Posts Tagged ‘demons’

Revealing His Glory

“This, the first of His miraculous signs, Jesus performed in Cana of Galilee. He thus revealed His Glory, and His disciples put their faith in Him” (Jn. 2:11).

“…a cloud came and overshadowed them: and they were fearful as they entered the cloud.” (Lk. 9:34)

“Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me, may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My Glory” (Jn. 17:24)

Jesus Reveals His Glory:

What are we seeing in these verses? What is it inside of us that shifts when we truly see the radiating splendor of God? Make no mistake the Glory of God is the key to igniting faith in the human heart!

In the New Testament we see that Jesus revealed His Glory in four major ways:
1. through His signs and wonders (Mt. 11:3-6),
2. through His revelation of the Father’s heart (Jn. 5:19-23),
3. through His transfiguration (Mk. 9:2-8)
4. and finally through His cross and resurrection (Rom. 6:4).

To behold His Glory was to see the essence of who He was… the express image of the Father - His Person (Heb. 1:3). Truly He upholds all things by the Word of His Power; and by way of His completed work in the Earth, He has earned His place at the right hand of the Majesty on High.

Beholding Transforms:

Beholding the Glory revealed in Christ affected His disciples so significantly that the Scripture tells us they couldn’t even talk about it (Lk. 9:32-36). That revelation became the birth place of their faith and all they understood was that they could never be satisfied without it.

Notice this rather odd request by James and John: they wanted to sit in His Glory, one of them at Jesus’ right hand and the other at His left… for all of eternity (Mk. 10:35). They were seeing something that transformed their understanding so deeply that they wanted it for all time.

Ah, But There’s More!

I believe that the more we see of the Glory, the more we want to see. It is inexhaustible! We see so much in Scripture, yet the Apostle John wrote, “there are also many other things Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose the world itself could not contain the books that would be written” (Jn. 21:25). Christ reveals the Father’s splendor, character and purpose that can never be seen any other way (2 Cor. 4:6). The lame, walking and the deaf, hearing; sickness and diseases being healed without the influence of a doctor; and demons, fleeing with only a word. The dead, raised at the sound of His voice and the living, transformed at the touch of His hands. How, you might ask? He continues to identify the Glory as the real source of His power (Jn. 11:40).

He would still say to us today, “if you will only believe you will see the Glory of God”.

John was clear about the impact of beholding His Glory… it was the reality of walking in the light (1 Jn. 1:7). Peter was clear about the experience… “joy unspeakable and full of Glory” (1 Pet. 1:8). Paul even prayed that the eyes of our understanding would be enlightened to the riches of the Glory of the inheritance among the saints, in Christ Jesus (Eph. 1:17). Does it not make you yearn like Moses…

“Lord – Please, show me Your Glory!” (Exod. 33:18)

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).

Priority for Prayer

Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed. And Simon and those who were with Him searched for Him. When they found Him, they said to Him, “Everyone is looking for You.” But He said to them, “Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth.” (Mk. 1:35-38)

Early in Jesus’ ministry, He experiences great success. His fame is spreading through Galilee as He casts out demons and heals many sick people. After one particularly busy day of healing, Jesus pulls Himself away. I want to highlight this moment, because I believe its a key that unlocks the doors we so often find frustrating in the ministry.

Three Observations:

1. Jesus prioritized prayer as the way to effectively minister to people.

He didn’t use busy-ness or success with people as an excuse for neglecting prayer and solitude with God the Father. He realized that in order to meet people’s needs, He personally needed time alone with God. I need this reminder often in the ministry! If we neglect prayer for the sake of ministering to people a breakdown will eventually come. I find my words becoming idle and even critical when prayer is not my highest priority. I hear of pastors and leaders suffering from burn out, or becoming proud of  “success”. True spiritual power, the kind that brings hope and spiritual transformation must come to us as God’s resource. Somewhere along the way we must pull ourselves into a quiet place and find prayer and fellowship with the Holy Spirit to be our refuge in the midst of life.

2. Jesus’ prayer was done in solitude, away from distractions.

Jesus needed to focus on the voice of His Father and seperate Himself from outside voices veying for His attention. This is why Jesus woke up very early in the morning, while it was still dark. He knew everyone else would be asleep and He could be alone. Jesus tells us that when we pray, we should shut the door behind us and meet with the God who hears in private (Mt. 6:6). That is so valuable… we must shut the devil out and shut our hearts in with the Holy Spirit.

3. Jesus’ time of solitude and prayer with the Father enabled Him to stay focused on His calling… to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom.

While everyone was looking for Him and while He had experienced amazing acceptance and success; He left that comfort to focus on His calling to the Gospel of the Kingdom. Maintaining a “vision” requires nothing less than our undivided attention to the highest priorities. Through prayer, Jesus was able to stay focused instead of being enamored by success. Human success and Kingdom success are not the same thing. The only way to discern the difference is to find our identity in the prayer closet. Valuing our time with the Father will help us stay on track with a passion for the Kingdom rather than a desire for popularity. Powerful things are accomplished for those who stay loyal to the heart of God. In prayer the Holy Spirit reveals a Kingdom heartbeat and renews our mind with dreams that resonate in heaven (1 Cor. 2:9-16).

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:6)

Disciple or Believer

Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.  And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (Jn. 8:31-32)

Not everyone who believes in Jesus is a follower of Jesus. Knowing the difference is vital to living an inspired life!

  • “Do you believe that there is only one God? Good! The demons also believe—and tremble with fear.” (James 2:19-26)

Jesus calls us to more than belief… He calls us to be His disciples. So… What is a disciple? There is much to say about that word, but the idea is clear… it pertains to the one who follows a master’s way of life and teaching. The word “Disciple” makes us think of the twelve disciples, because they forsook everything and followed Jesus. The heart of discipleship is following!

How are disciples different from believers?

1. THE CROSS: Believer look to the cross. A Disciple picks up the cross (Mt. 16:22-24).

2. OBEDIENCE: A Believer obeys God if it’s convenient. A Disciple obeys no matter the outcome (1 Pet. 4:17).

3. DECISIONS: A Believer decides once, A Disciple decides daily (Mt. 6:33-34).

4. FOCUS: Believers focus on eternal life, A Disciple focus is about eternal rewards (Col. 3:1-4).

5. PRAYER: A Believer prays when things get tough. A Disciple prays no matter the circumstance (2 Cor. 4:16-18).

6. SCRIPTURE: A Believer twists the Bible to fit his or her lifestyle. A Disciple works to make his or her lifestyle resemble the teachings of the Bible (Jms. 1:21-22).

7. ETERNAL IMPACT: Believers make heaven. Disciples make history (Mt. 28:18-20).

The Key question then is… “Are you following Christ, or are you merely a believer?” It’s a huge decision to make, but it is worth everything you have… to gain what only Christ can give!

Your Assignment is Prayer

“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Tim. 2:1-4)

If we want to cooperate with God for Kingdom Advancement on earth, we need to recognize the key role prayer has for success. Not only is the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man effective to bring about great breakthrough, but there is a life sustaining flow of grace released in simple fellowship with God. Prayer matters… it changes the atmosphere and releases Kingdom power… it unlocks revelation and sets fresh hope for the future… it challenges history and influences culture… it binds and looses, aligns and divides… but best of all prayer moves those things that concern us into the hands of the One who loves best and knows the most.

In Our Lord’s model prayer, Jesus says: “In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your Name. Your Kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Mt. 6:9-10). We must assume this was meant as an assignment, not just a suggested format. Our assignment from God is to pray without ceasing!

Prayer Ignites Vision:

It is prayer that fuels the fire of God’s manifest glory in the earth. Prayer does what nothing else can, it ignites the vision inside of us. It is through prayer that we experience divine intervention into human affairs. It is by believing prayer that mountains are moved, sinners saved, the sick are healed, and revival fires are rekindled. It is also by prayer that the human heart is transformed. Prayer is a must if we want to move beyond the realm of human strength and initiative into the realm of the supernatural power and blessing of God. Jesus Christ as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, has made us Ambassadors of His Kingdom. Prayer is our assignment and our strategy!

Kingdom Rule:

Our King – Jesus desires to rule through us. He desires to grant apostolic authority to His Church. He wants to extend His scepter of righteousness through us (Ps. 110:1-2). That scepter is bestowed and utilized as we take up the ministry of prayer and intercession. Our role is to bring His enemies to their knees, so they become His footstool. Through the authority of righteousness and effectual fervent prayer, we will see an advancement of His reign in the earth. There is clearly a vision that is ”the fullness of Him who fills all in all” (Eph. 1:23). Prayer puts Christ at the center of all that concerns us. Just the thought of a truly empowered Church makes demons nervous and darkness want to flee at the sound of His Name.

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