Daily Devotional for Thursday September 29, 2011
Why this Sunday's "pulpit revolt" is nothing but a stupid stunt by the Christian legal organization, the Alliance Defense Fund, that will accomplish ZERO! According to the IRS code, a non-profit organization is not allowed to tell people who to or not to vote for. Personally, I have never had an issue with that requirement, since I am not here to promote political candidates, but to deal with the spiritual issues of the day. The goal of the ADF in this efforts is to get the IRS to come after a church for breaking this law, and thus, take them thru the legal system and try to prove this law is a violation of the 1st amendment.
The reason this is simply a publicity stunt is that IRS could care less about a few hundred pastors on one Sunday violating this law. They are never going to go after a pastor for doing this on a given Sunday. The fact is, many churches make a practice of clearly telling people who to and not to vote for and are never called on it. So the goal of the ADF is never going to be achieved through this type of effort.
I shared with you back in December of 2007 that the IRS was investigating Liveprayer to determine if we violated our tax exempt status by taking a stand against Republican Presidential contender Mitt Romney last year for lying to people that he was a Christian. The fact is, Mitt Romney is part of a satanic cult leading the souls of men to hell whose theology is totally inconsistent with Biblical Christianity. I have every legal right to educate and preach on the social issues of our day as they pertain to the Bible, even issues that transcend into the political arena. That investigation has now been going on for nearly 4 years, and we have heard nothing.
Our attorneys are fully confident that we did absolutely nothing to even come close to breaking the law. Unlike many Christian leaders do frequently, I have never or ever will endorse anyone for public office, and have never told people who to or not to vote for. However, I refuse to be intimidated into silence like so many in the ministry who fear any scrutiny that may upset their "business" operations which brings in millions of dollars each year. Why do you think most ministers and very few in the Christian media ever speak out of these critical spiritual issues of our day? They are more interested in being popular, not offending the people who might give them money, than delivering the Truth of the Bible.
Liveprayer has been under some form of attack or another since we signed on the Internet on August 31, 1999. Sharing the Truth of God's Word has always brought opposition of every kind imaginable since the very beginning. This is nothing new or particularly unique. However, most Christians, they live such sheltered lives, especially here in the United States, and they rarely get a chance to see real persecution simply for sharing the Truth of God's Word with the world. That is why most in the Kingdom stay safely behind the 4 walls of the church and rarely venture out into the world. Of course, the mission of Liveprayer is to bring the lost to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. You can't do that by staying behind the pulpit or hiding in the Christian media.
Those who are part of the Liveprayer family have had a great opportunity to see the very real opposition of this fallen world to God's Truth. They have had a chance to witness countless times the forces of evil coming against God's work here in so many different ways. One of those attacks came in 2007 from a true soldier of the enemy's army, Barry Lynn. Barry Lynn, who mocks God by calling himself a "Rev," is a former American Civil Liberties Union operative who now heads an organization called Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. Lynn is most famous for trying to intimidate into silence anyone who takes a stand for Biblical Truth by badgering the IRS to take away their tax exempt status. Last summer he set his sights on Liveprayer. Since I have never done anything to violate our tax exempt status, I am not concerned other than for the time, effort, and money it has cost us to defend ourselves from his false allegations.
In openly and transparently sharing my life and giving you an intimate inside look each day at the inner workings of Liveprayer, I pray that it has challenged you and inspired you in your daily walk with the Lord and in fulfilling all He has called you to do with your life. One of the most important truths in God's Word for the soldier of Christ is the 12th verse of the 6th chapter in Paul's letter to the church at Ephesus. Paul writes, "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."
Serving the Lord is NOT A GAME! It is literally a life and death struggle and we have a very real enemy who does not play by any rules and is out to "kill, steal, and destroy" anyone who takes him on! We can never lose sight of the fact that while we may fight battles in the natural, the real battles are spiritual and are being fought in the heavenlies. This is why I admonish you, encourage you, implore you most days to stay close to the Lord. You HAVE to be prayed up. You HAVE to be in the Word. You HAVE to be doing your best to live a life pleasing to the Lord. There is a very real enemy who is after anyone who has accepted the Lord as their Savior.
When you made that commitment to Christ, you automatically became an enemy of satan. The more you live for the Lord, the more you do for the Lord, the more of a threat you are to satan. The pure evil of satan will be unleashed against you in ways you never could have imagined. Let me say it again, this is NOT A GAME! You may be playing, but I can assure you satan is not. His only goal is to see those who follow the Lord destroyed. Most Believers don't have any real understanding about the spiritual forces working around them. It is like deciding to take a vacation to Baghdad if you were able. It wouldn't be long before something very bad happened to you.
This is why most followers of Christ chose to sit on the sidelines. They simply don't want to have to deal with the attacks of satan. I want to give you some wisdom today and help you find the courage you need to allow God to use your life to make a real impact in this world for the few days He blesses you with. First, while satan does want you dead, if you know Christ as your Savior you have nothing to fear from death. As a matter of fact, death is something the child of God should actually look forward to since our eternal home with the Lord has already been prepared for us. Death has no hold on the follower of Christ. We also have the great promise from God's Word in 1 John 4:4 that, "You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world."
The power of the Holy Spirit that resides within the Believer is greater than any power the evil one has. That allows the followers of Christ to go boldly, without fear, and take on the powers of darkness. It is like being 10 years old and having a big brother who will protect you. While most of the kids live in fear of the neighborhood bully, you laugh in his face because you know your big brother will watch over you and protect you. We have the promises of God in His Word that He will fight for us. He promised to never leave us or forsake us. On top of that God has supplied His children with all they would need to fight with each day,
"Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." Ephesians 6:11-17
You see my friend, God has given you victory over death, His power is residing within you, you have the promises in the Word that He will always be with you and fight for you, and He has even supplied you the "armor of God." THE CHILD OF GOD HAS NO EXCUSE NOT TO BE ON THE BATTLEFIELD FIGHTING FOR THE LORD! This is what God has called all of His children to do. He has given each of us unique and special gifts and talents, called us to serve Him in different ways, but we have ALL been called to serve our Lord. That is our ultimate purpose in this life, to serve and glorify the Lord with our lives.
So my word to you today is to fear not, and step out in faith and allow God to use your life to make an impact for the Kingdom. This life is brief and is over very quick. When you take your last breath, the only thing that will matter is do you know Jesus, and the only real legacy you will leave behind are those lives you have impacted for the Lord!
I love you and care about you so much. We can never forget that we have a very real enemy who is out to get anyone who is serving the Lord. The good news is that we don't have to fear satan, but we do need to be prepared for him. The great encouragement for the child of God is that we already know how it ends. GOD WINS! Let me say that again because I really wonder some days if most Christians have ever read the end of the book. WE WIN! The final chapter has already been written. If you have given your heart and life to Jesus by faith, you are on the winning team! That is what frustrates me so much. Most who live in the world and are serving satan, who only have the flames of hell to look forward to for all eternity, live like they will win. In the meantime, the real winners, the followers of Christ who have a mansion in Glory awaiting them, live like they have lost.
IF YOU HAVE ACCEPTED JESUS AS YOUR SAVIOR BY FAITH, YOU WIN! ONE MORE TIME. IF YOU HAVE ACCEPTED JESUS AS YOUR SAVIOR BY FAITH, YOU WIN! WE CAN'T LOSE! IT IS TIME WE AS CHRISTIANS WHO HAVE THE GLORIES OF HEAVEN AWAITING US STARTED TO LIVE LIKE THE VICTORS AND NOT THE LOSERS!!!
I will be praying for you today. Praying that God will really speak to you through these words and that you hear Him saying to you, "Start living like the winner and not the loser!" Yes there is a very real enemy who wants to destroy you, yes you will be persecuted for the sake of the Gospel, yes the world will hate and despise you, but when you die it is not satan who will judge you, or any man, it is God your Creator! He is the one you will stand before on that day and it is God you should be trying to please each day. I pray that you will spend some time with the Lord and really seek Him regarding what He wants you to be doing with your life. Remember, you are here to serve Him.
Please be praying that we get a full exoneration soon from the IRS. Also, join me today in praying for Barry Lynn. Nobody can wake up every day and spend their life working against the Lord and have any peace or joy. I have no illusions that as long as I keep doing what God has called me to do, we will always be attacked, persecuted, be the target of those who hate God and the Truth. That is simply part of the price that you pay when you serve the Lord. In the end, it is not the applause of men I seek, or the adulation of this fallen world, or any of the temporal pleasures this life can offer. No my friend, I am happy to wait for whatever rewards there may be in Glory, hear the angelic host singing their praises to God, and hear my Lord say, "Well done thou good and faithful servant!"
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,