Richard & Kimberly Wilson
Matthew 24:13 tells us, “But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” There is an art to enduring to the end. According to Strong’s Concordance, to endure means to hold one’s ground in conflict, bear up against adversity, hold out under stress, stand firm, persevere under pressure, wait calmly and courageously. Endurance is the mark of a winner.
Spiritual warfare is not for the faint of heart. It takes training to develop endurance. Our trials and tribulations in life become our training ground by providing resistance training for our spirit and soul. Jesus “endured the cross.” Why? “For the joy that was set before Him” (see Heb. 12:2). His endurance fulfilled His destiny to open up the way to the Father and to unseat the ruler of this age. It brought Him joy to finish the task of the cross for us. Thank you, Jesus, for your endurance!
God has destined each of us from the beginning of time with purpose. Our lives have meaning. What we have to contribute is important to the kingdom. If we do not complete our purpose, then those around us lose out because our portion of kingdom work is not complete.
We see this principle in the life of the apostle Paul. From prison he penned:
Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel, so that my imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become well known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to everyone else, and that most of the brethren, trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment, have far more courage to speak the word of God without fear. (Phil. 1:12-14, NASB)
Paul recognized that his endurance was a window for the kingdom to advance and would have valuable effects on those watching him. Paul’s joy came because what he lived for (the manifestation of Christ) was actually happening.
In 2 Timothy 2:1-10, Paul says:
You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier. Also if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules. The hard-working farmer ought to be the first to receive his share of the crops. Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything. Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel, for which I suffer hardship even to imprisonment as a criminal; but the word of God is not imprisoned. For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory.
We must not refuse the processes that reveal the purpose of God in our life. Our endurance allows others to obtain the salvation found in Christ with eternal glory. Endurance is a divine attribute of Christ given to us. Be encouraged. We are empowered to endure!
Listen to this episode of Occupying Force on the Charisma Podcast Network for more on the force of endurance.
Want more? Check out the Wilsons’ book Preparing for Battle: Developing the Lifestyle of a Victorious Prayer Warrior.
Richard and Kimberly Wilson, executive directors of Watchmen Arise International, serve as corporate trainers of societal transforming Christians. Together they co-host the Occupying Force podcast, co-authored Preparing for Battle: Developing the Lifestyle of a Victorious Prayer Warrior (available in Spanish), and Victorious Prayer Warrior Bootcamp Online Train the Trainer Intensive. They are popular speakers who activate regional teams and individuals alike in the areas of spiritual management, civil engagement and transformed communities. To find out more about the Wilsons and interactive online training opportunities visit watchmenarise.com.
This article was featured on www.charismamag.com on May 4, 2021.
They say that it takes 21 days to break a habit. That includes the habit of self-isolation. Work from home mandates removed us from our co-workers. Stay-at-home orders kept us from friends and loved ones. Restrictions on gathering in church buildings over the last year had a great effect on us. Aren’t you tired of being alone?
What if a 21 day fast from isolation removed the residual psychological effects of the past year’s trauma? Would you do it?
Isolation is a byproduct of the COVID-19 mandates. For many, the atmosphere became one of fear, loneliness and suspicion. As a result, many people became comfortable staying at home. Zoom meetings, social media and texting rose to the forefront. While valid ways to communicate, many have withdrawn from society. It is time to come out and connect with civilization!
How? Purpose to meet with someone in person every day for 21 days. Break free of intimidation and get to know your brothers and sisters in Christ. Go out for lunch, grab a cup of coffee, carry on a conversation.
During times of crisis, we need community the most. We are the body of Christ. Isolation keeps us disconnected from those with whom the Lord wants us to connect. People thrive in community.
Come out of hiding. Break the bondage of isolation today!
Check out Occupying Force with Richard and Kimberly Wilson on the Charisma Podcast Network. Learn how to fast from isolation and begin living again!
Article featured on April 21, 2021 in:
There is a spiritual war going on around us—a fight between light and darkness. There is a need for an occupying force to step out of the four walls of the church and influence the society around them.
Fifteen years ago, we never imagined we would be facing many of the issues we are today. The question is: What are we as Christians going to do about it?
It is noticeably clear as we look at the nations today that Christians have stepped out of society and gotten too comfortable just showing up for a church service. We have let the nonchurched determine the roadmap of our nations’ futures. How did we come to this conclusion? Just look at one of the massive problems that we face every day: the fight for the minds of our children.
Concerned Citizens: It is Time to Occupy!
Parents and concerned citizens, we encourage you to get involved and become an occupying force in the education system. It is time to pay attention to the curriculum our children are being taught. There must be a rising up of parental voices who are ready to fight like never before.
This happened in our region of Tampa Bay several years ago. On the onset of a government mandate to allow boys to use the girls’ bathrooms, and girls to use the boys’, an occupying force of parents and pastors flooded the school board meetings. Representing tens of thousands of individuals in the territory, the righteous voices that stood up and swung the vote made a difference for the students.
Listen to Occupying Force: Introduction to Occupation on the Charisma Podcast Network.
The corruption in politics, government and news is clearer now than ever. There is no longer a plumb line of truth in society; therefore, people’s ability to discern is dull. The result is the contrast between the destiny of our nation, which was founded upon God and his principles, and the philosophy of socialism and communism raging to take over. We must be willing to speak up and get involved in areas that may seem out of our comfort zones. We can no longer keep our heads in the sand and just say, “Oh well, God is in control.”
We must recognize that we are to partner with him in what He sent His Son to accomplish. Become an occupying force!
Richard and Kimberly Wilson, executive directors of Watchmen Arise International, serve as corporate trainers of societal transforming Christians. Together they co-host the Occupying Force podcast, co-authored Preparing for Battle: Developing the Lifestyle of a Victorious Prayer Warrior (available in Spanish), and courses designed to further your influence in this world like Societal Transformers Bootcamp. They are popular speakers who activate regional teams and individuals alike in the areas of spiritual management, civil engagement and transformed communities. To find out more about the Wilsons and interactive online training opportunities visit watchmenarise.com.
A favorite story of ours is in 2 Chr. 20, when King Jehoshaphat saw great victory in his nation after a declared time of prayer and fasting on a national level. What is often overlooked is the training that took place in the previous chapters of 2 Chronicles. Jehoshaphat developed the first intercessory missionary team recorded in the Bible.
Jehoshaphat’s Intercessory Missionaries
During the establishment of the army, Jehoshaphat began training the people of Judah in the ways of the Lord, through a massive evangelistic movement. He strategically pulled together an evangelistic team of teachers, worshipers and praying priests to go out to the cities of Judah. He sent out five teachers, nine Levites and two priests into the cities of Judah, whose purpose was to teach the people the Book of the Law and establish worship in the land. They were discipled in the ways of the Lord. These 16 men had the assignment of preparing God’s people for service in His kingdom, civilians and soldiers alike. As a result of their efforts, the fear of the Lord fell upon the surrounding kingdoms “so that they did not make war against Jehoshaphat” (2 Chr. 17:10).
Years earlier, during King David’s reign, 24/7 worship and prayer were established at Mt. Zion, Israel’s governmental seat located in Jerusalem. Following the relational model of the tabernacle, which was staffed with Levite worshipers and priests, King Jehoshaphat took the ministry team out of the four walls of the temple and into the cities of Judah. This brilliant plan prepared an entire people group by training them in the ways of the Lord. Jehoshaphat knew that if everyone understood the word of God and honored His presence that a unified nation would develop.
Imagine if the king’s finest evangelistic outreach team appeared in your city. Imagine that he sent out teachers, worshippers, and priests to train you. That is exactly what the Lord is doing in this hour to prepare us for the battle ahead! He is sending out His word to the inhabitants of the land to equip us for peacetime and war in this day. He is preparing an army full of mighty men and women of valor who are knowledgeable in the ways of the Lord.
Where does all this preparation get us? Well, if we look at the land of Judah, we see that the fear of the Lord fell on all the kingdoms of the lands around Judah. They did not make war against Jehoshaphat! (2 Chr. 17:10) People brought gifts to him. He had all the kingdom resources he could ever want. He was set up to succeed. Like Jehoshaphat, when we follow the instructions and training of the Lord, we are positioned to succeed in establishing His kingdom reign on earth.
One morning while I (Kimberly) was in prayer the Lord called me a hypocrite. Ouch! When I inquired as to why, He answered, “Because you rally people to pray for your city, even for your mayor, but you despise where you are.” Ouch again! The Lord continued, “You are mad at the city. You have despised the land. It should be the powers and principalities that are ruling over it that you should be dealing with!” I knew He was right.
The circumstances that brought me to Lakeland, Florida back in the 1980s were not ideal. Choices I had made resulted in years of lost dreams, a broken heart, and the overwhelming disappointment from unanswered prayers that I encountered there. Honestly, I had been looking for a way to board the next train out of town. “Maybe Texas or Virginia will be better,” I pondered. “Just get me out of here,” became the cry of my heart to the Lord. I wanted to run as far away from this place as possible. In my heart I wanted no part of it. My hurts dictated my attitude.
There I was an ordained minister travelling throughout the state and the U.S. leading worship and prayer meetings, while holding resentment toward my own city at the same time! Sounds ludicrous, doesn’t it? Yet, it was true. I had to come to terms with my sin. So, right there in that moment I chose to die to my self-justified accusations against my city. I repented for despising the land that God created. I had to ask Him to forgive me for hating the city I lived in. I had to accept the fact that the Lord had ordered my steps, and that I was there for a reason. What I thought I wanted had to die. At that moment, I chose not only to reside here, but also to invest my time and prayers into the success of my city.
Let’s get one thing straight: We cannot go to war for something we don’t believe in. Today’s common church mentality is to tolerate this earthly life until we get to Heaven because the world’s final destination is doom and destruction. This is not God’s mandate for the church. We were saved to take dominion. We must search our heart and get clear of any resentment, judgment or curses we have spoken over our city, nation, business, family or church. If we do not do that, chances are that our motives for praying will be tainted. We must come to terms with the fact that “The earth is the Lord’s and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein.” (Ps. 24:1) We were born and placed in our territory for such a time as this. We are called to exercise dominion where God has planted us on this side of eternity.
We will know when we’ve come to this this place. Until we get here, we must be aware of our heart motives in battle. You see, if we lay down our lives for our city, then we no longer filter our prayers and actions through our own desires. Our eyes and ears will be tuning to the Lord and we will pray and do what He is doing on the earth. It’s no longer prayers that demand our will be done. Our prayer lives will declare, “Lord, Your will be done!”
To read more, get your copy of Preparing for Battle: Developing a Lifestyle of a Victorious Prayer Warrior by Kimberly J. & Richard C. Wilson on Amazon or Kindle today.