Before I get into the meat of this letter, I want you to be among the first to know that our meetings in the United States this summer have been canceled. About a month ago, we learned that international flights from Russia have been halted due to the coronavirus situation.
Because of that, Denise and I had no choice but to cancel all our meetings this summer — the first time we’ve ever had to do this for one of our regular trips to the States. Thank you so much for praying for God’s wisdom for us as we navigate this interesting season we are all living in all over the world.
But wait — although, we’re not able to physically be in the U.S. this summer, we are continuing full-steam with preparations for our special public meeting we had planned to hold on Friday, July 17, 2020 — and we’re going to do it online!
You won’t want to miss this historic online service, so save the date! From our Russian worship team opening the service with praise and worship in English to a word from my sons Paul Renner and Joel Renner and special music by Denise — and ministry in the Word by me — this will be a meeting that will bless you from start to finish! Please go to renner.org to learn how to log on and join us for this special time together in the Lord.
People have been asking how the situation is in Russia. Although the impact of this virus in Russia has been significant, in the midst of it all, God is moving mightily in the lives of so many people as we continually reach out over the airwaves to preach and teach the Gospel, which is truly Good News!
Whew…we are definitely living in unstable times, just as the Holy Spirit prophesied that it would happen at the very end of the last days.
But at the same time, this is the greatest hour for the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. A massive harvest is coming into the Church all over the world. Statistics prove that right now, more people are coming to Jesus worldwide than at any other point in history. The Spirit of God is swinging the Gospel sickle, and millions upon millions of souls are being swept into the Kingdom of God. Praise the Lord! This is one of the greatest signs in evidence today that we are near to the coming of Jesus (see Matthew 24:14).
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 Gospel advance. 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, for 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 comes from the Greek word sophroneo, and it is a compound of the words sodzo and phroneo. The word sodzo 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 predicted would be “perilous.” The word “perilous” in that verse is 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 steps my wife and I apply to our own lives. These are the Holy Spirit’s orders to Denise and me, 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 will lead us. The word “led” in this verse is the Greek word ago. It is the picture of someone extending his hand to you so that 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 give Him this right. Oh, how many times the Spirit of God has 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 “…shew you things to come” (John 16:13). The word “shew” 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 where 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 trap 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. Also, 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, then obey Him! Do you remember the account of when the death angel passed through Egypt and took the firstborn of all the Egyptians? The reason Israel was unaffected was that the Israelites obeyed the instructions God gave them to put blood on the doorposts of their houses. They brushed that 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. In the end, 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 and the Spirit 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 want 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 your life.
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!
Today I’d like to lead you in this prayer:
Lord, as an end-time believer, I need to be filled with faith and not with fear. Help me fill my heart with Your Word, stand on Your promises, follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, and exercise my faith more than ever before! I know that fear has blurred my thinking in times past, but it will NOT have any place in my life from this day forward! Instead, I release my faith and confidently expect to be a partaker in the last and greatest harvest of souls ever to be reaped for the Kingdom of God! Holy Spirit, help me rise to the occasion as I become an instrument God can use in these last days. I pray this in Jesus’ name.
Please remember that we are here to pray for you. You can reach us by phone any work day 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CT — or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or submit your prayer request online. Just as soon as we hear from you, we will swing into action to lift your concern to the Lord in faith. It is one of our highest joys in the ministry to pray for you and to see Heaven’s best manifested in your life!
While I’m talking to you in this letter about being led by the Spirit in the last days, I want to tell you about my new book Last-Days Survival Guide — A Scriptural Handbook To Prepare You for These Perilous Times. This book is at the printer as I write, and I am excited to let you know that it will be available soon! Right now, for a limited time, you can purchase this book at a prerelease discount of 30 percent off the retail price! Just go online to our store or call our Tulsa office to order your copy, or copies, today!
Denise and I love you and thank God for you!
We are your brother and sister, friends, and partners in Jesus,
Rick and Denise Renner
along with Paul, Philip, and Joel and their families