"The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the strength of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?"
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SECRETS OF INTERCESSION PART 4: STRENGTH
“Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10
This kind of strength is not like the strength of a body builder. This is spiritual strength, from the inside out. This is the joy that flows out of the river of life: God’s Spirit! It produces a renewing of spiritual strength. John 7:38-39
Spiritual strength will stabilize and govern the mind, will and emotions. It will release life and strength to the body so we may run and not be weary, walk and not faint, to help us fulfill our assignment for the Kingdom of God.
As a Man Thinks, So is He
“Then Agrippa said to Paul, ‘You are permitted to speak for yourself.’ So Paul stretched out his hand and answered for himself:
“I think myself happy…” Acts 26:1-2
Delightful scripture, isn’t it? It’s one of those scriptures to write on a note and place around your house so you can see it often!
“I think myself happy.”
And someone said, “Yeah, right. The world is coming apart like a $2.00 watch and I’m supposed to be happy?” Yes! God’s armor, the helmet of salvation, is for the protection of your thought life. In past lessons, we have taught extensively about the renewing of the mind. See Ephesians 4:17-24 & Romans 12:1-2.
A brief recap of renewing the mind:
- Take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
- Be anxious for nothing. Pray! Then cast off cares. Philippians 4:4-9
- Train yourself to think on things that are: True, Honest, Just, Pure, Lovely, Good Report, Virtuous, Praiseworthy.
- Monitor what you listen to.
We’re surrounded with faith thieves.
And faith thieves are “strength” thieves!
Most of what the world is putting out as “entertainment” should not be allowed in our ears or before our eyes. Watching a movie filled with corruption, tragedy and murder will affect our thought life and begin to produce fear. And fear is the satanic vacuum of faith.
Your faith is more valuable to you than gold! 1 Peter 1:7
Jesus said, “Take heed what you hear…” Read Mark 4:13-32
Why? Words are seeds, or containers of either good or evil.
They build up or they steal. And, seeds produce after their own kind.
“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.” Matthew 12:35
It’s the way the whole system works.
“The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
“Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.” Genesis 1:2-3
What would have happened if God began to complain about what He saw?
“Wow, now that thing is just a hopeless mess. Look at how black everything is. That emptiness and void is just awful. What are we going to do? I can’t take this. Let’s go somewhere else and start over.”
Complaints! This is what many Believers who pray are doing. It’s the way they live their lives. Their words are hooked up to the natural.
They speak what they see and don’t realize what is taking place. Many times those mountains in our lives that stand against us and hinder us are mountains of our own carnal words! James 3:1-12
What does our Commander tell us to say?
“For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.” Mark 11:23
The Lord spoke this to one evangelist:
“I have told my people they can have what they say, and they are saying what they have.”
Someone is after your words!
The Apostle Paul tells us we are in a spiritual war and gives us specific guidelines that an overcomer must do. See 2 Corinthians 10:3-5. Believers who do not endeavor to practice these things every day, either through lack of knowledge or lack of diligence, will be an easy target for the kingdom of darkness.
The closer we get to the return of Jesus Christ, the more fervent the Body of Christ must become in following God’s rules. And Saints, there are rules to follow even though we are under God’s grace. His grace empowers us to help us obey and prosper.
What does all this have to do with this week’s subject: STRENGTH?
Let’s continue to follow this trail a little further to hear what the Spirit of God is saying to The Church.
The Apostle Paul’s Thorn
Paul presents an argument for his faithfulness and against false apostles as he shares his sufferings for Christ in his letter to the Corinthian Church. He said he was continually harassed wherever he went to preach: beaten, imprisoned, shipwrecked, etc.
See 2 Corinthians 11:23-33.
He was aware this “thorn” was a satanic spirit sent to hinder and steal the revelations he was receiving from the Lord. Paul pleaded with the Lord that it be removed from him. What was Jesus’ reply? “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
What is the Lord saying here? “No, Paul. I want you to continue to be tormented by Satan's messenger as I give you revelations so that it will keep you humble?” I don't think so...
My Grace, My Strength ... Power!
Hopefully, our generation is putting into practice what we have been taught:
to rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to live life in the Spirit.
We cannot overcome the enemy within our own strength. “The Spirit also helps in our weaknesses ... and makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”
Jesus gave us examples to follow.
When He was in the desert 40 days and tempted of the devil what weapon did Jesus use? Did He use His own strength as King of Kings? He used The Word of God!
“It is written…” Then the devil left Him. Read Matthew 4:1-11.
“ … I do nothing of Myself; but as the Father taught Me, I speak these things.” John 8:28
“ … I do not speak on My own authority, but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.” John14:10
We can see Jesus relied on God's Word.
He was totally dependent on His Father.
We also rely on God's Word and are totally dependent on our Father.
What did Jesus tell his disciples? “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” Luke 10:19
“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature… And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues…” See Mark 16:15-18.
The Apostle John taught us that we have an anointing, the yoke destroying power of God that removes burdens. See 1 John 2:20 & 27 and Isaiah 10:27.
Jesus received this same anointing for His earthly ministry.
“ … how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” Acts 10:38
The New Creation in Christ:
A Life of Progress
Paul wrote “Now we know in part…”
Paul himself was also learning from the Lord as he journeyed through his life.
Paul’s letter to the Corinthians described his battle with a satanic spirit as a “thorn in his flesh.” This letter was written in A.D. 57.
Later, in A.D. 62, Paul wrote to the Ephesians giving them revelation knowledge of exactly how to stand against the wiles of the devil and put on the armor of God. See Ephesians 6:10-18.
Paul’s Deliverance of the “Thorn.”
Paul’s letter to young Pastor Timothy:
“But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me.”
2 Timothy 3:10-11
Out of them all the Lord delivered him!
“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ…” 2 Corinthians 2:14
“For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” 1 John 3:8
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.” Ephesians 6:10
Ministers Who Pray Need God’s Joy and Strength
Praise God! For greater is He that is in us than he who is in the world!
The intercessors strength comes from abiding in the vine and His words abiding in us…continually. John 15:1-8 It’s systemic!
Without Him, we can do nothing!
- “I have been crucified with Christ;
- it is no longer I who live,
- but Christ lives in me;
- and the life which I now live in the flesh
- I live by faith in the Son of God,
- who loved me
- and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
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