Posts Tagged ‘Satan’

Contending for Promise

“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through Him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.” (2 Cor. 1:20)

“Whatever God has promised gets stamped with the Yes of Jesus. In Him, this is what we preach and pray, the great Amen, God’s Yes and our Yes together, gloriously evident.” (2 Cor. 1:20 MSG)

The Church that we see spoken of consistently in Scripture is a people of promise. Jesus said the very gates of hell will not prevail against her (Mt. 16:18). She is a people of promise (Lk. 24:49), called out of darkness and established upon a platform of Holy Spirit activity (Acts 2:4) and supernatural love (Col. 1:13-14). She has stood in the midst of persecution and multiplied in the midst of division. Her character has been challenged from every angle and she has advanced in every culture. Yet, she fights her greatest battles from within, from the very people who carry her promise. She will prevail, but not without a people who know how to maintain their sense of promise.

Agreement with God’s Promises: (2 Peter 1:2-4)

  • Brings Miracles: (Acts 3:1-9) In this story, Peter and John were going into the temple together to pray when they met a lame man at the gate. Peter told him to rise up and walk in the name of Jesus Christ and immediately he received his strength and was healed. Your prayers of agreement can bring miracles into your lives also, just as they did for Peter and John.
  • Brings Great Power: (Acts 4:31-33) Here is an account of the Apostles praying together for boldness. After their prayers, the place was shaken and filled with the Holy Spirit. They were of one heart and one soul.
  • Brings Abundance: (Acts 4:34-37) After the Apostles prayed for boldness, and gave witness to the resurrection of Jesus, land and house owners sold their possessions and brought the proceeds to the Apostles and they then distributed to everyone who had need.
  • Brings Freedom: (Acts 12:5-11) These verses tell of Peter when he was in prison. The church prayed to God for him constantly. Peter was bound by chains with guards and soldiers next to him. One night an angel of the Lord came and he released the chains from Peters hands and set him free. These prayers of agreement gave Peter his freedom.
  • Brings Deliverance: (Acts 16:25-26) Here Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God. Suddenly a great earthquake shook the prison and all the doors opened and everyone’s chains were loosed. (Rom. 15:30-31) Here Paul is asking for prayers that he may be delivered from those in Judea. (2 Cor. 1:8-11) Here is another account of Paul in Asia where the help of others praying together delivered him from a sentence of death.

Silence and Double-mindedness:

Offers Nothing:  Remind yourself that without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6).  The Apostle James emphasizes this point by telling us of the foolishness of doubting, saying that it makes us double-minded and unstable in all of our ways(Jms. 1:5-8).  He also contends that we have lack and confusion, because we are not even asking or we ask amiss, that we can spend it on our own pleasures(Jms. 4:2).

Contending:

When the Church does not contend for the promises of God they are stolen by deception, intimidation or religion. The Christian lifestyle was never meant to be a stroll in the park… we were made for dominion and occupation of the Earth!

We are at war! And we are advancing for both, the very victory won by Christ and the promises acquired through crushing the enemies hold on society (Col. 1:9-13). The very purpose for Christ’s coming in the flesh was to destroy the works of the devil and render him powerless over the people of promise (1 Jn. 3:8). Every time we stand on a promise of God, hold our peace in the midst of the storm or trust God in the midnight hour… all of heaven leans in to offer its resources. Our “Amen” reverberates in the atmosphere and the devil does not doubt the character of our resolve! For Christ Himself is our Advocate with the Father, making sure that the promise is fulfilled and His people are established in truth.

“And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.” (Rom. 16:20)

Into Faith

When we struggle with doubts, we as Christians should crave Scripture as God’s stabilizing force in life. We establish our faith in Christ when we develop a real hunger and thirst for the Words of God and they begin to bubble up within our minds to refute doubt.

At Jesus’ temptation experience He made the most clear identification of a truly sincere follower of God when He said,

“man shall not live by bread alone but by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Mt 4:4).

All too often when we try to tackle our doubts, we want something tangible that we can see and taste or something emotional that we can feel. We would rather have Jesus just put His arm around us and tell us how everything will be all right. That might make us feel better, but I’m under the opinion that Satan loves that routine, because it makes us trust more in our “feelings” than in God.

Some things are not right and we must avoid deception that causes us to sow to the flesh and reap a harvest of corruption (Gal 6:7-9). Our spiritual discernment grows when we realize that being equipped to overcome doubt isn’t just about feeling better; it’s about getting back “into faith”!

Remember that Christian faith or the “God kind” of faith, only comes from the Word of God (Rom. 10:17).

There are at least two times recorded in the Bible when Jesus marveled at real faith. Once He marveled at a woman’s faith to receive healing for her issue of blood (Mk 5:34). In this story we notice that she took the initiative, because she heard about Him. She was coming to Jesus with an expectation of His authority being more powerful than her sickness. That was what she heard inside of her heart and mind that registered as a hope or expectation. She had endured 12 years of doctor visits which left her poor and in worse shape and she was not going to let this opportunity pass her by. She touches His garment “in faith” and is made well at that very moment, because she pulled upon His authority by believing rather than listening to doubts, fears, reasoning or feelings. Hope had put her into faith… it was Jesus Himself who acknowledged that her faith had made her well.

In another story Jesus marveled at a Gentile soldier’s great faith. A faith that Jesus called “great” because the centurion said,

“…speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority” (Matt. 8:8-9).

The centurion had a faith that was in Jesus’ Word alone. Because he understood “authority” (the power to enforce a word or command)- he understood faith (those actions that follow trust). It was expectation and his ability to recognize authority that gave him great faith. He didn’t need to have Jesus come to his house and wave His hand over the sick servant… he was not looking for drama or some big intellectual explanation. He was only after the results, because of a concern for his servant. If Jesus would just give him a word… it was all he needed.

Recognizing this authority places us into faith, because it engages our hope in God’s good will, purpose and plan for our lives. God’s Word is powerful and effective to crush doubt and move our hearts into faith (Heb 4:12).

Revelation Knowledge

“For You will light my lamp, the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness. For by You I can run against a troop, and by My God I can leap over a wall.” (Ps. 18:28-29)

The Hebrew word for light, “owr” means to be or become light, to shine, to be illuminated. It carries the meaning of spiritual revelation. When God shines His glorious light into our spiritual journey, we experience the sensation of a real awakening. Something is being turned on and destroys the dominion of darkness that surrounds our understanding.

Revelation is an Unfolding of Reality:

This “aha” moment causes us to see things for what they really are. Being enlightened simply opens our eyes to what is already there, but hidden from our understanding. God often hides things for our discovery! He wants us to come into Truth with a commitment to obey and abide in it. When you and I become aware of spiritual things and possess a fresh understanding about life in relationship with God, we are walking in the spirit of revelation. You receive revelation knowledge by drawing near to Him, not simply by getting information about Him (Jms. 4:8-10).

Another place in Scripture we see this little word (owr) used is in Psalms 119:130. The Amplified Bible says, “The entrance and unfolding of Your words give light (owr); their unfolding gives understanding (discernment and comprehension) to the simple”.

Revelation Transforms:

We must realize the impact of revelation knowledge. At its entrance and unfolding; discernment and comprehension come to even the most simple minded man. We can and need to walk in revelation knowledge everyday, because our enemy, Satan is like a prowling lion looking for the moments of blindness in our lives, so that he can pounce and drag us into deception (1 Pe. 5:8). With spiritual revelation comes wisdom from God and intuition about spiritual things. Our greatest thoughts, visions or strategies for life are yet to be revealed in us, yet they give us the advantage God offers His Children.

We must train our spirit to receive revelation knowledge or we will find ourselves walking after the patterns of this world. Its not wrong to have natural knowledge (the world’s wisdom), but it is a more limited form of discernment. When we walk in spiritual revelation our understanding is not limited by our five senses; sight, hearing, feelings, smelling or tasting. Living under the influence of what God is revealing is the definition of the renewed mind (Rom. 12:1-2).

Tapping into Deeper Revelation:

It is by the Holy Spirit that the deeper things of God become available to our perception. Therefore, we need to be taught how to open ourselves to the ministry of the Holy Spirit and how to recognize what He is imparting to us on the inside. Our spiritual growth and effectiveness in ministry depend upon the ability to hear a current word from God (Rom. 10:17). The more the Word of God renews our mind and the Holy Spirit positions our heart toward obedience, the more clarity we receive in the spirit realm. Its no different than if we turn the dial on a radio and hear the variety of music styles in the air… tuning in offers clarity.

What Revelation Knowledge will do for you.

  • 1)  Change your perception…
    a. of God – (1 Cor. 2:10) says “For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.”
    b. of yourself – (2 Cor. 3:18) says “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.”
    c. of your purpose – Moses before the revelation of God saw himself as a shepherd to Jethro; and nothing more, but when the Lord spoke to him, he understood that his purpose was to set the children of Israel free. (Exod. 2-3)
    d. of your destiny – After meeting with Christ on the way to Damascus Paul’s perception about his destiny was totally changed (Acts 26:15-18).
  • 2)  Activate Faith – In 2 Kings 4:9 that woman had to take action to make sure that they prepared a room for the man of God. The knowledge that she had was coming from inside so she could not rest until she had fulfilled what the Spirit had told her.
  • 3)  Deeper Discernment – The Apostle Paul would not know of his future until he got a revelation of what was about to happen. After that he knew they were going to survive and was able to deliver such a message (Acts 27:22-25).
  • 4)  Clarity of Focus – There was great focus in Paul’s ministry because he had a revelation of God.
  • 5)  Increased Passion – The Apostles Peter and John ministered with passion and had little distractions from the vision for ministry. Paul further says to live is Christ and to die is gain (Phil. 1:21). That kind of life can only be lived by people with a revelation of Christ.
  • 6)  Release A Pioneering Heart – With a word in your spirit from God nothing can stop you from doing what the Lord would have you accomplish (Lk. 1:37).

Daniel’s Words

The clearest picture we have of a satanic principality ruling over a nation is found in the ninth and tenth chapters of the book of Daniel. These chapter’s describe what happened after the Prophet Daniel set himself to fast and pray until he received revelation concerning the prophetic future of the nation of Israel (which was being held captive by the nation of Persia).

Daniel’s Season of Prayer & Fasting:

After twenty-one days of seeking the Lord, an angel approached Daniel and explained why it took so long for his prayers to be answered. The angel comes to respond to Daniel’s heart, “Fear not, Daniel; for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand… thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days; but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia” (Dan. 10:12-13).

  1. Notice, the angel was sent to answer Daniel’s prayer on the first day of his fast, but he was hindered in his journey by the prince of the kingdom of Persia.
  2. Notice also the mention of the word “prince” in this verse. Both times they are translated from the Hebrew “sar”, which means a chief ruler, leader or commander over an army.

Since the earthly ruler of Persia could not hinder an angel from completing his assignment, and the chief prince Michael is commonly known to be an angel of the highest order, the term “prince of Persia” must refer to the satanic ruler of the spiritual kingdom of darkness that operated over the physical nation of Persia.

Princes & Principalities:

There are principalities that rule in the realm of the spirit over cities, regions, nations and governments. Some of these spiritual powers are good, and some are evil. Revelation 12:7 tells us, “And there was a war in heaven (ouranos – the abode of God, also the spirit realm); Michael and his angels fought against the dragon (satan); and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not…” Angelic forces are doing battle in the heavenly realm even as you read this, fighting one another to gain control over the regions of the earth.

A messenger angel was dispatched to bring Daniel revelation from God concerning the prophetic future of the nation of Israel; but he did not possess enough power or authority to break through the forces of darkness that were controlling the spiritual regions above Persia. Michael is one of the chief princes of heaven. Everytime you find him mentioned in Scripture, he is doing battle with the spiritual forces of darkness. So, Michael was sent to engage the forces of darkness and to open up a highway for the lesser angel to pass through and deliver God’s message to Daniel. The last part of verse thirteen says, “…I remained there with the kings of Persia”, indicating that the messenger angel was restricted by the forces of darkness until Michael set him free, allowing him to resume his journey.

Then, after he delivered his message, the angel said, “…and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia; and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come” (Dan. 10:20). The angel had to fight his way back out of the earthly kingdom by doing battle, once again, with the satanic principality that ruled over Persia.

Daniel’s Words:

It’s important for us to realize that Daniel’s prayers were the catalyst that released the angelic forces of God to break the stronghold the prince of darkness had over the nation of Persia. Once the satanic principality was broken, the earthly kingdom of Persia was finished as a world power. History tells us that the kingdom of Greece rose to greatness in 334 B.C. and destroyed the Persian empire. The prince of Grecia, which refers to the satanic principality that governed over the Grecian Empire, empowered Alexander the Great and his armies to conquer much of the world.

Dominion Reality:

I have heard the critics speak negatively about the theology of dominions, but this story clearly indicates the power and authority that angelic principalities have over nations and regions of the earth. It also tells us the important role that our prayers have in releasing the forces of God to break the devil’s stronghold. The angel told Daniel, “… I am come for thy words”. In other words, Daniel’s prayers were the active agent that precipitated a change in the heavenly realm over Persia.

In Matthew 6:10, Jesus told us to pray, “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (“ouranos” – the dwelling place of God, and the abode of angels). God’s will is not automatically worked in the earth or in your life; it must be prayed through. Today, I encourage you to begin to value your words in prayer. Don’t let them fall upon the ground without expecting something… see spiritually and engage your faith to believe that angels are ready to lift your needs into the sphere of God’s hearing.

Its possible that your neighbor, your city or an entire nation is counting on your words!

No Name Like Jesus

What have we labeled “IMPOSSIBLE”?

There is a name like no other… its above every name that can be named among men (Phil 2:9-11). Its the name of “Jesus” that allows access into heavenly resources, breaks through in difficult circumstances and pulls the believer into new seasons of influence. The name, “Jesus” on the lips of the believing heart is the most amazing force in the universe… for in that name is power and authority.

Access – Breakthrough – Purpose:

Jesus said, “All authority has been given unto Me in heaven and in earth“ (Mt 28:18). “In My name they shall cast out devils” (Mk 16:17). He literally gave us His own authority when He gave us His name. An authority to deal with the Devil. Every act of stealing, killing and deception is now abruptly held to a new standard of authority. The authority of the most recognized name in Heaven, the most powerful name on Earth and the most significant name in history… has been delegated to our use.

Authority is delegated power.

A person’s authority is only as great as the power that stands behind them! The police officer directing traffic in the middle of the street is wearing a badge that represents the power of the governing laws that he enforces. A large truck could easily crush him in the middle of the busy street, but because the driver understands the power of the badge, he quickly yields his will and submits the power of his large vehicle to the authority of the badge.

The Name of Jesus is like a “Badge of Authority”!

God knew that you needed a weapon of defense against all that the wiles of the Devil (Eph 6:16). What we must come to understand is how to use the name to our benefit. His name represents His person, His position, His seating, and His influence over all things. His promise to the believer is clear, ”If you ask anything in My name, I will do it” (Jn 14:14). Jesus’ name can accomplish things that might feel impossible in the natural; yet when we live in intimacy with Him, we experience a growing awareness of how the natural is dominated by the Spirit.

Faith-filled and Lead by the Spirit:

The early Church recognized the incredible power they carried in the name of Jesus. Look at how Peter and John address the crippled beggar at the Gate Beautiful of the temple, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk” (Acts 3:6). The beggar immediately received strength in his feet and ankle bones and as Peter grabbed his hand, he leaped to his feet with joy and praise to God. Later Peter needed to explain the miracle to some critics saying, “It was His name, through faith in His name, that made this man strong whom you see and know.” Amazingly the critics were familiar with this beggar and all of Isreal knew him, because they had passed him daily going into the temple. Yet this was a new day and demonstrated a new authority, where faith in the name of Jesus was confronting what they had seen as normal.

Confronting Normal:

God was and still is, breaking in at the very gate of all that humanity has labeled impossible; simply because we have adjusted our seeing. He has handed the world an opportunity to experience the “New Normal”, where the name of Jesus offers access to all the authority of Heaven. This new normal confronts all that we see as familiar, impossible and overwhelming. But it offers hope, beyond the limitations. The new normal is living by faith in the name of Jesus.

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