' On(e we

C8

,HA0TER =

un$erst!n$ these wor$s* we !lso get ! gli %se o# wh!t #!ith is not' Here !re 68 sets o# wor$s' The #irst wor$ is e1u!te$ with #!ith* the se(on$ is its o%%osite' 6' %rust:7istrust To h!"e #!ith is to trust Go$ !n$ belie"e th!t He is* th!t He (!n be in us !n$ th!t He !lso h!s %ro ises 4ust #or us' The o%%osite o# #!ith is istrust' 0s!l C<IC $e(l!res* JTrust in the LORD* !n$ $o goo$'J 0ro"erbs CI? !$$sI JTrust in the LORD with !ll &our he!rt'J To trust so eone is to !ke the ! re#uge' Think o# ! b!b& bir$ th!t hi$es itsel# un$er its %!rent/s #e!thers' D!"i$ be!uti#ull& $es(ribes this (on(e%t in 0s!l ?<I6I JAn$ in the sh!$ow o# Your wings I will !ke & re#uge'J I# our li#e is (h!r!(teri5e$ b& istrust* then we !re not w!lking in #!ith' The ene & $oes not w!nt us to w!lk in #!ithG there#ore* he will $o e"er&thing he (!n to bre!k $own !n$ $estro& reli!ble rel!tionshi%s in our li#e' 2. +elief-)nbelief F!ith is belie"ing wh!t Go$ h!s s!i$' Unbelie# is the ene & o# #!ith' )hen S!t!n %l!nts unbelie# in our in$ !n$ we (hoose to !gree with it* we h!"e 1uen(he$ our #!ith' Hebrews CI6= w!rns* J.ew!re* brethren* lest there be in !n& o# &ou !n e"il he!rt o# unbelie#'J Unbelie# si %l& w!nts us to belie"e th!t Go$ is not !ble' It (re!tes !n !t os%here th!t neg!tes Go$/s !bilit&' )hen we #!ll #or this line o# thinking* we !re un!ble to enter into the %ro ises !n$ %l!ns Go$ h!s #or us' The re!l str!teg& o# the ene & is to buil$ ! belie# s&ste within e!(h o# us th!t is (ontr!r& to who Go$ is' 3. Loyalty:+etrayal F!ith is lo&!lt&' F!ith is st!n$ing with Go$ in the %l!(e He h!s !ske$ us to st!n$* no !tter wh!t the (ir(u st!n(es !& be' F!ith/s o%%osite is betr!&!l' )hen we !ke ! (o it ent o# lo&!lt& to Go$* we (!ll it ! (o"en!nt' )!lking in lo&!lt& is ! sign th!t we !re w!lking b& #!ith' )!lking in lo&!lt& is ! sign o# (o"en!nt' ,o"en!nt signi#ies rel!tionshi%' It is $i##i(ult to o"er(o e !n !(t o# betr!&!l' One o# the gre!test (ontr!sts in the New Test! ent is between -esus/ lo&!lt& !n$ -u$!s/s betr!&!l Ksee Luke ==L' The !(t o# betr!&!l woun$s

)HAT FAITH IS

C6

!n$ be(o es i be$$e$ in our e otions' The result is th!t !#ter ! hurt#ul eF%erien(e we then gu!r$ oursel"es in our rel!tionshi%s'

)ALAING IN LOYALTY
IS A SIGN THAT )E ARE )ALAING .Y FAITH'

9' 9i4elity:)nfaithfulness F!ith is #i$elit&' Fi$elit& is ! #!ith#ul $e"otion to $ut&* oblig!tions or "ows' Un#!ith#ulness is ! l!(k o# #!ith' The #!ith#ulness o# Go$ is the b!sis #or our #!ith' To (hoose ! %!th o# un#!ith#ulness neg!tes our !bilit& to trust' Go$ is #!ith#ul* !n$ His #!ith#ulness is not $e%en$ent u%on our #!ith' Howe"er* our #!ith re#le(ts His #!ith#ulness' ?' Depen4ence:.n4epen4ence F!ith is $e%en$en(e' To $e%en$ on others e!ns th!t we rel& u%on the !n$ we !re in#luen(e$ b& the ' It usu!ll& e!ns th!t who we !re h!s* in %!rt* been $eter ine$ b& so ething in the (h!r!(ter o# those %eo%le u%on who we $e%en$' De%en$en(e is !lso linke$ to sub ission' I# we !re $e%en$ent* then we rel& u%on so eone else #or eFisten(e* su%%ort !n$ su((ess' 0ro"erbs CI> le!"es no $oubt !bout wh!t we shoul$ $oI JIn !ll &our w!&s !(knowle$ge Hi * !n$ He sh!ll $ire(t &our %!ths'J In other wor$s* when we $e%en$ u%on Go$* He will str!ighten our %!ths' An in$e%en$ent s%irit th!t (!nnot trust in or sub it to !uthorit& will not be !ble to w!lk in #!ith' )hen -esus s!w the (enturion/s un$erst!n$ing o# !uthorit& in !(tion* He s!i$* JYou h!"e gre!t #!ith+J Ksee 2!tt' 7I;-68L' ". Confi4ence:.nsecurity F!ith is (on#i$en(e' First -ohn ?I69 ?&104 eF%l!insI An$ this is the (on#i$en(e Kthe !ssur!n(e* the %ri"ilege o# bol$nessL whi(h we h!"e in Hi I Owe !re sureP th!t i# we !sk !n&thing K !ke !n& re1uestL !((or$ing to His will Kin !gree ent with His own %l!nL* He listens to !n$ he!rs us'

C=

,HA0TER =

The $e#inition o# the Greek wor$ peitho is J(on#i$en(e'J This e!ns to be (on"in(e$* to h!"e !n inw!r$ (ert!int&* to win o"er* to %re"!il u%on* to %ersu!$e* to in$u(e ! (h!nge o# in$ b& the use o# !rgu ent' The o%%osite o# (on#i$en(e is inse(urit&' I# we !re %l!gue$ b& inse(urit&* we !re !greeing with the "oi(e o# unbelie#' Inse(urit&Dwhi(h (!n !lso !ni#est itsel# !s #e!rDis belie"ing th!t Go$/s %ro ises will #!il' )here there is true #!ith there is no roo #or inse(urit& or #e!r' I like wh!t 0hil 0ringle wrote in his book Faith< F!ith is ! #eeling o# !bsolute (on#i$en(e' It is D!"i$running* l!ughing* to eet the gi!nt' He is #ull& !ssure$ th!t Go$ is with hi ' He is not tr&ing to belie"e* or %reten$ing to be bol$* ho%ing th!t Go$ is with hi G neither is he (on#essing the wor$ to hi sel# ho%e#ull& to buil$ his #!ith' No' He is #ull o# (on#i$en(e' He #eels gre!t' This !n is $!ngerous+ D!"i$ knew be&on$ ! sh!$ow o# ! $oubt th!t he w!s looking !t ! J$e!$ gi!nt'J Bi(tor& w!s his' Goli!th/s he!$ w!s n!ile$ to the w!ll' This !$e hi #eel #!nt!sti(' F!ith !kes &ou #eel #!nt!sti(' D!"i$ !$e histor& th!t $!&' He showe$ us th!t #!ith* with #eeling* surel& works+ F!ith is !n !ttitu$e &ou h!"e within &ou'C 7. *be4ience:Disobe4ience F!ith is obe$ien(e' Throughout the )or$ o# Go$ #!ith is $e onstr!te$ through obe$ien(e' First -ohn CI=9 re!$s* JNow he who kee%s His (o !n$ ents !bi$es in Hi * !n$ He in hi 'J I lo"e wh!t 2!r&* the other o# -esus* w!s 1uote$ !s s!&ingI J)h!te"er He s!&s to &ou* $o itJ K-ohn =I?L' This boils $own the whole issue o# #!ith to ! single senten(e' I# we lo"e !n$ trust Go$* we will $o wh!t He !sks us to $o' Disobe$ien(e re"e!ls ! l!(k o# #!ith' )hen we $isobe& Go$* we !re s!&ing th!t we $o not h!"e #!ith th!t He knows best or th!t He (!n kee% His %ro ises' Go$ h!s !$e it (le!r th!t we !re to go into b!ttle !n$ He will %rote(t us' I# we s!& no* then we !re not onl& $isobe&ing Hi * but we !re !lso $e(l!ring th!t we $o not h!"e enough #!ith to belie"e th!t He will %rote(t us'

)HAT FAITH IS

CC

IF

)E LOBE AND TRUST

)E )ILL DO )HAT TO DO'

HE

GOD*

ASAS US

#. 1holeness:9rag0entation F!ith is wholeness' )hen we !re linke$ to Go$ through #!ith* we (!n w!lk in %e!(e !n$ be whole' The ene & lo"es to #r!g ent us* whi(h is the o%%osite o# wholeness' )hen we w!lk in %e!(e* we h!"e h!r on&* we !re (!l * !n$ we trust in Go$' An& %l!(e in our li#e in whi(h we $on/t h!"e %e!(e usu!ll& is ! %l!(e th!t the ene & h!s broken to %ie(es' )here #!ith is !bsent there is #r!g ent!tion' 9. 1itness:(ilence First -ohn ?I66 ?&104 re!$s* JAn$ this is th!t testi on& Kth!t e"i$en(eLI Go$ g!"e us etern!l li#e* !n$ this li#e is in His Son'J To be s!"e$ we ust (on#ess our #!ith' )e $o this when we #irst belie"e* but th!t (on#ession o# #!ith shoul$ not be li ite$ to ! single o ent in ti e' It shoul$ be !n ongoing %!rt o# our li#e' Th!t/s wh!t !$e the gre!t (lou$ o# witnesses Ksee Heb' 6=I6L who the& wereDthe& (on#esse$ their #!ith no !tter wh!t the (ir(u st!n(es' In the i$st o# $is(our!ge ent* the& uttere$ their #!ith' For our #!ith to be trul& #!ith* we ust be willing to s%e!k u%' The o%%osite o# being ! true witness #or Go$ is kee%ing silent' Silen(e* !t ti es* (!n si %l& be unbelie# !n$ ti i$it&' A belie"er is ! witness' First -ohn ?I68 su !ri5es thisI He who belie"es in the Son o# Go$ h!s the witness in hi sel#G he who $oes not belie"e Go$ h!s !$e Hi ! li!r* be(!use he h!s not belie"e$ the testi on& th!t Go$ h!s gi"en o# His Son' I# we s%e!k u%' o"e in #!ith* we will be bol$ witnessesDwe will

1$. Lo8e:&ate F!ith is lo"e' Se(on$ Thess!loni!ns CI? re!$s* JNow !& the Lor$ $ire(t &our he!rts into the lo"e o# Go$ !n$ into the %!tien(e

C9

,HA0TER =

o# ,hrist'J G!l!ti!ns ?I> !$$s to this %ointI JFor in ,hrist -esus neither (ir(u (ision nor un(ir(u (ision !"!ils !n&thing* but #!ith working through lo"e'J )e !re !((e%te$ on the groun$s o# #!ith* not b& !n& l!w or rule' As we show lo"e* our #!ith in(re!ses' Our #!ith be(o es energi5e$ when we !llow oursel"es to lo"e* Go$ !n$ %eo%le' )hen we lo"e one !nother* Go$ !bi$es in us' Lo"e h!s so !n& won$er#ul bene#its' Lo"e (!sts out #e!r' .e(!use we lo"e Go$* we e!gerl& obe& Hi ' .e(!use we lo"e Go$* we e!sil& show lo&!lt&' .e(!use we lo"e Go$* we !re !ble to trust Hi ' The o%%osite o# lo"e is h!te' A %erson who s!&s he is in the light &et h!tes his brother is !(tu!ll& in $!rkness Ksee 6 -ohn =I;L' This e!ns th!t i# we w!lk in $!rkness* we will lose sight o# where we !re going !n$ the One who we !re #ollowing' H!tre$ (!uses our #!ith to sto% #un(tioning'

A .ARO2ETER

OF

FAITH

F!ith* !s I h!"e note$ is the #oun$!tion o# our ,hristi!n li#e' I# we !re going to restore !n$ r!ise our shiel$ o# #!ith* then we ust un$erst!n$ wh!t #!ith e!ns !n$ how integr!l it is to our (onne(tion with Go$' .!si(!ll&* without #!ith we (!nnot %le!se Hi * be(!use we h!"e no rel!tionshi% with Hi ' )ith #!ith* !ll is %ossible' .e#ore we o"e #orw!r$ to the neFt (h!%ter* t!ke ! o ent to e!sure &our #!ith !g!inst the S(ri%tures !n$ (o %!re &our #!ith with the 68 sets o# o%%osites' )here $o &ou st!n$3 Do &ou nee$ to t!ke th!t #irst ste% o# #!ith !n$ (o it &our li#e to ,hrist3 You (!n $o it now' Do &ou nee$ to !sk #orgi"eness #or ! l!(k o# #!ith in !n& !re! o# &our rel!tionshi% with Go$3 Do it be#ore we %ro(ee$' Then &ou will be re!$& to t!ke u% &our shiel$ o# #!ith' /otes
6' 1erriam3.e'ster5s Collegiate 2ictionary, 68th e$'* s'"' Jsubst!n(e'J =' R' T' Aen$!ll* Belie+ing God K,h!rlotte* N,I 2orningSt!r 0ubli(!tions* 6;;<L* %' 6C' C' 0hil 0ringle* Faith KDee )h&* Austr!li!I 0!F 2inistries* 0t& Lt$* =88CL* %%' =C=9'

CHA

P T E R

3

C

.LESSINGS AND .ENEFITS
!$e ! big %ro ise to Abr!h! I

Go$

Get out o# &our (ountr&* #ro &our kin$re$ !n$ #ro &our #!ther/s house* to ! l!n$ th!t I will show &ou' I will !ke &ou ! gre!t n!tionG I will bless &ou !n$ !ke &our n! e gre!tG !n$ &ou sh!ll be ! blessing' I will bless those who bless &ou* !n$ I will (urse hi who (urses &ouG !n$ in &ou !ll the #! ilies o# the e!rth sh!ll be blesse$ KGen' 6=I6-CL' This %ro ise #ro Go$ w!s (ontingent u%on Abr!h! /s le!"ing !n$ #ollowingDnot 4ust #or ! short ti e* but until he #oun$ the l!n$ th!t Go$ woul$ show hi ' The %ro ise !lso in(lu$e$ ission* %ros%erit& !n$ blessing' Let/s t!ke ! (loser look'

THE .LESSINGS

OF

FAITH

In essen(e* Go$ tol$ Abr!h! * JI# &ou will le!"e &our i$ol!trous #or o# worshi% !n$ #ollow 2e* I will %ros%er &ou !n$ !lign 2&sel# with &ou so th!t &ou will be the %rotot&%e !n$ !n& %eo%le will #ollow &our eF! %le in the #uture'J In Ro !ns* 0!ul $es(ribes how Abr!h! /s $e onstr!tion o# #!ith !n$ his (hoi(e to #ollow Go$ resulte$ in his 4usti#i(!tion' JAbr!h! belie"e$ Go$* !n$ it w!s !((ounte$ to hi #or righteousnessJ KRo ' 9ICL The Greek wor$ logid@omai e!ns

C>

,HA0TER C

J!((ounte$'J To better un$erst!n$ this (on(e%t* think o# ! bowl' I# we (ontinuousl& %our w!ter into the bowl* it will soon #ill u% !n$ s%ill o"er' Another !n!log& woul$ be ! re(on(ile$ b!l!n(e sheet' Ro !ns 9I=8 goes on to in$i(!te th!t Abr!h! $i$ not w!i"er in unbelie# when Go$ !$e His %ro iseG r!ther* Abr!h! w!s strengthene$ through #!ith !n$ g!"e glor& to Go$' He w!s #ull& (on"in(e$ th!t with Go$/s hel% he w!s !ble to %er#or wh!t he w!s %ro ise$' Ro !ns 9I== rein#or(es the %ointI JIt w!s !((ounte$ to hi #or righteousness'J Abr!h! %!tientl& !w!ite$ the #ul#ill ent o# wh!t woul$ see to others !n un#ul#ill!ble %ro ise' Abr!h! /s #!ith* howe"er* w!s strengthene$ !s he w!lke$ with !n$ glori#ie$ Go$ e!(h $!&' He belie"e$* !n$ so h!"e gener!tions o# %eo%le who h!"e been ins%ire$ b& his eF! %le' R' T' Aen$!ll eF%!n$s on this %ointI The heroes o# Hebrews 66 !re %eo%le who belie"e$ Go$' The& !re the writer/s eF! %le to show th!t #!ith itsel# is not ! New Test! ent inno"!tion' F!ith goes w!& b!(k in ti e* (l!i s the writer o# Hebrews' There is nothing new !bout it !t !ll' Go$ hi$es His #!(e in or$er th!t we ight belie"e' He withhol$s the e"i$en(e o# things "isible th!t we ight be %ersu!$e$ b& His )or$ !lone+ F!ith* then* is the long %!renthesis between the un$eni!ble !%%e!r!n(es o# Go$/s glor&' )hen Go$ !%%e!rs* #!ith is no longer ne(ess!r&' There !re !(tu!ll& ti es when #!ith is e(li%se$ b& su(h ! sense o# the !4est& !n$ glor& o# Go$ th!t one is te %or!ril& without the nee$ o# #!ith' These ti es !re ount!into% eF%erien(es* su(h !s when our Lor$ w!s tr!ns#igure$ be#ore His $is(i%les Ksee 2!tt' 6<'T-;L'6

ANYONE )HO ENTERS INTO THE SA2E FAITH THAT A.RAHA2
EQHI.ITED RE,EIBED ' ,AN .E GRAFTED INTO THE SA2E .LESSINGS HE

.LESSINGS AND .ENEFITS

C<

An&one who enters into the s! e #!ith th!t Abr!h! eFhibite$ (!n be gr!#te$ into the s! e blessings he re(ei"e$' Ro !ns 66I=C eF%l!insI JAn$ the& !lso* i# the& $o not (ontinue in unbelie#* will be gr!#te$ in* #or Go$ is !ble to gr!#t the in !g!in'J )hen* b& #!ith* we !((e%t ,hrist !s our %erson!l S!"ior* we re(ei"e gre!t blessings !n$ bene#its' &earing the 1or4 Ro !ns 68I6< shows us how to t!ke our #irst ste%s in #!ithI JSo then #!ith (o es b& he!ring* !n$ he!ring b& the wor$ o# Go$'J This h!s been ! signi#i(!nt S(ri%ture in & li#e' 2& wi#e* 0! * !n$ I were in ! won$er#ul $eno in!tion!l (hur(h in the 6;<8s* ! ti e when Go$ w!s $oing so u(h to re"it!li5e !n$ (h!nge us so th!t we (oul$ enter into !ll He h!$ #or us in the #uture' E"er& Sun$!& our %!stor* .ill& ,rosb&* woul$ begin the ser"i(e b& s!&ing* JI belie"e the .ible is the )or$ o# Go$'J He woul$ then 1uote Hebrews 9I6=I The wor$ o# Go$ is li"ing !n$ %ower#ul* !n$ sh!r%er th!n !n& two-e$ge$ swor$* %ier(ing e"en to the $i"ision o# soul !n$ s%irit* !n$ o# 4oints !n$ !rrow* !n$ is ! $is(erner o# the thoughts !n$ intents o# the he!rt' Then our %!stor woul$ re!$ Ro !ns 68I6<I JF!ith (o es b& he!ring* !n$ he!ring b& the wor$ o# Go$'J He woul$ (onten$ th!t i# #!ith (o es b& he!ring* !n$ he!ring b& the )or$ o# Go$* then the #!ith th!t the lost nee$ in or$er to be s!"e$ (o es #ro the he!ring o# the )or$ o# Go$' He woul$ !lso s!& th!t #or those who h!"e !lre!$& been s!"e$* #!ith to (o e into s%iritu!l !turit& !lso (o es b& he!ring the )or$ o# Go$' I !gine he!ring this ess!ge e"er& Sun$!&' )e listene$ (losel& until the wor$s be(! e our re!lit&' This un$erst!n$ing o# the )or$ o# Go$ is wh!t #or e$ & li#e !n$ & belie# s&ste ' .& the (on#ession o# & outh* it be(! e wh!t I belie"e$' Listing the 'le0ents Ro !ns 68I6< $e(l!res* JSo then #!ith (o es'J )h!t $oes this e!n3 I# we !lre!$& h!"e #!ith* how (!n #!ith (o e3 )hen we re!$ the entire (h!%ter o# Ro !ns 68* we $is(o"er th!t #!ith

C7

,HA0TER C

in(lu$es (on#ession' There#ore* it is ne(ess!r& to (on#ess th!t we h!"e (o itte$ oursel"es to ser"e Go$' F!ith h!s ! essengerI Usu!ll&* so ebo$& s%e!ks* we he!r* !n$ then #!ith eF%lo$es' F!ith h!s ! "oi(eI It is %er(e%tible' I# I ! listening to so eone s%e!k* I (!n $ete(t his or her #!ith' F!ith h!s ! re%ortI I# we li"e b& #!ith* then we will h!"e ! goo$ re%ut!tion' F!ith h!s ! res%onseI On(e we he!r !n$ begin to s%e!k #orth wh!t we/"e he!r$* then we res%on$ b& $oing th!t whi(h h!s %ro$u(e$ #!ith within us' There#ore* #!ith is not ! %!ssi"e (on(e%tG it be(o es "er& !(ti"e in our eF%ression' )e nee$ to knowDto be (ert!inDth!t the "oi(e o# #!ith is trustworth&' Author Tre"or New%ort eF%l!insI I# so eone th!t &ou trust s!&s so ething to &ou* then &ou will usu!ll& belie"e the be(!use the& !re reli!ble' This is how #!ith works in si %le ter s' I# so eone s!&s to &ou th!t the& will eet &ou !t ! (ert!in %l!(e !n$ ti e* then &ou will act on their $ord !n$ eet the ' You h!"e %ut &our #!ith in th!t %erson/s wor$' You he!r$ ! %ie(e o# in#or !tion !n$ !(te$ on it' Th!t is wh!t #!ith is' Go$ h!s !$e st!te ents in His %re(ious )or$ th!t He eF%e(ts us to !(t u%on !n$ see results' As &ou re!$ !n$ un$erst!n$ His )or$* then &ou nee$ to !(t on wh!t He s!&s' -! es 6I== s!&s* J.ut be &e $oers o# the wor$ !n$ not he!rers onl&* $e(ei"ing &our own sel"es'J= )e know th!t Go$ is reli!ble !n$ His )or$ is $e%en$!ble' There#ore* i# so eone is w!lking in #!ith !n$ li"ing b& the )or$* then we (!n (o e to trust th!t %erson/s "oi(e* too' )e turn to th!t %erson* not on the s! e le"el !s Go$ or the .ible* but be(!use Go$ (hooses to work !n$ s%e!k through %eo%le' De8eloping Discipline S%iritu!l $is(i%line is re1uire$ #or #!ith to be !int!ine$' In the book 0ossessing Your )nheritance, Rebe((! S&tse ! !n$ I outline$ eight s%iritu!l $is(i%lines we nee$ i# we !re to be(o e #!ith#ul in this tu ultuous worl$' The $is(i%lines in(lu$e e$it!tion* %r!&er* #!sting* w!r#!re* gi"ing* work* worshi% !n$ rest'C A $es(ri%tion o# the eight $istinguishing (h!r!(teristi(s o# en !n$ wo en o# gre!t #!ith is #oun$ in (eroic Faith< (o$ to

.LESSINGS AND .ENEFITS Li+e a Life of /9treme 2e+otion<

C;

)h!t $istinguishes heroi( #!ith #ro the %l!in "!nill! kin$3 )h!t 1u!lities !rk the li"es o# those &ou long to be like3 In looking (losel& !t hun$re$s o# ,hristi!n !rt&rs !n$ other %erse(ute$ belie"ers* we #oun$ se"er!l $istinguishing (h!r!(teristi(s' I# &ou were to (on$u(t &our own sur"e&* &ou woul$ #in$ these s! e eight 1u!lities' 6' ,hey are energi@ed 'y an eternal perspecti+e% In$i"i$u!ls with heroi( #!ith see be&on$ this worl$ to the etern!l re!lities' R!ther th!n li"e #or the o ent !n$ #or this worl$* the& look to the neFt* knowing th!t this li#e is not !ll there is' =' ,hey ha+e an uncanny dependence on God% This 1u!lit& is e"i$en(e$ %ri !ril& b& ! li#e br!(kete$ b& %r!&er' Those whose #!ith is o# ! heroi( (!liber t!lk to Go$ !s i# the& know Hi * be(!use the& $o' An$ be(!use the& belie"e He he!rs the * the& !re less !nFious th!n ost' C' ,hey lo+e the .ord of God% The& lo"e to re!$ it* stu$& it !n$ he!r it re!$ !s well !s %re!(he$' Not e"er& %erson with ! $og-e!re$ .ible is ! hero o# #!ith* but it is likel& th!t !ll who !re h!"e well-worn (o%ies o# the S(ri%tures' 9' ,hey are outrageously courageous% )hen it (o es to st!n$ing u% #or wh!t the& belie"e in* the& !ren/t in(line$ to sit on their h!n$s' These %eo%le %ossess ! heroi( bol$ness th!t #lows out o# their %ers%e(ti"e o#* tot!l $e%en$en(e on* !n$ lo"e #or Go$/s )or$' ?' ,hey are li+ing e9amples of $hat it means to endure% Ruitting is not ! (on(e%t with whi(h the& !re #! ili!r' An$ be(!use #!ith heroes "iew li#e !s ! long-$ist!n(e r!(e* s%ee$ is not ne!rl& !s i %ort!nt !s st! in!' >' ,hey take o'edience +ery seriously% 0le!sing Go$ !tters u(h ore th!n !((o o$!ting %eo%le/s un%re$i(t!ble eF%e(t!tions' Heroi( $is(i%les $elight in $oing wh!t the& know Go$ $esires' <' ,hey are unAuestiona'ly self3controlled% 2en !n$ wo en who ser"e !s heroi( eF! %les to the rest o# us !re not "i(ti s !s u(h !s the& !re "i(torious' The& $e(i$e wh!t the (ir(u st!n(es (!ll #or !n$ !(t accordingly, e+en i f it e!ns "olunt!ril& l!&ing $own their li"es'

98

,HA0TER C 7' ,hey are marked Auite simply 'y lo+e% Their e&es $o not lie' Their (ounten!n(e (!n w!r the (ol$est roo ' 0eo%le who h!"e heroi( #!ith !re %eo%le who genuinel& (!re #or other %eo%le* !n$ their !(tions %ro"e it' So e ight (!ll it J#!ith in !(tion'J

Heroi( ,hristi!ns !& !%%e!r to be l!rger th!n li#e* but the& re!ll& !ren/t' Yet so ething !bout the 1u!lit& o# their #!ith ins%ires !n$ oti"!tes us to be ore like the ' .& $igesting the !bo"e entione$ (ore "!lues* the& h!"e $is(o"ere$ ! growth %otenti!l th!t the& ight not otherwise h!"e known'9

)E
OUR

2UST GET READY TO RAISE SHIELDS NEQT AND .E,O2E OF

GOD/S

GENERATION

HEROES '

Go$ is still r!ising u% heroes o# #!ith to$!&' Heroes know how to wiel$ their we!%ons !n$ r!ise their shiel$s' )e ust get re!$& to r!ise ours !n$ be(o e Go$/s neFt gener!tion o# heroes'

THE .ENEFITS

OF

FAITH

.ut we !re not o# those who shrink b!(k to $estru(tion* but o# those who h!"e #!ith to the %reser"ing o# the soul' Now #!ith is the !ssur!n(e o# things ho%e$ #or* the (on"i(tion o# things not seen' For b& it the en o# ol$ g!ine$ !%%ro"!l'''' An$ without #!ith it is i %ossible to %le!se Hi * #or he who (o es to Go$ ust belie"e th!t He is* !n$ th!t He is ! rew!r$er o# those who seek Hi ''' ' .& #!ith Abr!h! * when he w!s (!lle$* obe&e$ b& going out to ! %l!(e whi(h he w!s to re(ei"e #or !n inherit!n(eG !n$ he went out* not knowing where he w!s going' .& #!ith he li"e$ !s !n !lien in the l!n$ o# %ro ise* !s in ! #oreign l!n$''' ' .& #!ith e"en S!r!h hersel# re(ei"e$ !bilit& to (on(ei"e* e"en be&on$ the %ro%er ti e o# li#e* sin(e she (onsi$ere$ Hi #!ith#ul who h!$ %ro ise$ KHeb' 68IC;D66I66* N&SB4% This %!ss!ge lists se"en bene#its o# #!ithDse"en

.LESSINGS AND .ENEFITS

96

bre!kthroughs th!t #!ith (!n %ro$u(e in our li"es' Although it is not !n eFh!usti"e list* this is ! goo$ %l!(e to st!rt' 6' Crushes the (trategies of (atan Hebrews 68IC; in#or s us* J)e !re not o# those who shrink b!(k to $estru(tion* but o# those who h!"e #!ith to the %reser"ing o# the soul'J As we s!w in (h!%ter 6 o# this book* S!t!n/s go!l is to bring us into ! %l!(e o# #e!r* !nFiet&* o%%ression !n$ $estru(tion' S!t!n w!nts to r!ise u% ount!ins o# o%%osition to blo(k our %!th' He w!nts to r!in $own his #l! ing !rrows to inti i$!te us' He will $o e"er&thing he (!n to (!use us to shrink b!(k' )hen we #in$ oursel"es in the he!t o# b!ttle* we $on/t h!"e to (ower in #e!r' Like Ro !n sol$iers* we (!n li#t u% our shiel$s !n$ o"e #orw!r$ to obt!in the "i(tor&' I# we turn b!(k* we/re in trouble' F!ith* howe"er* (!n e1ui% us to st!n$ !g!inst the ene & !n$ kee% us on (ourse' S!t!n h!s s(he es' The wor$ J(on#or !tionJ is rel!te$ to the wor$ Js(he !ti('J He will !tte %t to (on#or &ou into his s(he es' .& #!ith we (!n enter into tr!ns#or !tion Ksee Ro ' 6=I6-=L' )e (!n $e#e!t the s(he es o# the ene &' =' +rings )s to -o4 In Hebrews 66I> we re!$I )ithout #!ith it is i %ossible to %le!se Hi * #or he who (o es to Go$ ust belie"e th!t He is* !n$ th!t He is ! rew!r$er o# those who seek Hi ' )e usu!ll& think o# (o ing to Go$ in ter s o# s!l"!tion' Abr!h! belie"e$ Go$ !n$ it w!s (ounte$ to hi !s righteousness' -ohn CI6> %ro ises th!t whoe"er belie"es in Hi will not %erish' .ut there is ore to (o ing to Go$ th!n being s!"e$' No !tter where we !re in our w!lk with Hi * there is !lw!&s !nother ste%' No !tter how (lose to Hi we !re* there is !lw!&s ore' Go$ (!lls us to (ontinu!ll& seek His %resen(e* !n$ e"er& ste% tow!r$ Hi is ! ste% o# #!ith' C' .n4uces 7o8e0ent Hebrews 66I7 re!$sI J.& #!ith Abr!h! * when he w!s (!lle$*

9=

,HA0TER C

obe&e$ b& going out to ! %l!(e whi(h he w!s to re(ei"e ''' !n$ he went out* not knowing where he w!s going'J So e %eo%le h!"e ! (!ll to o"e out into so ething but $on/t h!"e ! (lue !s to where the& !re going or how the& !re going to get there' The& sit b!(k !n$ s!&* J)hen I #igure it out* I/ll st!rt o"ing'J As ! result* the& usu!ll& ne"er o"e' There !re ti es when we $on/t get the (le!r $ire(tion we w!nt #ro Go$ until we (hoose to bre!k the inerti!Dto sh!ke o## %!ssi"it& !n$ 4ust st!rt o"ing' Going into new territor& in"ol"es risk' It is "er& likel& th!t Abr!h! w!s une!s& le!"ing the be!uti#ul (it& o# Ur !n$ he!$ing out into the wil$erness with his wi#e* ser"!nts* #lo(ks !n$ her$s' It woul$ h!"e been si %ler to st!& in Ur !n$ sit !roun$ on the (ou(h e!ting (ookies !n$ w!t(hing 2on$!& Night Footb!ll' Abr!h! resiste$ the te %t!tion to t!ke the e!s& w!& out !n$ res%on$e$ to Go$De"en though he $i$n/t know where he w!s going' The (!ll to get o"ing is not ! bl!nket (o !n$' )e can he!$ out into so ething new !n$ not be obe&ing Go$' Th!t/s (!lle$ %resu %tion* whi(h will !lw!&s get us into ! ess' On the other h!n$* i# Go$ s!&s go* then we nee$ to st!rt o"ing' Getting u% o## the (ou(h !n$ turning o## the tele"ision !& !ke us un(o #ort!bleG but i# we $o not go #orw!r$ when Go$ tells us to $o so* then we risk $&ing with the TB re ote !n$ ! tub o# %o%(orn in our h!n$sD! o$ern e1ui"!lent o# being in the wil$erness' A #ew &e!rs !go* Robert Hei$ler !n$ his wi#e* Lin$!* went to ! TeF!s R!ngers b!seb!ll g! e' Lin$! is the b!seb!ll #!n in their #! il&' She (!re#ull& w!t(hes the g! e* kee%ing s(ore !n$ (heering e"er& hit' Robert* on the other h!n$* s%en$s ! lot o# ti e in line !t the (on(ession st!n$s' On this o((!sion* he w!s w!iting to %ur(h!se so e #oo$ when he looke$ u% !n$ s!w ! ess!ge #ro Go$' The !n in #ront o# hi in the line w!s we!ring ! T-shirt th!t re!$ JYou (!n/t ste!l se(on$ b!se with one #oot on #irst'J )hen Robert s!w those wor$s* he knew it w!s ! re"el!tion' ,hat, he un$erstoo$* $as faith% Ste%%ing out !n$ t!king ! risk is ! $i ension o# #!ith th!t "er& #ew %eo%le un$erst!n$' F!ith is not 4ust sitting still !n$ w!iting #or Go$ to $o so ethingD!lthough we $o nee$ to le!rn

.LESSINGS AND .ENEFITS

9C

to listen #or His "oi(e' Th!t $!& !t the b!seb!ll g! e* Go$ see e$ to be telling Robert th!t #!ith !lso in"ol"es letting go o# wh!t is #! ili!r so th!t we (!n o"e #orw!r$ to obt!in His %ro ises' Th!t/s how Abr!h! li"e$' He knew th!t he (oul$ not (o e into the %ro ise until he le#t his %l!(e o# se(urit& !n$ st!rte$ !$"!n(ing into the unknown' 9' 3eleases ,bility Hebrews 66I66 re in$s us th!t Jb& #!ith e"en S!r!h hersel# re(ei"e$ !bilit& to (on(ei"e* e"en be&on$ the %ro%er ti e o# li#e* sin(e she (onsi$ere$ Hi #!ith#ul who h!$ %ro ise$'J F!ith bre!ks b!rrenness' Th!t is %!rt o# & wi#e/s testi on&' In ,he Best )s Yet &head, 0! !n$ I $et!il the 6= ste%s th!t we h!$ to go through to bre!k the s%irit o# b!rrenness' Go$ worke$ in ! ir!(ulous w!& to re"erse 0! /s b!rrenness* !n$ we st!rte$ to h!"e (hil$ren'? F!ith (!n bre!k b!rrenness in !n&one !n$ in !n& !re! o# li#eDit $oes not ne(ess!ril& h!"e to be %h&si(!l b!rrenness' So e %eo%le h!"e lots o# ki$s* but their li"es !re b!rren in other w!&s' Su(h %eo%le o#ten look !t their li#e !n$ see %l!(es where the li#e o# Go$ is not #lowing' These !re !re!s o# wh!t I (!ll $r& bonesD! gri55l& et!%hor in$ee$* but it works' These !re !re!s in whi(h we $o not see the things being birthe$ th!t nee$ to be birthe$' F!ith bre!ks b!rrenness' F!ith gi"es us the !bilit& to $o wh!t we (!nnot $o n!tur!ll&G th!t is wh& we nee$ to t!% the su%ern!tur!l %ower o# Go$' 2oses o# the Ol$ Test! ent g!"e us ! gre!t eF! %le o# how this works' Go$ s%oke to hi !t the burning bush !n$ (o issione$ hi to le!$ the Isr!elites' 2oses s!i$* JOh* I (!n/t $o th!t+J Ksee EFo$' CI66L' 2!n& o# us (!n i$enti#& with th!t res%onse' .!rb!r! )entroble* who h!s ! won$er#ul %ro%heti( !nointing* sh!re$ th!t when Go$ (!lle$ her into inistr&* she g!"e Hi ! long list o# re!sons wh& she (oul$n/t $o it' )hen & (o!uthor %!stor Robert Hei$ler st!rte$ (ollege* he w!s so %!in#ull& sh& th!t he (oul$ not %r!& out lou$ in ! grou%

99

,HA0TER C ore %eo%le'

o# #i"e or

It is ! (li(he ! ong ,hristi!ns but trueI )e nee$ to be (!re#ul when we tell Go$ th!t we (!n/t $o so ethingG He ight 4ust go to work on us in th!t %!rti(ul!r !re!+ It $oesn/t !tter wh!t we think we (!n/t $o' I# we he!r the (!ll o# Go$ !n$ rise u% in #!ith* we will #in$ th!t (e can gi+e us the a'ility to do $hat $e cannot other$ise do% He will bre!k both %h&si(!l !n$ s%iritu!l b!rrenness in our li#e' ?' 3eleases (trategy Hebrews 66I; s!&s* J.& #!ith OAbr!h! P li"e$ !s !n !lien in the l!n$ o# %ro ise* !s in ! #oreign l!n$'J Isn/t th!t "erse ! !5ing+ Abr!h! l!n$ o# %ro ise+ li"e$ !s !n !lien in the

)e le!rne$ ! #ew "erses e!rlier th!t Abr!h! went out not kno$ing $here he $as going% Abr!h! $i$n/t know where he w!s going* yet he made it to the 0romised Land6

) HE N
.EG IN

)E TRUST TO 2 O BE

GO D ) I LL S HO ) U S T HE )AY+

FOR)ARD*

GOD

A ND

)hen &ou trust Go$ !n$ begin to o"e #orw!r$* Go$ will show &ou the w!&+ You $on/t h!"e to h!"e e"er&thing #igure$ out in !$"!n(e' I# &ou !re w!lking b& #!ith* &ou (!n !ke ist!kes !long the w!&' Abr!h! esse$ u% ! nu ber o# ti es' Go$ s!i$* BLea+e your family !n$ go to the %l!(e I/ll show &ou'J Abr!h! took his family $ith him, !$e it h!l#w!& to the 0ro ise$ L!n$ !n$ then (! %e$ out in H!r!n #or ! nu ber o# &e!rs+ Along the w!& Abr!h! !lso took ! #ew $etours $own into Eg&%t' Abr!h! !$e ! lot o# ist!kes* but he h!$ faith6 .e(!use he h!$ #!ith* Go$ #oun$ ! w!& to get hi to the go!l' You ight h!"e ! %ro ise o"er &our li#e but not h!"e !n& i$e! how to get there' Th!t/s ok!&' Go$ h!s ! w!&' Str!teg& !n$ creati+ity come 'y faith% )f you $ill link u% with Go$ 'y faith and hol$ on to His %ro ises* He (!n gi"e &ou the str!teg& to see e"er& %ro ise #ul#ille$'

.LESSINGS AND .ENEFITS >' +rings ,ppro8al

9?

Hebrews 66I= re!$s* J.& O#!ithP the en o# ol$ g!ine$ !%%ro"!l'J It w!s b& #!ith th!t the en o# ol$ g!ine$ Go$/s #!"or' Using our #!ith !n$ r!ising our shiel$s !re the onl& w!&s to get (lose to Go$' )e (!n #!stG we (!n %r!&G we (!n tr& to le!$ better li"es' )e (!n %ro ise Go$ we will $o better' )e (!n turn o"er so !n& new le!"es th!t we turn into ! tree' None o# these !(ts will rele!se Go$/s #!"or' )h!t (ounts is #!ith' Robert sh!re$ the #ollowing with eI I re e ber* &e!rs !go* he!ring the l!te Dr' .ill .right gi"e his testi on&' .ill .right w!s the #oun$er o# ,! %us ,rus!$e #or ,hrist' Go$ use$ hi in in(re$ible w!&s' He w!s res%onsible #or hun$re$s o# thous!n$s o# %eo%le (o ing to know -esus !s their S!"ior' He h!$ to trust Go$ to bring in illions o# $oll!rs' In his testi on&* Dr' .right tol$ the se(ret o# how he (! e into the #!"or o# Go$' As ! &oung !n he $esire$ to ser"e Go$ !n$ be e##e(ti"e #or Hi ore th!n !n&thing else in the worl$' He w!nte$ the #!"or !n$ !nointing o# Go$ u%on his li#e' He $i$ e"er&thing he (oul$ think o# to g!in Go$/s #!"or' He s%ent long hours in the )or$* long hours in %r!&er !n$ !n& $!&s in #!sting' In his testi on&* he eF%l!ins how he %erse"ere$ in these things $!& !#ter $!& !n$ onth !#ter onth* tr&ing to get #!"or with Go$' Then* !t the en$ o# his testi on&* Dr' .right si %l& s!i$ this* JThen one $!& I $is(o"ere$ it is all of faith%B The #!"or !n$ blessing o# Go$ $o not (o e through stri"ing* tr&ing* %ro ising or #!sting' Those !(ts !ll h!"e their %l!(e* but wh!t brings the #!"or o# Go$ is #!ith' )ithout #!ith it is i %ossible to %le!se Go$' I# it is not o# #!ith* it is sin' <' *btains the Pro0ise Let/s turn !g!in to HebrewsI JThere w!s born o# one !n ' ' ' !s !n& $es(en$!nts !s the st!rs o# he!"en in nu ber* !n$ innu er!ble !s the s!n$ whi(h is b& the se!shoreJ K66I6=L' Go$ %ro ise$ Abr!h! th!t he woul$ be the #!ther o#

9>

,HA0TER C

!n&' Yet in the n!tur!l re!l there w!s no w!& #or Abr!h! to get there' .oth Abr!h! !n$ S!r!h were too ol$ to h!"e ! (hil$' Yet be(!use the& w!lke$ in #!ith* the %ro ise be(! e re!lit&* e"en though the& h!$ to w!it =? ore &e!rs !#ter the %ro ise to see it #ul#ille$' I# we belie"e* $e $ill recei+e% You h!"e ! %ro ise o"er &our li#e+ It is &our (!ll #ro Go$' It is %!rt o# the %ur%ose #or whi(h &ou were (re!te$' Go$/s wor$ to &ou to$!& is thisI )f you 'elie+e, you $ill recei+e6

.LESSINGSI A .ENEFIT

OF

FAITH

)e o#ten go #or long %erio$s o# ti eDor !&be throughout ! li#eti eD$ithout reali@ing th!t we h!"e in(re$ible blessings th!t Go$ inten$s #or us to re(ei"e' I re e ber when the Lor$ #irst showe$ e this truth' I h!$ 4ust h!$ ! gre!t re"el!tion o# sin !n$ how it o%er!tes through the gener!tions' The Lor$ h!$ gi"en e #!ith to bre!k the %ower o# sin' Howe"er* I h!$ ne"er seen $e onstr!te$ the #!ith to enter into !ll the blessings o# Go$' I un$erstoo$ gener!tion!l sin but not gener!tion!l blessing' I h!$ be(o e $is(i%line$ in .ible stu$& !n$ %r!&er' I w!s $e"ouring the )or$ o# Go$' At this ti e in & li#e* I worke$ !s !n eFe(uti"e #or one o# the !4or energ& (o %!nies in $owntown Houston' On & hour (o ute* ri$ing ! bus to & work%l!(e* I woul$ re!$ !n$ stu$& the )or$' One $!& !s I w!s ri$ing ho e* I w!s re!$ing #ro E%hesi!nsI J.lesse$ be the Go$ !n$ F!ther o# our Lor$ -esus ,hrist* who h!s blesse$ us with e"er& s%iritu!l blessing in the he!"enl& %l!(es in ,hrist* 4ust !s He (hose us in Hi be#ore the #oun$!tion o# the worl$* th!t we shoul$ be hol& !n$ without bl! e be#ore Hi in lo"eJ K6IC-9L' All o# ! su$$en I #elt ! 1u!king insi$e o# e' So ething else h!%%ene$* too' It see e$ to e th!t the he!"ens o%ene$G !n$ e"en though I w!s ri$ing on !n e!rthl& bus* & bo$&* soul !n$ s%irit were (onne(te$ into ! he!"enl& re!l ' Through this o%ening I s!w the blessings Go$ h!$ %l!nne$ #or the gener!tions be#ore e' E"en though those gener!tions h!$ not !tt!ine$ !ll the blessings the Lor$ showe$ e* the& were still there #or e' He then showe$ e the blessings He h!$ #or e in & %resent e!rthl& ti e #r! eD & li#e on E!rth !lso h!$ gre!t

.LESSINGS AND .ENEFITS

9<

blessings !tt!(he$ to it' He then showe$ e the blessings He h!$ %l!nne$ #or & (hil$ren' This w!s ! !5ing* be(!use we h!$ been tol$ b& $o(tors th!t we woul$ not be !ble to h!"e (hil$ren' Howe"er* I s!w the blessings on the in he!"enl& %l!(es' All o# ! su$$en the stirring insi$e o# e #elt like !n eF%losion' I s!i$ to the Lor$* J)h!t is going on3J It see e$ !s i# He i %resse$ e with ! lou$ "oi(e* JI ! rele!sing 2& #!ith in &ou+J I #elt like I h!$ so u(h #!ith insi$e th!t I woul$ eF%lo$e !n$ turn o"er the bus I w!s ri$ing in+ I then s!i$ to the Lor$* J)h!t $o I $o with this #!ith3J He re%lie$* JGi"e it !w!&'J This is how I (! e to un$erst!n$ the "!stness o# Go$/s blessings !n$ th!t on(e we see the blessings th!t Go$ h!s #or us* we (!n !tt!in those blessings b& #!ith'

.E .LESSED
)hen we think o# the bibli(!l (on(e%t o# blessing* we #in$ th!t we !re (!lle$ to bless Go$* th!t Go$ blesses en !n$ wo en* th!t we h!"e the !uthorit& to bless one !nother !n$ th!t we (!n e"en bless things !n$ initi!ti"es' )e !lso use the wor$ JblessingJ !n& ti es !s ! s!lut!tion or greeting' )e sen$ this wor$ b& essengers' )e use it to eFten$ (ongr!tul!tions #or %ros%erit&' )e !lso use JblessingsJ when we !re eF%ressing gr!titu$e' In the New Test! ent* JblessingJ (on"e&s the i$e! o# religious 4o& th!t %eo%le eF%erien(e be(!use the& !re re(ei"ing bene#its #ro the king$o o# Go$' -esus use$ the wor$ Jblesse$J in the .e!titu$es o# the Ser on on the 2ount Ksee 2!tt' ?IC-66L' He s!i$ th!t i# we woul$ res%on$ %ositi"el& b& #!ith to the king$o o# Go$* we woul$ be blesse$' )e !lso #in$ in Ro !ns 9I< th!t Jblesse$ !re those whose l!wless $ee$s h!"e been #orgi"en* !n$ whose sins h!"e been (o"ere$'J The !%ostle -ohn s!i$ th!t we woul$ e"en be blesse$ b& 4ust re!$ing the book o# Re"el!tion Ksee Re"' 6ICL' 0rob!bl& the ost #! ous (on(e%t o# blessing (o es in Deuterono & =7 where we #in$ th!t we (!n (hoose blessing' The Lor$ is the sour(e o# !ll blessing* !n$ on(e we eF%ress gr!titu$e #or His blessing through worshi%* #!ith eF%lo$es in us' .& #!ith we (!n enter into both eFten$ing !n$ re(ei"ing blessings' J.less the LORD* O & soulG !n$ !ll th!t is within e* bless His hol& n! e' .less the LORD* O & soul* !n$ #orget not o#

97

,HA0TER C

His bene#itsJ K0s' 68CI6-=L'

/otes
6' R' T' Aen$!ll* Belie+ing God K,h!rlotte* N,I 2orningSt!r 0ubli(!tions* 6;;<L* %' 69' =' Tre"or New%ort* &'solute Faith6 K,hi(hester* Engl!n$I New )ine 0ress* =888L* %' <' C' ,hu(k D' 0ier(e !n$ Rebe((! )!gner S&tse !* 0ossessing Your )nheritance KBentur!* ,AI Renew* 6;;;L'

.LESSINGS AND .ENEFITS

9;

9' The Boi(e o# the 2!rt&rs* (eroic Faith< (o$ to Li+e a Life of /9treme 2e+otion KN!sh"ille* TNI ) 0ublishing Grou%* =88=L* %%' F"-F"i' Use$ b& %er ission' ?' ,hu(k D' 0ier(e !n$ Rebe((! )!gner S&tse !* ,he Best )s Yet &head K,olor!$o S%rings* ,OI )!gner 0ubli(!tions* =886L'

CHA

P T E R

4

9

ENE2IES OF FAITH

Go$ h!s gi"en us ! shiel$ !g!inst e"er& !tt!(k o# the ene &' This shiel$ is !(ti"!te$ when we w!lk in #!ith' It is then th!t -esus t!kes u%on Hi sel# e"er& !rrow S!t!n l!un(hes* !n$ -esus le!$s us into the #ullness o# Go$/s blessing' )!lking in #!ith* howe"er* isn/t !lw!&s e!s&' In #!(t* there is ! b!ttle #or #!ith* !n$ it/s ! b!ttle e!(h o# us ust #ight' It is wise to know the s(he es o# the ene & so th!t we (!n be better %re%!re$ to enter this b!ttle !n$ win' I intro$u(e$ the $i!boli(!l %lotting o# S!t!n in (h!%ter 6' He (!n be so sl&* suggesting (ert!in thoughts !n$ %ro %ting e otionsDhe is u(h like ,' S' Lewis %ortr!&e$ Hi in his brilli!nt work ,he Scre$tape Letters% These !tt!(ks #ro S!t!n (!n be !ni#este$ in !n& w!&s' In this (h!%ter we will t!ke ! ore in-$e%th look !t (o on w!&s the ene & will !tte %t to twist our e otions !n$ !(tions !n$* thereb&* un$er(ut our #!ith'

THE REAL .ATTLE STARTS
2!n& ,hristi!ns $o not un$erst!n$ s%iritu!l w!r#!re' The& think the& !re b!ttling #or their %erson!l nee$s' The& s!&* JI/ (on#ronting the ene & be(!use I w!nt ! %h&si(!l he!lingJG JI/ in ! s%iritu!l w!r#!re to bre!k through #or #in!n(i!l %ro"isionJG JI/ w!rring in %r!&er #or ! new 4ob'J In re!lit&* none o# these is the ob4e(t* or go!l* o# our b!ttle' I# we think we !re in w!r#!re #or he!ling* one& or !n& other nee$* %erh!%s we $o not #ull& un$erst!n$ the b!ttle' Our b!ttle is ! b!ttle #or #!ith' The )or$

?=

,HA0TER 9

o# Go$ %!ints ! (le!r %i(tureI Faith is essential% I# we h!"e #!ith* then nothing is i %ossible* nothing is withhel$ Ksee -ohn 6>I=C=9L' All things !re %ossible i# we belie"e' F!ith %ro$u(es #!"orG #!"or o%ens $oors' There#ore* when we h!"e ! nee$ #or he!lth* one& or !n&thing else* our b!ttle is to #in$ ! w!& to st!n$ in #!ith with our shiel$ li#te$' No !tter wh!t we nee$* i# we !(ti"!te our #!ith* e"er& nee$ will be et' Life an4 Death The b!ttle #or #!ith is ! b!ttle #or li#e !n$ $e!th' It in"ol"es ! w!rring #or the re"el!tion !n$ wis$o we nee$ in e!(h (ir(u st!n(e o# li#e' Go$ %ro ise$ the Isr!elites the l!n$ o# ,!n!!n Ksee Deut' C=I9;L' E"en though the -ewish %eo%le h!$ to go through the wil$erness* the& were not to be hel$ (!%ti"e to the wil$erness or $ie there' The will o# Go$ #or the w!s to st!& #o(use$ until the& entere$ into their %ro ise' The& were to o"er(o e !n& ene & th!t woul$ hin$er the #ro eF%erien(ing the blessings Go$ inten$e$' )e know the stor&I O# the initi!l grou% o# -ewish %eo%le who le#t Eg&%t onl& ,!leb !n$ -oshu! !(tu!ll& re!(he$ the 0ro ise$ L!n$' )h&3 .e(!use the e bers o# the initi!l grou% were o"er(o e b& #e!r !n$ unbelie#Dthe wil$erness be(! e their ho e'

SATAN/S SE,RET )EA0ONS
)e h!"e !n ene & who is o%%osing the $e onstr!tion o# our #!ith in ! hol& Go$' This ene & o# #!ith h!s ! "oi(e' Th!t "oi(e %ro$u(es ! str!teg& th!t le!$s us out o# #!ith !n$ into $e#e!t' Th!t "oi(e (re!tes we!%ons !g!inst #!ith' Let/s un(o"er those we!%ons !n$ see how we (!n r!ise our shiel$ to 1uen(h !n& wor$ o# his th!t (oul$ le!$ us into unbelie#' &o; (atan (tri2es ;ith 9ear S!t!n lo"es to !tt!(k #!ith with #e!r' Fe!r en(o %!sses ! bro!$ r!nge o# e otions th!t e br!(e both the se(ul!r !n$ the religious worl$s' Se(ul!r #e!r is the n!tur!l #eeling o# !l!r (!use$ b& the eF%e(t!tion o# i inent $!nger* %!in or $is!ster' Religious #e!r is the result o# !we !n$ re"eren(e tow!r$ !

ENE2IES OF FAITH

?C

su%re e %ower' )hile n!tur!l #e!r is !n e otion th!t hu !n beings eFhibit* so eti es #e!r is ! s%irit th!t (!n hin$er !n$ %re"ent us #ro !$"!n(ing into Go$/s %l!n #or our li#e' .e#ore we (!n st!n$ !g!inst #e!r* we nee$ to un$erst!n$ wh!t #!ith is !n$ (ontr!st it with #e!r'
• F!ith is !n e9pectation th!t Go$ is faithful% It eF%e(ts th!t

Go$ will kee% His %ro ise'

Fe!r is eF!(tl& the o%%osite'
• Fe!r is !n e9pectation th!t Go$ will not be #!ith#ul' It

eF%e(ts th!t Go$ will not kee% His %ro ise'

)e !ll go though $i##i(ult ti es in li#e' During those $i##i(ult ti es the ene & tries to g!in !n u%%er h!n$ or ! #oothol$ !g!inst us' I en4o&e$ re!$ing ! book title$ ,he Gift of Fear b& G!"in De .e(ker' In his book De .e(ker eF%l!ins how to use the e otion o# #e!r to our bene#itI The "er& #!(t th!t &ou #e!r so ething is soli$ e"i$en(e th!t it is not h!%%ening' Fe!r su ons %ower#ul %re$i(ti"e resour(es th!t tell us wh!t ight (o e neFt' It is th!t whi(h ight (o e neFt th!t we #e!r Dwh!t ight h!%%en* not wh!t is h!%%ening now' An !bsur$l& liter!l eF! %le hel%s $e onstr!te thisI As &ou st!n$ ne!r the e$ge o# ! high (li##* &ou ight #e!r getting too (lose' I# &ou st!n$ right !t the e$ge* &ou no longer #e!r getting too (lose* &ou now #e!r #!lling ''' OthenP i# &ou $o #!ll* &ou no longer #e!r #!llingD&ou #e!r l!n$ing'''' 0!ni(* the gre!t ene & o# sur"i"!l* (!n be %er(ei"e$ !s !n un !n!ge!ble k!lei$os(o%e o# #e!rs' )h!t &ou #e!r is r!rel& wh!t &ou think &ou #e!rDit is wh!t &ou link to #e!r' T!ke !n&thing !bout whi(h &ou h!"e e"er #elt %ro#oun$ #e!r !n$ link it to e!(h o# the %ossible out(o es' )hen it is re!l #e!r* it will either be in the %resen(e o# $!nger* or it will link to %!in or $e!th' )hen we get ! #e!r sign!l* our intuition h!s !lre!$& !$e !n& (onne(tions' To best res%on$* bring the links into (ons(iousness !n$ #ollow the to their high-st!kes $estin!tionDi# the& le!$ there' )hen we #o(us on one link onl&* s!&* #e!r o# so eone w!lking tow!r$ us on ! $!rk street inste!$ o# #e!r o# being h!r e$ b& so eone

?9

,HA0TER 9 w!lking tow!r$ us on ! $!rk street* the #e!r is w!ste$' Th!t/s be(!use !n& %eo%le will !%%ro!(h usDonl& ! "er& #ew ight h!r us' Sur"e&s h!"e shown th!t r!nking "er& (lose to the #e!r o# $e!th is the #e!r o# %ubli( s%e!king' )h& woul$ so eone #eel %ro#oun$ #e!r* $ee% in his or her sto !(h* !bout %ubli( s%e!king* whi(h is so #!r #ro $e!th3 .e(!use it isn/t so #!r #ro $e!th when we link it' Those who #e!r %ubli( s%e!king !(tu!ll& #e!r the loss o# i$entit& th!t !tt!(hes to %er#or ing b!$l&* !n$ th!t is #ir l& roote$ in our sur"i"!l nee$s'6

&o; 9ear 1or2s ,gainst )s S!t!n t!kes !$"!nt!ge o# us $uring ti es o# testing' )hen we (o e into ! ti e o# testing* S!t!n will tr& to %l!nt !n e9pectation in our he!rt th!t Go$ will #!il us' )hen we !tte %t to st!n$ on Go$/s %ro ises* S!t!nD! l! Lewis/s Scre$tape Letters# will whis%er* JYou (!n/t (ount on Go$ to $o th!t+J S!t!n h!s !n& w!&s o# (on"e&ing this to us' He h!s his own "ersion o# s%iritu!l gi#ts' He will use "isions* thoughts* !n$ !$"i(e we re(ei"e #ro other %eo%le' He will t!% news re%orts* usi( !n$ %h&si(!l s& %to s' He will %ut us in e otion!l tur oil to kee% us in #e!r' Let/s look !t so e o# the w!&s S!t!n (!n $o this' Satan $ill gi+e us false +isions% )e will see "i"i$ %i(tures in our in$ o# wh!t it will be like when Go$ #!ils to kee% His %ro ise' A nu ber o# &e!rs !go* Robert h!$ ! serious b!(k in4ur&' He w!s #l!t on his b!(k #or ! onth* !n$ e"er& o"e ent brought eF(ru(i!ting %!in' As I note$ in (h!%ter 6* $uring this ti e* he w!s eng!ge$ in ! b!ttle' S!t!n woul$ #ill his in$ with neg!ti"e "isions to 1uen(h his #!ith #or he!ling' He woul$ see hi sel# in #uture &e!rs* inistering #ro ! wheel(h!ir' S!t!n woul$ whis%er th!t %eo%le woul$ be so i %resse$ th!t he inistere$ #ro ! wheel(h!ir* his inistr& woul$ be ore e##e(ti"e' I# he h!$ !((e%te$ S!t!n/s "ision* Robert ight be in ! wheel(h!ir now' .ut he knew th!t w!s not wh!t Go$ h!$ in in$' E!(h ti e S!t!n brought this "ision* Robert stoo$ !g!inst the suggestion b& #o(using on the %ro ises o# Go$' At the en$ o# ! onth* Go$ sent ! #rien$ to %r!& o"er Robert/s b!(k* !n$ Robert w!s ir!(ulousl& he!le$+ Satan $ill use ne$s reports% Not long !go* Robert (ounsele$ !

ENE2IES OF FAITH

??

wo !n who w!s out o# work' She w!s #ille$ with #e!r be(!use she he!r$ on the news th!t the 4obs in her #iel$ were $r&ing u%' Robert !ssure$ her th!t the news re%ort h!$ nothing to $o with Go$/s %ro ise' I# there were no !"!il!ble 4obs in her #iel$ in the entire worl$* Go$ (oul$ still %ro"i$e #or her nee$s' )hen she (hose to w!lk in #!ith* Go$ $i$ %ro"i$e ! 4ob #or her in her #iel$ D!n$ it w!s #!r be&on$ her eF%e(t!tions' Go$ is not li ite$ b& news re%orts' Satan $ill use false symptoms% )e !& re(ei"e %r!&er #or he!ling !n$ sense ! re!l %h&si(!l (h!nge' .ut ! #ew $!&s l!ter we #eel ! twinge o# %!in !n$ S!t!n s!&s* JSee* it $i$n/t l!st+J As we !re o"erwhel e$ b& #e!r* our #!ith goes out the win$ow' )hen we gi"e in to #e!r* we lower our shiel$ o# #!ith !n$ S!t!n brings his #l! ing !rrows !g!inst us' Satan $ill use our $eariness% In the book ,he Best )s Yet &head, Rebe((! S&tse ! !n$ I wrote !bout how we (!n (ontinue to %rogress in our %ro%heti( $estin&' I wrote th!t book when I w!s eF%erien(ing ! "er& se"ere illness' I ! !n o"er(o er' I resist the ene & with !ll o# & #!(ulties' Howe"er* in ti es o# we!kness S!t!n #in$s w!&s to we!r $own our in$' D!niel h!$ ! "er& re"e!ling "ision in whi(h he is w!t(hing !n ene & %ower !ke w!r !g!inst the s!ints !n$ %re"!il !g!inst the Ksee D!niel <L' In this (!se* J%re"!ilJ e!ns to we!r $own our in$s' This is !n interesting %rin(i%le be(!use it shows us th!t in the i$st o# our w!r#!re* the ene & is tr&ing to (on"in(e us th!t he will win' During & ti e o# si(kness* the ene & showe$ e the worst s(en!rio' .e(!use o# & we!riness I w!s willing to entert!in this lie #ro the ene &' I (rie$ #or hel% #ro the Lor$' I initi!te$ ! "er& (lose inner (ir(le o# #rien$s to surroun$ e with their shiel$ o# #!ith' Then I sh!re$ wh!t the ene & w!s s!&ing to e' On(e I h!$ s%oken* & wi#e* 0! * g!"e ! wor$ #ro Go$ th!t neg!te$ the ene &/s "oi(e' The %oint is thisI E"en though I w!s we!r& !n$ the ene & w!s t!king !$"!nt!ge o# & we!kness* others who h!$ their #!ith shiel$ in %l!(e (! e to & res(ue'

?>

,HA0TER 9

SATAN

HAS 2ANY STRATEGIES

TO 2AAE US FEARFUL AND THEY ARE ALL DESIGNED TO DESTROY OUR FAITH'

1hy 1e 9ear &orses S!t!n h!s !n& str!tegies to !ke us #e!r#ul !n$ the& !re !ll $esigne$ to $estro& our #!ith' S!t!n will #ill us with #e!r to !ke us %ut $own our shiel$ o# #!ith' )hen we gi"e in to #e!r* we !re no longer o%er!ting in #!ith' E"er& one o# us h!s ! (hoi(e' )e (!n (hoose to !((e%t the #e!r S!t!n is tr&ing to %l!nt in our in$ or we (!n $e(i$e to st!n$ in #!ith !n$ trust Go$' Fe!r not+ Genesis :;<: ? !"4 gi+es us all the ad+ice $e nee$I A#ter these things the wor$ o# the LORD (! e unto Abr! in ! "ision* s!&ing* Fe!r not* Abr! I I ! th& shiel$* !n$ th& eF(ee$ing gre!t rew!r$' Go$ s%oke this to Abr!h! be#ore He beg!n to #ull& !ke (o"en!nt with hi !n$ the gener!tions to (o e' He knew th!t #e!r woul$ be !n issue Abr!h! woul$ h!"e to (onten$ with' Howe"er* Go$ s!i$* JI will shiel$ &ou in the i$st o# the ene &/s %l!n to kee% &ou #ro !$"!n(ing into the #ullness o# this %ro ise th!t I ! !bout to gi"e &ouJ Ksee Gen' 6?I6L' I# we will let the s%irit o# #e!r th!t is t!unting us know th!t Go$ is our shiel$* then our #!ith will !ni#est in ! gre!t rew!r$' In his book Breaking )ntimidation, -ohn .e"ere wrote th!t we ten$ to ser"e wh!te"er we #e!rI The (hur(h $oes not un$erst!n$ the #e!r o# the Lor$' This is un#ortun!te be(!use it is ! signi#i(!nt ele ent to ! triu %h!nt ,hristi!n li#e' Is!i!h %ro%hesie$ (on(erning -esus* JHis $elight is in the #e!r o# the Lor$J KIs!' 66ICL' His $elight shoul$ be ours+ The !n who #e!rs Go$ will be le$ in Go$/s w!&s K0s' =?I6=L' Th!t !n Jsh!ll $well in %ros%erit&* !n$ his $es(en$!nts sh!ll inherit the e!rthJ K"' 6CL ''' the #e!r o# the Lor$ is the beginning o# wis$o !n$ the beginning o# knowle$ge o# Hi K0ro"' ;I68G 6I<G

ENE2IES OF FAITH =I?L' It will %rolong our $!&s K0ro"' 68I=<L' )e !re w!rne$ th!t no one will see the Lor$ without holiness whi(h is %er#e(te$ b& the #e!r o# the Lor$ KHeb' 6=I69G = ,or' <I6L' An$ this is 4ust ! s! %ling o# wh!t the .ible s!&s !bout the #e!r o# the Lor$' The onl& w!& to w!lk tot!ll& #ree #ro inti i$!tion is to w!lk in the #e!r o# the Lor$' To #e!r !n is to st!n$ in !l!r * !nFiet&* !we* $re!$ !n$ sus%i(ion* (owering be#ore ort!l en' )hen entr!%%e$ b& this #e!r we will li"e on the run* hi$ing #ro h!r or re%ro!(h* !n$ (onst!ntl& !"oi$ing re4e(tion !n$ (on#ront!tion' )e be(o e so bus& s!#egu!r$ing oursel"es !n$ ser"ing en th!t we !re ine##e(ti"e in our ser"i(e #or Go$' A#r!i$ o# wh!t !n (!n $o to us* we will not gi"e Go$ wh!t He $eser"es' The .ible tells us* JThe #e!r o# !n brings ! sn!reJ K0ro"' =;I67L' A sn!re is ! tr!%' Fe!ring !n steals our Go$gi"en !uthorit&' His gi#t then lies $or !nt in us' )e #eel %owerless to $o wh!t is right be(!use the e %owering o# Go$ is in!(ti"e'=

?<

0s!l C9I9 un$ers(ores .e"ere/s insightI JI sought the LORD* !n$ He he!r$ e' !n$ $eli"ere$ e #ro !ll & #e!rs'J This "erse $e(l!res th!t Go$ will s!"e us #ro !ll our #e!rs' In ,hey Shall /9pel 2emons, Derek 0rin(e sh!re$ the !n& $i##erent kin$s o# #e!rI Fe!r o# the $!rk* #e!r o# heights* #e!r o# !n* #e!r o# #!ilure* #e!r o# si(kness* #e!r o# $e!th* #e!r o# (on#ine$ %l!(es K(l!ustro%hobi!L* #e!r o# o%en or %ubli( %l!(es K!gor!%hobi!L* K!n$L #e!r o# the unknown'C One ti e when I w!s s%e!king !t ! (hur(h* I (!lle$ %eo%le #orw!r$ who h!$ ! #e!r o# horses' I w!s so sur%rise$ when ore th!n 6?8 o# the 788 %eo%le in !tten$!n(e (! e u% #or %r!&er' 2& teFt w!s -ere i!h 6=I?I JI# &ou h!"e run with the #oot en* !n$ the& h!"e we!rie$ &ou* then how (!n &ou (onten$ with horses3J I re!li5e$ th!t !n& %eo%le (oul$ not o"e #orw!r$ in their li"es be(!use the& h!$ #e!r' So I use$ this S(ri%ture to s!&* JHow !n& o# &ou h!"e ! #e!r o# horses3 The horses in this S(ri%ture re%resent the troubles !he!$' You (!n ne"er !$"!n(e to (onten$ with the /horses/ i# &ou h!"e #e!r o# the troubles !he!$'J 2!n&

?7

,HA0TER 9

ti es our #e!r o# so ething in %!rti(ul!r re%resents our gener!l #e!r o# the #uture' &o; Doubt ,ttac2s S!t!n likes to #ill us with $oubt' To !((o %lish this he %l!nts 1uestions in our in$ !bout the goo$ness !n$ lo"e o# Go$' )hen S!t!n !%%ro!(he$ E"e in the g!r$en* his str!teg& w!s to (!use her to $oubt Go$/s goo$ness' He insinu!te$ th!t Go$ $i$ not h!"e her best interest !t he!rt !n$ th!t Go$ w!s tr&ing to kee% her #ro wh!t woul$ be best #or her' Doubt is linke$ to in$e(ision' Doubt e!ns th!t we !re in(line$ to $isbelie#' Doubt o((urs when we w!"er between two o%inions' The $i(tion!r& $e#ines $oubt with ter s su(h !s Jhesit!te*J J1uestion*J Jto be un(ert!in !bout*J Jin(line$ to $isbelie#*J J#e!r#ul*J J!%%rehensi"e or sus%i(ious in su(h ! w!& th!t &ou !re not (ert!in !bout &our (hoi(e or w!& !he!$'J 9 JDoubt#ulJ i %lies strong un(ert!int& !s to the %rob!bilit&* "!lue* honest& or "!li$it& o# so ething' The ost #! ous %erson in the .ible who is linke$ to $oubt is Tho !s' -esus h!$ in#or e$ His $is(i%les !n& ti es th!t He woul$ $ie* o"er(o e $e!th !n$ then rise !g!in' U%on rising* -esus !%%e!re$ to His $is(i%les' At the to b* He sent 2!r& 2!g$!lene !n$ the other wo en to in#or the $is(i%les th!t He w!s !li"e !g!in' In 2!rk 6> we #in$ th!t the $is(i%les $i$ not belie"eG r!ther* the& $oubte$ 2!r&/s wor$ Ksee 2!rk 6>I66L' .e(!use the& $i$ not belie"e* -esus !%%e!re$ to the Hi sel#' He !(tu!ll& w!lke$ through the w!ll !n$ shut $oor o# the roo in whi(h the& were !sse ble$* hi$ing out in #e!r' Tho !s* howe"er* w!s not %resent' Here w!s Tho !s/s res%onse when the $is(i%les (hose to belie"e in -esus/ resurre(tionI Unless I see in His h!n$s the %rint o# the n!ils* !n$ %ut & #inger into the %rint o# the n!ils* !n$ %ut & h!n$ into His si$e* I will not belie"e K-ohn =8I=?L' Eight $!&s l!ter* -esus stoo$ in their i$st !g!in' Tho !s w!s %resent this ti e' -esus s!i$ to hi * JRe!(h &our #inger here* !n$ look !t 2& h!n$sG !n$ re!(h &our h!n$ here* !n$ %ut it into 2& si$e' Do not be unbelie"ing* but belie"ingJ K"' =<L' This (on"in(e$ Tho !s th!t the Lor$ re!ll& w!s who He %ro(l!i e$ He w!s !n$ h!$ $one wh!t He h!$ %ro(l!i e$ He woul$ $o'

ENE2IES OF FAITH

?;

The Lor$* howe"er* rebuke$ hi I J.lesse$ !re those who h!"e not seen !n$ &et h!"e belie"e$J K"' =;L'

)HEN )E GO THROUGH TRIALS* SATAN TRIES TO 0REBENT US FRO2 ENTERING INTO FAITH'
)hen we go through tri!ls* S!t!n tries to %re"ent us #ro entering into #!ith' Our ske%ti(is ight (!use us to 1uestion the goo$ness o# Go$' )e ight s!&* JYes* Go$ he!le$ He(tor !n$ he he!le$ Ste%h!nie* but He won/t $o th!t #or e'J S!t!n knows th!t i# he (!n get us to $oubt Go$/s goo$ness* then our shiel$ o# #!ith will be $e!(ti"!te$' )e ust w!t(h #or S!t!n/s !tte %ts to %l!nt th!t $oubt' I# we !re going through ! tri!l !n$ #in$ oursel"es thinking* ) don5t see $hy God $ould allo$ this if (e is good, then we (!n be sure we h!"e 4ust he!r$ the "oi(e o# S!t!n' I# S!t!n (!n fill us $ith fear !n$ #ro th!t #e!r (!use us to begin to dou't God5s goodness, then S!t!n (!n begin to $estro& our #!ith' Doubt is ! %ro$u(t o# unbelie#' Doubt will h!r$en our he!rts' Our unbelie# will then be(o e ! sel#-#ul#illing %ro%he(&' I# we !llow oursel"es to w!lk in unbelie#* we !re choosing to eF%erien(e the l!(k o# Go$/s %ro"ision' Go$ %ro ise$ Isr!el ! won$er#ul l!n$ #lowing with ilk !n$ hone&' .ut the initi!l gener!tion th!t le#t Eg&%t chose to 'elie+e the& woul$ $ie in the wil$erness' .e(!use the& $i$ not belie"e Go$/s %ro ise to the woul$ be #ul#ille$* the& re(ei"e$ wh!t the& belie"e$' The& $ie$ in the wil$erness' As we go through our wil$erness* S!t!n will r!ise u% ! ount!in o# #e!r !n$ $oubt to blo(k our w!&' Th!t #e!r !n$ $oubt will kee% us in the wil$erness until we o"er(o e it' -ust !s Alison Ar!uss/s won$er#ul song Ksee the %!ge o%%osite the o%ening o# (h!%ter 6L $e(l!res* we (!n en$ u% $&ing in the wil$erness i# we $o not st!n$ !g!inst the "oi(e o# unbelie# !n$ le!rn to r!ise high our shiel$ o# #!ith' /otes
6' G!"in De .e(ker* ,he Gift< of Fear KNew YorkI Dell 0ublishing* 6;;<L* %%' C96C9='

>8

,HA0TER 9

=' -ohn .e"ere* Breaking )ntimidation KL!ke 2!r&* FLI ,re!tion House* 6;;?L* %%' 696-69=' C' Derek 0rin(e* ,hey Shall /9pel 2emons KGr!n$ R!%i$s* 2II .!ker .ook House* 6;;7L* %' <;' 9' 1erriam3.e'ster5s Collegiate 2ictionary, 68th e$'* s'"' J$oubt'J

CHA

P T E R

5

?

THE 0O)ER OF OUR )ORDS

S!t!n/s nu ber one go!l is to (!use our shiel$ o# #!ith to be useless' I# he (!n $is(re$it the ob4e(t o# our #!ith* then we will l!& $own our shiel$ !n$ 1uestion the worth o# the b!ttle itsel#' In the %re"ious (h!%ter* I eF%l!ine$ S!t!n/s %ri !r& we!%ons #or un$er ining our #!ithI #e!r !n$ $oubt' So eti es* howe"er* we %!rti(i%!te with the ene & through the %ower o# our wor$s' The %ower o# our wor$s (!n either !ke or $estro& our #!ith' Through ur uring* or (o %l!ining* we #!ll %re& to the ene &/s %l!n' I like to $e#ine J ur uringJ !n$ J(o %l!iningJ !s re%e!te$l& "oi(ing our $iss!tis#!(tion o"er the situ!tion Go$ h!s %l!(e$ us in' Now the %eo%le be(! e like those who (o %l!in o# !$"ersit& in the he!ring o# the Lor$G !n$ when the Lor$ he!r$ it* His !nger w!s kin$le$* !n$ the #ire o# the Lor$ burne$ ! ong the KNu ' 66I6* NAS.L' Now these things h!%%ene$ !s eF! %les #or us* th!t we shoul$ not (r!"e e"il things* !s the& !lso (r!"e$'''' Nor let us tr& the Lor$* !s so e o# the $i$*''' nor gru ble* !s so e o# the $i$* !n$ were $estro&e$ b& the $estro&er K6 ,or' :C<D3:C, N&SB4% )hen we/re in the wil$erness* the gre!test sn!re to whi(h we (!n #!ll %re& is to ur ur* or (o %l!in* !bout our %resent situ!tion r!ther th!n looking !he!$ to the %l!(e Go$ h!s #or us'

>=

,HA0TER ?

This w!s (ert!inl& true #or Isr!el' The& gru ble$ #ro the o ent the& were $eli"ere$ out o# Eg&%t !n$ sl!"er&' During e"er& test in the wil$erness their res%onse w!s to ur ur* or (o %l!in' This* !s I h!"e !lre!$& note$* is wh!t ulti !tel& ke%t the out o# the 0ro ise$ L!n$'

SATAN/S )EA0ON

OF

2UR2URING

A lot o# %eo%le $on/t look !t ur uring* or (o %l!ining* like so ething b!$' For !n& o# us* (o %l!ining is our #!"orite %!sti e' )e get together with ! #rien$ !n$ s!&* JLet e tell &ou wh!t b!$ thing h!%%ene$ to e'J Then the #rien$ s!&s* JI (!n to% th!t+ )!it till &ou he!r wh!t h!%%ene$ to me6B Soon our #ellowshi% h!s turne$ into ! #ull-blown %it& %!rt&' 2ost o# us think %it& %!rties !re nor !l' Go$* howe"er* w!nts us to know th!t He h!tes (o %l!ining' He $oesn/t t!ke it lightl&' Re!$ Nu bers 66I6* gi"en !bo"e* !n$ then (!re#ull& look o"er these "ersesI How long sh!ll I be!r with this e"il (ongreg!tion3 ' ' ' I h!"e he!r$ the ur urings whi(h the (hil$ren o# Isr!el ur ur !g!inst 2e KNu ' 69I=<L' Do not h!r$en &our he!rts !s when the& %ro"oke$ 2e* !s in the $!& o# tri!l in the wil$erness'''' T!ke (!re* brethren* lest there shoul$ be in !n& one o# &ou !n e"il* unbelie"ing he!rt KHeb' CI7-6=* N&SB4% 2!n& ti es we st!rt o"ing tow!r$ the %ro ise Go$ h!s #or usD!n$ we !& e"en bre!k out o# so e t&%e o# bon$!geD but then we sto%' )e get stu(k' )e allo$ S!t!n to inter#ere !n$ sto% our %rogress' KIn (h!%ter <* I write !bout o"er(o ing the ene &/s blo(k!$es'L )e #orget !bout our $eli"er!n(e !n$ the 4o& we h!"e eF%erien(e$ in the %!st* !n$ we begin to ur ur* or (o %l!in' %he 3oot of +itterness So eti es (o %l!ining issues #ro bitterness' .itterness h!s ! $e#inite %rogression' 0erh!%s &ou h!"e %r!&e$ !n$ !re still struggling with ! %!rti(ul!r %roble in &our li#e' )h!t $o &ou $o neFt3 You get !ngr& with Go$+ You tell so eone Ke"er&one who will listen+L how u%set &ou !re !bout the situ!tion' 2ost o#

THE 0O)ER OF OUR )ORDS

>C

us h!"e $one this !t one ti e or !nother' )hen we $o* we usu!ll& seek s& %!th& but o#ten l!n$ in sel#-%it&'

)HEREBER
0RESENT'

THERE YOU ,AN

IS .E

,O20LAINING *

SURE THAT FAITH IS NO LONGER

2ur uring !rises out o# wh!t I (!ll ! he!rt o# bitterness !n$ is ! we!%on in the !rsen!l o# the ene &' )here"er there is (o %l!ining* &ou (!n be sure th!t #!ith is no longer %resent' One o# the gre!test eF! %les o# bitterness o# he!rt is #oun$ in N!o i/s stor&' The book o# Ruth tells us !bout the restor!tion o# N!o i/s inherit!n(e'6 At the beginning o# the book o# Ruth* we #in$ th!t N!o i h!s re!son to be bitterI She h!s lost e"er&thing' At #irst she bl! es Go$ #or those things th!t h!"e been stolen* kille$ !n$ $estro&e$Dwh!t w!s su%%ose$ to be her inherit!n(e' N!o i/s n! e shoul$ e!n %le!s!nt* $elight#ul !n$ lo"el&* but she be(o es known !s 2!r!h* or bitter' To be bitter e!ns to h!"e ! sh!r%* $is!gree!ble t!ste' This t!ste is ! re#le(tion o# sorrow* $is(o #ort* %!in or in4usti(e' The be!ut& o# the book o# Ruth lies in how Go$ le!$s N!o i out o# bitterness !n$ restores her to %le!s!ntness through her (o"en!nt rel!tionshi% with Ruth' -! es CI69 re!$s* J.ut i# &ou h!"e bitter en"& !n$ sel#seeking Osel#ish ! bitionP in &our he!rts* $o not bo!st !n$ lie !g!inst the truth'J The (onteFt o# this %!ss!ge is th!t o# ! te!(her instru(ting with wis$o ' .itterness !n$ en"& go h!n$ in h!n$' This (o bin!tion %ro$u(es (on#usion !n$ e"er& e"il thing' 0ursue %e!(e with !ll en !n$ holiness* without whi(h no one will see the Lor$I looking $iligentl& lest !n&one #!ll short o# the gr!(e o# Go$G lest !n& root o# bitterness s%ringing u% (!use trouble* !n$ b& this !n& be(o e $e#ile$ KHeb' 6=I69-6?L' This "erse is ! w!rning th!t bitterness (!n (!use us to le!"e the #!ith' .itterness (!n be(o e ! root th!t not onl& $e#iles our whole bo$& but !lso $e#iles Go$/s (or%or!te %ur%ose* whi(h we !re ! %!rt o#' Isr!el !s ! whole be(! e in#e(te$ with bitterness in

>9

,HA0TER ?

the wil$erness* !n$ be(!use o# it ! whole gener!tion w!s un!ble to enter into the %ro ise' )hen we !re struggling in the !re! o# ur uring* or (o %l!ining* we ust !llow Go$ to re o"e the bitterness !n$ restore our %le!s!nt #r!gr!n(e' %he Dangers of 7ur0uring The .ible re"e!ls th!t (o %l!ining* or $!ngerous #or !t le!st #our re!sonsI ur uring* is

6' 1urmuring cuts off our +ision for the future% -esus $i$ not ur ur !n$ (o %l!in on the (ross be(!use His e&es were #iFe$ on the out(o eI JFor the 4o& th!t w!s set be#ore Hi en$ure$ the (ross* $es%ising the sh! eJ KHeb' 6=I=L' )e $on/t (o %l!in in the wil$erness i# our e&es !re on the %ro ise$ l!n$+ Our %roble is th!t S!t!n tells us there is no w!& out o# the wil$erness' S!t!n tells us JYou will $ie in the wil$ernessDthere/s no w!& out+J Go$ s!&s* JFollow 2e+ I h!"e ! %ro ise$ l!n$ #or &ou+J )e get to (hoose who we/re going to !gree with+ )hen we (o %l!in* we !re !greeing with the $e"il th!t our #uture is (ut o##' =' 1urmuring is dangerous 'ecause it causes us to dou't God5s goodness for the present% )hen we (o %l!in* we !re s!&ing* JGo$* I $on/t like the route You h!"e !%%e$ #or & li#e'J Ro !ns 7I=7 te!(hes th!t Go$ h!s ! route %l!nne$ #or us' All o# the things on th!t routeDe"en those th!t !re not #unD!re $esigne$ b& Go$ to work together #or our goo$' )hen we (o %l!in* we !re s!&ing* JGo$* I $on/t like this route' I $on/t think You/"e $one ! goo$ 4ob'J 2ur uring is !n !((us!tion !g!inst Go$ th!t His %l!n #or us is not ! goo$ %l!n' C' 1urmuring causes un'elief to deepen and gro$% The Lor$ tol$ e so ething !while b!(k' He s!i$* JUnbelie# is like ! see$G i# &ou w!ter it* it will grow'J E"er& ti e we (o %l!in* we !re $atering our unbelie#' )h!t h!%%ens when &ou !re un$erw!ter !n$ o%en &our outh wi$e3 )!ter (o es in+ In the s! e w!&* when we o%en our outh to (o %l!in* unbelie# #loo$s in' I# we !re h!"ing ! h!r$ ti e w!lking in #!ith !n$ we o%en our outh to (o %l!in* we h!"e 4ust lost the b!ttle be(!use we h!"e o%ene$ oursel"es to ! #loo$ o# unbelie#' So eti es the

THE 0O)ER OF OUR )ORDS

>?

best thing we (!n $o to st!& in #!ith is 4ust to shut our outh+ 9' 1urmuring in+ites greater ad+ersity% So e o# us h!"e gotten into ! (&(le th!t gets worse !n$ worse+ )hen we/re h!"ing ! %roble with so eone !n$ we (o %l!in* wh!t h!%%ens3 )e eF%erien(e ore !$"ersit&' 2ur uring %uts us un$er ! (urse' Let e %ro"e this #ro S(ri%ture' )h!t w!s Isr!el/s (o %l!int in the wil$erness3 The -ewish %eo%le s!i$* J)e !re going to $ie in the wil$erness+J Th!t w!s not Go$/s %l!n' He h!$ %ro ise$ to get the to the 0ro ise$ L!n$' Then the LORD s%oke to 2oses !n$ A!ron* s!&ing JHow long sh!ll I be!r with this e"il (ongreg!tion who ur ur !g!inst 2e3 I h!"e he!r$ the ur urings whi(h the (hil$ren o# Isr!el ur ur !g!inst 2e' S!& to the * /As I li"e*/ s!&s the LORD* /4ust !s &ou h!"e s%oken in 2& he!ring* so I will $o to &ouI The (!r(!sses o# &ou who h!"e ur ure$ !g!inst 2e sh!ll #!ll in this wil$erness/J KNu ' 69I=<-=;L' )h!t w!s Go$ w!s s!&ing3 JYou h!"e re#use$ to (o e into !gree ent with 2& wor$s o"er &our li#e* so inste!$ I will (o e into !gree ent with &our wor$s'J )e ust be (!re#ul !bout wh!t we s!&'

THE ALTERNATIBE

TO

2UR2URING

So e o# us h!"e gotten so use$ to (o %l!ining th!t it/s h!r$ to $o !n&thing else' A#ter !ll* wh!t else (!n we $o in the wil$erness but (o %l!in3 Is!i!h >6 gi"es the !nswer' )e (!n %ut on ! !ntle o# %r!ise Ksee "' CL' A !ntle is like ! (!%e or ! to%(o!t' It is so ething we choose to %ut on' An$ we (!n (hoose to %ut it on in !n& situ!tion' I think the best eF! %le o# this is when Go$ g!"e 0!ul ! "ision !n$ tol$ hi to go to 0hili%%i' 0!ul got there* but !#ter ! brie# ti e o# inistr&* he w!s !rreste$' His robes were torn o## !n$ he w!s be!ten' He w!s stru(k with !n& blows !n$ thrown into %rison* where his #eet were %ut in sto(ks' The sto(ks were not to kee% 0!ul #ro es(!%ingG the gu!r$s !n$ the b!rs woul$ $o th!t' The sto(ks were ! etho$ o# torture' The sto(ks #or(e$

>> hi

,HA0TER ? to s%en$ the night l&ing on his b!(k in !gon&'

0!ul h!$ $one nothing wrong' Not onl& w!s this tre!t ent un#!ir* but it !lso w!s illeg!l' The rulers o# the $!& $i$ not !llow their own (iti5ens to un$ergo su(h hu ili!tion' It ight be un$erst!n$!ble i# ! %erson in su(h ! situ!tion res%on$e$ in !nger* $on/t &ou think3 .ut how $i$ 0!ul re!(t3 He s!ng %r!ise songs+ Di$ 0!ul #eel #ull o# %r!ise !t the o ent3 Not !t !ll+ I belie"e th!t 0!ul s!i$* JI/ going to %ut on & !ntle o# %r!ise' I #eel iser!ble* !n$ I (!n/t slee% be(!use o# the %!in* but I/ going to #ill this (ell with the %r!ises o# Go$+J

IF

THERE IS 0RAISE ,O2ING OUT

OF OUR 2OUTHS* THERE IS NO ROO2 FOR ,O20LAINING '

)e (!n !lso choose to $o th!t in !n& situ!tion+ 0r!ise is our shiel$ !g!inst unbelie#' 0r!ise gu!r$s us !g!inst (o %l!ining' I# we #eel like (o %l!ining* then we (!n (hoose inste!$ to %r!ise Go$' I# there is %r!ise (o ing out o# our ouths* there is no roo #or (o %l!ining' How (!n we %r!ise Go$ in the wil$erness3 Here !re #our suggestionsI 6' .e can learn to praise God in ad+ersity% Robert !n$ his wi#e* Lin$!* h!"e #oun$ this to be true on ission tri%s' On their #irst "enture to Ukr!ine* Lin$! went into the b!throo to w!sh her #!(e' -ust !s she got it !ll so!%&* the w!ter sto%%e$ (o ing out o# the #!u(et' Lin$! le!rne$ new %r!ise' The neFt $!&* when she turne$ on the #!u(et !n$ w!ter (! e out* it w!s so ething #or whi(h she (oul$ %r!ise Go$' There !re !n& things we t!ke #or gr!nte$ until we $on/t h!"e the ' =' .e can praise God for (is goodness% E"en when Go$ h!s us in the wil$erness* there !re blessings #or whi(h we (!n %r!ise Hi ' )hen Isr!el w!s in the wil$erness* the& re(ei"e$ !nn! Kbre!$L #ro he!"en' It (! e e"er& $!&' Their shoes $i$ not we!r out #or 98 &e!rs' The& s!w the

THE 0O)ER OF OUR )ORDS

><

"isible shekinah glor& o# Go$ le!$ing the !s ! %ill!r o# (lou$ b& $!& !n$ !s ! %ill!r o# #ire b& night' Go$/s goo$ness is not (ut o## #ro us in the wil$erness' )e nee$ to t!ke our e&es o## he $is(o #ort o# our situ!tion !n$ look !roun$ us' )e will surel& #in$ things #or whi(h we (!n o##er %r!ise' C' .e can praise God for (is presence% No !tter wh!t wil$erness we !re in* Go$ is in it with us' His %resen(e is there' )hen Robert/s b!(k w!s out #or ! onth* he (oul$ not o"e without eF(ru(i!ting %!in' He s%ent th!t onth l&ing on his b!(k* hol$ing the .ible !n$ re!$ing the )or$' During th!t ti e the %resen(e o# Go$ (! e $own !n$ et with hi ' He h!$ so e o# the (losest ti es with the Lor$ he/s e"er h!$ in his li#e' )hen we !re in the wil$erness* Go$ is there to eet with us' .egin to %r!ise Hi #or His %resen(e' 9' .e can praise God for the outcome% No !tter wh!t wil$erness we !re in* Go$ h!s ! %l!n #or us through th!t wil$erness* !n$ it is ! %l!n to t!ke us into ! %l!(e o# %ro ise' -ere i!h =;I66 ?N&SB4 re(or$s Go$/s wor$sI /JFor I know the %l!ns I h!"e #or &ou*/ $e(l!res the LORD* /%l!ns #or wel#!re !n$ not #or (!l! it& to gi"e &ou ! #uture !n$ ! ho%e'/J Go$ !lw!&s h!s ! %ro ise$ out(o e' )hen we !re in the i$st o# the test* we (!n s!&* JLor$* I %r!ise You+ I th!nk You #or this o%%ortunit& to trust You' Lor$* th!nk You #or the out(o eD#or the blessings You will bring e through this test+J )hen we (hoose to %r!ise inste!$ o# (o %l!in* unbelie# is (ut o##' At th!t "er& o ent we !re en!ble$ to li#t u% our shiel$ o# #!ith !n$ re(ei"e the %ro ise'

SATAN/S )EA0ON

OF

SELF-0ITY

I# we see th!t o##ering %r!ise (ounter!(ts ur uring ! (o %l!int we (!n (hoose to %r!ise r!ther th!n (o %l!in* but it is not !lw!&s th!t (le!r-(ut' So eti es we h!"e #!llen into ! (&(le o# sel#-%it& th!t h!s its origin in $ee% %!in' On(e we get woun$e$ or eF%erien(e loss* we (!n lose sight o# our #uture' This

>7

,HA0TER ?

le!$s to ! b!ttle with sel#-%it&* whi(h S!t!n uses to %re"ent us #ro seeing Go$/s glor& !ni#est itsel# in our li#e' Sel#-%it& is ! $e oni( #or(e th!t $r!ws !ttention to our loss' Inste!$ o# seeing Go$/s (ontinue$ %er#e(t %l!n #or our li#e* sel# rises u% !n$ s!&s* J0it& e #or wh!t I h!"e lost'J An& ti e we eF%erien(e loss* tr!u !* woun$ing or in4usti(e* our in$-set (!n go in two $ire(tionsI )e (!n li"e belie"ing th!t Go$ (!n he!l !n$ #orgi"e* or our thoughts (!n #or !roun$ !ttitu$es o# re4e(tion* sel#$e#ense !n$ sel#-%it&'

SATAN/S OTHER )EA0ONS
S!t!n e!gerl& uses !n& we!%on th!t will be e##e(ti"e !g!inst us' A ong these !re !nger* $elusion !n$ the #e!r o# $e!th' ,nger As we o"e #orw!r$ in our s%iritu!l li#e* we ust gu!r$ !g!inst the %resen(e o# !nger or bitterness in our he!rts' E%hesi!ns 9I=> is !n !$ onish ent #ro 0!ul to the %eo%le o# E%hesus to J/be !ngr&* !n$ $o not sin/I $o not let the sun go $own on &our wr!th* nor gi"e %l!(e to the $e"il'J Anger !& win the o ent* but it won/t win the w!r' Anger is ! %e(uli!r e otion' The Lor$ $oesn/t tell us we (!n/t be !ngr&G howe"er* i# we $on/t !n!ge our !nger* we (!n !(tu!ll& gi"e groun$ in our li#e to s!t!ni( (ontrol' De ons (!n "eF !n$ o%%ress us' Inste!$ o# our %ossessing the best th!t Go$ h!s #or us* we lose groun$' Anger (!n ne"er be ! %!rt o# our shiel$ o# #!ith' Anger %ro$u(es 4e!lous&G 4e!lous& le!$s to h!teG h!te $e"ises $estru(tion !n$ e"entu!ll& %ro$u(es ! ur$erous !(t* whether b& wor$ or $ee$' E otions !re Go$ gi"en* but unless we eF%ress our e otions in he!lth& w!&s* we will ne"er !((o %lish Go$/s %l!n #or our li#e' In & .oman5s Guide to Breaking Bondages, Ruin Sherrer !n$ Ruth!nne G!rlo(k wroteI Anger is %erh!%s h!r$est to h!n$le* es%e(i!ll& i# we h!"e store$ it u% onl& to o"erre!(t to onl& ! rel!ti"el& inor in#r!(tion''' be(!use store$-u% !nger be(o es (orrosi"e !n$ $!ngerous' It/s like %utting ! te %est in ! te!%otG i# not (!l e$ it/s boun$ to (!use $estru(tion' Anger !l ost !lw!&s begins with ! %er(ei"e$ loss* !n !(tu!l loss or the thre!t o# loss' The loss itsel#* (ou%le$

THE 0O)ER OF OUR )ORDS with the #eeling th!t we !re being "i(ti i5e$* %ro$u(es !nger'=

>;

Anger (h!nges the (he i(!l !keu% o# the bo$&' )hen !nger is %resent* !$ren!lineD! hor one %ro$u(e$ b& the !$ren!l gl!n$sDis rele!se$' The rele!se o# this hor one %ro$u(es ! #ight-or-#light res%onse* whi(h is ! goo$ res%onse when &ou !re in $!nger' Howe"er* !s ! res%onse to !nger* the (ontinuous rele!se o# !$ren!line (!n be %h&si(!ll& $! !ging to our bo$&' )e nee$ to g4"e the !n!ge ent o# our !ngerDor !n& neg!ti"e e otionDto the Hol& S%irit/s (ontrol #or the goo$ o# in$* bo$& !n$ s%irit' Delusion As note$ e!rlier* b& belie"ing 4ust one lie* we lose the re!lit& o# Go$ in our li#e' S!t!n/s %l!n is to $elu$e usG he longs to isle!$* beguile* #rustr!te !n$ $e(ei"e us' I# we e"er e br!(e ! single lie* then we (!n e"entu!ll& en$ u% in tot!l $elusion' A $elusion is ! #!lse belie# or o%inion th!t is (ontr!r& to #!(t or re!lit& !n$ results in ! ner"ous or ent!l $isor$er' S!t!n/s ulti !te go!l is to use $elusion to re o"e the re!lit& o# Go$ #ro our li#e !n$ testi on&' Is!i!h >>I9 re!$sI So will I choose their $elusions* !n$ bring their #e!rs on the G be(!use* when I (!lle$* no one !nswere$* when I s%oke the& $i$ not he!rG but the& $i$ e"il be#ore 2& e&es* !n$ (hose th!t in whi(h I $o not $elight' This "erse s!&s th!t Go$ will !llow th!t $elusion to (o e u%on us' .e#ore long we will not be !ble to $is(ern right !n$ #ro wrong' A s%irit o# $elusion blin$s our (ons(ien(e !n$ kee%s us #ro !king wise (hoi(es be(!use our (hoi(es !re b!se$ on the $elusion we h!"e e br!(e$' Delusion is !lso linke$ with $esireG $esire is ! #un(tion o# the e otions' )hen we !llow our e otions to (ontrol us* our $esire (!n le!$ us into $is!ster' Se(on$ Thess!loni!ns =I66-6= re(or$sI An$ #or this re!son Go$ will sen$ the strong $elusion* th!t the& shoul$ belie"e the lie* th!t the& !ll !& be (on$e ne$ who $i$ not belie"e the truth but h!$ %le!sure in unrighteousness'

<8

,HA0TER ?

In both the Is!i!h !n$ = Thess!loni!ns %!ss!ges* the wor$ J$elusionJ is use$G it i %lies th!t unbri$le$ $esire h!s been e br!(e$' Th!t is when Go$ sen$s the $elusion' Another w!& to un$erst!n$ J$elusionJ is to un$erst!n$ the wor$ Jerror*J whi(h is linke$ with the wor$ J%l!net'J In other wor$s* we go so #!r !str!& #ro Go$/s %ur%ose in res%e(t to or!ls !n$ $o(trine th!t #igur!ti"el& we en$ u% on !nother %l!net' I h!"e seen %eo%le who h!"e su(h ! strong $esire in one !re! o# their li#eDwhether #or ! !te* #or one& or #or %owerDth!t the& en$ u% with their #!ith tot!ll& shi%wre(ke$' The& h!"e #ollowe$ !#ter ! lie th!t h!s le$ the into $elusion' Death One o# the ene &/s ost su((ess#ul str!tegies is to !ke us #e!r#ul o# $e!th' In #!(t* he woul$ n!g us to $e!th !bout $e!th i# he (oul$' E"en though $e!th is our #in!l ene & !n$ we !ll will #!(e it !t so e %oint* we $o not h!"e to li"e in bon$!ge to th!t #e!r' I $e(l!re th!t e"er& str!teg& in whi(h S!t!n h!s (on"in(e$ so eone o# %re !ture $e!th will be broken'

ONE

OF

THE

ENE2Y/S

2OST IS TO

SU,,ESSFUL

STRATEGIES

2AAE US FEARFUL OF DEATH'

Ro !ns >I=C re!$s* JThe w!ges o# sin is $e!th'J )ithout -esus we (!n #e!r $e!th be(!use we h!"e !ll sinne$ !n$ we !ll $eser"e $e!th' -esus* howe"er* !$e ! %ro"ision when He $ie$ on the (ross' )hen we !((e%t Hi !s S!"ior* the Jw!ges o# sinJ !re #orgi"en be(!use -esus took th!t $ebt u%on Hi sel# #or us' Th!nk Go$ we h!"e !n !$"o(!te to bre!k this ene & o# $e!th' I# !n&one h!s eF%erien(e$ the sting o# $e!th in their li#e !n$ th!t sting h!s !##e(te$ their #!ith* then the& shoul$ !sk the Lor$ to %ut His he!ling tou(h u%on the sting'

OUR )EA0ON AGAINST

THE

ENE2Y

A !4or we!%on in the b!ttle #or #!ith is the )or$ o# Go$' 0ro"erbs 67I=6 re!$s* JDe!th !n$ li#e !re in the %ower o# the tongue'J Go$/s rhema, or s%oken wor$* is ke& to our liber!tion'

THE 0O)ER OF OUR )ORDS

<6

This is the wor$ th!t Go$ h!s s%oken !bout our situ!tion' Go$/s rhe ! is the swor$ o# the S%irit Ksee E%h' >I6<L' Go$ h!s gi"en us His )or$ !s ! swor$ to use !g!inst the "oi(e o# the ene &' )hen S!t!n !tt!(ks our #!ith* we $o not h!"e to sit there !n$ let hi b!tter us with #e!r !n$ $oubt until we $ie' Go$ h!s %ut ! swor$ in our h!n$ to $ri"e b!(k the ene &' I# we w!nt to see how to use our swor$* look !t -esus+ )hen -esus w!s in the wil$erness* S!t!n (! e to te %t Hi ' In e!(h te %t!tion* S!t!n/s go!l w!s to !ke -esus $oubt the goo$ness o# Go$/s %l!n' S!t!n s!i$ in e##e(t* JYou $on/t h!"e to $ie on the ,ross+ Th!t/s not ! goo$ %l!n+ -ust worshi% e !n$ I/ll gi"e You the king$o s o# the worl$+J In res%onse to these !tt!(ks* -esus %ulle$ out His swor$' E"er& ti e S!t!n trie$ to %l!nt $oubt !bout Go$/s goo$ness* -esus/ !nswere$* JNo* S!t!n+ For it is writtenJ Ksee Luke 9I9*7*68L' -esus 4!bbe$ S!t!n with Go$/s )or$ until S!t!n went !w!&+ )e (!n $o likewise' Go$ h!s %ut ! swor$ in our h!n$+ E"er& ti e S!t!n (o es to sti(k us with his swor$ o# #e!r !n$ unbelie#* we (!n either sit there !n$ let hi 4!b !w!& or we (!n t!ke u% our swor$ !n$ #ight' )e (!n s!&* JNo* S!t!n+ For it is written'J )e* too* (!n re in$ S!t!n o# wh!t Go$ h!s %ro ise$ us' The )or$ o# Go$ is our we!%on !g!inst the ene &* &et when we !re in the b!ttle* we !lw!&s h!"e two wor$s to (hoose #ro ' First* we h!"e ! wor$ #ro Go$' )hen %eo%le (o e to e #or (ounseling !bout ! %roble * the #irst 1uestion I !sk is JH!s Go$ s%oken to &ou !bout this3J Al ost in"!ri!bl&* the %erson knows th!t in$ee$ Go$ h!s s%oken' Go$ h!s 1ui(kene$ ! "erse #ro S(ri%ture' Go$ h!s s%oken in His still s !ll "oi(e to gi"e this %erson His %ro ise' Although we h!"e ! wor$ #ro Go$Dit is His %ro ise in the situ!tionDwe !lso h!"e ! wor$ #ro S!t!n' How $o we tell the $i##eren(e3 A wor$ #ro S!t!n (!n soun$ "er& religiousD S!t!n lo"es to 1uote S(ri%ture' The $i##eren(e is th!t Go$/s wor$ rele!ses #!ithG S!t!n/s wor$ rele!ses #e!r* $oubt !n$ unbelie#' F!ith (o es b& he!ring the rhe !* the s%oken wor$* o# Go$' Fe!r !n$ $oubt (o e b& he!ring the "oi(e o# S!t!n* who is the #!ther o# lies' )hen we !re in b!ttle* it is hel%#ul to sto% !n$ $is(ern wh!t

<=

,HA0TER ?

both o# these "oi(es !re s!&ing' Do we know wh!t Go$ is s!&ing to us3 H!"e we he!r$ ! wor$ th!t rele!ses #!ith3 )h!t is S!t!n s!&ing3 How is he tr&ing to #ill us with unbelie#3 On(e we h!"e sorte$ out wh!t e!(h "oi(e is s!&ing* we ust then $e(i$e whi(h "oi(e to #ollow' I# we (hoose to !gree with Go$* then we ust (on#ront the ene &' )e ust le!rn to $o w!r#!re with our %ro%he(ies' JThis (h!rge I (o it to &ou* son Ti oth&* !((or$ing to the %ro%he(ies %re"iousl& !$e (on(erning &ou* th!t b& the &ou !& w!ge the goo$ w!r#!reJ K6 Ti ' 6I67L' Re(ei"ing ! %ro%heti( re"el!tion #ro Go$ !bout wh!t He w!nts to !((o %lish $oes not e!n th!t it/s ! $one $e!l' There is ! (on$ition!l n!ture to %ro%he(& th!t in"ol"es both our obe$ien(e !n$ our willingness to Jw!rJ with ! wor$'C )hen S!t!n s%e!ks to us !n$ we sense th!t ount!in o# #e!r !n$ $oubt rising u%* wh!t then shoul$ we $o3 )e ust re4e(t it' )e (!nnot 4ust sit there !n$ !llow S!t!n to #ill our in$ with g!rb!ge' )hen the "oi(e o# the ene & (o es* we ust (on#ront it with Go$/s )or$I JNo* S!t!n+ I ! (hoosing to belie"e Go$' It is written'J As we (on#ront S!t!n with the )or$ o# Go$* !n ! !5ing thing h!%%ensI F!ith re%l!(es unbelie#+ 2ost ,hristi!ns think #!ith is h!r$ to (o e b&' The& !ssu e th!t it/s nor !l to w!lk in unbelie#' Th!t/s not true' The n!tur!l st!te o# ! belie"er is to belie"eD#!ith shoul$ #low n!tur!ll& #ro our s%irit' I# we #ill our in$ with Go$/s )or$ !n$ re#use to listen to the "oi(e o# unbelie#* then #!ith will #low !uto !ti(!ll&' F!ith is in us through the S%irit o# Go$' The b!ttle #or #!ith is ! b!ttle to $e#e!t unbelie#' I# we will st!n$ !g!inst the "oi(e o# the ene &* we will see #!ith re%l!(e unbelie#' Here !re so e ke&s to in(re!se$ #!ithI 6' /ach of us must fill our mind $ith God5s $ritten .ord, the Bi'le% )e ust re!$* e$it!te on !n$ s!tur!te our in$ with wh!t Go$ h!s s!i$' Out o# th!t we get our ! unition !g!inst the ene &' .e in the )or$+ A' As we !re in the )or$* we nee$ to !llow Go$ to show us His (h!r!(ter' )e nee$ to see the $is%l!& o# His goo$ness* #!ith#ulness* kin$ness !n$ strength' Th!t

THE 0O)ER OF OUR )ORDS gi"es th!t us ! #oun$!tion to st!n$ on'

<C

.' As we !re in the )or$* we (!n see the w!&s o# Go$' Go$ h!s (ert!in w!&s o# $oing things' Anowing how Go$ $e!ls with %eo%le !kes it e!sier to w!lk in #!ith when He/s $e!ling with us+ ,' As we !re in the )or$* we re(ei"e Go$/s rhe !* or s%oken* wor$' )hen we !re going through ! tri!l* "erses #ro the .ible will begin to 4u % o## the %!ge #or us' Go$ will 1ui(ken "erses* !%%l&ing the $ire(tl& to us' These !re rhe !* or s%oken* wor$s' )e ust %!& !ttention to wh!t Go$ s!&s !n$ st!n$ on His %ro ises' =' .e should fill our mind $ith praise and thankfulness% F!ith is nurture$ b& !int!ining !n !t os%here o# %r!ise !n$ th!nksgi"ing' I# we w!lk through li#e in %r!ise !n$ th!nk#ulness* we will #in$ th!t #!ith is ! n!tur!l o"er#low' C' .e must trust God $here $e can% There/s !lw!&s so ething we (!n trust Go$ #or' I# we #eel like we $on/t h!"e #!ith to trust Go$ #or our %resent situ!tion* we (!n b!(k u% to where we $o h!"e #!ith !n$ t!ke ! st!n$ there' Abr!h! belie"e$ Go$ #or ! son* !n$ Go$ (ounte$ it !s righteousness' )e ust belie"e where we (!n' 9' .e need to e9press our faith in o'edience% F!ith ust !lw!&s be eF%resse$' F!ith is ne"er 4ust !n intelle(tu!l eFer(ise' )e shoul$ eF%ress it' )e nee$ to !sk Go$ how He w!nts us to eF%ress our #!ith' I# we obe& Go$ !n$ st!& in #!ith* we will see the bre!kthrough' All the #ier& $!rts S!t!n uses !g!inst usD#e!r* $oubt* ur uring* sel#-%it&* !nger* $elusion !n$ $e!thD(!n be 1uen(he$ b& our shiel$ o# #!ith' /otes
6' Rebe((! S&tse ! !n$ I wrote !bout this in $et!il in 0ossessing -ur )nheritance KBentur!* ,AI Reg!l .ooks* =886L' =' Ruin Sherrer !n$ Ruth!nne G!rlo(k* & .oman5s Guide to Breaking Bondages KAnn Arbor* 2II Ser"!nt 0ubli(!tions* 6;;9L* %%' 9<-97' C' ,hu(k D' 0ier(e !n$ Rebe((! )!gner S&tse !* ,he Best Is Yet &head K,olor!$o S%rings* ,OI )!gner 0ubli(!tions* =886L* %' ><'

CHA

P T E R

>

0ASSING THE TEST

2!n& ti es when Go$ is re!$& to #ul#ill ! %ro ise* we #in$ oursel"es in ! ti e o# testing' This see s to be ! bibli(!l %!ttern th!t runs #ro Genesis to Re"el!tion' Isr!elDwho we h!"e been using !s ! o$el #or our s%iritu!l w!lk in this bookD $is(o"ere$ this %ro(ess o# testing in the wil$erness' Go$ h!$ %ro ise$ Abr!h! the l!n$ o# ,!n!!n* ! l!n$ #ille$ with won$er#ul blessings' Th!t %ro ise h!$ been e9tended through the generations !n$ be(! e ! (or%or!te %ro ise #or ! n!tion' Howe"er* be#ore the -ewish %eo%le (oul$ recei+e the 0ro ise$ L!n$ blessings* the& h!$ to !ke it through the wil$erness testings' )e !ll go through tests in our own wil$erness' This is un!"oi$!ble' Howe"er* the length o# ti e we s%en$ in the wil$erness is $eter ine$ b& how we res%on$ to Go$/s eF! ' It w!s onl& !bout ! two-&e!r hike #ro Eg&%t to the %ro ise$ L!n$ Kthe& $i$ not h!"e SUBs in those $!&sL' The -ewish %eo%le* howe"er* ke%t #!iling tests !long the w!&' )e know the stor&I It took the 98 &e!rs to !ke it' No!h* Esther !n$ D!niel !lso were teste$' E!(h one %!sse$* but so eti es it took 1uite ! while' -esus w!s teste$* too' He h!$ been b!%ti5e$ !n$ w!s re!$& to #ul#ill !ll righteousness* but #irst He h!$ to %!ss ! test' He went into the wil$erness where #or 98 $!&s He h!$ to resist the wiles o# the $e"il' )hen He (! e out* He h!$ %ower' -esus is our o$elG there#ore* we (!n (on(lu$e th!t we (!n eF%e(t to go through e"er&thing He went through' I# we %!ss the test* then we too (!n eF%e(t %ower'

<>

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ENDURING FAITH
F!ith is the ke& to !king it through the wil$erness' )hen we !re in ! ti e o# testing* the issue is !lw!&s #!ith' .ut there is ! s%e(i!l kin$ o# #!ith nee$e$ to %!ss the test !n$ %ossess the %ro iseI en$uring #!ith' This is ! #!ith th!t %erse"eres to the en$ o# the test' .& then we h!"e $e"elo%e$ ! ro(k-soli$ testi on&' .ut he who en$ures to the en$ will be s!"e$' An$ this gos%el o# the king$o will be %re!(he$ in !ll the worl$ !s ! witness to !ll the n!tions* !n$ then the en$ will (o e K2!tt' =9I6C-69L' JTo en$ureJ ?hupomeno in GreekL is to hol$ our groun$ in (on#li(t* be!r u% un$er !$"ersit&* hol$ out un$er stress* st!n$ #ir * %erse"ere or w!it (!l l& !n$ (our!geousl&' This i %lies !n energeti( resist!n(e to $e#e!t th!t %ro$u(es (!l !n$ br!"e %erse"er!n(e' J0erse"er!n(eJ is "er& si il!r to Jen$ur!n(e*J but J%erse"er!n(eJ e!ns to $o so ething in s%ite o# the $i##i(ult&* to h!"e ! ste!$#!stness or to %ersist until the %ur%ose is !((o %lishe$' I# we %erse"ere* we su((ess#ull& get %!st the obst!(les th!t !re in our %!th Kwe will look !t #!ith th!t o"es us %!st the ene &/s blo(k!$es in (h!%ter <L' Hebrews 68IC> $es(ribes this kin$ o# #!ithI JYou h!"e nee$ o# en$ur!n(e* so th!t !#ter &ou h!"e $one the will o# Go$* &ou !& re(ei"e the %ro ise'J -! es 6IC-9 ?N&SB4 %uts it this w!&* JThe testing o# &our #!ith %ro$u(es en$ur!n(e' An$ let en$ur!n(e h!"e its %er#e(t result* th!t &ou !& be %er#e(t !n$ (o %lete* l!(king in nothingJ Ksee !lso -!s' 6I6=L' It is e!s& to re(ei"e ! %ro ise !n$ be(o e eF(ite$' .ut o#ten b& the thir$ $!&* we h!"e been beset b& one !tt!(k or !nother #ro the ene &' The %ro ise we glowe$ !bout on Sun$!& orning gets nu$ge$ to the si$e !n$ then sho"e$ to the b!(k o# our in$s' How $o we st!& on (ourse3 )e (!n begin b& looking !t the ist!kes !$e b& those who $i$ not enter into #!ith* or $i$ %erse"ere on(e the& got ! %ro ise #ro Go$' )e le!rn !n& lessons o# wh!t not to $o #ro those who got $is(our!ge$ !n$ 1uit r!ther th!n %ressing on'

THE HEALER REBEALED

0ASSING THE TEST

<<

The Lor$ re"e!le$ Hi sel# !s !eho+ah Rophe, e!ning J-eho"!h he!lsJ Ksee EFo$' 6?I=>L' This is the se(on$ o# the (o %oun$ n! es o# the Lor$/s re"el!tion to His (o"en!nt %eo%le* Isr!el* the -ewish %eo%le' I belie"e there is ! %rogression in the w!& th!t He re"e!le$ Hi sel# to His %eo%le' There !lso is ! %rogression in the w!& Go$ re"e!ls Hi sel# to us' 2!n& ti es !s we !tte %t to go tow!r$ the %ro ise o# Go$* we get bogge$ $own b& ! (ir(u st!n(e' Inste!$ o# (r&ing out #or the Lor$ to re"e!l Hi sel# to us in our situ!tion* we either rel& on our own un$erst!n$ing or ur ur !n$ (o %l!in K!s we/"e !lre!$& note$L'

IN THE 2IDST OF OUR GOD 0ROBES HI2SELF'

TRIALS*

Three $!&s !#ter (rossing the Re$ Se!* the %eo%le o# Isr!el hit ! blo(k!$eI No w!ter w!s !"!il!ble' The& ur ure$ !n$ (o %l!ine$' Go$ then re"e!le$ Hi sel# to the !s ! He!ler* be(!use the& nee$e$ he!ling' The& h!$ #orgotten the song o# triu %h the& h!$ sung !s the& (rosse$ the Re$ Se!' The& $i$ #in$ w!ter* but it w!s bitter' This o(ke$ their thirst' The& grew !ngr& be(!use the eF%e(t!tion th!t the& h!$ o# 1uen(he$ thirst h!$ not been et' EF%e(t!tion* when not #ul#ille$* %ro$u(es wh!t I (!ll ho%e $e#erre$' EF%e(t!tion is ! #un(tion o# the e otions' )hen our eF%e(t!tion is not et* our e otions re!(t' )e #!ll into this tr!% $es%ite Go$/s tr!(k re(or$' )h!t ! test+ Go$ e"entu!ll& showe$ 2oses ! tree th!t (oul$ turn the bitterness to sweetnessDbut it took #!ith' Go$ w!s %ro"ing their #!ith' Go$ is ne"er on tri!l' In the i$st o# our tri!ls* Go$ %ro"es Hi sel#* i# we will rel& u%on Hi ' )e #in$ #ro this test o# Go$/s (o"en!nt %eo%le th!t there will be ti es in our li#e when we nee$ ! He!ler' So e o# our gre!test tri!ls !re rel!te$ to ! s%irit o# in#ir it&' This s%irit %ro$u(es we!kness' )hether our %roble is or!l* s%iritu!l or %h&si(!l* we nee$ ! He!ler' Si(kness t!kes ! gre!t toll on our li"es' Dise!se (!n %ro$u(e tre en$ous (on#usion !n$ h!"o(' Dise!se is no res%e(ter o# %ersons or (l!ss' During these ti es o# in#ir it&* we nee$ the He!ler'

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Go$ Hi sel# is the One who he!ls' Howe"er* He uses si(kness+ He h!s le#t in#ir it& %resent on E!rth !s !n instru ent to 4u$ge sin !n$ to strengthen our #!ith' Our tr!ge$& is th!t !n& ti es in the i$st o# our test we $o not see th!t we nee$ the He!ler to inter"ene' 2!n& ti es $is!%%oint ent* bitterness !n$ ho%e $e#erre$ settle in our e otions' As 0ro"erbs 6CI6= $e(l!resI JHo%e $e#erre$ !kes the he!rt si(k* but when the $esire (o es* it is ! tree o# li#e'J -ust !s the tree w!s there #or the -ewish %eo%le to (h!nge the bitter w!ter to sweet* the Lor$ !lso h!s the %owerD !n$ $esireDto he!l' 2!n& ti es the onl& obst!(le lies within us' 0erh!%s it is !n unresol"e$ woun$* ! bitter he!rt or #!ith th!t $ill not rise !n$ see the tree in our i$st'

LOSS

AND

HO0E DEFERRED

-ust !s in#ir it& is %!rt o# the ,hristi!n li#e* so is loss' In 0ossessing Your )nheritance, Rebe((! S&tse ! !n$ I wroteI )hether it be through $e!th* $i"or(e* 4ob loss* "i(ti i5!tion* $is!bilities* %ro%ert& loss or ! &ri!$ o# other tr!ge$ies !n$ $is!%%oint ents* e"er&one h!s eF%erien(e$ loss in one #or or !nother'''' All loss %ro$u(es so e kin$ o# grie#* whi(h is the e otion!l eF%ression o# loss'''' EF%erts in the #iel$ o# hu !n beh!"ior tell us there !re* in #!(t* st!ges to the Jnor !lJ grie"ing %ro(ess''''The grie"ing %ro(ess !##e(ts e"er&one $i##erentl&'6 Rebe((! !n$ I then list two inst!n(es in whi(h grie# (!n kee% us #ro o"ing tow!r$ restor!tionI when the (&(le o# grie# is not (o %lete$ !n$ when the (&(le o# grie# goes on too long'= During our ti es o# loss we eF%erien(e e otions su(h !s sho(k* $eni!l* $e%ression* !nger* guilt !n$ (on#usion' These !re !ll nor !l e otions th!t #ollow ! tr!u !ti( loss' The ene & !tte %ts to t!ke e!(h one !n$ use it !s ! #ier& $!rt' He throws it b!(k !t us in !n !tte %t to %ro$u(e ! hole in our shiel$ o# #!ith' E"en !s we resist $uring these ti es o# loss* our shiel$ o# #!ith (!n be we!kene$'

0ASSING THE TEST Dangers of &ope Deferre4

<;

During loss !n$ woun$ing* we h!"e ! ten$en(& to !((use Go$ #or the tr!u ! we !re eF%erien(ing' The %ower o# this !((us!tion le!$s to ! t&%e o# #!therlessness' Inste!$ o# eF%erien(ing the s%irit o# !$o%tion* we #eel !b!n$one$ !n$ lost' Fro our sel#-$e#ense we !(tu!ll& #or ! rebellion to !uthorit&' )e !lso be(o e unte!(h!ble' )e h!"e ! in$-set th!t s!&s* JNo one un$erst!n$s e or wh!t I ! going through'J )e !lso begin to think there is no solution to our %roble ' )e #!ll into !%!th& be(!use we h!"e no ho%e o# he!ling or restor!tion' )e know we shoul$ be li"ing ! go$l& li#eG there#ore* religious e(h!nis s be(o e ! sol!(e to us' )e e"en g!in ! !rt&r (o %leF !n$ !& s!&* JO woe is e' This is & (ross to be!r' Look how he!"& is & (ross'J This t&%e o# thinking le!$s us to not #ight when we nee$ to' Inste!$ o# #ighting !n$ !$"!n(ing* we be(o e sl!"es to (o #ort !n$ the st!tus 1uo' )e #orget th!t we !re (!lle$ to #ellowshi% with His su##erings' This t&%e o# #ellowshi% le!$s us to His resurre(tion %ower !ni#esting in us' I# we e"er lose sight o# the lo"e o# Go$* we turn to sel#' Go$/s lo"e #or(es us to $e!l with the thoughts th!t !re liste$ !bo"e' I h!"e eF%erien(e$ enough #ree$o in & own li#e to know when I ! not #ree' F!ith works b& lo"e' On(e we eF%erien(e His libert& !n$ lo"e* we will be !ble to resist th!t (!ll #ro sel# to be %itie$ !n$ (!n o"erthrow ho%e $e#erre$'C Ho%e $e#erre$ h!%%ens when we begin with !n eF%e(t!tion th!t Go$ will bre!k through' )e #!(e ! test* !n$ our shiel$ o# #!ith is in %l!(e* but we h!"e !ssu e$ th!t Go$ woul$ !(t in ! (ert!in w!& !n$ in ! (ert!in ti e #r! e' The ti e we h!"e est!blishe$ (o es* but we $on/t see the !nswer' The #ul#ill ent o# our ho%e is $e#erre$' )e #in$ oursel"es (ontinuing to w!it #or ! bre!kthrough* but !s we w!it we grow tire$ !n$ be(o e $is(our!ge$' Our he!rt #eels si(k' S!t!n tells us th!t the bre!kthrough will ne"er (o e' In the i$st o# ho%e $e#erre$* our shiel$ o# #!ith see s like ! he!"& bur$en to (!rr&' The te %t!tion is to l!& it $own' .ut i# we let go o# our #!ith* we (!n iss the %ro ise' It is not enough to st!rt out in #!ithG we ust (ontinue !long the %!th* t!king e!(h ste% in #!ith' An$ we ust be %!tient'

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9aith < Patience = Pro0ises 3ecei8e4 2!n& o# us h!"e been t!ught th!t we re(ei"e Go$/s %ro ises b& #!ith' Th!t is true* but it is onl& h!l# the e1u!tion' The .ible te!(hes th!t we inherit Go$/s %ro ises through #!ith and patience% F!ith !lone is not enough' )e h!"e to h!"e ! #!ith th!t l!sts* ! #!ith th!t en$ures* ! #!ith th!t st!n$s the test' Abr!h! w!ite$' -esus w!ite$' )e too ust le!rn to w!it' Ho%e $e#erre$ strikes when we !llow $el!& to bring $is(our!ge ent' Here/s how ho%e $e#erre$ o%er!tesI )e (o e into ! ti e o# testing* so we #iF our e&es on Go$/s %ro ises !n$ $e(l!re* JI/ going to belie"e these %ro ises be(!use I know Go$ is #!ith#ul'J Ten inutes go b& without !n !nswer* so we re%e!t e!(h ste% o# (l!i ing the %ro ise' Ten hours go b& without ! res%onse* !n$ we tr& one ore ti e with "igor !n$ e!rnestness' Ten $!&s go b&* !n$ we s!&* J)ell* I guess I still belie"e these %ro ises'J

GOD/S
0RAYER

0I,TURE OF ANS)ERED IS NOT A BENDING

2A,HINE .UT A HARBEST

Ten weeks go b&* !n$ we u ble* JI sure thought Go$ woul$ h!"e $one so ething b& now+J Here is ! secret< I# we belie"e the %ro ise be(!use we know Go$ is #!ith#ul* then it $oesn/t !tter whether it t!kes 68 inutes or 68 &e!rs' Go$ is still faithful% It !& be h!r$ to re !in ste!$#!st in #!ith !s we see ti e %!ssing* but i# we !llow $el!& to bring $is(our!ge ent* then we !re in trouble' 0!rt o# our trouble* !s twent&-#irst-(entur& ,hristi!ns* is th!t we go through li#e with ! "en$ing- !(hine ent!lit&' )e w!nt e"er&thing right now+ )e $o this with Go$* too' )e nee$ ! bre!kthrough #ro he!"en* so we go to the $i"ine "en$ing !(hine* sli% so e #!ith in the slot* %ush the %r!&er button !n$ look #or the !nswer to %o% out' I# the !nswer is not there in two inutes* we/re re!$& to st!rt ki(king the !(hine' Th!t/s not how %r!&er works+ Go$/s %i(ture o# !nswere$ %r!&er is not ! "en$ing !(hine

0ASSING THE TEST

76

but ! h!r"est' )e h!"e ! nee$* so we sow our #!ith in the goo$ soil o# Go$/s %ro ise' As we sow* we nurture !n$ w!ter our %ro ise until the ti e o# h!r"est' )hen the ti e o# h!r"est h!s #ull& (o e* we re!% b!se$ u%on wh!t we h!"e sown+ (igns of &ope Deferre4 Ho%e $e#erre$ o((urs when we!riness brings w!"ering' )e enter ho%e $e#erre$ when the tire$ness o# %ressing on !kes us w!nt to gi"e u%' Here !re so e signs th!t we h!"e su((u be$ to ho%e $e#erre$' )e know we !re on sh!k& groun$ when we no longer w!nt to he!r Go$/s %ro ise' As we go through testing* Go$ will gi"e us %ro%heti( wor$s to en(our!ge us !n$ kee% us #o(use$ on His %ro ise' )hen Abr!h! w!s w!iting #or ! son* Go$ re%e!te$l& (! e to hi !n$ s!i$* JI/ going to gi"e &ou ! son+J Ksee Gen' 6?I9G 6<I6;G 67I68L' Go$ re%e!ts His )or$ to us to strengthen our #!ith' )e (!n kno$ we !re in ho%e $e#erre$ when we he!r Go$/s %ro ise !n$ w!nt to eF%lo$e' It is not ! goo$ sign when we s!&* JI ! tire$ o# he!ring th!t %ro ise+ I $on/t w!nt !n& ore %ro%heti( wor$s+ I 4ust w!nt it to h!%%en'J A se(on$ in$i(!tion o# ho%e $e#erre$ is when S!t!n is !ble to %l!nt ! thought in our in$* su(h !s ) can5t take any more of this6 I# we #in$ th!t %hr!se re%e!te$l& (o ing into our in$* we (!n be sure th!t the thought is #ro S!t!n' Go$ woul$ not tell us th!t+ Go$ h!s %ro ise$ th!t He will not test us be&on$ wh!t we !re !ble to t!ke Ksee 6 ,or' 68I6CL' Our %roble is th!t so eti es Go$ knows we (!n h!n$le ore th!t we think we (!n h!n$leD or w!nt to h!n$le' )hen we he!r th!t $is(our!ging thought in our in$* we nee$ to (on#ront it !n$ s!&* JTh!t is ! lie* S!t!n* be(!use Go$ will not gi"e e ore th!n I (!n h!n$le+J Then we nee$ to li#t u% our shiel$ o# #!ith !n$ $e(l!re Go$/s )or$I JI (!n $o !ll things through ,hrist who strengthens e+J I# S!t!n begins to %l!nt thoughts o# we!kness !n$ $e#e!t in our in$ !n$ we (hoose to agree $ith hi * we h!"e %ut $own our shiel$ o# #!ith' )e ust reali@e that $e can 'e $is1u!li#ie$' A gre!t eF! %le o# so eone who %ut $own his shiel$ o# #!ith is 2oses' Yes* 2oses w!s ! !n o# gre!t #!ith' There w!s h!r$l& !n&one in the .ible with ore #!ith th!n 2oses' In Go$/s H!ll o# F! e #or %eo%le o# #!ith in Hebrews 66* 2oses got #i"e

7=

,HA0TER > en o# #!ith in the Ol$ Test! ent* Abr!h! ore "erses o# %r!ise th!n 2oses'

"erses+ O# !ll o# the is the onl& one with

2oses w!s ! !n o# %erse"ering #!ith' He w!s in the wil$erness #or 98 &e!rs b& hi sel#' Then he le$ Isr!el out o# Eg&%t !n$ w!s in the wil$erness #or !nother 98 &e!rs' He h!$ ! #!ith th!t %erse"ere$' The onl& %roble is 1oses didn5t perse+ere Auite long enough6 2oses #ell into the tr!% o# ho%e $e#erre$' He e"entu!ll& grew we!r& o# the b!ttle' As 2oses w!s in the wil$erness with !ll the %eo%le !roun$ hi o!ning* (o %l!ining !n$ !((using* he beg!n to grow we!r&' He took his e&es o## Go$ !n$ %ut the on his situ!tion' At one %oint the Lor$ s!i$ to 2oses* J.e(!use &ou $i$ not belie"e 2e* ''' &ou sh!ll not bring this !sse bl& into the l!n$ whi(h I h!"e gi"en the J KNu ' =8I6=L' To un$erst!n$ the signi#i(!n(e o# this %en!lt&* we nee$ to un$erst!n$ th!t it w!s 2oses/ (!ll !n$ $estin& to bring the %eo%le out o# Eg&%t !n$ into the 0ro ise$ L!n$' Th!t w!s wh!t 2oses h!$ been (re!te$ to $o Dit w!s his %ur%ose in li#e+ 2oses h!$ gone through &e!rs o# %re%!r!tion in Eg&%t !n$ ore &e!rs o# %re%!r!tion in the wil$erness' .& 2oses/ h!n$* Go$ %er#or e$ ir!(les to rele!se Isr!el #ro sl!"er&' Then 2oses le$ the %eo%le through the Re$ Se! !n$ $own to Sin!i* where he g!"e the Go$/s L!w' 2oses le$ the %eo%le to the bor$er o# the l!n$* !n$ when the %eo%le sinne$* he le$ the through the wil$erness #or 98 ore &e!rs' .ut the go!l w!s !lw!&s to t!ke the into the 0ro ise$ L!n$' 2oses !l ost !$e it* but he sto%%e$ too soon+ He resorte$ to his hu !n w!& o# looking !t things' F!ith (o es b& he!ring* but re e ber we (!n he!r Go$/s "oi(e !n$ S!t!n/s "oi(e' 2oses went b!(k to wh!t he h!$ he!r$ e!rlier in his li#e inste!$ o# he!ring the truth Go$ w!s s%e!king to hi th!t $!&' I# we $o not st!& in #!ith* we (!n iss the %ro ise'

TESTING

AND

0ERSEBERAN,E

2!n& %eo%le gi"e u% too soon' I h!"e seen !n& %eo%le with in(re$ible gi#tings !n$ !nointings (o e into the ,hur(h o"er the &e!rs' So e h!"e in(re$ible %ro%heti( wor$s o"er their

0ASSING THE TEST

7C

li"es' The& w!nt to ser"e Go$* !n$ the& w!nt to inisterDbut the& w!nt it !ll right now+ So e see to h!"e the !ttitu$e* Lord, ) $ant to ser+e You% .hich spotlight do You $ant me to stand under8 Go$ usu!ll& h!s us %ut these %eo%le through ! ti e o# testing' He will s!&* JTr& the in ! %l!(e o# hu ble ser"i(e #irst !n$ see how the& $o'J So we %ut the in ! %l!(e o# hu ble ser"i(e* !n$ #or ! #ew onths the& $o "er& well' .ut when %ro otion $oes not (o e !s soon !s the& !nti(i%!te$* the& gi"e u% !n$ w!n$er !roun$ in the wil$erness #or ! while' So e !ssu e their gi#ting w!s un!%%re(i!te$* !n$ the& le!"e the (hur(h' Others sit in re4e(tion #or onths !n$ then (o e b!(k !n$ tr& !g!in' One (ou%le went through this %ro(ess two or three ti es' The& were two o# the ost t!lente$ %eo%le I h!"e e"er et* !n$ the& h!$ ! re!l (!ll #ro Go$ to le!$ worshi%' .ut the& woul$ not be #!ith#ul to their (o it ents #or ore th!n ! #ew onths' )hen the& got $is(our!ge$* the& woul$ sto% showing u% #or worshi% %r!(ti(e' I #in!ll& tol$ the * JI# &ou woul$ 4ust st!& ste!$& #or siF onths* &ou woul$ !ke it+J Go$ s!&s we ust (o %lete the testing be#ore we (!n obt!in the %ro ise' -! es wrote* J.lesse$ is the !n who %erse"eres un$er tri!l* be(!use when he h!s stoo$ the test* he will re(ei"e the (rown o# li#e th!t Go$ h!s %ro ise$J K-!s' 6I6=* NIBL' )e $o not obt!in the %ro ise without %!ssing the test' (teps to the /e>t Le8el There is ! process to get to the promise% )hen Go$ sees th!t we !re (!%!ble o# o"ing into the neFt le"el o# His %ro ise* His #irst ste% is to %ut testing in our li#e' 0!ul h!$ to go through this testing' Fro the ti e Go$ (!lle$ 0!ul until He sent hi out on his #irst ission!r& 4ourne& w!s 6> &e!rs+ 0!ul w!ite$ 6> &e!rs #or Go$ to o%en the $oor to his $estin&' These were 6> &e!rs o# le!rning* %re%!r!tion !n$ testing' .e(!use 0!ul re !ine$ #!ith#ul !n$ %!sse$ the test* Go$ w!s !ble to sen$ hi out !s !n !%ostle to (h!nge !n e %ire' None o# us en4o&s w!iting* but the %ro ise is worth the %erse"ering' Obt!ining the %ro ise is like running in ! r!(e' )e !re r!(ing $own the tr!(k* gi"ing it !ll we h!"e' Our (hest is he!"ing

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!n$ our us(les !(hing' )e !re growing ore we!r& with e!(h ste%' )e $on/t think we h!"e the strength to go on' .ut then we (o e !roun$ the l!st ben$* !n$ we see the #inish line' So ehow we re!(h $own insi$e !n$ #in$ resour(es we $i$ not think we h!$' )e get ! se(on$ win$ !n$ s%rint $own the tr!(k to win the r!(e'

SO2E
)ORA

0EO0LE DON/T SEE .E,AUSE THE2 GOD )HAT

GOD
NEBER THEY

0RO2ISED

ARE TRYING TO GET'

)hen we go through ! ti e o# testing* it will t!ke longer !n$ be h!r$er th!n we thought* be(!use Go$/s go!l is to bring #orth en$ur!n(e' His go!l is to bring us to ! new le"el* to !ke us stret(h #urther !n$ re!(h higher th!n we thought we (oul$' It is onl& then th!t we $is(o"er th!t !s we %erse"ere* we inherit the %ro ises' (ecrets of Perse8ering )inning the r!(e !n$ re!(hing the 0ro ise$ L!n$ soun$s so goo$* but how $o we sur"i"e the trek3 How $o we %!ss Go$/s tests3 Here !re so e gui$elines th!t work' Be sure $e are on the right path% So e %eo%le $on/t see Go$ work be(!use Go$ ne"er %ro ise$ the wh!t the& !re tr&ing to get' I# we #eel like we !re not getting !n&where* we nee$ to ste% b!(k !n$ !ke sure we h!"e he!r$ Go$' )e shoul$ go to le!$ers who we trust* who know us' )e nee$ to listenD!n$ t!ke notesD!s the& s%e!k into our li#e' )e nee$ to !sk the * JIs this re!ll& wh!t Go$ is s!&ing to e3J I# it isn/t Go$/s %ro ise* no ! ount o# %erse"er!n(e will get us there' 0resu %tion is not #!ith' )e nee$ to be (ert!in th!t we h!"e he!r$ #ro Go$' no$ that God $on5t test us 'eyond our a'ility% I# Go$ %uts us in ! situ!tion in whi(h we nee$ ! (ert!in le"el o# strength* it/s be(!use He knows th!t it is !"!il!ble to us' Go$ %uts us in ! $i##i(ult testing !#ter He h!s looke$ !t us !n$ s!i$* JI belie"e this %erson (!n !ke it through this test !n$ into the blessing'J )hen we see the $i##i(ult& o# the test* we shoul$ re!li5e th!t God

0ASSING THE TEST

7?

'elie+es in us% Go$ woul$ not gi"e us the test i# He $i$ not belie"e we (oul$ !ke it through' 2e+elop a refle9 of thanksgi+ing% )hen we !re being teste$* we nee$ to $e"elo% ! re#leF !(tion' -ust like 0!"lo"/s %u%%ies $e"elo%e$ the re#leF to !uto !ti(!ll& res%on$ e"er& ti e the& he!r$ ! bell ring* we nee$ to $e"elo% !n !uto !ti( res%onse to (!l! it&* n! el&* the re#leF o# th!nksgi"ing' )hen the big test (o es !n$ our #!ith is stret(he$ to the bre!king %oint* this re#leF will see us through' )hen uneF%e(te$ (!l! it& strikes !n$ we w!nt to throw $own our shiel$ !n$ gi"e u%* the th!nksgi"ing re#leF will kee% us #ro going un$er+ Here/s how it worksI )hene"er ! (ir(u st!n(e rises u% !g!inst us* the #irst three wor$s out o# our outh nee$ to be JTh!nk You* Lor$+J )e 4ust got ! b!$ re%ort #ro the $o(tor* !n uneF%e(te$ bill or ! letter #ro the l!w&erG wh!t $o we s!&3 JTh!nk You* Lor$+J The )or$ s!&s we shoul$ gi"e th!nks in e"er& (ir(u st!n(e Ksee 6 Thess' ?I67L' )e (!n !(t u%on this "erse !n$ !sk Go$ to buil$ th!t re#leF into us' )e (!n th!nk Go$ in e"er& situ!tion !n$ re(ei"e the strength to kee% our shiel$ o# #!ith in %l!(e' Remem'er that discouragement does not come from God% )hen we #eel th!t !ntle o# $is(our!ge ent (o ing $own o"er us* we shoul$ not 4ust sit there !n$ w!llow in it+ )e nee$ to rise u% in #!ith !n$ s!&* JThis isn/t #ro Go$+ Go$ $oesn/t w!nt e un$er this+J eep going no matter $hat% O"er the &e!rs* I/"e le!rne$ th!t i# we %ress on with Go$* we $o win' The onl& thing th!t will (!use us to lose $uring ! ti e o# testing is sto%%ing' I# we kee% o"ing* Go$ will !ke ! w!& !n$ we will win' -! es 6I9 ?N&SB4 eFhorts us* JLet en$ur!n(e h!"e its %er#e(t result* th!t &ou !& be %er#e(t !n$ (o %lete* l!(king in nothing'J This is Go$/s go!l #or our li#e' He w!nts us to Jbe %er#e(t !n$ (o %lete* l!(king in nothing'J 3ighteous li2e an *a2 %ree So eone on(e s!i$* J)hen Go$ w!nts to grow ! s1u!sh* He t!kes siF onths' )hen Go$ w!nts to grow !n o!k tree* He t!kes ! hun$re$ &e!rs'J Is!i!h tells us th!t Go$ is buil$ing us into Jo!ks o# righteousness* the %l!nting o# the LORD* th!t He !& be

7>

,HA0TER >

glori#ie$J K>6IC* N&SB4% Go$ (oul$ $o ! rush 4ob !n$ get it $one in siF onths* but !ll we/$ be is ! s1u!sh' Go$ h!s not $estine$ us to be ! s1u!sh' He h!s (!lle$ us to be !n o!k tree' 2on5t despise the $aiting% Remem'er that the promise is $orth the perse+ering6

TESTING

AND

0RO0HETI, FULFILL2ENT

In ,he Best )s Yet &head, Rebe((! S&tse ! !n$ I wrote !bout the test o# Abr!h! ' Our shiel$ is linke$ to Abr!h! /s #!ith be(!use we h!"e been gr!#te$ into Abr!h! /s (o"en!nt' The blessings we re(ei"e #ro Go$ to$!& were initi!te$ through His rel!tionshi% !n$ (o"en!nt !gree ent with Abr!h! ' In or$er to hel% us ore #ull& un$erst!n$ how %ro%heti( #ul#ill ent works #ro gener!tion to gener!tion* let/s t!ke ! look !t Abr!h! !n$ see the siF ste%s it took to %!ss the (o"en!nt %ro ises onto Is!!( so th!t Is!!( (oul$ (o e into his %ro%heti( #ul#ill ent' 6' , perse8ering faith Abr!h! h!$ ! (o"en!nt %ro ise #or his #! il&* whi(h in(lu$e$ ! son being born to hi #ro his !ging wi#e* S!r!h' Abr!h! h!$ to st!n$ !n$ belie"e Go$ #or His %ro ise !s the &e!rs o# n!tur!l #ertilit& $win$le$ !n$ %!sse$' E"en so he !int!ine$ ! %erse"ering #!ith* !n$ the %ro ise through whi(h the (o"en!nt woul$ be %!sse$ w!s #in!ll& born when Is!!( !rri"e$' As we h!"e s!i$ be#ore* Go$ h!s ! $estin& #or e"er& bloo$line !n$ we nee$ to (o e into !gree ent with wh!t Go$ is tr&ing to $o* e"en i# we $on/t know the s%e(i#i(s o# how it will work out' It re1uires ! %erse"ering #!ith th!t o#ten o"erlooks the n!tur!l (ir(u st!n(es in #!"or o# But God6 As we !llow th!t #!ith to !rise within us* we will see the (o"en!nt %ro ises o# Go$ o"er oursel"es !n$ our #! ilies begin to t!ke sh!%e !s Go$ (!uses the (ir(u st!n(es o# our li"es to (o e into !lign ent with His %ro ise to us' )e see other in$i"i$u!ls in the .ible th!t !re gre!t eF! %les #or us (on(erning %erse"ering #!ith' D!niel withstoo$ the lions* ,!leb in his 78s !$"!n(e$ into his %ro ise* S!r!h in her ;8s (on(ei"e$' )h!t won$er#ul eF! %les o# #!ith' =' %he co8enant pro0ise ;ill al;ays be teste4 In Genesis == we see th!t Abr!h! un$erwent ! strong test'

0ASSING THE TEST

7<

Here Go$ (!lls Abr!h! to t!ke his %re(ious son* Is!!(* !n$ l!& hi on !n !lt!r in s!(ri#i(e' It ust h!"e t!ken ! tre en$ous le"el o# obe$ien(e on Abr!h! /s %!rt to !ke th!t (hoi(e !n$ l!& his son $own to $ie' .ut Abr!h! un$erstoo$ th!t this w!s Go$/s $ire(ti"e' He knew th!t so ewhere in the i$st o# his obe$ien(e to Go$* Go$ woul$ h!"e to settle the out(o e !n$ #ul#ill His (o"en!nt' The obe$ien(e w!s u% to Abr!h! * !n$ the rest w!s Go$/s %roble ' O# (ourse we know th!t in the en$ Abr!h! w!s not re1uire$ to #ollow through !n$ kill Is!!(* but e"en i# he h!$* Go$ woul$ h!"e h!$ to #in$ !nother w!& to #ul#ill His (o"en!nt' The testing o# our %ro ises is !n ine"it!ble ste% in %ro%heti( #ul#ill ent' In #!(t* i# we $on/t get %!st th!t ste%* our %ro ises will not be #ul#ille$* either #or oursel"es or #or our #! ilies' Like Abr!h! * we nee$ to un$erst!n$ th!t our role is obe$ien(e to Go$* !n$ the rest is u% to Hi ' 0erio$' C' %esting un8eils pro8ision On(e Abr!h! %!sse$ the test* %ro"ision (! e' There in ! thi(ket w!s ! r! (!ught b& its horns' Abr!h! w!s !ble to t!ke the r! !n$ o##er it !s ! s!(ri#i(e to the Lor$ inste!$ o# o##ering Is!!(' In #!(t* Abr!h! n! e$ th!t %l!(e JThe LORD )ill 0ro"i$eJ KGen' ==I69L !s ! testi on& to Go$ su%%l&ing wh!t w!s nee$e$' As we %!ss the testing o# our %ro ises* Go$ will re"e!l hi$$en %ro"ision #or o"ing us #orw!r$' Things th!t we were not !ble to see be#ore will be(o e e"i$ent to us* !n$ we will g!in new str!teg& #or (ontinuing to o"e tow!r$ Go$/s %l!n #or us' 9' Pro0ises e>ten4 to ne; generations Another result o# Abr!h! %!ssing the test w!s th!t Go$ eFten$e$ ! new %ro ise to hi #or the gener!tions o# his #! il& to (o e' Go$ s!i$ to hi * J.& 2&sel# I h!"e sworn* s!&s the LORD* be(!use &ou h!"e $one this thing* !n$ h!"e not withhel$ &our son* &our onl& sonDblessing I will bless &ou* !n$ ulti%l&ing I will ulti%l& &our $es(en$!nts !s the st!rs o# the he!"en !n$ !s the s!n$ whi(h is on the se!shoreG !n$ &our $es(en$!nts sh!ll %ossess the g!te o# their ene ies' In &our see$ !ll the n!tions o# the e!rth sh!ll be blesse$* be(!use &ou h!"e obe&e$ 2& "oi(eJ KGen' ==I6>-67L' Go$ is !lw!&s looking #or how to (onne(t His %ro ises #ro

77

,HA0TER >

one gener!tion to !nother gener!tion' )e ust !(knowle$ge the gener!tions !n$ see th!t Go$ h!s %ro ises #or the gener!tions to (o e' E"en those %ro$ig!ls who see so #!r #ro Go$/s %l!n #or their li"es !lw!&s h!"e so e o%%ortunit& to return to Go$/s %l!n #or the ' ?' Connecting to pass the 0antle 2!n& ti es we ust %!rti(i%!te in su%ern!tur!l (onne(ting so the neFt gener!tion re(ei"es the blessing #ro the %re"ious gener!tion !n$ (ontinues %rogressing in th!t blessing' Ye!rs l!ter* Abr!h! h!$ (o e to !n !w!kening th!t the %ro ise th!t he h!$ been gi"en* whi(h h!$ been eFten$e$ to Is!!(* (oul$ not be (o %lete$ i# Is!!( h!$ no wi#e with who he (oul$ h!"e (hil$ren o# his own' Abr!h! * there#ore* instru(te$ his ser"!nt to #in$ 4ust the right wi#e #or Is!!(' Through Abr!h! /s (!re#ul instru(tions* the ser"!nt #oun$ Rebek!h* who be(! e Is!!(/s wi#e' )h!t is it th!t we !re to %ro"i$e the neFt gener!tion #or the to o"e on in Go$/s (o"en!nt %ro ise #or the 3 ,ert!inl& ! go$l& u%bringing K0ro"erbs ==I> s!&s* JTr!in u% ! (hil$ in the w!& he shoul$ go* !n$ when he is ol$ he will not $e%!rt #ro it'JL* !n un$erst!n$ing o# who the& !re in ,hrist* !n$ lots o# %r!&er to% the list' .ut be&on$ goo$ %!renting* we nee$ to g!in instru(tion #ro the Lor$ reg!r$ing our role in !ssisting the neFt gener!tion re!(h %ro%heti( #ul#ill ent in their li"es' >' Conception for the future Is!!( g!ining ! wi#e w!s not enough to ensure th!t Go$/s %ro ise woul$ (!rr& on' He !n$ Rebek!h h!$ to (on(ei"e the neFt gener!tion' There h!s to be ! (on(e%tion in or$er to bring #orth the %ro%heti( #ul#ill ent' )e ust not sto% until we !re sure th!t we h!"e (on(ei"e$ !n$ brought to birth !ll th!t Go$ !sks o# us' Go$/s (o"en!nt %ro ise to Abr!h! !lso re1uire$ obe$ien(e #or %ro%heti( #ul#ill ent' Abr!h! w!s re1uire$ to go through !ll these ste%s !n$ %!rtner with Go$ in #!ith !n$ obe$ien(e* e"en in the #!(e o# &e!rs o# $is(our!ge ent' Yet through Abr!h! /s #!ith#ulness* !ll the #! ilies o# the e!rth trul& h!"e been blesse$' )h!t is it th!t Go$ longs to !((o %lish through &our #! il& line* !n$ wh!t role $o &ou %l!& in &our #! il&/s %ro%heti( #ul#ill ent3

0ASSING THE TEST

7;

THE FINAL S,OREI A TESTI2ONY
.& withst!n$ing the test* Abr!h! se(ure$ ! testi on& th!t w!s %!sse$ #ro one gener!tion to !nother' JTesti on&J liter!ll& e!ns Jwitness'J? A testi on& is ! $e(l!r!tion or st!te ent !$e to est!blish ! #!(t' Abr!h! /s testi on& be(o es !n !##ir !tion* e"i$en(e !n$ %roo# o# the $eli"ering %ower !n$ (h!r!(ter o# ! hol& Go$' Th!t testi on& still s%e!ks to$!&' Re"el!tion 6=I68-66 re!$sI Then I he!r$ ! lou$ "oi(e s!&ing in he!"en* JNow s!l"!tion* !n$ strength* !n$ the king$o o# our Go$* !n$ the %ower o# His ,hrist h!"e (o e* #or the !((user o# our brethren* who !((use$ the be#ore our Go$ $!& !n$ night* h!s been (!st $own' An$ the& o"er(! e hi b& the bloo$ o# the L! b !n$ b& the wor$ o# their testi on&* !n$ the& $i$ not lo"e their li"es to the $e!th'J )hen we go through testing* the ene & w!nts us to #!il !n$ lose the #!"or o# Go$' Howe"er* e"er& ti e we %!ss ! test* our #!ith in(re!ses !n$ ! testi on& is est!blishe$' The testi on& is wh!t S!t!n h!tes' There#ore* $uring our test he $oes e"er&thing to we!ken us !n$ $estro& our testi on&' A test is ! re#ining eF! in!tion b& tri!l to %ro"e the "!lue or !s(ert!in the n!ture o# so ething* or !n e"ent or set o# (ir(u st!n(es th!t %ro"es or tries ! %erson/s 1u!lit& o# (h!r!(ter' )hen we triu %h in our tri!l* ! $e(l!r!tion is est!blishe$' This %ro#ession* or %ubli( !"ow!l* o# #!ith o"er(o es the ene &' It %ro"es the re!lit& o# Go$ !n$ His (o"en!nt' A testi on& is the %roo# o# our #!ith in !(tion' Our shiel$ o# #!ith shines when our testi on& is %ro(l!i e$' Gi"ing testi on& is ! #un(tion o# the s%irit o# !n' The Ark o# the ,o"en!nt hel$ the Ten ,o !n$ ents* or Test! ent o# Go$' The Ark h!$ to be (!rrie$ in #ront o# the %eo%le !n$ !$"!n(e #irst be#ore the %eo%le o# Go$ (oul$ #ull& enter into the 0ro ise$ L!n$' Our testi on& is ! %ro(l! !tion o# ! strengthene$ s%irit th!t $e(l!res the goo$ness o# Go$' It o"er(o es the ene & !n$ gi"es us the (on#i$en(e #or us to !$"!n(e into the #uture'

;8 /otes

,HA0TER >

6' ,hu(k D' 0ier(e !n$ Rebe((! )!gner S&tse !* 0ossessing Your )nheritance KBentur!* ,AI Renew .ooks* 6;;;L* %%' >>-><' =' Ibi$'* %%' ><->7' C' ,hu(k D' 0ier(e !n$ Rebe((! )!gner S&tse !* ,he Best )s Yet &head K,olor!$o S%rings* ,OI )!gner 0ubli(!tions* =886L* %%' ><->7' 9' Ibi$'* %%' 76-79' ?' 1erriam3.e'ster5s Collegiate 2ictionary, 68th e$'* s'"' Jtesti on&'J

CHA

P T E R

!

<

.URSTING 0AST .LO,AADES

)hen the Lor$ (!lle$ -ere i!h* He showe$ the %ro%het th!t He h!$ set hi o"er king$o s !n$ n!tions* !n$ his inistr& woul$ go through %h!ses' He woul$ root out* %ull $own* $estro& !n$ throw $own' 2!n& ,hristi!ns h!"e been te!ring $own !n$ rooting out long enough' -ust !s the Lor$ tol$ -ere i!h th!t he woul$ buil$ !n$ %l!nt* now it is ti e #or us to $o the s! e+ .uil$ing #or the #uture !n$ %l!nting to bring #orth in(re!se so eti es !re ore $i##i(ult th!n te!ring $own !n$ rooting out' )hen Go$ eFten$e$ the (!ll* -ere i!h/s in$ !n$ e otions (oul$ not gr!s% the !gnitu$e o# Go$/s gr!(e' He !(tu!ll& trie$ to eF%l!in to Go$ wh& he woul$ not be (!%!ble o# $oing wh!t Go$ w!s !sking hi to $o' So !n& ti es we $o the s! e thing' )e tr& to (on"in(e Go$ th!t He re!ll& $oesn/t know wh!t He is $oing when He !sks us to o"e #orw!r$ into ! new $i ension th!t we !re unsure o#' )hen He tells us it/s ti e to le!"e our (o #ort 5one* we eF%l!in to Hi wh& we re!ll& shoul$n/t o"e' Th!nk Go$ He $oes not !lw!&s listen to us when we $is!gree with His %l!n' In so !n& wor$s* He tol$ -ere i!h* JDon/t tell 2e &ou !re too &oung* not !ture enough to $o this th!t I/ !sking &ou to $oJ Ksee 6I<L' )e e br!(e Go$/s (!ll b& #!ith' Go$ w!s $eter ine$ to te!r $own wh!t w!s (ontr!r& to His (o"en!nt %l!n #or Isr!el* so He (oul$ rebuil$ the into ! new* sh!r% threshing instru ent Ksee Is!' 96I6?L' He use$ -ere i!h !s ! %ro%het in this te!ring-$own %ro(ess* !n$ then He st!rte$ rele!sing His %l!n to rebuil$ Isr!el #or the #uture' )e #in$ this

;=

,HA0TER <

re(or$e$ in the books o# the restor!ti"e %ro%hets H!gg!i !n$ @e(h!ri!h' Throughout the buil$ing %ro(ess* the ene & $is(our!ge$ the Isr!elites* so the& woul$ sto% buil$ing' Go$ then h!$ to use !nother %ro%heti( "oi(e to get the to st!rt buil$ing !g!in' He e"en g!"e the ! %ro ise th!t Jthe glor& o# this l!tter house sh!ll be gre!ter th!n o# the #or erJ KH!g' =I;* !"4, i# the& (oul$ onl& get it built'

GOD HIS

IS 0OURING 0EO0LE A

OUT U0ON 2IND FOR

IN,REASING

HIS AINGDO2'

2!n& ti es the ene & !tte %ts to blo(k Go$/s buil$ing %l!n #or our li#e !n$ the "ision He h!s rele!se$ to us' I #eel this !%%lies to e!(h one o# us %erson!ll&' This !lso !%%lies to our businesses !n$ e"en the (or%or!te "ision th!t we !re !ligne$ with in inistr&' So !n& ti es we know we !re to o"e #orw!r$* but we en(ounter resist!n(e th!t blo(ks our w!&' Go$ is %ouring out u%on His %eo%le ! in$ #or in(re!sing His king$o ' )e* there#ore* nee$ to !llow Hi to gi"e us His in$ to buil$' )hen Nehe i!h w!s rebuil$ing the w!ll* he s!i$ the %eo%le h!$ ! in$ to work* ! in$ to buil$ wh!t Go$ w!nte$ built Ksee Neh' 9I6L' The ent!lit& th!t we h!"e #or buil$ing !n$ #or seeing h!r"est u%on E!rth is "er& i %ort!nt' I# our in$ is not (onne(te$ to the in$ o# ,hrist to buil$ His house on E!rth* we won/t see Go$/s will (o e to #ruition #or wh!t He w!nts !((o %lishe$ in our gener!tion'

THE 2IND NEEDS TO .E .UILT IN,REASE

FOR

In ,he Future .ar of the Church, Rebe((! S&tse ! !n$ I wroteI In or$er to t!% into Go$/s in$ #or buil$ing* it is i %ort!nt to h!"e ! bibli(!l un$erst!n$ing o# in(re!se' )hen we look !t in(re!se in the )or$ o# Go$ we see th!t it is linke$ with go"ern ent' Is!i!h ;I< re!$s* JO# the in(re!se o# His go"ern ent !n$ %e!(e there will be

.URSTING 0AST .LO,AADES no en$'J In(re!se is !lso ! h!r"est %rin(i%le' In(re!se rises through #!ith* !n$ #ollows e##ort !n$ $ee$s linke$ with #!ith' In(re!se (o es through (onne(ting with one !nother' There is ! nee$ #or us to link together !n$ g!in strength in ulti%le !n$ (or%or!te e!sure !s o%%ose$ to in$e%en$en(e' In(re!se is !lso ! rew!r$ #or obe$ien(e' There is 4o& in obe$ien(e* !n$ 4o& (!uses our strength to in(re!se' An$ #ro strength we !re (!%!ble o# buil$ing Go$/s str!tegi( %l!n #or the #uture' These !re $!&s when Go$ is buil$ing His house' To buil$ e!ns to !$$ to !n$ est!blish' The Hebrew wor$ !(tu!ll& signi#ies the !$$ing o# sons !n$ $!ughters so th!t the %l!n o# Go$ (!n be %!sse$ #ro one gener!tion to !nother'6 The in$ o# in(re!se is ! in$ o# #!ith'

;C

THE ENE2Y DEBISES .LO,AADES
In !l ost e"er& eF! %le o# buil$ing in the .ible* there is !lso ! str!teg& o# the ene & to sto% the buil$ing %ro(ess o# Go$/s (o"en!nt %eo%le' His (o"en!nt %eo%le !re %!rt o# His (o"en!nt %l!n* !n$ #or His %l!n to be seen in the e!rth we ust buil$' F!ith buil$s+ F!ith looks !t ! $e olishe$ buil$ing !n$ sees it rebuilt' F!ith looks !t ! w!ll with !n& bre!(hes !n$ g!%s !n$ sees it tot!ll& int!(t' F!ith sees ! $il!%i$!te$ house !n$ sees it #ull& restore$' F!ith sees the re$e %ti"e %l!n in ! w!r-torn n!tion' F!ith sees ! "ibr!nt (hur(h !n$ house o# %r!&er #or e"er& (ultur!l grou%' F!ith sees %!st the ene &/s blo(k!$es' F!ith sees D!n$ #!ith buil$s+ 9aith *8erco0es the 'ne0y?s +loc2a4es In the book o# H!gg!i* we #in$ th!t the %eo%le beg!n buil$ing !n$ then sto%%e$ buil$ing' The& grew $isintereste$+ The& be(! e $is(our!ge$+ An$ the& e"en be(! e $isillusione$ with Go$/s restor!ti"e %l!n+ Then the& beg!n the t!sk o# rebuil$ing the Te %le in -erus!le ' Howe"er* the& were sto%%e$ !#ter o%%osition ounte$ !g!inst this %l!nDboth eFtern!ll& !n$ intern!ll&' The issue here is th!t e"en though Go$ h!$ ! buil$ing %l!n* the ene & trie$ to blo(k the %l!n' Onl& #!ith (!n o"er(o e the ene &/s blo(k!$es' As I/"e stu$ie$ this sub4e(t* I #elt the Lor$ h!s gi"en e 6= ke& %rin(i%les to hel% us si$este%

;9

,HA0TER <

the ene & when we #eel blo(ke$I 6' .e should desire to $orship God in a ne$ $ay% )orshi% is !n eF%ression o# #!ith+ In EFo$us 69* we see th!t Go$ inter"enes #or the %eo%le to en!ble the to o"e #orw!r$' He h!$ gi"en the ! (o"en!nt %ro ise 988 &e!rs e!rlier' E!(h one o# us* !s Go$/s son or $!ughter* !lso h!s ! (o"en!nt %ro ise' Through our (ries $uring $i##i(ult (ir(u st!n(es* He sen$s ! $eli"erer to le!$ us #orth into our %ro ise' So eti es we h!"e to #ight #or our %ro ise' )e nee$ to $e(l!re th!t we will be rele!se$ #ro e"er&thing th!t is hin$ering us #ro worshi%ing Go$ in ! new w!&' Let/s bre!k out o# ol$ worshi% %!tterns+ =' .e need to e9ercise $hate+er authority God has gi+en us% )e !ll know this #! ili!r stor&I On(e the %eo%le o# Isr!el were rele!se$* the& got to ! %l!(e where the se! w!s be#ore the !n$ the ene & w!s behin$ the ' E"en though the& were (on#use$ !n$ $i$n/t un$erst!n$ how to %ro(ee$* 2oses s!i$ to the * JDo not be !#r!i$' St!n$ still* !n$ see the s!l"!tion o# the LORD* whi(h He will !((o %lish #or &ou to$!&' For the Eg&%ti!ns who &ou see to$!&* &ou sh!ll see !g!in no ore #ore"erJ KEFo$' 69I6CL' There (o es ! ti e when Go$ w!nts to ri$ us o# the ene ies o# our %!st' The Lor$ tol$ 2oses* JTell the (hil$ren o# Isr!el to go for$ardB K"' 6?* e %h!sis !$$e$L' 2!n& ti es when we* like 2oses* #eel blo(ke$* we w!nt to sto%' Then He tol$ 2oses* JLi#t u% &our ro$J K"' 6>LD 2oses/ s& bol o# !uthorit&' )e h!"e ! e!sure o# !uthorit& th!t Go$ h!s gi"en us' I# we eFer(ise th!t e!sure* our w!& will begin to o%en u%' The Lor$ will o"ert!ke our ene ies so th!t we (!n %ro(ee$ into our neFt %h!se o# "i(tor&' )e (!nnot look b!(k !t our ene ies' This is ! ti e to re !in one ste% !he!$+ C' )e must e9press faith 'y praising God% 0r!ise (!uses our $r& ti es to en$* re#resh ent to (o e !n$ our %!th to o%en u%' In Nu bers =8* E$o re#use$ %!ss!ge to 2oses !n$ the %eo%le o# Isr!el' E"en though 2oses negoti!te$ with E$o twi(e* 2oses $i$ not re(ei"e #!"or #or the %eo%le to %!ss through on the w!& to the %ro ise'

.URSTING 0AST .LO,AADES

;?

So eti es th!t h!%%ens to us' )e $o e"er&thing we know to tr& to (on"in(e !n !$"ers!r& to !llow us s!#e %!ss!ge* !n$ &et we $on/t see to !ke !n& he!$w!&' )e #in$ in Nu bers =6 th!t the %eo%le got to !nother %l!(e where the& $i$n/t see !ble to o"e #orw!r$* !n$ the& grew "er& thirst& without w!ter' )e too will h!"e $r& ti es !long the %!th to our %ro ise' Go$ (o !n$e$ the %eo%le to g!ther !n$ sing' Berse 6< in#or s us th!t the& beg!n to sing* JS%ring u%* O well*J the well beg!n to #ill with w!ter so th!t the& (oul$ $rink !n$ be re#reshe$' )hen we sto% !n$ %r!ise* we will !$"!n(e' ,or%or!te worshi% is ne(ess!r& #or our "i(tories in the $!&s !he!$' )e nee$ to #in$ our %l!(e o# (or%or!te worshi%' E"en i# we $on/t #eel like worshi%ing* we nee$ to worshi%' Go$ will re#resh usG He will gi"e us strengthG !n$ we will be !ble to !$"!n(e' 9' .e do not need to fear addressing old issues that ha+e ne+er 'een dealt $ith fully% 2!n& ti es we w!nt to h!"e #!ith to o"e into our #uture* but there is so ething in our %!st th!t we nee$ to h!"e #!ith to !$$ress' In = S! uel ?* D!"i$ (! e into the !nointing %ro ise$ !n& &e!rs be#ore' His #irst !ssign ent w!s to o"erthrow the -ebusites !t -erus!le ' D!"i$ knew he h!$ to est!blish ! %l!(e #or Go$/s %resen(e' The -ebusites shoul$ h!"e been o"erthrown when -oshu! !n$ the %eo%le h!$ (rosse$ into the 0ro ise$ L!n$ 988 &e!rs %rior to this' The& were ! %eo%le $es(en$e$ o# ,!n!!n Kwho h!$ been (urse$ b& No!hL' For D!"i$ to be(o e (!%t!in !n$ ruler !n$ to enter into wh!t he h!$ been !nointe$ to $o* he h!$ to o"er(o e the -ebusites' 2!n& ti es !n ol$ ini1uitous %!ttern* or %!th* in our li#e resur#!(es' )e (!n ne"er enter into !ll o# the bene#its o# Go$/s re$e %ti"e %l!n #or our li#e until this ini1uit& is o"erturne$' The ti e #or "i(tor& is now+ ?' .e are compelled to allo$ the Lord to re+eal uncon+entional $ays to o+ertake our enemies% F!ith is not !#r!i$ to go into sew!ge' In = S! uel ?* D!"i$ stoo$ b!(k !n$ s!w !n entr&w!& into -erus!le ' Howe"er* it w!s through sew!ge+ I# we look (!re#ull&* Go$ will show us the entr&w!& into our "i(tor&' )e nee$ to t!ke ! $ee% bre!th

;>

,HA0TER < !n$ go through our sew!ge %h!se' -erus!le w!s D!"i$/s %l!(e to est!blish Go$/s %resen(e' This woul$ be where the Ark woul$ e"entu!ll& rest' I# we !re willing to go through our sew!ge* we will onl& stink #or ! short %erio$' Then Go$/s %resen(e will be est!blishe$ in us !n$ His sweet-s elling #!"or will surroun$ us' >' .e must $atch for the enemy5s 'acklash% On(e the 0hilistines he!r$ o# D!"i$/s !nointing* the& (! e to sto% hi #ro !$"!n(ing' The ene & $etests when we o"e #orw!r$* !n$ He !bhors the thought o# the !nointing o# Go$ in(re!sing in us' The 0hilistines !tt!(ke$ D!"i$* &et Go$ g!"e D!"i$ "i(tor&' Howe"er* on(e D!"i$ h!$ "i(tor&* the ene & !(tu!ll& regrou%e$ to (o e !g!inst D!"i$ !g!in' F!ith kee%s &our in$* he!rt !n$ s%irit !(ti"e !n$ $is(erning the ene &/s %l!ns' <' .e can 'e creati+e in confronting the enemy% F!ith is (re!ti"e' )e ust ne"er %resu e u%on Go$ !n$ think th!t we (!n (on#ront the ene & in the s! e !nner we (on#ronte$ hi in our l!st se!son o# "i(tor&' )hen the 0hilistines regrou%e$ !g!inst D!"i$* he !ske$ the Lor$* JShoul$ I go u% !g!in3J The Lor$ s!i$* JYes* but not in the s! e w!&'J The Lor$ tol$ D!"i$ to listen #or the soun$ o# the win$ in the ulberr& trees Ksee = S! ' ?I=C-=9L' )e nee$ to !llow the Hol& S%irit to su%ern!tur!ll& #ill us' )e ust listen #or the "oi(e o# the Hol& S%irit' There is ! soun$ #ro he!"en th!t will gui$e us' The S%irit o# Go$ in us will (!use us to he!r th!t soun$' Listen #or the new soun$+

)E

,AN

.E

,REATIBE

IN

,ONFRONTING THE ENE2Y'

7' .hen $e seem 'locked, $e need to Auickly seek the Lord and $ait for (is re+elation% In = ,hroni(les =8* we le!rn !bout ! (on#e$er!tion o# ene & #or(es (o ing !g!inst -ehosh!%h!t' E"en though #e!r gri%%e$ hi * -ehosh!%h!t #!ste$ !n$ sought the Lor$* whi(h (!use$ the Lor$ to o"e u%on the %ro%het -!h!5iel' -!h!5iel beg!n to

.URSTING 0AST .LO,AADES

;<

%ro%hes& Go$/s str!teg& #or "i(tor&' )e ust listen #or the %ro%heti( wor$' The %ro%heti( wor$ will le!$ us into su((ess !n$ "i(tor&Dit is one o# our ost effecti+e we!%ons !g!inst the enemy% F!ith (o eth b& he!ring+ ;' .e should take the time to $rite do$n the enemy5s threats and then present the situation to the Lord% So !n& ti es when the enemy is (o ing !g!inst us* we tr& to go to e"er&one !roun$ us who will listen to our %roble s' Howe"er* we nee$ to %resent our (!se to the Lor$' In = Aings 67-6;* we #in$ th!t Senn!(herib* ! t&%e o# ene & o# Go$/s (o"en!nt* o"ertook e"er&one in his %!th' This ruler then thre!tene$ to o"er(o e He5eki!h' 2!n& ti es the ene & $r!ws our e&es to wh!t he is $oing* !n$ then he (on"in(es us th!t we !re neFt in line' Senn!(herib sent ! letter to He5eki!h' He5eki!h %resente$ this letter to the Lor$ !s ! %ro%heti( !(t' )hen we write $own the ene &/s thre!ts !n$ hol$ the u% to the Lor$* He will gi"e us !n or$er* ! str!teg& !n$ !ssist!n(e' F!ith o"er(o es+ 68' .e must not let an atmosphere of un'elief pre+ent us from speaking out in faith% In Luke 9I6-69* -esus h!$ entere$ into the wil$erness !n$ g!ine$ "i(tor& o"er the ene &' He then returne$ #ro the wil$erness with %ower' Howe"er* when He went to N!5!reth !n$ $e(l!re$ who He w!s !n$ th!t He w!s !nointe$ to bring #orth Go$/s %l!n in the e!rthl& re!l * the !t os%here o# unbelie# !tte %te$ to sto% Hi #ro o"ing #orw!r$ in His F!ther/s %ur%ose' In the i$st o# !n !t os%here o# unbelie#* we ust s%e!k #!ith' 66' .e need to learn $hen to change direction% -esus si$este%%e$ the ene & !n& ti es' 2!n& ti es the religious ene & o# th!t $!& woul$ rise u% to sto% -esus #ro o"ing #orw!r$' A((or$ing to -ohn 7I?; !n$ 68IC;* -esus o"e$ out o# the ene &/s %!th' He hi$ Hi sel# !n$ es(!%e$ the h!n$ o# the ene & who w!s !tte %ting to sei5e Hi ' I# -esus (oul$ !ke it to His $estin!tion* the (ross* -esus in us (!n bring us to our $estin!tion' )e shoul$ let -esus re"e!l the %!th through !n& blo(ke$ (ir(u st!n(es' 6=' .e can e9pect God to mo+e on our 'ehalf% In A(ts 6=I6-9* Hero$ i %risone$ 0eter K! lot o# the E!rl& ,hur(h

;7

,HA0TER < le!$ers were %erse(ute$L' The ,hur(h beg!n to %r!& #or 0eter' Then !n e!rth1u!ke o((urre$' K)e shoul$ w!t(h #or n!tur!l (ir(u st!n(es to work #or our bene#it* too'L Howe"er* when 0eter showe$ u% !t ! house (hur(h* the %eo%le (oul$ not belie"e it w!s 0eter' )hen we %r!&* we shoul$ eF%e(t Go$ to o"e+

E"en though the ene & tries to blo(k us #ro !$"!n(ing tow!r$ !ll th!t Go$ h!s #or us* we (!nnot sub it to ! blo(ke$ %!th' )e ust sub it to Go$ !n$ resist the $e"il' He $ill flee and $e $ill !$"!n(e' 9aith *8erthro;s the 'ne0y?s Decrees I !w!kene$ one orning he!ring these wor$sI

There is !n intense %erio$ o# %r!&er !n$ #!sting (o ing to the .o$&' This %erio$ will be &our shi#ting ti e #or the se!son o# re"i"!l th!t is now u%on &ou' This will be ! %erio$ o# re o"!l' This will be ! %erio$ o# restor!tion' This will be ! %erio$ o# %re%!ring the w!& !n$ setting the (ourse #or the #uture' This will be ! ti e to go through n!rrow* (on#ining %l!(es in &our li#e' .& %ressing through the (on#ining %l!(es I will begin to $e#ine &our #uture' I will re o"e we!kness* in#ir it& !n$ th!t whi(h h!s bent &ou o"er !n$ ke%t &ou #ro !$"!n(ing in the %!st' This will o%en the $oor #or s%iritu!l 'reakthrough% This is ! $oor th!t h!s been se!le$ tight' Do not #e!r the intensit& o# this ti e in &our li#e* but re(ei"e 2& strengthening' I will re o"e religious s%irits th!t !re sto%%ing 2& king$o #ro !$"!n(ing' For now is the ti e #or the gener!tion th!t is rising to be rele!se$ with ! new !ntle' This will be ! ti e to $e#ine the !ntle o# !uthorit& to be worn b& the (!rriers o# "ision into the neFt gener!tion' This is ! ti e #or &our ene ies to be #ull& $e#ine$ !n$ to $e"elo% ! str!teg& #or their eF%osure !n$ o"erthrow' These senti ents re in$ e o# Esther-!n Ol$ Test! ent book th!t I lo"e' Esther is #ille$ with $e onstr!tions o# #!ith th!t buil$ u% & #!ith' Now is ! ti e to %r!&* re!$ !n$ li"e out this book' Go$ is r!ising u% new 2or$e(!is !n$ Esthers Kthe %ri !r& (h!r!(ters whose stories o# #!ith !re tol$ in EstherL to in#luen(e

.URSTING 0AST .LO,AADES

;;

the worl$ in the $!&s !he!$' These in$i"i$u!ls will $o r!$i(!l eF%loits in Go$/s n! e'

GOD IS RAISING U0 NE) 2ORDE,AIS AND ESTHERS TO
INFLUEN,E THE )ORLD IN THE DAYS AHEAD'

During the ti e o# Esther* the ene & h!$ entere$ in through the g!tes o# the city !n$ w!s %l!nning to un$er(ut the (o"en!nt blessings th!t Go$ h!$ #or His %eo%le' 2or$e(!i eF%ose$ the ene &/s %l!n !n$ took his !uthorit& !t the g!te Ksee Esther >I6=L' ,enturies l!ter -esus enun(i!te$ the Go$-gi"en %rin(i%le behin$ this !n$ other si il!r !(ts o# #!ithI JI !lso s!& to &ou th!t &ou !re 0eter* !n$ on this ro(k I will buil$ 2& (hur(h* !n$ the g!tes o# H!$es sh!ll not %re"!il !g!inst itJ K2!tt' 6>I67L' )e too (!n gr!b hol$ o# this %ro ise !n$ !%%l& it to our li#e' This is not ! ti e #or hell to %re"!il !t our g!te' The g!te o# ! (it& w!s where !ll business tr!ns!(tions !n$ leg!l !tters o((urre$' The (it& g!te w!s !lso the %l!(e where entr!n(e into the (it& w!s %er itte$ or #orbi$$en' A bibli(!l g!tekee%er w!s one who gu!r$e$ !((ess to ! (it& Ksee = S! ' 67I=>G = Aings <I68-66L* ! resi$en(e Ksee -ohn 67I6<L* the s!(re$ %re(in(ts o# the Ark Ksee 6 ,hron' 6?I=C-=9L or the Te %le Ksee 6 ,hron' =CI?L' Te %le g!tekee%ers were (h!rge$ with %re"enting !n&one un(le!n #ro entering the Te %le Ksee = ,hron' =CI6;L !n$ with gu!r$ing the Te %le tre!suries !n$ storehouses Ksee 6 ,hron' ;I=>G =>I=8-==G Neh' 6=I=?L' 2or$e(!i w!s ! goo$ g!tekee%er' He knew the ene & h!$ ! %lot' He h!$ o"erhe!r$ the %l!n !n$ linke$ it with H! !n who w!nte$ to !nnihil!te Go$/s (o"en!nt %eo%le in the l!n$' H! !n h!$ %re%!re$ ! noose #or Go$/s (o"en!nt %eo%le Ksee Esther ;I=?L' Esther shows us how to see the $estin& o# Go$/s (o"en!nt !ni#est itsel# when we legisl!te !uthorit& !t the g!tes* !s 2or$e(!i $i$ Kthe ene & will !lw!&s !tte %t to %lot* or utter $e(rees* !g!inst usL' 2or$e(!i knew he h!$ to h!"e ! (onne(tion to %re"ent the ene &/s %l!n #ro %re"!iling' Esther w!s his (onne(tionG she h!$ been %ositione$ b& Go$ #or Jsu(h ! ti e !s thisJ KEsther

688

,HA0TER <

9I69L' 2!n& ,hristi!ns to$!& !re being si il!rl& %ositione$ to see the %l!n o# the ene &' Others !re being %ositione$ to be the (onne(ting %oint to o"erthrow the ene &' I ! %r!&ing th!t !n& %lot o# the ene & to tr& !n$ sto% the (o"en!nt blessings o# our inherit!n(e #ro (o ing #orth woul$ be re"e!le$' )e ust #in$ the $i"ine (onne(tions !n$ o"erthrow the ene &/s %l!n+ This is the ti e to o"erthrow $e(rees th!t h!"e been set !g!inst Go$/s (o"en!nt %eo%le !n$ th!t kee% us #ro (or%or!tel& !$"!n(ing' Esther %r!&e$ !n$ #!ste$ three $!&s %rior to setting the wheels in otion to o"erthrow the ene &/s %l!n' She h!$ #!ith to go into the king/s (ourt* be(!use she h!$ s%iritu!ll& %re%!re$ hersel# b& #!sting #or three $!&s' F!sting hel%s %re%!re us #or wh!t we ust #!(e in our b!ttle !he!$' Esther w!s !t the right %l!(e !t the right ti e !n$ $i$ the right thing' There#ore* she h!$ "i(tor& o"er the ene &'

HEL0

IS

ON

THE

)AY

The (r& o# hel% is ! (r& o# #!ith' So !n& ti es I/"e h!$ to (r& out #or the Lor$ to (o e to & !i$' In ti es o# $istress* I usu!ll& re!$ the %s!l s' 2!& the LORD !nswer &ou in the $!& o# trouble* !& the n! e o# the Go$ o# -!(ob $e#en$ &ou Oor set &ou high !bo"e &our ene iesPG !& He sen$ &ou help #ro the s!n(tu!r&* !n$ strengthen &ou out o# @ion' 2!& He gr!nt &ou !((or$ing to &our he!rt/s desire, !n$ #ul#ill !ll &our %ur%ose' Now I know th!t the LORD s!"es His !nointe$ K0s' =8I6-=* 9* >* e %h!sis !$$e$L' This w!s ! t&%i(!l %s!l %r!&e$ b& the (ongreg!tion !t ! ti e o# gi"ing !n$ s!(ri#i(e 4ust be#ore going to w!r' It is ! %r!&er o# #!ith !n$ $e(l!r!tion' .& %r!&ing this %s!l * we know Go$ h!s he!r$ us* so now we (!n o"e #orw!r$ into His %l!n o# "i(tor& !g!inst our ene ies' I (!lle$ on the LORD in $istressG the LORD !nswere$ e !n$ set e in ! bro!$ %l!(e' The LORD is on & si$eG I will not #e!r' )h!t (!n !n $o to e3 The LORD is #or e ! ong those who hel% eG there#ore I sh!ll see & $esire on those who h!te e' It is better to trust in the LORD th!n to %ut (on#i$en(e in !n' It is

.URSTING 0AST .LO,AADES better to trust in the LORD th!n to %ut (on#i$en(e in %rin(es K0s' 667I?-;L'

686

JDistressJ e!ns the sei5ure or $etention o# one/s goo$s or resour(es* ! st!te o# $!nger or $es%er!tion* to be(o e worrie$ or tr!u !ti5e$* or ! %!in or su##ering th!t bu##ets the bo$&' Distress is !lso !sso(i!te$ with (o ing to ! n!rrow %l!(e !n$ h!"ing to en$ure the %!in in th!t n!rrow %l!(e in or$er to (o e into the new' Distress is !lso rel!te$ to the wor$ Jtr!"!il'J In our $istress* when we (!ll unto the Lor$* the Lor$ (o es' Ag!in* #!ith (o eth b& he!ring+ )hen we !re in the n!rrow %l!(e* the Lor$ begins to rele!se re"el!tion th!t shows us how to bre!k through' I got u% one orning to go %re!(h* !n$ I !ske$ the Lor$ wh!t He w!s s!&ing to the (ongreg!tion where I w!s inistering' I #elt !n i %ression with these wor$sI JTell the th!t hel% is on the w!&' I A2 the Hel%er' I# the& will (!ll out #or 2e* I will hel% the 'J I beg!n to %re!(h !n$ !ke #!ith $e(l!r!tions #ro this wor$' )hile I w!s %re!(hing* I #elt the S%irit o# Go$ i %ress e to tell the %eo%le to write $own the three !re!s th!t the& nee$e$ hel% with* !n$ th!t we were not to h!"e !n !lt!r (!ll' I# the& woul$ write $own their three !re!s o# nee$ !n$ gi"e their list to the el$ers* the& woul$ be (ont!(te$ th!t week !n$ begin to see bre!kthrough' Go$/s ir!(le-working gi#t o# #!ith beg!n to t!ke hol$ in th!t (ongreg!tion' .elow is one o# the !n& testi onies o# wh!t beg!n to h!%%en' , Pon4 Can &elp@ Sh!ron Roberts writes the #ollowingI On No"e ber* =>* =888* I w!s in ! (hur(h ser"i(e where ,hu(k %ro%hesie$I JI A2 entering &ou into ! new $!& o# $eli"er!n(e !n$ I s!& #ro this new $!& o# $eli"er!n(e I will bre!k o%en new re!l s o# s%oils th!t h!"e been hel$ u%'J This w!s ! wor$ th!t I h!$ %on$ere$ in & he!rt' Howe"er* in A%ril =88=* I w!s l!i$ o## #ro & 4ob' I w!s out o# work #or #i"e onths eF!(tl&' During this ti e I (onsi$ere$ selling & %ro%ert&' I lo"e li"ing in the (ountr& !n$ I lo"e & !ni !ls* but without ! 4ob it (ost too u(h to kee% u%' At (hur(h one $!& ,hu(k %ro%hesie$ to e* J)ho!+ St!& %ut+ St!& %ut+ Go$ is

68=

,HA0TER < going to use &ou #or the buil$ing %rogr! 'J I won$ere$* (o$ did you kno$ ) $as considering mo+ing8 I won$ere$* .hat 'uilding program and ho$ $ill (e use me8 I %ut !si$e the i$e! o# selling & %l!(e' I st!&e$ %ut' )hen I be(! e e %lo&e$ in Se%te ber o# th!t s! e &e!r* I g!"e & #irst week/s (he(k to our (hur(h !s ! #irst #ruits o##ering' I eF%e(te$ th!t & b!rns woul$ be #ille$ with %lent& !n$ & %resses woul$ burst #orth with new wine' I 4ust $i$n/t know how it woul$ (o e to %!ss' .ut Go$ knew' I belie"e the #ollowing e"ents !re 4ust the beginning* be(!use Go$ is ! Go$ o# see$ ti e !n$ h!r"est' It/s ! l!w He set into otion* !n$ it will eFist !s long !s the e!rth re !ins' I li"e out in the (ountr& on !bout == !(res o# l!n$' Drilling (o %!nies !re $rilling n!tur!l g!s wells !ll !roun$ & %ro%ert&' I $i$ not w!nt one $rille$ on & l!n$ be(!use o# the $estru(tion !n$ so on' I $on/t own the iner!l rights' I %r!&e$* J0le!se* Go$* I $on/t w!nt the to $rill on & %ro%ert&'J I went to (hur(h th!t orning !n$ he!r$ 0ro%het ,hu(k 0ier(e s%e!k on JHel% Is on the )!&'J A !n working #or one o# the (o %!nies (!lle$ e one !#ternoon !n$ !ske$ e i# I h!$ seen the sur"e&ing st!ke the& h!$ %ut on & l!n$ !rking the neFt well' I tol$ hi there w!s none on & l!n$' He s!i$ he w!s (o ing out to look be(!use it shoul$ be there' I w!s out #ee$ing & !ni !ls when he $ro"e u%' )e s!w th!t the st!ke w!s on the %ro%ert& 4ust south o# & bor$er' )hile we were t!lking* he entione$ th!t the& nee$e$ w!ter to $rill' 2& %on$ w!s "er& (lose' He !ske$ i# I woul$ sell the w!ter out o# & %on$' He s!i$ the& woul$ %!& between MC*888 !n$ M9*888 #or it' I tol$ hi * JYes'J A #ew weeks l!ter ! !n kno(ke$ on & $oor' He s!i$ the& woul$ %!& e M=*888 #or the %on$ w!ter' I tol$ hi wh!t the other !n h!$ s!i$* but he woul$ not (h!nge his %ri(e' I #in!ll& tol$ hi I w!nte$ M=*=88 !t le!st' He s!i$ he/$ see wh!t he (oul$ $o' The& set u% the %u % th!t night* be#ore I got %!i$' I #elt #oolish th!t I h!$ nothing in writing !n$ the& were !lre!$& using & w!ter' I ke%t w!iting !n$ w!iting #or the one&* but it

.URSTING 0AST .LO,AADES $i$ not (o e' I $e(i$e$ to tithe on it K4ust to gi"e the $e"il ! bl!(k e&eL* so I %ut M==8 eFtr! in the o##ering the neFt Sun$!&' .& )e$nes$!& I h!$ the (he(k #or M=*=88' I (o uni(!te$ with the #irst !n !bout the $i##eren(e in the su s o# one&' About two weeks l!ter he (!lle$ e to tell e he h!$ ! (he(k #or the $i##eren(e between M=*=88 !n$ MC*?88 Kwhi(h is wh!t he thought w!s ! #!ir ! ountL' In(lu$e$ in the (he(k w!s MC*?88 ore #or w!ter #or the neFt well the& w!nte$ to $rillDM<*888 #or the two wells' I %r!ise$ Go$ !n$ it entere$ & in$ th!t I shoul$ now !ke ! #irst #ruits o##ering r!ther th!n tithe' I tol$ the Lor$ th!t I woul$ $o this i# th!t is wh!t shoul$ be $one' I still (onsi$ere$ it ! one-ti e o((urren(e* so I $i$ not know i# #irst #ruits !%%lie$* but I w!s willing' A (ou%le o# weeks l!ter the #irst well !n (!lle$ to tell e th!t the& nee$e$ ore w!ter th!n & %on$ (ont!ine$' He !ske$ i# I woul$ let the $rill ! w!ter well on & l!n$ !n$ use the w!ter to J#r!(tureJ three to #i"e ore wells' He s!i$ the& woul$ %!& e MC*?88 #or e!(h' )hen he brought e ! (ontr!(t !n$ ! (he(k #or the #irst three wells to be #r!(ture$* I noti(e$ th!t it s!i$ M9*?88 #or e!(h well to be #r!(ture$' The !n s!i$ he h!$ !$e ! ist!ke when he s!i$ MC*?88' In less th!n siF weeks* Go$ blesse$ e with E7C,;CC in ! !nner th!t I (oul$ ne"er h!"e i !gine$' I belie"e th!t ore $ill #ollow' The well !n s!i$ th!t the& !& $rill !s !n& !s #i"e or siF other wells* $e%en$ing on how well the %resent ones %ro$u(e* !n$ i# the& $o* the& will use & w!ter well to #r!(ture e!(h o# the !t M9*?88' Hel% trul& (! e+ Go$ use$ !n uneF%e(te$ resour(e th!t I h!$ to bring gre!t hel%* so I (oul$ kee% & #!r '=

68C

0erh!%s e!(h o# us h!s ! %on$ or so e other uneF%e(te$ resour(e th!t Go$ (!n use to %ro"i$e #or us' %he &oly (pirit .s *ur &elper To re!ll& un$erst!n$ #!ith !n$ enter into the #!ith $&n! i( #or this hour* we/"e got to know the Hol& S%irit' The Hol& S%irit is th!t &sterious thir$ 0erson o# the Trinit& who the F!ther o"es through' The Hol& S%irit inh!bits our hu !n s%irit !n$ (onne(ts us to the he!"enl& !bi$ing %l!(e th!t Go$ h!s %re%!re$

689

,HA0TER <

#or us' He is the 0erson who re"e!ls the will o# Go$' The Hol& S%irit is the One who e %owers us to !((o %lish the will o# Go$ !n$ to be(o e ! son or $!ughter o# Go$' The Hol& S%irit $is(loses the %erson!l %resen(e o# Go$ !n$ His Son* -esus ,hrist o# N!5!reth* to us' The Hol& S%irit !ni#ests Hi sel# to us !n$ inh!bits us' He !kes us !ll th!t the F!ther inten$e$ us to be in the e!rthl& re!l ' The Hol& S%irit is our Hel%er' Thus* when we (r& out #or hel%* we !re (r&ing out #or ! !ni#est!tion o# His %resen(e' The Hol& S%irit is the S%irit o# truth' There#ore* He re"e!ls truth to us' An$ when we worshi% in s%irit !n$ in truth* we enter into the re!lit& o# the Lor$ -esus ,hrist' JHel%J is to eF(h!nge or l!& hol$ o# ! ne(ess!r& su%%ort' It !lso e!ns to ren$er !ssist!n(e* es%e(i!ll& to one in ! nee$& (on$ition' There !re se"er!l !s%e(ts o# hel% th!t I #eel we nee$ to un$erst!n$I 6' Hel% is ! shout th!t (!uses so eone to run to our bene#it' This is su%ern!tur!l gr!(e in ! ti el& #!shion Ksee Heb' 9I6>L' =' Hel% (!n be !n !i$ ren$ere$ to us b& !n !ll& Ksee A(ts =>I==L' C' Hel% (o es when so eone %!rt!kes in our nee$ !n$ ren$ers su%%ort Ksee 6 Ti ' >I=L' 9' The Hol& S%irit will hel% us in our ti e o# nee$ b& t!king hol$ o# our s%irit !n$ %r!&ing through us when we $on/t know how to %r!& Ksee Ro ' 7I=>L' ?' )e (!n ren$er hel% when we !i$ !n&bo$& Ksee 2!tt' 6?I=?G 2!rk ;I==-=9L' >' The wor$ Jhel%J is linke$ with 4oining together !n$ ser"ing so eone so th!t their ission gets !((o %lishe$ Ksee = ,or' 6I66L' <' )e (!n (oo%er!te !n$ work !longsi$e others in ! s&nergisti( #!shion so th!t strength is ulti%lie$ Ksee 6 ,or' 6>I6>L' )e ust not 1uen(h the Hol& S%irit* #or when we 1uen(h the Hol& S%irit* we 1uen(h our hel%er' )hen we grie"e the Hol& S%irit* our hel%er is grie"e$ !n$ we $o not h!"e the strength to

.URSTING 0AST .LO,AADES

68?

!((o %lish wh!t we nee$ to !((o %lish' ,r& out #or hel% !n$ let hel% (o e+ 0s!l 9>I6-C re!$sI Go$ is our re#uge !n$ strength* ! "er& %resent hel% in trouble' There#ore we will not #e!r* e"en though the e!rth be re o"e$* !n$ though the ount!ins be (!rrie$ into the i$st o# the se!G though its w!ters ro!r !n$ be trouble$* though the ount!ins sh!ke with its swelling' He is there' ,r& out+ The Hol& S%irit is the %erson th!t $wells within us th!t (!uses our #!ith to !ni#est itsel#' The gi#ts o# Go$ work through the !ni#est!tion o# the Hol& S%irit' This !ni#est!tion is linke$ with our shiel$ o# #!ith' )hen we nee$ ! wor$ o# knowle$ge or ! wor$ o# wis$o * the Hol& S%irit brings it to us' Fro this !ni#est!tion* the #!ith we nee$ (o es through this wor$ o# knowle$ge or wis$o * whi(h (!uses our shiel$ to be #leFible enough to 1uen(h !n& #ier& $!rt th!t the ene & sen$s' The gi#ts o# %ro%he(&* #!ith* tongues* inter%ret!tion o# tongues* $is(erning o# s%irits* he!ling !n$ ir!(les !re !ll !ni#est!tions o# the Hol& S%irit* whi(h (!use our shiel$ o# #!ith to #un(tion %ro%erl&'

FAITH

AND

AUTHORITY UNLO,A OUR DESTINIES

One o# & #!"orite stories !n$ %rob!bl& the ost i %ort!nt illustr!tion o# the (on(e%t o# #!ith is #oun$ in 2!tthew 7I?-6CD the stor& o# the (enturion' This !n (o es to ,!%ern!u to #in$ -esus !n$ %le!$ with Hi (on(erning his ser"!nt who is $re!$#ull& tor ente$ !n$ %!r!l&5e$' .e(!use o# this !n/s (r& #or hel%* -esus s!i$* JI will (o e !n$ he!l hi 'J The (enturion !nswere$ !n$ s!i$* JLor$* I ! not worth& th!t You shoul$ (o e un$er & roo#' .ut onl& s%e!k ! wor$* !n$ & ser"!nt will be he!le$' For I !lso ! ! !n un$er !uthorit&* h!"ing sol$iers un$er e' An$ I s!& to this one* /Go*/ !n$ he goesG !n$ to !nother* /,o e*/ !n$ he (o esG !n$ to & ser"!nt* /Do this*/ !n$ he $oes itJ K""' <-;L' -esus !r"ele$ !t this !n/s #!ith' 2!tter o# #!(t* He (!lle$ it gre!t #!ith !n$ eF(l!i e$ th!t He h!$ not seen this t&%e o# #!ith in !ll o# Isr!el Ksee "' 68L' He then s!i$ to the (enturion* JGo &our w!&G !n$ !s &ou h!"e belie"e$* so let it be $one #or &ouJ K"' 6CL'

68>

,HA0TER <

The (enturion/s ser"!nt w!s he!le$ th!t s! e hour Ksee "' 69L' One o# the gre!test lessons o# #!ith is the rel!tionshi% between #!ith !n$ !uthorit&' 2& #!ther $ie$ %re !turel& when I w!s 6>' E"en though I li"e$ through so e tr!u !ti( ti es* I w!s ne"er le#t #!therless' Go$ %l!(e$ #!thers !n$ others in & li#e so th!t I woul$ ne"er be outsi$e !n !uthorit& stru(ture' I belie"e this h!s been ! ke& to & %erson!l $e"elo% ent o# #!ith' F!ith not onl& works "erti(!ll& Kbetween us !n$ Go$L* but it !lso works hori5ont!ll&Din the w!& th!t we stew!r$ the rel!tionshi%s o# those who we h!"e !uthorit& o"er' The un$erst!n$ing o# !uthorit& is ! ke& to unlo(k our $estin& !n$ enter into Go$/s %ro ises b& #!ith'

THE REBELATION AND THE ,ONFESSION OF FAITH RELEASE AEYS
In 2!tthew 6>I6;* we #in$ the %hr!se Jke&s o# the king$o 'J This %hr!se rel!te$ to the !uthorit& $eleg!te$ to Si on 0eter to Jbin$J !n$ Jloose'J This !uthorit& gi"en to 0eter !n$ the !%ostles (!nnot be se%!r!te$ #ro the he!"enl& insight !n$ (on#ession th!t -esus is the ,hrist* the Son o# Go$' It w!s the re"el!tion gi"en to !n$ (on#esse$ b& 0eter th!t (!lle$ #orth our Lor$/s blessing' The (on#ession o# our #!ith !(ti"!tes our !uthorit&' ,on#ession e!ns we !re in h!r on& with !n$ s!&ing wh!t the F!ther is s!&ing in he!"en' 0eter/s !uthorit& !s !n !%ostle w!s b!se$ u%on his $i"inel& gi"en (on#ession' The !uthorit& to bin$ !n$ looseDthe result o# re(ei"ing Jthe ke&s o# the king$o JDis ! stew!r$shi%* ! $eleg!te$ !uthorit& #ro ,hrist K(o %!re 2!tt' 6>I6; to -ohn =8I=6-=C !n$ Re"' 6I67G CI<-7L' I tr!"el u(h through the worl$ inistering to Go$/s %eo%le* $e(l!ring Aing$o bre!kthrough !n$ h!r"est rele!seDb& Jh!r"est rele!seJ I e!n th!t -esus rele!ses %eo%le who !re (!%ti"e to sin !n$ He w!nts us to %!rti(i%!te with Hi in rele!sing %eo%le to$!&' )hen in Ro e* It!l&* ! ission te! th!t I w!s le!$ing s%ent ! $!& %r!&ing !t "!rious sites th!t the Hol& S%irit le$ us to' One o# the %l!(es we "isite$ w!s the 2! ertine 0rison* where it is belie"e$ 0eter K!n$ %erh!%s 0!ul !lsoL w!s hel$ %risoner in Ro e' A strong %resen(e o# the Lor$ #ille$ the %l!(e' )e re(!lle$ the gre!t (lou$ o# witnesses who h!$ gone be#ore us* not lo"ing their li"es e"en unto $e!th' )e $e(l!re$

.URSTING 0AST .LO,AADES

68<

th!t the true !%ostoli( le!$ershi% Go$ is r!ising u% to$!& woul$ be willing to $e#en$ the #!ithDwhether (h!ine$ !n$ boun$ in ! %it or whether #ree' As we eFite$ the 2! ertine 0rison* we s!w st!tues o# 0eter !n$ 0!ulI 0eter w!s hol$ing ke&s !n$ 0!ul h!$ ! swor$' )e $e(l!re$ th!t no longer woul$ the ke&s o# the Aing$o be hel$ out o# the .o$&/s re!(h but th!t we woul$ re(ei"e !uthorit& to unlo(k re"el!tion !n$ s%iritu!l h!r"est' There is so u(h we (!n le!rn #ro 0eter' One o# the ost %ower#ul %ro%he(ies o# our Lor$ is #oun$ in 2!tthew 6>' This is where the F!ther re"e!ls Hi sel# to 0eter* !n$ 0eter re(ogni5es th!t -esus is ,hrist* the Son o# the li"ing Go$' -esus then %ro%he(iesI .lesse$ !re &ou* Si on .!r--on!h* #or #lesh !n$ bloo$ h!s not re"e!le$ this to &ou* but 2& F!ther who is in he!"en' An$ I !lso s!& to &ou th!t &ou !re 0eter* !n$ on this ro(k I will buil$ 2& (hur(h* !n$ the g!tes o# H!$es sh!ll not %re"!il !g!inst it' An$ I will gi"e &ou the ke&s o# the king$o o# he!"en* !n$ wh!te"er &ou bin$ on e!rth will be boun$ in he!"en* !n$ wh!te"er &ou loose on e!rth will be loose$ in he!"en K""' 6<-6;L' This %!rti(ul!r %ro%he(& is %!rt o# the DNA o# e"er& bloo$bought belie"er o# -esus ,hrist' )hen we re(ei"e $i"ine re"el!tion !n$ !ke ! (on#ession o# our #!ith in the 0erson o# -esus ,hrist* Go$ !(ti"!tes the buil$ing %l!n th!t He $esigne$ #or our li#e' I! %r!&ing #or the re!$ers o# this bookI 6' Th!t the S%irit o# re"el!tion rest u%on &ou !n$ th!t &ou re(ogni5e the Lor$ in &our i$st+ =' Th!t &ou re"iew how &ou !re buil$ing Go$/s %l!n #or &our li#e+ C' Th!t &ou look !t the "ision th!t &ou !re ! %!rt o# to see &our %l!(e in the buil$ing %ro(ess+ 9' Th!t hell !n$ the %ower o# $e!th $o not sto% &ou #ro !$"!n(ing in the buil$ing %l!n th!t &ou !re ! %!rt o#+ ?' Th!t &ou resist the g!tes th!t !re %re"enting &ou #ro mo+ing #orw!r$ !n$ shouting "i(tor&' >' Th!t &ou g!in the ke&s th!t &ou nee$ to !$"!n(e' A ke&

687

,HA0TER < $enotes !uthorit& !n$ unlo(ks+ <' Th!t &ou see into he!"en !n$ bin$ !n$ loose so th!t the worl$ !roun$ &ou re#le(ts wh!t he!"en is $e(l!ring+

.INDING
THE

AND

LOOSING RESULTS ,ONFESSION OF FAITH

FRO2

In th!t (ol$* un$ergroun$ (h! ber in Ro e* whi(h w!s onl& !((essible b& (li bing $own ! ro%e through ! hole* we g!"e th!nks #or wh!t the !%ostles h!$ written !n$ sh!re$ !bout how to be #ree in -esus ,hrist' )e then $e(l!re$ th!t the ,hur(h woul$ not #e!r wh!t is !he!$ but (hoose to re !in #ree in the Lor$ !t !ll (osts' Th!t/s & %r!&er #or us !lso' Our (on#ession rele!se$ !%ostoli( !uthorit& in the e!rth !n$ g!"e the %ower o# bin$ing !n$ loosing Ksee 2!tt' 6>I6;G 67I67LD! %hr!se use$ to $es(ribe the work o# s(ribes b& whi(h the& eFer(ise$ through te!(hing !n$ 4u$ging' The s(ribes !lso (oul$ eF(lu$e %ersons #ro the (o unit& Ksee 2!tt' 67I6?-6<L* but ,hrist $enoun(e$ the #or isusing their ke& o# knowle$ge Ksee Luke 66I?=L' The& !lso blo(ke$ the entr!n(e to the Aing$o Ksee 2!tt' =CI6CL' In their %l!(e* through the gi#t o# the S%irit* the $is(i%les re(ei"e$ the !uthorit& to %ro(l!i #orgi"eness !n$ 4u$g ent Ksee -ohn =8I=CL' The (on#ession o# #!ith h!s the %ower to bin$ !n$ loose' )hen we (on#ess our #!ith* we re(ei"e ke&s to unlo(k Go$/s king$o %ur%oses o# our li#e !n$ to #orbi$ unw!nte$ entr& o# the ene &' -esus s!&s* JI will gi"e &ou the ke&s !n$ &ou will be !ble to #orbi$ !n$ &ou will be !ble to %er itJ Ksee 2!tt' 6>I6;L' Re"el!tion !n$ !uthorit& !re linke$ together' This is !n hour when Go$ is s!&ing to us th!t He is re!$& to gi"e us ke&s' These ke&s will unlo(k the su%%l& o# #!ith !n$ Go$/s %ower we nee$ to !$"!n(e His Aing$o (o"en!nt %ur%oses' These ke&s will #orbi$ hin$r!n(e to His %ur%oses* (!using His will in he!"en to be rele!se$ on E!rth' At the ti e th!t -esus g!"e these ke&s to 0eter* the s(ribes o# th!t $!& h!$ the !uthorit& to stu$& the S(ri%tures !n$ then (o uni(!te to the %eo%le wh!t w!s in the S(ri%tures' -esus knew* howe"er* th!t the s(ribes were not re!ll& (o uni(!ting His buil$ing %l!n to the %eo%le' )h!t -esus w!s re!ll& s!&ing

.URSTING 0AST .LO,AADES

68;

w!s th!t He w!s going to t!ke the ke&s #ro the s(ribes !n$ h!n$ the o"er to the $is(i%les* !king the the #uture le!$ers o# His ,hur(hG !n$ he w!s !lso going to gi"e the !uthorit& to #orbi$ or %er it* b!se$ on the re"el!tion o# His !uthorit&' )e know th!t -esus e"entu!ll& !$e His $is(i%les into !%ostlesG !n$ the& went #orw!r$* not onl& unlo(king the king$o o# Go$ throughout the region* but !lso buil$ing His house in th!t $!& !n$ se!son !#ter Go$ g!"e the the ne(ess!r& we!lth' )e #in$ this %rin(i%le in A(ts 9IC=-C<' This w!s the beginning o# the e!rl& h!r"est th!t o((urre$ !#ter the !s(ension o# the Lor$ -esus ,hrist' Th!t h!r"est h!s (ontinue$ throughout the gener!tions' In so e gener!tions* it h!s been ore %lenti#ul th!n others' Howe"er* we !re !bout to see th!t h!r"est !((eler!te* !n$ we will nee$ to h!"e ! in$ #or in(re!se in the Aing$o i# we !re to be ! %!rt o# th!t !((eler!tion' The ke&s to the Aing$o gi"en to 0eter were !lso ! s& bol to $es(ribe the lo(king or unlo(king sins* !n$ the& illustr!te his !uthorit& in bin$ing or loosing Ksee 2!tt' 6>I6;L' In "erse 67* the s! e %ower w!s gi"en to the !%ostles !n$ the ,hur(h !s ! wholeG it w!s not !n eF(lusi"e gi#t gi"en to !n& one %erson or (hur(h' The 1uestion o# how sins !re #orgi"en is r!ise$ in the e!ning o# bin$ing !n$ loosing' )h!te"er the ,hur(h $e(l!re$ to be wrong or right woul$ h!"e been !nti(i%!te$ !n$ r!ti#ie$ in he!"en b& $i"ine s!n(tion' This e!ns th!t whosoe"er sh!ll h!"e been #orgi"en on E!rth sh!ll h!"e been #orgi"en in he!"en' He!"en sets the st!n$!r$* !n$ E!rth #ollows he!"en/s le!$' It is the res%onsibilit& o# belie"ers to h!"e ! #orgi"ing s%irit !n$ to te!(h the (on$itions o# #orgi"eness Ksee 2!tt' >I6=L' -ohn =8I=C ? !"4 1uotes -esus !s s!&ingI )hosesoe"er sins &e re it* the& !re re itte$ unto the G !n$ whosesoe"er sins &e ret!in* the& !re ret!ine$' This e!ns th!t the ,hur(h is to %ro(l!i the w!& o# s!l"!tionG those who !((e%t Hi !re #orgi"en* but those who re4e(t Hi !re (on$e ne$' .in$ing or loosing o# sins is $eter ine$ b& the he!rer/s res%onse to the gos%el' O# (ourse* the %ower to loose sins (o es ulti !tel& #ro the bloo$ o# -esus Ksee Re"' 6I?L'

IT IS TI2E

FOR

.REAATHROUGH+

668

,HA0TER <

One o# the n! es !n$ (h!r!(teristi(s o# Go$ is the bre!ker' The Lor$ is re!$& to est!blish Hi sel# !t the g!tes o# our li#e* (hur(h* (it& !n$ n!tion' 2i(!h =I6C re!$sI JThe one who bre!ks o%en will (o e u% be#ore the G the& will bre!k out* %!ss through the g!te* !n$ go out b& itG their king will %!ss be#ore the * with the LORD !t their he!$'J .!rb!r! Yo$er s!&s in ,he Breaker &nointing% This .re!ker h!s !ll !uthorit& to enter into e"er& other king$o !n$ n!tion !n$ begin to bre!k us out o# those king$o s/ rule into ! %l!(e o# #ree$o !n$ libert&* li#e !n$ inherit!n(e' He not onl& bre!ks us out o# the i %risoning king$o but !lso est!blishes ! new Aing$o in its ste!$' He is the Aing o# kings'C Eli4!h tr!"!ile$ with his he!$ between his knees until the (lou$ th!t he s!w b& the S%irit in the he!"ens (! e into the e!rthl& re!l Ksee 6 Aings 67IC>-C7L' J.re!kthroughJ is ! ter th!t e!ns !n o##ensi"e thrust th!t %enetr!tes !n$ (!rries be&on$ ! $e#ensi"e line in w!r#!reG ! su$$en !$"!n(e in knowle$ge or te(hni1ueG o"ing through !n obstru(tionG to $isru%t the (ontinuit& or #low o# !n ol$ s&ste * bring it to !n en$* !n$ begin so ething new' .e must raise our shield of faith6 )t is time for the Lord to 'reak through, the Church to 'reak out and the enemy5s plans to 'reak up6 /otes
6' ,hu(k D' 0ier(e !n$ Rebe((! )!gner S&tse !* ,he Future .ar of the Church KBentur!* ,AI Renew .ooks* =886L* %' 6?7' =' Sh!ron Roberts* %erson!l (o uni(!tion to ,hu(k 0ier(e* n'$' C' .!rb!r! Yo$er* ,he Breaker &nointing K,olor!$o S%rings* ,OI )!gner 0ubli(!tions* =886L* %' C;'

CHA

P T E R

"

THE )HOLE AR2OR OF GOD
7

)hen we !ke the (hoi(e to be single- in$e$* &iel$e$ to Go$ !n$ true worshi%ers o# Hi * He be(o es our shiel$ o# #!ith' In the )or$ o# Go$* we see !n& "erses th!t $e(l!re the Lor$ !s our shiel$' )e (!n (o %ile so e o# the to get ! (le!r %i(ture o# Go$/s %ro ise to us Ksee Gen' 6?I6G Deut' CCI=;G = S! ' ==IC*C>G 0s' ?I6=L' Filling in our n! e where in$i(!te$* we shoul$ re%e!t the #ollowing !s o#ten !s nee$e$ to %re%!re us #or b!ttle' ) &1 here to shield you today% 2o not 'e afraid, O&our n! ePG ) &1 your shield, your +ery great re$ard% Blessed are you, O&our n! eP+ ) &1 your shield and helper and glorious s$ord% Your enemies $ill co$er 'efore you and you $ill trample do$n their high places% ) &1 God your rock% O&our n! eP* take refuge in my shield and the horn of 1y sal+ation% ) am your stronghold, your refuge and your Sa+ior from +iolent men% ) ha+e gi+en O&our n! eP 1y shield of +ictory% ) ha+e stooped do$n to make you great% ) 'less the righteousF therefore, ) $ill surround O&our n! eP $ith fa+or as $ith a shield% Isn/t th!t !n in(re$ible %ro ise3 Go$ $e(l!res th!t He is our shiel$+ Not onl& is He our shiel$* but !lso our #!ith !n$ trust in Hi be(o e our shiel$ to 1uen(h !ll o# the ene &/s #ier& $!rts'

UNDERSTANDING

THE

SHIELD

66=

,HA0TER 7

Let/s look !g!in !t wh!t the shiel$ !(tu!ll& re%resents' The shiel$ is illustr!ti"e o# Go$/s %rote(tion* His truth !n$ His s!l"!tion' Howe"er* the shiel$ onl& be(o es !(ti"e when we res%on$ in #!ith' The !n(ient sol$ier/s (hie# $e#ense* his shiel$* w!s !$e in "!rious #or s !n$ o# "!rious !teri!ls' The shiel$ in ! siege (o"ere$ the sol$ier/s whole %erson* !n$ !t the to%* it h!$ ! (ur"e$ %oint or ! s1u!re %ro4e(tion with the bo$& o# the shiel$Dlike ! roo# !t right !ngles' This w!s to $e#en$ the (o b!t!nts !g!inst issiles thrown #ro w!lls'

THE SHIELD IS ILLUSTRATIBE OF GOD/S 0ROTE,TION* HIS TRUTH AND HIS SALBATION'
JShiel$J is the ren$ering o# the #irst three o# the #ollowing Hebrew wor$s* o# whi(h the #irst two !re the ost #re1uent !n$ i %ort!nt' The #ourth wor$ is not liter!ll& tr!nsl!te$ !s Jshiel$J but is si il!r' 6' Sinna% This shiel$ w!s use$ #or %rote(tion !n$ w!s l!rge enough to (o"er the whole bo$& Ksee 0ss' ;<:7F ;6I9L' )hen !n !r & w!s not eng!ge$ in (on#li(t* the sinn! were (!rrie$ b& the shiel$ be!rer Ksee 6 S! ' 6<I<*96L' Gener!ll&* the wor$ is use$ with Js%e!rJ !s ! #or ul! #or we!%ons Ksee 6 ,hron' 6=I=9G = ,hron' 66I6=L' =' 1agen% This shiel$ w!s s !ller* ! bu(kler or t!rget* %rob!bl& #or h!n$-to-h!n$ (o b!t' The difference in si5e between this !n$ the !bo"e- entione$ shiel$ is e"i$ent #ro 6 Aings 68I6>-6< !n$ = ,hroni(les ;I6?-6>* whi(h $es(ribe th!t twi(e !s u(h gol$ w!s use$ #or the l!tter !s #or the #or er' This shiel$ is usu!ll& (ou%le$ with light we!%ons* su(h !s the bow Ksee = ,hron' 69I7L !n$ $!rts Ksee = ,hron' C=I?* !"4% C' Shelet% ,he #or o# this shiel$ is not well known' So e tr!nsl!te JsheletJ !s J1ui"er*J others !s Jwe!%ons'J Howe"er* when we (o %!re = Aings 66I68 with = S! uel 7I<* 6 ,hroni(les 67I<-7 !n$ = ,hroni(les =CI;* it be(o es e"i$ent th!t it si %l& e!ns shiel$' 9' Sohera% This e!ns Jbu(klerJ !n$ is #oun$ onl& in 0s!l

THE )HOLE AR2OR OF GOD ;6I9 ? !"4, where it is use$ %oeti(!ll&'

66C

)e !lso h!"e the Greek wor$ thureos Ksee E%h' >I6>L* ! l!rge oblong or s1u!re shiel$' The sinna w!s the shiel$ o# the he!"il& !r e$ sol$iers Ksee 6 ,hron' 6=I=9L' Goli!th w!s !lso %rote(te$ b& ! sinn!Din his (!se ! !n (!rrie$ the shiel$ in #ront o# hi !s he entere$ b!ttle Ksee 6 S! ' 6<I<*96L' .ow en (!rrie$ the !gen Ksee = ,hron' 69I7L' 6 ,he Ne$ Gnger5s Bi'le 2ictionary !n$ Fausset5s Bi'le 2ictionary %ro"i$e $et!ile$ in#or !tion !bout shiel$s !n$ other we!%ons' A((or$ing to both $i(tion!ries the or$in!r& shiel$s use$ b& the Hebrews were oblong or s1u!re woo$en #r! es th!t were (o"ere$ with le!ther !n$ (oul$ be burne$ e!sil& Ksee E5ek' C;I;L' So e shiel$s were (o"ere$ with br!ss or (o%%er* !n$ when the sun shone u%on the * the& turne$ re$ ?see N!hu =ICL' The sol$iers rubbe$ their shiel$s with oil whi(h !$e the le!ther s ooth !n$ sli%%er& Ksee = S! ' 6I=6-==G Is!' =6I?L' Oil !lso ke%t the et!l #ro rusting' 0utting oil on ! shiel$ ser"e$ !nother %ur%ose !s well' JAnoint the shiel$+J KIs!' =6I?L* Is!i!h w!rne$ .!b&loni!n re"elers !s the& %re%!re$ to $e#en$ the sel"es' In 0s!l 9<I;* Jthe shiel$s o# the e!rth belong to Go$'J These shiel$s !re the %rin(es who !(t !s %rote(tors o# their %eo%le Ksee Hos' 9I67L' EF(e%t $uring !(tu!l (on#li(t* the shiel$ w!s ke%t (o"ere$ Ksee Is!' ==I>L' 2ost gol$en shiel$s Ksee 6 2!((' >IC;* ,!B4 $ere %rob!bl& onl& gilt' The shiel$s use$ b& the gener!ls o# H!$!$e5er Ksee = S! ' 7I<L !n$ those !$e b& Solo on Ksee 6 Aings 68I6>-6<G 69I=>L were orn! ent!l %ie(es o# !ssi"e gol$* !s were the shiel$s l!ter sent to Ro e !s gi#ts Ksee 6 2!((' 69I=9G 6?I67* ,!B4% .ron5e shiel$s !lso were use$ but onl& b& le!$ers !n$ ro&!l gu!r$s Ksee 6 S! ' 6<I>G 6 Aings 69I=<L' = F!ith is our shiel$ J!bo"e !llJ KE%h' >I6>LG in other wor$s* it is the l!st ite we %ut on !n$ (o"ers e"er&thing else we we!r' Howe"er* Sin!iti(us !n$ B!ti(!nus !nus(ri%ts re!$ Jin !ll things'J F!ith will (ert!inl& J1uen(h !ll the #ire-ti%%e$ $!rts o# the e"il oneJ Ksee 6 0et' ?I;G 6 -ohn ?I9*67L' Fire-ti%%e$ $!rts were (!nes' Sol$iers woul$ ignite the ti%s !n$ %ro%el the tow!r$ the ene &'C

DEBELO0ING AND IN,REASING SHIELD OF FAITH

THE

669

,HA0TER 7

In !n online !rti(le* .ible te!(her Ri(k -o&ner !ske$* JIs &our #!ith %ro inent3J He then wrote the #ollowingI I# ! sol$ier is !r(hing tow!r$ &ou with his shiel$ hel$ rightl&* it will !l ost (ert!inl& be the ost %ro inent thing &ou see !bout hi ' I# it is (le!n !n$ shine$ u%* it will be e"en ore so' ,oul$ th!t be s!i$ o# us3 )hen others look !t &ou* is &our #!ith th!t %ro inent3 Our shiel$ o# #!ith is !lso wh!t eFtinguishes !n& !rrow the ene & #lings !t us' I# we !re (onst!ntl& getting hurt !n$ woun$e$* it is !l ost (ert!inl& be(!use we !re not (!rr&ing our #!ith right' F!ith is b!si(!ll& seeing -esus !n$ knowing where He sits !bo"e !ll rule* !uthorit&* !n$ %ower' I# we know this* then it is i %ossible #or the ene & to get ! shot in while the Lor$ is not looking' There#ore* !ll o# the tri!ls th!t (o e our w!& !re #or ! %ur%oseDour !turit&' )e shoul$ there#ore e br!(e the tri!ls !s o%%ortunities' In this w!&* e!(h tri!l the ene & #lings !t us will !(tu!ll& (!use our #!ith to grow so th!t it be(o es e"en ore $i##i(ult #or hi to woun$ us'9 Our #!ith ust !lw!&s be "isible !n$ (onst!nt* but we !lso nee$ to be #leFible with our #!ith' -o&ner (ontinuesI A skill#ul w!rrior in bibli(!l ti es use$ his shiel$ e##e(ti"el& reg!r$less o# whi(h $ire(tion the !tt!(k w!s (o ing' A w!rrior who rigi$l& w!lke$ with his shiel$ in one %l!(e woul$ be(o e !n e!s& t!rget #or so eone who shot !t hi #ro !n uneF%e(te$ $ire(tion' )e* too* ust le!rn to be #leFible with our #!ith' There is #!ith #or s!l"!tion* !n$ #!ith #or he!ling' There is #!ith #or !uthorit& o"er $e ons* !n$ there is #!ith to bring in Go$/s %ro"ision' There is #!ith #or our (hil$ren* (hur(hes* !n$ (ities* !n$ #!ith #or our (ountr& to see Go$ o"e in the ' So i# our #!ith is going to be use#ul #or these* we ust see the with trust in Go$ !n$ !nti(i%!tion o# His "i(tor&* !n$ not look !t the in $oubt* reg!r$less o# wh!t %roble s !rise' The ke& is to kee% our shiel$s u%* reg!r$less o# wh!t $is!%%oint ents !& (o e' There !re ti es when things will h!%%en with !ll o# these th!t (oul$ be "er& $is!%%ointing'

THE )HOLE AR2OR OF GOD Howe"er* to be(o e $is!%%ointe$ is to $ro% our shiel$ o# #!ith' )hen !rrows st!rt (o ing* it is not the ti e to $ro% our shiel$s* but to r!ise the u% with e"en ore resol"e' The !rrows will (o e* whi(h shoul$ ne"er $is(our!ge us* but (!use us to gri% our #!ith e"en tighter* !n$ hol$ it u% with e"en gre!ter "igil!n(e'?

66?

0UTTING

ON

THE

AR2OR

)e!%ons o# w!r !re use$ both o##ensi"el& !n$ $e#ensi"el&' Sin(e w!r#!re is entione$ so #re1uentl& in the .ible* so !re !r s !n$ !r or' Anowle$ge is ke&G there#ore* it/s "er& i %ort!nt th!t we h!"e knowle$ge o# the !r or th!t Go$ h!s gi"en us' The #or s !n$ uses o# we!%ons !n$ !r or e"ol"e #ro the beginning o# the Ol$ Test! ent %erio$ until the en$ o# the New Test! ent %erio$' ,ert!in we!%ons th!t were (o on in one %erio$ be(! e out$!te$ !n$ #ell out o# use in l!ter ti es'> The (o %rehensi"e Hebrew ter #or $e#ensi"e !n$ o##ensi"e we!%ons is kelee Ksee Gen' =<ICG 6 S! ' 6<I?9G Deut' 6I96LG in Greek* hoplon Ksee = ,or' 68I9L is the wor$ #or we!%ons o# w!r' Other Greek wor$s re#er to !r or-be!rers !n$ !r ories' The sons o# light h!$ to be e1ui%%e$ to $e!l with the sons o# $!rkness' B!rious ite s o# !r or h!"e gre!t s%iritu!l signi#i(!n(eI For He %ut on righteousness !s ! bre!st%l!te* !n$ ! hel et o# s!l"!tion on His he!$G He %ut on the g!r ents o# "enge!n(e #or (lothing* !n$ w!s (l!$ with 5e!l !s ! (lo!k KIs!' ?;I6<L' In E%hesi!ns 9I==-=9* 0!ul instru(ts the %eo%le o# E%hesus to J%ut o##* (on(erning &our #or er (on$u(t* the ol$ !n whi(h grows (orru%t !((or$ing to the $e(eit#ul lusts* !n$ be renewe$ in the s%irit o# &our in$* !n$ th!t &ou %ut on the new !n whi(h w!s (re!te$ !((or$ing to Go$* in true righteousness !n$ holiness'J In other wor$s* we !re to re o"e our ol$ li#est&le o# $isobe$ien(e !n$ enter into ! li#est&le o# obe$ien(e #ro our newl& (re!te$ i$entit&* whi(h w!s gi"en to us when -esus (! e to li"e in our he!rt !n$ we re(ei"e$ the Hol& S%irit' Obe$ien(e is linke$ with #!ith* so we !(tu!ll& %ut on #!ith'

66>

,HA0TER 7

HELL

,ANNOT )ITHSTAND THE

UNITY OF FAITH OF .ELIEBERS '

0!ul instru(ts the %eo%le o# E%hesus to re(ei"e ! s%irit o# re"el!tion !n$ wis$o ' He tells the to be roote$ !n$ groun$e$ in lo"e' He en(our!ges the to w!lk in unit&' He eF%l!ins Go$/s go"ern ent* whi(h h!s been rele!se$ to e1ui% the in the e!rthl& re!l !n$ to bring the into ! unit& o# #!ith' On(e we %ut on #!ith !n$ !(ti"!te our #!ith* we unite our #!ith with th!t o# other belie"ers' This %ro$u(es ! unit& o# #!ith' Hell (!nnot withst!n$ the unit& o# #!ith o# belie"ers' 0!ul then tells the %eo%le o# E%hesus not to grie"e the Hol& S%irit* be(!use the Hol& S%irit e %owers the to !int!in their new li#est&le' He !lso tells the to w!lk in lo"e !n$ wis$o ' On(e he h!s eF%l!ine$ the %ro%er !uthorit& rel!tionshi%s* he then tells the to get (lothe$ so th!t the& (!n withst!n$ the ene &* the $e"il* who will tr& to rob the o# their $estin&I Fin!ll&* & brethren* be strong in the Lor$ !n$ in the %ower o# His ight' 0ut on the whole !r or o# Go$* th!t &ou !& be !ble to st!n$ !g!inst the wiles o# the $e"il' For we $o not wrestle !g!inst #lesh !n$ bloo$* but !g!inst %rin(i%!lities* !g!inst %owers* !g!inst the rulers o# the $!rkness o# this !ge* !g!inst s%iritu!l hosts o# wi(ke$ness in the he!"enl& %l!(es' There#ore t!ke u% the whole !r or o# Go$* th!t &ou !& be !ble to withst!n$ in the e"il $!&* !n$ h!"ing $one !ll* to st!n$' St!n$ there#ore* h!"ing gir$e$ &our w!ist with truth* h!"ing %ut on the bre!st%l!te o# righteousness* !n$ h!"ing sho$ &our #eet with the %re%!r!tion o# the gos%el o# %e!(eG !bo"e !ll* t!king the shiel$ o# #!ith with whi(h &ou will be !ble to 1uen(h all the #ier& $!rts o# the wi(ke$ one' An$ t!ke the hel et o# s!l"!tion* !n$ the swor$ o# the S%irit* whi(h is the wor$ o# Go$G %r!&ing !lw!&s with !ll %r!&er !n$ su%%li(!tion in the S%irit* being w!t(h#ul to this en$ with !ll %erse"er!n(e !n$ su%%li(!tion #or !ll the s!ints KE%h' >I68-67* e %h!sis !$$e$L'

THE )HOLE AR2OR OF GOD

66<

DEFINING ALL

THE

0IE,ES

Noti(e th!t !((or$ing to E%hesi!ns >I66* we ust %ut on the whole !r or' )e h!"e $es(ribe$ the shiel$* but the shiel$ !lone will not %ro"i$e the %rote(tion we nee$ #or "i(tor&' The shiel$ is onl& one %!rt o# our $e#ensi"e !r or* whi(h !lso in(lu$es ! hel et !n$ ! bre!st%l!te' The hel et se(ures our thoughts !n$ %rote(ts our in$' )e ust (!%ture e!(h thought !n$ bring it un$er the obe$ien(e o# ,hrist' The bre!st%l!te w!s ! %ie(e o# el!bor!te e broi$er& !bout nine in(hes s1u!re !n$ worn b& the high %riest u%on his bre!st !s he inistere$ in the T!bern!(le or Te %le' It w!s set with 6= stones with the n! e o# 6 o# the 6= tribes o# Isr!el engr!"e$ on e!(h stone' 2!$e like ! %urse* the bre!st%l!te w!s (onstru(te$ o# gol$ et!lG blue* %ur%le !n$ s(!rlet &!rnG !n$ #ine linen' It w!s se(urel& tie$ to the e%ho$' Insi$e the bre!st%l!te were two unknown stonesDthe Uri !n$ Thu i Dworn o"er the he!rt Ksee Le"' 7I7L' The bre!st%l!te w!s (!lle$ the bre!st%l!te o# 4u$g ent* be(!use these stones were the e!ns o# !king $e(isions Ksee EFo$' =7I=*6?*=7-C8L' The %ur%ose o# the bre!st%l!te w!s K6L to show the glor& !n$ be!ut& o# the Lor$ Ksee "' =LG K=L to be ! (ontinuing e ori!l be#ore the Lor$ Ksee "' =;LG !n$ KCL to be ! e!ns o# !king $e(isions Ksee "' C8L' Then there were o##ensi"e we!%ons* o# whi(h the swor$ is the ost #re1uentl& entione$ in the .ible' The e!rliest swor$s in the !n(ient worl$ were usu!ll& str!ight !n$ $ouble-e$ge$* !kin to $!ggers* !n$ use$ #or st!bbing Ksee Heb' 9I6=L' In the ti e o# the Eg&%ti!n new king$o * the longer-bl!$e$ swor$ beg!n to be use$ wi$el&' )ith the !rri"!l o# the se! %eo%les* the long str!ight swor$ beg!n to en4o& %o%ul!rit&' It usu!ll& w!s (!rrie$ in ! she!th* sus%en$e$ #ro ! belt Ksee = S! ' =8I7L' To 4u$ge #ro the "!rious !rti#!(ts #oun$ in Eg&%t !n$ 2eso%ot! i!* hilts were o#ten orn! ente$' The swor$ is use$ !s ! s& bol #or the )or$ o# Go$ Ksee E5ek' =6I;G E%h' >I6<L' Re e ber th!t #!ith (o es b& he!ringDhe!ring b& the )or$ o# Go$' )hen we eng!ge in o##ensi"e !(tion* the swor$ !n$ shiel$ ust be use$ together' )e will ne"er be (onsistent in our #!ith without $e"elo%ing the $is(i%line o# stu$&ing to Jshow

667

,HA0TER 7

th&sel# !%%ro"e$J K= Ti ' =I6?* !"4%

)E

ARE TO GIRD OURSELBES

)ITH TRUTH' THIS )EA0ON IS THAT )HI,H IS RELIA.LE AND ,AN .E TRUSTED'

)e !re to gir$ oursel"es with truth' This we!%on is th!t whi(h is reli!ble !n$ (!n be truste$' The .ible uses truth in the gener!l #!(tu!l sense' Truth !& $esign!te the !(tu!l #!(t o"er !%%e!r!n(e* %retense or !ssertion' In @e(h!ri!h 7I6> ?NRS"4, the Lor$ o# hosts $e(l!re$I These !re the things th!t &ou sh!ll $oI S%e!k the truth to one !nother* ren$er in &our g!tes 4u$g ents th!t !re true !n$ !ke #or %e!(e' )hen -esus !ske$* J)ho tou(he$ 2& (lothes3J K2!rk ?IC8L* the wo !n who h!$ been he!le$ through tou(hing -esus/ g!r ents J#ell $own be#ore hi * !n$ tol$ hi the whole truthJ K"' CCL' In 6 Ti oth& !n$ = Ti oth&* truth is (orre(t knowle$ge or $o(trine' ,ert!in in$i"i$u!ls h!$ $e%!rte$ #ro %ro%er $o(trine' So e J#orbi$ !rri!ge !n$ $e !n$ !bstinen(e #ro #oo$s* whi(h Go$ (re!te$ to be re(ei"e$ with th!nksgi"ing b& those who belie"e !n$ know the truthJ K6 Ti ' 9IC* NRS"4% Others Jswer"e$ #ro the truth b& (l!i ing th!t the resurre(tion h!s !lre!$& t!ken %l!(eJ K= Ti ' =I67* NRS"4% Another ke& %ie(e o# the !r or is our #eetD#igur!ti"el& we !re to we!r %e!(e on the like we woul$ we!r .irkensto(ks' 0e!(e is not si %l& ! we!%onDit is better un$erstoo$ !s ! sense o# well-being !n$ #ul#ill ent th!t (o es #ro Go$ !n$ is $e%en$ent on Go$/s %resen(e' As we !(ti"!te our #!ith* !s(en$ in worshi% !n$ (o e bol$l& be#ore the Lor$ in the Throne Roo * not onl& $oes our shiel$ be(o e %ower#ul enough to 1uen(h the #ier& $!rts o# hell* but we !lso begin to h!"e tot!l (on#i$en(e to o"e #orw!r$' On(e we h!"e %e!(e on our #eet !n$ in our !rsen!l* we (!n w!lk #orw!r$ on the %!th th!t Go$ h!s set be#ore us' The (on(e%t o# s%iritu!l %e!(e is ost o#ten re%resente$ b&

THE )HOLE AR2OR OF GOD

66;

the Hebrew root slm !n$ its $eri"!ti"esDthe ost #! ili!r being the noun shalom% It b!si(!ll& e!ns wholeness* or well-being' )e #in$ the Lor$ !ni#esting Hi sel# to Gi$eon !s !eho+ah Shalom Ksee -u$g' >I=C-=9L' Go$ g!"e Gi$eon %e!(e to o"e #orw!r$ !g!inst his ene ies' 0e!(e is ! gi#t #ro Go$* #or onl& Go$ (!n gi"e %er#e(t %e!(e Ksee 0s' 9I7G 0ro"' CI6<G E5ek' C9I=?L' )hen we !((e%t ,hrist !s our S!"ior* we obt!in s%iritu!l %e!(e' .& trusting Go$ !n$ lo"ing His l!w* %e!(e (o es Ksee 0s' 66;I>?L' 0e!(e is !lso linke$ with our rel!tionshi% with the Lor$' )hen we li#t u% !n$ li"e b& the truth* we en(ounter %e!(e Ksee Esther ;IC8 #or !n illustr!tion o# this (on(e%tL' )hen we h!"e ! goo$ rel!tionshi% with Go$ !n$ the %eo%le He h!s %ut in our %!th* we (!n eF%erien(e s%iritu!l %e!(e'< Go$ is Jthe Go$ o# %e!(eJ KRo ' 6?ICCG 0hil' 9I;G 6 Thess' ?I=CG Heb' 6CI=8L' The gos%el is the goo$ news o# %e!(e Ksee A(ts 68IC>G E%h' >I6?L* be(!use it !nnoun(es the re(on(ili!tion o# belie"ers to Go$ !n$ to one !nother Ksee E%h' =I6=-67L' Go$ h!s !$e this %e!(e ! re!lit& through -esus ,hrist* who is our %e!(e' )e !re 4usti#ie$ through Hi Ksee Ro ' ?I6L* re(on(ile$ through the bloo$ He she$ on the (ross Ksee ,ol' 6I=8L !n$ !$e one in Hi Ksee E%h' =I69L' In Hi we $is(o"er the onl& One who (!n gi"e !bsolute %e!(e Ksee -ohn 69I=<L' This %e!(e !ni#ests itsel# !s !n inner s%iritu!l resol"e b& e!(h o# us Ksee Ro ' 6?I6CG 0hil' 9I<G ,ol' CI6?L' It is !sso(i!te$ with how we re(ei"e Go$/s s!l"!tion Ksee 2!tt' 68I6CL* #ree$o #ro $istress !n$ #e!r Ksee -ohn 69I=<G 6>ICCL* se(urit& Ksee 6 Thess' ?I;-68L* J er(&J KG!l' >I6>G 6 Ti ' 6I=L* J4o&J KRo ' 69I6<G 6?I6CL* Jgr!(eJ K0hil' 6I=G Re"' 6I9L* Jlo"eJ K= ,or' 6CI66G -u$e =L* Jli#eJ KRo ' 7I>L !n$ JrighteousnessJ KRo ' 69I6<G Heb' 6=I66G -!s' CI67L' Su(h %e!(e is ! #ruit o# the S%irit Ksee G!l' ?I==L !n$ it #or s %!rt o# Jthe whole !r or o# Go$J KE%h' >I66*6CL' This %e!(e e1ui%s us to withst!n$ the !tt!(ks o# the ene &'7 /otes
6' )nternational Standard Bi'le /ncyclopaedia, ele(troni( $!t!b!se' 0, Stu$& .ible BC'CA #or )in$ows* ,o%&right : 6;77-=88=* : 6;;> b& .ibleso#t* s'"' J!r or'J =' ,he Ne$ Gnger5s Bi'le 2ictionary K,hi(!goI 2oo$& 0ress* 6;77L on .ibleso#t so#tw!re KSe!ttle* )AL !n$ Fausset5s Bi'le 2ictionary, ele(troni( $!t!b!se on .ibleso#t so#tw!re' C' Ibi$'

6=8

,HA0TER 7

9' Ri(k -o&ner* JDe"elo%ing !n$ Growing Your Shiel$ o# F!ith*J /li>ah List3 0rophetic .ords and 0rophecies, -une =<* =88C' htt%IEEwww'eli4!hlist'(o E eli4!hlist'ht K!((esse$ -ul& =88CL' ?' Ibi$' >' Nelson5s )llustrated Bi'le 2ictionary KN!sh"ille* TNI Tho !s Nelson 0ublishers* 6;7>L' <' Ibi$'* Hulitt Gloer* s'"' J!r sJ !n$ J!r or o# the .ible'J 7' Ibi$'

CHA

P T E R

#

;

FRO2 )EAANESS TO 0ERFE,TION

A((or$ing to Ro !ns 6I6<* we go #ro J#!ith to #!ith'J Ro !ns 68I6< ? !"4 %uts the (on(e%t this w!&I J#!ith (o eth'J These "erses tell us our #!ith is not st!gn!nt !n$ shoul$ be in(re!sing #ro one le"el to the neFt' The $is(i%les !ske$ the Lor$ to in(re!se their #!ith Ksee Luke 6<I?L' I like wh!t .!rb!r! )entroble s!&s when she inistersI JI# I h!"e the s! e le"el o# #!ith this &e!r th!t I h!$ l!st &e!r* I/"e b!(ksli$$en'J 6 F!ith shoul$ be e"er in(re!sing* !turing !n$ (o ing into ! !ni#est!tion o# wh& Go$ rele!se$ the #!ith to us in the #irst %l!(e'

RE,OGNI@ING

OUR

.IG GOD

)en$ell S ith* ! won$er#ul %!stor in Se!ttle* $es(ribes how #!ith (!n grow* !s e"i$en(e$ b& the 68 le"els o# #!ith #oun$ in the S(ri%tures' Our #!ith shoul$ in(re!se #ro the le"el we !re !t to$!& to ! new le"el o# trust in Go$' As the !%ostle 0eter $es(ribe$ it* we shoul$ Jgrow in the gr!(e !n$ knowle$ge o# our Lor$ !n$ S!"ior -esus ,hristJ K= 0eter CI67L' There !re ten le"els o# #!ith liste$ in the S(ri%turesI 6' 1ea2 9aith:the wor$ e!ns Jto be #eeble !n$ without strength* %owerless* nee$&* or si(k'J This is the beginning o# #!ith #or ost Ksee Ro !ns 9I6;G 69I6L' =' Lac2ing 9aith:0!ul %r!&e$ #or the Thess!loni!ns th!t

6==

,HA0TER ; wh!t w!s l!(king in their #!ith ight be %ro"e$ #or the ' The Greek wor$ %oints tow!r$ ! $e#i(ien(& o# resour(esG %o"ert&* l!(k* or $estitution Ksee 6 Thess!loni!ns CI68L' C' Little 9aith:this wor$ (!rries the e!ning o# Jtrusting too little%B .e ha+e o"e$ #ro in#!n(&* but !re still to$$lers in our #!ith' I# we still struggle with $oubt* we !re !t the le"el o# little #!ith Ksee 2!tthew 6>I7G 69IC6L' 9' (ee4 9aith:!t this le"el* #!ith (!n now %ro$u(e so ething' The wor$ use$ here #or see$ e!ns Jgr!in*J su(h !s ! see$ o# whe!t or (orn' This see$ is %ower#ul !n$ hol$s the %otenti!l o# ! #ull-grown %l!nt or tree Ksee 2!tthew 6<I=8L' ?' .ncreasing 9aith:we now enter the le"els o# #!ith where growth is e"i$ent' This wor$ liter!ll& e!ns Jto (!use to grow or to in(re!se*J !n$ it is use$ o# %l!nts* in#!nts* ultitu$es o# %eo%le* or o# %erson!l ,hristi!n growth' )e !re onl& h!l# w!& there !n$ ust kee% growing Ksee = ,orinthi!ns 68I6?L' >' '>cee4ingly -ro;ing 9aith:0!ul (o en$e$ the Thess!loni!ns #or their growing #!ith' He uses ! wor$ in the Greek l!ngu!ge th!t e!ns to Jgrow be&on$ e!sure'J It is the s! e wor$ !s le"el #i"e* but with the Greek %re#iF huper% )e woul$ use the wor$ Jh&%er*J e!ning so ething su%er* eFtr!* or s%e(i!l' Now we !re re!ll& growing in our #!ith Ksee = Thess!loni!ns 6ICL' <' 3ich 9aith:!n in(re$ibl& $es(ri%ti"e wor$ e!ning* J!boun$ing in resour(es* !bun$!ntl& su%%lie$* or !boun$ing in "irtues !n$ %ossessions'J This le"el o# #!ith !boun$s in the we!lth o# the king$o o# Go$ Ksee -! es =I?L' 7' (trong 9aith:Abr!h! h!$ this kin$ o# #!ith' The wor$ e!ns to be Jen$ue$ with strength'J Now we !re gr!$u!ting to ! le"el o# #!ith th!t h!s en$ur!n(e in its iF' This is where #!ith 'ecomes in"in(ible Ksee Ro !ns 9I=8L' ;' -reat 9aith:there were onl& two %eo%le in the S(ri%tures who were (o en$e$ #or gre!t #!ith' The& were both #oreigners to the n!tion o# Isr!el* one ! Ro !n

FRO2 )EAANESS TO 0ERFE,TION

6=C

(enturion !n$ the other ! S&ro-0hoeni(i!n wo !n' The& both i %resse$ -esus with their resilient #!ith on beh!l# o# !nother' Gre!t #!ith is usu!ll& obili5e$ on beh!l# o# others' There !re two $e#initions o# gre!t #!ith' The Greek wor$ use$ in re#eren(e to the Ro !n (enturion $es(ribe$ #!ith o# Jgre!t 1u!ntit&'J In reg!r$s to the ! !5ing wo !n whose $!ughter w!s $eli"ere$ #ro ! $e on* ! u(h stronger Greek wor$ is tr!nsliter!te$* eg!* e!ning Jgre!test in intensit&* eFtent* st!ture* r!nk* !uthorit&* !n$ %owerG o# gre!t i %ort!n(e or eF(ellen(eJ Ksee Luke <I;G 2!tthew 7I68G 6?I=7L' 68' Perfect 9aithDthe A%ostle -! es $es(ribes %er#e(t #!ith !s belonging to one who is ! $oer o# the wor$ !n$ eFer(ises #!ith to (h!nge' It e!ns to J(o %lete so ething or to (!rr& through thoroughl&G to bring to !n en$G !((o %lish !n$ #ul#ill'J It is not enough to 4ust (on#ess #!ith' The $e#initi"e test is the $oing !n$ %er#or ing o# it* $e onstr!ting #!ith in re!l li#e situ!tions' This is #!ith th!t is teste$* %er#e(te$* !n$ !ture$' This is our ulti !te go!l Ksee -! es =I==L' )e (!n grow #ro we!k #!ith to strong #!ith* #ro little #!ith to gre!t #!ith* #ro l!(king #!ith to ri(h #!ith* !n$ #ro see$ #!ith to %er#e(t #!ith in the %ro(ess o# #ul#illing the in(re$ible $estin& th!t the Lor$ h!s %l!nne$ #or our li"es'= The %oint is th!t our #!ith shoul$ ne"er re !in st!ti(' )e shoul$ be o"ing #ro we!k to %er#e(te$ #!ith' 0er#e(te$ #!ith e!ns we h!"e (o e into ! %l!(e where we/"e (o %lete$ ! (&(le in our li#e* !n$ wh!t nee$e$ to be !((o %lishe$ h!s been !((o %lishe$' )e truste$ !n$ we s!w' To h!"e our #!ith grow to (o %lete !turit& is !kin to ! torn net th!t w!s en$e$' )e (!n "iew our shiel$ o# #!ith !s h!"ing holes in it !n$ nee$ing restor!tion' On(e our net is en$e$* or our #!ith is (o %lete* we (!n begin to $r!w in !n$ h!r"est the %ro ise #or whi(h we h!"e been trusting'

GOING U0

TO

A

NE) DI2ENSION

Our $esire ust be to enter into ! new $i ension o# #!ith' I# we h!"e we!k #!ith* we ust $esire th!t it be(o e strong' An$ the onl& w!& th!t is going to h!%%en is b& our Jgoing u%J in

6=9

,HA0TER ;

worshi% !n$ entering ! new %l!(e o# #!ith' Let/s eF%lore this %rin(i%le o# going u%' I inister 1uite o#ten with 0!stor Dut(h Sheets* !uthor o# )ntercessory 0rayer !n$ .atchman 0rayer% )hen we inister* we t!lk !bout going u% through the $oor o# he!"en !n$ bol$l& entering into the Throne Roo where glor& #!ith $wells' Dut(h (o bines the #ollowing #i"e "erses in E%hesi!ns to eF%ress Go$/s %ur%ose o# !s(en$ing into ! new $i ension o# #!ith' Re!$ !n$ e$it!te on the #ollowingI .lesse$ be the Go$ !n$ F!ther o# our Lor$ -esus ,hrist* who h!s blesse$ us with e"er& s%iritu!l blessing in the he!"enl& %l!(es in ,hrist* whi(h He worke$ in ,hrist when He r!ise$ Hi #ro the $e!$ !n$ se!te$ Hi !t His right h!n$ in the he!"enl& %l!(es* !n$ r!ise$ us u% together* !n$ !$e us sit together in the he!"enl& %l!(es in ,hrist -esus* to the intent th!t now the !ni#ol$ wis$o o# Go$ ight be !$e known b& the (hur(h to the %rin(i%!lities !n$ %owers in the he!"enl& %l!(es* #or we $o not wrestle !g!inst #lesh !n$ bloo$* but !g!inst %rin(i%!lities* !g!inst %owers* !g!inst the rulers o# the $!rkness o# this !ge* !g!inst s%iritu!l hosts o# wi(ke$ness in the he!"enl& %l!(es KE%h' 6IC*=8G =I>G CI68G >'T=L' I belie"e these "erses su !ri5e the Lor$/s (!ll to us !t this ti eDto go u%* !s(en$* !n$ w!r #ro ! he!"enl& %ers%e(ti"e+

2ANY OF US NEBER EQ0ERIEN,E
A NE) DI2ENSION OF FAITH .E,AUSE )E DO NOT GO U0 IN )ORSHI0'

2!n& o# us ne"er eF%erien(e ! new $i ension o# #!ith be(!use we $o not go u% in worshi%' In ,he .orship .arrior, -ohn Di(kson !n$ I wrote !bout how we (!n #ollow -esus b& !s(en$ing in -esus until ! he!"enl& %ort!l o%ens !n$ #!ith %ours out on us' I will eF%l!in this (on(e%t in gre!ter $et!il l!ter in this (h!%terG but #irst I w!nt to illustr!te this going u% in worshi%I

FRO2 )EAANESS TO 0ERFE,TION

6=?

)hen I w!s working in $owntown Houston* so e $!&s I woul$ ri$e the bus to !n$ #ro & ho e in the north %!rt o# the (it&' I h!$ gotten u% one orning !n$ worshi%e$ #ro ? A'2' to > A'2' !n$ w!s o"erwhel e$ b& the %resen(e o# Go$' I then got re!$& !n$ (!ught the bus !t < A'2' On the w!&* I beg!n to re!$ the book o# E%hesi!ns' I h!$ 4ust st!rte$ when I got to E%hesi!ns 6IC->I .lesse$ be the Go$ !n$ F!ther o# our Lor$ -esus ,hrist* who h!s blesse$ us with e"er& s%iritu!l blessing in the he!"enl& %l!(es in ,hrist* 4ust !s He (hose us in Hi be#ore the #oun$!tion o# the worl$* th!t we shoul$ be hol& !n$ without bl! e be#ore Hi in lo"e* h!"ing %re$estine$ us to !$o%tion !s sons b& -esus ,hrist to Hi sel#* !((or$ing to the goo$ %le!sure o# His will* to the %r!ise o# the glor& o# His gr!(e* b& whi(h He !$e us !((e%te$ in the .elo"e$' I beg!n to %r!ise !n$ th!nk the Lor$ #or (hoosing e be#ore the #oun$!tion o# E!rth' The he!"ens o%ene$' I (oul$ see !ll the #uture blessings th!t Go$ h!$ #or e' I could also see the blessings th!t were there #or the gener!tions be#ore e th!t were ne"er t!ken !n$ the blessings th!t the Lor$ h!$ #or & (hil$ren to (o e' Su$$enl& the Lor$ beg!n to %our #!ith into & s%iritDit w!s !s i# ! #unnel eFten$e$ #ro he!"en right into the bus' I (oul$ not (ont!in &sel#* so I shoute$* JH!llelu4!h+J Those %eo%le !roun$ e looke$ st!rtle$' I thought to &sel#* Surely they can see and feel $hat ) see and feel% I s!i$* JLor$* I ! so #ille$ with #!ith* I $o not know wh!t to $o'J He s!i$ to e* JGi"e it !w!& to one o# those sitting !roun$ &ou'J I !sked ! l!$& who w!s sitting in #ront o# e i# she h!$ ! nee$ !n$ i# I (oul$ %r!& #or her' She beg!n to sh!re her %roble s' I knew then wh!t it e!nt to %r!& the %r!&er o# #!ith'C

,HOOSING SU.2ISSION RESISTAN,E

OBER

)orshi% is ! (hoi(e' Our will ust be !(ti"!te$ in worshi%' F!ith is !lso ! (hoi(e' Our will ust be !(ti"e #or us to enter into ! new $i ension o# #!ith' F!ith is !n !(tion+ The !(tion o# #!ith is linke$ to how our in$ !n$ will inter!(t with the S%irit o# Go$

6=>

,HA0TER ;

who $wells in our hu !n s%irit' The will !n& ti es $oes not w!nt to be(o e !(ti"e !n$ sub it to the S%irit o# Go$' )hen the will resists sub ission our #!ith su##ers' -! es 9I< instru(ts us* JSub it to Go$' Resist the $e"il !n$ he will #lee #ro &ou'J This is how our shiel$ o# #!ith when use$ %ro%erl& o"er(o es the ene &/s #ier& $!rts' )e sub it our will !n$ (hoose to worshi% Go$'

OUR
US

)ILL 2UST .E A,TIBE FOR ENTER INTO A NE)

TO

DI2ENSION OF FAITH'

One orning I he!r$ these wor$s #ro the book o# -! es $ee% in & he!rtI in the "!lle& o# $e(ision' I knew i# I w!s to !ke the right $e(ision* the $e(ision th!t Go$ woul$ h!"e e !ke* I w!s going to h!"e to !llow & will to be &iel$e$ to the %ower o# the Hol& S%irit' Then I woul$ be !ble to !ke the best (hoi(e Go$ h!$ #or & li#e' As I rese!r(he$ this J"!lle& o# $e(isionJ in -oel CI69* I #oun$ th!t this w!s the +alley of !ehoshaphat% -ehosh!%h!t h!$ !$e re#or s th!t (h!nge$ the (ourse o# his n!tion* but then he h!$ to eet his gre!test eFtern!l thre!t' An !lli!n(e w!s (o ing !g!inst hi !n$ he #!(e$ insur ount!ble o$$s' In the i$st o# this gre!t tri!l* his #irst ste% w!s to hu ble hi sel#' Three ele ents o# s%iritu!l $is(i%line %ut Go$/s (o"en!nt %eo%le in ! right %osition #or "i(tor&I K6L #!sting* K=L %r!&er* !n$ KCL %r!ise' )ith these s%iritu!l $&n! i(s working* %ro%he(& !n$ re"el!tion (oul$ be rele!se$ so th!t in this "!lle& the& woul$ e erge "i(torious' Their b!ttle w!s ! b!ttle o# #!ith+ Go$/s b!ttle w!s to $is !ntle !n$ re o"e the ene & b& $is%!t(hing the hosts o# he!"en' )e #in$ the (o"en!nt %eo%le sub$ue$ their ene & b& #!ith through %r!ise !n$ worshi%' Shechem, the %l!(e o# (hoi(e* h!s !lw!&s been i %ort!nt throughout bibli(!l !n$ ,hur(h histor&' )e !re !t She(he * the %l!(e o# (hoi(e* in ,hur(h histor&+ This is (!using us to (hoose Go$/s (o"en!nt %ur%oses in the e!rth' )h!t the ,hur(h (hooses will $eter ine how the (on#li(t o# the n!tions will be resol"e$' How the ,hur(h !kes this (hoi(e will est!blish the rele!se o# the Lor$/s inherit!n(e on E!rth #or this gener!tion' 2!n& ti es

FRO2 )EAANESS TO 0ERFE,TION

6=<

we re#le(t wh!t is h!%%ening in the ,hur(h (or%or!tel& in the (hoi(es we !ke in our %erson!l li"es' To$!&/s (hoi(es in rel!tionshi%s* %ositions Kboth territori!l !s well !s "o(!tion!lL* resour(e #!(ilit!tion* %ro"ision* su%%l& !n$ inistr& !lign ents $eter ine our #uture' In -oshu! =9I69-6?* !t the en$ o# -oshu!/s ti e o# le!$ershi%* he !$ onishe$ the %eo%le to ''' %ut !w!& the go$s whi(h &our #!thers ser"e$ on the other si$e o# the Ri"er'''' Ser"e the LORD+ An$ i# it see s e"il to &ou to ser"e the LORD* (hoose #or &oursel"es this $!& who &ou will ser"e* whether the go$s whi(h &our #!thers ser"e$ '''' or the go$s o# the A orites* in whose l!n$ &ou $well' .ut !s #or e !n$ & house* we will ser"e the LORD' Let/s look !t She(he #or ! o ent' It w!s lo(!te$ between 2ount Eb!l !n$ 2ount Geri5i * o##ering ! l!rge* n!tur!l ! %hithe!ter #or ! g!thering o# !ll the tribes' In -oshu! 7IC8-C?* we see th!t this %l!(e w!s the s%iritu!ll& signi#i(!nt* $e#ining %l!(e o# eeting #or the Isr!elites be#ore the& went in to #ull& %ossess the l!n$' The in"in(ible %l!(e o# -eri(ho h!$ been o"er(o e* !n$ the ist!ke !t Ai h!$ been re(ti#ie$' Then -oshu! worshi%e$ !n$ renewe$ Go$/s (o"en!nt with Isr!el' He re!$ !ll the wor$s o# the L!wDthe blessings !n$ the (ursings' The %eo%le g!there$ in this be!uti#ul "!lle& !n$ he!r$ the wor$s shoute$ like ! !nti%hon #ro one ount!in to the other' The& he!r$ the ess!ge %er#e(tl&G the& were not (on#use$ !bout wh!t the& he!r$' The #irst ste% in !king our (hoi(e so th!t our #!ith in(re!ses is to sto% !n$ worshi% Go$' )e ust eF!lt Hi #or our ke& "i(tories !n$ th!nk Hi #or His gr!(e e"en in &our %!st ist!kes' As we %resent oursel"es without reser"e to Go$ !n$ e %t& oursel"es be#ore Hi * we will (le!rl& he!r the (hoi(e He h!s be#ore us without (on#usion' ,on#usion is !lw!&s linke$ with ! s%irit o# .!b&lon Kwhere the $e"il h!$ ere(te$ ! stru(ture #ille$ with $e(e%tionL' The Lor$ will bring our he!rt !n$ in$ to ! %l!(e o# %e!(e' 0e!(e e!ns wholeness' F!ith !n$ %e!(e work together' ,here are three generations no$ standing at Shechem6 The& !re listening (!re#ull& to the (hoi(e th!t is be#ore the ' This $!& is #ille$ with blessings or (ursings+ The bloo$ o# our S!"ior (!n

6=7

,HA0TER ;

$eli"er us #ro the (urse !n$ (!use us to enter into the etern!l blessings in he!"enl& %l!(es Ksee E%h' 6ICL' Howe"er* we ust look through the (on#usion o# .!b&lon to !ke the (orre(t (hoi(e !t this ti e' )hen we he!r the (hoi(e o# our blessing* Go$ writes the boun$!ries o# th!t (hoi(e u%on our he!rt' The %ower o# His S%irit !llows us to o"e #reel& b& gr!(e within those boun$!ries' I# we will !ke His %resen(e our #o(us in li#e* the "oi(e o# blessing will be(o e lou$er th!n the "oi(e o# (ursing' I# we (hoose blessing* then the e"ents o# the worl$ will line u% with the (hoi(e o# Go$/s %eo%le' The Lor$ is o%ening His tre!sure in he!"en b!se$ u%on this (hoi(e th!t we His %eo%le !re !king' )e ust !(ti"!te our will now !n$ !lign it with Go$/s so th!t the (on#usion th!t is o((urring in the worl$ will not (!use us to sh!ke but will (!use us to st!n$ ste!$& in the i$st o# the w!r !he!$' Then we (!n w!t(h the neFt gener!tion re(ei"e the bene#its !n$ results o# our (hoi(e'

)AFFLING .ET)EEN T)O O0INIONS
The .ible w!rns us !bout $ouble- in$e$ness* ! huge ene & o# #!ithI I# !n& o# &ou l!(ks wis$o * let hi !sk o# Go$* who gi"es to !ll liber!ll& !n$ without re%ro!(h* !n$ it will be gi"en to hi ' .ut let hi !sk in #!ith* with no $oubting* #or he who $oubts is like ! w!"e o# the se! $ri"en !n$ tosse$ b& the win$' For let not th!t !n su%%ose th!t he will re(ei"e !n&thing #ro the Lor$G he is ! $oublein$e$ !n* unst!ble in !ll his w!&s K-!s' 6I?-7L' )hen we (o une with Go$ !n$ !sk #or wis$o * we !re %ro ise$ it will be gi"en to us' )is$o o"er(o es !n$ $is !ntles our ene &' Howe"er* i# we !re $ouble- in$e$ !n$ $oubting* the ene & o(ks* ri$i(ules !n$ re in$s us o# our unworthiness' As ! result* we w!"er between two o%inions' Doubting be(o es ! w!& o# li#e' The .ible hel%s us stir (le!r o# this %re$i(! ent b& $e#ining the roles o# our soul !n$ our s%irit' )e get in trouble when our soulish n!ture rises u% !n$ we begin to h!"e ! (on#li(t within oursel"es' )e h!"e isgi"ings' )e w!"er in our $e(ision !king' )e get (!ught between ho%e !n$ #e!r' )hen our s%irit %re"!ils* we re#o(us on Go$ !n$ obt!in single- in$e$ness* %e!(e !n$ "i(tor&'

FRO2 )EAANESS TO 0ERFE,TION

6=;

On 2ount ,!r el* Eli4!h w!s in ! (ontest with the %ro%hets o# .!!l' This (ontest w!s hel$ to $eter ine who w!s Lor$ o# the region' The %eo%le were $ouble- in$e$' Through (ir(u st!n(es* Go$ h!$ brought the to ! %l!(e o# (hoi(e' The& ke%t w!##ling between worshi% o# Go$ !n$ worshi% o# !n i$ol' Go$ $e#ie$ !ll hu !n re!soning !t this %oint' It w!s Eli4!h !g!inst the 9?8 %ro%hets o# .!!lDi %ossible o$$s in the n!tur!l D&et nothing w!s i %ossible with the Lor$' The %eo%le nee$e$ to Jget unh!lte$+J JH!ltJ e!ns to w!lk with ! li % or be(o e l! eG to st!n$ in $oubt between two (ourses or %!thsG to $is%l!& we!kness or i %er#e(tionG to %ut things on hol$G to (e!se !r(hing or 4ourne&ingG or to $is(ontinue or ter in!te ! %ro4e(t #or l!(k o# #un$s' On 2ount ,!r el* worshi% be(! e the turning %oint' Eli4!h built !n !lt!r in the n! e o# the Lor$ !n$ !llowe$ the ri"er o# Go$ to #low' Then the #ire #ro he!"en #ell' This (!use$ the %eo%le to see th!t Jthe LORD* He is Go$+J K6 Aings 67IC;L' .& #!ith we ust (hoose to (on#ront !n$ worshi% in the i$st o# our ene ies' Our #!ith (hoi(e $e onstr!tes Go$/s %ower inste!$ o# 4ust ! #or o# go$liness' )e must make a choice today to increase your faith% /otes
6' .!rb!r! )entroble K)entroble ,hristi!n 2inistries A%ostoli( 0ro%heti( ,on#eren(e* D!ll!s* TQ* Febru!r& <* =88CL' =' )en$ell S ith* Great Faith< 1aking God Big K0ortl!n$* ORI ,it& .ible 0ublishing* =886L* %%' 77-7;' Use$ b& %er ission' C' ,hu(k D' 0ier(e !n$ -ohn Di(kson* ,he .orship .arrior KBentur!* ,AI Reg!l .ooks* =88=L* %' 6C6'

CHA

P T E R

1$

2OBING INTO A NE) DI2ENSION
68

I w!nt to sh!re ! bibli(!l %!ttern th!t will hel% us (o e to ! new le"el o# #!ith' O"er the &e!rs* I h!"e (o e to un$erst!n$ th!t there !re le+els o# #!ith* e!(h with ! dimension o# re"el!tion' -ohn Di(kson !n$ I sh!re$ these in & book ,he .orship .arrior%6 The& !re "it!l #or us to un$erst!n$ our stu$&'

('V'/ D.7'/(.*/(

*9

9,.%&

To #ull& est!blish our shiel$ o# #!ith !n$ %ress through !ll the o%%osition o# the ene &* we nee$ to !llow Go$ to bring us through these se"en $i ensions into the #ullness o# His glor&' As we look !t e!(h $i ension let/s !sk Go$ to bring us to ! new le"el o# #!ith' 6' &istorical 9aith )hen we h!"e this t&%e o# #!ith we !%%rehen$ !n$ !s(en$ b!se$ u%on histori(!l !((ounts o# how Go$ h!s worke$ throughout ti e' )e re!$ ! #!(t #ro histor&* !n$ it (!uses #!ith to rise u%' A goo$ eF! %le o# this is the re"i"!l th!t o((urre$ in )!les !t the beginning o# the twentieth (entur&' The )elsh re"i"!l w!s one o# the ost well-$o(u ente$ o"es o# the S%irit in histor&' News%!%ers tr!(ke$ the %rogress o# the re"i"!l !s it o"e$ #ro (ount& to (ount&' The %resen(e o# Go$ woul$ be !ni#este$ in ! gi"en (it&* !n$ the entire (it& woul$ be tr!ns#or e$+ 2en !n$

6C=

,HA0TER 68

wo en woul$ w!lk into town* sense the %resen(e o# the S%irit !n$ #!ll to their knees in re%ent!n(e' ,hur(h !tten$!n(e sk&ro(kete$' 0risons were e %t& be(!use no one (o itte$ (ri es' .!rs went b!nkru%t be(!use no one w!nte$ to get $runk' The re"i"!l w!s (h!r!(teri5e$ b& in(re$ible usi( !n$ gre!t !ni#est!tions o# he!ling' The entire worl$ w!s !##e(te$ b& this !ni#est!tion o# Go$/s %resen(e on E!rth' )hen we re!$ stories !bout the )elsh re"i"!l* our #!ith begins to rise' )e s!&* JDo it !g!in* Lor$+J Th!t/s histori(!l #!ith+ Th!t/s wh& the .ible eFhorts us to re e ber the gre!t works o# Go$ in the %!st' The Fe!st o# the 0!sso"er !n$ the obser"!n(e o# the Lor$/s Su%%er !re both #e!sts o# re e br!n(e* $esigne$ b& Go$ to hel% us re e ber' It/s goo$ to est!blish e ori!ls to the works o# Go$ in our li#e !s well' As we re e ber wh!t Go$ h!s $one* our #!ith in(re!ses' =' (a8ing 9aith F!ith !n$ etern!l li#e !re inse%!r!bl& (onne(te$' The 0resb&teri!n ,hur(h KU'S'A'L (!te(his s!&sI JF!ith in -esus ,hrist is ! s!"ing gr!(e whereb& we re(ei"e !n$ rest u%on Hi !lone #or s!l"!tion* !s He is o##ere$ to us in the gos%el'J= Fro the ti e the Lor$ (lothe$ A$! !n$ E"e !#ter the F!ll* s!"ing #!ith be(! e the ob4e(t o# the re"e!le$ )or$ o# Go$' This s%e(i!l !(t o# #!ith unites ! %erson to ,hrist Ksee -ohn <IC7G A(ts 6>IC6L' This !(t o# #!ith 4usti#ies ! sinner be#ore Go$ Ksee -ohn CI6>-C>G Ro ' CI==*=?L' A %erson with this t&%e o# #!ith knows th!t -esus is our e$i!tor o# !ll our %roble s' This t&%e o# #!ith (!uses ! %erson to trust in !n$ rest in ,hrist #or re$e %tion' A %erson with this t&%e o# #!ith e br!(es -esus !s S!"ior' This t&%e o# #!ith renews our will' )orshi% is ! res%onse o# the will o# hu !nkin$ b!(k to our (re!tor' )hen weD!n$ the unregener!te !lsoDres%on$ to our (re!tor* this t&%e o# worshi% (!uses us to t!ke our !ssigne$ %l!(e in ti e !n$ (re!tion' )e !(tu!ll& begin to #!ll in with wh!t Go$ is $oing on E!rth in our gener!tion !n$ !lign oursel"es with it' This t&%e o# #!ith rests i e$i!tel& on Jthus s!&s the Lor$'J )e he!r the )or$* the goo$ news* !n$ we res%on$ !((or$ingl&' This goo$ news lets us know we (!n h!"e etern!l li#e' This goo$

2OBING INTO A NE) DI2ENSION

6CC

news then begins to show us th!t we (!n begin to li"e !n !bun$!nt li#e here on E!rth' This goo$ news rele!ses us #ro (on$e n!tion !n$ 4usti#ies us be#ore Go$' This t&%e o# #!ith gi"es us %e!(e with Go$ !n$ begins to s!n(ti#& our li#e Ksee -ohn >IC<*98G 68I=<-=7G Ro ' 7I6L' C' %e0porary 9aith Te %or!r& #!ith o((urs when the Hol& S%irit 1ui(kens us' )e #in$ oursel"es in ! situ!tion where we l!(k #!ith !n$ insight' As we seek the Lor$* we re(ei"e ! 1ui(kening #ro the S%irit' Su$$enl& we h!"e truth !n$ in#luen(e so th!t we (!n !ke the right $e(ision' Te %or!r& #!ith is ! o ent!r& rele!se o# #!ith !n$ re"el!tion #ro Go$' This t&%e o# #!ith ust be 1ui(kl& groun$e$' I see so e in$i"i$u!ls re(ei"e ! 1ui(kening tou(h #ro Go$* but then the& lose it' In the %!r!ble o# the sower* -esus t!ught th!t this t&%e o# #!ith (!n get (row$e$ out b& the (!res o# the worl$* !n$ the ene & (!n re o"e wh!t h!s been 1ui(kene$ in us Ksee 2!tt' 6CIC-;*6;-==L' This t&%e o# #!ith !w!kens us but $oes not kee% us !w!ke+ Onl& b& $e"elo%ing ! li#est&le o# worshi% !#ter we h!"e been 1ui(kene$ (!n we est!blish this 1ui(kening within our s%irit' 9' (upernatural 9aith This is the gift o# #!ith' This is ! su%ern!tur!l !ni#est!tion o# ! hol& Go$ within our s%irit !n' It is !n inst!nt i %!rt!tion o# #!ith with reg!r$ to ! s%e(i#i( nee$' I/"e #oun$ th!t the gi#t o# #!ith o#ten !ni#ests itsel# in the i$st o# worshi%' )hen we worshi%* our s%irit $r!ws into su(h (lose #ellowshi% with the Hol& S%irit th!t we begin to know !n$ see !s He $oes'

THE

GIFT

OF

FAITH

GOES

.EYOND NATURAL FAITH AND SABING FAITH INTO

SU0ERNATURAL TRUST

The gi#t o# #!ith goes be&on$ n!tur!l #!ith !n$ s!"ing #!ith

6C9

,HA0TER 68

into su%ern!tur!l trust' )hen we h!"e su%ern!tur!l trust* no $oubt (!n sh!ke us #ro wh!t we h!"e he!r$' 2& wi#e* 0! * o%er!tes in this gi#t o# #!ith' )hen 0! begins to %r!& !bout !n issue th!t Go$ h!s %ut in her he!rt* she will su$$enl& know th!t Go$ h!s t!ken (!re o# the issue' Th!t is how the %r!&er o# #!ith works' This is ! su%ern!tur!l #!ith' A %erson who o%er!tes in this (oul$ be %r!&ing #or so eone who is si(k !n$ see hi or her !s !lre!$& he!le$' The !(tu!l he!ling ight not !ni#est itsel# #or !nother &e!r* but in the he!rt o# the belie"er who h!s su%ern!tur!l #!ith* it5s done6 I $on/t usu!ll& o%er!te in this le"el o# #!ith' I usu!ll& h!"e to w!r through the &e!r until the !ni#est!tion (o es' I (!ll this w!r#!re #!ith' ?' 1arfare 9aith 2!n& o# us ne"er o"er(o e be(!use we $on/t know how to w!r in #!ith' )h!t we nee$ to $o when we h!"e !n issue* ! bur$en or ! %ro4e(t th!t we/re %r!&ing through is worshi% until we get ! %ie(e o# the %u55le' Go$ s%e!ks to us $uring worshi%' Fro wh!t we he!r we w!r through the neFt se!son !n$ g!in new groun$ in our s%iritu!l li#e' )e worshi% ore* !n$ we get ore re"el!tion' Fro this re"el!tion we w!ge w!r in the he!"enlies until we see the re!lit& !ni#est itsel# on E!rth' >' *8erco0ing 9aith Re"el!tion 6= $es(ribes !nother $i ension o# #!ithI Then I he!r$ ! lou$ "oi(e s!&ing in he!"en* JNow s!l"!tion* !n$ strength* !n$ the king$o o# our Go$* !n$ the %ower o# His ,hrist h!"e (o e* #or the !((user o# our brethren* who !((use$ the be#ore our Go$ $!& !n$ night* h!s been (!st $own' An$ the& o"er(! e hi b& the bloo$ o# the L! b !n$ b& the wor$ o# their testi on&* !n$ the& $i$ not lo"e their li"es to the $e!thJ K""' 68-66L' There is !n ongoing w!r#!re in the e!rthl& re!l ' .e(!use the Aing$o h!s (o e !n$ is within us* we h!"e the !bilit& to o"er(o e our ene ies' )hen the soun$ o# he!"en is i %!rte$ into our s%irit !n* #!ith !rises' This is the soun$ o# triu %h' It/s the soun$ o# the .loo$' It/s the soun$ o# !uthorit&' It/s the soun$

2OBING INTO A NE) DI2ENSION

6C?

o# re$e %tion' It/s the soun$ o# o"er(o ing' On(e we !%%ro%ri!te this soun$* the "i(tor& o# the #inishe$ work o# ,hrist begins to !ni#est' )e h!"e o"e$ #ro w!r#!re #!ith to o"er(o ing #!ith+ <' 7anifeste4, or -lory, 9aith -ohn 69 tells us* JHe who h!s 2& (o !n$ ents !n$ kee%s the * it is he who lo"es 2e' An$ he who lo"es 2e will be lo"e$ b& 2& F!ther* !n$ I will lo"e hi !n$ !ni#est 2&sel# to hi J K"' =6L'

)E
)ITH

ARE

A,TUALLY

,LOTHED

HIS GLORY'

HEABEN /S

,LOTHINGD

To !ni#est is to (!use to shine' To !ni#est is to re"e!l* !%%e!r or (o e into "iew' There#ore* Go$ !ni#ests His %resen(e to us* !n$ we #eel His %resen(e u%on us !n$ in our i$st' I (!ll this glor& #!ith' )e !re !(tu!ll& (lothe$ with he!"en/s (lothingDHis glor&' This %ro$u(es honor* s%len$or* %ower* rele!se o# we!lth* !uthorit&* #! e* !gni#i(en(e* $ignit& !n$ eF(ellen(e' This is the t&%e o# #!ith th!t !$e the in$i"i$u!ls o# the #!ith (h!%ter* Hebrews 66* who the& were' This is the t&%e o# #!ith we shoul$ !(tu!ll& we!r in the e!rthl& re!l ' I belie"e this is the t&%e o# #!ith th!t will (o"er E!rth in the l!tter $!&s' H!"ing the se"en $i ensions o# #!ith un$ers(ores the bibli(!l truth th!t #!ith 'egins b& he!ring wh!t Go$ h!s $one in the %!st' )e ust t!ke ti e to re e ber wh!t Go$ h!s $one #or us in the %!st !n$ obser"e the e ori!ls gi"en in S(ri%ture o# His won$er#ul $ee$s' )e will then %r!ise Hi #or the testi onies o# others who h!"e truste$ Hi !n$ seen bre!kthrough* !n$ we will enter the $i ension o# histori(!l #!ith' F!ith is strengthened !n$ !(ti"!te$ when we he!r the )or$ o# Go$ !n$ (hoose to st!n$ on it' F!ith (o es b& he!ring* !n$ he!ring b& the )or$ o# ,hrist' Let us #ill our in$ with the )or$+ The .ible gi"es us ! #oun$!tion #or #!ith' As we !llow

6C>

,HA0TER 68 e"er&

s!"ing #!ith to %er e!te our li#e* we (!n be $eli"ere$ #ro !s%e(t o# sin !n$ its %en!lt&'

Our #!ith !& be te %or!ril& Auickened !n$ in(re!se$ b& the S%irit' As we (o e into new situ!tions !n$ sense the rele!se o# #!ith* we re(ei"e te %or!r& #!ith !s ! gr!(ious gi#t o# Go$' )hen we re(ei"e te %or!r& #!ith* we ust be sure to o"e into ! (orres%on$ing le"el o# worshi%' )orshi% will esta'lish in us the #!ith Go$ h!s rele!se$' On (ert!in o((!sions* Go$ releases to us the gi#t o# #!ith !s we $r!w (lose to Hi in worshi%' Let us th!nk Hi #or the gi#t o# #!ith !n$ gi"e testi on& o# wh!t He h!s $one' )e nee$ to %ress in to see the #ull !ni#est!tion o# His %ro ise' )hen we re(ei"e re"el!tion #ro Go$* we nee$ to eng!ge in w!r#!re !g!inst the ene & to see Go$/s %ur%oses est!blishe$' Go$ (!lls us to #ight the goo$ #ight' )e (!n/t settle #or the st!tus 1uo or !((e%t %!ssi"it&' )e ust st!n$ on Go$/s re"el!tion !n$ 'attle in %r!&er !n$ !llow Go$ to %ro$u(e w!r#!re #!ith within us' As we %ress through in #!ith* we o"er(o e' I# we st!& in the b!ttle until the bre!kthrough (o es* Go$ will %ro$u(e o"er(o ing #!ith in us+ The result o# o"er(o ing #!ith is th!t the glor& o# Go$ is manifested in our i$st' Go$ h!s (!lle$ us to enter the #ullness o# His %ro ises' He h!s (!lle$ us to li"e in His glor&* (lothe$ in !ni#este$* or glor&* #!ith' To$!& who shoul$ !sk oursel"es* .hat dimension of faith am ) presently $alking in8 Then we shoul$ !sk Go$ wh!t we nee$ to $o to enter ! new $i ension' )here"er we !re* we ust kee% o"ing #orw!r$+ Go$ h!s (!lle$ us to the b!ttle to win' A "i(tor/s (rown !w!its us i# we o"er(o e' .& o"ing through the se"en $i ensions o# #!ith* we (!n o"er(o e the ene & !n$ g!in the "i(tor&+

A NE) DI2ENSION

OF

FAITH

A shi#t is ! (h!nge o# %l!(e* %osition or $ire(tion' A shi#t !lso in(lu$es !n eF(h!nge* or re%l!(e ent* o# one thing #or !nother' A shi#t is ! (h!nge o# ge!r so th!t we (!n !((eler!te' A shi#t (!n

2OBING INTO A NE) DI2ENSION

6C<

!lso be !n un$erh!n$e$* or $e(eit#ul* s(he e' There#ore* in our shi#t we ust re(ogni5e th!t the ene & is %lotting to sto% it' Go$ is re!$& #or us to shi#t through our (hoi(e to enter into ! new $i ension o# #!ith' Let us not le!n on our un$erst!n$ing but shi#t into this new $i ension o# #!ith+ Here !re eight w!&s to hel% e!(h o# us shi#t to ! new #!ith le"elI 6' 2e+elop (is mind3set% )e (!n/t le!n on our own un$erst!n$ing be(!use we will ne"er !ke the right (hoi(e with our li ite$ knowle$ge' 0hili%%i!ns =I?-7 !kes it (le!rI JLet this in$ be in &ou whi(h w!s !lso in ,hrist -esus* who ' ' ' !$e Hi sel# o# no re%ut!tion* t!king the #or o# ! bon$ser"!nt''' ' He hu ble$ Hi sel# !n$ be(! e obe$ient'J Ro !ns 6=I= $e(l!res* JDo not be (on#or e$ to this worl$* but be tr!ns#or e$ b& the renewing o# &our in$* th!t &ou !& %ro"e wh!t is th!t goo$ !n$ !((e%t!ble !n$ %er#e(t will o# Go$'J This si %l& e!ns we (!nnot let S!t!n/s s(he e sh!%e our thinking to be th!t o# the worl$' Also* we (!nnot !llow outw!r$ !%%e!r!n(es to $e(ei"e us* (!using us to iss wh!t Go$ is $oing' )e ust %ro"e the "oi(e o# Go$ !n$ %r!(ti(e in e"er&$!& li#e wh!t Go$/s will #ro he!"en is $e(l!ring to us' Ro !ns 7I< eF%l!insI JThe (!rn!l in$ is en it& !g!inst Go$'J )e $e(l!re th!t the Lor$ will %ut His #inger on e"er& !re! o# (!rn!lit& in our thinking' =' Learn to e9press (is heart% I lo"e to %ro%hes&' )e w!r with our %ro%he(ies' 2!n& o# us ne"er enter into ! new %l!(e be(!use we $on/t know how to w!r with the wor$ Go$ h!s gi"en us' Howe"er* we #orget th!t %ro%he(& is not 4ust s%e!king truth' 0ro%he(& is eF%ressing the in$ !n$ he!rt o# Go$' )e nee$ to let the Lor$ $e!l with our e otions so th!t the& $o not inter#ere with His (o uni(!ting His he!rtbe!t' )e $e(l!re th!t !ll sel#%it& !n$ ho%e $e#erre$ !re being re o"e$ #ro us' .itterness !n$ un#orgi"eness !re le!"ing so th!t we (!n eF%ress wh!t Go$ is thinking' )e will not let inor$in!te !##e(tion (!use us to is!lign' The he!rt (!n h!"e weights or !tt!(h ents th!t (re!te shi#ts' These shi#ts (!n %re"ent us #ro entering into ! new $i ension o# #!ith' I $e(l!re

6C7

,HA0TER 68 ! #ree he!rt o"er !ll o# us' C' Change your atmosphere and speak faith6 -esus (oul$ $o "er& little in N!5!reth be(!use the !t os%here w!s so #ille$ with unbelie#' -esus w!s the !ll-%ower#ul Go$ w!lking the e!rth* (!%!ble o# signs !n$ won$ers* &et the !t os%here (re!te$ ! b!rrier #or inter"ention' Let/s bre!k the neg!ti"e !t os%heri( %resen(e !roun$ us b& #!ith#ille$ %ro%heti( $e(l!r!tions o# "i(tor&+ 9' 2o e9ploits6 -ptimi@e resources6 2!n& ti es wh!t robs our #!ith is ! l!(k o# resour(es' )e (!n h!"e u(h "ision* but we get #rustr!te$ be(!use our "ision (!nnot be !((o %lishe$ be(!use we h!"e no %ro"ision' )hen we o%ti i5e resour(es* we see wh!t Go$ h!s %resentl& gi"en us !n$ see how to !ke th!t into so ething else' Onl& e&es o# #!ith (!n $o this' )e see things #ro ! %ositi"e st!n$%oint !s #!ith sees+ D!niel 66IC= re!$s* JThe %eo%le who know their Go$ sh!ll be strong* !n$ (!rr& out gre!t eF%loits'J To $o eF%loits e!ns to t!ke the resour(es we h!"e !n$ (re!te new resour(es or bring the into ! new le"el o# #ullness' This is one o# the things th!t Go$ e!ns when He s!&s to o%ti i5e resour(es' ?' no$ !eho+ah !ireh6 )e ust !sk -eho"!h -ireh to !ni#est Hi sel# to us' J-eho"!h -irehJ is the #irst (o %oun$ n! e b& whi(h -eho"!h re"e!le$ Hi sel# !s the One* the Go$ o# re"el!tion* who (oul$ o%en our e&es to see the %ro"ision He h!s #or us in the #uture' This re"el!tion (! e to Abr!h! !s ! result o# #!ith to willingl& sub it !n$ l!& the %ro ise o# his #utureDhis onl& sonDon the !lt!r' -eho"!h gr!(iousl& %ro"i$e$ ! substitute in %l!(e o# Abr!h! /s son' J-irehJ si %l& e!ns to see' Howe"er* when (onne(te$ with J-eho"!h*J the (o %oun$ n! e e!ns to see !n$ %ro"i$e' In other wor$s* when we sub it #ull&* He will show us our %ro"ision' Th!t e!ns we will see in !$"!n(e wh!t we nee$ #or our #uture' Go$/s %ro"ision #or us sh!ll be seen on the ount o# the Lor$' )e nee$ to be willing to go u% to the %l!(e to whi(h He is (!lling us' Th!t is where we will re(ei"e our new* #resh !nointing !n$ str!teg& #or %ro"ision' !ni#ests su$$enl& !t

>' .atch for the suddenlies6 Our #!ith

2OBING INTO A NE) DI2ENSION

6C;

ti es' Howe"er* so eti es we $on/t eF%e(t these su$$enlies to o((ur' I# ho%e $e#erre$ !n$ we!riness !re ruling us* we will iss when Go$ o"es on our beh!l#' I# #e!r is in#luen(ing us* we won/t un$erst!n$ when Go$ st!rts bre!king through on our beh!l#' The %ro(ess th!t we/"e been going through is o"ing tow!r$ ! su$$enl&' <' Learn the process of going o+er6 )e nee$ to h!"e !n Jo"erJ ent!lit&' O"ert!ke or be o"ert!ken' O"erthrow or be o"erthrown' O"erturn or be o"erturne$' O"er(o e or be o"er(o e' )e nee$ to be sure we !re being o"erseen' )e shoul$ !lso know who is o"erseeing us !n$ who we o"ersee' )e ust re e ber* #!ith works in the (onteFt o# !uthorit&' 7' 2e+elop a ingdom mentality% The king$o o# Go$ is within us' )e buil$ the ,hur(h* but we get ke&s to the Aing$o ' )e nee$ to stu$& the Aing$o ' 2!tthew 66I6= $e(l!res* JNow the king$o o# he!"en su##ers "iolen(e* !n$ the "iolent t!ke it b& #or(e'J The Aing$o !$"!n(es in "i(tor&' This o((urs through "iolent s%iritu!l (on#li(t !n$ w!r#!re' He uses -ohn the .!%tist !n$ Eli4!h to te!(h us to o"e #orw!r$' Fe!r not+ The ,hur(h is Go$/s w!rring !gent' )orshi% !n$ w!r+ The Aing$o in(re!ses' Let us li#t u% our shiel$ !n$ sh!r%en our swor$ be(!use the& !re both i %ort!nt in Go$/s king$o (on#li(ts !he!$'

THE O0EN DOOR
Re"el!tion is ! book th!t %ro"i$es $ee% insight into the n!ture !n$ t!(ti(s o# the ene &' In the book o# Re"el!tion the !%ostle -ohn h!$ ! su%ern!tur!l "isit!tion $uring !n eFtre e ti e o# %erse(ution' In the i$st o# this %erse(ution* he beg!n to see th!t the Lor$ Go$ o ni%otent reigns+ He see e$ to !gree with 0!ul th!t those who woul$ #ollow the Lor$ in their $!il& li#e woul$ enter into !n$ be in"ol"e$ in (ontinuing s%iritu!l (on#li(t' As the Lor$ "isite$ -ohn* He g!"e hi ! ess!ge (on(erning the se"en ke& (hur(hes o# th!t region' This ess!ge !lso re"e!ls to us Go$/s he!rt (on(erning the ,hur(h to$!&' )e then #in$ -ohn sh!ring with us in Re"el!tion 9I6 the #ollowingI JA#ter these things I looke$* !n$ behol$* ! $oor

698

,HA0TER 68

st!n$ing o%en in he!"en' An$ the #irst "oi(e whi(h I he!r$ w!s like ! tru %et s%e!king with e* s!&ing* /,o e u% here* !n$ I will show &ou things whi(h ust t!ke %l!(e !#ter this'/J The shiel$ o# #!ith is (losel& rel!te$ to the (on(e%t o# ! $oorDthe Greek n! e being thureos* #ro thura* ! s1u!re shiel$ th!t (!n !lso be seen !s ! $oor' KThis shiel$* use$ !s ! we!%on* w!s (o"ere$ e!rlier'L A $oor is !n o%ening #or entering or le!"ing ! house* tent or roo ' The $oor is use$ s& boli(!ll& in the .ible in !n& w!&s' )e #in$ the B!lle& o# A(hor* ! %l!(e o# trouble Ksee -osh' <I=>L* is l!ter %ro ise$ !s J! $oor o# ho%eJ KHos' =I6?L' It will be(o e ! re!son #or Go$/s %eo%le to trust Hi !g!in' Our trouble (!n be turne$ into !n entr& %oint into ! new %l!(e o# "i(tor&'

FAITH
GOD'

IN

-ESUS

IS THE ONLY

)AY TO ENTER THE AINGDO2 OF

-esus (!lle$ Hi sel# Jthe $oorJ K-ohn 68I<*;L' F!ith in Hi is the onl& w!& to enter the king$o o# Go$' Go$ g!"e to the Gentiles Jthe $oor o# #!ithJ KA(ts 69I=<L* or !n o%%ortunit& to know Hi !s Lor$' -esus st!n$s !t the $oor !n$ kno(ks Ksee Re"' CI=8L' He (!lls !ll %eo%le to Hi sel#* but He will not enter without %er ission' )e nee$ to gi"e the Lor$ %er ission to t!ke us through new* o%%ortune $oors !n$ !llow Hi to (o e in !n$ gi"e us the %ower to go through these $oors' Let us o%en the $oor o# our he!rt so th!t we (!n go through our new $oor o# o%%ortunit&' 0!ul (onst!ntl& sought new $oors o# ser"i(e+ These were o%en $oors #or hi to go through so th!t he (oul$ inister in the n! e o# -esus ,hrist' First ,orinthi!ns 6>I; re!$s* JFor ! gre!t !n$ e##e(ti"e $oor h!s o%ene$ to e* !n$ there !re !n& !$"ers!ries'J There !re !n& $oors o# o%%ortunit& !he!$ #or e!(h one o# us' Howe"er* the !$"ers!ries behin$ those $oors will o"ert!ke us unless our $oor o# #!ith is in %l!(e' Let us li#t u% our shiel$* or $oor* o# #!ith' )e $o not nee$ to be !#r!i$ to go through the o%ening !n$ into the new %l!(es to whi(h the Lor$ woul$ le!$ us' E"en though !n& !$"ers!ries

2OBING INTO A NE) DI2ENSION

696

will be on our %!th in $!&s !he!$* our shiel$ o# #!ith will 1uen(h !ll o# their #ier& $!rts' -ere i!h 9>IC ?N)"4 is en(our!gingI J0re%!re &our shiel$s* both l!rge !n$ s !ll* !n$ !r(h out #or b!ttle+J Let us go #orth with (on#i$en(e* with our shiel$ li#te$ high* !n$ our "i(tor& will be !ssure$' /otes
6' ,hu(k D' 0ier(e !n$ -ohn Di(kson* ,he .orship .arrior KBentur!* ,AI Reg!l .ooks* =88=L* %%' 66=-66>' =' Book of Confession, part : of ,he Constitution of the 0res'yterian Church ?G%S%&%4 KNew YorkI O##i(e o# the Gener!l Asse bl&* 6;7CL* ite <'87>'

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our ord !esus "hrist, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Ro !ns ?I6-=