Category: 07_2024_3

Courage in Adversity: The foundation of Revival

Courage in Adversity: The foundation of Revival

By Eric Carlson in 07_2024_3, newsletter-post on June 26, 2024

It can be hard at times to be committed to a Messianic Congregation and all of the inherent idiosyncrasies. We’re either to churchy, too Jewish, not Jewish enough, or there’s not enough New Testament, or there’s too much New Testament, too much liturgy, not enough liturgy, too much Torah, not Enough Torah, moving in the gifting of the Ruach is too Charismatic, not moving in the Ruach not charismatic enough etc, etc, etc…….Worldly leadership is based upon control, biblical leadership is based upon the desire to serve. Proper motive is everything. As Yeshua said in John 10 the hired hand serves with “self” in mind and runs when he sees the wolf coming! A biblical leader with a true shepherd’s heart lays down his life for the sheep.

Leaders must have the courage to do what is right regardless of other’s opinions or possible undesirable repercussions. This has never been as prevalent as it is today in the midst of the antisemitic, anti-Israel, anti-American protests we are experiencing. Then, when facts are presented or evidence that what we’re being told isn’t fact people go ballistic, saying disinformation is being spread! A decorated military hero once said: The difference between a coward and a hero is this: “A Coward and hero are both afraid, but the hero turns in the right direction”. Sha’ul often displayed courage, resolve, and obedience in many paralyzing situations he faced. In great transparency Sha’ul shared to the Messianic Congregation in Corinth words that speak directly to us today:

II Corinthians 11:20-28. You put up with it if someone makes slaves of you, exploits you, takes you in, puffs himself up, slaps you in the face. 21 To my shame, I must admit that we have been too “weak” to do such things! But if anyone dares to boast about something – I’m talking like a fool! – I am just as daring. 22 Are they Hebrew-speakers? So am I. Are they of the people of Isra’el? So am I. Are they descendants of Avraham? So am I. 23 Are they servants of the Messiah? (I’m talking like a madman!) I’m a better one! I’ve worked much harder, been imprisoned more often, suffered more beatings, been near death over and over. 24 Five times I received “forty lashes less one” from the Jews. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. I spent a night and a day in the open sea. 26 In my many travels I have been exposed to danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the desert, danger at sea, danger from false brothers. 27 I have toiled and endured hardship, often not had enough sleep, been hungry and thirsty, frequently gone without food, been cold and naked. 28 And besides these external matters, there is the daily pressure of my anxious concern for all the congregations.

Sha’ul faced overwhelming pushback, conflicts, challenges from the Sanhedrin, the Roman empire, His own Jewish People, from the Gentiles, from false brothers, shipwrecks, he was under constant pressure to stop doing what He was doing! His leadership was constantly challenged yet Sha’ul faced all these challenges with great courage and tenacity, never giving in to the demands of the mainstream! His words in verse 20 are chilling: “You put up with it if someone makes slaves of you, exploits you, takes you in, puffs himself up, slaps you in the face”. We have many today who are putting up with being exploited, being manipulated, succumbing to demonic doctrines and lying spirits, allowing fear and hysteria to make them slaves. Many are being taken in!

There seems to be lack of understanding that there are evil, wicked wolves among us who absolutely, positively do not have our best interests in mind! Overwhelming corruption, greed, and tyranny exists throughout the government across all levels. Hamas and Hezbollah have terrorists in this country brain washing our young people to hate Israel, to hate the Jewish people, to shout death to America and call for Jewish genocide. And now our government has turned its back on Israel, refusing to support her in her struggle for survival! We are told to seek justice:

Deuteronomy 16:20. Justice, only justice (Tzedek: Justice, rightness, righteousness, that which is right or just, righteousness in government, of judges, rulers, kings, and of the of law, righteousness in controversy, what is ethically right), you must pursue; so that you will live and inherit the land ADONAI your God is giving you.

It takes great boldness and courage to stand for truth and justice in the face of injustice and hatred. Adonai tell us to pursue, a verb, something that requires action on our part, we are to pursue justice, righteousness in Governments, from Prime Ministers, Presidents, Kings, from judges; to pursue justice and righteousness from all our leaders and rulers! The body of Messiah today desperately needs men and woman to pursue justice with great boldness and courage! It’s all too easy to hide behind a wall of religion, walls of fear and continue doing the familiar even if it’s known to be in wrong, in error, unscriptural, or unjust. Israel’s first King, Saul gave us a great, abject lesson in courage vs. cowardice.

I Samuel 15:24. Sha’ul said to Sh’mu’el, “I have sinned. I violated the order of ADONAI and your words too, because I was afraid of the people and listened to what they said.

The fundamental issue was Saul’s character flaw, he lacked the courage to overcome fear. He never won the inward character battle he struggled with that required courage. He succumbed to political correctness, a man pleasing spirit vice being a God pleaser. It’s the same struggle, same battle we face today both as a nation and as individuals on a day-to-day basis. We often make a comparison between King David vs King Saul and teach that Saul lost it all because he never repented but it’s far more complex than that. His failure centers around his lack courage.

Courage is the mental or moral strength to persevere and withstand adversity, danger, fear, and difficulty! Oz roo’akh in Hebrew which manes courage, valor, daring, and bravery. Courage is the state or quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face danger, to face fear with confidence, resolution, and bravery. Courage is coupled with servanthood. We earn trust by doing the right thing!

Every one of you will, either now or in the very near future will face tough decisions that will challenge you regarding truth, justice, and righteousness in the midst of controversy! We have entered a season that requires great courage! We know scripturally that Adonai Himself tests us is in these areas! There are certain truths about courage we must seek in order to pursue justice, righteousness, and truth that will allow us to experience restoration and revival!

1. Courage begins by overcoming the inward battle of righteousness.

Courage isn’t based upon a lack of fear, courage is doing what you’re afraid to do. It’s facing your giant with five stones in your shepherds’ bag because you know Goliath has brothers.

Psalm 31:25. Be strong, and fill your hearts with courage, all of you who hope in ADONAI.

2. Courage is doing the right thing in times of controversy or injustice.

Romans 13 that talks about obeying the governing authority is often quoted when anyone challenges or takes a stand against injustice, hatred, antisemitism, racism, or the oppression of our constitutional rights and civil liberties! Rebellion is disobeying a lawful order-like speeding, stealing, or refusing to pull over for a police officer. There cannot be obedience and submission if an order or command is unbiblical, unconstitutional, unethical, or immoral! America has had many laws and legal decisions in our history that were unjust, immoral, unethical, and unbiblical! Praise God righteous men and woman stood and defied these unconstitutional edicts, even going to war over them (civil war):

The Landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision of Dred Scott v. Sandford, (1857) held that the Constitution of the United States was not meant to include American citizenship for black people, regardless of whether they were enslaved or free, and therefore the rights and privileges it confers upon American citizens could not apply to them!

Slavery in the United States was a legal institution that existed from the beginning of the nation until passage of the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865. Under the law, an enslaved person was treated as property and could be bought, sold, or given away. The civil war, the bloodiest conflict in our history, was fought to end the “Peculiar Institution” of slavery and established the 13th amendment which abolished slavery. This was followed by “Jim Crow” laws and segregation in the former southern slave states. Black codes were strict local and state laws that detailed when, where, and how formerly enslaved people could work, and for how much compensation. The codes appeared throughout the South as a legal way to put black citizens into indentured servitude, to take voting rights away, to control where they lived and how they traveled and to seize children for labor purposes.

These were all legal codes and laws of this nation! Should the abolitionist have blindly obeyed the laws of the governing authority? The answer then like now is no!! The General rule is that an unconstitutional statute, though having the form and name of law is in reality not a law, but is wholly void, and ineffective for any purpose!

Martin Luther King Jr. said: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

James 4:17. So then, anyone who knows the right thing to do and fails to do it is committing a sin.

Adonai is restoring righteous, messianic leadership back into the Greater body! Adonai is preparing Israel for a spiritual awakening, a massive revival of the land and the people! We are on the cusp of a third great awakening unlike ever witnessed or experienced in all human history precluding Yeshua’s return! With this also comes the great and terrible day of the Lord, the Anti-Messiah with much tribulation and injustice! The lord is testing us, to see who will stand for justice, truth, righteousness, holiness, and His Kingdom in the midst of strife, war, and calls for our genocide! Kefa and the other emissaries were arrested and told to not share Yeshua upon which they replied in Acts 5: “We must obey God, not men”. Our resolve and determination are being challenged and tested! Who will pass the test?

Will we have leaders, spiritual and governmental, who will stand for justice and truth in the face of terrorism, antisemitism, racism, oppression, evil, wickedness, and unconstitutional acts or laws and say NO, we will not comply! If microchipping becomes the law of the land will there be unthinking compliance among believers who will quote Romans 13 and take the chip? In the wake of October 7th, 2023, Hamas invasion of Israel, I have no doubt many will succumb, apostatize and take it! Ezekiel spoke to Israel a word that I believe He is conveying to us today:

Ezekiel 22:29-30. (TLV) “The people of the land have oppressively blackmailed, plundered in robbery, wronged the poor and needy and abused the outsider unjustly. 30 I searched for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand (amad {aw-mad’}: to stand, remain, endure, take a stand) in the breach before Me for the land, so that I would not destroy it, but I found no one.

3. Courage in one believer inspires commitment from others.

Courage is contagious” says Billy Graham. “When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are stiffened.” Courage inspires. When an altar call is made it’s always silent until the first courageous person comes forward, others immediately follow.

Revival won’t just fall out of the sky upon us! We must persevere, fight, and press into all of Adonai’s covenant promises!

II Corinthians 4:6-9. For it is the God who once said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” who has made his light shine in our hearts, the light of the knowledge of God’s glory shining in the face of the Messiah Yeshua. 7 But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it will be evident that such overwhelming power comes from God and not from us. 8 We have all kinds of troubles, but we are not crushed; we are perplexed, yet not in despair; 9 persecuted, yet not abandoned; knocked down, yet not destroyed.

We’re in war and Adonai is teaching us how to stand and fight! It’s easy to follow the crowd, it takes courage to stand alone!

4. Your spiritual life, your Kingdom life and power grows in proportion to your courage.

Romans Historian Tacitus said: “The desire for safety stands against every great and noble enterprise” Courage opens doors in your life. Could Abraham have fulfilled his destiny without the courage to obey God and immediately leave Haran-everything he had ever known? Could Noach have built the Ark without courage? Could Esther have risked her own life by entering the Kings court without being summoned without courage? Could Yeshua have faced bearing humanities sin and death by tortuous crucifixion without courage?

I Thessalonians 2:2-4. On the contrary, although we had already suffered and been outraged in Philippi, as you know, we had the courage, united with our God, to tell you the Good News even under great pressure. 3 For the appeal we make does not flow from error or from impure motives, neither do we try to trick people. 4 Instead, since God has tested us and found us fit to be entrusted with Good News, this is how we speak: not to win favor with people but with God, who tests our hearts.

Revival requires the courage to speak the truth and stand for justice and righteousness at all times, even under great pressure and adversity. The courage to speak Kingdom, biblical truth and not stay silent, to not fear governments, peer pressure, social media backlash, or those who hate us, reject us (just like Yeshua), and call for our genocide. Of course, there will be conflicting views. And of course, conflict is unpleasant. But silence is worse, it’s a sin! The courage to stand up for what we know to be ethical, moral, and truth comes from Adonai! The courage to stand against anything that is unbiblical, unconstitutional, unethical, or immoral! It will take courage to resist tyrants, Anti-Messiahs, terrorists, and HaSatan’s schemes and temptations! Every Epistle, every letter of Sha’ul reflect great pressure, persecution, adversity, and tribulation while at the same time recording a worldwide sovereign move of God! But we must have courage in the face of adversity and stand!

Blessings,

Rabbi Eric S Carlson