Are You an End Times Soldier?

Nicole Headshot in blue shirt

Nicole D. Hayes, Founder, Voices Against the Grain

There are times in life when we’re given unsettling news or information.

Such information can leave us bewildered or worried. We may wish the news was different or would reverse course. To deal with it, we might hide our head in the sand hoping “it” goes away. For some of us, receiving unsettling news may momentarily jolt us, then sobers us up very quickly and steers us into a new mindset. It is often better to have the news so we can respond accordingly rather than being left in the dark and blindsided. It’s even better when despite the unsettling news, the outcome is good if you’ve made the right decision.

In this way, God’s Word has prepared His People for things to come in these last days. In fact, as someone said, “The Bible is more up-to-date than tomorrow’s newspaper.” So true. He has also given us our focus, mission and marching orders. In our daily commune with Him, He gives us our instructions. God is training and raising up soldiers in His Army to endure to the end.

Many of us have prayed for God’s will to be done in this perishing world — for Him to render justice to injustice; for Him to remove the corrupt and replace with the godly; that people would no longer place their confidence in idols but be wholly dependent upon Him, to soften hardened hearts to receive truth, and to fully mature and unify the Body of Christ.

We should reject any notion that this process will be neatly packaged with a pretty red bow. God is destabilizing everything to expose, dismantle and remove. He is using the situations as instruments to draw hearts to Him. This destabilization must run its course. But do not be afraid.

End Times

We’ll move in greater confidence when we break off our long-held love affair with traditional systems and institutions, expecting deliverance from them. God Almighty is our assured Deliverer.

Things will continue to destabilize with “great distress” as never seen before (Matthew 24:21). As described in Matthew 24, these are birth pains — the outcomes of a wicked and sin-wracked world, a world at enmity with God their Creator. God will not allow wickedness to go unchecked. This earth is passing away. God will create a new heaven and a new earth as told to us in Isaiah 65:17, 2 Peter 3:13 and Revelation 21:1. We are to look toward a new heaven and new earth where righteousness and God’s Kingdom will reign. He is making all things new.

Revelation 21-5

Dear victorious saint and soldier, I encourage you to run your race in obedience; to obediently and courageously walk out your calling amid whatever storms are brewing. Though the waters will be choppy, God is with you! He will get you to shore. May we have a heart for reaching the lost and desire to see this last harvest come to Christ.

We have wonderfully Good News to share with the world! That is the mission. God is extending His forever family — not failed institutions and systems. God has always been in the business of reconciling us back in right relationship with Him. Gratefully, as soldiers in His Army, we’ve been invited to co-labor with Him in this great mission field and ministry of reconciliation as Christ’s Ambassadors as Paul explains in 2 Corinthians 5:18-20.

If you are indeed an end times soldier, patiently encourage growth with our brothers and sisters who are yet to mature into this disposition. Encourage them in faith and truth. The weak and the strong both belong to God. May we be purveyors of hope or as a dear brother in Christ says, “be hope dealers” to those who are unsteady in these times. We should expect to grow spiritually as we graduate to new levels in our calling. May our hope, joy, a deepening love for others, peace and steadiness be considered the normal disposition of God’s People in times of increasing instability— rather than a carnal default of worry.

John 16-33 mountains

Our God and Captain, King Jesus, has already overcome the world (John 16:33)! Jesus defeated Satan. In Jesus, our victory is already won and we are more than conquerors (Romans 8:37). May we live like we know this.

As things appear chaotic, remain mission-focused, not distracted by the peripheral or extraneous. Keep watch, be ready and keep your eye on Our trusted Captain to lead you ever so faithfully. Follow Him so closely that your focus will not allow you to become double-minded, causing you to be caught off guard and deceived. Our Lord’s return will be joyful for us who belong to Him but very dreadful for those who do not as they’ve chosen the world as their portion instead of Him. May we be found fit to be partakers of our reward and inheritance.

Though our world is in perpetual unrest, we can remain in constant rest through our relationship and confidence in Christ Jesus. With this disposition, you will indeed be an end times saint and soldier.

Love and God bless you,

Nicole

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Normalcy Bias or Great Expectation? Your View

Nicole D. Hayes, Creator of Voices Against the Grain

Nicole D. Hayes, Creator of Voices Against the Grain

Rose-colored glasses. All is well with the world. ARE YOU KIDDING? Even some of the most skeptical realize something is amiss. As former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright bluntly stated, “The world is a mess.” So do you approach life with a normalcy bias or with a great expectation?

THE NORMALCY BIAS 

According to Wikipedia, “the normalcy bias, or normality bias, refers to a mental state people enter when facing a disaster. It causes people to underestimate both the possibility of a disaster occurring and its possible effects. This may result in situations where people fail to adequately prepare for a disaster.” 

In short, you will consider our times to be normal and not strange. And for that reason, when time is up you’ll be caught flat-footed, without a life preserver, and without hope. Like the frog sitting comfortably in a slow-boiling pot, you’ll be finished. Done. normal

Today, we are in the 11th hour. What’s the 11th hour? It means “time’s almost up.” “Gather everyone before the doors close.” “Last call.” Read Matthew 24 in its entirety. In short, Jesus fortells the signs of the end of this age. Matthew 24:3-8 reads: 

As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us,when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” 4 And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.

And verse 29: “The stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.”  

Zephaniah 1:14-15, 18 further warns:  “The great day of the Lord is near–near and coming quickly. Listen! The cry on the day of the Lord will be bitter… That day will be a day of wrath, a day of distress and anguish… In the fire of his jealousy the whole world will be consumed, for he will make a sudden end of all who live in the earth.”

ready or notAt that point:

  • God’s wrath will not be to discipline those who denied Him
  • It’s not the unbeliever’s chance to invite His Son Jesus Christ into their life
  • This is not God’s opportunity to improve a person or lead them to holiness
  • Time has passed; He will no longer strive with man

A GREAT EXPECTATION…As the Sky is Falling

For the Believer whose hope, joy, life, peace and eternity rests in Jesus Christ:

  • We have nothing to fear about the coming events
  • God’s people will be in the midst of the battle and judgment, but He will equip us
  • As the “sky is falling” He has given us His Spirit of peace
  • We must continue to plant seeds, leave the Holy Spirit to harvest those last few souls
  • We will be sorrowed by the tragic times, yet will have a great expectation and joy!
  • We know these strange times indicate the expected and soon return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

Those in Christ Jesus have assurance in these critical times, for He said in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  (New International Version)

Have no delusions but clarity about what is coming down the pike. It’s your choice and your chance. Tomorrow will not be the same “normalcy” as today. Time is drawing near. If you don’t have the answers to get out of your mess or can’t rescue your own future, Jesus is the answer. Express that you need Him, acknowledge that He died and rose again for you so that you will have victory, and ask Him to fill you with His Holy Spirit to serve as your guide along the way.

God bless you,

Nicole

Nicole D. Hayes is the founder of Voices Against the Grain, a bold teaching ministry launched in May 2013. Nicole’s purpose in creating Voices Against the Grain is to be light in darkness, to boldly instruct truth amid confusion so as to bring clarity and restoration.

Learn more about Nicole D. Hayes here.