How to Respond to Mistreatment

“You are not your own… For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

Whether we like it or not, there are times when we experience mistreatment by others. It can be a family member who says something against us, or a co-worker who tries to ruin our reputation in some way and blocks our goals to advancement in our workplace. Or it can be a multitude of other situations. In this imperfect world with broken people, we will all face mistreatment. And this often happens with those we are the closest to—husbands, wives, children, neighbors, and co-workers. We live in a world filled with misunderstanding and injustice. There are so many situations where our heart can cry out, “This is not fair!”

As ones who want to grow in prayer, what do we do when we experience mistreatment? What does God want us to do when we feel injustice in a very personal way? How can we have a godly attitude when unfairly treated? How can we keep from bitterness and from hindering our prayer life because of an angry or bitter heart? Keep in mind that bitterness starts as a tiny root that grows up to cause trouble and defiles many (Hebrews 12:5). Let’s look at the biblical example of David because he was able to keep his heart pure in the hardest of circumstances.

The Example of King David

“Into your hands I commit my spirit; redeem me, O LORD, the God of truth. My times are in your hands; deliver me from my enemies and from those who pursue me” (Psalm 31:5, 15).

David, the man after God’s heart, is one of the greatest examples of how to respond rightly to God when mistreated. David was one who trusted in God to intervene because when he was mistreated by Saul, He did not retaliate. Can you imagine the fear of being sought after and threatened by Saul and his 3000 soldiers? Running for his life as a hunted fugitive, David’s heart must have been pounding in his chest as Saul came into the very cave where he and his men were hiding. Yet David did not kill Saul at this opportune time, but instead he committed his cause totally into God’s hands. He passed one of his hardest tests when his very life was at stake in this dark, dungy cave. See 1 Samuel 24:2-15.

At, yet, another time David had the opportunity to kill his enemy. Saul and his men were sleeping within the camp with his spear stuck in the ground close to his head. Again David refused to harm him. See 1 Samuel 26:2-24 for the full story. He committed his cause into God’s hand. He let God be his deliverer. He said to Saul in verse 23-24:

“May the Lord repay every man… for the LORD delivered you into my hand today, but I would not stretch out my hand against the LORD’s anointed… let my life be valued much in the eyes of the LORD, and let Him deliver me out of all tribulations.”

Have you or I had to trust God with our enemies to the degree that David did—with our very life?

When you entrust yourself into God’s hands, you make a transaction with God of a very deep nature. You trust in His will for your life in His way and with His timing to intervene. You are transferring your personal rights into His hands and into His responsibility. You are letting God be God in your life to the very core of your being. You are acknowledging His ownership of you. God is always working deeply in our hearts and is developing our inner character. By refusing to retaliate like David did with Saul, you are letting God remove the “Saul” in your own heart.

You are trusting in God’s leadership in your life. You are refusing to retaliate and are bringing God and His activity into your situation. You are bringing God into the conflict and are engaging in spiritual warfare. You are making room for His righteous judgment. You are being tested in your faith deeply as you trust that He vindicates us in His time and ways.

Trusting in God’s Leadership at Sea

“Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer” (1 Peter 3:10-12a).

I remember several years ago while living on a mission’s ship going in and out of nations with the gospel message, an international crew, and the largest floating book exhibition in the world. We had just left Romania and were sailing towards our next nation, Bulgaria. Right before entering that nation we were falsely accused of being a cult, and suddenly we were told that we couldn’t enter Bulgarian waters. The door was shut completely. With over 300 people on board from over 40 nations, and with numerous programs and plans for the next port, we were stopped in our tracks and had nowhere to go. We were stuck at sea and had to go somewhere, but where?

In that situation we had nowhere to turn but to God in prayer. As a ship’s crew and staff, we had to trust in His leadership. We had to bring Him and His activity into our situation in a deeper and more desperate way. It tested our faith. Our plans up to that point had to drop by the wayside. It would be useless to try to defend ourselves. God had to be our vindicator, our answer, and our solution to this problem.

In a remarkable and amazing way, God opened the door to a nearby Muslim nation. Our ship got unusual publicity. God opened the way into a central port in the city, and we had a wonderful program. We saw God’s fantastic leadership and plan. Our faith grew as a ship’s company and we saw the works of the Lord in a needy land. If we had retaliated and fought to get into Bulgaria, we would have missed the magnificent plan of God. We would have missed His best. His leadership is perfect and surpasses all of our plans. We were able to overcome evil with good when we did not avenge ourselves and pursued peace. God was attentive to our prayers, and we experienced the blessing of God in an unexpected land.

“Do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to God’s wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord… if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink… Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:19-21).

When you bless and pray for your enemies and the very ones who mistreat you, your attitude towards them changes. You heart becomes free. You begin to love your enemies and care about their welfare. Even if you don’t see God’s vindication immediately or even in this life, you will see it one day when God makes everything right.

Is there some situation today where you have the opportunity to overcome evil with good? Is there one or two people who you feel have mistreated you? If you give yourself a few moments of silence, God will often bring someone to mind. We all have situations. Can you entrust yourself to God and bless your enemy? Can you entrust your reputation, future, plans and well-being to God and to His leadership? Let’s learn to commit our spirit into God’s hands. Let’s overcome evil with good. Let’s remember David’s example.

Always remember that you were bought for an incredible price. You can trust in God’s perfect and loving leadership over your life.

“When David ‘committed his spirit’ into God’s hands, he was committing to God everything that deeply touched his spirit such as his reputation, money, possessions, positions, and impact. He was entrusting the outcome of the most important issues in his life to God’s leadership.” Mike Bickle

Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International
International House of Prayer (IHOP) KC Staff
deb@intercessorsarise.org
http://www.intercessorsarise.org

Preparation for Revival

“All the true revivals have been born in prayer. When God’s people become so concerned about the state of religion that they lie on their faces day and night in earnest supplication, the blessing will be sure to fall.” E. M. Bounds

Many of us pray that God will send a revival among us. We intercede not only for ourselves, but for those around us, asking God to move in powerful ways. But what does revival actually look like and how should we pray?

My husband and I had the wonderful privilege of living in Wales for more than a year. A great revival swept through the land in 1904, making an impact on the nation—and the world—in a short span of time. We had the added blessing of visiting Moriah Chapel, the tiny church building where the Welsh revival broke forth. I was amazed at how insignificant in appearance the building is. Yet the power of God spread around the world from that humble place. Believers in Wales are praying for another mighty revival to touch their land, and we have been inspired to think, study, and pray much for revival since that time.

The topic of revival brings great interest to most of us because we long for God to sweep through our country. But we must realize that it is costly, and each of us must be willing to pay the price to prepare for it.

Behind the concept of revival is the Hebrew word chayah, which means “to live.” In Strong’s Concordance, the word is translated “make alive, nourish up, preserve, quicken, recover, repair, restore, save, keep alive and make whole.” Who among us does not desire that the Church be quickened, made whole, preserved and kept alive? We must pray with heartfelt passion for this to happen. And it will. When the Church is revived, she will be stronger and mightier against the powers of darkness. She will be a brighter light in this dark world. She will be victorious and attract the lost.

When revival hit Wales, the whole community was shaken by the power of God. Crowds would go to the prayer meetings at 6:00 A.M. Because the Holy Spirit affected many people, the entire community was soon turned into a praying multitude. Evan Roberts, the young man greatly used in the Welsh Revival, would speak of four tenets or keys to walking in revival. These are helpful as we seek for personal and corporate revival in our own lives:

  1. The past must be made clear by sin being confessed to God and every wrong to man put right.
  2. Every doubtful thing in the life must be put away.
  3. There must be prompt obedience to the Holy Spirit.
  4. There must be public confession of Christ.

We live in serious times. We need to cry out fervently to God, asking Him to revive His Church worldwide. We need to be in intensive prayer, asking God to move in our cities and nations. Studying the characteristics of revival will help us prepare both personally and corporately for a great move of God in His Church. Understanding the deep need to prepare our own hearts for revival and learning how to cooperate with God as He pours into the earth will keep us from hindering the move of God as it comes. The key phrase of the Welsh revival in 1904 was, “Bend the Church and save the world.” 

The Human Characteristics of Revival

  • Spiritual preparation – Unity and prayer are two key elements needed for revival. We must pay this price of spiritual preparation. Revival will not come without a hunger and thirst after God that brings intense prayer. There must be a longing for His glory. We cannot be indifferent or apathetic but must rend our hearts with the cries that are born by the yearnings in God’s heart. Forty days after Jesus ascended to heaven, His followers obediently prepared for spiritual revival: “They all joined together constantly in prayer” (Acts 1:14).

    “Our essential trouble is that we are content with a very superficial and preliminary knowledge of God… we spend our lives in busy activism… The inevitable and constant preliminary to revival has always been a thirst for God, a thirst, a living thirst for a knowledge of the living God and a longing and a burning desire to see Him acting, manifesting Himself and His power, rising and scattering His enemies.” Martin Lloyd-Jones

  • Conviction of sin – In true revival, people are seized with an overwhelming conviction of sin. Even the smallest sin seems big. Sin is not taken lightly, and God deals with both the saved and the lost. Revival is intensely personal; God convicts you of personal sin, and your soul is in the agonizing grip of a holy God. There is an encounter with God’s convicting power. “They were cut to the heart” (Acts 2:37).

    “The assembly appeared bowed with an awful conviction of their sin and danger. There was such a breathing of distress and weeping that the preacher was obliged to speak to the people and desire silence that he might be heard. Many of the hearers were seen unconsciously holding themselves up against the pillars and the sides of the pews as though they already felt themselves sliding into the pit.” Wallis

  • God-consciousness – In revival, there is a consciousness of God, an awareness of His holiness and power. On the day of Pentecost, “everyone was filled with awe” (Acts 2:43). People caught up in revival know without a doubt that God is there. They feel a divine magnetism toward His presence.

    “There was nothing humanly speaking, to account for what happened. Quite suddenly, upon one and another came an overwhelming sense of the reality and awfulness of His Presence and of eternal things. Life, death and eternity seemed suddenly laid bare.” Winkie Pratney

May God prepare each one of us personally to pay the price for revival—the price of fervent prayer and allowing Him  to work deeply in our lives. Let us ask Him to make us conscious of His Presence and learn to abide in Him moment by moment. Pray that He will convict us of even the smallest sin in our life. Press on in prayer and fasting for revival in the nations. A worldwide end-times revival is going to be a glorious thing, but it will be costly.

We lived on a book exhibition ship for years. In some countries, thousands of visitors came on board daily. Long hours of hard work consumed our full attention. Are we ready for the demands of revival? God must prepare us, His Church, personally and corporately for the self-sacrifice that revival entails. May we not draw back but prepare to lay hold of this glorious end-time outpouring of God with all our hearts as the radiant Bride of Christ who is willing to sacrifice all so that people might be saved.

“Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains would tremble before you! As when fire sets twigs ablaze and causes water to boil, come down to make your name known to your enemies and cause the nations to quake before you” (Isaiah 64:1-2).

Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International
International House of Prayer (IHOP) KC Staff
deb@intercessorsarise.org
www.intercessorsaris

The Overflow of a Consecrated Life

“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30).

Our greatest privilege is to hunger after God and seek Him with all our heart. There is nothing else more fulfilling than living wholeheartedly for Him in this life, but so few live lives that provoke us to this kind of radical lifestyle. Even many in the unconverted world are looking for people who have such a passion that no sacrifice will stop them in their pursuit.

One example just recently is the 64-year-old long-distance swimmer, Diana Nyad, who broke the record with a 53-hour, 110 mile Cuba-to-Florida swim. This was her 5th attempt and her life-long dream of 35 years. Against all odds, including jellyfish, age, distance and sharks, she came on shore welcomed by crowds snapping photos, with the simple message, “We should never give up. You are never too old to chase your dreams.” Diane was passionate, radical, and determined. It was on national news. A newspaper article said that this was an inspiration to Baby Boomers everywhere!

If one person can inspire multitudes through passion in swimming, shouldn’t we as Christians influence many who are lost by our wholehearted consecration to God?

But in order to do this, each one of us needs the heart revelation that God loves us wholeheartedly. We need our heart to be awakened to this incredible truth. God is not asking us to do something that He himself does not do. He loves us first. Our wholehearted God is wholehearted towards each one of us. He gives us grace to receive His love and to give it back to Him. The revelation of this incredible love of God is the very launching point for a consecrated life of total and wholehearted abandonment.

Consecration to God is something we see little of in a world that is looking for excitement, quick fixes, and glamor. Where are those that can say?

“I want God and nothing else in this world. I want to go as far as it is possible for a human to go in seeking after God and living abandoned to Him. My heart pants after God (Psalm 42). I want to provoke others to jealousy by my choices day-by-day and hour-by-hour to live for God and Him alone.”

This is the kind of life that will touch the world with the reality of what it really means to be a lover of God. The world has only a false glamour because it doesn’t really satisfy. It promises high rewards, but it only leads to disappointment and death. But what does it mean to live a consecrated life? What are some ways to begin to live like this?

A Consecrated Life

When you give God your all, life changes. God is looking all over the earth for those who are consecrated, those who will pray, those who will give their 100%. Recently we has a couple in their 90’s, Frank and Marie Drown, speak to a group in our home. They were missionaries in Ecuador for 34 years. Frank is the one who recovered the bodies of the five missionary martyrs reaching the Alca Indians in Ecuador in 1956. Jim Elliot and Nate Saint were two of them. Perhaps you know of Jim’s wife, Elisabeth Elliot, who has written many books. Frank shared the details of this heart-wrenching experience with tears.

Frank and Marie have lived consecrate lives. To this day they speak a message of consecration and sacrifice. It was a joy to listen to ones who had lived out commitment in the face of danger and all odds, reaching headhunters with the love of God. They shared with joy, and we experienced the overflow of consecrated lives.

What does it mean to be consecrated? Consecration is a voluntary act of committing oneself to worship, prayer, and service to God. The word “consecrated” literally means: “to unite by force with the sacred.” John the Baptist lived a consecrated life.

“From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of God suffered violence and the violent take it by force” (Matthew 11:12).

There is an overflow of a consecrated life. You can’t hide it. Others see it, are drawn to it, and want it. Some are convicted and others hate it because it points out and rebukes the luke-warm and the dead. Spiritual violence is the expression of our willingness to pay any price of self-denial in seeking and obeying God. This is consecration. This is what revival is all about – a personal dedication to Jesus and no other; a commitment that is lived out only by grace and the power of God. Can you say to God?

“I’m hungry. I want more! Take me into the consecrated life. Nothing else satisfies. Make my heart alive in you and nothing else. Show me how to truly live for your glory.”

We are in the most intense time in human history. The pressures are mounting. In light of this, God wants us to walk in the greatest anointing this world has ever seen. We must be consecrated to God in times of crisis. We must separate ourselves from sin and unto union with God. How can we do this? We must set aside time for focused seeking after God, fasting, and devotion. We reap what we sow (2 Corinthians 9:6-7). The impact of focusing on God produces:

  • A purposed heart –  A desire in the heart to draw near to Him.
  • A changed lifestyle – A lifestyle and behavior change. You spend your time, energy, and money in different ways.
  • A reaping of consequences in God – When our actions change, we reap positive consequences in our relationship with God.

We just studied the book of Daniel here at the international House of Prayer. I encourage you to do the same. See Daniel studies. A serious study of this book can move you into a much more dedicated lifestyle.

Daniel was an example of a consecrated life. He separated himself unto God and lived differently than others. He positioned his heart after God and prayed three times a day. He fasted. He sought after God when no one was watching. His life was marked by miraculous deliverances (lion’s den, fiery furnace), visions and dreams, and God’s favor. His life was alive to God’s purposes. He and John the Baptist led a consecrated life that has challenged and overflowed throughout the generations.

God is beginning to challenge the young to a life of prayer and devotion. Here at IHOP, I see young people from all over the world living a life of consecration in prayer day-by-day and hour-by-hour. It is overflowing to the nations, to the lost, and to people groups around the world. What God is starting worldwide in devotion and prayer is only building momentum. The world needs Jesus, and He is the only answer to a humanity that has gone terribly wrong.

Here are some simple ways to start:

  • Cut out the unnecessary – Begin where you are, and ask God to help you focus and cut out those things that are not necessary.
  • Make times for fasting and pray – Put it in your schedule, and consecrate these times to the Lord.
  • Study Biblical examples – Study the book of Daniel and other Biblical characters who lived lives of devotion and consecration like John the Baptist, Moses, Paul, Joseph, etc.
  • Pray through the Sermon on the Mount – Read and pray through the Sermon on the Mount on a regular basis (Matthew 5-7). It is all about a dedicated lifestyle.
  • Receive grace to walk it out – You can’t do it yourself. You need the Holy Spirit’s help. Realize that none of us is fully committed yet. Don’t condemn yourself when you fall. We are all on the road. But we can walk day by day in all the light we receive. When we make a mistake, we push “delete” and start again. We need God’s grace for consecration. Join or like my Intercessors Arise International Facebook Page for regular prayer quotes, international prayer alerts, and motivation in prayer.
  • Live in expectation – Receive God’s love in your own heart, and know that you will reap positive consequences by living a consecrated life.

Will you not recommit your life to Jesus today? Let Him take you by the hand into a life of consecration step-by-step, a life of total commitment. The joy of the Lord will be your strength, and He will give you daily grace to walk it out.

There is no greater joy than full surrender and a consecrated life. There is an overflow of blessing from a consecrated life.

“God designed us so that experiencing His love is the most pleasurable reality available to the human make-up. We were created to love God with all our heart. When we do not love God with a passionate heart, then our emotional life is out of balance. Life doe not work without pursuing this. We were created in such a way that we cannot live in wholeness without the pursuit of being wholehearted for God. If we have nothing to die for, then we have nothing to live for. Many in the body of Christ are suffering from spiritual boredom because they are not passionate in their pursuit to love God.” Mike Bickle

By Debbie Przybylski