I had gone to bed after a long day. My granddaughter Madeline’s open-heart surgery had gone well. We watched the grace of God descend upon the surgeons to do a masterful job of fixing the problems in her heart. Last night Renee and I were thankful and exhausted and dropped into bed. It should have been a night of deep sleep and catching up on the little sleep I had gotten the night before. It was anything but that. I woke up some time after 2:00am tossing and turning. I needed a good sleep because I had a big day scheduled. I would be hosting our Business Networking Group in the morning, going back to the hospital at noon, back for an afternoon meeting and then ministering at our Wednesday evening church service. I really needed a good sleep but it was eluding me.
There have been many things going on in the lives of people around me, hard things that the struggling economy has contributed to. I think we all recognize that when there are financial pressures, too often those pressures bring out the worst in people. Sometimes those pressures eat away at and destroy the good that was there. I have seen that happen. The way I would describe last night is seeing every one of those situations I was aware of, appear in my mind. This is unusual for me because I usually control my thought-life like a fortress. I cast down every thing that exalts itself against God’s Word including worry. But last night those thoughts were warring against me. It felt like an attack against my faith for these situations.
About that time, the words of Jesus rose up in my heart. They were from Matthew 16:18 “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”
This verse has been misunderstood my many religious people. It has been taken as Jesus raising up Peter as the head of the church. That isn’t what was happening. Prior to this statement, Jesus had asked His disciples “Who do people think I am?” They had responded saying, “Well,” they replied, “Some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.” But Jesus asked them, “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in Heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being.” Matthew 16:14-17 (NLT)
When we read “upon this rock,” the rock is revelation knowledge—God the Father revealing His heart directly to Peter’s heart about who Jesus really was and what His mission was about. This is what Jesus was referring to when He said, “Upon this rock I will build my church.” Jesus was saying that each and every believer of Jesus Christ would be capable of hearing from the heart of God with the help of the Holy Spirit through scripture. Together we would become His mighty church hearing directly from God and able to discern the lies of Satan. God was now able to speak His promises directly to our heart instead of going through a priest so that are faith would become strong and “the gates of Hell would not prevail against God’s us—the church.”
Proverbs 28:1 says, “Those walking contrary to God’s ways flee from fear though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.” No one is pursuing them, yet the fear generated in their mind leads them to panic and jump ship! The righteous are bold because of God speaking promise to their heart through His Word.
You and I are the prevailing church! We can have an intimate relationship with God through Jesus Christ. We can personally seek Him through His word. His Word will speak promise and faith to our heart. He will lift us out of doubt, unbelief and fear so that we will rise up, overcome and prevail. Boldness from faith in His promises is what will cause us to be different from the world.
Today, I am making the devil pay for his attempts to rob me of my sleep. During the night, instead of tossing and turning, I spent time praising and worshipping the Lord. I prayed God’s promises over people and their negative situations. Tonight I will preach this message and lay hands on people who are under attack. “The gates of Hell will not prevail against the church.” I will make the devil pay! How about you?
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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