Sunday, June 24, 2012
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the the thoughts and intents of the heart.
The word of God is our most powerful weapon in spiritual warfare. In Ephesians 6:17 where the Lord is talking about the armor that a soldier wears when going out to fight the enemy, it is called the “sword of the Spirit”. The reason that it is called the “sword of the Spirit” is because when we are in the battle the Holy Spirit will give us the scriptures that we need to use to fight the enemy that will be effective for the battle at hand. The way you find out the scriptures to use in your particular situation is by seeking the Lord through prayer and the study of His word. You must have an intimate working knowledge of the word of God in order for the Holy Spirit to bring to your remembrance the particular scriptures that you need to fight the battle you are in.
Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;
The Greek word for “word” in that scripture is Rhema, which means “spoken”. The Holy Spirit speaks to you the scriptures to use as your sword; the ones that will work for the battle at hand.
Jesus, when fighting the devil in the wilderness, used scriptures that pertained to each one of the devil's attacks.
1) Matthew 4:3, 4 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'”
2) Matthew 4:5-7 Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: 'He shall give His angels charge over you,' and 'In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.'” Jesus said to him, “It is written again, 'You shall not tempt the LORD your God.'”
3) Matthew 4:8-10 Again the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.'”
God knows exactly what scriptures will work to defeat the enemy in your life. When you seek Him, he will give you the weapon of the word of God that you need to use as your sword, but if you never put the word into your heart, the Holy Spirit does not have anything to bring to your remembrance when you need it. A regular feeding on the word of God is necessary for success! God told Joshua when he was getting ready to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land that he needed to meditate on the word of God day and night, follow it's instructions, and in so doing he would be prosperous and have good success.
Joshua 1:8 “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
Notice also that the Lord told him the word shall not depart from your mouth. In other words, keep speaking the word of God. It is as the word is spoken that becomes a weapon. Jesus spoke the word to the devil, He didn't just think it and win. It is the spoken word that is becomes a sword. Also, notice that the instruction to Joshua was to be a doer of the word. James mentions that in James 1:22, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” If you have known sin in your life you will not be able to defeat the enemy. God told Joshua to make sure he did all that was written in the Book of the Law. God wanted him to be free from sin by obeying His commandments. Sin hinders your prayers and give the enemy a foothold, or a legal right into your life.
Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.
The words that a person speaks carry the power to kill or to give life. When God's word becomes the weapon that is coming out of your mouth it will always work. Make sure that you are speaking death to the enemy and not to another person. The battle is not against other people, it is against the enemy of our souls, the devil.
Ephesians 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against, powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
The weapon of the word of God, when ordered by God, will be absolutely effective in the mission it is sent out to do. But you must get the proper orders to have the right weapon. When you pray, ask the Lord what scriptures you will need to use to fight this particular battle. Trust Him to give you the plan of action that will work. Then when He has given the plan to you, follow it to the letter. Receive it and obey it immediately. Don't improvise or change it, just obey it, persevere in fighting, and watch the results unfold before you. Thank God for the plan and expect it to work.
Father, I thank You for Your word! I thank You that when I seek You for the plan of action to take in fighting spiritual battles You always give me the right scriptures to use as my sword. Thank You, Father, for causing Your word to go forth with such power! I know that Your word is living and active and it will work in defeating the enemy in my life. Father, I pray this morning, that those who need to use Your word as their weapon in fighting the battles of life will seek You for the right scriptures to use. Give them the Word that will work in their lives, Father. Show them how to fight effectively so the enemy has to flee from them. Empower them by Your Spirit to win! Thank You, Lord, for hearing and answering my prayer because as Your word instructs in Matthew 21:22 I believe that I receive when I pray. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Saturday, June 23, 2012
2 Corinthians 10:3-6 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.
For the last couple of days we've talked about spiritual warfare being two parts: 1) standing in the gap before God asking Him to intervene in the life of yourself or someone else; and 2) fighting against the enemy to defeat his plan of destruction in your life or the life of someone else. Now, I want to talk with you about the weapons that God has given us to fight these battles.
Psalm 149:5-9 Let the saints be joyful in glory; Let them sing aloud on their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, And a two-edged sword in their hand, To execute vengeance on the nations, And punishments on the peoples; To bind their kings with chains of iron; To execute on them the written judgment—This honor have all His saints. Praise the Lord!
In this portion of scripture the Lord gives us a couple of weapons to use in winning the battle. Praise in our mouths and the Word, noted as a two-edged sword, both go together to win the battle. Things in the old Testament are types and shadows of things in the New Testament. I want to talk this morning about the power of praise to defeat the enemy.
We see a good example of how praise defeats the enemy in people's lives in 2 Chronicles chapter 20. The Israelites were being attacked by some of their enemies so King Jehoshaphat called a for a fast and petitioned God for the plan of attack to use in defeating their enemies. God's answer to them was “Do not be afraid....for the battle is not yours, but God's. He told them they would have to go down against the enemy, but that they would not have to fight. So as they went down against their enemies they went singing and praising the Lord and this is how the battle went:
2 Chronicles 20:20-22 So they rose early in the morning and went out into the Wilderness of Tekoa; and as they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, O Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: Believe in the LORD your God, and you shall be established; believe the prophets, and you shall prosper. And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the LORD, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying: “Praise the LORD, For His mercy endures forever.” Now when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated.
When you go on to read the remainder of that story you find that the enemy was confused when they came out against them praising the Lord. In their confusion they began to fight each other instead of the Israelites, and wound up killing those who were on their side instead of the Israelites. Praise coming from the mouth of a believer silences the enemy and strengthens the believer.
Praise as described in Psalm 149:5-9 binds the enemy with chains and fetters of iron! Praise confuses the enemy and renders him powerless! When you praise during the battle you are acknowledging God as being bigger than what is coming against you. Magnifying the Lord gives Him the place of pre-eminence that He deserves and minimizes the power of the enemy. As you praise the Lord you will feel yourself being built up, strengthened and empowered! Sometimes the battle seems so great that you don't know how you could possibly take your eyes off the wind and waves of the storm to focus on the Lord, but Hebrews 13:15 says that we should continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God! You see, God sees praise coming from us in the midst of our storms as being an offering unto Him. It pleases Him. Praise often requires that we put to death our own fears and pride so we can exalt the name of Jesus and bring honor to Him.
Psalm 34:1-6 gives a good understanding of how praise affects us and our problems.
I WILL bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make its boast in the LORD; The humble shall hear of it and be glad. Oh, magnify the LORD with me, And let us exalt His name together. I sought the LORD, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears. They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried out, and the LORD heard him, And saved him out of all his troubles.
When we praise the Lord through difficult times He hears and comes to our rescue. Our eyes are turned away from the problems and onto the Lord. This changes even our countenance. We see things differently. God is exalted and our problems are minimized. It is when we release our fears and emotional ties to the problems that God is able to move in and change us and our situations.
I remember a time when I was walking through a storm that concerned my daughter and granddaughter. They were in the midst of a battle for custody of my granddaughter with her father. He was into drugs and dog fighting and lived in an atmosphere that would not have been the best for my granddaughter to be raised in. It was hard for me to take my eyes off the battle and look to the Lord, but at His direction I did. I began to praise the Lord for His intervention in this situation and the day came when my daughter was to go to court. At the very last minute her ex-husband dropped the case. He relinquished his right to fight for custody and allowed my daughter to continue to raise my granddaughter in the ways of the Lord. This little girl was delivered from having to be exposed to drugs and dog fighting. She didn't even have to go to court. The battle was fought by the Lord on her behalf.
Father, I thank You that You are bigger than any problem that we might encounter. You are greater than our enemy. You have given us weapons to fight against the enemy that are not physical or fleshly, but mighty in You for pulling down strongholds and casting out arguments or those things that try to place themselves in a higher position than You. You are greater, Lord Jesus; You are mightier; You are magnificent! Thank You for fighting these battles for us when we praise You. Thank You for defeating the enemy through our praises and for silencing His voice of fear and discouragement. Thank You, Lord, for strengthening us as we praise Your name! Worthy are You, Lord Jesus, to receive glory and honor and praise! Hallelujah! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Friday, June 22, 2012
1 Corinthians 16:13 Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.
There are two parts to spiritual warfare. One is the prayer of intercession that we talked about yesterday where we stand in the gap before God on behalf of our loved ones, friends and nation. We talked about the importance of prayer. This morning I want to talk with you about the other part of spiritual warfare, which is standing against the enemy on behalf of yourself, a loved one, a friend, a ministry or a country.
Matthew 4:1-11 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'” Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: 'He shall give His angels charge over you,' and, 'In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.'” Jesus said to him, “It is written again, 'You shall not tempt the LORD your God.'” Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.'” Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.
In this portion of scripture we see a perfect example of the other part of spiritual warfare. When we look at how Jesus handles the devil we see five main principles that we can follow to defeat the enemy in our own lives or the lives of another.
The first thing we notice is that Jesus was totally committed to the Father. He had fasted and prayed for forty days and nights. His will was to do the Father's will. He was totally in tune with the Holy Spirit. The Word says in 1 John 3:8 that the Son of God was manifested to destroy the works of the devil.
The second thing that we see is that He coupled fasting with his prayers. Fasting while praying builds you up and strengthens you for the battle. We gain the power and anointing to win our battles and victories for Him through prayer and fasting. However, fasting by itself doesn't do anything but waste your time. You must couple the two together to get the desired results. Jesus said in Matthew 6:16-18 “when you fast”. He didn't say “if”, He said “when” so fasting is a normal part of a disciple's life.
The third thing we see in the example of Jesus is that He persevered until He saw the manifestation of the victory. He didn't give up before the enemy was defeated. Sometimes when we are in the heat of the battle against the devil we get tired and quit before we win the fight. Jesus gives us the perfect example of fighting to the end! 1 Timothy 6:12 says to “fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life”. The devil comes only to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10) and if we are going to experience all that Jesus died to give us, we will have to fight when the enemy comes trying to steal, kill or destroy our lives and the lives of those around us.
The next thing that we see is that Jesus had an intimate knowledge of the Word of God and He used it as the Sword of the Spirit. He spoke not what He saw, felt or thought, but what God's Word said. He used the Word to defeat the enemy. Hebrews 4:12 says that the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword. It pierces and divides and is a powerful weapon to use against the enemy. Ephesians 6:17 refers to the Word of God as the Sword of the Spirit; that which the Holy Spirit has spoken to us to use in fighting against the enemy.
The last thing that we see in this example is that He spoke directly to the devil. He didn't beat around the bush, He addressed Satan with the Word of God. He didn't carry on a conversation with the devil but He spoke the Word that was a Rhema Word from the Holy Spirit to address the problem He was encountering. James 4:7 says that when we submit ourselves to God and resist the devil that He will flee from us.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
Jesus showed us several of the weapons that God has given us to defeat the devil and tear down strongholds in our lives. A stronghold is a fortified thought process that Satan erects in a person's life that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. It is a battle in the mind. Satan will speak to a person's mind things that are totally against God's word and have a person convinced that nothing will ever change even though God's word tells us that nothing is impossible with God. Jesus applied the Word of God to His situation and won the battle. We can petition the Father on our behalf or on behalf of someone else, but we must also fight the good fight of faith to defeat the enemy. Both are necessary parts of spiritual warfare. Many times we beg God to do something for us when we need to be standing strong in the power of His might to overcome the devil and enforce the victory of the covenant that Jesus purchased for us. He defeated the devil on the cross, but it is our job as the Church to enforce that victory. We do that through spiritual warfare.
Father, I thank You for showing us how to properly fight and win the victory over the devil. Thank You for the example, Lord Jesus, that you gave us! Father, help us to seek you for just the right plan that will give us the victory. I pray, Father, that we will seek Your face and ask You for the scriptures that we need to pray and speak to the devil to defeat him. Father, help us to guard our hearts and minds and to keep our focus on You, Lord. Show us the plan that You have for every battle that we encounter. Thank You for empowering us by Your Spirit and for speaking clearly to us what we need to do to overcome. To You be the glory, Father! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Ezekiel 22:30 “So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; for I found no one.”
This morning as I've been praying the Lord has been speaking to me about the importance of standing in the gap before Him on behalf of our nation, our families and our friends. Are you standing in the gap before Him this morning on behalf of someone? Here is what I've heard from the Father this morning:
“Everything that you enjoy, Child, is because someone paid a price to purchase it for you. From the freedoms you enjoy as an American to the freedoms of salvation. They were all paid for through the sacrifice of people's lives. The ultimate sacrifice was when My Son purchased your salvation. Treasure the freedoms that you have, Child. Pray that the enemy of your soul may not have his way in destroying your freedoms. Stand in the gap on behalf of the land in which you live—the land of the free and the home of the brave. Stand in the gap on behalf of those who are fighting for their spiritual freedom. Pray for those around you. Move into the battle through your prayers to Me, for I hear and answer the prayers of My people.”
Prayer has been on my mind a lot lately. The last course I took was on Spiritual Warfare and the Lord has been impressing on me more and more the importance of standing in the gap before Him on behalf of others. God encourages us to pray. He has designed our lives to revolve around the relationship that we have with Him through prayer. When we come before Him on behalf of others He is ready and willing to act on their behalf.
2 Chronicles 7:14 “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
Christians are His people. If Christians will humble themselves and pray and seek His face and turn from their wicked ways, then will He hear and forgive and heal our land. It is our responsibility as born again believers to humble ourselves before God on behalf of our nation, our families and our friends.
Proverbs 21:1 The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.
God holds people's hearts in His hand and can change their situations just like He formed and channeled the rivers. Nothing is too difficult for Him. But He has limited His activity in nations and people's lives to others who pray for them.
1 Timothy 2:1-4 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
He exhorts us to pray, especially for those in authority over us in our nation with this result in mind: that we may live a quiet and peaceable life, godly and reverent in His eyes. He exhorts us to pray for men to be saved and come to the knowledge of His truth so they don't spend an eternity apart from Him.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
God is waiting for us to pray for people to be saved because He is not will that they perish. He doesn't want people to die and spend eternity apart from Him. He is calling us to pray!
A further excerpt from the Lord this morning:
“Prayer changes people and situations. I am calling you to prayer. Do not turn a deaf ear to My request, Child. The welfare of those around you are dependent upon those who will stand in the gap before Me on their behalf. Be the priest that I have called you to be. Come before Me on behalf of the people and then take what I say to them. Be the intercessor that I have called you to be. Fight for the freedom of your people.”
I want to pass this conversation on to you, my friends, because the mandate that God has given me applies to every one of us as believers. We are all called to pray. It is not a mandate exclusive to any one person. We all, as believers, are placed in the position of being a priest before our God. He instructed me to not only come before Him on behalf of others, but then to take what I heard from Him and tell it to you. As believers, purchased by the blood of Jesus, we have been placed before God as modern day kings and priests.
Revelation 1:5,6 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Father, I thank You for giving Your very own Son to die for my freedom from the kingdom of darkness. Thank You for purchasing my redemption, Lord Jesus! Father, as I come before You this morning I pray for my friends as well as myself, that we will listen and hear the admonition that You have given us this morning to pray, to stand in the gap before You on behalf of our nation, our families and our friends. Help us to see the importance of our prayers, Father. Show us how we can make a difference in people's lives through praying. Let us catch a glimpse of what You are doing as we pray. Thank You, Lord, for the privilege of bringing others before You to see change in their lives. I ask You this morning, Lord, to turn the king's heart as You desire. Father, intervene in the life of our nation, Lord, to reflect the nation that we were at the beginning, founded upon Your principles, “one nation under God”. Lord, change the course of our country and cause the eyes of the people to once again be turned back to You. Father, move in the lives of our families; bring salvation to the lost, healing and deliverance to those who are oppressed. Father, save, heal and deliver our people! Thank You, Lord, for hearing and answering my prayers. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Luke 5:4-6 When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking.
Have you ever felt that God was calling you to launch out into the deep and you couldn't see any way that it would work? Simon felt that way after he had fished all night and not caught anything and then Jesus told him to let down his nets for a catch. God loves to lead us out into uncharted territory where He can do the impossible through us!
Simon was tired, he was ready to go home after a long night of fishing with no results. He knew from his years of professional fishing that the best fishing was done at night and if you hadn't caught anything all night you probably would not do any good fishing during the day. And yet He stepped out in faith when he got instructions from the Master...."Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch". Simon began to tell the Lord why it wouldn't work but he quickly changed his attitude. "Nevertheless at YOUR WORD I will let down the net." (emphasis mine)
I have felt this way myself. A couple of years ago God impressed upon me the need to further my education. He told me to go back to school to get my bachelor's degree. I was totally unprepared for that! Me, at age 60, go back to school? It seemed like such an impossibility to think I could, at my age, earn a college degree. I was close to retirement age; it was not the normal time that I would think about pursuing an education; it was the time when I was thinking about retiring. And yet all through my working years I had said that I couldn't wait to retire so I could go into the ministry full time. I had been serving Him for years, fulfilling the calling that I knew He had on my life and working a full-time job as well as raising my children. But to think that at age 60 I would need to pursue a college degree was quite frightening. I had all the excuses just like Simon thinking why it wasn't the perfect time to fish when Jesus told him to let down his nets for a catch. I was too old; I hadn't been in school for over 40 years; my memory wasn't as sharp as it used to be, etc., etc., etc.! So I put it off for several months hoping the Lord would forget about it. But He didn't! I waited almost a year before I really began to investigate the possibility of taking online classes for a degree in Christian Counseling.
So, in September of 2010 I started my courses. My employer had closed the office where I worked and terminated all the employees so I had lost my job as a result of it and they had provided some re-training assistance funds in our severance packages. I wanted to use those funds to start my college education but I only had four months left before they would no longer be available. I felt I had waited too long, that this was an impossible situation. But I hadn't factored in the supernatural power of God to make a way where there seemed to be no way. He knew I was short on time, but nothing is impossible to Him. I had enough re-training funds for 10 courses and they had to be completed within those last 4 months. The college personnel said it was not humanly possible to complete them in that length of time but that they would do everything they could to help me get it done. My instructor worked diligently to help me plan a course of action and stay on course to reach my goal. I worked as if it all depended on me and prayed as if it all depended on God! I watched in amazement as He miraculously worked in my life enabling me to complete all ten courses, not only within the allotted time frame, but 2 weeks ahead of time! Where God leads He always provides! As I get closer to completion, He continues to anoint me to complete each course on time, with excellence, and earning a 4.0 grade point average. Now, that's a boat load of fish to me! I imagine Simon was surprised when he and the others pulled in that net full of fish, just as I've been amazed every time God has supernaturally anointed me to complete a course with excellence!
What about you? Has God asked you to do what seemed to be the impossible? Has He told you to "launch out into the deep". Fishing under the directions of the Master is so much fun! When He speaks a word and you step out in faith depending on it to be so, you will not be disappointed. He will not let you down. Your response in faith pleases the Father and when you step out at the Master's call you are allowing Him to stretch you and take you to a new level in your walk with Him! Why don't you ask Him to lead you out into the deep so you can have some fun fishing with the Master, too?
Father, I thank You for Your supernatural ability within me that enables me to succeed at what You have called me to do. I thank You that I can know that where You lead You always provide. Thank You for the joy of serving You and those that you place in my path. Thank You for allowing me to minister Your word to the lost and those who are hurting and in need of salvation and deliverance. I pray for my friends that You will lead them to the place where You can minister to them and through them; wholeness to their spirits, souls and bodies. Thank You, Father. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
I have felt for some time that God was directing me to establish a blog on the web so I am in the process of setting up a page on Word Press. Here is the link: http://www.aviesplace.wordpress.com Please let me know if you are able to access this blog at the new site so I can begin to incorporate my SP blog with the new one.
Thanks and God bless!
Get An Email Alert Each Time AVANELL Posts