In today’s post, I want to encourage you. When looking up the meaning of “encourage”, I found some interesting facts.
One of the meanings of the prefix “en” is to cause (a person or thing) to be in or within the place, condition, or state named by the primary word. To encourage, therefore, is to put someone into a state of courage. Allow Holy Spirit to place you into a state or condition of courage today.
I’m going to share with you a word released a year ago by my brother, Tim Sheets, which I recently rediscovered. It is as timely today as it was then. Tim said:
“One of the primary strategies of satan is to wear down the saints. The kingdom of darkness wants us to become so overcome with exhaustion and discouragement that we back off. He wants us to be occupied with worry and fear. He also desires for us to be so tired that we won’t pursue what God has put in our hearts.
“Daniel 7:25 (NASB) tells us, ‘And he shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Highest One…’ The two words ‘wear out’ is one Hebrew word, bela, which means a ‘mental or emotional attack’.(1) This references attacks against our soul, which is our mind, will, and emotions. It isn’t a physical weariness. The oppression of the soul is a compressed, squeezing feeling, even a feeling of constantly being overwhelmed. The picture in the Hebrew language is that of a snake that wraps itself around its prey and squeezes until there is no longer breath. The enemy’s agenda is to put the squeeze on the saints until we are mentally and emotionally exhausted.
“Hell’s plan is to wear us out until we throw up our hands in utter frustration and walk away in a shroud of hopelessness. Darkness fueled by wokeism and liberalism, fired by hell, is resulting in unrest, despair, fear, and worry.
“This is a clear tactic of hell in our times. The division, lies, deception, and constant turmoil in our nation can produce a feeling of hopelessness. If we are not careful, this can cause us to wonder if things will ever change.
“The Ekklesia must confront the lies with truth. Sometimes the battles are long, but that doesn’t mean we can’t win them. Jesus said, (John 16:33, NKJV) ‘In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world!’
“We are to fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. By placing our eyes on Jesus and giving Him our heavy burdens, life’s journey will be met with much less exhaustion and much more joy.
“My daughter, Rachel Shafer, shares an important truth in her book, Expect God. She writes:
“‘Several years ago, our youngest daughter Lily had major surgery. It was almost 12 hours long, extremely complicated, and included a long recovery time. We were a couple of weeks into this recovery process and trying to adjust to all that was happening, when in a moment of weakness, I said to God, “I feel like my life is spiraling out of control,” to which He replied, “Look up the word spiral.”’
“‘The meaning of spiral includes the advancement to higher levels through a series of circular movements. I was very intrigued by this definition. When I made the statement that I felt my life was spiraling out of control, I was thinking of spiraling downward, but that’s not what it actually means. I began to study more and came across this quote by Frances E. Willard:
“This seems to be the law of progress in everything we do; it moves along a spiral rather than perpendicular; we seem to be actually going out of the way, and yet it turns out that we were really moving upward all the time.”’
“‘When I read this quote, the words leaped off the page! At times I may feel life is crazy, out of control, and going in the wrong directions, but His Word tells us that He works ALL for our good (Romans 8:28). All means all!’
“‘I realized that by looking upwards and keeping my gaze on Him, I was also moving up. I was going to higher levels in my walk with Him. I was accessing greater trust, stronger faith, and had an expectant heart that He was going to fulfill His promises.’
“‘So while I felt I was in a downward spiral, after studying the Word, my perspective changed. I realized that yes, I was spiraling, but I was spiraling to higher levels. I was looking up and moving up. I was learning to press into the waiting. God met me in my darkest pain and taught me to hope again. God can take even the bad things and, in the proper season, turn them around and use them for good in the way He intends.’(2) (Rachel ends)
Tim continues, “God desires for us not to live in an atmosphere of weariness and frustration, but instead, an atmosphere of hope. We need to confront the appalling, dark atmosphere by binding it in the name of Jesus (Mark 3:27). We must refuse to live under a cloud of confusion, fear, hopelessness, and despair.
“We are not to be distracted, but wholly fix our eyes upon Jesus. His eyes are like flames of fire (Revelation 1:14). He is offering us an invitation to encounter Him in deeper ways - more than we ever have. We are being invited into the deepest parts of His heart, His ways, and His plans for us. He desires for His kingdom and government to be established on the earth like never before.
“Holy Spirit has not been preparing us to lose. Like Daniel, we must pray until Holy Spirit comes with angel armies and begins to dethrone princes (Daniel 10:10-21). We decree that the time of our confinement is up. It’s time for breakthrough, and for King Jesus and His everlasting Kingdom to see the powers of darkness bow to Him.
“We are people who refuse to have our hearts dampened by the world’s darkness. We can live in a life of God’s overcoming victory because hope from above has been provided for us. Victory after victory is our right, and there is no need to live below that privilege.
“We need to show the world there exists an Ekklesia that lives in a different realm. One that looks at the tactics of hell, the world, oppressive governments, and darkness, but chooses to say, ‘None of that moves us.’
“I want to encourage you with this thought, ‘You can win. Your life and your future will turn for good.’ It’s time to go on the offense, use your authority, and press into the presence of God. God’s presence is greater than the attack of our adversary.
“Your tomorrows are going to be better than your yesterdays. Your future will be far better than your past. The God you served yesterday is still God today, and He’s God of tomorrow.”
Pray with me:
Lord, we love You and give thanks for the strength You’ve given us. Together, we come against the oppressive attack of hell that is directed at us and our nation. We come against darkness and discouragement that have dared to oppress to wear out Your saints. Greater One, we ask that You rise up within Your Ekklesia today. We exercise and release the authority of Your kingdom into the atmosphere.
Let great liberty and freedom come, in Jesus’ name. In You we live, move, and have our being. No weapon or oppression formed against us will prosper. We tap into a different realm, heaven’s realm, and put the enemy under our feet. Lord, we thank You that the enemy does not have any authority over us.
Lord Jesus, we thank You that with the tools You have given us, we can forbid the adversary’s dark tactics to affect our souls. We choose to live in the atmosphere of Your kingdom - the place where there is peace, hope, joy, faith, confidence, and love. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
My life is not spiraling out of control. I’m spiraling upward into God’s presence, connected with Him.
Today’s post was contributed by my brother, Tim Sheets and Tim’s daughter Rachel Shafer. You can learn more about Tim Sheets at www.TimSheets.org
You can learn more about Rachel Shafer and find her book at www.rachelshafer.com
Click on the link below to watch the full video.
1. Strong, The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, ref. no. 1080.
2. Rachel Shafer, Expect God (Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image, 2019), pp. 85-86.