In a Fighting Mood

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

Esau was born first, a baby covered with hair (his name means ‘hairy’), but his twin brother Jacob grabbed his heel while still in the womb. What a shock the midwife must have had when she saw Esau come forth with a tiny hand gripping his heel!

“He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and in his strength he struggled with God. Yes, he struggled with the angel and prevailed; he wept, and sought favor from him. He found him in Bethel, and there he spoke to us” (Hosea 12:3-4, NKJV).

In this very brief passage about Jacob, the prophet Hosea sums up how to overcome and prevail with God. His message was “Here was a man greedy for God, hungry for everything God had for him.” Jacob came out of the womb in a fighting mood, longing for the blessings of God. There was something of a godly instinct in this child. It was as if he was saying, “Brother, if you don't want the fullness of God, I do. Get out of my way. I will not be left behind in God's blessings.”

The birthright and blessing of Jacob's desire throughout his life represents all the blessings that are in Christ Jesus. Ultimately, it was not the double portion of his father's wealth that Jacob was after, nor was it the promise of the land. No, Jacob wanted something more. He wanted the blessing of God so he could be in the lineage of the Messiah, and he wanted the priestly blessing. This meant not only being priest of the clan, but also being able to bless others.

We see this priestly ministry throughout Genesis 27 and as Isaac laid hands on Jacob and blessed him: “…that your soul may bless me” (Genesis 27:19). It meant the high honor of having God's hand on him and the power to bless others.

Beloved, this is what is being required of believers in these last days. God wants to raise up a people who are not concerned only about making their own living, owning a house or driving a nice car. He is seeking those who are greedy for the blessings of God, not to consume it on themselves but to be used of him to help others!

Fresh Anointing Power

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

God allows your trials because he wants to make you “devil-proof”! That does not mean you will not be attacked again, but you will be trained to stand. It is all part of his preparing you for greater service, greater anointing and expanded usefulness in his kingdom.

Furthermore, the Lord is trying to strengthen you against the devil’s wiles. He is raising up a body of believers who have faced the devil, who have been strengthened against him, and who know his devices and are not afraid of him. God is saying, “Once you understand why you are going through this, you will have taken back all the ground you lost. You will be in control again by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Once Elijah’s trial was over (see 1 Kings 19), he would never run again. He now had a sense of direction, and he was reassured in his spirit. God was about to send him to nations to raise up kings, leaders and prophets.

God told Elijah, “Go, return on your way...anoint Hazael as king over Syria...anoint king over Israel. And shall anoint as prophet in your place” (1 Kings 19:15-16, NKJV). Elijah had been given fresh anointing power. He was in control again. “So he departed from there” (1 Kings 19:19). Elijah came out of the cave to do God’s will. He did not have to shed a river of tears. No, he simply had heard the Word of the Lord.

Beloved, the only hold the devil can have on you is fear, and you must shake it off in faith! You have to say, “I am not going down. God is going to give me a fresh anointing from heaven. He is going to use me.”

Do you believe that God is not finished with you, that he is teaching and training you for better things? He wants to speak to you in your cave of despondency. He wants to tell you what to do and where to go, and he wants to bring you out. Rise from your despair and shake off the bondage of fear and depression! Depart from your cave. You will discover that the moment you get up and walk out, the anointing will flow.

The Language of Revolution

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

“There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise promotes health” (Proverbs 12:18, NKJV).

With great and swelling words
The revolutionaries speak.
Like the piercing of a sword,
They lash with their tongues
The established order of the day.
An evil man digs up evil
And in his lips there is a burning fire,
The unquenchable fire of hell.
But the wicked man shall be snared
By the transgression of his own lips.
He that keeps his mouth,
Keeps his life,
But he that opens wide his mouth
Shall have destruction.
For righteous men hate lying lips
And lips that have no healing.
The lamp of the wicked shall be put out
And his lips sealed;
For wicked language
Shall be overthrown
And the tongue of the wise
Shall send forth health.

“The tongue of the wise promotes health.” King Solomon knew what he was talking about when he wrote these words; his 40-year reign was an unprecedented time of peace and prosperity. The words don’t sound very revolutionary, but they are more world-changing than you can imagine.

Solomon enjoyed God’s favor because he sought God’s wisdom, not his own. The revolution of peace during his reign was due to the words that flowed from that wisdom, and the people in his vast sphere of influence acted upon them. He had learned this lesson well from his father David, who had prayed, “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips” (Psalm 141:3).

Solomon didn’t just want to be kind and good; he wanted wisdom! He wanted his people to feel the security of truth and justice. He was passionate for them to hear the words of a loving God through his leadership, the words of one who understood the desires of their heart and who cared for them beyond measure. He was intent on teaching his people how to live lives of value and service.

Lord, I seek your wisdom! Reset my thoughts, my heart, my actions to be in harmony with yours. May my words bring peace and order and good health into the lives I influence.

Finding Faith in the Confusion

Gary Wilkerson

“I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate... I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out” (Romans 7:15,18, ESV).

Do you often feel this way? Join the club.

Paul’s Damascene conversion didn’t guarantee a test-free life. In addition to the fires of persecution that sought to destroy his ministry, he was doubtlessly troubled by doubt, confusion and discouragement as he tried to establish the church. The pressure was intense, I’m sure; some days everything must’ve felt upside down. In his writings, he was up front about his frequent inability to align his knowledge of what is right with his behavior.

What an astonishing gift Paul left behind for us! In bluntly laying out the discord within himself, he revealed how our honesty before God and one another is the path to healing. “I’m just going to tell you flat out,” he says, “It’s a daily war in there. You’re going to continually face walls within yourself that you thought you had scaled; attitudes and impulses you were sure had been eradicated; spiritual confusion you thought you had sorted out. You must know that this is the way of the believer! We are redeemed, yet we still work and walk in this world. Our faith will be tested, refined, deepened. These tests will mature you in ways you can’t imagine. You’ll be stretched far out of your comfort zone and taken into spiritual places you didn’t know existed.”

Paul doesn’t stop there. In chapter eight, he continues to encourage an ambitious faith; and, as always, he points us right back to the immutable power of the Holy Spirit. “For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do” (Romans 8:3). He emphasizes how our helplessness is the means by which we walk in power. “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba Father!’” (Romans 8:15).

Don’t let your failures and inner turmoil pull you down! Follow Paul’s example and use each stumble to propel you forward. God delights in our questions and understands our weakness. Let your vulnerability be your comfort and fuel for a robust spiritual journey.

God Who Does the Impossible

Claude Houde

In Quebec, churches are growing at a pace that has never been seen before. What God is doing elsewhere in the world, he is also doing in our nation. We thank the Lord for the revivals in our history and the wonderful testimonies coming from all parts of the world, but we believe that the potential for God to do something new is even greater.

One of our recent church plants took place in the heart of Montreal with Pastor David Pothier and a team of passionate leaders who are fiercely convinced of the exponential potential of the gospel and the church of Christ.

For seven years, Pastor David was the pastor of Impact Jeunesse, the ministry for young adults in New Life Church. There he was bathed in a spiritual atmosphere of “We didn’t know it was impossible, so we did it!”

After preparing for a work of faith with prayer and fasting, Pastor David and several hundred people from our church responded to God's call to found La Chapelle in one of the up-and-coming neighborhoods in Montreal, a city with one of the lowest rates of evangelical Christians in the world. In barely three years, La Chapelle has become the largest French-speaking church in this metropolis. Hundreds have been baptized. The leaders have a multi-site church vision with multiple meetings on different campuses.

From Paul's letters to the early church 2,000 years ago, to the dark and busy streets of Montreal, to you and me today, God's potential is immutable and limitless for those who invite him into their lives. For me, this dynamic is not theoretical but very real. Its transformative impact is tangible and measurable. After more than three decades as a pastor, I have seen men and women of all ages, cultures and backgrounds discovering potential in a new life that was unknown to them before the moment they decided to turn their life to God and realized who he is and who they could become in Jesus Christ. I invite you too on an adventure of faith, discovery, development and destiny. May God do a work on each page of your heart.

“I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6, ESV).

Claude Houde is the lead pastor of Eglise Nouvelle Vie (New Life Church) in Montreal, Canada. Under his leadership New Life Church has grown from a handful of people to more than 3500 in a part of Canada with few successful Protestant churches.