Posts Tagged ‘friends’

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).

Our Victory

“Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Rom 12:17-21)

Christ “spoiled principalities and powers” and triumphed over them. He overcame evil with good! Every believer shares this mighty conquest of Calvary to the full. Jesus has absolute command over the forces of evil and confers this authority to His disciples as He says, “Behold I give you authority… over all the power of the enemy” (Luke 10:19).

We have Already Won!

In Christ, your enemy is defeated. He has no power over you. As a matter of fact he cannot find you… “For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col 3:3). The only influence he has against us is that which he has stolen by deception or we have given by negligence.

Walk in His Authority:

We must not be drawn into lengthy ”fights” with the Devil, because he is more cunning than us in the ways of deception. We have been called to enforce Christ’s Victory! The enemy craves attention. He always wants to make a scene, so the focus is on him. Don’t indulge in his tantrums, but remember that you have the mind of Christ! You carry an anointing from the Holy Spirit and you know things revealed inside, in your “spirit man”. I want you to realize that you will win every battle -every time, when you rest in His victory. There is peace in the midst of every storm. Clothe yourself with Christ and do good, then your battle is won!

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience”. (Col 3:12)

Be Different:

Live today by the fruit of the Spirit. Don’t retaliate, don’t avenge, don’t hold a grudge, don’t get angry…trust the Holy Spirit’s anointing within you to give you the ability to respond with love. Re-present Christ in every situation. It will allow you to enjoy God’s favor and peace in your life… joy unspeakable and full of glory!

The Victory is Ours!

Spirit of Excellence

“There is a man in your kingdom in whom is the Spirit of the Holy God. And in the days of your father, light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, were found in him; and King Nebuchadnezzar your father—your father the king—made him chief of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers. Inasmuch as an excellent spirit, knowledge, understanding, interpreting dreams, solving riddles, and explaining enigmas were found in this Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar, now let Daniel be called, and he will give the interpretation.” (Dan. 5:11-12)

The phrase “excellent spirit” was only used in the book of Daniel, but it’s really what the Bible describes as “faithfulness”. Notice that this quality of character offered Daniel more than skill or favor with leaders of nations… it offered him favor with God. God promotes and rewards faithfulness and people who have faithful hearts! So, a spirit of excellence is the key to promotion according to the Word of God.

Here is an example of that in action:
“Servants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of your heart, as to Christ; not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers; but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; with good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free.” (Eph. 6:5-8)

Now, most of the people reading this are not servants, slaves, or masters, but this can also relate to an employer, an employee, or a person who is under the authority of another. The Scriptures say to serve those over you “with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ” (Eph. 6:5). In other words, Christians should look at their work as serving Christ, not people. One of the things about an excellent spirit is that instead of looking at people as your source, you need to see God as your source. And this passage of Scripture goes on to say that “the same shall he receive of the Lord,” meaning God will give back to you what you have done for Him.

What About You!

If you aren’t being promoted, if you’re being passed over, if it seems like everybody else rises and you just stay the same, it’s possible that you don’t have an excellent spirit. Maybe you’ve allowed a bad attitude, discouragement, fear, or stress to dominate you. But you need to know that your attitude determines your altitude. You cannot rise any higher than the image and the way that you think on the inside. Now, you can’t control other people or circumstances, but you can control the attitude that’s on the inside of you.

Matthew 25:23 says that to be made ruler over much, you must be faithful in that which is least. That includes being faithful over the private thoughts and secret intentions of your heart. Like Daniel, you can choose to have an excellent spirit. You can choose to be faithful! If you do that, I promise you, you will be promoted… not just at your employment, but also in your family, among your friends, and in your neighborhood.

And Remember… God is looking for those with an Excellent Spirit! (2 Chr. 16:9)

Abiding in Love

“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.” (Jn. 15:9)

Abide in love… not just any love – My love! This is a call to live in it continually and stay focused on the fellowship of love, while gaining insight into its various expressions. This is the main exhortation of the Bible. It includes studying it, praying over it, and sharing it… going deep in it and being students of how God feels about His people. Jesus says, “with the same intensity that the Father loves Me, that is the way I love you.” Then He gives what I consider to be the number one exhortation in the Bible, “Abide in this!” He is saying, “Do not move on. Live here. Do not ever graduate from this focus.” So we must never move away from the fellowship of Kingdom love.

At different times we might go deeper into a season with the Holy Spirit where we will highlight a theme in the Bible. You might lock into some topic or encounter some aspect of God’s character, but we never want to move on from the love of God. It is not the sort of thing we do an internship on and talk about for a few weeks or go to a conference about. Jesus said, “abide in My love”! Do not ever move on from this subject. Dwell in love with God – always. Go deep… and stay locked in. Be focused on this reality and share it everywhere. It will even become the way in which you are recognized (Jn. 13:35).

The love burning in God’s heart has at least five distinct expressions that are deeply interrelated.

1. God’s love for God: Each person in the Trinity intensely loves the others with all their heart (Mt. 3:16-17).
2. God’s love for His people: He loves His people with the same intensity that He loves within the fellowship of the Trinity (Jn. 17:23).
3. Our love for God: God’s very own love is imparted to His people by the Spirit (Rom. 5:5).
4. Our love for ourselves: We love ourselves in God’s love and for God’s sake (Mt. 22:39).
5. Our love for others: We love others in the overflow of experiencing God’s love… it begins by “beholding” (1 Jn. 3:1) and grows by “experiencing it” in God (1 Jn. 4:18-19).

The Fellowship of the Burning Heart.

We are called to enter into Kingdom fellowship… an atmosphere of love that burns within the fellowship of heaven. The burning heart of the Father for the Son and the Son for the Holy Spirit as well as the Father. The burning heart is the Father, Son and Spirit… passionately beating for us. God beckons us… “Enter into this fellowship with us!” My friend, this is the essence of what salvation is all about. Salvation is so much more than escaping hell. Salvation is much more than having a ministry or something important to do. No… there is something bigger going on. We are called into the fellowship of the burning heart in this age and in the age to come.

Never Move On!

Love, by definition, demands an expression… to be shared and multiplied. God wanted others to experience the joy of perfect love. God created human beings to participate in this glorious fellowship because He is love (1 Jn. 4:8). God does not lack anything. He has no need, in the way we think of insufficiency… yet His love places a demand upon His heart. He did not create humans, because He was lonely or discontent or had an emotional need. We were created in His image to live in love… to abide within the fellowship of His affection. Perhaps the most freeing revelation, within this mandate to abide in love; is that we will not love God more by “trying harder” but by “seeing more” of His love for us.

“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” (Jn. 15:11-13)

Culture of Greatness

We have been commissioned to develop a culture that ignites the greatness in others. Many of us have had negative influences that seemed to suck the wind right out of our sails. Yet no matter how destructive these forces may have become, God has great plans and royal destinies for His people. It is our finest hour when we are able to create pathways for people to find their journey to the Palace.

Memories Vs. Dreams:

A friend of mine once said, “When your memories are greater than your dreams, then you are already beginning to die.”

Imagine if you were raised in a palace where everyone around you spoke to you about your destiny to become a king one day. Who would you be today? How do you think those expectations would effect your dreams? If you knew you were destined for greatness and could not fail, how would that shape your thoughts? …your living? …your personal risks?

Living the Life:

The Lord has told me that it is not too late to think like Solomon… to use God-given wisdom and believe in the greatness inside of me. Even if the role models of my life were negative and stole the joy of my childhood, I do not need to remain an orphan (Jn 14:18). I am a Child of God, which means I have a royal destiny (1 Pet 2:9-10). I follow Christ as my example and hear the Holy Spirit calling me into my true identity. As I begin to act like royalty, issues that felt like mountains in my life have become mere stepping stones to future promise. It feels good to overcome the obstacles that once hindered me.

A Culture of Greatness:

As the Royal Priesthood of God, we are called to develop a Kingdom Culture in our homes, churches, communities and nations that brings out the best in others. We do this by seeing and treating people as God created them to be. Our knowledge and love for others must come from our intimacy with God. We are no longer His slaves, but friends, walking by His side as kings and queens of His court. Being born into a Royal Family means we co-reign with Christ in the Kingdom of God. The culture we reflect is based upon the relational character we enjoy with our Heavenly Father. Jesus gave us the example of releasing a culture of greatness by doing what he saw the Father doing.

The Key is Honor:

Honor expresses value in others. It is one of the greatest attributes of nobility in the entire Bible. When the Kingdom of Heaven rules the heart, honorable behavior comes naturally. We give honor to people, not just because they deserve it, but because we are honorable citizens of the King. It is the standard or condition of the heart, not just the product of a good environment. It eliminates the need for control and manipulation, because it empowers with God-given purpose. People are great, because God created them in His image and for His glory. When we carry honor in our hearts, people can feel it and they respond to it, because it ignites the greatness inside of them.

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