Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | May 21, 2015

May 21, 2015 “The Siege”

 Dear friends, I’ve dropped everything to write you about this life of salvation that we have in common. I have to write insisting—begging!—that you fight with everything you have in you for this faith entrusted to us as a gift to guard and cherish.” (Jude 1:3)

Good Morning Everyone, and a most blessed day to you all!

Christians around the world, and Christianity itself, is under siege. In our own nation, business that firmly and unashamedly propound Christian principles and beliefs find themselves in courtrooms defending their first amendment constitutional rights which state that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” Lawsuits alleging discriminatory practices by these businesses are on the upswing.  As troublesome as these cases are to those of our nation merely standing on their deeply held faith principles, things are far worse in other hot spots around the globe, where Christian persecution has risen to levels approaching the early days of the faith, with Christians being executed…murdered…decapitated because of their loyalty to Jesus Christ. This battle must be engaged with the powerful weaponry at our disposal…the mighty power of fervent prayer. In his epistle, Jude admonishes…pleads with his Christian brethren “ insisting—begging!—that you fight with everything you have in you for this faith entrusted to us as a gift to guard and cherish.” We who are followers of Jesus Christ must learn to unleash that which already dwells within us…God’s Holy Spirit, who, among other things, is the Spirit of Prayer who intercedes before the Throne of Grace  ” with groanings too deep for words.”  

Pastor Mike Bickle writes, “We must press in for fullness, desiring to operate in a true spirit of prayer, that God would literally break in through our intercession, preaching a message from heaven to earth. There is an authority and anointing in prayer when we lift our voices to heaven: angels move, demons flee, nations shake, and God breaks in.”  I have often pondered why Christians are often so docile while under such attack. I think perhaps it is due in part to our misunderstanding of Jesus’ nature. We often picture him as in the old hymn “Gentle Jesus, Meek and Mild” rather than as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords…the roaring Lion of Judah who sits at the right hand of the Father. We grasp a bit of the work of the Holy Spirit as our comforter in times of distress but neglect the fact that He is our Intercessor before the Throne of Grace and the One before whom  “angels move, demons flee, nations shake, and God breaks in.”  Christian author and pastor Andrew Murray once noted,

“Through His Spirit, the Spirit of prayer, our life may be one of continual prayer. The Spirit of prayer will help you become an intercessor, asking great things of God for those around you.”

Are your prayers too small? Are they something along the lines of “thank you for the world so sweet…thank you for the food we eat”  a lovely little prayer but hardly one adequate to sustain us for the siege that has befallen us, or have you learned to ask and expect God to do far greater things in your life and in the lives around you. As Murray notes, the Spirit of prayer, that is, the Holy Spirit, will help you become an intercessor, engaged fully in the warfare that is now at hand, for it is that same Spirit that stands as an intercessor before the Throne of Grace on our behalf as well. Let’s pray!

Mighty Lord; Reveal more of your limitless power and grace in my life. Instill within my heart more confidence, more expectation, more boldness as I pray, full of the knowledge that it is your divine Spirit of prayer that dwells within me, making intercession on my behalf and on behalf of those I lift up as well. This I do expectantly pray in Jesus’ Great and mighty name. Amen!

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