Yolanda and I were on a walk the other day and we were talking about the success of God and the consistent failure of the devil. When we see things like the COVID19 virus happening around our world we can lose perspective on just how bad the track record of the devil really is when it comes to his interaction with man through the years. There are so many examples in the Bible that there should be a section somewhere dedicated in every Bible called “demonic failures through the years” just to keep the struggles of life in perspective.
Take the story of Joseph in the Bible. He was a young man with brothers who were jealous of the visions God would give him and essentially the favor that was on him from God from the beginning of his life. The devil inspired his brothers to sell him into slavery to get rid of him and to ruin his life. Ends up, that Joseph becomes the second most powerful man in Egypt behind Pharaoh and his most trusted advisor. Saving a country from famine with God’s direction and eventually having his brothers come before Joseph and expect to be punished for what they had done but seeing the mercy of God operate through Joseph.
Or take Shadrach Meshach and Abednego in the book of Daniel not submitting to King Nebuchadnezzar’s order to bow down to a false God. The devil inspiring the King to throw the three in a furnace and being so mad that he had the furnace heated SEVEN TIMES hotter than normal that they would be thrown into. The Bible says that some of the strongest soldiers were ordered to bind and throw the three into the furnace and because it was so hot the soldiers died throwing them in. Once they were thrown in Nebuchadnezzar looked into the furnace and not only where they not harmed but there was a figure in the fire that looked like the son of God! Once he saw they were not burning Nebuchadnezzar ordered Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego out of the fire. The Bible says that even their clothes didn’t smell like smoke! Because of the spiritual fortitude of these three servants of God Nebuchadnezzar ORDERED that no one speak against God or they would be cut into pieces! Not only were Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego saved but the king honored them and gave them even HIGHER positions in Babylon. In BABYLON!
And the king topper “demonic OOPS” of all time was the crucifixion of Jesus on the cross. Satan thought he had won. After the accusations of Judas, the denials of Peter, the scourging and public humiliation in front of a crowd that chanted for his death and the release of a KNOWN criminal, nailed to a cross for all to see, pure and utter failure. The devil lost the keys to death and hell, Peter who was the denier or deniers became THE ROCK that Jesus spoke of and Jesus was known to be seen by over 500 (OVER FIVE HUNDRED) people after he came back from the dead.
When we keep sickness, disease and like in perspective of eternity and also the track record of the devil on this earth we can say with certainty that God is STILL in control and establishing his kingdom on this earth through his believers
Today, take a moment and no matter what you are going through in life, raise a hallelujah and thank God that he gave US the ability to defeat the devil. I was praying for a family friend and his wife who had contracted the COVID19 virus and posted on his Facebook Page: “Bottom Line. Satan always loses. God ALWAYS wins.” Grab ahold of the promises of God for your life and believe for God to come through in your situation. To overcome fear with faith and for God to give you power to not just fight the devil but to realize that the BATTLE IS ALREADY WON.
Praying for you all in this time of the perfecting of our faiths.
Yesterday we were in the studio taping some new PUSH (Pray Until Saturation Happens) 15 minute prayer programs. Co-founder of My Faith Votes, Mick Yates, was in the studio with us and his organization put some specific prayer points out that the body of Christ can be praying and we wanted to share them with you.
I don't know about you, but I am finding no shortage of things to cover in prayer and battle for in the heavenlies. The physical health of our nation, wisdom for our countries administration, our economy, things done in secret that need to be brought to light, other countries that are having intense problems, darkness that Hollywood is putting out, all the while not forgetting our families, neighborhoods, schools, and listening to Holy Spirit for personal direction.
As a Christian there is no better time to be alive! When Satan comes in like a flood, we raise up a standard- that standard is the Word of God. Ephesians 6:12 says "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." This scripture is surrounded by the instruction about the armor of God.
It is the believers responsibility to change culture through walking out the heart and love of God. If we want to see change, we must battle for it-Evil is not going to let go easily. BUT God is so much greater and stronger than any Evil that exists.
One example of Evil in Hollywood is the movie, The Hunt. It is finally being released in theaters. Last year they tried to release it and there was a small outcry against it. The movie features wealthy liberal elites who travel to a private resort to gruesomely kill conservatives. In the movie people with morals and good values are handpicked to be hunted down and killed just for having expressed pro-life positions on social media.
After considerable backlash the film was pulled from theatrical release.
Here is an update from MOVIEGUIDE.org
WE KNEW THAT THE BATTLE WAS FAR FROM OVER
Back in September, after we were able to get the movie pulled, we told you that:
"Despite the enormous backlash against the movie, the movie’s filmmakers have not given up on their murderous fantasy! In their announcement canceling the release they stated, “We stand by our filmmakers . . . but we understand that now is not the right time to release this film.” Their statement is not ambiguous, they still plan to release the film.
For now, they are simply buying time until people are no longer paying attention so they can release it again." And that's exactly what happened. They shelved the movie until after the controversy died down.
THESE MOVIES HARM CHILDREN AND TEENAGERS
This kind of movie harms children and teenagers. It is no coincidence that THE HUNT was pulled in the wake of unfortunate and devastating violence in the news. Studies have repeatedly shown that movies which depict extreme violence have a profound effect on children. We have seen the result that these types of movies have on society.
EVEN UNIVERSAL EXECUTIVES FELT UNEASY
Some executives at Universal felt uneasy when the studio acquired the script, yet others allowed the studio to green-light its production. Many studio executives understand the powerful effect that their movies have on children. These are the execs we continue to target and build relationships with! Movies like THE HUNT are only green-lit when these decision makers fail to stand up for their convictions. And because of this a few of these movies that negatively impact our families are produced every year.
WE CAN'T LET UP
The dirty secret is this: In Hollywood money is King. Without enormous financial pressure it is nearly impossible to stop a movie from being released once it has been produced and paid for. The studios want to recoup their investment. That's why we fight so hard to proactively reach and transform the lives of studio executives and the Hollywood shot callers. We have seen success in our fight because we help teach studio executives that these movies are harmful before they get made.
After the controversy died down Movieguide® was the only one still pushing the executives to pull the plug on THE HUNT permanently. That's why the executives at Universal were able to weather the storm. Our pressure wasn't strong enough to overpower their excuses and desire to recoup their investment. They tell us the movie is miss-understood, and that it isn't intended to be taken seriously, but we know that it will be, by impressionable youth who will be harmed by it.
Earlier I stated that there is no better time for a Christian to be alive, Here is why: When darkness is so dark, chaotic, deafening, and just plain ugly and the light overtakes it, it will be incredible to see the deliverance and transformation. It will be a REVOLUTION of transformation and no amount of Evil will stop it . There is no reason to fear- God is in us, surrounding us, with us, for us and HE WINS!
Our Job? Pray, Love, Give like people's lives depend on it........because, they do!
Assistant Manager @ Rocky Mountain CTN
Enjoy Life. Consider Eternity.
I took the above pictures on a trip to Moab (right) with friends a few years back. I thought it would be funny to take a picture that looked precarious and show it to Yolanda. The reality is that where that crack in the rock was (that I had to step over to get out further on the rock) could have given way and I would not be typing this blog for you now and Yolanda would be collecting life insurance on me. The image on the left is a foolish picture on a rock overhanging the Grand Canyon a few years back, thinking I was really cute. Not realizing that if even one strong gust of wind and I lost my footing that I would have had a quick trip to the bottom of the canyon with a sudden stop. Not wise.
I have been watching with amazement the hysteria building around the coronavirus situation and people throwing punches over toilet paper, companies running out of hand sanitizer and medical masks flying off store shelves like Willy Wonka chocolate bars in the movie Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I have seen friends and strangers post on social media saying that the end is nigh and you need to stock up on everything you can and barricade yourself in your house to people posting joke after joke not taking the situation seriously at all. To the normal observer, what is the correct course of action? And for a person who has faith in Jesus what is the proper balance of being prepared and thinking that nothing will even come of this virus business?
Well I have a few simple thoughts that I think can help us walk through this situation with wisdom and grace while helping people around us stay calm.
1 – True security in life is just an illusion
This can sounds like a “defeatist” statement to start a blog, but thinking that you can do things to prevent EVERYTHING bad from happening to you our your family is simply untrue. We can operate in wisdom in life and not put ourselves in places of intentional harm (like me and my “cliff pics”), but once we realize that we cannot truly prevent every bad thing from happening in life we come to the conclusion that it is better to trust in God than to trust ourselves.
I know that when I went through my health situation I had feelings of being out of control when it came to my health and it was a very unnerving thing. I thought I was doing everything right in my life to prevent bad things from happening to me and that was just not true. Essentially, sickness in my life was an interruption to my perfectly manicured religious life serving God when it was actually an incredibly important character-shaping opportunity that I made inexplicably worse by worrying. I forgot that the only true security we have in this life is Jesus, even though we can fool ourselves into thinking that if we only do “X, Y, and Z” that we can stop those things from happening. Trust in Jesus is not a prevention of adversity but a protection of our minds and hearts when going through storms.
2 – Non-Christians will be watching Christians react to this situation
Many times we forget that people who do not have a relationship with Jesus will watch how people who call themselves followers of Christ will react to situations like we are seeing around the world with the COVID-19 virus.
As a follower of Christ, I want people to see where I put my hope and not just what I react to while I am on this earth. I think we need to be wise and listen to those in medical authority that give instructions and warnings but I am not going to base my life on the fear that moves man when I have a hope in a God that knows my future just as much as I can see my now and reflect on my past.
Also never forget that the Bible is the perfect guidebook showing us how to walk in knowledge and wisdom and not just live recklessly and expect to have a “Jesus force field” around us while we test his protection. That would be walking in foolishness, which is not how we are called to conduct ourselves as an example of Christ to the world. People who don’t know God will probably not read the Bible but they will always “read” you when they know you follow him.
3 – It is always good to be prepared for trouble and also not acting ignorantly
I am firm believer in preparing for disasters and times of trouble. I have a 2 month supply of dehydrated food and water bricks to be able to use if disaster strikes because we can have a decent balance of wisdom and faith in God keeping us (as the old Christian hymn says…safe and secure from all alarms…leaning on the everlasting arms) and being practically prepared for adverse situations in life. I am also not acting ignorantly by going around proverbially “licking people’s faces” (haha) and inviting disease and sickness into my home or on me.
We need to be practically prepared for things that can happen but also not oblivious to how those things can affect us.
4 – People’s reactions can be signs that they are ready to receive Jesus!
The reactions to people cleaning out Costcos and Walmarts of toilet paper, hand sanitizer and surgical masks is proof that deep down, people who do not know Jesus as their anchor and compass in life have a deep rooted fear in death and disease. They can go about their daily lives suppressing those emotions with the pursuits of life but when push comes to shove (literally fist fights over keister-wiping material) they are just scared little kids doing what they can to survive as long as they can on this earth because this is all they think they have is now. As a believer and follower of Christ, we have the answer to that fear; an enteral hope in Jesus and his eternal protection for our lives. It is not a guarantee that trouble will not hit on this earth because as I mentioned earlier, there is no real cure for evil. BUT there is a security in knowing a God that can keep you through the struggles of life and help you not just barely get by but to live an overcoming life! When we see people’s fearful reaction to what is happening around us we need to ask the Holy Spirit to give us intersections into people’s lives to help bring TRUE peace. Peace that the Bible says “passes all understanding” (Philippians 4:7).
5 - (Most Importantly) We need to be praying
How many of us have prayed for the coronavirus situation in our world? And if we have prayed about it, have we prayed more than just “please Lord, don’t let it happen to me or my family”? We have access to real authoritative power in Jesus who can do much more than we could ever ask, dream or think not only in our lives but the lives of those around us. If someone has paralyzing fear of this virus outbreak then the virus is already affecting them without having even one symptom of the disease. This is the REAL threat to people; a fear of the unknown.
Today, ask God to give you balance in how you will not react to the situations like the COVID-19 virus but to ACT OUT in Godliness to show the world who you trust and where your hope stands. My hope is in the creator of the universe and not 12 boxes of surgical masks, 52 gallons of hand sanitizer and 100 rolls of the finest toilet paper money can buy.
2 verses for you to stand on
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil. For you are with me. Your rod and your staff they comfort me.
I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from ALL my fears.
Praying for God’s best for you and an infusion of his power and peace to flood you so that it overflows to the people around you.
*Colorado Springs @ Springs First Church, March 13th - 15th.
*Denver @ Denver First Church, March 20th - 22nd.
For more information or to purchase tickets: https://www.thethorn.net/buy-tickets
The Thorn is a visually dynamic and heart-stirring theatrical portrayal of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Not your average Passion play, The Thorn combines martial arts, aerial acrobatics and emotionally powerful performances that have been engaging audiences across the US for over 20 years.
Something transformational happens when we walk the streets of our community while conversing with God. This month, choose to believe that the gospel is transformative and that God's Spirit is at work in us and in our neighborhoods by intentionally praying for your community. Hopefully, this will stimulate a lifetime practice of prayer for the place where you live. Whether you reside in the heart of a major city, in suburbia, or in the middle of the countryside, God has people who live right where you are. Love deeply and give your life away for the sake of the Kingdom!
Over a seven-day period take time to WALK, PRAY, PAY ATTENTION, and LISTEN.
Day one: Lord, please deepen my love for my neighborhood, this place I call home.
Day two: Lord, help me to learn the names of those living by me.
Day three: Lord, thank You for the gift of a new day! May You surprise me as I walk these streets and enjoy this time with You.
May a "divine appointment" happen today!
Day four: Lord, would You give me the time and capacity to practice hospitality this month.
Day five: Lord, help me be faithfully present in my neighborhood. May I intentionally say yes and no to the right things so I have more time for my neighbors.
Day six: Lord, please bring to mind specific Scripture that speaks to loving people and the expansion of the gospel.
Day seven: Lord, please help me identify "people of peace"- people who care deeply about my neighborhood
How exciting it will be to see God moving and working in the lives of your neighbors.
*This material has been developed by the Navigators. For the full list of a 30-day program and more, go to:
At Rocky Mountain CTN our mission is focused on empowering viewers to discover a fulfilled life by providing relevant media that connects people to God and community to change our culture. This blog is made up of thoughts to start that change.
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