Sorry it’s been so long since the last post. Shortly after taking another significant step toward fulfilling our new assignment, we were hit with an insane attack that we’ve been battling the past 7 weeks. We believe the Lord’s been showing us it’s the adversary blocking the door of opportunity He’s set before us (I Corinthians 16:9). I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that the enemy doesn’t roll out the red carpet to cheer us on to victory, but will fight us each step of the way. As they say, “new level, new devil.” Thankfully, God prepared us before this attack began by taking us back to the “Slaying the Giants and Possessing the Land” series to remind us of those lessons. He wanted us to know before the battle began that we already have the victory.
I’ve had a number of messages lining up to share from what He’s been ministering to us through this time. I’ve just been trying to find time to finish them. Instead of going in chronological order, I’ll start with this series of words from last Sunday that I shared with a few family and friends Monday. Since it was also an encouragement to several of them, I wanted to pass it along to you as well. God’s been revealing that many are also facing severe attacks right now and feel the enemy has backed them into a corner, so I hope this message strengthens you as you continue to overcome.
From the beginning of the battle (even before it began), God was already giving me the Scriptures I needed to stand on to overcome. So I’d been fighting with the promises He’d given and speaking/prophesying to the mountain. But a few weeks ago He began to also surround me with reminders to praise and thank Him in the midst of the situation. He reminded me that He has ordained praise to be strength for us, to silence the foe and avenger, and that since He inhabits our praises, it ushers His manifest presence into our circumstance (Psalm 8:2, Matthew 21:16, Psalm 22:23). When I saw this devo last Sunday morning, I knew He was continuing with this theme:
April 19 – Be of Good Cheer
And now I exhort you to be of good cheer. Acts 27:22
What do you do when you’re in a really perilous situation?
If you’re like I used to be, you cry out to God in desperation. One afternoon when I was squalling to God about something, He interrupted me and said, Kenneth, … I hear the desperation cry of a sinner because that’s all he can cry about. But once you get born again, son, you ought to be crying out of faith. I hear the faith cry.
What is a faith cry? It’s calling things that be not as though they were (Romans 4:17). It’s what the Bible means when it says, “…Let the weak say, I am strong” (Joel 3:10).
The Apostle Paul knew how to use the faith cry. That’s why, in Acts 27, he exhorted the men on that battered, sinking ship to “be of good cheer.” (This was because he had received a word from God about the situation.). He was telling them to start acting by faith. Can’t you imagine what those sailors thought when he said that? Listen to that stupid preacher. We’re sinking and he says be of good cheer. We’ve thrown everything we have overboard and he says be of good cheer.
You may feel just like those sailors did, right now. You may feel like your ship’s going down. You may feel like crying out in desperation. But don’t do it. Instead, do what Paul said and be of good cheer! Cry out to God in faith and say, “Lord, I’m not going to panic. I’m not going to despair. I’m going to be of good cheer because Your Word says You’ll deliver me from this situation” (Psalm 34:19). Then start being cheerful. It may take more determination than anything you’ve ever done before, but God will give you the strength to do it. He’ll give you the power to be cheerful in the middle of the most ungodly darkness the devil can bring up. Instead of crying out in desperation, take a faith stand. Sing and rejoice and praise God for your deliverance. Be of good cheer and you can be sure God will bring you through the storm just fine!
Scripture Reading: Philippians 4:4-9
This additional encouragement to praise was powerful since from the beginning, God had referred to this situation as a storm. From one of the first nights, when I was near panic, He began surrounding me with the reminder that He has not given me a spirit of fear, but of POWER, LOVE, and a SOUND MIND. He said He did not want me to panic (which seems to be a temptation with every new severe attack), but that He wanted to be my Anchor to hold me steady, stable, and secure through it.
What Kenneth said about the cry of faith vs. the cry of desperation also confirmed things I’d just been rereading that week (from my Scripture cards of things God spoke to me in 2013) about praying in faith and not in fear. (It also brought to mind the powerful lessons He taught through ~ God Cannot Forget You)
Later that day, we decided to read the next chapters of a book we’d been reading together very sporadically, (Spirit of Faith – which I’d read years earlier, but Jesse hadn’t). We “just happened” to be ready for chapters 9 and 10. In chapter 9 Mark Hankins told about going coyote hunting and how the coyote call sounded like a wounded rabbit:
“We never got a coyote that day, but I learned a valuable lesson. The Lord began to talk to me about faith. Many people, even Spirit-filled Christians, are continually whining and speaking defeat and depression, calling the coyote of failure. Their wounded rabbit call attracts the devil, and he comes to devour them for lunch! …We have many wounded rabbits in the church who need to change their sound. (The devil) must get you to agree with doubt and fear before he can harm you. AGREE WITH GOD. Faith agrees with God and shuts the door on the evil. By changing your sound to a bold declaration of who you are in Christ Jesus, you will begin to attract the blessings of God in greater measure. … A good place to start is Philemon 6 – that the communication of your faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. … We need to acknowledge our identification with Christ by boldly saying, “The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear…,” Hebrews 13:6. I am who God says I am. I have what God says I have. I can do what God says I can do. We will no longer speak the cry of defeat, fear, and doubt – but by acknowledging our identification with Christ, we will begin making the sounds of victory, health, prosperity, and blessing.”
I knew God was confirming what Kenneth talked about that morning, since he also talked about changing your sound – from a cry of desperation to a cry of faith – including declarations of God’s Word, praise, and thanksgiving. As we continued to chapter 10 we were amazed by more precise confirmation from what He’d spoken through Kenneth.
“The spirit of faith works by believing and speaking. … In other words for faith to work properly, it must be in your heart and in your mouth (Romans 10:8-10; Mark 11:23). The word spoken to you must be spoken through you. The spirit of faith does not guarantee that you won’t have any storms in life. The storms of life come to everyone. However, the spirit of faith is what enables you to face the storms and overcome. The Apostle Paul illustrated this while at sea in the middle of a life threatening storm. …Be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me. ~ Acts 27:25 (precise confirmation of example used in kcm devo!!)
The spirit of faith will put you over. In the middle of trouble, Paul said, “Cheer up, everyone! I believe God!” One person with the spirit of faith can change the destinies of many others. Paul said, “It shall be even as it was told me.” God’s Word is the foundation for our faith. …What does the Word say? What has God spoken to you? Believe it and say it. It will put you over. It will take you through the storms of life and enable you to finish your course.”
We were once again in awe of God’s orchestration to lead us to pick up that book we hadn’t read from in months and that we “just happened” to be ready for chapters that had precise confirmations of what He’d just ministered to us that morning! Though God does this for us continually, we never cease to be overwhelmed and in awe of Him.
Some of the other confirmations in those chapters of themes God’s also been emphasizing were: (Quotes and paraphrases)
Fear not, believe only ~ Luke 8:50 (Which went along with the verse God gave me the day before – If you believe, you will see the glory of God. John 11:40) There will be a fight in your worst circumstances. There will be a moment when you have to choose to either be full of fear or believe God. Jesus grabbed Jairus in the middle of his crisis and gave him a word. Jesus will give you a word in the middle of your crisis, too. He interrupts what others are telling us and the doubts and fears flooding our minds to give us a word from heaven. …You don’t have to change the whole situation; you just have to do your part – fear not–only believe. If you can stay in faith, Jesus will come to your house.… There is a fight of faith necessary to lay hold on the blessings of God. Get a grip on the spirit of faith and keep it.
(There were also confirmations from the series of words I was meditating on the day before from my Scripture cards about doing/receiving the impossible.)
“If you can believe; all things are possible to the one who believes.” Mark 9:23
“Faith is unlimited. The spirit of faith takes the limits off God. …The spirit of faith believes and speaks the unlimited possibilities of God “For with God, nothing shall be impossible.” Luke 1:37 …The spirit of faith will POSITION YOU to receive God’s best blessings.” (He’s been answering our prayers about how to be “properly positioned” through a number of words – but being properly positioned in FAITH has been one of the consistent answers He’s given to that question.)
“According to your faith be it unto you.” ~ Matthew 9:29 (2nd time I’d seen that verse that day)
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind” ~ II Tim 1:7 (recurring theme since one of the first nights of this battle)
He talked about having to get radical b/c you’re fighting a spirit (fear). You must resist it – speak to it, take authority over it, and confess the word of God that contradicts the lies fear brings. Faith in God is faith in His Word. Believe God, Believe the Word, and Speak with the voice of faith. Your faith is voice-activated. The Word of God breaks the spirit of fear. Faith comes by hearing and hearing (continuously, repetitively) the Word.
Since Mark talked about needing to know what God said to you for your situation, as we went to bed that night I was asking Him to continue to speak very clearly about that. I had the Scriptures He’d given me for this battle, but needed continued encouragement since failure to see breakthrough thus far was beginning to make the situation appear impossible – and that it would now take a miracle for it to happen. As I prayed, God gave Jesse this word from Ivan Tait’s book. (This was one He gave us/confirmed in an amazing way last year, as shared in Part 7 of Hold Fast Your Profession, so it was already very special to us.)
He did not weaken in faith when he considered the [utter] impotence of his own body, which was as good as dead because he was about a hundred years old, or [when he considered] the barrenness of Sarah’s [deadened] womb. Romans 4:19
ABRAHAM DID NOT WEAKEN IN FAITH as he considered (the “impossible” looking circumstances). DO NOT CAVE IN! Today, REACH into Me! REACH into My strength! STRETCH YOURSELF into the storehouse of My FAITH. I AM NOT MOVED BY THE CIRCUMSTANCE YOU ARE IN; I DECIDE WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO YOU, AND MY DECISION FOR YOU IS MIRACLE BREAKTHROUGH. WHATEVER APPEARS IMPOSSIBLE, I WILL BRING INTO REALITY. PROCLAIM YOUR VICTORY NOW! …
Thank you Jesus! The next morning we listened to TDJ’s service from Sunday and to a Joyce teaching (whom we hadn’t listened to for months and were just starting to try to catch up). The guest speaker at TDJ told a story that illustrated how we have to put our FAITH IN OUR MOUTH (speaking, declaring, proclaiming the Word in faith). He also talked about PRAISE being our WEAPON. We hear you God! Afterward, when we listened to Joyce’s message, we were in awe when she also talked about PRAISE being our WEAPON, thanksgiving being a weapon, and the WORD of God being our Weapon.
The confirmations of purposefully CHEERING UP and praising instead of panicking in the midst of tribulation and storms because we believe God’s promises have continued this week, but this is already too long to share more. 😀 Praying for all of us to overcome every attack and obstacle in the power of Christ, and that in that process we will make sure we change our sound from panic to praise, from prayers of fear, cries of desperation, or declarations of worry, complaint, or defeat to prayers, cries, and declarations of faith. Let’s not only be speaking and prophesying God’s Word to our situation, but remembering to continually thank and praise Him in the midst of the storm ~ not only for all He’s already done, but for all we know He will do based on His promises. Cheer up; fear not; only believe.
Blessings and Prayers,