Last week we asked ourselves, "How does the world see us? Are we different? When people attend church, do they know the presence of God is there? Are we as desperate for a spiritual awakening in America as God is?"
All throughout the Old and New Testaments we see how God helped leaders to prosper and lead. The presence of God characterized the leadership, the might, the power and the genius of both the nation of Israel and the New Testament church. His presence gave them the victory.
When people gain victory over their situations, struggles and oppressors, their excitement cannot be contained. They celebrate. They dance. They get loud. They give a shout.
Shouting because of a victory is normal. Whether it is a Little League baseball game or the Super Bowl, just listening to the crowd will tell you the score. If you listen to the sound of the crowd at a sports game, they will tell you if their team is winning or losing every time. In fact, the reason home court advantage is powerful is because the home team has the advantage of more shouts for victory encouraging them on.
When God's people are walking in His victory and under the lordship of Jesus Christ, they too will behave like a triumphant crowd. In Numbers 23:21, Balaam prophesied, "No misfortune is seen in Jacob, no misery observed in Israel. The Lord their God is with them; the shout of the King is among them" (Num. 23:21).
This week I want us to ask, "Is the shout of victory still in the church today? Are the attitudes and sounds of a move of God being seen and heard in America?"
We live in an era and society in which the world is actively trying to drown out the voice and the victory of the people of God. The world is saying:
- The church is on its way out.
- God is not involved in our everyday life, if He even exists.
- God is the punch line in a bad joke.
- Progressive theology is in, and orthodoxy and fundamentalism are out.
- Even Christian people should doubt the inerrancy of the Word of God.
- Believers behave the same as unbelievers.
- The Bible has nothing to say to modern man.
These persistent whispers can be disheartening. They can create an undertow that quickly engulfs and silences believers' excitement and passion for the gospel.
As pastors, we are always monitoring the spiritual climate of our churches. We are listening for the cries for help of members who are getting sucked in the undertow, as well as for the shouts of victory from those who are walking in the fullness of God's promises.
We know that winning people talk differently, act differently and think differently, and we know how to listen for the signs of victory. When we sense that our members or we are succumbing to the whispers of the world, we must counter all lies with truth. We must remind them that the Word of the living God proclaims the gates of hell shall not prevail against the church and that in the last days, God says He will pour out His spirit upon all flesh. We should not be blinded to the majesty of our Master and King, and we should not be silent in His victory. We must raise a shout of victory so loud that it drowns out the jeers from the world and encourages them to continue to run their race with faith.
If you need a reason to shout today, God has already provided you the victory to proclaim:
- Christ has died for all our sins, and we are forgiven.
- Christ has risen from the dead and holds the keys of death, hell and the grave.
- The power of the Holy Spirit has been poured out for us to live victorious lives here and now.
- God has given us His Word to help us overcome every day of our lives.
- Christ is coming again and will descend with a shout of His own.
Winning people have a shout on their lips, and you, friend, have the victory through Christ Jesus. The presence of God is moving all over our great nation, and if you will listen with the ears of your spirit, you will hear the great shout of victory and join in.
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You are beautiful. I see Jesus in You!
Have an awesome week!
Mikel French has challenged spiritual awakening all across America, where many celebrations extended into multiple weeks, and has conducted celebrations in France, Sweden, Russia, Romania, Poland, Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia, Germany, South Africa, Malawi, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Haiti, Japan, Singapore, India and Thailand. He conducted an outreach celebration in Manila, Philippines, reaching 200,000 teenagers with the book of hope. Through the generous support of partners, he has presented the message of Jesus Christ to millions of people in the nation of Russia through televised citywide soul-winning celebrations. Mikel considers it an honor to assist in conducting the annual pastor's conference, where thousands of pastors from Russia's 11 time zones come for training, teaching and equipping. Mikel and his wife, Marsha, reside in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
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