Walking in Victory
Do we walk in victory or defeat? Jesus has already won the victory and He has called us to walk with Him by faith. 1 John 5:4,5. Jeremiah teaches that when we trust in ourselves, in other people, or in our circumstances then we become like a dried-up shrub in the desert. Jeremiah 17: 5,6. We become victims defeated by our circumstances and we are useless to ourselves or to those around us. How can we let our light shine in this world if we are always depressed, defeated, frustrated and angry? Will others see Christ in us when we act like Christ is still in the grave? He is risen! Is the risen Christ living in us?
The word of God teaches us that we will walk in victory when our faith is in God. Jeremiah 17: 7,8. We will become like a tree that has its roots in water that bears fruit in adversity and tribulation. When our faith is in Christ we can overcome our circumstances. We bear fruit in all situations because our source of strength comes from the living water of the Holy Spirit. Jesus tells us that we will have tribulation in this world but that He has called us to overcome the darkness by faith. Like Peter, we can walk above the storm as long as our eyes are on Jesus. Matthew 14: 22-33. Jesus has called us to bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit in the midst of tribulation. Galatians 5: 22. We glorify God and He uses us to be a light and a source of strength to those around us. We shine the light of Christ to others when we walk in victory with the love, joy, peace and patience of the Holy Spirit in the midst of suffering.
The Lord is currently teaching me to walk by faith in His victory over arthritis and stage four cancer. Every day the Father raises me up in the resurrection of Christ as He teaches me to trust Him. Jesus calls me to walk above the sickness and pain as I learn to walk by faith and not by sight. He is calling me to finish that race that He has set before me. The enemy seeks to rob, kill and destroy but Jesus came to give us life. John 10:10. Every day I pray and give the Lord all of my depression, frustration and sorrow and He gives me the strength to continue on my journey. Jesus calls us to come to Him with all of our burdens and He will give us rest. Matthew 11:28-30.
The Purpose of Life
In my youth I began to seek God and search for the meaning of my life. I had many goals that involved personal accomplishment in this world. I began to pray and the Father revealed to me His will and His plan for my life. He showed me that my earthly achievements would soon pass away because they were done independently from Him. The Lord revealed to me that He has a higher and eternal purpose for my life. I decided over forty years ago to devote my life to two purposes: To know Him and to be a faithful servant to calling on my life.
The Father filled me with a consuming passion to know Him at any cost. The Lord gave Paul a similar passion and he decided to suffer the loss of all things because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ. Philippians 3:7-11. When the Father in His grace allowed me to experience the glory of His presence, I decided to leave everything else behind to gain Christ. I started a forth on a 42-year adventure to know the Creator of all things who inhabits eternity and dwells in approachable light. I love the journey. I love the mystery. Every day I wake up with the expectation of drawing closer to Him. “Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.” James 4:8. Every day the Father reveals Himself to me in a new and glorious way. Every day I seek to walk with Him and He lifts me up to heavenly places. I must decrease so that He can increase. John 3:30. I pray that the passion of the Holy Spirit to know God will always burn in my heart. I ask to Father to burn away anything in me that is not of Him. I want him to remove everything in me that separates me from Him. If we lack a passion to know God then ask Him to fill your heart with His passion that comes from the Holy Spirit. Every one who asks will receive. God will give the Holy Spirit to those who keep asking, seeking and knocking. Luke 11:5-11.
The Faithful Servant
Twenty-five years ago, the Father called me to full time ministry to the homeless and those in jails and nursing homes. He transformed my hard heart into the heart of Jesus that was full of love and compassion for those in need. I began my ministry by filling my mobile home with the homeless and then twenty-two years ago the Father called me into full time inter-city ministry. I left everything behind and followed Christ. I have devoted the rest of my life to serve others by the grace of God. I sought to be the wise and faithful servant to Christ. I long to please him and hear him say at the end of my life, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.” Matthew 25:21. I have always been amazed that my life could please God. I have known the joy of my master as I became a vessel through which He poured out His love to others. The Father has used me to lead many to Christ on the streets, discipleship programs, missions, nursing homes and jails. I have privileged to witness the Father do many miracles in the past twenty-two years. There have been trials and sacrifices, but as Paul wrote in Acts: “I count my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may accomplish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” Acts 20:24. I do not count my personal life to be of value. The purpose of my life is to obey Christ and allow the Holy Spirit to work through me according to the will of the Father. I seek only to please Him with my life and finish the race set before me. 2 Timothy 4:6-8. I continue to do this ministry with the “energy that he mightily inspires within me”. Colossians 1:28,29. My body is filled with stage four cancer but every day He raises me up and I walk in the resurrection power of Christ to fulfill His ministry. By the grace of God I will continue to be a vessel through which the Father pours out His love until the day He calls me home.
God’s Invitation to Walk with Him
We walk with God when we live in communication and fellowship Him in our everyday life. Jesus lived in constant and perfect fellowship with the Father on this earth. We fall short because we take our eyes off of him and onto ourselves or things in this world. Enoch is a good example because he walked with God so closely that one day he walked right into heaven. Genesis 5.21-24. The Lord was pleased with Enoch because he sought God by faith with all of his heart. Hebrews 11:5,6. We are called to stay in fellowship with God at work and at play; while we are shopping, driving and at home.
I began to seek God in my youth and I moved to the mountains spend time seeking God. I have many wonderful memories of skiing in fellowship with the Father. He made the mountains, the sun and the snow. He created me and gave me the ability to ski with all my heart. The Father enjoyed spending time with me as I skied with all my might. There were days of pure joy when I lifted my hands to God in praise. I was not part of the world around me because the Father had lifted me into heavenly places. I was in heaven because I was in God’s presence. I often walked with the Father in glorious solitude as I cross country skied across pure white snow. I was in perfect peace because my mind was set on Him. Isaiah 26.3. Truly, God is good!
I walked with God in Switzerland as He gave me a vision of the new heaven and earth. He touched me and everything began to glow with his glory. The Father everything around me as a vision of the glory of the new heaven and earth. He showed me that the Church will live in perfect harmony with God, each other and with His creation in the new age. I walked with the Father on mountain trails in Idaho, often in the presence of His wonderful creatures. I loved His creation because it is an expression of Him. I love Him because He is my heavenly Father. I traveled across the Father’s creation on foot, bicycle, and motorcycle as I viewed the glorious splendor of His beauty. These experiences where a glimpse of the glorious inheritance with He has prepared for his beloved children. Christ will soon reign with his Church on a new earth that will be more glorious than we can even imagine.
I worshiped God with my guitar beside clear mountain lakes, in quiet meadows and on mountain tops. I worshiped the Father by photographing his amazing creation. I often felt that He was putting on a show just for me and I was in awe of his beauty. I share these photographs with others so that they can see God’s beauty and worship Him.
The Father called me out of the mountains 22 years ago to serve Him by ministering to the homeless and those in jails and prison. I still walk with the Lord in this city as His glorious Spirit works through me to draw many to the Father. He sent me to this desert to invite others to share in His glorious inheritance. The door is still open and the Lord calling us to come to him and be forgiven of our sins and receive His gift of eternal life. He is still inviting all to come to him and spend eternity with Him in a new heaven and earth. The Spirit is warning us to not hesitate because the time is short. God loves us! He is so good! In His mercy, the Father has given the world more time to come to Him because He wants all to be saved and live forever in His presence. The Church is called to live in these last days of great darkness so that God can shine His light through us into a dying world. I will spend the rest of my time on this earth sharing His love and the good news of the gospel!
I first met Brenda about ten years ago when she was living in the homeless shelter. Several years ago she wrote this beautiful poem about her journey to find God and her experience of His healing in her life.
Life led me to an angel;
the happenings throughout my life haven’t been so kind.
The extremes that I’ve struggled through
Have tampered with my mind.
I realize no good could come from trying to place blame,
The toxic and heartless have led me to my shame.
I knew it was due in time, the burdens of disgrace.
And sure enough it happened, I landed on my face.
They took me where I’d never been, and there I met this man.
He wasn’t like the others, he wasn’t tempted toward my sins.
Light heartedly he helped, he cared nothing like the rest.
No matter what I said or did, he only saw my best.
He showed me that through all the evil, even my own sins;
There was something special in me,
That Christ was my best friend.
He explained that we weren’t so different,
Our hearts were quite the same;
He always had a smile, was humble, sure and kind.
He led me to a relationship with God,
I could leave my pain behind.
I am so thankful every day,
Life led me to an angel
To help me find my way.
Lord, thank you for Peter
The Word of God declares that the resurrection is both a future event and a daily living reality. Every day the Father calls me to rise up out of my “terminal cancer” and walk by faith in the resurrection of Christ. Jesus declares, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die.” John 11.25,26. The enemy came to rob, kill and destroy, but Christ came to give us life. John 10:10. The enemy speaks death into me through stage four cancer and severe arthritis but every day Jesus speaks life into me and I stand up by faith and walk with Him in the resurrection power of Christ. I choose not to submit to the lies of the enemy but I stand on the power of God’s word. Jesus declares that his Word is Spirit and Life. John 6:63. Every day God I choose to believe God and He raises me up out of death, sickness, pain, discouragement and depression and I walk with him in heavenly places. By the grace of God, I walk by faith and fulfill the call of God to minister to the homeless and those incarcerated in jails. The Word of God becomes a living reality as He gives me strength to mount up with wings like eagles, run and not grow weary and walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:28-31.
Christ is calling His Church to rise up in Christ and live in the freedom of His resurrection. He will break the chains of sin and bondage and we will shine the light of Christ to this world of darkness. God’s Word teaches that those who trust in themselves or in this world will be like a dry lifeless shrub that is hopeless and defeated. This same passage declares that those who have their trust in God are like a tree with its roots in the water of the Holy Spirit. They will bear fruit in suffering and adversity because God is their source. Jeremiah 17:5-8. These Spirit filled believers have learned to be content in all circumstances and they walk in victory because they can do all things in Christ who strengthens them. Philippians 4:11-13.
The Bible teaches that there will be a future resurrection of the Church when Christ returns and we will be changed in an instant at the last trumpet. We look forward to the day when our earthy bodies will be changed into a glorious body like Christ’s body. “But our commonwealth is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that which enables him even to subject all things to himself.” Philippians 3:20,21. The Word declares that this change will happen in an instant when Christ returns and the last trumpet sounds. 1 Corinthians 15:51-56. God promises to make all things new and wipe away all the affects of sin. God will purify our hearts and minds through Christ. He will remove tears, death, mourning, crying and pain. Revelation 21:1-7. We are called to live by faith in this life as we wait for this blessed hope of a future resurrection.
As this world falls away from God, we see more anger, bitterness, division, condemnation, persecution, hate, rudeness, jealousy, violence, vengeance and intolerance. This plague of hate and evil inspired by the devil is rapidly taking over our world. The Word of God teaches that in these days wickedness will be multiplied and cause most men’s love to grow cold. Matthew 24:12. How do we defeat the power of hate and evil? The word teaches, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12.21. God’s Word explains that His unconditional love in us will overcome the hate in this world. He commands us to “love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.” Luke 6:27, 28. The passage continues to inform us that we are commanded to give to those who beg, forgive others and we will be forgiven and show mercy instead of judgement and condemnation.
We change ourselves and the world around us by forgiving others. God’s Word teaches us to give our anger to God every day before it turns into bitterness. Ephesians 4:26-32. Forgiveness releases the power of hate and bitterness so that God’s love can fill our hearts through the Holy Spirit. Forgiveness heals our hearts while unforgiveness consumes our lives like a cancer and causes our hearts to become cold. Many carry roots of bitterness that have been growing since their childhood. God has given us the gift of forgiveness for all of our sins through Christ’s death on the cross and he commands us to forgive others who have harmed us. God invites us to come to Him every day and ask Him to show us any areas of unforgiveness and bitterness in our hearts. We then pray for his grace and strength to help us forgive. Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. Matthew 5:8. O God, purify our hearts that your love may flow out of us like living waters.
God has performed many miracles during the past 20 years of ministry. In the late 90’s, The Lord had called me to do several weekly nursing home services. One Sunday as I was preparing for the service in the Chapel, a lady in a wheelchair told me that a terminal patient down the hall had been unplugged from life support and was expected to die several days ago. She believed that there was a reason that he was still alive. I went into the room and the man was lying motionless on the bed. The Holy Spirit told me to lead him in a sinners prayer even though he couldn’t physically respond. I prayed with him and then asked the Lord to take him with angels to Heaven. His two daughters were in the room and I asked them if they were believers. They told me that they didn’t know Jesus and I led both of them to Christ. I returned to the Chapel and the lady in the wheelchair joined us several minutes later and told me that the man had just passed away. She stayed for the service and gave her life to Christ during the altar call. She passed away several weeks later. God’s Word promises that He works in all things for good and brings life out of apparent tragic situations. (excerpt from In Pursuit of God)
Prayer Changes us:
Prayer changes us because it takes our focus off of ourselves and our problems and causes us to look up to God. The Bible commands us not to worry but instead pray and put our trust in God. “Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let you requests be made known to God. And the peace of which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6,7. The Bible promises that the Lord will fill us with peace when we stop worrying and begin to pray.” I pray to the Father, “Please take away this fear and worry. I place it all in Your Hands because I trust Your Love. I am safe in Your Arms and I rest in Your Presence. I need not fear because You are with me. You Love me and You will keep me from Harm. I trust Your love”.
The Prayer Closet:
We need to find a place to separate from this world and be alone with God. Moses pitched the Tent of Meeting outside the camp for people to seek the Lord. “Now Moses used to take the tent and pitch it outside the camp, far from the camp; and he called it the tent of meeting. And every one who sought the Lord would go out to the tent of meeting, which was outside the camp.” Exodus 32:7,8. Today we don’t use tents to seek God, but we still need to separate ourselves from all things and begin to focus on God. Jesus teaches to find a secret place(a prayer closet) to be alone with the Father: “But when you pray go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you” Matthew 6:6. The prayer closed is a place where we separate from everything and we concentrate all of our heart and mind on the Lord. Jesus is our example of how to pray. He often spent all night alone with the Father to prepare Himself for the next day of ministry. “And after He had dismissed the crowds, He went up to into the hills by himself to pray.” Matthew 14:23. Again, “in these days He went out into the hills to pray, and all night He continued in prayer to God”. Luke 6:12. Jesus needed to draw strength from the Father every day- how much more do we need to pray! (excerpts from In Pursuit of God)
In the Name of Love
Verse 1: Another life is taken, another baby dies; in a world of hatred it all seems right. Another man is dying on the streets alone; without a family, without a home.
Chorus: In the name of Jesus, in the name of God, in the name of heaven, in the name of love. In a Christian nation, in the Church of God, any name your using, it isn’t love.
Verse 2: Another home is broken, another family dies; another child is weeping, asking “Why”. Another heart is broken, another lie is told; another finger’s pointed, another love grows cold. Chorus.
Written by Peter Schuler