I had been in Revelation recently, after a stop (and a dream) in the final chapters of Deuteronomy. It was almost comical, I did not intend to read nearly the entire book of Revelation, and did so pretty much in reverse order. I don’t even honestly know what I had gone looking for in the first place. I think it had something to do with the dream. In any case, here I was, highlighting verse after verse and passage after passage. I actually skipped the first 5 chapters, the first 3 of which the pastor covered that very next Sunday.
A thought took me to looking up something in Jude.Then I skimmed over 1 John, and James. Looking at hightlights now, in Jude, I had boldly highlighted “A Call to Persevere”. This was pretty much the gist of the morning’s readings, and the sober alarm that was going off in my spirit. A few days later, I was in the books of Peter. Over and over again, these letters from the church Fathers appear to be preparing the saints to persevere, endure and to stand through the times they were and would be in. Could this be a huge part of the why faith, and believing were the bedrocks of Christ’s message. I can promise you, without faith and believing in the One who can walk you through all things, you will not walk, nor will you stand. But as well: it’s HOW you walk this out that counts.
Many of us in the past decades have been brought up in a rapture – escape mentality. The focus was on Jesus is coming soon, and He’ll take us out of this mess – Come Lord Jesus, come. But while He said, “Behold, I am coming soon” (Rev 7, 12, 20); He also said that in this world we would have trouble, but not to worry because He had overcome the world. Ladies and Gents, dare I say were are in a time of seeing trouble? And we in America have seen nothing compared to saints in other nations, at least not yet. I am not a doom and gloom kind of gal, but I very sincerely believe it’s time to get sober about the times we are living in.
I’ve spent most of the last 11 years in a process of learning to stand. I truly didn’t see a bigger picture to that, but maybe now it is starting to unfold. So, in the hopes of helping, even if it’s only 1, I want to look at preparing the saints to stand. I am so weary of watching saints fall…
For today, from the gems of Ephesians 6 here are a few verses from the passage the publisher has entitled “Christian Warfare”. Verses 10 -18 [HCSB]. I like how most of this version worded this passage…(emphasis mine).
“Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. Stand, therefore,
with truth like a belt around your waist,
righteousness like armor on your chest,
and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace.
In every situation take the shield of faith, and with it you will be able to extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Take the helmet of salvation,
and the sword of the Spirit, which is God’s word.
With every prayer and request, pray at all times in the Spirit, and stay alert in this, with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.”
We’ll look at this passage a bit closer in the coming days.