Jesus is the Rock. All who belong to him are secure in his strong fortress. In Jesus Christ the child of God can hide from the storm’s of life and be protected. Jesus the rock is a fortified place of refuge for the oppressed. A refuge from our enemies. When life tries to over whelm us then we can run to the rock that is mighty in strength.
In ancient Israel fortresses were made of Dolomite which is a sedimentary rock. Today it is called Jerusalem stone. Dolomite is resistant to erosion. It can handle heat, wind, and water without scratching or breaking. Dolomite is even acid resistant!
When the gates of hell target us then the Holy Spirit will leads us to the rock that is higher than our own strength and power. We can run to Jesus our rock of defense!
The key however, is to run to him. Don’t take matters into your own hands ! Don’t opt for deliverance by your own methods ! Rather look to the rock from which you were hewn!
Jesus is a mighty stronghold that will keep the storm from sweeping us away.
There is no power of hell that can breach the fortified rock of defense for those who put their trust in Jesus the rock. Run to the Rock and hide in him! No power on earth can remove you from him who is greater than all!
Grace abounds to the sinner to bring salvation but when one is saved grace then has another job. Grace sanctifies.
Scriptures tell us that God’s grace which brought us salvation also teaches us that we should deny ungodliness. That is, we should refuse any kind of wickedness.
Grace teaches us by the Holy Spirit to refuse worldly lusts or desires of this world. What are these desires that we are to refuse? Any affections which are associated with this world system such as worldly aspirations, worldly ideologies, worldly habits, worldly sensuality. Worldly in fact is anything contrary to the word of God that claims our due attention and distracts us from doing God’s will for our lives.( Titus 2:11,12)
God’s grace also teaches us to live soberly. To be sober means to be of sound mind. This includes being free of addictions or any thing that causes us to not have our full faculties.
God’s grace teaches us to live righteously. That is to be just and upright; morally right and fair in our lifestyle, honorable, to keep our word. To be Honest in all things.
God’s grace teaches us to be godly. That is to be God fearing, prayerful, holy and faithfully devoted to spiritual things.
God’s grace teaches us to keep our eyes on Jesus and eternity for we have been saved from wickedness, sin, corruption and made new in Christ to be zealous; passionate, enthusiastically doing good works that each of us has been called to do as peculiar or special people of God.
For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ;
Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
Grace not only saves by the unmerited mercy of God but Grace sanctifies by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus not only saved us from our sins but he has defeated the power of sin. (Romans 6)
When we yield to God’s sanctitying grace we are kept by his grace from the power of sin. (1 Corinthians 15:10)
Sin cannot rule over a blood bought redeemed child of God because the blood of Jesus has power to save from sin to the uttermost.
The Bible declares that Christians are justified freely by God’s grace because of Jesus Christ. That means our justification or the making of our right standing with God is made legitimate by God’s gift which is freely given not by our merit but by undeserved mercy he bestows.
This occurs because of the redemption ( being saved from evil due to sin and demonic oppression ) that is IN Christ Jesus.
Notice that it is by being IN Christ Jesus that we are saved. IN means being enclose by or surrounded by something else.
IN is the key word to focus on to really understand our position as a child of God.
IN Christ we are new creatures. Our redemption comes not outside but IN Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
The Christian identity is IN CHRIST. Positioned in a place of enclosure.
Romans 6:3 says we were baptized into Jesus Christ and were baptized into his death.
In other words IN CHRIST the Christian is emerged. IN CHRIST the Christian is emerged into his death.
It is the death of Jesus Christ on the cross that brings our emerson INTO him.
Colossians 3:3 says we are dead IN Christ and as the Chapter continues it tells us that our life is not our own because we are IN CHRIST.
Christ’s resurrection then raises us up with him IN heavenly places. Ephesians 2:6
Again the key is IN Christ.
In putting this all together Christians are Justified In Christ because of his redemption and dead In Christ because of his death so we are now seated with Christ IN heavenly places or from a kingdom of God position.
From this position Christians are to operate in this world through Jesus Christ as his ambassadors. Representing him in this world system that we are called to occupy until he comes.
This means we have now been given authority as a child of God to enforce the kingdom of God in this earth. As it is in heaven according to the will of God we pray upon this earth and by faith we declare it and enforce it by peaceful and godly means.
Peter tells Christians that we are to arm ourselves or equip ourselves with the mindset of Jesus Christ when it comes to our suffering in this world. (1 Peter 4:1)
In order to do that we need to understand the suffering of Jesus Christ. Let’s take a look at Isaiah 53.
According to this prophecy which occurred in the future and is now in the past but which applies to the Christian in the present, Jesus Christ endured tremendous suffering.
We can see these main occurances which Jesus Christ endured. Let’s break them down.
Jesus was despised. This means that Jesus was not valued and seen as worthless. In other words who Jesus is and what he did for humanity is not respected and in fact is scorned by many people both in the past and today .
Since Jesus was despised why do we think that we should experience any better kind of treatment? Jesus himself said that the world hated him so don’t expect it to like us either. Are we armed with this mindset?
Jesus was rejected by men. Many people simply do not want Jesus Christ. They prefer their own ways.
Since Jesus was rejected because his values are not appreciated then we must also be armed with his mindset. We may not be liked or valued or accepted by those who are not disciples of Jesus Christ. It’s a given.
Jesus was afflicted. That means he had to endure pain, abuse, bullying and scoffing. He was beaten and murdered too. Are we armed with this mindset?
Now let’s look at some other things Jesus endured for our sakes. Isaiah 53 goes on to tell us that Jesus bore our sorrows, he endured shame, he bore our griefs, and he carried our burdens.
Galatians 6: 2 tells us to bear one another’s burdens. This means that when we are armed with the mindset of Jesus Christ we come alongside our brethren like he did and help them carry their burden. Whether it’s in prayer, giving, ministering, helping, or serving.
Paul tells us that when we consider our sufferings in this world to be unworthy of the glory that will be revealed in us we can see a positive outcome of all this suffering we endure. Our sufferings are not because God is a sadist but rather the suffering we endure for the present if we are armed with Jesus Christ’s mindset have both eternal and present benefits. Let’s check it out.
Jesus bore sorrow, pain and grief for our sake so that through his affliction he could bring us healing. Jesus was wounded so that through his stripes we could recieve forgiveness ,healing and restoration.
He endured the cross and the shame so that he could bring many out of darkness and make them his children. When we are armed with this mindset we can endure our sufferings for the benefit of others.
Maybe enduring a mean person at work or rejection by your family. Enduring name calling and bullying by class mates who are not Christians or even having to give up your pay check to help a relative in sickness or give up your life to be a witness for your faith.
These are just some examples of what a Christian may have to endure to represent Jesus Christ in this world and share the gospel to the lost.
Jesus suffering brought us not only salvation but righteousness and justification. He suffered in patience and endurance because he knew what the outcome would be. Armed with Jesus Christ’s mindset on suffering we learn to be patient and wait for a good outcome too.
No suffering in this life is pleasant scriptures tell us BUT it is working out a far greater work of glory. In heaven we will be rewarded and sometimes even here we will reap the benefits but do you know what the best part is? It brings honor to the Lord! (Hebrews 12:11)
Think about that! When we patiently endure and pray then God walks through the suffering with us (Isaiah 43:2) He helps us carry our burdens and with joy we can bear them.
The beneficial outcome will come in God’s perfect timing. Just continue to trust him for faithful is he who has promised. (Psalm 34:19)
Ephesians 6 tells us to put on the full armor of God in order to stand against all the schemes of the devil. However, prior to that in verse 10 this scripture gives us a perquisite for that armor to be effective.
Before we are told to put on the full armour of God we are commanded to be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Let us examine this exhortation.
To be strong, according to the ancient Greek language, means to be able to perform feats of strength. That is having the power to move heavy weights or perform physically demanding tasks.
We are called to be strong, not in our own strength but in God’s power. Power in this verse is endowment. We are given by God through prayer his strength to perform tasks under his delegated authority.
So in effect we need the Lord’s empowerment to perform great feats of strength which we are commissioned by him to do.
We are called to be strong in the Lord with his mighty power, not reliance on our ability and resources but by his dumnis supernatural Holy Spirit power.
Power in this verse context means to be positioned in Jesus Christ’s supreme authority.
In other words we are to be strong in the Lord (positioned in his authority) and in the power of his might. Not just in authority but in power. Here is where many Christians miss it. They exercise authority in Jesus name but have not tapped in to Holy Spirit power.
Scriptures tell us that kind of teaching emphasizing form without power (concentration on our authority) has a form of knowledge but no power.
We can scream at the devil, demand that he jump to our command even using Jesus name and strut around in our Christian armor all we want but unless we have HOLY SPIRIT POWER to back up our claim its just a lot of noise.
Might in this verse is literally forcefulness which means to exert power,effort, strength stamina, exertion, pressure, to fight.
HIS MIGHT is the key. Not your might. Not your spiritual prowess or Biblical knowledge but through HIS MIGHT. This is because having Holy Spirit power requires surrender and that is just way too high a price for many Christians to pay.
Surrender to Holy Spirit requires death to self. Not just death to sin but death to self effort. Holy Spirit power requires depending on the Holy Spirit for everything. That’s why Paul said “If we live in the Spirit let us also walk in the Spirit.”
Many Christians are born again of the Spirit and live in the Spirit but they don’t walk in the Spirit. Walking is more than positional. Walking it is an action. To walk in the Spirit is to move in the Spirit in every thing that we do. To rely on Holy Spirit as our source for every thing in life. All our decisions and all our actions.
Putting it all together, Ephesians 6:10 says, to be STRONG IN THE LORD AND IN HIS MIGHTY POWER. This means to be positioned in his great power (with the ability to perform by the Holy Spirit)and having dominion (authority and jurisdiction of the government control of God’s Kingdom) and HIS MIGHT (possessing great and impressive power or strength, especially on account of size.)
THEN AFTER we are commissioned and empowered with the Lord’s strength for battle, we can put on the full armor of God.
No soldier goes out to battle without a commission and back up of military power. This is the same with the soldier in God’s army.
When we are delegated athourity to exercise power to perform tasks of strength then we are able to go into battle.
Ephesians 6 tells us that once we are commissioned with delegated power and strength we are to then put on the whole armor of God so that we are able to stand against the wiles of the devil and his principalities and powers of whom we wage war with or wrestle.
Our battle according to this chapter in Ephesians 6 takes place in the spiritual realm or high places of wickedness and our use of Spiritual weapons provided for us by God are demonstrated through the function of prayer. We are battling demonic powers and therefore we need God’s supernatural power in this battle.
We are called to be constant in prayer with all kinds of prayer; supplications, petitions, intercessions, declarations , praying the word, praying in tongues. This constant prayer life is for the purpose of being watchful over the saints. It is also for praying that souls be saved. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-28)
Lastly, after we have done all through prayer and what God shows us to do then we are called to stand in faith.
This is another area we miss it. If we don’t see a manifestation right away or answered prayer in our time schedule we give up. We should never give up but trust God in faith that he will do what he has promised to do in his timing and in is way.
BE STRONG IN THE LORD AND THE POWER OF HIS MIGHT and put on the full armor of God then you will be able to stand against all the schemes of the devil. Keep standing for victory is guaranteed to those who put their confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Is it God’s will for you to prosper? Let’s examine this controversial topic based on the Bible. First of all let’s define prosper. In the Greek the word is euodoō and it means to be successful and in particular in business affairs.
3 John 1:2 John says that he prays for the brethren to prosper and be healthy in body according to the prosperity of their spirit man.
In other words if the spirit man is prospering then that prosperity will be evident in the natural realm as well.
Jesus never said money or wealth was evil. In fact what he did say was to make use of mammon or worldly money for good purposes, make wise investments with money and be faithful with it. This your faithfulness with money will return to you a benefit. Matthew 6 Luke 16
God said the love of money was the root of all evil. To serve money and put it before God is the sin. Not having money. I Tim 6
If we use money for fleshy indulgences and greed this is sin but to use money for God’s kingdom this is not sin. James 4
Matthew the tax collector restored what he stole and when he repented he said to the Lord that he would give of his riches to help the poor. This pleased Jesus. Mark 2
According to the Bible poverty is a curse. Many times Christians are dirt poor because of un dealt with sin in their lives, mismanagement of what they did have (story of the talents) or simply because of ignorance of the Bible.
Deuteronomy 28 Galatians 3
Prosperity is also relative. A person living in a western nation may have to make more money than a person from a third world nation in order to live. For example the price of a days wages in one country may be the cost of a loaf of bread in another. The cost of a rental house for one month in one country may be a years wages in another.
The point is that prosperity and health while relative is a sign of God’s blessing. Many sickness and diseases are caused by sin and demonic power such as unhealthy life choices, occult practices, generational sins, and word curses.
Exodus 15 Deuteronomy 7 1 Peter 3 Colossians 4
God says that his people perish for lack of knowledge and so many Christians suffer at Satan’s hands due to their ignorance of God’s word. Hoses 4:6
Does God allow suffering sometimes? Yes he does and scriptures tell us some reasons that he does this; such as for his glory to be revealed, to further the work of God, and chastisement for disobedience.
John 9 Job 42 Dan 4
God promises to supply our needs. Not our greeds. If he wants to give someone a lot of money in order to further the kingdom of God then that’s his buisness but if some of us have to pray for our needs to be met every day because the Lord wants to increase our faith then again that is his buisness. We each have been given different gifts and we should just accept that.
Phil. 4 Romans 12 1 Corinthians 12 Ephesians 4
It is not wrong to pray for your needs to be met but you don’t have to live up to the Jones. A guy with a ministry to the poor may not need a Cadillac but an ambassador to the rich and famous maybe he does. 2 Cor. 10 :12 1 Timothy 6
Paul said that he became all things for all people that he might win them to Jesus Christ. We need to take that into consideration.
1 Corinthians 9
Paul also said in the Bible to be content in your situation whether you have a lot or not.
The important thing is to live for Jesus and be in the center of his will.
Heaven’s streets are paved with gold and all God’s children have shoes so in eternity we have an inheritance incorruptible to look forward to and since that’s the final outcome we all prosper in the end anyway . (1 Peter 1:4 )
Did you know that even though God is sovereign (omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent) that there are certain things that he cannot do?
The Bible tells us that God can be limited and grieved. When we doubt God we limit him and make him sorrowful. He is sad because he cannot do any mighty works on our behalf. (Ps. 78:41)
All heaven is blocked by unbelief. Angels can’t move and God can’t move. Faith is the vehicle in which the miraculous moves. Without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God but with even just a tiny bit of faith God will move a mountain on our behalf. (Heb. 11:6 Mark 11:23)
There are two kinds of faith that the Bible talks about. Our faith and God’s faith. When we trust God to work on our behalf he will do great things for us. Faith is not a feeling. It’s an action word. I believe therefore I have spoken. I believe therefore I take up my bed and walk. (Mark 5 :34, John 5 :8)
God’s faith is much more powerful. It is a supernatural endowment to believe a specific thing. Sometimes in order to do a supernatural feat we need a supernatural faith. (1Cor. 12:9)
Faith comes by hearing. Taking time to bend our ear to heaven. Hearing or getting the answer to our seeking comes from getting a word from God. We need to seek God through prayer, fasting and Bible reading to get a word from heaven. (Romans 10:17)
When we get a word from heaven faith comes. We know that we know that we know we have our petition granted.
Another way that God is limited is through unforgiveness. If we do not forgive others then God will not forgive us. (Matt. 6:15)
Sometimes the reason we don’t get our prayers answered is because we are still holding on to grudges and offense. Forgiveness is not a feeling either. It is also an action word. I choose to pray, bless and do good regardless of feelings.
Now that does not mean we have to be a carpet for other people to walk on. If there is no repentance from the other party we separate ourselves from the relationship and just continue to pray for them. That is Biblical protocol.
(2 Thess. 3:6)
Another way that God is limited is by failing to give. When we do not give the Bible says that he shuts the window to his blessings. When we give he gives back to us in good measure. (Mal. 3:10)
What we give, how we give and by our heart attitude determines the out come of the measure of blessing we get from God as well.
Another way we limited God is by our speach. God says that he will honour those who honor him. If we have wholesome conversation then the Lord will bless us. He says that by our words we will either be justified or condemned. By our words we will be blessed or cursed. (Ps. 50 :23 Matt. 12:23 Prov. 18:21)
Our speach reflects our heart attitude. What ever comes out of our mouth is what’s in our heart. When will fill our heart with God’s word and line up our conversation according to his agenda we will find ourselves walking in victory. (Luke 6:45)
Praying the word is a powerful weapon of faith against demonic powers. When we walk in forgiveness and pray for others we will live victorious in this life. When we give into God’s kingdom for his purposes we will be blessed. We will be more that conquerors because the battle is already won! Jesus defeated Satan and all we have to do is walk it out by faith in his victory. (Rom. 8:31 -39)