People have been asking me, “Rick, how should we respond to all the events that are happening in society and around the world today?” Well, I’m excited to minister to you from my heart about the times we are living in right now and how we must respond to everything we are seeing around us!
But first, I want to remind you about our big Renner TV Family Meeting online on Friday, January 22, at 7:00 p.m. CST. We’ve been planning this special meeting for months, and you won’t want to miss it! My sons Paul Renner and Joel Renner will host, Denise will sing, and I will be ministering from Red Square in Moscow! There will also be special praise and worship by some of our own Russian team on this side of the world. We are so looking forward to this meeting, so please put this date on your calendar and join us! Also, on that night only, we’ll be giving away as a downloadable PDF the first three chapters of my newest book Build Your Foundation, which will be released in March — and on that special night, everything in our online store will be 30 percent off the regular retail price! You can go to renner.org or call us for more information.
I also want to say THANK YOU for your prayers and support for what God has called us to do in our ministry. Denise and I are willing to do our part, but what our partners do is vital for us to be able to fulfill our God-given assignment to take teaching that can be trusted to people all over the world. How I wish I could sit down with you and show you the multitudes of people from a long list of nations that are being fed right now through RENNER Ministries. And what is happening in our Russian outreach is just explosive! It is growth beyond our wildest imagination! But we are only able to do it because of our partners’ sustaining prayers and financial support. And for this, we are so very thankful.
If there is a special way that Denise and I and our team can be praying for you today, please don’t hesitate to let us know. I know you understand how serious we are about praying for our partners and friends. The moment we hear from you, we enter into prayer for you about whatever you are facing. Jeremiah 33:3 promises that if we call out to God in faith, He will respond with amazing answers. We have seen it, and we believe it. We pray for our partners every day anyway, but if we know how to pray more specifically for you, it will help us pray even more effectively!
Today I want to share with you about how we must — and how we must not — respond to events happening in society and around the world right now. I personally believe we are living in the greatest hour for the Church of Jesus Christ. God promises that in this end of the age, a massive harvest of souls will come into the Church. But right in the midst of all this, events have occurred throughout the earth that have shaken the nations of the world and filled men’s hearts with fear.
I am convinced that part of this worldwide assault has been the devil’s attempt to put believers in fear so they will retreat from this worldwide advance of the Gospel. Although we need to be wise and do what we can to protect ourselves in times such as these, we do not need to react in fear. Fear is never the answer; it results in blurred thinking and bad decisions.
God’s Word promises us a sound mind if we will claim it. When Timothy was facing hard times, Paul told him, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).
This verse says that God has given us a “sound mind.” This phrase comes from the Greek word sophroneo, and it is a compound of the words sozo and phroneo. The word sozo is the Greek word for “salvation.” It means deliverance, protection, and soundness. The word phroneo is the root for the word “mind.” When these two words are put together as they are in this verse, the new word is translated “sound mind.” The idea presented by the word sophroneo is a mind that is saved and protected or a mind that is sound. It is just the opposite of a mind given to fear, panic, or unfounded and unreasonable thinking. This word describes a mind that is thinking correctly!
Because God has given us a “sound mind,” we can think correctly about how to live in these last days — a time that Second Timothy 3:1 predicts will be “perilous.” The word “perilous” is a translation of the Greek word chalepos, and it literally means something that is difficult, dangerous, or filled with risk. This is a prophetic warning to let us know that those who live in the very last of the last days will be confronted with a strange period of time like mankind has never seen before. It will be a time filled with difficulty, danger, and risk.
Today I want to give you what I believe is a sensible approach to living in these last days. To ensure that we are doing all we can to remain in the blessings of God, these are the practices Denise and I apply to our own lives. These are the Holy Spirit’s orders to us, and now I am passing them on to you as they’ve been given to us.
Living in the last days requires that we have a greater sensitivity to the Spirit of God. Romans 8:14 declares that one of the privileges of being a son of God is that the Spirit of God leads us. The word “led” is the Greek word ago. It is the picture of someone extending his hand to you so he can gently lead you.
In these last days, we must be led by the Holy Spirit. However, the Holy Spirit will lead us only if we allow Him to lead us. How many times has the Spirit of God wanted to be our Leader, but we went our own way and ultimately suffered the consequences! He knew exactly how to lead us past every attack. He knew how to avoid each strategy of the devil.
Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would “guide you” (John 16:13). The word “guide” is the Greek word hodegeo and is the word for a guide who shows a traveler the safest course through an unknown country. This means the Holy Spirit is our Guide. He knows the way we should go. He understands how to avoid every trap and obstacle along the way. When we are going into an area we’ve never been before, the Holy Spirit wants to show us how to take the safest route. He knows exactly how to get us safely to our destination!
The Holy Spirit often stopped Jesus from going to certain regions because the Jews were waiting to ambush Him. To avoid these traps, the Holy Spirit would guide Jesus another way. The Spirit also warned Paul not to go to certain places for the same reason. And in the book of Acts, the Holy Spirit warned the Early Church in advance about persecution, famine, and other trials.
The Holy Spirit knows the future and wants to enlighten us with all the information we need in every situation. This is part of His ministry to you and me.
If the Holy Spirit speaks to you and tells you to do something specific, be quick to obey Him! Do you remember when the death angel passed through Egypt and took the firstborn of all the Egyptians? The reason Israel was unaffected was, the Israelites obeyed the instructions God gave them to put blood on the doorposts of their houses. They brushed the lamb’s blood on the doors of their homes just as God had ordered. Later when the death angel came, he passed by every home where he saw blood on the doorposts. The result: Not one of the Israelites was touched!
But what if Israel had disregarded God’s instructions and tried to protect themselves another way? Would their efforts have worked? Of course not. God told them how to be protected. All they had to do was obey. If they did what God told them, they were guaranteed protection and blessing. They were untouched because they walked in obedience. Weeping, crying, and mourning were heard in Egypt, but not in the land of Goshen where the children of Israel lived. They found protection in their obedience to the Word of God.
As we obey the Word of God and listen to the Holy Spirit’s leading, we will have wisdom to know every step we need to take in the days ahead. All we have to do is obey God’s instructions, and He guarantees us blessing and provision — even in difficult times. But if we try to take another approach, there is no guarantee for us to claim. We must do what God says if we want to be assured of His divine blessing and protection.
As a spiritual leader and friend, I feel the responsibility to encourage you to increase your level of faith, especially if you are facing challenging times. Stand on the Word of God; exercise your faith; listen to the Holy Spirit; and obey what He tells you to do. As you do these things, God’s supernatural blessings will kick into action, and you will soon find a river of supernatural provision flowing to you.
There is no doubt that we are living in some of the most challenging days the world has ever seen. But you can face these times victoriously because God has given you a sound mind. He has given you the promises of His Word. And He has given you the leadership of His Spirit. Never has there been a more crucial time for you to operate in faith and not fear, and to believe for a mighty move of God to take place on this earth!
My precious friend, we are anointed for these times! We can navigate these times successfully if we embrace the sound mind that God promises us and if we do not give way to a spirit of fear! I’m praying this over my life and over the lives of our partners all the time! We can live victorious in the power of the Holy Spirit in whatever season we find ourselves in!
It would be good for you to say out loud, “AMEN!”
THANK YOU so much for letting me have this time to open the Word to you in this way today. If you don’t have my books Last-Days Survival Guide and Signs You’ll See Just Before Jesus Comes, and you would like to go deeper in the Word to understand the events that are unfolding around us, I encourage you to go to our store at renner.org and order these books. Reading them will fortify your faith for the season we are living in right now!
Please remember to let us know how to pray for you. Denise and I love you, and we pray for you faithfully! And please, please, pray for us too. Just like you, we are giving our best to do what Jesus has asked us to do. But we need your prayers to undergird us as we press ahead by faith!
We love you and thank God for you!
Rick and Denise Renner
along with Paul, Philip, and Joel and their families