by Pastor Tim Burt
In the early 80’s I was given an 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 of those in attendance 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 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 35 years ago. Many thought he was crazy and preaching doom and gloom. The truth was, everything he said and described is exactly 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 such moral depravity? Absolutely! Though I’ve seen the destruction of Christian values and of marriage being only between a man and woman, and though I’ve see the abomination of homosexuality and perverted sexual lifestyles forced on society through political manipulation, and though I’ve seen the incompressible and demonic lies leading to gender confusion, and all this brought to young school age children, and though I’ve seen the utter degradation of media at every level, I refuse to become discouraged. Though pornography can now be accessed on demand and men and women are continuously 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 resisted His greatest temptation which was to abandon His course and purpose of suffering for us and dying on the cross to take the punishment for our sins, He knew that His source of strength was the power of prayer. Consequently, 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 warning that only prayer would give them the strength to resist the temptations that would soon come their 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 inner strength enabling one to walk out the Christ-like life Jesus called us to live. And that strength comes because it is focused on purpose. Jesus knew He had to resist for the sake of all others. And likewise, we resist for the sake of all those God has called us to influence in this life. That is our purpose! To be the light, the love, and the extension of God to this world around us. And walking in that person not only saves lives, it saves them for all eternity. Through prayer, that revelation is the strength of us not failing, but living strong for the Lord. It’s that purpose that has helped me right Fresh Manna for 22 years!
Jesus said that as Christians, we are to: “…love the LORD your God with all your heart, with
all your soul with all your strength…“ Luke 10:27 (NKJV) We are also instructed to recognize the devil’s devices and know that we have an enemy that wants to “sift us like wheat.” We are to strive to become disciples of Jesus Christ and to be “Iron Sharpening Iron—helping others learn of and grow up in the instruction of God’s Word. And we are to pray for each other. We are to engage in the building of God’s local churches—committing wholeheartedly to serving others. We are to walk in forgiveness daily—laying down our pride minute-by-minute. We are to be the kindness and love of Jesus in all our doings. We are to reject sin and instead let integrity and truth in “the reverential fear of the Lord” guide us in all our decision-making.
Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might! Draw that Might through prayer! Stay focused on God’s will and purpose for your life. Stay the course! Prevail, not only for your sake, but for the lives of your loved ones and those God has allowed you to influence. It is your calling! It is who He has created you to be!
Luke 22:32 (NLT) Jesus said, “But I have pleaded in prayer for you… that your faith should not fail… strengthen your brothers.”
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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