When we are first saved, every Christian enters a battle ground, and until we reach heaven, it is warfare against the powers of darkness. Before we got saved we belonged to Satan but were ignorant of it, our eyes are blinded. When we are saved-we are now on victory ground; but we have to learn to apply the word of God, and allow the Holy Spirit to mold us and change us, in order to walk in that victory, and be an overcomer.
As we grow, and study the scriptures we can get out of balance, coming against demons, rebuking them in everything, and come away discouraged, and even lose faith because we don't see a change in the situation.
There are times when demons need to be addressed. But, many times it is the transforming power of the scriptures applied to our everyday life, and our conduct that gains the victory over Satan in our lives.
The enemies we combat are;
The world: James 4:1-4- "(read text) Our hearts are exposed by the things we chase after, and think are so important. The desire to consume, to be important, to be rich, is the fuel the devil uses to drive us to envy, jealousy, and an evil heart. If we refuse to repent, and allow God to help us change, it leads to greater sin such as murder, and war. 1John 2:15-17 clearly tells us "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abides forever."
Flesh: 1Peter 4:1-4, Col. 3:5-11" -(Read text) Those of us who have been saved from addictions, such as drugs and alcohol see the truth of these scriptures. It is in these addictions, that all other evil is fed and grows to the point that we do not have control of ourselves. It takes the transforming power of the Lord to get us back on the right track. If we are serious about wanting to change, he will reach out to us, and has the power to set us free. I can testify to that.
The Devil: 1Peter 5:8 "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who has called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you."
Principalities and Powers of darkness: Eph. 6:12 "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." The demonic forces that come against us in this life are very serious, and have one main objective; to destroy you, and ultimately have you join them in hell when your life here is over. They will do whatever it takes to try to steer you away from Christ, and back into darkness. It takes discernment to see the difference between sins of the flesh, and when someone is also bound by demonic activity, both originate from the devil. However, there is a difference between someone who is being sorely tempted, and one who has allowed demons to oppress them consistently and allowed them to attach themselves to the persons soul. This is an area where a lot of Christians get out of balance. But, if you sincerely go to the Lord in prayer, and study His Word, the Holy Spirit will give clear direction.
The Conduct of the Soldier of Christ
We are given clear guidance on how to wage this war; our victory hinges on our obedience to the Word of God. Walking out our faith in obedience to the scriptures is the greatest weapon against anything we face. Our warfare is directly the opposite of the devil's, we are now promoting peace, light, and righteousness in a dark world, where once we were partaker's of that darkness. It is absolutely necessary to line up our conduct with what we are saying with our mouths. Confessing the word of God is useless if we aren't walking the talk. Prov. 20:11 tells us "Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right".
These instructions are:
Avoid worldly entanglements, and endure suffering, avoid arguments: 2Tim. 2:3-14 In this text we are given clear instruction on what to avoid to live at peace with other's as much as possible. No one likes to be misunderstood, but there are times when it is best to just stay silent rather than try to force someone to agree with us, or prove we are right. There are some people we should avoid, the ones who we ran with when we lived in sin, sometimes even our relatives.
Be sober, watchful. 1Cor. 16:13 "Watch ye, and stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. "1Thess. 5:5-8 "Ye are all the children of the light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, or of the darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation."
Put on our armor, and pray. Eph. ch.6:10-18 (read text) This is a study in itself, but we only have time to touch on it now. I highly recommend you take the time to study this chapter, and do some cross referencing. If you do, the Lord will open to you the power of these scriptures, and strengthen your spirit.
How Do We Gain the Victory
God doesn't expect us to do this warfare alone, and in our own power. We are given an arsenal to equip us and win the battles in life. We need to know what our weapons are, and how to use them:
11 Cor. 10:3-5 tells us, "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
God's Word- Heb. 4:12 "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." If we allow it, the word of God will expose what is in our hearts to us, and will work with us to purify, and bring us out of darkness.
Faith- 1John 5:4-5 "For whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcomes the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? " Heb. 11:6 "But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."
Christ's promise-John 16:33 "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." This passage tells us much more than it seems at first glance. Let's break this down; Jesus was fully man, he experienced and suffered all the tribulation and temptations we do, and overcame them. He did this by the help and power of the Holy Spirit. He showed by example that we can be victorious if we keep our eyes on Him. When he was driven into the wilderness by the Spirit, and tempted by Satan, here we are shown how to win our battles also. Jesus answer to the devil was "It is written."
The word of God, rightly used will put the devil to silence. As James 4:7 tells us "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." Every time we win a battle of temptation, our spirits become stronger, and more able to stand against the next one that comes at us.
Jesus Christ- Our Spiritual Authority
Authority is delegated power; In Luke 10:19 Jesus tells us "Behold, I give unto you Power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you."
The value of the authority rests on the power behind our authority. The devil and his forces are obliged to recognize our authority. The believer who thoroughly understands that the power of God is backing him can exercise his authority and face the enemy fearlessly.
Example: A policeman who directs traffic during the rush hour just raises his hand and the car stops. The man doesn't have the physical power to stop the vehicle if the driver chooses not to stop. But, they don't use their own strength to stop traffic; they use the authority invested in them by the government they serve. The devil's recognize the power and authority behind the name of Jesus Christ, it is His authority that they submit to, that has been delegated to us as believer's.
In Matt. 28:18 Jesus said to the disciples "All power is given unto me in heaven and earth. This is the same as authority. When Christ ascended, he transferred His authority to the Church. Christ's authority has to be perpetuated through His Body, which is on earth. Christ is seated on the right hand of the Father, the place of authority, and we are seated with him. To sit on the right hand of a king means authority. When we received Christ as Savior, we died with Him, and are raised with Him.
The source of our authority is found in the resurrection and exalting of the Lord Jesus Christ by God.
Eph. 1:18-23 "The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church."
Eph. 2:5 "Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ (by grace you are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus."
We need to realize that the authority that belongs to Christ belongs to individual members of the Body of Christ and is available to us.
The elevation of Christ's people with Him into the heavenlies clearly points to the fact we are to sit with him; sharing his throne, and also his authority.
Romans 5:17 tells us " For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ."
We are not just to reign with Christ in heaven, we are to reign in life by Jesus Christ now. Throughout history, whatever the king said was law; he was the last authority. In the same way, we partake of the authority that Christ's throne represents.
Why do we not see this authority used as it should be in the Church?
ack of knowledge: Hosea 4:6 says "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." This verse says "my people", not unbeliever's. The authority vested to us is almost never taught today in the churches. But, if any person is hungry to learn the truth, Jesus is ready and willing to teach you, in John 8:32 he tells us" And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free."
Authority is abused: The misuse of this authority results in defeat. God is not obliged to honor us if we try to use this authority to promote ourselves. Authority over the devil is successful when we know how to use it, the same as well trained policeman, who knows who his boss is, and works with integrity.
Lack of Faith: In order for this to work, you have to know who you believe, and what is yours without reservation. The devil knows if we really believe what we are doing or not.
When circumstances don't change immediately, some people become discouraged and slip back into the natural; They talk unbelief and defeat themselves. They give the devil dominion over them.
Smith Wigglesworth often said, "I'm not moved by what I see. I'm not moved by what I feel. I'm moved only by what I believe." We have to stand our ground. The authority is ours whether we feel like it or not. Authority has nothing to do with feelings, but we must exercise it in order for it to work.
Pastor's and Leaders fear those who would get out of balance: Unfortunately, I've seen many Christians get very out of balance, and not able to discern when to use the authority over the devil, or when to take the matter to prayer, and faith. It takes careful observation to know when something is a problem of the flesh, or a spirit behind the problem. We need to learn the difference, and the many ways God has to deliver us or other's from bondage. God is patient with us as we learn.
For example: The spirit of a rebellious person is only set free by honest repentance. All the rebuking and casting out in the world is not going to work, until the person is truly sorry for their sin, and makes up their mind they want to change, no matter what they have to do. God can and will help this person, and reach out to them in power to help them come out of darkness, into the light. I am a testimony of this.
Nothing ever really changed for me until I became honest with myself and with God. The power of God to deliver me was there, but He would not force himself on me. I had to open my heart to Him, and take hold of him and his promises to set me free. When my heart changed, he revealed to me several demonic spirits that needed to be dealt with, and showed me how to cast them out. This did not take a long time, and I knew when they left. The compulsive desires I had were gone, and I knew the difference. I knew I as free.
We are not to pray the devil out; but speak to him and tell him what to do: It is a waste of time to pray to the Lord to deliver us or someone else. Jesus has done all He is going to do about the devil. He has won the victory when he rose from the dead. The authority has been delegated to us, and we are to speak to him, and take dominion over his attacks on us.
Luk 9:1 Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.
Luk 10:17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.
Luk 10:18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.
Luk 10:19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
Luk 10:20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.
Important point: The delegated authority over evil spirits and devils is of no credit to ourselves-and we are to take no credit. The gifts of the Holy Spirit can only be appropriated through the man/woman who knows their identity in Christ, and has the faith, and discernment to exercise the delegated authority correctly -with a right heart and spirit. If we be found with unrepentant sin, pride, monetary gain, or self-achievement; any effort will be futile. Simon the sorcerer found this out in Acts ch. 8:18-24:
Act 8:18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,
Act 8:19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.
Act 8:20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.
Act 8:21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.
Act 8:22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.
Act 8:23 For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.
Act 8:24 Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me.
When Simon saw, etc. - By hearing these speak with different tongues and work miracles.
He offered them money - Supposing that the dispensing this Spirit belonged to them - that they could give it to whomsoever they pleased; and imagining that, as he saw them to be poor men, they would not object to take money for their gift; and it is probable that he had gained considerably by his juggling, and therefore could afford to spare some, as he hoped to make it all up by the profit which he expected to derive from this new influence.
God knows our hearts, our thoughts, and our motives-nothing is hidden from His sight. If people really knew the truth of God's presence, and omnipresence-they would learn to use caution in their words and deeds. Everything we say, do, and think will be brought to account on Judgment Day:
Heb 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Heb 4:13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
Psa 139:2 Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.
Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Jer 17:10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.
Joh 3:20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
Joh 3:21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
Eph 5:13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.
Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
We have delegated authority over the devil in our own lives and household, but not over someone else's. A believer can break the power of the devil anywhere in their own life, or their immediate family, they have authority there, but not in someone else's. Spiritual authority is like natural authority. For example: I don't have authority over someone else's money unless they give me permission to use it. I don't have authority over someone else's children.
You can make the devil desist in some of his maneuvers in somebody else's life, but you can't always cast him out, because you don't have authority in that household. Only through intercession can you exercise spiritual authority in another person, or somebody else's family."
The exception to this is when someone comes to you, and speaks of a problem they're having, and think they have a problem with being tormented with a demon-and asks for your assistance to be freed from it-then God can use you to help them get set free from a demonic bondage, because they've given their consent. Then seeking God for guidance, and how to proceed is the next step-the Holy Spirit will give the needed direction, and freedom will come for them, if they are sincere and really want to be free.
Joh 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
"Final Important point"-When you get out beyond the written word of God, you've gone too far. Stay with what the Word says about the matter, don't add anything to it.
(2008 teaching for Teen Challenge)
Strategies of Satanists in the Endgame
The Age of Deceit
We now stand two thousand years after the coming of Christ the first time, and events unfolding in the 21st century are described for us by Jesus throughout the gospels; it's clear we are in the days he layed out and warned us would come to pass-as the last days.
This is the age of deceit, the day when everything you see and hear is upside down, and a lie. You need to have a real desire for truth, to discern the layers of deception the world is in now.
Who's to blame for the chaos and persecution escalating, and globalists taking over the nations? We are. We've allowed it, and even participated in our own demise-though most by ignorance, and blindness. The atheists and Satanists around the world have been relentless in practicing their demonic rituals, celebrations and sorceries right in our faces-and we've swallowed it hook line and sinker. If you doubt this, watch some reruns of halftime football games in the last 25 years, and especially the last 10-and pay attention to what the people on stage say, and do. Also, this video of Satan Worship at the Gotthard Tunnel 2016, the celebration of the world's longest and deepest rail tunnel running through the Alps has officially opened in Switzerland, after 17 years of construction work. The entire thing was a Satanic ritual- https://youtu.be/P_4yjAD9MJw
What does God's word have to say about this?
Pro 16:4 The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.
Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
1Ki 8:32 Then hear thou in heaven, and do, and judge thy servants, condemning the wicked, to bring his way upon his head; and justifying the righteous, to give him according to his righteousness.
Pro 1:31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.
Jer 2:19 Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord GOD of hosts.
Isa 3:9 The shew of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves.
As said above, for many years in this country-the football and sports events have made their half time entertainments Satanic ritual magic-and the stupid crowds love it-they become part of the demonic sorcery, and the devil has won this nation by a corrupt atheistic school system run by Satanists. They allow the devil in schools, but not God. This is the generation Jesus rebuked in Revelation ch. 3-the Laodicean church:
Rev 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
Rev 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
Rev 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Rev 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
Rev 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
Rev 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
Rev 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
Rev 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
Rev 3:22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
The governments are ruled by demonic forces, principalities and powers of darkness, and Satanists, and they are busy carrying out agenda's that they've been scheming to put into place for many years. It is steamrolling, and snowballing now; and there is no turning back on what they have planned. However, they are playing right into God's hands. At the end of all this-they will find Christ coming in His glory-and themselves thrown in the Lake of fire.
If you have a desire to learn from a reputable bible teacher, the details of what we are facing right now, and watching unfold in this country, and the world-google Chuck Missler, and watch his series of teachings on Eschatology-The Four Horses of the Apocalypse. He gives an excellent presentation of where we are in the book of Revelation now. I recommend all of his teachings-he is an excellent teacher, who stays strictly to the word of God.
This warfare is real, and it's to the death. The entertainment industry has used every means at their disposal to lure you, deceive you, brainwash you, and hypnotize you into slumber, apathy, and mold you into blind cattle that will follow them wherever they lead you, and it's into the devils lair.
But, the child of God is given weapons in the word of God, that help us overcome and gain the victory in this life. Another to explore-is the power of prayer.
There is a certain prayer that moves the Lord, if done by one who believes Him, and can bring changes to circumstances, and in some cases, to change His mind. This is called INTERCESSORY PRAYER. He desires this from any who will seek Him, and any whose hearts trust Him. verse: IITim. 2:15, 23-24
Intercession: The definition of Intercede is "To act as a go-between for two parties. To plead on behalf of another. A mediator, or the act of mediation." To carry this further, to mediate means to: settle a dispute, or carry out a process. A lawyer is a form of mediator, and we can see the correlation of a lawyer standing on behalf of their client before a judge. This is the picture of an intercessor. One who stands as a lawyer, or mediator for someone or on behalf of something that needs to be acted on or brought into being before the Lord, and using all the skill they have to argue the case for them.
As believer's we are all called to intercede for other's, our families, our church, those who need to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth.
However, there are some in the body of Christ who have been called to a life of prayer and intercession, as a service to God.
We are given burdens in the Spirit by God for individuals, churches, cities, nations. Many times the Holy Spirit will give specific instructions on how to pray. As we grow in our walk, each experience teaches us to get better at it, and able to hear the voice of the Lord more clearly. Becoming a mighty warrior of prayer, and an adversary of the devil to be reckoned with doesn't happen over-night. We are called to go down on our faces before God on behalf of people, cities, or nations, to stand in the gap for them, repent of the sins and evil they have committed, when they won't do it themselves, to save them from the judgment they deserve. (Such as Abraham when he interceded for Sodom and Gomorrah)
In heaven, we will be surprised, and humbled to be shown those who prayed for us in silence-without our knowledge-and how we were spared many times from accidents and schemes of the devil-by answered prayer by people we never knew.
The following scriptures will help comprehend the importance and impact of this kind of prayer.
1. Isa. 55:6, 8-9
"Seek ye the Lord while He may be found. Call upon Him while He is near. For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts higher than your thoughts."
Interpretation: Before it is too late, start asking Him.
2. "Oh the depths of riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out. For who hath known the Mind of the Lord, or who hath been His counselor?"
Interpretation: Expand deep study before getting answers. Rom. 11:33-34
3. "And the Spirit of the Lord fell upon me and said unto me: Speak....for I know the things that come into your mind, every one of them." verse Ezek. 11:5
Interpretation: Expect the Lord to be ready to answer.
4. John 15:26 "But the Comforter, who is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My Name, he shall teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance, whatsoever I had said unto you."
Rom. 8:26-27 "Likewise, the Spirit helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit Itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered, And He (Jesus) that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God (The Father).
Interpretation: Pray any way, anytime, anyway. The indwelling Spirit will correct any mistakes in our petitions or worship.
5. John 14:23 " Jesus answered and said unto him (Jude) 'If a man love me he will keep my words: and My Father will love him and we will come unto him and make our abode with him."
"I am the Vine, you are the branches: He (God) that abides in me and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing." "I have called you friends, if you do whatsoever I command you. You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you....that you should go and bring forth fruit.... that whatsoever you shall ask of the Father in My Name He may give it to you."
Interpretation: Jesus promises fruit, If we abide In the Vine. He then guarantees God's assent, because it is in His Will Already.
Summary: The Lord asks that we seek Him diligently although no man's mind would be totally able to comprehend His immense wisdom. He states that He knows our problems in advance of our prayers, and has provided His intercession on our behalf. We are reassured of fruitfulness IF WE STICK CLOSE BY "ABIDING IN HIM". More descriptions of God's eternal nature: 1Tim. 2:5; Heb. 12:24.
Does God ever change His mind?
His eternal Nature:
6. Mal. 3:6 "And fear not Me, says the Lord of Hosts. For I am the Lord, I change not...."
Num. 23:19 "God is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man that He should repent; has He said and shall He not do it? Or has He spoken and shall He not make it good?"
Rom. 11:29 "The gifts and calling of God are without repentance."
Ps. 110:4 "The LORD(GOD) has sworn and will not repent: Thou art a priest after the order of Melchizedec."
Interpretation: The nature of God cannot change, righteousness and omniscience are immutable.
Expanded study: A REPENTANT FATHER OF MERCY Isa. 16:5
7. Jer. 18:8 "If that nation against whom I have pronounced, turns from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to bring against them."
Jer. 18:10 "And if it do evil in my sight, that it not obey My voice, then I will repent of the good, where with I said I would benefit them."
Jer. 42:10 "If you will still abide in this land,.... I will plant you and not pluck you up; for I repent Me of the evil I have done unto you."
Josh 10:12-14 "Then spoke Joshua to the Lord...and the sun stood still in the midst of the heaven and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves...and there was no day like that before or after it, that the Lord harkened unto the voice of a man: for the Lord fought for Israel."
20 Jonah 3:9-10 "Who can tell if God will turn and repent and turn away from His fierce anger that we perish not? And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil that He had said He would do unto them; and He did it not."
1Sam. 10:11; 1Sam. 31:6 "Then the word of the LORD came to Samuel, saying 'It repenteth Me that I have set up Saul to be King; for he is turned back from following Me, and has not performed My commandments.' So Saul died, and his three sons..."
11Sam. 24:1,16 "And again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel....and when the angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it, the Lord repented him of the evil, and said....'It is enough.' "
Interpretation: God clearly discloses in these verses that His UNCHANGING NATURE INCLUDES BOTH MERCY AND ANGER, THESE ARE THE INGREDIENTS IN HIS JUST JUDGMENTS. He alters decisions to fit the circumstances. Only His LAWS are fixed in stone, not HIS LOVE. HE ALONE IS GOD WHO CAN LOVE SINNERS. Ps. 136; 1John 3:16; John 3:1
The ancient account of the time of Noah is another illustration of when God elected to change His mind. The anguish of God's heart shows through this pain-filled decision He was forced to make. It foretells that He saw you and me "down the line" by sparing Noah; we too could experience His grace much later.
8. Gen. 6:5-7 "And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that He made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created. But Noah, found grace in the eyes of the LORD."
EXPLANATION: Although God's nature can never change, His DIVINE VERDICTS CAN CHANGE. Although God is the same "yesterday, today, and forever: as regards to His person, yet His Book reveals that He can and does change His method of operation to fit the changing situations. Heb. 13:8
SUMMARY: That is where prayer comes in. Prayer changes things, God is moved by it. His hands are set free by our prayers to accomplish His will, His words are set free to accomplish their goals. His Spirit is directed by the Father to convey (yes, or no, or sometime), and to explain (teach) them to the petitioner. John 6:38, Isa. 55:11
That is why Jesus prayed and taught His disciples to follow His example. That is why He was upset at their failure to pray with Him at least "for an hour" before His arrest. That is why St. Paul repeated the admonition to "pray without ceasing". That was the reason Paul prayed behind prison bars all night. GOD DOES HEAR, HE DOES REACT. HE EVEN ALTERS HIS PROCEDURES WHEN HIS PRIOR APPROACH FAILED TO GET THE JOB DONE. Luke 22:44, John 5:30, Matt. 26:40, Acts 12:5, 1Thess. 5:17, Acts 16:25, Deut. 12:28, Mark 7:14
DOES INTERCESSORY PRAYER WORK?
1. Who can call on the Lord for answers? Joh 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
Jesus is the open door-that no man can shut. Anyone who calls on Him in faith, He will hear, and answer-for salvation, and answer to prayer. The walk of faith, and prayer deepens each day-if we abide in Him.
2, Why would God answer? (His love) John 3:16
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes on Him should not perish but have everlasting life."
3. What is the Answer? (His gifts) John 16:23-24
"Whatsoever you shall ask the Father in My Name, He will give it unto you. Hitherto you have asked nothing in My Name; ask and you shall receive, that you joy may be full."
4. How is it possible? (faith) Mark 11:22-23
"Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, that whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt that those things which he saith shall come to pass, he shall have whatsoever he saith."
5. When Is The Answer Received? (Now) Mark 11:24
"Therefore, I say unto you, Whatsoever things you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them."
6. Why Is The Answer Not Received? (asking amiss) James 4: 2-3
"You lust, and have not; you kill and desire to have, and cannot obtain: you fight and war, yet you have not because you ask not. You ask and receive not, because you ask amiss, that you may consume it upon your lusts. (idle pleasures)
7. What Is The Bottom Line? John 14:1
"Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in Me."
Luk 18:1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
Luk 18:2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:
Luk 18:3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.
Luk 18:4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;
Luk 18:5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.
Luk 18:6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.
Luk 18:7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
Luk 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
Here, in this parable Jesus gives us the answers to all the questions above-if we can hear it. But, the most important thing to my mind is-he ends it with a question, and we should take it seriously. When
He comes again-will there be any faith on the earth?
PAULS THOUGHTS ON INTERCESSORY PRAYER:
"I exhort you that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions and giving of thanks, be given for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceful life; in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God,
Our Saviour." 1Tim. 2:1-3
"Without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers." Rom. 1:9 "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they might be saved." Rom. 10:1
"For this cause also we....do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that you might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding...being fruitful...strengthened in all might...giving thanks unto the Father." Col. 1:9-12
I thank God...that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day."
CHRIST OUR INTERCESSOR
The prophet foretold of one of the Messiah's ministries, which Paul would later expound upon; our intercessor.
"The Messiah made intercession for the transgressors." Isa. 53:12
Paul speaks of his unshakable reliance upon Jesus' dependable intercession for us before the Father.
"It is Christ that died, yea rather that is risen again, Who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creation shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord." Rom. 8:34-39
Hebrews speaks to us of of Jesus' Authority to be our intercessor:
"But this Man (Jesus) because He continues forever has an unchangeable priesthood." Heb. 7:24-26, 28
"Wherefore He is able save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing that He ever liveth to make intercession for them, for such a High Priest became us, Who is Holy, harmless and undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens...the son Who is consecrated forevermore."
Heb. 4:15 "We have a High Priest which cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we, yet without sin."
John also reaffirmed Jesus' role on our behalf:
1John 2:1-2 "If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the Righteous: and He is the propitiation (reconciliation) for our sins; and not for our sins only, but also for the sins of the whole world."
THE HELP OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN OUR INTERCESSION
Rom. 8:26-31 "Likewise, the Spirit also helps our infirmities: for we know not what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit itself maketh INTERCESSION for us with groaning which cannot be uttered (put into words). And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is in the Mind of the Spirit, because He (The Spirit) maketh INTERCESSION for the saints according to the Will of God....What then shall we say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us." See also Acts 2:1-5, Acts, 19:6, 2Cor 5:2-4.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit equips us with a prayer language-born from heaven, and gives another level of power in prayer to God the Father-unhindered by our own infirmities, or the devils interventions. The more we yield to the Holy Ghost and pray in this prayer language, the deeper our prayer life will become, and by it, the gifts of the Spirit become more evident in our daily life, and in use in service to the Lord. The gifts, and their proper operations are taught in 1Cor. ch. 14
James tells us "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God that gives liberally...but let him ask in faith, nothing wavering."
Jas 1:6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
Jas 1:7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
Jas 1:8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
When Jesus was on the earth there were times when he could not do much, and times he was told to leave-he was not welcome. Among his own family and town of Nazareth where he lived:
Mat 13:54 And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?
Mat 13:55 Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?
Mat 13:56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?
Mat 13:57 And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.
Mat 13:58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
In the account in Mark of healing the man with the withered hand-they took counsel to try to have him killed.
Mar 3:1 And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand.
Mar 3:2 And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him.
Mar 3:3 And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth.
Mar 3:4 And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.
Mar 3:5 And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.
Mar 3:6 And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him.
It's the same today. There's many times the wonderful things God wants to do in a community, is never achieved. Not because of failure of the preacher or servant called; but because of unbelief, and rejection. See also- Mark 6:5-6, Luke 4:25-29
But, as I read these accounts of what Jesus dealt with, it calls to mind the verses:
Heb 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Heb 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
We can learn these truths from them:
Seeing then that we have a great high priest. As has been shown Our high priest now makes intercession in the true Holy of Holies.
For we have not a high priest, etc. A high priest must be in sympathy with those for whom he ministers. Christ, who took upon himself our infirmities, is such a high priest. He was tried and tempted as man, but remained sinless.
Let us therefore come boldly. Because our high priest can be touched by our infirmities.
The throne of grace. The Jewish high priest interceded before the mercy-seat. We may come boldly to the mercy-seat, knowing that our loving Elder Brother is our high priest in the heavens. Hence we may always have confidence when we ask for grace to help in time of need.
Now I'll touch on a subject most do not like to hear, and it always causes different reactions. I'm just going to speak what I've learned, in a nutshell on this subject-and let the reader study it more, if you are serious about becoming a skilled prayer warrior.
God loves to hear from us, and tells us many times to come to Him, and His eyes and ears are open to our cries, petitions, and wants to answer them. But, God is holy and he tells us we are to be holy, as He is holy. Without salvation in Christ this is impossible. If you don't know Jesus as your Savior, that is the only prayer God will hear, until you've taken that step. Once you've come to him in repentance, and had your sins forgiven, now your washed clean by His shed blood on the cross and you can come boldly to the Throne of grace. But, if we practice sin after we've been saved, we've hindered our prayer life again. When King David sinned and took Bathsheba, he sinned greatly; he committed adultery, had her husband killed, and because of this-God chastised him, and David lived with many consequences the rest of his life. Nathan the prophet came to him, confronted him, and revealed his sin to him-David repented, and God forgave him, and restored him. His prayer of repentance is in Psalm 51, it's there for us as an example as well, when we fail and need forgiveness.
But, there are also accounts of those who fell into sin in the bible-who did not repent, and God stopped listening to them, and they died tragic deaths-King Saul is an example; his story is in 1Samuel; many lessons can be learned studying this account. He was jealous of the call of God on David's life-and pursued him for years, trying to kill him. By chapter 28, his soul was so dark, and had turned from following God, and sought a medium at Endor. He has her call up the prophet Samuel, but it is a death sentence for him. He is killed as Samuel said, along with his three sons and his armor bearer. It's a fearful thing, to fall into the hands of the living God. Today, sadly, there is no fear of God in many, but death comes to all-and then the judgment.
Heb 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
How do we know when we've sinned- It tells us in the ten commandments - don't lie, steal, bear false witness against anyone, don't practice idolatry, don't envy anyone, don't covet what someone else has or owns, Don't Take the Name of the Lord in Vain-stop using His Name as a swear word. This is very serious in God's eyes. Read Exodus ch. 20
In our walk with the Lord, we may stumble, fall, and do things we should not even after salvation. Our flesh is a battleground all our lives. But, if we have a heart and desire to serve God, if we love Him, our hearts will desire to do right, and live right. If we willfully practice sin habitually-we need to ask for forgiveness, and the power of the Holy Spirit to stop the sin-and walk right with the Lord. If we don't, and just keep going our own way, God's word is clear on this-we will not be heard, nor will we see any answers to our prayers. I'll leave some scriptures to emphasize this, there are many more to be found in the bible, if the reader desires more understanding on this.
Psa 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:
Job 27:8 For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he hath gained, when God taketh away his soul?
Job 27:9 Will God hear his cry when trouble cometh upon him?
Pro 15:8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.
Pro 15:9 The way of the wicked is an abomination unto the LORD: but he loveth him that followeth after righteousness.
Pro 15:29 The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.
1Pe 3:10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:
1Pe 3:11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.
1Pe 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.
Walking in righteousness does not mean being perfect-we strive for right living, to be holy in His sight because we love Him, and have a heart to please Him-this is a person He opens His ears to.
Jas 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
1Jn 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
1Jn 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
1Jn 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
1Jn 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1Jn 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
WEAPONS OF OUR WARFARE
STRATEGIES AGAINST THE PRINCIPALITIES AND POWERS OF DARKNESS
For the seasoned prayer warrior, we learn to wage war in the heavenlies against the rulers and principalities of nations and regions. We learn the strategies of the devil as he works through witches, sorcerers, and magicians. Doing in-depth studies on the books of Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Samuel one and two, Daniel, and of course the life of Jesus, the book of Acts, and Paul's epistles will equip you with a lot of understanding on how to deal with these demonic forces-and do it effectively. It's a lifelong study.
Paul gives a statement that helps us understand how to wage war in this realm:
2Co 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
2Co 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
2Co 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
2Co 10:6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
Let's break this down. What we are taught here is:
1. Since these were not carnal, their might is not in human strength, but in God who gives the power to overcome the strongholds of sin.
2. The demolition of evil. “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” And that must be ours too.
3. The world must be regarded as the scene of universal strife and rebellion against God.
4. This gospel is still to be the instrument of the spiritual conflict. In order to wage this war effectively you must know what and WHOM you believe-know how to appropriate the gospel-and do it without compromise. The devil does not play games-the Christian can't afford to either. We walk in victory, only when we learn to walk very close to Christ, learn to understand His ways, and His guidance, and apply it to our lives. The victory the Christian has is this:
a. The empty tomb-Christ is risen from the dead-our God is not dead, nor a statue of stone, wood, or iron-we serve a God who has conquered death, hell, and the grave-and He is coming again. This truth was the fuel that moved the disciples in the book of Acts-and why they witnessed with power and boldness-they had seen the risen Christ-and knew WHO they believed.
b. The Atoning power of the Blood of Christ against sin-it's power in our lives, and against the forces of the devil
c. the Gospel proclaimed - not in enticing words-but in uncompromising boldness, and faith-
1Co 2:4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
1Co 2:5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
In order to be an effective warrior in prayer against powers darkness of this level-you need to know the truth of this verse:
Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
And then move on to put this into practice as described in these:
Heb 11:32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:
Heb 11:33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,
Heb 11:34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
The conclusions to our study:
1. Prayer can and does change God's mind
2. Prayer re-aligns our minds to conform to His
3. From our point of view He seems to change; but our prayers actually change us.
4. As we pray, we draw nearer to His Throne of Grace, bringing light and proper perspective to the perplexities of our prayers. Rom. 12:2
5. Prayer changes our needs. As we approach the Throne, the size and nature of our burden seem to lose immensity and importance. Prayer in faith-opens our eyes to who God is-and who we are.
The thing being prayed for becomes small in perspective to the God who created this universe, and maintains it.
Dan 3:28 Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.
Dan 3:29 Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.
When we finally allow His finger to touch our load, things change: not God's position, just His posture; not our petition, just its purpose. We see His answer unfold, which was prepared in advance for a better result, than what we had envisioned.
Question: How long does it take?...
Answer: As long as it takes.
The answer may be seen before you finish praying...., and it may take many years. We will find out as we persevere, and keep praying for the thing put in our hearts and spirits-and don't give up.
Study the promise given to Abraham- God promised him a son, it took over 20 years to see the fulfillment to that promise. Gen. 17:16-21
Another example: Gen. 18:20-33 Here we see an example of intercessory prayer when Abraham goes before God for Sodom and Gomorrah. Here we see some interesting points about this. Abraham humbled himself, referring to himself "but dust and ashes". It is good for us to go into the presence of God and get on our face before the Lord. James 4:8 tells us "draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you. God is not going to make you humble, you must humble yourself.
Abraham continued to intercede on behalf of the cities, until God agreed to spare them for only ten's sake. I've often wondered, if Abraham had continued instead of stopping at ten, if the Lord would have spared those cities even for only one. This world would be in a worse mess than it is, if it wasn't for praying, believing Christians.
Summation: Intercessory prayer is a powerful weapon, and tool given to us by God in order to "occupy" (Greek for "go to work", "get busy"). It is our connection with the Father, at His Throne, where we are promised an open door, and authority to wield this weapon with assurance and power, by the leading and direction of His Spirit within us, guiding us as we pray.
Every answered prayer becomes fuel to our spirits, strengthening us, and compelling us to increase our faith, and boldness, and we become a powerful adversary against the powers of darkness around us, and effective servants of our Lord.
Hearing the Voice of God
From the first page, to the back of the book the Bible is full of people who have heard God speak to them, and give them direction and guidance. God does not change. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He still speaks today, but few have the desire to align themselves with Him, or His word, to be able to be tuned in to his frequency-it takes a sincere heart, desire, and saying goodbye to the world, in order to bring our spirits to a place of knowing, and hearing his voice.
Jesus says this about knowing his voice:
Joh 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
Joh 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
Joh 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
He tells us that if we seek Him diligently we will find Him, that He will guide our steps, and at times we will hear his voice in that guidance. Yes, most of the time it will come through scripture, but the Holy Spirit within the believer is also our source of guidance. Ananias was spoken to and told to go and pray for Paul, in fear Ananias questioned the Lord, but when he heard the Holy Spirits direction that Paul was a chosen vessel; he obeyed. Ananias was an everyday person like you and I. God put that in there for a reason, to show us He is no respecter of persons. He will speak to anyone He chooses. There are numerous accounts of the disciples and Paul receiving direct guidance from the Lord, by the Holy Spirit within them. In chapter 14 of 1 Corinthians, Paul spent the entire chapter teaching on learning to know the voice of the Holy Spirit and the unction of the Spirit in worship. John and Peter also give instruction on testing the spirits to see if they of God, which we do by going to scripture and seeing if what we are hearing bears witness with it. This is not taught in most churches anymore, because most of them are in unbelief. Most do not believe that the word of God is the final authority; and if you are in unbelief, your mind is already closed and God will never force himself on anyone.
You can't teach something you haven't allowed in your own life. Like I said, there is a lot in the bible that no one ever hears of, or is taught. This is why it is so important to read your bible for yourself, spend time alone and dig into it, and talk to God about what your reading; it will change your life, and you will come to know the God of the bible intimately. However, you will also find yourself swimming upstream against a tide of those who will mock, scorn, and you will be accused of many things; including mental problems. I take it into consideration that they treated Paul, Peter, and the disciples the same way. We have to be willing to pay the price for the level of faith we walk in. Answered prayers of the past, gives encouragement and feeds my faith to keep striving to see the hand of God move, and hear His voice, as He directs me.
As we spend more time in God's presence, we come to realize-we want to be near Him more; we're drawn as a moth to the flame. The sense of His great presence, and intense love, is fuel to our spirits-and we want more. Then, another realm opens-standing in His presence-unable to speak, pray, or move; enveloped and saturated in a love never before known-unexplainable; but becoming frozen, not wanting this to end. At times, laying prostrate-as Daniel describes, unable to look up; His presence is too powerful, and great.
God directs his people as He chooses. Many people do not want to hear God's voice, and have told me so. Other's say they know His guidance and hear Him through circumstances. The account of Gideon testing the will of God for him is an example of God speaking-without an audible voice. How and why He does interacts with people, is in His hands alone.
The test of whether you may be hearing the voice is by the Holy Spirit is:
The Holy Spirit always directs us to, and glorifies Jesus Christ-if the voice leads and directs you to anyone else-it is a devil.
Does it align with scripture - He will never tell you to do anything in direct opposition to His word-He has placed his word above His name:
Psa 138:2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
God will never tell you to harm or abuse anyone; either mentally, or physically.
He will never tell you to lie, steal or influence anyone else to do evil.
He will never tell you to deceive someone.
He will direct you to be involved with someone who is practicing in the occult, witchcraft, sorcery, or any sexual sins. God has not changed His mind on morality-it's society that's gone the way of Sodom and Gomorrah.
If your given direct guidance in a situation, it will come to pass without manipulation; the doors will open and the situation will unfold, the presence of God will be in it.
As a watchman-the Holy Spirit will give greater discernment with the exercise of use-and we will be able to see spiritually people's motives, intentions, and agendas in situations. Daniel is a good example of this.
It takes being willing to risk making mistakes, and learning a deeper, more meaningful relationship with the Lord. It is a life long journey, and it equips you for eternity. You will have had a full life of faith lived, to prepare you to meet the God you walked with by faith, down here.
The Whole Armor of God
Text- Ephesians chapter 6
To engage in the battles we face as Christians, it's of utmost importance to understand how we are to clothe ourselves, and why the armor of God is necessary to overcome the whiles of the devil, overcome, and gain the victory. I urge the reader to take the time to read and study chapter 6 of Ephesians and ask the Lord to help you to learn to apply it to your life, it's a study that you'll find, goes on for a lifetime.
In this section of study, several things will be brought out, that I've learned over the years, that may be of help to the reader.
1. Don't try to win your battles with somebody else's armor on. This could be an entire study in itself. But, the essence is-in your life, your trials, your battles, your daily opposition is unique to you. The only One who can give you the needed equipment to fight your battles and help you win them, is the Lord Himself; and the only way your going to find out what you'll need is to be in daily contact with Him, and be seeking Him for your guidance. I can assure you, He will, but if we don't ask we will flounder around, waste a lot of time, and likely fail, because like Saul-there's no shortage of people who would like to give you advice, and sometimes equipment that looks like it should work-but God's not in it. When God isn't in it-you can expect the same response as David-when he tried to wear Saul's armor-and found he couldn't use it. You'd find it very interesting to read the entire story of David standing against Goliath. It's a great faith builder.
1Sa 17:38 And Saul armed David with his armour, and he put an helmet of brass upon his head; also he armed him with a coat of mail.
1Sa 17:39 And David girded his sword upon his armor, and he assayed to go; for he had not proved it. And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him.
1Sa 17:40 And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd's bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine.
2. When we study to show ourselves approved of God, it also equips us to know how to use the word of God in the appropriate times, when answering those who oppose our faith, that will either silence, or bring conviction.
There's times when the best thing to do is say nothing, and walk away from meaningless conflict. This is not running from a spiritual battle-it's knowing when to draw the "sword of the Spirit"-and when to keep it in it's sheath. Many in this world who are enjoying their life of sin-are blinded by sin, unteachable, and cannot be reasoned with. There's a time to preach the Gospel-and then leave, and let the Holy Spirit use what was said to bring conviction. We are the Lord's servants, and once we've spoken out on an issue, it's important to use discernment to know when to stop. God never forces anyone to believe. Paul emphasizes these points in the verses below.
2Ti 2:14 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.
2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
2Ti 2:16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
3. There's many ways to be a witness, and be an effective soldier in the battle against the forces of darkness-one very important way is to be uncompromising in your daily life and walk. What you choose NOT to do is a loud witness to a world of sin. When you choose not to go to movies with friends, not get involved in violent, and often sexual video games, not participate in dirty jokes-get away from the TV. When you start appropriating what the bible teaches into your life-you'll draw the attention of your unbelieving friends and relatives without saying a word, and the battle now will escalate-and the temptation to return to the world's ways to be accepted by them will rage in your heart. This is a spiritual battle that goes on until you die. It's the power of the word of God, prayer, and seeking the presence of God, that will bring the victory-and help you say no to the world, and the old life you once lived in. Your armor will get harder and your heart more cloven with the Lord's-as you get deeper into His word, and cling to him each day in prayer.
If you make unwavering stands on life issues-you will be attacked from every angle-in and out of the churches. Get used to it.
2Ti 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
2Ti 2:4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
4. Don't expect the acceptance from the world-it will save you a lot of heartache. Learn to know the Lord and his viewpoint of you-and learn to be satisfied with His presence-and not lean on the need for other's. They may praise you today-and curse you and slander you tomorrow. Learn to not depend on man to give you a sense of worth. Know your worth according to God's word, and how it says He sees you.
There is a great divide among believer's today. The big mega ministries are some of the greatest deceiver's-because they teach that if your truly walking in obedience, and in the blessings of God-the money will start coming in, and people will like you. But, pick up your bible and read it for yourself, read what Jesus teaches about this, we are not guaranteed what they are preaching. God promises to be with us, and give us what we need, but not what we covet. There's a big difference between meeting our needs, and greed and gluttony. I've listened to many in their realm of the prosperity gospel-and caught them twisting scripture to mean what they want it to mean, to condone and excuse their lifestyles of excess. I made up my mind, never to go that route. I remind myself often that one day I will stand and face the Lord-I don't want to have to answer for that kind of false teaching.
Before he went to the cross, he taught the disciples the night before, at their last supper together to expect the same treatment he was getting. He gave them words of comfort of his love, but did not minimize the truth of the worlds' hatred of Him, or those who would follow Him.
Joh 15:18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
Joh 15:19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
Joh 15:20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
Joh 15:21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me.
5. Along with our dependence being only on God-we need to find our peace-and the ability to walk in that peace-saturated in it, which comes from His presence-regardless of the circumstances we may find ourselves in. This is a very important weapon of warfare not spoken of much by most Christians-but one the Lord has given me insight of through my years walking with Him. Matt. ch. 10:12-13
Mat 10:12 And when ye come into an house, salute it.
Mat 10:13 And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.
In these verses Jesus is speaking of the interactions with people as we witness, visit someone's home, or church. But it also speaks of the important abiding presence of God in these interactions-present in the believer who is conducting himself as a servant of the Lord.
Example: Perhaps your out in a community doing business, and find yourself in an atmosphere of hostility, and can see and feel it. The presence and peace of God will remain on you, but will also act as protection from the spiritual attack your surrounded by. You may feel a strong urge to leave the situation-heed the warning and go, when the opportunity comes. This is God's hand of protection and guidance for your well-being. As I've studied the life of Jesus, it's very interesting to see how many times he left the crowds, and got away from them. It's also sad to read the many accounts he was told to leave-what was done to him-you can also expect.
In this warfare, if you lose your peace, you've lost an important weapon in this battle. It's one I pay special attention to, because when you've lost that solid peace in your soul that only God can give, the devil is right there to fill you with every manner of torment, and temptations. When peace is restored, the strength and wisdom to deal with the problems renews. I won't say the trials will become less, or the attacks from many angles-but you'll be better equipped to deal with it.
There's a great deal more to learn concerning the strategies of warfare in this life; as the soldier of Christ moves on, this verse needs to be put before us.
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 1John 5:4
"Peter was kept in prison: but prayer (instant and earnest prayer) was made for him" (Act_12:5, margin).
Peter was in prison awaiting his execution. The Church had neither human power nor influence to save him. There was no earthly help, but there was help to be obtained by the way of Heaven. They gave themselves to fervent, importunate prayer. God sent His angel, who aroused Peter from sleep and led him out through the first and second wards of the prison; and when they came to the iron gate, it opened to them of its own accord, and Peter was free.
There may be some iron gate in your life that has blocked your way. Like a caged bird you have often beaten against the bars, but instead of helping, you have only had to fall back tired, exhausted and sore at heart. There is a secret for you to learn, and that is believing prayer; and when you come to the iron gate, it will open of its own accord. How much wasted energy and sore disappointment will be saved if you will learn to pray as did the Church in the upper room! Insurmountable difficulties will disappear; adverse circumstances will prove favorable if you learn to pray, not with your own faith but with the faith of God (Mar_11:22, margin). Souls in prison have been waiting for years for the gate to open; love ones out of Christ, bound by Satan, will be set free when you pray till you definitely believe God. -- C. H. P.
Emergencies call for intense prayer. When the man becomes the prayer nothing can resist its touch. Elijah on Carmel, bowed down on the ground, with his face between his knees, that was prayer-- the man himself. No words are mentioned. Prayer can be too tense for words. The man’s whole being was in touch with God, and was set with God against the powers of evil. They couldn’t withstand such praying. There’s more of this embodied praying needed. -- The Bent-knee Time
"Groanings which cannot be uttered are often prayers which cannot be refused." -- C. H. Spurgeon
Source-Streams in the Desert
May you find a source of sound spiritual food for your soul and
Jesus Christ is Lord
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul.
All the kings of the earth shall praise thee,
O LORD, when they hear the words of thy mouth.
I had rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.