Sunday, September 4, 2011

THINK ON THESE THINGS - SUNDAY MESSAGE



SPARTANS, SOLDIERS AND DEFEATING STRONGHOLDS


If you were accused of being a Christian, would you be found completely guilty?! Watch this clip from the movie 300. It is less than 1 minute long but the message therein, says a lot about who we are as men and women of God in the middle of the biggest battle of all time.


You have seen the clip. Now, ask yourself, are you a SPARTAN (A Warrior, a Soldier) or do you describe yourself by what you do for a living? The world defines you by your occupation. For instance, you’re an electrician; a receptionist; a teacher; a mom; a cab driver or roofer. You could be a banker; a real estate agent or a youth pastor. This is how almost EVERYONE I know thinks of themselves. 

Not many people I know call themselves "Soldiers", except those of us, in daily combat with the world 24/7/365 trying to steer the ship of Family, Faith and Fellowship through the narrow straits. For most of last week, we took an in-depth look at almost every word of Ephesians 6:12 to recognize what we are up against as Biblical Christians.

This type of thinking (with the Mind of Christ) comes with a huge price- we place ourselves directly in the line of fire and bulls eyes are painted on us.  Those who are wise will rise to the occasion and shine. The rest of Ephesians 6 is for these warriors, where we put on the Full Armor of God. The rest of the body of Christ who are timid and sit in pews on Sundays, letting the devil have the rest of the week, are already defeated.

To drive the point home that you and I are already under attack, I laid out the Power prayer to begin the counter offensive yesterday as we prayed through 1 Peter 5:6-11. When Spiritual Warfare begins, after the initial surprise, it should not blindside us again!

Suiting up with your armor is fine, but knowing how to use it is quite another thing. For anyone new to this pre-emptive strike philosophy, the best thing to do is to pray the Armor on! Yes – PRAY IT ON (i.e. “Father God, I put on the Gospel Shoes….I stand on the Truth of the Gospel – the Good News of Jesus Christ…I put on the Belt of Truth – Lord, no lie from the enemy will overtake me or lead me astray….I put on the Breastplate of Righteousness – Lord Jesus, thank you for making me right before God, for changing my heart and leading me to you…protect and guard my heart today….and so on with the Helmet of Salvation, the Shield of Faith and the Sword of the Spirit).

You don’t go into the warzone, outside your door…or even on the internet, without weapons. The enemy is EVERYWHERE!

STRONGHOLDS
But what has stirred me the past couple of days are the word “Stronghold”. If you think in battle terms again, a stronghold is anything which holds you under siege…from either your immediate past life or family background. I know there are differing views of generational curses. This is not what I am talking about.

Strongholds are more personal than that….they hold you captive. You can pray on the best armor on; own 15 Bibles and read 1; have the sweetest voice on the worship team and can pray up a storm…yet if pride, greed, lust…anything carnal has a hold on you – you are in the grips of a major stronghold!

Strongholds are also false beliefs – not just other religions – but anything which is not found in the Bible – is false and from the enemy himself. Yet man has become so full of his own wisdom, he thinks he can believe both in evolution and creation. He thinks he can have a fling with his secretary and stay married. He thinks he can join secret organizations and swear allegiance to all kinds of gods because “these guys do great work for sick people”…and on and on. These are major strongholds and will bind both believers and professing believers so strongly, they can never be free….unless we show them the way of escape.

A stronghold is a horrible thing, my friends. It brings heartache, disappointment and disharmony and can lead to depression. It is a huge problem in the Body of Christ and attaches itself a lot more to women than men…and the main reason is – men do not pray as much as women, and have no clue they are in bondage to generational sin and strongholds.

DISMANTLING STRONGHOLDS:

This column is too short to go into detail with so huge an issue as pulling down Strongholds with confrontational intercession. Secondly, one should not attempt to pray down something you have no idea about because the devil knows your every weakness and how to defeat you and throw that prayer grenade right back at you.

However we can begin the process. For now, begin with this Four Fold methodology:

1.    AUTHORITY. Use the Authority which Christ gave you (if you are truly save) in John 1:12 and claim your life. I show steps this past Friday to know WHO you are and yesterday HOW to pray….now remember WHOSE you are, as you go on offense. Do NOT take a satanic attack lying down. Just because you are in the grips of some kind of stronghold, doesn’t mean you give in. Take charge of your Faith and your Life. Greater is He Who is in us, than he who is in the world (satan)!

2.    FAST. Something that has hold on you sometimes cannot just be prayed away by a small bible study group or your praying parents. Jesus said as much when His disciples asked why they were unable to cast out a certain demon. Read Mark 9:28-29 and see where Jesus said “this kind of demon can only be cast out by prayer and fasting”. There is something about denying oneself, not only food, but your routine worldly lifestyle, to seek more intimacy with God…..a certain sharpening of the Spirit  within you that will communicate at a high intensity, when the Body is not filled with the world.  Fasting is a topic for another message. But for now, one MUST fast to gain the type of victory Jesus gain in the desert when He was tempted by satan and defeated him. Here are examples of different types of fasts.

3.    WORSHIP. Worship? Huh? Some may say “I have problems…and the answer is Worship????!!!” YES!!  YES!!! YES!!!! Worship the Lord in the beauty of Holiness! If you magnify the Name of the Lord and praise and glorify Him….two things happen – He loves it and He rewards it!  I am not talking about material rewards…I mean unspeakable joy! Worship can take many forms from singing songs of praise in private or in church; reading the Psalms and Scripture back to Him and then just getting on your face etc and looking up – with hands lifted high!! AMEN!

4.    INTERCESSION.  Here is where we really pray against the enemy and strongholds. Here is both where intercession and proactive prayer – a new prayer-digm if you will take place. Never pray alone about Strongholds if you can avoid it but get men and women, whom you trust, around you to pray into you who can also speak against the darkness and these strongholds!  There is also power and faithfulness when you pray. Prayer demonstrates Faith and Faith destroys doubt and evil any day!

Think on These Things today, won’t you?
Enhanced by Zemanta
Post a Comment