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The message we need to hear at this pivotal time in history is this…

HOLD ON TO JESUS.

He has not failed you or forsaken you.
He will never leave you.
The God that gave his life, will give everything to stand by your side.

Where the enemy comes in for destruction, peril, devastation, battle, and obstruction…Jesus comes in to save, heal, set free, deliver, produce, overcome, move powerfully, destroy the works of the devil, overcome by the blood and your testimony.

Jesus is the giver of life.
Jesus is the king of glory.
Jesus is the victorious warrior seated high upon the throne.

The enemy of our soul has tried to dethrone Jesus for eons of time, but his plan has never worked and it will NEVER WORK.

Furthermore, we know from scripture that GOD HAS A PLAN FOR US!

Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV
[11] For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

He has a plan for your life.
He has a plan for your future.
He has a plan for your heart.
He has a plan for your marriage.
He has a plan for your children.

NOTHING…No devil…No problem…No demon…Will ever be able to STOP THE PLAN OF GOD IN YOUR LIFE.
Only you, by stepping down, stepping back, or stepping away, can stop the plan of God.

God won’t override your choices.
He will let you choose.
But if you choose the Lord, then ALL OF HEAVEN IS FOR YOU!
ALL OF HELL WILL NOT DEFEAT YOU!

With all this being said, there is a somewhat curious story in the Old Testament that the Lord brought to my heart for this blog.

Let’s read it…

1 Samuel 5:1-4 NKJV
[1] Then the Philistines took the ark of God and brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod.

Here’s the deal…
Sometimes it feels like, even though God has a great plan, that the enemy still gets the upper hand.

It feels like, in the midst of our battles, that sometimes the enemy is winning.

When you look at how things appear you see your strength failing, your faith fading, and your hope diminishing.

But I want to encourage you…

DON’T LOOK AROUND YOU.

Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus.
Don’t keep your eyes on what it appears the devil is doing.
Don’t focus on the places or the people where, or in which, it appears the devil is winning.

You and I need to plant our souls and anchor our faith in the fact that JESUS ALWAYS WINS.
The Lord will not be defeated, and furthermore, what looks like a defeat, the Lord always turns around to PROVE HIS POWER AND HIS OMNIPOTENCE.

You cannot stop the power of God!
You cannot kill life itself.
You cannot stop the presence of God from going forward in your life.

When you continue to seek him, he will continue to show up!

The Philistines took the ark of God from Ebenezer to Ashdod.

The ark was the visible symbol of the presence of God in those days.
It would be understood by everyone in the ancient context, that if the ark of God was gone, the glory of God was gone with it.

In fact, in the previous chapter, the daughter-in-law of the dead priest, hears the news of her family’s death, she gives birth prematurely, and right before she dies, she names her son, Icahbod, which means “the glory has departed.”

It APPEARED that God was defeated.
It APPEARED that the glory was gone.
It APPEARED that the presence of God has vanished.

But please understand, appearances are often deceptive.

Ebenezer means – Stone of help.
Ashdod means – place of power.

So the context of this is simple.
It appeared that Israel’s “stone of help” had been captured by the enemy’s “place of power.”

[2] When the Philistines took the ark of God, they brought it into the house of Dagon and set it by Dagon.

This was standard practice.
They took the “Israelite God” and placed him next to the god that they served.

It was an act of humbling, meant to humble the God of Israel and make him appear subservient to the enemy god.

Here’s the deal…
Sometimes it looks like God has been pushed and shoved into places where his presence and plan have to submit to the problems we face…but God WILL NEVER BOW to the enemy…HE WILL ALWAYS DEFEAT THE ENEMY.

This immoral, philistine statue god was a fish god with the head and hands of a man and the tail of a fish. He represented fertility.

In other words, we was the vain attempt to produce something outside of the power of the Lord’s presence.

Here’s something to remember…

THE LORD’S PRESENCE is ALL THAT YOU NEED to OVERCOME AND DEFEAT the power of the enemy.

God’s presence will not be conquered.
God’s presence will not be equaled.
God’s presence will not be diminished.

I want you to notice the results of trying to place Dagon, above Jehovah.

[3] And when the people of Ashdod arose early in the morning, there was Dagon, fallen on its face to the earth before the ark of the LORD. So they took Dagon and set it in its place again.

I want you to notice a few things about this verse…
First, Dagon FELL.
The word, “fell,” in this context means: threw down, caused to fall, made prostrate, knocked down.

Dagon didn’t just fall over…
The Lord THREW HIM DOWN.

Why? Because…
God’s presence will never compete with the devil.
God will overthrow the power of the enemy every single time.

Secondly, notice that they never call Dagon a “him.” Scripture in the NKJV refers to the statue as an “it.”

Dagon didn’t deserve the recognition.
This was a mindless, piece of rock, carved into the form of a statue.
And even though the ark of God had been moved from Ebenezer, the “stone of help,” we must remember that wherever we find the presence of God, we FIND THE STONE OF HELP!

Lastly, we see that Dagon could not lift himself up by himself.
They had to set him in place.

It reminds me that our God doesn’t need the hands of man to lift him up.
He is eternally self-existent.
He requires no help.
He requires no human effort.
He requires nothing from us, but has the power to give everything to us.

[4] And when they arose early the next morning, there was Dagon, fallen on its face to the ground before the ark of the LORD. The head of Dagon and both the palms of its hands were broken off on the threshold; only Dagon’s torso was left of it.

This symbolized the utter defeat of the devil.
The presence of God overthrew the face of the enemy.
God didn’t just throw it down, but as the custom was in those days…God had the power to cut off his head, and cut off his hands.

It was a total stripping of the enemy’s power in the sight of the philistines.

Why? Because you cannot hold God captive.

I’m telling you that God has stripped the power of the enemy in your life through the cross of Jesus Christ.
Through the power of the Holy Ghost, the devil is totally and utterly defeated.

He cannot win.
He cannot have your life.
He cannot have your dreams.
He cannot have your potential, your marriage, your children, your future, or your destiny.

So…
Quit worrying about the “Dagons” in your life, because they are going to fall.
God has power of his own accord and through his own presence to make them fall.
Nothing can stand against the Lord forever. There comes a moment when he humbles the prideful and obstinate.

God will humble your adversary.
God will crumble your aggressor.
God will roar against the pride of the devil and the lion of Judah will overcome!

So…
Don’t be found in Dagon’s camp, but draw near to Jesus NOW, while there is time!

Don’t try to make earthly desires compete with the presence of God in your life, because whatever stands against the presence of God in your life will FALL!

If you want to remain in a broken, crumbling life, keep on putting pressure on the presence of God to placate himself with the pleasures of the world in your life.

It’s a volatile mix that will not last.
DAGON WILL FALL!
The devil will fall.
The enemy will be defeated.

In actuality, Dagon was the earthly symbol of the devil himself, but we know that…

1 John 3:7-8 NKJV
[7] Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. [8] He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.

With that being said, what the Lord spoke to my heart for the end of this blog is this…

IT’S TIME TO INTENSIFY.

It’s time for the people of God to become more intense about their relationship with Jesus that EVER BEFORE.

Intensify in your relationship with Jesus and the Holy Ghost
Intensify to withstand the shaking…
Intensify to hold on in the problems…
Intensify to overcome the evil…

God did not create you to fail, but to win.
He created you and put his Spirit in you, so that you would devastate the forces of the enemy.

We must become more intense about our God, about our stand, about the Lord’s presence, about being with the body of Christ, about not letting fear overrule faith.

Your children don’t have to remain unsaved.
Your body doesn’t have to remain sick.
Your spirit doesn’t have to remain weak, and bound.

There is power and freedom in the God of Jacob, but we must become intense.

It’s time to intensify.

Scripture says…

2 Timothy 2:1-6 NKJV
[1] You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. [2] And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. [3] You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. [4] No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. [5] And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. [6] The hardworking farmer must be first to partake of the crops.

Furthermore, scripture gives us even more clarity on how we must intensify in our pursuit of the presence and power of the Lord…

1 Corinthians 15:58 NKJV
[58] Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

Scripture also says…

1 Corinthians 16:13 NKJV
[13] Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.

It’s time for the people of God to intensify.
Intensify against the Dagons trying to battle our soul.
Intensify against the Dagons trying to battle the church.
Intensify against the Dagons trying to overtake in our nation, in our children, in our schools, and in our workplaces.
There is power and hope in Jesus…and DAGON WILL FALL!

Here’s the word that the Lord gave me for today:
“There is still a remnant left in the land.
Their job is to pray, to cry out, to stand against the current. To rise with the message I give them.
They must stand for truth, for godliness, and for righteousness.”

It’s time for the people of God to draw NEAR to him!
Intensify in your pursuit of God.

Remember, Dagon WILL FALL.

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Larry Shankle

My heart is for the church that Jesus is building and returning for...the church that the gates of hell will not prevail against.
More than anything, the desire of my heart is to see the greatest revival of the Holy Spirit, salvations, spiritual awakening, and for the miraculous to come back to the church, preparing believers for the return of Jesus.

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