By Ryan Shaw
We are living in an extraordinary hour in the history of the church and the mission movement. The light of the love of Jesus is shining in many places in the earth. Many missiologists believe that we have all the tools necessary to see the literal fulfillment of the Great Commission in our lifetime.
Yet we also know that darkness is simultaneously increasing. The enemy seems to have turned up the heat and the level of intensity related to spiritual warfare taking place globally has grown.
Spiritual attacks toward believers have amplified of late ranging across the spectrum in type from physical, accidents, injuries, kidnappings, other physical harm, to mental, depression, fear and anxiety, confusion and inability to function, to sexual, onslaught of pornography, adultery and more, and a host of other categories of spiritual oppression.
This is not an hour to be complacent and lethargic in our spiritual lives, thinking we will get serious about living wholeheartedly for God at some future time. Instead it is paramount that we wage spiritual war against the tendency to plateau and backslide in our lives with God.
This is true of every believer no matter if they are serving in a certain kind of ministry or not. We all face this temptation and too many are succumbing and becoming needless casualties of war.
As we continue to move steadily closer to the fulfillment of the Great Commission and the Second Coming of Jesus we can be assured from Scripture that the heat will continue to increase. If our hearts and lives are not consistently feeding on the Word of God and abiding in fellowship with Jesus, the enemy will not have a difficult time attacking the places of weakness where we are most vulnerable.
Instead it is critical that we discern the seriousness of the hour and the enemy’s tactics and go on the offensive by pressing into the heart of Jesus like never before. We allow Him to put His finger on all areas and give Him access to all of our lives.
We receive His abundant grace (divine enabling, empowering and overcoming) by faith made available through the power of His resurrection for every area He shows us. We go to war (do whatever it takes – are ruthless) against the areas of sin we may have been tolerating.
This alone is the type of lifestyle which will sustain the people of God and bring us forth into shining victory even in the midst of darkness and hardship.
The Glory and Power of the New Covenant
The Lord has promised us in Scripture that although darkness will abound, His glory and power will do so as well. 2 Corinthians 3:7-18 is a startling passage with tremendous implications for the generation that we are living in today.
Paul is writing to the Corinthian church and comparing the glory and power which the Israelites knew and experienced through the Old Covenant under Moses with the far exceeding glory and power of the New Covenant.
He calls the Old Covenant the ministry of death and the New Covenant the ministry of the Spirit.
Paul highlights the tremendous levels of the glory and power that Moses symbolized and states, “The children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of His countenance.” Yet, Paul goes on, “How will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious?” Verse 9 then communicates, “For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory.”
What was Paul getting at? His point was that there is a great promise of an increased measure of glory and power which the Lord Himself has intended for the people of God under the New Covenant through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. This measure of glory and power will be greater than anything experienced under the Old Covenant.
Its purpose is to draw true followers of Jesus into greater dimensions of heightened relationship with the Lord of Glory and to activate us into deliberate participation with power toward the completion of the deep purposes He carries in His heart.