Burdened for us today

I emerged from my prayer time and Scripture reading this morning with a burden on my heart for our ranks. I see and hear of truly astonishing works of God in our day. The ink in my pen flows warm with affection this morning and free of pessimism and hopelessness. I don’t have the luxury today of writing an overly-involved article. I will jump straight to what’s on my heart.

We are warned in the Scriptures that darkness will increasingly rage as time hastens toward Christ’s return. We are not date-setters but this we know. His return is closer today than it was yesterday. And the enemy is angrier today than he was yesterday. (Rev.12:12) And he wants us. He wants our testimonies. He wants to render us ineffective and make us a laughingstock. He wants to come between us and distract us with ridiculous things, showy things, boastful things, petty things, divisive things so that we’ll miss the tidal wave of temptation and seduction begging to engulf us. Jesus told us to be prepared. And we’re not. If we were, we’d be poring over our Bibles and flat on our faces in prayer.  We’d come to our feet in the power of the Holy Spirit and preach and teach the Gospel with love and holy fire.

Instead, many believers – leaders and followers alike – will fall. Even servants who have had sincere and pure devotion to Jesus. 2 Corinthians 11:2-3 warns us this can happen.

And those many believers – leaders and followers alike – must be helped back to their feet. Biblically, compassionately, gently, diligently and completely. Churches must train mature men and women in the faith who walk in the Spirit to actively minister Galatians 6:1. You’ve got to know I’m not casting stones here. I well know what it’s like to be in the grips of bondage and in heaps of defeat and sin. I also know for a fact that, by the grace and mercy of Jesus, we can be transformed and old tendencies and repetitive cycles utterly broken.

We must hang on for dear life to the word repentance. Watch carefully as that word becomes less and less popular in our churches and on our Christian platforms. Do not think for a second there is no scheme of the darkness to see to it. I will not waste words here. I just ask you to go to the Scriptures and see all that hinges on repentance and start picturing the terrifying ramifications of its absence. In a Christian climate where we call less and less sin, we will call fewer and fewer to repentance. That’s not rocket science. Repentance is one of the most glorious rights hailed by the cry of Christ’s finished work on the cross. We get to repent. This is not our self-condemnation. This is not our self-loathing. This is our liberty. Our restoration. Our cleansing, whiter than snow. God delights to show us mercy and cast our sins into the depths of the sea. (Micah 7)

No one wants to fall grievously and no one has to. Sin is not our master. We all sin and grieve and quench the Holy Spirit. We all long for the day when faith will become sight and that which is incomplete will be made perfect. But we do not have to fall headlong into a ditch and, if we do, not one of us has to remain there. Each person has the right to get up by the grace of Jesus. The one who refuses the fallen the right to get up – and on the same level ground – is in far graver sin than he or she.  God forbid that we would be a stumbling block to someone’s restoration.

We are  not victims of the darkness. We are children of light, children of the Day, 1 Thessalonians 5:5 says. The difference between stumbling and falling is often the simple timing of our repentance. We don’t jump into a deep pit of sin. We take steps there. But, if we were to realize with that first or second step that we were already in trouble, we could repent right then. And we will have stumbled. But we will not have fallen.

Still, many will. And, by the power of Christ’s Cross and resurrection, each gets to grab hold of the hand of God and stand back up.

“The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when He delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand.” Psalm 37:23-24

I’ll end this with a cry to my sisters and brothers in Christ who are full of faith, believing voraciously in the power of the Word of God and for great works and wonders of the Holy Spirit in our day. Let’s tighten up our sanctification. Not our legalism, for the love of God. Our sanctification. Sanctification is a work of the Spirit and Truth, not of the law and the flesh. Let’s do some courageous self-examination and ask God to show us where we’re vulnerable to attack and where our feet are on the path toward a deep hole. Let’s shut illicit relationships down or they’ll shut us down. Let’s repent of our pride because it is the one guarantee of a pending fall. Let’s repent of our pretense. Let’s have the courage to face the brokenness in our lives and bring it without shame to Jesus. We can either deal with our stuff or I promise you our stuff will deal with us.

The enemy knows where we’re vulnerable. After thousands of years, he’s perfected his aim. He will not bother shooting many fiery darts where we are covered. He’s going for the bull’s eye, that glaring bald-spot where we refuse to come under the authority of Christ. We keep calling it a blind spot. Oh, we have blind spots alright but I don’t think they’re the biggest problem. We’re not blind to most of our disobedience and sin. We hope others are but we’re usually wide-eyed and well aware. It’s not a blind spot. It’s a bald-spot, uncovered because we so badly don’t want to give Jesus authority over it.

Here’s the thing. We who believe so much in the work of the Spirit in our day will be the biggest targets because the enemy knows the gates of hell cannot prevail against the church. He can’t make it go away. He can only scheme to make it ineffective. And all that takes is to ridicule us into quenching the Spirit. Without the Spirit, the body of Christ is a corpse.

There is refinement and revival on the horizon according to the Scriptures. I want to see it with my own eyes. I want to be part of it. I know you do, too. And we can. The burgeoning unpopularity of Christianity will prove over time to be purifying for us but God help us in the meantime. My plea this morning is that we open our eyes to the darkness coming for us. A tidal wave of seduction looms over us. We are being taken down behind the scenes by the thousands, feeling alone and isolated and having no idea how many are enduring the same kinds of suffering and defeat. Let’s come back together and get brushed off, cleaned up and educated in the Scriptures and fortified by the Spirit. Let’s own our brokenness, our enormous temptations and weaknesses and go back to the practice of true repentance and commit ourselves to the pursuit of sanctification. Let’s learn how to restore. Let’s learn how to recognize fruit of repentance. Let’s help each other back to our feet and learn how to stay on our feet.

Let’s be the Church, bruised but beautiful. Innocent as a dove. Wise as a serpent. Smart and humble.





106 Responses to “Burdened for us today”

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  1. 1
    Shelly Elston says:

    Thank you for this powerful reminder. May God be so near and fortify us in this work. xo

  2. 2
    Nancy Minor says:

    Beth thank you for your words of wisdom! I know the devil is attacking my family! Pray for me and my family! Thank you for writing Bible studies I have learned so much! Thank you for
    Letting me order your books and gifts for any amount! My husband has been unemployed since August! I just wanted you to know you have taught me Gods Word! Thank you Nancy Minor

  3. 3
    Courtney Burnside says:

    Thank You All, Love &Prayers xoxo cb

  4. 4
    Kimberly says:

    I wish I could find the words to express how meaningful this post is. There are none! However, I must tell you that this means more to me today than you could know. The power of those words give me hope and I desperately needed hope today! Thank you!

  5. 5
    Joan Meyer says:

    How wonderful to hear us called to repentance and to standing strong in His might and the precious powerful Word of God. So many are being deceived today with the new onslaught of a foreign religion being foisted upon us. We need to be able to sound a clear trumpet sound to those around us who are questioning and seeking. Bless you Beth for not being Luke warm!

  6. 6
    Lee Ann says:

    Wow! Just… wow! This may be my favorite thing ever written by you. There is some truth in this. Thank you so much for the reminder and this call to battle. Praise God we do not have to lie down in defeat!!

    Thank you, Beth, for loving us and pointing us to Jesus with truth!

  7. 7
    Joy Bishop says:

    Thank you, Beth! I have been preaching this very thing to my children, now adult parents themselves, since 1979. I was concerned then about them being prepared to STAND FIRM in and for their faith and be encouragers of others to do the same. Philippians has become a favorite for me and my life verse is Php. 1:6. I have recently added to that life verse – verse 29: “For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer fo Him, (30) since you aregoing through the same struggle you saw I (Paul) had, and now hear that I still have.” It is GRANTED like a favor to us to SUFFER. It is in suffering that we experience our most intimate fellowship with Christ, to KNOW HIM (Php. 3:10). While part of me dreads these last days events, and that dread slams me to my knees and face in prayer for the saints to be empowered, emboldened and faithful, I also look forward to the coming of my Lord.

  8. 8
    Stephani gree says:

    Wow..what a word..what a call. Thank you Beth for these insights (I believe are straight from the Holy Spirit)! Let’s get in our Bible and on our knees..in true repentance see who Christ is calling us to be.
    Love you Beth and thankfull for your servant heart.

  9. 9
    Paula says:

    Amen! Powerful! Lord, give me strength, discernment and wisdom to stop with the phony “comb over.”

  10. 10
    Sharon says:

    Spoken in truth and love “Sister” 🙂 Thank you, and I feel pressed to share it to some very special younger women in my life – so that they too will “hang on” regardless of the world around them and keep themselves real so that they can stand and be ready to help others to stand as well. Maybe a few young men as well. 🙂 May the LORD continue to bless you and use you in these days.

  11. 11
    Lori Englehardt says:

    Thank you for your wise and timely words this morning, Beth. I did so need to hear them, not only with my ears, but also my heart. Praying for forgiveness, strength, and wisdom right now! Asking our Good LoRD to help me take those first steps! Dear Jesus, I don’t know how You could possibly use someone like me for Your Glory, but I love You so much, and my heart is so willing, I just feel so weak and I am so sorry for that! I need You!!

  12. 12
    Mary Witt says:

    Awesome powerful word

  13. 13
    Abby says:

    Thank you! My prayer time has been challenged today to: persist, pursue, push through and believe!

  14. 14

    Thank you, Beth. Thank you for the reminder. Thank you for your faithful service to the Lord. Thank you for your ministry. Thank you for the warnings for us as Christians to stand firm on God’s truth. Thank you!

  15. 15
    Christine says:

    Very good and timely post. I have blogged about this same thing in two of my WordPress posts. Time is short and we must be vigilant to tear down every stronghold because satan is reinforcing them repeatedly. And it is going to get worse. If we are not prepared, if we don’t put the Armor of God on and keep it on, we will get slaughtered. Franklin Graham is doing a tour of every state in the country, bringing people to prayer. I feel strongly it is much like what the Old Testament prophets did. I feel like this is the final warning before things start to accelerate at an alarming rate. We must be prepared. We must be vigilant and we must be fearless in the face of deep darkness which will be marching across the earth. Time to stand up as the army of God against the army of darkness.

  16. 16
    Betty M says:

    I know I shared briefly with you at SSMT in January my grief with the pietist attitudes within the church. I have recently left a group that runs down everyone who does not share their beliefs which to me is nothing short of the Pharasees of Jesus time. The church is struggling with both liberal any sin goes ideas as well as nothing short of extreme legalism being the only way to go. Some of us who have faithfully worked within the church are being insulted and rediculed for being Goody Two Shoes and are being falsely accused as being above reproach. I have never felt a heavier heart than I have felt the past few months. Lets encourage each other. Beth I pray daily for your ministry and am so warmed in my heart of hearts that you and your staff pray also for us.
    It is tough out in these trenches. Being a Jesus follower is costing us more today than it did even five years ago. I loved Beth when you got on the blog on occasion with a short devo and prayer. You do not know how it helped me speak up for the Lord after I shut the computer dowh and saw my psychiatrst. It was chilling how bold I was in my faith. I know your time is so limited but we all need each other. Right now my computer is down,I do not have a smart phone and I can not get Periscope on my tablet. I am really lost!!!!!!!
    With much love and generous prayers,
    Betty M

  17. 17
    Vickie biggs says:

    Sis Beth, thank you so much for this word today. It confirms where my husband and I are going. We have been praying this very word for ourselves. We have been praying for sanctification, especially of our mouths. For God to show us where we need to repent and take responsibility for our sins. This is the truest word I have heard in a long time. Thank you for being the audacious person you are. Also I am doing your Bible study, Believing God…God’s timing! Blessings from God our Father! Vickie B

  18. 18
    Annette Greenwood says:

    What a blessing you are sweet sister. Allowing the Holy Spirit to use you in your writings to all you need to hear the word for such a time as this!!!!! Annette

  19. 19
    Phyllis says:

    Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2
    Siesta verse branded on my heart….and frequently on my lips and in my mind. Jesus. There is power in the name of Jesus!!!!

  20. 20
    Samantha says:

    Praise the Lord for the Word our Lord has given us through you. The apostasy that ravages our churches is heartbreaking. Thank you for continuing to be authentic to His word. Thank you for the challenge, each of us needs to be prayer for ourselves, our families and our churches and world.

  21. 21
    Maureen Chabot says:

    Well if you’re looking for an AMEN my sister…you have it!! Starting with me!! Thank you…love you!!

  22. 22
    Annette Baal says:

    Dear Lord Jesus Christ
    Keep us ever cleaving to You and to Your precious word. Help us to be lights for You right where we are. Keep us unshakeable!

  23. 23
    Pamela McDonald says:

    Oh my goodness!! Thank you for this timely post. This was no accident that I read this today….God’s perfect timing! Let us be vigilant.

  24. 24
    MK says:

    Amen! What a good word. Spiritual warfare is intense. But we can be victorious. Some days, like today, it doesn’t feel that way. But thank you for the encouragement to fall at the feet of Jesus and the cross and repent and repeat as often as necessary!

  25. 25
    Amy L. says:

    Yes. May God help us as the darkness closes in — thank you for being a steadying hand, dear Beth. What a glad and beautiful relief it is to the stand in the company of saints, seen and unseen.

  26. 26
    Tensie Palmer says:

    Thank you. Perfectly written, encouragement. We all thank you and God for this message.

  27. 27
    Deb says:

    Amen and Amen!!! Thank you, Beth.

  28. 28
    Vicki says:

    I needed to read these words today. No matter how busy we must be on guard.

  29. 29
    Tracy says:

    Thank you, Beth – such an inspired word from the Lord. I would love to see a teaching on “how to recognize the fruits of true repentance” sometime. Blessings.

  30. 30
    Emma says:

    Yes and amen!

    I belong to a congregation that is a blend of Messianic Jewish and the more mainstream gentile church. Most of us celebrate the Shabbat starting on Friday night (and how we do that varies by person/family). It is so fitting that this encouragement toward repentance and sanctification comes as the Shabbat is near. There’s nothing better than entering into a day of rest with the Lord with a clean heart and spirit. He can more easily fill us with more of His goodness if we’ve gotten some junk out of the way first. May each you have rest and peace this weekend. Shabbat Shalom!

  31. 31
    Abigail Dubbe says:

    I’m going through Priscilla Shirer’s Bible study, “The Armor of God” right now. I have been learning how to fight the enemy in prayer & through Scipture in a new way. I believe putting on the armor of God is going to set me free in ways I have never known. Repentance reaps freedom!!! Hallelujah!

  32. 32
    Sam says:

    I was just in the Armor of God Study and today I was on this topic of the enemy’s strategy. I love it when God does that! So cool. God has brought some wonderful women of Christ alongside me to help me get back on my feet! I thank Him for them. Now, I pray instead always needing the hand up, I can return the favor and be the hand extender.

  33. 33

    Very timely and encouraging. Thank you for sharing, Beth!!

  34. 34
    OraDell"Okie"Murray says:

    I am on my face & on my knees. My precious husband was diagnosed Dec.28,2015 with inoperable lung cancer. Beth, you prayed for him, Gerry Murray, at your son’s church in October, 2015, while we were at MD Anderson. We are all praying for the healing of this cancer, because nothing medically can be done, and we are expecting God to heal him. He says, “I will live.” Jesus never turned anyone down. Thank you.

  35. 35
    Colette says:

    AMEN!! We will keep fighting the good fight of Faith!

  36. 36
    Laura says:

    Beth, thank you for the words you wrote today…you can’t know how much truth you just spoke into my life today….it can only be Jesus….so thankful that HE NEVER LEAVES NOR FORSAKES US….thank you Beth, and thank YOU,LORD JESUS….

  37. 37
    K.Lee says:

    perhaps the infusion of exhortation we need is found in you newest book “Audacious” chapter 5. The power of the Gospel – His Love- when received fills us lavishly and in turn we pour it out. In perfect love we trust enough to repent.

  38. 38
    Joanna says:

    Thank you. It seems the Holy Spirit is speaking the same message to Christ-followers in these days. Just last week I said to my husband that I fear we are not stressing repentance in the plan of salvation as we teach & explain it to children. I am so grateful for grace, but the message of salvation has always included repentance. We must be careful to teach it, preach it, practice it. Thank you.

  39. 39

    Severe mercy. Help us, Jesus. Hide us in You and give us boldness to love the way You love.

  40. 40
    Mary in NH says:

    Amen! Good words, thanks again Beth.

  41. 41
    SandyT/kc says:

    Thanks Siesta! What a joy and privilege to make this journey together..all us Siestas! These are indeed perilous times…may we realize and demonstrate He is indeed GREATER STILL…love each other deeply…pray fervently, effectively, see Him accomplish/avail much in us, through us, around us!….❤️

  42. 42
    Michelle O'Banion says:

    I get it, I SO get it. And your witness, your teachings have done more for my faith, my ‘own witness’ to the truth – You are “so great a cloud of witness(es) [who have borne testimony to the Truth]”
    Hebrews 12:1 AMP

    We P r a i s e God that you’ve “gone before us” “for such a time as this” And we hold fast, we hold so fast — “because … to whom … would we go …?” …

    Thank You SO Much for this, WE LOVE YOU MISS BETH

  43. 43
    Claudia P Famer says:

    Thank you and may I keep my eyes on the Lord.

  44. 44
    Docena Moore says:

    Rev. 12:11-12 The blood of the Lamb & the Word of our testimonies overcome the enemy…
    God, through this blog today has brought us to repentance. All glory & praise to our God & Redeemer & Holy Spirit for hearing the cries of our hearts! Love you, Sister!!

  45. 45
    Judy Acker says:

    Thank you! This came at a perfect time for me. A comfrimation of what the Holy Spirit has been showing me.

  46. 46
    Karen says:

    Amen! I feel the need to pray all the more as the day approaches. Thank you for sharing your thoughts today!

  47. 47
    Amanda M. says:

    Dearest Beth,
    Thank you so much for this. It completely confirms everything that has been on my heart for the last few months. Also, it fits in with the family bible study my husband and I completed moments ago with our five children. Not only have you confirmed the message in my spirit, but given me such encouragement who we are in our Messiah and what we must be doing these last days, not only individually, but teaching our children so that they will not be fooled by our enemy.

  48. 48
    Amanda M. says:

    Dearest Beth,
    Thank you so much for this. It completely confirms everything that has been on my heart for the last few months. Also, it fits in with the family bible study my husband and I completed moments ago with our five children. Not only have you confirmed the message in my spirit, but given me such encouragement who we are in our Messiah and what we must be doing these last days, not only individually, but teaching our children so that they will not be fooled by our enemy. Seeing all the previous comments just goes to show that I’m not the only one whom is being nudged by the Spirit on this matter. He is raising up a great multitude during these final days. PRAISE THE LORD, FOR HE IS MIGHTY!

  49. 49
    Micki Schodowski says:

    Beth, Thanks so much for this word and reminder to be vigilant.
    I really wanted to thank you for the periscope on dread. I needed that so badly and it was totally God. Only the first time in months I checked twitter and God spoke directly to me. I will fight dread and win in Jesus name. Thank you for being vulnerable enough to share.

  50. 50
    Kristy says:

    Oh Beth. Thank you for this. Thankful we have such a forgiving Father. An important reminder, to believers who are tempted or who are being tempted, it is so important we keep that fire for Jesus in our hearts. For our loved ones, for the broken world so desperately in NEED of Jesus.. Keep that fire in us, that passionate love, joyous, fire. People notice this fire and want it. Keep that fire fuelled no matter how hard you are being tested, or how far you’ve drifted off track. I urge you to pray. A genuine, cry out, prayer. I urge you to spill out your questions, your thoughts, your misunderstandings. I urge you to come back to him. He gives us so much Grace. He covers up all sin. He forgives. He loves us way more than we think he does, so we must live for him. Everyday. It is not for us it is for him.

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