The Weapons of Our Warfare (Identity in Christ Part 7)

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By the humility and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you—I, Paul, who am “timid” when face to face with you, but “bold” toward you when away! I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world. For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete, 2 Corinthians 10:1-6.

Where does the battle begin? The battle begins in the mind. The first assault against the world came with a thought. The planting of a seed of doubt in Eve’s mind of the goodness of God. People all over the world are deceived by the implanting of thoughts. A seed (thought) planted becomes an argument, if we don’t cast down arguments we give the enemy a foothold, and lies if they are not uprooted become strongholds (fortresses of lies). Paul tells us that we wage war against these arguments, lies, doubts, and deceptions. We apply the truth of God’s Word and by the power of the Holy Spirit cast down everything in opposition to God’s Word.

In our world today there is an assault on God’s Word. There’s nothing new under the sun, but I see it more my country as I get older. Things that God strictly forbids are put on the TV, internet, and radio as normal or the new normal. The Bible is being called, “Old fashioned, outdated, out of context, or misinterpreted.” I’ve even heard Christians call sin okay or say God didn’t really mean what He said. Evil is being called good, and good is being called evil. The Bible speaks that these times would come. It speaks that in times to come people will have itching ears to hear only what they want to hear and will reject the truth of God’s Word.

For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear, 2 Timothy 4:3.

Paul also tells us that our battles are not against people. See verses below Ephesians 6:10-20.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

What Are Our Weapons:

1. Truth (God’s Truth). We need to know God’s Word for ourselves. How can we know if we are being deceived if we do not read and study the Word of God for ourselves? We ask the Holy Spirit for revelation, and we dig in. We know truth, we live truth, and we speak God’s truth.

2. We pull down lies. It’s good to ask God to reveal any lies we believe about Him, His Word, ourselves, others, etc…God cannot lie. Once a lie is revealed, it’s our job to renounce that lie. I’ve done the following. “Father Your Word says You are my protector and provider. I renounce the lie that You will not and cannot meet my needs according to Your riches in glory.” Any lies we hang on to impact our ability to live a fulfilled life.

3.Take every thought captive. We are impacted by what we  constantly see and hear. Every thought we have is not of us or from God. Any thought that is against God’s Word, we reject.

4. Prayer. A person who does not pray is a person without peace, power, or hope. We need God. If we say that we do not need Him, we are operating in pride. Humility is dependence on God. Our prayers are effective. I heard someone say, “You know what happens when you don’t pray? Nothing” God responds to the cries of His people. I recommend praying God’s Word. Beth Moore has a great book called Praying God’s Word, http://www.barnesandnoble.com/listing/2686790662192?cm_mmc=GooglePLA-_-Book-_-Q000000633-_-2686790662192&cm_mmca2=pla&r=1.

4. Know who we are in Christ and operate in the gifts of the Spirit. We have been given so much in Christ. When we do what God placed us here to do, we see God’s Kingdom come and His will done on earth. If we are passive and not engaged in any service to His Kingdom, we see evil increase and increase. We are part of the solution as co-laborers with Christ. “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. Do not allow evil to triumph. Do not do sit by and do nothing,” Edmund Burke. If we do nothing, we can’t shake our fists at God. He gave us tools to be victorious.

5. Walk by Faith. Trusting God and walking by faith is imperative to seeing victory. We do not receive what we are unwilling to believe God for. God’s people were victorious in the past by believing God for victory.

6. Submit to God and resist the devil. We can not rebuke an enemy we are in agreement with. If we are in rebellion to God’s will for our lives, we will not be victorious. Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you, James 4;7. The devil is not more powerful than God. He goes where people give him access. He is not all-powerful. God is all-powerful. We are personally defeated when we rebel against God and choose our way over His.

7. We put on the full armor of God. If you read above Paul gave us information about our armor. I will post more later about the armor of God.

I hope this post was helpful for you. Worship is not listed, but it is also a very powerful weapon. I will do a separate post solely on worship.

Here is my prayer for us.

Father I pray that You would reveal any lies we are believing about You, Your Word, ourselves, or others. May we renounce those lies and live devoted to truth. Come in power and demolish any strongholds in our minds. I ask that we would study Your Word, spend time alone with You, and pray without ceasing. May Your Kingdom come and Your will be done in our lives and in our world. I ask for Your truth to permeate our world. In Jesus powerful name, Amen.

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Awaken A Sleeping Giant (Identity in Christ Part 6)

Luke 10:1-12, 16-20
New International Version 1984

Jesus Sends Out the Seventy-two

After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.

When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you. Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.

“When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God is near you.’ But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God is near.’ I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town…

“He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”

The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”

He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.

The passage is long, but it contains important information for us. Jesus sent people out to do what He had been doing.We are the sleeping giant. The Body of Christ was not meant to sleep our way into eternity. You know, accept Jesus and then rest until we die and meet Him face to face. We were called to be a major threat to darkness. We are the light of the world; we are His light in the world.

Salt and Light-Matthew 5:13-16.

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

If we are not walking in our God-given authority, then the world is not seeing the light nor being exposed to God’s love. The seventy-two that Jesus sent out blessed people, healed the sick, delivered the demonized, shared the Gospel, and did as they saw Jesus doing. If the entire Body of Christ all over the world was doing what Jesus did, we would see some change the world. God is the most powerful being in the Universe. He created the Universe. We are backed by the strongest force in the Universe. We are a sleeping giant. We have been given tremendous authority in His name.

The world is looking for a human to come and save the day. Jesus already accomplished all that was needed. He gave His followers all the tools they needed to be effective in a dark world. We are not to be trampled over by life. We are dearly beloved children of God. We have been given more than enough in Christ. It’s time for us to embrace who we are, stop fighting each other, unite, and work with Jesus to accomplish the will of the Father.

Abba, I pray you would show us all who we are in You and why we are here in this time in history. Unite Your Body and send us out to change the world. May we be bold, courageous, and filled with hope in all that You will accomplish through us. Use us to combat evil in this world. We ask for Your protection over our countries. Protect us from the evil one. We bless and pray for those impacted in Newton, CT and all over the world by evil. Heal, restore, and help us. Thanks for all You have done, In Jesus name, Amen.

Ambassadors of Love (Identity in Christ Part 5)

We are God’s Ambassadors of Love

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Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are My disciples, John 13:35.

An Ambassador is defined as:  1. a diplomatic agent of the highest rank accredited to a foreign government or sovereign as the resident representative of his or her own government or sovereign or appointed for a special and often temporary diplomatic assignment 2.a : an authorized representative or messenger b : an unofficial representative traveling abroad as ambassadors of goodwill.

Ambassadors have a great assignment. We are God’s Ambassador’s of love. We are citizens of heaven and citizens of our country of natural birth. The role of ambassadors are to protect citizens, promote prosperity, justice, and promote peace. An ambassador works to ensure that the interests of their country are being protected in the country in which they work, ~online sources.

As God’s Ambassadors of love we are here on earth representing our Father. We bring heaven to earth. How might you ask. Here are some examples.

1. We love people. Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect, Matt 5:43-48. We love our enemies by feeding them if they are hungry, clothing them if they are naked, by blessing and not cursing, and choosing to do no harm.

2. We serve. Matthew 25:31-46.

The Sheep and the Goats

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

We don’t serve out of obligation but out of love. When are truly walking in our identity we want to help people and serve. We want to do for others what God would do for them.

3. We do what Jesus told the disciples to do.

Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give, Matthew 10:8.

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation, Mark 16:15.

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world,~James 1:27.

Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow, ~Isaiah 1:17.

Jesus told the disciples to make other disciples. He told them to preach the gospel, heal the sick, drive out evil spirits, take care of orphans and widows. He calls us to pursue justice for the oppressed. We are called to do the same things as Jesus did.

We are citizens of heaven. May we live in our God-given identity and accomplish His will on earth. We are here for a reason. We are empowered by His Spirit to be more than conquerors in Christ who loves us.

“Abba help us to live a life of purpose. Help us to walk in the authority you have given us through your precious Son. Thank you for all you have done! In Jesus name, Amen.”