“Through many dangers, toils, and snares / I have already come / ’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far / And grace will lead me home.” (“Amazing Grace” by John Newton, 1779)
In my youth, as part of a children’s choir at our church, we performed an adapted version of the book “The Pilgrim’s Progress” by John Bunyan. In our musical version, a girl nicknamed “Chris” traveled the road of life toward the heavenly city, doing her best to avoid the snares tossed in her path along the way (which included an amusing anecdote about strawberries in Plant City).
This morning, August 7, 2021, the Lord brought this to my mind. It is one of my fondest memories, and I can still remember the songs.
He said: People have continually tested my grace, as if it would fail, but my grace is sufficient for thee. My grace is amazing. The path is rocky and full of potholes dug by the enemy; it is all uphill from here. But my grace is enough for thee.
Grace is the power to perform. Grace gives you the power to keep climbing. Grace enables you to help others climb.
[In this, He refers to a definition by minister Rick Renner in his book “Why We Need The Gifts Of The Holy Spirit.” Minister Renner said, “In the Greek language of the New Testament, the word ‘grace’ is charis … The word charis sometimes denoted special power that was conferred upon an individual or group of individual by the gods. Once this charis was conferred upon a person or a group of people, it imparted to them superhuman abilities. In other words, it enabled them to do what they could not normally or naturally do.”]
The LORD continued: Don't concentrate strictly on the mountain nor see only the pathway. Don't forget to turn around and admire the view. My view. My perspective.
You can see the enemy's plans and strategies from here. But people are too busy picking stones from the soles of their feet, too busy complaining about the incline and the difficulty. They look at the steepness, at what lies ahead, and rehearse what pains have come from the climb. They don't see MY GRACE WAS SUFFICIENT. IT HAS BROUGHT YOU HERE.
See grace. See the power I gave you to do the task. Look back and see how far you've come. Look outward and see how high you are. Then look upward and see my face.
With UNITY of persons comes UNITY of purpose and a fuller PERSPECTIVE. You tell others what you saw, and they relate their POINT OF VIEW. The PURPOSE isn't to divide but to share valuable information. You now know things you would not have known because another man has witnessed it and confirmed it. You have credible evidence.
Stop using differences to divide and use them to UNITE. Become ONE under God, a wide array of faces and voices BUT THE SAME POWERFUL GRACE.
Have I not proven myself already? Is not the work of the cross enough? Yea, it is a complete work, a finished work. Nothing was left out. Nothing was left incomplete or undone. I left no power to the enemy. (Jn 17:4; Lk 10:19)
That's what you're saying when you say I will not heal. That's what you're saying when you say I will not provide. You are taking stones from the foundation I have laid for the church. The same goes for ministry offices. If you say there are no apostles, there are no prophets, then you are making my death and Resurrection incomplete. It is as if my blood was not sufficient enough to cover those things.
Reject not the work of the blood of the New Covenant. Have not I sworn to uphold it? Is not my word good enough for you? There isn't anyone higher, so that I must swear on myself. Do you hear that? THERE IS NONE HIGHER. The enemy is not higher. Nay, he is a crumb beneath the soles of your feet. You are not meant to struggle with him any longer. (Heb 6:13; Eph 1:22)
I have given you my grace, and it is far over and above what you will need. It is "enough" and to spare. When I said, "go forth" it was with the power of my name, my grace, behind you. You do not GO on your own. You have been knighted by the King of Kings. He gave you His own weapon. Not a new weapon, untested in battle, but the same weapon He swung against the enemy. The same weapon that defeated hell and raised Him from the grave. (Mk 16:15-18)
If Sir Lancelot was slain and the enemy rejoiced over it, but amidst their jubilation, he came walking back in, would you consider him defeated? If he came back with an entire army, a new army, a strong army, behind him, would not the jubilation cease?
You have painted the wrong picture. You have me slain, lying helpless amongst the leaves, while my army weeps. Still, to many, I am dead and not alive. I am defeated and not victorious. To many, I am weak, and the enemy is strong.
NO! Do not paint this way. I died so that you might live and live to help others live and snatch as many as possible from the enemy's plans of death. I rose to create a victorious army, an army of warriors able to face whatever came their way. (Jud 1:23)
So RISE UP, men and women of God. ARISE and LIFT THE SWORD and GIVE NO GROUND. Not one inch. Raise up a shout for the battle is mine and I have won it. The spoils are there for my soldiers to gather. That worthless worm has nothing left to him. Not one thing. I took it all.
STOP GIVING BACK THE THINGS I DIED TO ATTAIN.
The (troublesome) position you stand in is one of your own making. I do not speak of those genuinely victimized. But STOP CHOOSING TO BE A VICTIM. Even a victim has the choice to rise up and having risen, knows how to rescue others. They have a unique perspective. Having fallen, they can lead those like them onto a level path and give them the tools to climb.
Would you hire a car mechanic to take you up the mountain? Not unless he was raised there, familiar with the land, and knew mountain climbing too. He is helpful if your car breaks down but not for selling climbing gear.
Stop expecting people to work outside of their gifting. They are not you. Accept them with their life experiences and inquire of their point of view. Use what you learn as a tool to grow and add perspective. Then, next time your car engine quits, you will know what caused it and who to ask for repairs.
Don't buy shoes from a car salesman. Don't build windmills (water wheels) on dry land. Don't dress for a wedding before slogging through manure. A farmer does not feed the hogs wearing a three-piece suit. An astronaut does not enter space in his pajamas while wearing hiking boots.
PUT ON YOUR ARMOR, O CHRISTIAN, THEN PROPERLY CLOTHED, SPEAK LIKE A SOLDIER, AND SWING THE SWORD OF TRUTH. This is not a dinner date with polite conversation. General Patton did not sing a Broadway tune. He had his eye on the enemy, the battle plans in hand, and a gut full of determination, knowing his reliance laid on many men. He could not fight the battle alone. He knew this. And the work I have done, the COMPLETE work, the VICTORY I have accomplished, is reinforced by you.
I need you to act like my soldiers so that those who have fallen, those who are victims, those taken prisoner through sickness and deception, can find their way back to me. Unless my church DOES ITS JOB people will perish. SO STOP WHIMPERING AND STAND UP! Stand like a light in great darkness and allow the lost and fallen to find you. Unless your light shines, they will remain in the darkness and that darkness will soon consume you. There is no standing without light and the room not being dark. You must have one to prevent the other. But the light having come into the room will expose the darkness. (Jn 3:20-21)
That is what I am doing in this hour. I am gathering my lights. More lights, more exposure, more truth, more evidence of victory, more rejoicing.
Soon there will be so much light, so many soldiers, so many on my side that the enemy will tremble. I am raising my church from the dust and standing it on the podium for all to see. I will play my anthem and they will sing it proudly. For they are mine and I am theirs, and we remain undefeated.
Forever, always, for all of time, for eternity I am KING, and this is MY KINGDOM. It isn't a question of my kingdom lasting. It is you choosing to take part in it, and that part requires ACTION. It means gaining KNOWLEDGE and making GROWTH. It is MATURING, and that MATURITY will see things as I see them and have you snatching all you can from the flames. If you do not desire this, if you do not want my wishes for the kingdom, if you condemn another and waste, WASTE your time in strife, then you have no part in me. (Jas 3:16)
Soldiers share the vision of their commander and will leave no man behind. You honor this in the natural but in spiritual things, are lackadaisical. A ho-hum attitude will sink the ship. A bunch of men in uniforms sunbathing will soon run aground and be forced to swim. DO YOUR JOB, SOLDIERS, NAVY MEN, and do them well, and do them together. Seek peace, seek unity, and find success, find me in the success, for I am the SOURCE of all things. Find your own version of success and I am not in it, and what you find is embellished defeat. (1Pe 3:11)
Death in a dress is still death and its result still sickness, misery, and defeat. I raised you better than that. I made you victorious. Now act like it.
Suzanne D. Williams, Author