In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.”He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb.No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God,fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. Romans 4:18-21
“…and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hellshall not prevail against it.I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:18-19
This is the next in this series of posts for church leaders about a “Gospel Centered Worldview”, and how we must lead God’s people from that frame of reference. Today, we look at how that worldview informs our perspective on the future of the church.
Maybe you heard, ISIS is killing Christians. Social media has raised much awareness of it (which, by the way, is perhaps furthering the terrorist’s agenda more than our own agenda). But, in case your own Facebook page is not exploding with those images and stories, I recommend your checking out (and supporting) Voice of the Martyrs, a ministry which does an amazing job of helping us know how we can be praying for the persecuted church all around the world. I also strongly recommend Nik Ripken’s The Insanity of God for a deeper understanding of the spiritual privilege of being persecuted for righteousness’ …
If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. Psalm 91:9-10
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
Holy Scripture is filled with amazing promises. But almost all of them come with conditions. You know the formula…“IF my people…will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, THEN will I hear from Heaven and…” etc. Or…“Trust in the Lord with all your heart…and He will make your path straight.” Most of God’s awesome promises come with a condition of some kind or another, or at least an assumption or implication. It seems to be one of His many wondrous ways.
I read all the wonderful promises of Psalm 91 in that same light. Those promises of God’s protection and provision all hinge upon the very first line (repeated in verse 9): If you make the Most High your dwelling.
When I deal with conflicting parties within the church, I often hear both sides invoke the name of the Lord for their positions. I hear both sides claiming that God is on their side, that He will prevail and that He will bring about what they want. But I also hear both sides in very much a “win/lose” mindset, wherein they will not be satisfied unless they win AND the other side loses. I recall working with a church some years ago wherein one group was very much wanting to get rid of the pastor. They were acting as “God’s agents”. Midway through the process, the pastor accepted …