Several years ago the Lord “bubbled up” in my spirit the word, “Claim Psalm 91.” I was specifically impressed that believers would need the provision God made for us in Psalm 91 in the days ahead. So I began to preach wherever I went, that Christians should revisit Psalm 91 and reacquaint themselves with the provision God made for us in that powerful portion of Scripture. A couple of weeks or so after that, another word “bubbled up” in my heart, “Make certain that you are dwelling in Goshen.” I was reminded that, even though severe judgment came upon the nation in which they were living, God’s people were safe and protected in Goshen. Thank God there is indeed a “secret place” of the Most High where we can “abide under the shadow” (the protection and provision) of the Almighty, regardless of the circumstances that may seem to surround us.
Do not be lulled to sleep by those whom David Wilkerson called the “pillow prophets” (Ezekiel 13:20), who spoke flattering words to tickle the ears of God’s people, making them feel comfortable in their sin and dismissing all warnings concerning the consequences of continuing in unrepentant sin as “judgmentalism” or “gloom and doom” preaching. Be not deceived. We are facing some challenging days ahead. Even though I believe strongly in the “Rapture” of the Church, it is the height of arrogance to insist that the “Rapture” must occur before America experiences any type of serious difficulty. I sometimes wonder how Chinese Christians early in the Twentieth Century must have felt when Pentecostal missionaries from America assured them that Jesus would come back and take them away before things got really tough. After the Communist takeover of China following World War II, things got “really tough” indeed, with Mao Tse Tung butchering over 100 million of his own people, many of them Christians. Committed Christians in other parts of the world are suffering and dying for their faith in Christ on a daily basis. Though I believe in the “Rapture,” there is no Biblical guarantee that the “Rapture” MUST occur before American Christians face any difficulties that force us out of our comfortable complacency.
It is also time for those of us who have come through the “Word of Faith” stream to do some serious and prayerful self-evaluation and soul searching. While we affirm without compromise the absolute integrity of God’s Word, and the utter trustworthiness of the promises and provisions therein, we can never forget that our faith is ultimately rooted in God’s Faithfulness (Heb. 10:23) and in our personal, intimate relationship with Him. The very reason that we can believe, confess and receive what God has declared in His Word, is because He is Faithful that promised! While God’s Principles are eminently reliable, there is much more to living by faith than simply learning to manipulate some impersonal “formula.” We must also realize, especially those of us in America who are so blessed, that God has not spent the last forty years teaching us about faith, the integrity of the Bible, the authority of the believer, the Power in the Name of Jesus, and how to live a victorious life, just so we could drive a more expensive car, live in a bigger house and generally amass more “stuff” to consume on our own lusts (James 4:3). Don’t misunderstand what I am saying. God is not opposed to you having “stuff.” But He is most definitely opposed to “stuff” having you!
And now, just several weeks ago, I began to be impressed with “the Joseph Principle.” I believe that these “words” and “impressions” from the Lord go together, and that there are key principles we can observe in the life of Joseph that will prepare us for the challenging times we are facing in the days to come, and that will enable us to confidently “make certain that we are dwelling in Goshen.” We will consider a few of those “Joseph Keys” in the upcoming articles. Be Blessed!