Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. KJV
For years the Lord has marked the message I carry with supernatural signs and wonders. Our Lord of Hosts wants His house of prayer for all nations built, David's tabernacle restored and His army mobilized as their is a great harvest that our Lord expects as we approach the end of the age.
God's used many supernatural signs to encourage me often in spite of opposition, criticism, the spiritual dullness that accompanies complacency. Now the sign in this picture isn't supernatural but I find it very amusing. God knows me. He knows how my mind works and He knew where we would live and knew what He called us to do. Whether the county workers realized it or not, I think God had them place that sign there just to amuse and encourage me.
This is the sign at the entrance to our driveway; "Road Narrows." When I first saw it I thought of this as "the gateway to the narrow way." This is a place where many disciples will begin their walk towards their high call in Christ Jesus. Matthew 7:13-14 was the first scripture that came to mind because that's the first place in the New Testament where Jesus admonished us to enter by the strait or narrow gate because it was the narrow way that led to life. I got a chuckle out of it as this was the birthplace of Kingdom League International (KLI) and Christ knew the vision before we wrote it down. (Members of KLI pay attention! While I find this amusing it is also very serious.)
We (KLI) seek to make disciples, who make disciples, who make disciples unto our Lord Jesus Christ. We are called to reveal Him for when He is revealed 1 John 3:2 says that "when He is revealed we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is." We are passionate about inviting Christ's abiding presence personally and corporately within our city and region. But that requires entering at a narrow gate and following a narrow way. The Greek word translated "strait" or "narrow" depending on your translation is absolutely insightful and intriguing when you understand the root of the word.
If you know me you know that I love to unpack the in depth meanings of Hebrew and Greek words. The term league within the name of our ministry is loaded with meaning that expresses an important characteristic we are called to demonstrate. "League" comes from the Hebrew word "berit." This word in the Old Testament is usally translated...
Satan launched an all out campaign to undermine the fear of the Lord. How? I'm glad you asked.
The key is to undermine the truth that God is the Creator. When you get rid of the truth that there is a Creator then you have undermined that fact that there is "divine design." When you undermine divine design then the truth that everyone is created with a purpose is attacked. When purpose is destroyed then accountability is torpedoed. Accountability means the responsibilty to answer for your choices. When you destroy the concept of everyone giving an account for their life before an eternal God, then you have dismantled the fear of God. Psalm 111:10 and Proverbs 9:10 teach us that the fear of the Lord is the begining of wisdom.
There is lots of talk in the body of Christ today saying there is no need for fear because fear drives you away and does not draw you near. That's not totally true. There are two kinds of fear. Matthew 25 and Luke 19 Jesus illustrates the kind of fear that drives a wedge between the servant and his master. You remember the parable. Three servants were given some money. Two invested and recieved a return while one servant hid their talent out of fear. That kind of fear that provoked inaction and missed the mark actually contributed to the seperation between the master and his servant. (The introduction was inspired as I listend to Bill Johnson teach on "Dealing with Sexual Sin in the Church.")
There is another kind of fear based on reverence, love, respect and awe. Its the kind of fear that is found in a healthy relationship with a parent or a spouse. It is a recognition of the consequences possible through trust being violated. This kind of fear actually facilitates intimacy and draws us near.
Campaigns are a series of battles. Here are a few battles I'd like to highlight to illustrate the effects of Satan's strategy with the hope that it will inspire you to engage in God's divine plan for your life. Let's start with Satan's attack on accountability. I like to think of it as account-ability or as, do you have the ability to count?
If you are wondering if I was using a word play you are correct. Do you have the ability to make a difference? You can if you are honest and can count numerically. This is how you can introduce accountability (a count ability).
We need "strong men" today more than ever before in the body of Christ. Just before he dies King David tells his son Solomon how he can prove himself a man. This gives keen insight into the qualities God looks for in a man.
1 Kings 2:2-3
“I go the way of all the earth; be strong, therefore, and prove yourself a man. 3 And keep the charge of the Lord your God:to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His judgments, and His testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn;
Jesus likens casting out demons unto a man who contest the encroachment of another man on his property. It takes a stronger man to overcome one who is bound by demonic oppression. Jesus said,
Why does it seem like the world is going crazy? Matthew 24:12 sheds some light as to why.
"And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. " NKJV
The Greek word translated lawlessness here means "illegal violation of the law, wickedness, iniquity, and unrighteousness. It comes from a word that means lawless." It is either breaking established boundaries or operating outside of boundaries wether knowingly or in ignorance.
The word abound means multiply and the word translated love refers to the "agape" unconditional love of God.
The word translated "cold" is fascinating and sheds tremendous light. The Greek word translated cold is actually "psycho." In the Greek it means to breathe on something so as to reduce the tempature or make it cool. This word also serves as the basis for our modern understanding of "psycho" used in words such as a psychopathic or psychotic person. Dictionary.com says these are crazy or mentally unstable.
Matthew 24:12 means "and because lawlessness, people acting as if there are no absolutes, boundaries or eternal laws, continue to multply their love for God wains and they act like they've lost their mind doing crazy things."
The truth is without the love of God people go crazy and do stupid things. Sin makes people stupid. Stupid refers to a dulled, foolish or senseless mind.
Are you going through a real stressful time? Do you feel like you are about to "FREAK OUT?"
Well that's not good. "Freaking out" is a sure sign that fear has taken over and is digging its tentacles into your mind to torment you. 1 John 4:18 says,
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. NKJV
Faith works by love and the bible says that perfect love casts out fear. There is a good kind of fear (ie. fear of the Lord, sharks, climbing a mountain, entering a combat zone etc.) that heightens our senses and leads to wiser choices. Then there is the bad fear that torments and causes us to freeze up. That is the kind of fear we want to avoid.
Working Out in the Spirit
Some stress is good! That's what causes muscles to grow. You just need to make sure you strike a balance between fear, rest, and God's nutrition. Allow the thing that is the catalyst for fear (that's the thing that first concerns you) motivate you to take action. Fear can be like a heavy weight that can immobilize you. So, let's think of this like a workout.