Facing the Forces
Jesus Said Would Come Against Us
IN MATTHEW 13:36-43 Jesus told of the children of the Kingdom. They are the good seed whereby God’s Kingdom is spread in the earth. This month we pray about the forces that come against these. While our understanding is still imperfect, our hearts can be perfectly settled in knowing our King.
AS SOON AS THE WORD OF THE KINGDOM IS PLANTED IN A HEART,
THE DEVIL WAITS TO SNATCH IT AWAY.
DAY 1—The wicked one will do what he can to bring a child of the Kingdom to defeat.
Job 16:9 He teareth me in his wrath, who hateth me: he gnasheth upon me with his teeth; mine enemy sharpeneth his eves upon me.
Micah 7:8 Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise: when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me.
· FATHER, I see Your grace. The forces that have come against me have been fierce. But they are not greater than Your grace. The enemy in his determination to stop me is meeting more than his match. Oh, yes! You are moving in me against him!
The Psalmists and the Prophets told of a light that would come
—Ps 27:1; 84:11; 97:11; 112:4; Isa 60:1-3
DAY 2—Before Jesus entered His full ministry, He faced a demanding encounter with Satan.
Luke 4:1,2 And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days He did eat nothing: and when they were ended, He afterward hungered. ... And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from Him for a season.· DEAR LORD, let me learn from You how You dealt with the devil. Show me the power of the written Word like You used it. Help me get it so planted in my mind and heart that it will be immediately available for any test the devil may put on me.
Jesus took the written Word and used it as a weapon to
withstand the enemy—Mt 4:1-11
DAY 3—Our salvation is a bulwark of defense against the enemy of our souls.
Isaiah 26:1-3 In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks. Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
· LORD, even in this advance Satan has made on my soul, my mind is stayed on You. I am seeing the salvation to which the Prophets pointed. Thank You for this grace. The attacks are not achieving their purpose. In the midst of them I am finding peace. Oh, what powerful grace! What powerful peace!
The God of our mercy is our defense—Ps 59:16,17
DAY 4—In the Name of our Lord Jesus we have authority to withstand the wicked one.
Pro 18:10 The Name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it. and is safe.
Mk 16: 17a And these signs shall follow them that believe: In My Name shall they cast out devils...
· GRACIOUS LORD, thank You for the authority You have given me to use Your Name. Please release in me that Spiritual Gift called Discerning of Spirits. Help me discern when it is the enemy who is opposing me. Help me withstand him so I can walk in the freedom You have obtained for me.
The Lord provides us tender protection against a powerful enemy
—Ps 91:1-4; Hab 3:19
DAY 5—Satan will make a grand, but vain, last-days attempt to deceive all the world.
Revelations 12:9,11 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.... And they overcame him by the Blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony: and they loved not their lives unto the death.
· FATHER, while Satan's wrath grows more fierce, help my trust in You grow all the stronger. Please let the blows that are coming against me have a good purpose. Let them drive me closer to You and to Your Kingdom's call upon me.
Satan’s doom is sealed while the saints have a glorious hope—Rev 20:1-4
TRIBULATION IS A FORCE WITH WHICH A CHILD OF THE KINGDOM MUST RECKON.
It can serve us well.
DAY 6—The Lord Jesus taught that we can find peace in the face of tribulation.
John 16:32,33 Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave Me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer: I have overcome the world.
· LORD, facing this pressure alone is difficult for me. More and more, my own weakness is a force I have to deal with. I didn’t know before just how weak I really am. Please let me find Your strength. In the face of this trial let me find Your healing grace.
DAY 7—Paul taught the young churches tribulation will help us to enter the Kingdom.
Acts 14:21,22 And when they had preached the Gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch, confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the Kingdom of God.
· DEAR LORD, help me hear this. Plant deep in me the understanding that tribulation can press me into Your Kingdom. I’ve renounced complaining and distrust. I am ready to let this trouble press me on into Your arms of love. Please hold me tight.
No tribulation can separate us from the love of God—Rom 8:35-39
DAY 8—We learn to rejoice in tribulation when we know God’s enabling grace.
Romans 5:1-3 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by Whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience.
· FATHER, I need the help of Your Spirit here. Please teach me. I’ve been justified and I have peace. I stand in Your grace and my hope is steadfast. But, I have not learned to glory in tribulation. Please forgive my complaining and teach me how to rejoice in this trial.
Tribulation can bring us to new realms of hope and love—Rom 5:1-5
DAY 9—Whatever tribulation may come upon us, it will help us minister better to others.
II Corinthians 1:3,4 Blessed be God even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort: Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
· LORD, help me learn all You want me to learn in this test. Teach me well. And, please, help me remember what You teach me. Help me keep my eyes off my own troubles so I can reach out to comfort others in their trouble.
Our reward comes in imparting to others what we have learned
—Phil 1:12,13; II Cor 1:5,6
DAY 10—Tribulation will prepare us to receive a Crown of Life.
Revelation 2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried: and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a Crown of Life.
· DEAR LORD, today I renounce fear—fear of sickness, fear of tragedy, fear of satanic attacks, fear of whatever may bring me to death. I renounce fear over what is happening to my loved ones. Please help me remember my time on earth is short. In tribulation help me keep my eyes on the glory of eternity.
Great reward in the presence of the Lamb awaits those who face great tribulation
DAY 11—Immediately after The Great Tribulation the Lord Jesus will return.
MATTHEW 24:29,30 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes (every people group) of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
· LORD, there is confusion as to whether we who believe will remain in the earth through The Great Tribulation. Please teach us what is right. In any event, please prepare me, and these I hold before You, that we can stand through any trial that comes—even the great one if we remain.
After the Great Tribulation the Lord will send angels to gather His elect from every corner of the earth
DAY 12—The ELECT who will abide through the Great Tribulation are those who are CHOSEN in Christ.
Luke 18:7,8a And shall not God avenge HIS OWN ELECT, which cry day and night unto Him, though He bear long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. ...
Romans 8:33a Who shall lay any thing to the charge of GOD’S ELECT?
Ephesians 1:4 .HE HATH CHOSEN (elected) US IN HIM before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love...· FATHER, thank You for Your election upon my life. I have trusted the Lord Jesus and You have received me as one of Your chosen ones. Bring me through this trial with a heart that will trust You through anything. Oh, help me face any darkness in a way that will make me fit for Your eternal Kingdom.
Through Christ Jesus, those who once were not a people have now obtained mercy—I Pet 2:7-10
PERSECUTION ALSO CAN SERVE A KINGDOM PERSON WELL AND BRING US INTO A DEEPER AWARENESS OF GOD’S LOVE.
DAY 13—With the early church, persecution resulted in the spread of the Gospel.
Ac 8:lb,4 And at that time there was a great persecution against the Church which was at Jerusalem: and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the Apostles.... Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the Word.· LORD, thank You that we have been able to live here without much persecution. But please prepare us for the day it will come. Teach us who minister to prepare our people for the time of trouble that is already under way. As it increases, please let the pressure of it result in the spreading of Your Kingdom.
From the beginning Jesus taught His disciples they would face persecution—Mt 10:16-25
DAY 14—When Kingdom-character is at work in us, persecution can serve good purpose.
Genesis 50:17 So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive I pray thee now the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin: for they did unto thee evil: and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy Father. And Joseph wept when they spoke unto him. And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants. And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? But as for you, ye thought evil against me: but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
· FATHER, help us learn what Joseph learned. Teach us clearly how to forgive those who persecute us. Oh, show Your Church the grace that will be released when we learn fully to ask forgiveness and to forgive!
Forgiving others Is a prime character trait in a Kingdom person—Mt 6:12-15: Mk 11:25,26
DAY 15—The Lord Jesus taught us to rejoice when people persecute us.
Luke 6:22,23 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil for the Son of Man’s sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for behold your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the Prophets.· LORD, please do a work in my inner man that will make my response to others like Your response would be. Please work something into my mind and conscience that will make me quick to rejoice when persecution comes. Only You can do this in me.
It Is Christ In us Who will bring us to a maturity acceptable for God’s Kingdom—Rom 8:1-14
DAY 16—Simply put, everyone who lives godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
II Tim 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
II Tim 2:12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him...· LORD, teach Your people how suffering and persecution—no matter how they come—can serve us well. Release in us the enabling grace that will help us find courage in our persecution. Let strength come in our spirits, in our minds, and especially in our emotions so we can forgive.
Even little children can be taught in a way that will help prepare them for persecution—II Tim 3:10-15
THE PRESENT AGE CARRIES WITH IT A POWER THAT CAN CHOKE OUT GOD’S KINGDOM IN US.
DAY 17—When Jesus calls us to follow Him, we may find the world a less friendly place.
Jn 15:18-20a If the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you...
· LORD, work in me whatever it takes to help me stand firm when the world hates me. I don’t want to make people hate me. Actually, I want them to see You in me. But if they choose to hate me, help me love them all the more as a child of Your Kingdom.
As children in the Kingdom we learn a new way of responding to others—Mt 5:43-48
DAY 18—If we choose the ways of the world, we become enemies of God.
Jas 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
I Jn 2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
· FATHER, the world is enticing these little ones I hold before You. Please work into them, and into me, a love for You that will rule out the friendship the world is trying to win from us. Cause Your Spirit to generate in us a love for You so powerful that nothing from the world can win us over.
Spirits that are in the world will try to seduce us, but the One dwelling in us is more powerful—I Jn 4:1-6
DAY 19—If we are blessed with this world’s goods, we are called upon to learn to give.
I Tim 6:17,18 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, Who giveth us richly all things to enjoy: that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate (share with others)...
· LORD, teach me to give more liberally. Even now, as mature as I would like to think I am becoming, I find I’m often afraid to give. Forgive me. Teach me to give even more than I can afford that I might learn more of Your faithfulness.
A Kingdom person will often give without anyone knowing except the Lord—Mt 6:1-4
DAY 20—Complete trust in our King will set us free from anxiety over tomorrow.
Mt 13:22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world (the anxiety of this age), and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the Word, and he (it) becometh unfruitful.
Mt 6:25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought (hold no anxiety) for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?· LORD, right now, I renounce anxiety. Indeed, I repent for holding it so long. It has ruled me enough. I am ready to live as a child of Your Kingdom. I am ready to know You are at hand with me. Your Kingdom is present. Rule in me, O King!
Knowing that the Lord is at hand brings stability to a child of the Kingdom—Phil 4:4-7
DAY 21—Jesus has promised to keep us from the great time of trial that will come upon the whole world.
Rev 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of My patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
Dan 11:35 And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed.· FATHER, my trust is complete. No doubt tests will come, but please hold me close so they will only make me more pure for Your Kingdom. Help these dear ones. Draw them. Help them that their trust can become complete also. I long for my family— and this includes these friends—to become a family for Your Kingdom.
With the Lord Jesus, even little children have a dear place in God’s Kingdom—Mt 18:1-6
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