Don’t take God’s Spirit for granted. Its a gift that will soon expire!
“To strive,” according to Wikipedia. is to struggle, achieve or to obtain something.
“And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also isflesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years,” Genesis 6:3.
When we think of a man who strove with God, it is definitely Stephen. He was full of faith and of the Holy Spirit.
I’m not saying there were not any other great men who strove not, to obtain the favor of God in their lives, but Stephen, even though he is not mentioned a lot in the Bible but for a very short time frame, yet it is very noteworthy to see the impact he made upon us all.
You see, he was a faithful believer whose love for and commitment to the LORD seems to shine through so greatly, that others around them noticed it!
He did not just talk the talk, but he walked the walk and he was faithful, even when he was faced with both persecution and death!
Stephen told Israel, “You stiff necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it,” Acts 7: 51-53.
Stephen found himself in the midst of confusion and conflict with the religious mindset and the tradition of men (the Jews and the Greeks) who when he refused to take down decided to accuse him of blasphemy; as a result they had him arrested (Acts 6:11).
My God Satan always causes confusion and dissension within (family, countries and individuals) congregations, as a means of division; therefore God will raise up, faithful men such as Stephen who were chosen to combat the ever increasing problems that were rising. After being unable to find a winnable argument for their erroneous beliefs, they came after him with a vengeance!
God inspired Stephen to speak courageously, boldly, rightly accusing Israel of their failure to recognize Jesus, their Messiah, rejecting (they strove against the spirit) and murdering Him, as they had murdered Zechariah and other prophets and faithful men throughout their generations.
I believe that Stephen’s speech was so powerful and full of conviction that it cut to the hearts and the marrow of these men causing Satan to rise up to destroy him!
The indictment he brought against Israel and their failure as the chosen people of God who had been given the law, the holy things, and the promise of the Messiah. Naturally, these accusations, though true, were not well received by the Jews.
For, I believe that God is speaking and he is saying that many of the people of God will endure much suffering and persecution if they are to be followers of the Cross of Christ just as Stephen did who refused to bow down to both religion and the traditions of men!
And, you will not be liked or respected of these men, because you will stand for all that is both holy and true when it comes to the Kingdom of Christ in this season!
I also believe God is preparing the Church to be able to endure such persecution, because of the things that is getting ready to take place since President Trump has begun to reign in office to reverse the decrees of the enemy on the Church’s behalf!
But, get ready, because this anti-Christ spirit that is hanging over our nations will begin to wax evil and eviler as the hearts of men stop striving (turn away from) to please God but their own selfish hearts and desires!
But, Stephen a man full of faith and being full of the Holy Spirit he did not take down and neither did he bow to the heathen and paganism of these men, but instead he gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; and he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” (Acts 7:55-56).
And, he had so much love and forgiveness in his heart even for those that had falsely accused him that he said, “Father forgive them and lay not this sin to their charge because they know not what they do!”
Stephen is reminder to us all how we should be driven to set our minds on things above, (strive to obtain) not on earthly things.
For, if you have died, then your life is now and should be hidden with Christ in God.”
Stephen demonstrated what it is to not only preach the gospel but be a living epistles living and read of all men because God’s spirit will not always strive with men!
God wants His people to know, let us not take the spirit of Christ for granted, seeing we only have a short time here on earth to accomplish such a great work like our friend Stephen who was here for a short time , but made a mighty statement to us all!.
~ Apostle Geraldine Fisher
Apostle Geraldine Fisher has a World-Wide-Social Media Net-Work Ministry. As a Missionary, God moved her into the Office of a Prophet, revealing to her the qualities of a True prophet, humility, humiliation, loving others, interceding in prayer, as she keeps her own life clean to accurately hear from God. Since hearing the audible voice of God calling her to ministry, she’s been called to intercede and pray for others in ministry as God speaks, instructs, directs and gives prophetic words for her to give to others. God promised He would bring her to sit and to learn before great men, all of which He did!