This Day We Fight!

By Francis Frangipane

Scripture says that the Lord left nations in the promised land "to test Israel by them (that is, all who had not experienced any of the wars of Canaan); only in order that the generations of the sons of Israel might be taught war" (Judg. 3:1-2).

To complete our spiritual maturity, the Lord must "test" us with enemies; like Israel, we must be "taught war."

I realize that most of us prefer peace. Yes, as much as it depends on us, we should live at peace with all men (Rom. 12:18). Our fight is not against flesh and blood, but we are in a worldwide conflict with principalities and powers (see Eph. 6:12). You see, there is a "time for war" (Eccl. 3:8). As Christians, we must accept and adjust to this truth.

Unwavering Perseverance

By Francis Frangipane

If we are to succeed spiritually, among all the other necessary virtues we especially will need perseverance. We will need to learn not only how to fight but how to keep going in the fight until God brings the breakthrough. I am not talking about becoming carnal in our warfare or fleshly in our aggression. I am speaking about a combination of discernment, authority and unwavering faith that needs to live within us, even while other virtues and gifts develop.

It is not enough, you see, to know about God's Kingdom -- we are called to possess it. Yes, when we are born again, we are born into God's Kingdom. But the reality of being born of the Spirit means that a whole new realm of possibilities, challenges and obstacles now unfolds before us. In other words, we must overcome many things in order to function as sons and daughters of God. The idea that the only relationship we have with Heaven is the one we experience at death is simply contrary to the Word of God.

With Loud Crying and Tears

By Francis Frangipane

Some of us are too quiet in our prayer times. Face down does not mean quiet. I know there is a time for silent prayer, but it shouldn't be the norm. As Christians we must let ourselves feel the agony of the world around us. While our faith should never be based upon feelings, our capacity to empathize with another's loss or pain should be fully alive in us and compelling.

Satan wants us muted. He desires that our prayers degrade into quiet muttering, as though we are ashamed of saying out loud what is going on inside. Our needs demand, at times, that we have volume and substance in our prayer. Scripture says of Jesus that "In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety" (Heb 5:7).

Cleansing the Holy Place

By Francis Frangipane

Within every Christian there is a secret place, a sanctuary we must prepare for the Lord. This holy place is not unlike the Holy of Holies in the Jewish temple. Not until this place is cleansed will the Lord dwell with us in the fullness of His Spirit; not until this room is pure will we truly become a house for the Lord.

Bring Out the Unclean Thing
"And it was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ" (II Thess 2:14).

The Lord is cleansing us for the distinct purpose of bringing His people into His glory. Yes, out of His desire to present a pure bride to His Son, the Father is purging the church of its sin. He is refusing to allow our inter-church relationships to continue without love. According to the Scriptures, before Jesus returns, the body of Christ will be holy and blameless (see Eph 5:27; Titus 2:14; I Thess 5:23; Col 1:22; Phil 2:15; etc.). Through new and successive levels of purification, the house of the Lord will again receive and display the glory of God.

From Death to Christ

By Francis Frangipane

Jesus warned His disciples about His impending crucifixion. "One of you will betray Me," He said. Yet, instead of turning to God in humble introspection, an argument actually arose among the disciples as to which one was the greatest. Jesus, who sees both the natural and spiritual realms, addressed Peter (who evidently "won" the argument): "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers" (Lk 22: 31-32).

This text reveals a profound insight into why the Lord allows battles in our lives. Jesus knows that His disciples are going to fail Him. Yet, think of this: He does not pray that His followers not experience failure. Instead, prays, that their faith not fail. Jesus did not ask that God would keep Peter from battle, but that Peter would come through the battle into a greater spiritual place.