by Pastor Tim Burt
In the early 80’s I was given a audio tape of a great man of God - David Ray Wilkerson, best know for his book "The Cross and the Switchblade." He was speaking at a large national conference to Pastors and ministers. He preached what was considered then a controversial message that I was told, many did not like. He preached a message about what America would look like in the future. God had spoken to him about it. He was not a flaky person. To the contrary, he was a powerfully anointed man of God - a true world changer! He preached in detail of the violence, sexuality, and craziness of our future society. He described pornography and what would be on television with precision - and this was over 30 years ago. Many thought he was crazy and preaching doom and gloom. The truth was, everything he said described where our society is at today. He hit the nail exactly on the head.
The carnal temptations of today's society, make it more and more difficult for most Christians to live the moral Christ-like walk God's Word instructs us to. Can a Christian grow stronger and live functionally in the midst of it? Absolutely! Though I see the tearing down of Christian values and marriage only between one man and woman, and though I see the abomination of homosexuality and perverted sexual lifestyles manipulated and forced into the fabric of life as something normal, I refuse to become discouraged. Though I see pornography on instant demand and men constantly seduced into viewing it, I will not be discouraged. We must read God's word and remind one another daily of the need to live out godly behavior and godly relationships. And we must pray!
When Jesus would fight His greatest temptation - to abandon suffering for us and dying on the cross to take the punishment for our sins, He knew that His source of strength lied in prayer. He took some of His disciples with Him to pray. They didn't get it. They slept instead of praying. Jesus revealed that Satan's attack would not only be against Himself, but against them also. Jesus said to Peter, “Satan desires to sift you like wheat.” (Luke 22:31) Jesus was saying that only prayer would give him the strength to resist the temptations that were soon to come his way. 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT) says, "The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure." The combination of reading God's Word and praying is the "way out so that you can endure." It is the source of a Christian's strength enabling one to live the Christ-like walk.
Christians are to love God with their whole heart. They are to love their neighbor as themselves. They are to recognize the devil's devices and know they have an enemy that wants to “sift them like wheat.” They are to strive to become disciples of Jesus Christ and then engage in helping others know and grow up in Christ. They are to engage in the building of God’s local churches – committing wholeheartedly to serving others. They are to walk in forgiveness daily, laying down their pride minute by minute and pursuing instead, kindness and love in all their doings. They are to reject sin and instead let integrity and truth in “the reverential fear of the Lord” guide them in their decision making.
Be a warrior for the Lord! Stay focused on God's will for your life. Stay the course, follow God, and pray in faith. You will prevail. You will be a light, and you will be used to help others love God. That is who He created you to be!
Jesus said, "But I have pleaded in prayer for you... that your faith should not fail... strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:32 (NLT)
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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