Encouraged in the Lord-Revival week January 3-9
This next season requires spiritual maturity and steadfastness. I will not be moved. God gave me the following Scripture in the late summer of 2019 for the darkness that was coming in 2020
Isaiah 60:1-2 Arise (from your prostrate and depressed position), shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. 2 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.
“Are You a Fair-Weather Warrior?”- Title
“And David was greatly distressed; for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.” 1 Samuel 30:6 KJV
2019 was a rough year. I read these words from Scripture and I can relate of having everyone you have loved and taken care of turn on you. I wanted to quit. Ps Matt was attacked, I was attacked, my kids were attacked. We were publicly shamed. The enemy tried to destroy our whole church. This is not new things to us, we have people attack us all the time, but this was a large scale- well orchestrated attack of the enemy and it was probably one of the most hurtful times of my life. Some of you do not realize what this church is to Ps matt and I, it is not just a “church”, it’s not our job or even our ministry, it is our child. We have loved, cared for and sacrificed for her and it was almost destroyed in 2019.
The Holy Spirit spoke a word to me in that season that I have held onto: “Crystal, the enemy doesn’t have to completely destroy you. He just has to do enough to render you ineffective”. And He gave me through another lady one of my life verses (it is an obscure verse that the Lord spoke to me the first year of my salvation)
Proverbs 24:10 “if you faint in the days of adversity, your strength is small”
A fair-weather warrior faints in the day of adversity. God uses adversity to refine us. Give yourself over to the process. David encouraged himself in the Lord
“Encourage” is from the Hebrew châzaq: to be or grow firm or strong, strengthen, to strengthen, prevail, harden, be strong, become strong, be courageous (put courage in), be firm, grow firm, be resolute, be sore
The opposite of encourage is to be discouraged. Discouragement is a tool of the enemy and only leads into more destruction. In this life, you will have to consistently fight against becoming discouraged. How do we fight discouragement?
The first thing David did to put courage in himself was to inquire of the Lord: v. 8
Humility- David did not press on in his own strength and knowledge. He didn’t retaliate out of vengeance. He didn’t quit. He humbled himself to seek God. Pride will cause the Lord to resist you. Before you do ANYTHING, you should inquire of the Lord. And I don’t mean just the big things, but the small. Before you move and before you apply for a job, and even before you plan a vacation. Inquire of the Lord EX: I remember when we wanted to go to Disneyland a few years ago with a group of people and as I prayed about it, I kept hearing, ”do not go”. We canceled. Two days before we were scheduled to go, I had a derm appt. and the dr. wanted to remove a mole
What’s your attitude toward prayer to God? Do you hope He hears? David knew God heard him and he believed the Word of the Lord “you shall recover all”:
Psalm 116:1 I love the Lord, because He has heard my voice and my supplications.
I know God hears my prayers. I don’t just hope that He hears me, I know He hears me. And because I know He hears me, I know He will answer. EX: I was in a prayer meeting and a lady asked for a prayer requests and another lady in the group who knew me very well said, “Get Crystal to pray for you. God always answers her prayers.” I laughed. But that was her perception of me. As I look back on my life and my prayer life, He has answered because I know He hears me. I have been able to overcome because I know He hears me. I have been delivered and healed because I know He hears me and I believe His Word.
Some of you do not have this knowledge. You are just throwing prayers up hoping they get to His ear.
Listen to God’s commands and obey. V. 9 “so David went”.
Submission is key to this next season. “Anything short of obedience to God smacks of cheap grace” Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
Actions must follow what one believes. If you call Him Lord, you must do what He says. This next season God will give us specific instructions. You must be in a position to hear and you must be submitted to obey. Obedience is truly life or death.
Utterly trust God. God cannot help unless you act in faith and obedience.
Submission to God and His Word INCLUDES submission to His earthly authority- the church and its leaders. Notice David did not accomplish this mission on his own. While he encouraged himself, he needed submitted men to gain the victory. Authority is of God. This has been lost in today’s church. I googled Hebrews 13:17 and one of the top things that showed up was a blog against submission to church leadership
Hebrews 13:17 Obey those who [a]rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.
The reference here is to church leaders, and not to civil rulers. They were to show them proper respect, and to submit to their authority in the church, so far as it was administered in accordance with the precepts of the Word of God. Obey- Greek to “assent to their authority”. Man cannot make himself a pastor. God does. If man makes himself a pastor, he is a false teacher. The obligation to obedience does not, of course, extend to anything which is sinful. The doctrine is, that submission is necessary to the welfare of the church, and that there ought to be a disposition to yield all proper obedience to those who are set over us in the Lord.
Pastoral ministry is for your profit; if its result is groaning, its whole purpose will be frustrated
2 Peter 2:10 and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of [a]dignitaries,
Peter is warning against false teachers- they are known by certain attributes and one is that they despise authority and speak evil of dignitaries. This word dignitaries here concerns those to whom honor is due. These have a lack of reverence for God’s holy leadership and earthly authority. This is speaking of ecclesiastical government. False teachers are injurious to themselves, disturbers of churches, and pernicious to God’s ordained government. (civil, family and church) Jude says the same:
Jude 8 Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of [a]dignitaries.
We will never accomplish the will of God for our church and as individuals if we are not submitted. In fact, do not even ask for the will of God in your life if you are not submitted to His earthly authority.
I had a friend whose clothes had the same musty smell as her house. Ever fry fish and then go somewhere? Everyone knows you were frying fish. You take on the smell of your home. You also take on the smell of your church. I can tell you in full assurance that Pastor Matt knows who is submitted and who is not. I will tell you this- if you are not committed, you are not submitted. If you do not tithe, serve, give, regularly fellowship here, you are not submitted. And If you are not submitted, you are not under authority and if you are not under authority, you are not under God’s protection and therefore are operating and living outside the will and protection of God.
Because leadership encouraged ourselves in the Lord in 2019, we were able to be strong and courageous through 2020. I had multiple people tell Ps Matt and I thank you for leading us courageously through this year. We were just following your lead.
Let’s look at what David’s men did- they spoke of stoning him. Why did they not encourage themselves in the Lord? Why was their first instinct to attack and blame their leader? They were fighting along side him the whole time until this point.
To be a mighty warrior and not a fair weather one- you must resist turning on your leader in the hard times!
“A Pastor that preaches the undefiled, untwisted, unadulterated Word of God in a carnal Church world; where there is little to no correction or standard of Holiness, is preparing you for the day you stand naked and open before the Holy God of that Holy Word. The God that is an all consuming fire. The God that sent His Son so that you could be separate from the world, not mix in like a chameleon. Be very thankful for a Pastor who prepares you for that day.”
Realize that there are hard times to be had while serving God.
These usually aren’t leadership’s fault. In fact, this would be the time when leadership needs the most support. Why did no one ask David how he was doing? He lost everything just as they had.
This is how a fair-weather warrior acts. God uses adversity to refine us. Give yourself over to the process, learn through the adversity and quit complaining.
Do you turn on your leader when things are bad? We have godly leadership at this church. We have leaders that strengthen themselves in the Lord and seek for His direction. I know my husband seeks the Lord for this church and he takes his position as senior pastor very seriously. If you do not think so, then you should not be here.
God places the members in the Body. If you are here, then you have to trust that God has placed you here. And if He has placed you here, we have something you need therefore you need to submit to the authority of this church.
This group of men who talked of stoning David had come to him for help and they gathered to him
1 Samuel 22:2 And everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was [a]discontented gathered to him. So he became captain over them. And there were about four hundred men with him.
They were failing initially, but because they had a godly leader who didn’t give and quit, they were led on into victory. A godly leader will determine if you are victorious or not.
It’s important to note that these SAME men were named among David’s mighty men. David’s Mighty Warriors are a group of 37 men in the Hebrew Bible who fought with King David and are identified in 2 Samuel 23:8–38. Although they did not start out that way, they became famous for valor and victorious in battle. God uses adversity to refine us. Give yourself over to the process of becoming a warrior.
You can start off distressed and discontent, but at some time you have to grow up and mature. You should not be staying in this condition. Are you growing or are you spiritually degenerating?
This is what I see, people go through something and they either run away from God or they endure for a time. They will come to church for a time. Attend Bible study for a time. They will only do things for a time until that season is over. This is a fair-weather warrior. The mighty men/women of God endure and are diligent at all times. We persevere and do not lose heart.
EX: I have been running Bible study every week ever since the church started. Most people have just come and gone, but those who have stuck with me have grown tremendously.
If you only attend things when you want to or when you feel like it or when you are going through something; you will never be victorious. This is stunted growth. You are still a baby. Grow up
1 Corinthians 3:2-3 I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; 3 for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and [a]behaving like mere men?
Hebrews 5:12-14 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the [a]oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are [b]of full age, that is, those who by reason of [c]use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Signs of a fair-weather warrior- attack preachers of righteousness (let a preacher talk about divorce), disobedience to God’s Word (you pick and choose which parts you want to obey and which you do not), consumer mentality (the church exists to serve me) you treat the church as a “common” thing(so sick of this), offended by everything, jealous of others victories, not generous, all talk and no action, will not receive instruction or rebuke, constant grumbling and complaining.
If any of these hit home, you have some maturing to do. Repent and submit and you WILL be victorious. Give yourself over to the process.
These became mighty men because they submitted to godly leadership and shared in the vision of their leader. A godly leader will take you from zero to hero- if you give yourself over to the process of instruction and discipleship. Di- vision means two visions. Division is a tool of the enemy- don’t be a tool for evil. A mighty warrior does not operate alone. The submitted person operates in unity with the Body. David was not who he was without his men and his men were not who they were without him. He may have been able to slay a giant on his own, but he could not slay the whole Philistine army without his men. David pursued with his men by his side. (v.10) A husband is not a husband without a wife- she makes him a husband. We will never be who we are called to be without our leaders and our leaders cannot be who they are called to be without us. A pastor is not a pastor without a flock.
Folks, we will only accomplish God’s will by being unified. (v.23) David and his men chose victory over distress. The enemy knows that if he can create division, we will never accomplish God’s will- not corporately and not individually.
1 Peter 3:8 Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be [a]courteous;
1 Corinthians 1:10 Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all [a]speak the same thing, and that there be no [b]divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
Philippians 2:2 make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.
Pres Biden’s spoke words of division over our country: “We are looking at a winter of severe illness and death for the unvaccinated — for themselves, their families and the hospitals they’ll soon overwhelm.”
I come against these words in the name of Jesus and I proclaim that this season will be a season of life and health. It will be a season of prosperity and success for God’s people. I affirm tonight that we will be victorious over every battle and we will not grow weary in the heat of the battle, but we will strengthen ourselves in the Lord our God. I thank you that you grow us in adversity and we are in Your hands. We will not back down and we will not give up. We will be steadfast and we will persevere in Jesus’ name. We will not fear anything the enemy throws at us, but we will rise up in faith to achieve the victory that Christ provided for us on His cross. We will not look back and we will not be side-tracked. We will not be distracted and we will not be discouraged by what we see. We walk by faith and not by sight. Our God will see us through to victory, in our homes, in our families, on our jobs, in our personal lives and in the life of Faith and Victory church. We are more than conquerors through Him who loves us and gave His life for us. We will overcome. We will not be moved. We will have a good attitude and be content with God’s plan, no matter what it looks like. He holds us in His hands. He will not fail us nor forsake us. He will supply all we need. He neither slumbers nor sleeps therefore we will rest safe and secure in His unchanging hands.
In Jesus’ name
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