Posts Tagged ‘Temptation’

Principles of Governing

Then God blessed the man and woman, and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Gen. 1:28)

“When Jesus had called the twelve together, He gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases.” (Lk. 9:1)

Dominion is our natural stewardship of the planet! Its using the power and authority given freely by Christ to govern our sphere of influence. It is not enough to simply have the power to control things, if you do not have the right or authorization. For example, a person may have power to take someone’s car, but if he does not have the authority to do it, they are called a thief. On the other hand, a person may have the right or authority to take my car; but if he does not have the battery, he lacks the power to do it.

Jesus gave the Church both power and authority to govern as Kingdom representatives in this world, then He set the pattern for how to do it.

He said, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in Me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father” (John 14:12). The believer can do the miracles Jesus did and even greater than those seen through Him. Since Jesus gave us His power and authority, we simply have to look at what areas He showed dominion over.

Jesus showed dominion over:

  • Natural Problems (Mark 4:39)
  • Sickness and Diseases (Mark 2:10-12)
  • Evil Spirits (Mark 1:23-27)
  • Death (Luke 7:12-15)
  • Poverty (Matt 14:16-20)
  • Temptation (Heb 4:15)
  • Sin (Mark 2:10)

Jesus is our Example:

When you get a revelation of Jesus’ dominion you begin to recognize your own dominion. You will begin to speak to storm clouds, natural or spiritual. You will not put up with sickness and disease. You will drive out evil spirits. You will expect to live a long life. You will not worry over lack. You will resist temptation. You will not let the enemy condemn you for your past sins. This is dominion. When you find yourself overcome by these things in your life, then its time to exercise your dominion. The Apostle John said, “as He (Jesus) is, so are we in this world.” (1 Jn. 4:17)

Exercising Dominion is Governing:

Someone may ask, “So how do I exercise my dominion?” It is easy! You exercise dominion by governing your behavior… living to the Glory of God and choosing your words with the Holy Spirit’s influence. Renew your mind in the Words of Jesus… God’s Word! That’s right… you reign by releasing the Will of God over every situation! Look at how Jesus ruled… He said I do nothing on My own initiative… I only do what I see My Father do and speak what I hear My Father saying! (Jn. 5:19 & 8:28) And that is how He exercised dominion… through a life lived in the Glory of His Father!

He spoke to the winds and waves, “Peace! Be still!” And the storm obeyed Him. He said to the sick, “Be healed.” And His Word cured them. He used only His word to drive out demons and this shocked the people of His day (Mk. 1:27). When it came to death, He simply spoke, “I say unto you, get up.” And the dead listened. When the people were in need of food, He simply spoke a blessing and His blessing multiplied the loaves and fishes. How did He overcome temptation? Simply by saying to the devil, “It is written.” And when He saw a sinner condemned and sick He said, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” His words calmed the fears of the sinner, because they carried the dominion of His Father’s will. His words were sufficient in every situation. His words caused Satan to flee, because God stood behind them. Jesus consistently accessed the Glory of the heavenly realm and released God’s provision of health, deliverance and restoration.

Jesus consistently accessed the Glory Realm and released God’s provision of health, deliverance and restoration.

Disciples Govern the Same Way:

Obedience is evidence of our discipleship! Governing through our words and action requires us to carry a knowledge of the Truth and a love of His Presence. Jesus said that without Me you can do nothing, but if you abide in Me and My Words abide in you, you will ask what you desire and it shall be done for you (Jn. 15:5 & 7-8). Note that He goes on to say, by this His Father is glorified that you and I would bear fruit and prove our discipleship. Proving our discipleship is all about carrying out the will of God… dominion.

Jesus said, “if you abide in My words, you are My disciples indeed” (Jn. 8:31).

Anointing and Increase

“Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region. And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all. So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.’” (Luke 4:14-19)

“…God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” (Acts 10:38)

Jesus was anointed by God… indeed “God was with Him” in increasing measures by a lifestyle of prayer and fasting. His example is designed to be our model of spiritual discipline. It was Jesus’ experience even as a youth to increase in His favor with God and man (Lk 2:52). Yet even in the transition of Jesus into His Earthly ministry, we can see a direct connection between a lifestyle of prayer and fasting and His increasing anointing (Lk 5:12-13)(Lk 6:12)(Mk 9:29). This reality is both inspiring and instructional.

Notice how God moves Jesus into His public ministry:

  • He is baptized in the river Jordan, where He is filled with the Holy Spirit and hears the voice of His Father from heaven (Lk 3:21-22).
  • Immediately (it would appear to me) Jesus establishes a posture of prayer and fasting as He is led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil (Mt 4:1-2).
  • While in the wilderness, Jesus feels the challenges of the Devil, the hunger in His body and the threat of wild beasts. He becomes aware of the ministry of angels as well as the strength given by the Words that proceeded from the mouth of God (Mk 1:12-13).
  • He experiences increase in the anointing and breaks through the challenge victorious, because the Devil left Him until a more opportune time (Lk 4:13).
  • Jesus would return to Galilee in the increased anointing and power of the Holy Spirit bearing evidence with signs following, because people give Him glory and praise for His teaching ministry (Lk 4:14-15).
  • Now that the temptation was over His ministry would begin with a journey to Nazareth and an announcement of how He was anointed by the Holy Spirit to preach, heal, bring deliverance and freedom to the captive heart (Lk 4:16-19).

Defining the Anointing:

The anointing is God being “with us” or God’s Glory manifest upon our lives. Glory is defined best as God’s “Weighty” Presence or abiding spiritual power made known through our fellowship with the Holy Spirit. I have often said the anointing is God’s hand of favor upon our lives for the advancing of His activity in the world around us. We see this in how Jesus carried the anointing. He went about the Judean countryside advancing the Kingdom of God, because the anointing was on His life. God was with Him, empowering and leading Him, breaking the grip of the Devil and advancing the activity of His Father’s heart.

Why Prayer and Fasting:

Prayer and fasting increases our ability to know and sense the supernatural Presence of God, by awakening our spiritual senses and diminishing our emphasis on flesh desires. His power and His Glory begin to increase as we meet with God and experience fellowship in an unhindered way. God’s will and His ways become more recognizable when we are sensitive to His heart. I would describe the anointing as an actual physical experience whereby we feel the internal warmth of His Presence upon our body. That is why it increases as we pray and fast. By yielding our hearts in greater measure to the Holy Spirit’s activity we can welcome and value the anointing and make room for increase in our lives. It is like a signal that God sends to us saying that He is with us. He is showing Himself to us and approves of what we are saying or doing (Jn 14:21)(2 Cor 1:21).

There is nothing so important to our Christian walk than our faith in God (Heb 11:6)! It pleases Him when we step out in ways that give Him greater opportunity to reach the world through us. It is my desire to encourage prayer and fasting so that we may increase in the anointing of God and be more effective as Kingdom Agents in the world around us.

We are ambassadors for Christ {The Anointed One} as though God were pleading through us… Be reconciled to God! (2 Cor 5:18-21).

Love Unlocks Joy

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life – the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us – that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.” (1 Jn. 1:1-4)

Behold what manner [quality] of love the Father has bestowed on us… (1 Jn. 3:1)

We are to behold the heart of God in order to understand the quality of the Father’s love! It was a love for Jesus and for us. Love empowered the disciples… and as they began to behold it more and more, they found ways to abide in it and feel joy growing on the inside. The Apostle John is overwhelmed by the fellowship he experienced with Jesus… and it was the best reality he could offer to mankind! He was saying – this is what we declare and shout from the rooftop – “Come, experience this fellowship with us!”

To behold God’s love is to stay focused on it and not neglect it as we pursue other things. We should study the Scripture through the paradigm of love, because it promises incredible joy. It will not just establish our understanding, but abiding in the Father’s love will fill us with joy in believing, trusting and obeying (1 Jn. 5:3).

Transforming Joy: Inexpressible & Full of Glory (1 Pe. 1:8)

As we behold the heart of God, and experience His love; we feel joy! Joy is that deep sense of well-being that empowers us with confidence. It can make all the difference in the face of disappointment, temptation, and persecution. In fact, Jesus spoke about love at the most difficult times in order to empower His disciples. Nothing so fills the heart with joy and transforms our perception of reality – like knowing and abiding in love.

Note: There are four foundational truths related to experiencing God’s love in John 15:9-10!

  1. The Truth of Father’s passionate love for Jesus… “As the Father loved Me”!
  2. The Truth of Jesus’ intense and active love for us… “I also have loved you!”
  3. The Truth of Abiding in this supernatural substance… “abide in My love!”
  4. The Truth that joy is the reward of walking it out… “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love… These things I have spoken to you, that…your joy may be full.”

Sustained by Joy:

This joy empowered the disciples to walk in victory no matter what they faced! Even after the devastating experiences that surrounded the cross. They suffered the shock of Jesus’ sudden death, the deep shame of betraying Him, and the threat of death and imprisonment from political authorities. They needed joy to face crisis and handle even the normal temptations in life. When love is the abiding truth, then joy is sustaining! We are called to experience a transforming joy that is based on beholding and abiding in God’s love.

We must never be content with a silly, giddy, superficial substitute! Be filled with the Holy Spirit! (Eph. 5:15-21)

Supernatural Impact

Scripture: Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region. And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all. So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” (Luke 4:14-19)

Thought for Today: “Increasing in the Anointing”

Jesus was anointed by God and increased in that anointing by a lifestyle of prayer and fasting. His example is designed to be our model of spiritual discipline. It was Jesus’ experience even as a youth to increase in His favor with God and man (Lk 2:52) but prior to His ministry we can see a direct connection between His lifestyle of prayer and fasting and His increasing anointing (Lk 5:12-13)(Lk 6:12)(Mk 9:29).

Notice how God moves Jesus into His public ministry:

  • He is baptized in the river Jordan, where He is filled with the Holy Spirit and hears the voice of His Father from heaven (Lk 3:21-22).
  • Immediately (it would appear to me) Jesus establishes a posture of prayer and fasting as He is led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil (Mt 4:1-2).
  • While in the wilderness, Jesus feels the challenges of the Devil, the hunger in His body and the threat of wild beasts. He becomes aware of the ministry of angels as well as the strength given by the Words that proceeded from the mouth of God (Mk 1:12-13).
  • He experiences increase in the anointing and breaks through the challenge victorious, because the Devil left Him until a more opportune time (Lk 4:13).
  • Jesus would return to Galilee in the increased anointing and power of the Holy Spirit bearing evidence with signs following, because people give Him glory and praise for His teaching ministry (Lk 4:14-15).
  • Now that the temptation was over His ministry would begin with a journey to Nazareth and an announcement of how He was anointed by the Holy Spirit to preach, heal, bring deliverance and freedom to the captive heart (Lk 4:16-19).

“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” (Acts 10:38)

Defining the Anointing:

The anointing is God being “with us” or God’s Glory manifest upon our lives. Glory is defined best as God’s “Weighty” Presence or abiding spiritual power made known through our fellowship with the Holy Spirit. I have often said the anointing is God’s hand of favor upon our lives for the advancing of His activity in the world around us. We see this in how Jesus carried the anointing. He went about the Judean countryside advancing the Kingdom of God, because the anointing was on His life. God was with Him, empowering and leading Him, breaking the grip of the Devil and advancing the activity of His Father’s heart.

Why Prayer and Fasting:

Prayer and fasting increases our ability to know and sense the supernatural Presence of God, by awakening our spiritual senses and diminishing our emphasis on flesh desires. His power and His Glory begin to increase as we meet with God and experience fellowship in an unhindered way. God’s will and His ways become more recognizable when we are sensitive to His heart. I would describe the anointing as an actual physical experience whereby we feel the internal warmth of His Presence upon our body. That is why it increases as we pray and fast. By yielding our hearts in greater measure to the Holy Spirit’s activity we can welcome and value the anointing and make room for increase in our lives. It is like a signal that God sends to us saying that He is with us. He is showing Himself to us and approves of what we are saying or doing (Jn 14:21)(2 Cor 1:21).

There is nothing so important to our Christian walk than our faith in Christ… a faith that believes that God responds and rewards the diligent heart (Heb 11:6). It pleases Him when we step out in ways that give Him greater opportunity to reach the world around us. It is my desire to encourage prayer and fasting in all believers, so that they may find increase in the anointing of God and be more effective as Kingdom Agents in the world around them. We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us… we speak a supernatural word and we minister to others by way of a supernatural power from God! (2 Cor 5:18-21).

Let your impact become… supernatural!

Consecration

Scripture: “Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness. And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him.” (Mark 1:12-13)

Thought for Today: “Ministering Angels”

The Christian life is to be a consecrated life, one where we are fully given to God and His plan for our future (Rom 12:1-2). We are called to be Sons of God, which means God father’s us. His fathering is experienced when we listen to the Holy Spirit and yield our hearts in obedient relationship. This can be a spiritual challenge, but prayer and fasting is one of the most effective tools to sharpen our convictions and shape our lives in a way that honors God in any “wilderness” experiences.

The Wilderness:

The wilderness was not the place Jesus would go to relax. It was a place that the Holy Spirit “drove Him” while He was in a season of consecration. The 40 days of prayer and fasting allowed Jesus the revelation of His Father’s resources in a time of testing. What we must come to appreciate is that consecration opens our spiritual eyes to revelation that cannot be seen any other way. A wilderness will never be more than a place of frustration until we can see beyond its challenges… and find the Father’s resources.

The Beloved Son:

Jesus is the One God called His beloved Son, yet fathering Jesus was no different than fathering any son. God’s Child needs to be aware of all that is available in times of testing. When Jesus was in the wilderness, He felt the discomfort of hunger and thirst. He had to negotiate the decisions that would offer deliverance from temptation and provide safety from ”wild beasts”. Yet, He was not stumbling over Himself in this experience, because He had access to the Father’s resources. Remember Jesus was not in the wilderness to be defeated, He was in the wilderness to discover resources available to a Son.

The Resource of Angels:

Notice in Mark’s gospel, one of the often overlooked blessings of a fasting lifestyle is the ministry of angels. Ministering Angels are a powerful resource available to the Child of God and I want to encourage our awareness of their presence in seasons of prayer and fasting. I have discovered that angels are attracted to God’s Children when living a consecrated lifestyle. The Apostle James tells us to draw near to God and He will draw near to us (Jms 4:8). I would propose that angels are attracted to the same things as God.

Angelic Ministry:

Nothing should so minister to the heart of God’s Child like the angels. They are God’s ministering spirits sent forth to the heirs of salvation (Heb 1:14). We are told that they accompany us when we walk in love, even without our knowledge (Heb 13:1-2). Great companies of angels are given to watch over our lives and keep us in all of our ways, so that we avoid stumbling and falling into traps often unseen in the wilderness (Ps 91:11-12). Abraham, Daniel, Anna and Cornelius were all visited by angels during seasons of consecration.

Elisha’s Resource:

Remember Elisha’s revelation of the heavenly host of warring angels that assembled around him at all times (2 Kings 6:17). Encourage yourself today in whatever “wilderness” you find yourself driven into. You are not there to be overwhelmed, crushed or defeated! You are there to discover the Father’s resource available to the consecrated Son.

Consecration gives us the eyes to see… and the heart to believe.

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