Excerpt taken from Chapter 3 of Prepare for His Return! Praying the End-Time Warnings and Requirements
"To Him Who Overcomes..."
Revelation 2:7d, 2:17c, 2:26a, 3:21a
In the first month that I had received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, I had many life changing experiences. One of these experiences began when I was told that I must study the seven overcomes in Revelation. I had only begun a Bible study a few months earlier, and I did not know where I would find these Scriptures. I asked the leader of our Bible study what this could be. He very graciously gave me all the scripture references. The Scriptures were the ones listed in the chapter title and these four; Revelation 2:11c, 3:5a, 3:12a, .
All the gifts that would be given to one who overcame were beautiful. I marveled at what one could receive by overcoming. Still, I wondered, what was meant by overcoming? Only the last Scripture on the list that the minister had given to me had some help as to what I must do to gain in this area.
“They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony;”
As was becoming a pattern in my walk with the Lord, life continued to be normal while I was considering all of this. My Husband traveled often for his business. He was away on a trip and I was ending the day by sitting in our bed reading the Bible. I became sleepy, so I laid down the Bible. I reached up and switched off the lamp beside our bed, and there was an instant change in the atmosphere of our room. The room was filled with the presence of evil. I could barely breathe and I was frightened.
(I must add here that as a child I attended Christian schools. And I had learned that Satan was the Prince of Darkness. In my child’s mind I took it literally to mean that when it was dark, Satan came out. As an adult I had reasoned those thoughts away, but something remained.)
Out of fear, I reached for the lamp that I had just switched off. I heard the Lord’s voice softly say; “Praise Me!” Tentatively, I began to give God praise. I can not remember exactly what I had said in Praise of God but I remembered that in a few minutes I was able to focus on the words of Praise and began to really speak them from my heart. I focused more and more on the Lord’s presence in the room. I knew He had spoken to me. After what seemed like a long time (it was only 5 or 10 minutes; I had looked at the clock before I switched off the lamp), the oppressive spirit left. I immediately fell asleep.
In about an hour, I was awakened by this oppressive spirit who returned to our bedroom. This time I did not reach for the light and I immediately said and sung Praises to the Lord. The spirit left quickly and I fell back to sleep.
Again in an hour, I was awakened. This time everything was different. Our room was filled with the Spirit of the Lord. I felt His Love and Light even in the darkness of the room. I knew the Lord had been there before, by faith, now He showed me He was there. It wasn’t until I related my story to a minister friend that I understood what had happened. The minister simply said, “Ah, you overcame your fear of Satan.” That word, overcame, leaped out of his sentence to my soul. Now I knew what overcoming would mean. I was really happy to have this understanding. And I also realized that the true life of a Christian would require work that would be difficult.
To me it meant that no matter what the circumstances looked like or seemed, I must believe the Lord and His Word. I saw that when Jesus was in the desert for forty days, He overcame Satan’s attack by proclaiming Scripture. All the difficulties that came to us over the years were not new to the men and women of the Bible. There were Scriptures that spoke to these difficulties and to their end. Jesus’ testimony in the desert was the Word of God. I began to believe the Word rather than the fearful reports the enemy was always trying to plant in my mind. I could proclaim these verses out loud and often. I continued to work on being an overcomer by the Word of my testimony; God’s Word.
I found another Scripture that showed that if I obeyed God’s commandments and believed that Jesus was the Son of God, I had everything I needed to be an overcomer.
“This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. “ (I added the emphasis.)
1 John 5:3-5.
It was about nine years before the Lord showed me the need for deliverance. There were many areas in which I was not able to overcome. The Lord brought me to safe places where I received deliverances from generational curses, strongholds, mind sets and curses. At that time the Lord gave me a very important Word.
“Overcoming is the back door to deliverance.”
The deliverances seemed easier than overcoming. The Holy Spirit wanted me to make a more truthful connection. When He showed me a scripture and made me see I needed to pray it; I would. After six weeks to three months of praying this Scripture, the Holy Spirit would send me for deliverance. I had seen that even after I was delivered in an area, I needed to be vigilant for the enemy will not give up old strongholds, easily. The Scriptures that had been given to me were directly related to the weaknesses where I needed deliverance. By praying these Scriptures I was strengthening my soul. I was more ready to overcome in these weaknesses because I had the perfect Scriptures to use in any battles. And what I gained by overcoming the return of the enemy made me strong in the Lord and in belief in His Word. It also made me His vessel with more to give in prayer intercession for others.
Jesus’ idea of what I needed did not always match what I “thought” I needed When God’s enemy hung around for days or weeks, I would want to seek out a deliverance ministry for more help. There were times as I prayed to do this that Jesus would surprise me by saying,
“In this area you must overcome."
The one constant was Jesus and His grace. Jesus told Paul that,
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
2 Corinthians 12:9b
I had learned that Jesus’ grace was sufficient for me because it was bountifully given. It seemed that Jesus’ grace handled ninety-nine percent of the problem and that my part was only one percent.
For the last eleven years, I had been able to be truly thankful to the Lord for the struggle to overcome that continued to today. The original verses about overcoming in Revelation were now an important message to me. This message had little to do with the gifts promised by Jesus. They were still beautiful to me but not the focus of my need to overcome. I simply wanted to do whatever work the Lord would have for me to do while I was on earth. To write this chapter I had to overcome in many strong areas of distraction.
Many books had been written about the Blood of the Lamb, so I talked more about the Word of our testimony. That did not mean that I had chosen one over the other. I had found that both worked together for greater grace to overcome. Every morning and evening, I applied the Blood of Jesus by faith over my entire family and any one on my prayer list. I applied it over every part of our beings; both physical and spiritual. The Power in the Blood of Jesus was mighty for protection and for so much more. It was the Power of the Blood of Jesus that stopped the enemy’s unchallenged gains here on earth. When the Blood of Jesus was applied to any situation and to the minds and hearts of anyone involved, the Lord’s Victory became close at hand. My prayer partner and I always applied the Blood of Jesus during prayer for anyone. A part of that prayer was:
“According to the Words in Romans (5:9) and the Words in Exodus 12, when you see the Blood of Jesus covering them and their situation, no destructive blow will come upon them nor will the destroyer come to strike or smite them. We praise and thank you Lord, for the Blood of Jesus. “
As I ventured into new areas for the Lord’s work, I had seen many who had not understood the need to overcome in their life. All seemed well or they accepted what was there as part of their life. The most difficult thing for me to see was when God’s enemy stole back deliverances and healings from people who could not stand and overcome his efforts to return.
If you study the few scriptures I mentioned in this chapter you will see that overcoming will be required by all Christians. And more importantly I knew without a doubt that Jesus would come again. I may be someone who will be here on earth when Jesus returned. I must be an overcomer to stand in what will still need to come forth. Clearly, this was one of the end-time requirements.
For this requirement I will pray a prayer of encouragement.
For the sake of Our Lord Jesus and a continued walk with Him, I pray that all who read this book would be encouraged to seek the Lord Holy Spirit for an understanding of overcoming and what it would mean in their life. Holy Spirit, I humbly ask that Your grace would flow mighty for them, so they could hear Your answer. And Lord Holy Spirit, I pray that You would give them the courage to follow Your guidance. I pray this in the Name of Jesus. Amen.
Prepare for His Return! Praying
the End-Time Warnings and Requirements
©2005 Paula Russo
Paula Russo | P.O. Box 950987 | Lake Mary, FL 32795 |firstname.lastname@example.org