Friday, February 17, 2012
All over the world, God is staging up a resistance that would withstand the wickedness of the devil and his agents in these last days. God is not silent about what is going on all over the world. He is not surprised either because they are the signs of the times we are in. God uses men to stand against the devices of the wicked one. Isaiah 59:19 says “So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.” The word standard here speaks of the resistance against the devices of the adversary. The Spirit of the Lord raises us a standard through the militant believers whom have submitted themselves to be equipped for spiritual warfare.
The Word of God tells us in James 4:7 “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Lately, I’ve been so blessed and inspired by Evangelist Ben Cerullo’s take on this portion of Scripture which he brands ‘The Resistance’. James 4:7 speaks of both personal revival and spiritual warfare. But one comes first before the other. We must first submit ourselves to God before we can effectively carry out spiritual warfare to claim souls and territories stolen by the adversary – the devil. This is something every believer must be mindful of. The believer is a warrior. When we submit to God, resisting the devil is never a problem. In fact, when we submit to God, we not only resist the devil, we become God’s resistance against all the wiles of the devil. The Lord says to us in Jeremiah 51:20 “Thou [art] my battle axe [and] weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms;” It is time for us to awake from slumber and take our place in God’s end-time agenda. It is time to stand up and take action! God wants to display His might through us to all the nations of the world.
God was speaking to Jeremiah and to us in extension when He said, in Jeremiah 1:10 “See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.” God has set us over the nations. In other words, God has put us in charge of His earth to establish Divine order in it. Yes, He wants to do it through us – His battle axe! This is not the time to fret and withdraw, but the time to press on into the destiny that God has for us. This is the time to go over to the frontlines and enforce the victory of Christ over the enemy, thereby rescuing destinies from the grip of the devil. In the Kingdom we don’t fight to get the victory. No! Jesus has already won the victory for us. We fight to enforce the victory that belongs to us and choke the devil out of our way. We fight from the stand point of victory. Glory to God! 1 Cor. 15:57 says “But thanks [be] to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
It is also important that we understand the enemy we wrestle against and the weapon that has been made available to us in Christ. These are clearly spelt out in the following Scriptures: Eph. 6:10-18 tells us “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 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]. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;” And 2Cor. 10:3-6 further says “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 strong holds;) 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; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.” Every believer must engage in this spiritual warfare. Evangelist Ben says “you either fight or die.”
Daniel 11:32b says “but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do [exploits].” The number one key is knowing God. Not just knowing about God but know God for real, having a vital one-on-one relationship and knowledge of Him. Secondly, in order to stand firm before and after spiritual warfare, as instructed by Jim Goll, we must have no common grounds with the enemy. Jesus says in John 14:30 “for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.” God bless you!
Sunday, February 5, 2012
The grace of God is for everyone but unfortunately not everyone is experiencing it. The Christian life is a journey in grace but a lot of Christians are still living in unnecessary struggles and hard labour. The grace of God is one theme that continues to resound all through the redemptive process of mankind. All that we have in Christ is a function of grace. Grace is such a powerful force that cannot be ignored in the Christian walk. Any Christianity without grace is no Christianity at all. In the New Covenant, God does everything in grace. If grace is such a strong force, why then are so many Christians still living graceless lives? I believe it is because there is little or a perverted understanding of grace. Men have defined grace based on their own human and limited understanding. They have limited the influence of grace upon their lives because they have placed a limit where God hasn’t. You see, we can’t limit God but we can limit Him in our individual lives because He determined that everything that will ever happen to us as individuals would be based on our choices. This is why a Christian can still be sick, poor, defeated etc. even though God has made every provision for him to live beyond them. God has made every provision available to the New Creation absolutely by grace. Scripturally, Grace can be defined in 3 ways; unmerited favour – receiving what we do not deserve; Divine empowerment – the Anointing; and the outward working of an inward ability – Manifesting The Blessing. John 1:16 says “And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.” Grace has been given. The question then is have you received God’s grace? The problem is on the receiving side.
Let’s start with salvation – the entry point. It all begins with receiving God’s saving grace. Ephesians 2:8 & 9 say “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Salvation is indeed a free gift. The grace for salvation is free. We are saved by grace through faith and faith is also a free gift. Everything is free! No sinner will go to hell if he can understand this. It is unfortunate that sinners who will spend eternity in hell will discover that they didn’t have to go there because God had done everything about their salvation. The Word of God says in Titus 2:11 “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,” But it is unfortunate that even though that saving grace has appeared to all men, not all men have seen it because the god of this world (the devil) has blinded their eyes (see 2 Cor. 4:4). It is important we note that the devil fights every manifestation of grace. All the devil ever does is kill, still and destroy (John 10:10a). So everyone who is saved today has seen, accessed and experienced that saving grace. Just as it is with salvation so it is with everything that God has made available to the believer in Christ. Understand that the devil doesn’t give up on us when we received salvation; he tries continually to keep us from functioning in all the full measures of God’s grace. This is why we must learn to access God’s grace in the different areas of our lives. Salvation is therefore, the entry into the world of grace in God!
Our words play a major role in receiving God’s grace. When we make the Word of God our words, function in God’s grace becomes a daily experience. The Word of God is the capsule of God’s grace. Acts 20:32 says “And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.” When we receive the Word of God we receive grace. When we speak the Word of God we speak grace. When we act on the Word of God we are functioning in grace. When we release the Word of God we’re releasing grace. See how easy it is to access grace? The grace of God is so essential that we need it every single day we live on earth. There is no limit to the grace of God – His grace is sufficient (surplus) for us. We can’t have too much of it. We can’t outgrow it. Romans 5:17 makes it so clear. It says “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.)” Observe, it didn’t say we who have been given abundance of grace but rather it says we which receive abundance of grace. That grace has already been given. It is now up to us to receive the measure we desire. It’s a question of how much grace you can receive. While some folks receive little of it some others receive the abundance of it. The amount of grace we receive and experience is up to us, not God! It also says that through the abundance of grace we receive, we reign in life by one. Jesus Christ. Wow! You can’t walk in grace and live a beggarly life. Do you know that receiving grace can just be as easy as saying “Lord, I receive grace to do so and so in Jesus’ Name” or “Lord, I receive more grace in Jesus’ Name” or “the grace of God is multiplied to me. I receive an abundance of grace in Jesus’ Name.” Sure the Lord honours this. It is that easy. I’m a witness to this. Every time I do it I just function in unusual (Divine) ability and good things just show up in amazing ways. I have enjoyed this for a long time. When you function in grace you place a demand on God’s ability, not yours. Whenever you have difficulty doing something that ought to be done e.g. soul winning, just receive grace and act and watch God manifest in an amazing way. The truth is that some of the people you call great men because of the genuinely amazing things they do are just ordinary men functioning in grace. It’s about God’s grace, no boasting!
We also access grace by praying with the spirit or praying in other tongues. Heb. 4:9 & 10 shows us that we can live in God’s rest (Also see Ps. 127:1,2). Living in God’s rest means living in God’s grace. Now see Isaiah 28:11,12: “For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This [is] the rest [wherewith] ye may cause the weary to rest; and this [is] the refreshing:….” You see that? When we speak in other tongues of pray with the spirit, we rest – we release and receive grace. Receive grace in Jesus’ Name. Amen!