Scripture: " Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on ALL of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on EVERY PIECE of God's armor so that you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle, you will still be standing firm. STAND YOUR GROUND, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all these, hold up the shield of faith to stop fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet and take the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God." (Ephesians 10:10-18)
May the grace and peace of the Holy Spirit be with you always! What a momentous time we are in as it continues to unveil itself.
I was awake at 2:30am this morning with a deep stirring to get up and pray. For the last several days, the Lord has been bringing me back to a very profound period in my life around 40 years ago. For the last 5 or 6 days, He is continuing to bring up moments, music, people and experiences that had a life changing impact on my life. Though they had been neatly packed away in my memories, it's as if they are being unpacked, piece by piece, with a new layer of the story to tell. In other words, I thought I had harvested all of the treasure from them. Apparently not! In this season, almost 3 years, we saw almost daily miracles. Miracles weren't done TO us, but through us. We experienced being part of the miracles, and as a 22-23 year old, it was an astounding time. My "partner in crime" during that time reminded me the other night that we were so open to that way of seeing and living. She admitted that she's not so open to that now. In other words, she doesn't live expecting to see the Lord move. How often that could be spoken of all of us. But THIS time needs us fully awake. This is an "all hands-on deck moment." The Church has for too long been living comfortably with little required of us. It's time for the Church to stand up and act like the empowered Body of Christ. We are in a war, yet every day we get up and go about our normal lives taking little notice that behind the scenes the "principalities and evil rulers of the unseen world" are doing all they can to slowly dismantle everything possible that speaks of God, looks like God and acts like God. And we stand by and say, "Lord, what are you going to do about this???" He says, "I already did! I destroyed the enemy kingdom 2000 years ago on that cross, and I sent My Spirit to you so that I could live in you and together we'd continue to take back every single thing the enemy has taken. Where are My people who understand My calling? You ask what My plans are to wipe out this evil? YOU ARE! You have the living God inside of you, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. When are My people going to get who they are in Christ? With Me, there is nothing impossible. You are My boots on the ground. Come closer. Spend time with Me. Be little before Me. Worship. Wrap your mind, your heart around who I am and who My Father is. Let us fill you. There is no shortcut for this. The only way to rise is to get on your face before Me. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you a hunger to know Me, a hunger to know My Word, to see with My eyes and love with My Heart."
In this season that seems to grow darker by the day, the Lord is building an army of believers who not only know who He is but know who THEY are in Him. They know that the enemy is raging. The attacks on our poor world are brutal right now. The attack on goodness is brutal. But look what we did to perfect goodness 2000 years ago. We nailed Him to a tree. The battle is real. And just as we would never send our soldiers into battle without the right weapons, we cannot be so foolish as to go into battle without ours. The Lord has given us exactly what we need to fight. But how easily we forget how very important these weapons are to employ DAILY. There are so many reasons we are often caught off guard. The enemy has a way of slinging "spiritual amnesia" at us. We are lulled into thinking that all is well, or that my one little prayer won't make a difference. Or we are in a peaceful season. There's no need to really pray that diligently if all is well, right? WRONG. People of God, we need to WAKE UP!
I am reminded of the story, HORTON HEARS A WHO. The little town on the dust speck was in danger of being annihilated. Horton the elephant was trying to save them. He could hear them but the other animals in the jungle could not. They thought Horton was crazy. So, the little mayor of Whoville ran all over the town making sure that every single person was shouting so that they could be heard. He found one little boy who was not yelling. It was his little voice that made THE difference. Each of us is THAT little boy. Our prayers, our intercessions matter. We are enlisted for a battle that is raging against everything of God. St. Pope John Paul II stated, "We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of the American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-church, of the Gospel versus the anti-Gospel. " (Spoken by the future pontiff Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, final speech before leaving America in 1976)
A few absolutes for the journey. There is no substitute for time alone with Him. Do not be lulled into complacency. You will not be able to stand. And standing firm IS the command. How do we stand? We stand, and stay standing, by first going on our face before God. Spending time in prayer and worship will allow Him to fill us and lift us higher. How high do you want to go? That will be contingent first on how low you are willing to go. Humility and knowing our need for Christ will be our gateway for Him to fill us and use us. Second, put on ALL the armor. (Ephesians 10) Don't leave anything out. Know the gift of salvation and let that truth guard your mind and your thoughts like a helmet. Put on the breastplate of righteousness. Be clothed in Christ. Be hidden in Him and let Him protect your heart and your emotions. Put on the belt of truth. His truth is the highest reality. Focus on Him. Don't let anything change your focus. Of course, there are things and situations that are real and factual, but His truth reigns over all. Hold up the shield of faith. Pray for more faith. This will act as a shield against the enemy's arrows that fly all the time. He comes to steal, kill and destroy. (John 10:10) And we have to learn to use our faith to not only stand our ground but to deflect those arrows. What do we stand in? WE stand in the shoes of peace, a peace that comes from knowing the Good News. Jesus ultimately wins. ALL is in His hands. Nothing is impossible to Him and we are hidden in Him. That knowledge brings peace that guards our hearts and minds if we lock our gaze with His and keep our mind fixed on who He is and what He says. Which brings us to the Sword of the Spirit, which is His Word. WE MUST know His Word. There is no getting around it. We need to be soaking in it, allowing it to get into every fiber of our being daily. His Word is our sword. WE can put the enemy to flight by wielding His Word. Don't put this off, friends. We MUST know what He says if we are going to stand on it as our highest truth and our hope (especially in the middle of a battlefield.)
I have sensed for several weeks that the time for stepping in is now. It's getting more real by the day. You are His present day, commissioned, armored up disciple. If that makes you squirm, get over it! You're the best He's got, so onward! And remember, it's not about you. It's about HIM IN YOU. We are the Church. We are the Body of Christ. We at least have some clue about the things of the Kingdom, but we are looking at so many in the Church and the world who are clueless. We can't afford to sit around checking our anointing barometer! If you want it to grow, go do something with what you have! But don't step out before you spend time with Him so He can fill you. Remember what He said in Acts 1:8? "Wait...don't leave until you get the gift My Father is going to send you."
You have received the gift of the Holy Spirit, the very Spirit of Jesus living in you. Partner with Him. Go out on a limb. Get out of your boat. Trust that if He could do something with the motley crew He chose as apostles, He can do something with us. Fast from arguing with Him. Fast from the head games you do on yourself. JUST MOVE! Go bring Jesus to your world today. But first, make time to pray, worship, and be still with Him. Put ALL your armor on. Then go in the knowledge that the victorious Lord of heaven and earth not only calls you His friend but is so excited to partner with you to bring the Kingdom here. How amazing is that! Who needs a word of hope? Where are the poor in your life? They may look very different than what you had imagined. But as St. Vincent de Paul said, "Leave Jesus to go to Jesus." It's our call, our mission and our greatest privilege. So, let's armor up and report for duty. Jesus is Lord. All praise and glory to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We are training for transformation. Thanks be to God!
Declaration: In the name of Jesus we declare that the victory won on the cross is total and complete. We are learning to come from the Father's Heart to the battlefield and co-partner with Jesus to take back what the enemy has taken. We are overcomers in Jesus' name. We are continually learning to be more than conquerors, operating in the gifts of the Spirit and the love and power of our Lord. We are clay in the hands of the potter, trusting that He who began a good work in us will be faithful to complete it in us. And Thank You for all your great gifts, Jesus, and we give all praise and honor to the living God for lavishing His love on us!
Let's keep each other in prayer.