Growing old in the world is fearful but in the Body of Christ, power is given to old age — a power beyond prophesying and seeing visions. At the end of life, the people whom you love, the ones closest to you, and those whom God has put under your care are the most important.
When you get old in the Body of Christ, you do not have to curl up and die. You can start living! Our cry must be, “Oh, God, turn our hearts to the children of this generation. No matter how far away they might seem, give us the courage to speak into their lives and leave a lasting impact.”
Perhaps in the past your words were not what they should have been, but this can be a new day. Despite our flaws and frailties, God remains faithful and will empower us to speak to the next generation.
It is amazing when you realize that you have the power of speech to make a difference in somebody’s life. I remember as a young Christian, I went through a season when I felt like a failure and I ended up under this cloud of despair for a couple of months.
One day I was out with an older police officer named Doug, a Christian, and he asked me, “What’s wrong with you?”
“I’m so discouraged,” I explained. “I feel like a failure. I want to be different, but it’s just hopeless.”
He looked at me and said, “That is just the devil trying to condemn you. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. I know you want God, so let’s just put that attitude away.”
To this day I still remember the words that he spoke over my life! They were not especially profound but they were spoken by an older man into a younger man’s life. And they enabled me to get up again.
Carter Conlon joined the pastoral staff of Times Square Church in 1994 at the invitation of the founding pastor, David Wilkerson, and was appointed Senior Pastor in 2001.
“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25). Many of us have heard the expression “walk in the Spirit” all our lives, but what does it really mean? I believe it means incredible, clear direction and unclouded decisions. The Holy Spirit provides absolute, clearly detailed instructions to those who walk in Him.
The early Christians did not walk in confusion. They were led by the Spirit in every decision, every move, every action. The Spirit talked to them and directed them all day long and no decision was made without consulting him. The church’s motto throughout the New Testament was: “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (Matthew 11:15).
Walking in the Spirit means being worry-free no matter what happens to you. Paul is a good example for us to follow. There are many examples in the Word of Paul’s walk in the Spirit, but let’s look at a couple of instances.
The Spirit warned Paul that his trip to Jerusalem would result in his being taken prisoner and what happened? “A certain prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. . . . He took Paul’s belt, bound his own hands and feet, and said, ‘Thus says the Holy Spirit, “So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man who owns this belt, and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.”’” (Acts 21:10-11). Paul was being warned so that he could be prepared.
If we are to walk in the Spirit, we must believe God for supernatural deliverance from every bondage of Satan. Paul and Silas were in prison but the Word tells us that “at midnight [they] were praying and singing hymns to God” (Acts 16:25). God created an earthquake and opened the doors of the prison “and everyone’s chains were loosed” (verse 26).
In spite of your circumstances, arise in the Spirit, start praising, singing, and trusting God — and watch him deliver you!
The famous parable of the sower is about patience. Not patience toward people but patience toward God. You remember Jesus talking about the seed, right? Some fell by the wayside; some fell on the rock; some fell among thorns . . . and others fell on good ground. Let’s look at Jesus’ explanation.
“Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away. Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience” (Luke 8:11-15).
The “good ground” Jesus mentions indicates those who heard the Word and eventually brought forth fruit “with patience.” The other hearers brought forth a measure of fruit, too, but only for a time. Why? Because they were impatient with the Lord and his working in their life.
The heart of the “good ground” hearer has a definite direction! In every circumstance, he directs himself first into the love of God, and then into patiently waiting for Jesus Christ. These two characteristics are necessary for a heart that produces lasting fruit. We read in Hebrews that “You have need of [patience], so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise” (10:36).
Take God’s Word and set it in your heart; let it produce an honest, pure heart and then wait patiently for him to come to your deliverance.
In the past, Christians have thought of deliverance mainly as physical, but soon people will find out that they are to be delivered from fear and dread. When that time comes, deliverance will mean “having a sure word from heaven.” When awful things begin happening, people will be anxious to know what God is going to do next. They will turn in all directions, wanting to hear the voice of someone who is calm, peaceful, stable. They will cry, “Is this God’s judgment? When is it going to end?”
Who will have the answer? You — the ordinary Christian who has been shut in with God. You will have a calm spirit when everything seems to be falling apart because you know God is with you. You will have heard from heaven and will stand on his promises to protect you.
“Then Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, ‘If you return to the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the foreign gods . . . from among you, and prepare your hearts for the Lord, and serve Him only; and He will deliver you” (1 Samuel 7:3).
Over and over the people of Israel urged Samuel to pray for them because they had learned to trust his prayers. Samuel had the answers for Israel because he heard from God and he offered the right word for the crisis hour.
Today, God is looking for a holy remnant, ordinary saints who are full of peace, lovers of Jesus who will be signs and wonders to the world. Does this describe you? Is your life a witness to a frightened, shaken world? I urge you to get alone with God and let him speak to you. Make yourself available to him by giving yourself to prayer and then you will be a ready soldier in these last days.
Something very powerful is going on in the world today. God is doing a hidden, quiet work, something so supernatural that it is beyond human comprehension. He is preparing a small but powerful army that is going to be the most dedicated on the face of the earth. The Lord is going to close out the ages with a pure, devoted, fearless remnant.
All my life I heard stories of our godly forebears, men and women who spent hours, even days, in fasting and prayer. They knew God’s voice and they had the power to successfully stand up against evil in their day.
These godly forefathers have passed on but God is in the process of raising up another army. This new army will be composed of believers both young and old — ordinary Christians who lay hold of God. A whole new realm of ministry is about to come forth!
The denominational church system appears to be in the throes of death, possessing almost no influence in the secular world, no mighty power of Christ. Growing numbers of ministers are falling, and worldliness continues to creep into the church of Jesus Christ. The devil is claiming victory, as more and more pastor’s race down the road of compromise and corruption.
Yet the Bible says we are not to fret! God has a plan and it is being manifested. He is hearing the cries of his children who have given themselves totally to him. People will run to find them, crying, “I know you are someone who touches God . . . and I need God to touch me!”
Beloved, God wants to make you a part of his hidden army! He wants to give you a ministry to others who come to you with their burdens and trials. When you spend time with him, you will be able to stand up with spiritual authority and say, “Thus says the Lord!” because you have been listening to his voice.