Are you, like many others, really "going through it?" Is the warfare feeling a bit "off the charts" for you?
This is a short season we are in, where the enemy is hitting "very hard" toward those who are followers of Jesus Christ.
But God, in HIS INFINITE WISDOM, is going to allow us just enough discomfort to bring us back on track. Here is what Tom Hamon says:
We are in a day, a season, a specific time period, when God is cleaning up many little areas of our life...He's cleaning up LITTLE things so that we may be effective in gigantic assignments from the Lord.
It may look bad today, but give it a few days, STAY IN FAITH, submit to God, and the devil WILL FLEE FROM YOU! (To Subscribe to the Elijah List subscribe here.)
In this season of the third Great Awakening in the Church, the enemy's resistance is real! The enemy wants to break the back of us, the Church, and make us collapse under the pressure being applied in this generation. Political correctness, new cultural norms and social pressure are trying to reshape the very fabric of the Church to be conformed to this world instead of being the transformational force we are called to be by the renewing of our minds by God's Word (Romans 12:2).
Without the Word of God as our basis of truth, the Church is doomed to fail. The enemy wants us to crack under the pressure—crack doctrinally, morally and spiritually! The Scripture says that the enemy is like a "roaring lion" seeking out the weak to see whom he can devour. I believe that is true in this generation more than ever before. The enemy has loosed a spirit of seduction, deception and intimidation against the Church that, if we are not strong, will cause our very foundations to crumble.
Hebrews 12 says that everything that can be shaken will be, and all I have to say is that there is a whole lot of shaking going on right now! It goes on to say that only the things of the Kingdom will remain and stand. I believe it is the job of the apostolic and prophetic to lay true foundations in the Church (Ephesians 2:20) so that the Church in this generation will withstand the heat and pressure that is coming against it today. Without that, I'm afraid the Church is destined to lapse into apostasy rather than awakening and revival.
"God cares about your comfort, but not at the expense of your destiny."
In 1 Samuel 30, we see the story of David at Ziklag. We know that David had been on a long journey to fulfill his prophesied destiny of kingship. And if David had given up then, all of his sacrifices up to that point would have been for nothing. At Ziklag, the Amalekites attacked and robbed David and David's men, taking everything that was precious in their lives.
The Amalekite spirit is indicative of a viscous, violent spirit of robbery. The enemy's attack was not a direct one, to kill David, but rather an indirect one, to hurt and take what he most cared about. The plan was to make him crack and give up on his destiny. The pressure grew greater. Even David's loyal men, out of their grief, began to turn on David and blame him. They even contemplated killing him! These were desperate times and David had a decision to make: would he give in to what was happening in hopelessness, despair or would he attack back? David did the wise thing and inquired of the Lord. The answer was clear and emphatic: pursue, overtake, attack, take back and recover all! I believe this is the same answer that the Lord is decreeing to the Church today: "Attack your lack and don't look back!"
Don't Lose Your Confidence
What is the enemy trying to steal from you today? Here are a few things that I prophetically see. He desperately wants to steal your confidence. David's confidence in himself, his men and God, was shaken by what had taken place. He had been through so much in his life and became disheartened. The enemy wants to shake your confidence. You must be bold and believe for the great things God has promised you.
Don't Lose Your Peace, the Presence of God and God's Purpose!
The enemy attacked David's family and those who were in covenant with him in order to confuse David and hit him where it hurt. When something like that happens to us, it can cause us to react emotionally, but David was able to calm himself and seek God and receive the word he needed to hear in order to continue to advance toward his destiny. The enemy wants to rattle your cage and get you off your game but don't let him. Scripture declares, "The God of peace will soon crush satan underneath your feet..." (Romans 16:20). We pursue the Lord first so that we can pursue our enemy with confidence and take back all that he has stolen! God's peace will allow you to hear His voice and guide you to victory.
Don't Lose Your Hope!
Hopelessness is a direct attack against the nature of God. When resources are stolen and we feel powerless to see change, we can sink down into a state of hopelessness. The enemy wants to rob our hope of seeing things change or regaining our possessions. He wants to rob our hope for our family, or our purpose and power. But we must not give into the hopelessness the enemy is promoting to us and understand that Christ in us is the very hope of glory and the banner of victory to bring the change God wants. We must not shrink back in despair, but rise up in hope and faith to attack and take it all back.
Don't Turn Back!
Scripture instructs us to advance forward in our calling and to be more like Jesus. It exhorts us not to turn back to our old life or the rudimentary ways of this world. The enemy's strategy is multifaceted, but I believe one of his most insidious attacks involves the Church turning back at the very time we are called to advance. I'm reminded of the children of Israel's call out of captivity and on to the Promise Land; at the crucial moment of their journey they retreated instead of moving forward into the promise, and God was not pleased. All they had worked for was forfeited at the Jordon River. But why? We know they spied out the land and perceived themselves to be like grasshoppers in the sight of the giants of the land and chose not to go in. They even chose a leader to take them back to Egypt. Can you imagine? (Photo via Unsplash)
The New Testament describes it this way, "For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, while it is said: 'Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.' For who, having heard, rebelled?" (Hebrews 3:14-16). Then it goes on to describe how they came out of Egypt. All but two of them knew of God's disappointment and anger because of their unbelief. It was a breach of promise. How could that happen? How could they not believe the God who had delivered, blessed them and destroyed their enemies? How could they have lived in so much disbelief that it brought them to the point of rebelling against His Word and promise and lost out on their prophesied destiny? Where did all this start? How and why did they harden their hearts in unbelief?
The Golden Calves of the Modern Church in America
In the passage in Acts 7:39, we get a clue. Stephen is preaching to God's people and reminds them of what happened on Mount Sinai. Moses was on the mountain, standing in the glory of God and receiving His commandments to His people. At the same time, the people of Israel were lamenting the loss of all the pleasures of Egypt. They felt abandoned by God and Moses and decided to turn back to the gods they had served back in Egypt. Out of a need for comfort and security they made an idol, brought sacrifices to it and reveled in what their own hands had made. God turned away from them and gave them over to the worship of the sun, moon and stars and the tabernacle of Moloch and the star of the god Rephan. I believe these gods refer to the worship of creation and bowing down to evolution, abortion, perversion, witchcraft and antichrist. I also believe that there are four very powerful "golden calves" or "sacred cows" in the Church today that want to keep us out of God's promised destiny in this season.
Convenience, Comfortability and Entertainment
In the last days, people will have itching ears to hear what they want and not endure sound doctrine. Instead, they will seek out teachers to tell them what they want to hear. God cares about your comfort, but not at the expense of your destiny. He will offend your flesh, put you in a wilderness experience, crucify your self-life and put you in a trial, all to perfect you and make you more like Him. Unfortunately, too many people in the Church have decided that they would rather be comfortable back in Egypt than to become an army called to possess the Promised Land.
Convenience has replaced commitment and comfortability has replaced being conformed to the image of Christ. Entertainment has replaced worship and sacrifice. Tolerance—being non-offensive and all-encompassing—has replaced preaching the truth with conviction and repentance. Let's not bow down to the idol of convenience or go back to Egypt and captivity only to face God's judgment.
Compromise to the Current Culture
Some have bowed down, becoming more like the world, in the name of being relevant. Grace is an amazing thing, but Jude 1:4 warns us not to allow men to "...turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ." As a Christian, can you deny that Jesus is the only true God and way to Heaven? How could that happen—that people would use grace as an excuse to sin or live like the world? Paul has said that God forbid that would happen.
The law of grace is not a lower standard but a higher one in God. It not only deals with your actions but your heart motivation as well. For example, the New Testament tells us to not just avoid committing adultery, but don't even lust with your eyes! Jude and 2 Peter warns Believers saying to remember what happened to the angels who were in Heaven and then fell and are being held in chains of darkness in Hell. Remember the children of Israel who God destroyed? Remember Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed because of their immorality, sexual sin and perversion? Remember Noah's generation and the judgment that happened to them?
We are warned of false teaching and false teachers, "For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning" (2 Peter 2:20). So many are preaching liberty in their foul language, their promiscuity, their partying, their perversion and their lifestyles, but God's warnings are clear: Don't compromise with the world. Don't become a friend of the world and compromise your faith, your godly standards and your relationship with God. Let's not bow down to the golden calf of compromise!
"The answer was clear and emphatic: pursue, overtake, attack, take back and recover all!"
What was the problem with the children of Israel? They lost their courage and retreated, deciding to play it safe. God was saying, "Just believe Me. Be strong and of good courage. Fight, and I'll fight with you and for you." A passive, fearful, unbelieving mentality had gripped the people of God. They decided and declared that they were not able to possess the land that God had promised. In contrast, God was looking for champions and those who would fight for His cause and His Kingdom. He was looking for those who would face the giants and shout at the walled cities until they fell. He was looking for a fearless generation that would not be afraid, intimidated, disheartened or dismayed but would courageously take the battle to the enemy to accomplish God's vision on the earth. The enemy, through a spirit of intimidation, wants to make a coward of the Church. It's not time to back down. It is time to turn around, attack back and possess the land of promise!
Complacency and the Cares of This Life
God once said to me, "A man with passion will overcome any obstacle to achieve his goals, but a man without passion will allow any obstacle to overcome him and stop him in the journey toward his destiny." Matthew 24:12, tells us, "...the love of many shall wax cold." They will lose their first love. God said to me, "Apathy leads to atrophy and will ultimately lead to apostasy." That's a big part of the enemy's strategy against the Church today.
If the enemy can't stop us, then he'll just distract us with all the concerns of life. He'll get us so caught up in the mundane day-to-day that we stop dreaming and discovering. He'll try to cause the hard things to harden our hearts and dominate our passion. He'll try and turn our eyes to escapism and entertainment or deaden our dreams with the drudgery of everyday pressure to just survive. Dead religion and ritual will want to supplant a passionate pursuing of God's plan for our lives. This can become a golden calf that diverts or depresses our energy for Heaven's purposes.
Get on Track and Take It All Back!
Lastly, God is saying, "Do whatever it takes to get yourself back on track with your destiny and My purpose for the Church." Don't bow down to any idols that will take you back to the captivity of Egypt and keep you out of your prophetic promise! (Photo via Unsplash)
If you're hurt— seek help. Seek God and let Him heal your heart. It's time to get over it and get on with it.
If you're hard—humble yourself. Let grace flow and soften your heart. Seek God.
If you're distracted—focus, commit and get your life back on track with God.
If you're compromising—read the Word with an open mind. Confess your sin and repent. Allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you, convict you and help you change.
If you're facing something impossible—rise up in faith. Lift up the sword of the Spirit. Fight, shout your doubts out and cast the enemy out.
If you feel hopeless—allow God to re-ignite His vision in your life. Remember your hope is in God.
If you feel powerless—choose to use your weapons and your authority in Christ. Don't retreat to get out of the heat! Remember God's got your back! Don't crack. Take it all back! It's a time to rise up with the spirit of David at your Ziklag and pursue, overtake, attack and take it all back! (To Subscribe to the Elijah List subscribe here.)
Vision Church @ Christian International
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Tom and Jane Hamon are the senior pastors of Vision Church @ Christian International in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. Their ministry together is an example to the Body of Christ of a husband and wife team working in tandem and unity to accomplish God's purposes. Their ministry is characterized by a rich deposit of God's wisdom to provide apostolic covering for the Church, prophetic teaching and ministry, and demonstration of Kingdom anointing and power. They travel as an apostolic/prophetic team to the nations, imparting both the Spirit of Wisdom and revelation to establish the Church and break open territories through spiritual warfare for the Kingdom of God to be experienced in a powerful and practical way.
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