Encouraging One Another

We are living in an hour where the enemy is trying to isolate us from one another.
When there is not much interaction, people can feel very alone in their tests and trials.
The enemy loves to work in darkness and secrecy. He tells each one that “you are the
only one going through this, and that must be because you are a complete failure.
Everyone else is having great success and no problems.” He loves to torment the mind
in secrecy. However, when it is brought out into the light, we find out that there is
nothing new under the sun and he is using the same old tactics on everyone.

We are in a time of great apathy, backsliding, and many falling away. I know of so many
pastors facing this right now. People don’t seem to want to pray, be faithful in their
commitments, or even attend church regularly. There is an idependent attitude that
says, “I can serve God just as well, staying home.” It seems that if you don’t have a
gimmick, continually feed and clothe someone, or take care of their children, they don’t
see the importance of coming to church. I’ve talked to pastors very recently. These are
people I know. I know their work ethic, their love for The Lord and His Word, and their
love for His presence, and the moving of His Spirit. They have done countless soulwinning
campaigns, some have had soup kitchens, they have given and given, brought
traveling ministers in, tried discipleship programs, and still have very little to show for it.
These are called people, great preachers with great passion, good administrators, and
made to feel like they are doing something wrong.

I wonder how Jesus felt after three and one-half hears of hands-on training with his
disciples. One of them cussed, cut off the ears of people, and denied Him. This was
the disciple with some of the greatest promise. He walked on the water, seemed
fearless, received the revlation of who Jesus was, and was full of faith. Jesus’ trusted
financier sold Him for a little bit of nothing, betrayed Him with a kiss, and committed
suicide. Another one refused to believe anything after all the teaching about what faith
is. Several we never hear from again, and don’t know if they ever started a church or
did much of anything. They all scattered and ran in Jesus’ toughest hour when He
needed them most. At His most anguishing, and yet, most triumphant, moment on the
cross, He had little to show for his years of ministry training. He had only one out of
two thieves believe in Him, and a few women at the foot of the cross. This is how that
bunch looked, with Jesus as their pastor. I think Jesus was a good leader, don’t you?

We could look at Moses and the children of Israel and how they refused to believe.
They murmered, complained, refused to take the promised land, and rebelled. After
Moses interceded time and time again, they still refused to learn. They repeated the
process over and over again. When they wanted food and water, God, through Moses,
gave it to them. Then they accused Moses of bringing them out there to kill them. After
he intereded for them, they continued to accuse him and rebel against him. It seems,
people don’t learn to easily. Again, I believe that Moses was a great leader. No leader
can do it alone, however.

I don’t believe it is necessarily that we, as leaders, are doing something wrong. It is
important to continually examine ourselves, seek the Lord, and humble ourselves. We
need to remain teachable. That goes without saying. However, in this hour, it could
very well be that people, as a whole, are rebellious and independent and may have to
learn the hard way. We may be called to simply give them an opportunity that they will
have to give an account for, on that day. Meanwhile, how do we encourage ourselves
and one another?

Those of us with like - hearts must stick together. The religious will never walk together
with revivalists. Amos 3:3 - Can two walk together, except they be agreed? Do not
expect to get your encouragement from people who are not walking it out with you. Talk
to fellow revivalists, people who love His presence, and people who will not compromise
His Word or truth. We need each other. None of us are an island unto ourselves. We
need to talk on the phone, visit one another, and go to each other’s meetings when we
can. We must remember that we are not alone, in this. There is strength in numbers.
When we pray for one another, encourage one another, and run things by one another,
there is wisdom and encouragement. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Wherefore comfort
yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do”.

There are times right now, and more of them to come, where the outside world,
persecution, and so-called tolerance will be trying to destroy us. We must meet all the
more regularly together. We can draw strength from the added faith of others. The
disciples did this regularly, after they were threatened and beaten and commanded to
not use the name of Jesus anymore. (it seems like I am hearing a lot of talk these days
that sounds much like that). The Bible says in Acts. 4:23, “And being let go, they went
to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto
them”. We must have our own company. These are people who are persevearing like
us, refusing to compromise, contending for the move of The Spirit, and still believing
that the Word of God is our absolute.

Remember that we are not alone. First, He promises never to leave or forsake us.
Then, there is a great cloud of witnesses who are looking over the banister of heaven
and cheering us on. They finished their race in victory, and we must finish ours. We
have more than enough; His blood, His Word, His name, His Spirit, our weapons, the
innumerable angels, and one another.

We must learn to encourage ourselves in The Lord. David did that when all looked lost.
He commanded His soul to praise the Lord and to have courage. I have resolved my
soul to the fact that I will serve Him and give Him one hundred and ten percent, if I am
the last one doing it. I cannot wait for the others to catch hold before I make up my
mind if this is worth it or not. We sing the old song, “Though none go with me, still I will
serve Him.” Really? Do we believe that? I’ve come too far, to turn back now. What
about you? Come on, leaders, soul-winners, revivalists, people who still believe in
holiness, and those who know Him. Because He lives, I can face tomorrow. So can
you! He believes in you, and so do I. Let’s get up and swing the bat every which way
but loose.