A Crisis Always Reveals a Person’s True Character 

Christians presume they would rise to the occasion if a spiritual battle confronted them, but most would fail.  It is not the crisis that builds something within us – it simply reveals what we are made of already.  

“A person’s character determines how he interprets God’s will.” Chambers, O., My Utmost for His Highest, April 26 

Psalm 18:24-26 

“Therefore hath the Lord recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in His eyesight. 

We see God’s character through our own character.  If we are kind, we see God as kind.  If we believe God kills His enemies, we also become “killers” in our heart. 

“With the merciful Thou wilt show Thyself merciful; with an upright man Thou wilt show Thyself upright; 

If we are merciful, we see God as merciful.  If we are upright, we see God as upright. 

“With the pure Thou wilt show thyself pure; and with the devious thou wilt shew Thyself to be shrewd.”  Psalm 18:24-26 

If we are pure in heart, we see God as pure in heart.  But if we are devious and shrewd, we see God in the same way.  Again, we see God through our own character – not through His.  If we want to see our enemies killed, we worship a God who destroys His enemies in a burning hellfire. 

Some Christians behave arrogantly and self-assured, like Peter who said, at the Lord’s Last Supper, 

“Lord, I am ready to go with Thee, both into prison and to death.” Luke 22:33 

Jesus responded, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day, before you have denied three times that you know Me.” Luke 22:34 

The Lord knew Peter’s character better than Peter did. 

On the other hand, Abraham, though He misunderstood God’s character, proceeded with his misunderstanding with humility.  Abraham misinterpreted God’s command to mean that he had to kill his son, rather than the fact that God wanted Abraham to dedicate Isaac’s LIFE to God.  Abraham didn’t boast about how much he was willing to do for the Lord.  He just continued with what He believed was God’s instruction. 

Abraham could only leave this traditional – and incorrect - belief about God through the pain of a tremendous ordeal.  God could purify his faith in no other way.  Abraham did not make any such statement like Peter; He simply remained true to God, and God purified his faith. 

The Adversary has been a deceiver for thousands of years.  He has many ways to hinder us from getting rid of our wrong traditional beliefs about God.  “But if we will stay true to God, God will take us through an ordeal that will serve to bring us into a better knowledge of Himself.”  Ibid. 

If we remain true to God, God will lead us directly through every barrier and right into the inner truth of the knowledge of God and His character.  But you must always be willing to give up your own convictions and traditional beliefs. 

“I WILL rise to the occasion if God calls me.” 

If you are not doing the task that is closest to you now, the task that God has engineered into your life, when the crisis comes, instead of being fit for battle, you will be revealed as being unfit. 

Churches are producing weak Christians.  How is that Happening?

Lack of Independent Study 

Church members rely on their pastor or small group leaders to interpret the Bible for them.  Yet the Bible says, “One is your Teacher – Christ.”  (Matt 23:10)  You must study diligently on your own, rather than being spoon-fed what the church believes about the Lord.

Peer Pressure 

One of the most “successful” programs of the Organized Church is to put people in small groups, with a leader that becomes a facilitator, making sure that all those in his or her group believe the same.  Peer pressure is used to make sure all in the group are on board with what the church teaches.  Independent thinking is not allowed.  

Herd Instinct 

It is not unusual for a mild, covert form of ridicule to be used on those who don’t agree with the majority.  Everyone wants to be liked,  And that is a strong incentive to “agree with the Herd.”

Members dependent on the Church rather than on God 

Church-goers believe they are worshiping God when often they are worshiping the “church.”  They believe in “churchianity” rather than Christianity.  We must follow Jesus Christ, and His Word, rather than the words of man.  The “church” tells the members what God needs done, and how to do it, rather than each person getting his or her instruction directly from God, through diligent Bible study and prayer.

Belief in “Safety in Numbers” 

Most people want to be “safe” in a large group.  They cannot believe that a group as large as their church, or their denomination, could possibly be wrong.  If the majority is “always right” then every Christian should be a Catholic, a denomination that has over a billion members.  But, in truth, rarely is the majority ever right. 

There is no “safety in numbers.”  Noah preached for 120 years before the flood.  He never converted one person to his way of thinking about the coming flood.  Only his wife and family got on the ark with him.  

But Noah was right.  And the rest of the inhabited world, thought to be about 3 billion at that time, was wrong! 

When Jesus was on earth, He healed hundreds, if not thousands, from serious diseases and paralysis.  Some He even raised from the dead.  But how many believed in Him and stood by Him while He was being crucified?  Only five: Jesus’ own mother, Mary, Mary Magdalene, two other women, and only one of His disciples – John.  All the rest fled in fear for their life.

Belief that church membership is a requirement for salvation 

At least one book, written by a popular evangelical Christian pastor with a church of thousands of members, states that “if you are not a member of a church, you are out of the will of God.”  Yet, no one “went to church” for the first 4,000 years of this earth’s history.  Both the sanctuary in the wilderness and the temple in Jerusalem were completely off limits to everyone except the priests.  If anyone else entered either of those worship places, they would die. 

The model for today’s “organized church” was a product of the Pharisees: synagogues, where people came in, sat down, and heard men tell them what to believe about God.  It was a counterfeit religion because the synagogues were present at the same time as God’s temple in Jerusalem.  God’s presence was in the temple; it was not in the synagogues. 

The synagogues, the model for today’s Christian churches, were founded by the Pharisees – those who called for the death of Jesus Christ. 

Christianity is NOT a religion 

Christianity is not a religion.  It is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, with nothing and no one in between.  Jesus said to Nathanael:

“When you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”  John 1:48 

“A private relationship of worshiping God is the greatest essential element of spiritual fitness.  The time will come, as Nathanael experienced in this passage, that a private ‘fig-tree’ life will no longer be possible.  Everything will be out in the open, and you will find yourself to be of no value there if you have not been worshiping in everyday occasions privately.  If your worship is right in your private relationship with God, then when He sets you free, you will be ready.  

“It is in the unseen life, that only God sees, that you have become perfectly fit.  And when the strain of the crisis comes, you can be relied upon by God.” Ibid, Sept 10 

Do you believe your life circumstances are too difficult to have time for prayer and Bible study right now?  If you have not been worshiping in everyday occasions, you will be useless in a crisis.  God’s training ground is not in the church among one’s fellow members, it is in the hidden, personal, worshiping life of the Christian where strength of character and trust in God are produced. 

What does it take to “stand for the Lord, though the heavens fall”? 

What does it take “to follow God’s laws, commandments and decrees” so He can “keep us free of every disease”? Deut 7:11-15 

What does it take to “be anxious for nothing”?  Phil 4:6 

What does it take to “be strong and courageous” to “not fear or be in dread, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you.  He will not leave you or forsake you.”  Deut 31:6

What does it take to believe that “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1

What does it take to say, “When I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for Thou are with me”? Psalm 23:4

What does it take to “hate (the advice of) father, mother, wife, (husband), children, brother, and sister, in order to be Christ’s disciple”?  Luke 14:26

What does it take to say, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him”?  Job 13:15

It takes diligent private Bible study and fervent prayer every day, when there is no trouble.  Only then will we be equipped with the character of Jesus so we can stand for the Lord when the crisis comes.