Posts Tagged ‘natural eyes’

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).

Training to See

God is very committed to teaching us how to see. To make this possible He gave us the Holy Spirit as a tutor. The curriculum that He uses is quite varied. But the one class we all qualify for is the greatest of all Christian privileges—worship.

The Environment of Worship:

The environment of worship is the most excellent class room. Learning how to see is not the purpose for our worship, but it is a wonderful byproduct. Those who worship in spirit and truth learn to follow the Holy Spirit’s lead. His realm is called the Kingdom of God. The Throne of God, which becomes established upon the praises of His people, is at the center of that Kingdom. It’s in the environment of worship that we learn things that go way beyond what our intellect can embrace.

David’s Example:

David was so affected by this environment that all His other exploits pale in comparison to his abandoned heart for God. We know that he learned to see into God’s realm because of statements like, “I have set the LORD always before me; because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved” (Ps. 16:8). The Presence of God affected His seeing. He constantly practiced recognizing God’s Glory. He saw God daily, not with the natural eyes, but with the eyes of the heart.

Seeing By Revelation:

The privilege of worship is a good place for those who wrestle with difficult themes found in Scripture. In worship we can learn to hear the voice of God and receive revelation, a God-given gift. Nothing so moves us as a fresh word from heaven. Its the ability to see with the heart. As we learn to worship with purity of heart, our eyes will continue to open. And we can expect to see what He wants us to see.

Then He turned to His disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes which see the things you see; for I tell you that many prophets and kings have desired to see what you see, and have not seen it, and to hear what you hear, and have not heard it.” (Lk 10:23-24)

Producing Character

Scripture: ”At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.” (Daniel 10:2-14) …and something amazing took place.

Thought for Today: “The Steadfast Spirit”

When I look at the life of Daniel, I see a persevering heart, unshaken by a Babylonian court. He prayed three times a day toward Jerusalem at a time when it could have cost him his life. He interpreted dreams as one who was intimately acquainted with heaven. He spoke of the purposes of God in the face of those with a contrary agenda. And he would not die when thrown into the lion’s den.

The Steadfast Spirit:

It causes me to recognize that the purpose behind our discipline builds character and a steadfast spirit. Daniel was a man known by his character; completely devoted, humble, full of self-control, integrity and courage. These were not spiritual gifts given free for the asking, but fruit… the product of a lifestyle of prayer and fasting. Strength of character emerged from Daniel’s consistent and steadfast spirit. His prayers were powerful, because they came from a heart transformed by the Word of God and the priorities of heaven. He knew God, intimately.

Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words.” (Dan 10:12)

Here we see the reward of the steadfast heart. An angel appears before Daniel to say God has heard your prayers and I have come for your words. I cannot help but believe that when we set our hearts to understand, in a posture of prayer and fasting, we attract God’s attention.

Setting the Heart:

Its not just about the posture, its about the steadfast heart. Notice the phrase “set your heart to understand”. The setting of a heart is the posture that lifestyles are created from. To set means to find as one’s single focus. When we set our heart on something it becomes a steadfast, immovable rock or obsession. What Daniel had done was set his heart to understand. What did Daniel understand from his steadfast heart? The Big Picture! More is going on than you can see.

I want to encourage you to persevere in prayer and fasting, because a steadfast spirit will allow you to live in the big picture. More is going on in the heavenly realm than you see with your natural eyes… be part of it!

The Steadfast Spirit

Today is day 14 of our 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting

Scripture: Daniel 10:2-14
Thought for Today: “The Steadfast Spirit”

When I look at the life of Daniel, I see a persevering heart, unshaken by a Babylonian court. He prayed three times a day toward Jerusalem at a time when it could have cost him his life. He interpreted dreams as one who was intimately acquainted with heaven. He spoke of the purposes of God in the face of those with a contrary agenda. And he would not die when thrown into the lion’s den.

The Steadfast Spirit:

It causes me to recognize that the purpose behind our discipline builds character and a steadfast spirit. Daniel was a man known by his character; devoted, humble, full of self-control, integrity and courage. These were not spiritual gifts given free for the asking, but fruit… the product of a lifestyle of prayer and fasting. Strength of character emerged from Daniel’s consistent and steadfast spirit. His prayers were powerful, because they came from a heart transformed by the Word of God and the priorities of heaven. He knew God, intimately.

Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words.” (Dan 10:12)

Here we see the reward of the steadfast heart. An angel appears before Daniel to say God has heard your prayers and I have come for your words. I cannot help but believe that when we set our hearts to understand, in a posture of prayer and fasting, we attract God’s attention.

Setting the Heart:

Its not just about the posture, its about the steadfast heart. Notice the phrase “set your heart to understand”. The setting of a heart is the posture that lifestyles are created from. To set means to find as one’s single focus. When we set our heart on something it becomes a steadfast, immovable rock or obsession. What Daniel had done was set his heart to understand. What did Daniel understand from his steadfast heart? The Big Picture! More is going on than you can see. 

I want to encourage you to persevere in prayer and fasting, because a steadfast spirit will allow you to live in the big picture. More is going on in the heavenly realm than you see with your natural eyes… be part of it!

Armed and Dangerous

Today is day 8 of our 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting

Scripture: Ephesians 6:10-20
Thought for Today: “Armed and Dangerous”

The Apostle Paul makes it clear that we have been given supernatural tools for warring against spiritual forces. He 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.

Delegated Authority:

Its all about knowing who you represent! God has chosen us, but training is up to us. Jesus told His disciples that they would no longer be called “servants”, because a servant does not know what the master is doing (Jn 15:15). The servant does not know the heart of the master. Jesus was now going to call them “friends” and let them find the secrets that would give them an advantage in all areas of their spiritual journey. The key of knowing the heart of God offers real trained and real impact in the spiritual battles we face. When we know the heart of our friend Jesus, we are able to carry our delegated authority. Authority gets established through intimacy.

Representing Heaven on Earth:

Becoming a dangerous ambassador for the Kingdom of God means we represent Heaven on Earth in a way that makes the devil nervous and the demons flee. That is what prayer and fasting will produce in us… the capacity to be armed and dangerous. 

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

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