It becomes more and more evident as we are here the spiritual battle that is taking place all around us. I may not be the most spiritually discerning Man of God, but I can tell when things are happening. I mentioned in a previous post how the evidence of people being influenced by the demonic is more evident especially as we walk the streets. On top of this, both my wife and I are physically more tired than we have ever been, and this seems to become more true after we are out on the streets for any length of time. I believe that the spiritual atmosphere here is so alive with the battle for this city that it spiritually drains us.
I want to share something that happened at a Bible study I was privileged to be a part of. When we arrived, this Bible Study was already well under way with 30ish businessmen in a circle in an office building talking about how we can love God more and become better husbands and fathers as it applied. The group had a special person, who is involved with Bethel, sitting in and sharing about how God had told them to set their eyes to the NorthEastern coast. God was starting to do great things in NYC with the evidence of Bethel and all the other Christian organizations that have recently been getting involved here.
After the gentleman from Bethel had finished speaking and encouraging the men that they were doing a great thing and that God was about to move in great ways in NYC, another man began to share. He began to share about how God’s wrath and judgment were coming to NY and that it was going to be crushed by China and that the people of this city were like the Israelites that had to be judged by the Assyrians. After this man was done sharing, another man began to share about how we needed to reach the people with love and forgiveness. When this man began to speak, the Judgment Man began to raise his voice at him and talk more loudly about God’s judgment and wrath. So the Love guy stood up and went over to the judgment guy and asked him if they could step outside and talk about it so the rest of the group was not disrupted. He explained that this was not a debate but a Bible study but he would be glad to discuss it with him outside.
Apparently, the calm manner of the Love Guy did not sit well with the judgment guy and he started getting very loud and angry. He began to rebuke Love guy and say that He was the devil. It was very apparent to all the rest of us in the room that the love guy and the way he was dealing with things was the correct way, and the judgment guy was angry and out of control. Eventually, they had to call security to escort judgment guy out because he did not want to calm down or quit disrupting the group. Even as he was escorted out the door, judgment guy was calling the people of the group hypocrites because they were such loving Christians to have him removed by security. The response of the group was a proper one. They prayed for him and then continued on with what they had been discussing previously.
It seemed to me that this was a direct assault against what God was doing. He had just brought encouragement to his people that something great was happening in New York, and this judgment guy began to try to bring in despair and the negative. It can be easy to be sucked into the lies of the enemy, because there is an element of truth in them. However, even if everything that man was saying was 100% true, he was not speaking it in a loving or respectful way and was therefore outside of obedience to God.
I encourage you not only to be on the look out for how the enemy would try to come in and snatch away the Word of God that He is trying to speak to His people, but also to be sure that when you are speaking the truth that you are speaking with love. So many people are hurt and broken because well meaning people have spoken words that may have been true, but were not given in order to encourage and build up. Please be sure that as you speak, you are encouraging and strengthening everyone around you. You should be known, just as Jesus was, as the one who has the “words of life”. Speak truth, but speak it so that life comes forth and not death!!!
Please continue to pray for New York City! This is a place that touches so many different kinds of people from so many different countries that the missions done in NYC will literally affect the whole world. Pray for us that we are continually strengthened and obedient to everything God has for us here and as we prepare for our next journey. Partner with us in prayer and finances and pray for our protection and provision as we continue to serve the Lord!!!
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!
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