Let’s examine an important issue in many parts of the Body of Christ. Biblically, “What is the role of women in the church?” As a prophetic reformer, I have an assignment. I’m trying to write my vision and make it plain so leaders can run with it! I’m for church growth, evangelism, and the Great Commission!
A woman’s husband plus three strong men brought Pamela tightly bound in chains to my house for prayer. Pamela had lost her mind and had become violent. When they entered the house, I told them to undo her chains. They were hesitant because they knew the condition under which she was suffering. I insisted they do this because I knew the Name by which I spoke… It is the Name of Jesus! A few minutes later, I declared to Pamela that she was freed. Jesus had destroyed the chains of bondage inflicted against her by the enemy, satan. She knelt down and started to praise God.
This is spiritual warfare.
The importance and value of spiritual warfare is to understand and recognize the enemy is fighting against us relentlessly. But there is good news! The enemy is no match against our spiritual weapons, which are mighty in God to pull down all forces of darkness (1 Corinthians 10). The Bible says that the devil roars like a lion seeking whom he may devour. Did you notice that he roars “like a lion,” but he is not one. That means he is a cheater and a liar, portraying a deceptive picture that he is stronger than the child of God. And this lie rings in the minds of Christians as if true.
Let’s look at the values of spiritual warfare in order to gain our rightful position of victory over the enemy in Christ Jesus our Lord. From the book of Ephesians chapter 6, we learn that we have been given the armor of God that we put on to stand against all strategies of the devil. You may ask, “Why do we have to fight or stand against the enemy?” The devil has been jealous of you as a child of God since your inception.
In Isaiah 5:1, it shares what the Lord has done for you:
Now let me sing to my Well-beloved
A song of my Beloved regarding His vineyard
My Well-beloved has a vineyard On a very fruitful hill.
Do you think the enemy will be happy with you when the Lord showers all these blessings on you? In his rage, he comes to steal, kill, and destroy all that the Lord has for you. The visible world and the spiritual world are parallel to each other. The spiritual realm is not made up of flesh and blood, but spiritual forces that we contend with. Here are a few things we need to know and remember.
We have superior fire power.
The Bible says the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but powerful in pulling down the strongholds of the enemy. Pamela, who came for prayer, was in bondage. But there was a stronger power that set her free. The one who has bigger fire power wins the war. We submit ourselves under the mighty hand of God, resist the devil, and he will flee from us. We cannot look for non-spiritual solutions when the battle is in the spiritual world.
Praise is power in the mouth of a child of God.
The enemy puts people in chains – all manners of bondage. Lives are tormented in the mind, in their bodies, including circumstances that surround them. You are in prison. Paul and Silas were thrown in prison for preaching the Gospel in Philippi. At midnight, they lifted their voices in praise unto God, which actually was spiritual warfare. What follows is mind blowing! God sends an earthquake that shakes the
foundations of the prison, and it breaks the chains of all the prisoners who were with Paul in that prison house. Doors that were tightly shut, flung wide open. They were set free! Spiritual warfare sets prisoners free. Jesus said, “I came to set captives free.” (Luke 4:18)
The enemy trembles at the Name of Jesus.
When the Lord Jesus went to the cross, was buried, and rose again from the dead, he was given a Name above all other names. His Name has power over that which is in heaven, that which is on earth and everything under the earth. This is the very Name that has now been conferred upon us to engage the enemy in spiritual warfare. In Luke 10:19 Jesus said, “I give you power over all the power of the enemy and NOTHING shall by any means hurt you.” In giving us His Name, Jesus said in Mark 16:17, “In my name you shall cast out devils.”
The values of spiritual warfare bring freedom to our lives and our beloved ones. We are not trying to win the battle. We have superior power over the enemy that gives us victory all the time. Stand up, strong child of God! You have the Name of Jesus! Victory is ours when we engage in spiritual warfare!!
Back to Basics
Having served the Lord for most of my life (minus a period of temporary insanity in my early teens!), there were Christian “basics” that were instilled in me from early on. These were drilled into me. They were reinforced. I was encouraged to do them. Praised when I succeeded. And I was reminded of them frequently. Simple principles.
To be kind.
Do to others as I would have them do to me.
Admit when I was wrong.
Turn the other cheek.
Be quick to forgive.
As I got older and my relationship with the Lord deepened, the concepts behind these principles developed, expanded, and matured.
Compassion should be given along with kindness.
I should also give others the same benefit of the doubt that I wanted to be given, keeping what I knew about their heart in perspective rather than simply judging motives.
Real repentance was vital, as well as seeking to correct and change my behaviour.
Turning my cheek was also not keeping a record of the sins committed against me.
Forgiving quickly is often required again and again and is given to those deemed “undeserving.”
And loving others meant loving others the way I love myself, loving even the unlovely, and loving with HIS kind of love.
In adopting the name “Christian” I was declaring that I was a follower of Christ. That I needed to exemplify His character and heart. My wants no longer took precedence over His, nor could my will supersede His will. Others would judge Him based on my example. If I presented a poor reflection, His reputation came into disrepute. Galatians 2:20 became a revelation for me because I finally understood this truth:
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
And learning to act in the “opposite spirit” became one of my most challenging undertakings as a follower of Christ. Because it’s just WAY too easy to respond to anger with anger. To respond to being wronged with unforgiveness. To allow brokenness in others to create brokenness in me.
But with Him helping and empowering me, I can respond to doubt with Truth. Responding to fear with faith suddenly becomes possible. I’m able to respond to bitterness with forgiveness. And respond to hate with love…
Walking the way Christ walked was my goal. Jesus understood that He could do only what He saw His Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. And if I claimed to live for Him, I needed to have the same mentality… I can only do what I see Jesus do – what our Father does. If you don’t see an example of Him doing what you are doing, there’s no justification for your actions. Serving Him is not a free-for-all to do whatever makes you happy, holding unforgiveness in your heart, or anything else you try to justify.
Because if you are children of His light, you need to walk like you belong to the light.
I remember a bank commercial on TV I saw shortly after moving to South Africa years ago. A father was walking along the shoreline… his feet sinking deeply into the sand. Behind him, walked his young son, who was taking extra, large strides to make sure he walked in his father’s footsteps. This created an incredible visual for me that I will never forget – I need to be just like that young boy, being super careful to walk JUST where He walks. This will keep me on the path. And I won’t lose sight of Him because my focus is being just like Him.
Philippians 3:12-14 is definitely my heart –
“I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.”
We need to get back to the basics. These are the foundations of serving and following Him. It’s not about me or what I want… And it’s not even about others. It’s about giving Him glory in every area of my life. And if I keep to the basics, I’ll do just this!!!
Do to others as I’d have them do to me.
Admit when I was wrong.
Turn the other cheek.
Walk in forgiveness.
I have been studying the names of God lately – this week I studied “Elohim.”
Elohim means Sovereign Creator. It is the first name used in the Bible for God. In studying creation, you can notice one thing. When he created something, he spoke it and then it happened. When we look at other ways Elohim was used in the Bible, it has incredible meaning. My favorite being in Ezekiel 37.
Ezekiel 37:1-10 NKJV
“The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
So I answered, “O Lord God, You know.” (Adonai Elohim)
Again He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! Thus says the Lord God (Adonai Elohim) to these bones: “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.” ’ ”
So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone. Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them. Also He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord God (Adonai Elohim): “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.” ’ ”So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.”
Elohim has the power to do it himself alone to make dry bones become man, but he chose to partner with us to see his work done. To think that Elohim the mighty creator would want to partner with us to see things done is incredible.
When we partner with Elohim, we see dry bones come to life. We see what was broken become restored because he is the Mighty Creator, the Sovereign Lord of our lives and the One who loves us and wants to partner with us to see His works happen.