This morning we identified 5 ways to survive the final church age called Laodicea. Using the early church as a model, it is clear that the Bride must:
- Stay connected to the Holy Spirit
- Remain connected/committed to each other
- Constantly expect the supernatural moving of the Spirit
- Be vigilant and on guard against the enemy’s attacks
- Live for Christ’s return.
This evening I thought it would be helpful to showcase what each of these things look like in your life. Now, it’s important to remember that these principles will express themselves differently for each of us because we all face unique circumstances.
But our lives will all have a common thread that proves the Spirit’s presence within us.
Connected to the Holy Spirit
If we are connected to the Holy Spirit, we will hear His voice. We will know His will. We will be guided by Him and seek to minister to one another. John 16:13 reads,
“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.”— John 16:13
As you seek to protect an atmosphere of worship and praise, you will find Christ to be all the more present. For truly our God desires to dwell richly within His people!
Connected to each other
I have often emphasized the need for believers to communicate with one another but this connection goes deeper than phone calls or texts—this is a spiritual empathy, a spiritual connection that cannot be expressed in any human language. And this empathy, or feeling for one another, must be nurtured. The Bible stresses the need for Christians to “let brotherly love continue (Heb.13:1)” and to have “fervent love (1 Peter 1:22)”. We must seek opportunities to deepen our spiritual bonds. In part, this means checking in with one another and encouraging each other throughout life’s journey.
But it also translates to bearing with one another when it’s hard to do so. Trying to understand where the other person is coming from and looking out for each other’s best interests. It’s praying deeply for each other and building each other up with compliments and praise.
In short, this connection lets those around you know that you are interested in them. And Paul expresses this truth when he writes, “Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too (Philippians 2:4 NLT).”
Expecting the Supernatural
The supernatural is all around us. Each breath we take, each step we make, every time a bird flies—it’s all part of God’s glorious hand. And yet our Father has a more intimate, personal desire to express His power to us and through us. To expect the supernatural means to live in a state of constant readiness. Spirit-filled souls must be charged with anticipation, knowing that each second may be the moment of their expected deliverance. We must be positive, creating an atmosphere of faith that draws the Holy Spirit’s miracle-working power.
We are not doubters. We believe. Therefore we must receive.
I have seen God work in the most unexpected places and at the most unusual of times. There is no predicting His timetable. After all, God sent His Son at the most inopportune time for Israel. Caesar Augustus was a new kind of ruler—the first Caesar ever in fact—and he demanded a global census that cemented his hold on the known world and drove Israel further into the mud.
But that was the moment God called “the fullness of time (Galatians 4:4).” That was when He chose to send His Son into the world.
Despite the Coronavirus pandemic and the litany of problems in our age, the Bride should have her head up, and her eyes looking toward the skies. We have a promise of a Rapture. What could be more supernatural than that?
Watch out for the enemy
Being watchful means that we take the time to consider if our actions are giving the enemy a chance to take over our life.
Humans are in the habit of acting and then praying. We would be better served by praying, waiting on God, then acting when we have His leadership.
We must also be conscious of our weaknesses and keep them under the blood. We all have areas that Satan targets more than others. See my previous post on the Castle Hochosterwitz.
For example, today I had to stop to pick up a burrito on the way home from church. In the restaurant they were playing a song from a movie that I saw as a kid. Its rhythm is catchy and the words drew me back to my childhood.
But it wasn’t a song that would please the Holy Spirit.
In those few seconds, I had to make a choice—give in to the temptation of listening and enjoying it or get my mind off of it and get on with my affairs.
To my flesh’s dismay, I chose the latter.
Our enemy will strike at any time so be on guard!
Live for Christ’s return
When the Lord’s return is our everything, we are building our life around that single event. We choose to live holy or unholy BECAUSE we believe in His return.
We choose careers that will glorify Him because we believe He’s coming soon.
We don’t emphasize gaining worldly goods because we expect to leave them all behind. We try to please Him in everything we say because we love Him and are looking to be when He comes.
But what about the natural side of life?
Are we settling grudges? Mending fences and rebuilding bridges—metaphorically speaking? We must pay the debts that we can pay and live honorably in the sight of those around us.
Let us live above the temptation and pleasures of this life. Give your time to the King and deepen your relationship with Him. Refuse to compromise on your beliefs in an intolerant world. Let the Word rule your mind as It will one day rule the world.
The first church did. And with that attitude, they turned the world upside down.
And so will you.
Keep an emphasis on serving one another this week, focusing on Philippians 2.
Have a question?
Post it in the comments.