Intimidation - The Tool of the Enemy

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. (Eph. 6:13)  

 As I have ministered recently on the topic of Living in the Kingdom of God amidst a Culture of Corruption, I am reminded of the warrior identity we have in Christ.  Much of the church in America is dressed as a wimp rather than a warrior. We walk more like a lamb than a lion.  

Earlier this year we received a prophetic word that 2014 would be a ‘year of contrast’, contrast between those who wholeheartedly follow Christ and live in His kingdom, versus those who do not.  I see this contrast in this election season. Christian leaders are being tested to wholeheartedly follow Him to bring contrast in America. Recently, many Houston pastors received court orders to hand over all their sermons, emails, and correspondence because of comments they may have made about a gay friendly city ordinance. We see it in the letters American pastors receive from a secular organization prior to every election. The letters threaten IRS retribution if pastors speak out on political issues. The enemy seeks to intimidate church leadership. The enemy goes about ‘like a roaring lion’ (1 Pet. 5:8). The enemy seeks to intimidate us by imitating the power of the lion. Its intimidation by imitation! Lambs can be intimidated. Lions cannot! It is we who carry the true lion on the inside of us, the Lion of Judah, the soon coming King. We do not imitate a lion, because we carry the authentic Lion on the inside!

Every pastor and ministry leader in America has contrasting choices ...to stay silent on the many moral and cultural issues of the day, or to speak out in truth and righteousness bringing clarity to the cloudy world of politics. I am drawn to Paul’s words again in Eph. 6:13 that we are called to ‘stand.  We must stand together or fall together. 

For each of you in leadership in America, I urge you to speak clearly with conviction on the key issues facing this nation in the election. For those of you in other nations, pray that we in America would have courage to declare truth to America in this election. Pray that we would embrace the identity of the Lion and the Warrior and stand against the imitator!

Be very blessed as each of you stand, bringing contrast on behalf of the King of Kings in nation.


Biblical Values Under Fire

Rom. 1:21 ~ For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Vs. 32… Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. 

The Apostle Paul’s words to the Romans deserve pause and consideration for us today.

We live amidst a culture of corruption in America. We see it in the area of core values, world views and our national moral compass. The futility and darkness of our culture is apparent in so many areas that it is difficult for me to address just one or two as examples. But let’s take the Biblical view of sexuality and marriage. The Biblical view is clear that man and woman are designed distinctly differently, yet are designed by God to come together in marriage to become a union. God considered this union to be His design and plan. We find no latitude in scripture to endorse or advocate for same sex marriage and, until recent years, there was no latitude in our culture for such endorsement or advocacy. However, same sex unions and lifestyles are not only accepted but endorsed, advocated and even celebrated. 

What were Paul’s words?  … ‘they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them’.   Approval comes in the form of politically correct cultural rules, new laws defining ‘hate speech’ and marriage, and government and corporate policies reflecting the same approvals and endorsements.  We see this in hundreds of examples in our nation, but let me briefly list a few; an attorney in Virginia is being disciplined for articulating his belief in the Biblical definition of  marriage, a newspaper editor in Iowa being fired for writing a personal blog describing his Biblical view of marriage, an Army Colonel describing the American Family Association as a ‘hate group’ for its Biblical view of marriage,  and a high school in California banning Chick-fil-A sandwiches because Chick-fil-A’s founder (now deceased) once said his view of marriage was between a man and a woman. So we see governmental, corporate, and media policy embracing the new normal; same sex unions and lifestyles are embraced and Biblical worldviews are excluded and even punished!

Dr. Albert Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, recently stated in a speech that America has experienced a ‘cultural reversal’. He defined a cultural reversal as when that which was condemned is now celebrated and those who refuse to celebrate it are now condemned.  His words are a precise expression of where we find ourselves in this nation on many issues, including the one described above.
So, is the Biblical perspective lost in America? No, it is clarified. It stands in stark contrast to the emerging culture. Those of us who embrace the Kingdom of God also embrace its fundamental truths and principles. Living out those truths and principles bring clarity to the Kingdom perspective of living. Embracing them also brings attention and forms of persecution from the culture. So how do we move forward with Kingdom clarity in our culture?  

We do the following:
·        We are alert for and resist the enemy and his strategies.
·        We pray in the spirit on all occasions.
·        We speak truth in love…love is not always ‘nice’ and agreeable.
·        We speak with clarity…ambiguity and gray language does not help!
·        We live what we speak…actions reflect Kingdom character and commitment.
·        We bless those who curse us.

Move forward with the Kingdom of God as your focus, your substance, and your provision every day. We focus on what Jesus did for us and for them as scripture says, ‘Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Heb. 12:3)