Posts Tagged ‘prison’

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).

Angels on Assignment

Imagine getting help from heaven! Its not such a silly reality… for the Child of God. Angels came to minister to the Apostle Peter while he was in prison “…behold an angel of the Lord stood by Peter, …and said, put on your garment and follow me” (Acts 12:5-8) and the angel led Peter safely out of jail. Wow- pretty amazing, right?

Angels are Ministering Spirits:

These same kind of things are happening in the lives of believers everyday. We are told that angels are “ministering spirits sent forth to minister to those who are heirs of salvation” (Heb. 1:13-14). That’s you and I, every believer who trusts in God, becomes an heir of the blessing that Christ bought for us at the cross. Jesus even spoke of how angels watch over us from infancy through life. ”In heaven their angels always see the face of My Father” (Mt. 18:10). We call these spirits guardian angels, because they are delegated with the specific task of keeping you and I safe.

Angels are God’s Messengers:

God employs innumerable invisible ministers to help us. The supernatural power of angels; willingly and obediently responsive to the voice of the Father, actively minister to the welfare of His Children. Lets take that truth a little further.

  • We read that angels will hold us up and protect us “lest we dash our foot against a stone” (Ps. 91:11-12).

These angels are concerned with even little things in our lives. Just think for a moment, who and what the angels are; how great, glorious, holy, and blessed; how high and majestic the office they fill and the assignments in which they are engaged. And then think of their stooping to such works as this… the preventing of a man from stumbling over a stone. God has given the angels charge over us, so our feet may not even come in contact with a stone! Surely that seems beneath them, but no – it is the purpose of angels to do the Lord’s bidding.

“Not a sparrow falls to the ground without our Father knowing it” (Mt. 10:29).

“The very hairs of your head are all numbered” (Mt. 10:30).

Taking Charge Over:

Holy angels have charge over the minute by minute details of our lives, as well as over great events. Why? Because for our body, the slightest stumble could have a lifetime of consequence. And for our soul, we fall little by little, not by great crimes, but by little sins… little distractions. Desires pull upon our attention and refocus our eyes upon temporary, carnal things. We need heaven’s intervention more than we even know.

  • Angels Surround Us: We are told that “the angels of the Lord encamp all around those who fear Him…” (Ps. 34:7).
  • Angels Cover Us: We are told that angels contend with Satan and demons on our behalf in spiritual warfare – “but the prince (evil angel) of the kingdom of Persia withstood me 21 days, and behold Michael, one of the chief princes (arch- angel), came to help me, …” (Dan. 10:13)(Eph. 6:12)(Jude 9).

These angels that God sends are responding to us and they are encamped around us for two specific reasons. First, because we fear God. We are designed to honor the same heavenly realities they do. And second, because we obey God and fight for His purposes and priorities in life. They are protecting, defending, and guarding us so that God’s will is accomplished. They are like an army that defends a country, only they are defending us.

Called Alongside The Faithful:

These angels are fellow worshipers and associates in the heavenly realm, always looking at the One whom they serve. They are willing and ready to walk alongside of those who have their eyes on God. You see, their highest priority is alignment with the will of God. One important truth however – we can make no claim on Divine Providence, if we want to live apart from God in disobedience and rebellion. The promise is for those who walk by faith… see through faith and delight in their faith. The best news of all is that when a person puts their trust in Jesus – a partnership emerges.

Jesus told Nathaniel, “you will see greater things than these… I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open and angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man” (Jn. 1:50-51).

The Least of These

“Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’” (Mt. 25:37-40)

This was one of the last things that Jesus taught His disciples. Jesus identifies Himself with the least of these… He says I was hungry, I was thirsty, I was a stranger, I was naked, I was sick, I was in prison. We see it throughout the life of Jesus; He always had time for the least of these. He stopped a meeting to spend time with a broken woman who wanted to anoint His feet. He stopped along His journey to visit with a simple, outcast Samaritan woman. He even ignored the law regarding the Sabbath to heal a man who was born blind.

Revealing the Father’s Heartbeat:

In fact, the miracles of Jesus were designed to manifest the Father’s glory and love (Acts 10:38). He didn’t plan outreach events with the disciples in the same way we watch crusades promoted in our day. He just did what He saw the Father doing (Jn. 5:19), and that was reaching hurting people… loving the least, the lonely and the outcast. Jesus simply could not look upon the multitudes without compassion for them (Mt. 9:36 & 14:14). He identified with our pain and suffering, so that they could identify with His purpose (1 Jn. 3:8). His heart was so full of the love of the Father that He was driven to touch the leper and cast out the unclean spirit.

We must live the same way!

We should be so full of God’s love that rivers of living water flow from our hearts and change lives and atmospheres everywhere we go. This is what Jesus was referring to when He said, “freely you’ve received, freely give” (Mt. 10:8). His command to heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons and raise the dead… it was all for love. Freely we receive His love and freely we must pour it out! All of those actions are targeted on “the least of these”. The sick, the dying, the oppressed and the helpless are within our reach and they must be perceived as an invitation, not a frustration!

“Let your light so shine before men, that they might see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Mt. 5:16)

Heavenly Help

Imagine getting help from heaven! Its not such a silly reality. Angels came to minister to the Apostle Peter while he was in prison “…behold an angel of the Lord stood by Peter, …and said, put on your garment and follow me” (Acts 12:5-8) and the angel led Peter safely out of jail. Wow- pretty amazing, right?

Angels are Ministering Spirits:

These same kind of things are happening in the lives of believers everyday. We are told that angels are “ministering spirits sent forth to minister to those who are heirs of salvation” (Heb. 1:13-14). That’s you and I, every believer who trusts in God, becomes an heir of the blessing that Christ bought for us at the cross. Jesus even spoke of how angels watch over us from infancy through life.  ”In heaven their angels always see the face of My Father” (Mt. 18:10). We call these spirits guardian angels, because they are delegated with the specific task of keeping you and I safe.

Angels are God’s Messengers:

God employs innumerable invisible ministers to help us. The supernatural power of angels; willingly and obediently responsive to the voice of the Father, actively minister to the welfare of His Children. Lets take that truth a little further.

  • We read that angels will hold us up and protect us “lest we dash our foot against a stone” (Ps. 91:11-12).

These angels are concerned with even little things in our lives. Just think for a moment, who and what the angels are; how great, glorious, holy, and blessed; how high and majestic the office they fill and the assignments in which they are engaged. And then think of their stooping to such works as this… the preventing of a man from stumbling over a stone. God has given the angels charge over us, so our feet may not even come in contact with a stone! Surely that seems beneath them, but no - it is the purpose of angels to do the Lord’s bidding.

“Not a sparrow falls to the ground without our Father knowing it” (Mt. 10:29). 

“The very hairs of your head are all numbered” (Mt. 10:30).

Taking Charge Over:

Holy angels have charge over the minute by minute details of our lives, as well as over great events. Why? Because for our body, the slightest stumble could have a lifetime of consequence. And for our soul, we fall little by little, not by great crimes, but by little sins… little distractions. Desires pull upon our attention and refocus our eyes upon temporary, carnal things. We need heaven’s intervention more than we even know.

  • Surrounded:We are told that “the angels of the Lord encamp all around those who fear Him…” (Ps. 34:7).
  • Covered:We are told that angels contend with Satan and demons on our behalf in spiritual warfare – “but the prince (evil angel) of the kingdom of Persia withstood me 21 days, and behold Michael, one of the chief princes (arch- angel), came to help me, …” (Dan. 10:13)(Eph. 6:12)(Jude 9).

These angels that God sends are responding to us and they are encamped around us for two specific reasons. First, because we fear God. We are designed to honor the same heavenly realities they do. And second, because we obey God and fight for His purposes and priorities in life. They are protecting, defending, and guarding us so that God’s will is accomplished. They are like an army that defends a country, only they are defending us.

Called Alongside The Faithful:

These angels are fellow worshipers and associates in the heavenly realm, always looking at the One whom they serve. They are willing and ready to walk alongside of those who have their eyes on God. You see, their highest priority is alignment with the will of God. 

We have no claim if we want to be disobedient and wayward. The promise is for those who walk by faith… see through faith and delight in their faith. When a person puts their trust in Jesus - a partnership emerges.

Jesus told Nathaniel, ”you will see greater things than these… I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open and angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man” (Jn. 1:50-51). 

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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