Grace and peace to you. "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13) Let's ask the Holy Spirit to enter this moment and reveal any areas where we need more trust and more hope. "My God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19) Let's give Him praise this morning for His goodness and desire to pour out all we need. And let's invite the Holy Spirit to break open the Word for us and in us, that we may be transformed into living Words of Christ.
Scripture: "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the evil day comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, you will be found standing. 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 of this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can distinguish 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." (Ephesians 6:10-18)
Scripture: "They overcame by the Blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony." (Revelations 12:11)
Scripture: "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." (2 Corinthians 10:5)
Scripture: "God has offered to us the same promise of entering into His realm of resting in confident faith. So, we must be extremely careful to ensure that we all embrace the fullness of that promise and not fail to experience it." (Hebrews 4:1 TPT)
It's boot camp time! My son, John, is teaching my oldest grandchildren to hunt. History is repeating itself. Our former maintenance man took John under his wing early on and trained him meticulously to carefully use each weapon he introduced. They not only practiced caring for the weapons but using each to its highest degree of effectiveness. He had John practice and practice and practice. And if the apocalypse comes, the deer better be scared! It's time for us to know our weapons. Let us NEVER forget that we are in the battle that Ephesians 6 describes. What concerns me is that I am hearing defeatism even from many believers. As if the weapons of our warfare are NOT EFFECTIVE ENOUGH. The four Scriptures listed above are critical in our arsenal of power tools for "such a time as this." (Esther 4:14)
We are approaching Good Friday. Things can be so familiar to us that we lose the very real sense of what happened. The cross was the total nuclear bomb to hell. The spilled Precious Blood of Jesus FOREVER defeated EVERY battle that would ever be waged by hell. Jesus has totally and forever won the battle against hell, death and all that binds and blinds us. It's ours then to choose to believe it and get our thinking aligned with this truth. Fun fact for the day: WE ARE AT WAR. So, let's put on the helmet of our salvation to protect our minds and our thoughts. Put on the breastplate of righteousness (being right with God) to protect your heart and your emotions. Put on the belt of truth, that you may KNOW the truth, what HE says is truth, and let it set you free. Put on the shoes of peace. In John 20 He gave us the gift of peace twice. We must learn to grab that grace, to take hold of it. It's already ours. This peace, from the Hebrew word shalom, means "the Spirit that destroys chaos." We're to put on the shoes of peace, (that means we are wearing that Spirit that destroys chaos.) Why on our feet? Because we need to be stomping out all the chaos and stinking thinking in our lives and those we love and pray for. Then we take up the shield of faith that will deflect the arrows that WILL come. (Why are we surprised? "Beloved, don't be surprised at the fiery ordeal that is taking place to test you, (the quality of your faith) as though something strange or unusual were happening to you. (1 Peter 4:12) Jesus promises trials and persecution. We are not above our Master. Hence, put that shield of faith to use! And finally, we are to pick up the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. We need to learn to fight with His Word. Remember my dream? We must learn to fight the dark in the dark with only His Word to stand on. In the middle of THIS storm, this war, what words are YOUR anchors? I'd love to hear. Share them on our The Mission On The Mountain Facebook page. Let's build up everyone's faith and arsenal of Word weapons.
With the Word, it's essential that we begin to speak the Word of God OUT LOUD. Let each Word be an arrow shot into the heart of all that assails us. And there's another reason to speak His Word out loud. The second reason is that all of HELL needs to hear what side you're on. Friends, this is REAL. And lastly, WE need to hear the TRUTHS of God breathed into every fiber of our being. We need to consume the Word of Christ just as we consume the Body of Christ. We need to memorize the Word, speak it into every circumstance of our lives and wield it like the might sword that it is. It’s too easy to let this all be theoretical. It is NOT. But it requires risk to live as a warrior. There are moments when Jesus is going to ask us to step out of the boat, or to believe Him when the storm is tearing our boat, or our world apart. It's all about choice. For us, our choices need to reflect our HOPE, not our FEARS. We have highly effective weapons. And there's another one. There is unfathomable power in the shed Blood of Jesus. We must learn to appropriate that power that is ours. Again, the Cross and the shed Blood of Jesus, are the biggest weapons we have. It slam dunked Satan into total defeat forever. It's time for the people of God to use the weapons of our warfare to effectively fight this battle. At a later time, we will address many other weapons including the power of the Sacraments, the Rosary, worship, growing in the character and virtue of Christ, and much more. But for today our focus is here. Why?
Well some of us are "bears of little brain." We can only absorb a little at a time. It takes a lifetime to "get" all that heaven wants to give us. And that's ok. Let's just be sure that what we are getting is taking root and producing fruit in us. There is no urgency in the Kingdom, but there is an unending treasure trove awaiting us one step at a time. Boot camp is our training ground. And as we choose to receive the training, we grow strong in the Lord. The power in speaking our testimonies of what the Lord has done is an often overlooked weapon. I have seen people healed as a testimony is being given, without any prayers prayed! We must get in the habit of sharing our own testimonies and seeking others. It builds faith and creates a fertile ground for the power and the Presence of God to show up and "do it again!"
But as active as we are called to be in using our weapons and giving testimony to the presence and power of God in our lives, there is yet another crucial weapon in our arsenal; entering into that intimacy with Jesus which brings us into His rest. There is a difference in working "for" God and working "from" God. Leif Hetland talks about this beautifully in his book, Called To Reign. We will continually fall back into doing things in our own strength if we are no coming from a daily, growing, intimate relationship with Jesus. Picture John the disciple leaning on Jesus' heart. THIS is it. This deep and precious friendship with our Lord will anchor us in Him, in confident faith and trust. FROM there, ALL else will fall into place. We will learn to recognize His voice more and more, and He will give our marching orders as to what battles to fight. The enemy would love nothing more than for us to show up at the wrong battle. As we continually learning to wield our weapons, and choose to daily come FROM His Heart, we will become serious threats to hell. I feel like the Lord has been speaking to me for days on the explosive power in "entering His realm of resting in confident faith." Let's make THIS our starting point daily. As He continually transforms us into His image, we stand armed, giving fair warning to the enemy. We are declaring Ballistic Breakthrough for the Kingdom of God! Our Lord Jesus Christ is raising up a people who are becoming a force to be reckoned with!
Praise God from who ALL blessings flow! And all praise, glory and honor to the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit now and forever.
Declaration: We praise You, Jesus, that you are making us dangerous to hell! "It's not by might or power, but by Your Spirit, Lord."(Zechariah 4:6) We thank You that You are drawing us into Your Heart, and as we breathe You in, we breathe out the Kingdom! You are making us into Your image and we will glorify You now and forever as we speak of all You have done for us, and all You ARE doing, even now, because You are faithful to rescue Your people. We praise You that we are called to stand in Your presence and serve You...and we say YES to co-partnering with You in bringing Your Kingdom here right now. Amen and Amen!