While drafting an article for a Christian magazine, I was struck by the rugged nature of the early church. Against all odds, the believers challenged social norms, upended the religious traditions, stymied a pagan empire that spanned the known world, and crushed political opposition.
Who were these warriors?
Ordinary men and women, most of whom couldn’t even write their own name (Acts 4:13). But they possessed the power of the Holy Spirit and, through it, they turned the world upside down.
21st century Christians should look in awe at those early believers. They crossed cultures, conquered resistance with zeal, love and a rugged faith in a miracle-working God. Today, we must also face a world ruled by fear, superstition and, political correctness. Boycotts have become the game of the day as the Bible predicts would happen (Revelations 13:16).
But there are individuals who embody Christ’s answer.
Let us be the warriors that Christ ordained, proclaiming His Word with boldness and faith. Let us challenge the darkness, recognizing we are not weak but strong in Him.
We insist He is alive and prove it by letting Him work His supernatural wonders through us.
Let us be His witnesses, empowered by His Spirit to carry on His life. Fear must be met with faith, darkness with the conquering power of light.
And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. 1The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.
What an amazing experience it must have been for the millions of former slaves to see God’s power deliver them from their oppressors. But the best news is that, for the child of God today, His power is still ready to work in our lives.
Whether we’re struggling against an addiction, emotional turmoil or health issues, it’s important for the Christian to remember that God is on our side. No matter the chaos that surrounds you, remember that He’s the greatest warrior ever.
Stand firm upon His words of promise, believe, and watch Him do amazing things.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
To call these words inspiring is like calling the Alps a bunch of pebbles. These are life-changing kernels of truth that, if accepted into the human heart, has the power to liberate captives and restore broken hearts.
There’s one catch: these words are only activated for those who are in Jesus Christ. Anyone can read the Bible, but it’s promises only work on conditions. Once those conditions are met anything—and I mean anything—is possible.
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
James 5:16 KJV
This morning while reading this encouraging verse, the thought struck me that many times Christians don’t realize the power of their prayers because prayer itself is not seen. The Western world is programmed to believe in things that are tangible. If we can’t prove it, we don’t believe it.
Prayer defies that.
God expects us to recognize that, while our prayers are unseen by ourselves and those around us, they are not unseen by Him. Our words, spoken from hearts of faith and wrapped in the name of Jesus Christ, pass through dimensions into the very Throne Room of God.
Our prayers are bullets, zipping through hordes of demonic forces. Does one bullet win a war? Hardly. It takes countless thousands. Yet Christians often become discouraged when we pray a few times about an issue but don’t see change.
We must not stop firing our spiritual gun when things appear to remain unchanged or even get worse. Instead we should intensify our firepower!
The Bible tells us that if we are righteous (through Jesus Christ of course), our prayers are taking an effect. They are working. And while we may not see them now, we must hold fast our confession with confidence, knowing that we will see the effects of our prayers someday.
Because of the sins of her ancestors, Esther was born into a life of exile far away from the land of Israel. But the sinful lifestyles and consequent defeat of previous generations didn’t mean that God was finished with Israel. To the contrary, He was hard at work, sparking a new beginning.
In like manner, you may feel that your life has been marred by tragedy, sin and defeat. But if you can move beyond the past and identify yourself with God’s Word for this hour, you’ll see that His hand at work in you.
Esther was chosen–ripped away from the one man she could call family (Mordecai). But this trauma was necessary for the greater plan of God to be accomplished. Without this harsh reality, the girl would never have become a queen and her destiny would have been obscurity.
God demands a separation from the past in order for His plan to be accomplished in our lives.
This process is sometimes painful and filled with fear.
Imagine it for a moment: as a beautiful young woman, you’re kidnapped and thrust into the very heart of sedition and political intrigue that made up the court of Susa. What emotions were going through her heart?
Esther would lose her carefully guarded virginity. She would never go home again. But there a purpose behind it all.
Many quote Jeremiah 29:11 but fail to grasp the significance underlying this powerful verse of promise. One of God’s main purposes is to reveal Himself through His people (Col. 1:18 AKJV). To do this, we must accept His Will for our lives, no matter how difficult it may be at times. By surrendering to Him, our character is molded to Christ’s own character (2 Peter 1:5-8) and have our character molded to His own character.
And the King is all about character.
When Esther was summoned for that one night which would change everything, she made a startling announcement. Instead of taking advantage of the king’s offer to take anything she wanted from the gilded harem, she would go just as she was.
King Ahasuerus was no stranger to beauty. But, unlike many professing Christian women, Esther’s emphasis was not on how sexy she could look. This king wouldn’t make his choice based on sex appeal. Instead, she wowed him with a transparent character. And by the time morning came, Ahasuerus knew that she was indispensable.
Our King is not impressed by our religious works, the amount we pay into our churches or how beautiful our music can be. A humble, repentant heart that responds to His Word is what He’s seeking in His Bride.
Is that you?
Eleanor’s faith is pushed to the breaking point when her infant daughter is killed in a German zeppelin attack. Where is God in the midst of her pain? Northshire Heritage Book 1. Start the journey>>