by Rev. Cheryl Birch
Released in 2010
The Holy Spirit wants us to understand that we are not insignificant. When we said “yes” to Him, He took up residence in our hearts and we became the temple of God. (1 Corinthians 3:16) What we say and do has great signifigance! Even as an unsaved person, what we say and do or, what we don’t say and do, has significance because we are made in the image of God.
As Jesus’ representatives here on earth we have great spiritual impact. We are creative beings who have been given dominion over the earth. There is huge significance to what we do and don’t do, what we say and don’t say. Whether you feel it, acknowledge it or not, you are a person of breakthrough.
When you exhibit the character of the Lord Jesus, there is great impact on the people around you…When you don’t exhibit His character… there is also great impact. The atmosphere changes around us according to our choices. What we choose right now at this time in history is very important.
What we are fighting for is the collective soul of our city, our state and our nation, that is headed for anarchy…Judges 21:25 In those days there was no king in Israel every man did what was right in his own eyes. We must breakthrough to the King of Kings and fight for His presence in our lives and in our nation. There must be a King over our lives, the Lord Jesus, or even as Christians, we will be caught up in the anarchy and end up doing what is right in our eyes.
As we learned when we studied breakthrough, though we have broken the law meaning we are sinners, the blood of Jesus prevails and the King will extend His golden scepter of favor and grace to us. Just like the King extended scepter to Esther. In fact, according to Matthew 10:1 he will give us His power, which is His scepter. Whoever held the scepter of the king, wielded his power.
Psalm 110:2 says of Jesus and His people: The Lord will extend your mighty scepter from Zion; you will rule in the midst of your enemies. And in Psalm 125:2-3 As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people, from this time on and forevermore. For the scepter of wickedness shall not rest on the land allotted to the righteous, so that the righteous might not stretch out their hands to do wrong.
We have a promise that He will surround us and the scepter of wickedness shall not rest on our land!
Back in 2004 the Lord gave me a prophetic word and I mean He gave me ONE WORD the word CONTEND. I meditated on that word for several weeks and studied its use in His word…The one scripture that kept standing out to me was Jude 1:3 (NKJV) Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.
At that time He said to me prophetically:
Saints of Modesto, you are coming to the place where the old wineskin is being removed. The old wineskin was very good, it was full of my Presence, and many lives were touched, but there is a new thing I want to do. I have a new vintage of wine for this generation and no matter how good the old wine tasted…the new wine will taste even better. I have saved the best wine for the last!
I am calling for the Calebs and the Joshuas to lead the next generation over to the promised land of revival of the church and an amazing harvest – I am calling you to rise up and cross over. I am calling YOU to come out of the desert of complaining and criticizing, dead religious traditions, unforgiveness and bitterness… I am calling you out of the desert of Babylon, the ways of world, into the new wine of holiness. I am calling you to go over and possess the Land.
Then He said: Contend for what is yours.
I am weepy and grieving over the church. There is something we all need to see and hear, but at the same time many don’t want to see or hear it. The Holy Spirit is trying to get us to understand that we are in a very critical time. Because the collective church did not contend for this city or for our nation after 9-11 or any year since but has instead rejected His prophets and chose their own way, we are now in a place where it is no longer a matter of contending for revival, we must contend earnestly for the survival of our faith.
WE MUST HAVE AN AWAKENING!
The next verses in Jude describe why – there are men whose goal it is to destroy our faith by corrupting it, twisting it, speaking lies, mocking God. They are rebellious, lustful and greedy and use the church to further their own purposes. They are trying to make God into their own image instead of being
transformed into His. We must shake off the lies the enemy has thrown at us that we are just little folks who can’t make a difference. We must not think we aren’t anything special so God wouldn’t use us for anything great.
The devil wants us hopeless, apathetic and asleep with no sense of our worth to the King or our role in the Kingdom of God. If the Remnant does not fully awake in our nation to their significance in Christ Jesus, we could very quickly find that we are censured and have lost our right to worship freely and share the gospel openly. What we do or don’t do, say or don’t say right here in Modesto is important. For the Lord has given us the task to contend for our faith right here on this ground.
Don’t be lulled by statements that Modesto is part of the Bible belt that it is full of churches and there are plenty of people out there working for the Lord. I see that if the churches here were out in the field of harvest, we would not have an increase in crime, murder, car thefts, drugs, gangs, robberies… So,
there are not enough people out there!
Cancel the lie in your mind that others are doing the work so we don’t need to. They are not awake and we must start to move out in faith knowing whatever we do will have impact. There are Remnant everywhere who are being called to CONTEND for the faith. There is a clarion call going forth. A mustering of the troops. A gathering of the Remnant –
God is connecting His Remnant for a purpose. We must not miss His timing. Don’t let the enemy scare you. The Battle is the Lords.We simply need to answer the call here in our city by saying yes, I am willing. We need to learn to hear the voice of God, reject the false teachings and do what the Lord says.
In the verse the Lord gave me, Jude uses the word contend twice back to back. Whenever the Lord repeats Himself pay attention – it is important instruction – So I looked up the Greek word used and it is epagōnizomai (ep-ag-o-nid’-zom-ahee) to struggle for:—earnestly contend for.
I found out in further study that Contend is a word of great depth and that it always requires action. It has four distinct yet inter-related meanings.
1. Contend first means to battle – under that meaning are grouped the words struggle, clash, grapple (which means to engage in hand to hand combat), encounter, combat, wrangle (which means to dispute and brawl – literally to grab and through down to the ground), tussle (which means to
wrestle) and lastly contend means to fight.
2. Contend in its second meaning is to debate – grouped with that meaning are the words discuss, contest, dispute, argue for or against, question. To debate also means to insist, and to controvert (argue strongly against) or oppugn (which means to question the validity of something)
3. In its third meaning, contend is to compete – grouped with that are the words vie (which means to rival), challenge, run, race, strive, put yourself forward, nominate yourself.
4. Lastly, contend means to assert – grouped with that meaning are the words insist, claim, maintain, allege (which means to declare, state and testify), warrant (which means to certify, justify, and approve), and lastly charge (which means to instruct and command).
The instruction in Jude is to earnestly battle, debate, compete and assert for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. How do we apply that instruction to our walk with Christ Jesus?
The first instruction is to battle.
According to Ephesians 6, our battles are not against flesh and blood but against principalities, rulers of darkness and wickedness in high places. So, we need to encounter the enemy in spiritual battle in our prayer closets and in corporate prayer – This is vital. We MUST fight in prayer using the WORD OF
GOD for it is sharper than any two-edge sword and is used to pull down those strongholds. In prayer we are to literally get on top of the enemy with the Word of God bind Him up… like a cowboy wrangler wrestles a steer to the ground and tie ropes around his feet so he can’t get back up. Or like a wrestler,
slam those demons to the floor and sit on top of them and pin them to the mat – that is what our prayers do when we pray according to the word of God!
Colossians 4:12 (NKJV) Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring (contending) fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.
The Second Instruction is to debate.
That means we need to contend in the market place by being able to verbalize what we believe. We need to be able be in conversation and lovingly ask questions about the beliefs of others and be able to put for anointed reasoning for our faith and anointed reasoning against sin. We need to know His word. So that we can debate those who say the Gospel is a nice story but not relevant, or that it’s just another ancient myth. We need to be able to lovingly yet firmly and steadfastly present the truth in every situation. The Lord wants us to intelligently and lovingly engage in conversation that speaks for His ways and presents the Good News of the Gospel.
He wants us to be BOLD!
1 Thessalonians 2:2 (NKJV)
But even after we had suffered before and were spitefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we were bold in our God to speak to you the gospel of God in much conflict (contention).
1 Timothy 6:12 (NKJV) Fight (Contend) the good fight (Contend) of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
Revelation 12:11 (NKJV)
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.
The third instruction is to compete –
That means we need to be examples…Walk out what we believe. Run the race to the prize of our high calling. We need to let the Holy Spirit develop our character and let people see HIM doing that in us.
Being transparent and not hiding who we are allows us to compete with the enemy for souls. Our lives should oppugn those who are ungodly – meaning we should be totally opposite their lifestyle, putting into dispute their choices not by our words in this case, but by our actions. The joy and peace and love in our life should rival and put to shame anything that men’s minds and hearts comes up with. We should be living epistles, walking examples of the word of God.
Luke 13:24 (NKJV) Strive (Contend, fight) to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.
2 Timothy 4:6 -7(NKJV)
For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought (Contended) the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NKJV)
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes (contends) for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
Hebrews 12:1-2 (NKJV)
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race (contend for, fight for) that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Lastly, the instruction is to assert –
That means we are to lay claim to what is rightfully ours. We have learned in a previous lesson that the devil is a gangster and a thief. He stakes claim to things that are rightfully ours and invades those areas with his evil presence.
Psalms 24:1 (NKJV) The earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein.
Everything belongs to God and it was His good pleasure to give us charge or dominion over the earth in Genesis Chapter 1. When the devil stole that right from us, the Father sent his only son to buy back our rightful heritage with His blood. Everything lost at the fall of Adam and Eve was restored to us by Jesus! We are to declare, state and testify our position in Christ Jesus, the authority He has given and declare the promises of God and take ownership of what is ours. We proclaim blessing over our property and cancel cursing. Bless ourselves and family, our workplace, our city, state and nation and all people wherever we go with our words of declaration according to His word.The statements we make and the things we say have great weight. Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue
Matthew 12:33 – 37 (NKJV) “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
In this hour the Holy Spirit is saying that we are to be earnestly contending for the presence of God in our lives – for an intimate relationship with Him for ourselves – personally knowing him and his ways – He is the ultimate prize for which we contend.
Genesis 15:1 (NKJV) After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”
We must breakthrough to the King. We must contend for personal revival. If everyone who says they are Christian, fell head over heels in love with Jesus and began to seek him as they would their very breath, this city, this nation, would explode with His wondrous presence. He can’t resist a love sick bride. He said to me: Are you ready to be like Caleb?
Numbers 1: 20-24 Then the LORD said: “I have pardoned, according to your word; but truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD—because all these men who have seen My glory and the signs which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have put Me to the test now these ten times, and have not heeded My voice, they certainly shall not see the land of which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who rejected Me see it But My servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit in him and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land where he went, and his descendants shall inherit it.
Yes, Lord Make us Like Caleb!
Wake me up Lord! Make me a Caleb I this land! I will contend for the promises You have given me in your word and in my heart. I will not accept living below what Your word promises. Raise my level of hope… Raise my level of faith!
I repent for my fleshly ways of selfish complaining and sinful behavior. I repent for being caught up in the world’s systems and cultural or religious traditions that are contrary to Your Word. I submit myself to you and resist the Devil and the lies he constantly spews out, as I do he flews from me.
I lay claim to Eph 3:8 the unsearchable riches and endless treasures in Christ Jesus. There are treasures you have for me, my family and this city…I will contend for them! My most prized treasures are the souls in my family and this city… With righteous anger I fight the enemy in the strength of God and in the name of Jesus for these souls to be saved, delivered and healed!
I declare God’s Kingdom has come! Let His will be done here on earth as it is in heaven. Our Nation is becoming a shining Light of Salvation in His Kingdom. I am blessed, my family is blessed, my city and nation are blessed in the the mighty name of Jesus!
copyrighted 2004, 2010 Cheryl S Birch All rights reserved