We've all been feeling it: the intensity in the spirit. The pressure. The pushback. The resistance. The attacks. The buffeting. It seems like one thing after another. Some days, it feels like every breath, step and word requires an increase of focus and effort. Everything feels like a push—even prayer, devotional times and worship.
The enemy wants us to think it is because he is winning. He wants us to choose to believe that the intensity means his agenda of wickedness, unrighteousness and evil are rising to an unstoppable high tide of darkness. And sure, many of the things we are dealing with in our lives—as well as most of the headlines and stories coming across our news apps— can make it easy to agree with that. But remember this: The enemy is a liar; he is not winning; he is defeated.
That's not to say what you have been seeing, sensing, discerning and dealing with aren't real. It's simply to remind you that they are not signs that the enemy has found a way to out-maneuver, out-smart or out-play God.
So why then are things so intense on so many fronts right now?
I asked the Lord that very question recently. His answer surprised me, stirred me, gave me great faith and helped me see His truth in the midst of all the enemy's attacks.
The Lord helped me understand two key things: Why the enemy is pushing back so hard right now and why God allows seasons like this.
Why Things Are So Intense Right Now
The quick answer to why the enemy is throwing everything he has at the saints right now is that he is terrified. I know it doesn't look and feel that way but Satan and his minions tend to be loudest and meanest when they have the most to lose. The pressure in the spirit usually cranks up several levels when God's people are on the verge of huge spiritual victories—nation-turning, history-making, revival-birthing, reformation-bringing victories.
Think of Elijah in 1 Kings 18. He scored a huge win for the kingdom in the earth on Mount Carmel. Israel's focus was turned back to the Lord. All of Baal's prophets and priests (who played a massive role in establishing a dark, wicked atmosphere in the nation) had been wiped out. Elijah was empowered as a supernatural sign-and-wonder to outrace the chariots of Ahab to Jezreel—the ungodly king's home base and fortress. The rule, reign and influence of the unrighteous government was on the ropes. A huge change was about to come to Israel. All of these examples are the moments when the enemy pushes back—hard!
The spirit of Jezebel, operating through the queen, threatened Elijah (see 1 Kings 19:1-2); not from a place of strength but fear. The enemy's grip on the nation was slipping. So the threats, pressure and intimidation increased.
We see a similar tactic by the enemy in the New Testament when Jesus was about to break Satan's stronghold over the entirety of creation, bringing God's people back into all that was lost at the fall in Genesis 3. The enemy is pushing back with all he has. Every power, principality, demon and minion of hell presses in on Jesus at the grove of Gethsemane. The pressure is so intense that Jesus actually begins to sweat blood (see Luke 22:41-44).
The enemy does not push back with the level of intensity we have been experiencing because he is winning. He does it when he is terrified of losing everything!
Why Does God Allow Seasons Like This?
Perhaps the bigger question than why the enemy is pushing back so hard right now is why God would even allow a season like this? What purpose could it possibly serve? Why wouldn't the Lord just "snap His fingers" and put Satan and his minions in their place?
The first thing we need to remember is that all of this is happening on our watch, not God's. That doesn't mean God is not there or that He does not care. And it most certainly does not mean that God is not sovereign. It is simply a reminder that His sovereign plan since day six of creation has been to have a people in the earth, made in His image, walking with Him and operating in His power as His dominion stewards over all creation (see Genesis 1:26-28)—that's you and me. That is who we are in Christ. We have been hand-picked by God to be here, now, representing Him and re-presenting Him to our families, workplaces, cities, states, provinces, territories, nations and the world.
There is a reason we don't go straight home to heaven as soon as we say yes to Jesus Christ. It is because we have glorious work to do here in the earth on behalf of His kingdom.
But you may be wondering, even with all that, how God allowing intense seasons like this can possibly achieve kingdom purposes? It is right there in Luke 22:31-32 (NKJV):
"And the Lord said, 'Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.'"
Notice that Jesus does not reassure Simon Peter by telling him that He was interceding on his behalf so that Satan would not sift him. He said that He had prayed so that Simon Peter's faith would not fail. The Lord was saying He would allow a season of sifting by the enemy because when Simon Peter ultimately chose to believe in the Lord and His truth, despite the season of challenges, it would achieve something powerful for the kingdom in the earth. It would also strengthen other believers in their faith and, thus, in their effectiveness for the kingdom.
Jesus was letting Simon Peter know that no matter how things may look or feel, He was with him and that Simon Peter was not a victim in all this but actually someone who was being used mightily of the Lord by his faith, not failing in the midst of severe pressure and intense spiritual battles.
In this hour, God wants to help us wake up to how powerful our faith really is.
Faith Is the Building Blocks of Heaven in the Earth
Our faith is way more than simply belief. According to Hebrews 11:1, our faith is a substance. It is also the main way that we operate as His dominion stewards in the earth. When we choose to believe, decree and declare God's eternal truth in the midst of the siftings of the enemy, the substance of our faith actually works to establish the truth that is won-and-done in the eternal realm (thank You, Jesus!) here in the temporal realm.
All of Satan's attacks, pressure and pushbacks are an effort to get us to focus on our current circumstances as opposed to the eternal truth of God's Word. The enemy wants us to feel defeated. He wants us to quit. Because he knows that when we believe, we will continue to pray, decree, declare, praise and worship in Spirit and in truth. That's faith. And the substance of that faith establishes the kingdom of heaven here in the earth.
Keep Believing—You Are Making a Difference!
Yes, the siftings are real right now. But they are not because the enemy is winning. Just the opposite. They are proof he is terrified of what you and the rest of God's believing Believers in the earth are helping to birth, build and bring forth: a nation-turning, history-making, revival-birthing, reformation-bringing move of God!
Continue to stand strong in your faith. Continue to decree the eternal truth of God's Word in the midst of all you and our nations are facing. Continue in the Word. Continue in prayer. Continue standing in the midst of the battles. You are God's champion. You are His agent of impact. You are making a difference. (Even if you don't see it yet, the enemy sure does!)
I am praying for you. Our ministry is praying for you. And even more,the Lord Himself is interceding on your behalf, just as He did for Simon Peter—that your faith shall not fail!
Expecting Great Things!
Robert Hotchkin is the founder of Men on the Frontlines and Robert Hotchkin Ministries. He also serves as one of the core leaders of Patricia King Ministries. Robert hosts the weekly Heroes Arise broadcast, co-hosts the show Propel with Patricia King and is a regular guest and co-host of Supernatural Life on GodTV. Robert fervently believes every Christian is a miracle-working explosion of the kingdom waiting to happen. His preaching, teaching and ministry inspire believers to grab hold of their restored relationship with the Father through the finished work of the Cross and walk in the fullness of their authority as dominion agents of impact in the earth.
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