Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
God does not need you to defeat the devil today. Jesus has already done it and given you the victory. (Colossians 2:15, Romans 8:37) Your part is to enforce the victory by simply standing your ground, which is victory ground. In other words, you “fight” from victory ground by standing. You don’t fight for victory.
In Ephesians 6:10-18, the passage on spiritual warfare, the word “wrestle” appears only once (verse 12), while the word “stand” appears four times – “stand against the wiles of the devil”, “withstand in the evil day”, “having done all, to stand”, “Stand therefore”. (Verses 11, 13-14) Four times the Holy Spirit tells us to stand. Yet, many Christians are focusing on wrestling their way to victory! You are already on victory ground. You already have everything in Christ. (1 Corinthians 3:21, 23) You are already blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ. (Ephesians 1:3). The devil knows this and that is why his tactic is to deceive you and make you think that you don’t have the victory.
So when he attacks you by saying, “Look at that small sum in your bank account! How are you going to pay the bills?” stand your ground. Declare, “I am not trying to be rich. I am already blessed in Christ!” It doesn’t matter how much you have in the bank. You are richly supplied because you are in Christ. And as the need arises, the supply will be there if you believe it.
It is the same with healing. The devil will try to attack you with symptoms in your body. He will try to put pain in your body, and make you feel weak here and there, so that you think that you are still sick. He is trying to make you believe that you don’t have your healing. That is the time to be conscious of Jesus’ finished work and declare, “I am not trying to get healed, I am healed! I am standing on the victory ground which Jesus has given me!”
It makes a world of difference when you fight from victory and not for victory!
“For with God nothing will be impossible.”
Have you ever heard the expression, “What would Jesus do?” It is a question Christians are taught to ask themselves when faced with a problem. But when you ask yourself, “What would Jesus do?” in any situation, it is subject to your own interpretation and theology. For example, if you are from a church that doesn’t believe that Jesus heals today, you may think that this is how Jesus would pray for the sick, “O Father, give him patience to endure his sufferings,” and proceed to pray that way for a sick person. So when you try to think of what Jesus would do, you are going back to your flesh!
Maybe the expression should be, “Watch what Jesus does”. So when you are led to talk to someone, watch what Jesus does. When you pray for your child, watch what Jesus does. When you confess God’s Word into your situation, watch what Jesus does! Keep your eyes on Jesus, with whom nothing is impossible!
And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, called by God as High Priest “according to the order of Melchizedek,”
When Jesus died and rose again, He became our High Priest. But notice that Jesus’ priesthood is “according to the order of Melchizedek”. So why the Melchizedek priesthood? The Melchizedek priesthood gives to man (whereas the Aaronic priesthood takes from man). We see this when Melchizedek gave bread and wine to refresh a tired Abraham after his battle with the enemy kings. (Genesis 14:14-20) So if Jesus’ priesthood is according to the Melchizedek order, then it is one in which we can come boldly into His presence to receive from Him! (Hebrews 4:16) The first word from Melchizedek’s mouth was “Blessed” – “Blessed be Abram…” (Genesis 14:19) The Melchizedek order is just that – blessings. In other words, Jesus’ priesthood is one which blesses and never curses us! So are we conscious of Jesus our High Priest giving to us every day? Are we alert to all His blessings coming from heaven toward us on earth?
Now, it is easy for us to believe God for His blessings in creation. For example, we have no difficulty believing that the sun will rise every morning. But while we have no problems believing the work of creation, we have problems believing the work of redemption. We sometimes find it hard to believe God for healing, provision, favor, protection or restoration – the blessings that Jesus died to give us. We don’t really believe that every day, the Lord will take care of us, keep our bodies healthy and provide for all our needs. Yet, creation is fallen. It can be a blessing as well as a curse. Sometimes, a storm arises, and powerful winds and rains destroy thousands of homes and lives. Sometimes, dark clouds hide the sun and make the whole day gloomy.
That is why we can’t put our trust in creation, but we can certainly put our trust in redemption. And unlike creation, the blessings of redemption are all good! The work of Jesus is not subject to the weather or anything else. The work of redemption is as sure as Jesus Himself. He died and rose again to be our High Priest who daily showers us with blessings!
For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Do you ever wonder if God really knows what it is like to be poor, rejected by people or sick with aches and pains. Perhaps you are asking, “Does God really understand what I am going through?” Jesus was no stranger to emotional or physical pains, poverty or hardships. He was born into a poor family. He had a smelly manger for His birthplace. (Luke 2:7) From an early age, as a carpenter, He knew all about working hard with His hands, standing on His feet all day long and returning home with aches in His body.
The religious leaders of His day made life difficult for Him. They challenged His authority (Matthew 21:23) and tested His teachings. (Matthew 19:3) They also called Him a glutton, winebibber, friend of tax collectors and sinners (Matthew 11:19), and a blasphemer. (Mark 2:7) They said that He was demon-possessed and mad (John 10:20), put Him on the spot when they brought an adulterous woman to Him (John 8:2-11), attempted to stone Him (John 8:59, 10:31-39) and accused Him of perverting the nation. (Luke 23:2)
Have you ever been chased out of your home because of your Christian beliefs? Jesus understands what you are going through. He was chased out of His own hometown. (Luke 4:29) Have you ever been rejected by someone you love? Jesus also experienced the pain of being denied by a loved one (Luke 22:54-62) and betrayed by one considered close to Him. (Luke 22:47-48) He also knows all about the sickness you are suffering because He bore your sicknesses and pains on the cross. (Isaiah 53:4)
Jesus certainly understands all that we are going through because being born fully Man, He was “in all points tempted as we are”. He endured His sufferings for our sakes, so that we can have His peace and the anointing to rise above the troubles we are facing!
My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart…
What do you pay the most attention to? Is it your job, your finances, your family? Although these things are important the most important thing is God’s Word. When Martha complained to Jesus that her sister Mary had left her to serve alone (Mary was sitting at Jesus’ feet and hearing His Word), Jesus defended Mary by saying, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42) Now Jesus did not blame Martha for being concerned about the household chores. He was only asking her to set priorities. It is possible for our service for Christ to be degenerated into mere busywork that is no longer full of devotion to God.
We have a tendency to worry about the material things that are needed to survive in this world. We strive to gain wealth, power and work hard to maintain our health. Did you know that God will take care of all these things? “For the pagans pursue all these things, and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:32-33)
You will not lose out when you take time to sit down and listen to God’s Word. Even your health and well-being will be blessed. (Proverbs 4:22) So take time every day to meditate on His Word. It will make your way prosperous (Joshua 1:8-9), and give you divine health and good success!
1 Peter 5:8-9
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith…
You may have been taught that if you wanted to resist the devil, you had to rebuke him. So whenever an evil thought came to mind or you was tempted, you might say something like, “I resist you, devil, in Jesus’ name! I bind you, devil! Go away from me, devil! I rebuke you in Jesus’ name!” Although you had “resisted” the devil, you actually had spent more time talking to him than to God! You become more conscious of the devil than of God throughout the day. If you check the Word of God and realized that we resist the devil not by focusing on resisting him, but by being established in the faith that we are made right with God through Jesus’ blood, that we are the righteousness of God in Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Yes, the devil will continue to remind you of your mistakes, failures and sins. And he will tell you that because of these things, you cannot receive your healing, that you will have to pay for your mistakes or that something bad will happen. He will accuse you, condemn you and try to persuade your heart to believe that he can do bad things to you. But the truth is that the devil cannot enforce anything in your life if he cannot persuade your heart. And your heart cannot be persuaded if it is “steadfast in the faith”, if it is established in righteousness. God says that once you are established in righteousness, “You shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you”. (Isaiah 54:14)
So establish your heart in righteousness, and boldly declare, “Yes, I may have these problems in my life, but I am not guilty in God’s eyes. I am justified in God’s eyes by faith because of what Christ has done. I am righteous by Jesus’ blood!” That is how you resist the devil and become undevourable!
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Isn’t it great to know that Jesus sees all the cares we carry in our hearts. He knows the worries you have for your family and for the future. He feels the heaviness in your heart as you struggle with the sickness in your body. He says to you, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Jesus wants to give you rest. And He says that the way you receive rest is to be yoked with Him, for His yoke is easy and His burden is light. (Matthew 11:29-30) So what does it mean to be yoked with Jesus? Imagine a pair of oxen yoked together. The younger ox sees what the lead ox does and follows. If the lead ox turns left, the younger ox turns left. If the lead ox stops, the younger ox stops. When the lead ox starts moving again, the younger ox follows. Likewise, Jesus wants us to follow His leading and flow with Him.
It is not hard to flow with Jesus because He will not lay anything heavy on you – “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:30) When you are yoked with Him and you flow with Him, you will find that there is nothing heavy-hearted, ill-fitting or burdensome from the Lord. When you flow with the Lord, you will find that things fall into place. You will not be weighed down, anxious or distressed. So how do you flow with Jesus? You do what He says to do in the Bible. His very words are the way you should be living your life. Follow His leading and flow with Him, and you will find rest for your soul!
Death and life are in the power of the tongue…
Many things in life can cause us to fear – losing our jobs, deadly diseases, terrorist attacks and so on. When these things confront us, we tend to give in to worry and fear, and start talking about our fears. Job was no different. He constantly feared that God would punish him and his family because he kept thinking that his sons had sinned against God. He would get up early in the morning to offer burnt sacrifices, saying, “It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” And the Bible tells us that he did this “regularly”. (Job 1:5) So Job kept confessing the sins of his sons and fearing that something terrible would happen to him and his family. In fact, his sin-consciousness didn’t just produce fear, the Bible tells us that he “greatly feared”. (Job 3:25)
It is important that we understand that it was Job’s sin-consciousness that opened the door to Satan. His preoccupation with sins that his family may have committed gave Satan the opportunity to bring death and destruction into his life. God had a hedge of protection around Job. But when he started being sin-conscious and having a fearful expectation of judgment, the hedge was removed and Satan could attack him. (Job 1:9-12)
If you have sinned, don’t say, “I have failed again. I deserve to be punished by God.” Know that you already have forgiveness of sins because Jesus was punished and condemned in your place! (Ephesians 1:7) So say, “I am the righteousness of God in Christ. Jesus, You are my holiness and perfection.” (1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 5:21) We must be mindful of what we believe and say regularly because “death and life are in the power of the tongue”. So when you hear of a deadly virus taking many lives, don’t say, “I’m next because I have not been a good Christian!” Instead, say, “Jesus, You are my righteousness and protection. Surely You shall deliver me from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence!” (Psalm 91:3)
Such believing and confessing not only pleases God, but they also shut the door on Satan so that he cannot make any inroad into your life!
The Lord works out everything for His own ends – even the wicked for a day of disaster.
This verse does not mean that God created some people to be wicked, but rather that God uses even the activities of wicked people to fulfill His good purposes. God is infinite and we are finite. No matter how great our intellects, we will never be able to fully understand God completely. But we can accept by faith that He is all-powerful, all-loving, and perfectly good. We can believe that He is not the cause of evil (James 1:13, 17); and we can trust that there will be no loose ends in His system of judgment.
Evil is a temporary condition in the universe and one day God will destroy it. In the meantime, He uses even the evil intentions of people for His good purpose. Genesis 50:20, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Joseph faced many trials during his life. His brothers sold him into slavery, Potiphar’s wife falsely accused him which landed him in prison. But God took the evil intent of others and turned it to good. Joseph became the second highest in Egypt. Joseph learned that God brings good from evil for those who trust Him.
Perhaps you are experiencing some bad times in your life. Do you trust God enough to wait patiently for Him to bring good out of bad situations? You can trust God because, as Joseph learned, God can overrule people’s evil intentions to bring about His intended results.
Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all…
God’s grace is His undeserved, unearned and unmerited favor. And because it is undeserved, unearned and unmerited, all of us qualify for it. But how do we walk in it? Just as a password gives you access to a computer program, faith enables you to walk in God’s unmerited favor. Now, faith has nothing to do with what you do or what you are able to do. Faith is simply believing and declaring what God has done and is doing for you. When you believe that the favor of God is on you because of Christ’s finished work, His promises of provision, healing and restoration are sure to you. They are not just sure to the Jews, but also to you and me because we are “of the faith of Abraham”.
Ruth was a Gentile widow who put her faith in God’s grace. She believed and declared that God’s favor would lead her to the right field in which to glean, where she would find favor in the owner’s sight. (Ruth 2:2) Because she depended on God’s unmerited favor, God not only placed her in wealthy Boaz’s field, but also in the genealogy of Jesus! (Matthew 1:5) Ruth’s faith in God’s favor opened up a whole new world for her. She went from poverty to supply, widowhood to marriage, and from being childless to having a complete family. She also became a respected member of the community. (Ruth 4:13-15) If Ruth, a Gentile who was under the old covenant, enjoyed God’s favor, how much more will we who are under the new covenant of grace enjoy the blessings that the unmerited favor of God brings! In fact, because God sees us in the Beloved today, we enjoy the same favor that Jesus has! (Ephesians 1:3-6)
When you believe that you have the same favor that Jesus has, a whole new world will open up to you – a world where all of God’s promises are “Yes” and “Amen” in Christ! (2 Corinthians 1:20)