Posts Tagged ‘Chains’

Serious Alignment

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might!” (Ephesians 6:10)

Thought for Today: “Becoming Armed and Dangerous”

The Apostle Paul makes it clear that we have been given supernatural tools for warring against spiritual forces (Eph. 6:13-18). He first says, “put on the whole armor of God so that you can stand against the wiles of the devil” (Eph 6:11). We find ourselves wrestling with principalities and powers, rulers of darkness and spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places. I believe we can be armed and dangerous. We can be equipped, shod and gird about with the most impressive sounding weapons God has in His arsenal, but it all works through prayer and fasting. Praying, watching and persevering with all kinds of prayers.

Not by Human Might:

We are ambassadors of Christ with amazing potential to do exploits and achieve the impossible things Jesus did, but it only happens with the help of the Holy Spirit (Zech 4:6). You see, we are battling invisible forces. Spiritual enemies that cannot be seen with our natural eyes. We can see the effects, but never get to the source of the real battle unless we are trained through prayer and fasting.

The Apostle’s Boldness:

Notice how the Apostle Paul writes these words to the Church in Ephesus while he was in prison, saying “I am an ambassador in chains”. He is making the point that his warfare is not fought in the flesh, but in the spiritual realm (Eph 3:10). His boldness was based upon an awareness that God’s grace was flowing through his life (Eph 3:8). Being armed does not necessarily make us dangerous to the devil, unless we are trained in the use of the weapons of our warfare… trained in prayer and sharpened by fasting.

Delegated Authority:

Its all about knowing who you represent! God has chosen you, called you by name and He will work in and through you… but your standard of training is up to you. Jesus was always calling His disciples up higher! He lived with them and taught as one holding the authority, but in a new season, new skills are needed. In John 15 a new season was about to begin. They would no longer be called “servants”. They would begin to discover what their Master was doing (Jn 15:15). As servants, they followed according to commands, but as “friends” they would follow the “heart” of their Master. Jesus was now shifting the relationship, deepening the responsibility and trusting that they would begin to live from what they understood – heart to heart. Friends discover the secrets that give them an advantage in how they walk together. Jesus wanted His disciples to achieve victory in every area of their spiritual journey. Knowing the heart of God is a key to real spiritual trained and impact in the spiritual battles we face. When we know the heart of our friend Jesus, we are able to carry our delegated authority into any challenge. One of the greatest spiritual truths is that your authority gets established through your intimacy with God.

Representing Heaven on Earth:

Becoming a dangerous threat to the devil means you will need some serious alignment with heaven. You are an ambassador for the Kingdom of God… you must represent heaven on earth in a way that makes the devil nervous and demons flee. That is what prayer and fasting will produce in you… the capacity to be armed and dangerous.

Submit to God (through prayer), resist the devil (through fasting) and he will flee from you (Jms 4:7).

If Only

This is what the Lord says- Your Redeemer, The Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to My commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea.” (Isa. 48:17-18)

“If Only… you had paid attention to My Commands!”

These words echo in the heart of those who live with regrets. We have all found ourselves off track to some degree… with strange perceptions, bad choices and wasted opportunities. Many times in our self-absorbed lifestyles, we think that we are doing the right thing or going in the right direction only to find out that we have been wrong. We hit the wall or reach the end of the rope and cannot find our way out. Some have so damaged their future that recovery would require a miracle. Life is not something we should guess at or rush into, but problems are often the high price we pay for trying to please everyone around us. Perhaps you have felt the shame and embarrassment that follows these words… “if only I had paid attention” to God.

Losing Peace:

God has given us all that we need for life and godliness in His Word and by the guidance of the Holy Spirit (2 Pet. 1:2-4). He knows what is best for us and He desires to teach us those things, because He loves us. Unfortunately we sometimes refuse what God teaches us and insist on doing our own thing. When we do this, we eventually find that we have lost our peace and our life gets full of unnecessary problems and difficulties.

God is Gracious:

God will not leave us in our confusion if we are willing to return and recover what has been lost. His arms are always open for us and He is always waiting for our return. Although we hear within our soulish man, “If only you had listened”, God does not leave us in defeat if we will come to Him in faith. We often beat ourselves up with the “if only’s”. If only we had not done this or if only we had done that instead. But in spite of what we have done, there is hope in God!

God holds out a wealth of righteousness… His Mercy, invites us into a fresh peace that flows like a river and washes over us like the waves of the sea.

Shifting the Focus:

We cannot change the past, but we can shift the focus and live beyond the regrets of the past. Jesus tells us, “YOU ARE FORGIVEN!”. This changes everything inside of us, when we know we are free of the past, free of the guilt and free of the entanglements. The chains that have held us fall lifelessly to the floor, so we can begin anew. We can begin today with the right choices and listen to God’s instructions for Kingdom life. We can begin now with fresh perspective and limitless possibilities. In return God will cause us to walk in the righteousness, peace and joy of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14:17).

Life to the Fullest:

Have you gotten off track and done your own thing only to find that you have lost your peace and brought unnecessary problems into your life? Take ownership of your future and shift the focus… living beyond your regrets is a matter of choosing who gets to speak into your heart. God’s invitation is not to control you, but to free you to enjoy life to the fullest.

The key is to hear His heart: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you.”

Fullness of the Kingdom

“For the Kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Rom. 14:17)

The Glory of God brings the fullness of the Kingdom of God into our midst. Heaven is not a doctrine, it’s a reality. Actually, its an entire realm of reality where the spiritual can become as comfortable and natural as home. The key is to gain a knowledge of the Glory of God by experience and fellowship in the Holy Spirit. Jesus instructed us to become invested in this reality, by teaching us how to pray. “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done. On earth as it is in heaven” (Mt. 6:10). He called us to pull heaven into earth… into our daily routine.

How close is the Kingdom of Heaven today?

Jesus said repent, or change the way you think; because the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand (Mt. 4:17). And then He demonstrated its effect on natural reality (Mt. 4:23-25). Can you imagine that? Stretch out your hand. Contemplate the distance from your heart to your finger tips… believe and set your mind to receive – and welcome Him. You will immediately find a door open to you for fellowship. Can you feel that? God has come near by the Holy Spirit. That’s at least how close the Kingdom is to you every day. When we welcome the Presence of God, the Kingdom comes and something begins to shift or make room.

When God’s People seek Him with all of their heart, they are promised to find Him and experience the process of being brought back from captivity (Jer. 29:11-14). What is capturing your heart? God has a better plan and thoughts of a better future! Recognize that the entry of the Kingdom will create space for dwelling. The Holy Spirit will brood over you for access. As you seek Him with a humble posture He will draw near and manifest Himself as Deliverer, Savior and Lord. This process moves out sin, stagnation, religion and anything else that stands in it’s way… in order to create habitation for His Glory (Eph. 2:22)(Jn. 14:23)(Acts 2:12-16). You and I were made for this kind of fullness!

The Church’s Destiny:

It’s time that the Church moves into the fullness of the Kingdom and finds her destiny in God. Scripture tells us that “the Glory of the latter house will be greater than the former” (Hag. 2:9). A lot of people go around looking for the perfect church. They will never find it. God doesn’t promise us that the latter house will be greater. He says that the Glory of the latter house will be greater! Don’t look for the greater house, look for the greater Glory!

Don’t look for the greater house – look for the greater Glory! “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” (Hab. 2:14)

What kind of a Church is Jesus looking for? Scripture tells us that He is looking for a Glorious Church (Eph. 5:27). Glorious means “filled with Glory”. At the dedication of the Temple, after Solomon prayed, the Bible says that “fire came down from Heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the Glory of the Lord filled the Temple. And the priests could not enter the House of the Lord, because the Glory of the Lord had filled the Lord’s House” (2 Chron. 7:1). I believe that God wants His Church to look like that! Do you think the world will notice the Church if the Glory of God falls on us to that degree? I believe the day is coming when the world will see the Glory of the Lord upon the Church.

  • Listen to these words… “Arise, shine, for your light has come! And the Glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the Lord will arise over you, and His Glory will be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising” (Isa. 60:1-2).

When the Glory shines upon you, people will notice… nothing will remain the same!

He wants to give us a greater and greater understanding of the Glory, so that we can walk in the fullness of His Kingdom. One of the firsts steps we must take is to realize the power of the cross and the victory that was won there. We must realize that without the sacrifice that Jesus paid on the cross, we wouldn’t even have the desire to know Him, let alone experience His Glory. The death and resurrection of Christ opened up a “New and Living Way” for mankind (Heb. 10:20), so that we could really get to know the God who created us… for the fullness of His Kingdom.

The New and Living Way is Fullness!

When I look at the cross, I see two sides:

    *First: I see that the death of Jesus has taken away sin, once and for all! “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (Jn. 1:29) That is what we are saved from… no more bondage, no more chains – freedom from sin!

      *Second: I see that the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ saving us to something, not just from something! We are saved from sin, but we are also saved to enjoy the glorious life in the Spirit. This is the “New and Living Way” He has promised, in the fullness of His Glory; for every believer. This new way of life began the moment you believed on the Lord Jesus Christ. You have eternal life now, not when you die. You have it now. The Kingdom is available to you today.

        You can walk as more than a conqueror today! You have been given dominion today to walk in the fullness of the Kingdom of Heaven.

        Resisting Evil

        “For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” (Rom. 8:6)

        We often tend to forget that worldliness and worldly people act as they do because they are carnally minded. People sin, because they take no initiative to fix their minds on Christ and His Word. Apart from the work of the Holy Spirit, humanity is in a state of confusion and “spiritual death”, having fallen from God’s promise of grace and experience in His Glory.

        I like to meditate on these 2 verses:

        1. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (Jn. 1:14)
        2. “For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Cor. 4:6)

        We must remind ourselves to behold the Glory of the Lord in the face of Jesus every day. Jesus came, not only to forgive our sins; but to destroy the “daily works” of the devil in our lives (1 John 3:8). ”IT IS FINISHED!” was the most powerful word from the cross, in that it released a shift in the atmosphere and locked in the greatest victory humanity has ever experienced. For in keeping with God’s promise to crush the head of the serpent, Jesus removed the authority of sin, hell and the grave. Indeed you and I can enjoy life… free to live out of the freedom Christ has won for us. Satan has been defeated!

        A Spiritual Battle:

        To accept this truth and live in its reality, sets up a spiritual battle on the inside. And it causes us to seriously see our need to resist evil on all levels. The flesh fights and the devil roars to maintain dominance over the spirit, but in Christ the battle is already won. He has destroyed the power of sin that wants to rule in our hearts and minds. If we have accepted the forgiveness of God, in Christ; then there are no chains that can hold us in bondage to fear any longer… the curse has been broken. The platform for the devil’s power resides in deception, perversion and blindness (2 Cor. 4:4). Now that we know of God’s gift of reconciliation, we can pull upon the grace freely given to us through the work of the cross; and walk in life and peace… and experience the Glory of God once more. All things can become new! (2 Cor. 5:17)

        And the promise in the midst of resisting evil, is that the devil must flee! (Jms. 4:7)

        “The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.” (Deut. 28:7)

        Faith Character

        Here are just a few of the things that great people of faith have accomplished: They “subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle and turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again. And others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection. Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented- of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth” (Heb. 11:33-38).

        Faith in God:

        What a powerful reality! What a motivating message! The world has yet to see what we can accomplish through faith in God! You and I are called to trust and access Christ-like character through our faith (Rom. 5:1-2). To develop a “so be it” kind of character that responds to challenges in life… just like Jesus.

        • Temptations require us to know the Word of God and speak, “It is written!” (Mt. 4:4) 
        • Storms and impossibilities require our voice to shift the atmosphere, “Peace be still!” (Mk. 4:39) 
        • Sickness and disease require an anointing that releases heavenly authority, “Arise and walk!” (Lk. 5:24) 

        Four times Jesus said, “All things are possible” (Mt. 19:26, Mk. 9:23, Mk. 10:27, Mk. 14:36). With God all things are possible. All things are possible to him that believes. You can go anywhere, be anything, and accomplish anything. It all depends on how much faith you have in God. Remind yourself, ”it is not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord of hosts”  (Zech 4:6).

        Character of a Spiritual House:

        Faith must be seen as the foundation stone of our spiritual house (Mt. 7:24-27)! What a powerful platform from which to operate! The Bible defines faith as: ”…the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen”  (Heb. 11:1). Seeing is often a hindrance to our vision and can leave us lacking the character to endure what we cannot understand. What we must remember is that our journey reaches far beyond our earthly assignment or personal destination. We are following God in order to leave a legacy for the next generation to step into. The character of a spiritual house is all about the fathers and their vision… Can it be written upon the hearts of those who hear our story?

        “But what does it say? The Word is close to you, even in your mouth, and in your heart: that is, the Word of faith, which we preach; That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.” (Rom. 10:8-10)