DON'T GROW WEARY, THIS IS A LONG RACE.
Many believers approach their Christian life like everything is a 100-yard dash to be completed quickly and then on to something else. I have seen it in their approach to Bible studies, Discipleship Training Material, reading the Word, confessing sins with an attempt for quick repentance, and many other disciplines of the faith.
The Christian life however covers three areas. The 1st of course is basic and it is the starting point. It is important how we start. START RIGHT! I know people who prayed prayers but without a heart of faith. therefore not having any change of heart or character. We must be sure of our salvation experience. The 2nd is to RUN RIGHT! There is SO much I can say about this, however I want to go to the 3rd area of importance. We must END RIGHT! Too many believers are falling by the way-side and not finishing the race, not keeping the faith, not being steadfast.
The second area of important is one of running the long race correctly. We need to be a people that no matter what we have determined that we are in this thing to the end. I have run a lot in my life. I use to have a running program of 5 miles 3 times a week with an intense exercise program the rest of the week.
When I started running I certainly did not start running 5 miles. In fact I would run 1/4 mile and then walk 1/4 mile each day. Then I would add to it. Once I got to 5 miles, I no longer wanted to add any more distance. I wanted to add speed each time I ran. In my mid thirties I was quite fast. Then something happened, I quit running. After almost 35 years, I recently started walking and riding a bike, and I am fining it harder to stay focused as it was in my 30's. It is also much more painful starting again.
What does all this mean spiritually? We need to approach each day in our Christian walk as a long marathon that lasts for years and years and not as a 100-yard dash. Each thing we do should build on another to strengthen us spiritually for the next day.
Galatians 6:9 ESV And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
2 Thessalonians 3:13 ESV (13) As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.
We started a study on the Biblical difference between true worship and true praise. The Hebrew and Greek words for worship have nothing to do with music. There is no "worship song," "worship team," or "now we enter into the worship time." Carrying this mindset causes the church and the Christian individual to rob God of the true worship which He demands and is worthy of.
The Scriptures teach us that Biblical worship in Hebrew in the Old Testament is TO PROSTRATE BEFORE; TO REVERE; TO ADORE; AND TO MINISTER TO:
The Scriptures teach us that Biblical worship in Greek in the New Testament is TO REVERE; TO HONOR; TO ADORE; TO KISS AS A DOG LICKS HIS MASTER'S HAND.
True worship is to bow the head, the body, the knees, or to lay flat before the Lord. This is physical positions representing the heart bowed before the Father.
PRAISE however encompasses many different aspects of expression. There are at least 11 Hebrews words for praise and at least 9 Greek words for praise. That means we have at least 20 different Biblical expressions of praise, yet typically we limit it to 2. We play a Lucian instrument and we sing.
Some examples of ways to praise:
2. Lifting of your hands:
5. Playing an Instrument:
7. To make a show or boast:
Let's jump back to worship for a moment and give some Scriptures. Some of the key elements in worship is learning how to worship God in the Spirit and how to flow with the move of His Spirit. Practicing these things will help usher in the last great move of God’s Spirit resulting in a tremendous harvest of souls.
John 4:23-24 ESV But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. (24) God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth."
Ephesians 5:18-21 ESV And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, (19) addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, (20) giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, (21) submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
1 Corinthians 2:2-5 ESV (2) For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. (3) And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, (4) and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, (5) so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
1 Corinthians 2:12-13 ESV (12) Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. (13) And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.
The main reason for this study in PRAISE is to show the different ways to praise listed in the Word of God. This is just laying the groundwork so we can see the difference between praise and worship. In future studies we will look at the different ways to praise.
In Romans 2:28-29 we see that praise is of the Spirit and is from God.
Romans 2:28-29 (ESV) For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. 29 But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.
In Philippians 3:3-7 we see that worship is also from God. We are not to put confidence in the flesh, even in what we might call praise and worship.
Philippians 3:3-7 (ESV) For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh— 4 though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. 7 But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.
In Philippians 3:8-9 we see that which is good and righteous in us comes from Christ by faith.
Philippians 3:8-9 (ESV) Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith--
In the study I must explain the difference between man’s spirit, soul, and body that the Apostle Paul addressed in 1 Thessalonians 5:23, so that our worship of God is in the Spirit. I am a spirit, I have a soul (thoughts, feelings, and will), and I am trapped in a body. The inner soulish man is my personality or who I am in the fallen Adamic nature. The inner-most-spirit-man is where the Holy Spirit dwells and who I am in Christ with the incorruptible seed of our Lord's righteousness. The out-man, my body, is but a shell that is perishes daily. My outer man is NOT who I am; it is only who others see.
1 Thessalonians 5:23 ESV Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In the study I must teach how to reverence God so that the Person of the Holy Spirit is not grieved and can manifest Himself as he desires.
I must believe that God cannot lie and wishes to bless me.
Numbers 23:19-20 ESV God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? 20 Behold, I received a command to bless: he has blessed, and I cannot revoke it.
I must choose not to grieve the Holy Spirit by a life that transgresses against God.
Ephesians 4:30 ESV And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
In Hebrews 12:28-29 we find there is an acceptable worship just like He commands in Romans 12:1-2. If we are commanded to offer the Father acceptable worship, then there must be an activity of worship that is unacceptable.
Hebrews 12:28-29 ESV Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 29 for our God is a consuming fire.
THE REVELATION JOY & THE JOY OF REVELATION:
One of the joys that Paul embraced is receiving revelation from the Holy Spirit concerning our Lord Jesus Christ and then imparting that revelation to us. According to the Apostle Paul, everyone has a song, a hymn, and a spiritual song.
Philippians 1:3-4 (ESV) I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy,
Philippians 1:24-25 (ESV) But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith,
Philippians 2:1-2 (ESV) So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.
Philippians 2:29 (ESV) So receive him in the Lord with all joy, and honor such men,
Philippians 4:1 (ESV) Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.
PSALMS, HYMNS, AND SPIRITUAL SONGS:
Ephesians 5:18-19 (ESV) And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, (19) addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart,
Think of this promise. Because of the indwelling presence of the Person of the Holy Spirit we have a song in our heart, a hymn in our heart, and a spiritual song in our heart. It comes forth in the Spirit as a song of praise filled with the joy of walking with the Father.
Colossians 3:16 (ESV) Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
Now we see that having the Word of God dwelling within us brings forth the singing of psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. It comes forth with the attitude of thankfulness. I look for that in believers. I am around some that always seem to be filled with a negative attitude, are unthankful no matter what they receive, and will complain about everything because instead of being encouragers, they are fault-finders. This is truly not God's plan for our lives in the Spirit. Paul brought forth a song or hymn concerning the revelation he received concerning our Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 14:17 (ESV) For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
THE BEGINNING OF BIRTH PAINS:
Have you been wondering what in the world is going on? It seems like there has been a total abandonment of logic and common sense, along with anything moral. Are you wondering what you might face next week, next month, or next year if this amoral trend continues? With violence on the rise do you have thoughts of safety when going to the malls, stores, restaurants, schools, and even church?
I wrote a book titled "UNLEASHED" identifying the spirit of antichrist and lawlessness that has been released in these last days. It goes without saying that in 2023 we are seeing an outpouring of lawlessness unparalleled in history except for right before the great flood. But it is going to get worse. Immorality over the mainstream media will force believers to make a choice of turning their TV off. Open acts of perverse immorality in our streets will be common and shocking. Our police force will be at wits end as to what to do, so in many cases they will stand by and watch. Christians will experience intense verbal abuse and hear blaspheme comments against our Lord Jesus Christ and our heavenly Father that would exceed the imagination of being reality. Christians will be murdered by the hundreds of thousands in hostile countries while the leaders of Europe and America are silent.
Matthew 24:6-8 (ESV) And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. (7) For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. (8) All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.
NOW FOR THE GOOD NEWS:
The Feast of Tabernacles/Shelters/Harvest this year will start September 29th thru October 6th. I know that the word above does not sound like a blessing. However, that is not the full story.
We will be a blessing and receive a blessing if we stand in faith and obedience. Blessings in health and finances, (no we are not going to all get a million dollars and a Lear Jet), however we will get the resources to match the vision God has placed on our heart.
OUTPOURING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT:
We don't need to be rocket scientists or prophets to see how evil is spreading like an aggressive cancer. However, we may miss the fact that God is pouring out His Holy Spirit in the last days like He said He would do.
I was sitting at the table working on my computer three days ago and the Spirit of God came strongly upon me. I felt an overwhelming sense of joy and revival. I believe the Lord spoke to me about this being the beginning of a renewed outpouring of the Person of the Holy Spirit and a great revival among the church and a great evangelistic movement is taking place.
Millions will come into the kingdom in a very short period. The body of Christ will have the opportunity to come back to fire in their bones and excitement over being a part of the body of Christ like never before in their Christian walk.
Yes many will fall away, but many will come into the faith as mighty warriors. The Word of God will go forth in power and anointing without man messing it up with his own doctrines and doctrines of demons. Not everyone will get in this new stream of God's presence but those who do will find joy and peace and will be encouraged to stand no matter what comes.
THE NEXT WORLD WAR:
One of the reasons God is preparing us in 2023 is for what is coming in the not to distant future. We need to prepare for a world war likened unto WWI and WWII. It is written in Matthew 24 and other Scriptures. We need to be prepared for another economic collapse far greater than the one of 2007-2008. We need to prepare for a new form of politics and government and a new order of finances. 2023 will change the face of our world as we know it. We will not do church the way we have known it to be done over the last 1,600 years with the adoption of church buildings on every corner.
There is much more I can say...but I want to leave the Christians with this thought. I have read the end of the BOOK and we win. Do not fear or fret. Lift up your heads for your salvation draws near.