This I know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves…II Timothy 3:1-2a.
We have been hearing and quoting this scripture from childhood. Our Pastors and Sunday school teachers often referred to this scripture as a warning of what was to come. Now in 2017, we are seeing the manifestation of this scripture unfold with a greater sense of urgency. They continuously admonished us to be steadfast, at all times, in our walk with the Lord.
In 2006, we came across a quote that tremendously impacted our life: “Every morning in Africa, a Gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a Lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest Gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn't matter whether you are a Lion or a Gazelle... when the sun comes up, you'd better be running.” Here, we can see that there are two entities at work tenaciously striving for the win. We are in a war for our souls. Every morning we are to awake knowing that we must “be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” I Peter 5:8.
We are warned, yet we are not without HELP! We are instructed to “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints…” Ephesians 6:11-18.
Listen! We are not a forsaken group of people groping in the darkness, without a compass. Often we refer to Hebrews 1:14, “Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?” We are equipped to win the battles of this life until time is no more. Like unto the gazelle or the lion, there must be an unshakeable knowing and determination. When the Word of God is the driving force, there are always provisions. As stated previously, we have ministering spirits to assist us. Do we believe in ministering spirits (angels)? We most certainly do. Let us share an account of an experience from our dear sister, the late Minister Jacqueline Hicks-Redd. It was in 1988, while she was working with the census, she encountered one of the greatest happenings of her life. She had to drive in rural areas (a rural area or countryside is a geographic area that is located outside towns and cities) and map out properties. While driving miles on a dirt road, writing and not paying attention, her car went over a small embankment that was out of view of any other travelers. The entire front of her car was nose down and the back end was tilted upward. To make matters worse, the sun was going down.
By putting forth all her energy, coupled with a large degree of fear, she was able to crawl through the window and get out. She started praying because there were no physical help in sight. As she waited on God, all of a sudden a tow truck came up with two men inside. They got out, hooked the car up and pulled it out of the embankment. She said they never said one word to her but were focused on what they came to do. She tried to engage some brief conversation because the first sight of them ignited fear – one woman and two strange men on a country road, was a little alarming. But, it didn’t take her long to realize that these were not ordinary men – these were angels. She stood there in amazement that God sent her this kind of help.
Although we are in the midst of wars and rumors of wars, nations rising against nations, an increase in wickedness, and the love of many waxing cold, when we pray and trust God, He sends us help. The Bible says that many will turn away from the faith and betray one another. The lifestyles of just church-goers are pathetic and seem to be getting worse. We use the term “church-goers” because the church (those who are rooted, grounded and doers of the word) will stand forever – the gates of hell shall not prevail - Matthew 16:18. The works of the flesh among “church-goers” are growing rampant and with no regard for Revelation 12:2, “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.”
Food for Thought:
Gazelle - a small animal that is a kind of antelope and that is very graceful and fast. Sustains a speed of 30 – 40 mph, but can accelerate to 60 mph. The gazelle can run at top speed for 30 minutes, but jogging for an hour.
Lion - a large, strong, courageous tawny-colored cat. Sustains a speed of – 50 mph, however, it can only be sustained for a short time – about 2 minutes. The lion must quickly maneuver to conquer its prey, because of its inability to endure for a long period.