Kingdom Advances

Steve Evans
Steve Evans

As we approach the end of 2023 most of us would probably agree that it has been a year of trials, tests of our faith and great breakthroughs. City Centre church has moved into its permanent building, but not without great opposition. Our dear friend and the person responsible for the renovation project at the new building in Eastgate Street – Steve Evans – sadly passed away from cancer, though not before he saw us in the new building. 

Tredworth church has been undergoing major building works to ensure the leaking in the main hall stops and to provide new disabled toilet facilities, as well as moving the office upstairs. All of this is going to make the building more fit for purpose as the church moves forward in the exciting challenges that the Lord has in store.

Our friends in the Philippines, Glorious Christ Church have moved into their new building, whilst the Dumagat Education Program is going from strength to strength. In Malawi, the Rural Community Hospital and under 5’s clinic are progressing well and in India thousands have come to faith in Christ just this year.

It has been a year of moving forward in the face of great challenges. But then, that is how most advances in the Kingdom of God happen. The Israelites reached the Promised Land only by travelling through various wildernesses and learning some difficult lessons. They settled in the land only as they confronted and overcame other nations who did not want them there. Jesus Himself said, “In this world you will have many troubles. But take heart for I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

The fact is, all Kingdom advances come at the expense of satan’s retreats and he is determined not to give ground easily. This year we have experienced loss, serious ill-health and many other trials, and without wishing in any way to minimise the pain and the struggle, these need to be understood in the context of the spiritual battle in which we are engaged. And as we do that, we need to press in to the words of Jesus:

Take heart, for I have overcome the world!

The Kingdom advances we have seen this year – church growth, people coming to faith in Christ, baptisms, new and improved buildings – are victories in this spiritual battle that is raging around us. Take heart – Jesus has overcome the world, and one day, “At the Name of Jesus every knee shall bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10-11). But until that time comes, we need to stay vigilant in prayer, realising that “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8).

As we approach the end of this year, and as we survey the scene of a year of battles, advances, heartache and breakthroughs, the message that I believe the Lord wants to leave with us is: “Take heart, for I have overcome the world!”. Let us rejoice in the victories this year and recommit ourselves to staying alert in prayer, safe in the knowledge that the victory is His!