Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Tribulation Times -

Tribulation Times


August 27, 2008     

COMMENTARY: Satan, while hidden, remains active in us and in society by Bishop Robert Vasa

INTERVIEW: What is Evil?

REFLECTION: Fort Faith: Wage war against the devil's plans for you

The kids are back in school, and mountains of peer pressure have begun to pile up on them. Meanwhile, parents and grandparents are left trying to figure out how to help those young souls they love so much make it through those tough years of adolescence.

Read Nehemiah 4:13-23. There are three things you should know about spiritual warfare that you can find in this passage. Here they are:

1. Do not be afraid.

2. Remember the Lord.

3. Fight.

In about 600 B.C., Nehemiah, the cupbearer to King Artaxerxes in the palace of Susa (in modern day Iran), had prayed to God and then received permission from the king to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. But the evil and jealous Sanballat the Samaritan was intent on preventing this from happening. The wall had been destroyed when the Jews were booted out of their city by the Babylonians.

Nehemiah used half of his workforce to build the wall, while the other half stood guard, paying special attention to the lowest points of the wall and where there were families. This was done to make sure that Sanballat, along with several other bullies and their forces were not successful in stopping the rebuilding of the wall, which surrounded the very centerpiece of Jewish civilization.

Nehemiah said to the people, "Don't be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes." Later he said, "20. Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!"

You know, it's easy to forget that even here in little Fort Gibson, we have a heavenly guest who wants to be part of our lives everyday. He's the same God who was with Nehemiah 2,600 years ago, and who helped him rebuild the Jerusalem wall in only 52 days (6:15).

When we are walking with the Lord, we have every reason to be confident, not fearful. When we are constant in prayer, we can't help but to constantly remember the Lord. And when we are fighting on the Lord's side, we will find that the Lord is faithful to us, and will not let us be tempted beyond what we can bear.

The apostle Paul tells us in Ephesians 6 that when we use our Christian armor the way it was intended, we will be able to do three things: fearlessly make known the Gospel, we will pray in the Spirit continually, and we will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. That's the same basic message that Nehemiah taught 600 years earlier.

In 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, the apostles Paul says, "(2Co 10:3)  For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. (2Co 10:4)  For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty to God, unto the pulling down of fortifications, destroying counsels, (2Co 10:5)  And every height that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God: and bringing into captivity every understanding unto the obedience of Christ.

May God give each of us the perseverance to make sure we are in that number when the trumpet sounds and the Lord gathers us home.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 7- "On Joy-Making Mourning"

28. Those who have obtained mourning in the depth of their being hate their own life as something painful and wearisome, and a cause of tears and sufferings; and they turn and flee from their body as from an enemy.   

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