Monday, July 18, 2016

Dave's Blog on Culture and Ministry

I will be creating a separate blog for sharing what we are learning on the Cultural Battle, Helping to prepare for difficult times and Insights from ministry.  For now it needs to be combined with our personal update in Mailchimp.  We will be getting a personal ministry update out soon.  -Dave

There are two items on my heart in this post:
  • Preparing for Difficult Times 
  • An increase in spiritual attacks trying to take out leaders in areas of Relationships, Weariness and Life Threatening Health Issues.  At the end is a brief Scriptural study titled "Do Not Grow Weary."

Preparing for Difficult Times 
Like many of  you I am closely watching and praying into the growing instability, lawlessness, violence and terrorism. The American Lifestyle is now mostly given over to immorality, self-gratification, hedonism and paganism

There is a growing intolerance of lifestyle Biblical Christianity. Our legal system is becoming biased against Biblical values and justice is being perverted (Habakkuk 1:1-5).  And it is happening faster than anyone thought.

I am so saddened that so many churches, ministries and believers are just rolling over and compromising their faith in fear, moral weakness or for expediency. Expediency is defined as "...being convenient and practical despite possibly being improper or immoral."

Do not trust in political solutions..."The Arm of Flesh will Fail You, Put on the Gospel Armor..." Most politicians today speak like Absalom, saying whatever is needed to get elected or re-elected. I am shocked at how many Christians and "Christian Politicians" are compromising for expediency.
Christians should be involved in politics as righteous salty salt to help slow down corruption  in our culture, but only by being the light in this world Jesus talked about will bring any real change. The reality of being Jesus light in this world is that "everyone who does evil hates the light."  -John 3:16-21

The wickedness of our nation has come up before God. Prophetic warnings today like Jeremiah's and Jonah's are being ignored and itis my personal leading that, without a Nineveh like repentance God is sending us into a "A Season In Babylon" to wake up His church...US!

In March of 2015 I wrote: "Do you remember those stories about Daniel in the Lion’s Den; and Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego in the fiery furnace? Well…they are not just children’s Bible stories…they are for us today! America is transforming before our eyes into a spiritual Babylon like in the days of Daniel."

Like Israel we are going to be tested in our faith as never before...Read I Peter 4:12-19.

It is also important to note that, during his time in captivity, Daniel affected Babylon more than Babylon affected him! And so can we too, if we "Dare to be a Daniel..."

It is time for us followers of Jesus to do more than just quote II Chronicles 7:14.  Here it is in context:
13 “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.
Both after the Orlando and Dallas shootings I received requests from some civic leaders as to what the churches in Omaha were doing in prayer and response. Thankfully there was a good spontaneous response from some...but many more need to be mobilizing at this time... There is an undercurrent of fear in our nation and responsible leaders are searching for real is the time to demonstrate the power of real Christlike faith. 

The future of our nation is not yet set. I feel that while we urgently call the church to repentance and righteousness in a way that transforms our culture, we also need to prepare for difficult times and increased persecution. I am working with some others on resources to help us of which is a book by Carl Gallups, a former policeman turned pastor titled "Be Thou Prepared: Equipping the Church for Persecution and Times of Trouble" ($10.88 on Amazon).

Increase Prayer for Leaders under Increased Attack:
In ministry this year we have noticed a lot of leaders are coming under increased levels of spiritual attack. The attacks are coming in various ways but especially in areas of Relationships, Weariness and Life Threatening Health Issues.

Have you noticed that there has been a significant decrease in healings in the body over the last 20 years?   Sheryl and I are currently leading a prayer team for a close friend who has ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) and will be sharing more of what we are learning in future posts.

Many in the Body of Christ, especially many ministry leaders, are struggling with weariness right now, Below are some scriptures with insights I am using with leaders on weariness from my own ongoing struggle in this area. You can download it in pdf here

Dave Gehrls ~

Rev 2:3
"and you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary." 
This was written to one of the seven types of churches during the last days who had persevered, endured and had not grown weary...which implies that weariness will be attacking many in the last days.

Matthew 11:28-29
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." 
When we are weary and heavy-laden Jesus encourages us to come unto Him for an exchange. If our yoke is heavy and causing weariness maybe we have taken up a task that He has not authorized or we are trying to accomplish an assignment in our own strength.

Hebrews 12:1-3
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.  
When we stand with that great cloud of witnesses, with the heroes of faith, those martyred and those who suffered great persecution... how will we stand with confidence unless our commitment and sacrifice is any less than total surrender to our Lord Jesus.

Gal 6:9-10
"Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith." 
Those on your ministry team are your primary household of faith, so team members who first care and look for opportunities to do good to each other help to combat weariness and enables the whole team to better care for others and accomplish your mission.  

Some leaders are so mission focused that they miss some God's deeper leave causalities from their team cast aside in their wake. This is not God's way, and while we all need to be ready to lay down our lives, "No one left behind!" should also be true of every ministry team.

At our human best we all are clay pots with lots of cracks. God involves us in team mission because it is in the "Hothouse" of ministry that character issues surface and therein are  opportunities to becoming more Christ-like.  So in this performance based world,
while we are focused on accomplishing our mission, God is focused on what we become more than what we can do or accomplish...

...Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.  -Hebrews 12:12-13 


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