For every need in scriptures, the answer that is given is, look to the LORD.
Even when Jesus prayed, he looked up to heaven.
Then he told the people to sit down on the grass. Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he gave the bread to the disciples, who distributed it to the people. Matthew 14:19
What does it mean to look up to the LORD?
“Look up” in the Hebrew language is tsâphâh which means to peer into the distance, to observe, await, to keep watch.
Keeping that in mind, let’s take a look at “look up” in context.
Psalms 5:3 tells us that looking up is connected to prayer.
I will direct my prayer unto thee and look up.
I will watch and observe in prayer what the Lord says to me. I will wait for his direction, I will wait for his word.
Isaiah 8:17 tells us that the prophet says, he will wait and look to the lord for an answer to his prayer.
Isaiah 45:22 says that when we look with respect to the Lord, he brings salvation. God alone can save us from our sin, and save us out of all trouble.
Zechariah 12:10 tells us that when the Spirit of grace and supplications are poured out from the Lord, it causes the nation of Israel to look up to the Lord.
We can see a spiritual principle here. Putting this together we find that when God’s mercy is released through the spirit of prayer, it brings revelation knowledge of Jesus Christ.
An important point to remember when praying for Israel but also for the lost of all nations.
The book of John reiterates. Using the Greek word optanomai. To look or gaze with awe and wonder.
And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!
And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.
Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou?
He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour. John 1:36-40
So we can see that this “looking” phenomena is more than simply taking a look. It’s looking with respect, awe, wonder. Like gazing into the eyes of the one you love!
Keeping this in mind let’s examine this “looking up” in the context of prayer.
Hebrews 12:2 Says looking unto Jesus. The Savior pierced for our sins who is the author and finisher of our faith.
Looking with awe and wonder with respect to the Lord, the author of our faith who is also the completer of our faith.
We must look to the Lord for our salvation which encompasses all the things we need to be saved from.
Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. Psalm 105:4 Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. Psalm 34:5 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. Isaiah 45:22
But as for me, I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me. Micah 7:7
According to the Bible there are 2 kinds of ignorance. The first being innocent ignorance and the second being willful ignorance.
Innocent ignorance is still considered to be a sin, according to Jesus. In Luke 12:47,48, the Lord tells this story.
And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.
In our common law which is based on Biblical law, citizens are expected to know what the law says, in general terms even if they do not know particulars.
Ignorantia juris non excusat is latin for ignorance of the law is no excuse. This is a legal principle which means that a person who is unaware of a law, may not escape liability for violating that law, just because they were uninformed concerning that law.
“Ignorantia Legis Neminem Excusat“, Manitoba Law Journal, Vol. 2, Issue 10 (October 1885), pp. 145–157
The Bible makes this principle clear in Numbers 15:22-30. Innocent ignorance is still considered a sin. Not as bad as willful disobedience but never the less, a sin.
But suppose you unintentionally fail to carry out all these commands that the LORD has given you through Moses. And suppose your descendants in the future fail to do everything the LORD has commanded through Moses. If the mistake was made unintentionally, and the community was unaware of it, the whole community must present a young bull for a burnt offering as a pleasing aroma to the LORD. It must be offered along with its prescribed grain offering and liquid offering and with one male goat for a sin offering. With it the priest will purify the whole community of Israel, making them right with the LORD, and they will be forgiven. For it was an unintentional sin, and they have corrected it with their offerings to the LORD—the special gift and the sin offering. The whole community of Israel will be forgiven, including the foreigners living among you, for all the people were involved in the sin.
If one individual commits an unintentional sin, the guilty person must bring a one-year-old female goat for a sin offering. The priest will sacrifice it to purify the guilty person before the LORD, and that person will be forgiven. These same instructions apply both to native-born Israelites and to the foreigners living among you.
But those who brazenly violate the LORD’s will, whether native-born Israelites or foreigners, have blasphemed the LORD, and they must be cut off from the community. Since they have treated the LORD’s word with contempt and deliberately disobeyed his command, they must be completely cut off and suffer the punishment for their guilt.TLB
Innocent sin is lesser in comparison to presumptuous sin, which is knowing something is wrong but in pride rejecting doing what is right or what the word says, due to weakness of the flesh.
Innocent sin is a lack of deep understanding of the seriousness of the sin involved. For example, the unbelief of the lost may in some cases be due to innocent ignorance, but is still considered to be sin according to God. This is because as Paul points out in Romans chapter 1, nature itself is a witness to the Creator plus nature teaches what is right and what is wrong. To defy God’s natural laws by rejecting them as untruth can be innocent ignorance but also may be willful ignorance, depending on the situation.
Willful ignorance is a graver sin. It is not as bad as presumptuous sin or deliberate sin, but it is sin never the less. Willfully ignorant is a legal term which means one who lacks the information or facts because they refuse to acknowledge them.
In criminal cases, willful ignorance is meant to substitute for actual knowledge: When the defendant does not actually know , but was willfully ignorant of it, courts may treat her as if she actually knew. Global-Tech, 131 S. Ct. 2060 at 2070.
Its the same principle in the Bible. The anti Christ spirit may be changing God’s laws today in order to excuse sin, but God’s law always trumps over the devil’s lies.
For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law. Romans 2:12
Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin. James 4:7,
And Balaam said to the Angel of the LORD, “I have sinned, for I did not know You stood in the way against me. Now therefore, if it displeases You, I will turn back. Numbers 22:34,
God calls unbelief a sin. Thomas had innocent unbelief. He was not there when Jesus appeared to the other disciples, and was not going to take their word for his resurrection. When Jesus showed up he proved himself to Thomas, then Thomas believed. Jesus however, spoke into his unbelief. “Do not doubt but believe.” (John 20)
Scriptures tell us that without faith, that is trust in God’s word, the scriptures, it is impossible to please Him. Many say they “believe in Jesus” but they willfully reject his word. They deny his power, his deity, his laws.
To reject scriptures because one is told they are not relevant for today, or God doesn’t do that any more, or God approves of me anyway, or they put man’s word above God’s word, can be depending on the situation, innocent ignorance or willful ignorance. Either way, it is still sin.
And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. Hebrews 11:6
But though He had performed so many signs before them, yet they were not believing in Him. James 12:32
However, they did not listen, but stiffened their neck like their fathers, who did not believe in the Lord their God. 2 Kings 17:4
Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins. John 8:24
So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief. Hebrews 3:19
In order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness. 2 Thessalonians 2:13
But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. Revelation 21:8
The spirit of pride is behind taking offense to God’s word. Many today in churches out right reject the Bible. Some reject portions of the Bible. They even persecute those who have faith in God’s word.
So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” and “A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.” They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. 1 Peter 2: 7,8
Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. Matthew 24: 9,10
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Mathew 5:10-12
The Bible tells us to be innocent of evil but to wise concerning what is good. Romans 16:19
We are called to pray for our understanding to be enlightened, so that we can know what is the hope of our calling, what is the riches of God’s inheritance that he has provided for us and to know what is the exceeding greatness of his power towards us who BELIEVE. Ephesians 1:18
We are called to walk, not in willful ignorance and unbelief, but by faith in Jesus Christ who loved us and gave himself for us!
This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart. Ephesians 4:18
The Bible is filled with God’s promises. When we put our trust in God’s Word in effect we are putting our trust in God’s character.
Jesus was the Word of God made flesh.
John 1:1 says that in the beginning, was the word.
Beginning in the Greek is archē
This word is more than just a starting point. It means literally FIRST ESTATE. The first magistrate power. The first principality ruler.
Jesus was and is the first Word or Logos in the Greek.
According to the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus who was the first to use this word in his writings, Logos is referred to as a rational divine intelligence.
Logos was used to define the reasoning of the mind or rational mind. It also meant divine mind or universal intelligence. The universal ruling force governing and revealing himself through the cosmos to humankind. In other words Logos is God’s mind.
Putting this together we have, the Logos or mind of God being the FIRST ESTATE, first magistrate power or principal ruler was made flesh and dwelt among us. (John 1:14)
John was speaking of the incarnation of Jesus Christ.
He goes on to say that those who received him the logos or God in the flesh are given the power or right to become the sons of God.
We become God’s children by receiving the word. Jesus Christ, God in the flesh.
Its important that we receive the Jesus Christ in which the scriptures express. If we believe Jesus to be an inferior god, as a god or a created being such as an angel then that is being converted to another Jesus or a false Jesus. Not the Biblical Jesus.
Jesus Christ or the logos is both God and man.
I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. John 8: 24
How do we receive this great salvation through Jesus Christ the Logos, God’s divine mind, word, thoughts, ruling governance?
Simply by faith.
Faith is the gift in which grace flows. Faith is given. Faith comes by hearing GOD’S word. Without faith we cannot please God nor can we receive from God. Why? Because unbelief in effect says. I DO NOT BELIEVE YOU ARE WHO YOU SAY YOU ARE!
The logos is God’s word expressed through the incarnation of Jesus Christ. The Law was God’s written word which he gave through Moses. The incarnation of the Logos is God’s word in the flesh.
Romans 4 tells us that Abraham believed or had faith in God’s promise, his word or Logos.
In order for salvation to occur faith must be exercised for grace to take effect. It is the same principle for every scriptural promise. Faith believes before any evidence is manifested.
The soul dead in trespasses and sin did not feel saved before receiving salvation! He hoped and then God turned that hope into faith. Faith is the supernatural ability to believe beyond evidences.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1
Abraham according to the Bible, hoped against hope.
Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. Romans 4:18
Abraham trusted God even though all evidence in the natural realm pointed to the opposite of what God’s word said.
As we can see before faith comes we must have hope. Many people give up or refuse to have hope or trust in the Logos.
Because Abraham believed God’s word he received the promise.
If you read the story of Abraham you will find he messed up a bit concerning getting his promise. He took wrong advise, got his eyes off the promise but one thing he did not do was give up hope.
How did this promise to Abraham come about? Was it immediate? Did Abraham all of a sudden turn into a young man again? Did the promise fall out of the sky and into his lap?
No. None of these things happened. Due to a series of events Abraham had to learn to trust God.
Abraham had an Ishmael. He listened to naysayers and he also went about trying to bring his own will into the equation. By doing so Abraham ended up having a lot of conflict.
How many of us try to fix our own problems by coming up with schemes that end up getting us where it hurts?
I know I certainly have. Well just like Abraham learned from his mistakes so can we learn from ours.
Take a look from scriptures at how God brings his word to pass.
The first thing God does is speak his word. He brings a word to your heart from his Holy Spirit or from his written word or both.
God tells us what he is going to do. Not what we plan but what he tells us he is going to do. That’s why its important to get a rhema or living personal word form the Lord. We can do this by fasting and prayer, seeking the Lord’s face.
Then we make a choice to believe that word or not.
Wait a minute are you saying I have a choice?
What did Jesus say?
And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. Matthew 9:28
And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. Romans 4:21
Now we may be hoping against hope like Abraham for something that is impossible in the natural. Lets take a look at how Abraham responded to the same predicament.
God made a promise to Abraham even though it looked impossible. Abraham had hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken.
When God speaks a word he calls those things which are not, as though they were.
(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. Romans 4:17
In this way we also are able to receive God’s promises. Let me show you an example through scriptures on how God works to being something to pass.
In Genesis 1:2, the earth had no form. It was empty. In Greek, tôhû bôhû is a phrase which means “empty without form.”
Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the spirit of God was hovering over the waters. Genesis 1:2
The earth had no form. It was empty, “unseen and unformed.”
And God said...âmar, Which means; appointed, called, commanded, spoke, uttered, promised
This was the same with Sarah’s womb. She was past the age of child bearing. However, Abraham had faith. He did not consider his body or Sarah’s body.
He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully persuaded that what He had promised, He was able also to perform. Romans 4:20,21
Now look at what God did in Genesis 1.
Darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
So on an empty, dark, formless earth, God’s Spirit moved on the face of the waters.
God’s Holy Spirit broods or shakes up a barren, empty, void, nothing, situation.
Then God spoke the world into existence. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. Genesis 1:3
This is also what happens at salvation. 2 Corinthians 4:6 tells us that God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
God had faith in his own ability to create. He never had any doubters around to get in his way. He spoke the world into existence and it happened. To the lost soul who hopes in him, looks to the Lord to be saved, God releases his faith to receive his free gift of salvation.
This is an important principle to remember when you are praying for the lost. They need to hear the word then hope in the word, then believe in the word.
In conclusion, God’s word is “yes and amen”. What he promises to do, he will do! Continue to hope in his word. Faith is believing in God’s word without seeing any evidence! Trust in him. Be patient for the Lord’s Holy Spirit is brooding over the darkness. He will bring his light into your situation at the appointed time!
When the Bible tells us that Christians are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ, what exactly does that mean? Let us first of all examine what the word conquer means. According to the dictionary, to conquer means to defeat or subdue by force. Especially by force of arms. To overcome or surmount by physical, mental, or moral force.
Romans chapter 8 tell us that we are more than conquerors. To be more than something means to exceed. To go beyond a gain.
We are more than conquerors because Jesus Christ has conquered. He won the battle and we are now situated in his victory.
According to Romans chapter 8, we are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ, over all these things: over the flesh, the sufferings of this present time, having patience, perseverance and hope until the redemption of our bodies, condemnation, persecution, and tribulation of all kinds.
Romans 8 tells us that we are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ because the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness.
How does the Holy Spirit help us conquer ?
Through Holy Spirit inspired prayer!
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. Romans 8:26,27
In this present time of tribulation which we have in this world, not only will that tribulation never separate us from God’s love but it will in fact work together for our good. According to Romans 8, we are predestined to be conformed to or fashioned into the Lord’s likeness.
All the tribulations of this life keep us dependent on the Lord, they increase patience, help us see our weakness, brings us to repentance in areas of sin, give us spiritual insight, increase wisdom, develop experience, and bring hope.
Tribulation works the things we experience in such a way that it increases our trust in the Lord. We learn to rejoice through every trial we are brought through because we know that the victory is the Lord’s! He always turns things around for our good!
Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all. Psalms 34:19
Prayer is the key to deliverance from every trial! Holy Spirit inspired prayer will work every situation out in our favor. For our good and for our spiritual growth. For we are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ who loved us and gave himself for us!
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37-38
Psalm 18 gives us insight into how we can achieve victory over all our troubles. The first part of the Psalm David declares that the Lord is the one who gives him help. The Lord is able to deliver him from trouble.
This proclamation assures us how mighty the Lord’s power is towards us. When we declare God’s sovereign power over all things then our faith level rises. We are reminded where our help comes from. Not in man or any other source but in the Lord our God.
The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. Psalm 18:1
David then declares, “I will call upon the Lord who is my strength, my deliverer, my power, my shield and my high tower.”
From declaring who the source of our help is, David then proclaims that when we call on the Lord in our trouble he is able to save us. It is important to note that calling on the Lord to enter our situation is when he is able to intervene. The Lord will never intervene without our request or the request of an intercessor.
This spiritual principle is seen throughout scripture.
Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. Mark 11:24
Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. John 16:24
But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. James 1:6
David gives the Lord praise. “I will praise the Lord who is worthy.”
Praise is an important part of spiritual warfare. Praise is different than worship. Praise declares the Lord’s sovereign power over all things including the devil’s plans and schemes.
O Lord, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth. Isaiah 25:1
And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. Acts 16:25
Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him,who is the health of my countenance, and my God. Psalm 42:11
Next David declares what the Lord is able to do for him. How he is able to deliver! By faith David declares what God is going to do!
I shall be saved from my enemies. I shall be saved from the floods of adversity and sorrow. (depression) I shall be saved from snares and obstructions. The Lord shall silence my accusers. The Lord shall hear me when I cry for justice. He will take vengeance on my enemies and make them bow the knee under the authority of the Lord our God.
David then sees with the eye of faith what is happening in the spiritual realm as he prays. David sees the angelic realm ushered in by the wind of the Spirit. He sees the darkness and waters of affliction flee before the Lord’s majesty. David hears the voice of the Lord speaking in the heavenlies with the fire of authority.
David watches in the Spirit as the Lord sends forth his arrows against the enemy. He hears the Lord rebuke the enemy and expose the evil one’s strongholds.
David declares the victory. “The Lord took me out of my trouble. He drew me out of affliction unto himself. The Lord is my rock. My security. He brought me from bondage to freedom. He delivered me because I belong to him and he loves me. The Lord sees me clothed in his righteousness and knows that I have put my trust in him. Therefore the Lord honours me and shows his mercy by becoming my light in the darkness. ”
David’s faith is now raised to a new level. “With my God I can run right through an army of the evil one. I can by my God leap over all obstacles. The Lord gives me strength and victory. He sets me above all my enemies. ”
David has learned the art of warfare. He is taught that the strongholds of the enemy have to come down when he trusts in the Lord to battle for him. David learns that God’s protection is given when he wears the shield of faith and the helmet of salvation. David is kept from falling and delivered from all the enemies attacks when he declares God’s greatness and majesty. The devil is put under the feet of the Lord’s righteous, David learns this because the Lord who is a mighty warrior has maintained his cause.
Then David boasts in the Lord. He declares to everyone that the Lord girded him with strength in the battle. The Lord dealt with those who rose up against him. The Lord has destroyed the avenger and silenced the tongues of his accusers. David is now the head. He is the victor while the enemy is the tail.
David tells others that they too can have this victory. He says to all, “Blessed is the Lord who does marvelous things ! The Lord will bring the lost out of darkness. He will deliver the captives. He will bring them from darkness to light. He will set the sinner free! The Lord will show mercy to all who call upon him.”
We learn from Psalm 18 that when we call on the Lord in trouble he girds himself like a mighty warrior ready to fight on our behalf. When we declare the Lord’s greatness and declare what he will do for us then our faith is released and the Lord begins to battle on our behalf.
As we see by faith what God is doing in the spiritual realm we will see those results in the natural realm. Our victory is sure. We are then able to declare to others what great things the Lord has done for us. When we give our testimony others can also be set free! They can be victorious over all the works of the evil one too.
“He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me. They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the Lord was my stay. He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me.” PSALM 18: 17-19
For who is God save the Lord? Who is a rock save our God? It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect. “He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places. He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms. Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.
Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip.I have pursued mine enemies, and overtaken them: neither did I turn again till they were consumed. I have wounded them that they were not able to rise: they are fallen under my feet. For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me. PSALM 18: 31-39
Steps to victory
Declare that the Lord is the one who can give you help. The Lord is able to deliver you from trouble.
Call upon the Lord to intervene in your circumstance.
Declare that he is able to deliver you!
Praise the Lord. Declare his power, his ability, his greatness!
Declare by faith what the Lord is going to do for you!
Declare by faith what the Lord is doing for you!
Declares your victory!
Boast in the Lord! Tell others what great things the Lord has done for you!
Tell others how they too can have victory in Jesus!
The Bible tells us to keep on praying and never give up. For in the right season, we will reap a harvest.
We are told to perservere in prayer without fainting.
Let us not be weary. Don’t faint. (Galatians 6:9, Luke 18:1 )
The keys for receiving answers to prayer are; having faith in God’s ability, trust in his word and also to perservere. That means to continue in constant prayer until the answer comes.
Many times, our prayers are not answered because we faint or give up. There are some things that take time to be answered. Situations that God is working out. Hearts God is working on. Demons who need to be defeated.
When some one becomes weary it is because they are exercising great exertion. The burden becomes so heavy it makes them want to drop the weight. They become tired, ready to faint.
To become faint is to lose consciousness. To be so weary one wants to die or at least drop out of the battle.
God tells us in his word “DON’T GIVE UP!”
Keep on praying. Why? Because if we continue in prayer we will eventually reap a harvest. First the seed, then the sprout, then the plant, then the green fruit, and finally the ripe fruit. After that the fruit is ready to be picked. It’s a process.
To gain a victory in every prayer battle and may I stress the word battle because Satan will fight you with his many fiery darts, we must persevere in prayer.
The devil opposes anything that will bring the Lord any glory.
Not only is the devil a thief and a liar but he is also a challenger. An opponent of the kingdom of God. Resisting the devil is not only a strategy in the arena of temptation but also a strategy for receiving anything from God’s heavenly realm to the natural realm.
If what we pray for is according to God’s will, that is it lines up with scriptural protocol, then God hears us immediately. His answer is yes and amen. However, heaven must release the answer to us by going through the dark realm of the demonic world. The evil powers of darkness who rule over this present world system will put up a fight to try to get the answer to our prayer aborted.
The demonic realm will hinder, try to get us weary, plague our mind with all kinds of demonic assaults, get us to lose heart, lose faith or outright fall away.
What the demonic realm can not do however, is stop the answer to our prayer from coming in the right season. God knows what he is doing. He is always a step ahead of old slew foot. Not only are we going to get our answer if we keep on praying but we are going to get a greater increase of faith.
Many times people ask for more faith to believe but what they don’t realize is that in order to have more faith, we will need to go through more battles! Every time we preserve in prayer our faith in the Lord grows! We get better equipped for the next battle. Which will come, heads up on that one! The good news is that with our newly acquired faith muscles we will be able to handle that next battle!
Prayer requires perseverance. That means persisting in a difficulty. Prayer requires supplication. That is entreating the Lord with humility. Prayer also requires watching. That means watching in the spirit to see what God tells us to do.
Many times, there is a work to do to get our prayer answered. A direction from the Lord, a strategy, an act of kindness, humbling oneself in a situation or spiritual warfare.
Whatever it is that the Lord tells us to do through watching in prayer can be accomplished by our co-laboring with the Holy Spirit to get our prayer fulfilled.
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints. Ephesians 6:18
With persistence in prayer there must also be a passion for the answer. We have to want that prayer to be manifested so much that we are willing to press through a crowd or even break down a roof, if need be! We must be willing to knock and keep on knocking! Ask and keep on asking! Seek until we find!
Jesus commended the people who were willing to go that far as having “great faith”. They knew Jesus was their only hope. They knew that if they could just get him to notice them, he would give them their request. If they kept on petitioning, they would get their answer!
Remember the blind guy who cried loud when he found out that Jesus was walking by him? Many told him to shut up! He was being obnoxious, making too much noise, but the guy cried even louder!
Jesus stopped right in his tracts when he heard that guy’s persistent cry. Jesus told the people to let him get through the crowd. Then Jesus asks the blind guy what it was he wanted!
It should have been obvious at least by our standards what the guy wanted but not from the Lord’s way of doing things. Jesus gets the blind guy to ask him again! When the guy says, “I want to see”, the Lord gives him his request. (Mark 10:48)
God tells us in Isaiah 64:7 that he wants his people to be so stirred up that they will take a hold of him! That is take hold of him and never let go!
Persevere in prayer! Be persistent! Be patient! Trust fully even if we don’t see any evidence of that prayer being answered.
The Lord wants us to stir ourselves up to pray persistently! This is the type of prayer that moves the hand of God. It’s all through the scriptures.
The parable of the persistent widow. Luke 18:1 David pleads in prayer every day! Psalm 88:13 Mother for her child Mark 7:25-26 Hannah cries for a child I Samuel 1:10 Jacob wrestles with God in Genesis 32:24-32
Persevering, persistent, constant prayer is what gets results in the kingdom of God.
To be constant is to never stop! When one prayer is answered then we go on to the next prayer. We pray and keep on praying. We persevere, endure, grow in faith, grow some more until we reach the finish line, and our race is finally over! Only then can we say, “I have finished my race, I have run my course!”
Scriptures tell us that the Christian’s war is against demonic principalities, evil demonic rulers, and demonic powers in high places, but did you know that the biggest war we wage against is the war against the carnal nature? Demons are like vultures; they can only prey on uncrucified flesh. (Ephesians 6:12, 1 Peter 2:11)
Our battle according to the Bible, is against the bodily appetites of our 5 senses in this earthly realm which are in constant opposition to God’s word. The bodily appetites of our 5 senses or the carnal nature, are always trying to usurp authority over or exalt themselves above our spiritual born again nature, the Holy Spirit, and the word of God. (2 Corinthians 10:5-7, Galatians 5: 17-26)
The Bible tells us that out mind is where this battle resides. All the spiritual warfare against the satanic realm we do will be useless unless we put to death or crucify the carnal nature. (1 Peter 1:13,Galatians 5: 17-26)
If our ways of thinking are contrary to Biblical principles, then the flesh will have the advantage. That is why it is important to renew the mind with God’s word. When we put Biblical principles above what our 5 carnal senses think or desire then we are operating in faith. (Ephesians 4: 23-27)
Faith in Jesus Christ is the key to all victory. Without faith it is impossible to please God. (Hebrews 11:6) Why?
Because whoever comes to God in faith with their struggle or need, to seek his face for answers, will find that God is both willing and able to move on their behalf. (Hebrews 11:6-8)
Scriptures tell us not to be conformed to the thinking of this world system but to be renewed in the spirit of our mind so that we will know God’s perfect will for our lives. (Romans 12:2)
Ps 119: 9-11 says that in order for our ways to line up with God’s ways we must seek the Lord with our whole heart. We do this through prayer, meditation and confession of the scriptures. (Psalms 119:15,Matthew 8:8, Romans 10:9,10, 1John 4:2, Jeremiah 1:17, Deuteronomy 18:18)
When the word of God dwells in our heart or spirit, then the word of God, by the Holy Spirit will keep us from yielding to the carnal desires and carnal ways of thinking. (Romans 6:13)
Hebrews 4:12 tells us that the word of God is like a double-edged sword that rightly divides our spirit from our flesh.
Our spirit will not be dictated to by the flesh or carnal nature when it becomes separated unto God. The spirit man must dominate the old man in order to crucify it to the world and to the ungodly desires of the carnal nature.
“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” Galatians 6:14
Proverbs 23:7 tells us that a man is what he thinks he is. If we think God’s ways, then we will walk in God’s ways.
The Bible also tells us that the Holy Spirit agrees with the word of God to produce Holy Spirit life in us. We cannot become godly or live a life that pleases God in our own ability. ( 1 John 5:7, Romans 8:8, John 6:63,)
Paul tells us that he kept his body under the control of the Holy Spirit constantly. He died daily to his carnal nature. (1 Cor. 9:27)
Without the Holy Spirit making us born of God we cannot crucify the carnal nature. Religion, which is Christianity without the Holy Spirit, is a mechanical carnal exercise that does not please God. (Romans 8:8)
Jesus said you MUST be born again to enter into God’s kingdom. Only Holy Spirit can make one born of God. (John 3:3)
I will give an example of the difference between the religious Christian and the Spiritual Christian.
I watched this documentary about a Savant who was musically “gifted.” His parents spent a lot of money on music teachers so that this kid could become a musical “genius”. When I listened to this savant play his music, I could sense in my spirit that he had a mechanical form of musical genius. This savant had the ability to copy and understand musical concepts, but the music he played sounded like it had no “soul.” Although he played well without any error, the sound he produced was a mechanical sound.
I wondered why this would be so. Then when a musician began to play along with this savant in a duet performance, immediately I sensed a big difference between them.
The musician’s playing had life or “soul.” My Spirit felt uplifted when I listened to his playing. Then when the Savant began to play, I understood what I was discerning. The Savant had a form of musical talent, but he did not have a real gift for music. He had a learned structural performance that was very mechanical. His music lacked “life.”
The savant knew all the cords and the structure of music, but he did not have a real feel for music. He had no inspirational influence.
If our ears are opened by the Holy Spirit it is impossible to be fooled by the mechanical performance of the religious Christian. It may look like a good performance but when the real Holy Spirit filled Christian comes along and operates in the dunamis power of the Holy Spirit, you will immediately sense the difference.
You will sense the life of the Spirit, the supernatural gift of God residing in the Holy Spirit filled Christian. (dunamis power)
The mechanical performance of the religious “Christian” is pale in comparison to the Holy Spirit inspired life of a born again Christian.
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 2 Timothy 3:5-7
The word of God and the Holy Spirit work together to crucify the carnal nature. We must have both in order to perform the Lord’s good pleasure. (Phil. 2:13)
When the word of God dwells in our hearts by faith, and is ignited by the dunamis power of the Holy Spirit then we will produce a life that pleases God. A Holy Spirit inspired life!
Jesus said in his word that no one can come to him unless the Father draw him. To draw in this verse from John 6: 44 is the word helkuo which means to drag or haul to lead or compel.
The Holy Spirit must draw or compel a person to Jesus the Savior through convincing. He convinces them of their sin, their need for salvation and the judgement of sin on them in their fallen state. (John 16:8)
When this convincing by Grace or God’s mercy becomes compelling then faith must be obtainedaccording to scriptures.
“SIMON PETER, A SERVANT AND AN APOSTLE OF JESUS CHRIST, TO THEM THAT HAVE OBTAINED LIKE PRECIOUS FAITH WITH US THROUGH THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD AND OUR SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST.” 2 PETER 1:1
To obtain something is to get, acquire, or secure something.
The Greek word in this scripture is lagchanō which means to receive by divine allotment.
Faith is not earned by good deeds, intellectual prowess, or human ability. Faith is a divine attribute. Faith must be obtained or received.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” Eph 2:8
Scriptures tell us that Jesus obtained salvation for us.
Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. Hebrews 9:12
Obtain in this verse is the Greek word heurisko which means acquired, find, to get,
To obtain is to get or acquire something.
How is faith obtained?
Faith is obtained by divine providence.
By Grace or God’s divine mercy which draws by the Holy Spirit to Jesus Christ for salvation or whatever the need is, faith comes or is brough forth.
Faith comes. Faith is brought forth.
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10: 17
Faith is not a human attribute. It is divine or comes from God by hearing.
Faith is obtained by hearing.Akoe To hear or incline the ear.
The word (gospel message) being preached. (proclaimed)
It is through preachingthe word is heard.
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18
For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. 1 Corinthians 1:21
Faith is obtained by hearing God’s word preached. (proclaimed)
Let me simplify this spiritual principle.
The Father has sent the Holy Spirit to draw or compel by convincing of a need. (Whether salvation or deliverance or whatever)
Then when convinced of the need faith is obtained or acquired by grace or God’s mercy.
God’s mercy has inclined the ear to hear.
Faith is obtained or acquired in order to receive by hearing. (Having a hearing ear by the Holy Spirit’s work) through the preaching or proclaiming of God’s word. (Rhema living word of Christ)
Dear Father draw us by your Holy Spirit to recognize our need. Give us ears to hear your word being spoken to us by your Holy Spirit. Grant unto us by your grace the ability to receive what you are telling us and help us to apply it to our lives. In Jesus name. Amen.
In 2 Chronicles 20 an army of Moabites, Ammonites, Meunites and Edomites came out to make war with Jehoshaphat King of Israel. These nations were enemies of YHWY’s people. They served other gods or the demonic realm.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:12
Jehoshaphat proclaimed a fast and began to seek the Lord for his help. He cried to the Lord in his distress. “If, when evil cometh upon us, as the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we stand before this house, and in thy presence, (for thy name is in this house,) and cry unto thee in our affliction, then thou wilt hear and help.” 2 Chronicles 20:9
Then the Lord’s Holy Spirit gave a word to those seekers. “The LORD says this to you: ‘Don’t be afraid or worry about this large army, because the battle is not your battle. It is God’s battle!”
God gave instructions to the Israelites. Do not be afraid, go battle against them. You are not alone in this battle. Stand firm. Be still and see the Lord bring you deliverance. Then they thanked the Lord and worshipped him.
Then Jehoshaphat got up in the morning and said, “Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.”
In other words, believe that the Lord is with you in the battle, don’t be afraid, believe his word, and you will have the victory!
By faith, the Israelites began to sing praise to the Lord as they went out to war. Praise is an important factor in spiritual warfare. Important to note is that they praised God because of his great mercy. When they did this the Lord set ambushments (a surprise attack by people lying in wait in a concealed position) against the enemy and they were defeated.
In Joshua 6, we see another battle take place where the Lord gives his directive.
Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in. Joshua 6:17,
The walls of Jericho were designed to be a defence or an evil stronghold. The Lord told Joshua that he had given the city into his hands. Jericho means a place of concealment. A stronghold where the enemy is hiding or sets up camp. In other words, the Lord will show us where the enemy is hiding. He will expose him and lead us by his Holy Spirit in bringing down the stronghold.
Once the stronghold was revealed then the Lord said to Joshua that he would give him the victory. His directive was to march around Jericho seven times with the ark of the covenant and then shout the victory.
In military warfare an army marches because it builds confidence. In other words, it raises your level of faith. Marching is a training discipline for warfare. To march is to prepare, be ready, get positioned for battle.
On the seventh march the Israelites blew the trumpets. This was a signal of military strength. “We are coming in to take the land!”
Then Joshua told the army of Israelites to “shout for the Lord has given you the city!”
The military shout or battle cry is a direct confrontation to the enemy. We are coming to take you down! Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts. Zechariah 4:6
After the victory shout the walls of the city fell down. The Lord broke through and the city was taken.
In 2 Samuel 5:18,19, when the Philistines came against David in the valley of Rephaim, David sought the Lord. “Shall I go up to the Philistines? wilt thou deliver them into mine hand? And the Lord said unto David, Go up: for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into thine hand.”
Again, we see that seeking the Lord is the first principle of spiritual warfare. Fasting usually accompanies it. Then David went to war after the Lord gave him instruction. The Lord gave him the victory! The Lord broke through for him!
To breakthrough is a military strategy. To move through or beyond an obstacle.
Once there is a breakthrough then the gap can be widened to completely eradicate the enemy’s stronghold.
And David came to Baalperazim, and David smote them there, and said, The Lord hath broken forth upon mine enemies before me, as the breach of waters. Therefore, he called the name of that place Baalperazim. 2 Samuel 5:20
Our God is the God of the breakthrough! It is he who causes us to triumph through Jesus Christ the Lord!
Seek for the Lord’s strategy, have faith, trust, pray, declare the word of God, praise and stand and see the salvation of our God!
Sometimes the trials of life can be so difficult we don’t know how we can possibly make it through, but the Lord never breaks a promise. He tells us that if we put our hope in him, we will never be disappointed. The God of all grace will comfort, strengthen, restore, and establish us after we have suffered for a while. In his kindness God has called us to share in his eternal glory by the mercies of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The key to endurance in a trial is prayer. Through prayer the supply of the spirit is given. God gives us strength to hold on. To be patient and trust in him.
“because I know that through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, my distress will turn out for my deliverance.”Philippians 1:19
Through prayer we cling to Jesus and he will come through for us in our affliction.
“And a woman who had been suffering from a hemorrhage for twelve years, came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak; for she was saying to herself, “If I only touch His garment, I will get well.” But Jesus turning and seeing her said, “Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well.” At once the woman was made well.”
Through prayer faith enters our heart. Faith is trust in God’s provision and deliverance.
“when you pray believe you receive,” Mark 11:24
Prayer will give us our miracle!
Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit. James 5:17-18
For with God nothing shall be impossible! James 5:17-18
After having done all the Bible says, we stand. Ephesian 6:13
Stand and see the salvation of our God! He is working all things together for our good! Romans 8:28
What seems grievous now is working a far greater eternal weight of glory! 2 Corinthians 4:17
In other words, the trial will lead to an eternal benefit!
The Lord always has our eternal life in mind. He sees what we do not see. He knows what we do not know. Sorrow lasts for only a night. Only a small fraction of time on this earth but joy comes in the morning!
Joy unspeakable and full of glory!
“For the mountains shall depart And the hills be removed, But My kindness shall not depart from you, Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,” Says the LORD, who has mercy on you. Isaiah 54:10