Hello, my friends and co-labourers in the kingdom of God. How did you fare in the last month? Are you creating the space to reflect on who you are, whose you are, and the kingdom mission to which you are called to? Tomorrow will not repeat itself but praise God we have today and all our tomorrows. I have been doing some self-reflection myself even as I round up this series that I began at the beginning of this year – The Last Days Church. This is the final episode of the series and I encourage you to listen to the past episodes and share them with your community of faith. I believe it is a timely message and a wake-up call to us as the body of Christ. I will not recap as I typically do but will pick up from where I stopped on the last podcast, which was the reminder that God has called us to be priests and kings who reign in life. To reign in life, we will have to embrace the thinking that allows us to truly reign in life. The Bible says in Proverbs 23:7 that ‘as a man thinks in his heart, so is he’ – your imagination or hope or expectation prepares your future. 

In past episodes, we saw that God has called us to be the Church or in the Greek the Ekklesia – a ruling class. We are also called to be Christians or the Christ-like ones; called to be signs and wonders to our generation, the mark and proof that God is, and kings and priests who reign in life. Today let’s look at a few more attributes of the last days' church. We are called to be champions. We are champions because we always triumph and that should be our mindset when faced with persecution.  2 Corinthians 2:14 says, Now, thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of His knowledge by us in every place. Not sometimes, but always we triumph. The Message translation of that scripture says, ‘In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade’. That is powerful. As far as God is concerned, no battle we face is over, at least, not until we win. He does not have a ‘win a few, lose a few’ mentality. The word ‘quit’ should not exist in a Christian’s vocabulary. Isaiah 54:17 promises that no weapon fashioned against you or I can prosper or succeed. 

Understand this, though you are born a champion, champions are not created overnight. David was anointed king as a young shepherd boy. But he did not become king immediately. He stayed faithful to where he was, caring for the sheep until King Saul sent for him. He did not get discouraged by his brothers who did not think much of him nor did he get distracted. He maintained focus. Why? There are no shortcuts to victory. Rather there is training and there are challenges and there is persecution. There is that word again - persecution. It is the challenges and persecution that you face that cause the victor in you to emerge. I like how Jesse Duplantis puts it. He said that it took Goliath to make David a king, not God. Your adversity is designed to be the stepping-stone to your greatest victory. Don’t quit in the face of persecution or adversity. When the people of Israel were stuck between Pharaoh’s army and the sea; things looked impossible, and they panicked and cried out against Moses. God was aware before they were that the Red Sea was there. He did not say, ‘aw shucks I forgot about this sea’. Psalm 77:19-20 states, ‘Your road led through the sea, your pathway through the mighty waters -a pathway no one knew was there!  You led your people along that road like a flock of sheep, with Moses and Aaron as their shepherds. 
The sea was part of God’s plan that He had kept in reserve for when Israel needed it. God is not surprised with what you are going through. That hard road of persecution is also your road of victory. He has already equipped you and determined your pathway to victory for you. You don’t choose your path you discover or find it by the Holy Spirit. This is why you have to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. There is a path out of debt; there is a path to that business venture; there is a path to restoration of that relationship. Don’t quit. Listen to this scripture - Psalm 84:5-7 “Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baka, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion”.
The valley of Baca means the valley of tears or the valley of sorrow. The amplified version of that scripture says, ‘from strength to strength increasing in victorious power’.  Champions don’t quit and they don’t compromise. This is how champions attract and influence the world. Because people look at you and think, if God did it for you maybe He will do it for them. David attracted 400 distressed (under great pressure or stress), discontented, and in debt men. Distressed means under great pressure or stress (1 Samuel 22). And these men became his mighty men. 

You are also the light of the world. Matthew 5:14 -16 (NASB) states, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven. This scripture says we are the light of the world and a city set on a hill. When God calls us the Ekklesia and then says we are the light of the world and a city set on the hill, that shows that God never intended for the church to be a quietly hidden body of believers. We are to be His voice and we are to be seen. What is light? It is the opposite of darkness and it causes people to see. This scripture says our light shines so that they, the world, see our good works and God is glorified.  Our works - our deeds, our actions or activities – all should persuade men. This is lifestyle evangelism or the ministry of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19, states, ‘All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 

We are not all called to the five-fold ministry gifts, but we are all called to be the light of the world and to reconcile the world to God. We can reconcile people to God by persuading people as Paul did in Acts 17:16-17. Not arguing but setting out the Word in a way they can understand. We can reconcile the world to God when they see how we live. Jesus told the mad man of the Gadarenes to go home and tell what great things the Lord has done and how He has had compassion on him (Mark 5:18-20). Our service to our church, to our community, on our job, is also a witness. Dorcas in Acts 9:36 was said to have been ‘full of good works and charitable deeds. Can anyone say the same about you? The final way we reconcile the world to God is by invitation. The Samaritan woman at the well in John 4 went to her whole city and invited them to come to see the Messiah (John 4:30). We should all be engaging in all these forms of evangelism as a lifestyle.

We are also called to be peculiar God-indwelt people. 2 Peter 1:4 says, ‘For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust’.
1 Peter 2:9 says, ‘But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. You and I are a "habitation of God" (Ephesians 2:22) and "the temple of the Holy Ghost" (1 Corinthians 6:19). Each of us has the same Spirit and glory that once dwelt in the Ark of the Covenant, the same divine Presence that met with the high priest of Israel at the mercy seat. The question is, ‘what does God want to do now that He's living inside us?’. The answer? The same thing He did through Jesus and the first apostles. He wants to show Himself to people through us. He wants to do good to everyone. He wants to heal the sick through our hands. He wants to speak His Word through our mouths. He wants to love people through our hearts and actions. He wants us to let Him be God on the earth.

We are different, and it is okay to be different. This is not about acting religious or goofy but being spiritually attractive. The story of our lives has to be compelling, and our life experience has to be undergirded with the manifestation of the blessing. When the economy gets tougher, they should see us prosper. The world should see us live an uncompromising Christian life and flourish. We have to be able to give them the answers to their life issues. God has also called us to be holy and this means we are to be separate. Separated for God’s use. This does not mean we cannot enjoy the clean things of this world as long as we are not being influenced by the world. However, our focus should be on living right and not on avoiding sin. Right focus, right results. We want to be righteousness-conscious. Use discretion, common sense, the word of God, and most importantly the leading of the Holy Spirit to judge all things. Let your motive be the kingdom, reconciliation of people to God and that motive will guide your decisions. If your motive is just you, your family, your bank account, even your ministry – you will lose your bearing sooner or later and will end up in compromise.

Let Jesus be to you, both Saviour and Lord. Every part of your life where Jesus is not Lord, there is an idol. Lordship means we are surrendered to His will and to His way. It is about a heart and life of obedience. John 17:4 (Message) shows us that lordship means we obey and complete to the last detail every assignment God has for us; whether in ministry or in the marketplace. God will not hold you accountable for all you did. He will hold you accountable for what He planned for you to do. For Jesus to be Lord indeed in our lives we must be open to correction and be teachable. God’s correction is to prune us to bear much fruit. When we are not teachable, we cannot be corrected and our ability to bear fruit is impaired. The correction for compromise is sound doctrine. This is part of why scripture admonishes that we must not forsake the gathering together of brethren. Some of you have stopped going to church maybe, due to COVID or persecution or disappointment. Whatever the reason, think of Paul and Silas. When they were released from jail, the Bible said they went to their own company. You have a company - the household of faith. They may not be perfect, but they are your company. When correction comes, it comes through submission to the Lordship of Jesus and to the authorities He has placed in our lives including our company of faith.  Surrendering to the Lordship of Jesus is about humility and remember, God gives grace to the humble and resists the proud.
I also want you to consider the present-day ministry of the Holy Spirit to the Church. We need to develop hearing the Holy Spirit clearly and in every situation. When we listen to and obey the Holy Spirit, we will always be in the right place at the right time, and we will be partakers of the blessing. He leads us into the will of God and into the blessing. Don’t lead yourself, let the Holy Spirit lead you. When you lead yourself, you end up birthing an Ishmael like Abraham and Sarah. Ishmael was not the son of promise, he was a compromise. Ishmael was born after the flesh and Isaac was born of promise. Do you know that it took 13 years for God to revisit the issue of Isaac after Ishmael? When you believe God for something, wait. It will come. The entire time you are waiting, God is working behind the scenes. Don’t compromise. Don’t give up.
The Holy Spirit is the great Revelator and when we walk with Him He reveals the scriptures to us. When we operate in revelation knowledge the gates of hell cannot prevail against us. The Holy Spirit is called the Paraclete or Parakletos in Greek. That word when translated shows the seven-fold ministry of the Holy Spirit – Strengthener, Comforter, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Teacher, Standby. This seven-fold ministry is available to each of us. Ephesians 5:18 instructs us to be filled with the Holy Spirit. The literal Greek translation means ‘to be filled and keep on being filled’.  It is not a one-time thing but a continual lifestyle.

Know your weapons.

You must also be aware that you are called to fight the good fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12). You are a warrior, and every good warrior should be skilled in his weapons. One weapon is speaking in tongues. Speaking in tongues is not just to show you are a Christian. Pray in the spirit and say amen because the Spirit of God takes hold with you in the place of prayer and prays God’s will. This is better than praying what you know which is limited. Another weapon is the name of Jesus. The Bible says that at the name of Jesus every knee must bow. Also, the word of God is our weapon, and it is described as the sword of the Spirit. A sword is to fight. Train yourself with these tools. Your expertise in using them will serve you well when you are faced with persecution. Our example is the Apostle Paul who faced severe persecution. But even in prison, he did not relent; rather he wrote letters by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. We have the same Holy Spirit he had. In one of his letters to his son in the faith, Timothy, he admonished Timothy to endure hardness like a good soldier. When persecution comes, don’t cave in but endure hardness. Warriors and soldiers are always training and preparing even in times of peace. In a time of peace, we prepare for war.  
Stop being on the defensive and get on the offensive. 

What are the qualities of warriors? 1 Chronicles 12: talks about the mighty men of David and how they could use both their left and right hands. Jerry Savelle says the Lord explained that to him to mean that they were adaptable. There are times God will call you to do different things. Be ready. Verse 8 says they had faces of lions (to me that means they looked courageous, bold, and determined); and were as swift as the roes (effective, confident of the actions to take, not lazy, laidback). Verse 32 says they were understanding of the times – wise, following the leading of God/Holy Spirit. Verse 33 Were not of double heart – that means no compromise and they were unwavering. Shammah who is mentioned in 2 Samuel 23:11, was also one of David’s mighty men. He defended a field of lentils. It did not seem like much, but the Philistines were trespassing, and he would not stand for it. it was his and he took it back. He did not say it is not a place of consequence; it’s no big deal. Those areas that don’t seem significant sometimes are where the enemy mounts pressure to gain entrance into the believer’s life. Shammah would not yield any ground to the enemy – no compromise.

In conclusion, lets’ look at the words of Jesus to the Church at Philadelphia in Revelation 3:10-13. This church was faithful and uncompromising. Verse 10 – ‘you have kept my word and not denied my name’ - keeping the Word means doing the word consistently and the Word was active and alive in their lives. If you want the will of God for your life you only need to do one thing, be a consistent doer of the Word. 

Listen, He will come quickly, and we need to live ready for the coming of the Lord. Live with the assurance daily in your heart that if Jesus were to come right now, He would find you ready. Keep the smell and the stain of the world of your life daily and weed the garden of your heart constantly.

Until next time, the Lord watch between us. 
Ayodola and the W2NM Team