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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Victory is by Faith and Prayer - Pastor Kim, Yong Doo

Samuel 7:4-12 “4So the Israelites put away the Baals and the Ashtaroth, and served the Lord only. 5Samuel said, Gather all Israel to Mizpah and I will pray to the Lord for you.6So they gathered at Mizpah and drew water and poured it out before the Lord and fasted on that day and said there, We have sinned against the Lord. And Samuel judged the Israelites at Mizpah.7Now when the Philistines heard that the Israelites had gathered at Mizpah, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the Israelites heard of it, they were afraid of the Philistines.8And the Israelites said to Samuel, Do not cease to cry to the Lord our God for us, that He may save us from the hand of the Philistines.9So Samuel took a sucking lamb and offered it as a whole burnt offering to the Lord; and Samuel cried to the Lord for Israel, and the Lord answered him.10As Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to attack Israel. But the Lord thundered with a great voice that day against the Philistines and threw them into confusion, and they were defeated before Israel.11And the men of Israel went out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines and smote them as far as below Beth-car.12Then Samuel took a stone and set it between Mizpah and Shen, and he called the name of it Ebenezer [stone of help], saying, Heretofore the Lord has helped us.”

Generally, people are very lazy and possess a lack of faith. Therefore the level and the amount of prayer and faith that God desires in us is not as sufficient as He would like it to be. Even when we possess faith, we would often gradually fall away toward the world. Therefore, God shakes us by using the evil spirits or demons to provoke us. The evil spirits are there to continuously attack us. What areas do they attack us? They attack our weakest areas. They are very persistent when it comes to finding out our weak spots. For example, if a person is mentally weak, the evil spirits will attack us in that area. The person can become mentally barren and dull. The person may even be diagnosed with schizophrenia. For those who are mentally stable, the evil spirits will come in another way. Everyone has a weak spot.

Why do evil spirits attack us? Why does it appear as though God is being silent and still? Why does it appear as though He is not intervening? We even at times feel as though He doesn’t really care. We must know that God knows all things and the things that are happening in our lives. He in fact knows when we are sacrificing, suffering, and in tribulation. He knows when our weak spots have been exposed and compromised by the evil spirits. He knows that we are persistently attacked.

God desires us to defeat the enemy with our faith. We have a free will to fight or be defeated. In those difficult times, it may appear or feel as though God has neglected us. But this is not true. God is basically granting us the opportunity to utilize and apply our faith in our particular situation. God then observes us. When the fight is too difficult, we may have to find someone to build our faith and help us get through. God will provide. God makes a way when we reach our limits. He is faithful that He will not allow more than we can handle.

Our faith determines the different variables we may encounter for our path. Tribulation also brings about different variables for our path. In difficult times, we have an option to either give up or press forward by trusting God. We must realize that the attacks by the evil spirits may be a good stimulant. It is actually demonic to attack people’s weak spots and persistently criticize them. But what about those who do evil and attack the weak spots with criticizm? They belong to Satan. This is why when we have to judge and advise people, we must be very careful with discernment.

We all long to have the gift and the power of the Holy Spirit but we must first be well balanced with the Word of God and prayer. Discerning spirits, prophesy, interpreting, and engaging in the Fire ministry are not the most salient works per se. The most important aspect in our ministries is the balance of God’s Word and prayer. Do we posses God’s love in us? Are we able to accept the people who make numerous mistakes and have many shortcomings? The type of ministry we are involved in is not as important as many assume it to be.

The evil spirits attack Christians all the time. What is their purpose? Why do they attack so much? It is the intention of the evil spirits to make Christians despair and give up. The disciples faced many temptations and trials just as Jesus did. But with Jesus winning on the cross and as the disciples were baptized by Holy Spirit and Fire they became victorious. We as disciples of Jesus Christ can never win if we are not baptized by the Holy Spirit. If we are not baptized by the Holy Spirit, we may be in a position in which we may be rejecting, mocking, or running away from Jesus. But when we are properly baptized by the Holy Spirit, we become a new person. We will even enter places where our lives will be at risk. We will be willing to die for the Lord if necessary. This is a real Christian.

Christians who possess real power will rarely show off their power externally. Those who possess power will naturally stand out. When our prayers flow abundantly, it will explode. We should not abuse the power given to us by flaunting it. The power is not to be flaunted in front of people. Otherwise, people will criticize and judge the manifestation of power if we use it to boast ourselves with it.

From the Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan, a giant was named ‘Despair’ and the giant’s wife was named ‘Diffidence.’ They are the characters. Despair told his wife Diffidence, “Go and find two people and tempt them to commit suicide.” So Diffidence approached two Christians and tempted them and brought them into their home. Despair and Diffidence tried to make them commit suicide. But one night, the two Christians secretly ran away from the home of the giants. The two Christians had opened the door with the key named promise. What does this mean? They had faith in the promise of God that He would always be with them. He is our Father and He will lead us all the way to heaven. God has given us words of promise and He has promised us that He will save us. We must hold on to His promise and persevere.

When Christians awake and come to their senses, the demons are in crisis. They will sound the alarm. “Oh! What should we do! The people of God have awakened and have come to their senses!” From the scripture passage above, the people of Israel had worshipped the idols of Baal and Ashtaroth, they had forgot about their God. They had a prophet name Samuel, but he was of old age. But Samuel gathered all Israel to Mizpah. And he told them to repent and pray. So the people of Israel fasted, repented and poured out to God. They said “we have sinned against God”. Israel was worshipping other gods but now they give their worship to God. They had repented, fasted and prayed to God at Mizpah. When the Philistines heard the news, they went up against Israel. The Philistines wanted to destroy them. The Israelis gathered together to repent and pray to God, it was a spiritual meeting. It was not about having war against Philistines, it had nothing to do with war against the Philistines. But since Israel was doing something that evil spirits hated the most, which is to repent, pray and live by God’s word, the evil spirits agitated the Philistines to attack the Israelites. Demons become very frightened when leaders repent and pray. Because when the leaders change, whole congregations will change.

 What do the demons hate? They hate when God’s people come back to their senses. They are afraid when Christians repent. They are afraid when we have restored our passion and Faith to God and when we have restored our prayers. When God’s people come back to their senses, the demons will be in crisis. They are the ones that create all kinds of sickness. They create mental illness, spiritual illness, and physical illness. In order for them to drag us to hell, they will continuously attack us.

 When a country experiences revival, they will have all issues go well. When a church experience a spiritual revival, whole congregation will have all things go well. “Oh Lord! Please have mercy on our church and grant us spiritual revival! Please help us restore spiritual power!”

Once we have fallen away or have been pushed out from our spiritual lives, it is very difficult for us to get back to restoration. When we stop serving Jesus as our spiritual Lord, the evil spirits will lead us to be worse than before we were a Christian. In today’s scripture, when the Philistines went up to Israel, the Israelis panicked. They asked Samuel to pray for them unceasingly. It is the same today when it comes to us. If not everyone in our family, at least someone has to pray for our family members unceasingly. The Church is the same as well. If not all, somebody in the church must unceasingly pray for the church. When Samuel unceasingly prayed and gave burnt offering, God answered him. The Lord thundered with a great voice that day against the Philistines and threw them into confusion, and they were defeated before Israel. The Lord desires us to solve the problems that way. God wants us to resolve all matters with prayer.

When the Israelites sinned against God, He raised a war against Israel. When God decide to punish Israel, He rose up the gentile people. Then Israel repented. It repeated continually. Israelites repented every time. There was a time when the Philistines attacked Israelites and stole the Ark of the Covenant knowing that the Israelites worshipped and believed in Jehovah God. But because of Ark of the Covenant, the Philistine became devastated. They realized they could not touch the Israelites. They realized that the Israelites were protected by Jehovah God. But as time passes they forgot about what they have learned or experienced. It is the same with us. We must properly believe and have a faith that correlates our walk as Christians. Our behavior and walk as Christians should be an example to the world so they may fear the Lord. We have no other way except with the Word of God, faith, repentance, and our prayers! We must break out of our standards and excel pressing into more of God with our prayers/worship/word. Every day we must have a new record, so to speak, in our churches by manifesting God’s power. New records must be broken continuously every day. We must seek a deeper relationship with God every day. God’s power is as same as yesterday, it is available today. It is not only for the days of old. God’s power must continuously manifest in our house hold, to our children, in our churches. God’s power must continue to set new records.

Once Israel repented and was restored by God’s power, peace came to the land of Israel. Verse 14,“The cities Philistines had taken from Israel were restored Israel, from Ekron to Gath, and Israel rescued (the cities’) territory from the Philistines. There was peace also between Israel and the Amorites.” This is the conclusion. When we properly serve God, He will grant us grace to bless the people of the world. Therefore, through Christians, people of the world and Christians can be in harmony and live together in peace. We can be a blessing to each other only if we serve God properly.

Let us cling on to today’s word. Where we stand must become Mizpah. We must find the areas that have not changed in us and then we must pray for that area of our hearts. If we are mentally weak, we must pray for the mental weakness. If we have some type of physical sickness, we must pray on that area. The way to have a victory is by faith and prayer. I pray that all of you receive God’s blazing Fire. Amen.

Abstract sermon by Pastor Kim, Yong Doo, The Lord’s Church, South Korea
Pastor Kim, Yong Doo is author of “Baptize by Blazing Fire.

Translated by Yoojin Kim and Steve Yong Kim
June 21, 2010

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