The Church should be in a state of waiting for the return of the Lord Jesus, preparing itself through holiness, etc. but such a lot of children of God are so heavenly bound that they are earthly no good. They are saved, baptized and ready to go and nothing else matters. This is the wrong attitude, because if the statistics reveal that only 30% of world population is Christians, then we as children of the living God, have a massive task ahead of us to proclaim the true message of salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ.
On a regular basis we see children of God who back slide and the church have a responsibility towards all these brothers and sisters. We cannot afford to be selfish in this regard, because we don’t get a second chance when the Lord has come to fetch His Bride. You either make it or you don’t. There is no such thing as a secondary chance or test to pass. The virgins in Matt 25:11 did NOT receive a second chance or pardoning for their lack in faith and perseverance. The door to the Bridegroom and wedding feast was closed. Don’t believe the gimmicks and false theology of groups that want you to believe that those who are “Left behind” will have a second chance. In any event, you may not even make it until the set time when the Lord Jesus returns and therefore not find a second chance.
I want to speak to you on the following two principles:
When you see two rugby teams play, there is always a combination of attack and defense strategies being revealed during the game. The team who only defends, will grow weary quite soon and start to loose the game. When you only want to defend your position, you will have to focus all the time on all possible areas and strategies where the enemy could penetrate your defense system. Therefore, your focus will only be on defense and you will not be in a position to attack successfully. In a spiritual sense, you will have to be on your guard 24/7, with no peace in sight – growing weary and despondent quite quickly.
But, when you are geared to attack, your mindset is right and focused on the desired outcome and you keep the enemy on the hind foot. You can decide on the attack strategy, the timing, place and method. You are in control with the guidance of the Lord Jesus Christ. Then the enemy has to defend and will not be able to attack. Deu 28:7 declares “ The LORD shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways. (KJV)
Let the enemy flee before you in seven different ways – scatter them in fear of the children of God! You have the victory because God is on your side.
Just two important points before we continue:
- I don’t want you to focus on the enemy all the time and you will find that the following attack strategies place your focus squarely on God and on His Word where it should be.
- When you are busy attacking the enemy lines (by proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ; praying for people; delivering and healing people through Christ; etc), NEVER forget your defense strategies and NEVER let your guard down.
- Gal 6:1 Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.
In history, we find the Trojan horse that was given as a present to a city that could not be penetrated by the enemy lines. History also reveals that this so called present was nothing else than a snare from the enemy and the city was attacked from within and completely destroyed. The enemy does not want to give you a present because he likes you? He hates you with a passion and wants to destroy you with any means that he can find. Joh 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.
He wants to take your soul as a trophy with him to hell. Never let your defense guard down, especially over your mind and thoughts.
What do we need to do? We need a strategy to keep us focused and on the attack. That is why the Word of God is so awesome, because it provides the guidance to us on a daily basis and the strength to persevere.
Please read Col 1: 3 -14
Paul acknowledges the love of the saints and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae. It warms his heart that they are bearing fruit from the love they have found in Christ and he writes that they have not ceased to pray for them. The Church needs to pray for the Church – for each and every single soul and especially the leaders.
And through these few verses, Paul gives us an excellent attack strategy. When you pray for someone else and even yourself, follow this guideline from scripture. Pray for the people (call them by name before the Lord) and pray these verses over them and yourself:
1. That you (include the specific name of the person you are praying for) may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,
a. Nobody will fall away to false doctrines and theologies with no salvation power.
2. So as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him,
- In His perfect will
- Fully pleasing Him
- This speaks of a personal and intimate relationship with the Lord.
- Completely focused on His will and voice.
3. Bearing fruit in every good work
- When you are filled with the knowledge of His will in ALL spiritual wisdom and understanding, and walking in such a manner that fully pleases God, then you can do nothing else than to bear good fruit. It will be in your nature to bear good fruit.
- Live out your purpose in God!
- He has called you and ordained you to make a difference in someone else’s life through the love of Jesus Christ.
4. And increasing in the knowledge of God
- You cannot be in a personal relationship without ever increasing in the knowledge of God. (Eph 3:1-21)
- He will reveal the mysteries and depths of His Word to you.
5. May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might,
- Be baptized with the Holy Spirit – it is the power of GoD
- 1Co 4:20 For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.
- He will strengthen you with His might to overcome all situations and tribulations.
6. For all endurance and patience
- We all need to go through trials and tribulations – because it strengthens us, it builds our faith and trust in God and in Him alone.
- He strengthens us for the difficult situations so that we can go through them with endurance and patience – which is part of the fruit of the Spirit.
- On a regular basis we need to crucify the flesh and its desires to walk in His perfect will on a daily basis.
- This is the most difficult part in following Jesus, and that is to die in yourself. Not my will, but Your will O God.
- And Paul adds this one word to the process: JOY!
7. With joy,
- Rejoice in the Lord always.
- 1 Petr 1: 6-8 “ …..rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.”
- Delight in the Lord with songs of praise, dance like David with all your might and worship Him.
- Rejoice in the love of the Lord and His amazing grace.
Paul provides 7 attack strategies with an eight one that will “seal the deal”. The number 8 means: New life/ new beginnings.
8. Giving thanks to the Father,
- When we give thanks to our Father, it is as if we place a seal on our faith in Him – we fully trust Him for our prayers.
- We release His awesome power and might concerning the scriptures over the people that we have prayed for.
- And we have lots of reason to thank our Father:
- Who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.
- He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,
- In whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
There is no room for negativity here when we praise our Father and give Him all our thanks.
- There is no room for unbelief in His promises
- And definitely no room for a pity party. Give thanks and rejoice in the Lord! Please get a life in Christ!
The Word of God is the true word of God and when He said he will not forsake us, He meant it. Through the Apostle Paul, God also provides a defense strategy to us:
The following verses also provides much more reason to thank our Father:
- Col 1:21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds,
- Col 1:22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him,
And the next verse is very important to look at: Col 1:23
9. If indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.
- You need to continue in the faith – stay on the attack.
- Build up your faith and trust in God. Get rid of the same emotions as Job.
- Be stable and steadfast – discipline yourself in your walk with God.
- Don’t allow yourself to loose hope in the gospel. Rom 1:16
- Keep your mind and heart clear from all sin and fill it with the Word of God.
The Church is being bombarded from every point and angle and the main purpose of the enemy is to steal your hope in the Word and gospel, to provide to you a “gospel” with no salvation power, to let you feel worthless and powerless and finally to oppress you with fear and terror.
Don’t allow satan to oppress and terrorize you with fear. Fear is the master key for the enemy to empower you.
But Isa 54:14 gives you assurance in the Lord: In righteousness you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you.
Hve a blessed day – and comfort someone else in the same way you have received comforting from the Word!
Please feel free to add other scriptures.
Message preached at End Time Pentecostal Ministries (Danville, Pretoria) by Past Eric Heath – 26 July 2009.