A uniformed policeman stands at the scene of a traffic accident, redirecting on coming cars. No one will disobey him, because he's the one in authority telling others what to do. In the same way an officer of the law has jurisdiction in the city, we have command over the works of darkness in our life. Jesus said in Luke 10:19, "Behold I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you." And in Mark 11:23-24, "For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be removed and be cast into the sea', and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore, I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them."
So why are there so many that are still confronted and overcome with difficulty, distress, and dilemma? If you are one of these and asking yourself this question, read on.
Most Christians do not know that they can take spiritual authority over situations. I would venture to say ignorance is one of the biggest reasons. Hosea 4:6 says, "My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge..." Because we aren't taught how to stand up against the 'wiles of the devil', how to recognize the attack is FROM the devil, and what to do IN times like this, we do nothing!
Another cause is unbelief! If you were to ask, some would say: "I don't believe in the devil." or, "There's no way we can change circumstances." In Luke 17:6, Jesus said, "If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you." But there are many who just don't believe.
Fear is also a source of not taking authority. When faced with demonic activity, a number of people are of the opinion the devil is stronger than God. So rather than DO anything, they back down and 'hide', thinking he will just go away.
Listen Children of God, He has done all He's going to do! Jesus has done all He's going to do! 1) He left us His Word (Heb. 4:12 "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword...")
2) And His Spirit (Rom. 8:11 "..if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwell in you." )
3) Jesus disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in the work of the cross and resurrection! (Col. 2:15)
4) He gave us the keys to the Kingdom (Matt. 16:19 "... and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”)
It is now our responsibility to activate our faith and the power of God concerning the tactics of the devil, using the tools He gave us. In all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us (Rom. 8:37) Rise up and be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might! We've got to put on the armor of God and fight the good fight of faith. We need to stand, in faith believing God's Word, when we've done all we know to do. We can not afford to lose heart, but know we possess the treasure of His power within us! Be like that policeman commanding things to line up with what God says! You're wearing the badge!
1 John 4:4 "You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world."
Just imagine taking a tube of toothpaste and squeezing it until it's empty. Now, let's see if we can put it back into the tube. You're right that's not possible. The other day I was texting on my phone, and just as I pushed the 'send' button, I noticed a mistake. Unfortunately, my phone doesn't allow me to terminate the 'send'. I couldn't take it back. The words had been sent. Being unable to put the paste back into the tube is the same for retrieving anything that's been said. It can't be done!
Whether we are speaking, texting, or emailing, once the statement has been communicated, there is no bringing it back. That's why it's very important to be sure before we transmit our thoughts into words, we double check them. Not just for the spelling, but to be certain we're conveying a spirit of love and gentleness. How easy it is to be frustrated or angry and speak our mind with regrets later. I was always told, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything".
Proverbs 12:18 "There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword,
But the tongue of the wise promotes health".
Proverbs 10:19 "In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, But he who restrains his lips is wise."
Proverbs 15:1-2 "A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, But the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness."
These scriptures express the importance of what we say! Too many times we talk without thinking, voicing fears, opinions, anger, or foolish things. Declaring something automatically sets in motion a process to accomplish what was spoken. Words have power. What we say is impacting. It can tear down, hurt, destroy, wound, or build up, being encouraging, enlightening, and empowering. Just like Proverbs 18:21 says, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue,...."
How can I gain control over what I say, you ask? The first and foremost way is watch what goes in you. Jesus said, "...out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." (Luke 6:45) Whatever we are feeding our spirit is what enters our heart. Spending long periods of time watching television programs or movies, consistent playing of video games, listening to worldly music, companionship with unbelievers, or even frequent reading of ungodly publications can influence our spirit man. These things can have a bearing on belief and faith. The Word says, "faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God". We build our faith by listening to the preached Word of God. In the same manner we build our doubts, fears, and insecurities by what we hear. Instead of filling ourself with the world, we need to be packing in God's Word.
Joshua 1:8 (GW) says, "Never stop reciting these teachings. You must think about them night and day so that you will faithfully do everything written in them. Only then will you prosper and succeed." The more we exercise this scripture, the more successful we will be in our life. Not only will this help with what's coming out of our mouth, but also how we handle problems. Remember - We can't take back what we said, so watch what we speak! "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight." Psalm 19:14
Many people leave church week after week the same way they arrived, with no more understanding or victory over the areas in their life than before they got there. The struggles of life just seem to get harder and harder with not an end in sight. I suppose that's why countless of people leave the faith and stop attending church. Being able to understand and absorb the teaching of God's Word will undoubtably help us in our Christian walk and give us the needed weapons to overcome.
Jesus gave us insight to understanding. Let's look at Mark. 4:14,15 "The sower sows the word. And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts." Here we see that preachers, teachers or ministers of God's Word are the ones who sow the Word! The ground to which the seed is sown is representative of a man's heart. Jesus refers to the people that 'hear' these messages are unable to retain it, because they are the 'ones by the wayside'. In Bible days, the wayside was the edge or side of a road. This ground was generally hard.
These type of people have a stubborn heart. This is one that won't yield to God or His Word, finding it unimportant pushing it to the side. They hear the sermon, go home, and continue to complain, talking about and sharing their problems with everyone. And because of their difficult life, there is much un-forgiveness. They're angry or hurt most of the time, thinking the problem is with God and others. That is why when the Word is sown in their heart, it's quickly stolen by the devil.
The second set of hearers are described in verses 16 & 17, "These likewise are the ones sown on stoney ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness: and they have no root in themselves and so endure only for a time. Afterward when tribulation or persecution arises for the word's sake, immediately they stumble." When I was a child, I lived on the farm. In certain places the ground appeared to have dirt, but just a layer below the dirt, was a sheet of ‘shale’. Shale is a thin layer of sedimentary rock that comes from the combining of mud or clay. When the seed is planted in this kind of ground, it gets hot from the sun and the earth becomes a hot bed. So the seed germinates fast scorching it and making it wither and die because there's no depth of roots.
Jesus said this type of hearer is one that receives the Word with joy, and it appears to grow fast. Yet when distress or offensive things happen, they can only stay strong for a very short time. Then they give up and wither because it got too 'hot' and the experience they had in the Word wasn’t genuine. It was primarily for show, since they considered the standard too hard to live by, thus resulting in their falling away.
The third manner of hearer is found in verses 18 and 19, "Now these are the ones sown among the thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful." When the Word of God is sown into these hearers heart, it is planted and along side thorns begin to grow and suffocate the seed. Thorns in this life can be worry, a great desire for more money, and the need for power and possessions. This hearer is distressed and irritated and always in want. The fear begins to choke what Word was heard making it unproductive. Wrong things in the heart left unattended can become deeply rooted.
If we want to begin to understand and grow in the Word of God, we must prepare our ground, keeping our heart soft and teachable. Just like getting the soil ready for planting we must till the ground, and remove the rocks, weeds or thorns. Hos. 10:12 "...... Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the Lord, Till He comes and rains righteousness on you." Tilling is forgiving and repenting, requiring self examination, getting rid of works of the flesh (Gal. 5:19-21), and walking in the Spirit. (Gal. 5:22-25) It's trusting in the Lord with all our heart, (Pro. 3:5) removing fear, worry, and doubt. It's essential to watch over and guard our heart. Proverbs 4:23 NIV "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." We can know what's in our heart by what's we're speaking. Luke 6:45 "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks."
Take this moment right now, to check your heart! Let's pray: Father, I place my heart before you. Cleanse me from all unrighteousness and create a clean heart within me. Right now I decide to repent for holding on to grudges, fears, resentments and all grieving that will hinder my growth in You. I let them go and place them over into Your care! I choose to trust You with ALL my heart. I will guard and watch over what goes into it daily. I decide to hide Your Word in my heart so I will not sin against You. Thank You Lord. Amen.
Let's pretend that you hired me as an executive assistant for your swiftly advancing business. Because you desire to expand the company, a decision is made for you and your family to move to Europe and establish a division there for the next year. You tell me that you will write each week and give me all the necessary directions and instructions needed to run the corporation in the states. Months pass and the letters come flowing in with expectations and guidance to manage the business.
After your year term in Europe, you return and drive to the office. As you approach you are shocked to find the grass and weeds have taken over the yard. Windows are broken out and the place looks a mess. As you enter the building you find the receptionist is sitting at her desk doing her nails, reading a magazine and snacking. Upon observation you discover the waste baskets are running over, the carpet is filthy, and not one person is interested that you, the owner has returned. You then ask for me, to which they reply by pointing to a room that's been converted to a game space. Troubled by this you continue to proceed towards that area and coincidentally come across me as I have finished a game of chess with the sales director. We then progress to your office, which has been converted into a television/movie room. Our conversation is as follows:
You, "Can you explain what's going on?"
Me, "What do you mean?"
You, "Well, take a look around. Didn't you get my letters?"
Me, "Yes, we sure did. We got all of them. Actually we began a 'letter study day', every Friday night right after you left. We designated personnel to attend small groups to discuss the contents of the letters. Many of us have literally committed to memorizing some of the sentences and even the paragraphs. Several even know by heart and entire letter. You really wrote some great things."
You, "Alright, you received my letters, you read, discussed and even memorized them, but what did you DO about them?"
In the book of Matthew chapter 24, beginning in verse 44 Jesus talks about His return saying, "You also must be ready therefore, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not expect Him. Who then is the faithful, thoughtful, and wise servant, whom his master has put in charge of his household to give to the others the food and supplies at the proper time? Blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied) is that servant whom, when his master comes, he will find so doing."
It's easy to become lackadaisical in our work with the Lord as well as our walk with Him. Consumption with our every day life gets in the way of praying, getting into the Word, serving at church or often going to church. Loosing focus can cause us to get bored, tired, cranky, and do inappropriate things unbecoming to a Christian. Listen people, the signs of the times are all around us, Jesus IS coming soon. No, I don't know the day nor the time, but I do know it's soon.
Our job is to be about the Lord's business:
1) Being a Christian witness to friends, family and acquaintances; Phil. 2:15 "That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;"
2) Remaining steadfast in prayer and rightly dividing the word of truth; 1 Pet. 4:7 "But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer." and 2 Tim. 2:15 "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
3) Prevailing as an overcomer in trials and tribulations; Rom. 8:37 "Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us."
4) Staying faithful to assemble with our brothers and sisters in the Lord for encouragement; Heb. 10:25 "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much to more, as you see the day approaching."
5) Serving Him as our part of the Body of Christ. Heb. 6:10 "For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have showed toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister."
Let the Lord find us busy doing His Word not just busy with our business. Luke 12:37 "Blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied) are those servants whom the Master finds awake and alert and watching when He comes. Truly I say to you, He will gird himself and have them recline at table and will come and serve them!"
Pastors Michael & Ginny Gulotta
Pro. 11:25 "The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself."