While we are inundated with a message that tries to convince us of God's availability to bless us and His desire to fulfill our hearts' desire ...according to our ability to believe that God's available to bless us and fulfill our hearts' desire, we need only open our Bible to Acts or Paul's epistles to see either he and the other apostles lacked the faith to surround themselves in luxury and comfort, or we've distorted God's view of blessing. I've been saved for 44 years, baptized in the Holy Spirit for 40- notice I didn't say filled! I wouldn't want to embarrass the Holy Spirit with some of my behavior- and very seriously walking in subjection and obedience to the Father for 20 years. My conclusion is that, as Paul said, our greatest purpose is to know Him and be that we not live, but Christ live in us. For that to happen, we must die to self.
I promised at the end of my last posting, "The Overcomer" that the next essay would be about the rewards, but before I post that, there is a subject I want to touch on that is great revelation!! Or it is to me, and it came while ministering to my youngest daughter ( 27 ) who has been harassed by a spirit of fear and anxiety for several weeks now. These are tough to conquer because they're very effective, and a great weapon against people who are not given to sin and are pursuing their faith. In the gospels, Jesus admonishes his disciples, in situations where anybody with any good sense would be terrified, to quit being afraid! After speaking to the woman who had been healed from her bleeding disorder, He spoke to the synagogue leader whose only daughter had just died according to a messenger who had approached them at that moment, and said " Do not be seized with fear and alarm!" That's precisely what this spirit does; it seizes a person with fear while the mind is flooded with the possibility of doom and disaster! It's a great tool of the enemy and I've watched it work and heard testimony ( Rod Parsley, for one!) from tough, strong leaders in the faith who have dealt with it! The good news is that Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil! There has to be deliverance, but then there's a subsequent battle of the mind that all Christians, if they are to be Overcomers, must fight!
It is astonishing how quick things can happen. One minute everything is fine and the next it is a disaster. A word of the Lord a few years ago went out from our leadereship that said "My people will learn to trust me because they have to." I think we can all say that is very true if we look back on the last few years. Sunday, our pastor said that God told him that "He needed His people to take their place, and America needed His people to take their place". Notice that the word was to God's people not just anyone or to the world. As I was praying a few nights ago, I asked God what was on His heart.