This weeks blog devotion was written by my sweet and dear friend, Connie Duffy, who is a powerful intercessory prayer warrior. Connie serves in women's ministry leadership and on the intercessory prayer team for Harvest Ministries. She wrote this for her ministry team as they prepare to step into a new and very different season of teaching, leading, and encouraging women in today's world. When she shared it with me, I thought it was too good not to share with you as well.
Can I just start by stating the obvious of what a hard, difficult, and strange
year this has been?
We started 2020 with politics going from bad to worse
with the impeachment of our President, then still in the middle of the
impeachment hearings, we learn of the Coronavirus, which also went from
much the shutdown of most of our country, as the government put
everything into two categories—essential and non-essential—which led to the
shutdown of the church as it was deemed non-essential.
In the next few months, as some churches began opening back up, I began to
hear (and was guilty of myself) of grumbling and complaining about this
church doing this and that church doing that, or some churches not opening
and still to this day, are not opened. Everyone seemed to have a different opinion on
the way churches were handling things.
I began to be burdened and I sought the Lord in prayer as I searched my own
heart for I knew I was also guilty. God reminded me of a scripture that He
had given me in the first week of the quarantine.
“Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13).
Be on guard. What does that mean?
Watch out. Be alert. The enemy is looking to destroy anything he can. He knows his time is short and he especially wants to destroy as much of the church and as many of the believers as he can.
Make every effort to keep unity thru the spirit of peace. The enemy
knows there is power in unity and he cannot win. No matter what you are
grumbling and complaining about, don’t give the enemy a stronghold to use
Stand firm in the faith. Don’t allow him to trick you. I had realized that I was starting to fall for this trick. We put our faith in God, not man. We don’t follow man, we follow God.
God has given a time and a place for everyone He has ever called into ministry, and that includes not only pastors, but layman like us. Once we become followers of Jesus Christ, we are included in His royal priesthood, equipped and prepared to minister to the world around us.
We are living in a world that is ugly with violence, hate, and evil. And yet,
Romans 12:18 says, “as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all
No matter how bad things may be in this world, if we are going to be true to
our Lord and be that light He has called us to be, we must be peacemakers.
Jesus said in Matthew 5:9,
“Blessed are the peacemakers, because they will be called the children of God.”
Jesus came so the world would know peace by being reconciled to Him. A
peacemaker is someone who is actively seeking to reconcile people to God
and to one another. But it starts in our homes and on the streets where we live. It starts in our communities and the places we work. It starts in the pew next to us and in the churches we serve. It starts with us.
The hallmark of a believer is the ability to get along with other people.
The ability to get along with other people is manifested in the Fruit of the Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control. These are all traits of a peacemaker and when we have good fruits, we have the ability to
do big things for the Kingdom of God.
As much of a struggle as this world is in right now, it is also a very exciting time
for us as believers. We know that Jesus is coming back very, very soon.
Matthew 24 tells us the signs to watch out for and in verse 33 Jesus says,
“In the same way, when you see all these things, you can know his return is very
near, right at the door.”
We see the birth pains getting closer and closer together, we also know that no man knows the hour of His return, so we are called to occupy and be about His business till His return.
Many years ago at a time when the nation needed to be brought together,
John F. Kennedy in his inaugural speech, challenged society to contribute to
improve the public good when he said, “And so, my fellow Americans: ask
not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your
Today I challenge us all, that whatever it is you find your heart
grumbling and complaining about, surrender it to the Lord. Don’t miss out
on the opportunity to continue to contribute to improve the Kingdom of God
by being a peacemaker.
And so, my fellow believers: ask not what God can do for us — ask what we can do for God.
My challenge for us this week is to search our hearts by listening to our words and even our thoughts. Take notice of what or who you are grumbling about. Then ask God how you can put aside the grumbling and complaining and instead, be a peacemaker. How might your choice to be a peacemaker improve the Kingdom of God?