Raising Up A Standard

Among the many complex and sublime faculties of the human soul, one attribute functions as a servant to all: the nature of the soul is porous. This means that in addition to latent strengths and talents, the soul is also shaped and developed by external stimuli: we learn customs and language, habits, virtues and vices largely by importing reality as it surrounds us. Indeed, the marrow of life itself, as we subjectively know it, is created by the inward flow of these outward realities.

Thus, the soul, while it is born with innate powers, it is also the product of its times and circumstances. Because we live in unprecedented, prophetic times, individuals born during the last five or six decades are impacted, not only by the common struggles and joys of life, but also by the unspeakable disasters as they occur around the world. As a result of live media coverage, we vicariously experience repeated participation with human suffering. We see the actual faces of those traumatized by earthquakes and tsunamis, famines and wars. Again, because of the porous nature of the soul, when we view life's terrors, we are repeatedly absorbing these fearful realities into our consciousness. We cannot help but be affected.

How do we erase from our minds the faces of earthquake and tsunami victims? How is it possible to forget the horrific memory of people leaping to their deaths from flaming windows high on the Twin Towers on 9/11? What happens to our souls when we view news reports of Iraqis and Israelis being blown apart by terrorists' bombs?
If you are an intercessor, or even one who possesses just basic, human compassion, the flood of sorrow and terror rising from terrible disasters cannot be stopped by a levee of human intellect. Life's pains, even when they aren't our own, are still absorbed at some level into our soul, and more so if we know the one suffering.

To cope with our vulnerabilities, we have created some positive remedies: hospitals, relief agencies, first responders and charitable giving all are relatively new means of dealing with human sorrow. We are compelled, not only to help the victims, but to help ourselves digest and respond to the emotional overload of our times.

Media Manipulates Our Fears
It is important to remember that the main goal of the news media is not to communicate current news but to make money doing so. Thus, even minor stories are often sensationalized to bring back viewers. I, for one, am worn out by the highly publicized scandals and moral failures among leaders, whether political or religious. If I am not careful, the flood of these realities can jade my heart, harden my soul and make me cynical.

Added to these things we are daily reminded of current economic pressures, plus the threats of disease and the advance of crime and lawlessness in our communities. Our souls churn with the added news. How can mere man cope with the fearful conditions of the world?

Magnify the Lord
It is here, in this valley of pressure, conflict and fear that would-be saints lose heart and fade from the race. Yet, it is also here that the God seeker is driven closer to the Lord.

The psalmist cries, O magnify the Lord with me! (Psalm 34:3). The closer we are to God, the more we are infused by His strength. The world around us may not get any better, but through the Holy Spirit, we gain new strength.

In His presence, the demons of our world shrink in proportion. Beloved, in these very circumstances, let's magnify the Lord! We have read the final chapters: every knee shall bow and tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord! (see Philippians 2:10-11).

When our enemies multiply and pressures mount, retreat—yes, retreat into the stronghold of God. Are you anxious? Fearful? Remember: He who sits in the heavens laughs (Psalm 2:4). Are you being accused by the enemy? Again, the Lord says, In repentance and rest you shall be saved, in quietness and trust is your strength (Isaiah 30:15). When the accuser comes to incarcerate you in your sin, shame and regret, you do not have to defend yourself. You have a right to remain silent. God Himself has appointed an advocate for you, and it is His very Son, the One who died for your sins.

Do not magnify your problems; let God be exalted over all the earth. Do not let your unbelieving words deplete your soul of life, for the more you talk, the more peace you lose. Be slow to speak. Before you can learn to speak for God, you must learn what NOT to speak. This battle is not about overcoming difficult circumstances around you; it is about listening to the Lord, hearing what He intends to do, then following Him to victory.
Remember, dear friend, the words of Paul: "Be anxious for nothing." The true battle you are facing is not one of action, but direction: you must ascend vertically to be successful horizontally. Secure your soul in God and you will secure victory in your life. In the presence of God, the porous nature of the human soul is a great advantage. We can escape the stresses of life. We can actually be saturated with the life-restoring substance of God!

Psalm 46
God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change
And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;
Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Selah.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
The holy dwelling places of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered;
He raised His voice, the earth melted.
The LORD of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah.
Come, behold the works of the LORD,
Who has wrought desolations in the earth.
He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariots with fire.
"Cease striving and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth."
The LORD of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah.

Francis Frangipane
Ministries of Francis Frangipane
Email: francis1@frangipane.org

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