October 24, 2017
- Tue Oct 24, 2017
Your Position in Christ
“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you to” Ephesians 1:18
Paul prays that our heart would be enlightened to the incredible power that is in Christ Jesus. Why does Paul pray for this, and why does Satan try to prevent that understanding from happening? It’s a power issue, and the one who stands to lose power is not you, it’s him! “That you may know” what? Answer: that your total identification and total spiritual union in Christ positions you for power against Satan. The Devil cannot stand the thought of your wielding rule, power, authority, and dominion in Christ over evil now, “in the present age.”
So, God’s man, when you get a chance, tell him like you mean it, and mean it as you say it: “I am in Christ. My identity has been eclipsed. I have been deputized with full authority. I personally acknowledge, accept and appropriate that authority in Jesus' mighty name.” Say it often to remind yourself and Satan that you know who you are, and he should know it well. Your awareness of your spiritual identity is the basis, the power cell for all other weapons.
When you are confused, conflicted, or harassed, say the name. You don’t have to be fancy, just throw it straight. If you affirm His valid lordship and your connection to Him, there is valid authority from His name. End of story. Use the weapons specifically and swiftly. “I rebuke all evil in this situation in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.” The key is to be simple, clear, and confident in your identity and connection to Christ.
Father, thank you that you have given it all to me, now help me posses it.
October 23, 2017
- Mon Oct 23, 2017
A Tender God Who loves All Captives
“For you yourselves were aliens in Egypt” Deuteronomy 10:19
The Holy Spirit wants us to bear this family resemblance of our God, the One who defends the vulnerable, those who are held captive by their circumstances and need a champion. Throughout Scripture we repeatedly see God’s heart for the marginalized, traumatized, neglected, lonely, abused, and exploited. The common denominator is that these folks are disconnected and disenfranchised from the system because they don’t fit the cultural norms. As a result they are desperately lonely in their circumstances, and God loves to meet their needs. In a culture that loves to make distinctions, to judge by appearance, and to give preferential treatment, this would be a big leap for God’s people if not for their own story of deliverance.
Captives know what it feels like to be held against their will by someone, something, or some circumstance beyond their control. According to the Bible, all Christians were captives, held hostage by sin, isolated from God, and consigned to spend eternity away from His presence. But then, God spiritually delivered us out of this spiritual Egypt, not stopping with this one act but proceeding to deliver us from ourselves progressively to this day. The Holy Spirit has authored not only our salvation but every transformation of character and conduct as well. He defends us. He provides for us. He fills us. He secures our peace. He restores our worth.
Father, help me to be more like you and your heart for the enslaved.
October 22, 2017
- Sun Oct 22, 2017
The Hero of the Ages
"Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." Hebrews 12:2-3
We can’t look up at the Man on the cross and lose in our quest to throw spiritual caution and fear to the wind. In fact the longer we look at Him up there, the more dangerous we become for the Kingdom. We join the ranks of men who saw Him from a distance and risked, men who walked with Him up close, and men who through the centuries endangered their lives to demonstrate their love.
If you are to bet at all, study the Man who risked it all.
Keep your eyes on Jesus who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed - that exhilarating finish in and with God - he could put up with anything along the way; the cross, shame, whatever. Now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside the Father. When we find ourselves flagging in our faith, go over the story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into our souls! Faith in this historical fact will bring us through.
Father, you have not held back on the gifts you have given me to do the things that will bless You, me and others. Thank you!
October 21, 2017
- Sat Oct 21, 2017
The Ultimate Fighter
“Take your stand against the devil’s schemes” Ephesians 6:11
I would hate to be at the pointy end of the sword of Jesus Christ. Christ is vicious in the war against Satan and evil. If there are even trace levels of testosterone in your body, thinking about that sort of Jesus should get your adrenaline pumping. He’s the embodiment of the ultimate evil fighter — invincible and quite capable of inflicting some lasting damage. And all this from the defender of the helpless, the one so full of love toward people that He cried tears of blood.
Being God’s man means being a man who is ready to engage in combat with the Enemy. More specifically, it means being prepared to fight the spiritual battles. The opposite of this is a casual Christian man who fails to take up the fight, a man who capitulates on God’s dream for him.
One measure of Christ likeness is your steady commitment to fight the unseen spiritual enemy. Do you proactively go after the evil and sin in your own life and others’ wherever it raises its head? Maybe you wonder how a man can be this confident. It’s found in the warrior spirit and character of Jesus, a.k.a. Lion of the Tribe of Judah, who lives — and lives in you! This is the Man who chose death and stood firm against the devil’s assaults. He has called you to do the same. This is profound. God’s dream for you is to posses this same soldier heart by training in His shoes. Watch His film. Study His responses. Scrutinize the Enemy’s tactics. Imitate Christ and integrate His skills.
Father, you love man but you hate sin and evil. Thank you for reminding me.
October 20, 2017
- Fri Oct 20, 2017
Onward Christian Soldiers
The courage of a soldier is heightened by his knowledge of his profession, and he only wants an opportunity to execute what he is convinced he has been perfectly taught. A handful of men, inured to war, proceed to certain victory, while on the contrary numerous armies of raw and undisciplined troops are but multitudes of men dragged to slaughter.
–Flavius Vegetius Renatus, De Re Militari, AD390
The Bible teaches that God’s weapons were created to be used. Used versus what? Indulge me here: used versus talked about — used versus ignored — used versus studied — used versus debated — used versus avoided — used versus preached — used versus misused — used versus passed over.
Far too often we men like to think of ourselves as Christ-loyal, but we don’t want to use our weapons. If we are to be graded on our familiarity with our weapons, like they do in any good standing army, I shudder to think what our spiritual instructors would say. “How long have you been a believer, boy?” Can you see it? Would that be you? The Bible assumes we’ll actually use the weapons issued to us. Don’t you want to knock down the devils strongholds?
Let me put it this way. What do old war veterans talk about when they get together? The answer is the battles that defined them. Why is their bond so strong? Now ask yourself: what is it you’re really missing in your life that would create this kind of bond? And how do you think you’ll get there? Right --fighting battles.
Father, thank you for not only the pat on the head but the kick in the pants.