Matthew 9: 36-38 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.
Eastside Mission had it’s kick-off community block party outreach yesterday. I must say it was absolutely amazing to be back on the streets after 8 months of “being still” and waiting on God. During the 8 months God was growing, stretching and preparing us as He was about to expand our borders. After 4 years of inner city street ministry on Main Street in Hamilton we thought God had really given us a HUGE mission field. Now, reflecting back we realize that was our time of preparation.
Back to yesterday, we had all kinds of fun activities for our introduction into the neighborhood. Pastor Felix and I spent the time by getting to know our neighbors, meeting their families and talking about their needs and the community needs. At one point, I remember standing a midst all the busyness of serving and lovin’ on people I had a count of 175 people that we were blessed to serve this day. We have approximately 1700 people within immediate radius, we passed out 560 total flyers and served 175 men, women and children. As I’m standing there and process all of the conversations I was having, watching the kids playing I am feeling overwhelmed with all the needs. Trust me, the needs in this area are many! As we suspected there is a lot of heroin and addicted mommies and daddies. Many generations living together in small houses and not being able to make the ends meet.
For some time leading up to the kick-off and even more today we have been posting pictures, sharing needs, asking for volunteers and I’m starting to feel myself getting stressed about how in the world are we going to accomplish this. This is 4x what we did and served over on Main Street. God what in the world are you thinking? So as I’m starting into that familiar tailspin I pick up my bible and I start reading about Jesus going into a city and Him telling the disciples that the harvest is plenty but the laborers are few. Man God is so awesome 2,000 years ago He knew that there would be a great need for workers in the harvest field. God knows we are facing many needs financial, volunteers, supplies, etc. but God ALSO knows that the laborers are few; therefore, as He is guiding me in His word to ask Him to send out workers into His harvest field. Because bottom line – He has given Pastor Felix and I the charge of stewardship over this mission and building His church among these un-reached people and whether He sends us 2 or 20 we are going to praise Him, serve others and glorify our God as we pray for God to send the laborers. Won’t you take a minute and join us in praying for this harvest field and the workers to serve in it!! God might also be calling you to take a step out, he may be calling you to step outside of the church you are comfortable in with the friends and family you love and do some water walking!
I am more and more convinced that satan has stepped up his game in his attack on God’s people. In the last few months we have seen dedicated followers of Christ become trapped and devoured by satan.
Satan is roaming the earth looking to destroy the testimony of every believer. So why are so many dedicated followers of Jesus Christ falling to his attacks? Satan is given only a limited time on earth to wreak havoc and as we know he also knows his time is drawing closer to an end. Jesus Christ is coming back to claim His rightful place on this earth so satan wants to disarm Jesus’ followers and he’s heavily armed and coming at us full force. I believe in today’s culture we are on the battlefield without taking the time daily to arm ourselves. We are so busy with our lives; our overtime work schedule, running the kids to all of their sporting events, hitting every social gathering we can squeeze in until at the end of our day we are collapsing from all the things, pleasures and “self-made” duties. We are not giving our day over to God and that is when Satan dips in to destroy us but he can only destroy us if he catches us off guard.
If you look around at our current state today you will see that we are living in the times that 2 Timothy 3:15 describes. And because we are a people that are lovers of ourselves, disobedient, ungrateful, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control we are being caught off guard.
If we are going to arm ourselves for battle and become foot soldiers of Jesus Christ we need to first put on the armor of God as Ephesians 6:10-17 tells us. A final word: Be strong in the Lord in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Then we must commit ourselves to living out 2 Peter 1:3 -10. By His divine power (not ours but His), God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires. (now check this out) In view of all of this, make EVERY effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.
So with that being said if you read in verse 8 you will see that the more you grow in these things the better off you will be.
Today we must, “ Submit yourselves therefore to God resist the devil and he will flee. James 4:7”. Are you hearing me here? SUBMIT YOURSELVES TO GOD!!!! We can’t be submitted to God only on Sunday’s or days that it doesn’t interfere with our schedules. We must SUBMIT OURSELVES TO GOD every single hour of every single day.
So let’s back up and look at James 4:1-6. What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong – you want only what will give you pleasure. You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. What do you think the Scriptures mean when they say that the spirit God has placed within us is filled with envy? But he gives us even more grace to stand against such evil desires. As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but favors the humble.” In a nutshell drop your fleshly pride and put your desires away.
To remove yourself from the worldly influence – You must change people, places and playgrounds. You must surround yourself with godly people. Listen, the Holy Spirit leads and guides and convicts us so the Holy Spirit will let us know when we are getting into a red zone which would be an area of temptation that at this point in our walk we could potentially fall to. So bottom line is until the Holy Spirit says you are strong enough in Christ to resist the former temptations it’s best to stay away from those places and playgrounds. Don’t let your pride of thinking you can handle it overrule the Holy Spirits warning.
We are bought by the blood of Jesus Christ so satan has NO right to come into our surroundings but if we have a weak spot he will most definitely dip his foot inside. Now this does not happen overnight he is walking about and planning his attack. We must stop being complacent and dig into His word daily – gain knowledge and pray for wisdom; my friends don’t be caught without knowledge. We have got to fill every part of our being with God’s word. Hide it in our hearts, have it always on our lips and filled in our minds.
Have you ever heard the saying “kick us when where down” well that is satan. He will come in at our weakest point and throw those deadly darts right into us and trust me friends there are no rules and he holds nothing back. We may not plan to fall away but we are certainly not doing everything we can to “resist” the devil.
Arm yourself for battle, spend every minute possible in his word because we are in the devils playground and we must meet him head on and with God’s power and authority we can overcome. But we do have responsibility. Be wise my friends.