Recently, I read an article about Pastor Greg Laurie and Harvest Ministries. It talked about an event that they were hosting and the difficulties the ministry incurred leading up to the event. The main issue discussed was in their advertising. The ministry used a marketing firm to advertise their event on bill boards in California. The picture they chose to use was of Pastor Greg Laurie holding a Bible. The Bible he was holding had nothing that stated it was a Bible, but this picture apparently offended people driving by it. So, they (the offended people) threatened the marketing firm to remove the advertisement. The ministry responded gracefully and changed the advertisement to acknowledge the artists performing at the event. The naysayers were still not satisfied and threatened physical harm to the marketing firm. With that, the marketing firm pulled the advertisement completely. The ministry remained faithful in knowing that the Lord lead them to this event. The event took place, and had THOUSANDS come to know the Lord. That’s correct, THOUSANDS, recognized Jesus as their Lord and Savior. What the enemy tried to destroy ended up glorifying the Lord and changing lives forever.
This article was so uplifting. I enjoy seeing the defeat of the enemy and amazing miracles that only the Lord could have created. The ministry could have easily been defeated, thinking that no one would come, or even canceled everything. The Lord had greater plans for that day, and what the enemy tried to prevent from happening ended up being an amazing triumph not only for that day but also an inspiring testimony for all those who read the article or heard the story.
It’s funny (not really “ha ha” funny) but I remember every retreat we used to help organize both in youth and college aged ministries always had something happen that almost prevented us from going. One year we had two leaders step down a couple months before the retreat. Which meant all the remaining organizing fell on my shoulders. What we didn’t realize at the time was that we were telling everyone and advertising the retreat for the wrong day. When I called the facility to confirm all the plans it became evident that the dates were not what was originally agreed upon. The only problem was that on the exact day we figured that out we had literally just rsvp’d to a friend’s wedding. My husband and I knew that ministry was our priority, so I had to make a very awkward phone call to my friend and prayed that she would understand the mix up. Thankfully we are still friends today, and the best part about the retreat was that we had the opportunity to witness and participate in baptizing two people on the retreat. Seeing the Lord change lives and move hearts to publicly proclaim their faith outweighs any mishap that had taken place.
These stories/testimonies remind me of many situations that took place in the Bible. Situations that the enemy tried to prevent from happening, or just pure evil intentions that turned into miracles from the Lord. One instance that sticks out is in Daniel 6 – Daniel in the Lion’s Den. King Darius had appointed 120 satraps to rule throughout the kingdom, and three administrators over them (Daniel was one of them). The king was pleased with Daniel and the way he handled the affairs that he was going to place Daniel over everyone. The other administrators and satraps were not happy with that, so they tried to figure out ways that they could charge Daniel with conducting government affairs unfairly. Verse 4 states:
“…they couldn’t find anything to criticize or condemn. He was faithful, always responsible, and completely trustworthy.”
Finally, these men said, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.” So, they came up with a plan to have King Darius issue a decree that anyone caught worshipping a god other then the king would be put in a pit with lions. Daniel was aware of the decree, but that did not stop him from worshipping the one true God. Daniel meant a lot to the King Darius, but the edict needed to be followed through. Therefore, Daniel was thrown into the pit with the lions. At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. He called out in verse 20:
“Daniel, servant of the living God! Was your God, whom you serve so faithfully, able to rescue you from the lions?”
Daniel responded praising God for protecting him through the night. Daniel’s faith and trust in God was not altered by his circumstances. What the other administrators and leaders of that time meant for harm and evil, ended up bringing God all the glory. The king in turn issued a new decree in verse 26-27 stating that everyone in his kingdom must fear and reverence the God of Daniel.
“For he is the living God, and he will endure forever. His kingdom will never be destroyed, and his rule will never end. He rescues and saves his people; he performs miraculous signs and wonders in the heavens and on earth.”
That same God continues to perform these miracles today. So, when you feel like the walls are caving in, or that the chains of your past can’t be broken- just like Daniel was lifted out of the den of lions, we are called to rise. Rise up in victorious faith knowing that the enemy has already been defeated!