God May Give You The Victory, But You May Still Have To Go Through The Battle

by Discerning Dad June 26, 2021

This is a copy of the blog I wrote at my friend’s site- here is the link, please follow that blog as well


I often wonder, when watching sports, what happens when both teams pray to God for victory. Does the team with the most faith or those that are closest to God with the least amount of sin in their life have their prayer answered? It’s also interesting to hear when someone is interviewed after a sports win that they give credit to God, however do they recognize God as well when they lose?

God gives us strength and abilities; in fact the very breath we breathe is a gift from God. God is sovereign, omnipresent, and omnipotent, however He is not omnicausal, meaning there is a measure of free will at play. Christian denominations like to debate over the level of free will we have as humans, but the truth is that we will never fully understand the interplay between God’s sovereignty and our free will.

What would happen if a sports team stayed on the bench and did not participate in the game after they prayed for God to give them victory? A guaranteed loss of course! Praying is not an escape from our responsibilities. Praying should align us with God’s will. The truth is that we will not be able to control everything. In the areas where we need a miraculous intervention from God, it is ok to ask. We can come boldy before the throne of grace (Heb 4:16) and present our requests to God with prayer and supplication (Phil 4:6).

If my children asked me for a trip to Disneyland, it is my power to grant that. They do not have the funds or the transportation to get there on their own. However, if my children asked me to clean their rooms, I would promptly clarify that they have it within their power to clean their room and that it should be done sooner than later instead of trying to get someone else to do it for them!

Reading the book of Joshua, it is clear that God gave the Israelites victory and yet they still had to go through the battle. The Israelites had casualties in battle and often would lose their blessings if they did not follow the commands of God (see the story of Achan in Joshua 7). If the Israelites stayed where they were or did not march around Jericho 7 times in obedience to God, they would not receive the victory God promised. God also placed a limit on the victory He gave them because of disobedience. We learn in Judges 2:3 that God did not drive out the remaining inhabitants of the land in order to test Israel because Israel preferred to intermingle and intermarry instead of being set apart as God commanded.

It’s important that we stay the course in areas God has already directed us to be in. We don’t need a new revelation from God every day when our objective is to “stay the course.” God will usually make it clear, if we are listening, when the time comes that we need to move. In areas that we can control with our time and talent, we should look to be a Godly influence to those around us. You don’t need to pray IF you should give, but HOW MUCH you should give!

We can ask for prayer and strength but often God will not remove the battle from us.

For example, a health challenge. God may heal through a doctor; I believe God still heals miraculously today as well. Even if we have to go through treatments and surgery, God deserves all the glory. God has the right to do what He wants and when He wants without our complaining. Our life is not our own and the more we hold on tightly to it without giving everything to God, the harder it will be when we lose control… because we never had it to begin with.

God loves to give good gifts to His children as well and wants to partner with us to do according to His will. Don’t neglect prayer, it is vital and the best way we can align our will with God’s. When God does take you through victory, do not be silent on giving Him the glory, for all glory is His and His alone!

Tim Ferrara

Discerning Dad

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The Battle Is The Lord’s

Have you ever felt like that? It seemed as if everyone was against you. Maybe everything was going wrong and you were feeling the dread of what was next.

Some of us fall into depression just thinking about, “Why?” We dwell in its place. It’s a place of worry. It’s a place of anxiety. It’s a place of fear. No one is healthy in these places. Maybe you know this place more than others.

Jehoshaphat did not dwell in the place of fear. He did have fear, but he immediately “set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. He did not go through this alone. All of Judah sought the Lord!

God answers prayer! He said, “you will not need to fight in this battle.”

This was God’s answer to their prayers:
“Be still, and know that I am God;” Psalm 46:10 ~NKJV

Neither do you need to battle. Just pray!

After much prayer and fasting, the Spirit of the Lord spoke:
“And he said, ‘Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the Lord to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. 16 Tomorrow go down against them. They will surely come up by the Ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the brook before the Wilderness of Jeruel. 17 You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you.’” 2 Chronicles 20:15-17 ~NKJV


VIDEO The Battle for Truth — 7 Unmistakable Traits of False Prophets

 July 13, 2020  by Shane Idleman

“Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:11-12). 

Theologians debate the historical context of this verse, but one thing we do know is that it definitely applies today. Many people want to know about end-times signs, but first we need to discern end-times voices—voices of truth versus those of falsehood.

In these dire times, many of us can relate to the prophet Jeremiah’s words: “My heart within me is broken because of the [false] prophets; all my bones shake … because of the Lord, and because of His holy words” (23:9). The lies of Israel’s leaders led to Jeremiah’s broken heart as well as a loss of balance and stability. God declared, “‘For both prophet and priest are profane; yes, in My house I have found their wickedness,’ says the Lord” (23:11). The land, not unlike ours today, was full of unrepentant sin and fake voices, and the people were paying the price—the pleasant places were dried up.

In short, a false prophet is one who proclaims, “This is what God says,” when it’s not what God is saying at all. They also embrace ungodly movements because they are filled with the world rather than God’s Spirit. Leaders who are not mightily filled with God’s Spirit may exhibit some of the same characteristics as false prophets, which I’ve outlined below. However, in these cases, they lack holy fire but aren’t necessarily false leaders. A false prophet is unconverted, whereas those who are wishy-washy may simply be quenching and grieving the Spirit by their choices. Be careful in labeling people too quickly. The false prophet will draw clear lines in the sand; those struggling just need biblical direction. If we don’t cling to the cross and seek God daily, we could easily become lukewarm and not boldly stand for Him. We all must be vigilant. Listen to a short clip here about this very issue.

Although the main focus of this article is on those who say they believe in Jesus, there are also false prophets in cults who downright reject the deity of Christ. The apostle Peter warned, “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction” (2 Peter 2:1). False prophets will say they believe in Jesus, but they’ve never repented of their sin and embraced him as Lord and Savior. This point is critical—just because someone says something does not mean they believe it. Look at the fruit.

With that said, here are seven surefire signs of a false prophet based on Jeremiah 23.

1. False prophets scatter God’s flock rather than unite it. “‘Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture!’ says the Lord” (v. 1). As just one example of many, during the COVID-19 pandemonium, I saw a pastor (who I believe to be a false teacher) mock another church that had stepped out in faith to host a meeting. Sadly, some people from that church did come down with the virus. But instead of praying for the church and protecting them by not spreading gossip, the mocking pastor had the audacity to ridicule them on social media even further, thus dividing instead of uniting.

False prophets also divide the body of Christ by embracing liberal theology and supporting such things as gay marriage. Spirit-filled believers are left baffled and confused because false teachers keep promoting sin rather than looking to what God says. Granted, some Christians do not fully understand what the Bible says about certain topics and may therefore appear vague on their stance. These people are not necessarily false prophets; they are biblically illiterate.

2. False prophets do not care for the spiritual needs of others. They appear loving to the world, but mature Christians can spot their hypocrisy a mile away. They march with ungodly movements but say nothing about the murdering of children in the womb. They are arrogant and boldly shake their fists at God in the name of tolerance. In 2 Timothy, Paul warns about people who are rebellious yet have a form of godliness. The world loves them because they are not convicted by their messages.

It’s a given that most of us struggle with selfishness, but the rebuke from God is focused on how they lead: “‘You have scattered My flock, driven them away, and not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for the evil of your doings,’ says the Lord” (v. 2). To not attend to their flocks is to not care for their spiritual needs. People are dying spiritually, and false leaders counsel them to keep sinning. Instead of offering the cure, they encourage the disease. For instance, a pastor I debated on Fox News actually said that he would encourage someone who struggles with same-sex attraction to embrace it (the link is here, and my podcast here where I cover many of these topics). This leads right to the next point.

3. False leaders encourage people to indulge the flesh rather than fight it. They are more afraid of holiness than sinfulness. Jeremiah’s words are dead on here: “They also strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no one turns back from his wickedness” (v. 14). They encourage sin and avoid words like repentance. They won’t talk about judgment because it convicts their unconverted soul. The very thing they need is the very thing they are running from—repentance. They promote freedom, but they are “slaves to depravity” (2 Peter 2:19).

There is a huge difference between a Christian who says, “I’m not really clear on this issue, but I’m searching God’s Word for answers,” and a leader who says that God is fine with sin. False prophets often align with Hollywood more than with the Holy Spirit. They talk about peace but never repentance: “To everyone who walks according to the dictates of his own heart, they say, ‘No evil shall come upon you’” (v. 17). Granted, it’s biblical to encourage and help people. We are to encourage them in the midst of their sin, but we should never encourage sin.

4. False prophets avoid the difficult truths in the Bible. To truly help people, we must preach the difficult truths as well as the joyful ones, preach the cross and the new life, preach hell and heaven, preach damnation and salvation, preach sin and grace, preach wrath and love, preach judgment and mercy, preach obedience and forgiveness, preach that God is love but not forget that God is just. It is the love of God that compels us to share all His truth. But false teachers avoid unpleasant doctrines to tickle ears rather than challenge hearts. Christians should not be an echo chamber for the world but a powerful voice proclaiming God’s Word with a spirit of humility.

5. False prophets use the phrase “don’t judge” out of context (this point differs in the sermon above). To them, “judge not” apparently means “don’t offend.” When asked why they don’t talk about sin, their statements go something like this: “It’s not my job to judge, just to love.” Yes, we need to love people and avoid a judgmental attitude, but this isn’t the issue here. Leonard Ravenhill was famous for saying that we must “weep before we whip.” True, biblical love speaks the truth, especially regarding moral issues that destroy lives and dishonor God. We are to judge, to “call into question” behaviors, choices, and lifestyles that lead people in a dangerous direction. In 1 Corinthians 2:15, the apostle Paul said that those who are spiritual should judge and discern all things. Jesus’s famous words “judge not” were meant to condemn a pride-filled judgmental heart, not to have us remain silent on sin. Simply read Matthew 7 in its full context.

6. False prophets question the inerrancy and reliability of Scripture. As a result, they often say, “I think,” rather than “I know” when it comes to biblical truth. This is where the trouble starts. When we minimize the authority of God’s Word and maximize our opinion, we will always lead others astray. False teachers have no solid foundation for their lives or for their theology. But had “they stood in My counsel, and had caused My people to hear My words, then they would have turned them from their evil way and from the evil of their doings” (v. 23). God is crystal clear here that only the undiluted preaching of His Word leads to radically changed lives. Ironically, because they question God’s Word, they themselves don’t like to be questioned. Truth invites scrutiny, but error runs from it.

7. False prophets lack boldness and have no urgency in their preaching. When God truly calls a person and fills them with His Spirit, boldness always follows. They speak with authority and urgency. They are more concerned about God’s opinion than popular opinion. This is what the Lord says: “Stand in the courtyard of the LORD’s house and … tell them everything I command you; do not omit a word” (v. 28).

Yes, love and grace have conquered many hard hearts, but God also uses bold preaching: “‘Is not My word like a fire?’ says the Lord, ‘And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?’” (v. 29). But false teachers “speak great swelling words of emptiness and “they allure through the lusts of the flesh” (2 Peter 2:18). Their words are not a burning fire but empty pleasantries.

True prophetic voices are often too radical for most people because they threaten their comfort zone and dismantle lukewarm Christianity. But isn’t that the whole point? “When we become so tolerant that we lead people into mental fog and spiritual darkness, we are not acting like Christians—we are acting like cowards” (A.W. Tozer).

The most important question one can face is, “Do you truly know God?” We cannot minimize the destruction, danger, and damage of sin. Jesus didn’t die on the cross for a minor violation. He died because the wrath of God was abiding on every human who ever lived. If you’re a false teacher, or if you’ve drifted from God, please change that today, and embrace the wonderful gift of assurance via repentance and confession of sin. “If the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36). God’s grace will flood your soul as He renews and rebuilds your life.

How to Use the Word of God Against Satan


We all Have an Enemy:

One of the most sobering facts about life is that all humans have a super natural enemy who uses pain and pleasure to make us miserable, stupid and blind for as long as he can. His names are satan, lucifer or the devil.

He is your enemy who prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” 1 Peter 5:8

Sadly, the world is unwittingly following the prince of darkness. Marching obliviously to destruction and taking as many with them as possible. The strategy Lucifer is using to capture mankind has completely blinded their mind.

The battle is real and the intensity of attack on believers is like never before. But why are many Christians suffering under the attack of the enemy yet Jesus Christ overcame all?

Photo by samuel Martins on unsplash

Our Duty:

As a Christian, you already know that Jesus Christ has already defeated satan for you. You also know that satan has limited time to corrupt and deceive as many people as possible. He wants to make you believe otherwise with the intention to keep you defeated and take everything that is rightfully yours.

This is where some Christians are deceived because they say “the enemy has been defeated”, then lie down and take a whipping. This is not the right approach. If God did not give us the responsibility to stand our ground against the devil’s schemes, then He would not have told us to “resist the devil”.

You cannot just stand and do nothing when an enemy is swinging a machete towards you. You have to think fast and act. The same thing happens when you are under spiritual attack. You don’t see the enemy with your physical eyes but he’s there and calculating how he will take you down.

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you”.James 4:7

Stand your Ground with the Word:

Our Heavenly Father understood that we would live our lives under the battles of the enemy. This is why He armed us with weapons of our warfare and told us to use them. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds. 2 Corinthians 10:4

You see, even though the devil has been defeated, he still deceives, steals and kills. If you as a believer fail to stand your ground and use the word of God against all the attacks, then the enemy will unfortunately come out victorious over your life. God wants you safe until He permanently silences satan. To ensure you are well protected, He has given you authority over all the powers of the enemy. Not some of them, all of them to God be all the Glory!

Behold, l give unto you power to trend on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Luke 10:19

Have a Battle Plan:

If you understand a little bit about the military, you know that no unit would ever go to war without a battle plan. They must have a strategy to exploit the enemy’s weaknesses and to maximize their strength in order to win the war. You may not have physical enemies but you do have a spiritual enemy and he has waged war against you.

You must be well prepared and have a strong battle plan. Don’t wait until the enemy attacks and uses his strategies to frustrate your life. You have been given the strongest weapons there has ever been. God has armed you with great wisdom to outsmart the enemy. Lest satan should get an Advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices. 2 Corinthians 2:11

Our Heavenly Father has given you the wisdom you need to keep satan under your feet. He trains our hands for war. He reveals the enemy’s strategies and then tells us the plan of counterattack psalms 144:1

God is the great General in this warfare. He has given you the hotline to call for help: “Take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, pray at all times” Ephesians 6:17-18

Notice you have been asked to pray all the time. This calls for daily resistance, daily refusal to give the enemy an opportunity and to stand against his schemes. “Put on the armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Ephesians 6:8

To have a more peaceful night, go here

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Importance of Trusting God by Faith


There are times we struggle with all types of fears and insecurities, constantly worrying about our families or future. The only way out of such worries is to trust in God whole heartedly. To have the determination to know Him so that you may become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him….. understanding the wonders of His person more strongly and more clearly. You should always pray consistently because God intervenes through your will to receive from Him. He does not step into your circumstances without your permission.

When you learn to trust God – it fills you with hope and confidence because you’ll realize He’s greater than any situation you will ever encounter. Understanding God’s character and incredible love for you allows you to relax and trust Him in every area of your life. Satan’s deception makes you focus on all the things you can’t do. He wants you to compare yourself to others and notice your weaknesses. However, when the Lord looks at you, He sees your potential! He wants you to focus on your abilities; He wants you to lean on Him for strength to accomplish the great things He has planned for you.

Photo by Ben White on unsplash

A perfect example is the story of Gideon from the book of Judges:

During those days, the Israelites were being oppressed by the Medianites, who were destroying their land and stealing their cattle. The Israelites had lost their freedom and were crying out to God for protection against their enemies. One day as Gideon was working in his father’s winepress and trying to hide from the enemy, the Lord appeared to him and said, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of courage. Go in this and you shall save Israel from the hand of Midian. Have l not sent you?

Gideon said to Him, “Oh Lord, how can l deliver Israel? Behold, my clan is the poorest and I am the least in my father’s house.”

The Lord said to him, “surely l will be with you, and you shall smite the midianites. Judges 6:12, 14-16

Imagine what was going on in Gideon’s mind? he believed that he was the last person qualified to lead Israel’s army to victory. But because the Lord continued to encourage him, Gideon finally agreed.

As Israel’s army of 32,000 men were preparing to go into battle, the Lord had Gideon send all but 300 of them home. God made Gideon take less soldiers because wanted them to totally depend on Him.

Sometimes we get too accustomed to depending on what our physical eyes can see that we forget the real power is in the spiritual realm. The Lord was about to teach everyone an amazing lesson: No matter what we have or don’t have, God can make up the difference when we place our trust in Him.

That day, Gideon and his 300 soldiers overcame the entire Midianite army-a force of more than 135,000 men!

My Testimony:

After being struck by numerous complicated health conditions, my mum became mute and bed ridden. When l learned of her condition, I felt prompted to leave everything l was doing including my family, and travel to care for her. I felt the need to pray over her and her home. It didn’t look good at all but l had very strong faith for her recovery. After one week of intense prayers, she gained some strength and started taking short walks by herself. I was exited and started sharing videos of her walking with family and friends.

One Sunday morning, she asked my dad to drive her to church because she felt strong – and wanted to thank God for her healing. Everything went well and members of her church were happy to see her back. Shockingly the Monday after her church attendance, she could not even get herself out of bed again. I hated to see her go right back into suffering. I questioned God and did not understand why she was healed only to be tossed right back to square one or even worse.

On Tuesday afternoon l went down on my knees and talked to God – this time I did not pray. The first thing l did in tears was surrender to His will and asked for understanding and strength. I told Him if it was time for mum to leave us, that His will be done – but not to let her suffer anymore. It was a moment of complete submission, the hardest and most painful thing l ever had to do. But my faith and trust in God was above all pain and fear. On Wednesday morning, mum went for full medical diagnosis. By this time she already looked happier and stronger. When l went upstairs to help her get to the kitchen, I could see that God had already started doing something.

We drove to the hospital and spend most of the day there. They checked anything and everything that could be wrong but her medical report came out clean. She’s as healthy as can be for a woman her age! Now she’s fully restored by the power of Jesus Christ!

Surrender to God by Faith:

I had no intention to share this because I’m very private when it comes to family matters. But this is the verse l have repeatedly come across since her healing: Publish His Glorious deeds among nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things He does. -Psalms 96:3

Truth is, God will not speak until you’re don’t speaking. He will not fix  anything broken while you’re tightly holding on to it. You must surrender it onto his hands. Maybe you’re like Gideon and the Lord is asking you to step out in an area that seems impossible. Whatever it may be, know that you’re in a great place for a miracle. The God of all the universe is on your side, and He never losses a battle! I encourage you to get to know Him and study His word. Talk to the Lord like He’s your best friend and ask Him to reveal His love and character in a greater way. Be encouraged and God bless you. Find out How to defeat Satan’s evil strategies against your life


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Battle Scars

As we endure life in this world, walking by faith and not by sight, walking in the Spirit of God and not in the flesh, seeking to serve the Lord and His Kingdom, doing that which He has commanded us — and entrusted us to do — it can get very lonely sometimes.

I think of the apostle Paul, whose letters — which he wrote from prison — are filled with sound doctrine and teaching; but also, his deepest personal feelings, as he endured great loneliness, being separated from his friends and fellow believers in Christ.

Look at Second Timothy 1.  He clearly missed his young friend, as he wrote:

“I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day.   As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy.  I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.  For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear, but of power and love and self-control. 

“Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of His own purpose and grace, which He gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, — and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, which is why I suffer as I do. 

“But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that He is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me.  Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.   By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.”

And then Paul added:

“You are aware that all who are in Asia abandoned me.”

Yes, Paul was there, writing to Timothy from prison.  He was jailed for preaching the Gospel of our Savior, and he was alone.  No one stood with him.  All had abandoned him.

Then in Chapter 4, we have this:

“Do your best to come to me soon.   For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia.  Luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me for ministry…. When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments.   Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds.   Beware of him yourself, for he strongly opposed our message.   At my first defense, no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them!   But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it.”

In Second Corinthians, Paul describes what Christian ministry is REALLY like.  Starting at verse 24:

“Five times I received, at the hands of the Jews, the forty lashes less one.  Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea;  on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.  And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches.”

There are many today, who will tell you the Christian life is all joy and happiness.  “Just walk the aisle,” they say, “repeat the ‘sinners prayer,’ and MEAN IT,” they’ll tell you…  And “Jesus has a wonderful plan for your life!”  “Just ask Jesus into your heart and you will go from misery to ‘your best life NOW!”  But friends, this isn’t true.  This is a false Gospel…  The fact of the matter is, the Christian life is NOT an easy one.  It’s NOT all happiness and joy.  If you are TRULY living out your faith and serving Christ, you will find yourself in frequent persecution, you’ll be mocked and ridiculed.  You’ll lose your friends.   You may even find yourself being sued in court; you may lose your business, your home, your freedom, and yes, in some cases, even your family.

Jesus Himself said in Matthew 10:

“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have NOT come to bring peace, but a sword.   For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.   And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.”

You absolutely will NOT fit in with the modern culture if you are following Christ today.  It is at that point you have a choice:  keep your mouth shut and practice your “religion” in secret, in which case you will NOT endure any persecution and you can just “get along” with everyone — or you can be a faithful servant, obey the commands of Jesus and season this world with salt — being a beacon of light in a dark and dying culture.  Yes, you HAVE that choice.  So, what will you choose?

Those who choose the latter often find themselves very lonely and very misunderstood.  Because they walk by the Spirit and not by the flesh, the world cannot understand them.    Spiritual things are spiritually discerned; and those without the Holy Spirit CANNOT understand.  It’s not that they don’t want to… they just don’t have the Holy Spirit inside them, and therefore they CAN’T understand you.

“Religious” people will not understand you either.  Many times, you’ll even be viewed as a “troublemaker” or a “crazy zealot” by those in your own church, if you dare step outside the box and actually DO the work Christ called you to.  You WILL endure hardship and you WILL experience persecution if you’re openly and faithfully and unashamedly living the Christian life.  Those who preach “health, wealth, prosperity, happiness, roses and rainbows” are lying to you.  You should ask yourself what their motivation is… and oftentimes, you’ll find it’s very simple: it’s so that THEY can be well liked and popular among the people… and well PAID.

How lonely it must have been for Jesus Himself — MANY times — as even His own disciples had a hard time understanding some of His teachings.  Yet He patiently taught them and explained to them the parables the world could not understand.  And though they walked closely with Him for 3 1/2 years during His earthly ministry, on the night of His arrest, they all abandoned Him, when He needed His friends the most.

Look at Luke 22.  Here, Jesus was on the Mount of Olives, following the Last Supper.  He went there to pray with His disciples.  But His disciples couldn’t stay awake and watch with Him even one hour.  How lonely our Savior must have been as He prayed:

“‘Father, if You are willing, take this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.’  An angel from heaven appeared to Him and strengthened Him.  And being in anguish, He prayed more earnestly, and His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”

Not exactly “health, wealth, prosperity, happiness, roses and rainbows”… is it?  That was NEVER Jesus’ message.  That’s a false Gospel, that creates false converts, who quickly fall away.  As it has been said, “everyone wants to follow Jesus — until they find out where He is going.”  Now, I am NOT saying that the Christian life is miserable.  As a matter of fact, I don’t know how ANYONE can make it through this life without Christ.  There IS a peace.  Though the world around you continues to spin out of control into chaos and evil, as a true believer in Jesus, you DO have peace in your heart.

As Paul wrote to the Philippians:

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;  and the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Friends, we would NOT NEED “peace that passes all understanding” if the Christian life were EASY.  But BECAUSE we know Christ as our Savior, BECAUSE we have His Holy Spirit within us, we can have a peace of mind and heart that the world just cannot ever comprehend.  But it’s still, often, very lonely.

In the ministry work I do,  I get a great many phone calls, emails and letters from those who are seeking answers, and often seeking my counsel.  Some have grown children who have become wayward and left their faith behind.  Some have unbelieving spouses who are carnal and worldly, rather than spiritual.  Some deal with ridicule from co-workers.  Most all of them have very shallow “friendships,” with only a few at the churches they attend.  They often have NO ONE they can fellowship with, or commune with or talk to about the deep and rich things of God.  They feel so ALONE.

All of us, who carry the name of Christ and live out our faith — FOR REAL — have endured great emotional and physical hardships.  It often seems we’ve been in one battle after another, and we have the battle scars to prove it.  And it is when we are alone in the battle that things are most difficult and heart-wrenching;  when all have abandoned us, when even those we thought were our friends turn away.  This is also the time when the enemy likes to come and attack; and unless we remain in prayer and communion with GOD, we can easily become discouraged and depressed.

This is why we are exhorted — in the book of Hebrews:

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.   And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” 

How sweet it is to have REAL, GOOD fellowship with like-minded believers.  Not shallow small talk, fake smiles and handshakes during “greet your neighbor time” at your Sunday service… but deep, meaningful fellowship and friendships with the saints of God.  How wonderful to have a support system like that.  It is so refreshing to our souls when we have friends we can be open, honest and transparent with as we share our Christian walk together.  We can “compare notes,” and we can relate to one another as we let our “Battle Scars” show.

When I quoted from Hebrews about not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, I’m not just talking about GOING to church.  I’m talking about BEING the church — all in one accord — with fellow saints you KNOW are true believers and true friends that stick closer than a brother.

Some of the greatest times in my own spiritual walk have been with friends like this.  Recently, one evening, following a busy day at a Christian conference, I sat with a friend, one on one, and we just talked together.  We shared with one another our experiences in ministry, as well as the heavy burdens we both carry.  Though our ministries — and our battles — are different, and though some of our battle scars run deeper than others, they are all part of the same spiritual warfare we’re both involved in.

And then, after we talked a long time, we PRAYED a long time, with each other and FOR each other.  I’ve never felt such peace in my heart as I do at times like this.  As disciples of Jesus living in the times we are living in, I UNDERSTAND what the writer of Hebrews meant when he said, — “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together” —  how it is even MORE important as we see the Day of the Lord approaching.

The spiritual warfare continues to wage all around us.  Those of us who are engaged in this warfare NEED one another.  We need real, deep, intimate friendships; fellow believers we know we can TRUST in any and every circumstance.  We need to KNOW they “have our backs” in our times of need.  We need such friends we can talk to and pray with on a deep, intimate level — and not have to worry about gossip being spread.  We need MORE than shallow, vain, repetitious corporate prayer time.  We need more than “small talk” — we need REAL brothers and sisters in Christ.

It’s like a little glimpse of heaven during these intimate times with our fellow believers.  As Jesus said in Matthew 18:

“For where two or three are gathered in My name, there am I among them.”

If you don’t have this in your life, I encourage you to seek it out.  Pray that the Lord open those doors for you and then, even though you may have deep wounds and battle scars, let yourself be vulnerable enough to let them show, and let others know your needs.  Fellowship together, PRAY together…  build an intimate, close bond of friendship.  Because it’s HARD living a faithful and obedient Christian life.  And it’s even harder doing it all alone, with none who understand.  So, stand firm to the end, fellow believers… and if you need or want to talk with ME, I’d be honored to be your friend.  God bless you.

© 2019 Rob Pue, Publisher


PO Box 756

Marshfield, WI  54449

(715) 486-8066


Audio CDs and transcripts of this message are available when you call me at (715) 486-8066 or email Rob@WisconsinChristianNews.com.  Ask for message number 253.


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