Spirit Anointed Prayer

March 30, 2015

Ephesians 1:17-22
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

Spirit Anointed Prayer

The apostle Paul prayed a spirit anointed prayer over the church of Ephesus and I am sure over all the churches who made up the body of Christ in that day. It is a prayer that we need to have memorized and needs to be our heart felt prayer to the Father for those in the body of Christ in this hour as well as our family and ourselves. It is a prayer that I often pray in behalf of the family because it represents such power and depth of what we need in this hour to come into the fullness of what Father is doing in us His people. This prayer is for the lifting of that veil of our natural mind, reasoning and religious thinking so that we might truly have a spirit of wisdom and revelation into what is God’s purpose and calling for us His saints. Paul is praying that we may get a true revelation of who we rightly are in Christ and the tremendous power that works on our behalf. He is saying that it is that same power that raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at the right hand of the Father in heavenly realms. Paul shares the revelation with us of where we are positionally in Christ Jesus in Colossians 3:1-3, “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” Romans 8:11 reinforces this truth as it tells us, ” And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.”
There is an exceeding great power at work on our behalf, but it is so often veiled from our view because we are still seeing and comprehending our world after a natural mindset. We don’t understand why God didn’t do this when we prayed and why that didn’t happen and why we seem so powerless at times. Not all things are yet made manifest in this realm. As a result our faith is quenched and we become discouraged. Know that even the early church was subject to great persecution and deliverance from the evil that was perpetrated against them was not always stopped. Many lost their livelihood, their possession, their families and their very own lives also. Where was God? Christ was in the midst of their suffering and persecution. He was still mighty in them and being glorified through them because even their very death and persecution fueled the growth of the church in that day. It is not this earthly life that is our most valuable possession. It is our spiritual life and the hope we have in Christ Jesus. All that we possess in this world we may lose, including our own lives, but the important thing is that we have a revelation of the “Pearl of great price” that we are willing to sell all that we have that we may obtain it. That is the Christ in You, your hope of glory!
God is still on the throne. Christ is still at His right Hand and we are still seated there in Him “far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.” All things are coming under His feet even as He has declared it and we are the feet of Jesus. We are the overcomers through which His life and power is destined to triumph.
Listen to what is declared in these last two verses. It is so powerful that is it hard for us to truly fathom. “22And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” Who does the Word declare is the fullness of Him who fills every thing in every way? You are and we are as the body of Christ. We are the fullness of Him! Can you comprehend that? That is hard for me to wrap my mind around. That is why we so need the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. We have to know who we are so that we know what our identity is. It is Christ Jesus. His name rest upon us and we are the body of His expression. The same power that raised Christ from the dead abides and is activated in you. We can not let the facade of the outward things cloud our spiritual vision and insight. The Lord gave Sharon a quote once that goes to the effect that, “Today’s problems often cloud the sunshine of tomorrows victories.” Even when the clouds come to obscure the light, the sun never fails to shine and so it is with Christ, His Word and His promises. He shall do and accomplish all that He has declared He would and we are the agents of that fulfillment. Stand strong and stand encouraged, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4).

Blessings,
#kent

Practical Application for a Holy Life

Colossians 3: 1-3
1Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

The first thing we need as Christians is a revelation of who we are in Christ. In Christ, the former man with it natural affections has passed away and we are putting on a new man renewed in thought, purpose and deed; reflecting and producing the image of Christ. Colossians 3 is a great application for who we are and what we are becoming, as well as what we need to be doing to get there.
We start out by realizing positionally where we are at, “raised with Christ” who is seated at the right hand of God. We are in Christ who is seated at the right hand of God. We aren’t going to find many positions higher than that. We, who are in that position, have come to a new mindset different from the one we formerly carried. We must be a heavenly-minded people whose affections are on things above and not on things below, who walk after the Spirit and no longer after the flesh. Many of us are still holding on to that old unrenewed mind and earthly affections. It is bringing us down and robbing us of who we are and what we have “in Christ”. It is only as we behold Him that the earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.
Colossians 3 is an instructional in the practical ways we are to become heavenly-minded and have a renewed mind. The first thing that it instructs us to do is often the hardest for us to put into practical application. Verses 5-11 instruct us, “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6Because of these, the wrath of God is coming, 7You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.” Do you happen to recognize any of these attributes still lingering around your life? The hardest thing to put to death is our flesh. It has an instinct for survival and it will do anything, compromise anyway, promise to be good, it just doesn’t want to die; yet it must. We can see the value of keeping Christ and the Word of God constantly in front of us, so that we have a mirror of who we are in Christ and we don’t loose vision of where we are going and what our purpose now is. These little daily devotionals are just one more means I pray the Holy Spirit uses to continually prompt and exhort us in His ways and not our former nature. We tend to want to turn away and ignore the things that put a finger on our sin and our reluctance to yield certain areas of our lives to Christ. We all have our little weaknesses, our idols, and those things that our flesh covets and doesn’t want to give up. Yet, if we are unwilling, then we are living in rebellion and disobedience to Christ, we are not being true to who we are “in Christ”, thus we deny His best and His highest for us.
These scriptures tell us what we must take off, but what about what we must put on. God never takes anything away but what He doesn’t give us something better to replace it with. Verses 12-17 instruct us, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” God is in affect telling us to be clothed now with His nature, which is the holy apparel that is consistent with heavenly citizenship. The world around us must see something unique, different and special about the people who bear the name of Christ. If we are no different than the world, then we haven’t really changed identity or clothing. We are still living in the same old unredeemed man. Its not all about us going to church, or just talking about Jesus, or telling the world they are sinners bound for hell unless they repent; it is about a lifestyle and behavior that exemplifies who and what we are in Christ. That speaks so much more loudly than words. Give me a person that truly lives Christ before me and that will more quickly move me to change than all of the words and arguments they could give. When you put on Christ you don’t just put on different behavior, you put on a holy presence. It is a presence that exudes the love and power of the Spirit that you are of. God now has place and platform to glorify Himself through you.
Colossians 3 concludes by these instructions to the households of believers and the reminder that at the end of this natural life there is a reward and an inheritance. A reminder that it is Christ we serve and that if we choose to do wrong, that wrong bears its consequences without respect of persons. Verses 18-24 instruct us, “Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
19Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
20Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
21Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.
22Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, 24since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 25Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there is no favoritism.”
Thus we have simply laid out for us the guide for living the practical Christ centered life that is consistent with whom we now are. Daily we present our bodies a living sacrifice and daily we renew our minds in Christ. We apply these practical instructions with the help and power of the Holy Spirit, that in all things we might be conformed to His life and live consistent with the high calling that we have in Christ Jesus.

Blessings,
#kent

Strongholds

April 24, 2014

Mark 3:23-27a
So Jesus called them and spoke to them in parables: “How can Satan drive out Satan? 24If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come. 27In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can rob his house.

Strongholds

There are strongholds that each one of us deals with in our lives. Some may be stronger than others, but all of us have dealt with areas of our flesh where we are weak and more prone to failure and sin. Most all of us tend to want to keep these in the secret places of our closets so others won’t see, but often very ugly things reside behind the closed doors of our home and our hearts. These strongholds have fettered us and kept us in a state of bondage even as Christians for far too long. It is most often a love-hate relationship. We hate our sin and yet we love it too much to let go of it. As a result we struggle with our hypocrisy, often justifying it or rationalizing it so we can live with this bondage that is crippling our wholeness in Christ. Many of us live with much guilt and condemnation because we truly love the Lord and yet in these areas that may differ with each one of us, we are weak and seem unable to break free.
The enemy knows our areas of weakness and vulnerability. These are his inroads to our soul to hinder us and cripple us in walking in obedience in these areas. No amount of rules or laws are going to deliver us from these sensual or fleshly indulgences.
Paul says this in Colossians 2:19-13, “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. 11In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, 12having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.
13When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. 15And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” The truth is that Jesus Christ has bound the strong man, disarming his powers and authority. We now possess in Christ a greater power and authority than that which has bound us. Verse 10 says ‘you have been given fullness in Christ who is the head over every power and authority.’
So why are we still enslaved by these strongholds of sin and flesh? God has placed the Spirit of Christ in us to overcome the flesh. It is easy when someone does everything for you, but it doesn’t help you to grow or to find the strength you need to live in victory. God has called us to overcome in Christ Jesus.
We plead, “But I have tried and I still fail. I can’t do it.”
That is exactly right, we can’t do it, but we have a power resident within us by which we can. Romans 8:12-14 tells us, “Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” The key words here for us are “By the Spirit”. We have an identity in Christ that we must put on in every area of our lives. We are no longer identified with the weakness, fearfulness and the lust of our flesh. We are identified with what we possess which Colossians 2:10 says is the ‘fullness in Christ’.
Colossians 3:1-11 exhorts us, “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
5Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.” We must know who we are and where we now reside in the Spirit. We are not an earthly people any longer, we are a kingdom people with the King of Kings setting upon the throne our hearts and souls.
Some of us cry out in our souls and say, “I want to be free, but I can’t.” Can’t is not a statement of faith, but of fear and unbelief. “We can do all things through Christ that strengthens us.” Our greatest enemy is the deceptiveness of sin. We hide our sin in the closet because of our shame. We don’t want people to think of us less than spiritual; when in truth we are all struggling with the same garbage. It doesn’t matter how wicked or perverse the thing is that you struggle with, God sees it and He knows. It is not His will that this stronghold possesses you and rules over you. The greatest tactic of the enemy is to get you alone with your sin, like you are the only one going through this. You are not alone. We all struggle in areas of our life. Our greatest strength and victory is going to come when we bring our sin and struggles into the light and we allow the body of Christ to stand with us, pray with us and offer accountability to us. James 3:16 tells us, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” The reason we confess our sins to one another is to bring them into the light, which renders the devil powerless. He can only work in darkness. In the light we unite with the strength and support of fellow believers who can pray with us, stand with us and help us to be accountable in those areas where we are so prone to temptation.
It is time for all of us to come out of our dysfunctional state of sin and failure. Let us help one another in coming into the full freedom and deliverance from these strongholds that have so long crippled and hindered us in our walk and full devotion to Christ. You are not alone in your struggle. Surround yourself with other solid believers that you can trust and confide in. You may find that you are able to help them as much as they can help you. Let us walk in the light as He is in the light. No more strongholds!

Blessings,
#kent

Did You Know You were Dead?

Colossians 3:1-4
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God When Christ, [who is] our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

A principle of salvation and the work of the cross that is hard for us to really grasp and assimilate into our minds and get down into our spirits is the fact that when we gave our hearts and lives to Christ we died. We became identified with Christ upon that cross. When we came into Christ our old man died there with Him. Romans 6:6 says, “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with [him], that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” We have so long been associated with this body of sin, that many of us haven’t really made the transition spiritually and physically to the reality of this truth. We are still identified with our old body of sin and sin-nature. We keep wanting and trying to change it and reform it. That is not going to happen. We have to grasp the reality that it is DEAD! When we came into Christ we became a new creation, a spiritual man or woman with a redeemed soul. One of the greatest strategies of the enemy is to keep us in that old mindset of being sinners, still living under the curse of sin. Paul said in Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” With that new life we found in Christ, there has to come in us a whole new mindset and way of seeing ourselves and our world through the eyes and mind of the Spirit of God. This is why we can be no longer conformed to the world, but as Romans 12:2 says,”transformed through the renewing of our minds.” Our nation, our country, our citizenship is Heaven. As such we must become heavenly minded in our thinking and actions. This is a hard rut for most of us to get out of, because we live in the world, we are around worldly people and our tendency is to think like they think and live like they live. But we have to remember that we are a redeemed and holy people now, living out our spiritual lives in these natural bodies. That is what makes us a peculiar people. Our thoughts, our dreams, our way of life and living and thinking are lining up now with the mind of the Spirit as revealed through God’s Word. The revelation of that Word is becoming alive in us more and more as we mature and grow up into Christ in all things.
So why are we still struggling with a sin nature that is no longer our nature? Much of it is because we are still housed in a body that can be influenced and moved by sin and temptation. Think of it this way: if when I came to Christ I literally died and went to heaven then I am in Christ and there is no more worries, no more struggles with the sin and the flesh. I can live a sinless life, no more temptations or trials. The reality is that while I did die and my life is in Christ, I am still left in this mortal body and subject to the curse of sin that is all around me and that still is trying to lay hold of my mortal body and soul. Even though I am dead to sin, I can’t run away from it influence. That is by God’s design, because He doesn’t want us to run away from sin, He wants us to overcome and conquer it even as Christ did. The power is not in us alone to overcome sin. If that were the case the law would have been enough and Christ would not have had to die for our sin. The only way to overcome sin is with a Savior whose life and power abides within us by faith. With the natural eye and understanding we may not see who we are in Christ, but with the eyes of faith, empowered by the Spirit and with the authority of God’s Word we go into battle. The battle to live out who we really are in the Spirit and at the same time bring others out of death and darkness, into light and life. As we have died to the natural man with it’s sin nature; we are now free to allow the Christ to live through us as we willing submit our wills to Him as a living sacrifice. We no longer hold our lives as being our own, but that ownership is now the Lord’s. We are His servants, servants of righteousness and no longer of sin. The more we lay hold of and live in this reality the less power sin has over us. It is as Romans 6:13 says, “Neither yield ye your members [as] instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members [as] instruments of righteousness unto God.” It is a paradox that when we die to sin and that old nature, we become alive in our spirits unto God. We have become the products of His life giving Spirit at work in us. While we have not yet physically made the ascent, spiritually we have stepped out of earth and into heaven where Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father. “And you [hath he quickened], who were dead in trespasses and sins. Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised [us] up together, and made [us] sit together in heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus:
That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:1-7). We must walk in the revelation of who we are in Christ. Our state has changed from dead unto God to dead unto sin. That death is only made complete as Christ lives in and through us.

Blessings,
kent

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