[shoulders] SHOULDER TO SHOULDER #356 ---- 10/04/04

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From: "Bob Tolliver" <lifeunlimited@...>
Date: Mon, 4 Oct 2004 12:18:36 +0300
Standing Shoulder To Shoulder Together As 
We Fight the Good Fight of Faith

A personal letter of encouragement to You, written solely to "lift up hands that hang down".

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SHOULDER TO SHOULDER #356 ---- 10/04/04

Title:  "The March Into Battle -- (Part Six)"
                "Warfare's Motive ---- People"



My Dear Friend:

It's hard to believe time is flying so fast.  October has arrived, and Jo Ann and I find ourselves with only three Sundays remain where we'll be able to attend International Church before the end of the year.  Our travel schedule takes us to western Ukraine for a week-end conference just a week and a half from now, then we travel to Italy for another two conferences before returning to Kiev for ten days.  Then we fly to the States where we will remain until after the first of January.

It's hard to believe there is so much to do before we leave, and also after we arrive there.  Our first two trips are for conferences that relate to our work here in Kiev.  Our trip to the States is supposed to be a combination of vacation and missions mobilization speaking engagements, but it appears the vacation side of it will be more incidental than intentional.  We arrive stateside around November 11th and three days later have our first of at least eleven speaking engagements within the next four weeks . . . with others pending.  We anticipate probably twenty or more such meetings before Christmas.

This trip is a "head hunter" trip as well, for we will be looking for churches and individuals who have a heart for missions and are looking for opportunities to be involved.  We'll be "head hunting" for all sorts of people . . . . goers, senders, givers, intercessors.  It takes all kinds for missions, and we'll be looking for them all.



VERY REAL AND VERY BIG:

Two things are becoming increasingly clear to us in recent months, as we've observed the increasing chaos and confusion of both nations and nature.  Sometimes we look at these observations and see them only through human eyes, failing to recognize the spiritual significance they have.  We see the starving millions in Sudan, we see the devastating hurricanes that killed thousands in the Caribbean and southeastern U.S., we see the terrorists bombs in Spain and Indonesia and India, we see the destructiveness of war being fought in Afghanistan and Iraq . . . . and we just shake our heads in disbelief and sadness . . . . or disgust.

Earthquakes in California and China, hurricanes in Florida, volcanic eruptions in Washington State, floods in Haiti.  Yesterday a friend sent me an interesting map of the U.S. with the heading, "Enough Is Enough!"  At first glance you don't notice anything.  Then, as you look more closely, you realize that the familiar coastline of Florida is missing from its usual place.  With careful scrutiny, you'll discover that Florida has moved and is nestled neatly between the Dakota's and Montana and Wyoming with Canada to its north.

It would be nice if we could escape in such a way.

Unfortunately, many believers do just that in order to avoid the battles of life.  But, . . . there's nowhere to hide from the natural disasters, man-made conflicts, and demonic battle lines of war.  We are watching before our very eyes the rapid development of everything that scripture has predicted for centuries.  We see the rise of conditions described by Daniel and other Old Testament prophets.  We see the fulfillment of prophesies Jesus Himself made.  We see the catastrophes of John's Revelation unfolding before us.

The question I have, though, is this:

Is any of this having any serious effect on the way we live as Christians?  Oh, I know . . . we can rush to another land with care packages, and we can send in mobilization teams after the fact, . . . but does it do anything to our hearts that causes us to take action for the souls of men?  Has it occurred to us that we indeed are living in the final throes of this world system as we know it?  Do we simply wring our hands as we watch "perilous times" come upon us like an unstoppable Tsunami?  Do we try to simply save ourselves and flee to higher ground?

What about the others?

If we are not willing to change, why should we expect others to change?

So, in light of all of this, spiritual warfare takes on a different hue.  We soon realize that the real motive for spiritual warfare is Not to defeat Satan and all his demons.  Rather, it is to liberate the souls of fallen humanity held captive by the thief and arch enemy of our God.  So, when we seek to break curses, sever sin lines, tear down strongholds, cast out demons, or break through the layered clouds of spiritual oppression, it's important that we remember the real motive.  Don't confuse the method with the motive.  Always remember "Why".

To be totally honest, I despise spiritual warfare.  It is exhausting, it is tiring, it is debilitating, . . . it is the last thing I want to do.

But, . . . it is the first thing I Must do after my time in the presence of my Lord and King.  

It's not the survival of the planet that should motivate us.  It's not the cry for peace that should drive us.  It's not the suffering of humanity that should urge us on.

It's the salvation of spiritually imprisoned and condemned people doomed for eternal darkness . . . unless something is done.



WARFARE'S MOTIVE:

This morning, intending to write about something else, I ran across Greg Gordon's current SermonIndex article that arrived in my e-mail during the night.  Today he features the famed Charles Finney by posting his powerful treatise, "Power From On High: Preacher, Save Thyself!".

If there was ever anything that would remind us of the true motive for spiritual warfare, it is this article.  When you read it, you will probably feel as if a great volley of arrows has been launched against you.  Even before they arrive, you know that it's likely at least one of them will find its mark . . . . you.

Finney, clearly inspired by the Holy Spirit, launches a volley of sixty-four arrows pointed toward the real motive for spiritual warfare.  Some have hit me directly.  My shield of self preservation, comfort, and lethargy could not deflect them all.  

The same may happen to you.

Come to think of it, . . . . maybe the real battle in spiritual warfare is within our own hearts.  It's pretty likely that if we can win the battle in here, we'll be ready to win the battle out there.

Read on . . . . if you dare.

-------------------------

Power From On High - Preacher, Save Thyself
by Charles Finney

"Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine, continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee." I Timothy 4:16. I am not going to preach to preachers, but to suggest certain conditions upon which the salvation promised in this text may be secured by them. 

1st. See that you are constrained by love to preach the gospel, as Christ was to provide a gospel. 

2nd. See that you have the special enduement of power from on high, by the baptism of the Holy Ghost. 

3rd. See that you have a heart, and not merely a head call to undertake the preaching of the gospel. By this I mean, be heartily and most intensely inclined to seek the salvation of souls as the great work of life, and do not undertake what you have no heart to. 

4th. Constantly maintain a close walk with God. 

5th. Make the Bible your book of books. Study it much, upon your knees, waiting for divine light. 

6th. Beware of leaning on commentaries. Consult them when convenient; but judge for yourself, in the light of the Holy Ghost. 

7th. Keep yourself pure in will, in thought, in feeling, in word and action. 

8th. Contemplate much the guilt and danger of sinners, that your zeal for their salvation may be intensified. 

9th. Also deeply ponder and dwell much upon the boundless love and compassion of Christ for them. 

10th. So love them yourself as to be willing to die for them. 

11th. Give your most intense thought to the study of ways and means by which you may save them. Make this the great and intense study of your life. 

12th. Refuse to be diverted from this work. Guard against every temptation that would abate your interest in it. 

13th. Believe the assertion of Christ that He is with you in this work always and everywhere, to give you all the help you need. 

14th. "He that winneth souls is wise"; and "If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not, and he shall receive." But let him ask in faith." Remember, therefore, that you are bound to have the wisdom that shall win souls to Christ. 

15th. Being called of God to the work, make your calling your constant argument with God for all that you need for the accomplishment of the work. 

16th. Be diligent and laborious, "in season and out of season." 

17th. Converse much with all classes of your hearers on the question of their salvation, that you may understand their opinions, errors, and wants. Ascertain their prejudices, ignorance, temper, habits, and whatever you need to know to adapt your instruction to their necessities. 

18th. See that your own habits are in all respects correct; that you are temperate in all things--free from the stain or smell of tobacco, alcohol, drugs, or anything of which you have reason to be ashamed, and which may stumble others. 

19th. Be not "light-minded," but "set the Lord always before you." 

20th. Bridle your tongue, and be not given to idle and unprofitable conversation. 

21st. Always let your people see that you are in solemn earnest with them, both in the pulpit and out of it; and let not your daily intercourse with them nullify your serious teaching on the Sabbath. 

22nd. Resolve to "know nothing" among your people "save Jesus Christ and Him crucified"; and let them understand that, as an ambassador of Christ, your business with them relates wholly to the salvation of their souls. 

23rd. Be sure to teach them as well by example as by precept. Practice yourself what you preach. 

24th. Be especially guarded in your intercourse with women, to raise no thought or suspicion of the least impurity in yourself. 

25th. Guard your weak points. If naturally tending to gaiety and trifling, watch against occasions of failure in this direction. 

26th. If naturally somber and unsocial, guard against moroseness and unsociability. 

27th. Avoid all affectation and sham in all things. Be what you profess to be, and you will have no temptation to "make believe." 

28th. Let simplicity, sincerity, and Christian propriety stamp your whole life. 

29th. Spend much time every day and night in prayer and direct communion with God. This will make you a power for salvation. No amount of learning and study can compensate for the loss of this communion. If you fail to maintain communion with God, you are "weak as another man." 

30th. Beware of the error that there are no means of regeneration, and, consequently, no connection of means and ends in the regeneration of souls. 

31st. Understand that regeneration is a moral, and therefore a voluntary change. 

32nd. Understand that the gospel is adapted to change the hearts of men, and in a wise presentation of it you may expect the efficient cooperation of the Holy Spirit. 

33rd. In the selection and treatment of your texts, always secure the direct teaching of the Holy Spirit. 

34th. Let all your sermons be heart and not merely head sermons. 

35th. Preach from experience, and not from hearsay, or mere reading and study. 

36th. Always present the subject which the Holy Spirit lays upon your heart for the occasion. Seize the points presented by the Holy Spirit to your own mind, and present them with the greatest possible directness to your congregation. 

37th. Be full of prayer whenever you attempt to preach, and go from your closet to your pulpit with the inward groanings of the Spirit pressing for utterance at your lips. 

38th. Get your mind fully imbued with your subject, so that it will press for utterance; then open your mouth, and let it forth like a torrent. 

39th. See that "the fear of man that bringeth a snare" is not upon you. Let your people understand that you fear God too much to be afraid of them. 

40th. Never let the question of your popularity with your people influence your preaching. 

41st. Never let the question of salary deter you from "declaring the whole counsel of God, whether men will hear or forbear." 

42nd. Do not temporize, lest you lose the confidence of your people, and thus fail to save them. They cannot thoroughly respect you, as an ambassador of Christ, if they see that you dare not do your duty. 

43rd. Be sure to "commend yourself to every man's conscience in the sight of God." 

44th. Be "not a lover of filthy lucre." 

45th. Avoid every appearance of vanity. 

46th. Compel your people to respect your sincerity and your spiritual wisdom. 

47th. Let them not for one moment suppose that you can be influenced in your preaching by any considerations of salary, more or less, or none at all. 

48th. Do not make the impression that you are fond of good dinners, and like to be invited out to dine; for this will be a snare to you, and a stumbling-block to them. 

49th. Keep your body under, lest after having preached to others, yourself should be a castaway. 

50th. "Watch for souls as one who must give an account to God." 

51st. Be a diligent student, and thoroughly instruct your people in all that is essential to their salvation. 

52nd. Never flatter the rich. 

53rd. Be especially attentive to the wants and instruction of the poor. 

54th. Suffer not yourself to be bribed into a compromise with sin by donation parties. 

55th. Suffer not yourself to be publicly treated as a mendicants or you will come to be despised by a large class of your hearers. 

56th. Repel every attempt to close your mouth against whatever is extravagant, wrong, or injurious amongst your people. 

57th. Maintain your pastoral integrity and independence, lest you sear your conscience, quench the Holy Spirit, forfeit the confidence of your people, and lose the favor of God. 

58th. Be an example to the flock, and let your life illustrate your teaching. Remember that your actions and spirit will teach even more impressively than your sermons. 

59th. If you preach that men should offer to God and their neighbor a love service, see that you do this yourself, and avoid all that tends to the belief that you are working for pay. 

60th. Give to your people a love service, and encourage them to render to you, not a money equivalent for your labor, but a love reward that will refresh both you and them. 

61st. Repel every proposal to get money for you or for Church purposes that will naturally disgust and excite the contempt of worldly but thoughtful men. 

62nd. Resist the introduction of tea parties, amusing lectures, and dissipating sociables, especially at those seasons most favorable for united efforts to convert souls to Christ. Be sure the devil will try to head you off in this direction. When you are praying and planning for a revival of God's work, some of your worldly Church members will invite you to a party. Go not, or you are in for a circle of them, that will defeat your prayers. 

63rd. Do not be deceived. Your spiritual power with your people will never be increased by accepting such invitations at such times. If it is a good time to have parties, because the people have leisure, it is also a good time for religious meetings, and your influence should be used to draw the people to the house of God. 

64th. See that you personally know and daily live upon Christ. 



FINALLY:    

Well, friend, if you've survived that volley, join me in repenting for everything of which we were convicted, accept God's merciful forgiveness, allow His soothing Balm to heal the wounds, and then let's refocus on the real reason we do battle against the spiritual darkness in the heavens.

Seeking and Saving the Lost.

In His Bond, For His Kingdom, and By His Power,

Bob Tolliver -- Psalm 2:8
Copyright October, 2004
Life Unlimited Ministries
  lifeunlimited@...
  http://www.hope4kiev.org/team/members.asp?ID=10 (Personal ministry)
  http://community.webshots.com/user/01lum for our pix albums.
  www.praykiev.org for our city-wide prayer movement.

If this letter has blessed you, feel free to forward it, with proper credits, to any and all you wish.

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REMEMBER ---- "We will not Work where we have not prayed."  (Todd Golden)

May I Recommend . . . .

If you have a heart for God and would like to be encouraged in your life and ministry, 
    and you have a burden for your church, your community, and the world, 
    then you may want to receive . . .
http://www.answersingenesis.org/ ---- one of the best Creation websites I've ever seen.
http://frangipane.org ---- for excellent brief words of encouragement from 
    one of America's premier evangelical writers/thinkers.
www.jfloydministries.org ---- great website for dealing with hurts and wounds through forgiveness.
www.cnsnews.com for daily world news without a liberal, godless bias.
www.worldprayerteam.org ---- A world-wide network for praying together.
www.watchword.org ---- excellent resources on revival, prayer, missions.
www.waymakers.org ---- resources on prayer, evangelism, etc.
www.operationiraqcare.org ---- To adopt and pray for a special historic city in Iraq.
http://www.nppn.org ---- "National Pastors' Prayer Network" newsletter.  ~  
    email: phil@....  Register your PPG: http://www.nppn.org/ppg/ .
Usprayercenter@... ---- U. S. World Prayer Center.
www.LifeAction.org ---- "Life Action Outreach".
www.missionamerica.org ---- "Mission America" .

Other Great Resources Are:
www.sermonindex.net for access to over 3900 downloadable audio sermons.  Exceptional site.
www.biblemaster.com for great Bible resources and downloads.  Exceptional site.
www.e-sword.net (one of the best free download Bible study site I've ever seen!)
http://www.discipleshipdirect.com/ for new and fresh evangelism & discipleship materials.
http://associate.com/camsoc/ctt/"Christian Communications Toolkit" (using internet wisely) 
http://www.associate.com/camsoc/crop/software.html#freewin. Free software or shareware listings, 
www.associate.com/camsoc/crs/ for church related software from CAMSOC.
    To subscribe to CAMSOC update newsletter, go to grga@....
http://www.christiangraphicdesign.com/premierinfo.htm  Thousands of Free Christian graphics.

Online Resources on Ukraine are . . . .
   www.uazone.net
   www.relc.com/kiev/index.htm
   www.travel.kyiv.org/map/e_kyiv.htm
   www.mindspring.com/~goliath74/kiev.html
   www.ukraineinfo.us
  http://www1.excite.com/travel/travelguide/destination/0,20310,europe-550,00.html

Secular News on Kiev and Ukraine will give you interesting views at . . .
   www.kyivweekly.com
   www.kievpost.com
   www.ukrainenews.com 
   www.ukraine-observer.com




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