Read Isaiah 42:1–4 Verse 1: Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. . . and verse 4: He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.
These verses in Isaiah are prophetic Scripture through Isaiah the prophet, speaking of Jesus Christ, His ministry and fullness to the end of time when He will return to sit as King of the nations. I hope you know our Christ is not discouraged concerning this great commission, concerning Germany, Ireland, or any other nation. He will not be discouraged until this Word goes forth to each and every nation and He gathers out a militant church.
Read Joshu 1:2–9 verse 9: “Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”
Has He not commanded us for what has gone before and what lies ahead? You don't know what's coming this year but He sure does. Joshua 1:10 –11 Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying, Pass through the host, and command the people, saying, Prepare you victuals; for within three days ye shall pass over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land, which the LORD your God giveth you to possess it.
These words were given to Joshua: Deu 1:21 Behold, the LORD thy God hath set the land before thee: go up and possess it, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath said unto thee; fear not, neither be discouraged. . .
And Moses, the man of God speaking to the children of Israel, and to Joshua who was going to stand in the breach once he left: Deu 1:38 But Joshua the son of Nun, which standeth before thee, he shall go in thither: encourage him: for he shall cause Israel to inherit it.
“Be not discouraged, saints of God!” That is the message of Moses that became the message of Joshua that became the message of every prophet and preacher down over the years who wanted the church of God to revive and wanted to see them enter fully into what God had for them. My message for you is about the demon of discouragement. I believe Hell has been opened up in a real way in this generation, especially in the Western World. This spirit of discouragement has come against the church like it's never been in any previous generation. I believe discouragement is one of the greatest tools of hell used against the church.
A pastor stands and tries to lead his church; a young man desires to go out and preach in his town or city; a father wants to lead his family in the ways of God in holiness and righteousness. . . in an hour when a flood of iniquity is pouring over our nation. I know that everyone here has either faced this demon, is facing this demon or is contending with that demon tonight. It is real saints when we fight against Hell.
I don't want you to be in any doubt as to what it is that we are fighting in this warfare for it is a real warfare. If Moses addressed that issue, be sure it was one of the great issues of the children of Israel inheriting that land; Moses knew Israel would have to fight discouragement. Joshua knew he must overcome if he's going to lead the people into the Promised Land and so must we.
We will not see revival in the church unless we defeat discouragement in the midst of us. We will not see a Holy Ghost revival in our home until we stand with our foot on the neck of every discouragement. I know this battle is real; I've faced this demon of discouragement in the darkness of the night, in an hour of confusion and I know it's a real warfare. But, saints of God, I thank God for His grace and mercy that lifts us and restores our soul.
I want to give you a Bible definition of discouragement — not man's thoughts — but what Scripture says about it. There are several words in the Bible that are used for the term discouragement.
The first word for discouragement in the Scriptures means to neutralize, make you of no effect, stop you in your tracks. This is the word that is used when Israel is in Canaan and they come to the edge of the Promised Land and they become discouraged; they are stopped in their tracks. God has set them on a course; He's commanded them to go into the land and millions of people standing at the edge of the land and they are stopped in their tracks from going in.
Do you remember the three lepers? (2 Kings 7) They were sitting there, and they said "Why sit we here until we die? We know it looks bad, the enemy has invaded Israel, the armies of Israel are running from the enemy, but why sit we here until we die? The three with leprosy got up and began to march against the enemy and it says that God made the marching of their feet ‘as a great and mighty army’. This put fear in the heart of the enemy and the enemy ran from three lepers.
What can God not do? I assure you that if the enemy has stopped you in your tracks through discouragement, the Spirit of God can come on you tonight and stir your heart and cause you to say I'm getting up again; I'm getting back in that ring; I'm getting back into the face of the devil. I am picking up the sword of the Spirit, putting on my helmet, tightening my belt, and I will go forward. The devil might have stopped me and hindered me in the way, but I am going to march again in the army of the Lord.
I've been scarred. Have you? Have you been hurt, bruised and disappointed along the way? We have all been — join the army. We are all lepers, but we will march again. Why sit we here until we die? What are you going to do, die in your discouragement? “Well you don't know what's happened to me,” you say, “Well you don't know what has happened to me! Scar for scar I'll match each one, or beat any one of you and I know that's a great claim!”
The second word that Scripture gives us for discouragement means to cut down as in harvesting. When you see that reaper coming along, it means cutting down that harvest. It means to be short, to have your hand shortened, that it cannot extend or reach out; to be unable to accomplish the task. Your hand is withdrawn, that you can't do what you desire to do. Do you feel like that saints? The call of God comes to you, you hear preaching, you hear the Word of God and you say I'm unable. My hand's been shortened. That man with the withered hand, all it took was one word from the Lord. He said "stretch out your hand." I say unto you in the name of Jesus, you might think your hand is withered up, discouragement may have visited your home, you can say I don't have the ability, my hand does not extend, I say in the name of Jesus, stretch out your arm!
Either you're going to obey or you're not going to obey. Either you will sit there in your discouragement and say "But you don't understand, I don't have the ability, I don't have the power," but neither did that man with the withered hand. His arm was literally withered up, no power, no ability. That man was saying, “That can't be done. I can never be any different.” But at the command of Jesus, he stood up. Stand up and hear the Word of the Lord saying stretch out your hand tonight and you will do the will of God. Do you not think the devil comes against this great church of the redeemed to cut it down?
"Simon, Simon, the devil has desired to sift you as wheat," Jesus warned Peter.
"Not me, Lord! Everyone else will deny You but I won't deny You! I'll die for You, Lord, I'll take the sword up for Your defense! I'll do anything for You, Lord!"
"Oh, no, Simon. The Devil's going to sift you. I'm prophesying to you. I'll show you what all your strength and resolutions are. There is one coming who will sift you as a reaper. He's coming, Simon, but don't you get discouraged! Don't you throw in the towel, don't you give up in the midst of this battle. The Devil is going to come to your house to discourage you, and sift you and you're going to fail me.”
Do you not think Christ knows? Don't you think He knew of the failure coming before it came? And yet, the very same Christ said, “but I have prayed for you that your faith fail not and when you get back up, and when you turn around, and you're converted again, strengthen your brethren. Get back in the fight again.” Saints, someone has to get up here. The Devil might have sifted you but get back up again!
Jdg 16:16 And it came to pass, when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, so that his soul was vexed unto death;
This is talking about Delilah speaking to Samson here. She pressed him daily, is that not where the warfare is? That's the word, being sifted, held back, told that there's no ability. When Delilah came to him, and she's there, day after day, isn't that where the battle is? Day after day after day it comes, the grinding of that battle. There is a spiritual Delilah in this world. It may take many forms but it will come knocking on your door. Pastor, believer, mother, father, young person, old person, there is a Delilah that's desiring to sift you and to wear you down and to vex your spirit. This is such a generation!
The third word for discouragement in the Scriptures means to break down by violence, confusion and by fear. It's given in one place to mean the actual cracking of the ground when there's no rain; in a state of famine and barrenness. That's what the word means, the cracking of that ground because no rain has come. It's been a long time since revival swept these lands. It's been a long time since our cities and towns shook under the power of the gospel. It's been a long time since there's been a D.L. Moody that said "Oh God, let me be that man that you use." Nobody knew him then. But I tell you, he had a meeting with God in Dublin City and this world felt the power of it. I pray that God meets with someone here; someone that will bow in these altars and say "Oh, God, the world has yet to see what God will do through a man wholly consecrated unto Him. Let me be that man!”
Oh, saints of God let that be your cry. You might feel like the cracked ground. No rain has come to England and no rain has come to Ireland. No rain has come to your city, but I tell you saints of God it's time to cry out for that rain. Moses used this word frequently. He says be not discouraged, nor dismayed. The word spoken by Joshua was this same word. Don't be discouraged, don't give up your hope, don't be battered down by the enemy, don't let the adversary wear you down and hammer you down.
Again, the Lord speaks to Ezekiel, 'don't be dismayed by their looks, I'm calling you to go preach. Don't you be dismayed, Ezekiel, don't you be discouraged, Ezekiel.'
The fourth word means to faint, melt, liquefy. In other words: from something solid to something liquid; a change of state caused by an outside force. It is the fainting of the heart in the battle. You're serving God, but your heart is fainting. You want to walk with God but discouragements come. Saints, discouragements do come to you, me, everyone of us. It does visit us.
The Fifth word means to crush, oppress or to break in pieces. All those previous examples are Old Testament examples of Biblical discouragement. Now, this is the New Testament. (Saints, I'm only touching on this, there's more.)
The sixth word which is in the Greek NT means to be disheartened, dispirited or to have the passion taken out of you. Literally it means to have the heart taken out of you. Have you ever been there? Have you ever faced such a battle? It's such a trial, such a hammering of the enemy that it seems the heart has been cut out of you? I know it might have been temporary but I tell you it's real when you meet the enemy in such a way and you feel the passion is gone out of you. You feel the fire has been stolen from you. You feel something has been taken from you and now you are standing here saying 'Oh God where has it gone? Oh God, where is the courage to stand? Where is the faith to stand in the night? Where is that faith to pray through and to believe You?'
This has been termed by church history as one of the seven deadly sins. The dictionary defines discouragement as follows: a feeling of despair in the face of obstacles, a state of distress, loss of enthusiasm, drive and courage.
William Ward was a man who labored from 1799 with William Carey in India. Carey went out to the mission field and labored for seven years before he got his first convert. (That's what the old saints used to do. We've lost that in the church. We've lost the ability to fight the spirit of discouragement and to prevail and overcome.) Was his labor in vain? Oh, no! We've read his testimony; we have read about the faith of that man; the perseverance of that man but all we have become is readers of church history. We forget this is the hour again. William Carey said 'If they ever write my testimony and tell my story, let them write one thing about me, William Carey was a plodder.’ In other words, he takes one step after another. He says, “Hell is not going to stop me, discouragement isn't going to overwhelm me, the enemy isn't going to sift me to the point when I fall that I won't get back up. When I fall I'm going to get back up.”A righteous man falls seven times and gets back up (Pro 24:16). What are you doing here lying on the ground? I'm not, I'm getting up!
This man, William Ward, went out from England to labor with William Carey, after six years of laboring, translating the language, producing many Bible versions, building up their work and the year before they saw their first convert we read that this man William Ward was sitting at his desk laboring into the late hours of the night. Carey was away in a foreign region when Ward smelt the smell of smoke in the building. As he got up and ran down the corridor, fire was sweeping through that building. He had to escape; run for his life. As he stood outside looking at that building, six years of work, all the translations of the Bible into the local language, the Bibles, all they'd built up to evangelize that great region and country of India, all that labor, six years of intensive work went up in flames, he stood there looking at it and said, “How will I tell William Carey that all this work of the past six years has been burnt to the ground?”
Listen to what William Ward says, concerning discouragement: Hear me now, and let the Spirit of God search our hearts because discouragement is a sin. William Ward said of discouragement: “Discouragement is dissatisfaction with the past, distaste for the present, distrust of the future, ingratitude for the blessings of yesterday, indifference to the opportunities of today, insecurity regarding the strength of tomorrow, unawareness of the presence of beauty, unconcerd for the needs of our fellow man, unbelief in the promises of old, impatience with time, immaturity of thought, and impoliteness to God.”
That was his definition and those men fought this demon of Hell. They stood there and they knew they had to conquer this demon of discouragement. I believe in this hour, especially in the Western World, dealing with the true remnant church of God, that Satan has released his hordes — legions of demons — as a spirit of discouragement. I don't believe there are any ‘Pigs in the Parlor’; I don't believe a Christian can have demons, there is no Biblical basis and no man can show me a Scripture for it, but I do believe we have a fight not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers of darkness. The Bible says we don't wrestle against flesh and blood but saints we do wrestle in a real warfare for the things of God. Hell itself knows that if you become discouraged in this battle you aren't going into the land of promise. You will not revive that church, your family will not go to Heaven, and you will not see your city or town touched by the power of God.
Just think of your town: if Hell can come to that church and cripple you, and sift you and stop you in your tracks, just discourage the saints, then the work of God stops in that town. Oh, you're there, behind closed doors. Do you remember when they crucified Christ and nailed Him to the cross? Darkness covered the face of the earth for those hours. It says all his disciples got scattered, they all ran. Do you know where they were? — in a room behind locked doors, hiding. The work of God was at a standstill: if something doesn't happen in those men's hearts this church will not march out through Jerusalem and to the ends of the earth. Here are His chosen vessels, His church of Redeemed saints and they are discouraged. Peter, James, John, Thomas, where are you? They were discouraged. Hell knows that.
Let me give you an old fashioned allegory about this subject of discouragement. It's an old story but I think it has a lot of truth: Satan was pitting himself against a preacher in a town so he called a council in Hell of his fallen angels, wicked spirits and said to them, “We must stop this preacher. He inspires the heart, stirs the spirit and stands in the prayer meeting, exhorts the weak, challenges the sinful, leads men to Christ, we must stop him!”
One demon stepped up and said, “I know how to stop him, we'll lay all manner of sin before him, we'll offer him many sinful things, we'll lay it before him; grant him many opportunities.”
The Devil said, “That is no good, he's a righteous man, he believes in obedience, he loves the things of God.”
The next demon stepped up, “I've got a plan, we'll just show him how hard this thing is, it's a narrow way, few go therein. It's a hard way, there are troubles, there's a price to pay for preaching truth . . . I’ll show him that.”
“No, no, that's no good, he loves the truth and the Word of God — he can't even make himself believe it's false.”
A third demon stepped up and said "I've got it!"
“What is it?” asked the Devil.
“I'll go to him with discouragement.” To which the Devil replied, “That's it! You will succeed where others have failed. Send discouragement against him. Just discourage the mind and heart, stop him in his tracks, sift him as wheat.” I do believe that Hell is saying this. Saints, you must put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the Devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
One of the names for demons is reapers. These reapers of Hell have come forth into Britain and Europe with discouragement: there's no revival in the land; there are not multitudes pressing to get into the church; the reapers want to stop the remnant — the remnant who are the hope of these nations: people who can pray heaven open; men and women who can bring fire on the earth; men and women who can point men to Heaven and see them delivered from the power of Hell itself — Hell’s reapers are discouraging these. I believe this, saints. I believe we are facing this warfare in the church of Jesus Christ.
Discouragement works best against the church in the Western World whereas for the African or South American church, Hell will send pride, or some other means, but this Western church, especially Europe, will be bombarded with discouragement. Let the hordes of Hell go, send a legion of discouragement to trip up that believer with discouragement. The thought that rolls in the mind of a discouraged believer is 'what's the point?' What's the point? What is the point?' There is a warfare in this very hour.
Great men of God in Scripture have stood in this very place. Job, David, Elijah, Peter, all these men faced discouragement. We know that Hell came against Job's home in an assault; we know it was Hell. Job said let the day perish wherein I was born and the night in which it was said a man child is conceived. That man Job was in a low place, but that man Job was a righteous man, he was a perfect man and he feared God, yet was discouraged. His body was afflicted by illness, his children were taken from him in death. There are few men who have faced what he faced in one hour. “Hell has come marching against your home, Job. Hell is assaulting you; discouragement is marching up and lining up against you.”
Who can doubt that that man Job had a legion of discouragement come knocking at the door of his house? Yet at his lowest point, in his darkest hour, as he sat in ashes scraping his boils, he lifted his eyes and he said:”yet in the midst of this I know that my Redeemer lives” Hell hadn't destroyed his faith or stolen his integrity or his hope. But you know what happens to us? We get discouraged — my hope's gone; my faith is gone; my integrity is gone . . . what's the point? Ask Job if there's a point. Yes my Redeemer lives and I will yet see Him stand upon the earth. The Amillennia-ist may not like that as they say that Christ won't stand upon the earth, but my Christ will stand on the earth; Job said it. They don't know better than Job. Job says I'm going to see Him, though worms eat my body, I'm going to see Him stand there in all His glory.
I know it is a dark hour, but I will march again! Like those lepers I will march again! Let discouragement come! But God will send His angels. In that wilderness of temptation when Hell came to tempt Christ Himself the Bible says angels were there. Most of the time in the hour of temptation, in that wilderness all we see is the wicked beast, all we see is the darkness of the night and all we feel is the discouragement. But we have forgotten that God sends His angels into that wilderness; God sends ministering angels on to us to encourage, to exhort and to strengthen us in the warfare.
More are those for us than against us, Elisha said. Do you remember Elisha's servant? “They are going to destroy us!” he cried. “Oh, no. Lord, open his eyes. Open this man's eyes to see,” said Elisha. When the servant’s eyes were opened he saw chariots all around in the mountains. Oh, the Lord's armies were before him. We tend to forget that in the darkness of night.
“Well get up and rejoice!”
Saints, someone's going to break through in these days. Get mad at the devil! Get stirred! There’s nothing as bad as a dead believer: you can't make them mad, glad or anything. They see you at the door, say 'nice word, brother' and go away never changed. They hear preaching, they know it but they never change. God help us, I'd rather you get angry with me than nothing happen. Oh, that God would stir us one more time!
David said, “There is but one step between me and death. Saul is after me, what's the point of running?”
“David, you're heading for a throne, and to see Israel lift up out of the mire of a foolish religious system, David, don't lose heart now!”
“What's the point of it? Only a breath between me and death. . .”
If you're ready to give up saints, you are giving up far too soon. I assure you, if you're saying in your heart there's only a breath between me and death, it is time to stir yourself and get up and march forward by the power and grace of God. You remember Peter after he denied Christ? He repented, got his heart right, but then he said, “I go a fishing” The other disciples went with him. They went back to their boats and nets fishing. It is as if Peter said, “I'm back, but I'll never be the same again. I'll never overcome. I've lost the reality.”Saints, fight for it, get it back. Peter went fishing but he caught nothing; he was a failure now. Thank God for it! The Lord has laid His hands on some of you and you are good for nothing now; there is no place in this world system for you now. The Lord has ruined you for it. The Devil might tell you to turn back, look back, go back, but I say, onto you in the name of Jesus, “let's go forward in the name of Jesus!” Hell is banging like it banged on the door of Job. The Devil is saying, “The ground is dry and cracked, where is this revival you've prayed for? Where is it? Where are the individual souls, where are the true converts? There's no revival and you've prayed for it, where's the real baptism of the Holy Ghost? Where are the souls pressing into the kingdom?” If you listen to that voice for long, I tell you that you will be stopped in your tracks.
But the Spirit of God says, “You listen to me: I'll make you fishers of men! You listen to me: you'll lay hands on the sick, cast out demons” That's not natural. I have not yet seen a discouraged believer who saw someone healed or cast a demon out. Oh, that we would come back again.
Back to three men: Moses, Joshua and Caleb. These three men faced the demon of discouragement and overcame. Moses was a preacher of courage: he encouraged and exhorted the believers. He was a man who had been alone with God in that wilderness for forty years. God was moulding a man.
I see young men fighting to get into the pulpit; I tell you that you're a fool. You need to go there in the will of God or you will end up forsaking that pulpit!
You leaders and preachers need to be like those Captains of old who sailed the seven seas, who in a storm, in dangerous regions, when a storm came tied themselves to the steering wheel of that boat. Do you know what they're saying? They're saying, “I'll go down with this boat but I ain't moving. I'm going to steer through this storm and face this storm of night. I'm not going to my bed when it's dark, I'm going to sail this boat through! We are going somewhere!”
Give us old preachers like that again! During these days tie yourself to that pulpit. Some of you in your work place, university, mission field — wherever God has put you — tie yourself there and determine to ride out the storm, either that boat will sink or you will sail it out to the other side; something is going to happen.
Moses went to Egypt and said "set my people free." What a message! Who are you, Moses? The whole nation is in captivity; the whole nation is discouraged. There's no preacher saying, “We are going to get out!” and the church is not trying to get out. Not one. But a man of God came along and said, “We are getting out of here in a few days.” He had to face the discouragement of that people.
The people didn't believe it, they said, “Who are you?”
The elders didn't believe it. They said, “Who are you to preach to us?”
“I am a man who has met God in the wilderness at a burning bush. I've had a burning bush experience and I know God is going to deliver His people.”
Saints, I know God is going to visit His people again. He isn't going to leave them in Egypt. He is not going to leave the church in Europe like this. God is not going to leave it an absolute wreck of confusion, compromise and sin. Oh, no! My God is coming again to His church. There will be a remnant which will walk out of Egypt again. There's going to be a people who are going to rise up by the power of God and be delivered. I do believe that, church, a revival will come again to the church. When? I don't know but if I'm here at 99 I will still be preaching it. I'll still be telling a younger generation, He will come! Why? because He met me at my own burning bush as a child at the edge of my bed in the middle of the night. Looking out into that night sky He would meet with me; He'd come to me and He put a vision and a fire in this heart. I cannot forget that, Saints. There are places along the way where He met this man.
Moses brought Israel up out of Egypt and began to take them through that wilderness but only three days out they were murmuring and complaining; three days and they complained that they had no water. I've heard it in the church:
“We have no revival.”
“Nothing's happened and I'm discouraged.”
Well saints of God, get down and pray and cry out to the living God! It's not time to throw in the towel just yet. Ten to eleven days across that wilderness they come to a place called Kadesh Barnea. Kadesh means holy or consecrated. Barnea means the desert of wanderings. God brings all of Israel eleven days' journey across the wilderness and they're standing on the edge of the promised land and Moses is preaching to them saying, be strong, and of good courage.
But not everyone hears; not even every generation hears.
Moses is preaching to them, “This is everything our forefathers preached about. This is everything Abraham, Isaac and Jacob spoke of. This is what our God has shown us.”
God has given us a vision of a revived church, a church walking in holiness and purity, evangelizing the nations — a missionary church — young people on fire with the Holy Ghost.
Moses is there preaching saying, "Go in and possess the land. Be courageous! Don't be dismayed!" You know the story as well as I do: there were twelve men, sent into that land as spies.
“You go and look at the enemy, look at the land, because we are going in. I know the enemy is real but we are going to march into that land. We are carrying the promises of God.”
Moses knew something of the character of God; something of the nature of God. We need that saints! Not just His actions and His ways but knowing His character. Moses sent those twelve men in, and they were fathers and rulers; in other words, they were mature men. Caleb was 40 years old and walked with God for many years. These men were mature men, leaders in the camp of Israel. Now Moses is saying to these leaders “Be strong and of good courage. Plant that church in your town. Stir up those prayer meetings, light a fire, lead the people of God in.”
Leaders: you have to lead the people of God in. You need to preach to them and exhort them and encourage them. If you get discouraged you will discourage them. Be assured of it. As the 12 spies went in there, for 40 days they looked at the enemy; 40 days they surveyed the land; 40 days they covered that nation, knowing exactly the state and condition of it.
Nehemiah looked at the condition of Jerusalem's walls and he saw what had happened, what the enemy had done. Did he get discouraged? No, he broke and he wept. He was grieved for the condition but this man Nehemiah, this man of God said, “Something's going to happen here. Something is going to change. God's going to move, we'll build those walls again.”
You can see the condition of the hour we are in and get so discouraged by the enemy you'll never do anything. Or else, like Nehemiah, you're going to weep and break before God and say someone must do something! I pray someone hearing this message goes out and prays and believes God that the church is going to revive. I'm going to stir up something. Hell kicks me I'm going to kick Hell back. We've lost that fight, we've lost it. We're behind shut doors in fear of the enemy, discouraged. And all the time He's saying like a mighty army shall my bride be again. My church of Redeemed saints.
Num 13:25–26 “ And they returned from searching of the land after forty days. And they went and came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh; and brought back word unto them, and unto all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land.”
They showed them the fruit of the land — there is a real fruit of something of what God has spoken about.
Num 13:27 –33 And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it. Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan. And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it. But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we. And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.
Again, in Num 32:9
Num 32:9 For when they went up unto the valley of Eshcol, and saw the land, they discouraged the heart of the children of Israel, that they should not go into the land which the LORD had given them.
Deu 1:28 Whither shall we go up? our brethren have discouraged our heart, saying, The people is greater and taller than we; the cities are great and walled up to heaven; and moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakims there.
We know the enemy is strong, we know Ireland is impossible, and revival cannot come, no one is being moved in this hour, no one is being sent anymore. Where are the preachers? All we see is apostacy. There is no encouragement and that is enough to discourage anyone. Be careful, saints. We better put some fire back in this church again. We better birth a vision back into this church again. We do have a calling from God. I don't care whether I'm a Jeremiah and have to stand there ’til my dying day to preach the truth or whether I am a Peter on the day of Pentecost, I will stand in this hour of darkness. We must be resolved in this hour and not like the people of Israel who turned back. God said to them, “I am going to give you what you say. You say it would be better to die in the wilderness and you say your children are going to perish, you say it's impossible, we might as well go back to Egypt, why did God bring me out here to die? Why is all this happening to me?” You ever heard that voice? “Why is all this come upon me?”
God is listening to Israel–the church, He says “I've given you the promises, given you the commission, I've given you preachers, I've given you many messages, and still you sit here, and go woe is me. It's all gone, it's impossible!”
What do you expect God to do? Send you preachers, send you prophets, send you teachers, but you're always looking to be bottle-fed. Someone is going to hear the Word of the Lord; someone's going to believe the Word of God. Joshua and Caleb are saying “We believe that! This Word is in my heart!”
Forty long years; that whole generation is going to die. I believe we've seen a generation die in the wilderness. I've watched them fall on the left and on the right as apostacy has come. 220 leaders at a time in Israel apostasized with Korah — that's some apostasy in the House of Israel! All the time Moses is leading them, saying “I'm going to get this people through. If this generation doesn't want to go I'll get the next generation through. I'll get them to that river. I’m going to make them believe there is a land of good things. I'm going to preach to them of a revival. I'm going to tell them the promises of God. They aren't going to die out here. Oh, that other generation will. Those who are filled with unbelief, they will die. But I am going to bring the next generation in.”
Be very careful how we handle the things of God. God will just jump a generation and find someone else. God said I brought a breach of my promise because of the unbelief as a result of discouragement. You see why the Devil brings discouragement? All the hordes of Hell are marching in this hour saying if we can but stop this remnant there will be forty years of no revival and this generation will perish. But if one small gathering of believers break-through in Wales, in Germany, or Sweden. . . it's always happened like that. That's where the nation changing began: two old ladies praying somewhere, a small group of young people here or there, that's how it begins. Someone breaks through.
This isn't make-believe. If you think I'm joking you will die in this wilderness. Two men said we hear the Word of God and walked through that hour of discouragement. They heard the Word "Be not discouraged" and they watched the apostacy, and sin and unbelief. They saw it all and yet their eyes were on the Lord. They said we are going in and we are going to see the good things of God. Only two men out of that generation heard the Word of the Lord. Who is going to hear His Word? You can get so discouraged and say there's no hope, but I tell you there is hope tonight. There is hope! I am going to save someone from the fire. There's a soul heading to Hell who will burn in the fire through all eternity. I'm going to stand in the way of that man somewhere. Do you think the worth of one soul is so little? One soul comes in to the kingdom of God and all the angels of Heaven rejoice! Those two men, Joshua and Caleb walked through all their discouragement and compromise and at the end of 40 years they again stood at the edge of the land of promise one more time. And you know what Moses' message was to Joshua again? Be thou strong and be not discouraged or dismayed. Be strong, have courage, Joshua! 40 years ago they perished. But Joshua you've heard the Word of God. Don't listen to the Devil, to that voice that will discourage you. Don't move from this pulpit. Someone will hear. You will either die in this wilderness or lead someone to Heaven. You say that's not much? but that one individual will be glad to get to Heaven.
The individuals that have been touched by those who have not grown discouraged have been momentous individuals. Who got saved in a day of apostacy? Hudson Taylor, D.L. Moody, John Wesley, Martin Luther — all these men got saved in the darkest hours when apostasy abounded. Still, those men arose and followed after God. Saints, there is a demon of discouragement and I don't use that lightly and I am not trying to build something on it. We are fighting a warfare in the church. Either we go down in discouragement, stopped in our tracks, or we will hear the Word of the Lord and have courage to go on.
Preached at School of Christ International convention in Europe in November 2010.