28. Stand – firm, courageous and victorious.

We are daily bombarded by so much. We have more sources of information and entertainment at our fingertips than at any time in the history of mankind. We know so much of the bad and the horrific in the world, both domestic and international through as much news as we can absorb. We can be entertained on phones and tablets throughout our commutes daily and every other minute spent in the choices we make. We hardly need to look another person in the eye. We know about the world – even comfortably far away. We know how bad it is. I am not always sure if we know the good, which is often more subtle and hidden. Only occasionally it gets included in the headlines or talk shows.

It often bothers me how much of our spiritual and moral values are mocked and humiliated in entertainment. Relationships and institutions like family-life and marriage are routinely the subject of comedy. It is not wrong to laugh at our efforts and failures and exaggerate the difficulties and complications of situations in everyday-life, as long as we identify the agenda behind the constant ridicule of the very source of most of life’s happiness.

I thank God for His Word and the clear principles of life we find in it. Since the days it was written it provided a light of truth and guidance through many centuries, in spite of gross abuse. We are very aware of how deep and painful the church has failed in so many instances, but through all the darkness and deceit of evil doings, the true disciples and leaders stood firm and triumphed. Never underestimate the most important playing field of satan – the church.

We can observe the confusion and ambiguity of society with no direction, trying to be their own god, bewildered and confounded by the choices of an evil world, while we have the ultimate textbook where we find grace, forgiveness, hope and unconditional love – priceless.

Above all, our greatest spiritual challenge is to see with the “eyes of our heart enlightened” [Ephesians 1:18] to discern the hope with “real knowledge and practical insight” [Philippians 1:9].

Our third position in the Letter to the Ephesians is STAND. Ephesians 6:10 [Amplified]:

In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [draw your strength from Him and be empowered through your union with Him] and in the power of His [boundless] might.

The Message puts it this way. Ephesians 6:13-18:

Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.

The most important aspect of spiritual warfare is the strength that we find in being seated with Christ in heavenly places and our walk in faith, light, love and unity. If we are not seated with Christ, our walk falters and spiritual war is only talk. The devil can afford to ignore us completely.

With enlightened eyes we are able to see into the unseen, beyond mere flesh and blood to identify the struggle against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. [Ephesians 6:12]

Our struggle is against the cosmic powers of darkness in the same heavenly places where we are seated in Christ [Ephesians 2:6]. Can you imagine just how vulnerable we are when we are not seated with Christ? But if we know our blood marked seat, we can stand!

The church is called to displace Satan. Divine law is constantly breached in the attacks against the children of God. We are weakened by this breach of the laws our Father, but we have a quick fix. We are called to confess – quickly and truthfully. Open up the channel of communication, receive forgiveness and be strong.

The Greek for stand is anthistemi and it means to vigorously oppose, bravely resist, standing face-to-face against an adversary, holding your ground.

It is not a command to invade enemy territory. We are not to march, but to stand. We are given defensive weapons – as opposed to offensive weapons. The cross was the ultimate and completed offensive. Jesus reached the gates of hell and led the captives out of captivity. Our position is to stand on what is already won, to maintain and consolidate.

We are more than conquerors – Romans 8:37. Overcomers rest in the victory already given to them by God. We stand in faith. God slays the enemy with His breath – 2 Thessalonians 2:8:

And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.

Walk and warfare are derived from the sitting position! That is why we praise in the midst of problems. We pray the solution and victory, which is already in the unseen, into the seen. The cross has already taken all the territory possible.

Do you feel defeated? Go back to the first chapter and KNOW:

Ephesians 1: 19,20,21:

what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.

There is no possibility of defeat, even when things look different and seems not to work out according to our expectation. We walk in the name of Jesus. It is a name of exaltation and glory. He was obedient unto death. His resurrection made all the difference.

Philippians 2:7-11:

…but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

We are given the authority to use the Name of Jesus. In this process it is possible to be guilty of identity theft. It is not about our own agenda in life. It is all about God’s agenda. It is His mighty works, His greater power at our disposal for miracles unlimited. Christ is not seated with us on earth – we are seated with Him in heaven, the unseen.

Jesus has entrusted us with the greatest possible power. His name is above every name. He takes responsibility. We do not use it only when revved up in crisis – NO!

John 16:23,24:

23 “And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. 24 Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

It is a fruit of obedience to God and of a resulting spiritual position known and maintained.

 The evil powers recognized Jesus and Paul. Do they know about you? Acts 19:15:

And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?”

This magnificent authority is given in grace and power. It can never be earned. The first requirement is revelational knowledge.

 Four features needed for God’s commitment:

  1. We need of a true revelation of the eternal purpose of God. It will always be to the exaltation of Jesus. We need to seek the counsel of His will [1:9-12]
  2. All in the divine purpose is conceived by God. The name of Jesus is not a stamp on my idea. Paul was forbidden to speak in Asia. [Acts 16] Sometimes we have to keep quiet for Him. All true spiritual activities must be tested: In the beginning God created…
  3. The agenda must depend upon the power of God alone for its continuance. It cannot and must never rely on natural power or our talent and abilities. Conscious dependence is the first requirement. Examples: Stephen and Moses in Acts 8. Moses had the education in the court of the Pharaoh but was reduced to dependence in the Presence at the burning bush. Self-energy must come under the power of the Holy Spirit. God’s verdict: John 14 – Apart for Me you can do nothing. God works in and through us.
  4. The object and end purpose of all work is God’s glory, never man’s glory. When we use His name in full obedience, all Hell will have to recognize our authority to do so.

 In the ancient world of Paul, everybody recognized authorities, world powers and classes of evil spirits. He sees before him the Roman soldier and describes his weapons.

Belt of truth: Gives freedom to move. The sword hangs on it. God  works in truth.

Breastplate of righteousness: No accusations can hinder us.

Sandals: Equipped and ready to move.

Shield of faith: Not the small round shield. He uses the word for the oblong heavy armour so that we are covered from head to toe against the fiery darts.

Helmet of salvation: We have the full package deal of salvation: peace, joy, liberty and a sound mind.

Sword: Word of God. No fear. The content of our future is the promises of God in His Word.

Prayer: Constant, intense and unselfish.

Rejoice mighty warrior! The Cross is before you. The war is won. Our God reigns.

Isaiah 52:7:

How beautiful upon the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”

Exodus 14:13:

Then Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid! Take your stand [be firm and confident and undismayed] and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today; for those Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see again.

 

 

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