Friday, Aug 22nd

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Becoming Strong in the Lord

Becoming strong in the Lord... Do you want to learn how to develop an inner strength and become a more spiritually strong Christian? Then listen to this prophetic word – “It is time for more spiritual strength and capacity.” I suspect that every believer would want to be strong in the Lord and have a desire for greater capacity to receive all that Jesus has for them. Just because one has a gifting, anointing or ministry, however, doesn't mean that they have been prepared to carry it properly. In fact, desire alone will not suffice. Every believer must be strong in the Lord.

There are many who have spiritual gifts and a strong desire to grow spiritually, but there are also many who find themselves shipwrecked among the rocky reefs of ministry. Why is this? Could it be possible that good people never took the time to develop the spiritual capacity needed to prepare them for ministry? Could it be they mistakenly chased blessings, gifts, crowds and charisma, without spending any time on preparing the vessel that would carry God’s true blessings, gifts and anointing?

SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT
We can compare our spiritual development to the construction process of large office buildings. When building multi-towered buildings, for example, much time is spent on preparing the foundation for the massive weight of the building. If the foundation is not prepared correctly, then after the weight of the building is applied, the foundation may crack, thereby causing serious concern for the stability of the building. So it is too with our spiritual lives. We spend time training our minds to sharpen our intellectual skills. We spend hours training our natural bodies so as to look good and be physically fit and healthy. But how much time do we spend training our born again human spirit to carry that which God wants to impart to us?

So what is spiritual strength and capacity and how can we develop ourselves? Spiritual strength is the ability to carry an enduring spirit that follows after God even when His calling or message is not popular at the time. (Numbers 14:24) It is the development of a strong prayer life, never avoiding spiritual conflict and a willingness to be inconvenienced. It is the capacity to live in hard spiritual climates when those around you give up, break rank and run from their faith in God. It is the preparation of the human spirit to carry everything that the Holy Spirit wants to do in your life. It is the capability to cart the fire of God’s glory according to His will and not your own. It is the preparation of godly character and integrity -- an absolute must in every strong believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. Finally, spiritual strength and capacity is the willingness to pioneer fresh scriptural truths when others want to settle in the cellar of musty religious tradition.
BEYOND THE NORM
Spiritual strength and capacity develops an enduring steadfastness that goes way beyond the typical “bless-me-only” passive charismatic posturing of some believers. Such lack of resolve is not healthy for God’s people because it produces an apathetic complacency. The effect of spiritual oxidation always hinders positive change and spiritual maturity.  Spiritual strength therefore is the endurance beyond the ‘norm’ of moderate Christian living that comes out of pressing into Jesus for more of Him. Jesus said, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6, Emphasis added).

John the Baptist is an example of spiritual strength and capacity. He carried an enduring steadfastness while preaching an unpopular message in his day. He carried nonetheless a strong engaging voice of the Holy Spirit that prepared his listeners to a great change that was about to take place –the ministry of the lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world and the preaching of the kingdom of heaven. How do we develop ourselves to carry such a compelling voice in the face of similar apathy and religious morass in our day? Firstly, our gifts, calling and motives must be submitted to the lordship of Christ. Wrong motives always rob true spiritual authority and capacity (Acts 8:18-24). John said, “He must increase but I must decrease” (John 3:30). In order to abase we should stay away from such things as the deceptive allure of ‘Hollywood Christianity.’ Polished showmanship and entertainment, no matter how elegant it’s venue, is not the anointing. In fact it is a form of religious thralldom and nothing more than a deceitful religious window dressing. It releases a deception that makes one think they are doing something for Jesus when they are really not. In reality flamboyant representatives falsely portray Christianity to an unsaved world.

Let’s not forget about praying in tongues in our journey toward spiritual strength and capacity. Praying in tongues is unpopular and even forbidden in some counterfeit Charismatic and Pentecostal circles. Praying in tongues, however, is important to every believer in developing a strong spiritual life. Praying in tongues should never be discouraged because it is part of our Holy Spirit filled lives. All the apostles spoke in tongues and we should too. scripture says, “If I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful” (1 Corinthians 14:14). The Apostle Paul also declared “forbid not to speak with tongues” (1 Corinthians 14:39). We must maintain an effectual fervent prayer life. (James 5:16) Praying in tongues will help build us up and accomplish that goal (Jude 20).

SPIRITUAL STRENGTH FOR CONFLICT
When believers strengthen themselves through prayer they never ignore spiritual conflict. Anemic Christians fall into the trap of compromising their faith in God by trying to get along with everything and everybody. Whether it is sin or demon powers, we can never ignore what we are called to overcome. Strong believers understand that the anointing destroys the yoke. They never compromise or lower their standards by blending in to un scriptural secular opinions. Strong believers know if the anointing destroys, then it must also confront. To develop spiritual capacity we must use the spiritual authority that Jesus gave us to pull down strong holds in our own lives and in the marketplace. Spiritual strength never comes without spiritual conflict. It is ‘in the conflict’ that spiritual strength is forged in the believer.

Another ingredient toward spiritual strength is found during times of inconvenience. “Change is not made without inconvenience, even from worse to better,” wrote British theologian Richard Hooker in the 16th century. It always seems inconvenient to pray, to study scriptural truth, to give financially to God, to witness, to apply the Word daily, or to attend church services. Perhaps you have heard it said that nothing great comes easy. Avoiding inconvenient times and staying in comfort zones will kill spiritual vigor every time. The strong believer must be willing to be inconvenienced to grow in the things of God and develop spiritual strength. When you start feeling comfortable – you’re on the way to a backslidden condition and in danger of stepping off that cutting edge. Comfortable Christians get bored, and boredom is the breeding ground of sin. Sin quickly destroys our spiritual strength and separates us from the things of God.

AVOIDING AVERAGE TO BECOME STRONGER
Finally, when developing a strong spiritual life one must avoid average at all cost. Average is the killer of spiritual grit and maturity. ‘Typical’ is the friend of the carnal religious spirit that hears the Word of God but does not live it. God never called you to be average. Jesus went a little farther (Matthew 26:39) and so can you.

Meditating on the Word of God and applying His truth will strengthen you in your Christian walk. It is the truth of God that is your sword of strength. Firmly gripped in the hand of the skilled believer it pierces even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit and of the joints and marrow and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).

It is time to develop spiritual strength and capacity in your life by applying these truths and abiding in the reservoir of His Word. Stir up the gift of God within you by doing what is pleasing to Him and pursuing a greater relationship with the Lord Jesus. Moreover, study to show thyself approved, pray without ceasing and be faithful in all your ways. Determine today to press into more of Jesus through prayer with a resolute determination to be a doer of His Word.

(c) Jonas Clark
www.jonasclark.com

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Jonas Clark is first a Christian. He has authored over 29 books, written hundreds of articles and recorded thousands of audios. Jonas Clark Ministries is an international organization reaching the world with the exciting gospel of Jesus Christ. Jonas is founder of Spirit of Life Ministries church, Hallandale Beach, Florida, the Apostolic Equipping Institute, publisher of The Voice magazine, president of the Global Cause Network and has preached in over 26 nations. He believes that all God's people are gifted to establish and advance Christ's Kingdom on earth. He is an advocate of private property, an unhampered market economy, the rule of law, constitutional guarantees of freedom of religion and of the press, and international peace based on free trade.

 



 

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