Friday, January 29, 2016

All Dressed Up...

Ephesians 6:10-20

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, [c] against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— 19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

I have to tell you to start with, this is a word the Lord gave me, in my prayer time this morning, for me.  I am going through a deeply personal storm today and I really needed this word, but I can’t help but feel that there are others who need to hear it as well so I am sharing it, believing that the Lord will comfort you and bless you as He has me today.

In the above scripture the Apostle Paul encourages believers to put on the armor of God.  Armor that is made available to all that believe.  In fact, as far as I can tell, being a believer is the only qualification one needs to adorn themselves with this armor.  But the Lord spoke this word to me in my prayer time this morning: a believer who has accepted the armor of God but does not pray, is like a man who puts on a tuxedo on prom night, who has no date, who hasn’t purchased the ticket to get in, and whose car sits in the driveway broken down - all dressed up with no place to go.

Paul tells us that as we take the shield of faith and the sword of the spirit it is to be done in the spirit of prayer.  It is this spirit: this heart, attitude, disposition, and lifestyle of prayer that qualifies us to use the sword of the spirit.  This clearly tells us that we are only qualified to use the sword of the Spirit in and through the spirit of prayer.  No one is properly prepared to use the sword of the Spirit who has not had their hearts and minds prepared through prayer.

Ecclesiastes 10:9-10a (MSG)

“9 Safety first: Quarrying stones is dangerous.  Be alert: Felling trees is hazardous.  10 Remember: The duller the ax the harder the work”

The sword in the hand of a prayer less man or woman is as dangerous as a machine gun in the hand of a 3yr old, it can be a means of mass destruction.  But the sword of the Spirit in the hands of a praying man or woman, can break satanic bondage, open the eyes of the blind, bring healing to sick bodies, open doors that have been closed, close demonic doors that have been opened, shake nations and set up the kingdom of God in the earth.
The Lord showed me an important principle this morning through His Word: men of supernatural power in the earth have always been men of prayer.  Joseph, Daniel, Elijah, Peter, John, and Paul were all men of prayer.

We can see in God’s Word that Joseph went from the pit to the palace, from a prisoner to a prince, we see Elijah on Mt. Carmel as he called down fire from the sky, and the heavens opened and gave rain, Daniel in a lion’s den protected from certain death by the power of God, Peter and John healing a lame man in Jesus’ name, and Paul, unharmed by its bite, shaking off a poisonous viper into the fire. But we must never forget that Joseph in the pharaoh’s house, Elijah on Carmel, Daniel in the lion’s den, Peter and John’s miraculous faith, and Paul’s overcoming power were the result of these men in a closet somewhere on their knees crying out to God.

I am facing a storm today that I have no idea how to navigate, a trial that has caught me off-guard and has for the moment taken the wind from my sails.  I know that God has brought me through many storms, I know that He will bring me through this one too, but it is only on my knees that I will find the direction to get through this dark hour and the strength to overcome.  This new attempt of the enemy to bring me discouragement will not prevail!  I might be knocked down, but I'm not out!  The Bible says that, "the name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous shall run unto it and be glad!"

I proclaimed the other night in Church that the devil was gonna know my name, I can see now that he does, because the devil don't mess with you if you ain't no threat.  But I got a name for you devil, in Jesus' name I will arise from this difficult hour of discouragement, like they used to say in the opening of the old TV show "The Six-Million-Dollar Man – "better and stronger" than I was before and with the name of Jesus on my lips, the enemy of my soul will tremble in fear!  As one of my brother’s spoke in church Wednesday: I am about to shake that tambourine!

II Corinthians 12:9-10

“9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

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