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Text Sermons : Classic Christian Writings : Prepare Yourself For Spiritual Conquest By William Ozanne

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Desperate world conditions and desperate times call for a strategic intervention on the part of the Almighty God. When such an acute crisis threatens the very existence of present-day civilization and when widespread apostasy permeates the religious community, it is high time for divine intervention and a demonstration of the Lord Jehovah’s invincible power! Only this can decisively defeat the forces of evil that brazenly and rampantly strive to oppose and obstruct the building of Christ’s Kingdom among men.

Surely the prevailing, unspeakably grave possibilities facing the world and the Church today urgently call for another Divine intervention, and a mighty manifestation of His all-victorious power!

One of the rare interventions by God that history records was at the time the children of Israel crossed into Canaan. The final briefing of God’s soldiers given on the eve of that intervention is found in Joshua 3:5: "Sanctify yourselves: for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you."

Jehovah, the Lord God Almighty, can accomplish His spiritual triumphs and deal with the most evil situations and the most evil men directly, without using man. But in His infinite wisdom, His invariable method of achieving His conquests in the survival and success of His Kingdom, is through men--redeemed and Spirit-filled men--not through machinery, however polished or elaborate.

The Holy Spirit is the chief worker, but we are co-workers with Him in the divine conflict (1 Corinthians 3:9; 2 Corinthians 6:1). Whether in the Old Testament days or in our day, God’s manner of operation always is first in man, then through such a God-called and God-equipped man. Hence the urgent call today if a resounding spiritual victory is to be achieved, is: "Sanctify yourselves: for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you!"

How crystal clear is the vital truth: man’s preparation of himself is the indispensable prerequisite of spiritual conquest. Throughout the Old Testament it is made perfectly plain that the priests who bore the vessels of the Lord and who had to stand and serve in the holy place were above all else and before all else required to be holy men to enter into the presence of a holy God. They were set apart--consecrated wholly for their high calling.

Man, the Temple of the Holy Ghost, must be cleansed and prepared for the incoming and empowering necessary for his fitness to take part in God’s mighty intervention.

Commenting on the text, Dr. Campbell Morgan wrote: "The wonders of God are performed for His people when they sanctify themselves, that is when, so far as they have the light, they walk in it. The call to sanctification, as an act on the part of the people of God, is a call to separation from everything of which they know He disapproves, and dedication to Him completely, in mind and heart and will."

Separate Yourselves!

Sanctification, as called for by Joshua, is the essential preparation on man’s part today, for a mighty manifestation tomorrow of God’s reviving power. It is a call to separation. Separate yourselves! Come ye apart!

Sever yourselves from all idolatry! Cut off any relationship with the enemy, the world, the flesh and the devil. To be the peculiar and prepared people to serve as agents for God’s wonder-working power, we must be absolutely free from any alliance whatever with God’s enemies.

"Up, sanctify the people, and say, Sanctify yourselves against tomorrow: for thus saith the Lord God of Israel, There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel: thou canst not stand before thine enemies, until you take away the accursed thing from among you" (Joshua 7:13). This is God’s timeless condition.

God’s conditions for spiritual conquest are timeless, changeless, whether it be Achan’s pollution, or sin in your own heart. The accursed thing effectively retards victory. God’s victorious work is effected only through sanctified (separated) men. Gideon’s phenomenal success was preceded by total destruction of idols in his own home, and the complete elimination of every obstructive element in his army. (See Judges 6:11-7:25).

When Man’s Preparation Is
Complete, God’s Overwhelming
Operation Is Infallible.

When man sanctifies himself, God’s action is immediate. He first of all performs His wonders in the prepared man, then He energizes him with ardent compassion, soul-saving wisdom, and spiritual energy, thus providing the adequate equipment for a victorious assault against the forces of evil. Through Spirit-possessed and Spirit-directed men, the Almighty God performs His wonders and effectively intervenes in the gigantic struggle between the forces of evil and the forces of righteousness.

It matters not how humble a man may be inherently, however lowly of birth, however ordinary in personality, however limited in native ability. When such a Spirit-controlled man is found in full preparedness (separated and fully yielded, gladly obedient) immediately he becomes the agent through whom God achieves His triumphant advance of Christ’s cause.

The Lord of Hosts makes the dynamic impact and impression through sanctified men. The great missionary, Morrison, testified to this. Standing on the deck of the ship that was taking him to his new sphere of service in China, the mighty man of God was accosted by the Captain. "Do you think," the Captain asked skeptically, "do you think that you will make an impression on four million Chinese?"

"No, sir," was the immediate reply, "but I believe God will!"

And the mighty wonders that God wrought through His prepared and sanctified servant, in the salvation of thousands of Chinese, fully justified his triumphant faith and assertion.

Spiritual conditions everywhere today are too critical surely to need any stress being placed upon the necessity and immediate urgency for a Divine, strategic intervention right now! God is waiting. He is quite ready to work His wonders among the nations of the world now!

For the cause of His own dearly beloved Son whose Blood is the very life of His Kingdom, He waits to act. The very purpose of Calvary is to defeat all evil influences which run to and from the earth today, destroying the moral and spiritual well-being and eternal welfare of men and women and little children (1 John 3:8).

This Calvary purpose is to rescue the victims from the damnation of evil forces and to restore their blighted lives to spiritual health and freedom, and Heaven.

Separated from the Idolatrous
Forces of the World

Are we as His people fit? Are we set apart? Are you a prepared person through whom the Almighty God can effect such a miraculous work of grace? Are you sanctified? Have you separated yourself exclusively from the idolatrous spirit of the world?

Have you completely yielded yourself, all you are and all you have, over to Christ to be used as He chooses? If you will prepare yourself, then assuredly the Lord will perform His wonder-working revival of soul-saving through you, and through other yielded ones.

Isaiah, in his day, suddenly discovered himself to be unclean, unfit and unwilling as he knelt in the blaze of Divine Revelation (Isaiah 6). But in answer to his earnest prayer as he knelt at the Altar, the Divine fire purged his lips, fired his heart and qualified him, until he was able truthfully to declare, as he responded to God’s personal call: "Here am I; send me" (Isaiah 6:8). Will you kneel and pray:

"Here at the cross, in this sacred hour,
Here at the source of reviving power,
Helpless indeed, I come with my need;
Lord, for Thy service, fit me, I plead!

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