Paul's Fears for the Galatians Gal 4. 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, you are also an heir through God. 8Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. 9But now that you know God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you are turning back to those weak and worthless principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? 10You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! 11I fear for you, that my efforts for you may have been in vain.
Apostle Paul’s deep concerns and fears for the Galatians was echoed through out the Epistle he had written them. He had observed their journey from start and was deeply concerned about the way they were going about their spiritual walk. In Chapter three, he had written about their departure from the Spirit ways of God, to the Law. He told them that they had come under witchcraft. Now in Chapter four, he is telling them about losing their sonship because they were observing days and times and years as though these observants were God. Gal 4:10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.
I have observed the life of Christians who lack longevity in their faith. They are strong for a season but then through circumstances of life and the attacks of the enemy they fall away from the truth and go about creating their own truths. They may even use God’s word to achieve this but usually it is a diluted form of the word that they use to manipulate their ends. They use the word and religion for gain and to establish self righteousness and status in life. The Jews (especially the Pharisees) were experts at this. They had years of practise in the keeping the Law the way they saw fit and even added many Laws which God did not give. They used these laws to bring them under bondage. Mat 23:4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. Now, the Galatians were doing it after they had come to know Christ and been given a preeminent position as sons of God.
What about today’s corporate Church and us as individuals? Where do we stand in our relationship with God on matters concerning our practices, attitudes, views on Christianity or our loyalty and longevity to the faith? After all, faith is to be maintained, pursued and used to come into a continued walk with God. We cannot start in the faith and then turn back to the flesh as and when we please. We in the SW Corridor of Australia live in a demographic area that practices run away faith. People run away and hop from church to church because they have worked out a gospel of truth for themselves based on their own understanding, emotions, likes and dislikes. By doing this, they reject their own brothers and sisters and move around with no valid reason causing disruption and problems to the established churches. The moment something changes in the atmosphere for them, they run away. They seek to take their brand of Christianity from one place to another depending on what they find in each place.
I too am very afraid for the Church worldwide. I am not the only one who feels this way. Speaking to Pastors, I find, that they too feel this way. Yet, many churches carry on faithfully while some have closed their doors. The truth is; deception is very subtle. If satan could lie to one third of the angels in heaven to leave with him when he rebelled against God and even influenced the Watcher angels later on to leave their position and interact with the daughters of men, what chance do men have?. Eve who knew the Lord and communed with Him like no one else did, was turned from God without much of an effort. All this only tells me that our enemy is working overtime in today’s church. Betrayal is the number one motive of the devil in influencing Christians to go against God and their own kind.
The test of time regarding our faith is about what is coming to the earth through the devil’s antichrist. This spirit has been working for two thousand years already. I can feel and sense its intensity like never before as the ages come to a close. Anyone, who is unprepared in the things of God cannot survive this onslaught. Even now, many are succumbing to the wiles of the devil within the church through many types of sin and blatantly disregarding the commandments of God. Where do you stand in all this? How loyal will you stay and for how long?
Longevity is about walking and running the distance in the Spirit while going from glory to glory. It seems odd that a section of the people are falling away for no reason at all and others are going from strength to strength. Each trial brings for them even greater emphasis on the power of God to sustain them rather than what circumstances dictate.
The urgency we face in today’s church is not only soul winning but soul keeping. Tens of thousands have given their lives to Jesus in crusades and the like but have not lasted the test of time. They do not continue because of various reasons. Jesus faced this in His time on earth. Joh 6:54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. Joh 6:66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Joh 6:67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Joh 6:68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. I have met so many people in my lifetime who have come to Christ but have left because of some invalid reason. Added to this, they have come to Christ and have sought to change the ways of the Lord to suit. While everyone makes mistakes in the faith, some have gone on to become opponents of the faith like Janes and Jambres.
2Ti 3:8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
The spirit of Jannes and Jambres is essentially the spirit of antichrist or witchcraft. It is this same spirit that is working in the church doing exactly what Apostle Paul said to Timothy it was doing in the last days. 2Ti 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2Ti 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 2Ti 3:3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 2Ti 3:4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 2Ti 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 2Ti 3:6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 2Ti 3:7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. How often have we faced this behaviour in the church and dismissed it saying; it is only the behaviour of people and have mollycoddled them rather than dealing with the spirit that is enticing them? The truth is; they have been taken away by this spirit of witchcraft to operate in the flesh and in in evil spirits rather than by the fruit or the power of the Spirit.
I have preached in churches involving at least 16 countries only to discover this spirit working in churches producing problems from sin to rebellion against God and His leaders. This spirit works so subtly that Pastors and Leaders do not even know when they have either penetrated the believer’s lives or even the Pastor or Leader’s lives. God has used me to expose these spirits working in churches and have even exposed them in leadership only to be chased out myself by them because of what I have said or done. The Leaders have been blinded (which is the greatest form of deception by the devil) by what they think is the truth coming out of people. I have heard countless number of stories of failed churches and lives of believers because of these spirits being allowed to remain in church under the guise of Christianity.
The day is at hand when the unquenchable cleansing fire of God is going to sweep through the church exposing and refining many lives. The church will never be the same again because God is raising up a generation of believers who will stand the test of time because they have dies to themselves. They have no personal agenda and cannot be offended because they are dead to themselves and alive to God. Their only aim in life is to please God and they will go the ends of the earth to achieve this. They are rising up all over the world in countless thousands and will not conform to the standards of Pharisees in the church nor will they tolerate witchcraft in the Church. These are Christians who walk in the standards of love, holiness and righteousness. They do not care about money or status or self gain of glory. They are humble, teachable and will not be bowed down by tradition. They are hungry for God and will submit to God and their fellowman in true humility.
It is going to take obedience and humility to go to the cross. Jesus had to do this after all His powerful ministry on earth. While the driving force was love, the character of Spirit was humility and obedience. Php 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Php 2:4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Php 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Php 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: Php 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: Php 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
We need to walk in this truth more than ever before as we live in testing times. We need to make it to the cross and beyond the cross. Time will test us and many will fall but many will walk in the faith without seeing the promises fulfilled. You must decide which one you are going to be; the one who runs the race patiently to the end or the one who gives up. Remember, what happens along the way is how it is decided as to how one finishes.
Lots of love