Sermons

Summary: I sense timidity, exhaustion. Why do you look so tired? Why do you look so stretched? You appear as one who lacks hope.

I sense timidity, exhaustion. Why do you look so tired? Why do you look so stretched? You appear as one who lacks hope.

Have you no hope? Have you lost it somewhere? Has hope run off and hid itself? Is it running from you, just out of reach?

Many walk in a trance, rigid, furled brows, obsequious, dystopian, resigned. But resigned to what? To defeat? To the end?

The end has not yet come. We are not at the end of the story yet. We may near the end of the 6th day, but it's not yet. You do not have permission to resign yourself to the bunker yet faithful one.

The battle has been fierce. The battle has raged the last 20 years and more. The battle has raged, and many feel as though we've lost.

We've retreated to the broom trees, to take cover, and dig deep entrenchments, and huddle in the fox holes, mouths parched, eyes half-closed, tormented by the evil of our time. It is a great evil.

We've retreated, despite our many prayers and staunch fights. We gather at our bastions, behind friendly lines, huddled around camp fires, quiet, bandages wrapped, eyes fixed on the flames. The word around the fires is one of quiet reflection: "What went wrong? This was our moment. We were surging forward. We had all the momentum. How could this have happened?"

The truth is, we did lose a battle. But it wasn't the battle out there. That battle always belonged to the Creator. The battle that we lost was the battle within ourselves.

In The Legend (1985) Jack finds himself covered in snow, in a season of death, when they had only just been in a beautiful garden. He met a mysterious oracle, around the camp fire and asked him, "Why is it like this now? Why is it winter?"

We are asking ourselves the same questions. Why is it like this now? Why is there this great increase in wickedness? Did it have to be this way? Was it always meant to play out like this?

No, no it wasn't.

The truth is, that we failed. But not in the way that we think. We didn't fail because our defenses weren't strong enough. We didn't fail because our fighting spirit wasn't vigorous enough. We didn't fail because our prayers weren't taut enough. I'm quite assured of that. All this was bathed in much prayer and hard work.

No. We failed for one simple reason: Within ourselves, in our hearts, we were double-minded. We failed to expunge the sin from ourselves, in the Holy Spirit. We failed to deal with the perversity in our own camp. We ignored our own sin, while fighting it outside ourselves. And I am the chief double-minded one. For at the conclusion of 2020 and the march into 2021, I had a great fall, a great disaster, which I walked into. I dove into sin. I played as if God wouldn't mind.

I failed. We failed. At the critical moment, we found ourselves double-minded. And so we've found ourselves now smitten by the Lord. Not abandoned. But it seems now an increase of wickedness must take place. And it didn't have to be that way. No it didn't. But at the critical moment, we were tripped up by temptation, sin, death, and the demonic. It was not that we failed to fight the war around ourselves well enough. We did fight and pray fiercely. But we hadn't embraced the cleansing of the Spirit, to make us mature and full in Christ.

Now we find ourselves in the fallenness of those choices. But just as soon as this new turn took place, God's plan continued at just the same pace, to accomplish his work within us.

You may have found yourself in recent weeks and months to be going through all sorts of fiery trials. I have found myself in the most intense time of testing, ever, in my life, in the past few months. The Lord has not given up on us. He has not walked away from us. He has doubled down, to purify us and cleanse us of all sin, all double-mindedness, all lukewarmness in these critical hours, so that we are fully prepared for the final end times harvest... The fourth great awakening... The billion soul harvest.

So my word for you today is this: Embrace the cleansing process. Yes, it is very painful. Doubly so right now. We were double-minded at the critical juncture. Now we face a rising tide of evil. It is a mirror's reflection for us. It is a reminder of what we allowed in ourselves. Yet God is walking us through the fire. I've felt the burning of it, as the furnace burns away the dross, purifying the gold. I've felt it in my soul lately, a burning. This is our time of training, building, and cleansing. These years will prepare us for the great call we have at the end: The final great awakening. Then comes the calling up of the church, and the rise of the anti-Christ.

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