It’s time for a militant church to recognize the battle we are IN.
Matthew 11:12 NKJV
 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.
It’s time that the church, the people of God rise up and TAKE THE THINGS of God that HE HAS FREELY GIVEN TO US!
To rise up and claim victory over the darkness and claim every promise.
Every “yes” and “amen” belongs to us by the Holy Ghost!
Not allowing the enemy of our soul to frighten, or sway us.
Not allowing our minds to be plagued by the things of the world and of THIS LIFE.
Not allowing ourselves to moved from the foundations of what we believe.
And most importantly, realizing that to be militant, and to fight, and to take back ground and territory…WE MUST BE AWAKE!
God is…in this hour…trying desperately to WAKE UP his church.
It reminds me of a particular passage of scripture…
Luke 12:47-48 NKJV
 And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.  But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.
And to the church…
The Lord has given much!
He has blessed us and poured out his Spirit on us.
He has saved us and redeemed us.
He has given us his own good word and every great and precious promise it contains.
So for the church, MUCH is required.
Most importantly, to WAKE UP!
There are many, many who don’t want to see the forest for the trees.
Obviously, the people of God are called to be people of faith.
Being a person of faith means that we BELIEVE THE BEST when bad situations come.
Did you hear that?
WE BELIEVE THE BEST, WHEN BAD SITUATIONS COME!
We are people of faith, not fear.
We are people of faith, not drawing back.
We are people of faith, not forsaking the things of God.
We believe that God will heal.
We believe that God will deliver.
We believe that God will save.
We believe that God will set free.
We believe that God will do everything EXACTLY AS HE SAYS HE WILL!
This is his nature.
But in the midst of it all, the people of God also need to have LISTENING EARS.
Ears that are open to the voice of the Spirit of God.
Ears that hear what the Lord is saying.
Ears that pay attention to the whispers of the Lord.
Though our belief and our faith may be strong, sometimes our listening is weak.
What happens when we have weak ears to hear the Lord?
Here’s the answer…
We don’t sleep out of rebellion to the Lord, but we sleep because we don’t discern the times.
As the Lord began to move this message on my heart, one of the things he was speaking to my heart was this…
THAT WE MUST UNDERSTAND THE TIMES IN WHICH WE LIVE.
We must discern the moment.
Knowing the seriousness of the time, understanding what’s taking place all around us, does not NEGATE the effectiveness of our faith, and IT IS NOT AN ACT OF LESS FAITH TO UNDERSTAND WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON AROUND US.
In fact, when we SEE IT…we can PRAY ABOUT IT.
When we discern it, we can TRUST GOD IN IT.
There are many who refuse to SEE and discern the moment we are currently in, hoping that everything will magically change into roses…
But the church must WAKE UP!
We must rise from slumber.
We must throw off our sleepy head.
We must put on ears that are awake and ready to listen to the Spirit.
We wait for our assignments.
We wait in the Lord’s presence.
We wait for whatever he desires to communicate to us.
The Bible says…
Isaiah 40:31 NKJV
 But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.
It also says…
Psalm 62:5-6 NKJV
 My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him.  He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved.
There is a parable that Jesus speaks in the book of Matthew, and as with all parables, it is a story meant to teach and train.
Matthew 25:1-2 NKJV
 “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.
Now, the first thing we have to see about this parable and this verse is WHO it is written ABOUT.
It’s not about the WORLD.
It’s NOT about SINNERS being unprepared.
It’s not about people who don’t know Jesus.
This parable is about the kingdom of heaven.
That literally means, it is directed to believers.
Jesus is speaking about people who KNOW HIM, or at least that SAY THEY KNOW HIM.
 Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
This parable also follows on the heels of Jesus’ great talk about the end of days.
We understand that it is addressing the end time church.
We also know that according to 2 Thessalonians 2:3, that there is coming a great “falling away” in the last days.
It doesn’t speak about sinners, but it is speaking about the church. Sinners are ALREADY AWAY, but the church, the believers, the people of God will be tempted, tested, and tried, and MANY WILL FALL AWAY.
With all my heart, I’m trying to speak what God is saying in my heart because I believe it is a warning to the people of God RIGHT NOW.
The falling away, is, at the very least, BEGINNING right NOW.
So, if we take this parable at face value we see that half of the church, half of the people of God were UNWISE, FOOLISH, NOT DISCERNING THE TIMES, LIVING IN AN UNPREPARED CONDITION.
God is trying to get his people READY.
Let me say that again…
GOD IS TRYING TO GET HIS PEOPLE READY!
He wants us prepared for the eventualities that will surely come.
To whom much is given, much is required.
According to scripture, in 2 Timothy 3:12-14, the world will grow worse and worse.
This is NOT doom and gloom, but it is fact and eventuality.
Let me read it for you.
2 Timothy 3:12-14 NKJV
 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.  But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.  But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them,
There are many who are looking at everything and prophesying that it will ALL BE BETTER SOON, but don’t be mistaken or caught off guard.
There are many who are prophesying that everything is just about to EXPLODE AND IMPLODE, but don’t be mistaken OR taken off guard.
There is a dual work going on in the earth at the moment.
Here’s what I mean…
In the last days, as Jesus prepares his church, the church will experience revival and get closer to him and more filled with the presence and Spirit of God, while AT THE SAME TIME the world will continue to spiral towards its intended destiny.
It is a dichotomy.
No matter who wins an election, no matter what we hear prophesied…we know from scripture what’s coming…and that even if there is a NATIONAL REPRIEVE, and good days begin, we understand from scripture that WE ARE IN THE LAST GENERATION BEFORE JESUS COMES.
So if the Lord gives us better days, USE THEM!
Get into his presence!
Prepare your LIFE!
While the church rises, the world will NOT…and if you read the Bible, you KNOW THIS IS THE TRUTH WHETHER IT FEELS GOOD TO HEAR IT OR NOT!
So we must strive to be WISE and DISCERNING!
Matthew 25:3-13 NKJV
 Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them,  but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
I believe this teaches us to understand that the oil we have in us, the oil of the Spirit, must be replenished through fellowship and communing with the Lord.
We cannot rest on yesterday’s oil.
We cannot eat yesterday’s manna.
We cannot drink water that’s been sitting in the cup for weeks.
We need something fresh and alive and ready to burn!
 But while the bridegroom was delayed, they ALL slumbered and slept.
“THEY ALL SLUMBERED AND SLEPT.”
This is why the church has to be careful to stay awake.
Because there is a REAL DANGER THAT SHE WILL FALL ASLEEP.
Sleeping out of false security.
Sleeping out of misunderstanding the times.
Sleeping out of a mindset of once saved, always saved.
Sleeping out of a mindset of, “I can do anything I want and grace covers it all.”
I’m not trying to begin a theological debate…but I just look at things in a very simple manner.
I understand that if I marry my spouse, love my spouse, and at some point in the relationship, I STOP TALKING TO MY SPOUSE, STOP COMMUNICATING TO HER, STOP SPENDING TIME WITH HER, AND STOP BEHOLDING HER BEAUTY…the answer is obvious…I’ve lost my first love.
The church is the bride of Christ, if the bride sleeps and ignores the Lord, it is a clear sign that something is WRONG.
We are not saved only by belief, but by a belief that changes us from the inside out!
Many will disagree, but I believe to adhere to anything less is to lower the standard of righteousness, and to cheapen the power of grace.
Faith CHANGES us AND WAKES US UP!
 “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’  Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps.  And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’  But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’
I hear the alarm sounding NOW more than EVER.
It’s not hard to hear it.
Jesus is coming.
WE MUST BE READY!
God is good, and he has given us time and space to repent, to change, to turn our hearts toward him, and to wake up.
It’s important to wake up…
We must WAKE UP IN TIME!
You know that feeling you have when your alarm clock goes haywire and you wake up TOO LATE.
You struggle to prepare.
You try to get ready.
But often, you miss your appointment, or at the very lest, you make it to your appointment, but you walk in with clothes that are wrinkled, and a body that you didn’t have time to shower.
And Jesus isn’t coming back for a bride that is wrinkled and filthy.
You can talk all the grace you want, but it doesn’t negate all the other scriptures.
 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.
I felt like the Lord was saying…
“Why did the foolish virgins come unprepared?”
“What stopped them?”
“Why did they not show up READY?”
AND HERE’S THE REASON…
“THEY DID NOT UNDERSTAND THE TIMES.”
When the seriousness of the situation finally dawned on them, to was too late to fix it.
 “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’  But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’
In this moment of time we must prepare for Jesus.
How do we do that?
- Live a life of repentance.
- Stay awake spiritually.
- Keep the oil of the Spirit FULL in your life.
- Open your ears to listen to the Lord.
- Have a REAL, ONGOING RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS. One in which YOU ABIDE in HIM and HE ABIDES in YOU. Not based on everyone else’s relationship with God, or what you read about in books, but a relationship with Jesus built on how he desires to work IN YOU!
- Don’t let the messages of the world, the culture, the political hierarchy, the social media influencers, or even those closest to you…SWAY YOUR DISCERNMENT OF THE TIMES.
And here’s the message of scripture for the sleeping church…
 “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.
Now…I’ll finish with a word I believe God wanted me to say specifically to the church:
“Tell my people “Get Ready” for what’s coming.
Prepare your heart.
Strengthen your spirit.”
The Lord gave me this final word to say:
“My Spirit goes to and fro throughout the earth, looking for those who are right and upright, for those who seek me, to favor them and bless them. I will withhold no good thing from him who walks uprightly says the Lord.
I will be a guard and a garrison, a refiner and a builder, an upholder of truth and righteousness. My Spirit seeks such to worship me.”
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