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Tag Archives: understanding the times

Do You Understand Where You Are?

TimingThis question isn’t about place, but time. Do you know where you are in the history of the church?

I’m posting about the spiritual battle that’s going on around us. It’s vital that we know the times we live in.

And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.
Romans 13:11

We need to know where we are on God’s timetable. I don’t like saying it, but the truth is that past generations of believers could “sleep” through their Christian walk. Not us. We live in dangerous times.

The Apostle Paul continues talking about this.

The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
Romans 13:12-14

In this generation we need to lay aside the things that are a part of the darkness. In their place, we must put on the armor of God.

We must live carefully and clothe ourselves with Christ. And as I focused on in my last post, we need to watch and pray. That’s how we keep alert spiritually.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
Ephesians 6:18

This verse literally says that we must keep watch with all persistency. That word persistency means to be strong toward, to be diligent. We must be diligent in the battle zone.

When we say that we need to be strong toward something, it speaks about a goal, a direction. We sometimes use the term “press in.”

In battle there are places that are hard to get to. There are houses you can’t enter until you bind the strong man. It isn’t easy to press into the miraculous. If it was – everyone, every church would have it.

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles.
Acts 2:42-43

Was it any easier back then, in the early church? Did those believers have all the time in the world to do all these things? I don’t think they were any different from us. It was as hard for them as it is for this generation.

If we want God’s best, it takes diligence. It will cause us to leave our comfort zone. But the spiritual rewards will be worth it.

Question: What do you find to be the most difficult about pressing in to God’s presence?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

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Why is Revival Delayed?

ClockIn my last post I started talking about America’s need for revival and why it seems to be delayed. I said that it’s a matter of knowing God’s timing and understanding how to work with it. We can’t afford to be like the Pharisees of Jesus’ day who could predict the weather, but didn’t understand the times they lived in.

And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.
Romans 13:11

In this verse Paul tells us that we should understand the times that we live in. That word understand means to know by seeing. If we’re watching what’s taking place in society around us, then it should be obvious what we need to do. It’s the hour for the church to WAKE UP!

I don’t want to be rebuked for the same thing that Israel got wrong. We must understand the times.

God is moving. He wants to bring about His will in our generation. Many people talk about it. “Revival is coming – it’s on God’s agenda.”

Why does it seem to be taking so long?

For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.
Habakkuk 2:3

There is a truth here that we’ve missed. The revelation of God is for an appointed time. When the verse says that it speaks of the end, it implies that God’s will is like a puff or gust of wind. It’s different than a steady wind.

It’s a gust that the Lord releases and it moves steadily to its intended end. Make no mistake; it will take place.

But here’s the important part. The next line literally says, “Look! It hesitates, it’s reluctant, it questions.” It’s all a matter of timing. The revealed will of God is asking, “Are you ready?”

Then we are told to do something. The original Hebrew of this verse says that if it hesitates, then attach yourself to it. This is not just a passive waiting. It means to nail yourself to God’s revealed will. Don’t let it go.

The final statement tells us that it will come and not loiter or hang around. God isn’t just hanging around doing nothing until His “revival timer” goes off. The fact of the matter is that we are not waiting for revival – revival is waiting for us. We must have the time available for the fulfillment of God’s will. We have to open the space up for revival.

In my next post I’ll show why this is the hardest part of the process. It will require a great sacrifice from this generation of believers.

Question: What will it take for us to lay hold of revival?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2014 in Revival, The Church

 

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There’s Time for Sale – But it’s Expensive

ClockI’ve been taking a few posts to talk about understanding our present time. We live in spiritually dangerous times. We need to live carefully, like no other generation before us.

Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
Ephesians 5:15-16

In this passage, we are once again told to be careful, to live wisely, and to pay attention. The days we live in are evil, hurtful.

Please understand that these days are not evil by character. A day by itself cannot be evil or good. The times we’re living in are evil by influence and effect.

We are told that we should be making the most of every opportunity. That literally means purchasing, buying time in the Greek.

God has set times where He wants to accomplish things through the church. But the times are evil. That means that it’s on us to redeem time.

We have been redeemed – from the law and the curse. Now we must redeem time from the curse. We must set aside times for God’s purposes.

We must purchase the time through prayer. That’s what he means by redeeming or purchasing the times.

We live in dangerous days. We want to see the hand of God at work. We must set the foundation through prayer and prayer in the spirit.

That’s why Paul goes on to say…

Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.
Ephesians 5:17-18

I’ve heard it said that we must pray the price. I never understood it until now. It’s time. Time to pray and purchase the appointed times for the move of God.

That’s what revival is going to take – time in the Lord’s presence. That’s where we find out what God’s will is. That’s where we receive His strategies for the days ahead.

It’s all based upon the prayers of His people. America desperately needs revival. Time set apart to Christ is the only way we’ll bring that to pass.

The unfortunate thing is that this generation seems to be extremely stingy with their time. If I said that a revival would cost a million dollars, we’d probably raise it pretty quick. But if I say it will take a week of meetings and prayer, where we clear our schedules for the move of God, few would take part in that.

It takes time to purchase revival. Those who want to discern the times and reap the harvest will redeem the time. We must pray the price, buying the time.

Question: How much time are you willing to clear up from your schedule for a move of God?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2014 in Prayer, Prayer in the Spirit, Revival

 

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Do You Know You’re in Danger?

ClimberI’m taking a few posts to talk about understanding God’s timetable. Do we really understand the times we’re living in? In my last post I talk about Jesus’ rebuke to the Pharisees about not understanding their times. Are we guilty of the same problem?

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.
2 Timothy 3:1

Paul literally wrote to Timothy that he needed to know this truth. In the last days – that’s us – there will be dangerous times. What does that mean?

This word terrible comes from a root which means lowering down into a chasm. I have watched rock climbers going up the face of a sheer cliff. That’s what this verse is talking about.

Serving God in the last days is like repelling off the edge of a mile high cliff. We live in dangerous times.

No, they’re not physically dangerous – at least here in America. But they are spiritually perilous.

If we are going to live a victorious Christian life, then we need to know this and act accordingly. We need the spiritual discernment of the Holy Spirit.

You wouldn’t think of going off the edge of a cliff without training and the right equipment. Think in those terms about being a believer in this generation.

At this time, many are living for self. It’s as though they’re “flying by the seat of their pants” in their Christian walk.

This is not the generation to do that. In times past you could get by just attending church on Sundays and doing your own thing the rest of the week. At the present time we don’t have the luxury of “floating along in Christ.”

That brings me back to a verse I looked at in my last post.

And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.
Romans 13:11

“WAKE UP!!!”

Rock climbers have to concentrate on every move. They can’t afford even a momentary lapse in judgment. Many have been severely injured or even killed because of a distraction during their climb.

This is not the time for God’s people to be distracted by the world. We need to turn our attention and focus back to Christ. We must seek His will, and what He wants accomplished in and through our lives.

Don’t become a victim of the dangerous times we’re living in.

Question: How is this present time spiritually dangerous?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 

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God Bless the USA #Prayforrevival

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATomorrow is the Fourth of July.  Today I’m thinking about cookouts, flags, and fireworks.  Is that what being American is all about?

I’m grateful for having been born in the United States.  There’s been so much going on lately in this country, much of it is negative.  However, I continue to believe that the USA is still the best nation on earth.

We were founded upon Christian principles.  The question is; are we a “Christian Nation” anymore?  Does a Christian nation tell you not to pray in public?  Does a Christian nation tell you not to display Christian symbols where everyone can see them?

While it’s true that many Christians live in this country, we have to come to grips with the obvious.   The United States, as an entity, is no longer Christian.  As believers, we need to live understanding that fact.

When David became king of Israel, it was recorded that many groups came from all over that nation to join the ranks of his army.  It describes the weapons they used and their strengths.  There’s one group in particular that stands out to me.

…men of Issachar, who understood the times and knew what Israel should do – 200 chiefs, with all their relatives under their command;
1 Chronicles 12:32

The only weaponry it tells about these men was their ability to understand the times and live their lives accordingly.  This should be a lesson to us in the United States.  The Apostle Paul echoes the same sentiment.

Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.  Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
Ephesians 5:15-17

We are called to be just as Issachar was.  We need to be people of understanding.  We live in a nation where the attitudes are very quickly turning against any kind of Christian influences.

I don’t say that to scare us or sour our mood.  I’m trying to get us, as the people of God, to wake up to the fact that coasting along with the crowd is no longer an option.  We don’t live in a place where godliness is applauded and sought after.

We now live on an active mission field.  That means that our lifestyles should look more like missionaries than consumers.  God didn’t place us here at this time in history to merely bask in the pleasures of this society.  Church is not just a place where we celebrate our salvation.

We’re more than that.  The church in America should be a counterculture that is actively seeking to change people’s lives for Christ.

So, this Fourth of July, celebrate and enjoy the freedoms we have as Americans.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  But also, pray for the spiritual understanding that it takes to live for Christ in this generation.

Pray for, and actively seek, a revival in our land.

Question: How are you living counter to the culture around you?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on July 3, 2013 in Prayer, Revival, The Church

 

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