Thursday, June 19, 2014

Divine Appointments

Divine Appointments

     Throughout our days of service to the Lord, He desires for us to comprehend and be aware of His ‘Divine Appointments’. If we are led by His Spirit and prepare our hearts to recognize His working in the events He has predestined to occur in our lives, we truly can see with the eye of the Spirit His setting up of ‘Divine Appointments’ in order for us to be effective in witnessing for Him and giving Him the glory through it all.

     My wife and I made a trip to the seashore of South Carolina to do some ‘salt water’ pier fishing. During our stay we knew ahead of time that we would be involved in an interview of sorts when a salesperson would try to sell us some property. So, we began praying on the way down for this person and as a result of our prayer God set up a ‘Divine Appointment’, and here is how it went.

     We began with the salesman, a young man named Sebastian from Paris, France, giving us about a half an hour of his presentation when the Lord interrupted and I spoke to him about the Gospel Message. I shared my testimony with him and he had already spotted my New Testament in my back pocket and was aware of my Bible ‘leanings’.

     Well, it just so happens that the Lord had gone before us and prepared the way! He, the salesmen, then told us of another ‘Baptist preacher’ that had witnessed to him a few months earlier and he had gotten to know him quite well, having had dinner with him etc. 

     As soon as I heard that I turned up the heat as it were, and told him of God’s working as we prayed in bringing us to him and that the Lord was dealing with him in an unusual way, and eventually telling him of his need to receive Christ, for today could be the day that He might be suddenly taken from this life to face eternity without a Savior!

     Now, I would like to say I led him to the Lord right then and there, but that did not happen. What did happen was he hurriedly left us go our way, and was visibly shaken due to these events which he himself recognized was a ‘Divine Appointment’!

     My wife caught a few fish during the next few days of our stay and we headed home, but the Lord kept impressing me about His desire to set up more ‘Divine Appointments’ and I had already been witnessing to a number of folks back home, but there was one man that I had given my testimony tract to and never could find him alone so that I could follow-up.

     Well, when we got home I prayed about this guy and asked the Lord to set up an appointment with him, and the Lord said, ‘Get going, now is the time!’ so, I went down to the local ‘watering hole’ where the men of the area sit around and sip coffee and ‘chew the rag’ as my Great-Grandma Wolfe use to say, and wouldn’t you know it, when I got there he was there too, but someone was sitting with him at the table.

      So, I got my coffee, knowing that the Lord had sent me, I went over to the table and just as I arrived, the other man got up and left us there all alone and…you know the rest! Yes, God had gone before me, and this 65 year old ‘60’s throwback’ with a Harley shirt and pony-tail down to the middle of his back listened intently and then told me that a friend of his in Mississippi was sending him preaching tapes and written messages every week, and once again the Lord demonstrated to me, and my lost friend, that He had gone before and prepared the way!

     The next appointment the Lord gave me was another local Harley type whose name is ‘Hippie’, yes, that’s all he is known by there at the watering hole, but, once again I knew the Lord was setting up a situation where I would have the opportunity to be alone with him and give him the Gospel. He had some motorcycle parts I was interested in and so I went to his house-trailer one Saturday morning, and just before I got there two other bikers went in before me.

     I knocked on the door and there was quite a scene, 11:00 in the morning and they are drinking beer, Hippie, his wife, and the two bikers, but they all seemed to know me and called me Wolfman and Hippie said we could go and look at the parts, however, they were at another location.

     Hmmm…we went alone, to the garage he spoke of, and on the way back I shared my testimony including the Gospel and told him that the Lord had sent me, so he turned to me and said ‘Can I ask you a question?’ And I responded, ‘Sure’ and he said ‘Do you have to go to church to be a Christian?’

     Through that question the Lord gave me the answers Hippie didn’t expect and in the process he told me his wife was an Independent Baptist and he was a Southern Baptist [but not saved]. He then discussed with me some of the things that were keeping him from receiving the Lord. To make a long story short, he was moved to see that I cared and thanked me sticking out his hand to me as we departed.

     In Acts 2 the Lord set up a multitude of ‘Divine Appointments’ when the 120 were filled with the Spirit and three thousand were saved. There are four things that occur when the Lord sets up His Divine Appointments and they are all shown in this rather lengthy passage, but for the sake of brevity, we will just do a survey of this  powerful section of Scripture.

     First of all, there was the preparation of God’s servants. They, with an attitude of expectation [faith] prayed and were in ‘one accord’ in unity communing with the Lord. These conditions must be met for the Lord to have His way in setting up His appointments for you.

     Believe that God is going to do what He promised by expecting Him to act! Exercise your faith in God by expecting Him to do what He said He would do! And, of course we must be in communion with Him. The illustration here involves a group of 120 people. Remember, 108 of them were not Apostles but common people just like you and me!

     Secondly, there is God’s divine intervention which in this situation was the miraculous outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the all of the 120 being filled and speaking in the languages of the (18) different people groups represented here.(v.1-13) They did not speak the Gospel at this point but rather ‘The wonderful works of God’.

     Now, we must expect the Lord to show Himself strong on our behalf when we go out to witness for Him, just as He did in the examples above. In every personal illustration I gave, the Lord had gone before and performed His work by having someone, something happen in the lost person’s life prior to the witness thereby showing that He was in it!

     The third thing that happened is Peter explained or interpreted the meaning of these supernatural events/divine appointments (v.14-21). And so the Lord told me to do the same when witnessing to those who were lost. As soon as the Lord opened up the events that occurred in their past to me, He gave me opportunity to explain that He was supernaturally working in and through the things that had already happened to them.

     Peter then demonstrates for us the final and most important point, and that is he preached the Gospel unto them (v.22-40). And, we must follow his example. Our personal testimony is the most powerful witnessing tool we have when it is intertwined with the Word of God!

     Peter told them of the events he had witnessed concerning the Lord Jesus Christ, intertwined and supported it all with powerful quotes from the Old Testament which they were familiar with. Then he responded to their question with an invitation, and the result of his ‘Divine Appointment’ was three thousand of those souls were saved!

     The very same thing to a lesser degree of the Spirit’s manifestation happened in all of the above personal illustrations the Lord gave me to experience! He is the God of all flesh, nothing is too hard for Him, He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think ACCORDING TO THE POWER THAT WORKS IN US.

     Therefore, we must pray on, in the Spirit, for His ‘Divine Appointments’ and expect to see Him act on our behalf, for He has promised to ‘show thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not’ (Jeremiah 33:3) if we will but call on Him and expect Him to do what He has promised!

Chaplain LEWolfe  I-85 Exit 35 SC   McPilot    Stop in, and please pray for our ministry!

Victory in Jesus-Part II

Victory in Jesus
Part II

     Although it may seem to be an incredible task to memorize and meditate on the Word of God, please remember, there is great simplicity in Christ Jesus. The moment you decide to obey His Word and “Arm yourselves likewise with the same mind” (I Peter 4:1) like Jesus, it is at that moment that you can attain victory by faith!

    You, in essence become armed immediately, at the moment you decide to obey. You extend your faith in Jesus by expecting Him to supply the victory. However, it is definitely necessary to begin a discipled practice of memorizing His Word followed by meditating upon the same.

     When Paul gave the formula for victory over the “Wiles of the devil” he gave five defensive pieces of armor and two offensive pieces. “And take…the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.” (Ephesians 6:17) The word utilized to describe the Sword of the Spirit is a small sword/knife with a short blade designed for close hand to hand in fighting.

     This indicates that short phrases like “Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world” are the keys for battling the devil and his demons when they assault the mind of the born-again believer. There is another word for sword in the New Testament that indicates a long bladed weapon utilized to fight when mounted upon a horse in the heat of the conflict when the enemy is further away on the battlefield. But, Paul chose the short sword knowing that in times of heated conflict the victory comes with short precise thrusts of the Word!

     The devil cringes at the very mention of the Word of God. However, there are other weapons mentioned in a key end-times passage of Scripture. At this point in history the devil will be cast down to the earth and he will know that he has but a short time to persecute the born-again believers in that day:
“And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ; for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the Blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” (Revelation 12:10, 11)

     Notice, the first weapon they utilized is the precious Blood of the Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ! It is by and through the Blood of Jesus that victory is certain! His Blood is able to defeat the strongest attacks of the devil, however, the second weapon most necessary in concert with the Blood is an impeccable testimony. The most important thing you  own is your testimony…without a clean and blameless life the born-again believer can not be above reproach and will fall victim to the “wiles of the devil” every time unless there is nothing between their soul and the Savior!!

    Then, there is the third ingredient mentioned here that is vital for victory, and that is the fully surrendered life to the Lord Jesus Christ demonstrated by their loving not their own life unto the martyrs death, what ever that may mean…regardless of what is necessary for the Lord Jesus…whatever it takes…you are ready to give all!! According to Revelation 20:4 there will be martyrs beheaded in that day…just as it has already begun in our day…more believers died for the faith in the 20th Century than in all the previous nineteen centuries combine, The most unreported story of the 20th Century is the great increase of Christian persecution worldwide.

    In conclusion the Apostle John in I John 2:13, 14 underscores the necessity of the indwelling Word of God for overcoming the wicked one: “I write unto you young men, because you have overcome the wicked one…I have written unto you young men because you are strong, and the Word of God abides in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.”

Chaplain LEWolfe  I-85 Exit 35 SC   McPilot    Stop in, and please pray for our ministry!

Victory in Jesus

Victory in Jesus

     Over the last few months the devil has been working overtime here in SC. But, that is to be expected if you decide to win “Souls for Jesus!”  If that’s your battle cry then get ready for the assault…he will not let up one minute of the day if you don’t use the Lord’s battle plan for “Victory in Jesus”!

     He knows exactly where and when to attack based upon his observations of your life during the time since you have decided to follow Jesus and put your life on the line for lost souls…just like He did…want to be like Jesus? Then give your all to win souls…and in the process be an intercessor for those who are saved!

     Those are the two areas that get the devil’s attention. When he sees a fire lit by the Holy Spirit’s presence in the life of a believer then it becomes his priority to put it out…immediately if not sooner! Now, he is not omni-anything, but he knows you like a book from his observations…check out his knowledge of Job…’nuff said!

     Therefore, in order to walk in victory you must apply the Biblical principles to your life that have worked since the beginning of time itself. The battle plan is simple! Digest the living, all powerful Word of God! Feed the Holy Spirit of God the only diet that will quench His thirst and satisfy His hunger!

    This is not a deep, dark secret of some kind of super-spirituality, no, this has been the answer since the beginning. Notice what Moses wrote to the children of Israel. Read Deuteronomy 6:4-9. His successor Joshua continued the same instruction when he wrote Joshua 1:8! You want spiritual success meditate on the Word!

     David understood where the power from God was located when he wrote on numerous occasions about the answer to the Holy Spirit’s presence and power. It is found in memorizing and meditating on the Word of God. Psalm1:3, and in Psalm 119 on seven occasions meditation is found. His son Solomon also in the Proverbs gave at least seven exhortations to memorize/meditate on the Word.

     The prophet Jeremiah supplies additional Scripture showing us his practice:
“Thy Words were found and I did eat them, and Thy Word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart, for I am called by Thy Name O Lord God of hosts.” (Jeremiah 15:16).

     John, (I John 2:13,14), Paul (Colossians 3:16; Ephesians 6:17), James 1:21, and the Lord Jesus Himself (John 6:63, 15:7, 17:17) gave instruction showing that “Victory in Jesus” is only found through digesting the pure Word of God!! This list is not exhaustive but serves to prove that the Word of God is the key to victory!

     This is what happens when you memorize and meditate on the Word. Supernatural faith is produced within your soul. You begin to believe the truths found in the Word. The seemingly impossible becomes possible as your faith is strengthened. Where your mind spends it’s time is where you live, beloved!

   Victory over wrong thinking or any other attack of the devil is provided by the Lord Jesus through faith. Remember, “the just shall live by faith”…and “without faith it is impossible to please God”…when you please Him, He delivers you from seemingly impossible situations by His great power which is only found in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ…Who is The Ever-living Supernatural WORD of God!! Makes sense to me! Amen?

     It is not by struggling in the flesh to overcome the battle of wrong thinking or any other battle you are facing, no, the supernatural power of God is applied by faith…that is what puts Him into action…”Victory in Jesus”…pure and simple!! Resting in Him, expecting Him to deliver you is faith in action…He loves it!!

“I heard an old, old story, how the Savior came from glory. How He gave His life on Calvary to save a wretch like me. I heard about His groaning, His precious Blood atoning, and I repented of my sin, and won the Victory. Oh, “Victory in Jesus”, my Savior forever, He sought me and He bought me with His redeeming Blood!!!”

Chaplain LEWolfe  I-85 Exit 35 SC   McPilot    Stop in, and please pray for our ministry!