As it is with many who will read this article, God is working graciously and persistently to prepare me for the opportunities this pandemic will create – opportunities to advance His kingdom and hasten the day of His Son’s return. I pray the following will both encourage and edify you in your participation in the good work He is doing to prepare you.

In pursuing God’s intention for the coming season, I determined to search out the matter of overcoming – particularly in relation to the seven Revelation churches. What were they required to overcome? What were His promises for those that were able? I fasted sleep in the mornings to make time for the Bible study and time on social media at night to mediate on what I had learned.

Initially, this seemed to go well. I developed a spreadsheet of the church, requirement, and promise for overcoming, using this as an exercise to hear which of the churches I was to consider further. This turned out to be the churches at Ephesus, Sardis, and Laodicea. From there, I developed four questions I hoped God would answer.

It was at this point that my troubles began; God was not answering my questions. Increasing the frequency of my prayer and fasting each day did not help. Neither did putting the questions on a 3×5 card (to remember to meditate on them and lift them to God’s attention). My process of analysis was getting me nowhere.

Fortunately, I have been around the mountain enough times to know that when God is not speaking, it is because I am on the wrong trail. It became clear that God had something else in mind, and He was not going to accommodate my attempts to figure Him out in this way. In my defense, I must say that He has allowed this in the past. However, hindsight being twenty-twenty, He was looking for a more mature approach.

In response, I turned to three spiritual disciplines: confession, surrender, and seeking the counsel of others. In my experience, God has always responded positively to this approach. You will notice these disciplines require little analysis; that was the key. God used one of the men I sought out for counsel to reveal the thing He was requiring me to overcome.

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds… 2Corinthians 10:3-4

God showed me that using my carnal mind to analyze and understand His plans is a poor choice of weapons – a poor substitute for the mind of Christ. The stronghold I must overcome is my propensity to turn to my carnal mind in times of chaos or crisis.

God is calling me to a deeper level of trust and dependency on Him in my next ministry assignment. This time of preparation is learning to rest and wait on Him and to reject carnal weapons.

Perhaps it is the same for you, perhaps not. But you will not know until you ask Him. And so, I encourage you to ask God to reveal the carnal weapons on which you naturally depend. What He reveals, He wants to heal.

And He just loves talking with His children.

Humbly yours and forever His,