Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Arise, Shine, Your Time Has Come

2 Kings 2:13-14
“13 Elisha picked up Elijah’s cloak, which had fallen when he was taken up. Then Elisha returned to the bank of the Jordan River. 14 He struck the water with Elijah’s cloak and cried out, “Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” Then the river divided, and Elisha went across.”
Judges 15:15
“Then he found the jawbone of a recently killed donkey. He picked it up and killed 1,000 Philistines with it.”
When it comes to the heroes in the Bible, Elisha and Samson were very different kinds of men, but they did have two things in common.
1.       Both of them were used mightily by God
2.       They both had what they needed within their reach, but they had to pick it up.
You can have all the power sitting right before you and all around you, but it won’t change your life or the lives of anyone around you until you reach out and pick it up.  Lying on the ground Elijah’s cloak was just and old used piece of clothing, but once it was picked up by Elisha it became a powerful tool that led to many miracles and many lives being touched.  On the ground it was just an old bone, but once Samson picked it up, it became a weapon of mass destruction against his enemies.  Two ordinary items, or so it seemed, that became useful for God’s glory, but they had to pick them up.
I have decided that no matter how bad it gets, I’m not going to whine and complain about how bad the economy is, I would like to say that I’m not going to criticize our government or pass judgment on our present administration, but everyone that knows me would know I was lying; however I’ve decided to try not to spend so much time focusing on the evil they’re doing.  There’s a lot of evil things happening in the world, but I choose not to focus on them.
People may say that you can’t just bury your head in the sand, I’m not burying my head in the sand, I am burying my heart in the word, I’m lifting up my eyes to the hills where my help comes from.  I want to tell you that the Devil is not in charge!  I don’t care what’s going on around us in the world, or what it feels like or sounds like all around us, God is still in control.
In the name of Jesus I speak against the spirit of fear and dread and I bind the spirit of hopelessness and despair.  We are not going under!  I don’t care how high the price of gas and eggs go, it doesn’t matter how bad the health care system gets, and it makes no difference whether Social Security goes bankrupt, or if you can get a government bailout.  God is still in control and the greatest bailout of all time took place over 2,000 years ago on a cross at the top of a hill, and it wasn’t Capitol Hill!
Just like God had Noah build the ark so that when he flooded the world and when the waters began to rise the ark rose above the water.  The waters rose until they covered the highest mountains, but the ark rose with them, in the worst of the storm the ark rose to its highest place.  The Church of Jesus Christ is just like the ark.
This can be the finest hour for the church!  We have been chosen by God to live in these difficult times, if God has chosen us to live in this season, it is because he has a plan for us.  God is on our side!  God placed the prophet Ezekiel in a valley full of Dry bones because God knew that Ezekiel possessed the power to transform the bleak situation he was faced with.  One lone man, armed only with the sword of the Spirit, spoke the Word of the Lord and that valley of dry bones was transformed into a mighty army.
You may be the only Christian in your family, you may be the only Christian on your job, in your class or in your neighborhood.  But what you need to do is quit pouting and start praising!  If you are the only believer there, it’s because God has confidence in you.  Enough of God’s people walking around with their heads down, their backs stooped, stepping on their bottom lip and crying about how bad it is, enough I say!
I am not trying to say that things in this world right now aren’t terrible, that our government isn’t doing a terrible job, and I am not unaware of the terrorists that are causing havoc all around the world right now.   What I am saying is, Greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world!  I am saying that I know whom I have believed in and am persuaded that He is able!  I am saying that if God is for us, who can be against us!  We are citizens of an unshakable Kingdom, which is built upon an unshakable foundation, and ruled by an unshakable King!  Praise God!
Ps 46:1-7 (NLT)
“God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.  So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea.  Let the oceans roar and foam.  Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge!  A river brings joy to the city of our God, the sacred home of the Most High.  God dwells in that city; it cannot be destroyed.  From the very break of day, God will protect it.  The nations are in chaos, and their kingdoms crumble!  God’s voice thunders, and the earth melts!  The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress.”
Even while all these bad things are happening David says, “There is a river that is making glad the city of God.”
In the midst of all the ugliness that is taking place in our world, despite the natural disasters that seems to be increasing in magnitude every year, in the face of economic uncertainty, God is pouring out His Spirit and His power: This is our time to shine!
Isaiah 60:1-3
“Arise, Jerusalem! Let your light shine for all to see.  For the glory of the Lord rises to shine on you.  Darkness as black as night covers all the nations of the earth, but the glory of the Lord rises and appears over you.  All nations will come to your light; mighty kings will come to see your radiance.”
In other words we should not be surprised by the things that are going on, God said it’s going to get real dark in the world, but He is going to put His spotlight on the Church.  And when He puts His spotlight on us and they see the glory of the Lord on the Church, they will be drawn to His glory.
Listen to me children of God: this is not the time to tone it down, this is not the time to quiet our praise, and this is not the time to worry about being politically correct or socially acceptable.  This is the time to arise and shine, to stand up and stand out, and it is the time to speak the Word of God with boldness, authority and power! 
It is time for those in the Church to declare ourselves: 
·         Moses demanded in the book of Exodus, “Who is on the Lord’s side, declare yourself, make your choice clear.”
·         Joshua demanded it, “choose this day whom you will serve”
·         Elijah demanded, he told the Israelites to choose one side or the other, either serve God or serve Baal but quit limping back and forth between the two.
·         Jesus also demanded it: He said, “He that is not for me is against me, and if you are not gathering with me, then you are scattering abroad.”
Let me put it to you another way, we can either be part of the solution or we can be part of the problem, there is no in between.
The spotlight is on you.  Do you have the Power?  The mantle has fallen at your feet, are you going to pick it up?  Are you filled with the Holy Ghost?  If not, it’s right there at your feet, pick it up!
Do you have what you need to heal the sick?  Are you bold enough to speak the words of truth?  Are you courageous enough to pick up that mantle or are you satisfied with being a wannabe?
You can look at it, dream about it, preach about it, shout about it, sing songs about it, write books about it, but nothing will happen till you pick it up.
Mordecai told Esther, “Who knows but that you are come into the kingdom for such a time as this.”
But the Words that cut like a knife were these, “If thou altogether hold thy peace at this time then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place, but thou and thy fathers house shall be destroyed.”
In other words he was telling Esther that if she didn’t pick up this mantle of responsibility, God would use someone else, and you, your generation, and your family will suffer for it.
God said to tell you Church, the mantle has fallen during this hour at your feet, if you don’t pick it up, and if you’re not willing to answer God’s call and pay the price then someone else will.  Someone else will walk in the anointing that you could have been yours.  Someone else will heal the sick and cast out devils and work signs and wonders, and someone else will possess the presence, the glory and the power of God.
As for you, you will deprive your generation of your ministry.  Your family, your loved ones, and people that live around you will be robbed of the anointing and the power that God reserved for you.  Someone that should have been healed may die sick, someone that should have been delivered and set free may continue to live in bondage, and someone that should have known the joy of salvation may be eternally lost.  You will miss the blessing of being a good and faithful servant.
Arise! Shine!  It’s at your feet, will you pick it up?

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