OUR CHALLENGES REQUIRE A REFOCUSING ON OUR PART
We are receiving a Kingdom that cannot be shaken, but until the fullness of that receiving, we will all go through times of great challenge and hardship, where we must take to time to refocus on who our rock is and where our strength and help comes from. Challenges and difficulties, drain us of strength, vitality and vigor and it is only in returning to the Lord as our source that we receive once again the assurance of being immovable and unshakable in him. We are priests and kings in this great kingdom, but we are also human beings in a sinful world who endure times of suffering, pain and opposition.
Philippians 1:6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
We can be sure that God is helping us, encouraging and strengthening us, as we go through these hard times; most often, we only get through these challenges, as we yield to the power of his strength, love and amazing grace. Some of these challenges are so hard that we feel as if we cannot go on, but I assure you today that you can, because his grace and strength are enough.
2 Corinthians 12:8-10 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
The reasons for our suffering may be different than the Apostle Paul's, but the remedy in this scripture remains the same. His amazing grace! As soldiers of the cross of Christ, we can either allow our challenges to defeat us or use them as opportunity to grow us in greater confidence, and boldness.
Philippians 1:12-14 Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.
We understand how exuberant the grace of God is during such times of great opposition and warfare, and how we can endure more than we think we can.
SUFFICIENT: adequate, enough, as much as is needed
Now here's a thought- "As much as is needed." Your challenge will meet the grace of God head on, if only you let it. We must not charge ahead in our own strength but rest in and rely on his grace, to meet the need.
CHALLENGE: difficulty, an objection as to the truth of something
We all incur challenges to our faith. They may take on the form of challenging situations, challenging people, challenging environments or challenges to our destiny and THE TRUTH of God. It has and will happen to all of us, as challenges are inevitable in this world. Jesus said to this very thing:
John 16:33 I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
Jesus knew what was coming to the disciples in the scripture, and he knows what is coming to weary, frustrate and challenge you. Not everything is the devils fault though and we must not blame others every time we have a challenging time. Sometimes it is us that needs fixing and we are standing in he way of our own progression. However, no matter the case, we always have opportunity to turn to God for the grace, help and strength we need. Through all of it though we are promised this:
Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Earlier in this chapter the apostle Paul is encouraging us to hold on as we endure such challenges, because it will produce something of eternal value if we give it time. A proper biblical perspective on the challenges we face is often what we need most. Why do we fight in this world as if we are the only ones fighting or have ever fought such battles? We don't need to re-invent the wheel of victory when God has already given us the blueprint in his Word.
Romans 8:31-32 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us,who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
What do you say in times of distress? What is your response? So often we are in the habit of complaining and blaming others or even God, when it does no good for us to act this way. It only further empowers the challenge. Shouldn't we learn to respond like the Apostle Paul?
"If God is for me who can be against me?"
If our conscience is clear of wrong doing then we can boast in God's saving power in our challenges. Slowing down when angry or frustrated, will help us get greater clarity and focus, as we allow Holy Spirit the opportunity to speak to us the truth about the matter. He may speak a scripture to your spirit that will illuminate your heart and mind and give you answer you need. He may involve others to help or he may give you a strategy in prayer to bring the breakthrough and clear up the matter. Hurrying into conversations with rash words and anger only strengthens the darkness and keeps us unsettled and out of peace.
As we go through and endure such challenges, slow down and pray. Do less talking to others or even to yourself, by taking every thought captive in obedience to God's Word. Don't let vain imaginations stir you up to believe the worst about yourself, others and especially not the Lord your God.
STRATEGY THIS WEEK:
pray, pray, pray, for it will return your strength to you-the fullness of his grace comes as you reach out to him in prayer
remember the power in the name of Jesus to lift you up out of your challenge
if you have the gift of speaking in tongues by Holy Spirit, then pray in your prayer language for a at least 5-10 minutes at a time or until your receive greater strength and clearing in your spirit-Holy Spirit knows what to pray even when we do not; proceed to do whatever Holy Spirit tells you
also you can begin taking simple steps to cleanse yourself and the places where challenges may have occurred.
once you receive greater clarity and if it involves a specific place, then you can either go to the place the challenge occur, or if not cleanse it in prayer from where you are
for example-if you had a challenging conversation in your home, you will need to go throughout your home and cleanse the atmosphere by applying the blood of Jesus to the frequencies and airways of the home, repenting for your involvement in the challenge and the negativity that may still be lingering; cleanse it out from negative emotions, and words that have lingered long after the challenge may have occurred. God will do it as you pray- and remove the unseen spiritual elements that are there
definitely take time to repent and cleanse yourself from negative self talk or from word curses spoken over you; ask God to cleanse your heart, your mind, your memories, your emotions, your feelings, what you saw, what your heard or what you said etc.
pray prayers like Psalm 51-"create in me a clean heart oh God and renew a right spirit within me..."
cleanse yourself form movie theaters and movies you watch at home as they have wicked content many times
cleanse yourself from negative atmospheres at work or in the market place when you have go out or travel; even if it is not pertaining directly with you; the airways are filled with all types of spiritual pollution and wickedness; perversion, angry words, and all forms of negativity; they affect us more than we realize because it clings to us spiritually and in our souls, as spiritual beings not just humans in bodies.
fortify yourself in prayer by putting on the Full Armor of God everyday (Ephesians 6:10-18)
take communion and remember the blood of Jesus
dedicate your atmospheres to the presence of the Lord by anointing those places with oil; places like your home, your property lines, at work, car, etc...govern it with worship, prayer and proper conversations
ask God to send his angels there to protect and help govern
declare out loud the power of the name of Jesus to these atmospheres and to the unseen realm, reasserting who God is to you
remember your dominion in the earth and govern all God has given you from this truth
play the word of God throughout your home or atmosphere to cleanse out impurities and fill your atmosphere with truth
I pray this encourages and empowers you to overcome some of the challenges of this life.
With much love and grace,