"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for He has appointed me to preach Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the downtrodden will be freed from their oppressors and that the time of the Lord's favor has come."
John 14:12 (NLT)
"I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father."
This person that resides in you is YOU..the real you, the you that God, your Creator, created you to be. This is the person that, in your heart, you are crying out to be. However, because we live in a world of sin, a world of pain, of rejection, of abandonment, of violence, injustice, abuse, disappointment, and intimidation, this person God created you to be has been imprisoned. Facing such oppressors as fear, depression, anger, and sorrow, YOU have been held captive. But Jesus has come to set YOU free of those things that ha ve held you prisoner. Freedom has come to release you to a life full of joy, compassion, love, courage, and a life of experiencing God's presence and power.
What is a spiritual transaction. It is similar to conducting business. When I sign a contact and a notary of the public seals it, a business transaction takes place. It is the same with our words and prayer. When we pray from hum,ble, obedient hearts in faith, within the alignment of God's will, a spiritual transaction takes place with impact in the heavenlies realm and the natural realm. We experience this at salvation. In a simple, heartfelt prayer of faith, we confess we are sinners and that Jesus died on the cross to pay for the guilt and punishment of our sin. At that point in time, a spiritual transaction takes place. Even though we physically did not see anything happen, a spiritual transaction was conducted. We received a new life, becoming new creations in Jesus Christ. We began to experience life-change due to that spiritual transaction.
It is the same with prayers that are characterized by faith and authority. A spiritual transaction takes place as a result of prayer. Daniel prayed in Daniel 10, and immediately, a messenger angel was sent. In Matthew 26:53, Jesus told the soldier who came to arrest Him that He could instantly have thousands of angels at His side simply by asking. Now that is a spiritual transaction! James says that the fervent prayers of righteous people accomplish much (many spiritual transactions). In Acts 4, the early church gathered together praying that God would give them great boldness in proclaiming the gospel,a nd that He would send His healing power with miraculous signs and wonders. The next verse states, after this prayer, the building where they were meeting shook, they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they proclaimed the word of God with boldness. A spiritual transaction took place.
Begin to step out and pray. Believe God for powerful things above and beyond what you can imagine or think. Believe the spiritual world is real. Enter into it through prayer and believe that spiritual transactions take place through your prayers. Pray God's will for your relationship with Him, for your marriage and family, for your local church, your pastor, vicar, bishop, elders, and other leaders. Pray for your business, your employment, your finances, and health. Pray for government and community issues. Expect imiracles to emerge before your very eyes as you exercise your authority in prayer.
I want you to step out in faith, exercise your authority in Christ, and enter into Jesus-ministry. The spiritual realm is real. When you know someone who is ill take authority over the illness, and through prayer pray against it. That is exactly what Jesus did for Peter's mother-in-law in Luke chapter four, verse thirty-nine. Jesus rebuked it, and it left her. Remember the "human-divine cooperative" principle. You will not experience God's authority released in your life unless you first step out.
WALKING BOLDLY IN SPIRITUAL WARFARE
Jesus said that you first must bind the strongman, and then you can enter in and plunder his goods [souls, or things you need, or things you need to see done in your life or in others, in health, finances, jobs, spiritual growth, it might even be needed peace and joy and happiness in the midst of stressful situations.--Ed.] In fact, it was such an important point it was recorded in all three synoptic gospels.
MATTHEW 12:28-29: "But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. Or how can anyone enter the strong man's house and carry off his property, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house."
Mark 3:27: "But no one can enter the strong man's house and plunder his property unless he first binds the strong man, and then he will plunder his house."
Luke 11:21-22: "When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own homestead, his possessions are undisturbed; but when someone stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away from him all the armor on which he has relied, and distributes the plunder."
Jesus bound the strong man through His death and resurrection. He now expects us to apply that binding work through the spiritual transactions of prayer, and righteous living. Then He wants us to enter into the strong man's house and take the plunder. When we exercise the authority and power that has been given to us, Satan is left defeated, disarmed and powerless against us. We must do all of his work by deception and intimidation.
Satan deceeives many Christians, persuading us to believe we have no authority and are helpless prisoners of our circumstances, our past, and besetting sins. He has stolen from us, much as the Amalekites stole from David and the people of Ziklag. We have been raised with Christ! We have the power and ability to demand the return of territory stolen by Satan--and it is time for us to recover it!
You need to engage in spiritual warefare. It is real. But you have nothing to fear--for greater is He (Jesus Christ) that is in you than he (Satan) that is in the world (1 John 4:4). Live alert and observant to your adversary and his work against you, your family, your business and health, your church and ministry. Don't lie down and let your adversary walk all over you [I confess I let him do this to me for years and years, I suffered from attacks through other people who didn't know Satan was using them to persecute me, and yet was passive and though I was hurt a lot didn't take authority against Satan in those situations; this went on years, but gradually I saw I didn't have to take this garbage from Satan and gained knowledge of what to do, to take authority, and even before I read this book I had learned to pray and overcome Satan--and he fled from me, instead of me taking his beatings through other people who didn't know they were being used. Friend, I took far too long to find out. You can learn right now and turn the tables on Satan, if you choose! I know better now. You won't catch me very often going passive before Satan, for I can now use my authority in Christ, with knowledge, and assurance too, and see Satan flee!--Ed.].
Make a habit of evaluating your life by the Scripture, not by life circumstances and experiences. The Scriptures make it easy to discern enemy attacks. When he does attack, you need to exercise your authority, rebuke the demonic spirits, claim the truth of the Scripture, and live out the truth of God's will. Here are a few examples.
When you are experiencing discord, that is in opposition to God's design for harmony; therefore repent, rebuke the demon ic spirits creating the discord, and walk in harmony. Division and disunity are opposed to God's will for unity. Fear is opposed to courage; unbelief and disobedience is opposed to faith. Living with an impoverished and victimized spirit [as I was once doing!--Ed.] is the opposite of God's design for abundant life. Anxiety is not God's will or design for you; it is sin and conflicts with God's peace. A marriage in tension is not God's design for you [as my marriage was, in tension, with me okaying everything my deceived, Satan-oppressed wife did, just to keep "peace" in the home, which never worked of course, since it was not a godly peace--Ed.]; exercise your authority, confess any sin, rebuke Satan's minions, and enjoy the unity and agtreement of God's design [this would have saved our marriage, but I didn't know to do it--Ed.]. Living discouraged and hopeless is not God's will for you. He wants you to live with certain hope; come against it!
You need to accept nothing less than what God has designed for you. You must stand up and go toe-to-toe with the enemy. Satan can never survive a power encounter with a believer who, in humility and obedience, exercises Christ's authority.
I enjoy listening to a pastor from Dallas, Texas. I love the story he tells of insight he gained from an elephant trainer. He was amazed that a multi-ton animal, like a circus elephant, could be constrained by a short chain with a small stake driven into the ground. He goes on to explain the phenomenon. When an elephant is young it is chained to an immovable object. When it would come to the end of the chain, it could go no further. This would be repe4ated innumerable times in the formative years of the elephant's life. When the full-grown elephant feels the tug on the end of the chain, it is conditioned that it can go no farther. The truth is that the elephant with even a tiny bit of effort could send that stake flying out of the ground.
This is a graphic illustration of most followers of Jesus Christ. We are ignorant of our amazing and powerful identity in Christ [as I was in much of my Christian life earlier!--Ed.]. We also are ignorant of God's supernatural power. Most of us allow the short stakes and chains of Satan's schemes and lies to keep us constrained. It is similar to the scene from Gulliver's Travels whent he inhabitants of lilliput who were six inches tall attempte dto constrain Gulliver, who appeared a giant to the Lilliputians. Obedient followers of Jesus Christ have capacities and resources that we do not fully understand or use. But I believe the Church--that sleeping giant--is beginning to stir. I believe she is realizing all she possesses. I believe she is beginning to rouse, and is sendinging tremors throughout Hell's kingdom. Step up, join in, and exercise your authority. As we all begin to live out our authority as individuals, it will soon make a difference around the world!
Jesus designed His church to advance rather than remain bunkered; He designed us to come against the evil one, not cower in fear. The gates of Hades will not stand up against the authority and advancement of the Church of Jesus Christ! Jesus has extended His authority to His followers--that's us. We are to march forward in His authority. You are a confident warrior built for battle. Rise uyp in a violent love that only Christ can give. Our families, churches, and cities need change! There is a certain hope in Christ. He will back you up!--Mike Riches
"Hearing God's Voice" Paperback, 2005,
"Strongholds: Understanding and Destroying Satan's Schemes" Paperback 2005
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