Posted: July 27, 2012 in Books, Christianity, Education, Family, History, Life, Lifestyle, News, Parenting, Quotes, Uncategorized

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”

– Ephesians 6:18 NIV

Christians have one common enemy, Satan, but many oppositional forces. Ephesians 6:12 teaches that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against rulers, authorities and powers of this dark world and spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. According to Ephesians 1:3, God has already provided us, in the heavenly realms, every spiritual blessing in Christ we need to live a victorious spiritual life. The place where God has already provided us everything we need, we face oppositional forces trying to prohibit and inhibit us from experiencing those blessings. How real and great are those oppositional forces? It caused Hannah to no longer eat (see 1 Samuel 1), Elijah told God to take his life (see 1 Kings 19), and Jesus was so overwhelmed with sorrow that He felt like dying (see Matthew 26). Careful inspection of their unique circumstances reveals Hannah’s disappointment for a longing unfulfilled; Elijah’s humiliation in receiving death threats after a great spiritual victory and was exhausted from battle, and Jesus’ anxiety dealing with the real emotional and mental human stress associated with the reality of what He was facing and the ensuing crucifixion. It also sounds like they were suffering from depression in what each of them were facing.

In my personal life I have been a witness to the real impact of what can happen when thoughts and emotions are allowed to run ramped and terrorize our soul. I have witnessed the harmful, debilitating effects of paranoid schizophrenia and stress caused by anxiety, worry and fear. I have also witnessed the life changing power of faith and the word of God restore and heal those who wrestle and struggle within against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. As I’ve explained to others, all of our opposition, or enemies, are not external. As Hannah, Elijah and Jesus modeled for us, we have to learn how to identify and express these intense emotional/mental oppositional forces that seek to inhibit and prohibit us from experiencing the joy, peace and liberty God promises us to experience through faith in Christ!

Did you know that Jesus expressed concern about the cross before He entered the garden of Gethsemane (in Matthew’s gospel) and prayed 3 times about His concern to the Father about not wanting to go through with what God’s will was for Him? “Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!'” – John 12:27-28 NIV In John’s gospel, before the Last Supper, Jesus has an open dialogue with Himself in the company of others about the reality of being crucified and articulates whether He should ask about not going through with what He has come into the world to do. So, at least 4 times it is recorded how much Jesus actually struggled with what He was willing to do for us. The Apostle Paul concluded in Ephesians 6 that prayer, along with the armor of God, is how to extinguish the oppositional forces that come against us! Don’t be ashamed of the fact that you struggle against opposition, but rest in assurance, through faith and prayer, God hears you and He will deliver you as you trust in his unfailing love and hope in His name!

May God bless you and help you to identify and express to Him what troubles and torments your soul so you may experience the power, grace and truth of Jesus Christ and the fullness of life He came for us to have.


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