Sunday, July 01, 2012
Ephesians 6:11-13 Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 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. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
We talked about the armor of God yesterday and today I want to talk about the battle that we encounter with the devil. The first word I want to explore is the word “wiles” in verse 11.
Wiles – schemings; methodology; plans
The devil has a plan for your life. Jesus calls him a thief who comes only to steal, kill and destroy. (John 10:10) Satan's plan for your life is to steal from you, kill you and destroy your effectiveness for the kingdom of God.
The next word that I want to discuss is the word “wrestle” in verse 12.
Wrestle – Webster's 1828 dictionary, which often lists definitions with reference to scriptures, lists the definition of “wrestle” as to strive with arms extended, as two men, who seize each other by the collar and arms, each endeavoring to throw the other by tripping up his heels and twitching him off his center. To struggle; to strive; to contend.
The picture that we ascertain from this definition of “wrestle” is that of a match between two opponents, up close and personal, with no more than an arm's length between them, each trying to knock the other one off balance so as to win the match against him. A wrestler strives or contends against his opponent. So, to wrestle means to engage actively in one-on-one combat. The word says that our opponent in this wrestling match is principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this age, and spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Does that sound like people to you? No, we are told in the first part of that scripture that it is not flesh and blood, or human beings that we strive against. Satan has a hierarchy of demonic hosts that are strategically placed in his army just like we have different levels of military offices in our armed forces. The battle that we fight against with these spiritual entities is not a physical battle; it is referred to as a wrestling match to give us an illustration of the type of warfare that it is in the spirit realm. Jesus often spoke to people in parables which where earthly stores that had a spiritual meaning. The Bible continues that type of illustration here as we look at the warfare we become involved with as we wrestle with Satan's army of demons.
The next word I want to discuss here is the word “withstand”. The Greek word for “withstand” is anthistemi. Strong's #436: From anti, “against”, and histemi, “to cause to stand”. The verb suggests vigorously opposing, bravely resisting, standing face-to-face against an adversary, standing your ground. Just as an antihistamine puts a block on histamine, anthistemi tells us that with the authority and spiritual weapons granted to us we can withstand evil forces.
What the word is saying in Ephesians 6:13 is that when we are suited up in the armor of God we will be able to vigorously oppose and bravely resist the up close and personal attack that comes to us from the enemy. We will be able to stand our ground, blocking his every move. To stand against means to hold at bay aggressively or to stand in front of and oppose. “Having done all, to stand” means that we will be found standing after an active battle and taking our stance for the next battle. From this illustration I get a clear understanding that God intends for us to fight and win!
The Old Testament stories of physical encounters with the enemies of Israel are a type and shadow of the spiritual battles that we, as believers, encounter with our adversary, the devil. In looking at the battle between David and Goliath we see how David suited up with the weapons that he had tried and tested, and found to be effective. His weapons were a slingshot and five smooth stones. He told Saul that it wasn't the weapons per say that brought the victory between the lion and the bear while he was caring for his father's sheep, but the Lord was the one who had delivered him in his battles and that His God would deliver him from the hand of the Philistine as well. (1 Samuel 17:37) It is our God that is backing the armor that He provides for us and when we apply the weapons as instructed by the Lord we can know that He is fighting the enemy through us. Just as Goliath started fighting against David by challenging him through words of disdain, trying to cause him to fear, so Satan comes against the believer through thoughts of doubt, unbelief, discouragement, fear and accusation.
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,
The battle that we fight against the devil is in our thought processes. God calls them thoughts, arguments, strongholds, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. A stronghold is a fortified place that Satan builds to exalt himself against the knowledge and plans of God in a person's life. Strongholds often leave the person feeling that their situation is hopeless and there is no way out. A stronghold begins as a thought and as you mull that thought over and over in your mind it reinforces it every time it is thought until it eventually becomes “reality” to you. It is an up close and personal encounter with Satanic forces because many times he is so convincing that you receive the thought as your own, when in actuality, anything that is in opposition to God's word is a lie, regardless of how good it sounds. Satan is a deceiver, and is described in John 8:44 as a liar and the father of it.
John 8:44 “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is o truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.”
Satan cannot read a person's mind, but he can interject thoughts into a person's mind. He usually begins his attack by speaking to your mind thoughts that counter what God's word says. Take for example the serpent speaking to Eve in the Garden of Eden.
Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'?”
Remember that we said earlier that the stories in the Old Testament of physical battles or encounters are types and shadows of the spiritual encounters that we as believers have with the enemy. So, in this instance, notice that the serpent, or to us the devil, in conversation with Eve, questioned what God had instructed them to do about eating of the trees of the garden. He started with causing her to doubt God's word. Satan will come with a thought placed in your mind that God's word really doesn't apply to your situation and that there really isn't any hope for you; you will have to take control of this situation yourself and figure out how to overcome on your own. It is at this point that we must stand against, or wrestle with the thought bringing it into captivity to God's word. Many times in years past I have had a thought and had to stop myself and say, “wait a minute; what does God's word say about this situation?”. I would have to stop and get the proper perspective through knowing the word of God to be able to stand against the wiles, or strategy of the devil at that point in my life. Just as Jesus battled the devil with the word of God when he tempted Him in the wilderness, so you will have to speak the word of God to the enemy when he brings those thoughts and temptations to your mind.
God gives us some instructions in Philippians 4:8 about what we are to think about or meditate on to keep our thought processes in line with His word.
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
God is a positive God; He is not negative in His thoughts and He doesn't want us to dwell on the negative and feel as if there is no hope for us in our warfare against the enemy. Nothing is impossible for God according to Luke 1:37: “For with God nothing will be impossible.” God is for us; He has equipped us to win, to be more than conquerors through Him.
Romans 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Romans 8:37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
Strongholds can be brought down through changing what we think about, speak about and act on. Every action begins with a thought and is followed by what we say and then acted out. It is in the beginning thought that we need to bring it to a stop! It is at that point that the wrestling is the most effective. The longer we go dwelling on it the more intense the battle becomes and the more fortified is the stronghold.
Father, I thank You for giving us the weapons that we need to defeat the enemy. Thank You for causing us to be over-comers through Christ Jesus. Please show us the fortified areas in our minds that need to be brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. Help us to fight a good warfare; one that wins every time. Father, I pray for my friends that You will show them the areas that Satan has used as thoughts that exalt him in their minds instead of Your word. Father, grant them the victory over the enemy. Lord, strengthen their spirits to do battle. Empower them to win and show them that You are right there with them, fighting through them. Thank You, Father, for leading us to triumph in Christ Jesus. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
Saturday, June 30, 2012
Ephesians 6:11-13 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil, 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. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
We've been looking at spiritual warfare, the weapons that God has given us to fight spiritual battles and today I want to talk with you about the soldier's armor. God has armor that fits every believer. He has a tailor made suit of armor that will cover you for the battle depending on what type of battle it is. His armor covers you, is the right size and fit for you as an individual. The general description of His armor is found in Ephesians 6:14-18, but before we look at that portion of scripture let's look at Ephesians 6:11-13.
The first thing I see about the armor is that it is the armor of God; not our own armor or what we think we need to wear to go out to the battle. God's armor is the only thing that will work. This reminds me of when David went out to fight Goliath and Saul wanted him to wear his armor.
1 Samuel 17:38, 39 So Saul clothed David with his armor, and he put a bronze helmet on his head; he also clothed him with a coat of mail. David fastened his sword to his armor and tried to walk, for he had not tested them. And David said to Saul, “I cannot walk with these, for I have not tested them.” So David took them off.
Saul wanted David to wear his own personal armor, but it didn't fit David properly. He hadn't used it or tested it to see if he could fight in it. Our armor that is God's is a perfect fit, designed for exactly what we need it to do. But we must test it. The way that we test the armor is by understanding the specifics of each piece, how it applies to our lives and the way we receive it through our relationship with Christ Jesus and then applying that knowledge to our lives. If we are not living close to Him how can we hear His voice to follow His commands in using the armor of God? The armor is not a physical suit that we put on, it is a spiritual garment that covers us, as we are not in a fight with flesh and blood but with spiritual forces of wickedness.
I experienced an encounter with the Lord one morning at the altar time at my church where I was slain in the Spirit, or as some say, overcome by the Spirit. During that time I had a vision of me standing behind the pulpit at my church delivering a message to the congregation. I saw Jesus standing behind me and as I was expounding on the word of God He moved forward closer to me to where He finally just walked into me. I saw Him fade into my very being. He reminded me of this scripture about Gideon:
Judges 6:34 But the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon; then he blew the trumpet, and the Abiezrites gathered behind him.
The Hebrew meaning of the phrase “the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon” literally means “The Spirit of the LORD clothed Himself with Gideon”. This is what I saw in my vision; the Lord clothed Himself with me.
It is said of Saul in 1 Samuel 10:6, 7 “Then the Spirit of the LORD will come upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man. “And let it be, when these signs come to you, that you do as the occasion demands; for God is with you.”
The armor of God is a spiritual clothing that He establishes within us as we yield to Him to go into the battle. It is as understand that we are “one” with Him that we are suited up to win against the enemy in spiritual warfare. We become more like him, or as He comes upon us we are turned into a different person; we are clothed to fight and win the battles. Jesus prayed for his disciples and those who would follow after them in John 17. Here's what He said in prayer for us as believers:
John 17:20-23 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; “That they all may be one as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. “And the glory which You gave me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one; “I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.”
Jesus' prayer for us was that we would be “One” with Him and the Father; that He would be in us and us in Him just as He and the Father are “One”. It is through this union with God that the realization of how the armor of God works becomes a reality to us. As we look at the general description of the armor in detail we will see how each particular piece is fitted to us to equip us to win.
Jesus prayed also for us in John 17:15: “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.”
We live in this world where there is constant evil going on around us. As long as we are in the world we will have trouble, but God has provided all that we need to fight the good fight of faith and win!
John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” Peace is a by-product of our union with Christ Jesus and flows to us as we suit up in Him and walk in the power and anointing that He places within us through our union with Him.
It is as we grow in our knowledge of who we are “in Him” that we are equipped with His armor for battle. He doesn't deny the fact that we are going to have to go into the battle, but the key to winning is being in Him because He has already defeated the evil one. Satan was defeated on the cross of Calvary when Jesus was crucified for our sin, sickness and disease and poverty. Jesus said in Luke 10:19: “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” That word for “hurt” in Luke 10:19 means “to act criminally against you; to take illegal action against you to mistreat you”. The only ground that Satan can take from us is the ground that we give up to him. He has no legal right in the life of the believer to hurt us. But we still have to fight him off. He has to be convinced that he doesn't have the right to afflict or steal, kill and destroy the life of a believer in Christ Jesus.
The victory is ours, but we must enforce what Jesus has died to give us. 2 Corinthians 2:14: Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.
We, as born again believers in Jesus Christ, have our place “in Him”, and He will lead us to triumph over the devil in our lives. It is through our relationship with Him that we understand that we have already won the battle. We learn how to enforce the victory through fighting in the armor that He places on us as we draw near to Him.
Ephesians 6:13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Father, I thank You that You have already made us the victors in the battles that we fight against the evil one. Thank You for equipping us with Your armor that fits perfectly and protects us when we war against the devil. Lord, to You be the glory for the victory as You have already defeated Satan on the cross of Calvary. Thank You for giving us, Your church, the authority over all the power of the enemy. I thank You that Satan cannot legally inflict pain against Your children. It is only through lies and deception that he works his evil powers. Help us to be aware of his schemes; the wiles that he uses to stand against us. Thank You, Father, for the victory in Christ Jesus! Thank You for hearing and answering the prayers that I offer up to You in the name of Jesus! Amen.
Friday, June 29, 2012
Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
We've been talking about the weapons that God has given us to use in spiritual warfare to defeat the enemy in our lives and the lives of others for which we are praying. And I would be remiss if I didn't talk with you about the effects that our own personal growth in the Lord as well as our relationships with others have on spiritual warfare. In Ephesians the Apostle Paul is speaking to believers in chapter 6 verse 10 about standing strong in the Lord, but he starts that verse with the word “Finally”. Why would he start talking about spiritual warfare by using the word “Finally”?
When you look back through the book of Ephesians we see the first two chapters describing who we are in Christ Jesus. It is because of the redemption we have that Jesus purchased for us on the cross of Calvary that we have been placed in Him far above the principalities, might and dominion of the evil one. We have been made His body with Christ Jesus Himself as our Head. We have been saved from the trespasses of sin that we once partook of by God's grace through our faith. We have an inheritance in Him and have become His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works. Christ has been made our peace and it is through Him that we are brought near to God.
Then we go on in Chapter three to see that we, as the body of Christ, have a purpose given by God to show the principalities and powers in the heavenly places the manifold wisdom of God. We are a part of the family of God and as such we have His love residing within us and as we grow and are strengthened through His Spirit we come to understand His love and grow into His fullness.
As we progress into Chapter four we begin to see how the Apostle Paul is leading up to our stance in spiritual warfare by understanding that even though He has provided all that we have need of as believers in Christ Jesus, placing us in Him above all the principalities and powers and establishing us as His children with the purpose of speaking to the heavenly hosts of His manifold wisdom, we need the spiritual weapons described in chapters 4 and 5 to fully prepare us to stand strong in Him and against the wiles of the devil.
In chapters 4 and 5 we see these spiritual weapons:
1) walking in unity and love with others keeping peace in the body of Christ; (chapter 4:1-6)
2) submitting to the teaching of the five-fold ministry gifts to equip us for ministry (chapter 4:7-12);
3) growing into maturity to the fullness of the stature of Christ Jesus and walking as the new man that we are in Him renewing our minds to live in righteousness and holiness (chapter 4:13-24);
4) learning to control our actions, speech and walking in forgiveness and personal purity so we don't grieve the Holy Spirit (chapter 4:25-32);
5) walking in love towards others (chapter 5:1-7);
6) walking in the light of the Lord as His children turning away from and exposing the works of darkness (chapter 5:8-14);
7) walking in wisdom, being filled with the Holy Spirit, and submitting to one another (chapter 5:15-21;
8) walking in love, respect and obedience in marital and family relationships (chapter 5:22-6:4);
9) walking in obedience and submission in work relationships (chapter 6:5-9).
All of these personal and relationship issues when applied correctly to our lives become spiritual weapons that lead up to Ephesians 6:10 where he says “Finally”.
Did you know that walking in love is a spiritual weapon? How about submission to other believers? Or what about growing into maturity in Christ Jesus? All of these are spiritual weapons that will position us to stand strong in the Lord and defeat the enemy in our lives. Understanding who we are in Christ Jesus and the position He has given us in His body is a spiritual weapon. When the enemy comes against you with his lies and deception you have to be able to say, “no, devil, the word of God says I am in Christ Jesus, far above you. You are under my feet!” When the enemy attacks you with relationship problems you must be able to submit to the Lord and love the other believer instead of attacking that person for coming against you. It is the spirit of the evil one that instigates relational problems, not the people themselves.
Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
Be strong in your relationship with the Lord. Strength for spiritual warfare comes through intimacy with the Lord Jesus. It is as you interact with Him through that personal, living and vital relationship that you will be strong enough to stand against the evil one. It is through hearing His voice that you get your battle orders. Without God's plan for spiritual warfare you will be fighting in your own power and ability. Success comes from asking God for His plan, waiting until He gives you the plan and then executing it to the letter.
Power – Greek word kratos – Strongs #2904: Dominion, strength, manifested power. The word especially signifies exerted strength, power shown effectively in a reining authority. Kratos primarily refers to God's kingdom authority, dominion, and majesty.
After you've positioned yourself through using the spiritual weapons described in Ephesians 1:1-6:9 you will be able to stand in the dominion, strength and manifested power of the Kingdom of God. Knowing who you are in Christ Jesus will enable you to exert the manifested power of God to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places. Walking in love in your relationships will enable you activate your faith to believe God for His power and authority to work through your life because faith works through love. (Galatians 5:6) All of Ephesians leads up to being able to put on the whole armor of God and fighting successfully as described in the last 14 verses of chapter 6. It all culminates in the spiritual warfare identified in the last half of that chapter.
Finally, my brethren......when you've got all this down you'll be ready to stand strong in the Lord and His mighty power.
Father, I thank You for the personal and relational weapons you have given us in Your word in the book of Ephesians. May we all follow Your directions, Lord, in preparing ourselves to fight the enemy through Your power, dominion and might. Father, help us to see that every time we have a dispute with a loved one or a friend that the enemy is testing us to see if we will use the weapons of our warfare that You have provided for us to defeat him. Help us, Lord, to see that the problem is not in another individual but it is the wicked hosts in heavenly places that are instigating the problems. Father, help us to grow up in You, understanding who we are in You and the mighty power You have given us in Your Spirit who lives within us. Thank You for placing us in Your family and equipping us through the ministry leaders that You have given us to be able to do the work of ministry. Thank You, Father, for the strength that we have to stand strong in You! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Thursday, June 28, 2012
The next weapon in our arsenal for spiritual warfare is the Weapon of Praying in the Spirit. It has been termed as a secret weapon because it is primarily known as praying in tongues and only the Holy Spirit as He prays through us knows exactly what is being said.
This blog is written from my own experience in Him, a place of having been baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. Before I reached this place of understanding in Him I had a lot of questions. I spent a year praying and studying the Word of God before I would step out in faith asking God to fill me to overflowing with all that He had for me. God answered my prayer and I received my heavenly prayer language and I have been praying in tongues every day since. When I do not know how to pray effectively in the natural for someone I will pray in my heavenly prayer language because the Spirit of God within me knows exactly how to pray for that person or situation. I do not question what I am saying; I just trust God to fill my mouth with His prayers that are needed at that specific time.
Romans 8:26-27 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
God's Spirit within me knows what to pray for everyone. When I pray in that heavenly prayer language that He gave me when I was baptized in His Spirit, He prays through me according to the perfect will of the Father. I can trust Him to pray exactly what that person needs. I don't have to understand what I am praying because the Holy Spirit prays according to the perfect will of God for that other person. All I have to do is yield to Him to be the vessel that He prays through in that situation.
1 Corinthians 14:2 For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries.
When I yield my tongue to be used of the Holy Spirit in this type of praying it is as if God Himself is praying to Himself through me, speaking mysteries into existence through the spirit realm. This is not a prayer for the hearing and understanding of other people, it is simply the Holy Spirit within my spirit carrying prayers to the Father.
Paul said that he wished we all spoke in tongues. (1 Corinthians 14:5) In that portion of scripture he is talking about the supernatural gifts of the Spirit, of which tongues is one. There are other gifts of the Spirit that are spoken of in that chapter as well as 1 Corinthians 12. All are valid gifts from the Father. If the gift of tongues comes forth in a church service there must be an interpreter that can hear from God through the gift of the interpretation of tongues to be able to share that interpretation with the church so the whole body of believers can be built up or edified. Tongues with the interpretation of the tongue equals prophesy, the supernatural utterance of a message from God for the church. When you are praying alone in your own prayer language that is just between you and God and you do not have to have an interpretation, however, God can give you one if He feels it is beneficial to your situation at the time. Paul goes on to say in 1 Corinthians 14:15:
What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding.
He is saying that there is a place for both praying in the natural and praying in the spirit, or the heavenly prayer language. Paul says this about it in 1 Corinthians 14:18, 19: I thank my God that I speak with tongues more than you all, yet in the church I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I may teach others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue. A person's individual prayer language is best when used privately in your own individual prayer time so that it doesn't cause confusion in the church service. When I am in church I usually will not prayer in my prayer language unless I am in our pre-service prayer time where we are all praying in the Spirit. When in the service it is best to reserve that heavenly language for when God gives a message in tongues for the interpretation to build up the whole church. The gift of tongues that is spoken of in 1 Corinthians 12:10 is a different aspect of speaking in tongues than your heavenly prayer language used to communicate spirit to Spirit as you pray. Both are tongues but the gift of tongues is specifically given as the Spirit wills for the edification of the church as a message in tongues and must have an interpretation after it comes forth. The church cannot be edified if they can't understand the message that God is giving through the tongue.
Why, then, would it be beneficial for us to pray in tongues?
1) God prays through you His will for a situation. (Romans 8:27)
2) The devil doesn't understand the language of the Spirit and is confused when we pray in tongues.
3) It is evidence of the infilling of the Holy Spirit and He is the one giving the utterance. (Acts 2:4)
4) It builds your faith and your ability to persevere. (Jude 20)
5) It gives you power to become God's witnesses. (Acts 1:8)
You might say, well, what if I don't have a heavenly prayer language? Am I less effective than someone who does? In answer to these questions, I would have to say that you are just at a different place in your walk with the Lord and He will instruct you in how to pray as effectively as possible right where you are. If you would like to be baptized in His Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues you can receive that gift just as you received forgiveness of your sin; by God's grace, through your faith. It is refreshing to pray in tongues because when you feel that you have run out of words in the natural you can switch over to praying in tongues and know that God is praying through you without your mind having to weigh every thought and process the right words. It is just something that must be received by faith; intellect cannot understand the ways of the Spirit.
Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Father, I thank You for filling me to overflowing with Your very own Spirit and giving me my heavenly prayer language with which I can use to pray effectively in situations where I don't have the right words to pray in the natural. Thank You, Lord, for praying through me according to Your perfect will as I yield my tongue to You. I pray, Father, for those who do not have that heavenly prayer language that they will not feel inferior to any other believer in the body of Christ, for all who have received Jesus as Savior and Lord are Your children. There is none superior to another. I pray that if they want to be baptized in Your Spirit, Lord, that they will ask and then receive their heavenly prayer language. Thank You, Father, for leading us in the way that You would have us to go to fulfill Your plan for our lives. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Matthew 18:19, 20 “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. “For where two or three are gathered in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”
This spiritual weapon is the Prayer of Agreement. It is in operation when two or three believers come together to agree together for someone in prayer. We probably see the Prayer of Agreement in operation more than any other spiritual weapon as people often ask others to pray with them for a particular thing to take place in their lives. What I would like to point out about about this spiritual weapon is that the key to it's success is found in the word “agree”.
Agree – Greek word sumphoneo – Strong's #4856: From sum, “together,” and phoneo, “to sound.” Sumphoneo is to sound together, be in accord, be in harmony. The word “symphony” comes from sumphoneo. Metaphorically, the word means to agree together in prayer that is concordant, or harmonious.
Amos 3:3 Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?
To agree is to come together in harmony through prayer for a need or situation in someone's life. This is where two or three people meet together at the same level of faith to pray for something going on in one's life. For example: I am on our prayer team at church. I minister to people who need prayer at the altar time. If someone comes to me with a physical illness requesting prayer I may ask them what they are believing God will do through our prayer; supernatural healing, treatment through medicine, surgery, or some other type of medical treatment. It is important in order to come together in harmony with someone that we both be at the same level of faith. If I was to pray for supernatural healing and that person was believing that the medicine the doctor had given them would bring a quick healing then we would not be praying in agreement. I would be praying on a level of faith that is altogether different than the person requesting prayer. For example, about 13 years ago I went to Utah where my brother was going into the hospital for open heart surgery. My desire was that when I laid my hands on Him and prayed, that he would be supernaturally healed so he wouldn't have to go through that surgery and God would be glorified through the sign to my brother that God heals supernaturally. They were believing that God would bring him through the surgery and he would be healed through medical treatment. We could not pray in agreement until I came into agreement at the level of their faith. When I joined with them and prayed the prayer of agreement for him to come through the surgery and the problem with his heart to be corrected through medical treatment we were able to pray the prayer of agreement. To be in harmony is like two instruments coming together in one accord, both different instruments with different sounds but playing notes that harmonize. When we pray the prayer of agreement we come together in one accord bringing a particular request before the Father. To be in agreement we must be in unity in our thinking, our speaking, our believing and our expecting.
The next thing I want to point out is that we must also be in agreement with God. If you remember the lesson on the weapon of the Name of Jesus we talked about how when we pray in the Name of Jesus we are praying as if we are “one” with Him, representing His character and nature or praying as His representative. In order for the prayer of agreement to be the most effective we must be in agreement with God, as if we were “one” with Jesus, praying according to His will, His character and His nature. Much power is released through the prayer of agreement as two or three of us come together in the will of the Father for that particular person or situation.
1 John 5:14, 15 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us, And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
Immature faith tries to manipulate God. It arises from a heart that desires it's own will to be done, not God's. In order to pray the prayer of agreement with someone else that we can have confidence in God hearing and answering we must pray in agreement with God's will. We will have confidence that God will hear and answer our prayer if we first find out His will for that person or situation and then pray accordingly. To know the word of God is to know His will. For example, when someone comes to me for prayer for a physical healing I must first know that it is God's will to heal before I can come into agreement with that person for healing. If I doubt that God still heals today then I cannot pray in agreement with them with confidence that God will do what we ask of Him. But if I know it is God's will to heal then I can have confidence that we will have the petitions that we have asked of Him. We ask according to His will, then we stand in faith, confident that God hears us and that what we ask for is already ours.
Matthew 21:22 “And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”
John 15:7, 8 “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.”
When God's word abides or lives continually within you it will be natural to pray the prayer of agreement with someone else and see the manifestation of what you have asked. Matthew 12:34 says that whatever is in abundance in our hearts is what will come out of our mouths. When you are full of the word of God and you speak that word is going to come out. When you pray according to God's word it will flow from your heart because you are full of His word. It is as two of you come together in harmony presenting your requests, as if you are “one” with Jesus, that are according to God's will, that will be answered as requested. That is the highest form of the weapon of the Prayer of Agreement.
Father, I thank You for enabling me to pray in agreement with another believer for something that we know is according to Your will and then seeing You answer that request. Thank You, Father, for Your faithfulness to Your word and Your children. I pray, Father, for those who are needing a prayer partner to agree with them in prayer that You will place someone in their path that will be able to pray effectively for their needs. Father, You have provided all that we need in the sacrifice of Your Son for our sin, sickness and disease and poverty and lack. Thank You for our Savior, who through His sacrifice on the cross paid for our salvation; spirit, soul and body. Thank You, Lord Jesus for laying down Your life for us. Thank You for taking stripes upon Your back to secure our physical healing. Thank You, for purchasing our total redemption. I praise Your name today, Lord Jesus, for You are worthy to receive my praise. I pray and ask these things presented according to Your will and in Your name. Amen.
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