"In warfare and seasons of trouble, there is a quality of suffering and perseverance that actually births in us a greater anointing to work the works of God. God actually trusts us because He trusts what He sees of suffering inside our heart and life. We cannot build anything without suffering... Good leadership knows how to suffer; they know about patience and perseverance to stand their ground" --Graham Cooke
God is looking throughout the earth, and He sees those who are steadfast in spirit. Is our spirit steadfast even during times of intense warfare? Do we know how to stand steady in hard times? Are you standing your ground? It’s not easy to navigate through life with all the uncertainties facing us. It seems that all of life is in a gigantic battle. We go through times of job promotions and losses, prosperity and adversity, love and loneliness. The other day I was simply walking with my husband looking at the beauty of nature when suddenly I stepped on a small round chestnut, lost my balance, and fell on the ground. A little shaken and with a few scrapes and bruises, my husband helped me up and we carefully continued walking steadfastly forward. Little round chestnuts were all over the road. Almost as if they were dangerous land minds, I gingerly stepped around them as we proceeded on our walk. That day I learned a lesson about walking steadfastly. Did you know that Jotham in the Old Testament walked steadfastly before God and grew powerful as a result?
"Jotham grew powerful because he walked steadfastly before the Lord his God" (2 Chronicles 27:6)
How do we navigate through such constant change and intense warfare? How do we navigate around the land mines in life? It seems that our inner resolve must be strong. A fixed heart in prayer positions us - strengthening us from within - to receive God's power moment-by-moment and day-by-day. God wants us to stand firm. Obviously while walking with my husband I wasn't standing firm. And what happened? I fell! But I got up quickly and proceeded on, but with a much greater carefulness. Even if we have made a great fall, we can get up and get moving again. But we need to be careful of the land mines. They can be negative thoughts about our own self, God and others that especially tempt us during a difficult time. God will help us to be steady if we resolve to be faithful and steadfast in spirit. He will renew a steadfast spirit within us.
"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me" ( Psalm 51:10).
My husband is putting many new windows in our house. Windows are important. This life is a small window of opportunity to stand fast in prayer, to choose to love Christ, and to pray in the midst of difficult circumstances. God sees whatever suffering each one of us has to go through in this life. Suffering and perseverance is an important part of life. When we face suffering, there is a powerful anointing for fellowship with God. He is inviting us to draw nearer to His heart through it. One of the books I am presently writing is called The Invitation. God is inviting us into a glorious place of power and relationship, but it’s up to us. Will we pursue His invitation? Will we be steadfast in seeking Him? This invitation is the greatest invitation any of us will ever receive in this life. And we all love to be invited to special events by important people. But the challenge for us is to love God through everything that comes our way. This is where we will find His strength and grace to carry us through. King David was a man after God’s heart who constantly pursued God with a steadfast heart. We have a window of opportunity right now to pursue God.
"My heart is steadfast, O God; I will sing and make music with all my soul" (Psalm 108:1).
I have noticed in my life that after I have gone through an especially enduring season of warfare, God brings a breakthrough and increases the anointing in my own personal life and the ministry of Intercessors Arise. I look back and see the grace of God that carried me through. You may not know it but the ministry of Intercessors Arise involves tremendous times of warfare. Satan does not like prayer. Standing strong in perseverance many times has been an everyday task, but God’s grace has been sufficient. If you are involved in prayer, I am sure you can identify.
"And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast" (1 Peter 5:10).
The Call for a Steadfast Spirit
"Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying your decrees!" (Psalm 119:5)
Let’s never think that we are the only one going through warfare. All of God’s people who have been used by Him have come face-to-face in confrontation and warfare. Everyone has had to learn to be steadfast. It’s inevitable. The famous revivalist, John Wesley, was steadfast in difficulty. You probably never knew this about his life. Look at the breakthrough he experienced when he had a steadfast and persevering spirit. A page from his diary reads as follows:
- Sunday morning, May 5 - Preached in St. Ann's, was asked not to come back anymore.
- Sunday p.m., May 5 - Preached at St. John's, deacons said, "Get out and stay out."
- Sunday a.m., May 12 - Preached at St. Jude's, can't go back there either.
- Sunday p.m., May 12 - Preached at St. George's, kicked out again.
- Sunday a.m., May 19 - Preached, deacons called special meeting and said I couldn't return.
- Sunday p.m., May 19 - Preached on the street, kicked off the street.
- Sunday a.m., May 26 - Preached in meadow, chased out of meadow as a bull was turned loose during the services.
- Sunday a.m., June 2 - Preached out at the edge of town, kicked off the highway.
- Sunday p.m., June 2 - Afternoon service, preached in a pasture, 10,000 people came to hear me.
All inventors have to be steadfast. Thomas Edison who invented the light bulb said, “Genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration." Did you know that the first electric light was so dim that a candle was needed to see its socket? Wilbur and Orville Wright's first airplane flight lasted only 12 seconds. One of the first steamboats took 32 hours to go from New York to Albany, a distance of 150 miles. The first automobile traveled 2-4 miles per hour and broke down often. But look at what these inventions can do today!
Perhaps you are going through a challenging time of suffering where you need to be steadfast and persevering but it's difficult. You need a breakthrough that only God can give, and the warfare seems intense. Realize that you are not alone. Many of us are facing a battle one way or another. We need a steadfast and persevering spirit in warfare. What should we do in times of warfare? Here are a few suggestions.
- Put on worship music and sing to the Lord, praising Him right in the midst of difficulty - This will touch your spirit and impact your emotions (Ephesians 5:19-20). Listen to peaceful, soaking music at http://www.soaking.net. If you are getting fearful over the economy, weather conditions, terrorism or the elections this is an incredible way to stay in God’s peace in the midst of battle.
- Speak God’s Word over your personal and our national difficulties - Speak God's Word over our nation. You are aligning your heart with God’s heart and thoughts. This will keep you from inner accusations against God’s nature and your own identity (Ephesians 5:26).
"You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you" (Isaiah 26:3).
You may feel the intensity of spiritual warfare both personally in your life. It may be hard to hold steady in prayer. Land mines are going off all around you. God is inviting you into deeper intimacy personally as well as corporately. Will you say, “yes” to this invitation? He wants to strengthen your arms in war. Don't give up - persevere in prayer - your breakthrough may be right around the corner. Pray with a steadfast spirit in warfare - pray for our country - pray for your family and church - pray for your city. Don't give up but be steadfast in spirit in warfare, and God will keep you in perfect peace. He knows your suffering and He cares. He will help you step around those land mines safely and victoriously. He is bestowing the Kingdom in your heart.
"There is an anointing for fellowship with God in confrontation that births a bestowing of Kingdom in our hearts. Kingdom is given to us in the violence of confrontation. The Kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force (see Matthew 11:12). We need a godly violence in our hearts that says, ‘We are not going to be moved; this is what we believe in. We are going to stand here; we are not moving. We are standing here, and we are believing God." --Graham Cooke
Together in the Harvest,
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