Gifted and Strong

July 25, 2012

Most preachers have a real knack for creating little maxims that pack a lot of truth. One common Christian maxim is “We live in an upside down kingdom.” The basic point here is that principles for getting ahead in life in the Kingdom of God usually run counter to what the world advocates. For example, in the Kingdom of God in order to lead one must determine to serve or in order to receive, one must be generous. I guess, if truth be told, I have a little problem with the “upside down kingdom” statement. I think the Kingdom of God is really right-side up and our world is the one that is upside down and in desperate need of a flip. Recently, I’ve been thinking about another one of those right-side up Kingdom axioms and it’s this: “In Christ when you’re faced with trials, rejoicing is actually the proper way to deal with it.” I am so fascinated with how God wants us to manage challenges, crisis, and loss. This truth has become particularly significant to me because we live in a time where revelation and gifts of the Holy Spirit are at an all time high. In the last five years I’ve heard revelations that I wouldn’t have even considered just 10 short years ago. I’ve also seen miracles I used to only dream about. So much is exploding in the Kingdom of God right now, yet the divorce rate of married Christians almost matches that of non-Christians, more people are leaving churches although they aren’t leaving God, and many Christian leaders are falling morally. How do we explain this paradox? I think that even though we have so many gifts and revelations there is a real lack of strength and enduring faith amongst so many Christians. Failures and giving up don’t occur overnight. Usually they happen as a result of a demonic ebbing away at a person’s confidence and faith. These failures simply show us that many people, while gifted, don’t have enough internal strength to endure trials. This isn’t the will of God. The Father is looking for people who are both gifted and strong. In order to be a people gifted and strong we have to learn to manage the tough times. The reality is that every time we step out and do something for God the enemy challenges that act of faith. Unfortunately, most people find themselves unprepared and go to pieces when the trials show up. They don’t see that the difficulties they experience are actually a compliment…it is the spirit world responding to the fact that they’ve chosen to do something significant for God. When we dare to believe God there is always a cost associated with it. The trials are actually evidence that God is breathing all over what we’ve decided to do because Satan would have no need to discredit what wasn’t genuinely born in the heart of God. When the Lord created humans, he said “Let us make man in our image” and He wasn’t referring to facial features. He was saying the DNA of His divinity is hardwired into the operating system of every person on the planet. In essence, we were born to step into these acts of faith, we were born to confront impossible situations and do the miraculous. The caveat is that those things are only accomplished by faith and faith must be tested in order for the breakthrough to carry the spirit world’s validation. Please understand power only respects power and the spirit world is a very powerful place. In order for God’s acts to be established through you those acts have to come under the scrutiny of the spirit world’s testing. Once those tests are passed, your breakthrough manifests but it also carries Heaven’s genuine seal of approval. In America certain foods go through rigorous test to receive the USDA seal of approval. When the public sees this seal they know that food carries the highest quality. Similarly, when your breakthroughs come on the heels of passed test then all of the spiritual and visible world knows your breakthroughs are of the highest quality. Those breakthroughs have gone through God’s quality control test and are established for ages and respected throughout the spirit and earth realm. This is the reason the Father teaches us to rejoice in the midst of trials because when we learn to do that we allow the construction of internal strength; our breakthroughs carry a deeper level of significance; and we come out of those trials mature, complete, and not lacking anything. Isaiah 60 teaches that at the same time of great shining and glory rising in the church there will be a contradictory reality of deep darkness. I believe we live in the time Isaiah spoke of right now and it is our job to make the choice to hold up the superiority of God’s light against the inferiority of the enemy’s darkness. Even though that darkness appears daunting we must rejoice in the face of it and be a people strong enough to carry the weight of God’s glory and see it be established. This is a wonderful time for Christians, it is a time of great gifts and revelation, but it is also a time for our true strength to come forth.

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