Wednesday, July 18, 2012
How time flies! 1...3...5...10 years have come and gone. We are living in the last days before the Lord's return. Even if it were to take some decades, it wouldn't feel very long too. Jesus warned us that in the last days there will be cosmic disruption, nation distress, earthquakes, famine, wars, and waves roaring. The world will experience great fear and hopelessness for the present and future. Despite what the world is going through, Christians ARE TO BE BOLD, POSITIVE AND FULL OF FAITH. We are to continue to put our trust in God and bring hope to the world. We are to preach the gospel of hope and bring God's glory to the lost world so that people will find salvation and peace in the midst of the turmoil and chaos.
This is THE reason for the outpouring of the Spirit of God. Isaiah 60:1-3 says "Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising." "Arise" means "get up and become powerful." The Lord calls us not just to endure the darkness but to arise in His manifest glory! This command has more relevance to us today because the world is experiencing the greatest moment of darkness in history and it will get even worse. God wants us, His Church, to rise up and manifest His glory in wherever we are -- in our working place, school & college, family and community.
The glory of God is His splendor, power, weightiness, authority, magnificence, honor, fame, dignity, riches, and excellency. It is His character and nature. His glory is glorious and notable. Is visible and tangible. God's plan is that here on earth, IN US, the glory of the Lord will be revealed. The luminous, radiant light of His Presence, as it shone from Moses' face and flooded Solomon's temple at its dedication, as it radiated from Jesus and bathed His disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration -- that light of God's Presence shall arise from within us. This same divine glory shall, in ever-increasing degrees of brightness, appear upon us. We are the ones who will give hope to the hopeless!
Some may say "but you do not know my difficulties and the challenges I am facing. I am feeling defeated, worn out and weak, lose heart and focus. I am the one who needs to be freed from depression. How can I rise up?" The Amplified version of Isaiah 60:1 says it this way "Arise (from the depression and prostration in which circumstances have kept you; rise to a new life)..." Right at this moment, even as you read these words, new life from the Presence of God is descending into your spirit. Receive it! Accept it! Obey it! To throw off oppression is not just an act of faith; it is an act of obedience. It is time to cancel our plans to be miserable! Through the blood of Christ, we break our covenant with death and darkness, we obey the voice of our destiny! After all, you are a true follower of Christ. Are you not?
The Spirit is preparing believers to receive and welcome the glory of God. He is moulding and teaching the Church today to move with Him so that the end-time Church will excel in greater glory. The different emphases of His work in believers to prepare the end-time Church for greater glory of God are as follows:
1. Abiding in His Presence daily. The Spirit is drawing believers into greater intimacy with the Lord. Believers are to build a deeper loving relationship with the Lord by spending time in the Word and prayer. Keep up this communication with Him throughout the day. Have lots of little conversations with God (the busiest mother, the engaged business person, the assignment loaded student, the full-time minister, etc, can do this).
2. Unity in the Body of Christ. The Spirit is inspiring believers to love one another. Learn to appreciate and care for one another. Accept one another despite each one's failures and weaknesses. Serve one another with gifts of the Spirit. Practice group prayer with prayer of agreement and intercession.
3. Becoming more Christ-like. God is transforming believers to be like Christ, overcoming our fears, insecurity, weaknesses and failures. Do not fear or think of yourself as unworthy. We all are! It is for His glory that we are being prepared. He made no mistake in choosing you, just as He made no mistake in dying for your sins. By His transforming power you become like Him, an overcomer!
Let us give our heart to it. Personal unworthiness and sense of inadequacy are not valid excuses. Your destiny is God's decision. Beware lest your sense of unworthiness become a cover up for unbelief. Let us be glad He chose to put His Spirit within us!
IT IS TIME TO ARISE! IF NOT NOW, WHEN?