As we quickly approach the middle of the year, we face the tendency to let go of the vision and goals we set for ourselves at the beginning of the year. If you find yourself in this place, the root of your predicament could have a variety of possible causes: for example, 1) your perception is that the finish line is simply too far away (it’s taking too long); 2) I have better things to do (the reality of life got in the way); or 3) the price was just too much to pay (it got difficult). Yet, you set these goals because you had a desire to change or accomplish something in your life. So, why would you want to quit?
You must come to the realization that while God is helping you to grow, the devil is doing everything he can in his attempt to keep you from growing. His dilemma, however, is that he can’t stop you. His only strategy is to entice you to quit. He does this through delay and distraction. I want to encourage you today to refocus – go back and think about what you wanted to accomplish and the reasons you are thinking about giving up on those things (or possibly have already quit).
I am doing the same thing in relation to our church. We had some desires to fulfill and goals to accomplish this year. The foremost desire we have set before us is to preach and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with demonstration of the Spirit and power – so that people’s faith will not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. (1 Corinthians 2:4, 5) The panic that settled within our society over the past few months was a plan of the devil to delay and distract the people of God as they work to fulfill His plans on this earth. It may have thrown an obstacle in our path, it may have been a hindrance, but it has not and it will not stop us from fulfilling the will of God for Lighthouse Christian Center. We cannot be defeated because we refuse to quit!
As one minister noted, a majority of Americans believe our country is going downhill. Yet church attendance as a percent of population has held steady since 1990, and probably since 1940. America added 50,000 new churches in the last 20 years of the 20th century to total 350,000. The number of born-again Christians has grown steadily to 46% of adults today. Given the state of moral and spiritual decay, how is that possible? The answer is simple: today, Christianity is prevalent, but not powerful. The solution: we need a spiritual revival. We need power from heaven, a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
Christianity is to be its own witness through its power to deliver all from sin and heal all who need deliverance from disease. Mark 2:1-12 relates to us the story of the paralytic man who was healed after being let down through the roof into the presence of Jesus. In this story, we see that Jesus was reasonable – He was willing to discuss the issue with them. Then, He demonstrated His authority by healing the man right before their eyes. When Jesus said “that you may know” (verse 10), He was saying, “so that you will understand and be convinced.”
The Bible tells us in Ephesians 1, that Jesus is the Head and we are the Body of Christ. Jesus is still doing the same works that He did when He walked on this earth. The only difference is that now, as the Head, he directs the Body as we do the same works He did. (John 14:12) Jesus never intended for Christianity to be believed and received on any man’s statement. He provided that our statements attesting to Jesus should be accompanied by an exhibition of power that would convince the world. (Mark 16:15-20) Where faith is, there will be the evidence of God’s mighty power to save and heal people. This directive and empowerment is for all who believe, not just a select few.
“Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God.” – William Carey
“Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the Lord will do great things.”
Electricity has always existed – it was discovered, not invented. Yet, the world lived in darkness for thousands of years. Man discovered electricity and then learned to harness the power that was always there; we learned the laws that governed it and learned how to properly handle it and apply it to meet our needs. In the same way, the voltage from heaven (the lightening of God as one minister called it) has always been there. As we learn the laws that govern it and how to properly handle it we can apply it to meet our needs and the needs of others. We are divine energy conductors – the power flows through us into the lives of others.
One of our desires is to free people’s thinking from their narrow interpretations of Jesus. The world longs to see Jesus as He truly is: Jesus, the Powerful; Jesus, the Magnificent; Jesus, the Compassionate; Jesus, the Healer; Jesus, the Restorer; Jesus, the King! Let’s determine to work with Him, and allow Him to work through us, in order to give Him the opportunity to demonstrate Himself to mankind and bless them without limitations.
I encourage you to look up the scriptures I referenced in this letter. Read them, say them out loud to yourself, and meditate upon them. Let them take root in your heart so you will begin to realize that God doesn’t just want to do these things – He wants to do them through you!