Brothers and sisters, we’ve got a problem. We have the power of the Holy Spirit in us, but we listen to the never-ending drivel of the media, telling us everything that’s wrong and throwing one bad news scenario after another at us. All of this puts fear into our very soul and can bring on depression. Just like that, the Spirit is quenched, and our witness to this lost world is compromised. In all of this madness, Christians must stop and turn our hearts to Jesus. Instead of allowing the cares of this world to overwhelm your thoughts and spirits, let the Holy Spirit overpower you with fire.
It’s a sad truth that Christians usually take God for granted until there’s trouble. My oh my, do we have trouble! When everything is peachy keen and life holds no trouble, that’s when we forget that God still wants to hear from us. The moment something goes wrong, we either blame God or beg Him for help.
As the events of these last days unfold, we can’t blame God for anything. He told us what was coming. Too many Christians allegorize Scripture or believe it’s for some future time. The future is now.
“We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19).
Past prophecy being fulfilled proves future prophecy will be fulfilled. It is being fulfilled as we sleep. We must wake up, hold tight to God’s truth, and stand firm in our faith. We are sealed with the Holy Spirit, so we have God’s power within us.
Scripture is full of evidence of what happens when a person allows the Holy Spirit to lead, guide, and empower. The Holy Spirit is God. He is the third person of the Trinity. His power is available to each of us; you need to trust and use the power you have. Do you think Peter had any more power of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost than the power available to you?
“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting” (Acts 2:1-2).
Notice the Apostles were together and were of “one accord.” They were stronger together. So are we. Not only did they band together, but their beliefs weren’t divided. Can you imagine the power Christians have available? Unfortunately, we squabble over things that divide us.
Cloven tongues of fire appeared on the heads of the Apostles “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:4).
This was a new experience, but they allowed the Holy Spirit to fill them, and in this case, manifest by speaking in other tongues. “And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language” (Acts 2:5-6).
Speaking in tongues is only one of the many gifts of the Holy Spirit, and your gift may be teaching, healing, or any other gift to be used for God’s glory. Peter didn’t stifle the power but allowed himself to be led by the Holy Spirit, and he boldly spoke to the listeners of Jesus. He wasn’t shy in pointing out sin. Several weeks earlier, this same crowd had shouted for Christ to be crucified. Peter pointed out their need to repent. Probably nobody was more surprised than Peter at the words he spoke, but because Peter allowed the Holy Spirit to speak through him, about 3,000 souls came to Christ that day.
Today, Christians are more apt to deny the power of the Spirit and the gifts He gives. Instead of speaking out in faith, we quench the Spirit as we shrink back in fear. Jesus said if we ask, we will receive.
“And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified In the Son” (John 14:13).
Did He mean “name it and claim it”? Absolutely not. What do you ask in Jesus’ name? Riches? A shiny new car? He may provide those things, and if He does, glorify God with them. Do you have all the money you could want? If so, support a ministry that glorifies God and blesses you. Allow the power of the Holy Spirit to motivate you. Use all you have to honor God.
The Apostle Paul was led by the Holy Spirit and accomplished great and mighty things by allowing that power to guide him. We tend to think that life was easier when Paul spread the Gospel. Read the Book of Acts, and you’ll see that he was beaten and left for dead; he was whipped, put in prison, shipwrecked, snake bit, and more. None of that stopped him because it was the Holy Spirit that powered him.
The congregation in Ephesus faced many problems. They struggled amidst the strong pagan culture around them. Paul encouraged them to be faithful. “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Ephesians 6:10-13).
The enemy hasn’t changed. We’re still fighting a spiritual battle, and the day is evil, but we try to fight that battle with our own power. Bad choice. What’s the answer? “Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness” (Ephesians 6:14).
Gird yourself with God’s truth, not man’s. Put on His righteousness because, in and of yourself, you cannot be righteous. Our righteousness comes from faith in Jesus Christ. Study Scripture and conform your life to it; stand on God’s truth.
“And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked” (Ephesians 6:15-16).
Paul’s example of feet being shod with the Gospel of peace is what every Christian should follow. It’s sad how many Christians try to spread the Gospel without really mentioning sin and the need for redemption through Christ. You’ll be mocked and attacked for standing firm on Christ, but that’s why you need the shield of faith. “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:17-18).
The helmet of salvation covers and protects your thinking. Stand strong in the power of the Holy Spirit and keep your thoughts on Christ. There are many of us in this battle. Unfortunately, this battle is being fought by an army of untrained soldiers. Study Scripture and learn to use the “… sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Don’t take this armor off. Keep it on, and keep training to use it better in service of the Lord. Pray for your fellow soldiers.
In spite of our armor and the power of the Holy Spirit, we’ve got a problem. What is that problem? Too many Christian soldiers aren’t sure they want any part of the battle. The world and the evil therein present many temptations, and it’s easier to surrender than fight. This lukewarm faith was prophesied by Jesus.
When The Apostle John was imprisoned on Patmos, he was given a vision of the end times, recorded in the Book of Revelation. Jesus dictated seven letters to seven congregations. These letters summarized what was good and what needed fixing in each congregation. In addition, these letters give an overview of the “Church Age,” from the letter to Ephesus, which represents those first Christians who faced hardship… the one Paul wrote to regarding spiritual warfare.
The final letter went to the Laodiceans. That final letter describes the age in which we live. The congregation that received this letter was lukewarm. “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:17). The truth hurts. Where is the fire of the Holy Spirit in this congregation? They have worldly riches and feel no need for spiritual renewal. The pews may be full, but Jesus isn’t welcome.
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20).
Brothers and sisters, if you’re lukewarm and waiting for your pastor to light a fire in the pews, it probably won’t happen. Don’t procrastinate. Take the initiative and open the door to Jesus. Invite Him into your own heart. Put on the spiritual armor for a spiritual battle, and allow the fire of the Holy Spirit to descend upon you.
We are living in the very last days of this final Age. The events leading up to the Rapture are happening rapidly. If you’re waiting for a revival, don’t hold your breath. The letter Jesus dictated to the Ephesus congregation indicates a listless church that would rather have worldly gain than revival. There are a few of us who don’t have our hearts filled with the pull of the world, but we all need to allow the Holy Spirit to fire us up! Time is very short. Jesus told of signs to watch for leading to the end. Wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes, pestilence, famine, and more. Which of those signs aren’t happening today? Everything is in place, including alliances in the Middle East. Still, the Church of Laodicea is ruling in mediocracy.
After the letters, there comes a promise of the Rapture. It’s about to happen. “After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne” (Revelation 4:1-2).
The Greek words make it clear that after the letters (the Church Age), John was called to the Throne Room of God. John represents Christians who will be Raptured prior to the Time of Jacob’s Trouble, the Tribulation. Revelation chapters 4 and 5 describe wondrous events in Heaven following the Rapture. Chapter 6 and following chapters tell of the horrors happening on earth as the Anti-Christ takes control and God’s wrath is poured out upon the unbelieving world.
A few people will come to faith during that time of judgment, but their life will be totally miserable, and most will be beheaded because of their faith. They are the Tribulation Saints who refuse to follow the Anti-Christ and also refuse to take his mark. If you’re waiting to accept the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ for salvation, do it now. Tomorrow may be too late.
We live in perilous times. We live in the last days before Daniel’s 70th week begins. It’s only going to get worse. Christians have the Holy Spirit sealed within us. Step away from Laodicea and allow the Holy Spirit to light a fire of faith in you.
When describing the armor of God, Paul asked for prayer. He was one of the most outspoken missionaries who ever lived, but his request wasn’t for selfish comforts. He asked for prayer for boldness. “And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the Gospel, for which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak” (Ephesians 6:19-20). That should be the prayer of every Christian. The times may be difficult and filled with scary happenings, but the power of the Holy Spirit will help you to speak boldly and to do God’s will in spite of the attacks of the powers of darkness all around. Be bold, but be sure you’re bold in God’s truth.
Brothers and sisters, we have a problem. Fear has silenced us. Arm yourself with the knowledge of Scripture, and step away from the wishy-washy faith of Laodicea. Boldly share the Gospel with the lost souls in this world. They may even be sitting in the pew next to you.
God bless you all,
All original scripture is “theopneustos,” God-breathed.
If you’d like to be on my mailing list to receive the commentaries, just drop me an email and let me know.