Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Isn't amazing how you can read a verse many times over the years and then the Lord opens your understanding to insights you never saw before. Well that happened to me this morning from Psalms 5:12: "Surely, LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield." (NIV) I had never thought of "God's favor" as a shield of protection...and I have been chewing on it all day.
Last week the Lord laid on my heart an old Wesley hymn:
Soldiers of Christ, arise, and put your armor on,
Strong in the strength which God supplies through His eternal Son.
Strong in the Lord of hosts, and in His mighty power,
Who in the strength of Jesus trusts is more than conqueror.
Click here to read the entire hymn...it's loaded!
The Spiritual Battle in and for our culture is intensifying to a new level in the days just ahead and it is time to armor up. In the fall of 2010 an Omaha ordinance was introduced that would have made LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) people a protected class in employment. There are plans to re-introduce it in the next few weeks under the title "Equal Employment Ordinance." My concern is not that a person has the freedom to live this lifestyle in our country, but that this ordinance is part of a larger agenda strategy that will eventually circumvent our 1st Amendment freedoms to live our faith outside our church communities. In a few years we could be where Canada is right now, where if a person speaks or quotes certain Bible verses through any form of media outside their church or home it is "Hate Speech" ...against the law and punishable.
I am part of a team of leaders who have been preparing to oppose this ordinance in ways that we believe are Biblically redemptive. In the 2010 battle over this ordinance I was offended as many who claimed to be Christ followers bludgeoned the city council with Bible verses and clearly demonstrated a hate-filled extreme of Christianity. My Bible says we wrestle not against flesh and blood...people are not my enemy...Satan is my enemy. A pastor who is part of the group in favor of this ordinance made a statement that I am in agreement with: "Did you know that before most LGBT persons can really hear that God loves them, they must first hear that God does not hate them."
As we move into this local battle in the weeks ahead those of us leading need the Body of Christ to stand strong with us in prayer and action. Sheryl and I have already come under significant spiritual oppression in our health, finances and emotions. Part of putting on God's armor is when we each take up the Sword of the Spirit and pray into the Spiritual realm, praying for each other for protection, wisdom, grace, provision, favor, and more...
One of the realities of communication in these days is that no email is completely secure. If you are ready to put on your Spiritual Armor and join us in this battle through prayer and/or action then send me a personal and I will add you to a more private email list which will also give you access to the documents and resources we have assembled for this campaign. I have a special email account for this purpose: firstname.lastname@example.org
We had planned to be back in Tijuana in February but because of this ordinance will reschedule a trip in March or April...pastors and friends there have committed to mobilizing prayer for us and Omaha in February.
More than ever we appreciate the privilege of serving the Lord as our vocation…and that would not be possible without your partnership. Together we are able to do what none of us could do alone. Our support has been down the last two months and Sheryl and I are facing some higher medical bills in February. Would you take a few moments to pray for us and about helping with our support? Our information is just to the right.
at 10:02 AM