Be Strong and of Good Courage

Charles CooleyIn 1980 the Lord gave me a prophecy through His prophet Dick Mills. I had been head of the Elder Board in our Lutheran Church until I took issue with the doctrine of Infant Baptism being our ‘born again’ experience. I was asked to resign so, my wife and I began attending an Assembly of God Church named Harvesttime. Then, in the 70’s the pastor and I began a ministry known as Interfaith Fellowship. The Lord blessed it and many were saved and baptized in the Holy Spirit. But after several years I began to feel a restlessness, knowing that God had something more for me but, I had no idea what. It was then that I attended a meeting where Dick Mills was speaking. Dick was unique in that he would prophesy quoting Scriptures and he gave me a list of them one of which was Deuteronomy 2:3 which says –

“And the LORD spoke to me, saying: You have skirted this mountain long enough, turn northward.”

EdenWithin a year we were attending a new ministry named Eden and it was north of us! As we grew in the Lord, God continued to bless and lead us and I often thought of another Scripture Dick Mills had given me – “Every place that the soul of your foot will tread upon I have given you.” (Joshua 1:3). I eventually became Pastor at Eden Church. The Lord continued leading us through good times and bad, but, He never left  us. Now that I’m old and retired from teaching school and from pastoring I have time to reflect on deeper meanings of His word to me. And one thing I see very clearly is how the enemy of our souls uses fear to cripple our testimony. With the influence of the national Health Organizations and the media and the government he can use a virus to bring down an entire nation! But, it couldn’t have happened without the Christian Church forgetting God’s word to Joshua.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” – Josh. 1:9

These are the words the LORD spoke to Joshua just before he led the people into the Promised Land. The LORD specifically said “Do not be afraid” because fear cripples you and robs you of faith. But, most of the American Church was crippled with fear of the pandemic, even though the annual flu season kills more than the Covid19 virus! They shut down their churches even though the word of God says the church is the place to get help –

“Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” – James 5:14-16

Are there no Elders in the Church? Or is it that there is no ‘prayer of faith’ left in the Church? Are we like the armies of Israel under Saul cowering in their tents in the face of Goliath. What is needed is a David armed with a sling and the Name of the LORD to step forward!

God said to Joshua “for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go!” Have we Christians forgotten whom we serve? Is not the Spirit that is in us greater than this spirit of fear that is in the world? The world is to be afraid of us – not the other way around! When Joshua sent the spies into Jericho, Rahab said to them –

“and said to the men: “I know that the LORD has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you. For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you, for the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.” – Joshua 2:9-11

If we will be strong and of good courage as the LORD commanded Joshua, the Commander of the LORD’s army will fight for us as well. You remember how that after Joshua and Israel had crossed the Jordan River Joshua met a man with a sword.

“And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, “Are You for us or for our adversaries? So He said, “No, but as Commander of the army of the LORD I have now come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, “What does my Lord say to His servant?” – Joshua 5:13-14

This angelic messenger was not for Republican or Democrat or Independent but, for the LORD! God has plans for this country and that is what we are to be for – not a Republican agenda or a Democrat agenda but, God’s agenda! God is not for the Critical Race Theory or the LGBT program. He is not for the Transgender Theory or the Socialist-Communist agenda. He is not for social green programs that spend us into a debt we cannot recover from or for vaccine mandates that rob us of our individual freedoms and place us under tyranny! He is for liberty and freedom in Christ Jesus!

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” – Gal. 5:1

At 85 years old, I remember what the Lord said to me 41 years ago and I choose to not bow down to a system of tyranny but to believe the word of the Lord. I believe God has a covenant with this country and as it says in Psalms –

“For the scepter of wickedness shall not rest On the land allotted to the righteous, Lest the righteous reach out their hands to iniquity.” – Psalm 125:3

I hope you feel that way too.

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