STAND UP AND FIGHT
Lately, I have been seeing a lot of preachers, evangelists, and Christian leaders urging Christian people to stand up and fight. Most of the times, their posts on social media urging people to "Stand Up" and "Fight" leave people to guess for themselves what the author really meant by his or her statement. I often wonder, is the preacher, evangelist, or pastor who is making these social media posts calling for people to protest, to march through the streets, to assemble on courthouse lawns, to write letters to their governors or senators, or to get their hunting rifles and shotguns out of the gun safe and start a shooting war. I do not know.
I am tired of fear mongering and scare tactics. If a church leader thinks that a person needs to fight for America or for the future of the church in America, then that leader needs to STOP with the slogans and tell people exactly what kind of action they are recommending for people to take. And by all means, those who are doing the slogan-posting need to be leading the charge and saying "Do as I am doing!"
Don't misunderstand me. I, too, think its time for Christians to be actively involved in their churches and in their own personal spiritual formation and growth. What the church looks like in the next few years and what kind of nation we hand down to the next generation depends on whether Christians in our nation get actively involved or stay on the sidelines of cultural engagement.
There is a definite relationship between the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man.
· Genesis 45:8 So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.
· Genesis 50:20 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.
The book of Esther tells the story of how the Jewish nation was rescued from extinction, explaining the origin of one of the Jews’ most festive holidays, the Feast of Purim. The word “purim” means “lots” and refers to the casting of lots by Haman to determine the day of the slaughter of the Jews. On this feast day, when the book of Esther is read, the name of Mordecai is cheered but whenever Haman’s name is pronounced, the hearers make a terrible noise in the Synagogue, in keeping with their obligation to “blot out” his name. Some Jews even write Haman’s name on the bottom of their shoes and then kick and stamp their feet. Others bang together rocks with his name on them, blow a shofar, beat on a drum, pots and pans, etc., to "blot out" Haman's name when the book of Esther is read during Purim.
Here is the part of the story of Esther I want to deal with in this blog:
Esther 4:13-16 13 Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king's house, more than all the Jews. 14 For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? 15 Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer, 16 Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.
Esther is a type (an example of or a representation) of the church bringing deliverance to the people of God in the last days.
Haman was an Agagite (a descendant of Amalek and Esau) with a Satanic hatred for the Jews. He is a type of the Antichrist which will arise in the last days. Haman wanted all men to bow down to him!
Reasons why spiritual warfare is on the increase in North America:
1. The erosion of Judeo-Christian ethics and cultural moorings has paved the way for other gods in Western nations like the United States and Canada. The spiritual atmosphere has changed as the culture of these nations has been breached by demonic forces.
2. Holiness teaching has been abandoned by most denominational Christians. The abhorrence of sin and holy desire to separate from the world are not just wholesome advice, they are powerful weapons. But most Christians do not hear teaching or preaching about these things coming from their church leaders.
3. The second coming of Christ is at hand, so demonic manifestations are on the increase.
4. Because the enemy is attempting to drive truth back with a flood of demonic assaults, the Spirit of the Lord is calling for the people of God to engage in spiritual warfare and raise up a standard against the enemy.
Esther’s willingness to act became the catalyst that brought deliverance from Haman’s schemes, even though she did not know for certain that her actions would have that result. But she decided to STAND UP AND FIGHT regardless!
The king’s decree had been issued and could not be altered, according to the law of the Medes and the Persians. The Jews would be robbed and slain in just a few months!
However, through the advice of Mordecai, a counter-decree was given by the King. The Jews would be able to stand and defend themselves and their property.
· Esther 8:10-11 10 And he wrote in the king Ahasuerus' name, and sealed it with the king's ring, and sent letters by posts on horseback, and riders on mules, camels, and young dromedaries: 11 Wherein the king granted the Jews which were in every city to gather themselves together, and to stand for their life, to destroy, to slay, and to cause to perish, all the power of the people and province that would assault them, both little ones and women, and to take the spoil of them for a prey,
When the twelfth month arrived, the Jews were ready. They had the King on their side!
The king did not cancel the old law; he merely gave a new law that superseded it.
This is true in the Christian life; The law of sin and death has not been cancelled, but it has been overcome by the law of the Spirit.
· Romans 8:1-2 1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
· Romans 8:10-14 10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin (old law still active); but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. (new law given without canceling old law) 11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. (we have the King on our side) 12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. (we don’t have to submit to the old decree) 13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. (stand and fight for deliverance) 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
The decree has been issued. In your life, this may mean something very tangible in your life, such as:
- a doctor’s diagnosis
- a judge’s verdict
- a counselor’s opinion
- a banker’s assessment
- your family’s opposition
- or the devil’s lies
BUT YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO FIGHT!
I will post more on specifics of how Christians can engage in the fight in my next blog.